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Author Topic:   Creationist inconsistency when inferring relatedness
AndrewPD
Member (Idle past 2531 days)
Posts: 133
From: Bristol
Joined: 07-23-2009


Message 24 of 78 (715398)
01-05-2014 1:29 AM


Are we referring to homology here?
I don't see how you can make a strictly lawful inference this way.
If you Google look alike's you'll see surprising images of strangers who happen to look strikingly like celebrities. Isn't it true that we don't conclude from this they are related directly? Unless you have a twin you tend to resemble family members to some degree but don't tend to look identical. The resemblances can be quite subtle
It seems clear that there are cases of resemblance that do not occur due to relatedness.
If you have a theory then you can make evidence support that theory by careful selection but without scrutinising the assertions you are making in that process.
It seems that assumptions of relatedness based on appearance are usually simplistic and pre-theoretical. You wouldn't want to convict someone of a crime solely because they looked like the suspect.
With a huge numbers of species and fossils all with some different aspects in common then there seems to be a degree of arbitrariness in how you chose which features to make a pathway between.
Also if we found a fossilised bonobo chimp we might assume it is our ancestor but bonobo chimps coexist with us.
I can see how homology might be some kind of evidence but at the same time I don't see how you can draw strong conclusions from it based on what I have said.

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AndrewPD
Member (Idle past 2531 days)
Posts: 133
From: Bristol
Joined: 07-23-2009


Message 27 of 78 (715418)
01-05-2014 12:48 PM
Reply to: Message 26 by RAZD
01-05-2014 10:11 AM


And your conspiracy theory does not explain why the use of morphology to develop a tree of life pre genetic science is virtually identical to the one that comes from genetics: if the system was prone to errors why is there such consilience in results?
It is not about a conspiracy theory it is about valid interpretation of evidence. Its about whether the logical leap is valid.
On the subject of DNA I don't know how many fossils contain DNA so that the fossil homology claims are backed up by DNA also there are similar DNA patterns in many species and so many species that you could easily create a tree based on coincidental similarities.
There are fossils like the Ida fossil declared with pomp as a an ancestor then the claim challenged or refuted.
Homoplasy shows that similar features that would have otherwise indicated ancestry can coexist.

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AndrewPD
Member (Idle past 2531 days)
Posts: 133
From: Bristol
Joined: 07-23-2009


Message 29 of 78 (715432)
01-05-2014 1:59 PM
Reply to: Message 28 by RAZD
01-05-2014 1:31 PM


But your thesis depends on all scientists making the same mistakes in the same lineages ... it's either due to conspiracy or it is due to proper derivation of relationships from the evidence.
Do you agree with this claim on wikipedia?
"Ultimately, there is no way to measure whether a particular phylogenetic hypothesis is accurate or not, unless the true relationships among the taxa being examined are already known (which may happen with bacteria or viruses under laboratory conditions). The best result an empirical phylogeneticist can hope to attain is a tree with branches that are well supported by the available evidence. Several potential pitfalls have been identified:"
Phylogenetics - Wikipedia
It then detail issues with homoplasy, horizontal genes transfer and taxon sampling among other issues.
There is a limit to how much I could refute genetic claims but I would not surprised that similar body parts require similar DNA arrangements to cause them. Just like a car and a bus have similar wheels without a reproductive link. I think there is a limit to what kind of valid claims we can make about the past.
Take for example the Jack The Ripper case. It happened relatively recently in history but we are unlikely to be able to prove the perpetrator despite quite a lot of preserved evidence. So I would not make large claims about things with no hope of really proving them conclusively.

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AndrewPD
Member (Idle past 2531 days)
Posts: 133
From: Bristol
Joined: 07-23-2009


Message 30 of 78 (715440)
01-05-2014 2:39 PM


I don't see why we must have an explanation for the origin of species and why it would be possible.
I can accept that there may be truths that are hard or impossible to access I don't think we have permission to concoct a theory on the grounds that somehow a theory is demanded.
I don't have to believe the moon is made of cheese just because I haven't proffered an alternate explanation.

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AndrewPD
Member (Idle past 2531 days)
Posts: 133
From: Bristol
Joined: 07-23-2009


Message 36 of 78 (715539)
01-07-2014 6:07 AM


The Jack The Ripper cases shows how vital evidence can be destroyed or inaccessible leaving us not knowing who the serial killer was which leaves the case a mystery. The surrounding evidence is not sufficient to gloss over this crucial absence.
I think it is important to look closely at the nature of a theory and the effect of having a theory. A theory or hypothesis can effect the way you view the evidence and create confirmation bias or limiting paradigms.
For instance if someone is assaulted in a local park the park becomes a crime scene and things like peoples activities and cigarette butts become part of the evidence. Without the crime everything becomes innocuous.
If you posit evolution you have to mould a theory onto the evidence that you otherwise wouldn't. And cases like eugenics are the worst examples of this. You start to interpret things through a paradigm and impose interpretations on things.
There are varying degrees of falsifiability and plausibility of claims but some claims are giving plausibility by dint of association with the paradigm (see evolutionary psychology)
On the case of the consillience of morphological/homological and molecular trees I have noticed that the initial refutation of this is that similar morphology would be linked to similar biochemistry then this claims is apparently refuted by notions like common pseudogenes.
This article says:
The term ‘pseudogene’ was originally coined to describe a
degenerated RNA- or protein-coding sequence that is
incapable of being transcribed or translated into functional
RNA or protein products. The key in this definition is that
pseudogenes are biologically nonfunctional. However, in practice, it is virtually impossible to experimentally establish nonfunctionality; the lack of any observable phenotypic effect upon the deletion of a putative pseudogene does not necessarily mean that the deletion has no phenotypic effect, because the effect may be too subtle to observe.
http://www.umich.edu/...blications/2010/Podlaha_2010_ELS.pdf
Are these issues presented to the lay person? I would prefer not to have to do a degree in every subject to get a decent sample of the issues involved.

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AndrewPD
Member (Idle past 2531 days)
Posts: 133
From: Bristol
Joined: 07-23-2009


Message 37 of 78 (715541)
01-07-2014 6:13 AM
Reply to: Message 35 by Coyote
01-05-2014 6:04 PM


Re: Permission?
Again, permission? Permission from whom?
Logical or rational permission.

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AndrewPD
Member (Idle past 2531 days)
Posts: 133
From: Bristol
Joined: 07-23-2009


Message 44 of 78 (716469)
01-17-2014 12:20 PM
Reply to: Message 34 by RAZD
01-05-2014 4:02 PM


Re: approximation of reality vs known truths
This is stating scientific tentativity
The link I quoted says
"Ultimately, THERE IS NO WAY to measure whether a particular phylogenetic hypothesis is accurate or not.."
This is not a case of tentatively it is an acknowledgement of a real conceptual limit. I am talking about whether of homology or relation claim can be logically or validly proven.
I think you are clearly overstating the case for the evidence.
Take the case of a finger print. A clear fingerprint is likely to be linked to a person. A smeared fingerprint, whilst being a fingerprint is largely useless. There is not a simple continuum from a clear fingerprint to different degrees of clarity. Some evidence looses all its strength unless it is very clear.
So a close genetic pattern in families benefits from lots of shared features. Wider genetic similarities are seriously diluted of relevance so that we begin to have similar sequences to a Banana.
You wouldn't convict a killer based on the DNA being that of a male or being that of and African male. The DNA has to be actually their DNA to make a claim with that kind or level of ramification.
So I guess we should chuck all of science and go back to chewing on roots and living in caves eh? Can you prove conclusively that you exist?
This is a horribly dishonest straw person. Why does accepting a limitation in one area of study imply that you are wanting to invalidate the whole of science? I have not said anything remotely likely that. This implies you are trying to force evolution on science like an inseparable package for reasons I couldn't fathom.

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AndrewPD
Member (Idle past 2531 days)
Posts: 133
From: Bristol
Joined: 07-23-2009


Message 45 of 78 (716471)
01-17-2014 12:35 PM
Reply to: Message 41 by herebedragons
01-07-2014 11:34 AM


Would we have discovered DNA without the context of origins?
DNA and inheritance via Miescher and Mendel respectively were discovered independently of evolution.
The claims in natural selection have been abused by the Social Darwinist eugenicists. The Nazis, Lysenko and others. A scientific theory can be abused and unjustified far reaching conclusions drawn from it.
For example the Nazis "Alles Leben is Kampf" (All life is struggle) and Das erbe
The short movie Das Erbe (1935), which leads over from the animals' struggle for survival and natural selection to a plea for forced sterilization of the mentally ill, marks exactly the point where Social Darwinist biologism turns into Fascist racial policy providing the reasoning for the necessity of euthanasia.
Das Erbe - Wikipedia
Explanations of evolution are ideologically and conceptually loaded. A trip to the moon is not. And just because science can do something such as create a nuclear weapon doesn't mean it should unless you don't want science to abide by an ethical standards.
People especially in evolutionary psychology feel entitled to make certain dubious claims "Evolution is true therefore" This is helping yourself via unspoken false premises.

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AndrewPD
Member (Idle past 2531 days)
Posts: 133
From: Bristol
Joined: 07-23-2009


Message 52 of 78 (716970)
01-22-2014 8:20 PM
Reply to: Message 51 by Atheos canadensis
01-17-2014 8:39 PM


Re: Let's not forget the consilience
AndrewPD, do you accept morphology as a valid way of assessing relatedness in certain cases, i.e. within "Kinds"?
I accept likeness as being of value pre-theoretically when one is making a limited claim or setting up a very general category like black or white.
I don't see how you can show that a supposed transitional species is genuinely a relation through morphology.
As I mentioned there is a huge variety of lining species and extinct species which have similar characteristics at some level. The creation of a tree of life seems to be an imposition of order on this mass of disparate evidence with a narrative to explain relatedness not the setting up of a lawful causal relation.
I don't see how the method allows for falsifiability.
Prosopagnosia is an interesting case in the complexity of categorisation. People with this condition have difficulty differentiating between faces which implies that there are cognitive mechanisms that enable us to make more specific classifications or percepts of facial detail. This suggests a lack of immediacy in our categorisation processes. Theorising is therefore influenced by cognitive biases.
What I see is people wanting a theory of interrelations to be psychologically compelling as opposed too being causally explanatory.

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AndrewPD
Member (Idle past 2531 days)
Posts: 133
From: Bristol
Joined: 07-23-2009


Message 53 of 78 (716972)
01-22-2014 8:44 PM
Reply to: Message 47 by Modulous
01-17-2014 2:24 PM


"Explanations of evolution are ideologically and conceptually loaded. A trip to the moon is not."
Was this intentional humour?
The race to the moon was an ideologically driven race to stick it to the capitalists/communists.
"Driven"means something different to "loaded". We couldn't get to the moon solely on capitalist or communist ideology. It didn't effect the validity of the science and technology.
The evidence in evolution is interpreted it is an interpretation of evidence among other things it seems to have the bias of attempting to explain biology without reference to a creator.
It requires for homology to be over-interpreted to make strong enough links to imply ancestry.
For instance we didn't see the brain evolve from scratch so how can any theory of its evolution be anything but highly speculative? Then the speculations are biased to rule out anything outside of the scientific canon.
[The conversation seems to be veering a bit into discussions of the moral responsibility of science, which is interesting but not relevant. ]
It is useful to gauge what the value and impact of a claim has and whether people are making safe inferences from them. It is putting things in context
Edited by AndrewPD, : addition

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AndrewPD
Member (Idle past 2531 days)
Posts: 133
From: Bristol
Joined: 07-23-2009


Message 54 of 78 (716974)
01-22-2014 9:05 PM
Reply to: Message 31 by Granny Magda
01-05-2014 3:10 PM


I agree. Some truths are impossible to know in practice. It may be that there are truths that it is impossible to know in principle. Either way, that is precisely the point of the scientific method. It allows us to construct the most reliable theories possible in a world that is is full of uncertainties.
What is the value of making a claim about what happened a million years ago? You would need a time machine to validate it.
Am I supposed to start scratching my bottom, swinging in trees and eating bananas? The implications attached to the ramifications of evolution are largely negative and derogatory to human status.

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AndrewPD
Member (Idle past 2531 days)
Posts: 133
From: Bristol
Joined: 07-23-2009


Message 60 of 78 (717124)
01-24-2014 1:43 PM
Reply to: Message 48 by RAZD
01-17-2014 2:57 PM


Re: Confusion and misinformation.
And the Nobel Peace Prize was established by the inventor of TNT to reward peaceful use of knowledge due to his dismay at the use for war.
That knowledge can be misused for personal gain or bias is nothing new. That doesn't mean that the knowledge is intrinsically bad, just the people making that misuse argument.
The abuse of TNT was not an abuse of a theory it was an abuse of a disposition of TNT.
The abuse of evolution has been the use/abuse of theoretical assumptions such as a hierarchy of species and fitness. It allowed people to assume a humans or ethnicity group was on a different level of a hierarchy and people could be deleterious and that humans could be extinguished to improve the process of selection.
The Belgian Ethnologists used this assumption when handing out ID cards and identifying Rwanda as either Hutu or Tutsi. They gave people with paler skin and more European features higher status. They were using homology here and what previously a serious scientific theory phrenology.
It is the theory that allows for the propagation of these ideologies that directly follow its logic.
This is History. Evolution theory was used to justify atrocities it is not a case of the assumptions in the theory simply being benign truths.

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AndrewPD
Member (Idle past 2531 days)
Posts: 133
From: Bristol
Joined: 07-23-2009


Message 63 of 78 (717135)
01-24-2014 2:45 PM
Reply to: Message 61 by Coyote
01-24-2014 1:59 PM


Re: Confusion and misinformation.
And religion has been used all through recorded history to justify atrocities.
And it isn't even based on reality, just old tribal myths!
I am not religious and I have no desire to defend religious doctrine.
The crusades were not justified by anything in the bible post-Jesus, so a Pope at the time hands to sanction the violence with specially created dispensation.
I think the use of the Bible or any other religious book to justify anything is largely invalid unless you were looking at some kind of proverb or allegorical meaning.
There is no reason to take the Bible too seriously outside of its historical and social impacts. If you tried to follow its doctrine consistently you couldn't.
I believe in being skeptical about everything. The point is the ramifications of types of evolutionary explanations are intrinsically unpleasant. So I would be cautious about accepting them unless it was absolutely necessary. I am surely not going to drop dead because I am skeptical about evolution?

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AndrewPD
Member (Idle past 2531 days)
Posts: 133
From: Bristol
Joined: 07-23-2009


Message 64 of 78 (717137)
01-24-2014 2:56 PM
Reply to: Message 57 by Pressie
01-22-2014 10:58 PM


The mining companies I work for validate the models about the past, built by the Geologists, by digging down to mine those minerals as indicated by the models. They get mightily upset when they spend billions on digging down to get to those minerals as indicated by the the models and find that those minerals are nowhere to be found.
Can you link me to papers or articles explaining these assertions?
What assertion based on the potential age of the hidden rock is at play?
Is it a case that rock B is usually found below rock A? Or is it an assertion that rock a is a million years old so rock B will be found beneath it?
I am not sure what work the age claim is doing?

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AndrewPD
Member (Idle past 2531 days)
Posts: 133
From: Bristol
Joined: 07-23-2009


Message 69 of 78 (717250)
01-25-2014 1:52 PM
Reply to: Message 59 by Granny Magda
01-23-2014 10:03 AM


What I find truly disappointing about this attitude - and indeed that of many creationists - is the total lack of intellectual curiosity. Do you really want us to just throw up our hands and give up? To regard all inferences about the past as taboo? That strikes me as rather tragic.
What am I supposed to be giving up on?
If a scientists tells me one day "This fossil is 2 million years old" then a week later says "We have reassessed this find and it is actually 1 million years old."
I would have been harbouring a false belief if I accepted the first account. I prefer not to harbour false and unproven beliefs thanks.
It seems you want me to be live the latest dogma and sabotage my own judgements. For what purpose? Being unskeptical of evolutionary claims would in now way enhance my life.
Why is important to you that I hold the same beliefs as you about the past? Thought Police?

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