quote: It certainly was an admission that there are no directly transitional fossils. i.e. none where he feels that the evolutionary story told about the fossil can be said to necessarily be true.
It doesn't even mean that. All it means is that the fossil evidence is too limited to prove direct ancestry beyond doubt.
But, of course, that is not the issue. The question is whether the morphological intermediates predicted by evolution exist. And they do - with more being discovered every year. Funnily enough the morphological intermediates that would be major problems for evolution aren't found.
By your own words creationism doesn't predict which combinations of traits will be found - thus the fact that evolution does is strong scientific evidence for evolution over creationism.
Which is why many creationists plug the completely false view that transitional fossils don't exist. And they are quite happy to use misrepresentation in an attempt to support that false claim.
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.
quote: 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. So, yes, I learnt a bit more about his quotes through this debate and maybe I didn't quite use it as appropriatly as i should havunderstand them as well as I first thought, however when i look through the articles it seems if there was a fault it was more with me than the articles.
So the reasoning here seems to be that we should throw out the conclusion that archaeopteryx is descended from dinosaurs because Feduccia says so and we should trust Feduccia's opinion.
We should throw out Feduccia's alternative view because Feduccia's opinion isn't good enough.
Having rejected both proposals (for contradictory reasons) we should not consider any other possibilities because nobody is proposing them. (Never mind that the main reason nobody is proposing any other possibilities is that the evidence for dinosaurian ancestry is so strong).
And from that you reach the conclusion that archaeopteryx is not a transitional fossil (and Feduccia's opinion doesn't count for anything at all).
But there is a big problem there. Archaeopteryx is classified as a transitional based on it's anatomy - the "reptilian" features it retains. That is why even Feduccia agrees that Archaeopteryx is a transitional. And you simply haven't addressed that issue.