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Author Topic:   What is a "kind"?
bluescat48
Member (Idle past 663 days)
Posts: 2347
From: United States
Joined: 10-06-2007


Message 31 of 42 (530466)
10-13-2009 4:18 PM
Reply to: Message 27 by Peg
10-13-2009 4:55 AM


well humans are 1 kind

Which by your definition would mean that there are over a million kinds.


There is no better love between 2 people than mutual respect for each other WT Young, 2002

Who gave anyone the authority to call me an authority on anything. WT Young, 1969

Since Evolution is only ~90% correct it should be thrown out and replaced by Creation which has even a lower % of correctness. W T Young, 2008


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ZenMonkey
Member (Idle past 984 days)
Posts: 428
From: Portland, OR USA
Joined: 09-25-2009


Message 32 of 42 (530492)
10-13-2009 6:38 PM
Reply to: Message 30 by Modulous
10-13-2009 12:50 PM



quote:
no arbitary barriers kind of implies that all living things should be capable of cross breeding...ie horse with cow or rabbit with wombat
what do you mean exactly.

What I mean is that if I got all things that have ever lived together in a room and pointed at one of them I could, in principle, point to something else that is the same species as that one. Then I could point to something else that was the same species as the second one. And I could keep pointing at things which are the same species as the last one moving from one organism to the next until I've moved from an ostrich to an orchid.

It's probably more helpful to think of Dawkins's "hairpin" analogy from The Greatest Show on Earth. (And if I had my copy here with me at work I'd be able to quote it exactly.)

Imagine starting with a single living organism. For the sake of this example let's make it a goldfish. Now go back a generation to its parent, which looks pretty close, but not exactly like its progeny. (Probably easier for the goldfish to tell the difference that it is for us.) Go back another generation, and again the parent is similar but not exactly the same as the progeny. Keep going back generation after generation, seeing minor changes in the DNA as we go, and eventually we end up with something that doesn't look at all like the modern goldfish we started with. Let's take it all the way back to the first chordate. Now here's the hairpin turn. Go forward one generation from this organism, but to a different descendant. (For the sake of the argument, we can start here with one of our chordate's close relatives, a cousin or someone else of the same generation.) The descendant is again going to look similar and have similar DNA, but will not be an exact copy. Moving forward generation after generation, traveling down a different line of descent, a different evolutionary pathway, we can find ourselves ending up with a descendant way far away on the genetic map from the goldfish we started with, say an anthropoid named Charlie or Peg.

As long as you grant that living beings can change in any degree, however small, from one generation to the next, and as long as you grant that changes are inheritable, then common descent can indeed demonstrate a kinship between any two organisms, from ostrich to orchid. You just have to go back far enough.


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Arphy
Member (Idle past 906 days)
Posts: 185
From: New Zealand
Joined: 08-23-2009


(1)
Message 33 of 42 (531283)
10-16-2009 7:38 PM
Reply to: Message 26 by greyseal
10-12-2009 10:37 AM


Re: The kind: comedy gold
I know that there is already a similar thread to this one, however I like this one a bit better. Just want to say that Slevesques post was excellent unfortunatly perhaps somewhat misunderstood.

Hybridization: Note this is an additive criteria
If an organism can hybridize with another organism -they are the same kind.
If that other organism can hybridize with yet another organism -they are all the same kind.
If that organism can...etc.
Note that if an organism can not hybridize with another organism this does not mean they are not from the same kind, this is because this ability may have been lost through mutations etc.

Both Mr jack's and greyseal's comments seem to show a common misconception that creationists don't believe that organisms change or that these changes can look quite big phenotypically. The point remains that genomes are degenerating (genetic entropy) and no new information arises.

Out of interest I came across this article http://creation.com/molecular-limits-natural-variation yesterday as it was the featured article on the CMI website. It shows how large amounts of phenotypical variations can occur while maintaining the creation model. Kirschner and Gerharts facilitated variation theory is the main topic, which while being touted by evolutionists as strong evidence against ID it is actually the complete opposite. Note that the original authors believe that new "core processes" can arise naturally yet haven't been able to show how. Anyway, here is the abstract:

Darwins theory that species originate via the natural selection of natural variation is correct in principle but wrong in numerous aspects of application. Speciation is not the result of an unlimited naturalistic process but of an intelligently designed system of built-in variation that is limited in scope to switching ON and OFF permutations and combinations of the built-in components. Kirschner and Gerharts facilitated variation theory provides enormous potential for rearrangement of the built-in regulatory components but it cannot switch ON components that do not exist. When applied to the grass family, facilitated variation theory can account for the diversification of the whole family from a common ancestoras baraminologists had previously proposedbut this cannot be extended to include all the flowering plants. Vast amounts of rapid differentiation and dispersal must have occurred in the post-Flood era, and facilitated variation theory can explain this. In contrast, because of genome depletion by selection and degradation by mutation, the potential for diversification that we see in species around us today is trivial.
Sorry maybe a bit of a bare link, but if there is enough interest maybe we could open a new thread.

So in conclusion I think slevesques post showed that we are able to define a kind, however, have we carried out all the necessary research on every single organism to fully classify everything according to these criteria? No, not yet, but we are working on it, and what is wrong with that?


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Replies to this message:
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Minnemooseus
Member
Posts: 3251
From: Duluth, Minnesota, U.S. (West end of Lake Superior)
Joined: 11-11-2001


Message 34 of 42 (531300)
10-16-2009 10:11 PM
Reply to: Message 33 by Arphy
10-16-2009 7:38 PM


The sexually reproducing animal kind (OSLT)
Hybridization: Note this is an additive criteria
If an organism can hybridize with another organism -they are the same kind.
If that other organism can hybridize with yet another organism -they are all the same kind.
If that organism can...etc.
Note that if an organism can not hybridize with another organism this does not mean they are not from the same kind, this is because this ability may have been lost through mutations etc.

This discussion applies to sexually reproducing animals.

Since every one of your hybrids is just another decedent in a long line of ancestors and decedents, wouldn't your definition tend to put all of the tree of sexually reproducing life into being the same kind? The "sexually reproducing animal kind".

I guess a second kind would be the "sexually reproducing plant kind".

Not a biologist,

Moose

Edited by Minnemooseus, : Add a word.


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Arphy
Member (Idle past 906 days)
Posts: 185
From: New Zealand
Joined: 08-23-2009


(1)
Message 35 of 42 (531305)
10-16-2009 10:42 PM
Reply to: Message 34 by Minnemooseus
10-16-2009 10:11 PM


Re: The sexually reproducing animal kind (OSLT)
umm... hybridization experiments can only be done on living species . So yes, if all living animals could hybridize they would be one kind. But they don't. Hybridization only works on living animals so you may conjecture that some fossil animal once hybridized with another animal, however you don't have direct evidence to prove this. This is why hybridization is just an additive criteria i.e. If we can directly prove that two living organisms hybridize then they are the same kind, if they don't then then it is evidence neither for nor against the two (sexually reproducing) organisms being in a kind. To conclude that two organisms are different kinds see what is written under subtractive criteria.
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Meldinoor
Member (Idle past 1282 days)
Posts: 400
From: Colorado, USA
Joined: 02-16-2009


Message 36 of 42 (531320)
10-17-2009 12:47 AM
Reply to: Message 33 by Arphy
10-16-2009 7:38 PM


Re: The kind: comedy gold
Hello Arphy,

First off, I want to congratulate you on your recent POTM nomination. You and slevesque have mustered the courage many creationists lack, and defined the term "kind". Pats on the back for both of you.

Now some comments on your post.

Your additive criteria seem to be the standard definition of "kind". If two animals can reproduce, they are a "kind". I have no problem with this definition as far as sexually reproducing species go.

However, to conclusively show that a species does not belong to a kind you need to use your subtractive criteria. This is your definition's weak spot. As far as I can tell from slevesque's excerpt, gaps in the fossil record are all that is necessary to exclude a species from a kind.

The problem is that new fossils are found continuously, and gaps are gradually filling up. If scientists were to dig up enough links between land-living animals and whales that even creationists would have to concede their relation to each other, then pakicetus would join the whale kind.
If you base a definition on gaps in current knowledge, your kinds will be continuously redefined as new findings come in.

slevesque's article writes:

Are the natural and hybridized forms within the group separated from organisms outside the group by gaps that are significantly greater than intra-group differences?

But how do you quantify these differences? If, say, you defined gorillas and chimps as being one kind (not saying you do), what steps would you take to show that humans are significantly more different from that kind than gorillas are from chimps? (I think, on a molecular level, chimps and humans are closer than chimps and gorillas genetically).

The key to genetic relationships lies with molecular evidence, not so much morphology. Your method should reflect this.

-Meldinoor


This message is a reply to:
 Message 33 by Arphy, posted 10-16-2009 7:38 PM Arphy has responded

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Arphy
Member (Idle past 906 days)
Posts: 185
From: New Zealand
Joined: 08-23-2009


(2)
Message 37 of 42 (531326)
10-17-2009 2:32 AM
Reply to: Message 36 by Meldinoor
10-17-2009 12:47 AM


Re: The kind: comedy gold
However, to conclusively show that a species does not belong to a kind you need to use your subtractive criteria. This is your definition's weak spot. As far as I can tell from slevesque's excerpt, gaps in the fossil record are all that is necessary to exclude a species from a kind.

Yeah, been thinking about this bit as well. I think that possibly this should be looked at as in, if you are going to lable two species as being distinctly different kinds because they fulfill the other subtractive criteria, then you had better make sure there aren't any fossil intermediates. But yes, it is possible that revisions may have to be made as new evidence turns up.

and gaps are gradually filling up
yes, but what gaps? The gaps between kinds or the gaps between members of the same kind? I would say it is the latter.

But how do you quantify these differences? If, say, you defined gorillas and chimps as being one kind (not saying you do), what steps would you take to show that humans are significantly more different from that kind than gorillas are from chimps? (I think, on a molecular level, chimps and humans are closer than chimps and gorillas genetically).

The key to genetic relationships lies with molecular evidence, not so much morphology. Your method should reflect this.

Baraminic Distance takes both molecular and morphological evidence into account. However, Todd charles Wood has this to say in h.../a-baraminology-tutorial-with-examples-from-the-grasses-poaceae
Systematic data derived from DNA sequence comparisons may not be very useful for baraminology because so many DNA/DNA comparisons are done on genes that are very similar between many species. Consequently, species appear much more similar than they would if you examined their morphology, thus the use of DNA sequence information biases the systematic results towards similarity that is purely genetic.
This is particularly true of your example of genetic similarities between humans and apes.
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Meldinoor
Member (Idle past 1282 days)
Posts: 400
From: Colorado, USA
Joined: 02-16-2009


Message 38 of 42 (531332)
10-17-2009 4:27 AM
Reply to: Message 37 by Arphy
10-17-2009 2:32 AM


Genetic similarity vs Morphology
Thanks for your reply, Arphy.

Arphy writes:

But yes, it is possible that revisions may have to be made as new evidence turns up.

Fair enough. That is true for any scientific model.

Arphy writes:

I think that possibly this should be looked at as in, if you are going to lable two species as being distinctly different kinds because they fulfill the other subtractive criteria, then you had better make sure there aren't any fossil intermediates.

Good point, Arphy. However, I'm not sure why the author of that article chose to place a lack of fossil evidence under negative criteria. Absence of proof is not proof of absence, and just because we don't have the fossil links doesn't mean they don't exist. I get the feeling it was thrown in just to fluff up the list of criteria.

Arphy writes:

yes, but what gaps? The gaps between kinds or the gaps between members of the same kind? I would say it is the latter.

Hahaha... If they filled the gaps between different kinds they would no longer be different kinds Any fossil links must per your definition be within a kind. So your distinction makes no sense. Respectfully.

Arphy writes:

Consequently, species appear much more similar than they would if you examined their morphology, thus the use of DNA sequence information biases the systematic results towards similarity that is purely genetic.

I still have a problem with this. We are essentially discussing genetic or evolutionary (you would probably say micro-evolution) relationships when we're talking about kinds. While morphology may be useful for grouping types of animal, it is horrible when it comes down to figuring out how animals are related.

Take dogs for instance. They differ enormously in their outward morphology, yet their DNA is still very uniform. If we were to define dogs merely by what they look like, ignoring all other factors, we might be tempted to put them in different groups, possibly even in your case, different kinds.

But dogs can interbreed. This shows us that morphology plays very little role in determining whether two animals can hybridize. It's all in the DNA. The more differences, the less likely two individuals will be able to produce viable offspring.

Arphy's reference writes:

Consequently, species appear much more similar than they would if you examined their morphology, thus the use of DNA sequence information biases the systematic results towards similarity that is purely genetic.

But isn't it the genetic similarities that matter? Who cares how dissimilar two species look? There are many proven cases of closely related animals (like dogs) that look wildly different. There are also cases where animals that look similar have proven to be distantly related genetically (like marsupial squirrel gliders, and placental flying squirrels). If you group these marsupials and placentals into the same kind, and do not put chimps and humans together, you've got some serious problems with your definition of kinds.

-Meldinoor

Edited by Meldinoor, : Trying to remember to give my posts good titles


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Mr Jack
Member
Posts: 3485
From: Leicester, England
Joined: 07-14-2003


(1)
Message 39 of 42 (531334)
10-17-2009 4:42 AM
Reply to: Message 33 by Arphy
10-16-2009 7:38 PM


Re: The kind: comedy gold
Arphy writes:

The point remains that genomes are degenerating (genetic entropy) and no new information arises.

I've read the papers by your finest Bariminologists, as alluded to by Slevesque. They're a joke. And they most certainly do not represent anything that could be described as degeneration.

They're saying that C4 plants can be descended from C3 plants inside of the same kind. Are you seriously suggesting that having a completely new biochemical pathway, differently localised with specialised anatomically features which provides considerably more efficient CO2 fixation and lower water loss, represents a degeneration, seriously?

Come on.

They're also saying that Hyracotherium, Miohippus, Equus and Plesippus are the same kind, along with all the rest of these. Note the differences in toe number, the differences in size, the differences in dentition, the emergence of a specialised knee joint with remarkable energy efficiency properties, the difference in diet. You think that this remarkable array of changes represents only degeneration? Seriously?

Come on.

Arphy writes:

Both Mr jack's and greyseal's comments seem to show a common misconception that creationists don't believe that organisms change or that these changes can look quite big phenotypically.

No, my point is that what they are proposing is beyond stupid: it's a fantasy. And it shows the incredible weakness of the Creationist position. Originally Creationists held the simplistic fantasy that all the animals could fit on the Ark. But this was shown up as complete absurdity by the sheer breadth of living species and the myth of fixed species blown away by the proponderance of direct evidence for speciation, and the multitudes of transitional fossils. So the idea of a kind was conjured up - along with the pretence that inventing entirely new specialised terms and then acting like that was what the Bible was talking about all along is still "taking it literally". But the kind is stubbornly missing from reality which is why your finest Bariminologists are driven into adopting such absurd positions while continuing to spout nonsense like the huge array of variation they believe has sprung forth with breathtaking speed only represent "degeneration".


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Arphy
Member (Idle past 906 days)
Posts: 185
From: New Zealand
Joined: 08-23-2009


Message 40 of 42 (531457)
10-18-2009 4:13 AM
Reply to: Message 38 by Meldinoor
10-17-2009 4:27 AM


Re: Genetic similarity vs Morphology
Hi Meldinoor

Good point, Arphy. However, I'm not sure why the author of that article chose to place a lack of fossil evidence under negative criteria. Absence of proof is not proof of absence, and just because we don't have the fossil links doesn't mean they don't exist. I get the feeling it was thrown in just to fluff up the list of criteria.
Fair enough, and I think that is why you shouldn't derive conclusions directly from this. However, with our ever increasing data of fossils I don't think that gaps are irrelevant information, and should definitely be included when forming conclusions.

Hahaha... If they filled the gaps between different kinds they would no longer be different kinds
Yip, fair enough. I guess time will tell. But i was meaning that of the fossils that are being found, I don't think that any seriously threaten the creationist model (you might disagree with me there, but that debate is for another thread)

Morphology and genetics: Firstly we don't generally have DNA for fossil species so we don't really have too much choice other than morphology. And i agree that theoretically genetic evidence would be better, however the point was that the way DNA/DNA comparisons are done at present gives a bias towards similarity. As DNA/DNA comparison methods develop I would hope that creationists would put more emphasise on this method.

Also with your example of dogs. When you see a picture of a breed of dog that you haven't seen before, do you immediatly recognise it as a dog?

Yes, morphological comparisons can be fallible, but even in evolutionary science they are relied on. I would hope that people doing comparisons of morphology would be knowledgeable at identifying the differences between variations of a structure and a completly new structure.


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Blzebub 
Suspended Member (Idle past 1714 days)
Posts: 129
Joined: 10-10-2009


(1)
Message 41 of 42 (531469)
10-18-2009 6:23 AM
Reply to: Message 40 by Arphy
10-18-2009 4:13 AM


Re: Genetic similarity vs Morphology
Every time a fossil "gap" is filled by a new find, it creates two more gaps on either side! If you had a complete (and very long) movie film of an organism evolving, you could still argue that gaps exist in the record because the film only takes 25 pictures per second!

Few corpses fossilise. Gaps in the fossil record are therefore not unexpected. Even if there were no fossils at all, the weight of evidence for evolution being a fact is so overwhelming, it wouldn't matter. Fossils are just the icing on the cake.


This message is a reply to:
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Blzebub 
Suspended Member (Idle past 1714 days)
Posts: 129
Joined: 10-10-2009


Message 42 of 42 (531470)
10-18-2009 6:28 AM
Reply to: Message 33 by Arphy
10-16-2009 7:38 PM


Re: The kind: comedy gold
The point remains that genomes are degenerating (genetic entropy) and no new information arises.

No they are not, and yes it does.

see post 48, here:

http://www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=page&t=1384...


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