Talk:Lenski affair/Archive1

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Inferences from second reply[edit]

From the second reply I wonder how many of these things are safe to infer...

  • Lenski looked at a fair bit of CP - especially Andy's contributions.
  • Lenski has looked at RationalWiki - including WIGO.
Definitely, his home page now contains a link to this very article :-P 00:24, 28 June 2008 (EDT)
  • Lenski is familiar with wikis - reading edit histories and seeing Andy's reverts and blocks of people
  • Lenski is pissed off enough that if Andy continues the slander he may send angry letters by way of people who tack on similar letters to their name as Andy does. The 'PPPPS' is an indication of writing the letter once, reading it, still being angry, adding another bit, reading it again, adding another bit. Thats four iterations of still being annoyed ending up with the bit on 'deceit'.

Any others? --Shagie 01:52, 24 June 2008 (EDT)

Just in case an html version of the lenski talk page from CP is here. If it comes back up tomorrow I will grab the actual XML version. tmtoulouse annoy 02:26, 24 June 2008 (EDT)
Got them. CP:Lenski here, and Talk:Lenski here. Single revisions only, though. Linus (not logged in)
I loved the postscripts, yes. I imagined his wife coming into the study at, say, 8 PM, saying "Honey, you'd better send that now before you have your second drink." "Oh, but, this guy is being even wronger on the internet than I thought!".... ħumanUser talk:Human 04:15, 24 June 2008 (EDT)
How do we know he has looked at RW/WIGO? NightFlareStill doesn't have a (nonstub) RWW article. 06:16, 24 June 2008 (EDT)
I have been in contact with Professor Lenski since he replied to a June 19th email from me on June 23rd. I directed him to RW and the CP:Lenski dialog talk page. I later directed him to WIGO. I take no small amount of pride in believing that I had some part in the crafting of his second reply to Andy. --Edgerunner76 OMYAC.jpg 07:39, 24 June 2008 (EDT)
Eggsellently done, Mr Edge. SusanG  ContribsTalk 07:42, 24 June 2008 (EDT)
Thanks. It really does feel good. :) --Edgerunner76 OMYAC.jpg 07:48, 24 June 2008 (EDT)
Good work for pointing him in the right direction. I had suspicious that he'd looked through a few RW pages too. Professors aren't stupid, I'm pretty sure he'll be familiar with wiki software anyway (if he does any teaching, he'll definitely be familiar with wikipedia and possibly wikidot or similar, which are used for some undergraduate projects). Even a brief tour around Conservapedia (with or without WIGOs pointers) should have given him enough info about how to slap Assfly down quite nicely. All in all, his response is awesome. I cannot wait for the responses from the other end, if they can pull the big, fat nails out that Lenski has crucified them with. Armondikov 09:39, 24 June 2008 (EDT)
I got a similar warm fuzzy over Lenski's foregrounding of the "I skimmed it" reply from Andy. "Someone" did a nice job of asking Andy that question so directly and in a manner as to put off Andy's typical deflections. Exasperate me!Sheesh!Not the most impressive contributor here 16:56, 24 June 2008 (EDT)
I also like how Lenski hasn't bothered to correct or mention CP usage of "E. Coli", he just leaves it hanging out there showing how they know nothing about binomial naming conventions, and he just uses the correct "E. coli" as comes naturally to anyone who has taken High School biology or beyond... ħumanUser talk:Human 17:04, 24 June 2008 (EDT)


Shouldn't this be under Conservapedia namespace? Jollyfish.gifGenghisunbelieving 02:33, 24 June 2008 (EDT)

To be honest we have always been a little slack with that. It does make the Conservapedia category look odd. Beside this is also covered by some other categories. 3.14159 02:35, 24 June 2008 (EDT)
It is open to debate I think, people mentioned keeping it in the main space because of its prominence. tmtoulouse annoy 02:37, 24 June 2008 (EDT)
Mainspace. This is srs bsnss, not just some CP crap. It's named for a prominent biologist. It also happens to intersect with CP, so the cat makes sense (what others are on it? Several come to mind that should be there). ħumanUser talk:Human 04:16, 24 June 2008 (EDT)

The talk page[edit]

Should we ad details of the talk page. That is were this is whole indcent was funny in that, with the help of vandals and parodist (didn't Andy ever think of googling Dr Richard Paley), the lack of response built up in Andy's mind to convince him that Lenski was hiding from him. 3.14159 02:35, 24 June 2008 (EDT)

Another fun bit to consider - Andy's calling out of Lenski and the exchange brought Lenski's work to a much wider appreciative audience than would otherwise see it. The IDers and creationist types already where fussing at it - even some quite loudly. Still, it was Andy's hasty and rude requests that bloggers commented on and people then went out and read Lenski's work - many more than would have read it in the journals. --Shagie 02:40, 24 June 2008 (EDT)
I'd like to see not just a "copy" of the talk page, but the whole history archived as a sub page of the article. It's not the way a "nprmal" wiki talk page works - Schlafly deletes comments, moves things around, there were the sign-ons to letter#2 and the sign-offs.... it's really a classic that should be preserved in all its "depth". ħumanUser talk:Human 04:18, 24 June 2008 (EDT)
Shagie, of course it works the other way too. Probably increased traffic to CP. He doesn't care about the credulousincredulous, only the incredulouscredulous. If he gets potential "acolytes" out of it... Ajkgordon 04:27, 24 June 2008 (EDT)
Hehe, you said "acolytes". I note that Lenski switched from "followers" to "acolytes" after the first usage... ħumanUser talk:Human 04:33, 24 June 2008 (EDT)
I don't reckon Able will be pleased with that label. Poor bastard. Ajkgordon 04:51, 24 June 2008 (EDT) (I'm a poet and didn't kmow it.)
Dr. Richard Paley is... awwww, I got Punk'd by OBJECTIVE: Ministries AGAIN!
To my defense Freedom777/Ken said something similar. NightFlareStill doesn't have a (nonstub) RWW article. 06:15, 24 June 2008 (EDT)
Ditto on Dr. Paley... I had no idea. El d'oh. 16:50, 25 June 2008 (EDT)

I laughed so much it hurt[edit]

I must confess that I've not been following this so this was the first time I'd read about it. It's a hoot - had me laughing all the way through. What a put down!!--Bobbing up 03:49, 24 June 2008 (EDT)

Thank you, Conservapedia[edit]

I am usually skeptical against "revolutionary" discoveries, but after reading Lenski's responses and parts of his publications, I am truly convinced that Lenski actually achieved exactly what he claims to have achieved.

Of course, he didn't really "achieve" anything at all, he just found evidence of evolution; which we all just assume is true anyway, simply because it makes sense. Evidence of the evident isn't very interesting - except for people like Schlafly, who, sadly, seems to just dismiss it all as a hoax.

Anyway, I wouldn't have bothered to get into all this if it wasn't for CP. Thanks to CP, my understanding of evolution is better, and the results and conclusions from Lenski's experiment have been shown to be able to withstand strong criticism.

Thank you CP for spreading the truth, for once! Etc 05:28, 24 June 2008 (EDT)

Lenski's second letter is awesome pwnnage. Any one of us would be banhammered instantly if we made just a fraction of the derogatory comments he makes about about teh Assfly. The beauty of it all is that Andy brought it on himself by making it a public issue in the first place. He was so full of his own "rightness" that he couldn't see how his demands for disclosure of the evidence could blow up in his face, despite PJR's warnings. Unlike our modest site which Andy can largely ignore, Lenski's position gives him possible access to a much wider audience if he so chooses, and Andy was therefore obliged to host the reply. I only wish Kettleticket was around to give us the inside on Andy's real reaction to it all. Lenski's reply is a model of decorum and restraint and carefully parries any suggestions of being anti-God. The fact that CP has gone off-line just after the letter was posted is frustrating in the extreme as there promises to be the mother of all lulz parties once they are open for editing again. Forget FBI, the words Lenski, E.coli and citrate will need to be added to the spam-filter. I just hope that this is a real-life equivalent of The Emperor's New Clothes. Jollyfish.gifGenghisunbelieving 06:24, 24 June 2008 (EDT)

[Ed.: citation omitted due to spam filter].[edit]

Can anybody shed any light on this bit: [Ed.: citation omitted due to spam filter]. Somebody asked about it on CP as well. --Bobbing up 07:49, 24 June 2008 (EDT)
In my email exchange with Professor Lenski, he indicated that his reply would have a link to RW. Of course, my next reply to him mentioned that it would be edited out. Either way, I can verify that the cite is to RW. --Edgerunner76 OMYAC.jpg 07:52, 24 June 2008 (EDT)
I have just returned to RW/CP after some weeks and all of this is new to me (and sorry if I ask questions for which there already is an answer in RW). But was is just an informal e-mail as Edgerunner76 or on behalf of RW? What did you discuss about? Should Lenski be "officially" invited to RW? (Editor at) CP:no intelligence allowed 08:01, 24 June 2008 (EDT)
I took it upon myself. My initial email was little more than an introduction and a warning about Andy's probable intentions. I pointed Professor Lenski to the CP:Lenski dialog talk page so that he could get a better idea of what he was up against. I did mention RW initially as to its mission. In a follow-up, I directed Professor Lenski to WIGO for some dark disturbing humor if he were interested. --Edgerunner76 OMYAC.jpg 08:06, 24 June 2008 (EDT)
We were cited as a reliable source! And by a notable professor with a genius grant! Take that, Wikipedia. NightFlareStill doesn't have a (nonstub) RWW article. 08:10, 24 June 2008 (EDT)
Andy just confirmed it was a link to us. \approx\pi 08:13, 24 June 2008 (EDT)
But I want to pressure him into at least admitting ... something ... nevermind, will never happen. I already got banned just for agreeing. Etc 10:25, 24 June 2008 (EDT)
It seems to have been established over there that the site referred to was "RW", and that RW is a "wiki which is rational". So the point seems to have been made. Also it means that CP didn't publish the full response.--Bobbing up 12:21, 24 June 2008 (EDT)
Good, I'm happy now. Etc 12:35, 24 June 2008 (EDT)
Etc-- Was that you on Conservapedia who said, regarding the banned link, "we can assume it was a shock site, foul language, pornography, or something in that line"? You sounded like quite the unquestioning Christian soldier there: [1] I tried to communicate with the user British_cons, putting the actual RW link on his user page (if someone doesnt have email enabled, thats the only way to communicate user-to-user, no?), with the result that I was infinite banned by Bugler: "The reason given is: Citing from inappropriate source". --Petzl 14:58, 24 June 2008 (EDT)


There has been nothing formal or official, but Professor Lenski is as welcome (or moreso) as anyone to join. What would be really great would be if he did join and wrote a few appropriate side-by-side refutations of CP articles. --Edgerunner76 OMYAC.jpg 09:06, 24 June 2008 (EDT)

Don't really think so: it'd remove his impartiality & allow Schlafly to put him down as " One of those R********i people" SusanG  ContribsTalk 09:10, 24 June 2008 (EDT)
Yeah, but he could be as anonymous as any of us. It coud be that we just happen to get some very well written side-by-side refutations of CP articles "all-of-a-sudden". --Edgerunner76 OMYAC.jpg 09:30, 24 June 2008 (EDT)
(EC) Correct, he should disassociate with us "cyber terrorists" if he's seriously trying to convince Andy of his integrity (then again, the Dr. doesn't have to take him seriously). NightFlareStill doesn't have a (nonstub) RWW article. 09:31, 24 June 2008 (EDT) And before you run around humillating yourself, Karajou, the cyber terrorists comment was sarcastic (and specifically to mock you), hence the quote marks. NightFlareStill doesn't have a (nonstub) RWW article. 09:41, 27 June 2008 (EDT)
He might be here already! SusanG  ContribsTalk 09:33, 24 June 2008 (EDT)

No body takes Andy seriously. So, that can't be the reason. --Edgerunner76 OMYAC.jpg 09:41, 24 June 2008 (EDT)#

As an honourary member, it makes sense. But I do see the point about that sort of thing removing impartiality. Although a big "well done", "thank you" or "your second response was frakking awesome" letter signed by the site would be a good idea. 11:13, 24 June 2008 (EDT)
Someone should slap up a draft congratulatory letter in the essay space, and request cosigners on its talk page once the wording is hashed out. ħumanUser talk:Human 15:46, 24 June 2008 (EDT)

BSE, JD[edit]

Pardon my ignorance, but when Schlafly signs his first letter as "Andy Schlafly, B.S.E., J.D.", what do BSE and JD mean?

I read that BSE stands for "Bovine Spongiform Encelopathy otherwise known as mad cow disease", but even this doesn't suit Schlafly. Thanks, --JayJay4ever??? 09:15, 24 June 2008 (EDT)

BSE is Bachelor of Science in Engineering and JD is Juris Doctor, a law degree. --AKjeldsenPotential fundamentalist! 09:21, 24 June 2008 (EDT)
Thank you! Definitely anybody can be a BSE and a JD. --JayJay4ever??? 09:28, 24 June 2008 (EDT)
Maybe I should start signing things B.A.H.? --Edgerunner76 OMYAC.jpg 09:31, 24 June 2008 (EDT)
You know if Andy worked for a firm that dealt with legal matters in enginering then I could understand the need for his BSE, however it just looks stupid considering that his legal practice deals with medical claims.TimS 09:40, 24 June 2008 (EDT)
And it is insulting to those of us who also hold a degree in engineering. Jrssr5 15:58, 24 June 2008 (EDT)
It goes without saying - it's only considered appropriate to advertise degrees if you are corresponding in a professional capacity. This does give more credibility to the possibility of turning CP into a diploma mill. - Lardashe

Public release of data behind second reply?[edit]

If you read Lenski's second reply, it is clear that data has been left out of this reply. I've only skimmed it, but it says "[Ed.: citation omitted due to spam filter]". It's clear that CP needs a public release of the data for public scrutiny, given their history. I say the users of this wiki need to write a letter to Andrew Schlafly demanding a public release of the missing data --ShooFly 13:07, 24 June 2008 (EDT)

Look under the "Ed.: citation omitted due to spam filter" thread above.--Bobbing up 13:16, 24 June 2008 (EDT)
We all know what it is. I just want to see Andy admit it on CP and stop being an utter hypocrite. <blink></blink> 13:22, 24 June 2008 (EDT)
You are either for public release of the data or you support withholding the data from the public, and also hate freedom--ShooFly 13:43, 24 June 2008 (EDT)
Indeed! How are we to assess their claims if they will not allow their material to be reviewed?? It's unscientific, I say! <blink></blink> 13:10, 24 June 2008 (EDT)
Nomnomnom (although by a bunchanumbers) NorsemanWassail! 13:11, 24 June 2008 (EDT)
I think that's Edge76 failing to log in again. Jollyfish.gifGenghisunbelieving 13:14, 24 June 2008 (EDT)
It's that Trent guy. <blink></blink> 13:16, 24 June 2008 (EDT)
Yeah I just saw that, I should have recognised the IP, he's the worst offender for not logging in. Beats me why I throw so much money his way - supposedly for site support but I know it's just fuelling his crack habit. Jollyfish.gifGenghisunbelieving 13:20, 24 June 2008 (EDT)
Damn Trent, getting me in trouble. Like Lawrence Taylor once admonished young children about: "Don't smoke crack." :) --Edgerunner76 OMYAC.jpg 13:29, 24 June 2008 (EDT)

Dr Richard Paley[edit]

Do we think that Lenski is aware that the good Doctor might not be all that he seems? Ajkgordon 13:38, 24 June 2008 (EDT)


Would it be a good idea to format the four letters in such a way that they are clearly different from the text before and after? I'd give it a shot but I'm not a formatting wiz.--Bobbing up 13:56, 24 June 2008 (EDT)

I played with preview a bit (Kenny, its the link next to 'save page' so you don't have to edit a page 30 times to get it right, or even save it at all to see how a change looks). Wrapping it in a <tt></tt> doesn't look bad and clearly sets it apart. It doesn't look that great either. --Shagie 14:00, 24 June 2008 (EDT)
Now I think about it Susan created some great quote stuff once. Where they I wonder?--Bobbing up 14:05, 24 June 2008 (EDT)
That's a bit annoying. The stuff here seems to zap the paragraph breaks. At least the first one does.--Bobbing up 14:15, 24 June 2008 (EDT)

OK, using other quotes it looks like this:

Dear Professor Lenski,

Skepticism has been expressed on Conservapedia about your claims, and the significance of your claims, that E. Coli bacteria had an evolutionary beneficial mutation in your study. Specifically, we wonder about the data supporting your claim that one of your colonies of E. Coli developed the ability to absorb citrate, something not found in wild E. Coli, at around 31,500 generations. In addition, there is skepticism that 3 new and useful proteins appeared in the colony around generation 20,000. A recent article about your claims appears in New Scientist here:

(cut to save space)

Please post the data supporting your remarkable claims so that we can review it, and note where in the data you find justification for your conclusions.

I will post your reply, or lack of reply, on . Thank you.

Andy Schlafly, B.S.E., J.D. Conservapedia

What do you think? I'm still not wild about it.--Bobbing up 14:22, 24 June 2008 (EDT)

How about this?

Some text

Some text quoted. Some text quoted. Some text quoted. Some text quoted. Some text quoted. Some text quoted. Some text quoted. Some text quoted.

Some more text quoted. Some more text quoted. Some more text quoted. Some more text quoted. Some more text quoted. Some more text quoted. Some more text quoted.

Last bit of text. --Shagie 14:22, 24 June 2008 (EDT)

Make it so Mr. Shagie. Eggsellent SusanG  ContribsTalk 15:00, 24 June 2008 (EDT)
I don't think it needs anything fancy - the entire sections are the letters, starting with "Dear" and ending with signatures, so it's pretty clear, right? ħumanUser talk:Human 15:07, 24 June 2008 (EDT)
Yes, I just thought that some way of differentiating them would give a better impression. But I agree that we don't need anything complex. --Bobbing up 15:16, 24 June 2008 (EDT)

On another note, Trent, is the bolding in reply #2 in the original? If not, we need to note it. If it is, we should note that CP removed Lenski's emphasis in their posting of his reply. ħumanUser talk:Human 15:07, 24 June 2008 (EDT)

The bolding and formating is from the original as sent by Lenski. tmtoulouse annoy 15:25, 24 June 2008 (EDT)
Thanks! ħumanUser talk:Human 15:29, 24 June 2008 (EDT)
I just stuck the first letter in a single-cell table, you can play with colors and thicknesses later, but what do you think? Jollyfish.gifGenghisunbelieving 15:41, 24 June 2008 (EDT)
I like it.--Bobbing up 15:43, 24 June 2008 (EDT)
About the bolding - I don't really think it helps very much. Still if that's what he wrote.--Bobbing up 17:38, 24 June 2008 (EDT)
I'm not sure it needs color, although tasteful alternating colored borders might be nice. Maybe I'll mess with it later and see if I can do anything that improves it beyond what we already have. ħumanUser talk:Human 18:30, 24 June 2008 (EDT)

<- Nice work all. I got rid of some errant spaces, I like what you did. Gently backgrounds, nice 1px borders, block the emails out nicely. ħumanUser talk:Human 03:55, 25 June 2008 (EDT)

I think the colours are little too dark now. My original intention was to make them pastel like quality bond writing paper. Jollyfish.gifGenghisunbelieving 05:31, 25 June 2008 (EDT)
GK, I know what you mean, and it's an intractable problem: monitors are different. When I broke down and bought my current LCD thing, the background colors at the main page almost vanished, whereas they were quite obvious on my old CRT. I can barely distinguish the current BG colors from the white around them right now. However, feel free to lighten them up if you want - just leave the dark borders, ok? Oh, and should we go for more of a parchment color? Heck, they are table cells, right? We should be able to use a background image that actually has a papery texture. PS, there is one such background image I use, and on this monitor it actually got darker. Go figure! ħumanUser talk:Human 17:18, 25 June 2008 (EDT)
I wrote the comment at work and on my HP monitors the background seemed quite dark, checking my Sony laptop and and Acer monitor in my bachelor pad (separate PCs - yes I know I've got too many computers) they don't seem quite so dark but I would prefer a lighter shade. I'll play around a little. Jollyfish.gifGenghisunbelieving 17:28, 25 June 2008 (EDT)


Man, I hope there isn't this much hoopla over my forthcoming paper regarding the evolution of snorlax. BeastmasterGeneral 16:03, 24 June 2008 (EDT)

Care to submit it to RW for peer review? It is our phase 3 goal, to become the next open source journal for...well whatever it is that a snorlax is. tmtoulouse annoy 16:06, 24 June 2008 (EDT)
Snorlax is a nasally ingested laxative. Jollyfish.gifGenghisunbelieving 16:10, 24 June 2008 (EDT)

Bugler's Link[edit]

On the cp page, Bugler posted a link to what I think he claims was the censored link as a tinyurl - This links to Conservapedia#Banning_Users. Anyone any idea why he would think it links there, instead of to the Expelled article? Zmidponk 18:22, 24 June 2008 (EDT)

There was speculation about what the reference might be and that was one of the proposals, and it seems to have picked up and was linked to from blogs. tmtoulouse annoy 18:25, 24 June 2008 (EDT)
Just looked back in the history - he didn't post the link, another user did. He just cocked up removing it (as well as deleting half the frakking Talk page), so it looked like he posted it. Zmidponk 18:27, 24 June 2008 (EDT)
Yeah, Bungler moved some tinyurl link all over the place, along with his own comments, while rearranging the talk page. Who knows what resulted, in terms of "replies" to "comments"... ħumanUser talk:Human 03:44, 25 June 2008 (EDT)

Dembski, or Dumbo[edit]

Can I just say that William Dembski is total ass? [2]. tmtoulouse annoy 22:42, 24 June 2008 (EDT)

You may. Apparently, what Bill doesn't understand is that seething contempt is the ground state emotion for anyone dealing with Schlafly for any length of time, and it only goes downhill from there. I'm just surprised his wife has had the fortitude not to brutally murder him as yet. Anyway, isn't it funny how all the loons are saying the same thing. Aw, Lenski was mean! Never mind how incredibly rude Schlafly was, that doesn't matter at all! -- 23:35, 24 June 2008 (EDT)
It's their standard debate strategy. Ignore logic until your opponent is annoyed, and then declare that they are rude. <blink></blink> 23:38, 24 June 2008 (EDT)

Is Dumbski writing his own comments there? -- 23:54, 24 June 2008 (EDT)

If Lenski's reply was simply:

Here are the data that you specifically requested in your first letter. Are there any other data you would like?

then everyone over at CP would have to shut up, since none of them can tell data from a hole in the ground. They wouldn't even know what to ask for.

The only downside would be the lack of lulz over here. Coarb 01:25, 25 June 2008 (EDT)

Note to geologists: Yes, I know that sometimes holes in the ground are data. Don't be such a snarky bitch. Coarb 01:48, 25 June 2008 (EDT)
Note to bitches: Sorry about that. Got a little carried away. I won't compare you to geologists again. Coarb 01:48, 25 June 2008 (EDT)
How's that conversation going, Coarb? Hehe... ħumanUser talk:Human 01:53, 25 June 2008 (EDT)

S.T. Shrink, O.M.G, D.GP OX.G[edit]

Has anyone noted the fact that the pompous professor guy who is supposed to fawn over himself and fake his credentials signs his letter "Richard Lenski" and the anti-bragging good ole american guy signs "Andy Schlafly, B.S.E., J.D."? I want Andy's next responce to have godspeed at the end. --*Gen. S.T. Shrink* Get to the bunker 00:54, 25 June 2008 (EDT)

Yes, I noticed. There were many such subtleties in the exchange of emails. ħumanUser talk:Human 01:31, 25 June 2008 (EDT)
Actually I had only just noticed that. This really shows Andy's failed academic complex like nothing else. \approx\pi 03:08, 25 June 2008 (EDT)
It's very telling. Armondikov, PhD, MChem, amRSC, GCSE, LOL (all but the last one are real at least :P) Armondikov 06:37, 25 June 2008 (EDT)
It gets even more amusing if you remember the way Andy carried on about how PalMD's "MD" was an attempt to claim false credentials during the Breast Cancer Incident last year. Sincerely, Rev. A. Kjeldsen, BA (Cph), --AKjeldsenPotential fundamentalist! 08:20, 25 June 2008 (EDT)
It was even better in Dr. CB's case, where Andy accused him of using his title as a sign of authority on... I forgot, Al Franken or something. NightFlareStill doesn't have a (nonstub) RWW article. 13:23, 25 June 2008 (EDT)

OK, so what does this all mean?[edit]

For those of us who are open-minded, it is quite clear that the Lenski affair showed up CP and, in particular, Aschlafly in a very bad light.

But consider this from Aschlafly's perspective. HE. DOESN'T. CARE.

What is his driver here? Do we really think that he was arrogant enough, as a lawyer and engineering graduate, to believe that he could single-handedly disprove Lenski's claims? Of course not. Did he believe that he could discredit Lenski enough to bring into question the veracity of his claims? Yes, he did.

And this is the bit that we've got to understand. He doesn't care that he wouldn't succeed in doing so among the vast majority of people. He doesn't care that the Internet is now laughing at him and his site. (If you Google Conservapedia + Lenski, you have to wade through quite a lot of results before you get to one that says anything positive about CP - apart from the results that link to Conservapedia itself.)

He only cares that he has created some controversy and that will have driven traffic to his site. The details of the Lenski affair will be lost in time, but CP will retain the reputation as a site standing up to the evolutionist conspiracy.

Remember, he will only ever attract the ideologically pure YEC conservatives and the restrictively educated homeschoolers, none of whom would ever admit that Lenski's conclusion were credible even if they could understand them.

Because of this, there was no mileage in Aschlafly following the route that other Creationist did and the one that PJR advised him to do - that is either that Lenski's conclusions aren't that big a deal (E. coli was simply re-evolving a trait that it had once lost) or that even if it did show real beneficial evolution, YEC admits that this can happen in very rare occasions anyway. Indeed, if evolutionists claim that this is a breakthrough, then that's not a great deal of evidence to get worked up about, is it?

Truth doesn't feature here. Even frowned-upon courtroom shenanigans are not taboo. The end result is everything - more noise leading to more traffic leading to more "acolytes". That's it. Ajkgordon 05:21, 25 June 2008 (EDT)

I agree that AS may not mind too much that he's being laughed at - though it's hard to believe that he enjoys it that much.
I also agree that it has considerably raised CP's profile. Mostly as a laughingstock, but also, as you say, as the defender of YEC values.
I further agree that some people will never be convinced by reason.
But this issue has also brought Professor Lenski's work to the attention of a vast number of people who would never have heard about it. The "soundbite version" that many people will take from this is "Lenski proves evolution". Others will take a deeper look and maybe even start to understand the principles. CP has done the world a marvelous favor by raising public awareness of these results. The people who can never be convinced obviously won't be - but it's a fantastic opportunity to communicate with those with open minds.--Bobbing up 06:02, 25 June 2008 (EDT)
GPWM. Ajkgordon 06:16, 25 June 2008 (EDT)
What Bob_M said. Until now I was very skeptical on any possible, positive or negative, influence CP could have on homeschoolers or other people. YEC would consult Creationwiki and AiG, not CP. But this time it seems this incident mostly involves CP instead of those other sites. Maybe a couple tendential YECs take a step to the right direction instead. (Editor at) CP:no intelligence allowed 08:41, 25 June 2008 (EDT)


I just cannot read any more of Ed & Philip's wriggling, someone tell me when it's all over please. SusanG  ContribsTalk 06:52, 25 June 2008 (EDT)

Ed Poor, Moonie and defender of Johnathan Wells, is a Wiki admin. A total moron and Phil filed for intellectual bankrupcy years ago.— Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

Assuming you mean Wikipedia: Not any more he isn't. SusanG  ContribsTalk 14:25, 25 June 2008 (EDT)

Featured article?[edit]

Pardon my Kennyness, but this event has been quite hot over the 'net, so maybe we should make this a featured article to drive traffic towards our site so we can make lots of new friends to play with? NightFlareStill doesn't have a (nonstub) RWW article. 08:21, 25 June 2008 (EDT)

I was thinking of making it a "non-random featured article" like we did with the ELG thing for a bit. Thoughts? ħumanUser talk:Human 16:45, 25 June 2008 (EDT)
Good idea!, but needs doing NOW - strike - iron - hot. SusanG  ContribsTalk 16:49, 25 June 2008 (EDT)
Done. ħumanUser talk:Human 17:38, 25 June 2008 (EDT)

Copyright license[edit]

It has come to my attention that someone (not necessarily a RW editor) attempted to post a copy of this article on Conservapedia. I would like to point out that the copyright license at the bottom of every page here, that text on RationalWiki is published under the GFDL which requires that further use of the text must be under the same license conditions. As Conservapedia does not accept the GFDL, attempting to post this is at that site is in fragrant bleach of our conditions of use. Fortunately my good fiend, pretty officer Karajou on CP spotted this copyright infringement and duly deleted the transgression. Should any editor here be found to be responsible for further violations of the GFDL, then they will be dealt with severely. Let it be known that I have given you all fair warning and I hope that this will not happen again. Jollyfish.gifGenghisunbelieving 15:37, 26 June 2008 (EDT)

Copy of great comment from CP's talk page[edit]

This is too good to waste on those IDiots:

"The development of citrate metabolizers wasn't the main intent (see Lenski's early papers) and it's actually tangential in the overall context of the long-term experiment. Zachary Blount describes the purpose of citrate in the media in his responses at Carl Zimmer's blog, The Loom. (see replies #115 & #270). Citrate was not added to be a carbon nutrient in the media but as a non-metabolizable chelator (the three carboxyl groups of citrate can bind certain cations in solution). The recipe for the medium was taken from other microbiologists who developed the recipe as a general culture medium back in 1949. Lenski's description of the DM25 media is here: Glucose was the intended carbon source. If you read the Lenski article cited by Blount (Phenotypic and genomic evolution during a 20,000-generation experiment with the bacterium Escherichia coli. -- available here:, you'll see the setup and reasons for performing the experiments (An earlier article at generation 2000 is here:,%20AmNat,%20Lenski%20et%20al.pdf). Basically, Lenksi wanted to see how mutations arise and move through populations over time. Even if the media and growth conditions remain pretty consistent over time, the populations continuously shift and change. That is because for a bacterium in the experiment the 'environment' is not just made up of the flask and media but also the *other cells in the flask* with which it must compete. This results in a continuously shifting competitive environment as mutations arise in lineages. Citrate utilization was just one of the many interesting variations acquired over the course of the experiment. Read his other papers for more details and a fuller understanding of the open-ended experiment's scope.--Argon 21:16, 26 June 2008 (EDT)"

I hope CP User "Argon" does not mind my lifting his material and putting it here, because I think it is an awesome chunk of resource and explanation. It points out so clearly why this result is so fascinating. It's like the bacteria evolved to eat the cutlery and plates since there wasn't always enough food on them! ħumanUser talk:Human 22:07, 26 June 2008 (EDT)

By the way, the next two edits are someone adding a link to the archive. Then Karajou deletes the link. ħumanUser talk:Human 22:09, 26 June 2008 (EDT)
Fascinating. I definitely like the cutlery adn plates similie, seems to explain it well. Although that's easily open to misinterpretation by IDiots (I can just see them now, "Why don't WE eat the TABLECLOTHS??!?!? Because I DON'T COME FROM NO MONKEY!!!!". And Andy still doesn't get it if you check his reply to Argon. It's definitely deliberate denial. Armondikov 07:08, 27 June 2008 (EDT)


The following comment has been added to consequences: It is possible to speculate that without his mother’s money and influence Andrew Schlafly would struggle to be more than a low ranking clerk or manual worker. I don't really think it helps the article a lot. Any thoughts?--Bobbing up 17:09, 27 June 2008 (EDT)

Narr. It's just silly. SusanG  ContribsTalk 08:44, 27 June 2008 (EDT)
Ok, I've cut it as it's hardly a consequence of the affair. If the original poster would like it reinserted no doubt he or she will comment here.--Bobbing up 09:14, 27 June 2008 (EDT)
"It is possible to speculate that..." really doesn't belong anywhere. It is "possible to speculate" anything. ħumanUser talk:Human 17:02, 27 June 2008 (EDT)
True. I think I can guess who wrote that part, as well. <blink></blink> 17:20, 27 June 2008 (EDT)

I got banned from Conservapedia[edit]

I got banned by Bulger, forever, for "insulting behaviour" (note the non-American spelling). To be fair I had compared Aschlafly's actions after the second reply to that of a "grade schooler". Then again I stand by that. The full text of what I posted on the "talk" page of the "Lenski Dialog" entry:

"Stop the carping and do the right thing

The original hypothesis was that Professor Lenski was being disingenuous in both his paper and his dealings with “the public”. Professor Lenski has, politely and patiently, disclosed his data sufficient for his good intent to be verified. He then, again politely but less patiently, expanded on this. He has offered to share not just his data but also the “real data” contained in the genomes of his various strains of bacteria. Any hypothesis about Professor Lenski’s honesty has been thoroughly refuted.

However Aschlafy appears not to accept this refutation and, instead, appears to be trying to find something that is less than perfect about the various publications, review processes and disclosures to support the “Professor Lenski isn’t playing it straight” hypothesis. If you accuse someone of dishonesty when they have been honest you have done them wrong. The correct action is to stand up, like an adult, and apologise; it is not to desperately scratch around for something, anything, that would make the allegation justified. I would expect a grade schooler who had trespassed to come up with a string of excuses, why little Katy hadn’t lied but it was his turn on the swing anyway and so…. I would expect an adult to simply extend a hand, apologise and carry on.

I would suggest that Aschlafy acts like a man and publishes an apology to Professor Lenski. It does not have to be crawling, it does not have to be humbling. If it were me I would hope that I would write something like:

“I am sorry for the tone and the implication of my letters. As you are probably aware evolution is a big issue with me. I rather let the importance of that issue affect the way I wrote to you. Naturally I am happy to accept that you’ve been both honest and professional in your work and your publications. Again I think the emotive nature of the subject was behind what, in retrospect, are pretty silly accusations that were put on Conservapedia.

I may, in the future, try and organise some research in this area. I’m no biologist but Conservapedia and other organisations I am involved in may be able to organise the Discovery Institute or other organisations that do have the skills needed to perform the research. If so we may take you up on your offer of samples of the various strains. As our main aim will be to test the apparent support of your results for evolution per se I do not think that it would risk overlapping, and thus “scooping”, your research. I’m sure, however, that all the knowledge that you have gained over the years in this specific field could help us in designing the best tests. Who knows we may be able to devise a “critical test” of whether new information can arise in the genome.”

How about it Aschlafy?--Toffeeman 16:34, 29 June 2008 (EDT)" --Toffeeman 18:11, 29 June 2008 (EDT)

Sorry for your block, Toffeeman. It seems you had been in CP quite a long time! Bugler, if you read this, please undo Toffeeman's block. (Editor at) CP:no intelligence allowed 18:19, 29 June 2008 (EDT)
Hi Editor. Well, if you're able to perhaps you would be kind enough to revert my post. If you think that the two sentences beginning "I would expect" are insulting please feel free to delete them.
I you do revert the post, please correct the spelling of Aschlafly's name! -- 04:40, 30 June 2008 (EDT)
It's your personal opinion. It certainly won't get deleted here. Indeed, we have a rule which specifically forbids it.--Bobbing up 04:44, 30 June 2008 (EDT)

I posted it up again (as a new user) : it lasted 8 minutes! Would anyone else like to create an account and post it on?--Toffeeman 15:38, 2 July 2008 (EDT)


Kan we haz?

Shirley their arr sum flasks or such piccies we can use? ħumanUser talk:Human 22:38, 30 June 2008 (EDT)

Going Mainstream?[edit]

Ooooo. The Guardian in the UK has done a piece on it. OK, it's not in the main part of the paper, but who knows?--Bobbing up 14:12, 1 July 2008 (EDT)

Well I've tried to get the Discovery Institute to comment (on their website) about it. I know the DI are not adverse to quote-mining, hidden agendas and other forms of deceit. However, as IDers go, they have a core of decency: they are everyone's best hopes of a rational IDism. If a "respected scientist" gives an opinion it's too easy for Conservapedia to portray it as a biased message from the "other side". If "one of their own" criticises then, just maybe......--Toffeeman 18:20, 1 July 2008 (EDT)

Rational Reply link[edit]

Hello! Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Jim Rational. I've been reading RW, in particular WIGO, the Best of CP, and the Banwatch since close to RW's inception as a wiki. Since Best of and Banwatch have become less relevant, I've focused on the WIGO pages, voting often but not otherwise joining in.

Why wait to join in? Pretty simple, until I made a move, I had a choice of how to proceed. Do I do the stealth mole at CP thing? Do I jump in with both feet here? Another option? That's ultimately what I chose.

So after quite a bit of prep work, I started my blog, The Rational Reply. It's a small blog - I'm the only one writing for it. It's a new blog - only 3 weeks old. But I publish every single day and no one with an IQ above Schlafly levels can say that I don't work at what I do.

Since the focus of my blog is to laugh at and point out the lunacy of religious extremism, I've been looking for good material from Conservapedia to write about. Unfortunately, most of CP's truly horrid stuff is on the talk pages where their hypocrisies are laid bare. And these pages don't lend themselves well to my format. Maybe I should just go after their articles directly, but that's a subject for another time.

But with the Lenski Affair, our purposes really meshed. The Professor requested people like us to make his letter available so we all have. Your article on the affair had an external link section that clearly included blogs, so I added mine.

But today I found that Human deleted the link with a request for talk on it and an apology if he stepped on someone's kittah. So now that you all know who I am and what I do, here's my talk on the link.

What I do on The Rational Reply and what RW does is well aligned with each other. We're both out there everyday trying to bring some rational thought to a world that rejects it at the sight of every new shiny thing or appearance of the next charlatan.

It's a reprint of the letter - plus an introduction for my readers who may not be familiar with RW, CP, or anything else in the affair - for two reasons. First is the most obvious: Professor Lenski asked for that. The second is more reverent: I would sooner draw a mustache on the Mona Lisa than sully Professor Lenski's work of art with additions of mine.

Feel free to check everything else I've ever written on my blog. Professor Lenski's letter is the only thing that I've published that I haven't commented on extensively.

I've re-added the link. If after reading what I've said here you still think that it doesn't belong, you'll get no further argument from me. Regardless, the people of RW have done fantastic work and both my wife and I greatly enjoy your efforts! Jim Rational 01:03, 2 July 2008 (EDT)

Sadly, RJ, I undid your edit, since you, er, re-introduced previously corrected errors in the text... Perhaps it would make more sense for you to add your link here in the talk page so we can all review it and see if it adds to our article - rather than just piggybacks on it. Thank you however for taking the trouble to explain yourself. Actually, since all I had to do was click a few times, here is Jim's link:
Let the mob decide if it is a worthy EL... ħumanUser talk:Human 01:17, 2 July 2008 (EDT)
Also:You might wanna spread your link over to this a-here page set aside for just this sort of advertising thing. CЯacke® 01:19, 2 July 2008 (EDT)
Done! Thanks for letting me know. As far as advertising is concerned - if my writings are worthwhile, the word will get around. If they're not, no amount of advertising is going to help. Jim Rational 01:29, 2 July 2008 (EDT)
Let me note that the reason I deleted your link the first time was that all it contained other than a joke about "both my readers" was text we already provide in the article. I just went there again, and neither of your readers have commented yet. Hence, all you are doing is spamming our wiki with your link. Better idea: contribute a bit, then add your blog (as Cracker showed above) when we know who you are. Otherwise, you are just a spammer - a friendly spammer, indeed, but just a spammer in the end. I hope you prove to be much more than that, of course. (PS, your writing on this issue seems a bit "blank" to those of us who have been watching the story...) ħumanUser talk:Human 01:34, 2 July 2008 (EDT)
I would just like to mention -- since you asked for mob feedback -- that I would support the inclusion of this link. <blink></blink> 01:36, 2 July 2008 (EDT)
A reason would help. Right now it offers nothing that is not already in our article! So, what's your reason? ħumanUser talk:Human 01:44, 2 July 2008 (EDT)
It allows Lenski's request, that his reply be circulated, to be met more efficiently, and it promotes the valuable entertainment of seeing Andy get pwned. The rest of the blog also makes it a solid link, in my opinion, even if the specific page doesn't have much more than us. <blink></blink> 01:48, 2 July 2008 (EDT)
I sill don't see the point other than cheap SEO? The link offers nothing in addition to what we have (if it had even five comments, it would). It's so close to spam (and your argument is an invitation to further spam), I remain utterly unconvinced. But waiting... ħumanUser talk:Human 03:19, 2 July 2008 (EDT)
The overnights are in and despite Human's rather interesting ideas on what spam is (Seriously man, you rock, but my friend Inigo Montoya has a few insights for you. I really suggest you talk to him), it's running 3 to 1 in favor of a link.
Of course, I vote yes. My reasoning is that Professor Lenski wanted his letter to be published far and wide. A comprehensive account of the affair - and from the link on Lenski's own web page, this is where that account is - should make an attempt to show how far and wide it's been cast. Without that call from the professor himself and I'd have never bothered with the link in the first place.
Here's a few more to discuss
Richard Dawkins forum
James Randi forum
The Panda's Thumb
Jim Rational 12:55, 2 July 2008 (EDT)

Blog links[edit]

What about a simple list of blogs, one character (a * or something else easily clickable) for each blog that carries Lenski's full response in a positive light? So you would have something like * * *. Granted, this is only an example - there are some blogs that should be called out by name. This makes for handling a long list of blogs relatively easily and shows how wide spread on the net the response is -- this isn't a few blogs saying "ha ha." --Shagie 01:56, 2 July 2008 (EDT)

Nah, that's just an invitation to further bloggspamlinking. We link to the majors. Anyone else can link to us. JMHO, of course. ħumanUser talk:Human 03:14, 2 July 2008 (EDT)

Link from Lenski[edit]

Apologies if someone has already pointed this out, but just to say that the good Professor has put a direct link to Rationalwiki on his own website, as part of the following: "Many thanks to the hundreds of people who have emailed me and/or posted thoughtful comments on all the blogs about our recent research and my public responses to attacks on the integrity of our research." Isn't he just a sweetie. Charles SubLunar (mr) 14:13, 2 July 2008 (EDT)


I haven't read the whole thing, but I'm kinda curious about something. Andy's "reasoning" seems to hinge largely on "he was partially funded by taxpayers, therefore the taxpayers/public owns the data". But what's getting "bought" with that money? Is it the raw, unfiltered data (which we all know is available if necessary), or is it the results? If the latter, in the sense of him getting funding to do an experiment and he does it and provides the results, then he's fulfilled whatever obligation he might have had. --Kels 19:59, 4 July 2008 (EDT)

I suppose that technically it is the data. But there is an implicit level of reasonability... Lenski is not obligated to send Andy reams of data on his own dime any more than he is obligated to send him trays of bacteria. The same rationale would work for both.
Someone linked Andy to a few volumes of spreadsheet data on Lenski's site for the experiment, but Andy decided it wasn't what he wanted. He doesn't understand what he's really demanding... what he wants is it spoonfed to him. And THAT Lenski is not obligated to do.--Tom Moorefiat justitia ruat coelum 21:16, 4 July 2008 (EDT)
As I recall, Andy's response was "a bunch of internet links, that's a classic subterfuge" Although, Andy would not use the word subterfuge. I wish I had the diff to link to right now, but I don't. ħumanUser talk:Human 01:20, 5 July 2008 (EDT)
Here is the referenced conversation.--Tom Moorefiat justitia ruat coelum 04:54, 5 July 2008 (EDT)
Thanks! this is the diff I meant! I appreciate the help! ħumanUser talk:Human 05:07, 5 July 2008 (EDT)
That's a good point Kels. NASA is also funded by the government. I'm not sure that some of that data from the Mars landers was incorrect as it contradicts my belief that the Mars has canals (or whatever). I want to see all NASA's data from the 1950's onwards so that "I" can check it.--Bobbing up 02:15, 5 July 2008 (EDT)
But, what if you possessing that data had adverse consequences and you couldn't understand it anyway? --*Gen. S.T. Shrink* Get to the bunker 02:20, 5 July 2008 (EDT)
That's not teh point! Something could be hidden in teh data! If they don't release ALL teh data then I'll know they are lying! I'll find "some expert" who will interpret it for me!--Bobbing up 02:50, 5 July 2008 (EDT)
AmesG will kick his kitteh if you're wrong! ħumanUser talk:Human 03:04, 5 July 2008 (EDT)
Truth and reason have no bearing on the matter. Aschlafly isn't demanding the data because he thinks he might be able to prove it's been tampered with or that the conclusions are incorrect. He's just making demands that can't reasonably be met so he can claim some sort of deceit. It's very transparent. But instantly believed by the type of people who want Lensky to be deceitful. Notice how it doesn't work with people like PJR. But then people like PJR are not Aschlafly's target audience. Ajkgordon 04:30, 5 July 2008 (EDT)
Will someone (that I don't know) please mail teh assfly a nice warm fat chunk of potentially interesting E. coli and get it over with!!!!!!!! Already? ħumanUser talk:Human 04:43, 5 July 2008 (EDT)

Consequences: Digg[edit]


I first found out about this imbroglio from an Ars Technica article Bacteria evolve; Conservapedia demands recount that was Dugg. As of Sun 6 Jul 2008 06:06:48 PM, there were 1237 diggs.

If you do a Google search on "Lenski Conservapedia" there are currently "about 39,500" hits. BlankVerse 21:18, 6 July 2008 (EDT)

I just found the Conservapedia article at under the title: "Conservapedia tries to make Prof. Richard Lenski prove his E. Coli experiment is not a fraud. Lenski responds with an extensive smackdown" with 1584 hits. BlankVerse 21:27, 6 July 2008 (EDT)


I strongly believe in evolution. BUt Lenki's experiment seems so statistically unlikely that i borders on impossible. The required amount of synergistic mutations to the appropriate genes occuring within the span of 30 years seems downright impossible. Just one mans opinion. Were not talking aout some bogus christian theory on irreducible complexity, but this is just very very, very unlikely.— Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs
I'm no statistician, but surely Mr 74, out of all the gazillions of bacteria involved, wouldn't that make an important mutation more likely? It's not like there's one bacterium involved in each generation. Totnesmartin 09:28, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
Also: it is extremely unlikely that any particular thirteen card hand at bridge should be dealt; once it has been, however, it is not unlikely, it is a fact. Statistics cannot be applied in this manner to things which have already occurred. This message brought to you by: Toastrespondand honey 09:59, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
What I really mean there is the probability of something happening in the future can be estimated statistically, but the probability of the current situation is statistical nonsense - it is fact. BoN, you read as if you're accusing Prof Lenski of fraud.Are you a biologist/biochemist/geneticist? This message brought to you by: Toastrespondand honey 10:16, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
Another analogy is winning the lottery - the chances are about 1 in 14 million in the UK but somebody does win almost every week. Of course the chance of it happening to any particular person is very low, but still real. It annoys me when those who happen to be the statistical outlier then ascribe their good fortune to prayer or the will of gOD. What about the millions of others who also prayed and never got a penny? Redchuck.gif ГенгисGum disease 10:44, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
I think the other point to make is that bacteria reproduce really fast. Lenski and co-workers followed 44,000 generations. In human terms, if one generation is 30 years, that's waiting 1.3 million years. Homo sapiens wasn't around 1.3 million years a go. Sterile diet coke 16:46, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

User: and User:Toast should both consider a course in statistics. I'd love to play poker with the latter -- after I've produced my fifth royal flush in a row, when she accuses me of cheating because the chances of that happening randomly are so minute, I will simply point out that the probability of the current situation is statistical nonsense -- it is fact, heh heh. -- (talk) 21:38, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

Meh, don't think you really under stood Toast's point. There are two points, apply probability post-hoc to a specific sequence when a priori there was no preferred sequence, and the power of large numbers. The chances of getting any particular sequence of hands in a poker game is extremely small, so if you look at any sequence of hands and calculate the probability you could get that sequence it will be impossible. The other point is the power of large numbers, you getting 5 royal flushes in a row is statistically extremely low, however, if given enough poker players the chances that one of them will get 5 royal flushes in a row increases pretty quickly. tmtoulouse 21:44, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
I understood it perfectly, but you entirely missed mine. You might want to ponder that I said that both Toast and User: need a course in statistics -- the latter acknowledges Toast's point about a posteriori vs. a priori, but the notion that probability analysis of an event after it happens is "statistical nonsense" is wrong and stupid -- almost as stupid as your "the probability you could get that sequence it will be impossible". (talk) 21:48, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
So basically your criticism of Toast (and now me) comes down to a being a pendant about choice of words on a wiki talk page. Your right, that "impossible" is not technically correct but if you were to calculate the probability of a sequence of cards being selected over 5-6 hands, that specific sequence would have an extremely small probability of occurring, so small that for practical, though not technical, purposes you could call it impossible. Trying to take that calculated probability and then use it to demonstrate why I could not have gotten a set of 5 sequences of cards after it all ready happened is statistical nonsense. tmtoulouse 22:09, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
The odds against 5 royal flushes in a row are probably on the order of E15 against. But it is still possible. And if it happens, it happens. The odds of life being the way it is on Earth are 1, since it has now happened. Anyway, the odds aren't that bad. Molecules tend to interact in fairly predictable - high odds - ways. Given a reasonable starting point like water being available in a liquid state and a reasonable amount of C, N, O, and a source of high energy rays (light from a star), it's almost certain that what started life on Earth would happen. What happens next is up to random cosmology (ie, life destroying events) and evolution by natural selection of the chemicals. ħumanUser talk:Human 02:23, 20 May 2010 (UTC)


Has there been any thought to consolidating some of the Lenski affair articles? I think it would be better to have fewer rather than more. Sterilesnore! 09:05, 14 July 2008 (EDT)

But, Sterile, just as everyone who arrives here wants to edit the Conservapedia article and the Andrew Schlafly article, right now everyone wants to add some half-brained attempt at another article on Lenski! Oops, I mean, I agree with you. ħumanUser talk:Human 01:28, 15 July 2008 (EDT)
(I'm just jealous 'cause I ain't got my own!) Sterilesnore! 08:29, 15 July 2008 (EDT)
I'm not so sure. The do cover different aspects, and one long article would be more difficult to read.--Bobbing up 08:45, 15 July 2008 (EDT)
I guess it reminds be of ... say ... the spawn of Ken's homosexuality articles... Sterilesnore!

Adding letters to Wikisource[edit]

I would like to add the letters to Wikisource. Schlafly's emails are in the public domain, since he published them on Conservapedia, but what about Prof. Lenski's? Did anyone ask him if he releases the emails into public domain, or under a license like GNU, or something? I though taht since you know how the actula second reply looked (bold parts) maybe someone had a conversation with him about this matter as well. 04:00, 16 July 2008 (EDT)

Schlafly's letters are not public domain, they are some confused version of copyright thet even Andy does not understand. I suspect that Prof. Lenski does not mind repeated, infinite even, copying of his sublime prose. The bolding, etc., was in his originals. ħumanUser talk:Human 04:03, 16 July 2008 (EDT)

Actually of what I understand from this page is that I may copy content without specifying the source. Though the second part (This license is revocable only in very rare instances of self-defense, such as protecting continued use by Conservapedia editors or other licensees or stopping unauthorized copying or mirroring of entire parts of this site.) doesn't make much sense. If anyone copies the content and does harm to Conservapedia, then there's not much they can do - the content was already released under this public-domain-ish license.

About Prof. Lenski's, I thought as much that he has nothing against these being widely spread (especially because of this: "I expect you to post my response in its entirety; if not, I will make sure that is made publicly available through other channels"), but as you might know Wikimedia is very strict with copyright. An explicit permission from the professor would be great. 04:42, 16 July 2008 (EDT)

I have not corresponded with Prof. Lenski but it is my understanding that others have, and from all reports he seems a quite responsive sort of chap. I see that his e-mail is available on his web page - you might wish to simply ask him directly.--Bobbing up 05:27, 16 July 2008 (EDT)
Belatedly - yes, I sent him a random "congratulations, no need to reply" email a couple weeks ago and he even replied to that with a quick "thank you". 84bunch, I'm sure if you emailed him he would reply with explicit permission. So go for it! ħumanUser talk:Human 18:58, 22 July 2008 (EDT)

CP's letter to PNAS[edit]

This cannot be a serious attempt on their part. They must realize, even in the back of that reptilian sized brain that they are not experts in any science, much less this specific field of microbiology... and that any attempt they make to PNSA will come off as either mearly a joke or another chance to be ridiculed around the world while so-called "Darwinists" get another chance to say "haha"(think - Nelson from Simpsons). This has to just be self-important, self-focused ego fluff that will never be actually mailed.--WaitingforGodot 18:05, 22 July 2008 (EDT)

I removed the part that said they took it seriously, I think - it was just speculation. As it is, it may still not get sent. ħumanUser talk:Human 18:56, 22 July 2008 (EDT)
$10 to the charity of your choice if it ever gets sent. SusanG  ContribsTalk 18:59, 22 July 2008 (EDT)

£10.00 given to Amnesty Int'l 20 Sep 08 (I'd have given it anyway so not really fair, but ...) SusanG  ContribsTalk 14:44, 21 September 2008 (EDT)

Just noting the source of the letter might raise a few chuckles amongst the recipients (should it ever be sent).Speakerface 20:34, 22 July 2008 (EDT)

Thanks for formatting the letter on the page. I added it, but then I had a lot of trouble getting it to look good. I just cannot believe that they are going to send it. I just can't believe it. I want to see the response they get.EricB 20:42, 22 July 2008 (EDT)

You're welcome, thanks for bringing it over. It wasn't hard to fix, just remember that leading spaces do weird things in MW. ħumanUser talk:Human 21:04, 22 July 2008 (EDT)
I blagged on this; this is better than the Daily Show-caius (decider) 21:10, 22 July 2008 (EDT)
Only Monty Python or the Marx Brothers (and maybe George Carlin) could make this stuff up... ħumanUser talk:Human 21:55, 22 July 2008 (EDT)

I have to say, I do find it endlessly telling that Andy pushes this letter off to his acolytes. Telling them, in effect "well, I won't send it, but if you all want to, you can". Of course he knows that he is full of shit. but he can't let his minions know that he's full of shit. he'd never send this letter, but if it were sent by others, "that would be fine". He's also set up (for his acolytes) a win-win. "if they don't respond, well we all know what that means. If they do own up to the errors, then good for them. and if they try to dismiss us, well, that just shows they are part of the liberal science liers". --WaitingforGodot 09:56, 23 July 2008 (EDT)

Ok, who wrote [3]? I really don't know which I would prefer: a) Schlafly ignores Stitch75's advice and PZ Myers posts about a crass incompetent piece of garbage posted without regard to the advice of those who evidently know what they are talking about or b) Aschlalfy takes the advice and gets humiliated in PNAS. The danger in the second is that he might try and word a decent objection, find he can't and drop the whole thing. "Of course he knows that he is full of shit.". Does he? Are you not arguing from the position that you would, from the position that you would have to be a raving madman, at least borderline clinically paranoid, to really actually believe what you would be saying and the "yes men" agreeing with you? Its that problem of teaching something that you are really good at: it's just so difficult thinking yourself into the position of someone who finds it hard: you have, as a sane person, difficulty imagining yourself gibbering like Andy. You wouldn't send the letter to PNAS, but then you wouldn't have sent the second letter to Lenski. You wouldn't have sent the first! Trust in Schalfly's idiocy, it hasn't let you down yet. --Toffeeman 15:56, 23 July 2008 (EDT)

Here's teh thing. If he *really* belived he had a point, he'd jump at the chance to submit that letter. Right now, all he is saying is "well, they won't post it anyhow" and "I write only for people here at CP" and "if they want to know the Truth, they know where to find it" tripe. That's the kind of distancing himself that happens when there is an inner war. --WaitingforGodot 16:11, 23 July 2008 (EDT)
Could it be akin to Gollum's spark of decency? There is Schalfly the malevolent, paranoid, egomaniac; the intellectually degenerate pustule of a human being hiding in the roots of the mountains jealously guarding his "precious" wiki. But, unremarked by the conscious mind, there remains a tiny little piece of the original Schlafly. This piece remembers all the kids laughing at the stupid remarks, remembers the red ink through the grammatical errors, the evil-lutionists jeers, the scorn and the ridicule. This piece remains sane and it struggles, struggles against the now-dominant madman. It can never reveal itself, if it does the madness will crush it utterly, but it tries and twists and pokes and prods to try and limit the damage the madman does. "well, they won't post it anyhow" is the sane Andy, the Andy too scared to say "for fucks sake mad-Andy, if you send it we'll look like a complete twat". Watch out for Andy starting to say "we", "us" and "our", and maybe going on about the "nasty, tricksy" parodists.--Toffeeman 08:27, 25 July 2008 (EDT)
Oh, I hope he sends it. It would be perhaps the greatest moment of my life. I hope they honor conservapedia with a response. Does Lenski know about this? EricB 16:07, 23 July 2008 (EDT)
As I said on the WIGO talk page, writing an article comment is not writing a letter to the editor of a newspaper. They should have citations to the literature, and it will be peer reviewed (or more likely, rejected outright by the editor) as it is part of the scientific literature. If the grammar's bad, that's even worse. Sterilesnore! 16:14, 23 July 2008 (EDT)
I'll cheer them on, to see them send it. in Andy's name, of course... And if he does send it in, i would hope that the people at PNAS do bother to reply, demanding as they would for any of thier contributors, in bright red ink, "citation please" "source please" "where is your data to support this".--WaitingforGodot 16:22, 23 July 2008 (EDT)
It's getting painful to watch. Stitch75 has been trying to advise Andy on how to word the letter, he has expertise. His reward is a block threat [4]. Meanwhile Andy just laps up the parodists [5] what does it take for this man to learn? Why does he absolutely insist on making a complete and utter tit of himself, even to the extent of attacking those who are trying to ensure he keeps some shred of dignity? I almost feel sorry for him. --Toffeeman 08:04, 25 July 2008 (EDT)
Actually i am absolutely sure Stitch75's real intention is not to ensure some dignity for Mr. Schlafly. I think it's more likely that he is seeking to inflict the maximum embarassment to Mr. Schlafly, which obviously would be that after a painful open, embarassing revision process in which Mr. Schlafly demonstrates his incompetence every five lines, the letter is turned down in an horribly well defined way, without any chance to silence the opponent or change the text any more. --Lilo57 15:37, 25 July 2008 (EDT)
Fascinating. They count words already..... -- 04:41, 26 July 2008 (EDT)

Mr Schlafly's letter WAS sent to PNAS and is currently under review. See :-) 15:18, 9 September 2008 (EDT)

It is nice to see that PNAS did not just reject the letter but provided a neatly worded explanation for its rejection. Hopefully SOMEONE will learn from it. 22:56, 12 September 2008 (EDT)

You didn't read the talk page, did you? Ashfly was pwnt hard and concurred with the first commmenter, who accused the PNAS of conspiracy. If anyone does, it won't be the CP leadership. EVDebs 23:02, 12 September 2008 (EDT)
I did read the talk page , and I didnt really think any of the diehard CPers would learn anything, but its more fun this way. Now we can wait and see if some suicidal puppet will try to explain just WHY Andy got it wrong, or if one of the inner circle will stir the pot. (how do you tell the puppets from the inner circle ? I need a scorecard. 00:27, 13 September 2008 (EDT)

stirring has commenced and action favoring going after his government funding is front runner. Also suggested is letter of complaint accusing ACADEMIC FRAUD to the University. Anyone here up on defamation or libel laws (or is it slander) 19:50, 13 September 2008 (EDT)

New Scientist comment[edit]

Don't know if this has been brought up anywhere. It's a New Scientist ref to CP. It's old news so I suppose it's somewhere on here. SusanG  ContribsTalk 13:16, 18 August 2008 (EDT)

Regarding omissions from second reply[edit]

It seems that the omissions from the second reply, excluding the RationalWiki link, have now been reentered into Conservapedia's transcription of the letter. Somebody with more knowledge, please investigate this. 11:29, 10 September 2008 (EDT)

It was only the RationalWIki link that was excised. Redchuck.gif Генгисunbelieving 12:39, 10 September 2008 (EDT)


How do we know what the censored links in the second letter were? Did Lenski send us the original, or what. Phantom Hoover 12:33, 5 January 2009 (EST)

If memory serves, he told anybody who bothered to e-mail him about it. Though I wonder why he'd choose to link that rather than the other dozen articles specifically about Conservapedia's blocking behaviour. NightFlare 12:50, 5 January 2009 (EST)
He used it because he is/was a fan of RW. Also, perhaps, because he may have known CP would censor it (without a comment in the middle, you can't even save the word "rationalwiki" there). ħumanUser talk:Human 19:07, 5 January 2009 (EST)

Lenski's second letter: pain-staking?[edit]

In the letter, is "pain-staking" in the original or is that just some random hyphenation for "pains-taking"? —Monado 19:00, 28 January 2009 (EST)

It's in the original as it appears on Conservapedia. Could be Lenski's mistake or Schlafly's transcription error. ΨΣΔξΣΓΩΙÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:03, 28 January 2009 (EST)

I just noticed...[edit]

Happy belated birthday to the Lenski Affair! It was one year old about a month ago! Scarlet A.pngnarchist 12:48, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

Ahhhhhhh those were the days eh. Ace McWickedNecron99 12:51, 24 July 2009 (UTC)


if anyone wonders what I just did, I just put the letters in a subpage, and then locked the subpage to everyone but admins. That way the rest of the article can be edited, but the letters themself can not be edited. Kwsn 15:03, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

Ah. I was wondering, thanks for explaining. We don't usually protect pages, but I suppose this could be an exception.--BobNot Jim 15:08, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, I figured that was the case but since it's a "historical" part, and it shouldn't changed, I just went ahead with it. Kwsn 15:10, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
On a good note, no more ugly template on the page now, thanks Toast. Kwsn (Ni!) 15:26, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
Good idea. And it condenses the page a little so that you can't easily accidentally edit those bits. I don't think we should be particularly scared of locking stuff like that to sysop only, anyway. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 16:55, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for explaining... only issue is that just about anyone who has been here 2 days and not blanked the main page is a sysop, so the protection doesn't really achieve anything here the way it would elsewhere. Is there at least a "noincluded" warning on the subpage saying not to edit it? ħumanUser talk:Human 21:03, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
Ah, I see there is. Good. Yes, ignoring the protection issue, it hides the banner nicely, so good work! ħumanUser talk:Human 21:05, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
It was the wikipedia admin part of me kicking in. if anyone wants to unprotect, go ahead. Kwsn (Ni!) 01:25, 10 October 2009 (UTC)
I will. But what you did "structurally" was very good and we thank you. ħumanUser talk:Human 03:25, 10 October 2009 (UTC)


Revisited this page after reading the RW tech blog update. And find that my favourite part is still this: "...It was Genesis 1:27-28, in which God created Man and Woman. It’s a very simple and lovely story, and I did not ask any questions, storm out, or demand the evidence that it happened as written at a time when science did not yet exist. I was there in the realm of spirituality and mutual respect, not confusing a house of religion for a science class or laboratory..." The man has more class and more understanding of what it means to act in a "christian" manner than Andrew can ever hope to attain. Fox 09:58, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

Its refreshing to see Conservapedia and Andrew Schlafly discussed in such a frank and open manner - without the threat of being blocked. Lenski's exchange with Schlafly definitely has a familiar ring. While I may not be a microbiologist, my discussion with DouglasA about science and the Bible on the talk page of his Essay: Quantifying Order, led to my being blocked by JacobB. After my views were labeled as "nonsense" and "rants" by DouglasA, I wrote that "since 'loving your neighbor as yourself' doesn't seem to be your forte", he could at least cite chapter and verse in support of whatever arguments he might make. Schlafly called me a "provocateur", and I was blocked for violating the "90/10 rule".

Somethings about Schlafly and his cohorts need to be kept in mind, aside from their immunity to rationality. Schlafly's insistence on Lenski's work being tax-payer funded and its being open to public scrutiny comes from his belief that evolution is a religion, and any public funding of the "proof of evolution" violates the separation of church and state. While Lenski and the rest of us may not confuse "a house of religion for a science class or laboratory", Schlafly, et al., are unwilling or unable to make that distinction.

We might further elucidate Schlafly's take on science. On the talk page of Conservapedia's article on Science, he makes his view perfectly clear: " . . my own view is that politics transcends all categories and all disciplines. Every profession is affected by political bias, so why not scientists also? George Orwell was right, I feel, when he said 'all issues are political.' It's only recently that the public has woken up to the political distortions in science." So Lenski's experiments over 20 years demonstrating evolution in E. coli, is ultimately, for Schlafly, a political expression of Lenski's liberal, and, of course, anti-Christian and atheistic political views. Trying to discuss scientific facts in an objective way with Schlafly, et al., is basically a waste of time. For them, a scientists' objectivity is very much in doubt. Of course, since for Schlafly everything is political, then his Christianity is also very much in doubt. - Danielitld — Unsigned, by: Danielitld / talk / contribs

I like a lot of what you just said. The religion=atheism/paid for by gummint part was very interesting, but I don't think Schlafly is as smart as you to figure that out. ħumanUser talk:Human 02:08, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

Reference section[edit]

Any reason why there's a reference section in the middle of the article and then footnotes as normal at the bottom? I'm going to remove the first one... DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 17:27, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

First one is from the Lenski letters themselves. The last is our references for the article. tmtoulouse 17:29, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
But it's not, Trent! For example the first ref from our introduction appears in "references" rather than "footnotes". The only ref from the emails to appear in "references" is the Genesis quote. I think it's more to do with how the correspondence is linked from the subpage... DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 17:36, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
I've removed the refs section from the subpage, and all seems well. Phew! DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 17:38, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

Letter to PNAS[edit]

Is it worth mentioning that just as in the original Lenski dialogue when quite a few people tried to advise Andy that he was doing it all wrong etc, the same happened for the PNAS letter where one of the points several I think people emphasised is he shouldn't be basically accusing Lenski of misconduct as the PNAS letter guidelines makes it clear they shouldn't contain accusations of misconduct. Andy of course ignored these suggestions, saying something like 'well they can take them out if they need to' because sure when an organisations tells you 'don't do this' and you go ahead and do it anyway it's their responsibility to fix what they already told you not to do (and which you were aware of. Nil Einne (talk) 12:44, 1 October 2010 (UTC)

Good point. I've added a bit, but the difflinks over at CP seem to be all screwed up. Maybe somebody can find/fix/tidy things up. --PsyGremlinSpeak! 13:08, 1 October 2010 (UTC)


It has recently come to m attention that conservapedia has since uncensored the material (could it have somtething to do with RW?) and I was wondering if that could be mentioned in that section, I'm not recommending getting rid of the section just entioning that the censorship has since been fixed. Do not assume because of this that I believe in god or creaionism, I just wanted to point it out.— Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

No one is going to bite you like that here. However, I just checked out the letter and it does still appear to be censored and unchanged since 2009? Tmtoulouse (talk) 16:48, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
Do you have a link showing this, M. 76...? ħumanUser talk:Human 17:05, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
Well ‘Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.’ was uncensored, so was "And yet life evolves!", "I was at church attending a wedding", "remember to wash your hands", "I take education seriously", and all the others too, see (Sorry I couldn't post a link).


Zachary Blount's Defense makes an oblique reference to Schlafly. --TheLateGatsby (talk) 13:43, 26 September 2012 (UTC)

This is...[edit] of the best articles on RW. Every time it cycles around on the main page I reread it, and I love it every time. VOXHUMANA 12:30, 21 February 2013 (UTC)

Nothing beats the great taste of pwn. SophieWilder 16:42, 21 February 2013 (UTC)