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Mark Ramsey's Reply to Aron-Ra in the Texas Evolution Debate

Discussion in 'Creation & Evolution' started by mikeynov, May 7, 2005.

  1. mikeynov

    mikeynov Senior Veteran

    All I can say is...wow.

    To see what exactly he was replying to, read here.

    As far as I can tell, Ramsey literally didn't read Aron's reply.

    Anyways, I thought I'd point out some serious errors in Ramsey's reasoning to open this up for discussion. That this guy is in a position to alter textbook curricula is truly frightening.

    It's a diversion to Mr. Ramsey that Aron wants to agree on terms in a debate? Dear Lord.

    Ramsey's entire reply is filled with so much venom and mockery (once again breaking my irony meter given what he's actually debating) that one wonders about his mental health. As an example of this mockery leading to a gross distortion of Aron's point about abiogenesis...

    This, of course, in reply to Aron pointing out that the origins of life are tangential to a debate on evolution as RAMSEY'S OWN WEBSITE PORTRAYS IT. What's mind-blowing is that Ramsey won't even acknowledge this fault, and instead directs Aron to 'tell it to Texas textbook makers.' This guy's got class.

    Ramsey makes another classic blunder suggesting abiogenesis=spontaneous generation, and that Pasteur 'disproved' this over a century ago:


    I can't emphasize enough how blatantly dishonest it is to equate 'abiogenesis' with spontaneous generation - more reading here.

    Ramsey goes on to address Aron's points regarding the fact that there is a large worldwide body of Christendom which accepts evolutionary theory despite pointing out that it's extra-topical. Ramsey is so offended by this idea that he feels it 'demands response':

    Ramsey goes on to explain that Texas polling (and lord knows that's a good representative sample, a topic Ramsey brings up all of a paragraph or two later) shows that ~82% of people are in favor of teaching evolution's strength and weaknesses as 'proof' that Aron's statements are off-basis. Hell, if somebody asked me whether ANY theory should have its 'weak' points discussed, I'd say yes, with the addendum that they should be realistically discussed. That is, there's certain things where our knowledge is sketchy, but we should also reinforce just how strongly the 'big picture' is known.

    In the next paragraph, Ramsey pulls a Mark Kennedy and attempts to discuss something he doesn't understand:

    I can only conclude that Ramsey isn't even basically familiar with evolutionary theory, as he doesn't even acknowledge a possible role for natural selection in inducing the 'non-randomness' that he says evolutionary theory DEMANDS.

    Given this overwhelming failure, one wonders how Ramsey is in a position to discuss Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms in chromosome 20. He quote-mines scientists that were 'surprised' at the non-random distribution of SNP's, and concludes 'Goddidit.' Brilliant.

    Perhaps Ramsey should read some relevent research on evolution's ability to 'add information' in a non-random fashion?

    Link 1.

    Dr. Lucas to the rescue - again.

    What's particularly odd is that Aron already dealt with almost every PRATT Ramsey is offering in his very first post, the 'no new information' tripe included - all of which was ignored. Literally every word of it.

    Of course, by not agreeing to any set of definitions at any point, Ramsey can attempt to dishonestly skirt this issue by never actually defining what he means by 'information.'

    More required reading on the subject by glaudys.

    Ramsey then goes on to make quite an astonishing statement:

    Two things.

    1) What exactly is 'upward' evolution?


    2) Most creationists I know will acknowledge that 'microevolution' has been observed, but Ramsey won't even go that far. He's literally denying that evolution on any level has ever been observed.

    Perhaps Ramsey should give a call to a Christian geneticist some time like CF's own Dr. Lucas and discuss the issue.

    More examples.

    Mark goes on to make one outrageous claim after another:

    Nice PRATT - the problem here is that Mark Ramsey literally has no idea what a transitional fossil actually is.

    This is what's so convenient about evading any discussion of terms - Ramsey can situationally redefine transitional fossil to be 'something directly descended from lineage A and directly ancestral to lineage B.' Of course, the real definition of a transitional fossil to people who actually understand biology is one which 'shows a mosaic of features between (particular) older and more recent organisms.'

    Next is a discussion of birds:

    Interestingly enough, Ramsey doesn't actually indicate what he's talking about, as he most assuredly is either A) putting forward the common PRATT that Archeopteryx is 'full bird' or B) simply making stuff up.

    Further, look at Aron's own first post and see the amount of evidence Aron actually presents indicating a relationship between birds and dinosaurs - where does Ramsey address this? Did he even read it?

    And what creationists PRATT-mongering would be complete without mentions of both implications of 'kinds' and the go-to 'devolution?' Here Mark Ramsey doesn't disappoint:

    Now, for people familiar with how evolution actually works, this doesn't make any sense at all. Firstly, every descendent branch B inherits the legacy of ancestral branch A. Evolution gives rise to nested hierarchies, branching trees in which one's heritage will always define descendent branches. So no, a dog will never be anything 'other than a dog' for the same reason that our descendents will always be eukaryotic, mammallian apes.

    Fortunately, Aron is quite equipped to handle this butchery of evolution, and I look forward to seeing some of the material presented here in this debate.

    More on Ramsey's 'devolution':

    These comments on devolution are just too rich, and reaffirms why, exactly, Ramsey won't agree to a set of terms, as they'd be far too damaging to his case.

    By not defining 'information,' Ramsey can throw this term around as if it has some self-apparent meaning. It also goes to show how much of a position of ignorance Ramsey is arguing from: his concept of evolution is a 'linear building process' ala:


    As in the picture above.
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  2. mikeynov

    mikeynov Senior Veteran

    Ramsey goes on to reinforce his misunderstanding of evolution and information, showing how creationists have 'evolved' to take on really bad ID arguments:

    I have been accused in the past of misportraying creationists - some have suggested that I mischaracterize the strength of their arguments. But I ask you, how is it even possible when these people are walking parodies?

    Fortunately, we have arrived at Ramsey's conclusion, which summarizes his PRATTs just in case people forgot how bad his argument was:

    Of which Ramsey has shown none. Ramsey doesn't even have a functional grasp of what evolution is, but feels entirely qualified to to manipulate the political system to point out the 'flaws' in evolution on behalf of the Texas people. Yes, Ramsey portrays himself as doing some sort of civic duty by spreading lies and misinformation:

    1) Evolution should explain the origin of life (a point he conceded earlier wasn't necessary, but he somehow feels is a weakness by his own conclusion).
    2) No new information.
    3) No new variation.
    4) Evolution has never been observed.
    5) No convincing evidence for largescale evolution.
    6) Evolution has never been 'reproduced in the lab.'

    #6 has so many counter-examples that it's hard to know where to begin.

    Go here, type in 'evolution biology,' and tell me with a straight face that we've never 'reproduced evolution in the lab.'

    Let's see if you can count the number of PRATTs in just one sentence. I see no less than 6. Ramsey's divorce from reality is complete at this point, and I'd suggest that whatever integrity he had in this field is abandoned by the point he reaches his grand finale, almost formulaicly quote-mining Darwin:

    From talk.origins, quote #2.3:

    [Re: Do the facts prove evolution?]

    "For I am well aware that scarcely a single point is discussed in this volume on which facts cannot be adduced, often apparently leading to conclusions directly opposite to those at which I have arrived. A fair result can be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question; and this is here impossible." - Charles Darwin, 1859, Introduction to Origin of Species, p. 2. Also quoted in 'John Lofton's Journal', The Washington Times, 8 February 1984.

    Representative quote miners: The Theory Of Evolution 1: What Is The Scientific Status Of The Theory Of Evolution ? and Crossfire: What Would Darwin Say? The Ohio Intelligent Design Controversy

  3. Lucretius

    Lucretius Senior Veteran

    His post is roflcopter.
  4. mikeynov

    mikeynov Senior Veteran

    He is dangerously out of touch with reality. His argumentation is the very worst sort of mish-mash PRATT, mocking fanaticism. I have no doubt in Aron's ability to put the ownination on this guy, but he's also a professional weasel:

    A) He refuses to agree on basic terms
    B) He refuses to respond point for point to Aron's opening reply, strawmanning virtually everything he said
    C) Makes outrageous claims and either fails to cite or misuses his citations to bolster his insane argument
    D) Won't acknowledge the strength of counter-arguments - acts as if it's self-evident how 'bad' evolutionary theory is, even though his own website and posts reflect a profound lack of understanding of the subject

    In short, Ramsey would be the type of guy to come on here and create a thread called "EVOLUTION IS SO DUMB LOLZ NOBODY HAS EVER SEEN EVOLUTION, IT'S ALL DEVOLUTION AND ABIOGENESIS WAS DISPROVEN."

    The difference is, this guy actually has the political clout necessary to alter the textbook curricula of Texas's children.
  5. caravelair

    caravelair Well-Known Member

    i'll be looking forward to aron-ra's response! i'm sure he'll give ramsey the thorough thrashing he deserves.
  6. mikeynov

    mikeynov Senior Veteran

    What's particularly odd to me is that Aron's initial offering already dealt with almost every issue Ramsey brings up.

    Ramsey doesn't even PRETEND to address it. All he really does is either A) quote Aron to intentionally mock him or B) bring up the general topic, and repeat his PRATTs as if Aron's refutations were never offered.

    Note to Mark Ramsey: you see how each one of the quotes from your website in Aron's initial post are underlined? Those are URL's - click them.
  7. caravelair

    caravelair Well-Known Member

    indeed. i couldn't even bring myself to read most of his response. it hurts my brain! :cry:
  8. Pete Harcoff

    Pete Harcoff PeteAce - In memory of WinAce

    Other Religion
    Wow, that post was like a giant PRATT list.
  9. Edx

    Edx Senior Veteran

    I started reading just now. and found this [see quoted section below]

    What an unbelievable display of dishonest out of context nonsence. Doesnt he realise that since this is a written debate he cant get away with this? I am not even that familiar with Ramsey, but called him a fool even before this debate started. Now I see he is an even bigger fool than I first imagined


  10. mikeynov

    mikeynov Senior Veteran

    It's like a "Best of the Worst of Creationist Arguments."

    Does AIG even use the term 'devolution?' It appears to me that Ramsey's 'discovery' of evolution's weaknesses came from a weekend perusal of Dr. Dino's website as well as a few ID books, like Darwin's Black Box and Icons of Evolution.

    The net product is 'devolution,' 'kinds never change,' 'no new information' and a variety of other insanities. I would go so far to say that Ramsey's competency on this subject is probably on par with your average creationist on an evolution v. creation debate forum.

    As I said, the difference is that this guy has real political power, which blows my mind. How can a person be so out of touch with reality? Has he ever talked to a biologist in his life?
  11. mikeynov

    mikeynov Senior Veteran

    Oh yah, I left out one astounding series of question-begging:

    Note: found in Aron's original reply

    More reading by our own Glenn Morton on the topic.


    Link 1.

    Link 2.

    Link 3.

    Link 4.


    You mean...experimental evidence, like everything offered above?

    In every introductory biology course I have been a part of from K - college, that was mentioned (has Ramsey taken any biology at a collegiate level? Did he pass?), minus the 'required' nonsense, as the fossil record isn't even a necessity to conclude that all known modern life forms have common ancestors.

    So says Mark Ramsey.
  12. NamesAreHardToPick

    NamesAreHardToPick All That You Can Leave Behind

    Other Religion
    Out of curiousity, is there a Creationist argument that isn't a PRATT?
  13. jwu

    jwu Senior Member


    I wonder what IDists have to say about aliens and others being ruled out as designers, leaving only God.
  14. Pete Harcoff

    Pete Harcoff PeteAce - In memory of WinAce

    Other Religion
    Yes. It's... um... er... I'll get back to you. :sorry:
  15. mikeynov

    mikeynov Senior Veteran

    After rereading this a bit and looking it all over, I see Ramsey's misunderstandings as so:

    1) He perceives evolution as a linear great chain of being as opposed to a nested, hierarchial tree of life.
    2) He doesn't understand what 'evidence' in science actually is, referring to 'proof.' Evidence is data that is consistent with the natural consequences/predictions of a theory. They're not smoking-gun, I caught-evolution-on-videotape creationist nonsense.
    3) He is way the f-censored-censored-k out of date on biology knowledge in general.

    Now, I'm no biologist yet, but I'd like to see a reaction by professional biologists to a diatribe like Ramsey's. I'm honestly glad this all appears in print - if the scientific community within Texas isn't outraged by this level of ignorance in people with political power proactively trying to alter science curricula, then there's something seriously wrong with that state.
  16. Lilandra

    Lilandra Princess-Majestrix

    I am not sure if I should share an opinion about the debate since I am maintaining the site.

    Kinda sucks because as a reporter I don't share my opinion. I report. So it was refreshing sharing my opinion here and speaking my mind.

    I am glad ya'll are discussing the evidence.:)
  17. mikeynov

    mikeynov Senior Veteran

    Just remember: you can't hide the truth forever, and you've seen this all before.

    I've seen you around here for quite a while - I'm sure Ramsey's stuff should come as no surprise. It's this sort of rhetoric that bothers people who are into biology, because A) it's a smack in the face of people spending appreciable time in their lives devoted to learning a subject that is persistently mischaracterized and B) these people aren't just ignorant and arrogant, they're actually capable of shaping public policy and harming the learning of others.

    P.S. I do find this whole debate quite interesting, so keep up the good work reporting. I was so outraged at reading Ramsey's inane response that I felt compelled to reply myself for some reason.
  18. Lilandra

    Lilandra Princess-Majestrix

    Otherwise I am not hiding any truth.

    The only reason I can't say anything is I would be accused of favoritism or trying to tip opinion in someone's favor.

    I am a very opinionated person. I don't mind sharing it.

    You had a very cogent response. More dialogue is always better.:thumbsup:
  19. mikeynov

    mikeynov Senior Veteran

    Ooops, totally not what I meant.

    By 'hide the truth,' I mean creationists like Ramsey, with all their efforts towards misinformation and obfuscation can never really hide the fact that all known life on this planet has common ancestry and that the theory of evolution is far and away the best explanation we have for that fact.

    I'm just pointing out that, despite the fact that you as a reporter in a position of apparent 'objectiveness' can't speak out on Ramsey's inanity, the truth of his fraudulent position will surely come to light.
  20. mikeynov

    mikeynov Senior Veteran

    As one more thought, it's no wonder that creationists so commonly claim 'victory' in public (spoken) debates.

    When everything you say is some form of lie, correcting all of those lies while simultaneously presenting your own case has to be difficult work. Unfortunately for Ramsey, he's chosen a written format with two weeks allocated to replies - more than enough times to expose every solitary lie told, give empirical examples of refutation, and show, quite convincingly, that Ramsey's entire position is built on a cardhouse of PRATTs.