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'Fake Lab, Fake Science'

Science blogs are having a field day with a video from intelligent design think-tank Discovery Institute that makes a total hash of population genetics and phylogenetics.

"It's premature to say that just because two things look alike — say, chimps and humans — that they're descended from a common ancestor. We have to look at the details carefully in order to say that," says the institute's Ann Gauger, blissfully ignoring the fact that the chimp and human genomes were sequenced years ago.

Gauger, a senior research scientist at the DI's Biologic Institute, also claims that homoplasy — genetic similarity in species that are unrelated as a result of convergent evolution — is a "hidden secret of population genetics and evolution" when it is of course a well-known topic in phylogenetics and has little to do with population genetics.

And, as Panda's Thumb points out, sharp-eyed observers at YouTube and Sandwalk have identified more problems with the video than the pseudoscience — the fact that it's filmed in a pseudo-lab. Apparently the so-called Biologic Institute doesn't have a real lab, so it green-screened Gauger and used a stock photo from Shutterstock to add instant scientific credibility.

"Fake lab, fake science," concludes Richard Hoppe at Panda's Thumb.

HT: Ars Technica

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