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Author Topic:   Evolution vs. Creation Interpretations (Jazzns, nemesis_juggernaut) (NOW OPEN TO ALL)
Jazzns
Member (Idle past 1467 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004


Message 1 of 77 (360227)
10-31-2006 6:42 PM


Great debate thread - invitees only


nemesis_juggernaut makes some pretty strong claims in The consequences of "Evolution is false" about how creationists and IDers are simply interpreting the evidence differently from mainstream science.

He says:

nj writes:

When I mentioned certain evolutionists tailoring the evidence, I was not inferring 'tampering' with evidence, but more of them trying to find satisfying ways of re-interpreting evidence to suit their agenda. If you haven't noticed from my previous post, I indict certain creationists in a similar vein. It should be no mystery that both evolution and creation have cult followings and there is a sense of allegiance to them. The evidence of this is plain to see on this forum alone. I'm simply saying that perhaps this shouldn't be. Science is supposed to be objective when for so many its anything but.

This implies that the only difference between evolution and creation is a matter of bias. It also implies that no objective truth about the natural world can be established because there will always be other "interpretations" of the evidence.

Continuing:

nj writes:

Well, that is a bit of hyperbole mixed in for added effect. I think what the writer was probably referring to is the difference between punctuated equilibrium vs slight, successive gradations adding up over time. Most evolutionists today have abandoned, or at least placed on hold, the notion of a classic, Darwinian model. And this is because of the inadequacy of the fossil record. Now, most evo's seem to prefer long periods of stasis, with rapid punctuations in between. This is another example of interpreting the evidence differently. Both groups are looking at the same fossils, they are simply interpreting the evidence differently.

The ignorance of the evidence for PE asside, nj brings up a specific example to illustrate how a creationist "interpretations" are equivalent to mainstream "interpretations". At this point I would like to bring up my main point of contention about this. I find that creationist "interpretations", while they may be an effort to explain the evidence differently, do so in a manner that ignores the BODY of evidence for a particular phenomenon. Creationists explain things in a piecemeal fashion. They have a seperate "interpretation" of the evidence that when taken all together is either contradictory, or simply ignores a rather large subset of the entire body of evidence that would force them to abandon the individual interpretations. This is true for every circumstance of creationists "interpretation" that I have ever seen.

NJ then, in order to support his claim, must show how creationism or ID has a workable interpretation that explains ALL the evidence. In the case of the fossil record, he would have to explain how the creationists "interpretation" includes the remaining body of evidence that mainstream geologists use when examining fossils. This includes radiometric dating, fossil sequences, index fossils, ordering, etc.

Another example is given by NJ:

nj writes:

I don't know whether or not Zebras have been found in arctic regions. That really wasn't the point. The point is, if you have a tangible piece of evidence, i.e. a fossil, how two or more groups interpret the evidence is at the heart of the issue. I'm merely distinguishing the difference between evidence and the interpretation of the evidence.

Lets use an example that we do know of. Tropical plants have been found on Spitsbergen island, which is well into the arctic circle. Now, do we interpret that evidence to mean that earth was once wholly tropical or is that interpreted as that region was once closer to the equator and drifted from continental shifting? This is what I mean by interpreting the evidence. We are all looking at the same piece of evidence, (tropical plants in an arctic region), but clearly there are varying opinions on how and why that piece of evidence exists in that region.

To "interpret" that the world was once wholly tropical is to do so in complete IGNORANCE of the evidence that the earth was NEVER wholly tropical. In order for NJ's claim to hold up, there needs to be a creationist interpretation that not only includes the evidence for tropical plants in artic regions but also vast body of evidence for Earth's paleo-climate, plate tectonics, and the sedimentary history of the area. It is a pretty BOLD CLAIM to state that because we find a fossil of a plant in an artic region that the whole rest of the world was once tropical. There is a lot of evidence related to that claim that would impact it and so far that evidence has only been ignored.

The main topic of this thread is if this idea that creationists explanations are merely different "interpretations" of the evidence. While we will inevitably need to discuss some examples such as above, the main thrust of this thread should be about NJ's main claim that the explanations only differ in their "interpretation".

If NJ would like to participate in this thread. I would also like to suggest that it be a Great Debate topic if he would like to avoid the "pile on" process that seemed to take hold in the other thread.

In the mean time, I think the best place for this thread would be 'Is it Science?' since the objective is to support or refute the claim that creationism is a valid science if only a different interpretation. NJ can then post his desires for the nature of the debate, open or GD.

Edited by Adminnemooseus, : Tweeked existing topic a bit, and added the "(NOW OPEN TO ALL)" part.


Of course, biblical creationists are committed to belief in God's written Word, the Bible, which forbids bearing false witness; --AIG (lest they forget)
Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by Hyroglyphx, posted 11-01-2006 11:00 AM Jazzns has responded
 Message 4 by Hyroglyphx, posted 11-01-2006 12:17 PM Jazzns has responded

  
Jazzns
Member (Idle past 1467 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004


Message 2 of 77 (360300)
10-31-2006 11:19 PM


Getting the ball rolling.
I don't necessarily think this thread needs to be as fast paced as a "normal" thread. I would prefer to take the time to do well thought out and researched posts.

If you would like to include others, now might be a good time to think about it. I may suggest that if you want to make this more than a 1 on 1 that we start with just 1 more on each side. I am fine continuing one on one if you like though.

I think you may want to take some time also in response to my OP. Perhaps you would like to pick a different example of a creationist interpretation or expand on one of the ones you were talking about in the other thread.

I am primarily going to be arguing from the standpoint that this whole idea of interpretations is bogus. Evidence leads to reasoned conclusions that anyone can come to regardless of religion, bias, etc. That is what the scientific method is all about. Knowledge is verified when replication is performed. If scientific replication does not produce the same results, the original conclusion based on those results needs to be re-evaluated.

More to come once I hear back from you about how you want this discussion to proceed.


Of course, biblical creationists are committed to belief in God's written Word, the Bible, which forbids bearing false witness; --AIG (lest they forget)
  
Hyroglyphx
Member (Idle past 47 days)
Posts: 5512
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006


Message 3 of 77 (360419)
11-01-2006 11:00 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Jazzns
10-31-2006 6:42 PM


Debating the issues
I find that creationist "interpretations", while they may be an effort to explain the evidence differently, do so in a manner that ignores the BODY of evidence for a particular phenomenon. Creationists explain things in a piecemeal fashion. They have a seperate "interpretation" of the evidence that when taken all together is either contradictory, or simply ignores a rather large subset of the entire body of evidence that would force them to abandon the individual interpretations. This is true for every circumstance of creationists "interpretation" that I have ever seen.

In another thread, I was explaining how I've grown disenchanted with many creationist argumenta for a number of reasons. The biggest reason probably has to do with their penchant to tie naturalism into questions of theology at every turn. There is no reason for that. Certain creationists also tend to exhibit any case of bias if it conforms with their general theological beliefs. Science is supposed to be objective. I find it to be an aberration when groups stray from this.

Having been that candid about my beliefs, the BODY of evidence you mention is not without fault of its own. Off-hand, I am reminded how Darwinian baggage comes to light in other areas of study. For instance, the calibration methodology for radiometric dating. Now, don't get me wrong. I'm neither a YEC or an OEC, as I have not really formulated my opinion for an age estimate. I am leaning closer to a young earth model, but I remain open for the most part.

For there to be as much diversity as there is on this planet, coming from a single ancestor, Darwin and those that would follow his work knew that great amounts of time must assuredly have passed. The probability that you can flip 16 coins in succession and have them all come up ‘heads’ or ‘tails’ is 1 in 65,536. If you try it once, you will more than likely fail. If you test the experiment 10 million times, however, you will certainly succeed. In fact, you are then likely to succeed 150 times out of that many tries. Therefore, most evolutionists rely on the prospect that the commencement of life is not impossible, just very, very improbable. The rationale is if billions of years of time elapsed, it will provide enough opportunities for these anomalous occurrences to commence.

It is first important that we ask how these figures have come up to begin with. This is where Darwinian baggage creeps in and questions the integrity of the experimentation. There are many ingenious methods used to date the earth. Most notably, is radiometric and isochronal dating.

The methodology for ascertaining age estimates result in the measuring of the amount of radioactive isotopes in any given specimen. You measure the amount of each isotope, plus the assumed initial concentration of each isotope. From that, a calculation is made for an age estimate. The operative word in the aforementioned statement, however, is ‘assumed.’ When the advent of this testing came to be, scientists gathered fallen meteorites and produced from them an algorithm. This is where Darwinian conjecture comes in, since it was based solely on the inference that the meteorite itself must have been billions of years old. Therefore, we see a flawed premise from the get-go.

(I'll address the second half later. I'm going to be pretty busy today, but I'll get to it).

Edited by nemesis_juggernaut, : typos


"The weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God." -2nd Corinthians 10:4-5
This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Jazzns, posted 10-31-2006 6:42 PM Jazzns has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 5 by Jazzns, posted 11-01-2006 12:20 PM Hyroglyphx has responded

    
Hyroglyphx
Member (Idle past 47 days)
Posts: 5512
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006


Message 4 of 77 (360443)
11-01-2006 12:17 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Jazzns
10-31-2006 6:42 PM


Bold claims or two sides to every coin?
To "interpret" that the world was once wholly tropical is to do so in complete IGNORANCE of the evidence that the earth was NEVER wholly tropical. In order for NJ's claim to hold up, there needs to be a creationist interpretation that not only includes the evidence for tropical plants in artic regions but also vast body of evidence for Earth's paleo-climate, plate tectonics, and the sedimentary history of the area.

Okay, first of all, the ENTIRE point of mine was that alternative theories exist. To exclude or to cover up the fact that they exist is deceitful. Tropical plants HAVE been found in the arctic, which obviously is deserving of a really good explanation. I offered two explanations as examples of interpretations of the evidence. One theory is that the earth was once much more lush and over time has become less temperate depending on which part of the earth you are near. The other, that all or parts of the arctic reside on continental shelves that have shifted over millions of years of geologic time but were once close to the equator. NOWHERE did I offer MY personal opinion on the matter. You just simply assumed that I was defending a creationist belief. Truth be told, I don't really care either way. I think both the Canopy theory and the Pangea theory are interesting theories but I remain tentative on coming to a decision. I need more evidence to come to a solid decision and there could still be even more plausible theories in the near future.

It is a pretty BOLD CLAIM to state that because we find a fossil of a plant in an artic region that the whole rest of the world was once tropical. There is a lot of evidence related to that claim that would impact it and so far that evidence has only been ignored.

It is pretty bold for the simple fact that if the entire planet was lush, surely there would be evidence of such fauna found in the strata layer just about whereever you look. Alternatively, it isn't impossible to think that the earth was once a very lush place place, different from our world today with a mixed climate. Is it impossible to think that the earth was warm until a cataclysm, perhaps a meteorite striking the earth, sending plumes of debris and sediment that blanketed the earth's surface, sending that world into an ice age? Could it have altered the earth's climate and seasonal patterns forever? I don't know. That's why I was offering different perspectives instead of dogmatically yielding to only one option.


"The weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God." -2nd Corinthians 10:4-5
This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Jazzns, posted 10-31-2006 6:42 PM Jazzns has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by Jazzns, posted 11-01-2006 12:55 PM Hyroglyphx has responded
 Message 76 by Brianna Winebarger, posted 03-07-2012 9:02 AM Hyroglyphx has not yet responded

    
Jazzns
Member (Idle past 1467 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004


Message 5 of 77 (360444)
11-01-2006 12:20 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Hyroglyphx
11-01-2006 11:00 AM


Interpretations of Evidence vs Attacks upon Evidence
In another thread, I was explaining how I've grown disenchanted with many creationist argument for a number of reasons. The biggest reason probably has to do with their penchant to tie naturalism into questions of theology at every turn. There is no reason for that. Certain creationists also tend to exhibit any case of bias if it conforms with their general theological beliefs. Science is supposed to be objective. I find it to be an aberration when groups stray from this.

I started off in this debate in a position that I best describe as a skeptic rooting for creationism. What I found in my own study of the debate, before I ever penned my first post on EvC, is that the "aberration" you have just described is the norm. This is not in relation to the topic though, I just wanted to give you a basis from where I am coming from just as you did.

Having been that candid about my beliefs, the BODY of evidence you mention is not without fault of its own. Off-hand, I am reminded how Darwinian baggage comes to light in other areas of study. For instance, the calibration methodology for radiometric dating. Now, don't get me wrong. I'm neither a YEC or an OEC, as I have not really formulated my opinion for an age estimate. I am leaning closer to a young earth model, but I remain open for the most part.

Questioning the evidence is different from coming to a different conclusion about the evidence. Both situations arise in the EvC debate. We can talk about challenges that creationists have to the actual evidence but that may be taking this thread and turning it into a Generic EvC great debate.

Alternatively, we can discussion what interpretations a creationist might have to the evidence once the issue of its validity has been dealt with. In this way we can include your skepticism about radiometric dating. Creationists have both tried to send the concept of radiometric dating into disrepute AND tried to provide an alternative to the age evidence that comes from it. These two contradictory strategies is a perfect example of what I was talking about regarding selective and isolated interpretations. The left hand does not know what the right hand is doing.

For there to be as much diversity as there is on this planet, coming from a single ancestor, Darwin and those that would follow his work knew that great amounts of time must assuredly have passed. The probability that you can flip 16 coins in succession and have them all come up ‘heads’ or ‘tails’ is 1 in 65,536. If you try it once, you will more than likely fail. If you test the experiment 10 million times, however, you will certainly succeed. In fact, you are then likely to succeed 150 times out of that many tries. Therefore, most evolutionists rely on the prospect that the commencement of life is not impossible, just very, very improbable. The rationale is if billions of years of time elapsed, it will provide enough opportunities for these anomalous occurrences to commence.

I never could understand why creationists cannot separate the concept of spontaneous generation from that of evolution. I would prefer not to talk about abiogenesis since it is an area for which science does not have any definitive answers in the same way that we have them for biology and geology. For the sake of this discussion, any time we are discussing conclusions about evolution, we can assume that God created the first bacterium. After that, all we have is evolution and none of this discussion of chances that life arose randomly will distract us.

It is first important that we ask how these figures have come up to begin with. This is where Darwinian baggage creeps in and questions the integrity of the experimentation. There are many ingenious methods used to date the earth. Most notably, is radiometric and isochronal dating.

I should note that you seem to be working again from a major misconception. There is no Darwinian influence into geologic dating as can be seen from the history of the science. Many methods used by geologists to determine the age of the earth were in direct opposition to the time hypothesized to be needed by the theory of evolution. In addition, the method that finally broke the disagreement gave an age that was FAR GREATER than what was practically needed for evolution to occur. 4.5 billion years is about 4 times more than is needed for the biological processes that we have evidence for to have occurred.

It is also a common complaint from creationists that evolution drove the "dating game" that has never been supported with any evidence. Also, when a creationist makes this kind of claim, they are diverting attention from examining and explaining the evidence to examining and explaining the "motives" of some anthropomorphic concept of science.

The methodology for ascertaining age estimates result in the measuring of the amount of radioactive isotopes in any given specimen. You measure the amount of each isotope, plus the assumed initial concentration of each isotope. From that, a calculation is made for an age estimate. The operative word in the aforementioned statement, however, is ‘assumed.’

You mentioned isochron dating but based on this statement of yours I have to think that you might not know what isochron dating is all about. The isochron method eliminates the "assumptions" from you complaint above.

I would recommend reviewing the TalkOrigins description of isochron dating if you wish to remedy your misunderstanding about isochron dating. It presents the method in much simpler terms that what you might get from taking a geology class.

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/isochron-dating.html

In an isochron method, the amount of initial daughter material is not assumed but rather it is calculated from the point where the isochron line intersects the Y axis. The isochron method also provides a mechanism for detecting contamination and situations where the isochron represents the last time the material was cogenetic rather than its age.

When the advent of this testing came to be, scientists gathered fallen meteorites and produced from them an algorithm. This is where Darwinian conjecture comes in, since it was based solely on the inference that the meteorite itself must have been billions of years old. Therefore, we see a flawed premise from the get-go.

That this was a Darwinian conjecture is unsupported. Scientists at the time already knew that the earth was billions of years old and therefore surmised that any stellar material left over from the formation of our solar system, unravaged by the tectonic forces of a plant such as Earth, would represent the upper bound of the age of all the components of our solar system and that such an age would certainly be larger than the oldest rock ever dated on Earth.

In addition, a premise that the meteorites SHOULD date to be billions of years old does not change the fact that they actually DID date to billions of years old. It is merely a confirmation of the prediction based on the sound reasoning that stellar material has not been tainted by the geodynamic forces of the Earth.

Moreover, the complaint is STILL interpreting motives rather than interpreting evidence. If the dating of the meteorites is flawed, then that flaw should be evident in the data or methodology itself regardless of the motives of the experimenters.

Overall, we can go round and round about how some particular piece of evidence is not actually valid, but it has been the tendency for creationists lately to abandon this tactic. Some things are just far too solid. Radiometric dating is one of them. The latest efforts of the ICR have been more in line with trying to figure out a way for radioactive decay to have happened quicker in order for the radiometric evidence to jive with a young earth.

Mind you, this also is NOT interpreting the evidence differently. The are actually in search of NEW evidence to contradict the last thing that still is an assumption in radiometric dating. That is that the decay rates have been constant.

In closing, I'll repeat my initial suggestion that you provide a more complete example of where a creationist is providing an alternative explanation to the same evidence as mainstream science. I would avoid any scenarios such as the above, where we have creationists challenging the actual evidence itself or creationists challenging the motives of the science. Given that such an inquiry is narrow, may I suggest you look into geologic interpretations as the actual evidence there is not often in contention.


Of course, biblical creationists are committed to belief in God's written Word, the Bible, which forbids bearing false witness; --AIG (lest they forget)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Hyroglyphx, posted 11-01-2006 11:00 AM Hyroglyphx has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by Hyroglyphx, posted 11-01-2006 3:03 PM Jazzns has responded

  
Jazzns
Member (Idle past 1467 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004


Message 6 of 77 (360461)
11-01-2006 12:55 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by Hyroglyphx
11-01-2006 12:17 PM


Re: Bold claims or two sides to every coin?
I think both the Canopy theory and the Pangea theory are interesting theories but I remain tentative on coming to a decision.

Let me see if I can rephrase my criticism.

We know the continents move and have moved a considerable distance. This is not interpretation, this IS THE EVIDENCE. Then there is other evidence such as the nature of the fossil of a tropical plant found in what is currently an arctic region. The sediment it is buried in will have some characteristics and perhaps other fossils of fauna or other plants. The fossil will also be buried at a certain depth in relation to the geologic strata that can be correlated with the tectonic events that DID move the plates.

All that COMBINED leads to the conclusion that continental drift is the current best explanation of the evidence.

Out of all that evidence, the only thing the Canopy theory uses is the fact of the tropical plant itself. In addition, it CONTRADICTS the evidence that shows that the location of the plant was not static. So we have an alternative explanation that both ignores the body of evidence surrounding the geologic history of that fossil AND moreover is contradicted by other pieces of evidence.

Why should that interpretation hold any weight?


Of course, biblical creationists are committed to belief in God's written Word, the Bible, which forbids bearing false witness; --AIG (lest they forget)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by Hyroglyphx, posted 11-01-2006 12:17 PM Hyroglyphx has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by Hyroglyphx, posted 11-02-2006 12:27 PM Jazzns has not yet responded

  
Hyroglyphx
Member (Idle past 47 days)
Posts: 5512
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006


Message 7 of 77 (360496)
11-01-2006 3:03 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Jazzns
11-01-2006 12:20 PM


Re: Interpretations of Evidence vs Attacks upon Evidence
I never could understand why creationists cannot separate the concept of spontaneous generation from that of evolution.

Because the logic follows, cosmological evolution leads to a chemical evolution, which leads to a biological evolution. If the first two steps are missing it doesn't offer any insight as to how or why we are here. "I don't know," will have to suffice for the time being.

I would prefer not to talk about abiogenesis since it is an area for which science does not have any definitive answers in the same way that we have them for biology and geology. For the sake of this discussion, any time we are discussing conclusions about evolution, we can assume that God created the first bacterium. After that, all we have is evolution and none of this discussion of chances that life arose randomly will distract us.

That's fine. However you want to do it. You're the thread starter, I'm just the invitee. Your rules. I'll let you know if I have any objections.

One quick question that I've been wondering lately. We took a poll about a month where you participated. The poll asked everyone who wanted to respond if they most closely identified with theism, agnosticism, or atheism. If memory serves me, you voted as a theist. I'm curious to know if you can define your position. Are you a Deist where you believe a rather creative, but impersonal deity exists, i,e, "Spinoza's God," or do you have a more personal belief? How does your beliefs effect your understanding of the 'hows' and 'why's' of science?

I should note that you seem to be working again from a major misconception. There is no Darwinian influence into geologic dating as can be seen from the history of the science.

The work between Darwin and Lyell greatly influenced each other as far as I can tell. There was no doctrine of long epochs of geologic time before then. If there was, it wasn't anywhere near mainstream. The beliefs concerning the age of the earth has always been that God(s) created the universe a few thousand years ago or that the universe is simply a timeless portrayal of infinity. Aside from which, in order to ascertain an age estimate, first, a an estimate has to be inserted for calibration. Aside from this anomaly, I don't have too many bones of contention with radiometric dating-- except perhaps carbon dating. Its far too unreliable in my best estimation.

Many methods used by geologists to determine the age of the earth were in direct opposition to the time hypothesized to be needed by the theory of evolution. In addition, the method that finally broke the disagreement gave an age that was FAR GREATER than what was practically needed for evolution to occur. 4.5 billion years is about 4 times more than is needed for the biological processes that we have evidence for to have occurred.

The mere fact that no new species have arrived since the time of Darwin and we have millions on record, it is unreasonable to assume that if macroevolution is true that it wouldn't need billions of years to arrive at the variations we have today. What is this prior estimate you speak of? I'd like to hear the figure and work off of that.

It is also a common complaint from creationists that evolution drove the "dating game" that has never been supported with any evidence. Also, when a creationist makes this kind of claim, they are diverting attention from examining and explaining the evidence to examining and explaining the "motives" of some anthropomorphic concept of science.

Both creationists and evolutionists have alot at stake as far as time is concerned. Biblical literalists can't have long periods of time because that will interfere with their interpretation of Genesis. Evolutionists can't have short periods of time because it would bring the plausibility of evoultion occuring into question. As far as I am concerned they are both suspect of possible distortions to further an agenda.

You mentioned isochron dating but based on this statement of yours I have to think that you might not know what isochron dating is all about. The isochron method eliminates the "assumptions" from you complaint above.

It doesn't eliminate the assumptions, and TO actually points out how and why certain estimates can be thrown off with garbage-in, garbage-out methods. I think radiometric dating is getting better with time. In its infancy, it was just not reliable. And carbon dating still has too many variables to make it reliable.

In an isochron method, the amount of initial daughter material is not assumed but rather it is calculated from the point where the isochron line intersects the Y axis. The isochron method also provides a mechanism for detecting contamination and situations where the isochron represents the last time the material was cogenetic rather than its age.

Well, I have a couple of objections, but they are tentative, because of all the arguments I engage in, age estimates is the least I'm interested in. I'm no geologist, but as far as I understand the argument, K-Ar dating is based on the decay of potassium (parent isotope) to argon (daughter isotope). When hot magma has not yet cooled, argon escapes from it. It starts out with potassium but no argon. Over time potassium will gradually decay into argon. No one has contention with this. All sides seem to be in agreement about that. The questions start coming up when we begin to speak about the rate at which this phenomena occurs.

Obviously, we are looking for the amount of decay so we can make computations for how old the specimen is. The simplified version is that the more argon present, the older the rock has to be-- and similarly, the more potassium, the younger the rock is.

This is really an oversimplification, as quite variables are not considered. Firstly, argon doesn't always escape when the lava is hot. Two, the potassium can be removed later on, thus invalidating the calculation because the initial concentration is incorrect. And the tertiary example is that rocks absorb argon directly from the environment.

That this was a Darwinian conjecture is unsupported. Scientists at the time already knew that the earth was billions of years old and therefore surmised that any stellar material left over from the formation of our solar system, unravaged by the tectonic forces of a plant such as Earth, would represent the upper bound of the age of all the components of our solar system and that such an age would certainly be larger than the oldest rock ever dated on Earth.

What are you talking about? Lyell, who was for the most part contemporaneous with Darwin, was made famous for his theory on Uniformitarianism-- which, at the time, was a completely new theory. Secondly, stellar evolution or nucleofission was not around before Darwin. That would be absurd to think they were talking about that long before they knew half of those elements even existed. Therefore, that the earth is really old is directly linked to Darwin and Lyell.

In closing, I'll repeat my initial suggestion that you provide a more complete example of where a creationist is providing an alternative explanation to the same evidence as mainstream science. I would avoid any scenarios such as the above, where we have creationists challenging the actual evidence itself or creationists challenging the motives of the science. Given that such an inquiry is narrow, may I suggest you look into geologic interpretations as the actual evidence there is not often in contention.

There are alot of alternative explanations from many different scientific disciplines. You'd have to narrow it down for me. Pick a specific topic or a field of science and we can go from there.


"The weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God." -2nd Corinthians 10:4-5
This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by Jazzns, posted 11-01-2006 12:20 PM Jazzns has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by Jazzns, posted 11-01-2006 4:57 PM Hyroglyphx has responded

    
Jazzns
Member (Idle past 1467 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004


Message 8 of 77 (360524)
11-01-2006 4:57 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by Hyroglyphx
11-01-2006 3:03 PM


Re: Interpretations of Evidence vs Attacks upon Evidence
One quick question that I've been wondering lately. We took a poll about a month where you participated. The poll asked everyone who wanted to respond if they most closely identified with theism, agnosticism, or atheism. If memory serves me, you voted as a theist. I'm curious to know if you can define your position. Are you a Deist where you believe a rather creative, but impersonal deity exists, i,e, "Spinoza's God," or do you have a more personal belief? How does your beliefs effect your understanding of the 'hows' and 'why's' of science?

My beliefs are more akin to Jar, Phat, and to some extent riverrat. I consider myself a Christian but far from a literalist.

Jazzns previously writes:

I should note that you seem to be working again from a major misconception. There is no Darwinian influence into geologic dating as can be seen from the history of the science.

The work between Darwin and Lyell greatly influenced each other as far as I can tell. There was no doctrine of long epochs of geologic time before then. If there was, it wasn't anywhere near mainstream. The beliefs concerning the age of the earth has always been that God(s) created the universe a few thousand years ago or that the universe is simply a timeless portrayal of infinity. Aside from which, in order to ascertain an age estimate, first, a an estimate has to be inserted for calibration. Aside from this anomaly, I don't have too many bones of contention with radiometric dating-- except perhaps carbon dating. Its far too unreliable in my best estimation.

Lyell IIRC believed in an infinite age but did not come to that conclusion in order to fit evolution. Also IIRC Lyell was no fan of evolution:

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Lyell:

Despite this early connection with Darwin, Lyell firmly rejected the idea of organic evolution in each of the first nine editions of the Principles. Confronted with Darwin's [On The Origin of Species], he finally offered a tepid endorsement of evolution in the tenth edition.

His principles about uniformitarianism were laid out in Principles #1. He couldn't have endorsed the idea of infinite age in order to fit evolution because he didn't agree with it until Origins was written much later.

The first REAL attempts to assign an age to the earth were taken up AFTER Darwin published origins and they came up with dates that were much too small for evolution to have occurred. Kelvin in the 1860s estimated the age on the order of magnitude of 10s of millions of years. Radiometric dating didn't arrive on the scene until the 20th century.

Lyell may have influenced Darwin, but it most certainly did not happen the other way around like many creationists contest.

Jazzns previously writes:

Many methods used by geologists to determine the age of the earth were in direct opposition to the time hypothesized to be needed by the theory of evolution. In addition, the method that finally broke the disagreement gave an age that was FAR GREATER than what was practically needed for evolution to occur. 4.5 billion years is about 4 times more than is needed for the biological processes that we have evidence for to have occurred.

The mere fact that no new species have arrived since the time of Darwin and we have millions on record, it is unreasonable to assume that if macroevolution is true that it wouldn't need billions of years to arrive at the variations we have today. What is this prior estimate you speak of? I'd like to hear the figure and work off of that.

Speciation is an observed phenomenon.

www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-speciation.html

I will be unwilling to discuss "kind-evolution" unless you are willing to provide a functional definition of a kind.

The VAST majority of what you consider macroevolution has occurred in less than 1 billion years. A closer estimate might be 600-750 million years. That is when geodynamic conditions on earth were capable of supporting multi-cellular life.

That means that for the entire time life as been on the planet, ~3.5 billion years, the vast majority of that time has been spent as unicellular life.

Both creationists and evolutionists have a lot at stake as far as time is concerned. Biblical literalists can't have long periods of time because that will interfere with their interpretation of Genesis. Evolutionists can't have short periods of time because it would bring the plausibility of evolution occurring into question. As far as I am concerned they are both suspect of possible distortions to further an agenda.

There is nothing at stake for evolution because evolution isn't a dogma. If it were proven tomorrow that the earth was much younger then that would NOT make the evidence derived from cladistics and nested hierarchies go away. Would the ToE have to drastically change? Yes, but the earth being young does not invalidate the multitudes of other evidence for evolution that is not derived from the age of the earth.

That is what I mean by having an interpretation that conforms to the entire BODY of evidence. Evolution as we know it today would not stand if the earth was shown to be only a few million years old. But it does not make the other evidence go away so whatever explanation arose from the ashes of the "old" ToE would STILL have to explain that evidence. Moreover, creationists would not have one more ounce of evidence for special creation since it is unobservable by definition.

Jazzns previously writes:

You mentioned isochron dating but based on this statement of yours I have to think that you might not know what isochron dating is all about. The isochron method eliminates the "assumptions" from you complaint above.

It doesn't eliminate the assumptions, and TO actually points out how and why certain estimates can be thrown off with garbage-in, garbage-out methods. I think radiometric dating is getting better with time. In its infancy, it was just not reliable. And carbon dating still has too many variables to make it reliable.

I can only conclude that you either did not read the article or did not understand it in order for you to continue to claim that the isochron method relies upon the assumption of the initial concentration of daughter isotopes. This is a non-debatable point. It simply does not have the same assumptions as direct radiometric dating. The reason for taking multiple samples and the reason you draw an isochron is specifically so you DO NOT have to know the initial concentrations. From the isochron you can CALCULATE the estimated initial concentration. That piece of information is an afterthought, not an assumption.

Well, I have a couple of objections, but they are tentative, because of all the arguments I engage in, age estimates is the least I'm interested in. I'm no geologist, but as far as I understand the argument, K-Ar dating is based on the decay of potassium (parent isotope) to argon (daughter isotope). When hot magma has not yet cooled, argon escapes from it. It starts out with potassium but no argon. Over time potassium will gradually decay into argon. No one has contention with this. All sides seem to be in agreement about that. The questions start coming up when we begin to speak about the rate at which this phenomena occurs.

There is no evidence that decay rates have changed in the past and plenty of evidence that they specifically HAVE NOT changed. There are many threads dedicated to that topic so I will refrain from going down another rabbit hole of specific evidence in a thread that is more about meta issues. The on topic thing to note about this is that any "alternative explanation" that creationists come up with in order to explain radiometric dating MUST ALSO take into account the evidence that shows that decay rates have not changed. The mere existence of that evidence in enough to push any explanation involving accelerated decay to the point of failure if it is ignored.

This is another great example of the isolated interpretations I was talking about. The RATE group will play around with zircons all day trying to prove that decay rates were accelerated but they NEVER take into account the body of accumulated evidence regarding the consistence of radioactive decay rates. They also ignore the consequences of their hypothesis, in particular, regarding the heat that would be generated. Again it is both IGNORING evidence and not addressing evidence that is in CONTRADICTION to their explanation.

Obviously, we are looking for the amount of decay so we can make computations for how old the specimen is. The simplified version is that the more argon present, the older the rock has to be-- and similarly, the more potassium, the younger the rock is.

In reality the situation is much more complicated than that and often a creation scientists will use that complication to obfuscate the situation. When you use a radioisotope method you are not really determining the age of the rock. You are determining the time since that isotopic system was closed. Sometimes this is the same as the date of the formation of the rock. A real geologist knows how to tell the difference. In the case of K/Ar, if you heat the rock a little bit it will loose some argon. The date you get then is still useful, it is the date of the last heating event of that rock which can tell you a lot about the geologic history of the area. Creationists have looked at these scenarios though to try to bring disrepute to the method by claiming that method produced an incorrect age for the rock. Once again this is ignoring the evidence about closed systems and how they operate in the presence of geothermal activity.

Jazzns previously writes:

That this was a Darwinian conjecture is unsupported. Scientists at the time already knew that the earth was billions of years old and therefore surmised that any stellar material left over from the formation of our solar system, unravaged by the tectonic forces of a plant such as Earth, would represent the upper bound of the age of all the components of our solar system and that such an age would certainly be larger than the oldest rock ever dated on Earth.

What are you talking about? Lyell, who was for the most part contemporaneous with Darwin, was made famous for his theory on Uniformitarianism-- which, at the time, was a completely new theory. Secondly, stellar evolution or nucleofission was not around before Darwin. That would be absurd to think they were talking about that long before they knew half of those elements even existed. Therefore, that the earth is really old is directly linked to Darwin and Lyell.

Being that Lyell lived before the advent of radiometric dating I don't know how your followup to my comment applies. Lyell never did any dating of meteorites. Like previously mentioned Lyell believed the Earth was eternal. Also, as I showed above, the earliest actually attempts to calculate the age of the earth produced ages that were not compatible with evolution.

My response was an attempt to show you that the ASSUMPTION that a stellar body such as a meteorite should be billions of years old is a valid assumption given the conditions. You also ignored my point that even if scientists thought that the meteorites SHOULD be billions of years old that would not affect the tests that showed that they ARE billions of years old. There are no secrets going on here. Anyone can examine the methods used to come up with those dates and even repeat the dating exercise themselves. If there is an error it will be apparent in the METHOD, not the prediction.

Jazzns previously writes:

In closing, I'll repeat my initial suggestion that you provide a more complete example of where a creationist is providing an alternative explanation to the same evidence as mainstream science.

There are a lot of alternative explanations from many different scientific disciplines. You'd have to narrow it down for me. Pick a specific topic or a field of science and we can go from there.

I am more knowledgeable about geology then I am about biology but I think you should pick a sub-discipline that interests you and go look for something. If you don't care so much about the age of the earth then maybe you care more about the idea of a global flood? Maybe you can go find some good flood explanations for geologic structures that are "different interpretations" of the same evidence as mainstream geology.

If you like you may also attempt to defend against my criticism of creationist’s interpretations that I have already showed as both ignoring the evidence and being contradicted by the evidence.

Remember, YOU brought up this idea that creationists offer interpretations that explain the same evidence as mainstream science. I can think of plenty of examples of attempts in that regard that have failed miserably but that is not what you are claiming.


Of course, biblical creationists are committed to belief in God's written Word, the Bible, which forbids bearing false witness; --AIG (lest they forget)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by Hyroglyphx, posted 11-01-2006 3:03 PM Hyroglyphx has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 10 by Hyroglyphx, posted 11-02-2006 3:05 PM Jazzns has responded

  
Hyroglyphx
Member (Idle past 47 days)
Posts: 5512
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006


Message 9 of 77 (360804)
11-02-2006 12:27 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by Jazzns
11-01-2006 12:55 PM


Re: Bold claims or two sides to every coin?
We know the continents move and have moved a considerable distance. This is not interpretation, this IS THE EVIDENCE.

There is strong evidence that suggests the continents are shifting on their respective plates at an average on 1 to 2 inches annually. And certainly if we extrapolate backwards at the same rate, millions of years equals millions of inches, which further equates to thousands of miles. There doesn't seem to be any arguments from creationists as to whether or not the earth was once connected, they simply argue the timeline that it happened quickly. They credit Flood for they phenomena as they do almost everything else. Pro-evolution groups may find it appealing because they have no other way to get a wide-array of organisms on different continents without it. I'm a little skeptical about the Pangea concept, but I'm still open to the possibility. I'm still very much undecided on the issue.

Then there is other evidence such as the nature of the fossil of a tropical plant found in what is currently an arctic region. The sediment it is buried in will have some characteristics and perhaps other fossils of fauna or other plants. The fossil will also be buried at a certain depth in relation to the geologic strata that can be correlated with the tectonic events that DID move the plates.

My contention is whether or not it happened abruptly or over a slow period of tiny incremental changes. A long period of stasis might better indicate the Pangea concept and the abrupt cataclysmic theory would either better support Flood geology or meteor impact that changes the earth's once temperate climate. I remain open about all the possibilities. This article posits that:

"Previous studies of methane concentrations, a recorder of tropical wetland formation, in Greenland ice cores and temperature changes over Greenland were used to infer that tropical climate change may have lagged high-latitude changes, favoring a high-latitude trigger for abrupt shifts. In today's study, however, the team's findings provide evidence that tropical vegetation change lagged local tropical climate, and climate shifts at high and low latitudes were simultaneous. Thus the trigger for climate change may be in either or both the tropics or high-latitudes.

The reasons for a delayed response time for vegetation changes following abrupt climate shifts are unknown." -ScienceDaily

Out of all that evidence, the only thing the Canopy theory uses is the fact of the tropical plant itself. In addition, it CONTRADICTS the evidence that shows that the location of the plant was not static. So we have an alternative explanation that both ignores the body of evidence surrounding the geologic history of that fossil AND moreover is contradicted by other pieces of evidence.

I once thought that the Canopy theory was plausible until I examined the figures. The concept is simple enough-- a layer that surrounds the earth and encapsulates the atmosphere. Conceptually it is easy to grasp when we consider what the ozone layer is. And this vapor canopy could have watered the surface of the earth, similar to current tropical regions, creating a very dense and lush environment. The problem in the theory is the ambient temperature inside the greenhouse. Even the best canopy model still gives an intolerably high temperature at the surface of the earth. It couldn't be more than a few feet thick. As well, greenhouse gases would collect making CO2 levels dangerously high, thus, not allowing for any organism survive. Its an interesting concept, but its feasibility is not supported by evidence.


"The weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God." -2nd Corinthians 10:4-5
This message is a reply to:
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Hyroglyphx
Member (Idle past 47 days)
Posts: 5512
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006


Message 10 of 77 (360852)
11-02-2006 3:05 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by Jazzns
11-01-2006 4:57 PM


Re: Interpretations of Evidence vs Attacks upon Evidence
My beliefs are more akin to Jar, Phat, and to some extent riverrat. I consider myself a Christian but far from a literalist.

Explain this to me, please, because I've never understood how someone can refer to themselves as a Christian and never refer to Christ. I also don't understand how some of those who refer to themselves as Christians denounce the Bible as an authoritative tome, mainly because how else have they come to understand Jesus apart from it?

quote:
Despite this early connection with Darwin, Lyell firmly rejected the idea of organic evolution in each of the first nine editions of the Principles. Confronted with Darwin's [On The Origin of Species], he finally offered a tepid endorsement of evolution in the tenth edition.

Lyell came before Darwin, and accordingly, he modeled some of his difficulties with Lyell's views on uniformitarianism. Afterall, there is no reason to assume such gradations could happen rapidly, therefore, the theory needs billions of years of geological time in order for such diversity. That much seems abundantly clear. In other words, he assumes what it sets out to prove-- which is that the age of the earth must be millions of years old, if not older.

I will be unwilling to discuss "kind-evolution" unless you are willing to provide a functional definition of a kind.

The VAST majority of what you consider macroevolution has occurred in less than 1 billion years. A closer estimate might be 600-750 million years. That is when geodynamic conditions on earth were capable of supporting multi-cellular life.

Why then is the fossil record so incomplete? Why then do we not see everywhere, as Darwin famously stated, animals in confusion? Its a legitimate question. We should see unambiguous evidence of speciation taking place right before us. There are over a million fossils on record as well as billions of organisms currently. Why are they so well-formed in their niche's and there are conceivably hundreds of transitions missing in between each known specie? If all living species descended from common ancestors by an accumulation of incremental graduated steps, then there must have existed a veritable wasteland of transitional intermediate forms linking the vastly different organisms of today. And yet, all we have are these cryptic clues.

There is nothing at stake for evolution because evolution isn't a dogma.

Evolution has its own dogma. Nobody doubts that evolution occurs, in the narrow sense that certain adaptation happen naturally. If evolution only meant that natural selection has observable effects upon the distribution of characteristics in a population, then the theory would be incontrovertible. But it doesn't stop there. It theoretically makes some very broad generalizations that are not supported by evidence. And the mere fact that creatures such as the Coelacanth have remain unchanged in supposed millions of years speaks disparagingly about the pace of evolution.

"Some readers may wonder why the scientists won't admit that there are mysteries beyond our comprehension, and that one of them may be how those complex animal groups could have evolved directly from pre-existing bacteria and algae without leaving any evidence of the transition. The reason that such an admission is out of the question is that it would open the door to creationism, which in this context means not simply biblical fundamentalism, but any invocation of a creative intelligence or purpose outside the natural order. Scientists committed to philosophical naturalism do not claim to have found the precise answer to every problem, but they characteristically insist that they have the important problems sufficiently well in hand that they can narrow the field of possibilities to a set of naturalistic alternatives. Absent that insistence, they would have to concede that their commitment to naturalism is based upon faith rather than proof Such a concession could be exploited by promoters of rival sources of knowledge, such as philosophy and religion, who would be quick to point out that faith in naturalism is no more "scientific" (i.e. empirically based) than any other kind of faith." -Philip Johnson

Johnson well elucidates my position on how a strict naturalistic stance creates dogmas of their own that rival even the most dogmatic of religious practices.

If it were proven tomorrow that the earth was much younger then that would NOT make the evidence derived from cladistics and nested hierarchies go away. Would the ToE have to drastically change? Yes, but the earth being young does not invalidate the multitudes of other evidence for evolution that is not derived from the age of the earth.

Cladograms are based soley off of inference by looking at morphological similarities. Animals with the closest body type might as well have a more similar genome. And for however persuasive nested arguments are, one only has to point out how perceptions play a role in that.

I can only conclude that you either did not read the article or did not understand it in order for you to continue to claim that the isochron method relies upon the assumption of the initial concentration of daughter isotopes. This is a non-debatable point. It simply does not have the same assumptions as direct radiometric dating. The reason for taking multiple samples and the reason you draw an isochron is specifically so you DO NOT have to know the initial concentrations. From the isochron you can CALCULATE the estimated initial concentration. That piece of information is an afterthought, not an assumption.

I don't think you are understanding my objection. Isotope concentrations can be measured with accuracy, but isotope concentrations are not the dates themselves. In order to equivocate ages from such measurements, initial assumptions have to be introduced in order to interpret the evidence a certain way. You have to assume that the initial conditions are already known. You'd have to know that there was no daughter isotopes present at the beginning of the experiment. You can't know that without conducting the experiement. So what you have is a bit of circular logic. You also have to assume that decay rates have always remained constant, which is particularly unimpressive when you consider the enormous impact that nuclear testing and overall pollution has on atmospheric readings. As I've been sharing, many experimentors already have in their mind a conception of what they are going to be reading.

you also have to design a filter for extracting good reading from bad ones. Often, readings are made several times on the same piece of evidence to make an accurate estimation. But what happens when the readings give you radical differences in ages? How would you know which reading is accurate and which show false readings? And this is where preconceived notions come in.

Being that Lyell lived before the advent of radiometric dating I don't know how your followup to my comment applies. Lyell never did any dating of meteorites. Like previously mentioned Lyell believed the Earth was eternal. Also, as I showed above, the earliest actually attempts to calculate the age of the earth produced ages that were not compatible with evolution.

You postulated that Darwin already knew about nucleofission and that's how he accounted for the elements. That's an absurd comment.

I am more knowledgeable about geology then I am about biology but I think you should pick a sub-discipline that interests you and go look for something. If you don't care so much about the age of the earth then maybe you care more about the idea of a global flood? Maybe you can go find some good flood explanations for geologic structures that are "different interpretations" of the same evidence as mainstream geology.

I don't really care for either arguments, as evidenced by how infrequently I visit rooms about the Flood or age estimates. But, for the sake of argument, I'll advance an argument in favor of the Deluge. I will try my best to use secular evidence that has no interest in supporting an agenda. here is an interesting article on evidence of a massive flood. Let me know what you make of it and we'll go from there.

Remember, YOU brought up this idea that creationists offer interpretations that explain the same evidence as mainstream science. I can think of plenty of examples of attempts in that regard that have failed miserably but that is not what you are claiming.

That is what I am claiming. For every argument in favor of evolution or any derivative thereof, there is some creationist interpretation alongside it. Some of their theories are interesting and others are non-sensical.


"The weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God." -2nd Corinthians 10:4-5
This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by Jazzns, posted 11-01-2006 4:57 PM Jazzns has responded

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grod
Inactive Member


Message 11 of 77 (360961)
11-02-2006 8:17 PM


Great debate thread - invitees only



Here is a good evidence about evolution for you. When things mutate they do not gain information but rather lose information, evolution is completely lost in this. Information cannot simply appear in thin air, but is rather given by another source besides matter. Example a computer program cannot write itself.

There is a good argument for ya.

Edited by AdminNWR, : hide inappropriate post


  
Jazzns
Member (Idle past 1467 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004


Message 12 of 77 (361008)
11-02-2006 11:26 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Hyroglyphx
11-02-2006 3:05 PM


Re: Interpretations of Evidence vs Attacks upon Evidence
There is a lot to go over here and only some of it relates to the topic. I'll try to organize this the best that I can.

Explain this to me, please, because I've never understood how someone can refer to themselves as a Christian and never refer to Christ. I also don't understand how some of those who refer to themselves as Christians denounce the Bible as an authoritative tome, mainly because how else have they come to understand Jesus apart from it?

This is a diversion but I will respond. I don't denounce all of the Bible, just most of it; in particular, the parts that I know are wrong. I am perfectly fine with traditional Christians labeling me a picker and chooser. I don't know why you say I never refer to Christ. I just don't bring it up in every conversation here at EvC.

Lyell came before Darwin, and accordingly, he modeled some of his difficulties with Lyell's views on uniformitarianism. Afterall, there is no reason to assume such gradations could happen rapidly, therefore, the theory needs billions of years of geological time in order for such diversity. That much seems abundantly clear. In other words, he assumes what it sets out to prove-- which is that the age of the earth must be millions of years old, if not older.

The earth is not dated by how long evolution takes. As I have said before, evolution from unicellular life to today took less than a billion years. Lyell may have empowered Darwin to concieve of long ages but that only provided the ability to form a valid hypothesis about how evolution unfolded. The blanks were not filled in about how evolution actually occurred until after Darwin. As far as he was concerned, evolution may have needed 100 billion years in an eternal Lyellian world. It just so turns out that it needs under 1 billion and that was discovered later.

Why then is the fossil record so incomplete?

We need to be careful here. I am going to respond to this but if you want to bring it up further then I would suggest that you reply to this by framing your response in a manner of how creationists interpret fossils and how that interpretation is just as valid as mainstream paleontology.

First of all, that the fossil record is incomplete as a record of evolution is a misnomer. The fossil record is quite complete for marine invertebrates. The fossil record is more than complete enough for vertebrates to support evolution.

Many creationists start with the false idea that evolution is BASED on the fossil record. It simply is not. The fossil record is one piece of evidence for evolution and even if we had no fossils at all the ToE would still be standing. Evolution does not require that we find every single species along a chain of evolutionary history to show that evolution has occurred. This is compounded by the fact that fossilization is a rare process especially for land dwelling vertebrates.

Its a legitimate question. We should see unambiguous evidence of speciation taking place right before us.

We do. I provided a link in my last post. If you want to see something on the order of a Lucy to Human transition then I am sorry but we SHOULD NOT see unambiguous evidence of that taking place right before us. Those kinds of things take millions of years. If we could see it happening before our eyes that that would be evidence that would CONTRADICT evolution and support special creation.

There are over a million fossils on record as well as billions of organisms currently. Why are they so well-formed in their niche's and there are conceivably hundreds of transitions missing in between each known specie?

How can you tell by looking at a fossil that it is well-formed in its niche? What if it was half-ass formed in its niche just enough to get along? For vertebrates we have plenty of transitions at the level of genus or higher. For invertebrates we have plenty of transitions between species. It very much seems like you are not getting your information from a reliable source.

If all living species descended from common ancestors by an accumulation of incremental graduated steps, then there must have existed a veritable wasteland of transitional intermediate forms linking the vastly different organisms of today. And yet, all we have are these cryptic clues.

That is assuming that everything that dies will fossilize. In fact, the vast majority of things that die do not fossilize. I'll repeat my statement that evolution does not stand or fall on the real or perceived scarcity of the fossil record.

But it doesn't stop there. It theoretically makes some very broad generalizations that are not supported by evidence. And the mere fact that creatures such as the Coelacanth have remain unchanged in supposed millions of years speaks disparagingly about the pace of evolution.

Being that is it obvious that you do not have a good picture of what the evidence actually is, it is difficult to accept your claims of broad generalizations not supported by the evidence.

Your information about the Coelacanth is also very much in error. Modern Coelacanth are quite different from their fossil counterparts. This has been discussed. For a good treatment of the issue see this message (Message 82). Certain species of coelacanth have evolved quite a bit.

Think about your objection for a minute. We find fossils of other fish all the time that have living relatives. Just because one kind of Coelacanth stayed a fish does not mean anything. This type of objection is exactly the same as the very juvenile, "If we came from monkeys then why are there still monkeys around?"

The most important thing that such a statement shows is that the person making it has a VAST ignorance of how evolution actually works. That is why when you say that evolution does not have any evidence, I cannot take you seriously because you go on to say very ignorant things that demonstrate that you do not understand what the evidence is.

Some Coelacanth evolved into the kinds of coelacanth we see today, some evolved into other things, some didn't evolve at all and instead went extinct. One does not exclude the other.

Johnson well elucidates my position on how a strict naturalistic stance creates dogmas of their own that rival even the most dogmatic of religious practices.

This is getting vastly off topic but the important thing to note is that creationists have a problem with naturalism in science because they have a problem understanding how science differs from religion. Science is not interested in The Truth (tm). Science is interested in the most effective and useful explanation for a phenomenon. If that explanation happens to be contrary to someone religions myths, then that is the problem of the myth not the science. Science cannot include that which is not natural because such things are essentially useless in practical reality. They may be useful for other reasons, but not practical ones.

Cladograms are based soley off of inference by looking at morphological similarities.

That is one of the most ignorant statements I have seen you ever make nj. I don't mean to offend you. I can assure you that cladograms are most certainly not based solely on morphology. They can be made from genetic markers, biogeography, fossil age, and potentially many other things that I may not be thinking of.

Your description of cladistics is in contradiction to the definition: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cladogram

Animals with the closest body type might as well have a more similar genome. And for however persuasive nested arguments are, one only has to point out how perceptions play a role in that.

Especially with regard to cladistics as it relates to genetic relationships, perception has nothing to do with it.

The interesting thing to note is that one major piece of evidence for evolution is that no matter what you make your cladogram out of, morphology, genetics, shared retroviral insertions, etc. They all match.

I don't think you are understanding my objection.

I understood your objection just fine. It is simply that your objection is very obviously based on a misunderstanding of the method.

Isotope concentrations can be measured with accuracy, but isotope concentrations are not the dates themselves. In order to equivocate ages from such measurements, initial assumptions have to be introduced in order to interpret the evidence a certain way.

While that is true for direct dating, that is mostly certainly NOT true for the isochron method. That is what you are systematically failing to understand. I can tell this by what you say below.

You'd have to know that there was no daughter isotopes present at the beginning of the experiment.

Please read carefully.

This is TRUE for direct dating such as K/Ar.

This is FALSE for the isochron method.

The website I linked for you says the following about what it calls "generic dating". In other words, the NON isochron methods:

Some assumptions have been made in the discussion of generic dating, for the sake of keeping the computation simple. Such assumptions will not always be accurate in the real world. These include:

The amount of daughter isotope at the time of formation of the sample is zero (or known independently and can be compensated for).
No parent isotope or daughter isotope has entered or left the sample since its time of formation.

If one of these assumptions has been violated, the simple computation above yields an incorrect age.

Note that the mere existence of these assumptions do not render the simpler dating methods entirely useless. In many cases, there are independent cues (such as geologic setting or the chemistry of the specimen) which can suggest that such assumptions are entirely reasonable. However, the methods must be used with care -- and one should be cautious about investing much confidence in the resulting age... especially in absence of cross-checks by different methods, or if presented without sufficient information to judge the context in which it was obtained.

Isochron methods avoid the problems which can potentially result from both of the above assumptions

In particular, take note of the bolded section.

Then farther down:

General comments on "dating assumptions"

All radiometric dating methods require, in order to produce accurate ages, certain initial conditions and lack of contamination over time. The wonderful property of isochron methods is: if one of these requirements is violated, it is nearly certain that the data will indicate the problem by failure to plot on a line. (This topic will be discussed in much more detail below.) Where the simple methods will produce an incorrect age, isochron methods will generally indicate the unsuitability of the object for dating.

The isochron itself is DIAGNOSTIC of a problem with the sample.

And again below that under the topic "Avoidance of generic dating's problems":


Initial daughter product
The amount of initial D is not required or assumed to be zero. The greater the initial D-to-Di ratio, the further the initial horizontal line sits above the X-axis. But the computed age is not affected.

You can't know that without conducting the experiement.

Again this is false. In certain conditions you CAN know that the frequency of the daughter element is 0 through basic chemistry.

You also have to assume that decay rates have always remained constant, which is particularly unimpressive when you consider the enormous impact that nuclear testing and overall pollution has on atmospheric readings.

1. As I mentioned before, there is DIRECT EVIDENCE that decay rates are constant and NO EVIDENCE that they have not been. It is not just that we have been measuing them and not noticed them changing. There is evidence from supernova spectrometry as well as natural nuclear reactors that confirm that decay rates have not changed.

2. Nuclear testing, pollution, etc only affects carbon dating. Moreover, pollution and such DOES NOT CHANGE THE DECAY RATE of carbon!!! The reason those things throw off carbon dating is because it changes the initial concentration of C14. Dating ethods used on rocks are unaffected by environmental factors. There is DIRECT EVIDENCE that decay rates do not change under a variety of environmental stresses and NO EVIDENCE that they do.

These two issues are discussed in length in the Dating forum.

you also have to design a filter for extracting good reading from bad ones. Often, readings are made several times on the same piece of evidence to make an accurate estimation. But what happens when the readings give you radical differences in ages? How would you know which reading is accurate and which show false readings? And this is where preconceived notions come in.

There are conditions that arise that prevent a rock from being accurately dated. When you see dates all over the map the first thing to look for is if one of those conditions is true. In a rock that has been heated for example, using different methods will give you the various results because some isotopic systems become closed at different temperatures. So sometimes you just can't get the age. There is such a thing as a sample being unsuitable for dating. It happens all the time.

You postulated that Darwin already knew about nucleofission and that's how he accounted for the elements. That's an absurd comment.

I never mentioned Darwin and nucleofission in the same sentence. YOU brought up the notion of Darwinian bias in dating meteorites. Remember? Look back at your first post in this thread. You started this conversation about dating stellar objects. In fact, here is the quote:

nj previously writes:

When the advent of this testing came to be, scientists gathered fallen meteorites and produced from them an algorithm. This is where Darwinian conjecture comes in, since it was based solely on the inference that the meteorite itself must have been billions of years old. Therefore, we see a flawed premise from the get-go.

You have to get over this idea that there is anything "Darwinian" involved in dating. As I have said before, dating methods started off in CONTRADICTION to the time required for evolution. Geology did not bend to evolution, in fact it was the other way around. Evolution becomes plausible because of the finding in geology. That is the history. You can either deny it or show me how I am wrong.

I'll look into your link when I get home. Hopefully we can start the discussion about interpretations instead of this piecemeal discussion about the validity of the evidence. Remember NJ, a lot of the stuff you are trying to discount as evidence has already been accepted by prominent creation scientists. The evidence is the evidence and you are going to be hard pressed to put much it into disrepute especially here. Creationists are moving away from whining about the validity of using radioisotope methods and instead are trying to figure out why they don't show the ages that they "should". They stopped trying to hack branches off of cladiograms and started looking into ways that diversity can evolve quickly from the exodus from the ark forward.


Of course, biblical creationists are committed to belief in God's written Word, the Bible, which forbids bearing false witness; --AIG (lest they forget)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by Hyroglyphx, posted 11-02-2006 3:05 PM Hyroglyphx has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by Hyroglyphx, posted 11-03-2006 1:20 PM Jazzns has responded

  
Jazzns
Member (Idle past 1467 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004


Message 13 of 77 (361009)
11-02-2006 11:41 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Hyroglyphx
11-02-2006 3:05 PM


First try, Black Sea Flooding
Nemesis, I don't know what more to say about your link other than it is really very funny that you chose THAT topic. Let me try to explain.

The link is talking about the Black Sea Flooding.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Sea_deluge_theory

It is hypothesized that the catastrophic LOCAL flooding of the Black Sea is the source of all the various flood myths from around the region. This is in direct opposition to the literalist and creationist concept of a global flood.

If you are trying to give an alternative explanation to mainstream geology, something that supports the creationist flood, then not only did you fail but you actually provided one of the pieces of evidence to the contrary.

The last thing to note about this example that you brought up is that it does not have anything to do with alternative interpretations of the evidence. I can only surmise that you were trying to present some new evidence for the flood. Ignoring the fact that this was actually not evidence for a global flood, it had nothing to do with any attempt to explain any of the mainstream geologic evidence in the light of some kind of flood hypothesis.


Of course, biblical creationists are committed to belief in God's written Word, the Bible, which forbids bearing false witness; --AIG (lest they forget)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by Hyroglyphx, posted 11-02-2006 3:05 PM Hyroglyphx has not yet responded

  
Hyroglyphx
Member (Idle past 47 days)
Posts: 5512
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006


Message 14 of 77 (361133)
11-03-2006 1:20 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by Jazzns
11-02-2006 11:26 PM


Re: Interpretations of Evidence vs Attacks upon Evidence
This is a diversion but I will respond.

Its not a diversion, its an inquiry. I was genuinely surprised to hear you refer to yourself as a Christian. I would agree that it is OT, but not a diversion.

I don't denounce all of the Bible, just most of it; in particular, the parts that I know are wrong. I am perfectly fine with traditional Christians labeling me a picker and chooser. I don't know why you say I never refer to Christ. I just don't bring it up in every conversation here at EvC.

The Bible is your only basis for knowing who Jesus is. If you can't trust it, then how have you come to some affirmation about Him? Also, I've never read anything where you mention Jesus, how He saves, or anything along those lines. Maybe I'm just more transparent when it comes to how I feel about Him. Maybe I've just never stumbled across any of your posts that refer to him. Anyway, OT, thanks for clarifying.

The earth is not dated by how long evolution takes. As I have said before, evolution from unicellular life to today took less than a billion years.

You speak so assuredly about things no human could possibly know empirically.

The blanks were not filled in about how evolution actually occurred until after Darwin.

I agree with this for the most part. Lyell influenced Darwin, and Darwin influenced everyone. And Darwinists had to surmise that the level of diversity was not possible at just a few thousand years.

First of all, that the fossil record is incomplete as a record of evolution is a misnomer. The fossil record is quite complete for marine invertebrates. The fossil record is more than complete enough for vertebrates to support evolution.

That's absolutely fallacious. And if it wasn't, there would be no need for punctuated equilibrium. In the first edition, Gould and Eldredge originally claimed that their theory was derived from the theory of allopatric speciation, which was first stated by Simpson. They then claimed able to predict the discontinuous fossil record and attempted to come up with satisfying reasons for what it was so lacking. This was a great admission of both eminent evolutionists. Their own words were used in countless creationist circles as evidence coming straight from the horse mouth. This changed in light of the negative response. They refined the theory in a later edition.

They rephrased everything so that no matter what, it would prove themselves right. Gould says that a stepwise series of fossils showing gradual development of an adaptation would refute punctuated equilibrium. Not that it matters, because they set it up to be a win-win situation. If the fossil record were to demonstrate systematic gaps, then the punctuated equilibrium would prove that gradualism is not how evolution works. They made it more about the pace of evolution when in reality it is an excuse to down-play the lack of phylogenic evidence in the fossil record. That may be some nice tap dancing but I find it insuperable.

Many creationists start with the false idea that evolution is BASED on the fossil record. It simply is not. The fossil record is one piece of evidence for evolution and even if we had no fossils at all the ToE would still be standing.

It would be reasonable to assume that these transitions would be so slow, so as to be insensibly fine. In other words, trying to 'watch' evolution would be like trying to actively watch your fingernails grow. Obviously that's not how we could see it, and obviously variations don't work that fast. However, fossils are like snapshots of the past. When someone is dieting, they sometimes take pictures of themselves so they can view the progress over time. Day in and day out you don't see the changes, however, when you look back at the photos taken over a series of months, the evidence is plain to see. Its no different with evolution. Truly, if all species are inter-related there would unambiguous evidence. But that isn't what we see. That has easily been the biggest wrench-in-the-gears for the pro-evolution camp. And its like we've been saying all along, the entire theory is supported by microevolution for making its evidentiary claims, mixed in with pure theoretical biology.

Evolution does not require that we find every single species along a chain of evolutionary history to show that evolution has occurred.

Of course not. I wouldn't expect that. Fossilization is arguably a rare occurance as most organisms die on the surface and are eaten by scavengers or ravaged by putrefaction before the fossilization process can occur. But even still, there are still over a million fossils on record. That's nothing to scoff at. the best they can come up with is that archeopteryx is the missing link between birds and dinosaurs. But seriously, this critter conceivably has hundreds of links missing, and there is no logical reason why nature would have experimented with proto-wings, feathers, or flight long in advance of it having any conceivable relevance towards its survival. What could have possibly enhanced its survivability as it was going through these changes? Wouldn't natural selection have gobbled up any creature in such confusion?

If you want to see something on the order of a Lucy to Human transition then I am sorry but we SHOULD NOT see unambiguous evidence of that taking place right before us. Those kinds of things take millions of years. If we could see it happening before our eyes that that would be evidence that would CONTRADICT evolution and support special creation.

Lucy is hardly a worthy example. First of all, she's an extremely incomplete skeleton, secondly, they aren't sure she was in fact female, thirdly, the bones were not found in one location but over a mile stretch. That's quite an amazing feat how bones were dispersed like that. If you want to see an interesting video that brings Lucy into disrepute, start here.

How can you tell by looking at a fossil that it is well-formed in its niche? What if it was half-ass formed in its niche just enough to get along?

Don't you think we should hundreds of animals that first started to experiment with flight or swimming? We don't. The worst, most implausible example is likely the evolution of cetaceans from mesonychids. The traditional assertion is that whales evolved from land-dwelling animals. The first in line is Pakicetus, which allegedly evolved into the partly aquatic Ambulocetus, which became the mostly aquatic Rodhocetus, which evolved in one or more steps into the entirely aquatic Basilosaurus which is supposed to be the direct ancestor of modern whales. Now, for vertebrates we have plenty of transitions at the level of genus or higher, and for invertebrates we have plenty of transitions between species. But with mesocychids into cetaceans, the timelines don't add up. Secondly, they are strewn about in different layers of sediment. Obviously, if one specie predates another, and they aren't in any way contemporaneous, we shouldn't see them intermingled in the strata layer, nor should we find supposedly younger species lower down than supposedly older ones.

Being that is it obvious that you do not have a good picture of what the evidence actually is, it is difficult to accept your claims of broad generalizations not supported by the evidence.

300 million years and no change? What am I missing? Is the lumbering Coelacanth so well adapted to its enviornment that no evolution was necessary because he's so optimally built? I don't think so. Either Coelacanth aren't nearly that old, or evolution isn't true. Of course, I wouldn't expect Coelacanths to completely disappear because of evolution. But where are its divergences? Where are and what are its progeny? What evolved for the Coelacanth? Why is there no evidence of any kind of evolution?

Your information about the Coelacanth is also very much in error. Modern Coelacanth are quite different from their fossil counterparts. This has been discussed. For a good treatment of the issue see this message (Re: meltdown on the way? (Message 82)). Certain species of coelacanth have evolved quite a bit.

No, they aren't. Why do you think its called a "living fossil?" You have to remember what scientists first theorized about this fish. They had decided this fish was the missing link between fish and land animals. They theorized that out of the ocean it had climbed onto land on its lobed fins. When the living fish was studied, however, this idea was utterly refuted. Not only was not a land-dwelling progenitor, it doesn't use its fins for any kind of walking or proto-legs. It uses its fins like all other fish do-- to swim. If coelacanth were extinct, we might still be inclined to believe in these fantasies. Now magine how many other incorrect assumptions have made its way into the annals of truth when its anything but.

Think about your objection for a minute. We find fossils of other fish all the time that have living relatives. Just because one kind of Coelacanth stayed a fish does not mean anything. This type of objection is exactly the same as the very juvenile, "If we came from monkeys then why are there still monkeys around?"

The Coelacanth was the prime candidate for ocean dwellers taking foot on land. That's significant. That isn't anything to scoff at.

The most important thing that such a statement shows is that the person making it has a VAST ignorance of how evolution actually works. That is why when you say that evolution does not have any evidence, I cannot take you seriously because you go on to say very ignorant things that demonstrate that you do not understand what the evidence is.

Evolution is a science of speculation to try and come up with plausible scenarios for how life happens without the aid of some intelligent mind. It just doesn't add up.

This is getting vastly off topic but the important thing to note is that creationists have a problem with naturalism in science because they have a problem understanding how science differs from religion. Science is not interested in The Truth (tm). Science is interested in the most effective and useful explanation for a phenomenon.

Science should only be interested in Truth(tm). Until it can prove something true, I don't object to theories being offered. there's nothing wrong with that whatsoever-- including the ToE. What I object to is the theory being self-described as the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help them Chaos. The ToE seeks to choke out its scientific competitors. Why, if we are just offering theoretical explanations?

If that explanation happens to be contrary to someone religions myths, then that is the problem of the myth not the science. Science cannot include that which is not natural because such things are essentially useless in practical reality. They may be useful for other reasons, but not practical ones.

You keep talking about religion. If God exists, then on some level, we couldn't possibly get around discussing the Creator at some point, right? Afterall, you surely believe that God directed or began the process of evolution, right? So why such an aversion towards the notions of God/Creator? I mean, no one here is talking about God other than you. I already shared my objections about creationism. Creationism, by and large, has a biased agenda. ID does not. Lets deal with science and not religion. If that's what evolutionists want so badly, then perhaps they should stop bringing it up and just talk about the facts.

That is one of the most ignorant statements I have seen you ever make nj. I don't mean to offend you. I can assure you that cladograms are most certainly not based solely on morphology. They can be made from genetic markers, biogeography, fossil age, and potentially many other things that I may not be thinking of.

What? Excuse me, but, cladograms were around long before genomics were ever around. The standard phylogenic tree came along long before any kind of true empirical testing. The entire tree, with all of its nodes and branches, was initially based on morphological similarities.

The interesting thing to note is that one major piece of evidence for evolution is that no matter what you make your cladogram out of, morphology, genetics, shared retroviral insertions, etc. They all match.

These are all a posteriori conclusions about certain things. The myth is that evolution makes predictions on unified pattern in organisms. It doesn't. They make postdictions according to similarities. The theroy makes adjustments when one thing is proven false, which is fine, if only that were made more well-known. Instead, pro-evolution groups make it out to be as if they make these grand predictions when they don't. And they are wrong so often. And if you think about it, if evolved traits were lost and replaced at a high rate, then a nested pattern wouldn't result. Descendants would bear little resemblance to their ancestors with no pattern of nested similarities linking them, so why would anyone expect to see any kind of nesting?

I'm gonna finish the rest later. Good convo.


"The weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God." -2nd Corinthians 10:4-5
This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by Jazzns, posted 11-02-2006 11:26 PM Jazzns has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by Jazzns, posted 11-03-2006 3:44 PM Hyroglyphx has responded
 Message 16 by Jazzns, posted 11-06-2006 12:59 PM Hyroglyphx has not yet responded

    
Jazzns
Member (Idle past 1467 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004


Message 15 of 77 (361152)
11-03-2006 3:44 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by Hyroglyphx
11-03-2006 1:20 PM


Good discussion but still no interpretations
At some point, would you like to discuss your assertion that there are valid creationist interpretations of the evidence? I am afraid we are going to go round and round with this stuff so I am going to try to be as brief as possible with each point.

Re: Fossil transitions

I cannot make you go look at the fossils nj. All I can do is tell you that you are operating from a vast ignorance of the state of the fossil record. You are repeating things that have been told to you by creationist sites and have not bothered to investigate the issue in depth for yourself.

I have. I know that the fossil record for marine invertebrates IS complete and it shows a great history of evolution. Where you only see archeopteryx I have seen many other dinosaur fossils displaying morphology more and more similar to birds the closer you get to modern times. There is the proto-mammal jaw to ear sequence which so far I have never heard a reasonable explanation from creationists other than incredulity.


Re: Coelacanth - I'll talk about this specifically because I believe there are numerous fallacies and distortions here.

300 million years and no change?

Of course there was change, did you even look at the post I linked?

What am I missing?

You are missing the changes!!! It is a different animal! Remember 'Coelacanth' is an ORDER of animal not a species. Are you as equally surprised that evolution claims that we came from fish yet there is still fish? Are you as equally surprised that evolution claims we came from apes and there are still apes?

Is the lumbering Coelacanth so well adapted to its enviornment that no evolution was necessary because he's so optimally built?

It did evolve! For that particular species of Coelacanth it just didn't evolve enough to impress your preconcieved notion of whatever dramatic changes should have occurred. You also seem to have trouble grasping that there are many and have been many different kinds of Coelacanth.

I don't think so.

Well that just makes you ignorant. I don't intend to be mean by saying that. I am ignorant of a lot of things like how to fix my car when it breaks. That you do not understand evolution yet still feel qualified to claim it is nonsense is by definition ignorant.

Either Coelacanth aren't nearly that old, or evolution isn't true.

If we came from monkeys, then why are there still monkeys? Can YOU actually answer that question NJ? Do you actually think that this is a valid criticism of evolution?

Of course, I wouldn't expect Coelacanths to completely disappear because of evolution.

This is crazy! This is doubletalk! How can you make the second to last and the last comments at the same time?

But where are its divergences? Where are and what are its progeny? What evolved for the Coelacanth? Why is there no evidence of any kind of evolution?

In the pictures that I showed you! In the transition to less deep dwelling and more shallow dwelling fish just like the ones that have been in the news recently. It is not the same fish! It has evolved! You just seem to be equivocating because either you didn't look at the pictures or you did and didn't see a change that was drastic enough for you to be impressed. Well I am sorry but that is not the way it works. 300 million years ago there was fish that look a lot like the fish we have today, just because they didn't evolve 18 eyes, 4 pairs of fins, and the ability to shoot torpedoes does not mean they have not evolved since then.

Just because YOU CAN'T TELL how they have evolved does not mean that anyone who has studied the subject automatically has your same shaded glasses. Personally, it is unfathomable to me how someone could take a look at the pictures of ancient Coelacanth, compare them to modern Coelacanth, and say that they are no different. It is pure and astounding incredulity.

No, they aren't. Why do you think its called a "living fossil?" You have to remember what scientists first theorized about this fish. They had decided this fish was the missing link between fish and land animals. They theorized that out of the ocean it had climbed onto land on its lobed fins. When the living fish was studied, however, this idea was utterly refuted. Not only was not a land-dwelling progenitor, it doesn't use its fins for any kind of walking or proto-legs. It uses its fins like all other fish do-- to swim. If coelacanth were extinct, we might still be inclined to believe in these fantasies. Now magine how many other incorrect assumptions have made its way into the annals of truth when its anything but.

Do you think that there is ANY CHANCE that you might simply not have the correct or complete information about this? Can you even fathom the concept of Coelacanth being more than just 1 kind of creature? Ponder this question, if amphibians came from Coelacanth then why are there Coelacanth still around? If you think that that is a valid question to ask, then you also have to ask yourself if you REALLY DO understand evolution.


Re: Evolution as Speculation/Religion/Etc

Evolution is a science of speculation to try and come up with plausible scenarios for how life happens without the aid of some intelligent mind. It just doesn't add up.

In the future, upon encounter statements like this, I am just going to note them and ignore it. There is no reason to take this discussion into the motives for evolution. In some of my very first posts I tried very hard to set the groundwork for discussing the difference between criticizing evidence, criticizing motive, and actually providing the alternative explanations that you claimed exist. So far we have a whole ton of criticisms of evidence which I have been willing to discuss since they may lead to talk about interpretations. I am completely unwilling to talk about criticism of motives because nothing is ever going to change your mind about this. You are dead convinced that the purpose of evolution is to refute the supernatural and there is nothing I am going to say to change your mind about that. SO lets just leave it on the table then please. Lets talk about the evidence and the interpretations. Remember, you are the one who claimed the existence of these alternative interpretations. We have yet to see ONE of these.


Re: Nested Hierarchies and Cladograms

Jazzns previously writes:

I can assure you that cladograms are most certainly not based solely on morphology. They can be made from genetic markers, biogeography, fossil age, and potentially many other things that I may not be thinking of.

What? Excuse me, but, cladograms were around long before genomics were ever around. The standard phylogenic tree came along long before any kind of true empirical testing. The entire tree, with all of its nodes and branches, was initially based on morphological similarities.

I wasn't talking about the genesis of cladograms. I was talking about cladograms that we use today. NOW (read TODAY) it is not just based on morphological similarities. There are new cladograms based on psudogenes, genetic similarity, retroviral insertions, etc. You claimed that morphology was the only way to make a cladogram. That is fundamentally wrong. The fact that you didn't know about other kinds of cladograms and how they relate means you are completely ignorant of one of the MAIN EVIDENCES for evolution.

Science has moved on since the 19th century.

Jazzns previously writes:

The interesting thing to note is that one major piece of evidence for evolution is that no matter what you make your cladogram out of, morphology, genetics, shared retroviral insertions, etc. They all match.

These are all a posteriori conclusions about certain things.

That is pure sophomoric trash. There is no reason to suspect that a cladogram based on retroviral insertions would even make any sense at all! There is even less reason to suspect that if you did make one that it would in any way match the cladogram you get from morphology or genetic similarity!

And if you think about it, if evolved traits were lost and replaced at a high rate, then a nested pattern wouldn't result. Descendants would bear little resemblance to their ancestors with no pattern of nested similarities linking them, so why would anyone expect to see any kind of nesting?

Actually when I think about it I don't see how this is a valid criticism at all. Cladograms are not birth certificates. No matter what you make your cladogram out of, no matter how much things have changed, you are still going to have more similarities with things that are related than not.

At some point snakes lost their legs, they did not move 1 spot closer to worms in a cladogram because of it.

I'm gonna finish the rest later. Good convo.

Looking forward to it. Good luck!

Edited by Jazzns, : No reason given.


Of course, biblical creationists are committed to belief in God's written Word, the Bible, which forbids bearing false witness; --AIG (lest they forget)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by Hyroglyphx, posted 11-03-2006 1:20 PM Hyroglyphx has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 17 by Hyroglyphx, posted 11-06-2006 2:33 PM Jazzns has responded
 Message 71 by randman, posted 01-27-2008 3:42 AM Jazzns has responded

  
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