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Author Topic:   Transitional fossils and quote mining
Arphy
Member (Idle past 2539 days)
Posts: 185
From: New Zealand
Joined: 08-23-2009


Message 121 of 210 (525591)
09-23-2009 9:57 PM
Reply to: Message 120 by Blue Jay
09-23-2009 5:56 PM


Re: To my numerous opponents
I'll reply in detail to the other posts later but just want to quickly address something from bluejays post.

but I didn't say that ToE is the worldview. In fact, I affirmed "evolutionism" as the worldview.

Common descent (what you’ve termed “the idea that everything evolved from something else”) is more central to the “evolutionism” worldview than is the coelurosaurian ancestry of birds, but less central than the mechanisms of mutation and natural selection (the actual ToE).

So you are saying that ToE is closer to the "base of the tree" (using your diagram analogy) however your the first quote says that this is not the base. So what is your base? You see what i'm getting at? While the ToE is i agree important to "evolution", is it the base of the tree? And if a person takes out common descent but affirmed the ToE would that person still be an evolutionist?

Maybe you could give a definition of what you think "evolutionism" is.

Edited by Arphy, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 120 by Blue Jay, posted 09-23-2009 5:56 PM Blue Jay has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 122 by Dr Adequate, posted 09-23-2009 10:40 PM Arphy has not yet responded
 Message 123 by Blue Jay, posted 09-24-2009 1:19 AM Arphy has responded

    
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16093
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 9.1


Message 122 of 210 (525601)
09-23-2009 10:40 PM
Reply to: Message 121 by Arphy
09-23-2009 9:57 PM


Taproot
So you are saying that ToE is closer to the "base of the tree" (using your diagram analogy) however your the first quote says that this is not the base. So what is your base? You see what i'm getting at? While the ToE is i agree important to "evolution", is it the base of the tree?

The base of the tree:

Every hypothesis must be tested by having its predictions compared against reality, without fear or favor. If the facts smash your hypothesis, it wasn't any good, and it's no use trying to glue it back together with faith, special pleading, making up your own "scientific method", making up your own facts, or repeated claims that God likes your hypothesis best.

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 121 by Arphy, posted 09-23-2009 9:57 PM Arphy has not yet responded

  
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 804 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 123 of 210 (525630)
09-24-2009 1:19 AM
Reply to: Message 121 by Arphy
09-23-2009 9:57 PM


Re: To my numerous opponents
Hi, Arphy.

You’re making this much more complicated than it needs to be. The concept is more important than the details.

Arphy writes:

So you are saying that ToE is closer to the "base of the tree" (using your diagram analogy) however your the first quote says that this is not the base. So what is your base? You see what i'm getting at? While the ToE is i agree important to "evolution", is it the base of the tree?

I do not see where you think I’m saying that ToE is not the base, nor do I see how anything I’ve said so far might be construed as saying that.

I am only talking about a restricted worldview that deals with evolution and concepts that are related to it. It’s possible for this entire assemblage to simply be an appendage in somebody’s worldview (as Dr Adequate’s comments show), and it’s possible that the hard core could have multiple components that are not related to evolution at all, depending on the individual whose worldview you are discussing... but it doesn’t matter. It’s just for illustrative purposes, to show that “evolutionism” isn’t just a monolithic idea that you can bring down by chipping away at specific peripheral issues.

-----

Arphy writes:

And if a person takes out common descent but affirmed the ToE would that person still be an evolutionist?

That depends. By definition, evolution requires some degree of common descent (if nothing was related to anything else, then what, exactly, has evolved?). Usually, “common descent” means everything evolved from a single common ancestor, but, if your idea is that there were originally a dozen ancestral species, or a hundred... I don’t see why this couldn’t still be “evolutionism.”

But, if your idea is that God created everything a few thousand years ago, and that evolution can only allow a little bit of speciation, this certainly would not be accurately referred to as “evolutionism.”

Of course, there are all kinds of hybrids between the extremes I provided. I’ll leave you to draw your own line.

-----

Arphy writes:

Maybe you could give a definition of what you think "evolutionism" is.

Here is the definition of the worldview that I provided in Message 84:

Bluejay writes:

The hard core of the “evolutionism” worldview is the Theory of Evolution. Extending from that are a variable number of auxiliary appendages, usually including common descent, natural history, abiogenesis and other theories, viewpoints and beliefs that are somehow connected to the Theory of Evolution (the number of things that are included in the overall worldview is unique for each person).

I can’t really get more specific than that. But, almost always, “evolutionism” will include common-descent and old-earth theories. Remember : common descent can be removed without undermining the ToE, but ToE cannot be removed without undermining common descent (as it is currently understood, anyway), so ToE is more hard-core than common descent.

-----

All of this is just semantics, and you’re likely to get people who disagree with me on what counts as hard core and soft core. But, the take-home message is that an argument against a peripheral issue does not translate into an argument against the greater worldview. When there are multiple different options that are consistent with the greater worldview (as is the case for the ancestry of Archaeopteryx), attacking one of those specific options is not an effective way to take down the greater worldview. It’s like trying to sack Rome by throwing rocks at the Roman garrison in Jerusalem: sure, you may piss off some Romans, but what damage will actually be done to Rome itself?

Edited by Bluejay, : Changing "wat" to "what"


-Bluejay (a.k.a. Mantis, Thylacosmilus)

Darwin loves you.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 121 by Arphy, posted 09-23-2009 9:57 PM Arphy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 124 by Arphy, posted 09-24-2009 4:07 AM Blue Jay has responded
 Message 132 by Percy, posted 09-24-2009 8:42 AM Blue Jay has not yet responded

  
Arphy
Member (Idle past 2539 days)
Posts: 185
From: New Zealand
Joined: 08-23-2009


Message 124 of 210 (525637)
09-24-2009 4:07 AM
Reply to: Message 123 by Blue Jay
09-24-2009 1:19 AM


Re: To my numerous opponents
In reply to bluejay (sorry, this post gets a bit harsh on you) and the first part of Magda's post.

magda writes:

My worldview is to follow the evidence wherever it leads. My worldview is that the scientific method, as embodied in methodological naturalism, is the only way to assess and best describe objective truths about our universe. It is all very well to have a worldview. What matters is comparing that to the actual world and making sure that the two are in agreement.

This i can understand. Here is worldviews according to Arphy :
When we see things like fossils in the ground one could come up with a nearly infinite number of reasons as to how they got there e.g. One could claim that someone put them there somehow, or that they grew there somehow, or some aliens visited earth and somehow managed to with highly advanced technology to somehow insert them into the earth (I'm just making these up as i go). However we reject all these, why? We can't directly refute them. however we choose to reject them because they are sound unreasonable and unsatisfactory. Methodological naturalists would add the description of history given in the bible as another example that sounds unreasonable. They believe it is reasonable to take the assumption that everything can be explained with naturalistic reasons (i.e. excluding the supernatural). Biblical creationists believe that to explain everything with naturalistic reasons is not reasonable. What we do find reasonable is to believe a book that claims to give an eyewitness account of the history of the world. Now that we have our presuppositions that we find reasonable we can now interpret the evidence in the light of these worldviews. But obviously they can't both be right. So now we must look at the evidence. Is some of the evidence in contradiction? We may try to explain these away at first, however eventually we may find that if there are too many contradictions, that become too difficult to explain away, so that we find it unreasonable to continue to hold the worldview that we have. At that point we should discard our worldview and rethink and then choose a worldview/presupposition that does seem reasonable.

Magda's position (i am assuming that you are either an athiest or at most an agnostic) at least seems consistent. However, sorry bluejay, your position doesn't seem to be either reasonable nor logical. The reason i say this is because in accepting evolution (and common descent) it seems that you have a methodological naturalist worldview. However, this would seem incorrect because you say you are a christian and therefore i assume that you believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ as well as his other supernatural works. It seems that you like to jump between the two worldviews, which i think is an illogical position. Also i am again assuming that as a thiestic evolutionist you probably believe that God created first life. Yet God has never claimed, in the bible or elsewhere that he created a single celled organism (or multiple single-celled organisms if you like) from which all animals and plants are descended. In which case your argument becomes "methodological naturalism has not come to a consensus on this issue therefore i think God did it". This sort of position will not only seem unreasonable to people who hold a methodological naturalist worldview, but also to people who hold a biblical worldview. To just say god-did-it to everything until the naturalists reach a consensus on the issue, I find unreasonable.

bluejay writes:

That depends. By definition, evolution requires some degree of common descent (if nothing was related to anything else, then what, exactly, has evolved?). Usually, “common descent” means everything evolved from a single common ancestor, but, if your idea is that there were originally a dozen ancestral species, or a hundred... I don’t see why this couldn’t still be “evolutionism.”

But, if your idea is that God created everything a few thousand years ago, and that evolution can only allow a little bit of speciation, this certainly would not be accurately referred to as “evolutionism.”

so long periods of time are essential for evolutionism. If not why not? I really don't see how common descent and long periods are NOT the hard-core issues. Believeing these seem vital if you want to be called an evolutionist.

I definatly don't think this is just semantics. I want you to recognise what you believe and why you believe it. If you can't understand why you think the way you do, then you just become another person spouting someone elses worldview, without understanding it yourself.

Again, apologies that i was this harsh on you bluejay, but i think it had to be done. It is my hope that you will understand what you believe and why you believe it. Keep seeking for the truth and test every idea to see if these things be so.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 123 by Blue Jay, posted 09-24-2009 1:19 AM Blue Jay has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 125 by PaulK, posted 09-24-2009 4:25 AM Arphy has responded
 Message 128 by greyseal, posted 09-24-2009 5:10 AM Arphy has not yet responded
 Message 129 by Dr Adequate, posted 09-24-2009 5:21 AM Arphy has not yet responded
 Message 134 by Perdition, posted 09-24-2009 10:19 AM Arphy has not yet responded
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PaulK
Member
Posts: 14809
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 125 of 210 (525640)
09-24-2009 4:25 AM
Reply to: Message 124 by Arphy
09-24-2009 4:07 AM


Re: To my numerous opponents
quote:

Methodological naturalists would add the description of history given in the bible as another example that sounds unreasonable. They believe it is reasonable to take the assumption that everything can be explained with naturalistic reasons (i.e. excluding the supernatural). Biblical creationists believe that to explain everything with naturalistic reasons is not reasonable. What we do find reasonable is to believe a book that claims to give an eyewitness account of the history of the world

I think the difference is more pronounced than that.

On one side you have people who are interested in shaping their beliefs to fit the evidence. Methodological naturalism is adopted because of the success of naturalistic explanations - not because of prior commitments. These people do not take their woldviews as unquestionable dogma.

On the other we have people who are interested in force-fitting the evidence to their beliefs. And I do mean their personal beliefs - they treat the Bible in much the same way as they treat the physical evidence. (For instance the Bible does NOT explicitly claim to present an eye-witness account of the creation !). To a large extent these people DO take their worldviews as unquestionable dogma. As demonstrated - for instance - by the fact that you feel free to reject strong evidence FOR evolution on the grounds that it does not disprove YEC.

I think it is quite clear which side has a reasonable position, and which does not.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 124 by Arphy, posted 09-24-2009 4:07 AM Arphy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 126 by Arphy, posted 09-24-2009 4:39 AM PaulK has responded

    
Arphy
Member (Idle past 2539 days)
Posts: 185
From: New Zealand
Joined: 08-23-2009


Message 126 of 210 (525642)
09-24-2009 4:39 AM
Reply to: Message 125 by PaulK
09-24-2009 4:25 AM


Re: To my numerous opponents
I think it is quite clear which side has a reasonable position, and which does not.
In your opinion, which is my whole point.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 125 by PaulK, posted 09-24-2009 4:25 AM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 127 by PaulK, posted 09-24-2009 5:01 AM Arphy has responded

    
PaulK
Member
Posts: 14809
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 127 of 210 (525645)
09-24-2009 5:01 AM
Reply to: Message 126 by Arphy
09-24-2009 4:39 AM


Re: To my numerous opponents
quote:

In your opinion, which is my whole point.

And by saying that you provide yet more evidence to support my point.

The fact is that your worldview places your biases above reason - way above reason - in interpreting the evidence. Mine does not. Therefore my worldview is more reasonable.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 126 by Arphy, posted 09-24-2009 4:39 AM Arphy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 131 by Arphy, posted 09-24-2009 8:29 AM PaulK has responded

    
greyseal
Member (Idle past 1968 days)
Posts: 464
Joined: 08-11-2009


Message 128 of 210 (525649)
09-24-2009 5:10 AM
Reply to: Message 124 by Arphy
09-24-2009 4:07 AM


Re: To my numerous opponents
arphy writes:

When we see things like fossils in the ground one could come up with a nearly infinite number of reasons as to how they got there

many "reasons" snipped

No, that is wrong - you don't FIRST come up with reasons. FIRST you get "the evidence". You may have a supposition, you may have a "gut feeling" but you don't ignore evidence that doesn't fit, you don't twist facts to bolster your position and most of all, you admit when you're wrong.

Failure is often much more important than success, it's a definitive proof that you are wrong. Merely being right doesn't tell mean you got it all in one go.

What we do find reasonable is to believe a book that claims to give an eyewitness account of the history of the world.

well, no - you take it as possible "evidence", you do NOT assume it is authentic knowledge without various checks and balances (do we know the author really was there, is there corroborative evidence, do other, independant authors and histories say the same things? and so on)

Now that we have our presuppositions that we find reasonable we can now interpret the evidence in the light of these worldviews.

NO! NO, NO NO NO AND NO! BACKWARDS! BAD ARPHY! BAD SCIENCE! NO! WRONG! NO GOLD STAR FOR YOU!

(humour aside, you really, honestly have it WRONG).

So now we must look at the evidence. Is some of the evidence in contradiction?

much better! I may just come to the conclusion you've been listening to the rest of the cla-

We may try to explain these away at first, however eventually we may find that if there are too many contradictions, that become too difficult to explain away, so that we find it unreasonable to continue to hold the worldview that we have. At that point we should discard our worldview and rethink and then choose a worldview/presupposition that does seem reasonable.

OH FOR THE LOVE OF ..!

NO! NO NO NO AND NO! BAD ARPHY! BAD! WRONG!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 124 by Arphy, posted 09-24-2009 4:07 AM Arphy has not yet responded

    
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16093
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 9.1


Message 129 of 210 (525653)
09-24-2009 5:21 AM
Reply to: Message 124 by Arphy
09-24-2009 4:07 AM


Re: To my numerous opponents
When we see things like fossils in the ground one could come up with a nearly infinite number of reasons as to how they got there e.g. One could claim that someone put them there somehow, or that they grew there somehow, or some aliens visited earth and somehow managed to with highly advanced technology to somehow insert them into the earth (I'm just making these up as i go). However we reject all these, why? We can't directly refute them. however we choose to reject them because they are sound unreasonable and unsatisfactory. Methodological naturalists would add the description of history given in the bible as another example that sounds unreasonable.

The Bible does not in fact give a reason why there are fossils, nor, indeed, mention fossils.

Methodological naturalists would add the description of history given in the bible as another example that sounds unreasonable. They believe it is reasonable to take the assumption that everything can be explained with naturalistic reasons (i.e. excluding the supernatural).

No, that would be philosophical naturalism.

The difference is this. A philosophical naturalist, if he lost his spectacles, would dismiss a priori, on philosophical grounds, the idea that God had sent an angel to bear them up to heaven.

A methodological naturalist would admit the intervention of the angel as a philosophical possibility, but he would also admit that he must pursue the search for his spectacles on the basis that that is not what has happened: he does not rule out angelic intervention, but his method for searching for his spectacles cannot in any meaningful way incorporate this possibility.

Now that we have our presuppositions that we find reasonable we can now interpret the evidence in the light of these worldviews.

Oh dear ... oh dear me ...

* shakes head *

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 124 by Arphy, posted 09-24-2009 4:07 AM Arphy has not yet responded

  
Arphy
Member (Idle past 2539 days)
Posts: 185
From: New Zealand
Joined: 08-23-2009


Message 130 of 210 (525675)
09-24-2009 8:20 AM
Reply to: Message 115 by Granny Magda
09-22-2009 10:53 PM


Re: Worldviews vs The World
Your first part i have addressed in my reply to bluejay.

PRATTs: Creationists would say the same thing.

I have a feeling that understand YEC perfectly well. In fact, I suspect that I understand it rather better than you do. No offence.


Just because you have been debating it longer doesn't mean i have nothing to bring, you saying that I should just give up? If you give this reason to every one who disagrees with your position then there would be nobody to debate and then this forum becomes pointless. Also there are many creation scientists who have been in the debate longer than you, do you claim to have a better understanding of evolution than them as well?

Linnaeus: Just because you classify an animal based on its characteristics does not mean that they are related. These classifications do have value for practical purposes, however similar characteristics doesn't immediatly translate to being related.

You guys often object to being described as apes, but you never seem to object to us being classified as vertebrates.
This is because this is used as an attempt to further propagate the idea that we are related to actual apes.

Just take a look at the Answers in Genesis “Arguments We Don’t Use" page. I assure you, for each of those bad arguments, there will be another creationist group which regards it as true, or even as an important tenet of faith.
Firstly i said YEC not just creationist, and I don't think there are too many groups like that.

Henry morris: In the article just below your quote there is a quote from colin Patterson. Did patterson really believe that no new "species" have been produced by natural selection? While i agree it is confusing, i think that the word species was used in a "fundamentally different species" sense. Here (http://www.icr.org/a.../do-new-species-demonstrate-darwinism) on the same website they explain this. Which i think justifies the use of the word in the article. (just before you complain that i want you to read another link, i just posted the link, because in a sense it is ICR's job to defend this sentence from Morris, not mine.)

Syngameon: While the word "kind" is the preferable. I used the word syngameon as the closest description to kind, and possibly what you might accept as "scientific". This word has been used in YEC literature, however while syngameons are the general case for defining a kind, i (and YEC groups) think it is possible that some creatures have "devloved" far enough that they can no longer even form a hybrid.

Noah's Ark: Woodmorappe puts the figure of clean animals at around <1%. This leaves the figure at around 16000 animals on the ark. Note that not every single kind had to have been on the Ark. Many would have survived outside the Ark. The Ark contained land mammals, terrestrial birds, and land reptiles, and possibly some of the amphibians. I think this is perfectly feasible, if you want we can discuss the feasibility of some of the aspects.

Forgive me if I don’t convert to biblical literalism just yet.
Aww what? Just when i thought....

Our genome is degenerating and this is a physical process. While there are many mechanisms that slow down this process the overall effect is degenerative.
I'll just post the conclusion of the article and we can go from there.

Mutations are not uniquely biological events that provide an engine of natural variation for natural selection to work upon and produce all the variety of life. Mutation is the purely physical result of the all-pervading mechanical damage that accompanies all molecular machinery. As a consequence, all multicellular life on earth is undergoing inexorable genome decay because the deleterious mutation rates are so high, the effects of the individual mutations are so small, there are no compensatory beneficial mutations and natural selection is ineffective in removing the damage.

So much damage occurs that it is clearly evident within a single human lifetime. Our reproductive cells are not immune, as previously thought, but are just as prone to mechanical damage as our body cells. Somewhere between a few thousand and a few million mutations are enough to drive a human lineage to extinction, and this is likely to occur over a time scale of only tens to hundreds of thousands of years. This is far short of the supposed evolutionary time scales. Like rust eating away the steel in a bridge, mutations are eating away our genomes and there is nothing we can do to stop them.

foraminifora: Firstly I'm not going to start chasing after bare links either. You say that it is a clear example, well sorry I am not just going to take your word for it. 2nd, the fact that it might be superorder evolution doesn't hold much significance either. 3rd, From a quick look most of these species are still living today.

In fact, it doesn’t even propose a mechanism to provide evidence for. Lame.
Excuse me???
Creationists, including myself,1 have provided a variety of alternative explanations for fossil succession. These include such mechanisms as the sorting of organisms during the Flood, differential escape of organisms during the same, ecological zonation of life-forms in the antediluvian world (such that different life-forms in different strata reflect the serial burial of ecological life-zones during the Flood), and TABs (Tectonically-Associated Biological Provinces—wherein different life forms occur in successive horizons of rock as a reflection of successive crustal downwarp of different life-bearing biogeographic communities).

Instead we see nesting hierarchies of interelatedness, with no species displaying traits that defy an evolutionary model.
The evolutionary model is woven around the animals and fossils we see. Would evolution have had the same model before transitional fossils were found? e.g. was the dino to bird link announced before finding "transitional forms" or after? The basic evolutionary story was woven after the "transitional fossils" were found. So much for predictive power. Yes, some new finds are often forced into the already accepted story, however this doesn't prove evolution's predictive power.

NZ: Yes even kiwis. All examples of speciation that we have observed have always been very rapid. e.g. http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v387/n.../387070a0.html , you can also see more examples at http://creation.com/speedy-species-surprise

That’s exactly my point! You weren’t talking about bird evolution. You weren’t talking about whether birds evolved from theropods or directly from archosaurs. You weren’t addressing the actual topic of the quote. You just threw it out there as one of a number of disconnected snipes at the ToE. Nowhere in the original citation do you address the real topic of the quote.

WHAT????? My comments about Archaeopteryx were a direct response to greyseal. When someone brings up an argument FOR Evolution (i.e. if anything, it seemed more like throw a few transitional fossils at a creationist and that will disprove creationism) then shouldn't i reply to this?

If you want to claim to agree with a majority of a <1% minority, you go ahead, but it ain’t much to shout about.
I WILL, thank you very much .

Will deal with tetrapod evolution tomorrow. For now Good-night, or good morning i guess for you.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 115 by Granny Magda, posted 09-22-2009 10:53 PM Granny Magda has responded

Replies to this message:
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Arphy
Member (Idle past 2539 days)
Posts: 185
From: New Zealand
Joined: 08-23-2009


Message 131 of 210 (525678)
09-24-2009 8:29 AM
Reply to: Message 127 by PaulK
09-24-2009 5:01 AM


Re: To my numerous opponents
Mine does not. Therefore my worldview is more reasonable.

Again, in your opinion.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 127 by PaulK, posted 09-24-2009 5:01 AM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 133 by PaulK, posted 09-24-2009 8:50 AM Arphy has not yet responded

    
Percy
Member
Posts: 18369
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.9


Message 132 of 210 (525681)
09-24-2009 8:42 AM
Reply to: Message 123 by Blue Jay
09-24-2009 1:19 AM


Re: To my numerous opponents
When I see the term "evolutionism" I'm reminded of the related term "scientism," and the applicable definition of "scientism" over at Answers.com is:

Term, often used pejoratively to describe a doctrine that oversimplifies scientific concepts or has an unrealistic expectation of science.

The Wikipedia article on evolutionism at one point says something similarly worrying:

In the creation-evolution controversy, creationists often call those who accept the validity of the modern evolutionary synthesis "evolutionists" and the theory itself as "evolutionism." Some creationists and creationist organizations, such as the Institute of Creation Research, use these terms in an effort to make it appear that evolutionary biology is a form of secular religion.

...

In modern times, the term evolution is widely used, but the terms evolutionism and evolutionist are rarely used in scientific circles to refer to the biological discipline.[citation needed]

The Institute for Creation Science, however, in order to treat evolution as a category of religions, including atheism, fascism, humanism and occultism, commonly uses the words evolutionism and evolutionist to describe the consensus of mainstream science and the scientists subscribing to it, thus implying through language that the issue is a matter of religious belief.[5] The basis of this argument is to establish that the creation-evolution controversy is essentially one of interpretation of evidence, without any overwhelming proof (beyond current scientific theories) on either side. Creationists tend to use the term evolutionism in order to suggest that the theory of evolution and creationism are equal in a philosophical debate.

This isn't the only way to define evolutionism, but in general the term when used in the creation/evolution debate is of a pejorative and/or derogatory nature. It implies that we're trying to force an evolutionary interpretation that doesn't really fit onto the natural world. For myself, my acceptance of the theory of evolution because of its supporting evidence and explanatory power is not evolutionism, just as my acceptance of relativity for the same reasons is not relativityism.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 123 by Blue Jay, posted 09-24-2009 1:19 AM Blue Jay has not yet responded

    
PaulK
Member
Posts: 14809
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 133 of 210 (525683)
09-24-2009 8:50 AM
Reply to: Message 131 by Arphy
09-24-2009 8:29 AM


Re: To my numerous opponents
quote:

Again, in your opinion.

It's not just my opinion, and you know it. The very fact that you refuse to even acknowledge the evidence only confirms my point.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 131 by Arphy, posted 09-24-2009 8:29 AM Arphy has not yet responded

    
Perdition
Member (Idle past 1344 days)
Posts: 1593
From: Wisconsin
Joined: 05-15-2003


Message 134 of 210 (525700)
09-24-2009 10:19 AM
Reply to: Message 124 by Arphy
09-24-2009 4:07 AM


Re: To my numerous opponents
When we see things like fossils in the ground one could come up with a nearly infinite number of reasons as to how they got there

One of the tenets of science is parsimony. You may have heard it called Occam's Razor. This means, if you have two competing explanations for a phenomenon, more often than not, the answer is the one that presupposes fewer agents with little supporting evidence.

For example, it is technically a possibility that fossils are the result of aliens placing them in the ground, but if we accept that as the probable answer, we are left trying to explain these aliens, and since we have no evidence for them, we're kind of up a creek.

The most parsimonious answer is that it's a natural process, and that the patterns we see are real and are an indicator of what really happened. Until this answer is disproven, we have no reason to suppose other agents and beings, since they are not necessary. If this answer does get shown to be wrong, then the next parsimonious answer would be the answer that presuppopses more agents than the one we were using, but less than others...or the one with an agent for which we have evidence.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 124 by Arphy, posted 09-24-2009 4:07 AM Arphy has not yet responded

    
caffeine
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Posts: 1624
From: Prague, Czech Republic
Joined: 10-22-2008
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Message 135 of 210 (525701)
09-24-2009 10:22 AM
Reply to: Message 130 by Arphy
09-24-2009 8:20 AM


Beneficial and deleterious mutations
quote:
Mutations are not uniquely biological events that provide an engine of natural variation for natural selection to work upon and produce all the variety of life. Mutation is the purely physical result of the all-pervading mechanical damage that accompanies all molecular machinery. As a consequence, all multicellular life on earth is undergoing inexorable genome decay because the deleterious mutation rates are so high, the effects of the individual mutations are so small, there are no compensatory beneficial mutations and natural selection is ineffective in removing the damage.

This isn't so much a conclusion, as an assertion. Conclusions tend to be supported by the arguments offered in the body of a work, whereas this isn't.

At no point is it explained how we can declare all mutations to be damaging. I noticed that one of the examples of an observed mutation picked in the article is melanism, which it concedes may be tangentially beneficial in some environments. But, for what reason is melanism declared deleterious, damaging or degenerative in the first place? Other than a bizarre argument based on trans-species racism, I can't see where they would be coming from. Melanism is undoubtedly beneficial in environments where it leads to effective camouflage, or protection from harmful UV rays. According to wikipedia, melanism may even possibily increase disease resistance in cats (though it doesn't cite the source of this claim).

Nowhere does the creation.com article even attempt to explain why this mutation isn’t advantageous. It simply starts with the assumption there are none and sticks with it regardless.

An even more compelling reason to dismiss this article as nonsense, which doesn’t involve any debates over whether or not x mutation was beneficial, is the simple fact that point mutations have been observed to reserve in the laboratory. Base pairs in E. coli have been substituted – a mutation causing a phenotypic change – and then in later generations substituted back to the original pair - reversing this phenotypic change.

If either of these changes represent degeneration of the genome, then the reverse must represent an improvement. The claim that all mutations represent degeneration of the genome can’t stand up to any further scrutiny.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 130 by Arphy, posted 09-24-2009 8:20 AM Arphy has not yet responded

  
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