Librarian fails at basic biology, “journalist” fails at detecting said failure.


I’ve mentioned Michael Flannery before – he’s an ID sympathizer and librarian at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Now he’s apparently also an expert on canids. Denyse O’Leary approvingly quotes Flannery:

Anyone can breed a weird dog (I mean, assuming they have basic knowledge of canines).

But nature has a funnel.

There are only certain ways that dogs can really live in the wild.

For example, a greyhound can run faster than a wolf, because he doesn’t have heavy jaws – but what happens when he catches up with the prey?

Someone throws him a bag of Science Diet for Adult Working Dogs, right?

… A wild animal that cannot feed itself will die ….

If all the dogs in the world ran away, 50 years later, you would likely see only nature’s usual wolfhound type.

This is so full of fail, it’s hard to know where to start. The assumption that all canids would have to have wolf-like jaws to survive is clearly deeply erroneous – not all canids have (or need) “heavy jaws” because they don’t need them to process their prey.

Greyhounds, by the way, are perfectly capable to hunting, killing, and eating wild prey – Flannery has clearly never heard of hare coursing which often ends with the dismembering of the “prey”. These jaws would be perfectly able to enable a greyhound to survive in the wild. (The breed’s relative gentleness may be another issue).

I can’t figure out whether this reflects worse on Flannery for making the comment, or O’Leary for using her sharp journalistic skills and posting it. Probably a tie, frankly.

(image source)


6 thoughts on “Librarian fails at basic biology, “journalist” fails at detecting said failure.

  1. Comment over at Uncommon Descent:

    But seriously, those greyhounds look so dainty, I wouldn’t count on one being able to dispatch anything larger than a fieldmouse.

    The dumbth, it is strong in this one.

  2. Comment over at Uncommon Descent, this time from the mathematician Granville Sewell:

    No one has even mentioned the most important difference between dog breeding and Darwin’s mechanism. Breeders don’t rely on mutations, ie, accidents, they select traits already present in the gene pool.

    Granville, Granville, Granville. Where do you think those traits came from? You know, the ones that differentiate a wolf from a, oh I don’t know, wolfhound.

  3. Denyse styles herself an observer and reporter of sciency-sounding thingies, so in her universe that means she knows everything about all kinds of science. So of course she’s fallen for the supreme pseudoscience of intelligent design creationism, and happily parrots all manner of stuff she hears from other pseudoscience experts like Casey Luskin.

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