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Author Topic:   Evolution vs. Creation Interpretations (Jazzns, nemesis_juggernaut) (NOW OPEN TO ALL)
Inactive Member

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 replied

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

Inactive Member

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 replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by Jazzns, posted 11-01-2006 12:55 PM Hyroglyphx has replied
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Inactive Member

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 replied

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

Inactive Member

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:
 Message 6 by Jazzns, posted 11-01-2006 12:55 PM Jazzns has taken no action

Inactive Member

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?

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 replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 12 by Jazzns, posted 11-02-2006 11:26 PM Hyroglyphx has replied
 Message 13 by Jazzns, posted 11-02-2006 11:41 PM Hyroglyphx has taken no action

Inactive Member

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 replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by Jazzns, posted 11-03-2006 3:44 PM Hyroglyphx has replied
 Message 16 by Jazzns, posted 11-06-2006 12:59 PM Hyroglyphx has taken no action

Inactive Member

Message 17 of 77 (362175)
11-06-2006 2:33 PM
Reply to: Message 15 by Jazzns
11-03-2006 3:44 PM

Re: Good discussion but still no interpretations
Sorry that I neglected this debate. I got engaged in another debate.

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.

We can talk about whatever you want.

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.

Jazzns, seriously, if the fossil record was so impressive and yielded such overwhelming, unambiguous evidence of clear gradations, these images would be plastered all over the internet and there would no longer be a debate. Such is not the case, by the admission of many eminent evolutionists.

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.

Such as? You can't just say, "it's complete," without demonstrating how its complete. Even supposing that archaeoptryx is a genuine intermediary creature, this example would be one instance out of millions. That is a far cry from proving macroevolution. For starters, Archaeopteryx was the size of a pigeon-- that's a vast difference from the megalithic-sized beasts we are accustomed to. So which small saurian did archaeoptryx come from? Furthermore, avian are endothermic and reptiles are exothermic. Avian have temperatures upwards of 105 degrees, whereas reptiles as low as 40 to 60 degrees. Reptiles have a three-chambered heart, whereas Avian have a four-chambered heart. Avian have hollow bones and saurian have solid bones. The lungs, heart, nervous system, digestive tract are completely different from birds and reptiles.

Aside from this, I've heard several evolutionists claim that Archaeopteryx isn't just one link in the chain between reptiles and birds; rather, they claim that Archaeopteryx ‘is’ the missing link. Please tell me, though, how this creature developed wings, a beak, feathers, a completely different heart, lungs, digestive tract, etc, in one felled swoop? How is it that this creature was able to survive natural selection with stump-like appendages as its ancestors were changing from reptile to bird? What unseen event precipitated the changes to occur far in advance of any conceivable relevance to its survival? The contrivances of the wing must have been totally useless in the earliest stages of development, which should make us wonder what prompted these supposed changes to occur at all. How would this be advantageous as opposed to inhibiting its survival? What would prompt it to develop feathers? What prompted it to develop an elongated beak? Tell me: What advantage did this creature have while it was going through these changes? Answer: It wouldn’t. Natural selection would have gobbled up this critter faster than a fat kid at a buffet. The fact is, Archaeopteryx was not a bird-like dinosaur; Archaeopteryx was a bird –a perching bird.

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?

There are only two types of Coelacanth, the Sulawesi and the Comoros. And its fossilized counterpart looks exactly like these. Any other lobe-finned fish is assumed to be related because of its lobed-fins. That's why it was placed as an Order to begin with. That does not prove that it evolved from anything, or that it anything evolved from it. If you are so certain that it evolved into different types of fish, then provide their names and explain how you are certain that the Coelacanth was its progeny.

If we came from monkeys, then why are there still monkeys? Can YOU actually answer that question NJ?

Because the ToE maintains that species diverge from common ancestors. However, its at odds with itself because the changes were supposed to have occured because of natural selection, which means the progenitorial specie should be weak and have died out, kind of like why there are no australiopiths. So, do you understand the objection?

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?

No it isn't! I'm addressing the fact that when two creatures of separate but similar lines procreate, there is going to be a divergence where one line goes in one direction, and the other line can go in another. That means I wouldn't expect Coelacanths to have gone extinct simply because another line was created. However, what I'm saying is that changes that cause adaptations occur for several reasons-- mainly, isolation, mutation, and natural selection. For a change to occur and to develop 'wings' or 'legs', there must first be some reason why it made it more advantageous. So why doesn't natural selection swallow up the antiquated specie? Do you understand now?

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, you're right to say that I didn't see any pictures of your alleged Coelacanth evolution, because I didn't. Repost them and I'll critique it.

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.

Just because there are similarities in morphology doesn't mean they are related.

Do you think that there is ANY CHANCE that you might simply not have the correct or complete information about this?

I've already answered your question about that above. But now you need to answer me why the lobe-finned fish were candidates for fish experimenting with walking. If the Sulawesi and Comoros are the last known survivors of this Order of fish, then why aren't exhibiting features for walking? They don't do anything that could even remotely be construed as walking.

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.

No, I believe Darwin was a good scientist and had an inquisitive mind. I have no objection to Darwin. Its the Darwinians that were to follow. Evolution became for them the weapon of choice to spread falsehoods about God. That's what I believe.

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.


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.

You might as well have been because it still draws upon the same exact inferences today. The only difference is there are more avenues of possibilities to explore, such as you've shared, like genome similarity.

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!

Are you kidding me Jazzns? You think we place extinct dinosaurs in a certain cladistic order because we can look at their genetic similarity??? No, they place them where they do because of their morphological similarity. I would agree that the study of the genome aids in trying to distinguish how and why they place contemporary species where they do. But you are making me out to say things that I'm not saying.

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.

You just condemned yourself. No one has EVER witnessed evolution. Its all an inference, and yet now you say that no matter how much things change, they are still going to have 'more' similarities with things that are not. And, how could you possibly know that? That's completely speculative, which is what I've been saying all along. Now, explain to me that you don't have a priori assumptions about how things evolve or how cladograms work. Cladograms are formed by inference. And in most cases, preconceived notions.

"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 15 by Jazzns, posted 11-03-2006 3:44 PM Jazzns has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 18 by Jazzns, posted 11-06-2006 3:28 PM Hyroglyphx has replied

Inactive Member

Message 19 of 77 (362450)
11-07-2006 3:07 PM
Reply to: Message 18 by Jazzns
11-06-2006 3:28 PM

Re: Good discussion but still no interpretations
Do you, or do you not still hold that creationists have valid interpretations of the same evidence as mainstream science? If so, are you will to provide some examples that are more convincing than a CNN article that doesn't even talk about a global flood?

Lets discuss something we both can agree on. Its pointless to speak about the Flood if you don't believe it happened. Aside from which, geology can have an extremely broad interpretation. Since we are primarily discussing evolution, lets use things we both can agree on, which is genetic markers. You say that it is evidence of a clear lineage, while I say that it isn't. Read over the article of a creationist interpretation of evidence and offer some counterpoints.

In that same vein, do you understand my misgivings about the difference between what we have been doing so far, criticizing and defending the evidence versus discussing intepretations?

I guess I don't. I though the way we were going was what you wanted, which is different views on the same subject. What else could you possibly mean?

If you want to abandon your previous position about alternative interpretaions and talk about evidence instead then I am perfectly willing, we just need to change the title of this thread to something like 'What is and what is not evidence for X.

I don't see the difference.

The ancestor species is not required to die out for evolution to occur. In fact, if this was true then evolution would be proven false right now.

I agree that it isn't required, but if nature selects the strongest, and evolution gears toward perfection, then wouldn't more cases of something like Australiopiths being competed out of existence? If something develops, the ToE states that it did so, so as to enhance its survivability. Why, then, are some of the lowest forms of life still viable? What prompted their progenies changes in the first place that NS selected for it? Why was their mutation so advantageous that it survived?

When species diverge, they do so not only genetically but more often than not geographically as well. It takes a different environment to apply different pressures to cause evolution to happen.

But all this is going to do is get you a new breed, not an entirely new species. If Iguana population (B) gets marooned on a beach, the combination of inbreeding, isolation, and mutation can give this peripheral population different features from the ancestral population (A). This is unquestionable. And if by chance the peripheral population is reintroduced to the ancestral population, their progeny may converge into another breed, breed (C). And now they may all intermingle to give you breeds (D) and (E). This is the mechanism that can account for diversity. But, never, ever, have we seen the introduction of a completely new taxonomic category spawn from this. You may object to it, but a dog is a dog, and a cat is a cat. There lots and lots of different breeds, and some people have made a considerable fortune of breeding, but you aren't going to get a new species from breeding dogs. And after all of these elaborate experiments, macroevolution is not supported by evidence. And it amazes how sure evolutionists are when there are ample chances to have seen this come to fruition in over 150 years of hard looking.

Do you consider it so improbable that some Coelecanth migrated into shallower waters while some remained in deep waters?

No. But that would be an unimpressive case of microadaptation.

Do you consider it so improbable that some species of apes stayed in or near a forrest while others delved deeper and deeper into the savannah?

No. I find it improbable that humans and apes are cousins.

If austrolopithicus tried to recompete with its tree dwelling ancestors then it would loose becuase it was better adapted to a hybrid environment. IN the same way, its ancestor would loose in the same environment as the austrolopithicus because it would not be as suited to hybrid environment.

You couldn't possibly know this with any measure of veracity. These are the invented scenarios of evolution. Its all based on inferences. You also have to consider how difficult it would be to make any of this a reality. The only way is for a mutation to occur during the production of haploids. An accident in replication anywhere else in the body will only affect the specific cell where the injury occurred. We have these kinds of mutations all the time in our body, but it doesn't go anywhere. They die with us. That makes the ToE considerably more difficult than it would portray itself to be. My contention is that the skulls these anthropologists are looking at are either fully man or fully primate. There is no in-between. I can show you the skull of an Ethiopian man juxtaposed by the skull of a man from Nordic ancestry and you would see a vast difference in their skull shape, diameter, and features. But they are both human.

You also failed to comprehend the implication of a cladogram based on an unassuming characteristic such as retroviral insertions. This singularly refutes your claim of 'preconcieved notions' because no notion can possibly be linked to these characteristics.

Explain how it singularly refutes preconceived notions.

This would be a good time for you to demonstrate your alternative explations of the evidence. The cladograms ARE THE EVIDENCE. What we have is that the different viruses a set of species had in its past IS CORRELATED to their differences in genetics is CORRELATED to their differences in morphology. There are more but let just look at those three for simplicity. Mainstream science looks at that and comes to the conclusion that those species are related by the degree of their correlation. There is no other reason why the data would be correlated AT ALL unless the relationship was characterized by ancestry!

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.

"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 18 by Jazzns, posted 11-06-2006 3:28 PM Jazzns has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 20 by Jazzns, posted 11-08-2006 12:02 AM Hyroglyphx has replied

Inactive Member

Message 21 of 77 (362698)
11-08-2006 6:36 PM
Reply to: Message 20 by Jazzns
11-08-2006 12:02 AM

Re: Good discussion but still no interpretations
In some cases creationists deny that the evidence is actually evidence. This is different from explaining the evidence in an alternative framework. In one case they are denying that radiometric dating is a valid method. In the other they are trying to explain why radiometric dating gives the consistent results that it does. Talking about radiometric assumptions, talking about the Coelecanth, etc is not providing alternative explanations. What we have been doing so far is going over specific evidences and discussing their validity.

I disagree with your premise. Whether they are right on some things, wrong on others is merely a side issue. 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.

To restate my position, I would consider myself more aligned with proponents of ID than I would that of creationists. Creationists, like that of many evolutionists, have a clear objective instead of viewing everything tentatively.

Saying that the living Coelecanth invalidates the ToE is not providing an alternative explanation to the fossil record.

No, its just an example.

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.

A huge part of it IS a matter of bias. That's not to say that aren't people out there who have honestly considered both options or other options. But, by and large, it is a matter of bias for many of them. If you haven't noticed, its like a cat and mouse game about who can one-up the other. That's not science, that's a pissing contest.

What is the alternative explanation for which the Coelecanth fossils are supporting? Poof godditit?

The answer is in the lack of evidence. If it can be demonstrated that evolution is false, then no unguided, purposeless thing can exist which inexorably will bring you to the other alternative-- an intelligence created it. Whatever that 'intelligence' is, directed or undirected panspermia, Yahwew, Allah, the FSM, is a matter of theological debate. All that ID is interested in is whether or not it can be shown that life could not have evolved for inexplicable reasons. Aside from which, "Poof, goddidit" has never been an answer for any scientific questions, because an answer of such brevity would completely emasculate science. Likewise, saying "nothing created everything" for starters, defies logic, and secondly, answers absolutely nothing.

Because they occupy different ecological niches and in many cases, are required for the continuance of their "more evolved" counterparts. In the most extreme example of your scenario we have the question of , "If we all came from bacteria then why is there still bacteria?" Quite simply, we don't compete with bacteria. In fact, we are food and environment FOR bacteria.

Cows and horses share the same ecological niches and they both thrive. So what selective pressures cause these changes to begin with? What was it that caused the first proto-avian to sprout stump-like appendages that would form a proto-wing, and form proto-feathers long in advance to any conceivable relevance to its survival? What exactly prompted the changes? Obviously nature have chosen those traits because the others were not optimal, but antiquated. It sure would appear that nature has a mind, especially when given the prospect of saurian awkwardly changing into avian and somehow managing to stave off natural selection as cannon fodder. Its in the delicacies, the finer aspects of biology, that evolution begins to make no sense. Its easy to just say, everything changes, and nature selects the strong, and millions of years equals millions of mutations, and there you have it. But when we look at it through a fine-toothed comb, the inconsistencies become marvelously apparent.

A change in the environment prompted the selection to dominance of existing and newly mutated traits.

If a tree dwelling ape can exploit a new resource that exists out in the savanna then it is more advantageous to be skilled at bipedalism and the ones that are will be more successful at exploiting that niche. This does not change the niche that their neighbors who are not next to a savanna exploit which is food sources in the trees.

You couldn't possibly know that by looking at bones. And this is the kind of stuff that makes its way into the textbooks and quickly hailed as some sort of unassailable fact of biology. All that you know about is that there are tree-dwelling apes-- very few of them at that. You also know that bones of an extinct type of ape have been found elsewhere that is 'currently' grassy. And so you could easily be lead to follow clues that don't actually exist only to formulate some plausible scenario that will soon be extolled as empirical fact.

Once again you are putting forth the unreasonable expectation that we should see evolution, (this time on the scale of taxa!!!) happen before our eyes.

No, I am not! I am not at all being unreasonable about what we should expect to see. I would agree that trying to watch evolution before our eyes would be like trying to watch our fingernails grow. However, fossils are like snapshots in time where you can very clearly see the changes. Its like somebody that diets. The can't see the changes because they look at themselves on a daily basis and the shedding of weight is insensibly fine. But, when they take photos every month, they can clearly track their progress. Now, every fossil we have is completely well-formed. There are no transitions from one step to the other. They are all either exactly as we see them today, (Coelacanth), or they died out. There are no stepwise gradations, which is exactly why punctuated equilibrium came about. It gave them the perfect excuse fro why we shouldn't expect to see any clearcut proof.

150 is to evolution what 1 second is to your lifetime.

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. The ENTIRE theory is supported by microevolution mixed in with inference.

You are changing the topic. You were claiming the existence of the modern Coelecanth was proof that somehow an ancient Coelecanth didn't evolve. We already know that you don't believe that small changes can add up to macroevolution. That wasn't the point that we were discussion though. My point is a refutation of your criticism involving the modern coelecanth. This reply of yours is meaningless in response except to state a position that we already knew that you hold.

Why is that meaningless? The 'point,' the one that I've mentioned twice, and now going on a third time, is that Coelacanth were supposed to be the genus that ambled onto shore and developed lungs (a ridiculous proposition for those claiming pragmatism). If todays Coelacanth use their lobbed-fins for nothing other than swimming, then that kind of puts a damper that they walked in the past. Therefore, the Coelacanth has not evolved, not even 350 million years of time. However, if slight changes in color, or shape of their eyes, or a more pronounced dorsal, these are unimpressive changes. And looking at fossilized Coelacanth with today's Coelacanth show that we are dealing with a creature that has not made much progress over time, as far as progress goes. I mean, primates are supposed to be changing so fast, as far as evolution goes.

Once again, the response was not an answer to the questions asked.

Yes, it was. You asked if it was improbable that apes could have migrated. My answer was, 'no.'

No one is asking if you believe in human evolution from apes. I was asking if you find it so improbably that populations split and migrate into different ecological niches. Given that this has actually been observed and that you seem to be a pretty reasonable creationist, I didn't quite expect to get such an obvious dodge.

As I've already shared, there all kinds of species that migrate and become isolated for a variety of reasons, only to develop unique features. I am contending that man and ape are two separate species. Orangutans and chimpanzees are separate. So why not humans and chimps? You say, because of endogenous retroviral insertions in the same locus. I'll get to that in a bit.

Can we just both agree that the question, "If we all came from monkeys then why are their still monkeys?" is a stupid and invalid question to ask?


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 than what is actually present. I also don't mind pointing out that there is a wide range of variation among human skulls, to include the orbit's, maxillae, and mandible shapes and sizes. Are there any anatomical markers that consistently separate Homo erectus from human beings? Could not the differences be attributed to differences on racial variation? I have reviewed the anatomical (dis)similarities several times and find the 'evidence' lacking any real credibility. And that goes for all of the anatomy, not just skull features.

Why would that be a problem. In previous threads talking about this I have heard numbers ranging from 100 to 5000 mutations that YOU have different from you parents.

That's because the only significant mutations that affect evolution are during cell replication. All the other mutations are pointless to even discuss because they bear no reflection on evolution.

This is a surprising concession. Kudos.

I'm not unreasonable. I think this is the greatest, tangible piece of evidence in support of evolution. Everything up until this was based on nothing more than inference, which isn't terrible in itself. what I find contemptible is portraying all of these inferences as staunch fact.

In particular, for the case of retro vial insertions, your assumption of genes unlikely to originate independently is met. This is especially true in situations where the insertion exists in nonfunctional sequences of dna.

From what I know of this argument, these are non-coding genes that are assumed to have been caused in a coding error in the distant past, and that all subsequent progeny will share these specific genetic markers in a specific locus/loci. This sounds very similar to the Cytochrome C argument and could be ipso facto.

What would be damning would be a pattern of this since it always possible for the evidence of the single insertion to be destroyed over time. The weight that the evidence of the insertions hold FOR evolution is that there is a PATTERN of many insertions that MATCHES genetic similarity and morphology. That pattern would not be destroyed by 1 rogue insertion. It would be weird and unlikely, but alone would not be enough.

I think the question is whether or not an retrogenes could be directly acquired by one individual organism from another. If it could be demonstrated that they could not, that would certainly hinder the argument. Also, unrelated pseudogenes are far in excess than those that are shared. One would then have to ask how inexact it really is. How many alterations can happen independently but coincidentally, so that it no longer assumes shared evolutionary ancestry? One would have to ask that in light of differences invariably outnumbering convergent ones. I tried to consider that many divergent and contradictory phylogenies are in existence. Even the most conservative figure would at least have one of them that was bound to fortuitously coincide with another. But, given the enormity of the chimp and human genome, that seems implausible, especially when half of the ID argument is geared towards tearing down some of the evolutionary arguments that sit atop of lofty conjectures.

So then what more does it take to convince you?

Alot more. This is one footing in my mind for evolution. I'm sure any proponent of evolution wouldn't have thrown it all away because of IC.

"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 20 by Jazzns, posted 11-08-2006 12:02 AM Jazzns has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 22 by Jazzns, posted 11-09-2006 9:01 PM Hyroglyphx has replied

Inactive Member

Message 23 of 77 (363005)
11-09-2006 11:37 PM
Reply to: Message 22 by Jazzns
11-09-2006 9:01 PM

Re: Good discussion but still no interpretations
Regards and sorry for the length


Yeah, this one is going to take some time to unravel, but it won't be tonight. I appreciate the effort on your part, but I might have to condense it into maybe a three-part series. Eh, we'll see. It was a good post though. You covered alot of areas.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 22 by Jazzns, posted 11-09-2006 9:01 PM Jazzns has replied

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Inactive Member

Message 25 of 77 (363588)
11-13-2006 12:52 PM
Reply to: Message 22 by Jazzns
11-09-2006 9:01 PM

Part I
The ICR Grand Canyon project was an attempt by them to show that the radiometric dating method is invalid. They failed miserably to do this but even if they had succeeded they did not put forth any positive evidence for their pet hypothesis that the earth is young. The whole point of their effort was to try to eliminate evidence for an old earth. That is what I mean when I talk about criticizing the evidence. Many creationist arguments focus on trying show how evidence for evolution or an old earth are somehow not valid.

Hold on. You are speaking in a past tense as if ICR has ceded defeat concerning the formation and age of the Grand Canyon. Whether they are right in some instances and wrong in others is a matter of deeper investigation.

This is in contrast to OTHER efforts which try to explain the evidence, that we all accept, in a different way. There are some creationist ideas about how the Coconino Sandstone in the Grand Canyon might have formed under flood conditions. This different tactic often appears because the existence of the Coconino Sandstone cannot be invalidated. The evidence itself is so strong that it cannot be questioned and therefore it must be explained in a different framework.

Well, I'll tell you what. I'm not that interested in creationist geology, but I do know a little bit about it. As well, I used to live in Flagstaff, AZ which is approximately 80 miles from the south rim of the Grand Canyon. Flagstaff is 7,000 feet above sea level and nowhere near any oceans. I have 'personally' found seashells ontop some of the mountain ridges. It was not difficult for me to find them- meaning they were not buried deep in the sediment. I don't need a PhD in geology to know that (1) Seashells should be found near a sea. (2) Seashells shouldn't be up at 7,000 feet. (3) Even in the event of massive geologic changes occuring from continental drift and subduction, these seashells should either have been pulverized or eroded into sand by now. (4) They shouldn't be on the surface layer of the earth's crust if its going to conform to the geologic column. It takes all of these fantastic geologic changes which are difficult to prove in its own right for naturalists to get those seashells where they are and to have them in the condition they are in. But it takes a flood of epic proportion to reasonably place those seashells there.

Aside from which, if you'll notice on the walls of the Grand Canyon, in places there are curved lines in solid stone, suggesting highly that the sediment was once wet and formed that way once dried. Rivers cannot produce that effect because sediment will continue downstream. Unless you think that rock can bend without breaking, there is no good reason why this phenomenon should occur. It has a technical name but I can't quite remember what its called. You may be aware of this principle already.

My MAIN argument in the OP is that when this situation happens, the creationists always invent an explanation that ignores the rest of the evidence. In the case of the Coconino Sandstone, they completely ignore the other formations and how the conditions they posit would have to be in place to form the Coconino Sandstone would be not be able to form the other formations or would destroy them.

Well formed strata is demonstrably proven that it does not take millions of years to form. It doesn't even take thousands. And the mischaracterization that it does not make it so. Its the same with stalagtites and stalagmites. This phenomenon is portrayed as taking millions of years to achieve which is patently false. Its the same with fossilization. Fossilization is said to take thousands and millions of years. Hats dating back to 1950 and cowboy boots from the 1800's have been found completely petrified, unambiguously proving that these long epochs of geologic time is not necessary.

Knowing which dates are true or not only seems to be a problem for people who don't understand how the method works and what the ratios mean. Mainstream geology has no problem adequately identifying the conditions that either make the use of the method invalid, or when the method shows something else other than age.

That's completely not true. When two or more dates on the same material are tested and each time they get conflicting answers, they simply default to the preconceived notion. For instance, Nature magazine put out an article about Australopithecus. The date came out to over 20 mya which is considered impossible since there should not have been any Australiopiths during that time. So what they did is selected nearly 30 samples of various items in order to come up with an acceptable age of no more than 4.5 Mya. The samples that conflicted with that preconceived timeline were simply discarded, assumed to have been contaminated. I seriously don't know why you think radiometric dating is accurate, but especially C14 dating.

I think these preconceived notions about the earths' history forces researchers to face these anomalies by trying to conform to the prevailing paradigm. In other words, how objective is it when there is a discrepancy between dates, they simply defer to the preconceived notion? Why even bother to conduct the experiment if you already have a date in mind?

You say this but many of the arguments you have brought forth speak otherwise. Most prominent IDers do not question the age of the earth, evolution, or common decent. What they are critical of is a notion of "pure unguided naturalistic processes".

Well, I do question the age of the earth. Its the least concerning thing in the whole debate. Like I said, both evos and creos have an agenda, which makes it difficult to believe anyone. I don't know if the earth is young or old. All I know is what I personally have seen. I've seen the damn shells myself and I've been to the USGS in Flagstaff and saw for myself how things work. That's really what it boils down to for me at this point because the debate has been so skewed, I don't know what to believe as far as that is concerned.

I also take offense to the claim that evolutionists have an "objective".

One only need to look at Scott, Dawkins, and Miller to see that I'm not lying. This isn't inclusive to every single person that believes in evolution. This is geared towards the big names who are out there spinning some yarn that they are out there trying to defend science. You can take offense to it or realize that they have vested interests in propelling the theory. Their entire lives and worldview is wrapped up in this belief. If they lose this, they pretty much have no other option as to how and why they are here. That is, no doubt, a frightening prospect for an unbeliever.

As I asked before, I would prefer you leave criticisms of motive out of this discussion. The last thing I want to drag this discussion into is the whole evolution is/not a dogma. I am not interested in that type of discussion because I do not believe it is fruitful.

That's fine, but I thought I was being objective by pointing out that many creationists, if not most, have the same agenda just in reverse. That's okay, but I can't point out the obvious?

Anyway, sorry for the long delay in writing this. I'll get to the rest of it later.

"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 22 by Jazzns, posted 11-09-2006 9:01 PM Jazzns has replied

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 Message 28 by Jazzns, posted 11-20-2006 12:29 PM Hyroglyphx has replied

Inactive Member

Message 29 of 77 (365216)
11-21-2006 6:38 PM
Reply to: Message 28 by Jazzns
11-20-2006 12:29 PM

Re: Request intent to continue
Again no rush, I just want a quick indicator to know if you intend to continue.

Sorry Jazzns, yes, I intend to finish it. I apologize. I got started on some other debates and forgot about it until another member reminded me. I will likely respond tomorrow with Part II. Let me know how that works for you.

Faith is not a pathetic sentiment, but robust, vigorous confidence built on the fact that God is holy love. You cannot see Him just now, you cannot fully understand what He's doing, but you know that you know Him." -Oswald Chambers

This message is a reply to:
 Message 28 by Jazzns, posted 11-20-2006 12:29 PM Jazzns has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 30 by Jazzns, posted 11-21-2006 7:04 PM Hyroglyphx has replied

Inactive Member

Message 31 of 77 (365234)
11-21-2006 7:11 PM
Reply to: Message 30 by Jazzns
11-21-2006 7:04 PM

Re: Request intent to continue
That is great NJ. I don't mean for this to be any kind of commitment nor to take away from any other discussions you would rather have. I think it is perfectly reasonable to temporarily table this discussion when other interesting threads come up.

The information needed on this thread, because the topic is broad, makes replying well more tedious than other threads, but I'm still interested.

Perhaps as a rule of thumb, we should simply acknowledge when we are going to be unable to reply right away just so we don't leave the other person hanging. I am sure that I will need to do this at some point too.

Yeah, that will work. I'd like to keep this thread going indefinitely. I expect some hiatus, however, I think informing the other person will work just fine.

Good contributions to the UCLA thread by the way. I was nice to have someone with your expertise involved in the discussion.

Thanks for the compliment but my 'expertise' is very nominal. I'm not even in the field any more, and even when I was, it was very boring most of the time. I only have a handful of really interesting stories as far as LE is concerned. Thank you, nonetheless.

Faith is not a pathetic sentiment, but robust, vigorous confidence built on the fact that God is holy love. You cannot see Him just now, you cannot fully understand what He's doing, but you know that you know Him." -Oswald Chambers

This message is a reply to:
 Message 30 by Jazzns, posted 11-21-2006 7:04 PM Jazzns has taken no action

Inactive Member

Message 32 of 77 (365375)
11-22-2006 12:34 PM
Reply to: Message 22 by Jazzns
11-09-2006 9:01 PM

Part II
1. What selective pressures cause these changes? This question demonstrates a vast misunderstanding of how evolution works. Selective pressures do not CAUSE changes. The changes happen and the selective pressures "select" the ones that are more useful for reproduction.

Whatever, you know what I'm talking about. I want to know what prompted all of these wonderful contrivances far in advance of them having any conceivable relevance to its survival. What kind of mutation is necessary to begin to form wings that is so effective in the wild, that nature actually selects it?

2. A proto-avian sprouting stump-like appendages that would form a proto-wing?!?!?!? All I can say is WoW! You do notice that birds don't have arms like other bipedal animals right? The bird wing did not evolve from some bump on their back that eventually turned into a wing. Something like that WOULD be evidence for ID.

This answers nothing. I didn't say or even imply that their wings came out of nowhere. I realize that if it evolved, it evolved from the forelimbs of some distant ancestor. I want to know what kind of mutations cause this. I also want to know why it happened. I also want to know how developing the wing over hundreds of years didn't impede the creature, unless of course you think that one day, wings inexplicably appeared fully formed. Do you understand what I'm getting at? In order for a dinosaur to develop into a bird, the shape of the wing and the feathers and all the little, intricate things about birds surely must have developed slowly over time. That means, while we have a prototype avian, he was not fully formed. How can you possibly explain that this creature was so successful while going through these bizarre morphisms, that it actually aided him as opposed to hindering him?

What I wonder is what understanding you gained by your investigation of this issue would cause you to think that birds "sprouted stump-like appendages". You do reject evolution on a basis of understanding rather than ignorance of it don't you? One can only assume that before you claim that an idea is invalid that you would be bothered to completely understand what that idea is. Without that, what reason could there be to reject an idea that you don't understand.

Jazzns, in order for a saurian and and avian to share lineage there had to have been numerous, successive, slight gradations over time. 1. We should expect to see these gradations somewhere in the fossil record. They are nowhere to be found. Everything we have is in full formation. But surely you would agree that unless these changes occurred over time, there should be some evidence of it, unless you you ascribe to a Hopeful Monster. 2. If you believe these morphological changes occurred very quickly, not leaving many signs of gradation, then you must believe in punctuated equilibrium. But either way, you are going to have, at some point, an animal in what Darwin referred to as, 'confusion,' while these gradations were occurring. Now, what possibly could have enhanced its survival "while" the saurian was developing into the avian? There must have been numerous generations that did not have fully formed wings or forelimbs. What an awkward morphology. How did it survive, much less, be superior?

If you think that evolution means that wings "sprout" then let me be the first to say I don't believe in evolution either. I also do not believe in fairy godmothers turning pumpkins into stagecoaches.

My "sprouting" is just hyperbole for effect. Of course I don't believe that if evolution works in this way. But I have to ask if certain evolutionists do. Where are the intermediates? Why do we have no intermediaries? Why do we have dinosaurs, then archaeopteryx, then birds? Surely you could recognize that hundreds of intermediary species must have existed during this time... Where are they?

But this is really a side issue. You do realize that avian are endothermic and saurian are exothermic, right? You realize that the cardiovascular, pulmonary, integumentary, etcetera, systems are completely different right? So, imagine all of these morphologies taking place. That's insurmountable for you or anyone else to casually brush off as inconsequential. These are the finer aspects that evolutionists neglect. But the devil is in the details, Jazzns. And from where I'm standing, its condemnable.

3. Forming proto-feathers long in advance of conceivable relevance to its survival? Feathers perform a NUMBER of functions for modern birds. In addition to flying, feathers provide a mechanism of thermal control. They also play a role in sexual selection and response to predation. Hence you have a situation where most male birds are more intricately colored to both attract a mate and to attract predators away from their offspring. That is why only the male cardinal is red for instance.

The intricacies of ornithology do nothing to explain why systematic gaps are missing in between dinosaurs and birds. Speculation is the bread and butter of modern evolutionary theory. I don't want to know why it sounds reasonable for brightly colored feathers are used in attracting mates, I want to know why you think that avian and saurian share a lineage. In doing so, I want to know what kinds of changes happened along the way. I also want to know how you know that.

4. What exactly prompted the changes? Different selection pressures cause different traits to either be maintained, degrade, or become advantageous. For a ground dwelling feathered dinosaur, an asymmetric feather has no use. Therefore if a baby dino is born with slightly asymmetric feathers there is no survival benefit and therefore no reason for natural selection to change the feathers of the population over time. This is not true for tree dwelling feathered dinosaurs who have learned to co-opt their feathers for gliding. A slightly asymmetric feather will make you a better glider and that is an advantage that will help you find food, escape predators, and because of that have a better chance of producing more offspring.

An eminent ornithologist who specializes in therapod evolution states,

"When we see actual feathers preserved on specimens, we need to carefully determine if we are looking at secondarily flightless birds that have retained feathers and only superficially resemble dinosaurs, or if the specimens are in fact related to dinosaurs. That’s a difficult issue to deal with right now, given the existence of fake fossils... It is biophysically impossible to evolve flight from such large bipeds with foreshortened limbs and heavy, balancing tails. In my opinion, the theropod origin of birds will be the greatest embarrassment of paleontology in the 20th century." - Alan Feduccia

Why would it 'awkwardly' change? This view is the hopeful monster straw man of evolution. We already know that they took to the trees. In an arboreal existence, gliding is a potential advantage especially if you already have structures that you can co-opt to help you glide better.

How do you 'know' this?

are you saying that if we find a fossil of something with fins that we cannot assume that it lived in water? What if I find some fish bones in a depositional environment that indicates a coastal formation? Then is my conclusion that it lived in shallow as opposed to deep water some fanciful scenario that will invade the textbooks and warp some impressionable minds?

This is what I'm saying. When imagination meets speculation, fiction becomes fact rather quickly. Could I assume that flying fish shared ancestry from a bird. Perhaps the flying fish is the progenitor of a bird, or perhaps some bird that took to the ocean is the progenitor of the flying fish. Or is it most reasonable that flying fish simply learned to beat its fins for short bursts of flight and that it happens to aide them in evasion of predators?

Edited by nemesis_juggernaut, : fixed typos and a url link

Faith is not a pathetic sentiment, but robust, vigorous confidence built on the fact that God is holy love. You cannot see Him just now, you cannot fully understand what He's doing, but you know that you know Him." -Oswald Chambers

This message is a reply to:
 Message 22 by Jazzns, posted 11-09-2006 9:01 PM Jazzns has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 33 by Jazzns, posted 11-22-2006 2:38 PM Hyroglyphx has replied
 Message 36 by Jazzns, posted 11-28-2006 10:46 PM Hyroglyphx has replied

Inactive Member

Message 34 of 77 (365471)
11-22-2006 5:13 PM
Reply to: Message 33 by Jazzns
11-22-2006 2:38 PM

Re: Part II
IS there going to be a part III addressing the remainder of that post? If so, could you please let me know at what point you stopped in your response?

Uhhhh, I can't remember off-hand what post it was. Yes, there is going to be a part III and maybe even a part IV. As to where I stopped, I simply tackled the avian/saurian connection in part II. I think Coelacanth is next. I'm not sure though.

If I get some time I will work on the periodically over the holiday weekend. I figure there is still some catchup needed anyway since I already replied to your part I. I also want to see about sorting out the distinct points rather than doing the whole quote->reply->quote->reply thing.

Yeah, this is starting to go all over the place. I mean, all of it has to do with evolution/creation/ID, but the topics are very broad and the replies are very long. If you want to come up with a format or rules of debate, I have no objection to that. I'll probably write part III either tonight or tomorrow.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 33 by Jazzns, posted 11-22-2006 2:38 PM Jazzns has replied

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