Moshe Averick, an Orthodox rabbi here in Chicago, has been pwned again: he’s getting it not only from his commenters, and from the wife of a Nobel-winning scientist whom Averick attacked, but now from the Nobelist himself and a science columnist. It has not been a good week for the good rabbi. I wonder whether, in the dark of night when he lies wrestling with his God, Averick even considers the possibility that he might be wrong—or duplicitous.
A few days ago I was scurrilously attacked by Averick for criticizing the ID advocate and pompous twit David Berlinski. Among my other failings, Averick singled out the quality of my writing, which he compared to a bottle of Ripple.
Averik’s schtick has always been that since science can’t tell us how life arose from nonliving precursors, God must have done it. He claims to be a novice in all other areas of evolution, not qualified to pass judgment on neo-Darwinism, or my own work, but he’s 100% sure about abiogenesis: science not only can’t tell us how life began, but never will.
In his frenzy to pwn me, Averick quoted Nobel Laureate Jack Szostak, who happens to work on the origin of life. Unfortunately, Averick not only took Szostak’s quote out of context, but added a bit to it to make it seem as if he was finishing Szostak’s thoughts. Here’s what Averick said:
The argument that I put forth in my book, which Rabbi Jacobs also presented in his Huffington Post column, was that the simple reason why Origin of Life researchers are baffled in their attempts to find a naturalistic origin of life – as Noble Laureate Dr. Jack Szostak put it, “It is virtually impossible to imagine how a cell’s machines…could have formed spontaneously from non-living matter,” is because it is impossible for a cell’s machines to have formed spontaneously from non-living matter. The notion that the functional complexity of a bacterium could be the result of an unguided process is as absurd as asserting that the sculptures on Mt. Rushmore were the result of an unguided, naturalistic process.
When you read Szostak’s quote, you immediately detect that it might have been ripped out of context: evolutionists have seen this happen many times, and we get a sense when there’s duplicity afoot. (Note as well that Averick takes it upon himself to finish Szostak’s quote, so subtly that the reader might think that the whole sentence came from Szostak.)
As I pointed out in my earlier post on this, Szostak’s wife, Terri-Lynn McCormick, commented on Averick’s post, noting that the full quote didn’t express what Averick said it did, but instead discussed ways that the first proto-cell might indeed have formed. And McCormick called Averick a liar, an accurate characterization.
In response, Averick waffled a bit but wouldn’t admit that he dishonestly truncated a quote, claiming it was all a “misunderstanding.” (LOL!). So McCormick went right back to the comments and again pointed out his dishonesty:
How dare you misrepresent my husband. Your quote from the Scientific American article blatantly distorts his meaning. It is virtually impossible to imagine the cell we know now to emerging from the pre-biotic earth. He and others have, over many years, been showing incrementally how an RNA cell might have been created on early earth. There is nothing in my husband’s work that suggests otherwise. It is quite sickening that you would try to make him, a steadfast rationalist and atheist, into a propopent for I.D. You are in complete disagreement with Prof. Jack Szostak. Unfortunately for you his opinion is backed up by facts and mountains of results from peer reviewed research.
Please refrain from misrepresenting his opinions or work again. We consider it slander.
I emailed Szostak to find out where Averick’s quote came from – whether he remembered saying or writing it. “If I recall, the basic point I was making was that the complex machines of modern life could not have formed spontaneously, but must have emerged gradually over a lengthy period of evolution,” was his reply.
It’s not about whether the process is guided, but whether it was sudden or gradual. What kind of a person would take the first part of that quote and then finish with support of creationism?
I’ll tell you what kind of person: someone who’s a professional liar for Yahweh. And this is for you, Averick, for you’re a man who, to support your unevidenced belief in God, regularly breaks the Ninth Commandment: