Herman Mays Accuses Joshua Swamidass

Presumably you’re talking about Speciation. That’s a technical work aimed at evolutionary biologists (though I maintain it’s quite accessible to the layman). That isn’t the context we’re in here, and it isn’t the one in talking to a public a high percentage of whom are creationists.

No, but you should recognize what they mean, and you should explain what normal people mean, and how they’re different.

2 Likes

Well I apologize if you or anyone else thought I was painting Josh to be my enemy. I don’t view anyone necessarily as an “enemy” over a disagreement. I in no way ever for a moment believed that he was and never once explicitly said he was.

3 Likes

I know exactly what they mean. And you know what I mean. I choose Mayr’s usage over that of Ken Ham or Kent Hovind. That is all. It’s not a hill to die on. If anyone is confused by the distinction I’m happy to explain it just as I’m happy to explain their unique misuse of the word “evolution” itself.

Apology accepted. Let’s move forward from here treating each other as colleagues. I welcome your participation here, and expect to learn from you too.

4 Likes

You’re not worried that just using the word contributes to a false impression? If you want to avoid that, you would have to append an explanation every time you used it until that meaning became the commonly considered one. Don’t see the point when we have “evolutionary biologist” as an unambiguous term.

4 Likes

I was surprised to hear that Josh Swamidass wasn’t really interested in science, just in using it to make theological points. So I looked up his scientific papers in Web of Science. I put in “Swamidass, J*” and got very few hits, a dismaying surprise. But then I looked up his academic website and realized that his name is “S. Joshua Swamidass”. Once I changed the search to “Swamidass S J” I found lots of hits, particularly in computational methods in toxicology. Perhaps Herman Mays can explain to us how Josh’s interest in topics like “Modeling the Metabolism and Subsequent Reactivity of Drugs” is something he does not because he is interested in that topic, but because it advances his theological agenda.

6 Likes

He’s an absolutely wonderful person and by all accounts an enormously successful scientist. Much more successful than me by many measures. I apologize for the misunderstanding.

3 Likes

@John_Harshman’s point about context being pertinent is really important. That’s why we had this thread also: Respectfulness in Portraying People.

OK I will at your request for the time being not refer to myself as an evolutionist because of the creationist misrepresentation. Are we cool now.

Except I do not see it as disrespectful to call someone an evolutionist.

Let me give a more extreme, hypothetical example to illustrate the point. Suppose I was invited to debate a YEC at a conference organized by them, and the speaker bios were given as the following:

Dr. XXX Smith is a Bible-believing, Harvard-trained scientist who upholds the doctrine of creation and the necessity of proclaiming the gospel.
Daniel Ang is an Asian evolutionist who describes himself as a Christian.

Now, it’s not always offensive to call someone Asian, evolutionist, or describing himself as Christian. But you can see how the above presentation would be problematic?

5 Likes

26 posts were split to a new topic: Religious faith and interest in basic science

OK Daniel. Point taken. Are we done on this one?

2 Likes

At significant personal expense, I have employed a large-mammal veterinarian who has examined this horse and certified that it is not merely dead, but really most sincerely dead. I think she meant that the horse is even beyond the help of any god. She also mentioned something about not awakening canines while they are in torpor, and that comment was a bit less clear to me.

4 Likes

Did she also say anything about excessive use of metaphor?

3 Likes

She’s not that kind of doctor.

2 Likes

I read that as “large-mammary veterinarian”. :open_mouth:

Depends on who’s doing the calling, right?

1 Like

I honestly don’t care. You guys are much more offended by it than I am. You seem even a little offended that I’m not offended by it. Which I find particularly weird.

2 Likes