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Author Topic:   Transitional fossils not proof of evolution?
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

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:
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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

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Inactive Member

Message 38 of 223 (315857)
05-29-2006 12:51 AM
Reply to: Message 21 by RAZD
05-28-2006 9:43 AM

Re: Logical fallacies and evidence
You are confusing with absence of evidence with evidence for absence, a logical fallacy.
I don't understand how you could interpret this as a logic fallacy. Its almost as if you're acting like a lack of corroborating evidence is some kind of circular reasoning on my part. Let me ask you, what jury would convict anyone without any evidence? What evidence for absence exists? From everyone's logical standpoint, we see a lack of evidence to support an assertion.
Contradicted by fact. We see gradual change in all living creatures. We see gradual change in many fossil records.
Do you see gradual change because you want to see a gradual change, or is there actual evidence for said gradations? Evolutionary theory has always predicted that innumerable transitional forms would be found, and yet, all that has been presented is a handful of debatable forms. For this reason, Gould and Eldridge had to put their thinking caps on and brainstorm. What they came up with, was punctuated equilibrium - an assertion even in their own eyes.
The following is actually from B16: The History of Life: Source Book --Admin
"As a neonate in 1972, punctuated equilibrium entered the world in unusual guise. We claimed no new discovery, but only a novel interpretation for the oldest and most robust of palaeontological observations: the geologically instantaneous origination and subsequent stability (often for millions of years) of palaeontological 'morphospecies'. This observation had long been ascribed, by Darwin and others, to the notorious imperfection of the fossil record, and was therefore read in a negative light--as missing information about evolution (defined in standard palaeontological textbooks of the time 9 as continuous anagenetic transformation or populations, or phyletic gradualism).
In a strictly logical sense, this negative explanation worked and preserved gradualism, then falsely equated with evolution itself, amidst an astonishing lack of evidence for this putative main signal of Darwinism. But think of the practical or heuristic dilemma for working paleontologists: if evolution meant gradualism, and imperfection precluded the observation of such steady change, then scientists could not access the very phenomenon that both motivated their interest and built life's history. As young, committed and ambitious parents, we therefore proposed punctuated equilibrium, hoping to validate our profession's primary data as signal rather than void. We realized that a standard biological account. Mayr's 10 peripatric theory or speciation in small populations peripherally isolated from a parental stock, would yield stasis and punctuation when properly scaled into the vastness of geological time--for small populations speciating away from a central mass in tens or hundreds of thousands of years, will translate in almost every geological circumstance as a punctuation on a bedding plane, not gradual change up a hill of sediment, whereas stasis should characterize the long and recoverable history of successful central populations... Given these stringent requirements, and in the light of such an imperfect fossil record, we are delighted that so many cases have been well documented, particularly in the crucial requirement of ancestral survival after punctuated branching."
-Stephen J. Gould
"The fossil record is incomplete. This incompleteness has many contributing factors. Geological processes may cause to confusion or error, as sedimentary deposition rates may vary, erosion may erase some strata, compression may turn possible fossils into unrecognizable junk, and various other means by which the local fossil record can be turned into the equivalent of a partially burned book, which is then unbound, pages perhaps shuffled, and from which a few pages are retrieved. Beyond geology, there remains taphonomy -- the study of how organisms come to be preserved as fossils. Here, there are further issues to be addressed. Hard parts of organisms fossilize preferentially. The conditions under which even those parts may become fossilized are fairly specialized. All this results in a heavily skewed distribution of even what parts of organisms become fossilized, and that affects which features of morphology are available for use in classification. The issue of geography enters into all this, as a consequence of the fact that living lineages occupy ecological niches, and those niches are bound to certain features of geography."
Punctuated Equilibria
Here's my question: Why, after so many evolutionists have conceded that the fossil record is pathetically incomplete, do so many people in here still insist on telling me that it isn't so? And if it is this incomplete, and parts are missing, then what evidence is there that these creatures are inter-related to begin with, if no immediate evidence is available? Its an assertion. And for however much sense it may or may not make sense, theoretically, it is strictly another part of theoretical biology, awaiting the seal of approval.
This is false (a) because your premise (above) is false, it is false
Its false because its false? As fascinating as that statement is, it is tantalyzingly incomplete, as is the evidence for macroevolution.
(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
So, because anything could happen, we should just take the theory on the basis of face value without any corroborating evidence? Listen, the evidence is overwhelmingly not in favor of macroevolution. And the evidence of such is within its lack to formulate a cogent argument for itself. So far, I've recieved nothing but conflicting views from the people on EvC. Some appear to be gradualists and others appear to be in favor of punctuated equilibira. With both parties, I've been expected to take their arguments, however weak and repetitious it might be, on the basis of conjecture. What's worse, they don't even realize that their conclusions differ greatly from their buddies conclusion, yet they claim parity.
(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.
What does that mean? I've reached a conclusion not based on my own premises, containing elements not in my premises, and thus shown to be invalid? I'm sorry but could you clarify exactly what that means?
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.
At what point is the prediction going to materialize??? At what point does biological prophecy become an actuality? Things change, therefore evolution is real, unfortunatley is the extent of the argument. And even after multiple case studies of attempting to tweak genes to cause a macroevolutionary process in a pristine lab has come up null and void. If we can't even manipulate nature to present the argument, then how long are we going to have to wait for nature to spit out some legitimate evidence? Cripes, we've been waiting for for like a 137 years to seal the deal, but the evolutionary model is just as impotent and anemic now as it was 137 years ago. Even if you say that evolution takes thousands and millions of years, you would be forgetting that by odds alone, at least 10 species should be experiencing a genuine transition.
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.
Its no mystery that adherents to evolution predominantely come from atheistic circles. Forgive me for generalizing and making the inferrence that the two are married. Take a concensus and see how many evolutionst are athiests and I'm pretty certain that a very low percentage is theistic in any way.
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.
"Things change, therefore evolution is a fact" is not an argument in support of evolution. You disagree that its a gross over-simplification? Providing red chlorophyll in the stead of the typical, green chloroplasts is providing some basis. This is the kind of specifics I would expect in order to presenting a case for evolution.
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?
Changes within the genome do happen, and I suspect, will always happen until the end. But first of all, evolutionary theory tactily asserts that an incline progression exists, while I think its the opposite. In other words, a loss of information is far more prevelant the cause of such gradations, because most mustations are either neutral or injurious. I think you could agree that most point mutations act adversely to most wild phenotypes.
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
And when this intermingling occurs, another branch will occur in that particular specie to create yet another subspecie. It happens all the time. And what we have is just another kind of dog, or cat, or horse, or whatever. But always, always, always, its still perfectly canine, feline, and equine. Do you disagree? Are there any instances where an entirely new genus has spawned from another?
What stops "micro" evolution from becoming "macro" evolution, especially when the distinction is one of human imposition?
There is a gulf affixed between the classes that are seemingly inpenetrable. We have tried very hard to create functional chimeras, by splicing DNA segments together. But there is a 'wall' that any organism will hit. Nobody knows how many potential sequences exist, and there is probably an inconconveibly great number of variables. Nonetheless, the only place we find these transitions are in sci-fi novels. Would it be cool if did? Yeah! But, we've never witnessed (which is a critical step in assigning something as empirical science) these necessary gradations to lead to a transspecific evolution.
Do you know of any individual that does not have a common ancestor with their cousins?
Humans are related to humans, chimps are related to chimps, dogs are related to dogs, snails are related to snails. There is zero evidence to support that man an amoeba share a common ancestor.
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?
Yes. Most major organs in the body couldn't possibly have derrived, little by little. In other words, a partial eye serves no function without all of its contrivances in place from the inception. Something Archaeopteryx's feathers and wings would have served no concievable relevance to its survival for it to inexplicably create wings. How would a partial wing, such as a nub, increase its survivability in the wild as it was changing from forelimb to wing? Wouldn't all signs point to the fact that it would inhibit its survival, not enhace its chances?
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.
Because it often acts detrimentally. It is hypothetically a possible determinant of such an evolution, but often times, gaining one function causes the loss of another. Here is one example of such.
shortened link
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.
Its not that I can't concieve of it, its that I've never seen it!!! And since there is an awful lot of procreation going on in the last 137 years, the stark fact that we've never seen any of these theoretical things you speak of, closes the realm of possibility. Just because (YOU) want to believe that because there homilogical similarites doesn't mean that it spawned from a common ancestor. That's more than a strawman; that's the king of the scarecrows.
Dude, how long is this post?
Just what do you think you should see? A half-way this half-way that fossil? You've already admitted that this happens:
No, that's an over-simplification. I don't expect that. I don't even expect tenth percentile. If avian are the progeny of saurian lineage, I expect to see another transition along these lines. I'm not asking for a Hopeful Monster, I'm just asking for an obvious transition that we can clearly identify.
Your birds with the new feature are half-way to something else from the original population.
I wouldn't call a bird with an orange blaze on its beak, where the ancestral populace has a yellowish beak a revolutionary breakthrough.
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.
There are exceptions to Mendellian law, however, those exceptions are almost always injurious. Aside from which, natural selection should remove most mutations, simply by the virtue that that so many act adversely. As I stated elsewhere, how would Archeaopteryx stave off annhilation? How is it that this creature was able to survive natural selection with stump-like appendages as its ancestors were changing from reptile to bird? Think about it. The contrivances of the wing must have been totally useless in the earliest stages of development, which should make us wonder what prompted these supposed changes to occur at all. How would this be advantageous as opposed to inhibiting its survival? What would prompt it to develop feathers? What prompted it to develop an elongated beak? Tell me: What advantage did this animal have while it was going through these changes? Answer: It wouldn’t. Natural selection would have gobbled up this critter faster than a fat kid at a buffet. And we could expect the same for all of the rest.
One day? A large taxonomical jump will occur??? ROFLOL. How much change and how fast do you think this takes?
I wonder that all the time. I can never get a clear answer. And when they commit to an answer they like, that fits preconcieved notions about the geologic column, they change the empirical dating methods to fit the newer model.
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.
Yes, I realize that it is a human construct, which is why I don't place too much stock in it. I appreciate the classifications, but the arrival of the conclusion that they are related because of similarities means little to me. A Toyota Tundra looks more related to a Ford F-150 because they are both pick-ups But in reality, the Tundra is more related to the Tercell and the F-150 more related to the Focus. (Before you ask, no, cars and trucks don't procreate). I'm just using it as a referrence on how 'looks' don't constitute lineage. For instance, my parents were looking at a magazine when they stumbled on a model for a Guess add. This kid looked exactly like me. It was really freaky. He could've easily passed for my twin. And in jest, I showed a couple and they asked me when I was doing headshots. The point is, he looked like me but was not anywhere in my immmediate lineage. It was purely coincidental. I feel the same about human and simian lineage.
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.
How many quotes from the inventors of the theory do I need to pull up to obliterate the typical, textbook case of Darwinian gradualism? Punk eek was 'invented' to cover the lack of transitional forms. Its really that simple. Instead of a stepwise evolution, PE teaches us that we should expect long periods of stasis coupled with rapid bursts of change, thus invalidating the need for a step-by-step evolutionary model.
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).
That's because so much of it has to do with the anatomical similarities. Whenever one organism has a similar structure with another, we should expect to see genetic similarites. But again, for that to be used as some sort of basis of lineage is only based on suppositions. We would expect to see a Jaguar and a Lion to have a similar sequence. Aside from which, the percentage we've all come to know is misleading.
Greater Than 98% Chimp/Human DNA Similarity? Not Any More. | Answers in Genesis
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.
The following is from B16: The History of Life: Source Book -- Admin
If punctuated equilibrium has provoked a shift in paradigms for macroevolutionary theory (see ref. 35 for a defence of this view), the main insight for revision holds that all substantial evolutionary change must be reconceived as higher-level sorting based on differential success of certain kinds of stable species, rather than as progressive transformation within lineages (see Eldredge 36 on taxic versus transformational views of evolution; Simpson 37, however, in the canonical paleontological statement of the generation before punctuated equilibrium, had attributed 90% of macroevolution to the transformational mode, and only 10%. to speciation). Figure 1, our original diagram of punctuated equilibrium, shows how a trend may be produced by differential success of certain species without directional change in any species following its origin.
Darwin's theory of natural selection locates the causality of evolutionary change at one domain on one level: natural selection operating by struggle among individual organisms for reproductive success. Given Darwin's crucial reliance upon lyellian uniformity for extrapolating this mode of change to encompass all magnitudes through all times, the interposition of a level for sorting among stable species breaks this causal reduction and truly, in Stanley's felicitous term 38, "decouples" macro- from microevolution. Decoupling is not a claim for the falseness or irrelevancy of microevolutionary mechanisms, especially natural selection, but a recognition that Darwinian extrapolation cannot fully explain large-scale change in the history of life.
Allow me to paraphrase through all of the fluff. Whenever there is any evidence that would lend credence to a macroevolutionary process, we shall recognize it. However, whenever evidence is scant, its because organisms that have optimal suitability to the enviornment and experience long periods of stasis.
What is it all based upon?
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.
Are you referring to the Tiktaalik Roseae? I only ask because evolutionists thought the Coelacanth were fish that experimented with walking because its anatomical makeup of its fins. As it turns out, the Coelacanth do nothing remotely akin to any type of 'walking.'
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.
I'm not sure what this has to do with evolution. Can you elaborate?
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.
There is no direct evidence of God and I don't pretend, unlike my counterparts concerning their theory, that such direct evidence does exist. But perhaps I will provide all the positive evidence of a Creator in one of the ID rooms.
Edited by nemesis_juggernaut, : spelling
Edited by Admin, : No reason given.
Edited by AdminJar, : shortened long link to correct pagewidth

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Inactive Member

Message 47 of 223 (315947)
05-29-2006 11:18 AM
Reply to: Message 27 by Belfry
05-28-2006 4:09 PM

Re: Speculations
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
The problem is, it was argued for years this is how evolution works. Even after creationtionists and panspermists repeatedly shown the errors, it was still in the minds of evolutionists as an unassailable fact. Now that its so anemic, evolutionists blithely make the transition over to PE and sort of casually make remarks such as you made. A flippant attitude about it won't erase the bulk of the predominent evolutionary thought.
Aside from which, I still recieve conflicting views on ToE to this day, where many still believe in gradualism. So, if I'm not talking to you specifically about that, let it roll off your back.

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Inactive Member

Message 55 of 223 (316010)
05-29-2006 1:28 PM
Reply to: Message 28 by Percy
05-28-2006 5:06 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.
PE gives reasons for why we shouldn't expect to find very many transitions in the fossil record, again, presumably to cover up the fact that they simply don't exist. Instead, they claim that long periods of stasis will occur in organisms and peripheral populations that have optimal suitability to their enviornment, and so, there is no reason for nature to weed out that which is already very strong. A typical creature they posit has gone through such a stasis, would be a shark. (Where a Hammerhead fits into the equation is anyone's guess). They also say that when it does make its transition, its usually punctuated by short (geologically/biologically, relative to a vast stretch of time) bursts of change. That rapidity creates less of a chance for us to find solid evidence of such gradations.
This is a brief synopsis, but I think it conveys that I understand what lies at the root of the theory.
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.
I was asserting that steps are being skipped. That's not me claiming that fox's turn into bears in one felled swoop. Perhaps I could have worded it more clearly. What I was arriving at was that PE provides a basis for understanding why evidence might not exist. In fact, Gould coins the phrase, "stasis is data" as if a lack of evidence is providing an evidence of lack.
The paper below elucidates my point and makes some objections, claiming their theory to be both banal and unclear as to the purpose of the paper.
"The original Eldridge & Gould paper (1972) presents three principal ideas. The first - that even ostensibly 'objective' observations are influenced by the observers' preconceptions, not least in deciding what to observe - is so obvious, and delivered with such an offensive sanctimony, that it deserves no further attention and will certainly receive none from me.
The remaining theses are (1) that lengthy periods of evolutionary stasis within lineages are genuine and important phenomena, and (2) that speciation events usually appear in the fossil record as more or less instantaneous events. The combination of these two observations leads to a step-wise evolutionary pattern, rather than steady, insensible 'gradualism.'
Punctuated Equilibrium
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.
Agreed. I think that's why the paper, above, describes it as 'banal', almost like its a redundency or a rebirth of a preexisting theory.
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.
I appreciate your train model and understand what you're arriving at, but odds are odds - and the odds that in the million + fossils on file that none of them clearly show any change from one species creating a new genus through morphology, acts as a detriment.
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.
I understand that the binomial nomenclature is just a form of classification, and that it is ultimately a human construct. Its obvious that no two organisms are truly identical and that they change on some level. We know that organisms change. If they didn't, you and I would be identical. What I find objectionable is to jump to the conclusion that because changes occur within species, that we must somehow all be related. This is an inferrence and it is an interesting one. However, I feel that there is no legitimate evidence supporting macroevolution. There are scores of secularists in the fields of science who feel the same way, not based on personal predjudices, but on the merits of unbiased science.
I never said anything about a horse series.
Somebody did. I dare not hit the back button to see if my post that you responding to was initially me responding to you or somebody else. I don't know how many times I've hit the back button to referrence something when I'm nearing the completion of a post. Its..... ummmm..... oh, what's the word? Infuriating!!!
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.
Here's the crux of the situation:
In northeastern Oregon, the three-toed (Neohipparion) and the one-toed horse (Pliohippus) are found in the same strata
2. which means that they lived at the same time in the same place. No transitional forms have been found. One does not seem to be the ancestor of the other as Figure 18.4 proposes.
3. In South America the one and the recessed three-toed horses (Equus and Merychippus) were found together in the Miocene strata (13-25 million years) and the full three-toed horse (Mesohippus) above
the other two in the Pliocene strata (2-13 million years ).
3. This completely contradicts Figure18.4.
5. Size cannot be used as an indicator of evolution because today’s horses range in size from 16 to 80 inches tall.
5. As late as 1892 three toed horses were reported to be living with the one toed horse in the U.S.
6. A volcano eruption in Nebraska buried a one-toedand a three-toed horse together proving that they lived together at the same time.
7. David Raup, Curator of the Museum of Natural History, where approximately 20% of the world’s fossils are housed, comments ,
“......some of the classic cases of Darwinian change in the fossil
record, such as the horse in North America, have had to be discarded or modified as a result of more detailed information.” Note that this comment was made back in 1979."
You provided this quote as if I had implied something about horse evolution being straight line
Mayr was commenting on OC Marsh's depictions of the evoultion of horses series that were misleading. He stated that Simpson corrected the changes, however, the refutable information still made it in the textbooks. My reason for mentioning is that many horse evolution series depictions still exist in some of the textbooks and even in museum displays. In other words, they present it as factual, when it isn't.
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.
I couldn't referrences on the changing of horse ribs. Where can I find a source on this?
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.
Evolutionists come from all nations. Religions come from all nations. Evolutionists come in all races. The religious come in all races. Many opponents of evolution are typically creationists, however, this is far from exclusivity. As far as theistic evolutionists are concerned, I feel that many of them are simply misinformed and are the types that hold fast to religious sentiments for emotional reasons, yet have never challenged (or cared enough about) the evolutionary model to satisfy any inquiries on the intellectual level. After all, where does a Creator fit into the equation in evolution?
Revolution Against Evolution – A Revolution of the Love of God
I believe the evolutionary model provides its adherents a form of escapism - not all of them, but many. This is just how I feel about it. And as dogmatically as some adhere to it despite some good arguments against its most basic theory, it seems that abandoning it would betray philosphical suppositions.
Edited by nemesis_juggernaut, : No reason given.

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Inactive Member

Message 64 of 223 (316141)
05-29-2006 11:56 PM
Reply to: Message 40 by Belfry
05-29-2006 7:14 AM

Re: Logical fallacies and evidence
You are familiar with what logical fallacies are, right? Circular reasoning is another one, but not the one we're talking about. "Absence of evidence is evidence of absence" is a form of the argument from ignorance, argumentum ad ignorantiam. See this wiki article for more info.
Then evolution falls into that same exact category. Look, ToE barely even has circumstancial evidence at its disposal, let alone a cogent argument in support of itself. If there is no evidence, then no evidence has been proposed. Does that mean that no evidence will ever surface? No, not necessarily. However, if there is so much lacking withing the theory, and yet some of you hold fast to it, then is it unreasonable for me to suppose that it must serve some philosophical facet of your life?
We do not expect the fossil record to be a perfect and complete record of evolutionary history, for the many reasons already enumerated.
Believe me when I say that I don't expect the fossil record to be perfect. I know that most organisms do not survive decay. I'd just like to see something that really made me question it.
Therefore we can't say that lack of a fossil form means that an organism DIDN'T exist.
Neither can we say that it did by that premise.
Instead, we have to look at the fossils that we DO have, in combination with the large amount of information we have about living creatures, to draw conclusions.
And that's what we've done, and the conclusion tells me that it supports animals belonging to its own 'kind.'
No one but you and Mr.Matrix has argued that the fossil record is complete. Show us one example in this forum of someone else arguing that it is. We do have some nice transitional fossil sequences - certainly not every single transitional step, but we wouldn't expect to find that. The transitional steps that we DO have (in the whale sequence, for example), support the evolutionary model.
Uh, Matrix and I couldn't argue against evolution and claim that it IS complete. Our objection is based on the lack of evidence. As far as the whale sequence is concerned, I have so many objections that I'm not sure where to begin. Perhaps we can start a thread on Ambulocetus and Pakicetus.
Let's clear this up. Who among us appears to disagree with punctuated equilibria? Give us quotes and message numbers, please, or retract your assertion and cease remaking it.
No openly opposes PE in here. What I see is that they conveniently go back and forth between PE and gradualism. I think I've provided more than enough quotes straight from the horses mouth to clear up any misconceptions.
It occurs to me that you might not know what a straw man argument is. It's another logical fallacy, one we see an awful lot from the creationist camp.
Of course I know what a strawman is and logical fallacies. The last forum I was on used the terminologies quite frequently. It was irritating, not because any of it was true, but because they used it to detract from the actual argument. In the last forum that was a typical tactic. If they had no argument left, they'd simply claim arguments from incredulity, strawmen, logical fallacies, and of course my favorite, ad hominem. Nothing says you don't have an argument more than reverting back to schoolyard name-calling.

“Always be ready to give a defense to
everyone who asks you a reason for the
hope that is in you.”
-1st Peter 3:15

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Inactive Member

Message 73 of 223 (316401)
05-30-2006 8:56 PM
Reply to: Message 49 by Chiroptera
05-29-2006 11:56 AM

Re: Logical fallacies and evidence
Creationists are forced to admit the existence of "micro"-evolution. The question is whether these "micro" changes can add up to "macro" evolution
Correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds as if you are saying that creationists did not believe in any adaptations within any given specie in the distant past. Am I interpreting that correctly? There never was any contention that certain organims adapt for a variety of reasons, known empirically since Mendel's experiments yielded reproducable and predictable results. The earliest evidence I have of creationists exhibiting this understanding comes from a 1928 paper, written by the equivalent of a creationist back then.
"Species are immutable. One does not become another or unite with another to produce a third. Dogs do not become cats, nor interbreed to produce another species. A few species, so nearly related that we can scarcely tell whether they are species or varieties, as the jackass and the mare, may have offspring, but the offspring are sterile. The zebra and the mare may produce a zebulon, which is likewise sterile. And so with the offspring of other groups intermediate between species and varieties. A human being and ape can not beget an ape-human, showing that they are not even nearly related species.
If evolution be true, we would expect a frequent interbreeding and interchanging of species. Even Darwin admitted that species are immutable. God declared it in his word, and stamps it indelibly on every species. "And God said, 'Let the earth bring forth the living creature after its kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth, after its kind'." Gen. 1:24. How did Moses know this great truth, unless he was told by inspiration of God?
Even plant-hybrids are not permanent. Darwin himself says: "But plants not propagated by seed, are of little importance to us, for their endurance is only temporary."
Even if it could be proven that species, like varieties, are formed by development, it does not follow that genera and families and classes are so developed. But it has not been proved that a single species has been added by development, much less orders, families and genera. Evolution must account for every division and sub-division to plant and animal life. Darwin answers the objection to the sterility of hybrids by saying, "We do not know." "But why," he says, "in the case of distinct species, the sexual elements should so generally have become more or less modified, leading to their mutual infertility, we do not know." But God knows."
-William Williams
it is evidence that "macro"-evolution occurred that the fossil record provides.
If that's the case, then why have so many eminent evolutionists stated very clearly that a lack of evidence is very prevelant, and evidence of a genuine macroevolutionary process is scant?
"New concepts and information from molecular, developmental biology, systematics, geology and the fossil record of all groups of organisms, need to be integrated into an expanded evolutionary synthesis. These fields of study show that large-scale evolutionary phenomena cannot be understood solely on the basis of extrapolation from processes observed at the level of modern populations and species. Patterns and rates of evolution are much more varied than had been conceived by Darwin or the evolutionary synthesis, and physical factors of the earth's history have had a significant, but extremely varied, impact on the evolution of life." - (Carroll, Robert L. [Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology, Redpath Museum, McGill University, Montreal, Canada], "Towards a new evolutionary synthesis," Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 2000, Vol. 15, pp.27-32, p.27)
"The changes within a population have been termed microevolution, and they can indeed be accepted as a consequence of shifting gene frequencies. Changes above the species level-involving the origin of new species and the establishment of higher taxonomic patterns- are known as macroevolution. The central question of the Chicago conference was whether the mechanisms underlying microevolution can be extrapolated to explain the phenomena of macroevolution. At the risk of doing violence to the positions of some of the people at the meeting, the answer can be given as a clear, No." -(Lewin, Roger [biochemist, former editor of New Scientist and science writer], "Evolutionary- Theory Under Fire: An historic conference in Chicago challenges the four-decade long dominance of the Modern Synthesis," Science, Vol. 210, 21 November 1980, pp.883-887, p.883).
"Why don't we see gradual transition in the sequences of fossils? According to Darwin, and the current neo-Darwinists, the fossil record has gaps in it because of the haphazard way in which fossilization occurs-it is bound to be an imperfect record of the history of life. But is it? Is the jerky and abrupt nature of the record really just due to 'gaps', or does it reflect the way evolution actually happened? There is a strong feeling among leading palaeontologists that the punctuated history shown by fossils reflects the way life has evolved-in leaps and bounds rather than in gradual transition. There is also a growing sense that there is much more to understanding 'macroevolution'-the large-scale picture one gets from the fossils-than the simple idea of natural selection can alone explain."- (Leith, Brian [producer, Natural History Unit, BC, Bristol UK], "The Descent of Darwin: A Handbook of Doubts about Darwinism," Collins: London, 1982, p.23).
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Inactive Member

Message 78 of 223 (316418)
05-30-2006 9:49 PM
Reply to: Message 50 by Percy
05-29-2006 12:17 PM

Re: Speculations
You say this as if phyletic gradualism were somehow foundational to all of evolution. It isn't. Phyletic gradualism isn't "how evolution works".
I disagree fundamentally because to me, mechanisms acting as the causation for how and why transitions occur is the small piece of the puzzle. Steady gradualism is indeed the old model of evolution. Gradualism is indeed central to Darwinian macroevolution. Therefore, after years of heated debate, the overall theory needed pruning, tailored by such names as, Simpson, Mayr, Gould, Eldridge, and a few other trailblazers. They supplanted Darwin's account, or rather, the theory supplanted itself and rendered it antiquated. But for anyone to say that phyletic gradualism is a 'small' part of the theory is supplying an answer that is wholly unfactual. Its only been recently used to describe the pace at which a transition occurs. No one really understood the pace to begin with back in those days before the advent of dating methods. Before, it was Lyelian uniformity to differentiate between the geologic/biologic timescale. But I propose that punctuated equilibrium at the root has more to do with the lack of evidence than it does the rate of transitioning.
Imagine someone arguing that trains can't really travel from city to city, and he cites as evidence that it used to be believed that trains traveled at a constant speed between cities, but that it is now conceded that trains travel at a variety of speeds. He then uses this to conclude that trains can't really travel between cities.
Yeah, imagine that... But we know quite well that trains travel at different speeds. What we don't know is the rate of evolution, not because its unclear, but because we've never seen any trains (macroevolution) at all. My question has little to do with at what varying speeds do trains travel at, and has much more to do with whether trains (macroevloution) existed at all.
we assumed that the pace of evolution was relatively constant. This meant we used to believe that as a species changed from one to another that it did so at a relatively constant rate.
Yes, punctuated equilibrium helped rid us of the antiquated theory of uniformitarianism, however, my issue with PE has to do with its flagrant effort to insist that we shouldn't expect to see very many transitions within the fossil record.
But we no longer believe the rate is constant.
I'm not arguing about the rate. The rate is inconsequential to me because I'm arguing the point that it never began to begin with.
Even after creationtionists and panspermists repeatedly shown the errors
Non-directed panspermia concludes one thing that evolution overlooks, or at least makes a plea that many evolutionists are indifferent to; that "life comes from life." If no one can demonstrate that life cannot come from non-life, then a strictly naturalistic explanation of evolution is completely undermined. Its only been after test after test conveys repeatable and indisputable evidence that abiogenesis is impossible, that it now is cleverly deemed as inconsequential to ToE.
Creationist objections span the entire field of evolution. Saying "It's all wrong" and then taking credit when something inevitably does turn out to be wrong makes no sense. It's like betting on every number on the roulette wheel and then touting your gambling skill when one of your numbers comes up - it's a "so what!"
Its important to many creationists because we believe that souls are on the line. I mean, virtually every theory that stole the show at the Scopes Trial was based off these antiquated theories. It was thought to be an unassailable truth then. And now that its been modified, because legitimate science is catching it in its own game, its been deemed as truth now. The scarcity of its own ability to present an irrefutable exegesis, even after addendum and amendment, is ringing its own death-knell.
Progess in science is inevitable. You're saying this as if you believe it's a bad thing.
Progress is an inevitable part of science. If we plateaued in the fields of science and became trapped in a stasis of our own, I'd be concerned. But what if scientific progression actually determined that the ToE was falsifiable? What if its been doing that slowly, but surely, all along? Would you still cling to it? Some would dogmatically go down with the ship to til last breath. I was on the evolutionary boat ride, but I recognized holes in the hull and jumped ship.
Now that Newtonianism is so anemic, physicists blithely make the transition over to relativity.
Most of Newtonian law has stood the test of time. Shockingly, however, cracks are appearing in Einsteins theory of Relativity. I mean, we should all be open to wherever truth may lead. Truth, is truth and the truth shall set us free. Even if I didn't like the truth, truth is better than falsehood.
phyletic gradualism was never the over-arching consideration that you're making it out to be. If you had asked a biologist back in the 1920's if he believed that populations under selection pressures would change more rapidly than those that weren't, he would have answered yes, the exact same answer a modern evolutionist would give.
As I've shared, my main objection to phyletic gradualism, is the 'gradualism,' not so much the pace at which they suppose it has occured. As well, with PE, my concern with PE isn't that they use burst of rapidity in the theorum, but rather, that its being used as a n excuse not to present evidence, or at least, give us reasons why shouldn't expect to see any.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 50 by Percy, posted 05-29-2006 12:17 PM Percy has replied

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Inactive Member

Message 103 of 223 (316846)
06-01-2006 12:14 PM
Reply to: Message 57 by Chiroptera
05-29-2006 1:59 PM

Re: Speculations
Actually, as crashfrog pointed out to you already, Gould and Eldridge were well aware that transitions do exist, and lots of them.
I'm not sure how many quotes I need to pull up, but the simple epithet of "lots" fits nowhere in it. The 'need' for it arose because of its lack.
This theory, formulated by Niles Eldredge and me in 1972, proposes that the two most general observations made by paleontologists form a genuine and primary pattern of evolution, and do not arise as artifacts of an imperfect fossil record. The first observation notes that most new species originate in a geological "moment." The second holds that species generally do not change in any substantial or directional way during their geological lifetimes”usually a long period averaging five to ten million years for fossil invertebrate species. Punctuated equilibrium does not challenge accepted genetic ideas about the rates at which species emerge (for the geological "moment" of a single rock layer may represent many thousand years of accumulation). But the theory does contravene conventional Darwinian expectations for gradual change over geological periods, and does suggest a substantial revision of standard views about the causes of long-term evolutionary trends. For such trends must now be explained by the higher rates at which some species branch off from others, and the greater durations of some stable species as distinguished from others, and not as the slow and continuous transformation of single populations. -Stephen J. Gould
(1) Many species exist in the fossil record for long periods of time with very little or no change during this time.
Yes, I understand that they say this. This is a very convenient excuse to give us whenever there is no change on record.
(2) There are many examples of species being "suddenly" replaced by new, closely related species, that is, species being replace by similar species that could easily be related through the "micro"-evolution that creationists do accept.
No, it attempts to reconcile macroevolution by intermingling microevolution, and saying, "See, change does occur." Of course change occurs. If it didn't, we'd all be carbon copies of one another. That's not even an argument to present. Its the miraculous conclusion that because recessive or dominant traits reveal themselves, that this must somehow explain that every living thing is inherently related without any kind of corroboration by providing clear, links in the chain, that I object to. And now PE provides a 'reason' on how we should not expect to find them, or if we do, that they are few and far between. That way, it can't be falsified on any form of empiricism.
Punctuated equilibrium does not, and was not meant to, explain large gaps that exist in the fossil record -- these are already adequately explained by the imperfections of the fossilization process.
Its not the imperfection of the fossil process, its the imperfection of the fossil record that fails to logically tie one into the other.
At any rate, creationists still have never provided an adequate explanation of the many, many transitional fossils that exist in the fossil record that give good records of the evolution of important lineages.
I guess its about time to start a thread on the '29 evidences of macroevolution,' presented by TalkOrigins. I will certainly open one in order to go over those 'many' transitions spoken about in it. I will start this on Tuesday or Wednesday. I'm leaving for California today and won't be back until Tuesday. Or perhaps you or someone else can start the thread and I'll pick up where you guys left off when I return. Let me know what you think.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 57 by Chiroptera, posted 05-29-2006 1:59 PM Chiroptera has replied

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Inactive Member

Message 156 of 223 (318929)
06-07-2006 10:22 PM
Reply to: Message 82 by Damouse
05-31-2006 12:39 AM

Re: Speculations
Truth is always better then a lie. Always.
The search for truth seems to lead you down a path of lees evidence, however. To the referances of a sinking ship, what is this, a political party?!
A political party? I'm not sure what you mean by that? Can you elaborate?
As to scientific progress, its the only option. And by your own standards, science could not uncover proof of an all powerful creator unless it wanted to be found. So unless your god is hiding or trying to trick the human race, who has now reached a 30% aetheist rate in the united states, it is impossible tha science will EVER point to him. what will it discover, a bloody spear? or perhaps the Ark of the covanent itself.
This thread has nothing to do with the theological aspects of the evo/creation debate, so I won't delve too deeply into that aspect. But let me say this much. There is no direct evidence of God. There is no empirical/tangible evidence of such a being. A bloody spear, pieces of the Ark, or the Arc of the Covenant will only prove the Bibles historical accuracy, but uncovering such findings only helps to give more credence to the Bible, not prove the existence of God. The Bible repeatedly posits that there is no direct evidence of God, nor should we expect to see any. What it does say is that we must first walk by faith, and when that faith in place, God begins to reveal Himslef on a very personal level.
"Faith in antagonism to common sense is fanaticism, and comon sense in antagonism to faith is rationalism. The life of faith brings the two into right relation. Common sense is not faith, and faith is not common sense; they stand in the relation of the natural and the spiritual; of impulse and inspiration. Nothing Jesus Christ ever said was common sense, it is revelation sense, and it reaches the shores where common sense fails. Faith must be tried before the reality of faith is actual. We know that all things work together for good, so that no matter what happens, the alchemy of God's providence transfigures the ideal faith into actual reality. Faith always works on the personal line, the whole purpose of God being to see that the ideal faith is made real in His children." -Oswald Chambers
Anyway, I'm afraid that's about as much theology as I will be permited to express in this thread. Anything beyond that and we'll have to adjourn until we can speak heavily about on a religious thread.
If the ToE was falsifiable, i would question mine and everyone elses belifes. But increasingly its becoming obvious that religion really was "the opiate of the masses", and only that. Proof of a divine force is heavily lacking.
I believe that ToE is based on the exact same faith that religion is based upon. I also happen to believe that it provides a satisfying basis to reject the notion and need of a Creator in the minds of countless evolutionists. And it has thus far served to be a very potent aphrodisiac for many of them, perhaps even an opiate for that 30% figure you provided.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 82 by Damouse, posted 05-31-2006 12:39 AM Damouse has not replied

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Inactive Member

Message 158 of 223 (318947)
06-07-2006 11:35 PM
Reply to: Message 157 by Chiroptera
06-07-2006 10:48 PM

Re: Speculations
Welcome back, nemesis.
Thanks. My trip was horrible. A cautionary piece of advice would be, don't use Amtrak to go across state lines. Its just not worth it. I thought it would be faster than driving (which it so wasn't) and that it would save me a couple hundred bucks on airfare. But after that experience, I think I'll just opt to fly.
I've already invited you (I think) to the Motivations for Non-belief thread; although I had a different intent in mind for that thread, I don't think it would be inappropriate if you would like to say more on what you think atheists feel in that venue.
Yeah I think we jousted for a couple of posts on that thread. No, I don't blame you for being hesitant to continue in that vein on this thread. Perhaps we'll pick it up later.
I saw that you responded on the TalkOrigins request, and I'd like to start a thread on it. That would be my first time starting a thread on EvC. All I have to do is hit 'new topic,' in the 'suggestions' folder and wait for submission or rejection? I only ask because earlier today i starting to write it but decided to stop, thinking about writing all that information only to have it not go through for some reason. So, I thought I'd ask you about the particulars on how to request a new thread.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 157 by Chiroptera, posted 06-07-2006 10:48 PM Chiroptera has replied

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