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To: Steve Rudd
Cc: Don Patton
Subject: Re: Fwd: Re: Andrew's "blatantly dishonest" patton quote 
Date: Fri, 18 Feb 2000 00:12:52 -0500
From: Andrew Arensburger

On Thu, 17 Feb 2000 22:14:56 EST, Don Patton wrote:
> [Omitted at author's request]
> >From: Don Patton

[Discussion of whether or not KNM-ER 1805 is Homo habilis or
Australopithecus elided.]

> >Your contention that it is dishonest to represent KNM-ER 1805 as Homo habili
>> s
> >indites Tattersasll, Wood, Foley as well as many more. At least I am in
> >distinguished company.

	You both seem to have missed the point.
	It is immaterial to this discussion whether KNM-ER 1805 is
Homo habilis or Australopithecus. Or a leprechaun, for that matter. quotes Dean Falk as

	...KNMER 1805 Homo habilis should not be attributed to Homo...
	the shape of the endocast from KNMER (basal view) is similar
	to that from an African pongid, where as the endocast of KNMER
	1470 is shaped like that of a modern human.

It is reasonable to paraphrase this quotation as "This specimen was
officially classified as Homo habilis. It doesn't belong there."

	The full paragraph from which that quotation was taken (see to the text
[The URL has moved. This text reflects the new location. --AA, May 24, 2000]
) is better paraphrased as "It's been argued whether this specimen is
a Homo or an Australopithecus. It's not a Homo."

	These are different statements. The quotation in omits important context. The
inserted words "Homo habilis" are misleading, and are inserted without
brackets to indicate that this is an editorial insertion.
	If you're going to use people's words against them, at least
don't put words in their mouths.

> >I believe you have unwittingly paid me a great compliment. Considering the
> >hundreds of quotes used, if this is the worst example, then I must have done
> >a marvelous job.

	Actually, I think the worst misquote I've found so far is in
the first quoatation in . I can
understand making the occasional mistake or typo, but six orders of
	My favorite part, though, is the math in the bit about the
population of the Earth in . In
particular, you use a formula to demonstrate that the world population
could have grown from two individuals 2500 years ago to over 3 billion
	According to this formula, the population of the entire Earth
was 140 people in the year 1, and 185 people in the year 33. Would you
care to explain where Jesus found 5000 people to feed with loaves and
fishes (Matt. 14:21) ?

	As for doing a "marvelous job", I don't suppose you have any
actual evidence _for_ creation, do you? (This is not the same thing as
evidence against evolution.)

> > In fact, in spite of my best efforts, I would have predicte
>> d
> >someone could have found worse. Experience has demonstrated many times that 
>> I
> >am far from perfect.  Thank you for your encouragement.

	I might have found worse, but a) some of the references are
really hard to track down, e.g.:
	- Montagu-Gish Prinston Debate, 4/12/1980
	- Lecture at Hobart & William Smith College, 14/2/1980.
	- ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES. [Given without so much as a chapter
	- F.M.O.N.H.B., Vol.50, p.35

[Update, May 15, 2003: Alert reader Derek Muir says that
"F.M.O.N.H.B." is likely a bulletin of Chicago Field Museum of Natural

b) some of the references are just plain wrong (one quotation by John
Reptetski is attributed to Daniel Axelrod. It was pure luck that I
found it)

And c) I think that the quotations that I did track down (all of which
are presented at
[The document has moved. This URL gives the current location of the
document. --AA, May 24, 2000]
                                         were enough to
make my point. I wasn't going to spend more than a few days on this

Andrew Arensburger, Systems guy		Center for Automation Research			University of Maryland
		 If I throw a stick, will you leave?
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