Saturday, 21 March 2009

The Lenski Affair

Journal of Imaginary Sciences Vol 3 (2009),

The Lenski Affair

Sometimes, real life is just too extraordinary to be satirised. One such example is the mess that Conservapedia got itself into over the work of Professor Richard Lenski.

For those who are unaware of this organisation, Conservapedia is the brainchild of Andrew Schafly, a Christian creationist lawyer who set up his own online encyclopedia after complaining that Wikipedia was too "left-winged" and "Evolutionist biased", as well as censoring his objections. He then set up the for-mentioned website which was designed to be a Christian right winged and American based. In June 2008, New Scientist published an article by Professor Richard Lenski which documented the 20 years of evolution and mutation in a strain of E.coli to start utilizing citrates, something that it was previously unable to do. As this was clear evidence of well-recorded evolution occurring in the lab, Schafly decided to demand the data that Lenski produced. Now rather than actually describing the rest myself, I’ll let the two opponents do the talking. RationalWiki, has the full, unaltered version and I am using the letters from there as Conservapedia has a history of known censorship, especially in this affair.

Whilst I would love to post these things here, I am aware that people might be put off by the blocks of text, however amusing this may be to people like myself.

For those interested, the links to the New Scientist article is here:

We can clearly see that evolution does occur and furthermore this is the clumsy and often ridiculed attempt to try and decredit it. Unfortunately for Schafly, he has now let himself be known as an insufferable sophist which seems to be the case for most out-spoken creationists in institutes such as Conservapedia.

1 comment:

  1. That dialog is hilarious and completely indicative of the delusion and ill-founded confidence that creationists utilize. It is a shame and damn frustrating when dealing with them. Great site man!