Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2009-12 > 1260388370

From: David Faux <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] R-U152 and R-L21 on the European Continent
Date: Wed, 9 Dec 2009 11:52:50 -0800
References: <408B6494040041E581DC092DF85C9F47@PC>
In-Reply-To: <408B6494040041E581DC092DF85C9F47@PC>

Ok, this is clearly meant as a barb sent in my direction. Fair enough.
However it was the well respected scientists Zhivotovsky, Underhill and
Feldman (2004) who categorically stated that the germline rate cannot be
projected into the distant past without introducing a correction factor to
bring the figures in line with the evolutionary effective mutational rates.
Thus, these career scientists (population geneticists) have agreed (as does
now Hammer and other well known figures in the field) that a compensation
factor (at the moment it is somewhere beteen 3 and 3.6) needs to be
multiplied to the germline rate to bring the calculated dates in line with
the purported valid dates (as reflected in studies of isolated populations
with known migrational histories). Are you saying that these "heavyweights"
are in the league of pseudo - scientists or creationists, deluding
themselves into believing in something that is sacrosanct to them -
following your line of reasoning this would seem to be the case.

I am also a scientist. Early in my career I chose to use this training to
apply to clinical work (instead of remaining on track to become a
neuroscientist), but that does not change the way that I think about these
matters. I side with my fellow scientists not because they are icons, but
because they think the way I think. Direct observation is the most
fundamental concept in science. The Behaviorist School of Psychology in its
classic form maintains that that is all that one can study. Now more
abstract concepts such as consciousness are receiving a renewed
consideration but only because we can see (observe) the correlates via the
us of technology such as a Functional MRI. If direct observations are not
possible, then we must enter the realm where there are known and unknown
pitfalls. What has become apparent of late, however, is that we cannot
ignore epigenetics (or we do so at our peril), and the fact is that
epigenetics is hauntingly close to the long discredited Lamarckian Theory of
Inheritance that was taboo by the time I arrived on the scene.

David K. Faux.

On Wed, Dec 9, 2009 at 11:16 AM, Lancaster-Boon

> Good philosophical point.
> It is amazing how many followers of modern science, including some
> scientists, actually think the same way as what I would call "sophisticated
> creationists" (the ones you are presumably referring to) and therefore get
> themselves into all sorts of dilemmas.
> Reading Francis Bacon or David Hume is a good way to remember what modern
> science really means, and how it originally made its own case against the
> alternatives. These days there are no real alternatives which any takes
> seriously. (Yes, yes, some people get serious in a purely superficial way,
> but ask them if they want to get in an airplane designed on principles
> opposed to modern science.)
> If someone against modern science demands "but science can not even prove
> that the sun will rise tomorrow: you can only say it is probable, and then
> only based on your own experience of what happened in the past" the correct
> scientific response is "yes, so what".
> There are some people who seem to think that this is not the case. These
> are
> the people who tend to make a big deal about whether something is a theory
> or a hypothesis, and whether falsification was involved at some point.
> Bacon did not even aim to get rid of metaphysics. He just swept it under
> the
> table in order to deal with more modest human aims.
> Most people think it is in fact a reasonable practical assumption to make,
> that the sun will rise tomorrow. In his clever way of putting it (so it
> would not offend too much) Bacon fills the position of metaphysics (the
> theories about what causes the causes in nature) with "laws of nature" -
> which made him sound like an Aquinas fan, except that these laws are just
> any reasonable description of things which tend to happen the same way
> every
> time. There is no discussion about the law-maker, and the laws are only
> working hypotheses which can be changed whenever new data comes in.
> Let me get back to the point a little. It is always possible, and always
> pointless (unless you got new data), to wonder whether the sun will perhaps
> not rise tomorrow.
> Best Regards
> Andrew

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