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Author Topic:   Dogs will be Dogs will be ???
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 53 days)
Posts: 2812
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 61 of 331 (467793)
05-24-2008 12:35 PM
Reply to: Message 60 by Beretta
05-24-2008 3:56 AM


Hmmm...do you need to quote-mine?
Beretta writes:

Henry Gee.....

Henry Gee might not want people like you to quote him out of context, Beretta.

From:

This page

quote:

The Discovery Institute’s Viewers Guide to the PBS “Evolution” series claims in several places (for example, on page 11) that the series “…leave(s) viewers with the misleading impression that the evidence for human evolution is much stronger than it really is.” The Guide attempts to discredit the scientific implications of the human fossil record by quoting (on pages 11, 40, 47, 88, and 111) passages from the 1999 book In Search of Deep Time by Dr. Henry Gee, who is also Senior Editor, Biological Sciences, for the journal Nature. Dr. Gee has sent us the following comments:

"The Discovery Institute has used unauthorized, selective quotations from my book IN SEARCH OF DEEP TIME to support their outdated, mistaken views.

Darwinian evolution by natural selection is taken as a given in IN SEARCH OF DEEP TIME, and this is made clear several times e.g. on p5 (paperback edition) I write that "if it is fair to assume that all life on Earth shares a common evolutionary origin..." and then go on to make clear that this is the assumption I am making throughout the book. For the Discovery Institute to quote from my book without reference to this is mischievous.

That it is impossible to trace direct lineages of ancestry and descent from the fossil record should be self-evident. Ancestors must exist, of course -- but we can never attribute ancestry to any particular fossil we might find. Just try this thought experiment -- let's say you find a fossil of a hominid, an ancient member of the human family. You can recognize various attributes that suggest kinship to humanity, but you would never know whether this particular fossil represented your lineal ancestor - even if that were actually the case. The reason is that fossils are never buried with their birth certificates. Again, this is a logical constraint that must apply even if evolution were true -- which is not in doubt, because if we didn't have ancestors, then we wouldn't be here. Neither does this mean that fossils exhibiting transitional structures do not exist, nor that it is impossible to reconstruct what happened in evolution. Unfortunately, many paleontologists believe that ancestor/descendent lineages can be traced from the fossil record, and my book is intended to debunk this view. However, this disagreement is hardly evidence of some great scientific coverup -- religious fundamentalists such as the DI -- who live by dictatorial fiat -- fail to understand that scientific disagreement is a mark of health rather than decay. However, the point of IN SEARCH OF DEEP TIME, ironically, is that old-style, traditional evolutionary biology -- the type that feels it must tell a story, and is therefore more appealing to news reporters and makers of documentaries -- is unscientific.

I am a religious person and I believe in God. I find the militant atheism of some evolutionary biologists ill-reasoned and childish, and most importantly unscientific -- crucially, faith should not be subject to scientific justification. But the converse also holds true -- science should not need to be validated by the narrow dogma of faith. As such, I regard the opinions of the Discovery Institute as regressive, repressive, divisive, sectarian and probably unrepresentative of views held by people of faith generally. In addition, the use by creationists of selective, unauthorized quotations, possibly with intent to mislead the public undermines their position as self-appointed guardians of public values and morals.

The above views are my own and do not necessarily represent those of my colleagues at NATURE or any opinion or policy of the NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP."
Henry Gee


Gee is just stating the obvious. That is that similarity between one creature and a fossil from an earlier epoch does not mean that the early fossil can be described as an actual ancestor of the later creature. It could be of a closely related species or subspecies of the direct ancestor, or of the same species, but an individual that left no descendents, etc.

we have a slight problem with internet access around here at the moment so things are slow to get through if you get so lucky as to get anything...

Are you going to pray for an improvement, or look for an evil materialist solution? :)


This message is a reply to:
 Message 60 by Beretta, posted 05-24-2008 3:56 AM Beretta has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 64 by Beretta, posted 05-30-2008 8:09 AM bluegenes has responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 15947
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 62 of 331 (467886)
05-25-2008 10:38 AM
Reply to: Message 60 by Beretta
05-24-2008 3:56 AM


Re: Can vs Can't
Thanks Beretta.

But the dogs are still dogs and the foxes are still foxes which means ...

... nothing, for your children will always be your children, and their children will always be the children of your children.

... we are still using change within the kind to argue for change of a different as yet undemonstrated kind.

Correction, {we} (evolutionists) are still using changes in hereditary traits in populations from generation to generation and the division of parent populations into non-gene mixing daughter populations to explain the diversity of life as we know it, while {you} (creationists) are still saying that there is something else involved, but what that "something" is, you refuse to define. {We} (evolutionists} are not limited by {your}(creationists) lack of definition nor the imaginary loss of some mystical mechanism.

Remarkable transformations within foxes shows large genetic variability and selection possibilities ...

And that is the point of using dogs and foxes: to demonstrate the degree of possible variation and selection within a species, and to use this as a measuring stick for comparing other variations.

... but it cannot be used to prove that frogs can change into people ...

Evolution does not say that any form will necessarily evolve into humans or any other specific form already existing. Evolution in fact says that this would be highly improbable. The closest you will get are similar appearing but quite different internally organisms, such as the sugar glider and flying squirrel. This kind of thinking is false thinking: the sugar gliders will never be mammals and the flying squirrels will never be marsupials.

... or anything else for that matter, even given millions of years.

The horse fossils disagree with you. They can, and most likely <<some>> WILL, in fact change into something else, given time and opportunity.

As for the horse series, if one assumes Darwin’s theory to be true , fossils showing features that appear to be intermediate between hydracotherium through to modern horses can be strung together in a series but it is not a series of ancestors and descendants. We could not conclude from the fossil record alone that any one step was descended from the one before it.

Nor do we need an actual link of actual ancestors from eohippus to the equines of today.

All we need to do is take all the fossils and arrange them by time and space, and then draw boundaries around them that correspond to the boundaries of {DOG} around {WOLF} and see which boundaries overlap other fossils. Such an overlap means that it is possible for one to evolve into the other: we know this is possible because we have seen it occur with the dogs, and have validated it with the foxes.

Only if you assume Darwin’s theory is true…a philosophical assumption - and apply some imagination.

All we need to assume is that the degree of variation we see in dogs can be replicated in any species, an assumption that has been validated by the foxes.

This is the yardstick by which we measure what is possible. The original question was what is possible for dog evolution, given millions of years for changes to accumulate. By comparison with the horse fossils we can show that degree of evolution from eohippus into modern horse is one possibility.

... we are still using change within the kind to argue for change of a different as yet undemonstrated kind.

And if all we need to do is to continue using "change within the kind" to get there, then we do not need any (creationist) fantasy of some still undefined "different as yet undemonstrated kind" of change.

Enjoy.

Thanks for that -we have a slight problem with internet access around here...

Whenever it rains here my DSL line goes out and scrambles all the ip addresses in the process. The fortunes of progress.

Edited by RAZD, : clarity

Edited by RAZD, : .


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

This message is a reply to:
 Message 60 by Beretta, posted 05-24-2008 3:56 AM Beretta has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 65 by Beretta, posted 05-30-2008 8:54 AM RAZD has responded

  
Nuggin
Member (Idle past 778 days)
Posts: 2962
From: Los Angeles, CA USA
Joined: 08-09-2005


Message 63 of 331 (467889)
05-25-2008 11:15 AM
Reply to: Message 60 by Beretta
05-24-2008 3:56 AM


Re: Can vs Can't
As for the horse series, if one assumes Darwin’s theory to be true , fossils showing features that appear to be intermediate between hydracotherium through to modern horses can be strung together in a series but it is not a series of ancestors and descendants. We could not conclude from the fossil record alone that any one step was descended from the one before it.

This would be true IF we don't know the chronology.

If we found all the fossils in a big pile in a museum with no sense of when or where they came from and lined them up in series we could say "look, there is a progression here."

However, that could be a false progression of our series were out of order. In other words, we find 1,2,3,4,5 and lay them out that way, but in reality it could have gone 4,1,2,5,3.

BUT, in this case, we DO have the chronology.

So, if we line them up chronologically, we get 1,2,3,4,5
If we line them up morphologically, we get 1,2,3,4,5

How does Creationism account for this? It can't.

Creationism predicts that 5 exists and nothing else.

The presence of the other forms alone is sufficient to put Creationism to rest. The fact that they transition nicely and that that transition coincides with the chronology is gravy.

Face it, no rational person can argue for Creationism. The ENTIRE basis for Creationism is "My mommy said so."

That's not a foundation for rational argument.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 60 by Beretta, posted 05-24-2008 3:56 AM Beretta has not yet responded

    
Beretta
Member (Idle past 2064 days)
Posts: 422
From: South Africa
Joined: 10-29-2007


Message 64 of 331 (468553)
05-30-2008 8:09 AM
Reply to: Message 61 by bluegenes
05-24-2008 12:35 PM


Re: Hmmm...do you need to quote-mine?
Henry Gee writes:

It is fair to assume that all life on earth shares a common evolutionary origin….and then to go on and make clear that this is the assumption I am making throughout the book.

Well there again we have the ‘assumption’ Actually nobody really cares about his assumptions –it is the actual content of what he is saying that would tend to interest anybody that believes that intelligent design better explains the evidence. I doubt that they were implying that he did not support evolution only that he stated himself that one can’t establish ancestor/descendants lines via the fossils –full stop.

Henry Gee writes:

…faith should not be subject to scientific justification ….science should not be validated by the narrow dogma of faith.

…but then again who cares about what the truth actually is so long as you hold on to your pet myth and feel fulfilled …???

Actually my main point in this entire debate is “what is the truth?” apart from what we would like to believe is true. Perhaps faith should not be subject to scientific justification but then what point is there in faith if what you believe does not happen to be true? Does the evidence support evolution or intelligent design better?

How does evolution explain the Cambrian?
We know that evolution is true but just because we can’t find any of what should be billions of precambrian transitional forms just means that they did not fossilize –nonetheless the ‘truth’ of Darwinism stands.
How do evolutionists explain the general stasis of the fossil record?
We know that gradualism is the truth –that everything descended from a common ancestor so we grab the exceptions (not the rule) and try to make things like archaeopteryx out to be just a small example of the billions of transitional forms that we should be finding.

The overall picture, the actual evidence is apparently quite irrelevant if your faith in evolution can stand up to it.

Henry Gee writes:

…use by creationists of selective unauthorized quotations, possibly with intent to mislead people…

Again it was the content of what he said that they found important, this implication of deception is just the usual old evolutionary “they can’t be serious, they must have some dubious underhand motivation for what they’re saying.” What if what they say is true? Maybe they care about the truth?

Are you going to pray for an improvement, or look for an evil materialist solution?

There we go again, equating your belief in evolution and materialism with practicality and real science. Meantime my belief that an intelligent designer is necessary to explain a lot of things including the vast information system of the genome is akin to belief in Santa Claus and the tooth fairy – cute perhaps, depending upon your age but definitely misguided to the point of lunacy if you are of the age that you should have given up on superstitions and fantasies.
Actually us people of the intelligent design ilk believe in using the mechanisms produced by experimentally repeatable science for such things as internet connections – we just don’t believe/have faith in evolution.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 61 by bluegenes, posted 05-24-2008 12:35 PM bluegenes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 66 by bluegenes, posted 05-30-2008 8:59 AM Beretta has responded

  
Beretta
Member (Idle past 2064 days)
Posts: 422
From: South Africa
Joined: 10-29-2007


Message 65 of 331 (468558)
05-30-2008 8:54 AM
Reply to: Message 62 by RAZD
05-25-2008 10:38 AM


Re: Can vs Can't
We are still using hereditary traits in populations from generation to generation …..to explain the diversity of life…

Except that you are assuming that that is the only possibility that could explain the common genome and its variations. You also apparently assume that an intelligent creator is ‘outside of science’ as a possibility meaning that only a naturalistic explanation is allowable in the meantime.
What we are saying is that the evidence is better explained by the intelligence outside of matter theory.
You assume that mutation and natural selection is capable of producing the variety seen in the genome from bacteria to human but have no explanation for how the genome came into being in the first place –that is really the big question –could it have come into being by natural processes? It’s like imagining that a programme like ‘word’ could produce itself without intelligent input and ‘word’ is just so much simpler than the genomic information.
It’s the information being separate from matter argument. You can transfer information from computer to computer via a CD or a DVD but the material medium of transfer is not the information component. The information is a separate issue –how did that genomic information get there and is there a viable naturalistic explanation for it or do we just have to assume there is, in the absence of real evidence for it? You see you haven’t seen God, neither have I, but then you have no proof, no evidence even to show that natural causes could have done the work that we attribute to an intelligent source. We both have our answers to how life originated but which choice is more in keeping with the evidence we have? How does intelligent information arrive without intelligence? Did matter come before mind or is matter a product of mind? Are our minds just random nervous connections or are they the product of an original intelligence. How can you be rational without a rational reason for your rationality? Nerve cells connecting according to random natural processes does not explain the mystery of our consciousness and believing that intelligence is necessary for our rationality is not an unintelligent suggestion that should necessarily be classed as ‘religion’-or outside the realms of probability. You can’t see gravity but you know it exists through its effects. We can’t see God but we can see that what exists appears to have order and design. Of course Richard Dawkins states that the design is only apparent –but then again that’s his opinion.

and that is the point of using dogs and foxes: to demonstrate the degree of possible variation within a species, and to use this as a measuring stick for comparing other variations.

In other words using variation within a species and extrapolating that to everything within the fossil record. The problem is we have no experimental evidence to show that that extrapolation is possible – are there limits to variation? You cannot say that there aren’t, all you can do is have faith that there are no limits to variation and that bacteria can eventually become something else that is not a bacteria.

The horse fossils disagree with you. They can and most likely WILL, in fact change into something else, given time and opportunity.

But that is not science to imagine that they can and most likely will….even given time and opportunity. Do you imagine that random errors (mutations) in the copying of a simple computer programme like “Notepad” will eventually with a lot of minor copying errors over a very long period of time and continuous copying eventually change into something like “Photoshop CS3”? No – and why not ? –because additional complex information would be necessary in order for the one to change into the other. Scientifically speaking the only source we know of that gives rise to information is intelligence so you have to have a lot of faith to believe that some simple organism can, given vast time and opportunity, turn into something far more complex without intelligent input.
It’s the difference between science and faith.

All we have to do is take all the fossils and arrange them by time and space and then draw boundaries around them….

Breeding experiments are organized with intelligence and cannot be compared to what would happen in the wild. Tame foxes if they were to arise naturally would most likely not survive. In the absence of intelligent input and protection of the tame ones, this variability is unlikely to occur. Same for the dogs. So your boundaries are not natural ones and should not be extrapolated to include potential variability in the wild. Every step in the transformation of one kind into another would have to have survival advantages or natural selection would eliminate the changes. That is what the fossil record actually shows, natural selection appears to keep things within limits. Some things exhibit stasis and others become extinct. We have no scientific reason to believe that any one species became another species just because they may have certain features in common. There are two choices, either it happened or it didn’t and in the absence of scientific proof for a mechanism that allows it to happen, we are left with faith in naturalistic mechanisms as a possibility but, though naturalists don’t like to think so, not the only possibility.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 62 by RAZD, posted 05-25-2008 10:38 AM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 67 by Straggler, posted 05-30-2008 9:33 AM Beretta has not yet responded
 Message 69 by RAZD, posted 05-30-2008 9:38 PM Beretta has responded
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bluegenes
Member (Idle past 53 days)
Posts: 2812
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 66 of 331 (468559)
05-30-2008 8:59 AM
Reply to: Message 64 by Beretta
05-30-2008 8:09 AM


Re: Hmmm...do you need to quote-mine?
Child, are you talking to me? If so, what are you saying?

Schizophrenia?????? writes:

Actually my main point in this entire debate is “what is the truth?” apart from what we would like to believe is true. Perhaps faith should not be subject to scientific justification but then what point is there in faith if what you believe does not happen to be true? Does the evidence support evolution or intelligent design better?

Child, are you talking?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 64 by Beretta, posted 05-30-2008 8:09 AM Beretta has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 68 by Beretta, posted 05-30-2008 10:05 AM bluegenes has not yet responded

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 9971
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 67 of 331 (468561)
05-30-2008 9:33 AM
Reply to: Message 65 by Beretta
05-30-2008 8:54 AM


Re: Can vs Can't
So your boundaries are not natural ones and should not be extrapolated to include potential variability in the wild

But there are natural boundaries in the wild. Boundaries due to geography for example.

Every step in the transformation of one kind into another would have to have survival advantages

Yes. In a given environment. However the environment is also changing.

That is what the fossil record actually shows, natural selection appears to keep things within limits

Yes. Natural selection can only build upon existing material in small incremental steps.

Some things exhibit stasis and others become extinct.

No. Some things exist in an environment that has not changed significantly for a long time. These are basically static. Some things adapt to the changing environment. These we see transition accordingly. Other things fail to adequately adapt and become extinct. This is what we see.

We have no scientific reason to believe that any one species became another species just because they may have certain features in common

Really? What about cases where common sense similarities are almost non-existant but the chronological fossil record and genome studies are in direct agreement?
Who would have thought that a whale and a cow were genetically more closely related than a whale and a seal, for example?
On what basis could intelligent design possibly predict this?
This message is a reply to:
 Message 65 by Beretta, posted 05-30-2008 8:54 AM Beretta has not yet responded

  
Beretta
Member (Idle past 2064 days)
Posts: 422
From: South Africa
Joined: 10-29-2007


Message 68 of 331 (468563)
05-30-2008 10:05 AM
Reply to: Message 66 by bluegenes
05-30-2008 8:59 AM


Re: Hmmm...do you need to quote-mine?
Actually bluegenes, perhaps I have not expressed myself clearly enough for you but there is no need to throw yourself so wholeheartedly into a parental role -it is arrogant and uncalled for.

I am saying that if you cannot scientifically justify your faith then perhaps it is not a faith worth having.I am saying that evidence against your faith should cause you to pause and question that which you have put your faith into.Not everyone feels inclined to question their faith, that includes people that believe in a superior intelligence as well as those who believe that no intelligence is necessary to explain what we can see.
Ultimately I am saying that I care about the truth and if the scientific evidence clearly was antagonistic to my faith then I would be more than a little inclined to question it and follow the evidence where it leads.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 66 by bluegenes, posted 05-30-2008 8:59 AM bluegenes has not yet responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 15947
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 69 of 331 (468653)
05-30-2008 9:38 PM
Reply to: Message 65 by Beretta
05-30-2008 8:54 AM


Re: Can vs Can't
Welcome back Beretta,

Except that you are assuming that that is the only possibility that could explain the common genome and its variations. You also apparently assume that an intelligent creator is ‘outside of science’ as a possibility meaning that only a naturalistic explanation is allowable in the meantime.

No, it is looking at the evidence and seeing what possibilities it shows. When the fossil evidence shows trees of lineage in time and space, that is one possibility that matches the evidence. When we consider other possibilities we then measure them against the evidence to see how they fare.

We also look at the genetic evidence to see what possibilities it shows. When the genetic evidence shows trees of descent from common ancestors, that is one possibility that matches the evidence. We then consider other possibilities to see how they fare against the evidence.

The problem we (you) have with all other possibilities thus far, is that fossil lineage and genetic common descent match incredibly well, and are both explained extremely well by the one mechanism, evolution. Nothing else comes close, unless you include the concept that your intelligent designer made it look exactly like evolution did everything, as a viable, rational concept (the "god lies" theory).

What we are saying is that the evidence is better explained by the intelligence outside of matter theory.

It is one thing to claim this, it is quite another to actually demonstrate it. How does "intelligence outside of matter" explain the horse genealogy and why it looks exactly like evolution?

You assume that mutation and natural selection is capable of producing the variety seen in the genome from bacteria to human but have no explanation for how the genome came into being in the first place –that is really the big question –could it have come into being by natural processes?

You have it quite backwards here. We have a very good idea of what mutation and natural selection is capable of producing. All we need to do is apply that knowledge against the natural history of the fossils and geology and test if it is capable of explaining the evidence.

The evidence includes a dearth of humans in ages when only bacteria lived, and it also includes billions of years of intermediate life forms between those bacteria and the total diversity of life we see today, including humans.

The question of how a first life form (or forms) came to exist on earth is a question we may or may not get back to finding out ... but it is an end result, not a beginning one: evolution starts with today, with what we know happens, and then theorizes and tests concepts against the evidence of what happened in the past.

It’s the information being separate from matter argument.

Please start a thread to define what "information" is -- how it can be quantified and measured.

In other words using variation within a species and extrapolating that to everything within the fossil record.

Nope. Not at all. The original question was what could dogs become, given millions of years for evolution (see Message 1 and the quote from your post). So we are taking the variation known to exist in the dog species and compare it to fossils in the horse lineage, starting with one, eohippus, that is very similar to modern dogs and proceeding through the geological fossil history of the different developments in the horse lineage with the only caveat being that the difference between each step on the way must be less than the variation we know exists in the dog species.

That would mean that a dog could evolve into something like a horse ... " ...something that we would say is clearly not a dog ... " ... in the same period of time that passed between eohippus and modern horse.

This does not "prove" that horses evolved that way, nor does it claim that dogs will become horses, however the one thing it does show is that the evolution of the horse from eohippus is not impossible with variation and natural selection.

Macroevolution achieved through microevolution stages and steps, just as (surprise) evolutionists have always argued.

But that is not science to imagine that they can and most likely will….even given time and opportunity.

It is not imagination, it is tested concepts, known possibilities applied to known evidence to see if it fits within the known limitations of the known variation. That is science: theory AND testing. Measurement.

In the process we can also compare the horse lineage fossils with other fossils from the same time periods to see if they fall in the same area of possibility made by applying the known variation from the dog species to see if they also fit into the range of possibilities, and we can eliminate (falsify) the concept that those fossils would be possible when they do not fit in that range. This too is science: falsification.

Do you imagine that random errors (mutations) in the copying of a simple computer programme like “Notepad” will eventually with a lot of minor copying errors over a very long period of time and continuous copying eventually change into something like “Photoshop CS3”? No – and why not ? –because additional complex information would be necessary in order for the one to change into the other. Scientifically speaking the only source we know of that gives rise to information is intelligence so you have to have a lot of faith to believe that some simple organism can, given vast time and opportunity, turn into something far more complex without intelligent input.

When you write your thread on "information" you can include this, and show how it relates to the concept of "information" and measurable differences.

It’s the difference between science and faith.

No, the difference between science and faith is that science is skeptical of ALL ideas equally, and only tentatively trusts those that test out against the evidence, faith, on the other hand, is totally gullible on matters of faith and never attempts to test them.

Breeding experiments are organized with intelligence and cannot be compared to what would happen in the wild. Tame foxes if they were to arise naturally would most likely not survive. In the absence of intelligent input and protection of the tame ones, this variability is unlikely to occur. Same for the dogs. So your boundaries are not natural ones and should not be extrapolated to include potential variability in the wild.

Except (1) that we are part of the natural ecology that makes these adaptations viable (and we are not the only species with pets), and (2) there was no intelligence in the fox experiment design: only one (1) selection criteria was used -- less aggressive behavior. The rest followed naturally.

It is perfectly possible that circumstances could make similar selection on a natural basis with no humans necessary.

Every step in the transformation of one kind into another would have to have survival advantages or natural selection would eliminate the changes. That is what the fossil record actually shows, natural selection appears to keep things within limits. Some things exhibit stasis and others become extinct.

And we also see that the ecology is stable when species are in "stasis" (which means still evolving, just slowly) and that the ecology is unstable when species go extinct (either due to catastrophic happenstance or the invasion of competitive species) and that those species fail to adapt in time to avoid extinction. Evolution at it's purest eh?

We have no scientific reason to believe that any one species became another species just because they may have certain features in common.

And we don't classify species as related purely on similarity of features. See Sugar Gliders and Flying Squirrels (read the whole section for even greater understanding).

There are two choices, either it happened or it didn’t and in the absence of scientific proof for a mechanism that allows it to happen, we are left with faith in naturalistic mechanisms as a possibility but, though naturalists don’t like to think so, not the only possibility.

There are at least three: (1) it happened, (2) it didn't happen, and (3) we can't tell whether or not it happened. There is also (4) it is possible that it happened and (5) it is not possible that it happened.

Applying the variation we see in dogs to the fossil record in time and space for the horse genealogy will demonstrate that either this is sufficient to explain the evolution of the horse or it isn't. It will invalidate any claim that it is not possible ... and that is much more than blind untested faith. You will no longer be able to rationally conclude (2) or (3) (or (5)). That leaves us with a tentative conclusion that (4) it is possible that it happened. That tentative conclusion, based on limited knowledge is also science, and the difference between science and faith.

Enjoy.

Edited by RAZD, : .


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

This message is a reply to:
 Message 65 by Beretta, posted 05-30-2008 8:54 AM Beretta has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 70 by Zucadragon, posted 05-31-2008 3:59 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply
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Zucadragon
Member (Idle past 23 days)
Posts: 61
From: Netherlands
Joined: 06-28-2006


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Message 70 of 331 (468702)
05-31-2008 3:59 PM
Reply to: Message 69 by RAZD
05-30-2008 9:38 PM


Re: Can vs Can't
In a nut shell, in creationist terms the differences in dogs are all micro-evolution yet the differences from the horses ancestor to the current horse species is "macro evolution" and not proven.

But by comparing every step of horse evolution and measuring the differences and seeing that they are still smaller then the differences between many dogs (which was micro evolution apparantly) then you can undoubtly conclude that a horse was evolved and that either:

1. the idea that it is macro evolution is wrong and it was in reality micro evolution, but opening that flood door will simply lead to larger, bigger examples up untill the whole fossil record is just micro evolution and just acceptable.

2. concluded that macro evolution is just a whole bunch of micro evolution + time..


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 Message 69 by RAZD, posted 05-30-2008 9:38 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

    
Jaderis
Member
Posts: 621
From: NY,NY
Joined: 06-16-2006


Message 71 of 331 (468727)
05-31-2008 11:56 PM
Reply to: Message 65 by Beretta
05-30-2008 8:54 AM


Re: Can vs Can't
If I may jump in...

Breeding experiments are organized with intelligence and cannot be compared to what would happen in the wild. Tame foxes if they were to arise naturally would most likely not survive. In the absence of intelligent input and protection of the tame ones, this variability is unlikely to occur. Same for the dogs. So your boundaries are not natural ones and should not be extrapolated to include potential variability in the wild.

I think breeding experiments can be compared to what may happen in the wild. Straggler, I believe, already made the point that the one and only selection criteria with regards to the foxes was for tameness. That is one characteristic. From selection from that one characteristic, much variability was produced.

Now, in the wild, tameness among foxes (and the resultant decrease in adrenalin and thus, the variability witnessed)) would probably not be selected for, however, another characteristic could/would be and a similar degree of variation based on this one selected for characteristic might be seen*. Just because the criteria was established by an intelligence (us) in this instance does not necessarily mean that an intelligence is behind all selection criteria.

To further complicate things (sorry if this goes too much off topic RAZD), sexual selection can be brought into the mix. Could not sexual selection of a trait or traits be considered akin to what human intelligence did with the foxes? A certain trait(s) is considered desirable and a decision is made based on our respective needs or desires. The selection is still natural in both cases (meaning that nature or our natural inclinations dictate what is selected), but, the outcome is based on a criteria that involved some form of "intelligent" selection.

*Does anyone have any articles that may demonstrate studies done which track variability in the wild due to specific environmental pressures (besides bacteria and viruses...nothing against them as they are the quickest studies, but I am looking for studies similar to the fox study, but done with other criteria perhaps)? This would be fascinating to me, thanks.

Every step in the transformation of one kind into another would have to have survival advantages or natural selection would eliminate the changes

Correct and incorrect. Each step would have to be non-detrimental to the individual/species. It does not necessarily have to confer an environmental advantage over the previous step. You are forgetting that genetic drift, sexual selection, and gene flow also play a part in evolution.

That is what the fossil record actually shows, natural selection appears to keep things within limits. Some things exhibit stasis and others become extinct.

And others evolve.

We have no scientific reason to believe that any one species became another species just because they may have certain features in common.

But we see it all the time. Are you confused by the definition of species?


This next bit is separate from my answers to Beretta. Just some thoughts as I was reading through the thread.

I think what RAZD is trying to get at (and correct me if I am wrong) is that we have a concept of dog in our minds and that includes all of the various breeds we see today. We also have a concept of horse which includes all of the different breeds we see today.

1,000,000 years from now, the people living (if any) will probably also have a concept of dog (given that humans and dogs continue in their relationship). The question is: how much difference between the modern dog and the future dog could possibly accumulate based on what we know about possible morphological changes and genetics? The progression of "dog" will possibly go on unbroken throughout the generations, with each generation retaining the concept of "dog" from the last, not noticing the larger changes that accumulate over the millenia. However, if one were to take a sample of any random dog as we know it today and compare it with a dog 1,000,000 years in the future, would it be recognizable to us or our dog recognizable to them (again, based on what we know about possible morphological changes and genetics)?

It's kind of like gaining/losing weight in front of someone who sees you everyday. They don't notice the gradual change, but someone who hasn't seen you in 5 years would immediately notice the difference.

We can only see the gradual changes and it is easy to dismiss them as insignificant step by step, but given a large enough window of time, the changes appear quite significant (and genetic evidence, which is not subject to bias or interpretation confirms the morphological changes evidenced in the fossil record and would likely do the same for my hypothetical dog of the future).

Back to Beretta.

There are two choices, either it happened or it didn’t and in the absence of scientific proof for a mechanism that allows it to happen, we are left with faith in naturalistic mechanisms as a possibility but, though naturalists don’t like to think so, not the only possibility.

It is the only possibility with explanatory evidence. The mechanisms described by the ToE have been evidenced time and time again. And no mechanism that would limit the variability which would lead to speciation and beyond has, yet, been put forth.

But you are right, it is possible that some divine and/or supernatural being is responsible for all of this. Without evidence, however, it is only a possibility which exists in the tiny percentage of "doubt" which is a part of science (nothing can be known with 100% certainty and all that). Call it a cousin of the God of the Gaps. Maybe the God of the 1/10th percentile?


"You are metaphysicians. You can prove anything by metaphysics; and having done so, every metaphysician can prove every other metaphysician wrong--to his own satisfaction. You are anarchists in the realm of thought. And you are mad cosmos-makers. Each of you dwells in a cosmos of his own making, created out of his own fancies and desires. You do not know the real world in which you live, and your thinking has no place in the real world except in so far as it is phenomena of mental aberration." -The Iron Heel by Jack London

"Hazards exist that are not marked" - some bar in Chelsea


This message is a reply to:
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randman 
Suspended Member (Idle past 1365 days)
Posts: 6367
Joined: 05-26-2005


Message 72 of 331 (468860)
06-01-2008 11:27 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by RAZD
12-05-2007 8:00 PM


Re: Time for a little definition of what macroevolution is.
Interesting the idea of trying to set a metric of change to examine facts by. I've been saying for some time that evos need to do that to substantiate their claims, specifically their claims of fossil rarity as being a good excuse for transitions being absent from the fossil record. One response was that it's impossible, but you seem to be doing this with your initial post in relation to cats and dogs, etc,....It would be interesting to apply this for other species such as whales where you have some differing whale genera that can mate and produce offspring (even classified different subfamilies by some), and yet seeming closer related species cannot do that.

This relates to your OP because there is a definite range of traits that can be significantly wider for the same sort of creature (creatures that can mate) than there is even apparently between species that cannot.....or so it seems.

However, this really doesn't tell us much in terms of the EvC debate. It's not like creationism doesn't predict the same results. It does. Creationism in fact predicts specific ranges of evolution occur within a baramin or kind. So it would not be surprising to see some ranges expanded to the point that maybe, for some features, the Fox does appear as similar to the cat.

Curiously though, I see your post as somewhat evidence against evolution, as the Fox should be more closely resembling other canines than cats since presumably they are genetically and evolutionary closer in relations. The fact this is not the case is not supportive of evo theory.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by RAZD, posted 12-05-2007 8:00 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 73 by RAZD, posted 06-01-2008 11:58 PM randman has responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 15947
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 73 of 331 (468864)
06-01-2008 11:58 PM
Reply to: Message 72 by randman
06-01-2008 11:27 PM


Please no off topic responses.
Randman,

I will not engage in a long debate with you on this thread, as you have a tendency to avoid the real debate and attempt to drag it off into all sorts of corners -- such as adding whales to the mix, discussing transitionals, fossil rarity and other known metrics that have been applied to the fossil record -- that not only are unnecessary but are counterproductive: they waste posts that would otherwise be on topic, and regurgitate positions that have already been answered. You want to talk about whales, start another topic.

One thing (of several) I will point out that is false reasoning on your part:

Curiously though, I see your post as somewhat evidence against evolution, as the Fox should be more closely resembling other canines than cats since presumably they are genetically and evolutionary closer in relations. The fact this is not the case is not supportive of evo theory.

First off, non-related (or distantly related) species that share traits does not violate evolution in any way. See Sugar Gliders and Flying Squirrels as an example of convergent evolution, but more important of sharing analogous traits but not homologous traits.

Second, the fact that canines and felines share so many traits is because they have a fairly recent common ancestor. They are similar, but there are some differences (eyelids, tongue barbs) -- it is just that overall those differences are less than the differences we see within the dog species. Evolutionists know how to tell the differences, and which ones are important from a hereditary perspective.

It is creationists that seem to think that there should be some great difference between species, but they will never ever define what that difference has to be. They talk about vast change with half vast definitions.

The only thing the little difference between dogs and cats and foxes proves is that the creationist concept of undefined dramatic change is not needed in evolution.

In other words the only thing this is not supportive of is your idea of evolution rather than the real thing. "Randmanolution" has been disproved. Now we can get back to the real thing.

I'll thank you to leave it at that, and I'll thank others not to take your bait to go off--topic. Please start another topic Randman.

Enjoy.

Edited by RAZD, : .


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This message is a reply to:
 Message 72 by randman, posted 06-01-2008 11:27 PM randman has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 74 by randman, posted 06-02-2008 12:31 AM RAZD has acknowledged this reply
 Message 75 by randman, posted 06-02-2008 12:37 AM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

  
randman 
Suspended Member (Idle past 1365 days)
Posts: 6367
Joined: 05-26-2005


Message 74 of 331 (468866)
06-02-2008 12:31 AM
Reply to: Message 73 by RAZD
06-01-2008 11:58 PM


Re: Please no off topic responses.
First off, non-related (or distantly related) species that share traits does not violate evolution in any way. See Sugar Gliders and Flying Squirrels as an example of convergent evolution, but more important of sharing analogous traits but not homologous traits.

Second, the fact that canines and felines share so many traits is because they have a fairly recent common ancestor.

You don't see a contradiction between the 1st and 2nd point? If similar traits can arise via convergent evolution, then doesn't it make sense that foxes and cats seem more similar due to the fact they occupy a different habitat? The fact they theoritically share common ancestor does not explain why foxes are not more similar to dogs, if that is even the case. Considering they are classified in the canine family, it strikes me that you are factually wrong, but more to the point, the similarities between foxes and cats are not due to common ancestry. Otherwise, they'd be more similar to dogs. Right? Since they presumably have a closer common ancestor to dogs.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 73 by RAZD, posted 06-01-2008 11:58 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

  
randman 
Suspended Member (Idle past 1365 days)
Posts: 6367
Joined: 05-26-2005


Message 75 of 331 (468868)
06-02-2008 12:37 AM
Reply to: Message 73 by RAZD
06-01-2008 11:58 PM


Re: Please no off topic responses.
RAZD, you are the one that introduced transitionals and the fossil record, not me, or perhaps you don't recall these comments?

If this is not convincing enough we can go further back in time to extend the analysis above (where we started with eohippus\Hyracotheriumabove):
From Transitional Fossils FAQ by Kathleen Hunt:

Perhaps you just want to discuss horses and dogs? But at the same time, you opened this door into transitionals and how there can be greater similarity within closely related species than more distantly related species. If it's off-topic, please don't complain as if I am the one that brought it up.

Edited by randman, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
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