Late to the party: the Conservapedia dialogue between Lenski and Schlafly

The gist of the story:

Andy Schlafly at Conservapedia has been demanding to see the data from Richard Lenski’s work on the evolution of E. coli, despite the fact that Schlafly doesn’t have the background to understand it. What exactly would he do with this data if he got it, anyway?

The back and forth between Schlafly and Lenski can be read at this Conservapedia page. It is highly entertaining, in my opinion.

I particularly enjoyed this bit from Lenski’s latest response:

I find it baffling, however, that someone can worship God as the all-mighty Creator while, at the same time, denying even the possibility (not to mention the overwhelming evidence) that God’s Creation involved evolution. It is as though a person thinks that God must have the same limitations when it comes to creation as a person who is unable to understand, or even attempt to understand, the world in which we live. Isn’t that view insulting to God?


A Candid World blog gives a nice summary of how particularly nasty Schlafly’s gambit is. You can read it here.


4 Responses to “Late to the party: the Conservapedia dialogue between Lenski and Schlafly”

  1. Airtightnoodle

    It’s quite telling that you don’t even know what Creationists believe. I’ve told you personally on several occasions that I know evolution absolutely happens. In fact, Creationists believe that evolution has happened since God created time. We just don’t make the unscientific leaps of logic that naturalists do.

  2. Eric,

    I assume you are referring to the quote above from Lenski about how the creationist’s view is insulting to God.

    First–These are not my own words, but Lenski’s.

    Second–Regardless, what Lenski said still holds true from the perspective of scientists who accept evolutionary theory wholeheartedly…not just “microevolution”, which is apparently what you and many others have no problem with. As I am sure you are already aware, to scientists, this argument makes no sense as the processes that govern the one are essentially the same as the other (macroevolution).

    Third–I used to fall in the creationist camp myself, so please do not tell me I am ignorant of creationist beliefs.

    You’re so well-versed on this issue (that IS a compliment, by the way) that I am fairly certain none of this will come as a surprise to you. I am sure you have heard this all before. In that case, I am assuming you posted the above simply to be inflammatory, and so I personally have nothing further to say to you on this particular post.

  3. airtightnoodle

    I’m merely responding to Lenski’s incredulous sarcasm regarding a completely fallicious belief Creationists are supposed to have.

    I realized that they were Lenski’s words, but you posted them so, they are your words as well.

    To say that evolution as whole, from molecules to man, is “obvious” is to be dishonest. Evolution, by it’s very definition, is not observable in the long term scale. What the evolutionist must do is look at the small changes we can see all around us and assume that those changes will one day lead to the cross-phylogenic changes that evolution requires. To attempt to define a broad term “evolution” to both situations is to be dishonest about how very different they are.

    Thank you for the compliment and I promise that I will say nothing to purposefully be inflammatory. However, if I am saying something with the purpose of speaking the truth, and in happens to be inflammatory, I will not shy away from it.

    I’m assuming that when you were a “Christian” you weren’t very knowledgeable about the subject.

  4. Hi there

    The spat between Schlafly and Lenski is highly entertaining. The problem with Schlafly (and all his fellow-travellers) is that their worldview is so small that they cannot cope with the fact that the universe is approximately 14 billion years old, that God (if he, she or it exists) doesn’t have to make things happen in a mere 6,000 years – he/she/it/they can make things happen over a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG time (too long for Schlafly and co to comprehend).

    This raises the interesting question: if nobody observes an event, did it actually happen. We can deduce that it happened from the evidence of the outcome of that event. However, Schroedinger (I think) inspired the following limerick:

    “There was a young man who said ‘God
    Must think it exceedingly odd
    The fact that this tree
    Continues to be
    When there’e no-one around in the quad”

    to which some witty cleric replied

    “Dear Sir, your astonishment’s odd
    I am always around in the quad
    And that’s why this tree
    Continues to be
    Since observed by, yours faithfully, God.”

    I reckon that when God created the Earth, He was only joking.

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