Thursday, March 13, 2008


Hi there y'all. This one is about:

Inferring the obvious from the fact,
denying the inference from the obvious.

I posted about a year ago about the survival of protein in the "fresh stretchy" femur material of the Montana T-Rex.

Well, "Tantalus Prime", who identifies him/her/it-self as a "misanthropic" something or another who also happens to study neuroscience, posted a link to my post on his blog berating my ignorance, apparently because my degreed training in physics, mathematics, and engineering lacks sufficient credentials in neurology.

It seems TP brags that he predicted some idiot creationist would jump on the intact protein as evidence of a younger age of T-Rex than 68 M years, and proudly pounds his(?) chest when I stumbled into his(?) prediction in a mere two days. See:

Let's figure this out.

TP immediately recognized that intact T-Rex protein could be taken as an evidence of a younger T-Rex. Congrats TP, you went properly from observation (fact) to inference.

Then TP says I, the Undertaker, am the simpleton in this game because I posted this inference.


But it seems clear that mounting evidence such as the T-Rex femur material helps to establish the FACT of a younger T-Rex.

TP denies this conclusion. On what grounds? Maybe TP is a Gouldist - an ardent believer in the deity of Stephen J. Gould, who must have been speaking with infallibilty - ex-cathedra if you are Catholic - when he declared, "Evolution is a fact like apples falling out of trees."

I guess when you KNOW the fact of evolution, anything else is unthinkable.

I hope some of you who may read this will grasp the incongruity of TP's "logic". While true scientists would seek to come to understanding of facts from fair inferences, TP immediately grasps the inference (younger T-Rex) and runs off ranting against the fact inferred (younger T-Rex).

I fear for the future of neuroscience with such practitioners in the pipeline.

I may not be able to quote perfectly something I had tacked on my den wall a number of years ago, but here is a try at it:

"Nothing is more tragic and heart-rending than to see a beautiful theory assailed by a brutal gang of facts."

Keep those facts a-comin', folks.

Respectfully submitted,



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