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Author Topic:   Transitional fossils and quote mining
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 862 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 36 of 210 (524418)
09-16-2009 11:41 AM
Reply to: Message 33 by Arphy
09-16-2009 7:32 AM


ZW vs XY and "Reptiles"
Hi, Arphy.

Arphy writes:

[The playpus has] X chromosome similar to avian sex chromosome Z, but another chromosome is similar to the mouse X, and still another is similar to the human X

It is similar in that the female is heterozygous (has two different types of chromosome) and the male is homozygous (has two of the same type) in that chromosome pair. What is interesting about this is that some lizards (e.g. monitors) and turtles also have heterozygous females. Curiously the Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies) also have heterozygous females.

It appears that the ZZ-ZW system is quite widespread across all animal groups. So, this trait is either an ancestral trait in animals, or a convergent trait (it appears idependently multiple times).

-----

Furthermore, I dislike the term "reptile," because it's a useless, vague term that doesn't really hold a lot of meaning. Basically, it refers to any amniote that isn't a bird or a mammal. That means that any trait that you call a "reptile" trait, is just an ancestral trait of amniotes, and we should expect to see these in some mammals if mammals evolved from reptiles.

In reality, there are at least three lineages of "reptiles": diapsids, synapsids and anapsids. The anapsids are extinct*. The diapsids include all the modern animals that we call "reptiles," plus the dinosaurs, pterosaurs and plesiosaurs (and some others). The synapsids include the mammals and the "reptiles" from which they evolved (most paleontologists now prefer to call these "stem-mammals," instead of "reptiles," because they share more in common with us than with classical "reptiles").

*Some people think turtles are anapsids, but this conflicts with a lot of recent molecular studies, that indicate that they are modified diapsids

In fact, we see that most (maybe even all) of the platypus's "reptilian" traits are actually also present in stem-mammals.

-----

So, technically speaking, your statement,

Arphy, Message 9, writes:

A platypus has features from mammals, reptiles, and birds!

...would be more appropriately stated:

Amended Arphy writes:

A platypus has features from mammals, stem-mammals and stem-animals!

...which hardly seems to conflict with the picture painted by the Theory of Evolution anymore.


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

Darwin loves you.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 33 by Arphy, posted 09-16-2009 7:32 AM Arphy has not yet responded

  
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 862 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 70 of 210 (524906)
09-20-2009 1:20 AM
Reply to: Message 69 by Arphy
09-19-2009 11:20 PM


Re: Lies, Damn Lies and Creationist Quote Mines
Hi, Arphy.

Arphy writes:

ToE may try to use these mechanisms [random mutation, natural selection and genetic drift] to support the theory but they are not the theory itself.

Yes, they are: a theory is comprised of a series of interconnected mechanisms that together explain a phenomenon.

-----

Arphy writes:

Granny Magda writes:

The only thing you reject are the theory’s implications, such as common ancestry between humans and apes, which is no more important to the ToE than common ancestry between gastropods and cephalopods;

hmm.. don't think this sentence makes sense. Read it again. Do you think common ancestry is important to the ToE or not?

No, Granny Magda does not think common ancestry is important the the ToE. Neither do I.

If life arose independently seventy-four times; or if God created a million "kinds" of organisms; or if new kinds of organisms are randomly farted out of a "Cosmic Anus," they could still evolve over time via mutation and natural selection.

You are confusing a scientific theory (ToE) with a worldview (philosophical naturalism) that usually includes ToE. That you want to call this worldview "evolutionism" does not mean it is the same thing as the Theory of Evolution.

-----

Arphy writes:

Both Olsen and me both agree that birds did not evolve from dinosaurs, so what is wrong with me using his comments as support for this particular purpose.

Nothing. As long as you are only using their arguments against the proposition that birds evolved from coelurosaurian dinosaurs. But, neither you nor any other creationist/IDist is using it in this fashion: you are using it to argue that evolution is itself false. This is what makes it quote-mining and intellectual dishonesty.

Another example would be if you were to quote the first two lines of my previous paragraph and use it to show that I condone your usage of Olsen's and Feduccia's quotes, when I obviously do no such thing (so don't do it).

Edited by Bluejay, : As it turns out, "itseld" is not a real word.


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

Darwin loves you.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 69 by Arphy, posted 09-19-2009 11:20 PM Arphy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 74 by Arphy, posted 09-21-2009 3:51 AM Blue Jay has responded

  
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 862 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 84 of 210 (525100)
09-21-2009 3:57 PM
Reply to: Message 74 by Arphy
09-21-2009 3:51 AM


Worldviews
Hi, Arphy.

Arphy writes:

Bluejay writes:

You are confusing a scientific theory (ToE) with a worldview (philosophical naturalism) that usually includes ToE. That you want to call this worldview "evolutionism" does not mean it is the same thing as the Theory of Evolution.

Great, thank you, something i can work with. So YECs like me, and organisations like CMI, ICR, are actually YEC's as well as evolutionists by your definition of evolution. In this case maybe this forum should be called Philosophical naturalism Vs Creation.

You are being very uncareful with your choice of words, Arphy. “Evolutionism” and Theory of Evolution are not the same thing. That you accept the Theory of Evolution (and you do) does not mean you accept the “evolutionist” worldview. I should never have introduced the term “philosophical naturalism” into the discussion, and just stuck with the more parochial “evolutionism” (let’s ignore “philosophical naturalism” for the time being: you can say “evolutionist”).

First, a worldview is a system of theories and beliefs that a person accepts and by which a person defines their perspectives. There are fundamental aspects of a worldview (a “hard core”), and there are auxiliary aspects (a “soft core”). The hard core is the part of a worldview that is of central importance to everything else, and will not change readily; whereas a soft core is dynamic, and any aspect of it will be discarded long before any aspect of the hard core is called into question.

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). Let me focus on “natural history” for the moment.

Natural history is a series of events that happened in the past. Evolution, as the hard core of the worldview, is the explanation for the underlying mechanics of these events.

My view of natural history is that Archaeopteryx was closely related to a group of coelurosaurian theropod dinosaurs. Feduccia’s view of natural history is that Archaeopteryx is related to a group of non-dinosaurian archosaurian reptiles. This disagreement is only over the actual events that happened, not over the underlying mechanics of the these events.

You are conflating a disagreement over a soft-core issue with a disagreement over a hard-core issue. By extension, what you are saying is that, if any two people disagree on soft-core issues, they must also disagree on hard-core issues. But, I feel it certain that both Feduccia and Bluejay could abandon our respective views on Archaeopteryx without feeling that their hard core (i.e. the Theory of Evolution) would need to be discarded.

In fact, Feduccia’s arguments against the mainstream view on Archaeopteryx would actually be completely invalidated if the Theory of Evolution were shown to be false, because his arguments are based on the Theory of Evolution.

Material and terminology about worldviews borrowed from:

Brown JS. (2001). Ngongas and ecology: on having a worldview. Oikos 94(1):6-16.

... a very good source of information for those interested in discussing scientific thought, in my opinion.

-----

Arphy writes:

Bluejay writes:

As long as you are only using their arguments against the proposition that birds evolved from coelurosaurian dinosaurs. But, neither you nor any other creationist/IDist is using it in this fashion: you are using it to argue that evolution is itself false.

Wrong. While many arguments that YECs make does devastate large areas of evolution, oops, I mean philosophical naturalism, sometimes we have to break it down into pieces and argue individual details which when added together is then able to show that philosophical naturalism is false. birds evolving from coelurosaurian dinosaurs is just a one of those detail.

And, this approach is exactly what I am saying is invalid. The details you are arguing against are inconsequential to the larger worldview, so they cannot add together to say anything about the larger worldview. In logical debate, this is called the fallacy of composition.

Let’s apply the hard-core/soft-core concept to Christianity. Here is a Wikipedia article about the different views of Jesus. Enumerating all of the points of disagreement about the nature of Jesus does not, in any way, add up to a commentary about whether or not Jesus was a real person, because all of those views are built on the premise that Jesus was a real person.

The same for Archaeopteryx: enumerating all of the points of disagreement about the evolutionary relationships of birds and reptiles does not, in any way, add up to a commentary about whether or not birds actually evolved, because all of those views are built on the premise that birds evolved from something.

Can you see now why your quote is misused?


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

Darwin loves you.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 74 by Arphy, posted 09-21-2009 3:51 AM Arphy has not yet responded

  
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 862 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 105 of 210 (525204)
09-22-2009 12:20 PM
Reply to: Message 86 by Arphy
09-21-2009 9:28 PM


Re: To my numerous opponents
Hi, Arphy.

I recognize the enormity of the task you have ahead of you in this thread, with so many opponents, and I commend you for your intelligence and your good demeanor.

Arphy writes:

So you are saying that natural selection, genetic drift, etc are the hard core. Yet as I showed at the beginning of this post, this doesn't seem to be the case. The hard core seems to be that everything evolved from something else (except you might say possibly abiogenesis).

First, leave genetic drift out: it's just a side effect of mutation and reproduction. Side effects, by definition, cannot be hard-core.

Second, the hard core is the portion of the worldview that defines the rest. "Everything evolved from something else" is clearly an extension of evolution, so you cannot say it is the "hard core." If your hard core is an extension of something else, then clearly, the "something else" is more central to your worldview than the extension of it, right? Common sense.

-----

Arphy writes:

This is the worldview. The mechanisms are then supposed to show how this worldview is viable. It doesn't make any sense to say that your worldview IS a collection of mechanisms.

Why not? A mechanism is the ultimate explanation for any event. Thus, the logical way to cluster events into a workable worldview is mechanistically.

-----

Arphy writes:

Bluejay writes:

By extension, what you are saying is that, if any two people disagree on soft-core issues, they must also disagree on hard-core issues.

Again you are putting words into mouths of creationists that we never said. PLEASE STOP doing that. I have never said that "if any two people disagree on soft-core issues, they must also disagree on hard-core issues".

Arphy, I'm trying to be patient with this.

You acknowledge that arguments against the soft core do not translate into arguments against the hard-core, but yet, you still think that arguments about natural history (a soft-core topic) can expose flaws in evolution (a hard-core topic).

Let me try to represent it graphically. Here is a picture of a generic tree diagram:

Think of each of the dots as a different component of a worldview. See how everything in the worldview traces to a single, central concept? That’s the hard core: ToE. The letter’s A-F (pretend one of those E’s is an F) represent auxiliary ideas. Let’s say that A is “common descent,” and that C is “birds evolved from coelurosaurs.”

What happens if I remove C and replace it with G (“birds evolve from stem-archosaurs”)? Does that change anything else on the diagram? No: it only changes A--C to A--G.

Remember my Christology example: there are hundreds of different opinions about the nature and teachings of Jesus. Remember Arius? He thought that Jesus was not God Incarnate, but a creation of God. Here is a quote from Arius (source):

quote:
But we say and believe and have taught, and do teach, that the Son is not unbegotten, nor in any way part of the unbegotten; and that he does not derive his subsistence from any matter... We are persecuted, because we say that the Son has a beginning, but that God is without beginning.

Arius very clearly stated that Jesus is not God the Father. Would I be within my rights to use this quote to support an argument that Jesus was not a real historical figure?

-----

Just because you repeat ad nauseum that you are not doing it doesn't mean you actually aren't. So, I will continue to ignore your claims that you are not conflating soft-core and hard-core arguments until you actually stop conflating them.


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

Darwin loves you.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 86 by Arphy, posted 09-21-2009 9:28 PM Arphy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 113 by Arphy, posted 09-22-2009 9:47 PM Blue Jay has responded

  
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 862 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 120 of 210 (525553)
09-23-2009 5:56 PM
Reply to: Message 113 by Arphy
09-22-2009 9:47 PM


Re: To my numerous opponents
Hi, Arphy.

Arphy writes:

Hmm... I really don't see how the "ToE" is the worldview as opposed to "evolution".

I recognize that you have a lot of stuff to sort through, and it’s very easy to overlook or misunderstand things, but I didn't say that ToE is the worldview. In fact, I affirmed "evolutionism" as the worldview.

It's right here (Message 84):

Bluejay writes:

“Evolutionism” and Theory of Evolution are not the same thing. That you accept the Theory of Evolution (and you do) does not mean you accept the “evolutionist” worldview.

ToE is not the worldview.

The next paragraph explained what the worldview is:

Bluejay writes:

First, a worldview is a system of theories and beliefs that a person accepts and by which a person defines their perspectives. There are fundamental aspects of a worldview (a “hard core”), and there are auxiliary aspects (a “soft core”).

Do not confuse the worldview with the hard core of the worldview. The soft core is also part of the worldview, but it is more malleable. So, a worldview with ToE in its hard core is adjustable in relation to the clade from which Archaeopteryx evolved.

So, accepting Feduccia’s argument would require a shift in worldview, but would not require a wholesale scrapping of the worldview.

Arguments that call for a rearrangement of a worldview are not arguments against the worldview. Does that make sense?

-----

Arphy writes:

Bluejay writes:

Arius very clearly stated that Jesus is not God the Father. Would I be within my rights to use this quote to support an argument that Jesus was not a real historical figure?

Sure, you are quoting an "expert (hmm...)".

I don't want to get bogged down in an off-topic discussion of christological evidence: my argument is only an argument of principle, used as an analogy of your reasoning in an effort to show that your reasoning is invalid.

So, let me ask again: if I wanted to make an argument that Jesus never existed, could Arius saying that Jesus was not God contribute to that?

Then, if I used Arius, could I then also quote a docetist or gnostic saying that Jesus was never human, and show that, since I have arguments against Jesus being man and being divine, Jesus must never have existed in any form?

Of course I cannot do this, because, even though the two quotes, when combined, effectively wipe out all possible existences of Christ, they are not in harmony with one another. So, if the two do not combine to wipe away Christ’s existence, how can they be used independently for the same purpose?

They simply can’t. They address a completely different issue from the one my anti-Jesus argument is attempting to discredit.

Likewise for Feduccia’s quote: it addresses a completely different issue from the one creationists are trying to discredit.

-----

Arphy writes:

A mechanism is the ultimate explanation for any event

Exactly, a mechanism explains the event. We believe in the event and then explain it using evidence. The event comes first, and then it is explained. In other words the story of evolution comes first and then you try to support this with mechanisms.

First, it isn’t a matter of which one comes first: it’s a matter of which one is of more importance to the overall worldview. ToE is infinitely more important to the evolutionism worldview than is dinosaurs-to-birds.

Second, give me any evidence at all that the mechanism is being adjusted to fit the story. There is none. The mechanism has remained fundamentally the same since Darwin first published it. But, the stories have changed hundreds of times since then. This should be an indication to you that we care more about our mechanism than about our stories. That’s why I call the former “hard-core” and the latter “soft-core.”

Third, you are describing a mode of thinking that is religious, not scientific.

I don’t think I’ve told you yet, but I’m a practicing Christian. What you describe above is a correct explanation for how Christians think. We start with a story, which doubles as our evidence (the Bible), and try to work out a mechanism for how the story works (Christian apologetics).

But, you can’t do that with science. You have to start with evidence (e.g. the fossils), develop a mechanism or theory to explain the evidence (evolution), then produce your story (natural history) using that mechanism.

-----

Arphy writes:

Yes, i think that things like the evolution of birds are soft core topics, however the idea "they must of evolved from something" is the hard-core topic. In other words The idea that everything evolved from something else is the hard-core idea. the ideas of how this works out for individual situations (such as the evolution of Birds through the mechanisms of the ToE) are then the soft-core issues.

You’re close. Very close.

There doesn’t have to be just two levels to a 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).

Thus, we are more likely to overturn the coelurosaurian ancestry of birds than we are to overturn the concept of common descent, and we are more likely to overturn common descent than we are to overturn ToE. So, of course “everything evolved from something else” is harder-core than “birds evolved from coelurosaurs.” But, you can bet that ToE is even harder-core than common descent.

I hope now you see a little bit better the viewpoint of your opponents on this issue.

Edited by Bluejay, : Trimming quotes for better efficiency.

Edited by Bluejay, : Better wording in the christology segment.


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

Darwin loves you.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 113 by Arphy, posted 09-22-2009 9:47 PM Arphy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 121 by Arphy, posted 09-23-2009 9:57 PM Blue Jay has responded

  
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 862 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

  
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 862 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 137 of 210 (525743)
09-24-2009 12:56 PM
Reply to: Message 124 by Arphy
09-24-2009 4:07 AM


Focus on the Topic!
Hi, Arphy.

Arphy writes:

In reply to bluejay (sorry, this post gets a bit harsh on you)...

Don't make it personal: neither I nor my personal beliefs have ever been the topic of this thread.

That you've focused your posting on me and my beliefs indicates that you have not been paying attention to my arguments.

-----

Arphy writes:

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.

emphasis mine

Really, Arphy!?

-----

Arphy writes:

To just say god-did-it to everything until the naturalists reach a consensus on the issue, I find unreasonable.

Please show me anywhere where I use the "god-did-it" argument.

-----

Back to my argument:

quote:
Paleontologists have tried to turn Archaeopteryx into an earth-bound, feathered dinosaur. But it's not. It is a bird, a perching bird. And no amount of 'paleobabble' is going to change that.

-Dr Alan Feduccia


Feduccia claims that Archaeopteryx is not a dinosaur.

quote:
But we say and believe and have taught, and do teach, that the Son is not unbegotten, nor in any way part of the unbegotten; and that he does not derive his subsistence from any matter... We are persecuted, because we say that the Son has a beginning, but that God is without beginning.

-Arius


Arius claims that Jesus is not God.

Feduccia's comment lends support to the idea that "evolutionism" is false.

Thus, Arius's comment lends support to the idea that Christianity is false.

Agreed?

-----

Arphy writes:

I want you to recognise what you believe and why you believe it.

Don't be a condescending prick.

-----

Arphy writes:

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.

We've been over this twice already: why do you consistently repeat this without acknowledging my explanations for it?

Please explain to me why a person who believes that life did not evolve from a single common ancestor, but from 100 different ancestors, could not be an "evolutionist."

The reason you see this as the hard core is because this is your major point of contention with it. If it weren't for this little hitch, your worldview would be identical to ours. So, naturally, you think this is the basis for everything we do.

But, it simply isn't true: my worldview would only be minorly shifted if I discovered that the Tree of Life actually consisted of a dozen separate Trees of Life. But, if ToE were false, my entire worldview would collapse and I would have to start completely over.

Contrast this with your worldview: if you discovered that ToE was false, how much would your worldview be changed? Very little: you would shrug and say, "I guess things haven't changed all that much since the Flood," or whatever your particular belief is exactly.

That is the primary difference.

But, please, you don't have to get into all these detailed discussions about what every individual person's belief system is: the only point in all of this is that a victory for Feduccia requires only a small shift in a little detail of an overall worldview, and will not require any significant alterations of the views on ToE or universal common descent.

Please tell me that this is sinking in.

Edited by Bluejay, : A "a little" is generally sufficient.

Edited by Bluejay, : New subtitle


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

Darwin loves you.


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

Replies to this message:
 Message 138 by NosyNed, posted 09-24-2009 1:35 PM Blue Jay has responded

  
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 862 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 139 of 210 (525789)
09-24-2009 4:27 PM
Reply to: Message 138 by NosyNed
09-24-2009 1:35 PM


Re: other trees
Hi, Ned.

NosyNed writes:

I don't actually see why [the worldview] would shift at all (ok, maybe 0.00001 %)...

...And it would change nothing at the "worldview" level.

My concept of "worldview" comes from:

Brown JS. (2001). Ngongas and ecology: on having a worldview. Oikos 94(1):6-16.

Brown considers the "worldview" to refer to the entire assemblage of things that one accepts. "Worldview" isn't treated as a "level," per se. Like you say, it would be nothing devastating or even particularly significant; but it would change how I think about at least something, so it seemed prudent to grant the technicality.


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

Darwin loves you.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 138 by NosyNed, posted 09-24-2009 1:35 PM NosyNed has not yet responded

  
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 862 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 147 of 210 (525975)
09-25-2009 11:22 AM
Reply to: Message 141 by Arphy
09-25-2009 4:31 AM


Hi, Arphy.

Arphy writes:

quote:
It’s important to note that all reasoning really starts with presuppositions (axioms, i.e. certain things that are taken for granted without being able to prove them). And there’s nothing inappropriately “biased” about that, it’s inevitable, but the question is then whether the presupposition leads to conclusions which support it sufficiently to justify trusting it further, and so on

If you guys think that this does not apply to evolution, that it is somehow exempt from any presuppositions then this just becomes undebateable.

I certainly don't believe there aren't assumptions involved in studying evolution.

But, I don't see the relevance of this quote or of your point about it to this particular discussion. Whether or not evolution is based on certain assumptions, a quote about the clade to which Archaeopteryx belongs does not contribute to a pro-Creation argument.

I sincerely hope you stay: there are so few creationists here with your knowledge, reason and eloquence. It would be even better if you could somehow coax EvC member Wumpini (I'd even take AlphaOmegakid) to come back and participate with you in some debates.

But, whatever you decide, it's been a pleasure debating with you.


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

Darwin loves you.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 141 by Arphy, posted 09-25-2009 4:31 AM Arphy has not yet responded

  
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 862 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


(1)
Message 154 of 210 (527880)
10-03-2009 2:29 AM
Reply to: Message 150 by Arphy
10-02-2009 6:50 AM


Hi, Arphy.

Don't sweat the time you're taking: you're doing a good job engaging all your opponents and filtering the arguments down to the most important parts. I'd take one of your high-quality posts a week over a dozen typical creationist posts an hour, for sure.

Arphy writes:

Also an apology to bluejay, maybe I was a bit hasty with my assumptions (as my brother likes to say “when you assume you make an “ass” out of “u” and “me”), these assumptions can be made with many evangelical christians, also to be fair I am not an expert on mormonism.

Meh. Worse things have been said of me by people infinitely more insufferable than you.

-----

Arphy writes:

I still maintain that I find evangelical christian evolution compromises very illogical and unreasonable but that might be another debate

I also maintain that you find it illogical.

But, the illogic comes entirely from the religious side of things. It is not logical to base all of your views and opinions about the world on the words written in a book: the only really logical position to take is to base your views and opinions about the world on the clues you see in the world.

If there are conflicts between the book and the physical evidence, it is logical to think that the physical evidence takes precedence. If this is the case, why not just start with the physical evidence, anyway, then give the book credit only insofar as it conforms to that evidence?

You're right: this should go into a different thread.

-----

Arphy writes:

In message 137 bluejay you attack me again on saying that common descent is not hard-core yet there is no mention of my comment that long ages are also hard-core. So what happens when you lose both?

Then my worldview changes. Specifically, I would have to change my views on the rate at which mutations occur. But, it has already been established that mutations occur, and that differential fitness occurs as a result of these mutations, so no evidence against the age of the Earth nor common descent changes this.

That's why the mechanisms described in ToE are the "hard-core."

-----

Arphy writes:

...similar characteristics doesn't immediatly translate to being related.

Granted. However, it isn’t just similarities that we see: it’s similarities that fit a pattern that is identical to a pattern seen in a genealogy chart.

We can see patterns in trait distribution across multiple generations of a single family. So, when we see identical patterns emerging between populations, species and larger clades, it is indeed the most parsimonious answer to attribute it to the same process (i.e. heredity). Any other hypothesis requires us to make an assumption that we really can’t support (e.g. that there is a limit to the amount of change that can occur).

Arphy writes:

As for feduccia, I see it like this: It does throw cold water on its status as a transitiona fossil, because if birds didn't evolve from feathered dinosaurs but some other reptile as Feduccia says. Then the only other prominent evolutionary theory is Feduccia's theory which really doesn't have much backing in evidence at all.

This amounts to: “The way I see it, if you’re wrong, then you don’t have another good explanation.”

The problem is that, if we ever replace the theropod theory of bird origins, it will be because the strength of the evidence for some other theory will surpass the strength of the evidence for the theropod theory. Until something better comes along, the theropod theory will remain. So, if Feduccia’s argument ever replaces ours, it will be because its evidentiary basis is stronger.

-----

Arphy writes:

The researchers didn't just search in one place.

You’re right. But, they didn’t just go digging through fish graveyards. They refined their search according to two criteria:

  1. Strata dated to between the ages of Panderichthys and Acanthostega.
  2. Similarity in geography and environment to the locations where Panderichthys and Acanthostega were found.

Then, they searched the places that met these two criteria, and that’s where they found Tiktaalik. They used evolution to direct their search, and they found what evolution indicated they would find.

Edited by Bluejay, : Three minor changes: typo corrections and one additional clarification

Edited by Bluejay, : I guess I tried to start another sentence with "You can't..." However, I can't remember what it was supposed to be, so I deleted it.

Edited by Bluejay, : No reason given.


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

Darwin loves you.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 150 by Arphy, posted 10-02-2009 6:50 AM Arphy has not yet responded

  
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 862 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


(1)
Message 168 of 210 (531059)
10-15-2009 11:49 PM
Reply to: Message 155 by Arphy
10-13-2009 6:13 AM


Hi, Arphy.

Arphy writes:

Also came across this in an article which which i think is an interesting point made in relation to the Tiktaalik prediction.

EarthHistory.org.uk writes:

Consequently, evolution theory predicted that the emergence of hindlimb-powered propulsion would be seen in the interval between Panderichthys and Acanthostega. Tiktaalik fails that prediction. Indeed, it was more of a ‘front-wheel drive’ animal than Panderichthys was.

This isn't really a quote-mine, but it's kind of related, and it really pisses me off, so I'm going to talk about it anyway.

Did you even think to check this claim, or did you just see it and take it at face value because you like what it says?

The pelvic girdle of Tiktaalik roseae is not known. Thus, there is no possible way for whoever-this-is to make the claim that Tiktaalik was "more of a front-wheel drive animal" than Panderichthys was, unless they are using the technique we scientists refer to as "lying."

Please try to be as skeptical of claims that agree with you as you are of claims that disagree with you: just because it sounds good to you doesn't mean it is reliable or accurate.

This is something that drives me crazy, and I run into it all the time with religious folks. Being raised on the scriptures makes people terribly prone to fixation on and infatuation with trite phrases and truisms, and there is a tendency there to treat every phrase like it's a quote from Proverbs.

We're taught that "truth speaks to our souls" (maybe not in those exact words, though), and so, whatever "feels right" to us should be wholeheartedly accepted. That makes us so apt to take things out of context or to simply halt our search when we hear what we want to hear, rather than when we hear rational, reasonable conclusions. It is the single most infuriating thing in my personal life and experience, and I have no end of regrets because of it.

There, that's my two cents. Sorry, Arphy: it isn't really aimed at you, but at a specific pet peeve of mine. I hope you don't take it too personally.


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

Darwin loves you.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 155 by Arphy, posted 10-13-2009 6:13 AM Arphy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 170 by Arphy, posted 10-16-2009 2:42 AM Blue Jay has not yet responded

  
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 862 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 194 of 210 (532703)
10-25-2009 9:03 PM
Reply to: Message 191 by Granny Magda
10-25-2009 3:34 PM


Buzzwordland
Hi, Granny.

Granny Magda writes:

Feduccia does not argue against "dino-to-bird". His opinion is that birds are descended from dinosaurs. He just thinks that they are descended from a different kind of dinosaur to most other experts.

Actually, Feduccia's position is a little confusing at times. Some arguments sound like he thinks birds evolved from stem Saurischians (sister to theropods), and some sound like he thinks birds evolved from stem archosaurs (sister to all dinosauria.

In the stem-archosaur argument, he proposes that they evolved from something related to Euparkeria, which is sometimes restored as sort of a "mini-crocodile." Granted, it's a little oblique, but it's not a complete lie. So, I don't think those CMI statements are actually wrong, per se: it's just an unfair, inaccurate usage of something for the sake of rhetorical points.

-----

Honestly, I think creationists live in a place called "Buzzwordland," where your arguments are automatically validated when a specific buzzword or "buzzphrase" is spoken by somebody involved in the debate. If you say the word, "works," you're automatically a dishonest, anti-biblical heretic. If you say, "X is a bird," then you have just disproven all of ToE and atheism. And, context certainly doesn't matter, either: you could say it in the Abstract, Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results or Discussion secion; in the grant proposal, the first draft of your manuscript, your casual blog, or in a misquote by the news media... any of these still counts.

Edited by Bluejay, : Restructuring of first sentence.

Edited by Bluejay, : No reason given.


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

Darwin loves you.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 191 by Granny Magda, posted 10-25-2009 3:34 PM Granny Magda has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 195 by Granny Magda, posted 10-25-2009 9:53 PM Blue Jay has not yet responded

  
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 862 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 209 of 210 (532803)
10-26-2009 2:40 PM
Reply to: Message 203 by Arphy
10-26-2009 4:38 AM


Woodmorappe for Arphy
Hi, Arphy.

Arphy writes:

However, Thanks go especially to Bluejay and Magda for some good posts for debate on this thread. See ya round.

I hope that doesn't mean you're leaving.

If you are, it's been fun debating with you.

If you are not, let me try something new.

Here is an article written by intelligent designist John Woodmorappe about bird evolution. In this paper, he attempts a cladistic analysis of avian traits in birds and theropod dinosaurs.

This is what Mr Woodmorappe has to say about dinosaur-bird evolution:

quote:
Throughout the theropod-bird sequence, there does appear to be an almost monotonic progressive emergence of avian traits throughout the sequence.

Let's ignore, for the moment, the redundancy problem of redundancy.

Here I have quoted a well-known intelligent designist stating that his own research shows a gradual, progressive emergence of birdlike traits in a sequence from theropods to modern birds (and he is correct: his research does show this.).

Now, read the full article, which I linked to above, and tell me if the above quote accurately reflects Mr Woodmorappe's beliefs and conclusions about avian evolution.

Then, tell me whether I can use this quote as evidence against intelligent design, and give me a reason why. Once you have done so, compare your objections about my Woodmorappe quote to our objections about your Feduccia quote.

I think you will find very little, if any, difference between your objections and our objections. You will, of course, find that you are completely justified in objecting to my usage of Woodmorappe. You will also, I hope, find a greater appreciation for the frustration your Feduccia quote is causing us on this thread.


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

Darwin loves you.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 203 by Arphy, posted 10-26-2009 4:38 AM Arphy has not yet responded

  
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