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Author Topic:   Basic Fundamentals of THE Debate (now open to anyone)
MurkyWaters
Member (Idle past 4125 days)
Posts: 56
From: USA
Joined: 07-21-2006


Message 16 of 121 (355011)
10-07-2006 4:45 PM
Reply to: Message 15 by RAZD
10-02-2006 10:01 PM


Re: consolidating reponse parts 1 and 2, part 3 still to come
Much of your response continues to argue in circles because we disagree on what evolution is. You say this or that about evolution and I don’t agree because that’s not what I consider evolution to be. I think I’ve presented solid evidence in support of my definition of evolution. Even if we can’t come to agreement on that first, than at least we should acknowledge the other person’s position to avoid this purposeful argument over semantics.

Let me expound on each of our positions. Since you don’t appear to want to state it plainly, I will go ahead and summarize your position based on what you’ve written so far.

When I say “evolution”, I am talking about the ToE, which states that all life on earth arose from an original common ancestor over millions of years which itself came from non-life. I (and of course creation scientists as well) consider speciation that we observe today (including the Galapagos finches and many other examples) to be “Adaptation”. It proves NOTHING about evolution as I have just defined it. It is just as essential to creation theory as it is to evolutionary theory.

On the other hand, when you say “evolution”, you mean adaptation (as I’ve mentioned above and defined previously), which in your mind somehow proves “evolution” (as I’ve defined above and previously). You notice that I was forced to use the word “evolution” twice with different meanings in stating your position and have therefore used the logical fallacy of equivocation. To state it another way, since there is no evidence that “micro-evolution” implies “macro-evolution”, you define evolution to encompass both. Therefore, when the observed change has occurred (micro-evolution) the false implication is made that “macro-evolution” has been proved.

I have attempted to state the positions plainly, with explicit references to meanings so that we are not talking about two different things and implied definitions are not being referenced. Of course, I will never agree to use the term “micro-evolution” to refer to adaptation since it contains the word “evolution” giving the impression that the “real” evolution as I have defined it has been proven if “micro-evolution” is observed.

This is why we are arguing in circles. Your arguments are true using your definition of evolution but are false if you use my definition of evolution. That is precisely why you won’t accept my definition in this debate. For example, using my definition I have shown clearly that Evolution is Religion. If you define evolution as adaptation, then of course it is science (as well as creation). I will be glad to respond to your rant regarding the religion of evolution if you interpret my response with respect to the appropriate (my) definition of evolution (whether you agree with it or not). However, in all likelihood, if I responded at this time, you would simply disagree based on your definition, which gets us back to square one.

I do not consider my definition dishonest or misleading in any way. It is simply stating what any person on the street would understand evolution to be. It is what I have been taught in school all my life and what is still being taught today and what is being described in the media and in scientific journals. It is not a creationist tactic or any scheme to portray something it isn’t. Until I entered this forum I had never heard anyone argue otherwise. And that is good. My purpose in getting involved here was to be exposed to contrary arguments and evidence.

On the other hand, I DO consider it purposely dishonest - knowing full well what people understand evolution to be or perhaps to put it another way what the implications of evolution are - to portray it as simply change (which we have always observed and know is fact) and therefore state that evolution (which includes macro-evolution) has been proved every time this simple change is observed. This is purposely misleading people to accept something as “fact” when it is no such thing. It is misleading people to accept a “religion” which is antithetical to the God of the bible and has little to do with real (operational) science.

Biologists consider the existence of biological evolution to be a fact. It can be demonstrated today and the historical evidence for its occurrence in the past is overwhelming. However, biologists readily admit that they are less certain of the exact mechanism of evolution; there are several theories of the mechanism of evolution.

The evidence is a fact, the validity of the theory is uncertain. Theory is based on facts, evidence, things that are known.

Speciation has happened, it is recorded, it is documented, it is fact. There have been changes in species over time, thus evolution HAS occurred, it is recorded, it is documented, it is fact. This is not theory, this is not fantasy, this is fact. It exists, it is real. It is as real as tree rings, as real as the orbits of planets around stars, as real as the universe.
They do NOT say that the theory is fact, they say the evidence is fact.

Let’s make something else very clear. We all have the same evidence, the same facts, and no one including me is arguing over the facts. The “interpretation” of the facts is what we disagree with. Speciation is a fact. However, it demonstrates creation, not evolution (as creation scientists define them). The quote above clearly states that biologists consider “evolution to be a fact” and the MECHANISMS to be in question. They said NOTHING about EVIDENCE.

Opinion is not evidence. I have yet to see any real evidence that invalidates evolution. What I have seen is false arguments that presume to invalidate evolution, but they deal with false definitions of evolution or transitional fossils or the like. They are logically false arguments that don't prove anything, other than possibly the naiveté, inexperience, gullibility or ignorance (or combinations) of the people who accept them.

You spend pages arguing that I’m only voicing my opinions and this ridiculous notion that I’ve used Parker’s quote as evidence to substantiate my opinion and then you make a statement like the one above in which you do exactly the same thing. You provide absolutely no evidence to support your claims. Now, having said that, please don’t. I would be very interested in what evidence you think invalidates creation and I could list all the evidence I feel invalidates evolution. Perhaps we should do that. But that isn’t our mission at the moment. I think we should do that, but only after we’ve set the ground rules which may or may not include consensus on definitions, but it must include acknowledgment of our respective positions (as I’ve started above).

I would like to put this issue with Parker to bed however. I was in no way (and I thought that was clear), using his quote to substantiate my opinion. Your rant on Parker (in regards to my quote) was totally unnecessary. I simply made the same statement that you just made above and that is as follows: I have yet to see any evidence that invalidates creation theory. I will also go on record to say that I have yet to see any evidence in favor of evolution. The fossil record for instance overwhelmingly favors creation. That is why I feel evolution is a fairytale for grownups. Neither one of us have gotten into the details of the evidence to demonstrate why they feel the way they do (yet).

Yes Parker is asserting that Gould is saying the evidence supports creationisms better than evolution, because that is ALL that his quote contains and ALL that Parker discusses about the quote.

I feel you are wrong on this. I have looked into many quotes like this (but not this specific one). You are again presenting a strawman of what you think creationists are trying to demonstrate by these quotes (your opinion) and then saying they are being dishonest. They are not asserting that Gould feels the “evidence supports creationism better than evolution”. Gould is an evolutionist for goodness sake. It would be inconceivable for him to even consider the possibility of creation. They are saying that by Gould’s own admission, evolutionists are willing to believe evolution despite evidence to the contrary. I’ve read the entire discourse on talkorigins about this and it is totally unconvincing that creationists have used this quote dishonestly. All while I was growing up I was told and you yourself have maintained that evolution is a slow gradual change (in fact “genetic” change) from one form to the next. The fossil record does not support this (in fact species appear suddenly fully formed) and so Gould and others have contrived PE to explain it. Have I stated that incorrectly?

I once did quite a lengthy review on a book in support of evolution. It seemed that almost every other page contained some statement on how impossible evolution was, and yet the author consistently affirmed his belief in it. Amazing! While the number of creation scientists is growing, there is significantly more research being performed by evolutionists. All a creation scientist needs to do is take that same research and interpret the evidence (the facts) properly to support creation rather than the convoluted way it must be twisted to support evolution.

So tell me, how does Piltdown being a hoax perpetuated on scientists disprove evolution? Does this make the theory invalid? No. Does this change the evidence FOR evolution in any way? No. Does it demonstrate that evolutionists purposefully engaged in the hoax? No. Does it even demonstrate that the evolution of man has not occurred as currently considered? No.

I find it astonishing that you are actually trying to make a creationist “hoax” on some obscure website equivalent to evolutionist ones that were taught for years in textbooks as proof of evolution. Evolutionist hoaxes are in the media, taught in our schools, portrayed as facts and used deceitfully in court cases. Even today, every time some hoax is portrayed as real, it is splashed across the headlines as proof of evolution, but rarely a retraction to be seen except in some obscure technical journals which few people read.

TODAY, we still see in churches of evolution (museums) and in textbooks, the progression of modern man from primitive apes, when most of those caricatures are simply from some scientist’s imagination created from the remains of a tooth or other such “evidence”. And those progressions often still contain the hoaxes. There is yet to arise any non-disputable example of a missing link. By evolutionists own dates, the human fossil record is completely random with the most modern remains being dated with the oldest ages and the most primitive remains dated with the most recent ages. Scientists simply cherry-pick the samples that will fit into the evolutionary progression and ignore the rest. And then use nothing but extinct apes to fill in the blanks. Yes, perhaps fraud occurs on both sides, but the creationists ones are not plastered on the airwaves as proof of creation.

“So tell me, how does Piltdown…disprove evolution?” Perhaps by itself, no, but taken with all of the rest, I would contend yes. “Does this change the evidence FOR evolution in any way?” Since Piltdown was held up as evidence, yes it most certainly does. There is now LESS evidence for evolution. Remember, even examples by evolutionist’s standards for the missing link are few and far between. One that is disproved just reduced the evidence by sometimes 100% at the time. “Does it demonstrate that evolutionists purposefully engaged in the hoax?” At least a few did. “Does it demonstrate that evolution of man has not occurred as currently considered?” Absolutely! There wasn’t evidence before that and now there is even less. It is a well documented fact that significant sums of money await anyone who finds the “missing link” (which is still missing). This tends to perpetuate fraud. There is simply no evidence to begin with, so every example that is disproved is a significant blow to the theory. Since the evidence fully supports creation already, frauds are not required on the creationist’s side.

While you may feel compelled to provide your response #3, I suggest without regard to definitions, that we at least acknowledge clearly the position on each side as I have attempted to do at the beginning of this response. Perhaps that will at least provide some progress and a basis for future more productive debate. …mw

GREAT DEBATE - RAZD and MurkyWaters only


This message is a reply to:
 Message 15 by RAZD, posted 10-02-2006 10:01 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 18 by RAZD, posted 10-07-2006 9:10 PM MurkyWaters has responded

RAZD
Member
Posts: 19759
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 5.8


Message 17 of 121 (355043)
10-07-2006 7:04 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by MurkyWaters
10-01-2006 1:27 AM


Response Part 3 - Evolution Definitions

GREAT DEBATE - RAZD and MurkyWaters only

Leaving the discussion of parts 1 and 2 for now, and proceeding to the meat of the debate.

We may need to refer back to parts 1 and 2 for clarification of positions, but for now I consider those issues resolved by those posts. Or just not very important.

Sorry about the length, but it seems this is inevitable ... :rolleyes:

For example, here is a repeated quote from one of the sources I gave earlier:
“Evolution is the process that has led to the appearance and transformation of living species on earth…All living species today have, therefore, the same origin.”

Your response – “All this is saying is that evolution is change in species over time”.
What? Are you reading the same thing that I am?

Yes I am -- the difference is that I use the whole definition.

the full text of the definition is:

quote:
http://www.lexicon-biology.com/biology/definition_45.html
Evolution is the process that has led to the appearance and transformation of living species on earth. The first living beings – undoubtedly very rudimentary cells , algae, or bacteria – appeared 3.8 billion years ago. Since then, life forms have diversified and adapted to their environments. All living species today have, therefore, the same origin.
(color mine for empHASis)

You have selected parts that do NOT go together. This is quote-mining and misrepresentation.

Let's be very clear that the website says the first life appeared and does NOT say the first life evolved, and let's also be very clear that it then proceeds with "since then" ... life evolved.

The only quibble you can possibly have is with the first line, but let's parse that as well:

quote:
Evolution is the process that has led to the appearance and transformation of living species on earth.
(color mine again for empHASis)

The first line is talking about the plurality of species living on earth, and not the first life.

It does NOT say evolution is the process that has lead to the appearance of life on earth. It does not say that the first life evolved.

Personally I think the wording is poorly chosen but the intent is fairly clear: evolution is the cause of diversity of life since the first life appeared 3.8 billion years ago. All life forms since then have diversified and adapted to their environments.

And yes, this is still clearly talking change in species (plural) over time.

AND

You have no other quotes to back your false interpretation of evolution: all the others you quoted are clearly, distinctly and unambiguously about change in species over time. All the ones I have presented are clearly, distinctly and unambiguously about change in species over time. The preponderance of evidence -- even including your interpretation of the above definition -- is that evolution is about change in species over time.

Let’s start with what I believe is a statement of FACT:

The word “Evolution” (synonymous with “Theory of Evolution”) is universally accepted as a naturalistic explanation for the origins and subsequent diversity of all life on earth over billions of years.

Believe it all you want, but that doesn't make it so. If you want to be correct about what is universally accepted then you need to go with a source that is universally accepted.

dictionary.com:

quote:
3. Biology. change in the gene pool of a population from generation to generation by such processes as mutation, natural selection, and genetic drift.

American Heritage Dictionary:
http://www.bartleby.com/61/64/E0256400.html
quote:
3. Biology. a. Change in the genetic composition of a population during successive generations, as a result of natural selection acting on the genetic variation among individuals, and resulting in the development of new species. b. The historical development of a related group of organisms; phylogeny.

American Heritage Stedman's Medical Dictionary:
quote:
2. The theory that groups of organisms change with passage of time, mainly as a result of natural selection, so that descendants differ morphologically and physiologically from their ancestors.

Merriam-Webster's Dictionary:
http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/evolution
quote:
4 a : the historical development of a biological group (as a race or species) : PHYLOGENY b : a theory that the various types of animals and plants have their origin in other preexisting types and that the distinguishable differences are due to modifications in successive generations

Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary:
quote:
2 a : the historical development of a biological group (as a race or species) : PHYLOGENY b : a theory that the various types of animals and plants have their origin in other preexisting types and that the distinguishable differences are due to modifications in successive generations

WordNet:
quote:
2: (biology) the sequence of events involved in the evolutionary development of a species or taxonomic group of organisms

encarta.msn.com/.../dictionaryhome.aspx
quote:
1. BIOLOGY theory of development from earlier forms: the theoretical process by which all species develop from earlier forms of life. According to this theory, natural variation in the genetic material of a population favors reproduction by some individuals more than others, so that over the generations all members of the population come to possess the favorable traits.
2. BIOLOGY developmental process: the natural or artificially induced process by which new and different organisms develop as a result of changes in genetic material

http://www.askoxford.com/dictionaries/?view=uk
quote:
1 the process by which different kinds of living organism are believed to have developed, especially by natural selection.

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/
quote:
the way in which living things change and develop over millions of years, or a gradual process of change and development:
Darwin's theory of evolution

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/evolution
quote:
2. (biology) The change in the genetic composition of a species' population over successive generations.

http://www.wordsmyth.net/live/home.php
quote:
1. the continuous modification and adaptation of organisms to their environments through selection, hybridization, and the like.

http://www.infoplease.com/dictionary/evolution
quote:
3. Biol.change in the gene pool of a population from generation to generation by such processes as mutation, natural selection, and genetic drift.

http://www.ultralingua.com/onlinedictionary/
quote:
The sequence of events involved in the evolutionary development of a species or taxonomic group of organisms;

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/
quote:
a gradual process of change and development
(SPECIALIZED) Evolution is the process by which the physical characteristics of types of creatures change over time, new types of creatures develop, and others disappear.

http://www.onelook.com/
quote:
A general name for the history of the steps by which any living organism has acquired the morphological and physiological characters which distinguish it; a gradual unfolding of successive phases of growth or development.

http://machaut.uchicago.edu/?resource=Webster%27s
quote:
6. (Biol.) (a) A general name for the history of the steps by which any living organism has acquired the morphological and physiological characters which distinguish it; a gradual unfolding of successive phases of growth or development.

http://www.rhymezone.com/?loc=bar
quote:
(biology) the sequence of events involved in the evolutionary development of a species or taxonomic group of organisms

http://www.allwords.com/index.php
quote:
3. biol. The cumulative changes in the characteristics of living organisms or populations of organisms from generation to generation, resulting in the development of new types of organism over long periods of time.

http://lookwayup.com/lwu.exe/lwu/d?s=f&w=evolution
quote:
2.[n] the sequence of events involved in the evolutionary development of a species or taxonomic group of organisms.

http://poets.notredame.ac.jp/cgi-bin/wn
quote:
2. evolution, organic evolution, phylogeny, phylogenesis -- ((biology) the sequence of events involved in the evolutionary development of a species or taxonomic group of organisms)

http://dictionary.laborlawtalk.com/theory_of_evolution
quote:
Evolution generally refers to any process of change over time; in the context of the life sciences, evolution is a change in the genetic makeup of a group - a population of interbreeding individuals within a species. Since the emergence of modern genetics in the 1940s, evolution has been defined more specifically as a change in the frequency of alleles from one generation to the next.

http://biotech.icmb.utexas.edu/
quote:
In biological terms: a change in the genetic composition of a population over time.

http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/glossary/glossary_E.html
quote:
evolution -- Darwin's definition: descent with modification. The term has been variously used and abused since Darwin to include everything from the origin of man to the origin of life.

http://www.dinosauria.com/dml/diction.htm
quote:
changes in the character states of organisms, species, and clades through time

http://www.biology-online.org/dictionary.asp
quote:
2. a process of development in which an organ or organism becomes more and more complex by the differentiation of its parts, a continuous and progressive change according to certain laws and by means of resident forces.

http://www.reference-wordsmith.com/archword/dict.html
quote:
A theory of biology about the gradual or rapid change of the form of living organisms throughout time that reflects adaptive change; it is the theory that all forms of life derive from a process of change via natural selection.

http://www.birdcare.com/bin/showdict?evolution
quote:
Development of the living organism through gradual changes in its characteristics by mutation over long periods of time. Thus one species may evolve into two or more different species, any of which and/or the original species, may become extinct. Evolution proceeds by means of natural selection and adaptive radiation.

http://www.dddmag.com/Glossary.aspx
quote:
The process of cumulative change occurring over successive generations.

http://www.gardenweb.com/
quote:
Organic evolution is any genetic difference in organisms from generation to generation.

http://www.everythingbio.com/glos/index.php
quote:
In Darwinian terms a gradual change in phenotypic frequencies in a population that results in individuals with improved reproductive success.

http://mitpress.mit.edu/books/FLAOH/cbnhtml/glossary-E.html
quote:
A process operating on populations that involves variation among individuals, traits being inheritable, and a level of fitness for individuals that is a function of the possessed traits. Over relatively long periods of time, the distribution of inheritable traits will tend to reflect the fitness that the traits convey to the individual; thus, evolution acts as a filter that selects fitness-yielding traits over other traits.

http://nedwww.ipac.caltech.edu/level5/Glossary/Glossary_E.html
quote:
(a) In Biology the theory that coniplex and multifarious living things developed from generally simpler and less various organisms.

http://iaspub.epa.gov/trs/search$.startup
quote:
The biological theory or process whereby species of plants and animals change with the passage of time so that their descendants differ from their ancestors, i.e. development from earlier forms by hereditary transmission of slight variations in successive generations.

These are all the dictionary definitions I could find in a reasonable time that gave a biological definition for the word. I have not ommitted one that came up in my search, so everyone I came across has been included.

The only one I found that had NO biological definition was
http://www.christiantech.com/
although in defense of the site it says "Search for a word in the Webster's 1828 Online Dictionary" -- so it would not have Darwin's usage eh?

All the common dictionary definitions talk about change in species over time and none talk about the origin of life on earth.

Now some encyclopedia entries:

wikipedia

quote:
In biology, evolution is the change in the heritable traits of a population over successive generations, as determined by shifts in the allele frequencies of genes. Over time, this process can result in speciation, the development of new species from existing ones. All contemporary organisms are related to each other through common descent, the products of cumulative evolutionary changes over billions of years. Evolution is the source of the vast biodiversity on Earth, including the many extinct species attested in the fossil record.

http://www.bartleby.com/65/ev/evolutio.html
quote:
concept that embodies the belief that existing animals and plants developed by a process of gradual, continuous change from previously existing forms. This theory, also known as descent with modification, constitutes organic evolution.

http://encarta.msn.com/artcenter_/browse.html
quote:
in biology, complex process by which the characteristics of living organisms change over many generations as traits are passed from one generation to the next. The science of evolution seeks to understand the biological forces that caused ancient organisms to develop into the tremendous and ever-changing variety of life seen on Earth today. It addresses how, over the course of time, various plant and animal species branch off to become entirely new species, and how different species are related through complicated family trees that span millions of years.

Crystal Reference Encyclopedia
http://www.reference.com/browse/crystal/11295
quote:
Any gradual directional change; now most commonly used to refer to the cumulative changes in the characteristics of populations of organisms from generation to generation. Evolution occurs by the fixation of changes (mutations) in the structure of the genetic material, and the passing on of these changes from ancestor to descendant. It is well demonstrated over geological time by the sequence of organisms preserved in the fossil record. There are two opposing schools of thought regarding the pattern and tempo of evolution. The gradualist school is based on a model of evolution in which species change gradually through time by slow directional change within a lineage, producing a long graded series of differing forms. The punctuated equilibria school is based on a model in which species are relatively stable and long-lived in geological time, and that new species appear during outbursts of rapid speciation, followed by the differential success of certain of the newly formed species.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia
http://www.reference.com/browse/columbia/evolutio
quote:
concept that embodies the belief that existing animals and plants developed by a process of gradual, continuous change from previously existing forms. This theory, also known as descent with modification, constitutes organic evolution. Inorganic evolution, on the other hand, is concerned with the development of the physical universe from unorganized matter. Organic evolution, as opposed to belief in the special creation of each individual species as an immutable form, conceives of life as having had its beginnings in a simple primordial protoplasmic mass (probably originating in the sea) from which, through the long eras of time, arose all subsequent living forms.

New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy
http://www.bartleby.com/59/21/evolution.html
quote:
A theory first proposed in the nineteenth century by Charles Darwin, according to which the Earth’s species have changed and diversified through time under the influence of natural selection. Life on Earth is thought to have evolved in three stages. First came chemical evolution, in which organic molecules were formed. This was followed by the development of single cells capable of reproducing themselves. This stage led to the development of complex organisms capable of sexual reproduction. Evolution is generally accepted as fact by scientists today, although debates continue over the precise mechanisms involved in the process.

Note the specific reference to chemical evolution in this last one to distinguish it from biological evolution. Chemical evolution is abiogenesis. Note that the one before lists all life as evolving from a "simple primordial protoplasmic mass" -- and note that protoplasm is:

quote:
The complex, semifluid, translucent substance that constitutes the living matter of plant and animal cells and manifests the essential life functions of a cell. Composed of proteins, fats, and other molecules suspended in water, it includes the nucleus and cytoplasm.

So a "simple primordial protoplasmic mass" would be the first life.

None the less, even accepting that some definitions may include origins in them, this does not mean that ALL definitions include origins: certainly the vast majority do not.

Based on this rudimentary review it is fairly obvious that the overall "universally accepted" definition of evolution is change in species over time.

It does not include the origin of life on earth as that part is definitely NOT "universally accepted" by all definitions.

If you want to qualify that to say this only applies to biological evolution, then I have no problem with that: evolution science is a branch of biological science, so when we are talking about evolution science we are talking about biological evolution eh?

Certainly we are NOT talking about cosmic evolution of the universe, as that is part of astro-physics and does not apply to biology.

And if you are trying to combine these different definitions of evolution then this is an example of equivocation -- the logical fallacy of using different definitions of the same word in different parts of the argument.

Bottom line: (biological) evolution is the change in species over time.

In fact, the word “evolution” is commonly used as a complete explanation of where everything (including the universe) came from.

See equivocation.
http://onegoodmove.org/fallacy/equiv.htm

Note that I have said before - and repeat here - that many 'evo' people (even ones that should know better) equivocate between the science of evolution and the mechanism of evolution. The word means different things in those two contexts.

The mechanism is about the change in species over time - yes, by mutation and natural selection and genetic drift, etc - but nothing more nothing less.

The science is about all the theories surrounding that mechanism that can then explain the diversity of life as we know it.

For the sake of argument, let’s ignore abiogenesis (something that has been show to be statistically impossible), for the time being so as not to get distracted.

Two comments:

(1) There is no such thing as being statistically impossible. This is a logical fallacy. See the old improbable probability problem for a discussion of the relative importance of statistics to an area where there is insufficient information to begin to make any calculations of probability. See RAZD - Building Blocks of Life for an evaluation of the possibilities for life origins. If you want to pursue this false argument.

(2) If we ignore abiogenesis that means we must start with life already existing, whether by creation or by abiogenesis. Otherwise you are begging the question by allowing one and not the other in the debate.

I have no problem with assuming the existence of life on a primordial or freshly created earth and discussing the evolution of life since then.

That is totally in keeping with my point about what evolution covers.

As far as Kerkut goes, do you disagree that he was a scientist?

I'm saying who or what he is just isn't relevant to the argument, you are engaging in the argument from authority.

Rather than appealing to the authority of some scientists, we should be debating whether the definition is appropriate or not.

And the definition of evolution as used in biological science is change in species over time, or some variation on that theme (change in frequency of alleles etc). It is also the definition universally accepted as demonstrated above.

... it escapes me how you can imply that any of these are attempting to convey that evolution is ONLY change over time. The central theme of every description of evolution in every media that I have ever seen (even internet evolution propaganda go on to explain what they mean) has been that evolution is responsible (through any number of mechanisms) for the diversity of life on earth over billions of years.

... regardless of whether you believe in creation or evolution, simple logic tells you that “change over time” DOES NOT imply that all life on earth came from a common ancestor over millions of years. In other words, it IS NOT a sufficient condition as you contend.

Well we all know what a good information source on science - or any other topic - the media is eh?

Evolution is the change in species over time. The science of evolution is about extending observations of speciation and descent of daughter species from ancestor species in current populations to past species and about explaining the diversity of life as we know it on this planet. The basic element of that is still change in species over time.

The evidence is that life has changed over vast expanses of time, and that there is a relationship between species at one point in time with species both older than it and younger than it (unless it became extinct), relationships that show an accumulation of change over time. That related species had more similarities the further back in time we find evidence of them is also indicative of descent of daughter species from ancestral species and descent from common ancestors.

They DID NOT ask, “Have human beings changed over time?” If they had, the response would have been 100% affirmative ...

Heh, all this demonstrates is that many people are confused about the scientific use of evolution and that the "survey" was poorly designed. I agree that it would have been informative to have included that in the questions to see the difference in answers (it's what a good survey would do), but it still does not show that the definition of evolution is wrong. This is still an appeal to authority, just here your "authority" is the mass of respondents, some of whom are ignorant.

Your "survey" is also extremely poorly designed and almost begs for the results it achieved. Notice another result (page 2):

quote:
IS IT POSSIBLE TO BELIEVE IN BOTH GOD AND EVOLUTION?

Yes -- 67%
No --- 29%

Opinions on this question are tied to one’s views on the origin of human beings. Those who believe in evolution, whether guided by God or not, overwhelmingly think it is possible to believe in both God and evolution – 90 percent say this. However, people who believe God created humans in their present form are more divided: 48 percent think it possible to believe in both God and evolution, but the same number disagrees.


Note that this result is mathematically impossible to extract from the results you quoted from the first page with a consistent opinion on the part of the people involved (51% > 29%). This is a sign of a flawed survey.

Let’s get more specific by looking at your “Bzzzttt error” definition from the Berkley series (which, by the way clearly states in their explanation that “Biological evolution is not simply a matter of change over time”). I’ll repeat the definition you quoted here:

“Biological evolution, simply put, is descent with modification. This definition encompasses small-scale evolution (changes in gene frequency in a population from one generation to the next) and large-scale evolution (the descent of different species from a common ancestor over many generations)”.

Ahhhh…and there it is! EVOLUTION encompasses “small scale EVOLUTION” and “large-scale EVOLUTION”. Of course, these are commonly referred to as Micro-EVOLUTION and Macro-EVOLUTION. However, there are several logical fallacies here.

Small scale Evolution DOES NOT logically imply large scale Evolution. These are 2 very different things.

Ahhh ... and there it is! "Micro"evolution is different from "Macro"evolution ...

Tell you what Murk, let's start by discussing "Micro"evolution.

We can start by stipulating that:


    "Micro"evolution

  • refers to speciation and
  • nothing beyond the causes up to and including speciation,
  • has been observed to occur and is
  • thus a fact.

    That it involves

  • change in species over time,
  • mutation as an observed fact,
  • natural selection as an observed fact, and
  • some other minor mechanisms such as genetic drift and horizontal gene transfer by viruses and the like.

    That it does NOT involve

  • sudden large scale change or
  • sudden appearance of whole new features or abilities.

Then we can discuss the evidence for "micro"evolution in genetics and in the fossil record.

The purpose will be to fully define what "micro"evolution is and what "micro"evolution is NOT.

K?

Feel free to add to the list of what is NOT included by "micro"evolution.

Enjoy.

GREAT DEBATE - RAZD and MurkyWaters only

Edited by RAZD, : added banner banner


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This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by MurkyWaters, posted 10-01-2006 1:27 AM MurkyWaters has not yet responded

RAZD
Member
Posts: 19759
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 5.8


Message 18 of 121 (355074)
10-07-2006 9:10 PM
Reply to: Message 16 by MurkyWaters
10-07-2006 4:45 PM


review of reply to response parts 1 and 2

GREAT DEBATE - RAZD and MurkyWaters only

Much of your response continues to argue in circles because we disagree on what evolution is. You say this or that about evolution and I don’t agree because that’s not what I consider evolution to be. I think I’ve presented solid evidence in support of my definition of evolution. Even if we can’t come to agreement on that first, than at least we should acknowledge the other person’s position to avoid this purposeful argument over semantics.

We can agree that your definition is not supported by dictionaries, encyclopedias, and scientific glossaries of terms. We can agree that your definition is not used by scientists engaged in the scientific pursuit of evolution. We can agree that your definition does not apply to evolution.

When I say “evolution”, I am talking about the ToE, which states that all life on earth arose from an original common ancestor over millions of years which itself came from non-life.

We can agree that you are NOT talking about ToE or any aspect of biological evolution of species. We can agree that you are talking about a typical creationist strawman - that evolution = abiogenesis ... purely and only abiogenesis.

This is false. None of the definitions cited above (previous post) say this is the definition of evolution.

quote:
abiogenesis
n : a hypothetical organic phenomenon by which living organisms are created from nonliving matter [syn: autogenesis, autogeny, spontaneous generation]

This does match your definition, thus this shows that you are misusing evolution to represent abiogenesis.

We can agree to call abiogenesis by the proper term, abiogenesis.

I (and of course creation scientists as well) consider speciation that we observe today (including the Galapagos finches and many other examples) to be “Adaptation”. It proves NOTHING about evolution as I have just defined it. It is just as essential to creation theory as it is to evolutionary theory.

You (and of course creation "scientists" as well) can consider what you want, but YOU are not using the terms of evolution. Calling evolution "adaptation" and abiogenesis evolution does not invalidate evolution as used by the scientists in the field of evolution. All it does is involve you in fraudulent word usage, a hoax.

Please tell me the falsifiable test for the "creation theory" cited here. If there is not such test then (1) it is not science and (2) it is not a scientific theory -- it is just a "feel good" concept.

This is why we are arguing in circles. Your arguments are true using your definition of evolution but are false if you use my definition of evolution. That is precisely why you won’t accept my definition in this debate.

No, I don't accept your definition because it is false, wrong, misrepresentative ... and this has been demonstrated.

I do not consider my definition dishonest or misleading in any way. It is simply stating what any person on the street would understand evolution to be.

And this applies to the actual science of evolution how? It's not a matter of popular opinion. It's not a matter of YOUR opinion. It's a matter of correct usage of terminology -- as is readily determined from numerous sources (see list in previous post).

On the other hand, I DO consider it purposely dishonest - knowing full well what people understand evolution to be or perhaps to put it another way what the implications of evolution are - to portray it as simply change ...

Gosh, every one of the dictionary definitions listed in the previous post (that define evolution as change in species over time) are dishonest representations ... every single one of the encyclopedia articles (that discuss evolution as change in species over time) is dishonest in it's representation of evolution science ... and every glossary of terms listed in the previous post (that define evolution as change in species over time) are dishonest representations ... and only YOU know the truth.

:rolleyes:

OR we could agree that this is sufficient evidence that your usage has been and continues to be wrong.

Speciation is a fact.

And that is evolution. The factual evidence of evolution.

They are not asserting that Gould feels the “evidence supports creationism better than evolution”. Gould is an evolutionist for goodness sake. It would be inconceivable for him to even consider the possibility of creation. They are saying that by Gould’s own admission, evolutionists are willing to believe evolution despite evidence to the contrary.

LOL. In other words they are asserting that "by Gould’s own admission," he is saying the evidence supports creationism better than evolution. Like I said, you swallowed the lie.

I find it astonishing that you are actually trying to make a creationist “hoax” on some obscure website equivalent to evolutionist ones that were taught for years in textbooks as proof of evolution.

Yes, silly me. To say that a hoax currently being hoisted on the gullibles via internet links from numerous "creatortionista" sites is in any way comparable to an old already exposed and totally discredited hoax that was perpetuated on scientists (not by) in a more scientifically naive time.

Plus the lies of Parker

Plus the continuing hoaxes of other creatortionista sites that promote Ron Wyatts fabrications

Plus others.

“So tell me, how does Piltdown…disprove evolution?” Perhaps by itself, no, but taken with all of the rest, I would contend yes. “Does this change the evidence FOR evolution in any way?” Since Piltdown was held up as evidence, yes it most certainly does. There is now LESS evidence for evolution.

Yes, two fraudulent specimens outnumber the hundreds of fossils that have been discovered since and that were foundational in proving that it was a hoax.

Then there is all the evidence that has been discovered since it was exposed. There is now MORE evidence for evolution (the real definition evolution) than ever before, and it grows every year.

Sorry. No discredited hoax or fraud in any way discredits the real science being done, just the perpetrators of the hoax. Cold Fusion does not discredit atomic physics.

{added note: Notice that your usage of evolution in the above quote does not match your purported definition of evolution as the origin of life on earth: you seem to be equivocating between multiple definitions. Using the word in a way inconsistent with your definition also invalidates your definition: enjoy}

TODAY, we still see in churches of evolution (museums) and in textbooks, the progression of modern man from primitive apes, when most of those caricatures are simply from some scientist’s imagination created from the remains of a tooth or other such “evidence”. And those progressions often still contain the hoaxes.

Seeing as none of those are the evidence FOR evolution they do not affect the validity of evolution one way or the other. You seem to mistake popular re-creations for the evidence of science when the evidence is something like shown on this post by anglagard: Message 48

And you can caricature museums as "churches" and make fun of your churches all you want - but that doesn't make it so.

Enjoy.

GREAT DEBATE - RAZD and MurkyWaters only

Edited by RAZD, : added comment in {yellow}


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This message is a reply to:
 Message 16 by MurkyWaters, posted 10-07-2006 4:45 PM MurkyWaters has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 19 by MurkyWaters, posted 11-08-2006 12:02 AM RAZD has responded

MurkyWaters
Member (Idle past 4125 days)
Posts: 56
From: USA
Joined: 07-21-2006


Message 19 of 121 (362531)
11-08-2006 12:02 AM
Reply to: Message 18 by RAZD
10-07-2006 9:10 PM


Re: review of reply to response parts 1 and 2
Hey, sorry I’ve taken so long. I just need to put some finishing touches and formatting to my response and so I should have it posted soon. Unfortunately, it will be lengthy. You do not need to respond quickly. I’d much rather you read it carefully as I’ve tried to summarize all my arguments in the hopes that we can draw closer to a conclusion. In whatever way you respond and if we decide to continue, I have vowed to myself to take it in small chunks from now on so that we can respond in manageable pieces, so don’t be surprised if I ignore superfluous issues in the future as well. Of course, I have a few sidetracks in this response too, so I’m not scolding. Talk with you soon. …mw
This message is a reply to:
 Message 18 by RAZD, posted 10-07-2006 9:10 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 20 by RAZD, posted 11-08-2006 5:53 PM MurkyWaters has responded

RAZD
Member
Posts: 19759
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 5.8


Message 20 of 121 (362686)
11-08-2006 5:53 PM
Reply to: Message 19 by MurkyWaters
11-08-2006 12:02 AM


moving on

GREAT DEBATE - RAZD and MurkyWaters only

No problem, I was wondering what had happened to you.

I have vowed to myself to take it in small chunks from now on so that we can respond in manageable pieces, so don’t be surprised if I ignore superfluous issues in the future as well.

Don't be surprised if I set a number of issues you raise aside as well - at least until we can reach some basis to work from.

Also see

Message 19
Tell you what Murk, let's start by discussing "Micro"evolution.

We can start by stipulating that:


    "Micro"evolution

  • refers to speciation and
  • nothing beyond the causes up to and including speciation,
  • has been observed to occur and is
  • thus a fact.

    That it involves

  • change in species over time,
  • mutation as an observed fact,
  • natural selection as an observed fact, and
  • some other minor mechanisms such as genetic drift and horizontal gene transfer by viruses and the like.

    That it does NOT involve

  • sudden large scale change or
  • sudden appearance of whole new features or abilities.

Then we can discuss the evidence for "micro"evolution in genetics and in the fossil record.

The purpose will be to fully define what "micro"evolution is and what "micro"evolution is NOT.

K?

Feel free to add to the list of what is NOT included by "micro"evolution.

Perhaps we can start with this and not have so many side issues.

Enjoy.

GREAT DEBATE - RAZD and MurkyWaters only

Edited by RAZD, : added material, banners


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This message is a reply to:
 Message 19 by MurkyWaters, posted 11-08-2006 12:02 AM MurkyWaters has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 21 by MurkyWaters, posted 11-11-2006 10:07 PM RAZD has responded

MurkyWaters
Member (Idle past 4125 days)
Posts: 56
From: USA
Joined: 07-21-2006


Message 21 of 121 (363304)
11-11-2006 10:07 PM
Reply to: Message 20 by RAZD
11-08-2006 5:53 PM


Re: moving on
This is actually a response to your prior 2 posts “response part 3” and “review of reply to response parts 1 and 2”.

In regards to this definition which I originally supplied - “Evolution…has led to the appearance…of living species on earth”, you say:

You have selected parts that do NOT go together. This is quote-mining and misrepresentation.

I can’t be accused of quote mining, when I was the one who supplied the full quote in the first place! The rest of your interpretation is simply that, your interpretation. Nothing in the rest of that definition contradicts the quote above.

Personally I think the wording is poorly chosen but the intent is fairly clear: evolution is the cause of diversity of life since the first life appeared 3.8 billion years ago. All life forms since then have diversified and adapted to their environments.

So then we are in agreement regarding the definition of evolution? Also that all life forms have “adapted” (which is the proper definition for “changed over time”)?

You have no other quotes to back your false interpretation of evolution: all the others you quoted are clearly, distinctly and unambiguously about change in species over time. All the ones I have presented are clearly, distinctly and unambiguously about change in species over time. The preponderance of evidence -- even including your interpretation of the above definition -- is that evolution is about change in species over time.

First…I have no other quotes to back my interpretation? How many do you want? 100? 200? Is this a contest as to who can find the most definitions? I suspect I would win that one, and I’d be willing if it even had a chance of making a difference. However, I really think we have enough already, particularly if we look a little closer at the ones you have provided.

Second…are you reading my arguments at all or the definitions for that matter? There is no question that any usage of the word evolution in any context in which it is used involves change over time. That is the definition of the general usage of the word which I have clearly stated and for which I have no disagreement. My point is that this is not sufficient to describe what the theory of evolution is. You have just agreed that the definition above defines evolution as the cause of all diversity of life from a common ancestor over 3.8 billion years. The rest of my definitions are essentially identical. They all clearly, distinctly and unambiguously state that evolution is about much MORE than just change in species over time which I will further expound upon in this post.

I also never disagreed that there are some definitions that could be misinterpreted to support your viewpoint, particularly more recent ones with the advent of genetics which is now being used to disguise the “real” evolution (and for which all scientists do not agree). If you dig further, you find that these “shortened” definitions have hidden assumptions which are usually explained later in the text and therefore cannot stand on their own. However, I believe the vast majority still clearly support my point of view. Our discussion therefore should be about discussing the merits of the definitions and which is most appropriate, not about who can find the most references. Nevertheless, let’s take a closer look at the definitions provided by you.

American Heritage Dictionary:
http://www.bartleby.com/61/64/E0256400.html
quote:

3. Biology. a. Change in the genetic composition of a population during successive generations, as a result of natural selection acting on the genetic variation among individuals, and resulting in the development of new species. b. The historical development of a related group of organisms; phylogeny.

This reference also includes “A gradual process in which something changes into a different and usually more complex or better form.” This makes it clear that evolution is much more than simply change over time. A certain type of change is required that makes it more complex and “better” and results in the historical development of an entire group of organisms.

Merriam-Webster's Dictionary:
http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/evolution
quote:

4 a : the historical development of a biological group (as a race or species) : PHYLOGENY b : a theory that the various types of animals and plants have their origin in other preexisting types and that the distinguishable differences are due to modifications in successive generations

This source also includes “a process of continuous change from a lower, simpler, or worse to a higher, more complex, or better state.” Again, indicating a certain type of change, not just any change. In addition, the historical development of a biological group infers its origins, not just any change.

encarta.msn.com/.../dictionaryhome.aspx
quote:

1. BIOLOGY theory of development from earlier forms: the theoretical process by which all species develop from earlier forms of life. According to this theory, natural variation in the genetic material of a population favors reproduction by some individuals more than others, so that over the generations all members of the population come to possess the favorable traits.
2. BIOLOGY developmental process: the natural or artificially induced process by which new and different organisms develop as a result of changes in genetic material

Notice that “all species” have developed from earlier forms of life. Also not just ANY change is valid but a certain type of change is required that results in “new and different” organisms.

http://www.askoxford.com/dictionaries/?view=uk
quote:

1 the process by which different kinds of living organism are believed to have developed, especially by natural selection.

This says nothing about what evolution is. The process by which different kinds of living organisms developed could be popping out of rocks despite the fact that it is “especially” by natural selection. Dictionary definitions are usually not complete but an attempt to summarize to the fewest words which often create ambiguity and are therefore not the best source for complex scientific issues. You’re beloved talk.origins disagrees with definitions from dictionaries and encyclopedias as well.

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/
quote:

the way in which living things change and develop over millions of years, or a gradual process of change and development:
Darwin's theory of evolution

Notice this definition includes “millions of years” as an essential part of the definition. It also states that it is everything contained in Darwin’s theory of evolution, which if expanded appropriately includes everything I have been saying.

http://www.ultralingua.com/onlinedictionary/
quote:

The sequence of events involved in the evolutionary development of a species or taxonomic group of organisms;

Again dictionary definitions are not the ideal source for complex scientific concepts. Evolution is now a “sequence of events” which I’m not sure agrees with either of our positions (ie it’s not the change, but the events themselves). It then uses the term in the definition it is trying to define. This is similar to several other definitions you quoted which I’ve not bothered to reference.

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/
quote:

a gradual process of change and development
(SPECIALIZED) Evolution is the process by which the physical characteristics of types of creatures change over time, new types of creatures develop, and others disappear.

Note that “New types of creatures develop”, not simply the change in the beak size of a finch (which remains a finch), is essential. Also, it’s interesting to note that this definition concludes that evolution is the cause of the disappearance of species from which others have evolved. Many organisms thought to have been extinct, from which modern species have developed, are often found alive today. In addition, many fossils finds are nearly identical with their modern counter parts. The creationist explanation for this is much more satisfying and logical than the evolutionist’s which tend to become very convoluted.

http://www.onelook.com/
quote:

A general name for the history of the steps by which any living organism has acquired the morphological and physiological characters which distinguish it; a gradual unfolding of successive phases of growth or development.

Note that this includes the “history of the steps”, not just any change. Of course, this history by inference with the other definitions includes it development from a common ancestor billions of years ago. This is similar to several other definitions you’ve supplied, so I’ve not bothered to reference them.

http://www.allwords.com/index.php
quote:

3. biol. The cumulative changes in the characteristics of living organisms or populations of organisms from generation to generation, resulting in the development of new types of organism over long periods of time.

Again, notice that “new types of organisms” must result “over long periods of time”. This would ELIMINATE the Galapagos finches as examples of evolution which neither resulted in a new type or organism nor did it take a long period of time. Thank you. This should put that thread to rest.

http://www.biology-online.org/dictionary.asp
quote:
2. a process of development in which an organ or organism becomes more and more complex by the differentiation of its parts, a continuous and progressive change according to certain laws and by means of resident forces.

Notice that the organism must become “more and more complex” and “change according to certain laws”, again indicating that a certain type of change is required, not just any change. This is common with many of the definitions.

http://www.reference-wordsmith.com/archword/dict.html
quote:

A theory of biology about the gradual or rapid change of the form of living organisms throughout time that reflects adaptive change; it is the theory that all forms of life derive from a process of change via natural selection.

Again, evolution is “the theory that all forms of life” have resulted from a process of change, not just any change.

http://www.gardenweb.com/
quote:

Organic evolution is any genetic difference in organisms from generation to generation.

I had to highlight this one. This is hardly a reliable or universal source and I have to believe you must find this definition to be as ridiculous as I do. Nevertheless, is this what you really believe? Irrespective of definitions, I assume you believe that all life on earth evolved from a common ancestor. Do you really believe that any genetic difference in organisms in a following generation proves or even implies that all life on earth evolved from a common ancestor? This is a “design” feature for organisms to adapt to their changing environments. Otherwise we would all have been extinct long ago. In fact many genetic differences do in fact result in disease or deformity. Instead of “evolution” they would more likely result in extinction.

So, what can we conclude? Dictionary definitions are typically not technical, incomplete and abbreviated. You have presented these as valid definitions of evolution. Therefore, if we consolidate the definitions to make them complete, the consolidation ought to be valid as well. These definitions in summary define evolution as consisting of the following essential components:
1) A slow gradual process over many generations and millions of years
2) A specific type of change which transforms a simple form into a more complex and significantly different or new type of form, not just any change. (As the American Heritage Dictionary states “A gradual process by which something changes into a significantly different, especially a more complex or more sophisticated form. Biology (evolve): to develop by evolutionary processes from a primitive to a more highly organized form”.
3) The complete historical development of all species on earth from their origin

So thank you. These dictionaries overwhelmingly support my definition of evolution. They clearly, distinctly and unambiguously state that evolution is much more than simply change over time. It must be a certain type of change which supports the development of all life on earth from its origins billions of years ago, which is the definition I have been promoting from the very beginning.

All the common dictionary definitions talk about change in species over time and none talk about the origin of life on earth.

I’m not sure what you mean by “origin of life on earth”, but a significant number of your definitions defined evolution as the complete historical development of species. An equivalent way of wording that is “from the species origins”. So in that respect, absolutely yes, they did talk about the origin of life on earth.

Now, on to the encyclopedia descriptions…One of your encyclopedia definitions contained the following line and I would like to clarify before I go on:

as opposed to belief in the special creation of each individual species as an immutable form

Creation scientists believe nothing of the sort and have never believed this, certainly not since Darwin’s day. This is a straw-man promulgated by the media and evolutionists to deceive. Any, even superficial, reading of the Bible makes it clear that the world created by God approximately 6000 years ago was very different than the fallen world we live in today including ourselves and the many living things that inhabit the earth with us. The flood in particular, completely changed the landscape of the earth. The original created kinds have adapted to the world’s environments resulted in various species within their kinds. God did not create them as “immutable” but having the full genetic ability to adapt and change within the limits of their kind.

None the less, even accepting that some definitions may include origins in them, this does not mean that ALL definitions include origins: certainly the vast majority do not.

Wait a second! It is valid to combine definitions as I have done, but it is not valid to simply remove things. Some may not mention origins outright, but that doesn’t mean it’s not valid. I would contend that most if not all of these definitions since they discuss the origin of all life on earth, are talking about origins. Ones that do not aren’t necessarily inferring that it’s incorrect. As you’ve noted, some definitions DO explicitly mention origins and specifically life from non-life such as the one below.

Encarta Encyclopedia, 1998:
“Evolution, in biology, the complex of processes by which living organisms originated on earth and have been diversified and modified through sustained changes in form and function.”
Neverthless, the encyclopedia entries you have provided as well as mine overwhelmingly support my definition of evolution, not yours. Almost “universally”, they included these essential features in their definitions:
1) All life on earth have descended from a common ancestor (“origins of life”)
2) Evolutionary change has been occurring over billions of years
3) Over the course of time “entirely new” species have developed indicating that a certain type of change which supports the rest of the theory, not just any change, is required.

Based on this rudimentary review it is fairly obvious that the overall "universally accepted" definition of evolution is change in species over time.

Based on the more in-depth review that I have just done, it is overwhelmingly obvious that the overall “universally accepted” definition of evolution is the one I have continued to propose, namely that the theory of evolution is “All life on earth has arisen over billions of years from a single common ancestor [which itself came from an inorganic form]”. I’ve bracketed the last part since as I’ve stated previously, I think we need to save that one until we can agree (or disagree) on the rest of it. Therefore, any change that we observe must be of a type which supports the theory to be valid evidence for it. The “science” of evolution has proposed various mechanisms such as natural selection, mutation etc to explain how evolution may have occurred.

It does not include the origin of life on earth as that part is definitely NOT "universally accepted" by all definitions.

As I’ve already shown, the definitions certainly do include the origins of life by referencing the complete history of life. Several even specifically reference the origination of life from non-life.

Also, I think you may have a misconception regarding the phrase “universally accepted”. The implication is that my statement is universally accepted by “someone”, not by “definitions” and I thought that was clear. Besides, why do you feel the sources you site are universally accepted? I don’t accept them (at least not all of them). Talk.origins apparently does not accept them (at least not all of them). Universally accepted means that “people” accept it. So, even for those people who believe in evolution, are you telling me that they do not accept that it is an explanation for all the diversity of life from its first appearance? Are we quibbling over the word “origins”? For goodness sake, Darwin used this word in HIS definition of evolution!

Without a single exception, my statement regarding evolution is what I was taught in school, what I have seen in the media everywhere and what every person, both creationist and evolutionists that I have ever come across have understood. I find it difficult to believe that you would not accept evolution as a naturalistic explanation for the origins and subsequent diversity of all life on earth over billions of years (regardless of definitions).

However, my personal experiences are not necessarily indicative of what other people may have experienced. I am not aware of any specific polls that have asked people explicitly to explain the theory of evolution. However, Poll after poll after poll regarding people’s feelings about evolution define evolution my way in some fashion similar to what I have done. The purpose of this was not to demonstrate that polls are accurate in their definitions. They define creationism incorrectly as well. The point is, if YOUR definition of evolution was “universally accepted” than all they would have needed to ask is do things change. But they did not do this. The reason they did not do this is because that is an insufficient definition of the theory of evolution. Polls need to add “do you believe humans evolved from apes over millions of years” and other such things. This is the “common” or “universally accepted” definition of evolution. It provides enough information so that people know what the heck you are talking about.

In fact, the word “evolution” is commonly used as a complete explanation of where everything (including the universe) came from.
See equivocation.
http://onegoodmove.org/fallacy/equiv.htm

This is NOT equivocation. I am getting tired of quoting references. It should be unnecessary in this case since I doubt you will find even a single exception. Evolutionists themselves and a multitude of references that we’ve already made and ALL complete discourses on evolution including wiki lump all of the kinds of “evolution” including cosmic, chemical and biological and perhaps others as a complete naturalistic explanation of the origin of the universe and all life on earth. They will commonly define evolution and then break it apart into the various disciplines.

Note that I have said before - and repeat here - that many 'evo' people (even ones that should know better) equivocate between the science of evolution and the mechanism of evolution. The word means different things in those two contexts.

The mechanism is about the change in species over time - yes, by mutation and natural selection and genetic drift, etc - but nothing more nothing less.

The science is about all the theories surrounding that mechanism that can then explain the diversity of life as we know it.

I have never heard of this differentiation (except in this debate) and to be honest, I simply don’t understand your point or the differentiation except as an instrument of deception. You say that creationist use the word incorrectly but then admit that there are various uses of the word that are so confusing even evolutionists get them wrong. The Theory of Evolution is NOT a mechanism, it is a theory. Evolution consists of MECHANISMS like mutation, natural selection and genetic drift that explain the theory. The theory already explains the diversity of life as we know it. The SCIENCE exists to study and research evidence in an attempt to support the theory or disprove it. Along the way, additional mechanisms or sub theories may be proposed to better explain the evidence.

Now, in fact, there ARE 2 uses of the word. One is evolution in the general sense of the word, which was used long before Darwin’s time. That is, simply that things change. Applied to Biology this is change in species over time. Again, no one is disagreeing with this use of the word. The other use refers to the “theory of evolution”, the definition of which is what this debate is about. Many people confuse these 2 uses of the word. Because of this confusion, I prefer to use the words “adapt” (see definition for adapt below), or simply change when referring, for example, to the Galapagos finches.

From America Heritage Dictionary “ Adaptation – Biology: An alteration or adjustment in structure or habits, often hereditary, by which a species or individual improves its condition in relationship to its environment.” Also from B&N Thesaurus of Biology cited previously: “Adaptation: a change in a characteristic of an organism that improves it chances of survival and producing offspring in a particular environment”.

This definition of adaptation would seem to fit the Galapagos finches perfectly and correspond directly with “change over time” (but not evolution). It is not technically incorrect to say that the Galapagos finches have evolved simply because evolution means change over time in the general sense of the word and in this case applied to biology. However this demonstrates nothing about the “theory of evolution”. The only connection is that change is an essential part of the theory of evolution. However, it is also an essential part of the theory of creation.

Therefore, showing that things change (whether birds or automobiles) is, by definition, demonstrating they have evolved, but it does not demonstrate “evolution” as referring to the theory of evolution. As I’ve already demonstrated, if the change in Galapagos finches proves evolution, it also proves creation since change is an essential part of both theories. Therefore, change is NOT sufficient to describe or define the theory of evolution since you would also be describing the theory of creation or the theory of automobile design. I don’t know how to make it any clearer than that.


For the sake of argument, let’s ignore abiogenesis (something that has been show to be statistically impossible), for the time being so as not to get distracted.
There is no such thing as being statistically impossible. This is a logical fallacy.

You may disagree with it, but it’s not a logical fallacy. Obviously, nothing is theoretically impossible, but statisticians place a limit on what is practically impossible and I if I recall correctly the odds against abiogenesis is greater than the number of atoms in the universe! That further supports the fact that biogenesis is a scientific “law”. However, that was just a side comment and I’m perfectly fine with tabling that.

(2) If we ignore abiogenesis that means we must start with life already existing, whether by creation or by abiogenesis. Otherwise you are begging the question by allowing one and not the other in the debate.

I have no problem with assuming the existence of life on a primordial or freshly created earth and discussing the evolution of life since then.

Yes, I agree. When I was talking about origins of life in my original post, I meant from the first prototype. Despite the fact that many definitions do reference origins from non-life, my purpose in ignoring abiogenisis for now was because I felt we would get sidetracked on another major debate without finishing the first one. Some evolutionists seem to be fairly passionate about not including abiogenesis in the discussion of evolution. However, without fail, they will always compare evolution as a factual easily observed “scientific” change over time with creation as a “religious” belief in a supernatural creation. Obviously that’s comparing 2 different things as you’ve noted above, so I do appreciate your recognition of comparing apples to apples.

However, while I wanted to put abiogenesis aside for now, I believe there is good reason to include it and I would still like to debate whether that is appropriate, after we finish this part. Clearly abiogenesis is a significant part of evolutionary theory. While it has been relegated to its own “evolution” (chemical), this is a sub-theory of evolution, not a separate one. It is so closely related to biological evolution it is always discussed on any treatise on biological evolution. “Chemical” evolution is not general chemistry! It is specifically focused on the evolution of biological life (not chemicals). Therefore it deserves a place in the theory of how life evolved. It has only been pushed aside because there is no evidence to support it. However, you can be assured that if any was found, it would be touted as proof of “evolution”.

In addition, while technically unnecessary in a comparison of creation and evolution, it provides a more intellectually fulfilling discussion and allows us to compare the theories in total. Origins science is not blindly following the evidence. It is an attempt to seek answers to life’s questions by people biased with their own worldviews. How can you even consider evolution from a common ancestor if you have no idea where it came from in the first place? How can you base life’s decisions on something for which no evidence is found? If abiogenesis did not happen, then the rest of evolutionary theory is totally bankrupt. Therefore, they are integrally connected and you cannot ignore how the first life came to be as part of evolutionary theory. Darwin himself speculated on this aspect in his own theory.

Then we can discuss the evidence for "micro"evolution in genetics and in the fossil record.
The purpose will be to fully define what "micro"evolution is and what "micro"evolution is NOT.

“Micro evolution” is NOT evolution, Period. There’s nothing left to discuss. It is simply the ability of organisms to “adapt” to their environment. Evolutionists admit that they do not find any evidence for “micro-evolution” in the fossil record. Only evidence for Macro evolution could potentially be found there and of course, that does not exist either. It is common knowledge that both living species today and the fossil record do not support evolution. For example, one the most famous evolutionist of our day, Ernst Mahr admits the following in his book “What evolution is”:

“Wherever we look at the living biota, whether at the level of the higher taxa or even at that of the species, discontinuities are overwhelmingly frequent. Among living taxa there are no intermediacy between whales and terrestrial mammals, not between reptiles and either birds or mammals. All 30 phyla of animals are separated from each other by a gap. There seems to be a large gap between the flowering plants and their nearest relatives. The discontinuities are even more striking in the fossil record. Few species usually appear in the fossil record suddenly, not connected with their ancestors by a series of intermediates. Indeed there are rather few cases of continuous series of gradually evolving species.”

Change within kinds over time, mutations and natural selection are all observed facts. None of them support molecules to man evolution. I have stated all of this repeatedly. I will try to make it clear another way. The definition you have been trying to pass on as the definition of evolution is “micro-evolution” (observed and factual “adaptation” of species to their environment). The Berkeley definition of evolution (and most others as we’ve seen) clearly state that evolution is much MORE than this because it also encompasses Macro-evolution. You cannot properly define evolution without including the macro concepts. By ignoring macro-evolution in the definition, you are switching definitions midstream and are guilty of equivocation.

We can agree that your definition is not supported by dictionaries, encyclopedias, and scientific glossaries of terms. We can agree that your definition is not used by scientists engaged in the scientific pursuit of evolution. We can agree that your definition does not apply to evolution.

No we can’t agree. I think I’ve clearly shown that all of these are completely false statements. My definition of evolution is supported by every source cited. To say that all life on earth having evolved from a common ancestor over billions of years “DOES NOT APPLY TO EVOLUTION” is one of the most ridiculous statements I have ever heard. You simply have to be living in a fantasy world to believe that and quite frankly it is indicative of someone trying to avoid the real issues which are indefensible. In other words, you don’t want to define evolution the correct way because if you do, there would be no evidence to support it.

We can agree that you are talking about a typical creationist strawman - that evolution = abiogenesis ... purely and only abiogenesis.

This is simply shameful. Never in any of my debate have I implied that evolution is purely and only abiogenesis, in fact just the opposite, and is surely not the stance of mainstream creation science either. Talk about strawmen and misleading arguments! As I’ve said on several occasions, I’ve suggested that we debate abiogenesis as a separate issue. Let’s make it clear, in the end I believe life from non-life ought to be part of the definition and many sources do include it, several of which I have already supplied. But to get off on that tangent when we haven’t even agreed (or agreed to disagree) on the rest of the stuff seems totally unproductive to me. On the other hand, you have not responded to the core of any of my arguments, insisting instead on quoting definitions add nauseum which in the end support my viewpoint anyway.

Please tell me the falsifiable test for the "creation theory" cited here. If there is not such test then (1) it is not science and (2) it is not a scientific theory -- it is just a "feel good" concept.

Since you have apparently tested creation theory and found it false, you tell me. And what is the falsifiable test for the theory of evolution? If anything is a “feel good” concept, it is evolution.

Gosh, every one of the dictionary definitions listed in the previous post (that define evolution as change in species over time) are dishonest representations ... every single one of the encyclopedia articles (that discuss evolution as change in species over time) is dishonest in it's representation of evolution science ... and every glossary of terms listed in the previous post (that define evolution as change in species over time) are dishonest representations ... and only YOU know the truth.

No, YOU are now being dishonest by misrepresenting those definitions as I have clearly shown. The majority of the dictionary definitions listed in the previous post did NOT define evolution as merely change over time. All of the encyclopedia articles were not being dishonest because they did NOT define evolution as simply change over time. Since you must feel only YOU know the truth, you are simply ignoring the obvious facts. You can believe your false definition all you want, but as you have often and generously noted, that doesn’t make it so.

Yes, two fraudulent specimens outnumber the hundreds of fossils that have been discovered since and that were foundational in proving that it was a hoax.
Then there is all the evidence that has been discovered since it was exposed. There is now MORE evidence for evolution (the real definition evolution) than ever before, and it grows every year.

You have got to be kidding! Every day, evolution theory is collapsing on the weight of evidence against it. Hundreds of fossils that support human evolution? These hundreds of proposed missing links in their day have now been discarded. There is still not a single one that is not controversial (Famous evolutionist Ernst Mayr admits this in his book previously cited). The only thing one really finds is either remains of humans or extinct apes. Two fraudulent specimens? There have been many more than that. We could debark on this tangent, but it would be unproductive to our current topic and as you note has been discussed elsewhere.

Ok, so where does all of this leave us? You have totally avoided any real arguments regarding the merits of the definitions and simply continue to site references. Your purpose may have been to show that everyone defines it your way, but you have failed miserably. In fact, we see that just the opposite is true as these sources overwhelmingly support my position. To be more specific - dictionary definitions, encyclopedia articles, glossary terms, science journals, newspapers, polls, TV series, textbooks, scientists and the general public all agree overwhelmingly that the definition of the theory of evolution is much more than simply change over time. In fact, all these sources conclude that the definition must contain the following key features:

• A certain type of change that supports the development of molecules to man, a directional change from simple to more complex and significantly different forms, NOT a cyclical change like the beak sizes of Galapagos finches where drought resulted in a slight increase in beak size but the change was reversed when the rains returned.
• All life on earth has developed from a single common ancestor
• A slow gradual process over many generations and billions of years

The only sources to disagree are a handful of dishonest hardcore evolutionists and internet propaganda sites intended to deceive the public, affect public policy and retain funding for pet projects. In addition to the characteristics above, I would also include that life arose from non-life but again, we can debate that at another time.

It is clear that not all scientists, such as Dr Ernst Mayr, involved in the study of evolution agree with the definition of evolution as change in gene frequencies. He says that this is because the change must be directional, not neutral to be considered evolution which supports my position. What is quite humorous is that he defines evolution as “The gradual process by which the living world has been developing following the origin of life”. This definition is so broad that it could also be perfectly suitable for the definition (at least partial) of creation theory, as even you have suggested (that is, following the creation of the initial kinds). One of the reasons he feels comfortable defining it this way is that he considers evolution to be a fact without any viable alternative. Therefore he simply states the obvious. This is as striking example of how scientist’s philosophies influence their interpretation of the evidence and not the other way around.

I do note that he excludes abiogenesis. However, it is clear from this definition that since evolutionists propose that life originated billions of years ago and all life on earth as we see it today arose from this original form since then, that he is implicitly including these concepts in his definition. Even his definition is a very far cry from simply change over time.

It is clear that not all scientists agree with what evolution is or rather should be defined. I personally believe that the majority of scientists and educators do not believe evolution to be a fact. With threats from the scientific establishment that anyone disagreeing with their position will be fired, I don’t think many scientists or educators will be open with their opinions. It is interesting that conservatives are frequently accused of censorship. You’d think that science would encourage diverse thought, but that apparently only applies if you agree with their liberal positions.

I’d like to point out a couple of more things regarding what scientists believe evolution to be. That a theory must be acceptable to contemporary scientists to BE acceptable is circular reasoning. Many of these so-called definitions are blatantly self-serving (especially with a highly liberal media and a materialistic scientific community) and sometimes contradictory, as we have seen. The fact that some scientists define it this way and some that way isn’t as relevant as the reasons WHY they define it that way. It is enough to say at this point that there may be some disagreement and therefore we should debate the merits of the definitions themselves.

Since I have convincingly proven my case in that the vast majority of sources define evolution correctly as I’ve previously stated, we could probably end the debate at this point. However, I’ll be generous and continue because we really haven’t debated the merits of the definitions. I thought this was going to be a debate between you and me? Instead, the bulk of your argument has been that you’re going to define it your way because “someone said so”. Well, WHY do they say so and what do YOU say? And before you say it, what you and I feel IS important. If everyone simply followed others around like lemmings, there would be no new ideas, would there?

It’s not that sources shouldn’t have been part of the argument or are irrelevant since we needed to confirm that there is indeed some (albeit in the minority) disagreement on the true definition of evolution. But now having confirmed that, can we actually debate the appropriateness of the definitions? Can you actually defend your position on its merits? For example, respond to these questions:

• WHY do YOU define evolution as simply change over time?
• Do you disagree that all life on earth “evolved” from a common ancestor over billions of years? (All sources that I know describe evolution this way regardless of “definitions”). If not, why would it be incorrect to include that statement in the definition if that is what evolution really means?
• Do you disagree that change must be directional and support the movement from simple to more complex organisms? If so, how do you justify defining evolution as simply any change when that change does not create new features and support the notion that all life evolved from a common ancestor?
• Why is it not dishonest to define evolution as any change, even though that change does not support molecules to man evolution?
• You have said that it is not important what the majority of people believe evolution to be. Why is it not dishonest to teach my definition of evolution in schools and have it pronounced in the media, but then define it a different way for the sake of argument?
• Why do you specifically NOT want to define evolution my way despite the fact that it is universally defined that way in all of the available sources that we have looked at? Is it because there would be no evidence to support that definition?
• Do you disagree that observed changes in species today can not be extrapolated back to include the evolution of all life on earth? If so, why?
• Can you provide any examples (beside propagandist evolutionary internet sites with no official affiliations), where evolutionary scientists have protested against sources which characterized evolution as “all life on earth evolving from a common ancestor over millions of year”, as misrepresenting what evolution is all about?
• Since nearly everyone agrees that things change over time, why do you suppose that recent discoveries of species changing over time would be so newsworthy?
• You have continued to skirt my assertion that change in species over time is simply an observation or requirement and NOT a “mechanism” of evolution as you contend. I contend that it is deceptive to define evolution as an obvious observation and then say it is proved when that obvious thing (in this case “change”) is observed. What is the theory that you are attempting to substantiate through this observation? The observation itself? In other words, the observation of change in species over time proves change in species over time? Please respond.
• I have contended that “change in species over time” is insufficient by itself to define evolution. In your attempt to explain what that means (because it requires explanation), you have basically ended up using my definition on several occasions. Why then is it incorrect to include this brief explanation within the definition if the definition itself is unclear and insufficient? To make it perhaps a little clearer, the response of someone completely unfamiliar with evolution when presented with the definition of “change in species over time” will usually be “of course species change over time!” However, it would be a surprise to them if you subsequently stated that this meant that all life on earth evolved from a common ancestor over billions of years since the definition doesn’t state this.

OK, the best I can tell from all that you have said so far is that you are trying to equivocate “microevolution” as “Evolution”, whereas I consider Evolution to be the “Theory of Evolution” or “Macro-evolution”. In addition, I have stated that micro evolution is NOT evolution because it does not support macro-evolution. As I have shown, all sources we have looked at would at least consider “Evolution” to be either macro-evolution or encompass BOTH. Attempting to pawn off microevolution as “Evolution” is using the worst type of dishonest equivocation. You parade an obvious example of change in species over time with which no one disagrees and which is simply an adaptation of a species to their environment as an example of “evolution” and then with triumphant waving of the hands declare that this proves that all life on earth has evolved from a common ancestor by purely naturalistic means over billions of years.

It is a relatively simple matter to show that the change in species over time that we have observed is not in the direction required for real molecules to man evolution to take place. Therefore, the burden of proof is on the evolutionist to demonstrate this connection (between adaptation and evolution). However, this connection can never be observed in the “short” period of our lifetimes since evolutionists falsely insist that the earth is billions of years old and the evolution of new features takes millions of years (how convenient). Macroevolution can only really be observed from the fossil record and it has also failed miserably to support the theory.

By defining evolution as simply change over time, you are assuming the other real evolution to be a fact (or as I had stated in my original post, the un-provable presupposition)! That’s why you don’t think it’s necessary to mention it in the definition because it can just be implied. But change over time says nothing to the reader that would imply that all life on earth evolved from a common ancestor billions of years ago. If it were not stated in the definition, you wouldn’t know that this is what you really mean.

In fact, as a creationist, I would whole heartily accept and embrace your definition of evolution if that’s all you meant by it. I can accept your definition of evolution and still accept that God created the initial kinds 6000 years ago since they have been “evolving” within their kinds since then. There is no conflict there at all. It is simply using a different presupposition. But this is obviously not what evolutionists believe. So if you can believe either creation theory or evolution by accepting that species change over time, how can this be a definition of evolution alone!?

By scientists assuming “real” evolution is a fact, which I have documented several times and which is commonly emphasized in the media, this becomes the presupposition of their theory which must be taken on faith. Since it is assumed to be true by faith (and not part of the definition you have proposed), than any example of change over time is naturally a demonstration of evolution in your mind. However, to a skeptic, this is naturally being dishonest by not mentioning what the real implication is in the definition since it can either be the evolutionary presupposition or the creationist one.

Therefore it is totally obvious that due to a complete lack of any real evidence, evolutionist must resort to falsely equivocating adaptation (a fact) with evolution (a presupposition) to claim any support for the theory. And they do this, not because of the evidence, but because their worldview demands that God cannot be part of the equation. They see no other viable choice or alternative to take and therefore some have resorted to dishonesty to satisfy their own naturalistic cravings and to justify lifestyles without a God to answer to (many evolutionists have even been quoted admitting this). Unlike many evolutionists, creationists recognize that a life philosophy does not come from the evidence, but rather the philosophy is brought to the evidence and used to interpret it. To think otherwise is the epitome of naiveté.

The Bible says “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.” This is so true today. Do you gaze upon Mount Rushmore and say “Isn’t it amazing how millions of years of wind and erosion have carved these faces into the mountain side!” or when you find an arrowhead, “isn’t it amazing how millions of years of wind and erosion have carved this arrowhead!” No, you immediately recognize that certain things have been designed. Why in the world, when we look at living things, which are millions of times more complex, do we not recognize a designer! Michael Behe in his book Darwin’s Black Box, makes a wonderful case of how even the simplest living organisms are irreducibly complex. It is simply impossible that all of the intricate and multiple components which each depend on each other could have evolved independently. To think that our brains, millions of times more complex than any supercomputer designed by man, could have evolved by random chance is the epitome of vanity.

It only takes a single example of something that could not have evolved to disprove evolution and I believe Behe provides a plenty of them. Now, unlike you, I understand that we are NOT talking about operational science here. Belief hinges on the preponderance of the evidence and therefore proof or disproof is impossible. Evolutionists will simply say we just haven’t figured that one out yet. That might be ok, but the problem is, hardly anything is figured out when it comes to evolution.

To be honest, I’m getting tired of this. You know very well what evolution is and what its implications are. I challenge you to find even a single treatise on evolution that doesn’t describe evolution my way. Some may start with your description, (but rarely call it a definition) and then they will simply go on to describe the “real” evolution. Therefore, that description appropriately belongs in the definition for this and all of the other reasons I have stated. Please respond to my actual arguments and not simply appeal to authority or ignore evidence by blindly stating that everything means “change over time” without providing any logical argument as to why.

This is obviously long enough and I’m tired of writing. See ya. Have fun with this and God bless. …mw


This message is a reply to:
 Message 20 by RAZD, posted 11-08-2006 5:53 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 22 by RAZD, posted 11-12-2006 2:16 PM MurkyWaters has responded

RAZD
Member
Posts: 19759
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Message 22 of 121 (363392)
11-12-2006 2:16 PM
Reply to: Message 21 by MurkyWaters
11-11-2006 10:07 PM


Re: moving on ... at a snails pace maybe, but moving ...

GREAT DEBATE - RAZD and MurkyWaters only

Well, a lot of this will be set to the side for a number of reasons, and length is one, but I'll try to hit the salient points and address your most pressing concerns.

So then we are in agreement regarding the definition of evolution? Also that all life forms have “adapted” (which is the proper definition for “changed over time”)?

Not all changes are adaptations: the peacock tail is not an adaptation to the physical environment of the peacock, but is a sexually selcted feature. Further "adapt" (to me anyway) has {implications\connotations} of some pre-chosen direction of change that I would rather avoid, and only includes selected beneficial changes rather than all neutral and deleterious changes that are extant in the populations.

Let's stay with changes for now, it's simple, it's concise, it says all it needs to say and carries no extra connotations that are distractive.

There is no question that any usage of the word evolution in any context in which it is used involves change over time. That is the definition of the general usage of the word which I have clearly stated and for which I have no disagreement.

So we can agree that the process of evolution (PoE) is change in species over time, that this is pretty universal in all definitions of evolution, even if some definitions add other things or state it in rather ambiguous terms - aka the "gardenclub" definition (I included every definition I found without regard for what it said).

If you want we can refer to this process as microevolution to distinguish it from both the science of evolution and the theory of evolution, and then we can see how far the process of microevolution can go in explaining the diversity of life on this planet and what the limitations are. Personally I find "microevolution" cumbersome and would prefer "PoE", but if you want to develop a suitable shorthand for this feel free (MiE?)

My point is that this is not sufficient to describe what the theory of evolution is.

Let us come back to this issue later. For now I also want to note that there is often a confusion between the Science of Evolution (SoE) and the Theory of Evolution (ToE), and this confusion is not limited to creationists or laypeople.

I feel it is important to be clear so that we don't unconsciously equivocate between different meanings. I know that I have been guilty in the past as well.

So, what can we conclude? Dictionary definitions are typically not technical, incomplete and abbreviated. You have presented these as valid definitions of evolution. Therefore, if we consolidate the definitions to make them complete, ...

You wanted a universal definition, and to get this you do not consolodate, sum, compile, include, add up -- but cut away extraneous elements, find the common denominators, the minimum elements that are common.

Also, I think you may have a misconception regarding the phrase “universally accepted”. The implication is that my statement is universally accepted by “someone”, not by “definitions” and I thought that was clear.

My point was that origins was NOT in all definitions, therefor it was NOT universal in all definitions, and therefore it was NOT universally accepted by people as part of the definitions. That is why it gets trimmed out of the "universal" definition.

... but a significant number of your definitions defined evolution as the complete historical development of species. An equivalent way of wording that is “from the species origins”. So in that respect, absolutely yes, they did talk about the origin of life on earth.

You keep stretching this point beyond what the words say. They are talking about evolution from {A} to {B}, taking any known starting point {A} and investigating the changes that get you to known ending point {B}.

Let's try some examples:


The evolution of modern horses

Involves (by the scientific view) the changes in species over time from an ancestor Hyracotherium ~55+ million years ago to modern horses. We take Hyracotherium as a starting point to see where the specific changes that resulted in Equus caballus (and other equines) then occurred over time and whether those changes fit the application of PoE to those times:

Click to enlarge
From http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/natsci/vertpaleo/fhc/Stratmap1.htm

We note that these are technically all "horses" and that what we see here are a number of sequential speciation events with some speciation divisions, but that all the descendants are still "horses" yes?



The evolution of man

Involves (by the scientific view) the changes in species over time from an ape ancestor Ardipithicus ramidus ~5+ million years ago to modern man. We take it as a starting point to see where the specific changes that resulted in Homo sapiens (and other hominids) then occurred over time and whether those changes fit the application of PoE to those times:

Click to enlarge
From http://www.handprint.com/LS/ANC/evol.html

We note that these are technically all "apes" (according to the Science of Evolution) and that what we see here are a number of sequential speciation events with some speciation divisions, but that all the descendants are still "apes" yes?




These studies are not static: if we find a new ancestor that predates the existing starting point, but that fits the trend of change over time that the PoE would predict we can add them to the starting point. We can even make predictions of what those ancestors would be like and where they would live. We certainly do not include the origin of the very first forms of life in those studies.

We can also look at the evolution of apes from primates, but here we are not concerned with the evolution of mammals (before primates) or of humans (after apes) per se.

In this regard we can say that the Theory of Evolution (ToE) is that the process of evolution (PoE) can be applied at any level of the record of life and it will be sufficient to explain the changes observed at that level: that no other mechanism than change in species over time will be needed to get from specimen {K} to specimen {Q}.

This is then tested against the available records of life (where there is sufficient evidence) to see if this holds up.

Where there is insufficient evidence to test this application, then the theory predicts that intermediate evidence will be found, and when new fossils are found they are then tested to see if the theory is applicable at that level.

This also results in a number of corollaries and supplemental theories.

The theory of "Common Ancestry" (TCA) of species is one of these: it is based on the observation that sometimes change in species over time results in two or more different species from one common ancestor species, each having accrued sufficient change in species over time (PoE), but ending with a different result. The TCA then says that this can be applied at at any level of the record of life and it will be sufficient to explain the branches in species observed at that level. This still does not require a single ancestor species in the remote past, but it does indicate a high probability of a small set of ancestral species - not because of the theory, though, but because the evidence fits that pattern of life.

"Punctuated Equilibrium" (PunkEek) is another {corollary\supplemental} theory as is the theory of the "Selfish Gene" (TSE). There are also other theories having to do with gene transfer, drift, population dynamics, response to stress affecting mutation rates allowed, natural selection, runaway sexual selection, etcetera. These generally have to do with how changes get into the population genome and how they get selected or weeded out.

Generally speaking though, a {theory} is a stand alone statement that says IF {A,B,C} are true THEN {X,Y,Z} result. This is the basis on which it is tested and on which predictions are made specifically to test the theory, particularly ones that would invalidate the theory. Yes the {A,B,C} may include foundational or baseline theories in addition to evidence, but then like logic the truth of the conclusion is related to the truth of the precepts -- IF any theory included in {A,B,C} is invalidated THEN it too is invalidated.

Now we come to science.

The science of physics includes all the current theories of physical relationships from quantum mechanics to relativity to big-bang and ekpyrosis. We don't try to invalidate physics, but each and every one of the theories is up for grabs. When relativity replaced newton physics the science was not invalidated, but it did shift gears. When relativity is replaced by a new theory physics will shift gears again.

That is the way science operates - it is the accumulation of validated information plus the theories that best explain that information plus the testable hypothesis that have yet to be confirmed or invalidated plus predictions of what new evidence will be found.

We can regard the Science of Evolution (SoE) as the overall application of the all the theories, of ways and means for life to change and diversify and spread, to all the known evidence of life on earth, and the predictions of the theories that are in the process of being tested or awaiting further evidence for testing. SoE = {PoE + ToE + TCA + PunkEek + TSG + natural selection + mutation + evidence + observation + predictions + experiments + .... }.

It seems to me that the theory that creationists really take issue with is the theory of common ancestry, NOT evolution (ToE) per se. Time and again we see creationists say "well that is just microevolution and creationism includes microevolution" - the issue is "macroevolution" and this is really about the theory of common ancestry eh?

One of your encyclopedia definitions contained the following line and I would like to clarify before I go on:
as opposed to belief in the special creation of each individual species as an immutable form

Creation scientists believe nothing of the sort and have never believed this, certainly not since Darwin’s day. This is a straw-man promulgated by the media and evolutionists to deceive.
...
The only connection is that change is an essential part of the theory of evolution. However, it is also an essential part of the theory of creation.

Exactly. Microevolution (MiE) happens within "kinds" (whatever those turn out to be). The sticking point is the "macro"evolution (MaE) versus creation of kinds - the issue of common ancestry of higher taxon groups.

And I don't think you will find many evolutionists debating on this forum that subscribe to this straw man caricature of creationism. We've all moved past that naive view.

This definition of adaptation would seem to fit the Galapagos finches perfectly and correspond directly with “change over time” (but not evolution).

This is natural selection. It is change, but it is entirely within a species and has not reached a point of speciation. We can discuss this later, but I suggest you might read Peppered Moths and Natural Selection for another related issue, particularly the discussion I have with MartinV starting at Message 187

Therefore, showing that things change (whether birds or automobiles) is, by definition, demonstrating they have evolved, but it does not demonstrate “evolution” as referring to the theory of evolution.

That is why "it" (PoE) is the change in species over time, not just change, and why "it" (ToE) includes the prediction that with enough time and change that it would result in a new species (but is otherwise uninvolved in Grant's Finches and Kettlewell's Moths), and why "it" (SoE) studies these events to see if PoE becomes another ToE validation event.

There is no such thing as being statistically impossible. This is a logical fallacy.

You may disagree with it, but it’s not a logical fallacy. Obviously, nothing is theoretically impossible, but statisticians place a limit on what is practically impossible and I if I recall correctly the odds against abiogenesis is greater than the number of atoms in the universe! That further supports the fact that biogenesis is a scientific “law”. However, that was just a side comment and I’m perfectly fine with tabling that.

No, it is a logical fallacy: it is either {possible/probable} or it isn't, and the word "impossible" says that the probability is absolutely zero, not any number above zero. I am happy to set this aside, but if you want to read my take on the probability issues you can read the old improbable probability problem on the errors in such "improbability" calculations and RAZD - Building Blocks of Life for my take on the possibilities of early life beginning on this planet.

OK, the best I can tell from all that you have said so far is that you are trying to equivocate “microevolution” as “Evolution”, whereas I consider Evolution to be the “Theory of Evolution” or “Macro-evolution”.

Not to make to fine a point of it, but I have already offered to start with the precept that evolution is only microevolution (MiE) - as change in species over time - and see where that leads with the evidence, and what keeps it from becoming macroevolution (MaE).

In fact, as a creationist, I would whole heartily accept and embrace your definition of evolution if that’s all you meant by it. I can accept your definition of evolution and still accept that God created the initial kinds 6000 years ago since they have been “evolving” within their kinds since then.

As I've said before there is not necessarily a conflict.

But you will still have the problem with the theory of common ancestry, the evidence for it and the predictions that it makes about life on this planet. We can get to that later, after we finish with {PoE\ToE\SoE} definitions and then see where those definitions lead.

And you will still have a much bigger problem with physics, astronomy and geology than with (PoE\ToE) evolution. I suggest you start by reading Age Correlations and an Old Earth: Version 1 No 3 (formerly Part III) and then we can proceed to this age of the earth issue when we are done with the definition(s) of evolution (it is #2 in the original list after all).

There is no conflict there at all. It is simply using a different presupposition.

Science is post supposition. It takes evidence, then builds a theory that is consistent with and explains the evidence, then makes predictions of new evidence that will be found, and finally tests the theory against the new information to see if the prediction is accurate.

The difference does not come from a priori assumptions that frame how evidence is viewed, but from an attitude of evaluating the evidence, developing theories from the evidence and then testing and attempting to invalidate the theories without needing a suspension of disbelief and without denial of evidence that does invalidate the theory.

To be honest, I’m getting tired of this. You know very well what evolution is and what its implications are. I challenge you to find even a single treatise on evolution that doesn’t describe evolution my way. Some may start with your description, (but rarely call it a definition) and then they will simply go on to describe the “real” evolution. Therefore, that description appropriately belongs in the definition for this and all of the other reasons I have stated.

No it doesn't, because then you are confusing the predictions with the theories.

I've cut out a lot of stuff that is irrelevant, repetitious (and previously addressed) or that will be covered should we pursue a discussion of evolution from a "MiE" point of view and see where the evidence leads.

So what do you say, can we start by discussing "Micro"evolution - "MiE"?

We can start by stipulating that:


    "Micro"evolution

  • refers to speciation and
  • nothing beyond the causes up to and including speciation,
  • has been observed to occur and is
  • thus a fact.

    That it involves

  • change in species over time,
  • mutation as an observed fact,
  • natural selection as an observed fact, and
  • some other minor mechanisms such as genetic drift and horizontal gene transfer by viruses and the like.

    That it does NOT involve

  • sudden large scale change or
  • sudden appearance of whole new features or abilities.

The purpose will first be to fully define what "micro"evolution is and what "micro"evolution is NOT. Feel free to add to the list of what is NOT included by "micro"evolution.

Then we can discuss the evidence for "micro"evolution in genetics and in the fossil record.

My intention is to cover 3 examples of sequential speciation events that would be similar to those of horse and human ape above. Each would get their own post and be discussed before moving to the next one (to help keep things short).

Then we can move on to other topics.

Enjoy.

GREAT DEBATE - RAZD and MurkyWaters only

Edited by RAZD, : formatting, added comments in pink


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This message is a reply to:
 Message 21 by MurkyWaters, posted 11-11-2006 10:07 PM MurkyWaters has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 23 by MurkyWaters, posted 11-22-2006 11:15 AM RAZD has responded

MurkyWaters
Member (Idle past 4125 days)
Posts: 56
From: USA
Joined: 07-21-2006


Message 23 of 121 (365362)
11-22-2006 11:15 AM
Reply to: Message 22 by RAZD
11-12-2006 2:16 PM


Re: moving on ... at a snails pace maybe, but moving ...

GREAT DEBATE - RAZD and MurkyWaters only

Did I say I was going to try and be concise? Oh well…

So we can agree that the process of evolution (PoE) is change in species over time, that this is pretty universal in all definitions of evolution, even if some definitions add other things or state it in rather ambiguous terms

No. There is the “theory of evolution” and then the supporting mechanisms or processes of natural selection, mutation, genetic drift and whatever else to support and explain how the theory has resulted in its outcomes. As I stated in my last response, there are 2 uses of the word evolution, one is the theory of evolution and the other is the general dictionary definition of change and you are attempting to falsely equivocate the two. For example, an announcer on the news the other day stated that our troops in Iraq have “evolved” into no longer leading but rather assisting the Iraqi forces (a process of change in the general sense). Does this prove that our troops have evolved from a common ancestor over billions of years? Obviously not, any more than changes in finches show that finches have evolved from a common ancestor. There must be a certain type of change that supports the theory. Everything changes. That is what the WORD “evolution” means, but it has absolutely NOTHING to do with the “Theory of Evolution”. My understanding is that we were to be discussing the definition of the “Theory of Evolution” in this debate, not a general dictionary synonym for change.

In addition, there is really no such thing as the “process of evolution”. Similar to evolution, the word “process” is used in definitions because ALL change is a process. We go through a process of aging. There are chemical processes and so forth. So in a general sense, evolution is a process, but what makes this particular process special? That’s exactly what the definition is for. It might state “evolution is a process by which all life on earth has developed from a common ancestor over millions of years” or “a group of processes by which living organisms originated on earth”. Many definitions do not even use the word “process”. So by itself, “process of evolution” cannot stand on its own. You must specify in the definition what makes the process of change unique. Then you are defining the theory of evolution.

You wanted a universal definition, and to get this you do not consolodate, sum, compile, include, add up -- but cut away extraneous elements, find the common denominators, the minimum elements that are common.

No. If one person defines a dog as “a hairy creature” and someone else defines it as “a creature with sharp teeth” and we know both statements are true, then we can say a dog is “a hairy creature with sharp teeth”. The problem is that you are cutting away “extraneous elements” that are absolutely essential to the definition to suit the convenience of your argument. If the definition of evolution is that all life evolved from a common ancestor billions of years ago, you cannot simply boil this down to “change”. That is the crux of my argument. These 2 things are NOT the same. It’s not that saying “a dog is a hairy creature” is incorrect, but that alone fits the definition of a rabbit as well, the same as “change in species” fits the definition of creation or adaptation or whatever other change you want to promote.

You keep stretching this point beyond what the words say. They are talking about evolution from {A} to {B}, taking any known starting point {A} and investigating the changes that get you to known ending point {B}.

Then a starting point {A} at the origin of life and an ending point {B} of today would be perfectly valid then, wouldn’t it? In addition, many definitions were perfectly clear that they were talking about the origins (not necessarily abiogenesis), of all life on earth. I have a question for you. Do you believe that all life on earth evolved from one or more common ancestors over billions of years? If so, what would you call your belief if someone asked? Would your answer not be “evolution”?

Placing fossils in evolutionary trees like horses or apes is completely arbitrary. I could throw out a bunch of hardware fasteners like nails and screws and they could easily be placed into an evolutionary pattern without regard to the fact that they all had a common designer. No one would seriously think that a screw (because it is much more functional) evolved from a nail because they recognize that they were both designed by an intelligent source. There is no reason to believe that the various horses or apes did not actually live at the same time. While some evolutionists may still believe in horse evolution, many agree that this sequence is merely a just-so story. We have huge and tiny horses living today, but no transitions to other forms.

As you have noted, this clearly demonstrates the lack of transitional forms in the fossil record. All of these horses are still horses and all of the apes are still apes, similar to species we find today, with no transition from different forms. The situation is even worse with the evolution of man. Man has “specieated” to the various races around the world but the original man was MORE advanced than we are today considering the many mutations and loss of genetic information and adaptability that has occurred since. Certainly, there is no evidence that we have evolved from ape like ancestors. All in all, this evidence fully supports the creation model.

I do stand corrected in that evolutionists will tout examples in the fossil record such as these as proof of “evolution”. However these are merely examples of variation within a kind and do not demonstrate real molecules to man evolution. Again, this is an invalid equivocation.

I realize that both of us have been touching upon the “evidence” in a general sense and perhaps making some sweeping statements. I’m ok with that, but as you have often pointed out, there are other discussions/debates on these topics to look at the specifics.

In this regard we can say that the Theory of Evolution (ToE) is that the process of evolution (PoE) can be applied at any level of the record of life and it will be sufficient to explain the changes observed at that level: that no other mechanism than change in species over time will be needed to get from specimen {K} to specimen {Q}.

You are convoluting terms and making things as difficult as possible for someone to understand what the theory of evolution is actually stating. First, you’re using the word evolution to define evolution.

Second, as I pointed out earlier, there is no such thing as THE “process of evolution”. You are falsely equivocating a general term of change over time with the specific Theory of Evolution which consists of mechanisms or processes used to explain how all life on earth developed from a common ancestor over billions of years. It is completely invalid and illogical to make the statement that “Change is species over time” is “sufficient to explain the changes [in species] observed”, which is what you get if you simply substitute your definition of PoE into your statement. Observing change is NOT sufficient to explain the change!

Third, as I pointed out in my last post, “change in species” is an OBSERVATION, NOT a mechanism, NOT evolution. It may be the result of processes or mechanisms such as natural selection, mutation etc.

Fourth, you can fantasize all you want about how specimen {K} changed into specimen {Q} (with no specimens in between and no evidence to support it beside speculation), because there was no one there to have seen it. This is origins studies not operational science since it cannot be tested or repeated. It is an equally valid proposition to say that an ape and a man had a common designer rather than one evolving from the other. Which proposition does 1) The written historical records, 2) The fossil records and 3) Current day observations, support more fully? Obviously, my opinion is overwhelmingly Creation.

This still does not require a single ancestor species in the remote past, but it does indicate a high probability of a small set of ancestral species

While I realize your not going back far enough to include the origin of life, the chance of ONE ancestral species developing from nothing is infinitesimal (impossible by most accounts). The chance of a “small set” is billions of magnitudes smaller. How can you even entertain this possibility? Wouldn’t you say Faith in a creator who’s provided us with a history of life in his written word would be much more reasonable than the Faith required to believe a “small set” of ancestral species developed from a lifeless rock?

For now I also want to note that there is often a confusion between the Science of Evolution (SoE) and the Theory of Evolution (ToE), and this confusion is not limited to creationists or laypeople.

We can regard the Science of Evolution (SoE) as the overall application of the all the theories, of ways and means for life to change and diversify and spread

It seems to me that the theory that creationists really take issue with is the theory of common ancestry, NOT evolution (ToE) per se. Time and again we see creationists say "well that is just microevolution and creationism includes microevolution" - the issue is "macroevolution" and this is really about the theory of common ancestry eh?

This is really semantics. Evolution is not a branch of science, it is a theory (or as more accurately characterized by Karl Popper as “a metaphysical research program”). Biology is a branch of science. When does the study of a theory become large enough to be called a science? The operational aspects, mechanisms or sub-theories which can be observed in the present day, I would call science such as natural selection and genetics because they can be directly observed, repeated and tested. However, the theory of evolution is origins studies, not real science since it cannot be observed happening, cannot be repeated or directly tested.

Without getting into the definition of science (woa be to us), I’m open to calling both evolutionist and creationist activities “science” such as creation science or evolution science. However, you are elevating evolution to much more than it is. If evolution would be disproved tomorrow (which I have stated many times is impossible because it is a philosophy), then scientists would be studying adaptation as part of creation science instead. Biology (a branch of science) would continue, but not evolution. Evolution is not a branch of science, it is a theory and is completely unnecessary to the “operational” sciences and has brought no value to society. In fact, it has been quite detrimental in every way both philosophically and practically.

I understand that sub-theories come and go. Obviously natural selection wasn’t sufficient on it’s own to explain evolution. The fossil record is insufficient to demonstrate evolution, so punctuated equilibrium has been proposed. The theory of evolution isn’t persisting because of the evidence, it is persisting DESPITE the evidence because the alternative is unacceptable. It is because of their worldview, not because of the evidence.

Having said all of that, I agree that “scientists” study aspects of the theory of evolution. However, the vast majority of the activity is involved with present day operational scientific mechanisms and sub theories as I’ve stated that have nothing to do with real evolution. Any references made to the real evolution are always speculation and hand waving. Any time discoveries are made (such as the finches) you will always hear terms like “If”, “Could have”, “maybe”, “supposed”, “possibly”, “many believe”, “is thought to have”, “might prove” etc without any real evidence to back up those claims.

Bottom line, “Evolution” is a theory. The “Science of Evolution” has “evolved” to include all of the mechanisms, processes and sub-theories used to explain the theory of evolution, that is, how evolution has occurred and produced its supposed results. This certainly would INCLUDE the theory of common ancestry. If you believe evolution is a “process” of “change in species” over time from any point {A} to point {B}, common ancestry is simply an application of that process anyway. So, no matter how you look at it common ancestry is integral to the theory of evolution and therefore perfectly valid for creationist to object to it and evolution as a whole (since they do not consider present day change as demonstrating evolution).

And I don't think you will find many evolutionists debating on this forum that subscribe to this straw man caricature of creationism [immutable forms]. We've all moved past that naive view.

I’m very glad to hear that. However, I see it repeated in the media quite often.

No, it is a logical fallacy: it is either {possible/probable} or it isn't, and the word "impossible" says that the probability is absolutely zero, not any number above zero.

We may be arguing semantics here, but like you, I find it hard to just set this aside even though it doesn’t impact our argument. When I have time, I may take a look at your thread, but our disagreement has nothing to do with your take on the possibilities. NOTHING is impossible. NOTHING has a probability of absolutely zero. However, the probability of waking up tomorrow and finding that my old leaky Ford has magically transformed itself into a Ferrari, while much higher than abiogenesis, is still extremely low. So low, in fact, to be “practically impossible”. The probability of being hit by lighting every day for an entire year (and still live) is “practically impossible” (but still much higher than abiogenesis). The point at which we would say something is practically impossible has been defined by mathematicians as something like 10**-20 (-20th power). That is, the probably is so low, we’re not likely to experience it in the lifetime of the universe. I believe the probably calculated for abiogenesis is something like 10**-2000. I’m not arguing whether the probabilities are true, just that it’s NOT a logical fallacy. Scientists define limits like this all the time for the convenience of the science. Another good example is the use of “infinity” (nothing is infinite).

Not to make to fine a point of it, but I have already offered to start with the precept that evolution is only microevolution (MiE) - as change in species over time - and see where that leads with the evidence, and what keeps it from becoming macroevolution (MaE).

I would be happy to start with the precept that evolution is only macroevolution. We already know that what keeps microevolution from becoming macroevolution is the fact that it is not evolution.

Science is post supposition. It takes evidence, then builds a theory that is consistent with and explains the evidence, then makes predictions of new evidence that will be found, and finally tests the theory against the new information to see if the prediction is accurate.
The difference does not come from a priori assumptions that frame how evidence is viewed, but from an attitude of evaluating the evidence, developing theories from the evidence and then testing and attempting to invalidate the theories without needing a suspension of disbelief and without denial of evidence that does invalidate the theory.

Science is a post supposition? You are living in a dream world and have opened a can of worms. This is not only idealistic but blatantly false, particularly and especially for origins studies that ARE NOT repeatable as is operational science. You are comparing real operational science that can be validated and tested by the “scientific method” with origins studies, which cannot. This is another invalid equivocation used by evolutionists to deceive the public into thinking that evolution is “science”. Evolutionists ASSUME evolution to be true and then interpret the evidence to support the theory and their particular bias according to their worldview and ignore evidence which does not fit.

For some reason you seem to think that the fossil evidence can be “tested”. However, this is a fallacy. It cannot be tested, it can only be INTERPRETED according to a certain framework. No one was there to see it happen. You have a very high regard for the scientific process, as do I. But you are being naïve to think it can be applied to origins studies. Evolutionists interpret the evidence according to the framework of naturalism. It is assumed that things made themselves, that no divine intervention is allowed and that God has not revealed any knowledge of the past in his word.

While this is only an example from personal experience without specifics (although I assure you that I can dig them up), I have read many books by hardcore evolutionists. WITHOUT exception, seemingly on every other page they will lament the fact that the evidence for evolution is lacking or that the probability is miniscule or other such statements and yet in the next breath, they will say it MUST have happened, solely because of their worldview, not because of the evidence. In fact, one book that you’ve no doubt heard of is “Climbing Mount Improbable”. If it’s so improbable, why does he believe it? To be honest, this should be blatantly obvious, but I’ll provide a few additional illustrations. First, let’s look at some quotations:

• The anti-creationist science writer Boyce Rensberger admits: “At this point, it is necessary to reveal a little inside information about how scientists work, something the textbooks don’t usually tell you. The fact is that scientists are not really as objective and dispassionate in their work as they would like you to think. Most scientists first get their ideas about how the world works not through rigorously logical processes but through hunches and wild guesses. As individuals, they often come to believe something to be true long before they assemble the hard evidence that will convince somebody else that it is. Motivated by faith in his own ideas and a desire for acceptance by his peers, a scientist will labor for years knowing in his heart that his theory is correct but devising experiment after experiment whose results he hopes will support his position.” Anyone familiar with or who has been involved with scientific research in a leadership role knows this to be true.

• Consider this incredible statement from Ernst Mayr regarding the first formation of life. Mmmm, I wonder why he’s discussing abiogenesis in his book entitled “What evolution is”? “In spite of all the theoretical advances that have been made toward solving the problem of the origin of life, the cold fact remains that no one has so far succeeded in creating life in the a laboratory. However, the production of life cannot be too difficult, because it happened on Earth apparently as soon as conditions had become suitable for life, around 3.8 billion years ago. Unfortunately, we have no fossils from the 300 million years between 3.8 and 3.5 billion years ago (italics mine).” Even though we (intelligent beings) have been trying for 100 years, it MUST be EASY because it’s already happened (no less than by random chance!)! If that’s not a statement of philosophical FAITH, than I don’t know what is!

• Michael Ruse (professor of zoology and leading anti-creationist) states in the National post: “Evolution is promoted by its practitioners as more than mere science. Evolution is promulgated as an ideology, a secular religion—a full-fledged alternative to Christianity, with meaning and morality. I am an ardent evolutionist and an ex-Christian, but I must admit that in this one complaint…the literalists are absolutely right. Evolution is a religion. This was true of evolution in the beginning, and it is true of evolution still today…Evolution therefore came into being as a kind of secular ideology, an explicit substitute for Christianity.

• Professor Richard Lewontin (a renowned champion of neo-Darwinism) wrote ”We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.”

• Evolutionary biologist Richard Dickerson says “Science is fundamentally a game. It is a game with one overriding and defining rule: Rule #1: Let us see how far and to what extent we can explain the behavior of the physical and material universe in terms of purely physical and material causes, without invoking the supernatural.”

• Hubert P. Yockey (a non creationist) in “Information Theory and Molecular Biology” states “Although at the beginning the paradigm was worth consideration, now the entire effort in the primeval soup paradigm is self-deception on the ideology of its champions. The history of science shows that a paradigm, once it has achieved the status of acceptance (and is incorporated in textbooks) and regardless of its failures, is declared invalid only when a new paradigm is available to replace it. Belief in a primeval soup on the grounds that no other paradigm is available is an example of the logical fallacy of the false alternative.” (underline mine)

• Pièrre-Paul Grassé, one of Europe’s greatest zoologists and Chair of Evolution at the Sorbonne University, Paris, openly admitted that he did not know how particles-to-people evolution could have happened. In his 1973 book he wrote: “Through use and abuse of hidden postulates, of bold, often ill-founded extrapolations, a pseudoscience has been created. … Biochemists and biologists who adhere blindly to the Darwinist theory search for results that will be in agreement with their theories. … Assuming that the Darwinian hypothesis is correct, they interpret fossil data according to it; it is only logical that [the data] should confirm it; the premises imply the conclusions. … The deceit is sometimes unconscious, but not always, since some people, owing to their sectarianism, purposely overlook reality and refuse to acknowledge the inadequacies and the falsity of their beliefs.”

• Richard Dawkins applauds evolution because he claims that before Darwin it was impossible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist, as he says he is. Another evolutionist has said that the reason evolution became so widely accepted is that it allowed them more freedom to exercise their sexual lifestyles.

• Speaking of atheists, a survey of all the National Academy of Sciences members in biological and physical sciences resulted in just over half responding: 72.2% were overtly atheistic, 20.8% agnostic, and only 7.0% believed in a personal God. Whatever you want to feel the cause and effect to be, the point remains that the vast majority of the promulgators of evolutionary philosophy do not believe in God.

• Richard E. Leakey in “The Making of Mankind” states “Biologists would dearly like to know how modern apes, modern humans and the various ancestral hominids have evolved from a common ancestor. Unfortunately, the fossil record is somewhat incomplete as far as the hominids are concerned, and it is all but blank for the apes. The best we can hope for is that more fossils will be found over the next few years which will fill the present gaps in the evidence.” The author goes on to say: “David Pilbeam [a well-known expert in human evolution] comments wryly, “If you brought in a smart scientist from another discipline and showed him the meager evidence we’ve got he'd surely say, ‘forget it: there isn’t enough to go on’.”

Speaking of the evidence, let’s take a look at evidence for some obvious bias:

• The fact that so many living creatures are similar to each other (like apes and man for example) is wonderful evidence for a common designer. If you look at anything designed today (planes, for example), it makes perfect sense that a designer would have used the same successful features in his creation. Do you think a Boeing 747 “evolved” from a Cessna or were they both designed by a common designer? This would be predicted from the creation model. Yet, evolutionists instead put living things arbitrarily into an evolutionary pattern instead based on no more evidence than their presupposed bias.

• Even the simplest forms of life are irreducibly complex with apparatus working together that could not have evolved independently. They are numerous examples of this that I’ve seen over the years for which evolutionists simply wave their hands and say it MUST of have happened somehow.

• Evolutionary theory predicted a fossil record abundant with transitional forms between various kinds of creatures, even among creatures living today. Instead we find that organisms suddenly appear in the fossil record fully formed with no transitions between kinds. What is the evolutionist’s explanation? Unbelievably, they still hold to the notion that the fossil record is simply incomplete, doing a complete reversal of their position on what you’d “expect” to find only because they didn’t find what they wanted. However, the evidence is in complete harmony with the creation model.

• The fossil record is clearly layered in ecological zones, not “time” zones with sea creatures being buried first in the worldwide flood while larger animals and man appear at higher elevations. Organisms are often found out of place in these layers mixed with other creatures of a completely different “timezone” (and of course the complete geological column is found no where on earth). These layers have been deposited quickly and catastrophically all over the world even capturing animals in the midst of eating others. These layers usually do not show signs of erosion between them indicating they were laid down quickly on top of each other, not over millions of years. The layers are often significantly bent indicating that this occurred when the layers were still soft. In addition, trees and other objects are found upright through “millions of years” of layers. I’ve never heard a reasonable evolutionist explanation for all of these phenomena. However, they are in complete harmony with the creation model.

• Soft tissue and blood cells have often been found in dinosaur bones. Do you think they might consider that they are not very old? NO, they conclude that there must be some amazing way in which they have been preserved for millions of years!

• There are dozens of dating methods that indicate a young earth. Essentially one (the cumulative radioactive methods) can be interpreted to give an old age for the earth. Which one do you think they choose? These same methods give a young age for the earth if you simply choose different assumptions that are just as valid. Samples of known recent age repeatedly show dates of millions or billions of years. If samples of known age cannot be reliably dated than why should we trust samples of unknown age? There are numerous stories of samples being dated that have come up with dates not “acceptable” with the evolutionary picture. Samples continued to be dated until the “right” age is arrived at. Cherry picking isn’t very scientific.

• Dates of hominid remains (by evolutionist own published dates) are completely random with samples of the oldest fossils in the evolutionary tree being found in the most recent materials and essentially modern man being found in the oldest beds. Evolutionists simply cherry pick the samples to come up with an evolutionary tree and ignore the vast number of other samples. This is well documented. No one cares to look at the evidence in total to see if it fits the evolutionary model, because the alternative of belief in God is unacceptable.

The science of physics includes all the current theories of physical relationships from quantum mechanics to relativity to big-bang and ekpyrosis. We don't try to invalidate physics, but each and every one of the theories is up for grabs.

Here is my clinching proof that evolution is a FAITH. You have elevated evolution from a theory to a “Science” comparable to physics which CANNOT be invalidated. You have suggested that science changes with the wind as new evidence is introduced, but that the “fact” of evolution can never change! This statement alone is proof that evolution is a Faith or presupposition to all of the research and theories designed to support the theory.

So what do you say, can we start by discussing "Micro"evolution - "MiE"?

I’ve already answered this question fully in my last post. I do not disagree that some have begun to use the term microevolution to refer to evolution on a “small” scale. Notice what I just said? Micro-“evolution” is “evolution” (the real evolution) on a small scale. This is how it is frequently described and that is falsely equivocating the two terms. An assumption of faith is made that if we observe small changes this proves that “real” evolution is a fact. However, all that has been observed is small changes. Microevolution is NOT evolution on any scale. It is simply an observation of change. This change MUST demonstrate the appearance of new features, not only to the particular creature being observed but also to the entire biosphere to be considered evolution (which is what MUST have happened in the past for evolution to have taken place).

I don’t disagree with the characteristics of microevolution that you have listed. However, this has nothing to do with the real evolution and I don’t see the purpose of continuing down that path. No one disagrees that things change, only that observed changes have anything at all to do with evolution, which is that all life has evolved from a common ancestor over billions of years. Let’s face it, you object to my definition because it would invalidate “small change” examples as proof of evolution and relegate evolution to what it really is - a religious philosophy. This is an overt attempt to cover up the truth to the public by stating that evolution is a scientific fact when it is neither scientific nor a fact.

Let’s try to bring this to a close. It appears that your suggestion going forward is to attempt a definition of “microevolution” and then discuss the “evidence”. However, we’ve not finished defining evolution and our debate regarding the definition should really not hinge on the evidence, despite the fact that we’ve been flirting with it on a regular basis.

Historically, a belief in long ages for the earth and a materialistic explanation for how life on earth came about was the foundation of Darwinism. This foundation cannot be separated from the theory evolution. “Microevolution” is simply natural selection at work. It is “adaptation”. It is the ability God designed into his creation that allows organisms to adapt to changing environments. This adaptation or “change in species over time” is always in the direction OPPOSITE of what is required of evolution. This change MUST be measured against a yardstick, which is the “definition of the theory of evolution” that I have been espousing, to be considered evolution.

If I let my Volkswagen sit in the driveway for years until the doors rust off, that is a change in my car over time, but is it evolution? Obviously not! However, if it develops a hybrid engine by itself and turns its body into a sleek Ferrari, then it is evolution. Change in species must support the theory that all life on earth evolved from a common ancestor over millions of years, otherwise it cannot be considered evolution. That is the yardstick, the definition of evolution against which it must be measured. If scientists ever demonstrate an example of change that supports real evolution (that is that all life of earth evolved from a common ancestor over billions of years), then they can call that particular example evolution. However, finches, bacteria and moths are not examples of evolution and to insist that they are is deceitful.

On the other hand, you have still failed to address any of the arguments I have made in support of my position. The position you haven taken supports what I have been saying all along regarding what evolutionists do. You are implying that any observed change in species proves that all life on earth descended from one, or now perhaps several, common ancestors over billions of years because that change can simply be extrapolated backward to some distant past. This is a completely invalid assertion and hinges on having a presupposed FAITH in evolution to be believable.

To close, I suggest we proceed by having you address the logical arguments that I have made in support of my definition, which I feel are compelling, and answer the questions that I have posed. I can attempt to restate them again, perhaps more succinctly, if you’d like. Evidence comes afterward, and only if it’s not being discussed elsewhere, if we can ever get to that point. I initially entered this forum to hear what arguments evolutionists would propose in response to the vast and overwhelming array of evidence to the contrary. The majority of that discussion is obviously in the evidence, but it hinges on the definitions first. While you have confirmed what I expected to hear on this particular topic, my ultimate purpose in participating further would be to have the definitions on this forum modified to accurately reflect the true definition of evolution so that everyone can debate on equal footing instead of having it biased in the evolutionists favor. At minimum I’d expect an evolutionist and creationist set of definitions. Regards…mw.

GREAT DEBATE - RAZD and MurkyWaters only


This message is a reply to:
 Message 22 by RAZD, posted 11-12-2006 2:16 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 24 by RAZD, posted 11-22-2006 11:19 PM MurkyWaters has not yet responded
 Message 25 by RAZD, posted 12-10-2006 11:42 AM MurkyWaters has responded

RAZD
Member
Posts: 19759
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 5.8


Message 24 of 121 (365524)
11-22-2006 11:19 PM
Reply to: Message 23 by MurkyWaters
11-22-2006 11:15 AM


too much for one night ... more later if we get back to it.

GREAT DEBATE - RAZD and MurkyWaters only

Just some high points for tonight (and strangely, I'll be away tomorrow for some pagan festival of sorts having to do with killing pumkins and making bird pie :D)

No. There is the “theory of evolution” ...

I'm skipping this for now. I do plan to get back to it.

No. If one person defines a dog as “a hairy creature” and someone else defines it as “a creature with sharp teeth” and we know both statements are true, ...

But in neither case have you started with a definition of "dog" and what you have is mammal (fur bearing) likely carnivorous (sharp teeth).

quote:
dog - n
1. A domesticated carnivorous mammal (Canis familiaris) related to the foxes and wolves and raised in a wide variety of breeds.
2. Any of various carnivorous mammals of the family Canidae, such as the dingo.
3. A male animal of the family Canidae, especially of the fox or a domesticated breed.

Which makes you look up Canidae, which leads back to dogs, wolves and foxes.

But you can see that this definition already starts with both fur and carnivorous teeth plus other features NOT included in your straw man examples. Thus both these features are essential to the definition and cannot be pared away.

Then a starting point {A} at the origin of life and an ending point {B} of today would be perfectly valid then, wouldn’t it?

Make point {A} AFTER the origin of life and it would be valid.

As I said it could be from any point {A} life to any point {B} life.

Then a starting point {A} at after the origin of life and an ending point {B} of today would be perfectly valid then, wouldn’t it?

So yes, it would be valid, but it would not be necessary to do so. That is the difference. As I said:

... taking any known starting point {A} and investigating the changes that get you to known ending point {B}.

This is also very difficult for those places where there are gaps in the fossil record.

But the fossil record is not needed to show that evolution occurs: we can do that with experiments and observations in today's world.

For some reason you seem to think that the fossil evidence can be “tested”.

What the fossil record really is, essentially, is a prediction test of evolution: evolution predicts that any gap in the fossil record was filled by intermediate organisms, thus if any are found from the right time and place they will show transitional - intermediate - forms between the before and after fossils.

Thus palaeontologists went specifically to an area of the high Arctic on Ellesmere Island in the Nunavut Territory to look specifically for a specific transitional - intermediate - form between fish and land animals: they knew the areas was correct for the time period and habitat - back when the organisms lived (although it was substantially changed since then), and they found it:

quote:
http://tiktaalik.uchicago.edu/fossil.html
Before the discovery of Tiktaalik we knew that limbed animals (tetrapods) were well along their way to invading land by the Late Devonian (around 360 million years ago).

http://tiktaalik.uchicago.edu/geo_setting.html
Tiktaalik was found in the Canadian Arctic, at approximately 78° North latitude. The climate is extremely harsh for all but a few weeks of each year. During this time, the ground only thaws 6 inches below the surface, making it very difficult for large plants to grow.

http://tiktaalik.uchicago.edu/geo_setting2.html
Three hundred and seventy-five million years ago in the Devonian, the world did not look anything like it does today. First of all, the climate was much warmer overall, so the north and south pole were not covered in ice. Secondly, the continents were not arranged in the same way as they are today. The continent Tiktaalik lived on was not located at 78° N. Instead, it was located almost entirely in the southern hemisphere. And the stream Tiktaalik probably lived in was located in the Northern part of that continent, very close to the Equator.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiktaalik
Jennifer A. Clack, a Cambridge University expert on tetrapod evolution, said of Tiktaalik, "It's one of those things you can point to and say, 'I told you this would exist,' and there it is." According to a New Scientist article,

"After five years of digging on Ellesmere Island, in the far north of Nunavut, they hit pay dirt: a collection of several fish so beautifully preserved that their skeletons were still intact. As Shubin's team studied the species they saw to their excitement that it was exactly the missing intermediate they were looking for. 'We found something that really split the difference right down the middle,' says Daeschler." [11]

Thus they took an {A} (Devonian fish with features homologous with later tetrapods) and a {B} (the first known tetrapods) where there was a gap (no known transitional), predicted what an organism intermediate between {A} and {B} would be like, where it would be living and when (in the geological column) it would have existed.

Then they found it.

While I realize your not going back far enough to include the origin of life, the chance of ONE ancestral species developing from nothing is infinitesimal (impossible by most accounts). The chance of a “small set” is billions of magnitudes smaller. How can you even entertain this possibility?

Sorry but this is a pure argument from incredulity based on ignorance and misrepresentation. Look at the old improbable probability problem particularly the answer by (self declared) creationist mathematics major DivineBeginning, .. or rather his lack of response on the issue of false calculations and unknowns that make any such "calculation" wild guessing at best, coupled with known egregious errors in the way the calculations are done.

For example of the problem:

quote:
Message 35
For example: I hold three faceted solids in my hand, the sides may or may not be regular or equal, the number of sides may or may not all be the same on all three, the markings may or may not all be the same on all three:
What is the probability that I will throw a "7" when I throw these objects onto the table.
Please supply your computations.

And for an easy reminder that improbableimpossible, what do you get when you divide improbable (>0) by impossible (==0)?

The point at which we would say something is practically impossible has been defined by mathematicians as something like 10**-20 (-20th power). That is, the probably is so low, we’re not likely to experience it in the lifetime of the universe. I believe the probably calculated for abiogenesis is something like 10**-2000.

"Defined" by creationists and IDologists in order to promote a straw man argument involving the use of completely invalid calculations as some kind of mathematical "proof" of reality.

I'll believe that you can make this calculation with some vague kind of authority when you solve the 3 dice result = 7 problem above: in addition to the calculation being a false calculation of the probability for even the straw man examples they use.

But even then it will be a false argument. Why? because mathematics does not force reality to comply with whatever is calculated.

The best a mathematical model can do is model reality to make predictions: if those predictions are matched by reality then the model can be used to make more predictions, but if the model fails to predict reality then the model is invalid, not reality.

I would be happy to start with the precept that evolution is only macroevolution. We already know that what keeps microevolution from becoming macroevolution is the fact that it is not evolution.

Did you not agree that microevolution was change in species over time?

Exactly. Microevolution (MiE) happens within "kinds" (whatever those turn out to be). The sticking point is the "macro"evolution (MaE) versus creation of kinds - the issue of common ancestry of higher taxon groups.

I don’t disagree with the characteristics of microevolution that you have listed. However, this has nothing to do with the real evolution and I don’t see the purpose of continuing down that path. No one disagrees that things change, only that observed changes have anything at all to do with evolution, which is that all life has evolved from a common ancestor over billions of years.

Having said all of that, I agree that “scientists” study aspects of the theory of evolution. However, the vast majority of the activity is involved with present day operational scientific mechanisms and sub theories as I’ve stated that have nothing to do with real evolution.

And you are still conflating your personal inflated definition of "real evolution" with macroevolution levels of change and other non-essentials and then just asserting that it doesn't happen.

Let's investigate the limits of MiE first, then see where we are. Take this as your opportunity to prove that

Microevolution is NOT evolution on any scale. It is simply an observation of change. This change MUST demonstrate the appearance of new features, ...

Cannot happen in any of my examples ... without your straw man addition of:

... not only to the particular creature being observed but also to the entire biosphere to be considered evolution (which is what MUST have happened in the past for evolution to have taken place).

Why should one creature change the whole biosphere? Where does evolution even come CLOSE to claiming this "biospheric" effect?

You do NOT get to require evolution to show something that is NOT part of the science. When you debate the merits of a science you use the terms and concepts and theories of that science or you are talking about something else (usually fantasy).

Later. Have a happy T-day.

Enjoy.

GREAT DEBATE - RAZD and MurkyWaters only


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This message is a reply to:
 Message 23 by MurkyWaters, posted 11-22-2006 11:15 AM MurkyWaters has not yet responded

RAZD
Member
Posts: 19759
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 5.8


Message 25 of 121 (368807)
12-10-2006 11:42 AM
Reply to: Message 23 by MurkyWaters
11-22-2006 11:15 AM


Microevolution Case #1 - Foraminifera

GREAT DEBATE - RAZD and MurkyWaters only

Murk, seeing as you seem to be taking a breather from this debate, and perhaps collect some thoughts, I have pushed on to provide the first of the three cases I {suggested\discussed\promised} previously.

This will allow you to see my intentions and to comment on those items directly without having to rehash the micro\macro issue yet.

First, what are forams?

From Ref (1):
quote:
The Foraminifera, or forams for short, are a large group of amoeboid protists with reticulating pseudopods, fine strands of cytoplasm that branch and merge to form a dynamic net. They typically produce a shell, or test, which can have either one or multiple chambers, some becoming quite elaborate in structure. ... They are usually less than 1 mm in size, but some are much larger, and the largest recorded specimen reached 19 cm.

The form and composition of the test is the primary means by which forams are identified and classified. Most have calcareous tests, composed of calcium carbonate. In other forams the test may be composed of organic material, made from small pieces of sediment cemented together (agglutinated), and in one genus of silica. Openings in the test, including those that allow cytoplasm to flow between chambers, are called apertures.

Tests are known as fossils as far back as the Cambrian period, and many marine sediments are composed primarily of them. For instance, the limestone that makes up the pyramids of Egypt is composed almost entirely of nummulitic benthic foraminifera. Forams may also make a significant contribution to the overall deposition of calcium carbonate in coral reefs.


Click to enlarge

(Phase-contrast photomicrograph by Scott Fay, UC Berkeley, 2005. Image copied from wikipedia to save bandwidth. This image is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike License v. 2.5: )

The image above shows the protoplasm covered test (shell) and several pseudopods of a living species of foraminifera. Fossil species would be similar, with different shape shells and different numbers of pseudopods (limited by the number of holes in the shells).

Also: http://www.eforams.icsr.agh.edu.pl/index.php/TAXONOMY
- DOMAIN: Eukaryota (Whittaker & Margulis, 1978)
- KINGDOM: Protista (Haeckel, 1866 ..... See Phylogeny of Protista)
- PHYLUM: Granoloreticulosa
- ORDER: Foraminiferida (Eichwald, 1830)

Forams are an 'order' in the macro-taxonomic classifications system, with 'suborders', 'superfamilies' and 'families' before we get down to the species level discussed below (we need not be concerned with the levels of taxonomy at this point in the debate, this is just for information).

The Fossil Record

from Ref (2):
quote:
In recent years, however, scientists began revisiting the oceans, ... Some intriguing results turned up recently in the laboratories of two Florida State University (FSU) marine paleontologists.

Tony Arnold and Bill Parker compiled what may be the largest, most complete set of data on the evolutionary history of any group of organisms, marine or otherwise. The two scientists amassed something that their land-based colleagues only dreamed about: An intact fossil record with no missing links.

"It's all here--a virtually complete evolutionary record," says Arnold. "There are other good examples, but this is by far the best. We're seeing the whole picture of how this group of organisms has changed throughout most of its existence on Earth."

But it's the planktonic variety that chiefly interests Parker and Arnold. Unlike their oversized cousins, free-swimming forams are found almost everywhere in the oceans. Their fossilized skeletons, in fact, were among some of the first biological material recovered from deep ocean bottoms by scientists in the 1850s. For nearly a century, geologists have used the tiny fossils to help establish the age of sediments and to gain insight into prehistoric climates.

Only since the 1960s, though, have scientists begun to fully appreciate fossil forams' potential as a tool for use in evolutionary studies and a host of Earth sciences as well. Advanced deep-sea drilling techniques, combined with computer-assisted analytical tools, have ushered in a whole new vista of foram research. Arnold and Parker are among the first scientists to harness sophisticated technology to a foram project for the express purpose of studying evolution.

As he speaks, Arnold shows a series of microphotographs, depicting the evolutionary change wrought on a single foram species. "This is the same organism, as it existed through 500,000 years," he says. "We've got hundreds of examples like this, complete life and evolutionary histories for dozens of species."


Click to enlarge

(Image copied from ref (2) to save bandwidth. This same image also appears on ref (4).)

About 330 species of living and extinct planktonic forams have been classified so far. After thorough examinations of marine sediments collected from around the world, micropaleontologists now suspect these are just about all the free-floating forams that ever existed.

The species collection also is exceptionally well-preserved, which accounts largely for the excitement shared by Parker and Arnold. "Most fossils, particularly those of the vertebrates, are fragmented--just odds and ends," says Parker. "But these fossils are almost perfectly preserved, despite being millions of years old."

By being so small, the fossil shells escaped nature's grinding and crushing forces, which over the eons have in fact destroyed most evidence of life on Earth. The extraordinary condition of the shells permits the paleontologists to study in detail not only how a whole species develops, but how individual animals develop from birth to adulthood.


What we have essentially is a jig-saw puzzle with all but maybe 2 or 3 pieces, the whole picture is evident, and where there are a few gaps, these are surrounded by other data that help complete the picture.

This picture shows a continual process of change in species over time, fully realized and documented microevolution, with no reappearance of archaic types in modern species, no "backing and filling" as we see with Peppered Moths and Galapagos Finches, because speciation has occurred, and change moves on to new mutations and new selections of those mutations.

We see significant change in the shape of the shell of one species as it evolves over a period of 6.5 million years.

Conclusions

Several conclusions are readily apparent from this information that apply directly to the issue of microevolution:
  • Microevolution has occurred.
  • Microevolution has been documented over several successive generations of species, and not for just one speciation event.
  • Microevolution is therefore a fact in this fossil record.
  • Because further speciation occurs, microevolution does not limit subsequent changes once speciation has occurred (beyond what can occur through mutation and natural selection of the then existing species - more microevolution).

But that's not all we can glean from this example of microevolution.

Other information

Other facts from Ref (1):
quote:
Because of their diversity, abundance, and complex morphology, fossil foraminiferal assemblages are useful for biostratigraphy, and can accurately give relative dates to rocks. The oil industry relies heavily on microfossils such as forams to find potential oil deposits.

The foraminiferan life-cycle involves an alternation between haploid and diploid generations, although they are mostly similar in form. The haploid or gamont initially has a single nucleus, and divides to produce numerous gametes, which typically have two flagella. The diploid or schizont is multinucleate, and after meiosis fragments to produce new gamonts. Multiple rounds of asexual reproduction between sexual generations is not uncommon in benthic forms.



Forams are used to relatively date marine sedimentary layers due to the distinct morphological differences of the different species.

Also see Ref (5) for more information on relative dating with forams.

Forams reproduce by both sexual and asexual means.

Other facts from Ref (2):

quote:
Through dating analysis, he and his colleague showed that the forams could produce a whole new species in as little as 200,000 years--speedy by Darwinian standards. "But as fast as this is, it's still far too slow to be classed as punctuational," says Arnold.

It may be in what the foram record suggests about how life copes with mass annihilation that eventually draws the most attention to the FSU paleontologists' work. The geologic record has been prominently scarred by a series of global cataclysims of unknown, yet hotly debated, origin. Each event, whether rapid or slow, wreaked wholesale carnage on Earth's ecology, wiping out countless species that had taken millions of years to produce. Biologists have always wondered how life bounces back after such sweeping devastation.

One of the last great extinctions occurred roughly 66 million years ago and, according to one popular theory, it resulted from Earth's receiving a direct hit from a large asteroid. Whatever the cause, the event proved to be the dinosaurs' coup de grace, and so wiped out a good portion of the marine life--including almost all species of planktonic forams.

The ancient record of foram evolution reveals that the story of recovery after extinction is indeed busy and colorful. "What we've found suggests that the rate of speciation increases dramatically in a biological vacuum," says Parker. "After the Cretaceous extinction, the few surviving foram species rapidly evolved into new species, and for the first time we're able to see just how this happens, and how fast."

As the available niches fill up with these new creatures, the speciation rates slow down, and the pressure from competition between species appears to bear down in earnest. The extinction rate then rises accordingly. This scenario, says Arnold, suggests that the speciation process is sensitive to how fully packed the biosphere is with other species, not the number of individuals.



The shortest observed time interval for speciation was 200,000 years.

The rate of speciation was observed to increase after a major extinction event as there was less natural selection pressure from competition between species on new mutations in their ability to fill available ecological niches.

Other facts from Ref (3):

quote:
One of the findings already is being described -- perhaps too hastily -- as disproving Cope's Rule, so named for it's synthesis by the American paleontologist Edward Drinker Cope (1840-97). The time-honored evolutionary principle basically holds that all animal groups tend to start out small and increase in size over time.

"We've found out that apparently, lineages don't exactly work that way," Arnold said. "Many of the forams start out small, and essentially stay that way until extinction. Others do manage to wander into dramatically larger sizes, but they're the rare ones."

But the find doesn't necessarily contradict what Cope said, only what many scientists think he said, says Parker. "Cope's observation was simply that there are a few extremely large examples (of individuals) in any given lineage, and these examples always occur at the later stages of the organism's development. And that's apparently true.

"But our findings show that the vast majority of forams start small and end small, even though the mean size increases somewhat due to a few very large specimens. As you get more and more species evolving, some of them eventually manage to get moderately to very large, but most of them don't increase in size at all."

Of late, much ado has been made of the theory of punctuated equilibrium, formulated in the early 1970s by two paleontologists, Niles Eldredge and Stephen Jay Gould. New species may arise fairly quickly (over thousands instead of millions of years) from small animal populations that somehow become isolated, the theory postulates. Intermediate stages are thus too fleeting to become fixed in the fossil record.

Adherents of Darwin's theory of gradualism, in which new species slowly branch off from original stock, should be delighted by what the FSU researchers have found. The foram record clearly reveals a robust, highly branched evolutionary tree, complete with Darwin's predicted "dead ends" -- varieties that lead nowhere -- and a profusion of variability in sizes and body shapes. Moreover, transitional forms between species are readily apparent, making it relatively easy to track ancestor species to their descendants.

In short, the finding upholds Darwin's lifelong conviction that "nature does not proceed in leaps," but rather is a system perpetually growing in extreme slow-motion. This means that, in foram evolution at least, the highly touted Eldredge-Gould theory of punctuated equilibrium apparently doesn't work.

In divulging this revelation, Arnold could be forgiven for taking a modicum of perverse glee, the kind a highschool smart-aleck displays when he catches the teacher in a mistake. Gould, now among the most famous scientists in the world, directed Arnold's Harvard dissertation. But there's no room for that here, he says. Arnold maintains a warm professional relationship with his former mentor, who paid his lab a visit when FSU's Distinguished Lecture Series brought him to campus last year. Gould concedes that the forams don't fit his model of punctuated equilibrium, Arnold said.

"He was characteristically pleased to be contradicted with this information. His immediate response was that the forams are probably a special case."



We will see Cope's "Rule" again in the next installment of microevolution cases (#2), so I include it here to preview the concept and to show that it does not always apply (as obviously it doesn't when you have island populations with smaller species than on a mainland).

The issue of punctuated equilibrium ("PunkEek") is a side issue in the evolution versus creation debate, but one that seems to reflect kinds to creationists and evolution to evolutionists. It is my opinion that this does not come into play until there is active sexual selection in a species that can select for an averaged individual type - stasis - and that until that stage is reached there should be no evidence of punkeek. That would match the evidence we see here - an organism that engages in random sexual reproduction and random asexual reproduction would not have this stasis selecting mechanism. Thus we will have to deal with this issue later if we come to evidence for punkeek.

Further Conclusions

Conclusions that bear on the debate here and further discussion of microevolution (MiE) in the next examples (yet to come):
  • The different age fossils form discrete layers in marine sediment that are identifiable around the world. These fossils all have essentially the same density, size and structure, and are generally less dense than surrounding marine sediment. These different age layers, now that Palmer and Arnold have classified the evolution of the different species of forams, are sorted by age AND evolution within the marine sediment, a fact that cannot be accomplished by any mixed water world wide flood scenario. (WW Flood concept falsified by this evidence)
  • With several generations of speciation observed and the shortest observed time interval for speciation of 200,000 years, the layers of marine sediment together with the evolutionary structure of the foram fossils embedded within it, AND the evidence of the KT extinction event within the data, document an old age of the earth, much older than any YEC model can manage to accommodate. (Young Earth concept falsified by this evidence)
  • Cope's "rule" was observed in some species and not in others, so it is not a universal "rule" or "law" (no real surprise there).
  • PunkEek was not observed in any of the speciation events in this fossil record, even though there was evidence of more and less rapid rates of evolution, particularly in response to the ecological vacuum created by the KT mass extinction event (at the end of the age of dinosaurs).
  • These organisms reproduce by random sexual and asexual means, and do not have an active sexual selection mechanism that could lead to stasis (and thus to the possibility of punkeek).
  • There could be other causes for PunkEek as well, that would not affect foraminifera.

I think that's enough for now.

Enjoy.



References:

(1) "Foraminifera" - wikipedia article (subject to change)

(2) "Evolution at Sea - a Complete Fossil Record from the Ocean Upholds Darwin's Gradualism Theories" adapted from an article that first appeared in Research in Review, published by Florida State University, revised Oct. 1997

(3) "The Foram Fossils: A Classic Tale of Transition - Did darwin have it right about how species evolve?" ibid, revised Oct. 1995

(4) "A Smooth Fossil Transition: Foraminifera" - with links to ref (2) and (3) by Don Lindsay, last modified: 1 December 1998

(5)"Biostratigraphic Chart of the Gulf of Mexico Offshore Region, Jurassic to Quaternary" (pdf), Witrock, R. B., A. R. Friedmann, J. J. Galluzzo, L. D. Nixon, P. J. Post, and K. M. Ross, 2003, Biostratigraphic chart of the Gulf of Publication 60, p. 155-177. American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin, v. 84, p. 1905-1928. Mexico offshore region, Jurassic to Quaternary, U. S. Department of the Interior, Minerals Management Service, New Orleans.

Note: (3) and (4) contain the same basic information as reference (2) but (3) is an earlier date, and may be an online copy of the original paper.

GREAT DEBATE - RAZD and MurkyWaters only

Edited by RAZD, : added ref (5) per Coragyps Message 86 (Thread REAL Flood Geology)


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This message is a reply to:
 Message 23 by MurkyWaters, posted 11-22-2006 11:15 AM MurkyWaters has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 26 by MurkyWaters, posted 12-31-2006 5:27 PM RAZD has responded

MurkyWaters
Member (Idle past 4125 days)
Posts: 56
From: USA
Joined: 07-21-2006


Message 26 of 121 (373218)
12-31-2006 5:27 PM
Reply to: Message 25 by RAZD
12-10-2006 11:42 AM


Re: Getting back on track

GREAT DEBATE - RAZD and MurkyWaters only

You know, sometimes things happen. Sorry it’s been so long, but I hope this post begins to direct us back to the core of the debate. This post is a combined response to your last 2 (24 and 25).

But in neither case have you started with a definition of "dog”

I most certainly have. It is totally reasonable that if you asked someone what a dog is they might say “a small to medium size animal with sharp teeth” or whatever. But that’s completely beside the point which apparently you are missing – that is you cannot take a bunch of descriptions of evolution, each of which is different and simply strip out the characteristics that don’t suit you. You cannot say that they are all just change over time, because some “change over time” is very different than other “change over time”.

But the fossil record is not needed to show that evolution occurs: we can do that with experiments and observations in today's world.

You are again playing with the definitions. There are NO experiments or observations in today’s world that can show evolution has occurred because it supposedly happened in the past. It is only occurring today by YOUR definition, not the real one. Darwin himself recognized the importance of the fossil record as the most serious objection to his theory. After millions of fossil finds they still do not support the theory as Darwin lamented “Why is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links?” I personally consider the fossil record as an invalidation of the theory. However, the point is that if Darwin considered the fossil record essential, how can you state it is not needed? So if evolutionists needed to rely so heavily on the fossil record before, what has changed? Apparently you want to redefine evolution to suite the lack of evidence! Therefore, Of course the fossil record is not needed, because you’ve changed the definition!

What the fossil record really is, essentially, is a prediction test of evolution: evolution predicts that any gap in the fossil record was filled by intermediate organisms…Tiktaalik.

We seem to be delving far from definitions, but at the risk of starting another side track, I’ll respond briefly. If the fossil record supported evolution, it should be abundantly evident. Instead, only a handful of highly debatable transitional forms have ever been found. In fact, by many evolutionists’ own admissions, there is not even a single clearly evident transitional form. This is further substantiated from all of the overt celebrating of the supposed transitional form Tiktaalik, a relatively recent discovery, so we’ll just have to wait until the hype dies down and it’s shown to be another piece of non-evidence. Coelacanth was once considered an extinct transitional form that lived 70 million years ago because of its “feet” until it was discovered to be living today using its lobed fins to swim around like a regular fish! All that Tiktaalik appears to be is another example of a lobe-finned fish.

You must remember that Evolutionists are desperately looking for evidence to support their theory and so will interpret any find in that way. Clearly all current life on earth could be arranged in an evolutionary pattern, but this is completely without evidence. If you took a fossilized snapshot of all life on earth today it would look very similar to the current fossil record and would be interpreted by evolutionists in exactly the same way – bacteria evolving into amoebas evolving into fish evolving into lizards evolving into birds etc. even though everything was “created” at the beginning of our snapshot. It’s so clearly evident, if you look at the evidence with a different presupposition, that most of the fossil record is simply a snapshot of life that was abundant on the earth at the time of the flood and it’s after effects with relatively rare fossilizations of higher life forms occurring afterward.

Regarding the probability of evolution you say:

"Defined" by creationists and IDologists in order to promote a straw man argument involving the use of completely invalid calculations as some kind of mathematical "proof" of reality.

First of all, the limits of probability are not defined by creationists, they are defined by mathematicians. Second, the calculation of evolutionary probabilities, are not invalid simply because creation scientists may have come up with them (which may or may not be the case). In fact, if they did they have certainly been promoted by others as well. I don’t know what calculations you are looking at, but the ones I have seen are completely reasonable by any standards. For example, the random chance of correct alphabetic sequences of only 27 characters is astronomical. To consider the chance of even the simplest DNA sequence creating itself is mind boggling. I don’t know much about the international society for complexity, information and design but they don’t seem like a creationist organization and they have a detailed paper on the calculation of one of these probabilities here: http://www.iscid.org/pcid/2002/1/4/mullan_primitive_cell.php.

To be honest, I have NEVER read an evolutionist paper on this subject where they didn’t lament the fact that the chances of abiogenisis was astronomically small, but always believe it anyway simply because it “must” have occurred, not because of the evidence but because if it did not, then their world view collapses. I provided a quote from Ernst Mayr in my last post. “Intelligent” scientists have been attempting to do this unsuccessfully in the laboratory for a hundred years now, and we are to believe that it just happened by chance? Even if they were to do it, all it would probably prove is that it takes an intelligent designer to create life. The more we learn about the intricacies of even the simplest organism, the less the probability becomes.

Anyway, this is completely off the subject of our definitions. I’ll read your forum on this sometime in the future, but for now I need to spend my time keeping the definitions going.

The best a mathematical model can do is model reality to make predictions: if those predictions are matched by reality then the model can be used to make more predictions, but if the model fails to predict reality then the model is invalid, not reality.

Since the model predicts that it is impossible for life to have evolved from non-life, and indeed it has not, then I would say it confirms reality and the law of biogenesis (again).

Why should one creature change the whole biosphere? Where does evolution even come CLOSE to claiming this "biospheric" effect?

I think you misunderstood. Back in the days of the supposed primordial soup, there were no birds, mammals, bacteria etc. The features that arose in these evolved organisms (such as feathers, blood cells or flagella) were completely new to life on planet Earth (the biosphere), never having been seen before, not just a re-shuffling of information already present. Do we observe today the formation of completely new features in animals that we have never seen before? It’s hard to imagine what these might even be. The discovery channel has done a pretty good job if you’ve ever seen their flights of fancy (fiction) regarding future “evolved” creatures. Have we perhaps seen an owl develop a new “flashlight” appendage on their heads made up of a completely new living luminescent material that reflects off a bony mirrored background that directs the light so they can see their prey better? Maybe an animal that has evolved a new purple blood and organs that absorb and convert sound waves into nutritional needs? We’ve had billions of years. If the universe is so fertile where are all the silicon based or other non-carbon based creatures like the Star Trek’s Horta? Oh wait….the average length of beak finches fluctuate!!! That PROVES evolution so we are SURE to see new creatures like that someday. Let’s invent more things and portray them as facts on the discovery channel!

Did you not agree that microevolution was change in species over time? …And you are still conflating your personal inflated definition of "real evolution" with macroevolution levels of change… Let's investigate the limits of MiE first…Take this as your opportunity to prove that [the appearance of completely new features] cannot happen in any of my examples.

I’ve already clearly and unequivocally shown that the definition of “real evolution” is not my “personal” one as it is substantiated by every source we have looked at. By definition, microevolution is not “real” evolution. You’re putting the cart before the horse. It’s interesting to talk about the evidence, but it isn’t and should not be required to define what evolution is. In fact, evidence can be used to support evolution, but not before we’ve defined what evolution is. I’ll respond briefly to your post on Foraminifers out of courtesy to the work you put into it, but I don’t plan to proceed down those lines because it is simply a distraction from our main discussion. You are avoiding the real arguments regarding the definitions so I will suggest we take it a step at a time in that direction instead which I’ll further elaborate on later

Regarding the Foraminifers, I’m surprised you have raised this example. You have just finished telling me that the fossil record is not necessary to confirm evolution and the first example you raise is from the fossil record. You just don’t seem to get it regarding the fossil record. We are looking at evidence from the past. You cannot prove or disprove anything. It is only the preponderance of the evidence that matters. All evidence is INTERPRETED by the presuppositions that you hold. If this were not true you would no longer believe in evolution because the fossil record taken as a whole overwhelmingly supports the creation model.

The Chalk beds (consisting of forams, among others) were laid down during and shortly after the flood in “blooms” due to vast amounts of decaying matter which could easily account for incredible numbers of extremely small organisms (procreating like bacteria) being laid down in various stages of development due to rapidly changing temperatures, food sources etc. While I don’t have time for further research now, I am very suspect that these “species” are that distinct, just like the geological column which is found no where on earth. I believe these creatures are usually considered index fossils so I am also very suspect that age determinations are accurate and probably circular as well since these beds cannot be dated directly. “Billions of years” dating methods are a joke as they are extremely inaccurate, almost always determined by cherry picking the “appropriate” dates, are completely inconsistent with each other, and consistently date items of known recent age at millions or billions of years. In addition, some forams have re-appeared in the fossil record after disappearing which some evolutionists have argued refutes Darwinism. Some research has been done on how Forams support an ecological zonation model (rather than time zones), but I have no time to check this out right now. Perhaps that is insufficient for now, but this topic deserves its own thread and I would be perhaps willing to participate after we finish this one. If we do it now, we’ll never finish the definitions. Overall, I find it unconvincing.

Nevertheless, there are a few interesting observations in the thread itself that deserve a moment of reflection. It’s interesting that general uniformitarianism has given way to various catastrophic theories that are mentioned, while no one wants to admit the flood is the obvious one to harmoniously explain all the evidence. If it is true that the Foram findings uphold Darwin's lifelong conviction that "nature does not proceed in leaps," but rather is a system perpetually growing in extreme slow-motion, then this makes the fossil record much less believable with its many gaps and much more easily explained with the creation model. However, as the article goes on, the concept of evolution is so plastic it can account for absolutely any evidence. This is because it is really a closely held philosophical belief with no need to conform to the facts. Therefore, some creatures experience punctuated equilibrium and some don’t, some species must become extinct to evolve into others and some don’t etc.

Ok, let’s review what we’ve said about definitions and take this a small step at a time. First, I would like to confirm that we are even attempting to define the same thing. My arguments have revolved around the definition of the “Theory of Evolution” NOT “processes” or the “science”. Although I’ve never seen any importance placed on these distinctions in the literature, apparently I need to confirm it here.

By the way, as far as I’m concerned any discussion of evolution is completely irrelevant except for it’s implications to the origin and meaning of life. It’s a waste of time to argue for arguments sake. Most thoughtful people at some time in there lives wonder about why they are here and where they might be going. Evolution is an alternate explanation for the creation event. Evolution greatly impacts our thoughts and influences our behaviors, good or bad. All prolific evolutionary writers have clearly recognized this.

While our debate has focused on biological evolution, scientists pull the concept of evolution together into a comprehensive explanation for the origins of the universe and everything we know through purely naturalistic means. This is extremely relevant to our understanding of why people believe what they do. It often has little to do with the evidence. It is also extremely relevant to biological evolution. If the universe did not come about by itself (rather it was created by God), there is no reason to believe that life came about by itself. If God created the first prototype, there is no reason to deny that he created the first kinds instead. Therefore, arguments against other forms of evolution are also arguments against biological evolution. If abiogenesis is impossible then discussions of biological evolution are totally mute.

Ignoring that for the moment, however, let’s continue in small steps...You have ignored the majority of my arguments, so I really insist that you respond to the following if we are to keep this going in the right direction: Your contention has been that the theory of evolution can be stated as “Change in species over time” (I’ll abbreviate this to CISOT). If evolution is CISOT, then changes in moth, bacteria and finch populations (and others, for which no one including creationists disagree), have proved evolution to be true and therefore evolution is a fact, not a theory. Not only is it a fact, but it cannot be disproved. It cannot be considered a theory since there is no falsifiable test. You have admitted this already by conflating evolution with a branch of “science” which can never be disproved. So if evolution is a fact, then why do definitions state that it is a theory? Why is there any debate about this topic at all? When exactly did it become a fact? Are sources simply out of date and haven’t caught up to recent research?

Have a happy and blessed New Year! (Sincerely)….mw

p.s. It’s interesting that we really know little or nothing about each other. Is that intentional? I feel like I’m breaking a rule if I ask. Is that the case? I suppose if we find out that one of us is a senior PHD scientist and another one a young bum on the street with internet access, it might bias our outlooks, even though the arguments should speak for themselves. I will be the first to admit that I know far from everything about this subject, but have a passion for it and am open to any rational discussion (or irrational, I suppose, if it’s not prolonged!).

GREAT DEBATE - RAZD and MurkyWaters only


This message is a reply to:
 Message 25 by RAZD, posted 12-10-2006 11:42 AM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 27 by RAZD, posted 12-31-2006 9:37 PM MurkyWaters has responded
 Message 28 by RAZD, posted 01-01-2007 9:33 AM MurkyWaters has responded
 Message 50 by RAZD, posted 02-18-2007 1:50 PM MurkyWaters has responded

RAZD
Member
Posts: 19759
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 5.8


Message 27 of 121 (373273)
12-31-2006 9:37 PM
Reply to: Message 26 by MurkyWaters
12-31-2006 5:27 PM


Getting back on track? or still dragged back off track?

GREAT DEBATE - RAZD and MurkyWaters only

You know, sometimes things happen. Sorry it’s been so long, but I hope this post begins to direct us back to the core of the debate.

Welcome back, it was beginning to feel like I was debating myself.

But in neither case have you started with a definition of "dog”

I most certainly have. It is totally reasonable that if you asked someone what a dog is they might say “a small to medium size animal with sharp teeth” or whatever.

No because this "definition" applies equally to dogs, cats, rats, minks, raccoons, wolverines, opossums, tazmanian devils, lizards, snakes, fish, arachnids (tarantula) and possibly even some insects (depending on how far "small" goes). As this list includes things that are definitely NOT dogs, the definition is not complete.

But that’s completely beside the point which apparently you are missing – that is you cannot take a bunch of descriptions of evolution, each of which is different and simply strip out the characteristics that don’t suit you.

I haven't - I've used the ones common to all the definitions.

You cannot say that they are all just change over time, because some “change over time” is very different than other “change over time”.

Evolution is change in species over time. The study (science) of evolution involves just what those changes are, how they occur and how they propagate within a population and how that affects the change to the population over time.

It doesn't matter whether you can posit "other" possible mechanisms for change over time, as what is studied in the science of evolution is the change over time that occurs.

But the fossil record is not needed to show that evolution occurs: we can do that with experiments and observations in today's world.

You are again playing with the definitions. There are NO experiments or observations in today’s world that can show evolution has occurred because it supposedly happened in the past.

False. The evidence for speciation is overwhelming to the point where even creationist websites like Answers in Genesis do not contest that it occurs. Speciation is the point at which changes have accumulated to the point where the daughter population is so different from the parent population that they cannot interbreed.

See Some More Observed Speciation Events and 29+ Evidences for Macroevolution, two articles on TalkOrigins, for evidence of speciation that have occurred in "today's world" and that document that evolution HAS occurred.

See Arguments we think creationists should NOT use, an article by Answers in Genesis that says:

quote:
No new species have been produced.

This is not true - new species have been observed to form. In fact, rapid speciation is an important part of the creation model. But this speciation is within the “kind,” and involves no new genetic information.


Note: "New species have been observed to form" (we can deal with the "information" boondoggle later).

Evolution is ongoing all the time, it didn't just occur at some point in the past and then stop. Every individual organism is a "transitional" organism in the long trend of change over time. You are different from your parents: you have inherited most of your DNA from them, but some of it has mutated, changed, and is not directly from them. You are a transitional organism between your parents and your children.

Fossils document individual organisms that occurred in the past - they are "snapshots" of past individual organisms that also represent transitions in the long trend of change over time.

Fossils are not needed to show that evolution occurs, but they do show that evolution has occurred, they are a test of evolution: if evolution were not the case then there is no reason for the fossil record to show such a consistent long term trend and the relationships of organisms to organisms that exist.

That the fossil record of change over time within the populations of organisms matches the genetic record of change in DNA between organisms is also a test of evolution that the theory has passed: if evolution were not the case then there is no reason for these two independent systems to match species for species in the tree of life branching.

What the fossil record really is, essentially, is a prediction test of evolution: evolution predicts that any gap in the fossil record was filled by intermediate organisms…Tiktaalik.

We seem to be delving far from definitions, but at the risk of starting another side track, I’ll respond briefly. If the fossil record supported evolution, it should be abundantly evident. Instead, only a handful of highly debatable transitional forms have ever been found.

Why do you think so?

Evolution is abundantly clear in the fossils that we do have. Every single fossil is a transitional. There are many examples of definite transitions in the fossil record. Tiktaalik is just one, one that was predicted by evolution.

Regarding the Foraminifers, I’m surprised you have raised this example. You have just finished telling me that the fossil record is not necessary to confirm evolution and the first example you raise is from the fossil record.

Because the Forams show transition after transition after transition. You just complained of not having enough examples of transitions and now you are dismissing examples of just that kind of evidence.

Again, fossils are not necessary to show evolution has and IS occurring. They do, however, still show that evolution HAS occurred. The evidence of the forams demonstrates that change in species over time has occurred for thousands of years within the order (with 'suborders', 'superfamilies' and 'families' before we get down to the species level) of Foraminifera.

quote:
As he speaks, Arnold shows a series of microphotographs, depicting the evolutionary change wrought on a single foram species. "This is the same organism, as it existed through 500,000 years," he says. "We've got hundreds of examples like this, complete life and evolutionary histories for dozens of species."

Hundreds of examples of transitions within just one group of species.

First of all, the limits of probability are not defined by creationists, they are defined by mathematicians. Second, the calculation of evolutionary probabilities, are not invalid simply because creation scientists may have come up with them (which may or may not be the case).

First there are no limits to probability. Second the "calculation" used by creationists is false and full of errors, and it is based on assumptions that have not been in any way validated. I have discussed this issue on another thread, so if you want to pursue this topic there feel free: the old improbable probability problem

I will note that the difference between impossible (possibility == 0) and improbable (possibility > 0) is easy to demonstrate:

1/(x>0) <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< 1/0

therefore improbable ≠ impossible, no matter how small x is.

And finally, math does not prove or disprove reality. It doesn't matter WHAT a mathematical model shows, if it does not match reality, the MODEL is in error.

Also see Lies, Damned Lies, Statistics, and Probability of Abiogenesis Calculations for another take on this issue.

And even in the event that something occurring was highly improbable, once it HAS occurred the probability that it HAS occurred is 1.0.

Math cannot trump reality.

To be honest, I have NEVER read an evolutionist paper on this subject where they didn’t lament the fact that the chances of abiogenisis was astronomically small, but always believe it anyway simply because it “must” have occurred, not because of the evidence but because if it did not, then their world view collapses.

Perhaps you just haven't read enough. You might try reading them from original sources instead of "filtered" through creationist propaganda sites. Try reading through the list on Biogenesis bibliography from TalkOrigins.

What I see is not lamentation of " the fact that the chances of abiogenisis was astronomically small" but rather statements like the one in the TalkOrigins article, The Origin of Life, where the word "probability" is not mentioned at all:

quote:
Even though recent, exciting research has provided plausible scenarios for the origin of life and has answered many questions, it is clear that a lot of research remains to be done, since much of the origin-of-life scenarios is still hypothesis. Experimental models are needed that are both realistic and of some appreciable complexity.

This is not lamentation, but a statement of fact of the current state of science and our understanding of the possibilities. Personally I find these possibilities exciting and inspiring, as can be seen in my essay on this forum, RAZD - Building Blocks of Life

And abiogenesis is NOT evolution. The first seeds of life could have evolved on another planet and been transported to earth and the resulting evolution of life since then would still be just as applicable as if they developed here by natural means.

The "improbability" of abiogenesis - whatever that probability really is - in no way invalidates evolution.

I think you misunderstood. Back in the days of the supposed primordial soup, there were no birds, mammals, bacteria etc. The features that arose in these evolved organisms (such as feathers, blood cells or flagella) were completely new to life on planet Earth (the biosphere), never having been seen before, ...

Yes. They evolved.

... not just a re-shuffling of information already present.

Thus proving that this issue of "information" is bogus. A red herring argument used by creationists to delude the gullibles.

Do we observe today the formation of completely new features in animals that we have never seen before?

This gets into the matter of what you call a "completely new feature" and how long you think this takes. Given that most fossil evidence for development of "new features" took place over thousands of years you need to have an observation time frame that compares.

We can discuss this in later posts after we cover the evidence for "micro"evolution and see where we end up with that.

I’ve already clearly and unequivocally shown that the definition of “real evolution” is not my “personal” one as it is substantiated by every source we have looked at. By definition, microevolution is not “real” evolution.

The real definition is the one used by evolutionary biologists. If you are not using that definition then you are not discussing evolutionary biology. It is that simple. Evolution is the change in species over time.

All evidence is INTERPRETED by the presuppositions that you hold. If this were not true you would no longer believe in evolution because the fossil record taken as a whole overwhelmingly supports the creation model.

How insulting. Not just to me but to every scientist in the field. You are the one in denial of the evidence, as demonstrated by the forams. Science is NOT based on presuppositions, it is based on evidence and logical deduction of where the evidence leads, testing of those deductions to see which are valid, in the process finding more evidence, and using all the past knowledge of evidence and deductions to make the next deductions to test and evaluate.

Creationism on the other hand is nothing BUT presupposition, especially presupposition in denial of evidence to the contrary.

The Chalk beds (consisting of forams, among others) were laid down during and shortly after the flood in “blooms” due to vast amounts of decaying matter which could easily account for incredible numbers of extremely small organisms (procreating like bacteria) being laid down in various stages of development due to rapidly changing temperatures, food sources etc

Which completely ignores the layered evolution of the forams, not just random changes but layer by layer changes that match the speciation events of the different species as documented by Arnold and Parker.

Sorting that cannot be duplicated by any random mixing of sediment and forams, as the different foram skeletons have the same basic density and thus would be randomly distributed throughout every single sedimentary layer found on earth.

You would also have to compress 500,000 years of evolution into one year. That's 1370 years worth per day, 57 years worth per hour or about one years worth per minute. Their lives aren't that short. Remember that Parker and Arnold say:

quote:
The extraordinary condition of the shells permits the paleontologists to study in detail not only how a whole species develops, but how individual animals develop from birth to adulthood.

... "how individual animals develop from birth to adulthood" during their lives.

I believe these creatures are usually considered index fossils so I am also very suspect that age determinations are accurate and probably circular as well since these beds cannot be dated directly.

What you believe is irrelevant. You accuse me of basing my view on interpretations and ALL YOU HAVE IS BELIEF?

They are called index fossils because they are always found in the layers of sediment that are of the same age, thus oil geologists do not need to do age dating when they find the right fossils for the layer they are looking for. This has been tested time and again and VALIDATED every time.

Again you insult scientist who spend their careers on this work. Work that is validated in the real world by simple things like oil drilling based on the changes in forams in the different layers.

Notice that some foram layers are associated with oil fields and some are not. This also refutes and invalidates any flood model that has all these layers laid down at the same time through some random mixing process.

“Billions of years” dating methods are a joke as they are extremely inaccurate, almost always determined by cherry picking the “appropriate” dates, are completely inconsistent with each other, and consistently date items of known recent age at millions or billions of years.

Again you are insulting scientists that spend their careers on this work. You do not have a clue what you are up against, but feel free to blithely dismiss the work of others based on your BELIEFs.

Because you have been so freely insulting of the life work of thousands of dedicated people I'll be blunt: you are also either in denial or ignorant of the evidence for an old earth, an earth billions of years old. The concept that is a joke is the Young Earth concept of fundamental creationists. This is as false a belief as the ones that have been discarded about a geocentric or flat earth.

Denial of evidence that contradicts belief is not faith.

quote:
delusion –noun
1. an act or instance of deluding.
2. the state of being deluded.
3. a false belief or opinion: delusions of grandeur.
4. Psychiatry. a fixed false belief that is resistant to reason or confrontation with actual fact: a paranoid delusion.

If you want we can discuss age dating correlations as laid out on Age Correlations and an Old Earth: Version 1 No 3 (formerly Part III). Note that this is part III because not one creationist has been able to refute the correlations that demonstrate that the earth is older than any possible young earth scenario.

The obvious answer to harmoniously explain all the evidence is that the earth is OLD, very very old.

... while no one wants to admit the flood is the obvious one to harmoniously explain all the evidence.

Because the evidence refutes a world wide flood (WWF). It's that simple. This conclusion was reached by christian clergy during the early days of geology when they were hobby geologists. This concept is falsified, invalidated, finished. Only those ignorant of or that deny the evidence of the real world maintain this delusion.

The evidence shows the earth is old, much older than any YEC model believes.

The evidence shows that a WWF never happened.

The logical conclusion based on the evidence is that the YEC model and the WWF are falsified concepts, invalidated.

This also comes down to an important distinction between evidence FOR a concept and evidence that REFUTES a concept. There is plenty of evidence that you can cite that shows the sun orbits the earth. This does not prove that the earth is the center of the universe because there is evidence that REFUTES this concept.

You need to deal with the reality of evidence that REFUTES a YEC world and a WWF before you can proceed with any claim that you have evidence FOR those concepts.

You have ignored the majority of my arguments, so I really insist that you respond to the following if we are to keep this going in the right direction: Your contention has been that the theory of evolution can be stated as “Change in species over time” (I’ll abbreviate this to CISOT). If evolution is CISOT, then changes in moth, bacteria and finch populations (and others, for which no one including creationists disagree), have proved evolution to be true and therefore evolution is a fact, not a theory.

I've set aside the majority of your arguments until we can sort out the basis of the debate, because so much of them are based on your misconceptions of evolution, the age of the earth, etcetera.

Yes the evidence you cite demonstrates that evolution is a fact in those instances. It does NOT demonstrate that it is a universal fact. It does not demonstrate that the theory that all species change over time is a fact.

Not only is it a fact, but it cannot be disproved. It cannot be considered a theory since there is no falsifiable test.

False. All that is needed is one instance where it is invalidated. The fact that you are arguing against a very robust theory that has passed many validation tests since its inception is part of your problem, but it doesn't' mean that the theory cannot be invalidated.

When Darwin published his theory he did not know of a mechanism for implementing change in species. That has since been found, and finding it validated the theory. Genetics did not have to validate evolution, but it did - it matched the evolution of species worked out from fossil evidence to a level that surpasses the accuracy some experiments in physics.

I notice that you did not address the issue of the forams being evidence for "micro"evolution. This is another whole level above the issue of "changes in moth, bacteria and finch populations" as it involves multiple speciation events within an order of organisms.

Do you admit that the forams show "micro"evolution occurred?

Note that I have specified that we can agree on an interim definition that "micro"evolution is change in species over time, and then proceed on that basis to see where it leads. The post on foraminifera is on that basis.

Or do we need to discuss the age of the earth first?

p.s. It’s interesting that we really know little or nothing about each other. Is that intentional? I feel like I’m breaking a rule if I ask. Is that the case? I suppose if we find out that one of us is a senior PHD scientist and another one a young bum on the street with internet access, it might bias our outlooks, even though the arguments should speak for themselves.

The arguments speak for themselves. WHO makes the argument is irrelevant (and leads to the logical fallacies of argument from authority and ad hominems). You could be "SomeoneWhoCares" pretending to be someone else, or you could be a teacher with a PhD in evolutionary biology.

Have a happy and blessed New Year! (Sincerely)….mw

Have a happy new year yourself, and I hope it brings you and your family peace and prosperity.

Enjoy

GREAT DEBATE - RAZD and MurkyWaters only


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This message is a reply to:
 Message 26 by MurkyWaters, posted 12-31-2006 5:27 PM MurkyWaters has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 29 by MurkyWaters, posted 01-01-2007 5:58 PM RAZD has responded

RAZD
Member
Posts: 19759
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 5.8


Message 28 of 121 (373355)
01-01-2007 9:33 AM
Reply to: Message 26 by MurkyWaters
12-31-2006 5:27 PM


Timeline #1: Earth > 8,000 years old

GREAT DEBATE - RAZD and MurkyWaters only

“Billions of years” dating methods are a joke as they are extremely inaccurate, almost always determined by cherry picking the “appropriate” dates, are completely inconsistent with each other, and consistently date items of known recent age at millions or billions of years.

I will expect you to document exactly which inconsistencies you are refering to. I expect them to fall into the usual creatortionista lies, misrepresentations and the intentional misuse of science.

In the meantime we can start with simple annual dating systems - ones where annual records are made by some process where we can measure them,

We'll start with tree rings.

Bristlecone Pines, Pinus longaeva

By counting tree rings and matching the overlapping patterns of growth from live to dead trees, scientists have developed a tree-ring chronology of nearly 10,000 years using wood from the Schulman Grove area, California (one tree still living is 4600 years old).

http://www.biologie.uni-hamburg.de/b-online/earle/pi/pin/longaeva.htm (5)

quote:
The oldest known living specimen is the "Methuselah" tree, sampled by Schulman and Harlan in the White Mountains of CA, for which 4789 years are verified by crossdating. An age of 4,844 years was determined post-mortem (after being cut down) for specimen WPM-114 from Wheeler Peak, NV. The age is largely crossdated (6). Naturally, these ages underestimate the true ages of the respective trees (see Tree Age Determination for details), perhaps by hundreds of years in view of the fact that pith dates were not recovered for these trees. It seems likely that trees at least 5000 years old exist.

Pinus longaeva is generally regarded as the longest-lived of all sexually reproducing, nonclonal species, with many individuals known to have ages exceeding 4000 years. Due to the resinous wood and extremely cold and arid habitat, decay of dead wood is extremely slow, and wood on the ground in some stands has ages exceeding 10,000 years. This has permitted building a continuous chronology of more than 8,000 years, which in turn has been used to calibrate the radiocarbon timescale. The species has been widely used in dendroclimatic reconstruction and in several classic studies of timberline ecology.



Note: Reference (6) cited above is:
Brown, Peter M. 1996. OLDLIST: A database of maximum tree ages. P. 727-731 in Dean, J.S., D.M. Meko and T.W. Swetnam, eds., "Tree rings, environment, and humanity." Radiocarbon 1996, Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, Tucson.

Note that the article refers to this tree as being specimen WPM-114, when in fact that is the "Prometheus" tree that was cut down later. At the time that Schulman cut down his tree they were not identified by specimen numbers.

The "Methusulah" specimen was cut down in 1957, so by this one tree alone the minimum age for the earth is 4,894 years (in 2007 ... and counting). See 'Wikipedia: Methuselah Tree"(2) for additional information on this one tree.

http://www.nps.gov/grba/Bristlecone%20Pines/bristleconepineprometheus.htm (4)

quote:
The Forest Service granted permission for the researcher to take core samples from several old-looking bristlecone pines and to cut one down. Bristlecone pines often grow in a twisted fashion. Also, one section of the tree may die off even a couple thousand years before another part. This means it can be very difficult to capture the oldest part of the tree in a core sample. The tree that was cut down in 1964--while still living--has since become know to some as "Prometheus."

Counting revealed that Prometheus contained about 4,900 growth rings. This made it the oldest known tree. Currently the oldest known living tree, about 4,600 years old, is in the White Mountains of California. Chances are good that there are other, older, bristlecones that have not been dated.


The "Prometheus" specimen was cut down in 1964 (while it was still living), so by this one tree alone the minimum age for the earth is 4,943 years (in 2007 ... and counting). See "Wikipedia: Prometeus Tree"(3) for additional information on this one tree.

As both these trees have been cut down and they are about the same age they are very useful in building a dendrochronology as the whole ring pattern can be observed and checked for the initial 4,789 year period covered by both trees. Normally only dead samples are cut for cross-sections and live trees are normally sample by taking cores (as was being done on Prometheus when the tool broke). Cores and cross-sections of different samples are aligned by the pattern of annual rings that show the variations in climate from year to year.

http://www.sonic.net/bristlecone/dendro.html (7)

quote:
Simply put, dendrochronology is the dating of past events (climatic changes) through study of tree ring growth. Botanists, foresters and archaeologists began using this technique during the early part of the 20th century. Discovered by A.E. Douglass from the University of Arizona, who noted that the wide rings of certain species of trees were produced during wet years and, inversely, narrow rings during dry seasons.
Each year a tree adds a layer of wood to its trunk and branches thus creating the pict of cells annual rings we see when viewing a cross section. New wood grows from the cambium layer between the old wood and the bark. In the spring, when moisture is plentiful, the tree devotes its energy to producing new growth cells. These first new cells are large, but as the summer progresses their size decreases until, in the fall, growth stops and cells die, with no new growth appearing until the next spring. The contrast between these smaller old cells and next year's larger new cells is enough to establish a ring, thus making counting possible.

Lets say the sample was taken from a standing 4,000 year-old (but long dead) bristlecone. Its outer growth rings were compared with the inner rings of a living tree. If a pattern of individual ring widths in the two samples prove to be identical at some point, we can carry dating further into the past. With this method of matching overlapping patterns found in different wood samples, bristlecone chronologies have been established almost 9,000 years into the past.

A number of tree samples must be examined and cross dated from any given site to avoid the possibility of all the collected data showing a missing or extra ring. Further checking is done until no inconsistency appears. Often several sample cores are taken from each tree examined. These must be compared not only with samples from other trees at the same location but also with those at other sites in the region. Additionally, the average of all data provides the best estimate of climate averages. A large portion of the effects of nonclimatic factors that occur in the various site data is minimized by this averaging scheme.

The bristlecone pine chronology in the White Mountains currently extends back almost 9,000 years continuously. That's to 7,000 BC! Several pieces of wood have been collected that will extend this date back even further. The hope is to push the date back to at least 8,000 BC. This will be important as the last Ice Age ended about 10,000 years ago, and to have a record of this transition period would offer scientists a wealth of information.


Note three things: the tree rings contain climate data, the chronology is not based on one sample but many overlapping and duplicate (from the same tree) samples, and there are other samples that have not been counted yet or that have a break in the climate data that means they are "floating" in the chronology somewhere beyond the end of the continuous record. Adding up all the time recorded by these tree rings would give us a minimum age of the earth for all those years to have passed that generated the rings. We'll be minimalist here and say:

Minimum age of the earth > 8,000 years based on this data.

This is already older than many YEC models (6,000 years for those using Archbishop Ussher's calculation of a starting date of 4004 BC). This also means that there was absolutely NO world wide flood (WWF) during those 8,000 years, as there would be no possible overlap of tree ring chronologies if there were some point at which ALL were dead.

Also see
http://www.sonic.net/bristlecone/intro.html (8)
http://www.amwest-travel.com/awt_bristle.html (1)
and
http://web.utk.edu/~grissino/ (6)

This is only the start.

Enjoy.



References

  1. Anonymous "California's Ancient Bristlecone Pines, The Oldest Living Things" American West Travelogue, 1996-2007 ASA Consultants, Inc. accessed 10 Jan, 2007 from http://www.amwest-travel.com/awt_bristle.html
  2. Anonymous "Methuselah (tree)" Wikipedia. updated 9 Jan 2007. accessed 10 Jan 2007 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methuselah_%28tree%29
  3. Anonymous "Prometheus (tree)" Wikipedia. updated 7 Jan 2007. accessed 10 Jan 2007 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prometheus_%28tree%29
  4. Anonymous "The "Prometheus" Story" Great Basin On-line. updated 2 Aug 2002. accessed 10 Jan 2007 from http://www.nps.gov/archive/grba/Bristlecone%20Pines/bristleconepineprometheus.htm
  5. Earle, Christopher J. "Pinus longaeva D.K. Bailey 1970" Gymnosperm Database. Last modified 28 Jan 2000. accessed 10 Jan 2007 from http://www.biologie.uni-hamburg.de/b-online/earle/pi/pin/longaeva.htm
  6. Grissino-Mayer , Henri D., "Ultimate Tree-Ring Web Pages " Department of Geography, The University of Tennessee. updated 28 Jun 2006. accessed 10 Jan 2007 from http://web.utk.edu/~grissino/
  7. Miller, Leonard, "Dendrochronology" Sonic.net/bristlecone. updated 2 Jan 2005. accessed 10 Jan 2007 from http://www.sonic.net/bristlecone/dendro.html
  8. Miller, Leonard, "The Ancient Bristlecone Pine" Sonic.net/bristlecone. updated 2 Jan 2005. accessed 10 Jan 2007 from http://www.sonic.net/bristlecone/intro.html

GREAT DEBATE - RAZD and MurkyWaters only

Edited by RAZD, : updated


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This message is a reply to:
 Message 26 by MurkyWaters, posted 12-31-2006 5:27 PM MurkyWaters has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 30 by MurkyWaters, posted 01-01-2007 6:09 PM RAZD has responded

MurkyWaters
Member (Idle past 4125 days)
Posts: 56
From: USA
Joined: 07-21-2006


Message 29 of 121 (373484)
01-01-2007 5:58 PM
Reply to: Message 27 by RAZD
12-31-2006 9:37 PM


Re: Getting back on track? or still dragged back off track?
I haven't - I've used the ones common to all the definitions.

False. Most definitions said nothing about ANY change over time. There were very specific about the type of change necessary.

False. The evidence for speciation is overwhelming to the point where even creationist websites like Answers in Genesis do not contest that it occurs.

You are taking my words out of context and missing the point as usual. Where did I say speciation has not occurred? It most certainly has. If you would have bothered to read further, the point of my comments was that evolution “is only occurring today by YOUR definition, not the real one”. Websites like AIG do not consider change in species over time INCLUDING speciation to be evolution and THAT is my point. Speciation is an important part of the creation model, which allowed the created kinds to ADAPT to their environment. It is NOT evolution. Even then, it is occurring today at much lower levels than in the past due to the accumulation of genetic mutations and LOSS of information that had previously allowed for this adaptation.

Fossils are not needed to show that evolution occurs, but they do show that evolution has occurred, they are a test of evolution: if evolution were not the case then there is no reason for the fossil record to show such a consistent long term trend and the relationships of organisms to organisms that exist.

The fossil record does NOT show that evolution has occurred and shows no such consistent long term trend. The relationships between different kinds of organisms is a fantasy of evolutionists. You missed the point of my argument again – If you took a snapshot of life as we know it today, it would look no different than the fossil record and would be arranged by evolutionists as having evolved when the truth is that it was created when we took the snapshot. There is no evidence that one kind of organism evolved into another.

Evolution is abundantly clear in the fossils that we do have. Every single fossil is a transitional.

No, they obviously represent very distinct kinds (see the argument I just made above). This is not my opinion, it is the opinion of every popular evolutionist writer out there, some of which I’ve already quoted to you. I’ve also quoted Darwin who recognized the deficiency in the fossil record. Gould said, “The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology”. That is why there is always so much excitement when a supposed transitional form is found, much less a transitional sequence. Where are the transitional sequences between the distinct kinds of animals? Where are the half-legs, half-wing kinds of creatures? You are in denial of evidence that the vast majority of evolutionists recognize.

And even in the event that something occurring was highly improbable, once it HAS occurred the probability that it HAS occurred is 1.0.

That’s a hoot. What is your evidence that it HAS occurred?

Perhaps you just haven't read enough. You might try reading them from original sources instead of "filtered" through creationist propaganda sites.

Don’t patronize me. I have read original sources, many in their entirety. They are chock full of whimsical fantasizing with very little evidence and a very dark purposelessness to existence.

How insulting. Not just to me but to every scientist in the field. You are the one in denial of the evidence, as demonstrated by the forams. Science is NOT based on presuppositions, it is based on evidence and logical deduction of where the evidence leads, testing of those deductions to see which are valid, in the process finding more evidence, and using all the past knowledge of evidence and deductions to make the next deductions to test and evaluate. Creationism on the other hand is nothing BUT presupposition, especially presupposition in denial of evidence to the contrary.

How hypocritical! I’m NOT supposed to be insulted when you say that I am deluded and gullible and that creationism is nothing but presupposition? You are the deluded one if you think scientists do not hold presuppositions. It appears you haven’t read their works or followed their methods of inquiry or you would know this. Every scientist in the field does not happen to believe in evolution. Apparently by your arrogant opinion only scientists that believe what you believe are not deluded. Creationism is science as much as evolutionism is with scientists using the same tools and the same methods of inquiry. And evolution’s presuppositions are just as much religious as creationism’s are. Were you there when the world was created? Or in your framework, were you there billions of years ago when the first life appeared? No one can know for sure unless an eye witness tells us (which creationists have). Knowing the fallibility of science and the many errors which have been made in the past (for which you have already admitted), how can you be so pompous as to blindly follow every supposed conclusion without question that it could have happened any other way?

Sorting that cannot be duplicated by any random mixing of sediment and forams, as the different foram skeletons have the same basic density and thus would be randomly distributed throughout every single sedimentary layer found on earth. You would also have to compress 500,000 years of evolution into one year. That's 1370 years worth per day, 57 years worth per hour or about one years worth per minute.

There would be little random mixing if the bloomings occurred after the main flood event and there is no reason that they couldn’t have taken much longer than a day to settle. Scientists have calculated that this is feasible based on the capacity of the sea and the amount of sediments. Adaptation doesn’t take 500,000 years. Evolutionist have recently shown that finches can speciate in less than 100 years, remember?

What you believe is irrelevant… Again you are insulting scientists that spend their careers on this work. You do not have a clue what you are up against, but feel free to blithely dismiss the work of others based on your BELIEFs…Because you have been so freely insulting of the life work of thousands of dedicated people I'll be blunt: you are also either in denial or ignorant of the evidence for an old earth, an earth billions of years old. The concept that is a joke is the Young Earth concept of fundamental creationists.

The way I and most other people that I know use the phrase “I believe” is equivalent to “I recall” and that’s the way I was using it. Then you go on to confirm that my recollection is absolutely correct in that they are indeed index fossils, so I’m not sure what has gotten your goat in that regard.

As far as beliefs go, your response is disdainful and condescending. This debate is between you and me – what YOU believe versus what I believe. You (as well as I) may base your beliefs on many possible sources including the work of scientists, but in the end it is YOU who chooses to believe it is true. What gall and arrogance to suggest that what I believe is irrelevant (based on the work of scientists), but what you believe is not! And you know what? Just so happens that not everyone agrees with you, including scientists. I don’t think I have had a discussion with anyone quite as egocentric as you. If what I believe is irrelevant, it most certainly is true for you as well. However, I hold that everyone’s beliefs are relevant, if not to anyone else, certainly to themselves since beliefs have consequences.

I don’t blithely dismiss anything. My beliefs are based on scientists that have spent their careers on this work, so if I am insulting your scientists, you are insulting mine. You are the one that has no clue what you are up against. I may disagree with the ideas of fallible men (and the vast majority of evolutionists are atheists), but you are up against the word of the almighty God who created you. Whether you choose to believe Him or not does not change the truth. I’ll be blunt: you are also either in denial or ignorant of the evidence for a young earth, an earth approximately 6000 years old.

By the way, your attempt at intimidation is a failure. All this has shown is that you are willing to be ignorant of and deny evidence of the real world to maintain your delusions. The logical conclusion based on all the evidence is that evolution is a falsified concept, invalidated. Since you seem to be ignoring the issue of definitions, I have to assume you’re fighting back like a cornered cat because you do not have a satisfactory answer to my questions.

I've set aside the majority of your arguments until we can sort out the basis of the debate, because so much of them are based on your misconceptions of evolution, the age of the earth, etcetera.

The basis of the debate is your misconceptions regarding the definition of evolution. Definitions do not depend on the evidence, so you are simply avoiding an argument that apparently you cannot defend. Since the evidence seems to be a sore point for you, I suggest we abandon evidence completely. Unless it has some direct relevance (or I just happen to feel like it), I will no longer be responding to any “evidence” until we can agree on the definition of evolution (to which the evidence pertains). To be honest, it seems unlikely at this point, but definitions nevertheless are the topic of this debate.

Yes the evidence you cite demonstrates that evolution is a fact in those instances. It does NOT demonstrate that it is a universal fact. It does not demonstrate that the theory that all species change over time is a fact.

Where does the theory state that it must be universal and that ALL species must change over time? There are numerous examples that evolutionists have cited of organisms that have remained the same since they first appeared in the fossil record (or for millions of years). Then there are always the many embarrassing examples like the coelacanth that was thought to have been extinct. Are you suggesting that these examples invalidate the theory?

False. All that is needed is one instance where it is invalidated… it doesn't' mean that the theory cannot be invalidated.

What would invalidate it then? And I will ask again… If evolution is a fact (which therefore cannot be invalidated), then why do definitions state that it is a theory? Why is there any debate about this topic at all? When exactly did it become a fact? Are sources simply out of date and haven’t caught up to recent research? Please respond or concede.

Sincerely…mw


This message is a reply to:
 Message 27 by RAZD, posted 12-31-2006 9:37 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 32 by RAZD, posted 01-01-2007 11:56 PM MurkyWaters has responded

MurkyWaters
Member (Idle past 4125 days)
Posts: 56
From: USA
Joined: 07-21-2006


Message 30 of 121 (373487)
01-01-2007 6:09 PM
Reply to: Message 28 by RAZD
01-01-2007 9:33 AM


Re: Timeline #1: Earth > 8,000 years old
This post is completely irrelevant to my quote regarding “Billions of years” dating methods as this is not one. Plus it is completely irrelevant to our topic regarding definitions, so I will not respond further except to say that there are different interpretations of this data. If you are truly interested in the truth, I will be glad to respond in the future at some time.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 28 by RAZD, posted 01-01-2007 9:33 AM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 31 by RAZD, posted 01-01-2007 11:55 PM MurkyWaters has responded
 Message 33 by RAZD, posted 01-01-2007 11:57 PM MurkyWaters has responded

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