Talk:Dawkins weasel

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Cdesign Proponentsists - especially W. Demsbski - like to misrepresent Dawkins's algorithm. I just want to gather the facts in one place... larronsicut fur in nocte 07:59, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

Cool. A similar thing was brought up on ASK, it gets a mention in Moving the goalposts where info in the phrase was asked to be increased by a series of mutations. The article probably needs a fuller expansion, but there's no rush. :) Scarlet A.pngtheist 08:13, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

Shouldn't the title read "Dawkins' weasel"? Aboriginal Noise with 4 M's and a silent Q 20:52, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

Yes, actually. I'll get on it. Scarlet A.pngtheist 20:55, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
(EC, MC, etc.) No; Dawkins's is correct. Dawkins' means "belonging to several people named Dawkin," while Dawkin's means "belonging to one person named Dawkin." [1] Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 20:59, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
No; "Dawkins'" and "Dawkins's" are identical, and the link you provided confirms that: "James's hat (James' hat is also acceptable. For plural, proper nouns that are possessive, use an apostrophe after the 's': "The Eggles' presentation was good." The Eggles are a husband and wife consultant team.)" –SuspectedReplicantretire me 07:26, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

I'm just a bloody foreigner, but when I created the article, I wanted it to be about the weasel of R. Dawkins, so I think it should be called Dawkins's weasel. If nobody objects, I'll change it back.... larronsicut fur in nocte 07:20, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

Just for the record, on Google, both are used, although "Dawkins' Weasel" is more common. Further reading here where both are sort of correct depending on your manual of style. Or here because WP knows all. In modern practice, it seems to depend on whether you pronounce it "Dawkins Weasel" or "Dawkinses Weasel" - personally I would do the former, but others may vary. Scarlet A.pngtheist 10:26, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
Amusingly, google's search results on "Dawkins' Weasel" include the results on "Dawkins's Weasel", but not vice versa... larronsicut fur in nocte 13:12, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
Or we can idiot proof-it and call the article "The Weasel of Dawkins" :P Scarlet A.pngtheist 14:42, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
What about "The Dawkins Weasel"? Totnesmartin 15:43, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
People's Front of Judean, The Judean People's Front... Scarlet A.pngtheist 15:49, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
Weasel (algorithm) ? larronsicut fur in nocte 16:13, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
What about a random bunch of letters that may or may not approximate the words Dawkins and Weasel? Can we put those choice tag things in titles? Or is the whole joke too meta? Totnesmartin 21:39, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

Weasel script[edit]

METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL Does that work anywhere? Scarlet A.pngtheist 22:27, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
It would probably work in more place if I hadn't just reverted the javascript that makes it work :D --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 22:29, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
Shame. I just saw it count down to the one above. It struggled getting the M towards the end, but it got there. Scarlet A.pngtheist 22:30, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
I think it's a good idea. Put it into the article with METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL (making the first sentence gibberish is not a good idea) -- Nx / talk 22:32, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
Feel free to fix up my code to work in browsers other than firefox, plus I just noticed a bug in the code when more than one evolve span was included in the same page.
MediaWiki provides a getElementsByClassName (uses the native function on browsers that support it, and a javascript implementation on the ones that don't). This should work:
  var spans = getElementsByClassName(document.getElementById("bodyContent"),"span","evolve");
-- Nx / talk 22:44, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
What was that bug with multiple spans? It seems to be working fine with getElementsByClassName -- Nx / talk 10:14, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
FYI it was working fine in Opera 10, though I didn't see it in IE or older versions of Firefox. Though considering this would be a very specialist feature, the bugs probably aren't that much to worry about. Just a single use of it ticking down on this page would do fine. Scarlet A.pngtheist 11:23, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
The bug is that it always removes the last element from the tags to evolve list, regardless of which of them are actually complete. A cockup on my part which I blame entirely on javascript's crappy selection of array ops. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 11:28, 11 September 2009 (UTC)

I think I fixed that and I made it IE compatible. It works in IE8 at least (both normal and compatibility view). -- Nx / talk 15:27, 11 September 2009 (UTC)

I made it activate on click so the reader can start it after they read the article. Suggestion on the start button? -- Nx / talk 16:05, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
Out of curiosity, which algorithm does it use? Stupid bastard Hoover! 16:15, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
The real Dawkins's weasel, not Dembski's failgorithm. -- Nx / talk 16:24, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
Nice. I added it into the article to get a feel for it. It's interesting that if you click the start button before it finishes, it restarts, but evolves to the nonsense that it was stuck at when you pressed "start". Which is what I expected it to do, but it may require idiot-proofing due to this. Scarlet A.pngtheist 16:33, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
It's not a bug, it's an undocumented creature. -- Nx / talk 16:39, 11 September 2009 (UTC)


We've identified it as the Dawkins Weasel in the text, so I don't see how having the same page title is "just stupid". According to Wikipedia (WP:Weasel program) it's known as either Dawkins' weasel or the Dawkins weasel. I prefer Dawkins weasel as it dodges the whole Dawkins'/Dawkins's possessive punctuation controversy. WèàšèìòìďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:14, 25 June 2010 (UTC)

WebSpider's source[edit]

I put this link to a scholarly article in the external links section: The probability of a nucleotide sequence formed by random mutations. This guy has developed an analytical solution to the Weasel program and thereby is probably the only one in the world who was able the perform this task. However, what is doing Reverend Black Percy? He removed it. The only comment he made is "HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA". What is this site about? Who is this user? A clown? This site is really sick. You should rename it "Irrational Wiki". Of course, you will remove even this comment. I thought Rational Wiki is intended for promoting freedom of expression, not the opposite... --WebSpider (talk) 10:21, 15 January 2017 (UTC)

Oh cool, JorisEnter reverted it back again. Who are you? Have you written this article? Or do you fear a simple link to an article that is more rational than your entire site full of bullshit? --WebSpider (talk) 11:45, 15 January 2017 (UTC)

  1. "But I thought this was supposed to be RATIONALWiki!" Drink!
  2. I'm not a clown myself, though I do rent child clowns.
  3. Ulrich Utiger — author of the nonsense you inserted — is nuttier than squirrel shit.
  4. Quoting from the conclusion of his ridiculous intelligent design paper: "So natural selection cannot explain the origin of species such that one has to find another explication for their undeniable existence."
Reverend Black Percy (talk) 12:02, 15 January 2017 (UTC)

Did you read this paper, clown? If you had done it, you would realize that this is not an "intelligent design" paper as this notion is never used in this article. Let me guess why you did not read it: because you don't understand the maths exposed? So all what your degenerated brain does not understand you qualify as nonsense? Is that right? By the way, the guy just says that another explication must be found. This must not necessarily be creation. It could also be genetic drift, extraordinary chance, the anthropological principle or whatever.

Do you brain amputated folks realize that a priori rejecting what you are not understanding equals to voluntarily closing your eyes, clogging your ears and reducing your brain functions to the basal ganglia? But I lose my time. People like you have ever existed and will ever exist.--WebSpider (talk) 12:25, 15 January 2017 (UTC)

...Is that you, John Gabriel? Reverend Black Percy (talk) 12:26, 15 January 2017 (UTC)
Dear WebSpider. Exercise caution when relying on open access journals whose quality vary considerably. Correction: You're citning a self-published, non peer reviewed paper (i.e. the equivalent of a blog post). Be even more sceptical when a paper ends up Just Asking Questions and even more suspicious when it's written by this guy, who, as The Rev. pointed out, has a record as a cdesign proponentsist. Going immediately into ad hominem and "Wake up sheeple!" mode is hardly going to win either arguments, friends or allies. ScepticWombat (talk) 12:56, 15 January 2017 (UTC)
Good post! Though, worse than a blog post; it's a blog post with pretentions to sounding scientific. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 13:30, 15 January 2017 (UTC)

I don't care if "this guy" is a creationist, cdesing proponentist, atheist, or whatever. Do you drink wine only if there is written "good wine" on it? Or are you able to go in a restaurant in Greece, drink wine directly from the barrel with no label on it and say "hey, what a good wine" or "what the hell is this dishwater"? You refuse from the start to read or even to link to this article because apparently the author is a creationist. Is this an argument? No, it's plain nonsense, brainwashing, the worst one can imagine. I did read the article. I am in position to understand it and can say that it is flawless from a purely mathematical point of view. Be aware that this is also a form of racism, that is, to exclude people, to refuse to hear from them etc. just because there is a label on them that you don't like.--WebSpider (talk) 13:36, 15 January 2017 (UTC)

In your analogy to wine, the current situation is more like: raving stranger shows up and tries to force-feed me a highly questionable off-purple fluid, gets visibly upset and abusive when I refuse. I mean — even under the assumption of good intention — I might simply prefer champagne. And just for the record, I'm not surprised that you would take the route of attacking our "elitist tastes" just because we won't accept that carbonated urine counts as a brand of champagne. I know you think the paper has nice graphs and that that means it's science — just as your idea of champagne includes all things golden and foamy. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 14:08, 15 January 2017 (UTC)
Ok, clown, stay in your little world, don't go to the border and look what is outside because this is too dangerous for you. Be happy and don't worry. And yes, the paper has nice graphs, but above all correct Mathematica codes and formulas. Oh, I forgot to mention. Actually, I also need to force-feed my cat with antibiotics. She does not like this at all... --WebSpider (talk) 14:22, 15 January 2017 (UTC)
Yes, it all makes perfect sense now... All we lack is an open mind — or, in your analogy to wine, an open mouth. But I'm not arguing for or against the opening of mouths. My argument is; that isn't wine in your flask there, buddy. Yet you angrily insist that it is, and — at the same time — that I drink it regardless of if it is. Why is that? Reverend Black Percy (talk) 14:39, 15 January 2017 (UTC)
Sigh, hey, WebSpider?
You claimed you had provided a "scholarly article", right? Well, to put it bluntly, you provided a self published, non peer reviewed paper by an intelligent design advocate, i.e. not anything remotely resembling a "scholarly article". We pointed this out and you resorted to name calling and all round trolling.
So, are you just trying to pick a fight or are you still missing the point that your source has nothing like the status you initially claimed, isn't worth diddly squat, and certainly does not warrant inclusion as anything but an example of pseudoscience?
'cause, you know, if you're just trying to get a flaming row started, there's no reason for us to keep patiently explaining these matters. ScepticWombat (talk) 14:48, 15 January 2017 (UTC)
No, what I am claiming is that you could at least take a gulp from this non-labeled wine and then spy it out if you find it is dishwater. But no, you behave like pussies, saying "I don't even wet the tip of my tongue with that wine because there could be traces of pesticide inside it". But I don't want to quarrel with you. As I said before, stay in your glass house and be happy. --WebSpider (talk) 15:40, 15 January 2017 (UTC)
I assure you that the proverbial presence of pesticides in that dubiously labeled street slushie of yours is the least of my concerns — especially compared to the floating chunks and general mutant funk. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 15:55, 15 January 2017 (UTC)
Ok, then don't take the medicine and die, clown.--WebSpider (talk) 16:06, 15 January 2017 (UTC)
??? Reverend Black Percy (talk) 17:51, 15 January 2017 (UTC)

I watched the YouTube video in the external links section where I wanted to place the link to Utiger's article, which you refused, arguing that only reliable sources are taken into account. If this is your conception of reliability based on this ridiculous video... But no, I will not comment on this further. By the way, Utiger is also on WebSpider (talk) 19:22, 7 February 2017 (UTC)

Good of you to take part in the material — naturally, I do the same with yours.
Concerning the non-peer reviewed, entirely uncited ResearchGate paper with a total of about a dozen views (out of which I alone represent about half by now)...
Already in the abstract, Utiger pulls a few classic moves. Honorable mentions include:
Worse still for Utiger, his basic outset is faulty. His given reasoning in the Introduction segment of the paper is essentially:
  1. The paper is written in refutation of the trivia application kown as Dawkins' Weasel, not dealing with much else in any detail.
  2. Utiger acknowledges the fact that Dawkins has stated that his Weasel program proves nothing in and of itself.
  3. Utiger acknowledges that the original Weasel software is still unreleased.
  4. Utiger proceedes to whip up his own imagined version of the Weasel in Mathematica, entirely based on inferring from Dawkins' anecdote.
  5. The calculations in Utiger's version become truly weird.
  6. Thus, evolution is now disproven.
Also in the paper's introduction — right after merely pointing out that Dawkins is AN ATHEIST — Utiger cites Michael Behe as an authority on genetics. Facepalm
It doesn't get much better later on. In the Conclusion segment of the paper, we find five bullet points which summarize Utiger's paper.
  • The first bullet point repeats the already stated fact that Dawkins has himself been clear on his Weasel not proving anything. Utiger also concedes that the Weasel doesn't even relate to natural selection per se, but to selective breeding. This doesn't stop Utiger from claiming it can be used to refute natural selection, however. Utiger finishes this part by rambling about how breeding doesn't actually exist in nature, how animals would benefit more from using artificial selection, and what appears to be something about the sex appeal of being related to your lover (?).
  • The second bullet point informs us that irreducible complexity was made a key component of the model. In other words, Utiger's calculations had been rendered stillborn by him in advance.
  • The third and fourth bullet points are technobabble, per usual.
  • The fifth bullet point invokes Hoyle's fallacy. Nuff said.
Hilariously, this bastardized straw man of a model is presented by Utiger as "favoring natural selection". Right below the above given bullet points (on page 36), Utiger channels Duane Gish in bringing up the old creationist trope of "microevolution v. macroevolution".
Importantly, not only does Utiger seem to think that the production of humans was somehow the "goal" of evolutionWikipedia, but he also claims that (quote):

...Natural selection may just have found a way to this special target while it could also have produced imaginary humanoids like Vulcans, Romulans, Klingons and so on, as they are called in science-fiction movies. [...] The genetic differences between such humanoids would be very low, as they are considered to have distinct human traits.

This, however, is patently false (falling under the banner of pseudoscience, even by science fiction standards). Both Klingons and Vulcans share external similarities, while differing in all the fundamentals. If only Utiger understood convergent evolutionWikipedia (for starters).
To Utiger's credit, on page 36, he does point out (correctly) that racialism is indeed pseudoscience. Credit where credit is due.
Also to his relative credit, he does limit his conclusions somewhat. Instead of simply concluding that "natural selection is now disproven" followed by a period, Utiger appends the following sentence to nuance the expiry of the theory of natural selection (quote):

[The fact that natural selection is now disproven] does not alter other evolutionary concepts like common descent or the age of the Earth and so forth.

This is, of course, very nice of him to write — but the problem is (as TOW puts itWikipedia) that (quote):

Natural selection is ubiquitous in all research pertaining to evolution.

Indeed, natural selection is (in a sense) the engine by whichWikipedia the rest of evolutionary theory is driven. Utiger, the big fan of Wikipedia that he is, ought to recognize these facts.
So, again — nice of Utiger to show some mercy and decide not to topple all of natural science in one fell swoop, just because his paper has the power to do so. And nice of him to take some distance from the young earthers, too.
The sad part is, none of these gestures — while nice — make his actual paper any less cranky.
I'll also note that Utiger claims in his paper (on page 2) to be "an independent researcher" currently lecturing at the HFTM College in Switzerland.
Now, sure — his name does show up once in their scheduling software — but perhaps more telling is the fact that Utiger is not listed among their current roster of lecturers, nor does he appear to have access to an official HFTM email (instead relying on a self-published personal gmail account).
Even if his affiliation with HFTM is true, the fact that it's a school of engineering fails to surprise me. I'd be willing to bet you a coke what the reply would be if I were to call their administrative division tomorrow and inquire about Utiger's claims of being a faculty member there (his paper claims that he is a current lecturer at HFTM as of the 26th of January 2017). Reverend Black Percy (talk) 07:47, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
You are a clown reverend, nobody with a healthy mind can take you seriously: to be allowed on ResearchGate, one must be affiliated to some college or university. They examine this very carefully. Why am I not surprised that you don't know this? Let me alone with your garbage in the future, you are disqualifying yourself. If at least it were funny, one could laugh about it. But when I read your "expertize" I need to go on the toilet and puke. WebSpider (talk) 09:56, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
To quote one of the greats:
Maybe I make my way through this sorry old world as clown?
Reverend Black Percy Dr. Steve Brule[1]
But seriously — never mind my reading of it all. What does the paper prove, in your opinion? That the process of natural selection is hokey? Reverend Black Percy (talk) 10:55, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
Do you really want to get answered this question seriously? The paper proves what it declares itself to prove: that the Weasel algorithm is unrealistic in that it exceedingly favors natural selection. Utiger lists these points in the conclusion. Despite this however, the time necessary to produce the genetic difference between the Homo and Pan genera (the Chimpanzee Sequencing and Analysis Consortium reports 35 millions substitutions) provided by the algorithm is in the order of billions of years while the empirical data provide millions of years. Voilà the problem. I am teaching maths and I also know Mathematica. So I can tell you that the maths and codes are correct. You can download the codes from ResearchGate if you don’t trust the figures and see by yourself. If I am well informed there is a page on where you can execute code if you don’t have Mathematica. The problem is that you guys are not familiar with neither maths nor informatics. Despite this, you take yourself for experts in the field… Voilà another problem. So I answered your question. If you have others, go ahead, but be impartial and bear in mind that rejecting any thesis without verifying it carefully is very far from being scientific. WebSpider (talk) 12:37, 8 February 2017 (UTC)

High quality research[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Biblical scientific foreknowledge
From Utiger's official YouTube channel. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 06:18, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
Amazing video! Thanks Reverend for the link... WebSpider (talk) 11:51, 8 February 2017 (UTC)



Should there be mention of the song? Anna Livia (talk) 12:00, 2 May 2018 (UTC)

@Anna Livia A humorous mention seems alright with me. `☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 12:38, 2 May 2018 (UTC)
This City Road.
Could also bring in an evolution of weasel words pun. Anna Livia (talk) 13:22, 2 May 2018 (UTC)

Definition of evolutionary change[edit]

'Methinks it is like a weevil' also works. Anna Livia (talk) 08:14, 26 June 2018 (UTC)