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To: Steve Rudd
Subject: Re: Patton Quotes 
Date: Mon, 07 Feb 2000 21:13:44 -0500
From: Andrew Arensburger


On Mon, 07 Feb 2000 00:33:45 EST, Steve Rudd wrote:
> [Omitted at author's request]

	That may very well be, but given his track record so far, as
given on my web page, I wouldn't trust him. He obviously has no
problem distorting his sources, and therefore does not strike me as an
honest searcher for truth.

> [Omitted at author's request]

	Then perhaps you can suggest ways that I can make the page
clearer.

	Let's see...
	The Repetski quotation (which Mr. Patton attributes to Daniel
Axelrod) says that a certain fossil ``extends the record of the
vertebrates by [...] 40 million years.'' 40 million years sounds like
a big deal, making it seem as if scientists are just pulling random
numbers out of their thumbs. The omitted part of the quotation says
that the vertebrate record goes back 450 million years.
	In context, this is like someone saying, ``I thought Baltimore
was 30 miles away, but I checked a better map and found that it's
really 32.5 miles away.''

	In the quotation from chapters 6 and 9 of Darwin's ``The
Origin of Species,'' Patton quotes two questions, but omits the
answers, giving the impression that Darwin doesn't have any.

	The quotation from Woodruff, David, ``Evolution: The
Paleobiological View'': has anything changed in the 21 years since
this was published?
	In fact, I believe that there are now a number of
well-documented gradual transitions. A couple of hours at a reasonably
well-equipped university library ought to uncover a few. Mr. Patton
should at least find out what the state of the art is. Presenting
twenty-year-old ignorance as state-of-the-art ignorance is simply
dishonest.

	The quotation from G. Ledyard Stebbins: Mr. Patton quotes the
problem (namely, that no modern-day humans were around to take
photographs of evolution in action), but omits the part that explains
how to get around this.

	Francis Crick: ``Life Itself: Its Origin and Nature'': this is
similar to the previous quotation: Patton quotes the problem (life
looks like a miracle), but omits the next bit, which says, in effect,
"but it isn't."

	The Stansfield quotations from ``Descriptions of a Young
Earth'': aside from everything else, Patton's last quotation (#10)
criticizes ``all of the above methods for dating the age of the
earth.'' However, this quotation appears in Mr. Patton's presentation
out of order with respect to the book. Stansfield is does _not_
talking about C14 decay when he speaks of ``all of the above
methods.''

	The quotation from Dean Falk is not simply quoted out of
context, it is actually changed: Patton has inserted the words "Homo
habilis", and has not even had the decency to put them in brackets.
That's just plain wrong.

	The Henry McHenry quotation: McHenry is only speaking of one
bone. Mr. Patton omits this part, and gives the impression that
McHenry is speaking of an entire body.

	I hope you'll understand if I wonder whether Mr. Patton is
interested in learning the truth, or whether his only interest lies in
finding sequences of words that can be manipulated into bolstering his
point of view.

> [Omitted at author's request]

	What is that supposed to mean? This is simple arithmetic, not
Hegelian philosophy: either it's right or it isn't. I've explained why
I think Mr. Patton's math is wrong and why I think mine is right. If
you (or anyone) disagree, please let me know.
	"[Omitted at author's request]" isn't an answer. It's just an admission of
ignorance.

> [Omitted at author's request]

	At first I thought it was the ellipsis that spanned three
chapters. But upon rereading that page, I'm pretty sure I meant:

: The taxonomic status of KNM-ER 1805, whose estimated cranial
: capacity is 582 cm3 (9, 14) is uncertain and workers have questioned
: whether its affinities are with Homo or Australopithecus (15). The
: evidence presented above shows that KNM-ER 1805 [Patton inserts the
: words "Homo habilis"] should not be attributed to Homo. In keeping
: with this, Fig. 4 shows that the shape of the endocast from KNM-ER
: 1805 (basal view) is similar to that from an African pongid, whereas
: the endocast of KNM-ER 1470 is shaped like that of a modern human.
: As noted by Radinsky (6), shape differences may be the result of a
: packaging phenomenon that reflect size differences.
:
: -- Dean Falk, ``Cerebral Cortices of East African Early Hominids,''
: Science, Vol. 221, p. 1073, 1983

> [Omitted at author's request]

	Big chance at what? I'm fairly sure you're not going to
correct even the most egregious errors. Nor will you expand the
quotations to show the context in which they occur, or correct the
misattributions and typographical errors that pepper your web page.
Nor will you add a link to my page, for fear that people might find
out what the people Patton is quoting really said.
	Please, I beg of you, prove me wrong!

PS: something I've been wondering about: what doctoral degree(s) does
Mr. Patton hold, and from which institutions?

-- 
Andrew Arensburger, Systems guy		Center for Automation Research
arensb@cfar.umd.edu			University of Maryland
	   Where anything can happen, but usually doesn't.
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