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Author Topic:   Transitional fossils not proof of evolution?
Belfry
Member (Idle past 5163 days)
Posts: 177
From: Ocala, FL
Joined: 11-05-2005


Message 16 of 223 (315679)
05-27-2006 9:26 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by mr_matrix
05-27-2006 6:58 PM


Re: Speculations
Mr.Matrix writes:
So you're saying that the fossil record is not complete and fossils are rare. This is the same old and desperate argument that Darwin used before. Now the fossil record is almost complete and provides a huge wealth of information about living species emerging all of a sudden with no evolutionary past. Many evolutionists admit this fact.
I call BS. Name one and provide a source.
Mr.Matrix writes:
It is not impossible for soft tissues to survive up to today.
It is impossible for soft tissues to survive from the precambrian up to this day. It isn't impossible, though rare, for fossil traces of them to survive, and I gave you examples from before the Cambrian.
Matrix writes:
The Burgess Shale fossil bed in Canada contains thousands of organisms with fossilized soft tissues because they were mostly covered with mud and had no contact with oxygen. Again, this fossil bed shows no evolutionary past.
That last sentence is nonsensical. The Burgess Shale is from the middle Cambrian, how could it show anything from the pre-Cambrian? The Burgess Shale is an unusual formation, and provides an excellent source of study material from that particular period of evolutionary history. Not all periods of earth's history have a Burgess Shale to clue us in to what happened.
Matrix writes:
The Camberian explosion has established more than 60 different phyla. This means tens of thousands of species that exploded into life fully formed. Just finding few fossils that are so-called precamberian does not invalidate the Camberian explosion. We dont know the validity of these fossils or if they realy belong to pre camberian eras.
Once again, you confuse the appearance of the species in the fossil record with "exploding into life fully formed." There is simply no way you can draw that conclusion. The evidence that the pre-Cambrian fossils are valid is every bit as good as for the Cambrian ones - you can't have it both ways!
Matrix writes:
But there are no clear lines in the fossil record because it shows that many phyla emerged suddenly. A famous British paleontologist Derek V. Agar approves this fact: “The point emerges that if we examine the fossil record in detail, whether at the level of orders or of species, we find-over and over again-not gradual evolution, but the sudden explosion of one group at the expense of another”.
"Suddenly" in geological time can mean something very different from time as humans normally conceptualize it. The duration of the relatively rapid diversivication of life during the Cambrian (the so-called "explosion") is estimated to have been anywhere from 5 to 40 million years. Even at minimum, 5 million years is not "sudden" from the creationist viewpoint.
Again, you quote mine out of context. As has already been noted, Ager was talking about Punctuated Equlibria, which is an accepted part of modern mainstream evolutionary biology.
Matrix writes:
AS Darwin said, if his evolution theory is true, there should be numberless transitional forms and that they should still exist today.
Darwin didn't say that. Let's look at what Darwin actually did say, if the forum members will forgive the long quote:
quote:
I have attempted to show that the geological record is extremely imperfect; that only a small portion of the globe has been geologically explored with care; that only certain classes of organic beings have been largely preserved in a fossil state; that the number both of specimens and of species, preserved in our museums, is absolutely as nothing compared with the incalculable number of generations which must have passed away even during a single formation; that, owing to subsidence being necessary for the accumulation of fossiliferous deposits thick enough to resist future degradation, enormous intervals of time have elapsed between the successive formations; that there has probably been more extinction during the periods of subsidence, and more variation during the periods of elevation, and during the latter the record will have been least perfectly kept; that each single formation has not been continuously deposited; that the duration of each formation is, perhaps, short compared with the average duration of specific forms; that migration has played an important part in the first appearance of new forms in any one area and formation; that widely ranging species are those which have varied most, and have oftenest given rise to new species; and that varieties have at first often been local. All these causes taken conjointly, must have tended to make the geological record extremely imperfect, and will to a large extent explain why we do not find interminable varieties, connecting together all the extinct and existing forms of life by the finest graduated steps. (CR Darwin, Origin of Species, 1st ed., pp.340-341)
Matrix writes:
If you say the Camberian explosion is invalid,...
It's not entirely invalid, in that it was a period of rapid diversification. However, the following statement IS invalid (bolds mine):
Matrix writes:
...how can 60 phyla emerge in a very short time period (geologically speaking) and fully formed and independent of each other with no evolutionary ancestral species?
You simply cannot support that bolded statement, and it is refuted by the pre-Cambrian fossils we're starting to find.
Matrix writes:
If there is a gradual evolution, it should take billions of years of evolution to form 60 phyla that include thousands of species.
Again, there's no point in arguing against phyletic gradualism; even Darwin argued against it, and it is not an assumption made by modern evolutionary biologists. PE is an accepted concept, although your posts suggest that you don't have a good understanding of what it really means. In any case, I don't believe you can support the statement that it would take billions of years to form 60 phyla.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by mr_matrix, posted 05-27-2006 6:58 PM mr_matrix has not replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 22606
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 5.0


Message 17 of 223 (315680)
05-27-2006 9:28 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by mr_matrix
05-27-2006 6:58 PM


Re: Speculations
mr_matrix writes:
Now the fossil record is almost complete and provides a huge wealth of information about living species emerging all of a sudden with no evolutionary past. Many evolutionists admit this fact.
If it were really a fact that many evolutionists admit that the fossil record is now nearly complete, then it would also be a fact that many evolutionists would share your viewpoint. But they don't. That's because evolutionists understand that the fossil record is extremely incomplete.
Only a tiny, tiny percentage of the members of any species are preserved in the fossil record. Were this not the case we would be awash in fossils today. You might be old enough to recall the Yellowstone elk disaster of a couple decades ago when overpopulation and severe weather killed thousands of elk, and many have died every year since then, yet you'd be hard put to find a single elk skeleton there today.
Or walk into any woods and find a squirrel skeleton - squirrels in the wild have an average lifetime of about 3 years, the woods are full of squirrels, so all the squirrel skeletons from squirrels of the past few thousand years should just be littering the forest floor everywhere, and be buried in the forest everywhere. My house is in the woods, so every time I plant a new shrub I should be finding squirrel skeletons in every shovel full of dirt.
The reason we don't find skeletons all over the place is that fossilization is rare. It's most common in marine environments, particularly sea floor environments, it's less common in coastal regions, and it almost never happens in upland regions (a significant percentage of ecological environments) because they are areas of net erosion rather than deposition.
It *would* be quite convincing that something was wrong with the theory of evolution if the fossil record were nearly complete and still had many gaps, but that's not the case.
The Camberian explosion has established more than 60 different phyla.
It's the Cambrian explosion, not Camberian, and most of the rest of what you say is as inaccurate as your spelling. All life everywhere is always "fully formed" - this term is just Creationist nonsense. Because all life is always "fully formed", we only find "fully formed" creatures in the fossil record. You quote Derek Agar out of context. You exaggerate Darwin on the likelihood of finding fossil transitionals. You say all species are independent of each other, despite the relatedness that is so visually obvious that many decades before Darwin, Linnaeus was already making classifications based upon it.
Trying to addressing the thread's topic more directly, transitional fossils are not proof of evolution (science is not in the business of proving things, that's mathematics realm), but they are one of the many lines of evidence that support and are consistent with the theory. One prediction of the theory of evolution is that newly discovered fossil species should be consistent with and fit into the current classification system, and that is what we find. It also predicts that as we uncover more and more of the fossil record that more and more intermediate species should come to light, just as Darwin suggested, and that is also what we find.
There are legitimate mysteries out there. Though the origin of some phyla have been pushed back well earlier than the Cambrian by subsequent fossil discoveries, many evolutionists believe that the enormous amount of novelty introduced during the Cambrian explosion has yet to be adequately explained.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by mr_matrix, posted 05-27-2006 6:58 PM mr_matrix has not replied

  
Hyroglyphx
Inactive Member


Message 18 of 223 (315700)
05-27-2006 11:20 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by RAZD
05-27-2006 8:03 PM


Re: Speculations
What part of the theory of evolution depends on the fossil record for validity?
Its not so much that it needs fossil evidence as much as it doesn't do it any favors without it. And being that we see all forms appearing abruptly, both in the fossil record and living creatures, the odds that so many of them would appear abruptly without any signs of gradation tends to lean in the direction that a macroevolutionary process never took place.
Evolution is the change is species through time. This is an observed fact. Several times over, in all locations on the earth.
This is a gross over-simplification of what the theory actually asserts and a reliance on such brevity will not excuse any gaps in the current, prevailing wisdom. Evolutionary theory tells us how a certain amount of diversity can develop in already existent, complex life forms. For example, if a small population of birds migrate to an isolated island, a contingent of inbreeding, mutation, and natural selection may cause these birds to develop distinct features that are not seen in the ancestral population. When viewing the theory in this limited sense, the evolution theory is uncontroversial. Afterall, this is a perfectly good and legitimate observation. But some aspire to answer much broader questions and have come to some fanciful conclusions. How we could arrive at the conclusion that because species within a certain genus have changed must somehow mean that every creature must ultimately be related by a common ancestor is so far from empirical, that I have to question what motivation lies beneath the surface. It must betray some philosophical reason in the adherent.
Species do change over time. There is no species that does not change over time. There is no species that does not evolve.
Again, this is an over-simplification. If a species finds themselves isolated for a variety of reasons, they may experience a loss of alleles, and so lose certain characterisitcs that are generally seen in the larger, ancestral population. But in no way should we jump enormous gaps in the deductive process, concluding that a dog is going to be anything other than a dog, or cat is going to be anything other than a cat. Since there is no demonstrable evidence, whatever, of such an occurance either in the fossil record or amongst the thousands upon thousands of extant lifeforms living today, there should be no compulsion to arrive at such a lofty conclusion.
The theory of evolution predicted that there would be genetic common ancestors before Mendel was known to Darwin, and well before the genetic basis (of mutation and diversification of genes - alleles - within populations) was discovered.
I find it terribly ironic when I see pro-evolutionist camps using Mendellian genetics when it runs counter to the Darwinian and neo-Darwinian model. Case in point, reproduction allows information to combine in a variety of ways, however, it cannot produce any new information that was not already existing. It just sorts information in a new arrangement. For example, there are a plethora of canine breeds that have been bred from a mongrel stock. This shows that selecting desired traits in successive generations, such that the traits can become isolated, can produce new lines. In the original line, they were already present within that population, but may have been recessive. In the new stock, they are now being expressed. But at the end of the day (or the century, or the epoch, or the era), you're still going to have a dog. Mendellian genetics shows this quite well. What it fails to present is that if you keep breeding mongrel stock after mongrel stock, that one day a large taxonomical jump will occur. As of now, that is a metaphysical mystery and not something we find in the annals of empirical science.
When genetics was discovered (with DNA) the evidence of common ancestry was found in the genes of siblings, within species, between closely related species, and between more and more distantly relatied groups of organisms, all showing a tree of development based on genetics.
This is interesting to me, because I was just arguing the point that most evolutionists use the typical phylogenic tree as a basis for the theory. But to my shock, all the people that ardently supported it now turned away from it because of punctuated equilibrium. At this point in time, I just wish that someone would distinguish clearly between firmly established empirical facts concerning evolution and theories about mechanisms. Any theory of the world has at most a provisional, pro tem value. It is only valid until it is falsified or a better model is proposed. But when the current favorite theory leaves as much unexplained as this does, it leaves me undesired.
Genetic relationship do not form arbitrary relationships, but very clear ones, due to a number of genetic markers that can only be passed on from a parent species to an offspring species, markers that cannot be transfered horizontally between species. Markers where the exact arrangement and location argues strongly against any other arrangement of the relationship tree.
What genetic markers are you referring to? It sounds as if I agree with you on this on, but I'm not entirely sure what you arriving at. Could you elaborate a bit?
There is nothing in the genetic tree of relations that contradicts the theory of evolution of species through time. This validates the theory, as it passes a milestone prediction without being contradicted by the new evidence.
For as many homologous sequences exist, there are many more expressions that don't coincide in any discernable or apparently relevant way. Homological theory asserts that relationships can be proven by the similarity in the anatomy and physiology of different taxinomical lines. But to me, its just like saying that a Chevy SUV and a Chevy pickup are biologically related because their dashboards are virtually identical. Are they identical because the SUV is the progeny of the pickup or that they had the same manufacturer? I know thats a crude model, but I hope it drives home a point. Afterall, we share 52% biochemical similarity with a banana. Does that mean we evolved from a fruit?
The theory of evolution predicts that there would and will continue to be "missing link" fossils of common ancestors.
No, punctuated equilibrium makes that claim, presumably to cover up the shocking lack of transitional forms that would very much have to exist for any kind of stepwise model for evolution.
There is nothing in the fossil tree of relations that contradicts the theory of evolution of species through time. This validates the theory, as it passes a milestone prediction without being contradicted by the new evidence.
The problem for you is why there is NO evidence for any special creation or design.
Disproving macroevolution does not prove, by default, any special creation. However, given the enormity of demonstrable balance within nature, we can greatly assume that there is some creative force or cognizance behind the intricacy. Afterall, there are only two options from which to choose from - either life is intentional or its unintentional. If anyone can reasonably demostrate that it is highly improbable that life should continually arrange itself without any intervention, then we are inescapably driven to a latter conclusion.
The problem for you is to look at the real world without denying the evidence around you. Denial does not make it go away, or lose meaning. The only thing it hinders is your understanding of the actual creation - by whatever source.
Agreed. Looking at the evidence and denying what we see does not make it go away.
Do you think the world is a lie?
No, just the evolutionary paradigm.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by RAZD, posted 05-27-2006 8:03 PM RAZD has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 19 by Belfry, posted 05-28-2006 8:05 AM Hyroglyphx has replied
 Message 20 by Percy, posted 05-28-2006 9:31 AM Hyroglyphx has replied
 Message 21 by RAZD, posted 05-28-2006 9:43 AM Hyroglyphx has replied

  
Belfry
Member (Idle past 5163 days)
Posts: 177
From: Ocala, FL
Joined: 11-05-2005


Message 19 of 223 (315730)
05-28-2006 8:05 AM
Reply to: Message 18 by Hyroglyphx
05-27-2006 11:20 PM


Re: Speculations
NJ writes:
Its not so much that it needs fossil evidence as much as it doesn't do it any favors without it. And being that we see all forms appearing abruptly, both in the fossil record and living creatures, the odds that so many of them would appear abruptly without any signs of gradation tends to lean in the direction that a macroevolutionary process never took place.
Excuse me, but where do we see forms appearing abruptly in living creatures? Nothing in the fossil record nor in living creatures is evidence against macroevolution - support your assertion with evidence.
NJ writes:
How we could arrive at the conclusion that because species within a certain genus have changed must somehow mean that every creature must ultimately be related by a common ancestor is so far from empirical, that I have to question what motivation lies beneath the surface. It must betray some philosophical reason in the adherent.
But we do not base common descent on evidence a single genus. Every example, and every line of evidence that we can follow, supports common descent. Molecular evidence lines up nicely with the more scanty fossil evidence and morphological cladistics. It happens so routinely that it is no longer surprising. We don't assume that life must have a common ancestor (and there are alternate theories about what the "root" of the tree may have looked like), but so far that's where the evidence points.
NJ writes:
I find it terribly ironic when I see pro-evolutionist camps using Mendellian genetics when it runs counter to the Darwinian and neo-Darwinian model.
I will let an actual geneticist like Wounded King answer these points in detail, but I will just comment that our modern understanding of genetics is much more complex than what Mendel was able to determine. Mendel was among the first to study units of inheritance, but his findings are far from the last word on all aspects of inheritence, mutation, etc.
NJ writes:
This is interesting to me, because I was just arguing the point that most evolutionists use the typical phylogenic tree as a basis for the theory. But to my shock, all the people that ardently supported it now turned away from it because of punctuated equilibrium.
This is simply not true and demonstrates a gross lack of understanding of Puncuated Equilibria. PE does not conflict with the phylogenetic relatedness of organisms. It has to do with the PACE of evolution, not the mechanisms.
NJ writes:
At this point in time, I just wish that someone would distinguish clearly between firmly established empirical facts concerning evolution and theories about mechanisms. Any theory of the world has at most a provisional, pro tem value. It is only valid until it is falsified or a better model is proposed. But when the current favorite theory leaves as much unexplained as this does, it leaves me undesired.
Ok, what mechanism of evolution do you feel hasn't been demonstrated empirically?
NJ writes:
Homological theory asserts that relationships can be proven by the similarity in the anatomy and physiology of different taxinomical lines. But to me, its just like saying that a Chevy SUV and a Chevy pickup are biologically related because their dashboards are virtually identical. Are they identical because the SUV is the progeny of the pickup or that they had the same manufacturer? I know thats a crude model, but I hope it drives home a point. Afterall, we share 52% biochemical similarity with a banana. Does that mean we evolved from a fruit?
A fruit is not a complete organism, first of all. We do share a distant common heritage with banana trees.
Vehicles do not reproduce, let alone show imperfect inheritance, so your question is silly. However, what is damning to the idea that genetic similarity simply reflects design similarity is that we can see the same phyogenetic patterns in non-coding "junk" DNA.
NJ writes:
Disproving macroevolution does not prove, by default, any special creation. However, given the enormity of demonstrable balance within nature, we can greatly assume that there is some creative force or cognizance behind the intricacy.
No, we can't assume anything of the sort. This is just the same old argument from incredulity.
NJ writes:
Afterall, there are only two options from which to choose from - either life is intentional or its unintentional.
Not at all! It could be both.
NJ writes:
If anyone can reasonably demostrate that it is highly improbable that life should continually arrange itself without any intervention, then we are inescapably driven to a latter conclusion.
Not sure what you mean by "life should continually arrange itself without any intervention." Are you talking about abiogenesis here?
Edited by Belfry, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 18 by Hyroglyphx, posted 05-27-2006 11:20 PM Hyroglyphx has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 22 by Hyroglyphx, posted 05-28-2006 12:45 PM Belfry has replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 22606
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 5.0


Message 20 of 223 (315739)
05-28-2006 9:31 AM
Reply to: Message 18 by Hyroglyphx
05-27-2006 11:20 PM


Re: Speculations
nemesis_juggernaut writes:
And being that we see all forms appearing abruptly...
The fossil record might possibly present a problem if this were true, but it isn't. For example, there are many places in the world with geological layers of coastal regions showing finely gradated changes in mollusks for millenia after millenia, just the kind of gradual transitions you're referring to.
Land fossils are much more rare than marine (as are land geological layers), so layers recording gradual transitions on land are equally rare and the changes between stages are more pronounced, and this can be a source of misunderstanding. For example, the fossil record of horse evolution includes many occurrences of a change in the number of ribs, and creationists are often led to believe that we should find horse fossils with partially formed ribs. But that's not the way the number of ribs changes. A new rib doesn't evolve from scratch but appears suddenly with a small genetic change that says how many times to invoke the rib gene.
The kind of argument you're advancing assumes that science has a conception of evolution that isn't supported by the evidence, so I think you're approaching this the right way in trying to identify evidence that isn't consistent with evolution, but in order to be successful in this endeavor you need to make certain you have a correct understanding of the evidence. Arguments based upon false or inaccurate characterizations of the evidence that are easily revealed, such as you do here with the fossil record, won't be successful.
How we could arrive at the conclusion that because species within a certain genus have changed must somehow mean that every creature must ultimately be related by a common ancestor is so far from empirical, that I have to question what motivation lies beneath the surface. It must betray some philosophical reason in the adherent.
This drifts significantly off the topic, but just to briefly comment, evolution is accepted by people of all nations, races and religions. I think you'd be hard put to find some common philosophical underpinning. The philosophical and religious uniformity of the opponents of evolution is rather obvious, however.
Species do change over time. There is no species that does not change over time. There is no species that does not evolve.
Again, this is an over-simplification. If a species finds themselves isolated for a variety of reasons, they may experience a loss of alleles, and so lose certain characteristics that are generally seen in the larger, ancestral population.
Species can both gain and lose alleles. They can even gain and lose genes, even entire chromosomes. Your information is incorrect, and it is causing you to reach false conclusions.
But in no way should we jump enormous gaps in the deductive process, concluding that a dog is going to be anything other than a dog, or cat is going to be anything other than a cat.
You're reaching this false conclusion because of your incorrect belief that some leap of logic is involved. Evolution is continuous and represents the accumulation of many small changes over time. Your argument is akin to someone saying, "I know I can walk next door, and I know I can walk to the next town, but in no way should we jump enormous gaps in the deductive process, concluding that I could walk to the next state or the next country."
Since there is no demonstrable evidence, whatever, of such an occurance either in the fossil record or amongst the thousands upon thousands of extant lifeforms living today...
This is the same misrepresentation of the fossil record that you made earlier.
Case in point, reproduction allows information to combine in a variety of ways, however, it cannot produce any new information that was not already existing.
I guess I'm seeing enough off-topic discussion that I'm going to have to start drawing the line on what I'll reply to. I'll just say that this is incorrect and refer you to Message 15. If you'd like to discuss information theory it would probably be best to propose a new thread.
What it fails to present is that if you keep breeding mongrel stock after mongrel stock, that one day a large taxonomical jump will occur. As of now, that is a metaphysical mystery and not something we find in the annals of empirical science.
Evolutionary theory does not propose "large taxonomical jumps" as an explanation of the fossil record. The jumps in the fossil record are due to the rarity and variabilities of fossilization and are not an indicator of sudden significant evolutionary changes.
Afterall, we share 52% biochemical similarity with a banana. Does that mean we evolved from a fruit?
No, it means fruit evolved from us and are the higher evolved form.
Seriously, it just means that we share a common ancestor with fruit, probably safe to say more than 500 million years ago at least.
However, given the enormity of demonstrable balance within nature, we can greatly assume that there is some creative force or cognizance behind the intricacy.
"Balance" isn't the term I would prefer here in this context, but I think I understand your meaning. Nature contains many interdependencies amongst organisms, symbiosis being a common example. But when you use your observation of "balance" to conclude design you are ignoring the "imbalances" that have caused most of the species that have ever existed to be extinct.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 18 by Hyroglyphx, posted 05-27-2006 11:20 PM Hyroglyphx has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 25 by Hyroglyphx, posted 05-28-2006 2:51 PM Percy has replied

  
RAZD
Member (Idle past 1482 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 21 of 223 (315742)
05-28-2006 9:43 AM
Reply to: Message 18 by Hyroglyphx
05-27-2006 11:20 PM


Logical fallacies and evidence
Its not so much that it needs fossil evidence as much as it doesn't do it any favors without it.
False thinking. This is where the concept of falsification comes in science. Theories can be falsified by contradictory evidence, but in the absence of contradictory evidence the best you can assume is that the theories are not wrong.
You are confusing with absence of evidence with evidence for absence, a logical fallacy.
And being that we see all forms appearing abruptly, both in the fossil record and living creatures,
Contradicted by fact. We see gradual change in all living creatures. We see gradual change in many fossil records. Your premise is false so your conclusions are invalid.
... the odds that so many of them would appear abruptly without any signs of gradation tends to lean in the direction that a macroevolutionary process never took place.
This is false (a) because your premise (above) is false, it is false (b) because probability has no way to restrict a possibility from happening, math is not the reality, a mathematical model does not make hurricanes go away that don't match the model, and it is false (c) because you are reaching a conclusion not based on your premises, containing elements not in your premises and thus not shown to be valid.
This is a gross over-simplification of what the theory actually asserts and a reliance on such brevity will not excuse any gaps in the current, prevailing wisdom.
Sorry to disappoint you, but this is really what the theory is about. Based on that one theory you can make a bunch of predictions, but these are not "assertions" of the theory, just predictions that will be true if the theory is true.
There is a fallacy common to people who are philosophically opposed to evolution to make it into something it is not - this is called a strawman fallacy - and usually this entails turning evolution into some Grand Unified Theory of Everything. It isn't.
You can accuse me of "gross oversimplification" all you want, but your simplifications are contradicted by facts. That shows that you have oversimplified to the point of being false, like "all plants are green" when some use red chlorophyll instead of green.
For example, if a small population of birds migrate to an isolated island, a contingent of inbreeding, mutation, and natural selection may cause these birds to develop distinct features that are not seen in the ancestral population. When viewing the theory in this limited sense, the evolution theory is uncontroversial. Afterall, this is a perfectly good and legitimate observation.
Now when and how does that evolution stop occurring? What prevents the continued evolution of distinct features that are not seen in ancestral populations in later generations of isolated populations?
What stops this occurring when the isolated population now meets and interacts in competition with other isolated populations from the same ancestral population where one or both have evolved distinct features and either (a) they are unable to breed (many closely related insects have incompatible genitalia that prevents breeding between species) or (b) they do not "see" the others as potential mates because of the distinct features (as in the ring species Asian Greenish Warbler where there are 5 variations around the Tibetan Plateau that all interbreed except the final two at the top of the ring, where they intermingle in the forest but do not interbreed)?
What stops this occurring when the populations no longer interbreed even when they intermingle?
What stops "micro" evolution from becoming "macro" evolution, especially when the distinction is one of human imposition?
How we could arrive at the conclusion that because species within a certain genus have changed must somehow mean that every creature must ultimately be related by a common ancestor is so far from empirical, that I have to question what motivation lies beneath the surface. It must betray some philosophical reason in the adherent.
It must, because otherwise it must betray some philosophical reason in the critic that does not accept the facts of the matter, eh?
Do you know of any individual that does not have a common ancestor with their cousins? Do you know of any reason why this cannot be extended to a common ancestor between species, especially when this has been an observed fact? Do you know of any reason why this cannot be extended back to earlier ancestors of species that share a common trait? Do you know of any reason why this cannot be extended back to any earlier ancestors of species that share a common genetic marker?
Provide evidence of something that makes such a common ancestor impossible at some point in the evolution of species over time, or admit that this is just another logical fallacy, the argument from incredulity and ignorance.
If a species finds themselves isolated for a variety of reasons, they may experience a loss of alleles, and so lose certain characterisitcs that are generally seen in the larger, ancestral population.
Or they may experience a gain in new alleles, and so gain certain characteristics that are generally not seen in larger, ancestral populations. Refusing to deal with all the evidence does not make it go away.
But in no way should we jump enormous gaps in the deductive process, concluding that a dog is going to be anything other than a dog, or cat is going to be anything other than a cat.
Logical fallacy, argument from incredulity and ignorance again. Just because {YOU} do not see any way for a dog or a cat or any other species group to evolve into something new does not prevent it from happening. Just because {YOU} do not see anything but enormous gaps does not mean that many small steps have crossed those gaps in the past and will continue to cross those gaps in the future.
Since there is no demonstrable evidence, whatever, of such an occurance either in the fossil record or amongst the thousands upon thousands of extant lifeforms living today, there should be no compulsion to arrive at such a lofty conclusion.
Just what do you think you should see? A half-way this half-way that fossil? You've already admitted that this happens:
... mutation, and natural selection may cause these birds to develop distinct features that are not seen in the ancestral population.
Your birds with the new feature are half-way to something else from the original population.
I find it terribly ironic when I see pro-evolutionist camps using Mendellian genetics when it runs counter to the Darwinian and neo-Darwinian model. Case in point, reproduction allows information to combine in a variety of ways, however, it cannot produce any new information that was not already existing. It just sorts information in a new arrangement.
Typical ignoring of the rest of the equation. The process is mutation and selection. Mendel's genetics only dealt with selection and not newly mutated features. They do show that once newly developed "distinct features" (per your birds) have evolved by the process of mutation that they continue to operate by the rules of Mendel's genetics.
What is "new information" and why can it NOT evolve? What prevents it from happening? What is the process that limits mutation to only be a "loss" of information. What is the genetic distinction between {changed\different} DNA section = loss and {changed\different} DNA section = gain when all you can see is {changed\different} DNA section?
How do you measure "gain" vs "loss" in a manner that does not rely on human interpretation?
... that if you keep breeding mongrel stock after mongrel stock, that one day a large taxonomical jump will occur.
One day? A large taxonomical jump will occur??? ROFLOL. How much change and how fast do you think this takes?
Do you understand that taxons are just human constructs? They are patterns imposed by classification of organisms into different groups for the purpose of comparison of similar and distinct features, and anything and everything above species isolation is just an intellectual human construct.
Genetically there is no difference between the behavior, evolution, etc. of closely related species and distantly related species. In one very real sense we are all bacteria that have evolved a few "distinct features that are not seen in the ancestral population."
This is interesting to me, because I was just arguing the point that most evolutionists use the typical phylogenic tree as a basis for the theory. But to my shock, all the people that ardently supported it now turned away from it because of punctuated equilibrium.
Do you know what PunkEek (punctuated equilibrium) is? How does this cause people to turn away from a "phylogenic" tree, when it in no way contradicts a typically derived tree of species relationships? It looks to me more like you are "shocked" that some strawman (or misunderstanding) of yours doesn't fit the real picture.
It is only valid until it is falsified or a better model is proposed. But when the current favorite theory leaves as much unexplained as this does, it leaves me undesired.
Your relative {desirability\undesirability} to the opposite sex in the matter of sexual selection has nothing to do with the argument. What is left unexplained in such great quantities? Species change over time.
What genetic markers are you referring to? It sounds as if I agree with you on this on, but I'm not entirely sure what you arriving at. Could you elaborate a bit?
Genetic markers are errors in non-coding sections of DNA; they do not affect the growth, survivability or sexual selection of the individual, and so are not subject to natural selection for or against their being in the section. These same patterns are found in the same sections of non-coding genes in other people, in closely related species, and in distantly related species, with the number of such markers varying with the distance from the (respective) common ancestor. We share more {common to all human} genetic markers with chimpanzees than we do with gorillas, and the ones we share with chimps and gorillas are more than the ones we share with monkeys, and the ones we share with chimps and gorillas and monkeys are more than we share with lions, and tigers and bears (oh my).
There are genetic markers that chimps have but we don't and markers that we have and chimps don't, because they have become part of the species {genome} since we diverged from a common ancestor.
For as many homologous sequences exist, there are many more expressions that don't coincide in any discernable or apparently relevant way.
There are no genetic jumps across branches of the genetic tree, genes that evolved in one species that jump to entirely different species, and that is what you need to invalidate the genetic tree. Pointing out numerous differences in the genes of one species from the genes in another species is rather a prediction of change in species (alleles) over time = evolution.
No, punctuated equilibrium makes that claim, presumably to cover up the shocking lack of transitional forms that would very much have to exist for any kind of stepwise model for evolution.
Um, falsified by facts again. You have a misconception of what PunkEek is and isn't. Not every species "occurs" by the mechanism of PunkEek, and there are fossil records of long term gradual change over time in species foraminifers for one, note reference to Gould in the article).
All PunkEek says is that there are mechanism where evolution can occur in small isolated pockets and the resultant species can then sweep into a much larger geographical area due to superior adaption developed in isolation. The fossil record shows the "sudden" sweep, but finding the isolated pockets is not always guaranteed.
Some of these are being found as scientists look specifically for such locations. We saw the recent articles about the fish on legs find where the scientists looked for specific environments where such a transition was predicted to have occurred based on the fossil evidence. And, by gosh, they found one. They found several, in fact.
Furthermore we have evidence here in the USA of just how such a mechanism works. There have been several species "introduced" to North America by people. One such is the starling, a bird that is generally considered a pest on both sides of the Atlantic, but which was imported in a small group so that all the species mentioned in Shakespeare could be found here. From that initial population of some 50 birds, the population spread to cover North America in 50 years. Track that in the fossil record.
See http://http://www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=msg&f=5&t=4... -->EvC Forum: Differential Dispersal Of Introduced Species - An Aspect of Punctuated Equilibrium
For some more information on other species that exhibit population explosions within ecosystems (which is all PunkEek involves).
Disproving macroevolution does not prove, by default, any special creation. However, given the enormity of demonstrable balance within nature, we can greatly assume that there is some creative force or cognizance behind the intricacy.
Another logical fallacy if not a contradiction. Disproving "macro"evolution does not prove by default any special creation, but (by ignoring the evidence for evolution in general) we can assume some creative force or cognizance in spite of the total lack of any evidence for it based on what we DON'T know? LOL.
Agreed. Looking at the evidence and denying what we see does not make it go away.
Do you think the world is a lie?
No, just the evolutionary paradigm.
The evolutionary paradigm is based on observation of the real world and the evidence that surrounds us. It assumes the world is true.
Enjoy.

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This message is a reply to:
 Message 18 by Hyroglyphx, posted 05-27-2006 11:20 PM Hyroglyphx has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 38 by Hyroglyphx, posted 05-29-2006 12:51 AM RAZD has replied

  
Hyroglyphx
Inactive Member


Message 22 of 223 (315777)
05-28-2006 12:45 PM
Reply to: Message 19 by Belfry
05-28-2006 8:05 AM


Re: Speculations
Excuse me, but where do we see forms appearing abruptly in living creatures? Nothing in the fossil record nor in living creatures is evidence against macroevolution - support your assertion with evidence.
Um, I can't support evidence of a negative, hence, if something doesn't exist, I can't show you tangible evidence of such, because it doesn't exist. So, you are going to have to supply some evidence of a macroevoultionary process.
But we do not base common descent on evidence a single genus. Every example, and every line of evidence that we can follow, supports common descent. Molecular evidence lines up nicely with the more scanty fossil evidence and morphological cladistics. It happens so routinely that it is no longer surprising. We don't assume that life must have a common ancestor (and there are alternate theories about what the "root" of the tree may have looked like), but so far that's where the evidence points.
What if DNA is simply similar, period, by its very nature and that similarity has little to do with any percieved lineage? You know what I mean? Its completely speculative to assume that, because there are still so many gaps and gulfs affixed between the series.
Case in point, (and this is an extreme example), but suppose we had a worm, a frog, and a human on display. From the standpoint of the ancestor-descendant relationship, evolutionists could state that the last common ancestor of worms and humans was more recent than the last common ancestor between Kingdom Animalia. While its obvious that the frog does bridge one gap in between worms and humans, at the end of the day, the fact remains that their would have admittedly been two, three, four, five, six, or even 100 gradualistic steps missing. Indeed, this is what the fossil record shows; creatures appearing abruptly and fully formed in various layers of strata.
The same could be said of all percieved cladistic relationships. These branching diagrams, which are supposed to show a relative degree of relationships amongst living things, is based on guesswork from appearance. The nodes and branches and trunks from the phylogenic tree is based upon what, exactly? These alleged branching patterns should tell us very little. In all actuality, it would only obscure the huge morphological discontinuity which exists in gulf-sized links. And if you believe in the typical, stepwise fashion of evolution, then where does that place punctuated equilibrium? Doesn't one bring the other into disrepute?
The plain fact remains that in more conventional depictions of alleged transitional forms, we still find everything fully formed. We find no organisms in any kind of evolutionary limbo. Does cladistic reconstruction tell us anything beyond, "Well, they sure do look alot alike."?
I will just comment that our modern understanding of genetics is much more complex than what Mendel was able to determine.
I believe that we know know so much more about what mechanisms exist to give us the genetic know-how, but principly, Mendellian genetics still stand the test of time.
This is simply not true and demonstrates a gross lack of understanding of Puncuated Equilibria. PE does not conflict with the phylogenetic relatedness of organisms. It has to do with the PACE of evolution, not the mechanisms.
Uh, I think the title of the original paper says it all- "Punctuated Equilibria: An alternative to Phyletic Gradualism. LOL! How ever did we arrive at such a bizarre conclusion?
"how could traditional paleontology live with such a striking discordance between a theoretical expectation of gradual transition and the practical knowledge of stability and geologically abrupt appearance as the recorded history of most species? Our colleagues resolved their schizophrenia by taking refuge in a traditional argument, advanced with special ardor by Darwin himself”the gross imperfection of the fossil record. If true history is continuous and gradational, but only one step in a thousand is preserved as geological evidence, then a truly gradual sequence becomes a series of abrupt transitions. Darwin staked his whole argument on this proposition:" -Stephen J. Gould
"The geological record [is] extremely imperfect, and will to a large extent explain why we do not find interminable varieties, connecting together all the extinct and existing forms of life by the finest graduated steps. He who rejects these views on the nature of the geological record, will rightly reject my whole theory" [Origin of Species, 1859]. -Charles Darwin
"This resolution worked in some logical sense, but it filled Niles and me with frustration and sadness. We were young, ambitious, enthusiastic, and in love with our subject. We had trained ourselves in evolutionary theory, particularly in the application of statistical methods to the measurement of evolutionary change, and we longed to get our hands dirty with practical applications. Our colleagues had virtually defined evolution as gradual change and had then eviscerated the subject as a paleontological topic by citing the imperfection of the fossil record to explain why we never (or so very rarely) saw direct evidence for the process that supposedly made life's history. This argument did resolve a contradiction (theoretical gradualism with overt punctuation), but at a crushing price for any practicing scientist, for if evolution meant gradual change, we could not discern the very phenomenon we most wished to study." -Stephen J. Gould
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And there, in the mans own words, he supplants the traditional, gradulaistic argument that you are still maintaining. As I've tried to share with a number of evolutionists, PE and gradualism are diametrically opposed. So, you either have to concede that evidence of transitions don't exist, (or are at least, extremely scant), or you are going to have to provide reasons why gradualism exists and then provide a wealth of evidence to support the one hundred and forty seven year assertion.
At this point in time, I just wish that someone would distinguish clearly between firmly established empirical facts concerning evolution and theories about mechanisms. Any theory of the world has at most a provisional, pro tem value. It is only valid until it is falsified or a better model is proposed. But when the current favorite theory leaves as much unexplained as this does, it leaves me undesired.
Ok, what mechanism of evolution do you feel hasn't been demonstrated empirically?
Since natural selection plus beneficial mutation hasn't produced new any kind of macroevolutionary process, the theory is left with nothing else. I don't believe any such mechanism exists in a strictly naturalistic sense. Therefore, I cannot present evidence of a negative.
A fruit is not a complete organism, first of all. We do share a distant common heritage with banana trees.
And does this similarity automatically mean that we are related? That is the question that the creationist posed to the OP in the opening argument. What evidence exists that we are the progeny of the banana tree? To me, its as asinine as saying, because we have molecules and adry cement has molecules, we must be related to a wall. Do you know what I mean? If there is nothing linking the two together, why jump to such a fantastic conclusion?
Vehicles do not reproduce, let alone show imperfect inheritance, so your question is silly. However, what is damning to the idea that genetic similarity simply reflects design similarity is that we can see the same phyogenetic patterns in non-coding "junk" DNA.
Of course vehicles don't reproduce, I'm simply using that as a basis for comparing how anyone can jump to a bad conclusion even if they make a good observation. Darwin noticed that Finches seperated from the ancestral population developed new features. Awesome observation. Then he concluded that because there were different types of Finches, that every living creature must be related by a common ancestor. Whoa! Bad conclusion.
The interesting thing about 'Junk DNA' is that maybe we just don't know how they code. Those Junky genes look like normal genes but do not express any RNA or protein. They apparently include crippled copies of known functional genes, of long and short interspersed repeats. I just that our understanding of what they do might be too tentative currently. Failure to observe junk DNA coding for a product under experimental conditions might not preclude that they never do so inside an organism. We also shouldn't rule out protein expression based solely on sequence information, as DNA messages can be altered by editing RNA, as it skips parts of the sequence. The current inability to code for a protein useful to an organism hardly exhausts other possible functions that this 'junk' may have.
No, we can't assume anything of the sort. This is just the same old argument from incredulity.
I hardly see how. If life isn't unintentional, then its intentional. There shouldn't be any ambiguity in that.
Not at all! It could be both.
Okay, but if its in least bit intentional then a Creator (whatever we shall that cognizance) exists. Atheistic evolution needs no intent to survive.
Not sure what you mean by "life should continually arrange itself without any intervention." Are you talking about abiogenesis here?
No, but abiogenesis is an important piece of the puzzle for evolution. For instance, biological evolution needs cosmological evolution just to get started. And for everything to come from nothing, some type of abiogenesis had to exist at some point. Philosophically, I think we could all agree that something had to be eternal at some point.
Edited by nemesis_juggernaut, : No reason given.
Edited by nemesis_juggernaut, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 19 by Belfry, posted 05-28-2006 8:05 AM Belfry has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 23 by Chiroptera, posted 05-28-2006 1:32 PM Hyroglyphx has not replied
 Message 24 by Belfry, posted 05-28-2006 2:27 PM Hyroglyphx has not replied

  
Chiroptera
Inactive Member


Message 23 of 223 (315785)
05-28-2006 1:32 PM
Reply to: Message 22 by Hyroglyphx
05-28-2006 12:45 PM


Re: Speculations
quote:
Indeed, this is what the fossil record shows; creatures appearing abruptly and fully formed in various layers of strata.
And it also shows plenty of instances of transition forms between very different taxa: between fish and tetrapods, between amphibia and mammals, between apes and humans, and so forth.
-
quote:
These branching diagrams, which are supposed to show a relative degree of relationships amongst living things, is based on guesswork from appearance.
Actually not. Get several people to place automobiles in a philogenic tree. You will probably get very different trees depending on how the people choose to organize the automobiles. However, different taxonomists will always produce essentially the same trees; the only differences are usually very minor. This indicates that the tree is real.
-
quote:
The plain fact remains that in more conventional depictions of alleged transitional forms, we still find everything fully formed. We find no organisms in any kind of evolutionary limbo.
Nor does the theory of evolution suggest otherwise. The theory of evolution does not suggest that we should ever find anything other than fully formed organisms. What evolution does suggest is that we should find organisms with characteristics that are in between those of different taxa, and/or mixtures of characteristics of different taxa. And we do, with Acanthostega, Archaeopteryx, and Australopithecus being prime examples.
The theory of evolution does not suggest that there should be organisms in some kind of "evolutionary limbo" (whatever that means). What the theory of evolution suggests is that there should be organisms that are in a sort of "taxonomic" limbo, where it is difficult to assign the species definitely to one or another taxa, Archaeopteryx and Australopithecus being good examples of this as well.
But if the altruism thread is any indicator, I suspect that you will refuse to understand what the theory of evolution is and what it predicts and what it does not predict, and merely repeat the same assertians over and over again.
-
quote:
And there, in the mans own words, he supplants the traditional, gradulaistic argument that you are still maintaining.
Actually, he doesn't.
-
quote:
No, but abiogenesis is an important piece of the puzzle for evolution.
No, it is not. It is an important puzzle for bi=ology and geology in general, but not for evolution itself.

"We must respect the other fellow's religion, but only in the same sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart."
-- H. L. Mencken (quoted on Panda's Thumb)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 22 by Hyroglyphx, posted 05-28-2006 12:45 PM Hyroglyphx has not replied

  
Belfry
Member (Idle past 5163 days)
Posts: 177
From: Ocala, FL
Joined: 11-05-2005


Message 24 of 223 (315796)
05-28-2006 2:27 PM
Reply to: Message 22 by Hyroglyphx
05-28-2006 12:45 PM


Re: Speculations
NJ writes:
Um, I can't support evidence of a negative, hence, if something doesn't exist, I can't show you tangible evidence of such, because it doesn't exist. So, you are going to have to supply some evidence of a macroevoultionary process.
Let me remind you of the assertion you made that I'm asking you to support:
quote:
And being that we see all forms appearing abruptly, both in the fossil record and living creatures,
Again, where do you see forms appearing abruptly in living creatures? This is a positive assertion that requires support.
NJ writes:
The plain fact remains that in more conventional depictions of alleged transitional forms, we still find everything fully formed. We find no organisms in any kind of evolutionary limbo.
And this is exactly what evolutionary theory would predict. Only in creationist strawman parodies of the theory do we expect transitionals that aren't "fully formed."
Chiroptera covered the cladistics issue pretty well, so I'll just pick a couple of things here:
NJ writes:
And if you believe in the typical, stepwise fashion of evolution, then where does that place punctuated equilibrium? Doesn't one bring the other into disrepute?
No. Like our friend Mr.Matrix, you don't understand punctuated equilibria. PE also uses stepwise changes - it is NOT calling for huge leaps between single generations, the so-called "hopeful monsters" of saltationism. What PE says (in a simplified nutshell) is that when the environment that a population finds itself in remains relatively constant, that population will tend to find itself at a relative evolutionary equilibrium, with any changes being small and slow. When there is a major change in the environment (changing the factors that are naturally "selecting" in the environment), evolutionary changes are more likely to occur (and so is extinction). Therefore, you have long periods of relatively little change (equilibria), "punctuated" with periods of relatively rapid change, corresponding with a change in environment.
This is in contrast to "phyletic gradualism," which assumed that evolution happened at a constant pace in all populations. This is an assumption that has been discredited and abandoned for decades, and indeed some things that Darwin wrote argued against such an assumption.
NJ writes:
Does cladistic reconstruction tell us anything beyond, "Well, they sure do look alot alike."?
It does when they form nested heirarchies, and the relatedness is supported by other evidence, including chronologically with evidence from the fossil record, and by molecular analysis of extant organisms.
NJ writes:
Uh, I think the title of the original paper says it all- "Punctuated Equilibria: An alternative to Phyletic Gradualism. LOL! How ever did we arrive at such a bizarre conclusion?
Apparently because you don't know what Phyletic Gradualism is. That's what those quotes you supplied argue against, and it is what you mistakenly accuse modern biologists of believing. Phyletic gradualism went out the door ages ago. I gave a presentation to my AP Biology class on Punctuated Equilibria when I was in high school. It is mainstream evolutionary biology.
NJ writes:
Since natural selection plus beneficial mutation hasn't produced new any kind of macroevolutionary process, the theory is left with nothing else. I don't believe any such mechanism exists in a strictly naturalistic sense. Therefore, I cannot present evidence of a negative.
"Macroevolution" is just a semantic way of describing the results of accumulation of "microevolutionary" changes. There is no such thing as a "macroevolutionary process." We do have many examples of observed speciation, which is where the line of "macroevolution" has traditionally been drawn (although it is again an arbitrary, semantic line).
NJ writes:
And does this similarity automatically mean that we are related? That is the question that the creationist posed to the OP in the opening argument. What evidence exists that we are the progeny of the banana tree? To me, its as asinine as saying, because we have molecules and adry cement has molecules, we must be related to a wall. Do you know what I mean? If there is nothing linking the two together, why jump to such a fantastic conclusion?
No evidence exists that we are the progeny of the banana tree, and I said no such thing. How quickly you jump to that classic creationist straw man! I said that we share a "distant common heritage." In other words, a common ancestry waaaay back at the single-cell level, where the plant lineage diverged from the others.
Molecules and dry cement do not reproduce. Comparisons to inanimate objects are nonsensical.
NJ writes:
Of course vehicles don't reproduce, I'm simply using that as a basis for comparing how anyone can jump to a bad conclusion even if they make a good observation. Darwin noticed that Finches seperated from the ancestral population developed new features. Awesome observation. Then he concluded that because there were different types of Finches, that every living creature must be related by a common ancestor. Whoa! Bad conclusion.
He did not conclude that, that was his theory. A theory that has stood up to all the evidence and made valid predictions. A very GOOD theory. Unlike the theory that cars can share biological ancestry, which is easily refuted by the evidence.
NJ writes:
The interesting thing about 'Junk DNA' is that maybe we just don't know how they code. Those Junky genes look like normal genes but do not express any RNA or protein. They apparently include crippled copies of known functional genes, of long and short interspersed repeats. I just that our understanding of what they do might be too tentative currently. Failure to observe junk DNA coding for a product under experimental conditions might not preclude that they never do so inside an organism. We also shouldn't rule out protein expression based solely on sequence information, as DNA messages can be altered by editing RNA, as it skips parts of the sequence. The current inability to code for a protein useful to an organism hardly exhausts other possible functions that this 'junk' may have.
As I said, I'm not a geneticist (I'm a lowly ecologist), so I'm not the best person to address your concerns. I'll see if WK or anyone else wants to pick up your objections before I try to do it via Google searches. Honestly, I normally can't get in a post edgewise because the others jump all over it... apparently I'm one of the few who actually does this when I'm NOT at work .
NJ writes:
I hardly see how. If life isn't unintentional, then its intentional. There shouldn't be any ambiguity in that.
You said, "However, given the enormity of demonstrable balance within nature, we can greatly assume that there is some creative force or cognizance behind the intricacy." In otherwords, "Gee golly, it's all just too AMAZING to have resulted from natural processes!" This is an argument from incredulity.
NJ writes:
Okay, but if its in least bit intentional then a Creator (whatever we shall that cognizance) exists. Atheistic evolution needs no intent to survive.
Evolution (and science in general) makes no presumptions about the existence of a god. Ever heard of "theistic evolution?" How about "deism?" Many evolutionary biologists are religious, and many religious people accept the evolutionary explanation (possibly "most" in both cases).
NJ writes:
No, but abiogenesis is an important piece of the puzzle for evolution. For instance, biological evolution needs cosmological evolution just to get started. And for everything to come from nothing, some type of abiogenesis had to exist at some point. Philosophically, I think we could all agree that something had to be eternal at some point.
Abiogenesis is an important field of study, but it has no bearing on the validity of evolutionary theory. Even if the first life on Earth were directly created by a God, intelligently designed by an alien, or fell from the sky in a meteor, it would not affect the validity of evolutionary theory, which involves what happened AFTER the appearance of the first life.
Edited by Belfry, : typos
Edited by Belfry, : more typos......

This message is a reply to:
 Message 22 by Hyroglyphx, posted 05-28-2006 12:45 PM Hyroglyphx has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 42 by Quetzal, posted 05-29-2006 9:41 AM Belfry has replied

  
Hyroglyphx
Inactive Member


Message 25 of 223 (315797)
05-28-2006 2:51 PM
Reply to: Message 20 by Percy
05-28-2006 9:31 AM


Re: Speculations
The fossil record might possibly present a problem if this were true, but it isn't. For example, there are many places in the world with geological layers of coastal regions showing finely gradated changes in mollusks for millenia after millenia, just the kind of gradual transitions you're referring to.
For starters, I also find ironic that many evolutionists routinely present the lowest forms of life on the evolutionary chain, to indicate that some sort of macroevolutionary process has occured, as opposed to an obvious and new niche in the chain in larger organisms. We all know that adaptations can and do occur peripherally. In other words, a Tabby and a Persian is a perfect example of how isolation and natural selection can cause new features. No one is contending with that. And I object to the countless erroneous examples where evolutionists use a microadaptation to support macroevolution. A creature such as Archaeopteryx would have been a perfect example of what we would expect to see, had any macroevolutionary process occured. Unfortuantely, even he makes no sense because he, himself, is missing so many required, finely-tuned gradations.
But again, if you find yourself in agreement with phyletic graduation, then you find yourself in disagreement with punctuated equilibrium, and vice versa.
"What then is the expected geological expression of speciation in a peripherally isolated population? The answer is, and must be, punctuated equilibrium. The speciation event occurs in a geological instant and in a region of limited extent at some distance from the parental population. In other words, punctuated equilibrium”and not gradualism”is the expected geological translation for the standard account of speciation in evolutionary theory. Species arise in a geological moment”the punctuation (slow by our standards, abrupt by the planet's). They then persist as large and stable populations on substantial geological watches, usually changing little (if at all) and in an aimless fashion about an unaltered average”the equilibrium." -Stephen J. Gould
Land fossils are much more rare than marine (as are land geological layers), so layers recording gradual transitions on land are equally rare and the changes between stages are more pronounced, and this can be a source of misunderstanding.
I can appreciate the fact that, in the grand scheme of things, very few fossil remains exist. Its obvious that most organisms are not encased inside mud, as a preserving mechanism, rather most organisms die on the surface and are eaten by scavengers - even their bones decay. I make note of this. However, there still are millions of remains, which doesn't compare to the trillions upon trillions that assuredly must have existed, but nonetheless, millions is nothing to scoff at. And yet, we see no signs of stepwise gradation in the fossil record. As if that wasn't condemning enough, why do we not see any organism in some transitional limbo right now??? Why do we see everything as we've always known them to be? In a more simplistic way, the fact that we are even contending this should be ridiculous, because if ToE were true, it would be so ridiculously obvious, that this very argument would be trivial.
For example, the fossil record of horse evolution includes many occurrences of a change in the number of ribs, and creationists are often led to believe that we should find horse fossils with partially formed ribs. But that's not the way the number of ribs changes. A new rib doesn't evolve from scratch but appears suddenly with a small genetic change that says how many times to invoke the rib gene.
Its been my experience that the the horse series is an interpretation of the data, not a solid theory on much of anything. The general interpretation of data is that their age is assigned to them, depending on their relative depth of burial. Bones found in the deepest sediment layers have the greatest ages assigned to them. For example, I live out in Oregon and what was discovered here was the three-toed Neohipparion and one-toed Pliohippus. They were found in the same layer. This indicates that they were living at the same time, and thus provides no evidence that one evolved from the other. Could they have lived during the same era? Sure why not. Except that it goes against that one supposedly lived in the Pliocene era and the other in the Miocene. If they are found intermingled in the same layer, then it either brings into disrepute the geologic column or the relatedness of these two creatures.
paleontologist George Gaylord Simpson reexamined horse evolution and concluded that generations of students had been misled [by Othniel Marsh’s 1874 horse evolution paper]. In his book 'Horses,' he showed that there was no simple, gradual unilateral development at all. Marsh arranged his fossils to “lead up” to the one surviving species, blithely ignoring many inconsistencies and any contradictory evidence. Ironically, his famous reconstruction of horse evolution was copied by anthropologists.-Ernst Mayr
but in order to be successful in this endeavor you need to make certain you have a correct understanding of the evidence. Arguments based upon false or inaccurate characterizations of the evidence that are easily revealed, such as you do here with the fossil record, won't be successful.
I agree fully. That goes both ways.
This drifts significantly off the topic, but just to briefly comment, evolution is accepted by people of all nations, races and religions.
If majority opinion is the qualifying principle, then we should also assume that the Heliocentristic cosmological model was correct on the premise that the masses believed it so.
Species can both gain and lose alleles. They can even gain and lose genes, even entire chromosomes. Your information is incorrect, and it is causing you to reach false conclusions.
A gained function might not truly be gained in the context that we might think. An organism can be heterozygous at a given locus, because it carries different forms of this gene. A specific allele for blue eyes, which is recessive, and another other can code for brown eyes, which is dominant. In other words, variation within any given populations arises more from reshuffling of previously existing genes, not from mutations, which evolution needs to propagate itself. As we expect to see, copying errors occur, degrading the overall and original genetic information. To expect to see higher intelligence and more autonomy due to copying errors would be like expecting us to copy the first page of the dictionary, and as a result of those compiled errors, that the entire dictionary forms in sequential order. In other words, I propose that most variations occur in the loss of alleles.
You're reaching this false conclusion because of your incorrect belief that some leap of logic is involved. Evolution is continuous and represents the accumulation of many small changes over time.
I know what the evolutionary paradigm maintains, but unfortunately, these graduating transitions are not seen, as the eminent Gould has already shared with us. He knows it, so what the hell is everyone else's problem?
Evolutionary theory does not propose "large taxonomical jumps" as an explanation of the fossil record. The jumps in the fossil record are due to the rarity and variabilities of fossilization and are not an indicator of sudden significant evolutionary changes.
No, you're right. The original model suggests that small, nominal, and perephiral changes occur slowly over time. Unfortunately, PE claims, (because no such transitions exist), asserts that most species experience long periods of stasis, and then inexplicably make a taxonomical jump. I'm not suggesting this 'jump' is like a fox to a bear. I'm not suggesting anything that wild. I'm just showing what PE states and what gradualism states, and the two are not synonymous.
No, it means fruit evolved from us and are the higher evolved form.
You say that with such assuredness without any corroborating evidence.
"Balance" isn't the term I would prefer here in this context, but I think I understand your meaning. Nature contains many interdependencies amongst organisms, symbiosis being a common example. But when you use your observation of "balance" to conclude design you are ignoring the "imbalances" that have caused most of the species that have ever existed to be extinct.
The fact that the some irreparable cataclysm hasn't occured in the alleged 4.5 billion years of earths existence, without any maintenance whatsoever, gives 'chaos' a mind. The ecology of earth with the laws of phsyics and probablity teeters on the edge of a knife, and yet continues to sustain us with an unrivaled, symbiotic relevance. In other words, everything works together so finely, and yet disaster is always right at the door. This balance is so overwhelming that I scarcely could concieve of nothing creating that and nothing maintaining that.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 20 by Percy, posted 05-28-2006 9:31 AM Percy has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 26 by cavediver, posted 05-28-2006 3:04 PM Hyroglyphx has not replied
 Message 27 by Belfry, posted 05-28-2006 4:09 PM Hyroglyphx has replied
 Message 28 by Percy, posted 05-28-2006 5:06 PM Hyroglyphx has replied

  
cavediver
Member (Idle past 3720 days)
Posts: 4129
From: UK
Joined: 06-16-2005


Message 26 of 223 (315798)
05-28-2006 3:04 PM
Reply to: Message 25 by Hyroglyphx
05-28-2006 2:51 PM


Errr...
Sorry to interupt guys, but I just had to say something...
why do we not see any organism in some transitional limbo right now???
Oh dear, sorry...
What would such a state of transitional limbo look like? Perhaps the pineal gland starting to protude on its stalk?
carry on...

This message is a reply to:
 Message 25 by Hyroglyphx, posted 05-28-2006 2:51 PM Hyroglyphx has not replied

  
Belfry
Member (Idle past 5163 days)
Posts: 177
From: Ocala, FL
Joined: 11-05-2005


Message 27 of 223 (315804)
05-28-2006 4:09 PM
Reply to: Message 25 by Hyroglyphx
05-28-2006 2:51 PM


Re: Speculations
NJ writes:
But again, if you find yourself in agreement with phyletic graduation, then you find yourself in disagreement with punctuated equilibrium, and vice versa.
Ahem, it's "phyletic gradualism."
At this point I'm wondering if we need an admin to step in. I have REPEATEDLY pointed out that no modern evolutionary biologist works from the assumption of phyletic gradualism anymore, and therefore the repeated arguments by NJ and Mr.Matrix against phyletic gradualism are strawmen, and moot. ETA: They might as well be arguing against Lamarckian inheritance.
Edited by Belfry, : marked addition

This message is a reply to:
 Message 25 by Hyroglyphx, posted 05-28-2006 2:51 PM Hyroglyphx has replied

Replies to this message:
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 Message 47 by Hyroglyphx, posted 05-29-2006 11:18 AM Belfry has replied
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Percy
Member
Posts: 22606
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 5.0


Message 28 of 223 (315812)
05-28-2006 5:06 PM
Reply to: Message 25 by Hyroglyphx
05-28-2006 2:51 PM


Re: Speculations
It looks like one of the reasons for your incorrect conclusions is that you misunderstand Gould's theory of punctuated equilibria. You wrote this near the end of your message:
nemesis_juggernaut writes:
Unfortunately, PE claims, (because no such transitions exist), asserts that most species experience long periods of stasis, and then inexplicably make a taxonomical jump.
No, punctuated equilibria does not claim that evolution makes "taxonomical" jumps. Gould attempts to make this clear in the very quote you provided:
Gould quoted by nemesis_juggernaut writes:
Species arise in a geological moment”the punctuation (slow by our standards, abrupt by the planet's).
You've misinterpreted Gould to be saying that speciation arises in a single "taxonomical jump." He isn't. His (and Eldredge's) theory of punctuated equilibria says that the pace of evolution is faster in small populations under significant selection pressures. The theory does not say that evolutionary steps are skipped, only that they occur rapidly enough to decrease the likelihood of being recorded in the fossil record.
An aside: While Gould's theory of punctuated equilibria seems to receive a lot of attention in creation/evolution discussions, it hasn't had much influence within scientific evolutionary circles. It's even surprising that Gould received much credit at all for the idea because his ideas were widely anticipated by someone mentioned in your Mayr quote, Gaylord Simpson. He wrote Tempo and Mode in Evolution way back in 1944.
nemesis_juggernaut writes:
As if that wasn't condemning enough, why do we not see any organism in some transitional limbo right now??? Why do we see everything as we've always known them to be? In a more simplistic way, the fact that we are even contending this should be ridiculous, because if ToE were true, it would be so ridiculously obvious, that this very argument would be trivial.
I explained this earlier while replying to your "fully formed" comments, but I guess it's worth explaining again. I'll take a different tack this time.
It's as if you took a snapshot of trains in the United States and classified them by geographical location. You'd have the New Haven train, the Omaha train, the Dallas train, and so forth. But trains aren't stationary, they keep moving. Take the snapshot a day later and you'd find that the New Haven train had become the Washington DC train, the Omaha train had become the Topeka train, and the Dallas train had become the Orlando train.
In other words, species are just an instant in time of a process of continuous evolutionary change. Another way of looking at it is that species is an illusion. There's actually no such thing as species. Species are just convenient labels that we put on a snapshot in time of what is actually continuous evolution. All reproduction is imperfect and evolutionary change is inevitable. Selection pressures govern the pace and degree of evolutionary change.
Its been my experience that the the horse series is an interpretation of the data, not a solid theory on much of anything.
I never said anything about a horse series.
For example, I live out in Oregon and what was discovered here was the three-toed Neohipparion and one-toed Pliohippus. They were found in the same layer. This indicates that they were living at the same time, and thus provides no evidence that one evolved from the other. Could they have lived during the same era? Sure why not. Except that it goes against that one supposedly lived in the Pliocene era and the other in the Miocene. If they are found intermingled in the same layer, then it either brings into disrepute the geologic column or the relatedness of these two creatures.
This represents another common creationist misunderstanding. When one species diverges into two or more species, there is no law that requires the parent species to go extinct. Parent and child species can be contemporaries. It is likely that this misunderstanding is why you think there is a problem with evolutionary views on Neohipparion and Pliohippus.
You provided this quote as if I had implied something about horse evolution being straight line:
paleontologist George Gaylord Simpson reexamined horse evolution and concluded that generations of students had been misled [by Othniel Marsh’s 1874 horse evolution paper]. In his book 'Horses,' he showed that there was no simple, gradual unilateral development at all. Marsh arranged his fossils to “lead up” to the one surviving species, blithely ignoring many inconsistencies and any contradictory evidence. Ironically, his famous reconstruction of horse evolution was copied by anthropologists.-Ernst Mayr
But I never implied anything along the lines of Marsh's early ideas of horse evolution. I used the changing number of horse ribs as an example while explaining why the creationist term "fully formed" is a misunderstanding of how evolutionary change takes place. New ribs do not evolve from scratch - a new rib arises (or goes away) when the allele that says how many times to invoke the rib gene changes.
but in order to be successful in this endeavor you need to make certain you have a correct understanding of the evidence. Arguments based upon false or inaccurate characterizations of the evidence that are easily revealed, such as you do here with the fossil record, won't be successful.
I agree fully. That goes both ways.
Good. So far it's going just one way.
This drifts significantly off the topic, but just to briefly comment, evolution is accepted by people of all nations, races and religions.
If majority opinion is the qualifying principle, then we should also assume that the Heliocentristic cosmological model was correct on the premise that the masses believed it so.
You've misunderstood the point, and you seem to have ignored what I was replying to from you. You had said this is Message 18:
nemesis_juggernaut writes:
How we could arrive at the conclusion that because species within a certain genus have changed must somehow mean that every creature must ultimately be related by a common ancestor is so far from empirical, that I have to question what motivation lies beneath the surface. It must betray some philosophical reason in the adherent.
My reply had nothing to do with majority opinion. You accused evolutionists of having some philosophical reason for adhering to evolution, and I pointed out that evolutionists come from all nations, races and religions and so are unlikely to have some common philosophical bond. The opponents of evolution, on the other hand, have a fairly uniform philosophical and religious background. In other words, evolutionists aren't particularly vulnerable to your charge, but creationists are.
I know what the evolutionary paradigm maintains,...
The basic errors you've made so far, particularly about PE and transitionals, say this isn't so.
...but unfortunately, these graduating transitions are not seen, as the eminent Gould has already shared with us. He knows it, so what the hell is everyone else's problem?
As Gould himself explained many times after Creationists began claiming he had said such things as you claim here, it wasn't the absence of transitionals in the fossil record that was the inspiration for PE, but the fact that they appear less often than expected. Transitionals are not absent from the fossil record.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 25 by Hyroglyphx, posted 05-28-2006 2:51 PM Hyroglyphx has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 55 by Hyroglyphx, posted 05-29-2006 1:28 PM Percy has replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 22606
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 5.0


Message 29 of 223 (315814)
05-28-2006 5:16 PM
Reply to: Message 27 by Belfry
05-28-2006 4:09 PM


Re: Speculations
Belfry writes:
At this point I'm wondering if we need an admin to step in. I have REPEATEDLY pointed out that no modern evolutionary biologist works from the assumption of phyletic gradualism anymore...
While I'm not yet convinced any moderator intervention is required, I will note that I share your impression that the important points are either ignored or not understood, requiring that explanations be repeated. I feel like I'm still making the same points that I did in my first post to this thread.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 27 by Belfry, posted 05-28-2006 4:09 PM Belfry has not replied

  
mr_matrix
Inactive Member


Message 30 of 223 (315817)
05-28-2006 5:29 PM
Reply to: Message 15 by Belfry
05-27-2006 8:44 PM


Re: Speculations
Derek V Agar is one out of many others who admitted the fact of Camberian explosion. Take Richard Dawkins for instance, an evolutionist extremist. He quoted that life forms in the Camberian era seem to be planted on Earth as if they have no evolutionary past.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 15 by Belfry, posted 05-27-2006 8:44 PM Belfry has not replied

Replies to this message:
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