Member (Idle past 4064 days)
Message 22 of 58 (4542)
02-15-2002 4:36 AM
Reply to: Message 13 by lbhandli
02-12-2002 2:34 PM
Originally posted by lbhandli:
Your 'model' wasn't a model. It was two claims that completely avoided anything unique and testable. Of course, if you would like to stop whining and post it again it can, again, be pointed out why it was useless.
Ilbhandli: I find myself in the rather odd and somewhat uncomfortable position of actually backing a creationist over a fellow non-creationist on this particular issue. Yes, cobra's model wasn't very elegant or refined, and (of course ) it's erroneous - but it's still one of the best "scientific" models of creationism I've seen. It has a hypothesis, assumptions that must be true if the hypothesis is true, and two tentative predictions. It is, in short, couched in nearly scientific form, and well worth the effort to refute. Maybe if I restate it for him, with my comments as to what I consider the current "state of play" in the discussion, you'll see what I mean. (Note: the debate thus far has primarily been focused on the implications of the assumptions. Cobra has not yet gotten to presenting positive evidence for the model.) (Cobra: correct me if I mis-state something.)
In the first place, he begins with (obviously) the unstated, but I'd say stipulated, premise that a creation event occurred in accordance with the Biblical genesis. IOW, Creation Happened.
He then goes on to posit five assumptions that must be true if the initial premise is true.
1. Mutations should almost always cause a bad effect. Comment: We haven't gotten beyond discussing the implications of the assumption (ever-increasing deleterious mutational load leading to negative marginal fitness leading to error catastrophe). Evidence countering this assumption has been provided:
a) the persistence of natural populations cannot be explained by this assumption.
b) beneficial mutations do exist
c) the vast majority of all mutations are neutral
Conclusion: the assumption is invalid as written. Note: this does NOT invalidate the entire theory, merely implies that the assumption needs either to be revised or discarded.
2. Mutations should rarely or never increase the amount of information. Comment: As could probably be expected, the discussion has devolved into a discussion of what constitutes “new information”. The counter-argument has been:
a) “information” is not necessarily a valid concept used with genetics
b) there are a variety of mutational effects, all of which either increase, decrease or change the DNA code. My position is that such changes constitute “new information”.
Conclusion: None reached. I am awaiting Cobra’s definition of new information, or agreement with mine. In addition, positive evidence from nature needs to be provided at this stage before the assumption can be further explored.
3. Speciation should occur as a product of the great variability programmed into living things, combined with mutations. As a corollary to this assumption, Cobra provided the following amplifications:
a) The overall diversity of species INCREASES over time.
b) The overall diversity of the new species is less than that of the first species
The discussion has so far been devoted to presentation of observations that would tend to show that biodiversity (a) and inherited variation (b) are not linked as suggested. In addition, evidence of substantial increases in both inherited variability of individual species AND increases in biodiversity are both possible. Positive evidence has been requested to show how speciation causes decreased variation, or evidence of decreased variability within a population.
Conclusion: Awaiting positive evidence from the creationist side.
4. All living things should be fully formed from the start. (i.e. no reptiles with "half-wings" or "half-feathers.") Comment: Discussion has focused on the following:
a) The assumption is based in part on the postulate of linearity and increased perfection in organisms over time, which is a violation of both assumption 1, 3, and 5.
b) Examples were provided showing analogies with modern organisms with “partial” adaptations
Conclusion: Under discussion.
5. Due to the typically negative effect of mutations, speciations should arise primarily as a result of LOSS or CORRUPTION of information, which makes the species less varied. Comment: Discussion has focused on the following:
a) Violation of assumption 4 and corollary (a) of assumption 3.
b) Assumption rests on the validity of assumption 2, which is disputed
c) Evidence or example from nature has been requested showing how negative mutations (“loss or corruption of information”) can cause speciation
Conclusion: Under discussion, but shaky.
Cobra follows his assumptions with two tentative predictions of what science would observe if the assumptions were true.
1. Fully formed creatures in the fossil record (no "half-features") Comment: Prediction follows directly from assumption 4. Discussion began with a definition of transitional fossil.
Conclusion: Prediction tabled pending Cobra’s review of relevant geological and paleontological literature to gain an understanding of the fossil record.
2. An increased genetic burden over time as a result of the negative effect of mutations. Cobra provided a corollary: “The species can still be well fit (due to change in allelic frequency), but the species will have an increased genetic burden.” Comment: Prediction follows directly from assumptions 1 (invalid), 2, 3, and 5. The argument against this prediction revolve around the arguments against the assumption. Positive evidence has been requested showing examples from nature.
Conclusion: Under discussion.
Not a bad effort for a creationist. Feel free to jump in and help dismantle it.
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