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|DATE:15 Jun 2001
From: Robert Koepp
|Subject: Crick's Central Dogma
Greetings Gert -
Thank you for taking the time to respond to my earlier message. I certainly didn't expect you to revise your review - but the fact that you did speaks volumes about your personal and intellectual integrity!
On a historical note, when Crick introduced the central dogma in his paper "On Protein Synthesis", he did not actually claim that information flow followed the DNA - -> RNA - -> Protein schema. This was the interpretation (actually mis-interpretation) given to the CD by others. Unfortunately, the misinterpretation has become the standard presentation in biology texts. Actually, in that paper Crick stated explicitly that the CD meant that sequence information could not flow from proteins to nucleic acids. When reverse transcriptase was discovered in 1970, Crick wrote a short paper to explain that this discovery did not require any revision of the CD. Here are references for the two papers I've mentioned:
Crick, F.H.C. (1958) On Protein Synthesis. in Symp. Soc. Exp. Biol. XII, 139-163.
Crick, F. (1970) Central Dogma of Molecular Biology. Nature 227, 561-563.
Once again, thank you for your gracious response to my remarks about your review of the Steele, et al book. I want you to know that yours is the only review I have seen of that book that outlined its central arguments with sufficient clarity that I want to read it myself.
Bob Koepp, IRB Res Coord 612-813-6391 (Mpls) Hematology/Oncology Clinic 651-220-6061 (StP) Children's Hospitals & Clinics 612-813-6325 (fax) 2525 Chicago Ave So; Ste 4150 Minneapolis, MN 55404
|DATE: 26 Apr 01
From: Jack Haas
|SUBJECT: The Dover Book|
I was assigned to review "Dear Mr. Darwin" for Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith. After viewing your review I am convinced that you have it right-on. So.......Could we use your review in our journal? -as is. Information about the American Scientific Affiliation and PSCF can be obtained from: http://www.asa3.org
|DATE: 28 Apr 01
From: Jack Haas
|SUBJECT: Re: The Dover Book|
Thank you for the permission to use your review.
Actually what you see on our web site is what has been published in the paper edition of our quarterly PSCF.
Would you send me a mailing address that I can use for the article and also to send you a hard copy of the issue in which the review is published.
Thanks for your good help.
ASA Web Editor
|DATE: 17 Apr 01
From: Dave Mullenix
|SUBJECT: Icons of Evolution by Jonathan Wells
Thanks for your fascinating site. I can't stop reading it!
I notice that you haven't reviewed "Icons of Evolution" yet. This book is creating quite a stir in the US, as Intelligent Designers and plain old Creationists are vigorously promoting it. Or at least they were, until they learned that Wells is a Mooney. The IDers and especially the Creationists consider the Unification church as basically an arm of Satan and now there are many red faces amongst the American anti-evolutionists who were promoting his ideas.
If you do decide to review "Icons", you might want to check out some of the things Wells has posted to this web site:
I found this entry particularly interesting:
"So DNA does not program the development of the embryo."
This is from
which is titled "Darwinism: Why I Went for a Second Ph.D." on the first URL above. If you read it, you'll find that the quotation above is NOT taken out of context and that Wells really means it!
Thanks again for all your hard work,
|DATE: 22 Feb 01
FROM: Stephen Yuan
|SUBJECT: have you seen this?
Two articles, one claiming the Human Genome Project vindicates Darwinism, and one claiming it does not. I tend toward the latter view myself.
Arthur Caplan: 'Darwin vindicated!' Cracking of human genome confirms theory of evolution.
Mark Hartwig: The end of creationism? The Human Genome Project poses a threat...
From: Melissa Randy
|Subject: "Was Darwin Wrong"
Dear Mr. Gert Korthof,
I was visiting your web site "Was Darwin Wrong". I think it is a very comprehensive and objective one, with all the well known books about this topic. I would like to suggest you another book on criticism of Darwinism: "The Evolution Deceit" by Harun Yahya. I guess this is the pen name of a well known Turkish writer. I had 2 copies of this book by chance, and before reading the book I was thinking that the evolution theory is an unquestionable scientific fact. I think the book is very satisfying in terms of the scientific evidences and also rationality. You don't see the classic radical arguments and style of the Creationists. This is a scientific and rational one. This writer has a web site in English, may be you can visit that site to get some idea: http://www.harunyahya.org/Eng/homeeng.html
|DATE: 07 Feb 01
From: stephen yuan
|Subject: my compliments
As a layman who has long been curious about evolutionary theory and the validity of neo-darwinism both within and outside of the domain of biology, I was very impressed with the agglomeration of material I found on your site "Was Darwin Wrong?". It is the most comprehensive information source on the internet about issues in contemporary evolutionary theory I have yet to come across and it is a very rich source of understanding indeed. Thanks for saving me a lot of work.
I suppose you've been flooded with suggestions for additional material for your site. I'll put in my two bits now. Some critics of darwinism have begun to toute chaos theory as a viable theoretical alternative to natural selection. Of these probably the most intellectually imposing is Stephen Wolfram, who is currently at work on a book called "A New Kind of Science" in he proposes a new model for all sciences, including biology. He claims natural selection to be "not that important" for instance. Whether or not these claims are overblown they do merit a serious response. Here is a link to a popular magazine article on wolfram. He also has a personal site in the yahoo directory. Also, for a deeply flawed if entertaining summary of pro-chaos theory perspectives in biology and anti-natural selection arguments, read Robert Wesson's "Beyond Natural Selection".
|DATE: 24 Jan 01
From: Mike Griffith
|Subject: Very Impressive
I am a creationist. I'm very impressed with your site. It's a breath of fresh air. Very readable. Very balanced. Very interesting.
Nice work. Keep it up.
|DATE: 09 Jan 01
From: Dean Overman
|Subject: Re: A Case Against Accident and Self-Organization
Dear Mr. Korthof:
I have only had an opportunity to skim your review and note that we could have an interesting discussion on some of the inferences that you draw from my writing. I sit on the board of a Netherlands company so I am frequently in Amsterdam. Perhaps we can have a discussion over lunch in the coming year. In the meantime, I have a couple of questions for you: why are you interested in the subject matter of my book? Could you help me understand what you mean by "creationist?" The term confuses me. Does it have a variety of meanings?
With best regards,
|DATE: 28 Dec 2000
From: Liz Craig
|Subject: Was Darwin Wrong?
Your website is pure gold. I have bookmarked it and intend to read all your other reviews, after having read your review of Dembski's book. Yours are the first objective reviews I have seen of books both pro and con evolutionary theory.
I would like to put a link to your site on our website: www.kcfs.org, if you don't mind. We are Kansas Citizens For Science, a not-for-profit educational organization dedicated to promoting quality science education in Kansas public schools, despite the efforts of creationists to prevent it.
Thank you for your excellent website.
Kansas Citizens For Science
|DATE: 09 Dec 2000
From: Joao Leao
I saw and used your site which seems to me quite dilligent and fair in its reviews. I would just like to call your attention to a book I am reading and which seems to have escaped your notice. It is called "Beyond Natural Selection" by Robert Wesson and published by MIT press, Bradford Books 1991.
Joăo Pedro Leăo
|DATE: 13 Nov 2000
Hubert P. Yockey
|Subject: Your Review of Information Theory and Molecular Biology
Thank for your review of my book Information Theory and Molecular Biology. This book is now out of print but I am working on the second edition.
You seem puzzled by my quotations of the Bible. Please note that I also quote Robert Frost, Homer's Iliad, the Mikado, Charles Darwin, Machiavelli''s The Prince, Plato, The Rubaiyat and other sources. When something was said 2000 years ago, it is plagiarism to say it again without quotation.
It is a viscous circle indeed! (*) But that is what we find by experiment. We are the product of nature not its judge. As Hamlet said to his friend: "There are many things, Horatio, between Heaven and Earth unknown in your philosophy."
See Gregory Chaitin's books "The Limits of Mathematics",1998 and "The Unknowable",1999 both Springer-Verlag. See also my comments on unknowability in Epilogue. We will never know what caused the Big Bang and we will never know what caused life.
By the way, I am indeed an anti-creationist becaue I believe that the origin of life is, like the Big Bang, a part of nature but is unknowable to man.
Taken all in all, especially for those who finished reading the review, it is very favorable.
Here is a list of my recent publications. If you send me your postal address I shall send you the Computers & Chemistry paper. That will explain why the recent data on the genomes of human and other organisms provide a mathematical proof of "Darwinism" beyond a reasonable doubt. (**) I suggest you read the paper in Perspectives in Biology and Medicine. Perhaps you would then like to read some of Walther Löb's papers. Stanley Miller was not the first to find amino acids in the silent electrical discharge.
Yours very sincerely, Hubert P. Yockey
|DATE: 6 Nov 2000
From: Henry Gee
|Subject: deep time
Dear Mr Korthof --- thanks very much for the review of my book Deep Time on your 'Was Darwin Wrong?' webpage. It was enjoyable and informative. I came across it a few weeks ago on my own, and today the link was forwarded by a colleague, so I was prompted to write.
In response to your point 'Gee the Authority' and my repeated assertion that we 'know' that every organism had a common ancestor: as you rightly say, cladistics would fall were this not to be true. However, I do not simply brush aside this problem, which as you say is extremely important. I spend a page or so somewhere in the book (I don't have it with me so I cannot give a precise reference) saying that every organism so far found has an organization and biochemistry that is more or less the same, down to the molecular level. Of course, my assertion above, about certain knowledge, was perhaps too bold -- as you know, science has no place for certainty, only degrees of doubt -- but to use the language of cladistics. the degree of similarity between all living organisms makes it more parsimonious that they had a common descent than the suggestion that they did not.
With best wishes,
|DATE: 31 Aug 2000
From: Lee Spetner
|Subject: Your review of Not By Chance!
I read your detailed review of my book Not By Chance!
I commend you on the effort you put into it and the knowledge you exhibited.
I think you are a better defender of evolution than Richard Dawkins. His prose may be better than yours (of course, English is his native tongue), but your substance is superior. I do, however, think your review deserves a critical answer. Let me offer you my detailed critique of the review, point by point.
continue for the detailed critique:
|DATE: 5 Aug 2000
From: Gianfranco Bruno
|Subject: Against darwin
Why in your site you dont cite the italian anti darwinist biologist Giuseppe Sermonti. His last book is "Dimenticare Darwin.Ombre sull'evoluzione, Italy 1999" which means "To abandon darwin-Ghosts over the evolution". These are the web sites over professor Sermonti. The first book was in 1980 "Dopo darwin. Critica all'evoluzionismo"-After Darwin -critics on evolutionism" with the paleontologist Roberto Fondi.
Giuseppe Sermonti (2 articles)
Evolution and the Pope by Henry M. Morris
Is There a Purpose in Nature? - Workshop papers.
|DATE: 31 Jul 2000
From: Wade Tisthammer
|Subject: Behe, Book Recommendation and other comments
To be fair, I have never actually read "Darwin's Black Box", but I found some of your arguments questionable. I also have a book that I very strongly recommend. It's called "The Battle of Beginnings: Why Neither Side is Winning the Creation-Evolution Debate" and is written by Del Ratzch. It is one of the best and most objective books I have ever read on the subject of creation vs. evolution.
You hold the belief, as I once did, that a theory has to be falsifiable in order to be scientific. As it turns out, it is impossible to conclusively falsify a theory. Ratzch gives two chapters on the philosophy of science (the best I have ever seen) and showed why this is true. Since you seem to accept Popperian falsificationism, I'll assume that you already know that scientific theories cannot be rigorously proven.
If you want to learn more about the nature and philosophy of science, I suggest you go to The Nature and Philosophy of Science for more information, since there are many popular misconceptions of science that you have probably been exposed to (as I was). Nevertheless, the book does a better job of explaining it.
---Wade A. Tisthammer
|DATE: 22 Jul 2000
From: Jim Falter
|Subject: The Anthropic Cosmological Principle
I was intrigued by your strong positive reaction to Barrow and Tipler's work. I've not read the book but may do so. Reading about the book has so far lead me to agree with Martin Gardner in the New York Review of Books, who proposed a fifth principle: "CRAP: the Completely Ridiculous Anthropic Principle".
I'm writing in regards to your confusion as to why the fine-tuning argument gets so little attention. A book I found by accident, "Show Me God" by Fred Heeren gives this lots of attention. It's really an excellent book. The author has a definite Christian angle but the book is crammed with technical discussions and interviews with people like Hawking, Guth, Jastrow and many other scientists.
Check it out, if you can.
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