Feature Article - October 2009
by Do-While Jones

Donít Quote Me

We love to be quoted; but if you have to quote us, then you shouldnít.

This essay is in response to an increasing number of requests to provide material that can be used in debates with evolutionists. As much as we love to be quoted, it is probably in your best interest not to. Before we tell you why, letís eliminate one reason. This isnít a copyright issue.

Copyright

Except for a very few newsletters that were so crammed full that we had absolutely no space to spare, our newsletters have included this notice:

You are permitted (even encouraged) to copy and dis≠tribute this newsletter.

I love writing the newsletter, but I hate printing it. (Thatís why we encourage you to select the electronic option rather than the printed option when renewing your membership.) Every month I spend hours standing beside the printer, collating pages, stapling them together, punching holes, folding them, fastening them closed, putting address labels on them, putting stamps on them, and taking them to the post office. Itís boring and time consuming. Every minute I spend printing the newsletters is a minute I canít spend doing research (or playing my guitar). So, when you download the newsletter and print it yourself (and perhaps print more copies for your friends), you arenít stealing from us. You are giving me more time to study (and try to recapture the musical proficiency of my youth). Thank you.

Free Speech

Copyright laws donít limit free speech. If you disagree with us, you have every right to say, ďScience Against Evolution wrote, ĎÖí but they are wrong because ÖĒ. If you arenít permitted to quote us, how can you discuss (and dispute) what we say?

When we quote other sources we make every effort to quote them as accurately as possible. We look for passages that make the evolutionistsí point as clearly and concisely as possible. Sometimes thatís difficult when they arenít very clear or concise. Consequently, some of the quotes are long and confusing. But we always provide footnotes and encourage you to read all that the evolutionist wrote.

We arenít playing a game where the object is to twist the evolutionistsí words to make them sound stupid and discredit them. Our goal is to tell you the rest of the story. We want you to know what they left out, or didnít emphasize. We believe that if you know all the facts, and examine them for yourselves, you will conclude that the theory of evolution is not a reasonable explanation for the origin and diversity of life on Earth. Evolutionists want to censor the science curriculum. We want to add to it.

Owning Reality

Our final point about copyright is that we feel there is something fundamentally wrong with anyone claiming the financial rights to a biological, physical, or mathematical law just because he discovered it. Mathematicians do not have to pay royalties to the estate of Sir Isaac Newton every time they compute an integral or solve a differential equation. Facts should be freely available to everyone.

The Other Side

Having said all that, we recognize that copyrights are (in some cases) necessary and legitimate. We would certainly be within our rights to claim compensation for some (but certainly not all) of the things we have written.

The first time we faced this decision was when someone wrote asking for permission to use our parody, The Wizard of Ooze 1, as the script for a puppet show. We granted it without asking for (or receiving) any royalties. Our parodies, including The Wizard of Ooze, are special cases because they donít just contain biological facts. They also contain some brilliant satire that can rightfully be claimed as our own creation. Even so, we didnít copyright it.

Weíve included this little digression about copyrights because we are about to give you several reasons why we think you should not quote us, none of which have anything to do with copyrights. We want to make it perfectly clear that we donít object to you quoting us for financial reasons. Science Against Evolution is a secular, non-profit educational public benefit corporation. We arenít doing this for the money.

Primary Sources

One reason you should not quote us is that you should get your facts from primary sources. We are a secondary source.

We tell you what other people have published, and what we think about what they have published. You should not say, ďScience Against Evolution says that Doctor X says this.Ē You should quote Doctor X directly. In order to do that, you have to actually read and understand what Doctor X published. Thatís why we put so many footnotes in our newsletters. We want you to read the source material and get your information first hand.

We quote from scientific research papers just enough to give you a feel for what the paper says. We try to capture the essence of the paper as clearly as concisely as possible, so you will know what we are talking about.

After we tell you what the scientists have said, we comment upon it. We tell you what we think the significance of the discovery is, and why we think that. Thatís just our opinion. You can agree with it or disagree with it. Our opinion is not some kind of absolute authority.

Here is the fine distinction: If you want to quote us, saying that we think something or other, thatís fine. But if you quote us saying that something is true because we said it is true, thatís wrong.

Facts about Facts

There is a difference between facts, analysis, and commentary. Facts are measured. The size and shape of a bone, and the mineral content of a rock, are facts. Any competent person taking the measurement will get the same results. The length of a bone doesnít change based on the religion or political views of the measurer. Facts donít change. The data in scientific reports are facts.

Analysis involves drawing conclusions based on those facts. Data analysis involves judgment. Judgment can be influenced by religion, ego, rivalry, financial consequences, or perhaps other things. Analysis is a blend of facts and opinions.

Commentary is purely opinion. Commentary is what someone thinks about analysis. Commentary deals with what is important and why it is important, at least to the person making the commentary.

Our newsletters are mostly commentary. We report the facts discovered by others, report the analysis of those facts by others, and then comment on their analysis. So, if you want to quote facts or analysis, you should not be quoting us. You should quote whoever discovered the facts and made the analysis.

Exceptions

On rare occasions we do some analysis. Our analysis of the Apollo 11 moon rocks 2 is an example. Clearly we did not go to the moon and collect the rocks, nor did we measure their chemical composition. The data was obtained and published by others. We did, however, analyze the published data. In particular, we tabulated all the computed ages of all the Apollo 11 moon rocks and concluded that the ages are so discordant that the age dating methods are not reliable. We concluded that since the methods are not reliable, the assumptions upon which those methods are based must not be correct. The commentary on our own analysis is that since the age dating methods failed so miserably on the moon rocks, we should not give any credibility to those methods when used on Earth rocks. In cases like that, it is appropriate to reference our analysis.

A Waste of Time

Another reason why you should not quote us is that it is a waste of your time to try to convince an evolutionist that he or she is wrong simply because we said so. We say this because we have gotten so many emails like this one from Paulette.

You are [expletive deleted] retarded. People like you need a "god" because you're too [expletive deleted] weak to make it through life without the idea of some "higher being" that's always watching over you. How can you be that conceded [sic]? You're not that special. And, our DNA is 96% identical to that of a chimpanzee. I hate to break it to you, it's not a coincidence. It's because we had a common ancestor. Are you even capable of looking at things in a rational matter? Give it a try sometime, you'll see it makes loads more sense than your stories of people with magical powers who try to save people. If you really need to read that sort of [deleted], go buy a comic book. But here's the kicker, I'm not an atheist, but it's blatently [sic] clear that your christian [sic] god was just something that your church made up years ago to gain dominance over the average person because they knew that the average person is:

1. Dumb

2. Fearful

And after painfully reading your article, you definitely come across as being average.

So good luck with the whole 2nd coming of christ [sic] thing... I hope that makes you feel better.

People like Paulette will not respond to a calm, rational explanation of why the theory of evolution is contrary to established scientific principles. Thatís why we donít try to convince hard-core evolutionists that they are wrong. You arenít going to convince them by quoting us.

Our Audience

We write our newsletter for people who are honestly seeking the truth. They want to know what it is that is being censored from the American public school science curriculum so that they can make up their own minds. We donít strive to convinceówe strive to explain.

We want you to understand the issues. We are pointing you to published scientific data that you can read and evaluate for yourself. We arenít giving you one-liners that you can use to convince other people that they are wrong.

Donít Quote Me

If you want to argue with evolutionists, you are free to do so; but let us just give you this warning: ďIf you have to quote me, you have no business arguing.Ē By that we mean, if you donít understand an issue well enough to explain it in your own words, using primary data you have read and understood, then you should not be debating the issue. If you donít understand what you are talking about, then all your opponent has to do is to turn the discussion slightly to get you off your script. You wonít have a suitable quote, you wonít know what to say, and you will look like a fool.

We arenít here to win debates. We are here to help people who are honestly trying to learn the truth. Our mission is to mine the professional journals for nuggets of truth and disclose the things that evolutionists donít want you to know. We are here to help you discover the truth for yourself.

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Footnotes:

1 Disclosure, April 2001, ďThe Wizard of OozeĒ, http://www.scienceagainstevolution.org/v5i7f.htm.htm
2 Disclosure, June 2008, ďThe Age of the MoonĒ, http://www.scienceagainstevolution.org/v12i9f.htm