Is Wikipedia Fair to the Biologic Institute?

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Doug Axe and Wistar II
(S. Joshua Swamidass) #2

Yes, that is an ID organization. It is where some people on the forum work. I have major scientific disagreements with them, as do most scientists. What exactly is the point?


Just for informational purposes only. Let people read and become knowledgeable on the institutions people here interact with.

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(S. Joshua Swamidass) #4

That is helpful.

One thing we need to cover at some point too is the Dover Trial and Kansas Board Hearings. That is going to be both contentious and important. We need to be able to talk about things that have happened in the last 20 years factually, and without ad hominem, even if the stories do not cast everyone in the best light.

It is part of our inheritance. We have to receive it truthfully. We won’t dive in now, but I want everyone here that cares to start preparing to be in the right mindset when the time is right.

(Ann Gauger) #5

Not helpful at all! Full of errors and bias. Same with the Dover trial page. As someone who has worked there and lived through the events, I know. If you trust Wikipedia over me, I am done.

(Blogging Graduate Student) #6

Can you give us some examples of a few of the most glaring errors?


Me too. It will be nice to reminisce from both sides of the courtroom.

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(S. Joshua Swamidass) #8

@Agauger of course no one trust wikipedia on everything. They won’t let you edit it. We get that it is one side of the story. Though it is one side. You are welcome to offer corrections. You do not need to threaten to leave whenever something like this comes up. That is not helpful. Help us understand you.

No one has attacked you on this thread (at least not yet).

@Patrick, I’m warning you on this on to just chill out and not attack her personally. Dispassionately contribute if you feel the need. If you can’t do that, just leave this thread. If you ignore me I’m gonna be forced to suspend you. I do not want to do that. There is just no reason for it either, because the bare facts in this situation are going to support you case. Adding the ad hominem and emotion is going to undermine your point immensely.

@Agauger you are under no obligation to identify each and every error you see in that wiki article. Is there one or two errors that you would like to explain? And, I am going to moderate this thread tightly so it does not degrade.

(Ann Gauger) #9

These events were real. People lost jobs, tenure, all of it. You can say anything you want on an American campus except ID or questions about evolution.

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(Ann Gauger) #10

The scientific community remains skeptical and commentators note that no publications containing results which support intelligent design have yet appeared.[4][24][25] Reason magazine compared the research efforts at the Biologic Institute to those of “Big Tobacco”[[26]
( the 2006 New Scientist editorial noted that this sort of research is similar to the agenda-driven research of the tobacco and oil industries.[19] University of Minnesota biologyprofessor PZ Myers likens the Biologic Institute’ s research program to cargo cults, with “Intelligent Design creationists pretend[ing] that they’re doing science.”[27] Intelligent design supporters and other creationists disagree.[20][28]

Missing all the published papers since 2005, affiliated scientists, or any positive reports from alternate points of view.

(Blogging Graduate Student) #11

I was hoping you would comment on the Biologic Institute article specifically.

With regards to that article that you’ve linked, you say these events happened. Are you disputing the fact that the article describes these events as “purported”? That seems like more of a tonal issue, not outright lies. At least some of those events seem to me to be pretty clear cut examples of schools/universities exercising their rights to choose the best people for the job as they see it. You can call it “discimination”, but at the end of the day, I’d say it’s reasonable for institutions to let employees go for avoiding teaching the assigned/expected syllabus, for example.


Yes, trials have consequences. People’s reputations are tarnished, jobs are lost. Real consequences for one’s actions. But you are sounding like it wasn’t a fair trial and the verdict was wrong. Why didn’t you appeal to a higher level court? Sounds like the “poor me’s” . Is this the Christian prosecution that you referred to earlier? Let’s talk about the facts in an unemotional manner.

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #13

@Patrick, I agree with you here, but please let us handle this for a moment.

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(S. Joshua Swamidass) #14

I agree Ann, what in the Wiki article do you have a problem with? We are not talking about the Dover Trial now, at least I hope not.


Ok, standing by if you need me. :sunglasses:

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #16

I feel like I’m brokering peace between Palestinians and Jews. You can’t more far apart than FFRF and DI. We have to come to the table agreeing that we are going to see these situations differently. We have to be realistic too. We are going to walk away disagreeing too. So let us focus on understanding each other. Let us also stay on topic.

@Agauger, we are not going to relitigate every issue of bias against ID now. I think @evograd’s question is precisely correct:

There is a lot there. Can you pick one?

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #17

And we are talking about the OP, not the one you posted, right? The one on the BioLogics Insittute?

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #18

By the way, i can identify one peice of sillinenes…

On December 18, 2012, the science and technology blog Ars Technica ran an exposé featuring a photograph of Gauger on the Biologic Institute’s website. The image appeared to show her standing in a laboratory in the Biologic Institute. Ars Technica revealed that it was actually a composite photograph of her face superimposed over a stock photograph sourced from the stock photo agency Shutterstock.[31] After the story spread throughout the internet, the Biologic Institute removed the image from their website.[32]

The amount of abuse that you received for a stock photo of a lab was absurd. The implication was that you did not even work in a lab, and that was false. Unless I missed something important, I’m agreement that this is absurd. It is for scientific reasons I ended up disagreeing with the work you did with Axe, not a silly stock photo. That was an ad hominem, a very public one.

(Ann Gauger) #19

Here is one episode I take personally. First, Brooks misrepresented what happened.

Gauger reported on her work at the Wistar Retrospective Symposium held from June 3 through June 7, 2007 in [Boston, Massachusetts (,_Massachusetts). As reported by Daniel Brooks, “…she discussed “leaky growth,” in microbial colonies at high densities, leading to horizontal transfer of genetic information, and announced that under such conditions she had actually found a novel variant that seemed to lead to enhanced colony growth. Gunther Wagner said, “So, a beneficial mutation happened right in your lab?” at which point the moderator halted questioning.”[29] Gauger herself has reported a different take on this meeting, saying that the point was not whether there was a beneficial mutation (which Gauger agrees there was) but whether or not the organism had manufactured a new way to make biotin, which it had not (it had merely been able to better scavenge it from the environment). Additionally, Brooks implied that the questioning was cut short because of the question, while Gauger holds that this was simply an amusing question at the end of the session.[30]

He didn’t get the Science right. This article also gets it wrong. There was no horizontal gene transfer. And at least Günter Wagner understood that the mutation I had found did not solve the problem of making biotin, which was the question I was asking. I have already posted my account of this story so that Josh would not be blindsided by it.
I have been called a liar and a fraud, someone who suppressed inconvenient data, just imagine the rest.

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(S. Joshua Swamidass) #20

Is that in the wikipedia article? If not, I think it is important to address, but we should move it to another thread. Right?