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Author Topic:   Evolution vs. Creation Interpretations (Jazzns, nemesis_juggernaut) (NOW OPEN TO ALL)
Jazzns
Member (Idle past 2170 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004


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


Great debate thread - invitees only


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

He says:

nj writes:

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

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

Continuing:

nj writes:

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

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

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

Another example is given by NJ:

nj writes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Of course, biblical creationists are committed to belief in God's written Word, the Bible, which forbids bearing false witness; --AIG (lest they forget)

Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by Hyroglyphx, posted 11-01-2006 11:00 AM Jazzns has responded
 Message 4 by Hyroglyphx, posted 11-01-2006 12:17 PM Jazzns has responded

  
Jazzns
Member (Idle past 2170 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004


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


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

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

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

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

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


Of course, biblical creationists are committed to belief in God's written Word, the Bible, which forbids bearing false witness; --AIG (lest they forget)

  
Jazzns
Member (Idle past 2170 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Of course, biblical creationists are committed to belief in God's written Word, the Bible, which forbids bearing false witness; --AIG (lest they forget)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Hyroglyphx, posted 11-01-2006 11:00 AM Hyroglyphx has responded

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

  
Jazzns
Member (Idle past 2170 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004


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


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

Let me see if I can rephrase my criticism.

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

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

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

Why should that interpretation hold any weight?


Of course, biblical creationists are committed to belief in God's written Word, the Bible, which forbids bearing false witness; --AIG (lest they forget)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by Hyroglyphx, posted 11-01-2006 12:17 PM Hyroglyphx has responded

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

  
Jazzns
Member (Idle past 2170 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004


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


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

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

Jazzns previously writes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jazzns previously writes:

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

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

Speciation is an observed phenomenon.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jazzns previously writes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jazzns previously writes:

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

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

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

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

Jazzns previously writes:

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

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

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

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

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


Of course, biblical creationists are committed to belief in God's written Word, the Bible, which forbids bearing false witness; --AIG (lest they forget)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by Hyroglyphx, posted 11-01-2006 3:03 PM Hyroglyphx has responded

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

  
Jazzns
Member (Idle past 2170 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004


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


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

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

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

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

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

Why then is the fossil record so incomplete?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I don't think you are understanding my objection.

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

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

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

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

Please read carefully.

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

This is FALSE for the isochron method.

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

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

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

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

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

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

In particular, take note of the bolded section.

Then farther down:

General comments on "dating assumptions"

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

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

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


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

You can't know that without conducting the experiement.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

nj previously writes:

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

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

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


Of course, biblical creationists are committed to belief in God's written Word, the Bible, which forbids bearing false witness; --AIG (lest they forget)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by Hyroglyphx, posted 11-02-2006 3:05 PM Hyroglyphx has responded

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

  
Jazzns
Member (Idle past 2170 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004


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


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

The link is talking about the Black Sea Flooding.

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

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

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

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


Of course, biblical creationists are committed to belief in God's written Word, the Bible, which forbids bearing false witness; --AIG (lest they forget)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by Hyroglyphx, posted 11-02-2006 3:05 PM Hyroglyphx has not yet responded

  
Jazzns
Member (Idle past 2170 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004


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


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

Re: Fossil transitions

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

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


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

300 million years and no change?

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

What am I missing?

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

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

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

I don't think so.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Re: Evolution as Speculation/Religion/Etc

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

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


Re: Nested Hierarchies and Cladograms

Jazzns previously writes:

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

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

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

Science has moved on since the 19th century.

Jazzns previously writes:

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

These are all a posteriori conclusions about certain things.

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

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

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

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

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

Looking forward to it. Good luck!

Edited by Jazzns, : No reason given.


Of course, biblical creationists are committed to belief in God's written Word, the Bible, which forbids bearing false witness; --AIG (lest they forget)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by Hyroglyphx, posted 11-03-2006 1:20 PM Hyroglyphx has responded

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

  
Jazzns
Member (Idle past 2170 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004


Message 16 of 77 (362153)
11-06-2006 12:59 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by Hyroglyphx
11-03-2006 1:20 PM


Bump for NJ
Now that the Haggard thread is closed. I thought you might want to get back around to clearing up your claim of alternative intepretations.


Of course, biblical creationists are committed to belief in God's written Word, the Bible, which forbids bearing false witness; --AIG (lest they forget)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by Hyroglyphx, posted 11-03-2006 1:20 PM Hyroglyphx has not yet responded

  
Jazzns
Member (Idle past 2170 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004


Message 18 of 77 (362181)
11-06-2006 3:28 PM
Reply to: Message 17 by Hyroglyphx
11-06-2006 2:33 PM


Re: Good discussion but still no interpretations
I'll tell you what, I am willing to discuss any one of these subtopics in depth as long as we can agree on the topic.

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?

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?

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'll bring up a few things from your last post that I feel need to be responded to:

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?
...
So why doesn't natural selection swallow up the antiquated specie? Do you understand now?

I understand the objection just fine. I just know that the objection is based on a vast misunderstanding of evolution.

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.

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. This can happen either because the environment changes where the species lives or the species moves into a different environment.

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

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?

The ancestor species is not necessarily threatened by the "improvements" of the evolved species because the ancestor species is better adapted to the environment in which it STAYED. A mudskipper is not a threat to a coelacanth because they will never meet in the same environment to compete. A bipedal savannah ape is not necessarily a threat to a chimp because they primarily live in different environments.

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.

With regards to cladistics, all I can say is that if you want to talk about it further we are going to have to focus on that. You have a vast misundertanding of how clasdistics works. NO one is suggesting that dinosaurs fit into a cladogram build on genetic characteristics. For those, you can only build a cladogram with existing species or ones from the recent past who have been so kind as to leave us their dna such as the wooly mammoth.

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. If you are having a hard time understaning what I mean by this then perhaps you should ask rather than arrogantly assuming that I don't know anything about cladistics.

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!

What then is the creationist interpretation that EXPLAINS this evidence? Just to note, the whole common designer thing will not work unless the designer also decided to infect the various species with the exact same viruses that had the exact same lasting effect on non-functional dna. Oh yea, and these infections would have to occur in a pattern of heirarchal order that somehow exactly matches morphology and genetic similarity.

Then you have to establish something to convince your audience why this interpretation is BETTER than the current one.


Of course, biblical creationists are committed to belief in God's written Word, the Bible, which forbids bearing false witness; --AIG (lest they forget)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 17 by Hyroglyphx, posted 11-06-2006 2:33 PM Hyroglyphx has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 19 by Hyroglyphx, posted 11-07-2006 3:07 PM Jazzns has responded

  
Jazzns
Member (Idle past 2170 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004


Message 20 of 77 (362530)
11-08-2006 12:02 AM
Reply to: Message 19 by Hyroglyphx
11-07-2006 3:07 PM


Re: Good discussion but still no interpretations
Lets discuss something we both can agree on. Its pointless to speak about the Flood if you don't believe it happened.

It is not pointless if the flood provides an alternative explanation of the evidence from geology. The claim is that this explanation is just as valid as the one from mainstream science. I'll admit that this is a more difficult task for you to take on as the evidence in geology is not as obfuscated to the layman as it is for evolution. IMO of course.

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.

Jazzns writes:

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 interpretations?

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? I don't see the difference.

I tried very hard to outline what I thought the differences are. Allow me to try again.

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.

Saying that the living Coelecanth invalidates the ToE is not providing an alternative explanation to the fossil record. It is an attempt to dismiss the fossil record as valid evidence. Even if your points about the Coelecanth were informed and correct, that does not mean that some alternate hypothesis is given more weight. If anything it would be a minor failing of the theory requiring more study or search for more evidence.

Remember your original claim?


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

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

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?

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.

This last statement of yours also ignores the fact that in MOST cases the ancestry species IS out competed to extinction. Most of the species we know that have existed are dead.

What prompted their progenies changes in the first place that NS selected for it? Why was their mutation so advantageous that it survived?

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.

But all this is going to do is get you a new breed, not an entirely new species.

That is demonstrably false by the instances of observed speciation that I referenced before.

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.

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.

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.

150 is to evolution what 1 second is to your lifetime. We are not required to witness the evolution of a new taxa to show that it has happened in the past in the same way we are not required to shoot somebody to prove that they are mortal.

jazzns writes:

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.

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.

jazzns writes:

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.

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

Remember the point was that you didn't see how the "more evolved" wouldn't eliminate the ancestor species. The short answer is that they often do! The alternative is that the simply no longer compete. You simply saying the equivalent of, "well that doesn't mean they macroevolved", does not address my refutation at all.

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?

You couldn't possibly know this (lucy more adapted to savanna) with any measure of veracity.

Yes actually I can know this. 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.

These are the invented scenarios of evolution. Its all based on inferences.

What you say is true of all evidence. When looking at granite rock we infer that it formed in the middle of the earth by a cooling magma body. We have never seen this and we never will. When we look at bones we infer that they had similar function to ones we can compare them to today. Based on that we can provide the best explanation for their purpose and the capabilities of the creature they belonged to.

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.

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.

Explain how it singularly refutes preconceived notions.

How could you pidgeon hole a sequence of viral insertion into some biased preconceived hierarchy? You might be able to say that a cladogram based on morphology is 'preconceived' because someone is not looking at the right morphological traits. But for genetics and viral insertions there is no ambiguity. The DNA either matches or it does not. NO preconceived notion will change the relationships derived from that data.

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 retro viral insertion would indicate ancestry. All subsequent phylogenetic features that appear similar could be considered cladistic evidence.

This is a surprising concession. Kudos.

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.

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.

If you could show a case of an identical insertion shared between two species that did not exist in ANY of their closer related species then that MIGHT be a problem. 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 will say that this is the best argument in defense of macroevolution by far.

So then what more does it take to convince you? Does the fact that an offshoot of an ancient fish survived weigh more in your mind than a clear example of something that can only be done by heredity? Does some creationist web site that falsely claims that palentologists discovered Lucy's knee a mile away given more weight in your system of evaluating truths than the evidence that is available right at your fingertips.

I notice that you have participated in other threads about nested hierarchies. You even started one. Was this evidence not presented? ( thumbing through them quickly now )

Maybe you would like to review some of these older threads.

Smoking-Gun Evidence of Man-Monkey Kindred: Episode I - endogenous retrovirus
ERV's: Evidence of Common Ancestory
Genetic evidence of primate evolution

Edited by Jazzns, : typos


Of course, biblical creationists are committed to belief in God's written Word, the Bible, which forbids bearing false witness; --AIG (lest they forget)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 19 by Hyroglyphx, posted 11-07-2006 3:07 PM Hyroglyphx has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 21 by Hyroglyphx, posted 11-08-2006 6:36 PM Jazzns has responded

  
Jazzns
Member (Idle past 2170 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004


Message 22 of 77 (362979)
11-09-2006 9:01 PM
Reply to: Message 21 by Hyroglyphx
11-08-2006 6:36 PM


Re: Good discussion but still no interpretations
Jazzns writes:

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.

I think it is important to come to some agreement about this. It is the interpretation part of this discussion that I was most interested in getting involved with. I am not talking about right and wrong. In my opinion they are wrong on both accounts. What matters is what the argument is. Let me try to illustrate with an example.

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.

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.

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. They focus only what it would take for the flood to make the the dune shaped sand formations because their hypothesis of a global flood cannot survive the idea of a vast desert existing right in the middle of when the earth is supposed to be completely covered in water. IN doing so, they completely ignore the ramifications of what that would to do to everything else in area INCLUDING the particular evidence from the Coconino Sandstone itself which refutes a water transport mechanism.

Overall this is a pattern among creationists when they take on the yoke of trying to explain evidence that cannot be made suspect by calling foul upon the evidence itself. In doing so, in every circumstance I have seen, creationists ignore the entire body of evidence that often shows their explanations to be in dire error.

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

You didn't address anything I said previously about the isochron method and how it is different from direct or 'generic' dating methods. The method itself is NOT in error and that can be empirically shown for anyone who chooses to learn the methods before feeling that they can criticize them.

and that empirically knowing which dates are true and which are erroneous is difficult. Therefore, questioning the reliability is not out of the question.

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.

The biggest hangup I think that people have about radiometric dating is simply realizing that the dates calculated by the ratios don't always mean the date the rock was formed. For direct methods, the date given corresponds to the last time the system was closed. This provides a MINIMUM AGE of the rock and SOMETIMES, with other correlating evidence, that minimum age can be determined to be the ACTUAL age.

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.

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".

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

jazzns writes:

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

No, its just an example.

But it is not an example of anything other than a fish that we used to think was extinct. Down below you agreed that the question, "If we all came from monkeys then why is there still monkeys?" is a stupid question. Similarly then the question, "If Coelecanth all turned into amphibians then why is there still Coelecanths?" is equally stupid. It is based on a false understanding of evolution as a linear rather than hierarchal process.

Jazzns writes:

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.

But you are contradicting the reason that creationists bring up the Coelecanth to begin with! The standard argument is that the existence of the modern Coelecanth somehow means it never evolved into an amphibian. That says NOTHING about the process being guided or not! They are trying to say that there is no process at all! The entire reason for the juvenile and ignorant argument that creationists use involving the Coelecanth is to attempt to show that there is no process of evolution and that special creation wins. They are NOT trying to show that there was an intelligent designer who guided "the process".

Cows and horses share the same ecological niches and they both thrive.

They survive because there is enough to go around. I would rather use a better example since cows are domesticated. Zebras and antelope for example. They DO compete but because there is enough environment for them all to share, they are not forced to OUT compete each other. There is no law saying that only species can occupy one niche at any given time. There just has to be enough "room" in a particular niche for a new species to move into.

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?

Wow! What a list! Lets talk about these for a second.

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.

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.

Wings came from arms based on a number of evidences. First of all, the bone structure of a wing has morphologically similarities to a therapod dinosaur arm. We have fossils of proto-birds such as archy that shows that they have feathered arms. IIRC some birds are still born with claws at the end of their wing bones. Also IIRC there is evidence from embryology that shows baby birds still have claws on their wings that get reabsorbed before hatching.

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.

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.

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 evidence shows that feathers existed long before flight. Dinosaurs had feathers before there were ever birds on the scene. Wikipedia has a nice short treatment here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feathered_dinosaurs

Because we know what feathers can do for birds today, we can assume that they also provided thermal control for dinosaurs and that they probably were also used in sexual selection. Flight came gradually once arboreal dinosaurs figured out that feathers can help you catch air.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Yet somehow this is only apparent to people who believe that dinosaurs popped wings out of their back. When you invent insane sounding misconceptions about evolution of course it sounds ridiculous.

You couldn't possibly know that by looking at bones.

Once again, yes we can know that by looking at the bones. You said nothing to refute me other than to simply assert that it is impossible. Your ignorance of how this is possible is demonstrated in your next comment.

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.

Not only is it currently grassy but we can tell if it was grassy back when those apes lived. Science is not limited but what YOU cannot concieve it being capable of.

We can also reconstruct the kinds of behaviors that would be allowed by their morphology by examining their remains. Or 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?

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.

This is more distortions and ignorance.

If a creature was not well-formed then it would not survive. All creatures that survive with enough frequency to be fossilized are well-form and so it is false to assume that transitionals should NOT be well-formed.

The definition of a transitional is not that it should be some kind of freak chimera. It is a creature that shares traits among distinctly different creatures. This is why archy is a transitional. It it a dinosaur with a whole bunch of bird features thrown in.

That is why these are transitionals:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiktaalik
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gogonasus

because they are fish with amphibian like features.

In all cases they are not some freak retarded mess like you claim should exist. Once again it is obvious that you are thinking about evolution in the 'hopeful monster' sense rather than what the theory actually says. If you want a creature that is halfway between two major groups then here they are and as a bonus they are all FULLY FORMED!

The other major distortion in your quote is that punctuated equilibrium came about because of the fossil record. In no way is this true! PE was introduced to explain how evolution is possible amidst the stabilizing pressure of gene flow. When a population is well adapted to an environment then as long as that environment is stable there is no reason to evolve. Moreover, even if some new trait was to emerge, it would be very difficult for it to fix in a population due the current population's success. That is why it is hypothesized that in order for major changes in evolution to occur, the have to happen in smaller sub-populations that are isolated from the stabilizing force of the parent population. This is something that is suppored by observation of existing species and the instances of speciation that we HAVE observed.

How this relates to the fossil record is simply that a sub-population is less likely to leave around a sequence of its gradual change. This is a CONSEQUENCE of PE not the reason it was conceived.

If you want to claim otherwise, I would have to ask that you provide evidence since you brought it up.

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.

The 150 years was brought up against your claim that we should have some observable examples of macroevolution at the level of taxa! Remember your comment:

nj previously writes:

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.

In 150 years we DO have enough evidence to fully support evolution and an old earth for those who are not so blinded by their prejudices that they cannot be bothered to actually understand what those evidences actually are. We just don't have an observable instance of macroevolutionary change on the order of taxa. In other words, you shifted the goalpost pretty clearly.

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.

Remember, you agreed that it was stupid to ask, "If X evolved into Y then why is there still X around?"

We would expect that whatever fin-like structure eventually used to support some weight on land near shallow waters would ALSO still be very good for acting like a fin. Since of course we are not talking about the 'hopeful monster' right?

These that I linked to before and I will do again:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiktaalik
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gogonasus

are lobed finned fish that have leg-like fins. Notice how they are still pretty good for swimming while still becoming very much like a leg.

Just because SOME lobed finned fish kept their fins for ONLY swimming does not mean that OTHER lobed finned fish did the same. Remember now, "If lobed finned fish like the Coelecanth turned into amphibians then why is there still lobed finned fish like the Coelecanth?" IS a stupid question.

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.

Yes sure, these changes might be unimpressive for THAT branch of Coelacanth. Just because some Coelacanth are on the branch that ended up on land does not mean that ALL coelacanth are. You are SYSTEMATICALLY FAILING to understand this point and it only reinforces the fact that you do not yet understand evolution.

Also, there is no such thing as "progress" in evolution. The modern coelacanth is not less "progressed" than a frog. It is perfectly adapted for the current environment for which it lives. A frog is not objectively "better" than a coelecanth any more than a Hummer is objectively "better" than an Indy car. The Hummer is "better" than the Indy car over terrain and in fact the Indy car probably wouldn't survive some terrain that the Hummer can. But the Indy car is going to smoke the Hummer on the track where it is obviously "better".

Jazzns writes:

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?

Yes.

My follow up would then be, based on how badly you botched the implications of this in your previous comments, do you understand WHY it is a stupid question? Please explain because it seems very contradictory that you would say 'yes' here yet repeatedly fail to USE that principle in you other communication.

Jazzns writes:

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

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

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

jazzns writes:

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.

Yes! I am talking about germ line mutations! You are different from your parents by a number of genes on a factor of 100s or 1000s. These can only come from germ line mutations. You were claiming that this might be rare. My response it to show you that your assertion is false! Even within humans, enough mutation happens at each reproductive event to introduce new genetic material.

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.

Maybe but it is my understanding that the various Cytochrome C sequences are functional. There may be reasons that a functional sequence might be reused by a 'designer' or other mechanism but there is NO reason that a non-functional sequence would be reused unless it is attained via ancestry.

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.

Do you have anything to suggest that this is common and if so would result in a pattern that directly mimics what we would expect from ancestry?

Also, unrelated pseudogenes are far in excess than those that are shared.

How do you know this? I would not necessarily expect this. Do you have anything to back this statement up?

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.

The more convergence you find the less and less likely it will be possible for it to happen by coincidence. The less and less likely it is a coincidence, the more strength is given to the theory that ancestry accounts for the situation better than accident or "stupid" design. It becomes a problem of compounded probabilities such as the ones that IDers like to use but in this case it uses numbers based on REAL evidence rather than ones in some invented hypothetically impossible model of evolution.

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.

Given that most real scientists who do ID believe in common ancestry, I don't know how the comment really fits in. Behe and others are not trying to refute the common ancestry of humans and chimps.

jazzns writes:

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 first thing I would do if I were you would be to recognize the fact that you are operating from a position of attacking an idea that you don't yet fully understand. If that is not obvious to you based on what I have been saying so far then might I suggest that you look inside yourself and ask yourself how confident you actually feel making some of the assertions that you do.

The same thing happened to me recently with my son. Before he was born I was told all kinds of things about immunizations and how they were bad. I was all set to be one of those crazy people who don't immunize their children until we had our preliminary visit with our pediatrician. She made me realize that I had only ever exposed myself to information from people who had a dogmatic agenda against immunizations and suggested that I look at medical sources for both the real effects of choosing to immunize and not immunize. She also suggest I look at the history of WHY these people believe that immunizations are bad. I went back home, further educated myself, and realized the horror of the ignorance I was previously in. What was worse was that the position I took in ignorance could have impacted by beloved son in highly negative ways.

My experience investigating this topic goes back 6 years now and includes a vigorous personal hobby of study along with some collegiate work in geology for majors. Like I said before, I was someone who was skeptical but very much rooting for the cause of creationism because I used to be a Pentecostal. I knew that this was important though so I knew I wanted to fully understand both sides. I read everything I could get my hands on about creationism. I have probably almost read every article on AiG and ICR. I have read a number of the standard creationist books. I took part in a christian bible study about the issue.

The difference I think is that I ALSO studied deeply about evolution and mainstream geology. I bothered to read pretty much all of the TalkOrigins site which I think most dogmatic creationists and IDers that come here scoff at without ever giving it a chance. Even though I knew I didn't 'like' what I was reading I decided to stick it out because I wanted to KNOW what these people thought about evolution and why they thought it was so solid a theory. Can you say the same about your experiences reading information about evolution?

I of course then had my classes in geology. This is where I believe most creationist operate from the most extreme cases of ignorance. I only made it up through sophomore geology and that was enough to figure out where, at least young earth creationist were fatally wrong. I think it was there that I started to notice the lying and the mental contortions that YECs go through in order to try to make their beliefs fit the evidence. There are many such as Snelling over at ICR that are flat out liars and conmen. I KNOW that because I have informed myself with enough basic knowledge to see how they craft things in such detail as to fool the uneducated. The omissions performed in the name of simplification are damning to their cause. The devil IS in the details and that is when I began to seriously suspect that the rest of their cause was similarly tainted.

Lastly, regarding your comment about IC. IC systems have been shown to develop using genetic algorithms and even the founder of the principle of IC himself admits that non-direct evolutionary paths can lead to IC systems even if he personally finds it unlikely. What we are talking about with regard to nested and matching heirarchies is solid evidence. The inability of evolution to create IC systems has been refuted or at least stands on the very weak ground of a few isolated bricks of personal incredulity. The comparison you made is therefore not very apt at all.

Regards and sorry for the length,

Edited by AdminNWR, : fix formatting (bold not properly closed)


Of course, biblical creationists are committed to belief in God's written Word, the Bible, which forbids bearing false witness; --AIG (lest they forget)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 21 by Hyroglyphx, posted 11-08-2006 6:36 PM Hyroglyphx has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 23 by Hyroglyphx, posted 11-09-2006 11:37 PM Jazzns has responded
 Message 25 by Hyroglyphx, posted 11-13-2006 12:52 PM Jazzns has responded
 Message 32 by Hyroglyphx, posted 11-22-2006 12:34 PM Jazzns has responded

  
Jazzns
Member (Idle past 2170 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004


Message 24 of 77 (363037)
11-10-2006 8:45 AM
Reply to: Message 23 by Hyroglyphx
11-09-2006 11:37 PM


Re: Good discussion but still no interpretations
By all means take your time. I would rather this thread move slowly with good posts unlike some threads that work more like a chatroom.


Of course, biblical creationists are committed to belief in God's written Word, the Bible, which forbids bearing false witness; --AIG (lest they forget)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 23 by Hyroglyphx, posted 11-09-2006 11:37 PM Hyroglyphx has not yet responded

  
Jazzns
Member (Idle past 2170 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004


Message 26 of 77 (363752)
11-14-2006 12:34 PM
Reply to: Message 25 by Hyroglyphx
11-13-2006 12:52 PM


Re: Part I
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.

If you can find an instance of them NOT being wrong I would like to see it. The grand canyon dating project is a demonstrable fraud. Snelling KNEW that the dates from the basalts he tested would give him the age of the source and not the rock because he spoke about it ~5 years prior. Their writeups about the Coconino Sandstone ignore fundamental evidence like I described. Beyond that they have nothing.

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.

Well, apparrently you do need a PhD or at least some basic schooling in geology because 1-4 are all totally wrong on a number of fundamental levels.

1. Fresh seashells should be found near a sea. Fossiliferous limestone containing seashells can be found in a number of places. The existence of seashells only indicates that the area was once underwater. Beyond that you are only projecting your own ignorant and hopeful assertion that a flood had anything to do with it.

2. The evidence indicates that where you currently live was not always 7000 ft. In fact, the evidence indicates that the area where you live has transitioned from land to ocean a number of times in the past. So if you want to claim that seashells being at 7000 feet is evidence for anything, you must realize that you are also IGNORING evidence that would lead you to a different conclusion that WOULD explain all the evidence. This is a perfect example of what I have been talking about.

3. There is NO evidence to suggest that certain natural artifacts MUST be destroyed and there is PLENTY of evidence that shows how geologic processes can and DO preserve these things. In fact, even in the most 'violent' of tectonic forces, fossils are often preserved to the point that they deform with the rock they are buried in. Guess what that means. That means the rock and the fossil contained within had to be solid or else there would be no physical reason for a fossil to "bend" with the rock. Fossils survive in some amazing circumstances and the geologic processes leave their marks to show us exactly how a particular fossil came to be in the position that it is. Do a search on this site for 'fossil strain' for some previous discussion about it.

In short, #3 is TOTALLY based on your personal incredulity and COMPLETELY ignores the evidence to the contrary.

4. I don't even know what you are using to support this. It makes no sense at all. We know that seashells get buried by natural processes and we can watch this happening today. In fact, because of where they live, marine fossils are MORE likely to get buried by natural processes than exposed at the surface. This statement of yours is not only contrary to the evidence, it is contrary to common sense.

5. You didn't have a number 5 but I do. =)

If you got these on top of the rim of the grand canyon then they must be on top of the Coconino Sandstone. This formation is unambiguously a land formation. Not only is there NO evidence that it was created underwater, there IS evidence that it is a desert formation. If you want to know why we can go into the details but suffice it to say that the shells you are looking at were put there after whatever process decided to dry out a vast ocean, bring in an unfathomable amount of sand using only wind, have animals walk around making burrows and leaving tracks, then bring the ocean back at some point to drop your shells. If you think this all happened by or during a global flood, then you need to figure out how and if you do then you will be the first one and I would be glad to see you in Stockholm to pick up your shiny medal.

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.

Actually I am familiar with this argument and more familiar with why this argument is totally bogus.

First of all, we know that rock deforms plastically (i.e. doesn't fracture) under heat and pressure. We can test this in the lab. Second, my previous comments about fossil strain (see #3 above) totally refute the 'soft sediment' hypothesis. Where the rocks are bent, the fossil and microstructures of the rock are also bent. This simply would not happen if the rock was 'squishy' when it was bent. If you disagree, the go ahead and try this experiment, get a bucket of mud, drop in some chicken bones, now bend and stretch the chicken bones, without breaking them, by only manipulating the mud. You will also need to stretch each individual partical of dirt and sand in the mud in the same direction that the bones go. Good luck.

Well formed strata is demonstrably proven that it does not take millions of years to form. It doesn't even take thousands.

This is a false statement by omission. Some rocks form in a matter of minutes, some undeniably take thousands if not millions of year. There is NO valid creationist explanation for why limestone, evaporites, granite, metamorphic rocks, or any well ordered fine sediment rock would not take the vastly long periods of time that they obviously should without fundamentally altering the physics AND chemestry of the universe. How you are supposed to get meters upon meters of gypsum, salt, etc during the middle of a raging world flood is beyond me and so far has been beyond creationists. There is something fundamental about a rock that requires constant cycles of drying to form that tends to invalidate the world being covered in water. This is especially true for these kinds of deposits that have MORE "flood" deposits on top of them.

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.

THis is a favorite hat trick of creationists and AGAIN it is relies upon IGNORING the evidence. Under certain conditions and given a different chemistry, lime/calcium will percipitate out of water faster and create stalagtites and stalagmites in a matter of weeks/months/years. But this does not meant that these are the conditions that exist in the areas where REAL geologists who DO examine the conditions claim that certain formations take a lot longer.

The same problem exists for fossilization. Yes you can create and find situations where things become well preserved quickly. But if you are going to claim that this is how it ALWAYS happens you have to do so in IGNORANCE of the other evidence that shows that it can and does often take a long time.

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.

This is pure and aggregious equivocation! Dating fossils and dating rocks is a very different kind of activity! First and foremost, you DON'T radioactive date fossils!

I seriously don't know why you think radiometric dating is accurate, but especially C14 dating.

Let me ask you this NJ, did you even read the article I linked about the isochron method? Please answer that first.

Second, if you are going to claim that scientists throw out data to fit some preconception then I think I am going to have to question how you know this. All you are doing his is putting out an assertion with no way for your audience to examine its voracity. Even if there was some dates that were disregarded, how are we supposed to know if there was not a very good reason to do so. Remember NJ, these types of scientific endevors are forensic by nature. There are often cases that arise that mean certain things cannot be dated or information is later obtained that shows that certain dates are either invalid or point to a different thing. I'll point to my previous example of how sometimes when radiometric dating a rock, it gives you the last time the rock underwent a heating event. The evidence for this may not be discovered until after the rock has been dated so for a short time their may be some mystery as to why a particular rock dates younger in comparison to its neighbors.

The only people who worry about these mysteries are people trying to discredit the science. They often do so by omitting the relevant evidence that the professionals ARE aware of in their investigation. SO you go onto some creationist website and read about such and such date being wrong while in reality the situation is far more complicated. There IS a reason why the people who investigate these things dedicate their lives to their study. Proper investigation into these things OFTEN requires more expertise than some asshat on the internet. The devil is in the details and so far you have no details.

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?

Because often there is more to be known about WHY the dates are weird than just to pidgeon hole things. There are no scientists who get accolades for figuring out, "yep things are just like we knew them to be!" Your charges of what essentially amounts to FRAUD are both aggregious and evidenceless.

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.

You have seen the shells yourself but have you also seen the layers that are beneath them? Have you understood the implications of all the evidence combined? Do you even know what all the evidence is? Are you just ignoring all that evidence because you are so convinced by some "damn shells" that you don't think you need to both questioning that you might be wrong or that you might be ill informed?

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.

So your response it so list a handful of folks who happen to incorporate evolution into their theology? You think this is somehow convincing?

By the way, you mentioned Miller. This wouldn't be the famous Miller who is the author of biology textbooks? The same Miller who is a professed CHRISTIAN!? If it is the same Miller, what is his agenda? If it is the same Miller then aren't you embarassed to comment about people and things for which you haven't bothered to check out? How frightening a prospect is it going to be for him if evolution is wrong?


Of course, biblical creationists are committed to belief in God's written Word, the Bible, which forbids bearing false witness; --AIG (lest they forget)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 25 by Hyroglyphx, posted 11-13-2006 12:52 PM Hyroglyphx has not yet responded

  
Jazzns
Member (Idle past 2170 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004


Message 27 of 77 (364331)
11-17-2006 11:17 AM
Reply to: Message 25 by Hyroglyphx
11-13-2006 12:52 PM


Friendly Bump for NJ
There is no rush and no time tables on replies. I just didn't want you to forget about this thread unless you want to let it go. If so, just let me know.

In the mean time here are a few pictures of fossil and rock strain. I used to have some better pictures but I can't seem to find them anymore. I'll look harder later.

http://web.uct.ac.za/depts/geolsci/dlr/106s_03/4day/d0501.jpg
http://www.ualberta.ca/~jwaldron/gallerypages/fabrics.html

{ABE:
To see the strain in the fossil, remember that both of those animals naturally have bilateral symmetry. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bilateral_symmetry
}

Edited by Jazzns, : Added symmetry comment and wikipedia link.


Of course, biblical creationists are committed to belief in God's written Word, the Bible, which forbids bearing false witness; --AIG (lest they forget)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 25 by Hyroglyphx, posted 11-13-2006 12:52 PM Hyroglyphx has not yet responded

  
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