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Author Topic:   Which view makes sense of the fossil record ?
PaulK
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Posts: 17368
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 1 of 48 (734669)
07-30-2014 6:11 PM


Faith claims - for reasons yet unstated - that the explanations offered by mainstream science for the fossil record are "weird" and "ridiculous".
The purpose of this thread is to investigate the question of which is "weirder" and more "ridiculous" - Faith's explanations or those offered by science.
As an opening point I want to consider the order of the fossil record.
Faith has to sweep this under the carpet because it is so damning. Yet it is a pervasive feature of the fossil record as a whole and any explanation which ignores it or cannot reasonably account for it must be considered seriously deficient. It is not just crabs and trilobites, it is sauropods and hippopotami, dolphins and icthyosaurs, confucisornis and ravens and doves. And so many more.
Even without considering evolution (which further helps explain the order) the view that the order in the fossil record is explained by change over time in the species inhabiting the Earth (i.e. different species at different times). There is nothing obviously unreasonable about this and further evidence only supports it.
What alternative can Young Earth Creationism offer that is anything like as sensible ?

Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by herebedragons, posted 08-01-2014 10:16 AM PaulK has not replied
 Message 4 by mike the wiz, posted 08-01-2014 10:41 AM PaulK has replied

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 17368
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 10 of 48 (734694)
08-01-2014 11:13 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by mike the wiz
08-01-2014 10:41 AM


quote:
It can be shown and proved by deduction alone that an "order" especially a generally established order, because it is fixed means that logically it is not possible to alter the arrangement, NO MATTER WHAT THE ARRANGEMENT MEANS.

I'm really not sure what that is intended to mean. It seems to say that it is logically impossible to shuffle a deck of cards. But I very much doubt that that is what is intended.
quote:
So if you create a meaning that is posteriori, I can't refute your model. Example, let's say that I say that the fossil-order represents creatures that existed, and none that are not found, existed. (Argument from silence).
This is more confused rambling.
quote:
Yet the coelecanth and whales exist today, but are not fossilized together. Indeed, sometimes organisms will be found in eras they were thought not to exist in, (failed predictions/failed models).
Which would be relevant if we were dealing with theoretical predictions rather than provisional conclusions based on the available evidence - which are quite properly revised as more evidence comes in.
quote:
Because the, "order" is already established, I can't refute ANY theory that incorporates the order, logically. (read the blog entry for more details)
This seems absurd. It is of course possible to refute theories that incorporate facts. Even if the theory successfully accounts for those facts it does not follow that it can even account for all the known facts within it's scope, let alone those that will be known in the future, nor does it mean that there is no theory that better accounts for the known facts.
quote:
Creation and evolution views: The Fossil Order
So the order itself, can't be conflated with a particular explanation of that order, as though the order represents the explanation.
Of course it is quite clear that this is just a silly strawman.
If the theory is the best explanation available for the facts, then those facts are evidence for the theory. Simple, easy. and no conflation involved.
quote:
The fossil "order" represents the fossil order. Association with the order, like "guilt by association" is NOT "success by association" EITHER
That would depend on the nature of the association.
quote:
The scientists at places like creation.com, have given extensive answers. But it's hard to get evolutionists to read those answers given they don't value anything we say, and have already concluded we are wrong about everything we say.
Mikey, nobody is stopping you or Faith from using them as resources. But going out and arguing with random websites is hardly a good use of this forum. It's about discussion - and claims made on this forum are much more likely to lead to discussion than claims made on the web page of somebody who probably never comes here.
quote:
what tends to happen is people at forums like these will take the representative creationist argument by the one creationist member, as the "best" argument from creationists. That way, politically, the evolutionists guarantee themselves a victory by omission. They might do this innocently, unwittingly, or on purpose, but it is so.
And Mikey offers yet another strawman.
quote:
Faith is just one member, not the official, relevant PHD expounder of Flood-models. If you want to know more (readers), go to creation.com they have over 8,000 articles, in depth, many of them covering these issues completely.
Faith is responsible for supporting her own claims. Nothing you say changes that. You are quite free to make your own arguments using the articles you claim to have knowledge of as support - and so is Faith. And nothing you say changes that. So really your objections are both dishonest and improper.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by mike the wiz, posted 08-01-2014 10:41 AM mike the wiz has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by mike the wiz, posted 08-01-2014 11:41 AM PaulK has replied

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 17368
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.6


(2)
Message 12 of 48 (734696)
08-01-2014 11:16 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by mike the wiz
08-01-2014 10:44 AM


quote:
That's a way out-of-date view that amazes me.
But it is Faith's view.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by mike the wiz, posted 08-01-2014 10:44 AM mike the wiz has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by mike the wiz, posted 08-01-2014 11:47 AM PaulK has not replied

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 17368
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.6


(1)
Message 19 of 48 (734709)
08-01-2014 12:46 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by mike the wiz
08-01-2014 11:41 AM


quote:
That wasn't my argument, so this is a genuine strawman
The order in the fossil record is a fact, and no different from any other in that respect.
quote:
. Seems you've read too quickly. My point was that once you attach your theory to something that can't be refuted, it is easy to then conflate the theory with the facts themselves.
It is quite common for evolutionists to use the fossil record as evidence for evolutionary-order, by matching it to the fossil "order". But the fossil order has nothing to do with evolution.
It is quite common for evolutionists to correctly point out that the order in the fossil record is evidence for evolution. And that is true - the fossil record is strongly consistent with evolution, which would be quite surprising if any version of Genesis-based creationism (Young or Old Earth) were true.
And that's no different from pointing out any other evidence that supports a theory.
quote:
For example, Darwin was not going to argue that humans are the ultimate ancestor of all lifeforms, or vertebrate fish. That would contradict the fossil-order. The evolution theory has to match up with the fossil order.
But is is not true that the fossil record has to match up with evolution to anything like the degree it does. The many transitional fossils, for instance, do not even have to exist - are not expected to exist, if creationism is true. Nor is it true that the fossil record could not match up with the order given in Genesis 1, which would support Old Earth Creationism, or for what order there was to be more plausibly explained by the Flood as Faith would claim. Even the Precambrian rabbit - if there were no other vertebrates in that period - would be hard to accommodate into any theory of how evolution happens.
So it is not sufficient to say that evolutionary theory would simply match any order that exists. Different orders could favour evolution much less and other views much more than the order that we have.
quote:
This is an assertion, a bald one.
It was an obvious fact that seemed to have slipped your notice.
quote:
Evolution isn't the best explanation of the facts, and evidence doesn't belong to any theory, if a number of theories will fit the evidence. It's circular. Even if evidence is for the theory as you state, this is of no relevance because of affirmation of the consequent.
And yet, despite your claims, science still works. Despite the fact that there are any number of theories that will fit whatever evidence we have. (The Duhem-Quine thesis).
quote:
Even if it was the best explanation, this doesn't mean it is the correct one.
Which is why I am speaking of evidence and not proof.
quote:
You only STATED that it is "quite clear", you didn't prove it, you just asserted it baldly.
In fact I proceeded to do so by explaining the actual situation.
quote:
You really seem to think just stating things ad nauseam proves a great deal don't you? I think it proves you have no answers to the information I presented.
And Mikey offers yet another dishonest straw-man.
If your claim that Faith was seen as a real expert on YEC, such that defeating her is a defeat for all YEC was true then you could have produced evidence for it. That I point out that it is obviously untrue in no way means that the responses I gave to your arguments do not exist.
quote:
Well, since moral-relativity collapses under it's own premises and your worldview shows that morality only exists between your ears, then "dishonesty" and "improper" things can be regarded as giving me some sort of evolutionary advantage, and since having an evolutionary advantage is MY set of moral values, it is illogical for you to believe that these two sins you mention should have value to me, since my values do not incorporate honesty and improperness, as a naked-ape, just trying to survive and pass on my genes. Why should I deem dishonesty and improperness, YOUR morals, as MY morals? If morals are relative, then YOU should incorporate MY morals.
Well Mikey, my honesty may be irrational by your standards, but it is the way I am and it is not going to change. However, your view is wrong even by your standards. Whether honesty is the best policy or not, being obviously dishonest is usually worse.
quote:
On a serious mikey-note, since I am not answerable to you morally, I will not defend myself regarding the "dishonesty" and "improper" statements. You have to prove it is dishonest to request we are not all judged by Faith's standard of posts.
And Mikey invokes yet another strawman. I only have to support my actual accusation, and that is it is dishonest for you to claim that Faith's arguments are taken as the best there are for Creationism.
quote:
But if a defend myself, that will mean I am answering to you, morally, I will dignify your statements by giving a defense, and since I don't see you as righteous, I feel no need to defend myself to a mere sinful man.
Well, then I shall just have to satisfy myself with the knowledge that I am more righteous than you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by mike the wiz, posted 08-01-2014 11:41 AM mike the wiz has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 21 by mike the wiz, posted 08-01-2014 1:28 PM PaulK has replied

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 17368
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.6


(1)
Message 23 of 48 (734721)
08-01-2014 2:05 PM
Reply to: Message 21 by mike the wiz
08-01-2014 1:28 PM


quote:
Which was the point of my blog-entry.
So the point of your blog entry was to claim that evidence can't support a theory.
quote:
It isn't because the fossil-order was known BEFORE evolution
I've already refuted that claim. And as others have pointed out many of the most significant discoveries came after Darwin.
quote:
This only works because Darwin knew the fossil order already. If he had predicted the fossil order, then the order would be strong evidence
But that doesn't explain why the fossil record supports evolution to the extent it does. If Precambrian rabbits were known before Darwin he could not have fixed up his theory to accommodate them, because they don't fit. So you aren't even addressing the points I made.
And, modern creationists, writing decades after Darwin also know the order of the fossil record. If that is all it takes then why haven't they been as successful as Darwin was ?
And I should point out that Darwin did predict that transitional fossils would be found and they were, so even there your argument fails.
quote:
"The many transitional fossils" is a bald statement, you know that we do not regard a handful of fortunate candidates to be relevant compared to the MASSES of intermediates that are MISSING, conspicuously. So you assume I am to agree with you that transitionals exist
Mikey, to be quite honest, your blog isn't worth reading. And there are far more transitional fossils than you know.
quote:
Don't be deliberately obtuse. The example I gave was of the silliness of relative-morality, and how it has no basis. You have just stated that "being dishonest is usually worse" but if I have an evolutionary advantage in being dishonest, then what do you mean by, "worse"?
Mikey, you really ought to learn to follow your own advice. Being obviously dishonest is an evolutionary disadvantage. To name just one reason if people know that you're dishonest it is much harder for you to con them. If you had any idea of the actual work in the field (even decades old common knowledge of game theory, such as The Prisoner's Dilemma) you'd know that.
quote:
My "view"? What view, I was using Reductio Ad Absurdum. The whole point is that it is not my view. That is the point of pretending I am a moral relativist. Didn't you even notice that? The point is I do believe in honesty, because I have a Christian basis for morality whereby dishonesty actually exists not just in my head, but can apply to everyone, because God does care and has said to not bare false witness. Meanwhile you have merely stated I am dishonest, but I don't know why yet. Seems you just made a wrong call.
Mikey I pointed out quite a number of your dishonest claims. And really you can't get out of it by pretending to be a Christian. Because as you point out - if you really were a Christian you wouldn't be so dishonest.
quote:
But they clearly are, here on this forum. That is not dishonest, because one evolutionist told me I believed what Faith did about the flood "creationists", and your opening message was about Faith, but then you stated things about Creationism in the same message. But even so Paul, my first comment about that issue was only conversational.
But this is not true.
Faith certainly should be expected to have a better knowledge of YEC belief than of the arguments made for those beliefs. And this is pretty muchh the same for everyone on both sides. So a mistake about creationist beliefs is insufficient to make your case.
My opening message was about Faith because I wanted her to defend a claim that she made. Which does not entail that she has the best arguments at all. Nor did I rule out other people coming in or using creationist resources. So that isn't even weak support for your claim.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 21 by mike the wiz, posted 08-01-2014 1:28 PM mike the wiz has not replied

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 17368
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 33 of 48 (734779)
08-02-2014 4:20 AM
Reply to: Message 22 by mike the wiz
08-01-2014 1:49 PM


quote:
Your analogy isn't accurate, because it only would represent the fossil record and I am not saying there isn't a fossil record, I am saying there isn't an evolutionary-order, except the one assigned to match it by Darwin et al.
That's a very silly thing to say. Do you actually understand the concept of explanation Mikey? Do you understand what it means to say that evolutionary theory explains the order ? Because if you do, you know that what you said isn't true.
quote:
1. There is a fossil record.
2. There is an evolution-history that matches it.
I would ask: "why does it match it?"
The answer you would have to give is; "Because Darwin wrote that it did."
The answer that an honest person would have to give is "most likely because evolution is true". The relationship between evolutionary theory and the fossil record as we now know it has nothing to do with what Darwin wrote.
quote:
Think about it, would he, knowing the evidence, predict that the forms at the bottom were the most recent, modern forms? So whatever the fossils showed, would guarantee an evolution-pattern. THINK! if the fossils were reversed, he would have said that humans were the common ancestor of many forms, because they would be at the bottom. Thus whatever the fossil record shows, was always going to fit with evolution, no matter what the record means in actual fact.
If the fossils were reversed exactly then there would be a pattern that needed explaining but it's not one that fits comfortably with evolutionary theory. So no, Darwin couldn't just say that he'd have to come up with a theory that was quite different.
But what if the order actually fitted well with creationist flood geology? Wouldn't that be even worse for evolution than your reversed order ?
quote:
Thus, the plasticity of evolution is preserved, and you hear it in their statements all the time such as, "it seems mammals were already quite well developed and modern given this hair preserved in amber" So they. "push back" evolution and IGNORE the incorrect evolutionary prediction.
That's more an adjustment to the history of life than to evolutionary theory. Pushing mammals back a bit has no implications for the theory at all.
quote:
I find three balls on a table, one is blue and on the left, two are red and on the right. I then have a theory that they have been placed there because there seems to be an order. I state in my theory that the red ones on the right were put there on purpose and then I demand; "now refute me by showing there is no order!"
Of course this is another Mikey strawman. First it uses only three balls so pure chance is a viable explanation. Second, and more important there is no demand to refute the order, showing a better explanation for the order would be an adequate and better reply. And THAT is the point of this thread. I didn't ask for the order to be refuted, I asked which side has the better explanation.
Now in your "example" you could easily win by the criterion of parsimony by pointing out that, with only three balls, the pattern is to weak to require any explanation other than chance. But you can't do that with the fossil record. Chance isn't a viable explanation.
quote:
The fossil record is interpreted as a grave-yard of evolution instead of a graveyard of a mass-burial, watery catastrophism,
Because the order we see is one more likely to be produced by the processes of evolution than it is by the processes of a "mass burial watery catastrophism". That is why the order is evidence for evolution. That is why evolution offers the better explanation of the fossil record. And that is the fact you are so desperately trying to deny.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 22 by mike the wiz, posted 08-01-2014 1:49 PM mike the wiz has not replied

  
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