Ashby dishonesty and bias (was: botanical facts

Peter Ashby p-ashby at
Fri Oct 2 15:07:08 EST 1998

In article <6v35uf$9bv$1 at>, yuku at
(Yuri Kuchinsky) wrote:

> p-ashby at (Peter Ashby) wrote on 2 Oct 1998 17:10:39
> GMT:
> > In article <6v2un2$4k2$1 at>, yuku at
> > (Yuri Kuchinsky) wrote:
> > > Fine, this is your speculation as to why Polynesians may lack group B. In
> > > other words, you've postulated an extraordinary event that would explain
> > > this lack.
> > 
> > Stop twisting what I said. Any (or all) of the above could EASILY account
> > for the lack of Group B.
> You're being dishonest again. Group B does not just disappear "easily". 

I didn't say it disappeared easily, again stop twisting my words, other
people can read you know. I said that the disappearance can be easily
*accounted for* that is an entirely different thing. The disappearance
takes time obviously, although selective death on a voyage could EASILY do
the same thing quite quickly.
> > YOUR problem is to discount ALL of these
> > influences in order to try and argue that lack of group B is definitive.
> No, I have no problem. It is you who have a problem explaining how group B
> could disappear.

Yuri, this game of 'did' 'didn't' "did' didn't' is getting tiresome. I
have explained the genetics of the process. You have no germane objections
to the genetics (if you understand it) so you engage in silly word games
instead of addressing the issue.
> > > But your problems certainly don't end here. Still you would need to
> > > explain why Native Americans ALSO lack group B. Another extraordinary
> > > event? That also happens to be _entirely unrelated_ to the previous one?
> > > Does this begin to sound like special pleading, anyone?
> > 
> > I don't have to explain the lack of B in Native Americans.
> Because you can't?

No, because I have no interest in native americans in this context and I
do not postulate relatedness. But if you insist I am quite prepared to
suggest (suggest note) that the self same processes of genetic drift could
easily have resulted in no group B there either. Anyway the whole debate
is sterile simply because we have no good evidence that the ultimate (note
ultimate) ancestors of both groups HAD group B. The proteins don't survive
death for long so how can we possibly know? However we can know about the
mtDNA because it survives. 
> > YOU want to postulate a relatedness
> I already did.
> > so YOU have to explain away the factors I have
> > outlined in order to continue to argue for relatedness.
> You're the one who postulates an extraordinary event, i.e. the
> disappearance of group B in Polynesians. Occam's Razor cuts out your silly
> speculations very neatly.

Oh I just love the sheer cheek of Yuri trying Occam's Razor on me. Beware
Yuri, the uninitiated shouldn't play with razors, they might get cut.
> > I was pointing out why blood groups may not be a good measure of
> > relatedness in populations.
> You have a better measure?

you know damn well I do. Anyone else care reminding Yuri about mtDNA
because I'm finding it tiresome.
> > > But what about your hypothesis? Do you have one? Please specify when and
> > > where your "extraordinary event"/bottleneck happened on your theory.
> > > Obviously it had to happen to the Polynesians very, very early indeed,
> > > before their dispersal throughout Polynesia. Where exactly? Would it have
> > > been somewhere in Melanesia, the area that has plenty of group B? Does
> > > this begin to sound like some sort of Ashby sci-fi?
> > 
> > I do not have to present evidence for the bottleneck (actually I have, one
> > of the papers I cited presents evidence for this),
> Duh!

Hark, I hear Homer Simpson again.
> I never said you should "present evidence for the bottleneck". I said you
> should explain _when and where your "extraordinary event"/bottleneck
> happened on your theory_. Can't you read?

I don't care when, where or even if it happened. The point is it is
entirely possible it happened, we don't and can't know the blood group of
ancient peoples and so the whole blood group debate is ultimately
> > > So what Ashby would need to explain is how his hypothesis, if he has one,
> > > would accomodate the existing evidence for group B distribution throughout
> > > Polynesia, i.e. absense of group B in the Eastern Polynesia, and the
> > > increase of group B in the Western Polynesia. Did the Polynesians continue
> > > to lose B factor gradually as they were approaching the American
> > > continent? But this is impossible and is beginning to sound ever more like
> > > Psychic Science. The neck of your bottle is beginning to look awful wide
> > > here, Ashby...
> [snip silly rant]
> > I posted an explanation to you of why blood groups are an unreliable
> > measure of relatdness.
> You have a better measure?
> > Another poster has done the same.
> Baloney.

Seee the post of MC Harrison from earlier today. I saw it Yuri, why didn't
you, you started posting only just after it was. BTW thankyou Dr. Harrison
for your timely explanation for the non technical among us such as Mr.
> > I do not have to say that ANY of the possibilities happened.
> Because you're a Newager?

No, because there mere probability is enough.
> > In order to continue to bang on about blood groups Yuri has to
> > discount these factors.
> Which factors? You've only presented some outlandish speculation so far,
> and when pressed for details you launched in an ad hominem harangue.

Oh yes, the whole of modern genetics is an 'outlandish speculation'now.
And look who is calling the kettle black. Please document my 'ad hominem
harangue' so others can assess its validy.
> > He can't. So he cannot use blood groups.
> Would you recommend Crystal Divination then? Pyramid Power?
> > If you could READ Yuri you would realise that
> >  1. the subset of data which I found in the database is consisten with an
> > Asian origin for the polynesians.
> But this is NOT EVIDENCE AGAINST HEYERDAHL. Are you so slow-witted that
> you still don't understand this???

But neither is it FOR him Yuri.
> > it is also consistent with the
> > mainstream archeological, ethnographic and linguistic evidence.
> So do they agree with Heyerdahl then?

As you so often tell us, they don't.
> > 2. The mtDNA evidence can in no way be interpreted as supporting
> > Heyerdahl.
> False. There's some limited mtDNA evidence supporting Heyerdahl. Do you
> have holes in your memory? Because you've posted this evidence yourself!

As I pointed out at the time (and don't call me a liar Deja News can prove
it) it is inconsistent with Heyerdahls scenario of pacific colonization.
The numbers are against you.
> > May I remind you that in response to my posting the mtDNA
> > evidecne
> How did it contradict Heyerdahl, you pathetic dishonest creature? When
> will you stop lying?

See Deja News. BTW was that an ad hominem attack I spy up there?
> > YOU posted the blood group papers (1955 and 1972).
> Correct.
> > It has been explained to you ad nauseum why they are unreliable as
> > evidence of relatedness.
> You have a better measure?

cf the top of the post. This is getting seriously tedious.
> > your doged resitence in the face of the evidence merely shows that you
> > have no fallback position and are not man enough to admit when you are
> > wrong.
> You're babbling.

More witty and incisive scientific argument courtesy of Mr. Kuchinsky.
> > Until such time as you prove your abiltiy to understand the data in
> > general and genetics in particular I strongly suggest you drop this before
> > you get even more egg on your face.
> You're a dishonest hypocrite.
> Now, Mr. Ashby, perhaps you would like to give me the real reason why you
> think it would have been TOTALLY IMPOSSIBLE for Native S Americans to
> travel to Easter Island. Is this because of your racism that you're trying
> so hard to disguise?

I have never (note: never) said it would have been, even simply,
impossible. In keeping with my rationalist philosophy I said It was the
least probable scenario.  I think this because the totality of the
evidence leads me to that conclusion. Until such time as you come up with
some evidence worthy of the name or a descent, abuse free, refutation of
modern genetics (hold the next issue of Science), I will continue to hold
that view. It is not, repeat not, immutable. If the evidence is compelling
enough I will accept that the polynesians flew from South Africa on giant
hang gliders. But the evidence would need to be pretty good, and I'm
afraid your and Heyredahl's little hypothesis just don't cut the mustard.


Peter Ashby
Eukaryotic Molecular Genetics
Nat. Inst. Med. Res.

Reverse the spam and remove to email me.

More information about the Bioforum mailing list