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Author Topic:   Evolution vs. Creation Interpretations (Jazzns, nemesis_juggernaut) (NOW OPEN TO ALL)
Adminnemooseus
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Message 46 of 77 (376690)
01-13-2007 4:00 AM


By agreement of the two original debaters, this topic is now open to all
Per messages 41 and 44, both Jazzns and nemesis juggernaut have agreed to open this topic to all.

Not going to move topic to another forum, at least not yet. Will see if I can modify the topic title.

Added by edit: I case I've just bumped this topic to a new page, please go back and look at the previous messages.

Adminnemooseus

Edited by Adminnemooseus, : See above.


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RickJB
Member (Idle past 2373 days)
Posts: 917
From: London, UK
Joined: 04-14-2006


Message 47 of 77 (376692)
01-13-2007 4:36 AM
Reply to: Message 44 by Hyroglyphx
01-13-2007 1:23 AM


Re: Understanding Birds and Evolution
NJ writes:

If Archy is indeed an intermediate, he surely must have been an intermediate in between a series of intermediates.

Indeed. All lifeforms are transitional. We too are transitional forms.

NJ writes:

There is no way that one day a reptile just popped out Archy, and, voila, the first avian.

You must know that Jazzns is well aware of this. Evolution argues for no such thing.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 44 by Hyroglyphx, posted 01-13-2007 1:23 AM Hyroglyphx has not yet responded

  
Jazzns
Member (Idle past 1294 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004


Message 48 of 77 (376723)
01-13-2007 1:05 PM
Reply to: Message 46 by Adminnemooseus
01-13-2007 4:00 AM


Re: By agreement of the two original debaters, this topic is now open to all
If I could get 1 reply in after a day or two and then we can move this thread out of GD?


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:
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Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5512
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006


Message 49 of 77 (376958)
01-14-2007 2:54 PM
Reply to: Message 45 by arachnophilia
01-13-2007 3:40 AM


Re: theropods, birds, and pterosaurs
the path to birds is so incredibly complex and detailed in the fossil record that it's hard to say what exactly happened.

The subjectivity of the cladograms is always suspect especially with the inclusion of reversed traits. Meaning, they tend to allow for transitions that don't actually exist, but make it so that they give a false impression of this. The horse series evolution cladogram but even more pronounced, the whale series cladogram, shows evidence of bias and subjective interpretation. But more simply, you can't hang it all up on by looking at the feet of theropods because their feet are similar. By that premise, we could conclude that we are directly descended for octopi.

Consequently, the most outspoken critic of such faulty inference comes from a strict naturalist, not a proponent of ID or creationism.

"Personally, I continue to find it problematic that the most birdlike maniraptoran theropods are found 25 to 75 million years after the origin of birds... Ghost lineages are frankly a contrived solution, a deus ex machina required by the cladistic method. Of course, it is admitted that late Cretaceous maniraptorans are not the actual ancestors of birds, only “sister taxa”. Are we being asked to believe that a group of highly derived, rapidly evolving maniraptorans in the Jurassic gave rise to birds, as manifested by Archaeopteryx, and then this highly progressive lineage then went into a state of evolutionary stasis and persisted unchanged in essential characters for millions of years? Or are actual ancestors far more basal in morphology and harder to classify? If the latter, then why insist that the problem is now solved?" -Peter Dodson

Dodson isn't alone in the criticism. Alan Feduccia, a leading ornithologist, routinely asserts that there are many problems in the theory, but most notably, that the cladograms are based on a superficial resemblance rather than actual ties.

archaeopteryx was a dinosaur. that chicken you had for dinner a few nights ago was also a dinosaur. archaeopteryx isn't really that much more distant from reptiles as any other dinosaur. the first dinosaurs were bipedal, laterally flattened, agile little theropods. the fact that the were bipedal means that they did not require the ground for warmth -- so they were likely warm blooded. since they were warm blooded and small, they likely had a form of insulation: feathers.

Well, lets go over this because there are quite a few discontinuities. You say they are ground dwelling, which obviously means they are runners. If so, then what selective advantage feathers would have for running underneath the canopy of trees? Feathers create an awful lot of drag on the ground. So, we can deduce that couldn't have developed to help it run down prey. What then was it developed for? You say for insulation. But mammalian hair is far less costly and easier to facilitate heat than feathers-- which Feduccia says is uniquely optimal for flight.

If that's the case, then what pressures existed for such an evolution to occur in the first place, but more importantly, what granted its success in biological terms? What made it so successful that the creature learned to co-opt it for flight?

that problem is well before archaeopteryx. go raise this objection with the lagosuchids and the earliest theropods. because crocodilian respiration simply does not work with bipedal running (heck, it barely works with crocodilian running). and we know from dinosaurs with pneumatized bones that avian respiration was alive and well on the ground.

That's not the problem. The problem is that Crocodiles are placed before birds on the chain. If that's the case, then when did they diverge, since the bones of avian are hollow? Where exactly do beaks, which is cartilaginous, btw, come in? When did the vascular system completely alter? When did the pulmonary system completely alter? For every superficial similarity that exists between theropods and avian, there are vast differences in the far more important inner-contrivances of each specie.

if you look at birds wings, vs pterosaur wings, they are completely different. theropods (including birds) have three digits, pterosaurs have the standard five. in birds, the wing is formed by a fusing of those three digits into a carpometacarpus, and the wing is made from feathers. in pterosaurs, the leading edge of the entire flying surface is a single elongated digit.

The weakness of such an argument, focusing on the fact that both theropod's and avian have tridactyl forelimbs, is not nearly enough to suggest ancestry. Why? Because not only is that completely subjective, but its cherry picking superficial similarities when it ignores much larger and neccessary ones in order to support the theory. But, if we were to focus on such a similarity, we should also note the difference in the number of digits between birds and dinosaurs. Where did this disparity come from if they are in fact so similar?


"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." -C.S. Lewis
This message is a reply to:
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RickJB
Member (Idle past 2373 days)
Posts: 917
From: London, UK
Joined: 04-14-2006


Message 50 of 77 (376965)
01-14-2007 3:32 PM
Reply to: Message 49 by Hyroglyphx
01-14-2007 2:54 PM


Re: theropods, birds, and pterosaurs
[deleted - points better covered by another poster]

Edited by RickJB, : No reason given.

Edited by RickJB, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
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arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 116 days)
Posts: 9068
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 51 of 77 (377040)
01-14-2007 9:21 PM
Reply to: Message 49 by Hyroglyphx
01-14-2007 2:54 PM


Re: theropods, birds, and pterosaurs
But more simply, you can't hang it all up on by looking at the feet of theropods because their feet are similar.

it's not simply the feet. a bird's entire skeleton is perfectly homologous to a theropod dinosaur's skeleton. to argue that they are not related is to argue for convergent evolution to the point of miracle. it's like getting caught plagiarizing on your bio term paper, and arguing to your professor that even though your essay is word-for-word exactly the same as your source (except for a few synonyms), you didn't actually copy it. it's just coincidence that you and some well known biologist wrote exactly the same paper, and yours is all original material.

the response from the professor would be "yeah, right. you fail."

Dodson isn't alone in the criticism. Alan Feduccia, a leading ornithologist, routinely asserts that there are many problems in the theory,

i've never heard of dobson, but if anyone could be considered the "laughing stock of paleontology" it's alan feduccia. i'm serious -- go find a paleontology newsgroup, mention his name, and watch yourself get laughed off the board. he's a nut, a crackpot, and someone who knows absolutely nothing about biology outside of birds, and next to nothing about paleontology. paleontolgists like to say to him "that's great; you study birds. so do i. in fact, i study everything you study, plus an additional 120 million years worth of information."

but perhaps you should look up feduccia's claims -- even he cannot deny that maniraptorian dinosaurs are basically primitive flightless birds. he contends that things like velociraptor mongoliensis aren't, in fact, dinosaurs. let me put this another way. to feduccia, the connection between archaeopteryx, theropod dinosaurs, and modern birds is more obvious than the connection between theropod dinosaurs and every other dinosaur, like sauropods, or ornithsticians. that's really how obvious this connection is: even the cranks accept it, and have to twist data on the other end to support their ideas.

Well, lets go over this because there are quite a few discontinuities. You say they are ground dwelling, which obviously means they are runners. If so, then what selective advantage feathers would have for running underneath the canopy of trees?

there's some debate about ground-up vs. trees-down. but frankly, animals like the velociraptor i mentioned above hunt with their feet. they would jump onto their prey, and use their claws to precisely puncture important arteries in ceratopsians. as a jumping predator, even a little bit of lift is an easily selectable adaptation. it's not full-on-flight, or bust.

there are also a number of other features that come part and parcel with feathers -- warmth, and sexual displays.

Feathers create an awful lot of drag on the ground.

tell that to a ratite. and really -- wouldn't drag be more of a concern in the air?

But mammalian hair is far less costly and easier to facilitate heat than feathers

the earliest feathers were (essentially) hair.

which Feduccia says is uniquely optimal for flight.

feduccia has apparently never heard of our other flying archosaurs, the pterosaurs, which did not have feathers (they had mammalian-like hair). the largest animal to ever fly was the queztalcoatlus -- a pterosaur. you ever seen a bird with a 40-60 foot wingspan? "optimal" my ass.

That's not the problem. The problem is that Crocodiles are placed before birds on the chain.

no, "crocodilians." not modern crocodiles. crocodiles very much like modern crocs were around in the mesozoic, but the paleozoic ones, i promise, were quite different. the family that crocodiles comes from diverges slightly lower than dinosaurs, but very close to the same time. birds diverge from dinosaurs.

if you think that's counter-intuitive, mammals diverge slightly lower than reptiles.

If that's the case, then when did they diverge, since the bones of avian are hollow?

pneumatized (hollow) bones are first seen in ground-based theropod dinosaurs -- the only other archosaurs they're seen in are pterosaurs, and then only in the wings (which are not homologous -- it's convergent, because light bones makes sense).

Where exactly do beaks, which is cartilaginous, btw, come in?

beaks are made of a horny keratin bill over bone. where do they come in? glad you asked -- dinosaurs. oviraptors have beaks, and all ceratopsians have beaks. (oviraptors are homologous, ceratopsians are not.) the important point about beaks being made of keratin is that feathers are made of keratin.

When did the vascular system completely alter? When did the pulmonary system completely alter?

i should point out that i was mistaken above. that's what i get for firing off posts late at night, without thinking too clearly. crocodilian respiration does work on two legs; in fact, it works better on two legs. it's a not-so-well-known fact that crocodiles won't chase prey (or threats) on land. they are ambush-predators, and can't maintain speed for a long time. part of that is due to their respiration. because they are rib-breathers, their side-to-side gait means that they cannot breath while running.

the up-and-down gait of a dinosaur means that they can, and the motion actually helps respiration.

the change from a one-stroke to two-stroke respiration system appears to have happened in stages, first with the development of air-sacs (which function like a diaphragm in some modern lizards) in theropod dinosaurs, and then with an extension of the bronchial tubes. you may be interested in this post and this post of mine, from two years ago. you'll find the thread ended shortly after those posts.

For every superficial similarity that exists between theropods and avian, there are vast differences in the far more important inner-contrivances of each specie.

i think "superficial" and "vast" are arbitrarily defined by you. for instance, the fact that theropod dinosaurs and birds are the only two groups of animals ever discovered that use their bones as part of their respiratory system. "superficial" similarity, right? dinosaurs have rear-facing halluxes, birds have them opposed. "vast" difference, right?

how about this. you name something about birds, and i'll name the dinosaur that has it.

The weakness of such an argument, focusing on the fact that both theropod's and avian have tridactyl forelimbs, is not nearly enough to suggest ancestry.

no, that was not the argument. the argument was that theropod and avian limbs -- which happen to be homologous -- are very obviously different then pterosaur wings. they don't even have the same number of fingers, and the structure is entirely different. basically, "pterosaurs aren't birds" was the point.

the homology of theropod and avian limbs is well known. some birds are even still born with nearly intact theropod hands -- a point creationists like to try to play to their advantage. the similarity isn't superficial. they are the same. and even so, the carpometacrapus is a recent development. by far, most post-cretaceous birds fond lack it -- they have diminutive, exagerated dinosaurian hands.

Why? Because not only is that completely subjective, but its cherry picking superficial similarities when it ignores much larger and neccessary ones in order to support the theory.

which larger and neccessary (dis)similarities? it seems that every time you bring up something that's "different," and i say "sorry, dinosaurian feature" or "exactly homologous to a dinosaurian feature." you write it off as trivial. you know what? it really is entirely trivial -- birds are dinosaurs. the differences are so minute that they simply do not matter. find me something that's not trivial, and actually is different:

But, if we were to focus on such a similarity, we should also note the difference in the number of digits between birds and dinosaurs. Where did this disparity come from if they are in fact so similar?

birds have three (fused) digits.

theropod dinosaurs have three digits.

what disparity?

Edited by arachnophilia, : typos


אָרַח

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 15788
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 52 of 77 (377077)
01-15-2007 1:00 AM
Reply to: Message 49 by Hyroglyphx
01-14-2007 2:54 PM


Spot The Difference
Perhaps some pictures will help.


Click to enlarge

A dromaeosaur, Archaeopteryx, and a modern bird.

Let's look at some pelves.


Click to enlarge

A dromaeosaur, Archaeopteryx, and a modern bird.

Spot the odd one out.

Now how about the manus and its cognates?

Challenge for creationists: without peeking, please tell us where, in your opinion, dinosaurs leave off and birds begin on the chart below. They are not, by the way, drawn all to the same scale.

Edited by AdminAsgara, : changed img tags to thumb tags to fix page width


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Jazzns
Member (Idle past 1294 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004


Message 53 of 77 (377096)
01-15-2007 1:46 AM
Reply to: Message 44 by Hyroglyphx
01-13-2007 1:23 AM


What have we learned about these so called alternative interpretations?
I would like to start this final reply before we move this into the general forums with a very simple observation. Through many posts with a lot of argument, not one time did you ever support your original claim that prompted me to challenge you to this Great Debate. Moreover, not only did you not support your position, you completely contradicted it by claiming that the facts rather than the interpretations are the items in dispute. Let’s recall:

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.

Let’s 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.

Your entire position can probably be summed in the succinct quote from you:

This is another example of interpreting the evidence differently. Both groups are looking at the same fossils, they are simply interpreting the evidence differently.

There is a large assumption hidden in such a bold claim. That assumption is that the facts between evos and creos are agreed upon and it is merely the interpretations that differ. You then proceed to argue for 50 posts worth against those very facts. I didn't win this debate, you lost it the moment you blatantly contradicted yourself. I even tried very hard to steer this discussion back towards the issue of interpretations yet in the end it was painfully obvious that your disagreement with evolution does not rest upon a valid reinterpretation of the facts but of a denial of the facts themselves. In the extreme cases, you actually believe directly in falsehoods and lies propagated by dishonest creationist organizations. To bring up objectively false denials of fact in one instant completely destroyed your claims to alternative interpretations.

There are a number of items in your most recent reply that I would like to post as examples of how the facts have been misconstrued and at the end talk about the conclusions we can draw from this debate about facts versus interpretations.


Recanting on previously agreed upon points

You replied to me as such:

Jazzns previously writes:

This is especially true for land vertebrates that only fossilize in very specific conditions. As I have said before, the evidence for evolution does not rely upon the fossil record. The prediction is that the fossil record should match the primary evidence for evolution which is nested hierarchies. Missing transitionals do not remove the fact that forms like archy DO fit into those hierarchies.

These hierarchies are completely subjective as it draws parallels that only superficialliy seem to match.

YET in a previous post you made it perfectly clear that you understand these hierarchies to NOT be completely subjective:


Homologous features, especially down to the genetic level, would be a very impressive case in defense of common ancestry. Assuming that genes with similar sequences would be unlikely to originate independently via random mutations or whatever, your retroviral insertion would indicate ancestry. All subsequent phylogenetic features that appear similar could be considered cladistic evidence. There's only one problem I can see currently. The fact that homeotic sequences are universal asks a simple question. If the hypothesis of common ancestry could be falsified by the discovery of the same retrovirus at the same locus in two species that do not share a common ancestry, then the entire argument is incorrect. And that would place this argument onto a lengthy list of alleged markers. Since I don't know of any studies that have found such homogenous sequences at specific loci or transposons, I can't testify to it. I will say that this is the best argument in defense of macroevolution by far.

This is pure insanity in argument! You cannot at one point use a fact as a basis for argument and then in another circumstance deny that same fact! This kind of behavior completely eliminates any claim you could make to understanding what it means for something to be subjective versus objective. This is compounded by the fact that you not one single time gave evidence to support the claim that these hierarchies could be built in a different way which would give credence to your claims that they are subjective. It is yet ANOTHER bare assertion in a long and seemingly unending stream of assertions. Have you ever heard of the Gish Gallop?


Moving the goalposts

Jazzns previously writes:

How much have you actually looked into fossil intermediates?

I keep up with the latest arguments added by TalkOrigins and Ed Babinski and whatnot for this very reason. What's the latest one? Oh, right, the Dolphin with legs...

We were discussing fossil intermediates and you bring up atavisms. These are two very different things yet you either are deliberately changing the subject to avoid having to address my points or you cannot tell the difference between a fossil and an atavism.

There are numerous other examples of this in the rest of your posting history that everyone else can examine for themselves.

1. You changed the subject away from the claim that there are evolutionary influences in geology to a discussion of fossil intermediates. (Message 10)
2. You brought up the issue of dogmatism in a discussion where you were challenged to defend your view about interpretations (also in Message 10)
3. When talking about what is expected to observe evolution you brought up the false claim that the Lucy transitional is a fraud. This is presumably because I talked about a Lucy to Human transition as an example of the degree of macro evolutionary change. Nonetheless it was a blatant moving of goalposts. (Message 14)
4. When discussing how geography influences evolution to allow both the evolved and ancestral population to co-exist you used that as an opportunity to simply announce your denial of human evolution and change the subject to doubt how scientists can known anything about an animal from its fossil. (Message 19)
5. When discussing observing macroevolution I brought up the point that we have only really been paying attention for a few centuries. You said:

150 years of anthropology, archeology, and biology should yield some proof, no? Those are seconds in evolutionary time but aeons of time to dig up some legitimate, tangible proof of evolution.

Which is a very different question than the one of observed macroevolution! (Message 21)
6. When again talking about geography and ecological niches you challenged the sufficiency of known selection pressures to cause what you seem to consider "drastic" evolutionary change. (also in Message 21)
7. I even caught you in a goalpost shift here:

Jazzns writes:

NJ writes:

Jazzns writes:

The evidence can tell us that the environments that an evolved and ancestor species occupied was different or not. For living organism we can visually inspect when they diverge that the environments are different. We can also examine that a particular species does or does not have traits that are advantageous in the environment. Why you think we cannot know these things is beyond incredulous.

You know, more could be stated about what's missing from the hominid record...

Right there! You are shifting the goalposts! I was refuting your claim that we somehow cannot know what environment a creature was better adapted for by its fossil. Please NJ don't do this!

(again in Message 21)

8. Instead of engaging my point about creationist ad-hoc reasoning, you attack my example regarding the Coconino sandstone by talking about seashells on top of mountains. Later on you bring up cave formations and supposed evidence of fast petrifaction with no support. (Message 25)

9. When trying to discuss the how traits arise, using birds as an example, you completely changed the topic again to intermediates. (Message 32)

Even though I very much enjoyed engaging you in each and every point you brought up, I believe it is important for both you and the audience to always remember both the tactic and the number of items you left on the table by changing the subject.


Debating specific points

Jazzns previously writes:

The validity of the theory does not stand or fall based upon your needs. If you are not convinced given the evidence we do have, then it is up to you to explain why the standard should be higher.

If evolution were introduced into criminal court, the prosecuting attorneys would rip it to shreds for relying far too much on circumstantial evidence.

My reply is discussing specifically the standards of evidence required for something to be called the best current explanation. Your rebuttal is essentially a glib remark. In this situation, you are only being argumentative and nothing else. There is no substance to your response. This is the equivalent of saying, "Nuh-Uh".

Jazzns previously writes:

I would first of all like to point out that Darwin is not the authority on evolution.

That's because science is tentative. The half life of "fact" in science lasts about 5 years on average.

This is hard because this falls into the category of both moving the goalposts and not debating specific points. Your reply in no way takes into account the context of our previous discussion. Recall, you had mentioned Darwin's concept of animals in confusion. I made my comment with regards to that context to point out that you were arguing from authority. Moreover, you are even arguing from an authority from whom you give no credence!

What then does this reply do to counter the point that I made regarding how we don't consider Darwin's opinions to be gospel. Darwin thought that animals should be in confusion. Darwin was wrong. Your reply says nothing to discount that simply point.

Beyond that, your reply is nothing but a bare assertion that is utterly and totally wrong.


What is fact?

As I mentioned before, this debate changed from a discussion about interpretation to a discussion of the validity of the evidence. Once that happened, you implicitly conceded your position that creationists merely interpret the evidence differently. In reality, creationists have their own "evidence" that they very much would like everyone else to accept. They also primarily attack sources of evidence that mainstream science uses it to come to conclusions. They are also well known for ignoring evidence as your readily demonstrated in the content of your debate.

I will go though the examples here but it is worthwhile to point out that in the end reality wins. You comment about the half life of fact in science is testament to your profound and fundamental misunderstanding of what it means for something to be a fact versus a theory. A fact is something that is not up for debate. A fact may be incomplete. A fact may lead to an invalid theory if it is sufficiently complex but in the end, the facts don't change.

The ratios of parent to daughter isotope in a rock don't change their values because it is a Christian geologists who measures them versus a hindu or atheist geologist. Genetic markers in the genome of extant species don't become more or less similar because the person looking at them believes in a personal God. Yet Biblical Creationists would have us believe that some of these things are not actually true. They will CLAIM that cladograms are subjective yet never prove that by creating an alternative cladogram. They will CLAIM that radiometric dating is biased or circular yet never even enter the arena of evidence for correlative and collaborating dating. They will claim that the intricacies of the geologic column can be explained by a global flood but remain silent on the issues of fossil strain, phenocrysts, evaporites, erosional horizons, and any number of ACTUAL FACTS that bring their pretend and made up facts into disrepute. In the worse case, biblical creationists will lie.

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.

This is a lie. Not to say that it is your lie NJ but is a lie none the less. You are a repeating a LIE that was told to you that you believe was a fact.

Creationists have been making the claim that Donald Johanson found the knee joint of "Lucy," a 40%-complete skeleton of the species Australopithecus afarensis, in a location "Sixty to seventy meters lower in the strata and two to three kilometers away" (Willis 1987). They have sometimes gone on to add the claim that "Only under questioning did [Johanson] admit that the knee was found over a mile from Lucy. To the best of our knowledge this admission has not appeared in print!" (Willis 1987; emphasis in original; Also see Brown 1989a, p. 44) The claim is used by creationists to show that (a) evolutionists are dishonest and (b) "Lucy" did not walk upright. It successfully shows neither of these things, because it is false. (Even if it were true, it would not demonstrate (b), for reasons given in Lippard (1989-90)--the knee joint is not the only evidence of bipedality in A. afarensis.)

The claim is not only false, it is clearly shown to be false in Johanson's published writings about "Lucy" (e.g., Johanson and Edey 1981, ch. 7-8) and it has been pointed out repeatedly to its proponents that it is false. Despite this, none of the major proponents of the claim has publicly retracted it. One major proponent has privately agreed that it is false, and a few creationists have agreed to stop repeating it. One minor proponent made a public retraction.

From: A Case Study in Creationists' Willingness to Admit their Errors

Not only is the lie evident in the reporting of the find, it can be seen by direct inspection.

The fossils constituting the find named "Lucy" does not contain a knee joint!!!
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/homs/lucy.html

The rest of the Case Study articles goes on the explain how for 18 creationists who have been known to make this claims only 3 have retracted it when shown how blatant an obvious the error is. The attempts to get retractions are documented at that link. Therefore the creationists continuing to make this claim are very simply ... lying.

In the best case, creationists simply ignore the evidence that they find too inconvenient to address. One that is apparent in your reply NJ is this:

Especially when considering that the majority of theropods stood well over 10 feet tall, while Archy is about the size of a chicken. Kind of strange that a megalithic-sized creature could, by happenstance, produce such diminutive progeny. I realize that some classified theropods are of small stature, but we see those earlier in geologic record.

The FACT is that there is known to be a VAST diversity of not only therapod dinosaurs but FEATHERED therapod dinosaurs that range from 16 inches to 20 feet tall many of which are about the size of a chicken or a turkey. In FACT I both described, and provided reference to these very interesting FACTS in Message 36. I'll repost the link here:

http://www.dinosaur-world.com/feathered_dinosaurs/0-feathered_dinosaurs.htm

Here we can see you have no qualms of making up your own facts. Had you bothered to check up on your claim about the "majority of therapod dinosaurs" or when in the geologic record they appear you would have found out that both of your claims are false. To say that differently, the things you are claiming are FACTS are NOT FACTS.

It is plain to see that such a personal distortion is what makes you say things like:

Jazzns, really.... Come on. Its very simple. For a forelimb in a distant relative to become a fully functional wing in a preceding generation, there surely would have to have been innumerable gradations in between.

To say such a thing REQUIRES that you be ignorant of the evidence at the feathered dinosaur link. Either that or a propensity to be deceptive but I prefer not to examine that possibility.

The other MAJOR flaw in the argument from many creationists including you NJ is the complete inability to metabolize ACTUAL facts for what they are. There are two clear examples of this in this debate one previously and one in you last post.

Creationists will often point to the FACT of the existence of the Coelecanth as something meaningful against evolution. The biggest flaw in their argument has to do with a fathomless misunderstand of the actual Theory of Evolution but this is not the most obvious flaw. The most obvious flaw is that creationists FAIL systematically to take things that are fact into consideration alongside the entire rest of the body of evidence. The existence of a "living fossil" has to be taken alongside the facts of other extant fishlike amphibians, fossil evidence of lobe finned intermediates such as Tiktaalik and Gogonasus, and the genetic and morphological cladograms that can be objectively created for these excluding genetics for those that are living-impaired.

Taking all of those facts into account TOGETHER basically forces any sane person to essentially come to the same conclusion that the Theory of Evolution already provides. When species evolve, the ancestral species does not necessarily go away. That is why even though there are humans and birds, we still have bacteria and fungus. Even though humans share a common ancestor with apes, there are still other apes around. Even though my neighbors cute pet Chihuahua evolved from wolves, there are still wolves around. It makes so much common sense that it is hard to imagine why NJ and I spent the number of posts that we did on this issue. I believe, and the record seems to indicate, that this is because creationists like NJ choose to ignore facts.

The other example I would like to use is similar but this time with regards to the pterosaurs :

I'm curious to know where to place pterosaurs in the evolution of theropods and avian.
...
But where does it leave Pterosaurs which are said to have existed in the late Triassic period? It seems that flight has come about much longer than avian have been around, according to evolution. I'm curious to gather your input.

The reason why I wanted to point this out separately from the Coelecanth even though it is based on the same fallacy that extant species preclude each other is that this is an example where creationists make up rules about reality for which they can use real FACTS to try to prove their case. NJ you brought up Pterosaurs because you believe in a rule that if there is already flying creatures then more flying creatures cannot evolve. If this rule were true then that would be a serious problem if birds are meant to have evolved during the time when Pterosaurs were everywhere. It is fortunate that in the real world such a rule would require more than just your say so to mean anything. The existence of a creature in a niche does not automatically prevent another creature from also inhabiting that niche. If this were true then there would be only 1 kind of hoved herding grass eater and 1 kind of catlike predator in the savannah. The oceans would be filled with 1 kind of fish and 1 kind of whale.

Other examples of creationists performing this same trick can be seen in the of repeated "no new information", "soft sediment" idea of explaining geologic deformation, and polystrate fossils. There are many more but those are just the ones that come to mind. All require creationists inventing "rules" about the real world for which the actual facts are supposed to break thereby proving their associated theories to be incorrect.

The last thing I would like to point out is how creationists will both accept and deny the same fact at the same time. In fact, the most recent example of this coming from you is in the statement you made about Pterosaurs. Your argument is predicated on the fact that pterosaurs and the precursor to birds lived at the same time in the late Jurassic. Yet at a different place at a different time you argue directly against the tools and methodology that scientists use to even make the distinction of the geologic ages such that those two species could even be considered to exist during the same geologic age!


Failure to Engage the Evidence

After previously discussion radiometric dating you failed to respond to my most recent points about the isochron method. You then later announce:

The fact is, radiometric dating is a good tool to start with. However, there is sufficient evidence to show that it is replete with error and that empirically knowing which dates are true and which are erroneous is difficult. Therefore, questioning the reliability is not out of the question.

You completely disregarded my previous rebuttal and unabashedly restated your position as if the fact that you abandoned that line of argument in the face of actual evidence to the contrary didn't matter.

You completely failed to respond to my points about rock formations that cannot in an circumstances form quickly.

You completely failed to respond to my points about rock and fossil strain.

You completely failed to respond to my source for feathered therapods.

Add to this all the times mentioned above where you changed the subject. You left a HOST of issues on the table that you either did not want to or could not deal with.

Conclusion

Biblical Creationists operate with a different set of "facts" that do not correspond in any objective way to reality. In the extreme of cases the facts are outright lies and distortions with the intent to deceive people who are ignorant of or incapable of examining the body of evidence that would bring such malicious tactics to light. In the most innocent of cases, what is actually a fact is simply unknown due to lack of knowledge such as what actually constitutes the fossil record or what actually is involved in the creation of nested hierarchies. In the end though this does not excuse the biblical creationists from their fallacy of their arguments based on these denial or fabrication of fact. They should not be given a handicap in the controversy regarding these fallacies and when they simply "machine-gun" them out in attempt to avoid having to support them AS facts they should be challenged at every step at the granularity of each claim to said fact.

If creationists want to claim that Creation Science is merely a different interpretation of the already accepted facts, the first step would be to demonstrate that they actually accept those facts.

Denial is not a different interpretation.

Invention of false facts is not a different interpretation.

Believing that the world must conform to the mythos described by a fundamentalist interpretation of a multi-millennia old book is not a different interpretation.


Admins, do with this thread what you want to. It seems as though everyone was okay with leaving it here in GD yet opening it to everyone. As far as I am concerned the GD is over an anyone should be allowed to post here. If that means that this need to exist in “Is It Science?” then please move it.

For everyone else who might be responding in this thread. PLEASE take in to consideration the original OP about alternative interpretations. I know very well that this topic was sidetracked into discussion about evidence rather than interpretation and that was allowed on purpose. Nothing showed the failure of the claim of alternative interpretations better than having my opponent time and time again demonstrate that his beef was with the evidence instead.


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 44 by Hyroglyphx, posted 01-13-2007 1:23 AM Hyroglyphx has responded

Replies to this message:
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Jazzns
Member (Idle past 1294 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004


Message 54 of 77 (377106)
01-15-2007 2:10 AM
Reply to: Message 51 by arachnophilia
01-14-2007 9:21 PM


Re: theropods, birds, and pterosaurs
i've never heard of dobson, but if anyone could be considered the "laughing stock of paleontology" it's alan feduccia. i'm serious -- go find a paleontology newsgroup, mention his name, and watch yourself get laughed off the board. he's a nut, a crackpot, and someone who knows absolutely nothing about biology outside of birds, and next to nothing about paleontology. paleontolgists like to say to him "that's great; you study birds. so do i. in fact, i study everything you study, plus an additional 120 million years worth of information."

That is besides the fact that feduccia still recognizes that birds evolved from thecodontia. So NJ is using the authority of someone who is simply arguing that birds evolved differently, not that they didn't evolve.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 51 by arachnophilia, posted 01-14-2007 9:21 PM arachnophilia has responded

Replies to this message:
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arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 116 days)
Posts: 9068
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 55 of 77 (377134)
01-15-2007 4:21 AM
Reply to: Message 54 by Jazzns
01-15-2007 2:10 AM


Re: theropods, birds, and pterosaurs
That is besides the fact that feduccia still recognizes that birds evolved from thecodontia. So NJ is using the authority of someone who is simply arguing that birds evolved differently, not that they didn't evolve.

what the hell is feduccia arguing, anyways? does he even know anymore?


אָרַח

This message is a reply to:
 Message 54 by Jazzns, posted 01-15-2007 2:10 AM Jazzns has not yet responded

  
Jazzns
Member (Idle past 1294 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004


Message 56 of 77 (377605)
01-17-2007 4:40 PM
Reply to: Message 53 by Jazzns
01-15-2007 1:46 AM


Re: What have we learned about these so called alternative interpretations?
What is to be the disposition of this thread. Is it going to remain in GD yet simply be open to everyone or should it be moved to Is it Science?


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 53 by Jazzns, posted 01-15-2007 1:46 AM Jazzns has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 116 days)
Posts: 9068
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 57 of 77 (377608)
01-17-2007 4:45 PM
Reply to: Message 56 by Jazzns
01-17-2007 4:40 PM


Re: What have we learned about these so called alternative interpretations?
right now, it seems like it's "let's jump on nj." perhaps something should be changed.


אָרַח

This message is a reply to:
 Message 56 by Jazzns, posted 01-17-2007 4:40 PM Jazzns has responded

Replies to this message:
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Jazzns
Member (Idle past 1294 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004


Message 58 of 77 (377612)
01-17-2007 5:01 PM
Reply to: Message 57 by arachnophilia
01-17-2007 4:45 PM


Re: What have we learned about these so called alternative interpretations?
I know that NJ is not alone in this opinion. Faith among others in the past expressed the same opinion that the differences are all just a matter of interpretation.

Being that NJ has an obvious misunderstanding of what a FACT even is it seems a bit unfair that some of his creationist counterparts have not taken this opportunity to jump in and set the record straight.


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 57 by arachnophilia, posted 01-17-2007 4:45 PM arachnophilia has responded

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arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 116 days)
Posts: 9068
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 59 of 77 (377617)
01-17-2007 5:16 PM
Reply to: Message 58 by Jazzns
01-17-2007 5:01 PM


Re: What have we learned about these so called alternative interpretations?
I know that NJ is not alone in this opinion.

in this thread, so far, he is.

Faith among others in the past expressed the same opinion that the differences are all just a matter of interpretation.

faith is banned. (something i disagree with, btw)


אָרַח

This message is a reply to:
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Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5512
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006


Message 60 of 77 (379236)
01-23-2007 2:38 PM
Reply to: Message 53 by Jazzns
01-15-2007 1:46 AM


Re: What have we learned about these so called alternative interpretations?
Through many posts with a lot of argument, not one time did you ever support your original claim that prompted me to challenge you to this Great Debate.

The initial claim is that evo's and creo's are looking at the same evidence, only interpreting it differently. Which is right in their assessment and which is wrong is the part to debate. So, how could I possibly not have supported that? We've had a lot of discussion on Archy, right? Both evo's and creo's can clearly see the fossil and make their determination based on the anatomical structures. Its the same fossil! Its the same piece of evidence. How both groups come to their conclusions is where they differ. How then was I not able to make this distinction?

There is a large assumption hidden in such a bold claim. That assumption is that the facts between evos and creos are agreed upon and it is merely the interpretations that differ. You then proceed to argue for 50 posts worth against those very facts. I didn't win this debate, you lost it the moment you blatantly contradicted yourself.

You did win the debate, whether by sheer volume, your tenacity, or my sparse participation. However, I see at the bottom that you made a laundry list of objections against me that include my alleged contradictions. I'll save my commentary until I reach each objection individually.

quote:
These hierarchies are completely subjective as it draws parallels that only superficialliy seem to match.

YET in a previous post you made it perfectly clear that you understand these hierarchies to NOT be completely subjective:

Exactly Jazzns, read what I wrote. Homologous anatomy IS subjective-- i.e. fossils. Case in point: if I draw certain shapes and leave them for you to find, you could make the argument that the one's most similar to one another are obviously related. However, that wasn't the case at all since I have created them all individually. You simply assumed that they were related, therefore, its subjective. What I said, in defense of macroevolution, is that sharing features does not have primacy here. What could take primacy is showing shared mistakes in specific loci, like retroviral insertions. And I said that THIS argument is the best in defense of macroevolution, not nested heirarchies. You seemed to be taken back by this admission of mine and even admired my candor for it. But now you are attacking a straw man. Read what I said again.

quote:
Homologous features, especially down to the genetic level, would be a very impressive case in defense of common ancestry. Assuming that genes with similar sequences would be unlikely to originate independently via random mutations or whatever, your retroviral insertion would indicate ancestry. All subsequent phylogenetic features that appear similar could be considered cladistic evidence. There's only one problem I can see currently. The fact that homeotic sequences are universal asks a simple question. If the hypothesis of common ancestry could be falsified by the discovery of the same retrovirus at the same locus in two species that do not share a common ancestry, then the entire argument is incorrect. And that would place this argument onto a lengthy list of alleged markers. Since I don't know of any studies that have found such homogenous sequences at specific loci or transposons, I can't testify to it. I will say that this is the best argument in defense of macroevolution by far.

In other words, your bastion of hope is going to be on the genetic level, not the anatomical level. Why? Because the anatomy is subjective. And even of this, on the genetic level it still can show subjectivity. What wouldn't is shared mistakes only by two or a few species. That would be the best evidence for macroevolution. And if I were an avowed evolutionist, this is where I would look to make my case in its defense.

You cannot at one point use a fact as a basis for argument and then in another circumstance deny that same fact!

I didn't. Read a third and a fourth time if need be. The focus is on "mistakes," whether perceived or not, they make the best evidence because the level of improbability is so great. Whereas, just looking at the anatomy is subjective. Its like saying, "all things with atoms are obviously related because why else do they share atoms?" That obviously doesn't work because all material is composed of atoms.

We were discussing fossil intermediates and you bring up atavisms. These are two very different things yet you either are deliberately changing the subject to avoid having to address my points or you cannot tell the difference between a fossil and an atavism.

Don't they use atavisms to point to ancestry! Isn't that how they attempt to tie one specie to another!? Evolutionists look at similar structures and say, "Hey, this has a furcula, and this has a furcula. Eureka, they're related!" The same with the Dolphin's "alleged" atavistic legs. "Aha, this proves that dolphins descended from land-dwelling animals that took to the sea millions and millions of years ago." Where in that am I incorrect?

1. You changed the subject away from the claim that there are evolutionary influences in geology to a discussion of fossil intermediates. (Re: Interpretations of Evidence vs Attacks upon Evidence (Message 10))

If ever I go off an a tangent it is not deliberate. Just say, "Hey, that's all fine and good, but I'd like to focus on the strata, not what lays beneath the strata."

2. You brought up the issue of dogmatism in a discussion where you were challenged to defend your view about interpretations (also in Re: Interpretations of Evidence vs Attacks upon Evidence (Message 10)

Same rule applies.

3. When talking about what is expected to observe evolution you brought up the false claim that the Lucy transitional is a fraud. This is presumably because I talked about a Lucy to Human transition as an example of the degree of macro evolutionary change. Nonetheless it was a blatant moving of goalposts. (Re: Interpretations of Evidence vs Attacks upon Evidence (Message 14)

Lucy is an incomplete skeleton found over a large surface area, which seriously discredits the entire integrity of the study, does it not? So, if I mentioned it, its because this kind of sleight of hand has been used in the past. I was just giving you an example.

4. When discussing how geography influences evolution to allow both the evolved and ancestral population to co-exist you used that as an opportunity to simply announce your denial of human evolution and change the subject to doubt how scientists can known anything about an animal from its fossil. (Re: Good discussion but still no interpretations (Message 19))

Again, if I go off on a tangent, just specify. I have no aversion to it. As I write, examples pop into my head and I use them as illustrations to solidify my point why something alleged by evo's is inherently incorrect or shown to have been demonstrably false in the past.

5. When discussing observing macroevolution I brought up the point that we have only really been paying attention for a few centuries. You said:

quote:
150 years of anthropology, archeology, and biology should yield some proof, no? Those are seconds in evolutionary time but aeons of time to dig up some legitimate, tangible proof of evolution.

Which is a very different question than the one of observed macroevolution! (Re: Good discussion but still no interpretations (Message 21))

And I'm telling you that 150 years is a long time to still be wondering about evolution. All the evidence in favor of evolution is purely circumstantial, and conveniently subject to amendment the second something threatens to refute it. In other words, the ToE is just as inept to prove itself today as it was 150 years ago. In fact, Darwin would probably be very disillusioned to know that the progress is slow and arduous.

6. When again talking about geography and ecological niches you challenged the sufficiency of known selection pressures to cause what you seem to consider "drastic" evolutionary change. (also in Re: Good discussion but still no interpretations (Message 21))
7. I even caught you in a goalpost shift here:

Jazzns writes:

NJ writes:

Jazzns writes:

The evidence can tell us that the environments that an evolved and ancestor species occupied was different or not. For living organism we can visually inspect when they diverge that the environments are different. We can also examine that a particular species does or does not have traits that are advantageous in the environment. Why you think we cannot know these things is beyond incredulous.

quote:
You know, more could be stated about what's missing from the hominid record.

Right there! You are shifting the goalposts! I was refuting your claim that we somehow cannot know what environment a creature was better adapted for by its fossil. Please NJ don't do this!

So, you wanted to talk about the environment rather than the suitability? Well, excuse me all over the place. Lets discuss it now. Ask me a specific question and I'll give you a specific answer.

8. Instead of engaging my point about creationist ad-hoc reasoning, you attack my example regarding the Coconino sandstone by talking about seashells on top of mountains. Later on you bring up cave formations and supposed evidence of fast petrifaction with no support. (Part I (Message 25))

Can I ask why you get to control the dialogue? Why must I only answer your questions without introducing some questions of my own? Again, if I go off on a tangent, its because something you've said has triggered a memory about other arguments that logically follow the premise-- in this case, about geological formations or occurances. Just say, "Hey, you didn;t really answer my question. I'd like to focus on that first, then we can address your points."

9. When trying to discuss the how traits arise, using birds as an example, you completely changed the topic again to intermediates. (Part II (Message 32))

Because in order to get to one, you have to have the other first!!! Its completely applicable and its what is expected. Evolutionists ALWAYS talk about how traits arise, but they never suck it up and offer any proof. Its all theoretical and relies purely on circumstantial evidence. The blatantly obvious answer is that we should see a mountain of tangible evidence, which even Darwin himself conceded to, and yet we don't. I doubt you cannot say that this lack of intermediaries is the single most condemning argument against evolution.

But since you'll charge with me being OT, again, tell me how traits arise and explain to me what evidence exists of such.

Even though I very much enjoyed engaging you in each and every point you brought up, I believe it is important for both you and the audience to always remember both the tactic and the number of items you left on the table by changing the subject.

Its not a tactic or a conscious effort to change the subject. I see it as applicable by actually offering some examples instead of endlessly talking about the theoretical aspects.

Debating specific points

And once again, this is so voluminous that I'm going to have to break it up in to sections. Then again, we're unleashing this creature out into the wild, right? So where are we going to move it, and where are we going to pick up from? And who is going to move it? Because I'm engaged in this conversation, I really shouldn't put on my Admin hat for the sake of impartiality.


"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." -C.S. Lewis
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