I recently explained that the vitamin C pseudogene pattern is not powerful evidence as evolutionists claim. Evolution did not predict it and would not be harmed if there was no such pattern. Given that the pseudogene exists in certain species, it is true that the pattern fits evolution. But this isolated fact does not mean much. For instance, the sun rising fits geocentrism, and a pig with a cold nose fits the theory that pigs can fly. To this an evolutionist explained how the pattern is interpreted according to evolution, and concluded:
Under evolutionary theory we would predict that the loss of function in GULO will result in loss of conservation—the relaxation of purifying selection—and the accumulation of more differences to GULOP sequences than to functional GULO sequences per unit time as inferred in molecular phylogenies. And this is so. Despite this, we would still expect the differences within a clade such as Haplorrhini to match create a nested hierarchy because of the differing times since divergence as predicted by common descent. And they do. Clearly, this is not the same as wet nose/flying pig.
The evolutionist’s comments about the pseudogene pattern and how it fits evolution seem reasonable. But he has missed the larger point. The consistency of the pattern with evolutionary expectations is not strong evidence for evolution. Sure, let’s call it a successful prediction. All kinds of ridiculous theories enjoy successful predictions, such as the theory that pigs can fly. The question here is not whether the evidence is consistent with evolution, but whether this is powerful and compelling evidence for evolution, as they claim. It isn’t. This is important because evolutionists use examples such as these are a sort of proof text for their claim that evolution is a fact.
I also made the point that evolution and common descent lack a plausible mechanism. To this an evolution commented:
As you are aware, the hypothesized pattern of common descent is evaluated independently of any reference to mechanism.
This is the typical defense, but it is not quite true. Common descent does make claims about the expected pattern of designs in biology, and as such it specifies the underlying mechanism of evolution, to a certain degree. For instance, it requires gradualism. Without gradualism common descent could not know what biological patterns to expect. Yet evolutionists routinely turn off gradualism where the data do not fit.
I also explained that, aside from consistent data, evolution and common descent have made so many false predictions. If we are going to evaluate theories according to their predictions, then certainly we must conclude evolution and common descent are false by modus tollens. To this an evolution commented:
No, we must not conclude that at all. I would have thought that by now, you should have realized that the expected observations given a certain hypothesis are probabilistic. Here, let me help you:
This is what you want things to be like: If hypothesis H then observation O. Not O, therefore not H.
This is what things are like: If hypothesis H then there is some sort of probability of observation O. Not O, therefore ... well, definitely not not H via modus tollens.
I would also have thought that by now, you should have realized that there are alternatives to strict Popperian falsification for evaluating theories. …
Common descent didn't come out looking silly at all - unlike your sophistry.
Actually I briefly discuss this issue of predictions and falsification here (Sections 1.1 – 1.4). Contrary to the evolutionist’s complaint here, I did not say that a falsified prediction implies the hypothesis is false. What the evolutionist omitted was the word “many.” This is not a case of one or two failures. Evolution and common descent have generated a plethora of false predictions, including their major predictions. My point was that evolutionists advertise their few successful predictions to be compelling while failing to reckon with their many false predictions.
Indeed, if there is a fallacy here it is not in my suggestion that false predictions be seriously dealt with, but in the evolutionist’s over estimating the power of their successful predictions. Yes, we can agree the vitamin C pseudogene patterns are consistent with evolution and common descent, but this is hardly the strong evidence they claim it to be. This is important because it is precisely this type of mistake that masks the tremendous mistake evolutionists are making. If a few consistent observations make evolution compelling, then its myriad problems can be ignored. After all, evolution must be a fact, so those problems must merely be research problems. It is a case of confirmation bias on steroids.
Next, in my previous post I discussed how evolutionists say that random biological variation, such as caused by mutations, created the entire biological world. I noted that an analogy once used for this claim is that of a room full of monkeys pounding away at typewriters and producing Hamlet. To this an evolution commented:
It is, pardon me, disgraceful. When used by third-rate creationist debaters, it is either a sign of total ignorance of evolutionary biology, or a deliberate attempt to mislead an unwary audience into thinking that evolutionary biology is nothing but a theory of pure mutation, unaided by natural selection. That strikes the audience as an absurd theory. They are not being told of the effect of natural selection.
Why CH, who knows much better, would endorse this absurdity without at least a little embarrassment is a matter for puzzlement.
But I did discuss the role of selection in the evolutionary explanation. I also explained why selection doesn’t solve the problem and that experiments have helped to demonstrate this.
The problem here is not that evolutionists are ill-informed or not smart. They are well educated, intelligent people. But knowledge and intelligence do not ensure wisdom. Very smart people can believe in strange things. This has been repeatedly demonstrated throughout history, and today it is demonstrated no better than in the theory of evolution.