Steve LaBonne and Mitochondrial genetic codes

Andrew J. Roger aroger at ac.dal.ca
Fri Sep 8 10:28:10 EST 1995

hpyockey at aol.com (HPYockey) wrote:
>Subject: Re: Steve LaBonne and Mitochondrial genetic codes
>From:  Hubert P. Yockey

earlier quotes deleted

>Dear Steve LaBonne: 

some elitist trash deleted

>I do indeed tell jokes and refer to literary allusions in my voluminous
>writings. My daughter tells me that they are over the heads of some
>readers who are not as well-read. Steve seems to agree. Obviously, he is
>ignorant of Aesop's fables. I'll give you a hint: it has to do with sour
>When I got my Ph.D in physics at Berkeley one had to pass a test in
>reading French and German. Russian has been included at some universities.
>Although one of the results of World War II is that English has become a
>lingua franca, as Latin was in Sir Isaac Newton's time,  nevertheless, a
>knowledge of other languages is a mark of the educated person. 
>By the same
>token, ignorance thereof is the mark of the uneducated. 

Hubert Yockey- the following comment is directed to you.

Knowledge of logic is the mark of an educated person AND
is essential to scientific reasoning.  Knowledge of other
languages may be a mark of an educated person BUT HAS
of how frequently your voluminous writings are peppered with
gratuitous statements in other languages, the merit of your
arguments stand and fall on how logical you are.  By completely
ignoring the thread of criticism that your posting has
generated and instead concentrating on the utterly vacuous
elitist arguments about language, you are exposing your
complete lack of ability to argue logically on the subject
of the evolution of the genetic code. 

>It is astonishing
>to me that one who represents himself as a post-doc is proud of his
>ignorance of languages other than English. 

How many african languages to you speak?  Do you speak mandarin or
cantonese?  How about languages of native north americans?
Do you think that a linguist who is fluent in 50 languages
is automatically going to make intelligent arguments about
the evolution of the genetic code?  I must say that
Steve LaBonne seems more intelligent from what he has
written ON the subject of your book than what you have.
I suggest you indulge yourself less in polemicy and
more in convincing us of the logic of your position.

More irrelevant twaddle deleted.
>Back to the technical question of the hypothesis that the genetic code may
>have evolved from a doublet code in which the third nucleotide was silent.
>This was first proposed by Professor Thomas Jukes, Biochemical and
>Biophysical Research Communications v19, 391-396 (1965). He suggested
>codon reassignment in Microbiological Reviews v56 p229-264 (1992).  His
>proposed primitive doublet code in Cellular and Molecular Biology v39 p
>685-688 (1994) is identical to that in my Table 7.2. 
>I remember J. Robert Oppenheimer saying that theoreticians experiment with
>ideas. Every experiment in the laboratory is not successful and neither is
>every idea advanced and explored by theoreticians.  Progress can only be
>made by exploring various ideas; but each must be explored. Whether the
>non-standard genetic codes evolved from a primitive doublet code by a
>Markov process or by reassigning codons is a technical matter. Perhaps
>some of both occurred.

I will take this as a recantation of your former position where
you suggested that codon reassignment was nearly impossible.

> This question doesn't deserve a tantrum. 

First you are upset that only Steve LaBonne answers your posting but
no molecular biologist does.  When we do end up posting, you call
this a tantrum. Perhaps you should try to hold up your end of the
debate rather than being crumpled by criticisms.
>This exchange of compliments obscures the purpose of this newsgroup to
>discuss technical matters. I suggest that further exchange of compliments
>be conducted in talk.origins where average I.Q is much lower on the

Or you could actually argue your position...Let me remind you
of your points:
1) reconstruction of phylogeny is not scientifically valid
2) mitochondria evolved from a primitive organism which diverged
prior to the origin of the common ancestor of all extant life
3) mitochondrial genetic codes are primitive relics

I suggest that all of these points are indefensible.  Prove
me wrong.

Andrew Roger
aroger at ac.dal.ca

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