Saturday, December 3, 2011

Repeated acquisition and loss of complex body form characters: New Evidence for an Old Problem

It is one of the most celebrated proof texts for evolution and at the same time a good example of what is wrong with the life science’s dominant paradigm. The pentadactyl structure—five digits (four fingers and a thumb for humans) at the end of the limb structure—is found throughout the tetrapods. The activities of this massive group of fauna include flying, grasping, climbing and crawling. Such diverse activities, evolutionists reason, should require diverse limbs. There seems to be no reason why all should need a five digit limb. Why not three digits for some, eight for others, 13 for some others, and so forth? And yet they all are endowed with five digits. And, evolutionists explain, this structure neatly fall into a pattern of common descent. Obviously the pentadactyl structure must be an artefact of common descent—a suboptimal design that was handed down from a common ancestor rather than specifically designed for each species. Darwin canonized this proof with one of his most cited passages:

What can be more curious than that the hand of a man, formed for grasping, that of a mole for digging, the leg of the horse, the paddle of the porpoise, and the wing of the bat, should all be constructed on the same pattern, and should include similar bones, in the same relative positions?

Curious indeed. This example is today a staple in the apologetics literature. Look in any textbook or popular work demonstrating the fact of evolution, and you are likely to see a graphic showing various pentadactyl structures in the tetrapods. Here is how evolutionist Mark Ridley echoes Darwin’s original interpretation in his Evolution textbook:

Other similarities between species are less easily explained by functional needs. The pentadactyl (five-digit) limb of tetrapods is a classic example. … Tetrapods occupy a wide variety of environments, and use their limbs for many differing functions. There is no clear functional or environmental reason why all of them should need a five-digit, rather than a three- or seven- or 12-digit limb. And yet they all do. … The evolutionary explanation of the pentadactyl limb is simply that all the tetrapods have descended from a common ancestor that had a pentadactyl limb and, during evolution, it has turned out to be easier to evolve variations on the five-digit theme, than to recompose the limb structure. If species have descended from common ancestors, homologies make sense; but if all species originated separately, it is difficult to understand why they should share homologous similarities. Without evolution, there is nothing forcing the tetrapods all to have pentadactyl limbs.

Here is how the Public Broadcasting Service evolution site explains the evidence:

The limbs of tetrapods all have the same pattern of bones. Darwin was one of the first to comment that it seems unlikely that this single skeletal structure could be the best one possible for each of the activities it is required to perform in different animals. … If you want to see concrete evidence of evolution, look no further than your hand or your foot. Five fingers, five toes. There's nothing magical about the number, yet five digits at the end of their limbs is a motif that runs through all the animals with four limbs, called tetrapods. … Pentadactyly (having five digits) is, in fact, an accident of evolutionary history.

And here is how evolutionist Douglas Futuyma put it:

If God had equipped very different organisms for similar ways of life, there is no reason why He should not have provided them with identical structures, but in fact the similarities are always superficial.

But as usual, the evolutionary apologetics are less convincing than evolutionists believe. In this case there are four different problems with this evidence and the evolutionary arguments.

Four problems with the evidence

The first problem is that evolution has no scientific explanation for the origin of the pentadactyl structure. Amazingly, evolutionists cannot account for the evolution of the very structure they claim proves their theory.

The second problem is that evolutionists are having it both ways. When they find a biological pattern, such as the pentadactyl structure, they claim it is a sign of evolution’s contingencies. Evolution, they say, can only work with the limited raw materials and designs that are immediately available. It knows not where it goes, and so you have patterns that, while workable, are less than efficient.

But on the other hand, evolutionists also claim ownership of all of biology’s fantastic designs. In fact, evolutionists claim ownership of all of biology, period. That’s right, evolution is supposed to have created everything in the biological world. Walk through any life science library and in the stacks you will see a seemingly endless supply of archived journals covering the seemingly endless list of subjects that comprise the life sciences. All of this is little more than scratching the surface of the biological world. We have learned so much, and yet have so much more to learn.

And according to evolutionists, it all came from evolution. All the DNA, proteins and organelles. All the millions and millions of different species, including all their fantastic and unique designs. All of biology. Though evolutionists do not know how, they are certain these all were the creation of evolution.

Evolution, apparently, is an incredibly imaginative and powerful design and creation tool. It can do it all. And yet, when evolutionists find a pattern, this they say is due to how clumsy their process is. Evolutionists aren’t fooling anyone, they can weave a story for any occasion.

The third problem is that similarities such as the pentadactyl structure in fact do not fit the expected pattern of common descent. In spite of all the textbook propaganda, the empirical evidence is all over the map. There are all kinds of digit patterns, both extant and in the fossil record. As Stephen Jay Gould once admitted, “The conclusion seems inescapable, and an old ‘certainty’ must be starkly reversed.” And as one recent study concluded:

Our phylogenetic results support independent instances of complete limb loss as well as multiple instances of digit and external ear opening loss and re-acquisition. Even more striking, we find strong statistical support for the re-acquisition of a pentadactyl body form from a digit-reduced ancestor. … The results of our study join a nascent body of literature showing strong statistical support for character loss, followed by evolutionary re-acquisition of complex structures associated with a generalized pentadactyl body form.

In other words, morphological patterns in biology, including the pentadactyl structure, do not fit the common descent model. This has evolutionists doing mental gymnastics as limbs and other designs must come and go as needed to make sense of evolution. They are lost, then reevolved, then lost, then whatever. It is all just storytelling.

Finally, the fourth problem is that the argument for why the pentadactyl structure proves evolution is metaphysical. Darwin’s argument, and those before and since are all about evolutionists non scientific premises about how biology should work and be designed. Surely god would never use such a thing as the pentadactyl structure in so many different species.

This, of course, is nothing more than religious rationalism. This silliness opens science up to all manner of argument. Imagine if there were no patterns such as the pentadactyl structure. If the designs were all different and somehow optimized for their respective applications, then evolutionists would point to that as evidence of natural selection choosing the best design. If God created the species, they would argue, wouldn’t we see some pattern? Instead, all we see is adaptation. Why wouldn’t God leave some sign that they were created instead of making the species appear to have evolved by natural processes? Evolution must be true.

It is, in a word, junk science. Religion drives science, and it matters.

158 comments:

  1. You need to take another long break CH. Your output of the last few weeks has sunk to Walt Brown / Ken Ham levels of ridiculous caricatures of actual science.

    Some of the stuff you wrote used to be mildly entertaining, but lately it's just sad.

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  2. CH: The first problem is that evolution has no scientific explanation for the origin of the pentadactyl structure.

    Let me guess. The pentadactyl structure exhibits "design", and everyone knows that "design" can only be accomplished by intelligent agents. Right? And since evolution does not present an intelligent agent as the explanation, then evolution has no explanation for the pentadactyl structure.

    Does that about cover it?

    The pentadactyl structure exhibits adaptation. The origin of the knowledge of how to perform these adaptations is the origin of the pentadactyl structure. Evolutionary theory explains how this knowledge was created: genetic variation and natural selection. This is a variation of our explanation for how we, as people, create knowledge: the creation of theories via conjecture, testing these theories by observations and discarding those with errors.

    We observe the knowledge used to build adaptations on the micro-scale being created in accordance with the explanation presented by evolutionary theory. Yet, apparently, you think there is some magic barrier at which this process of knowledge creation just stops working.

    Does "the designer" step in and prevent knowledge from being created if it would exceed some predefined limit? If so, how does the designer know when this will occur ahead of time? How does it step in and prevent it from occurring?

    Does "the designer" revert knowledge this limit back to some previous version? If so how does the designer change just the genes that need to be reverted without effecting the rest of the genome?

    Or perhaps, "the designer" counteracts knowledge created by evolutionary process by adding additional knowledge that effectively cancels it out? How does the designer know which knowledge to add which will counteract it?

    In other words, to enforce some sort of boundary this supposed designer would require knowledge of how to do so. What's your explanation as to how this supposed knowledge was created? In the absence of said explanation, adding a designer to the mix serves no explanatory purpose, as one could more simply state each organism "just appeared", complete with the specific knowledge of how to build just those specific adaptations, already present in it's genome.

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  3. CH: But yet on the other hand, evolutionists also claim ownership of all of biology’s fantastic designs.

    And since everyone knows only God could take ownership of the entirety of biology, then evolution's claim must be false, right?

    You're attempting to conflate the theistic understanding presented by ID, which does take "ownership" of all of biology, with evolutionary theory, which explains where the knowledge of how to perform adaptations is created.

    The claim that "God did it" is a bad explanation because it's shallow. Specifically, it's a claim that does "claim ownership" of the entirety of biology in a single assertion. An abstract designer or omnipotent, omniscient being is only connected to the outcome by the claim of design itself. As such it can be varied greatly without significantly without negatively impacting how well it "explains" what we observe.

    For example, two or more equally powerful designers working in opposition would explain what we observe just as well as one. The end result would be that neither ended up with what they wanted.

    On the other hand, good theories are deep, not shallow. They consist of long chains of assertions that are hard to vary. You cannot easily replace any one link without significantly impacting it's ability to explain what we observe just as well. Evolution's explanation for how the knowledge used to create these adaptions is both deep and hard to vary.

    CH: The third problem is that similarities such as the pentadactyl structure in fact do not fit the expected pattern of common descent. […] There are all kinds of digit patterns, both extant and in the fossil record.

    Again, these digit patterns represent adaptations and knowledge was required to perform them. How does this falsify evolution's underlying explanation of how this knowledge was created? Please be specific.

    Of course, you won't because it doesn't. This is simply more handwaving.

    CH: Finally, the fourth problem is that the argument for why the pentadactyl structure proves evolution is metaphysical. […] Surely god would never use such a thing as the pentadactyl structure in so many different species.

    The question is, why *would* God use the pentadactyl structure in so many different species. We keep correcting you, yet you keep repeating the same mistake.

    Why is this?

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  4. I wrote" For example, two or more equally powerful designers working in opposition would explain what we observe just as well as one. The end result would be that neither ended up with what they wanted.

    This is what I find ID proponents so confusing. Even if what we observed was designed, this does not necessitate the end adaptations turning out as intended. You'd need to provide details about the designer(s) to justify claims that everything designed is in accord with a particular purpose, which is the underlying claim the ID makes.

    This simply does not follow. The fact that ID proponents seem blind to this is yet another indication the current crop of ID is actually based on divine revelation, not science.

    Of course, I don't want to put words in anyone's mouth. Does ID claim that designed things are in accord with a particular purpose? If so, how do they know this? If not, then was does ID claim?

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  5. kilo papa: "Umm, no. Ask any credible biologist if evolution by natural selection could properly explain the diversity of skeletal designs as you suggest."

    they better say yes or they would abandon the only adaptive mechanism that jives with methodological naturalism. (chance frozen by success) Every other adaptive biological mechanism happens within individuals, thus opening up the mystery, wonder, and miraculousness of life as an explanation for diversity. Materialists have long said only populations evolve for a reason: because they don't believe life is miraculously capable of adapting itself.

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  6. CH -

    "The first problem is that evolution has no scientific explanation for the origin of the pentadactyl structure."

    Yes it does: the most recent common ancestor to all tetrapods had that pentadactyl arrangement of bones! There you go. Simple.

    And what's more it is a prediction which has been spectacularly verified by such fossil creatures as the tiktaalik.

    "The second problem is that evolutionists are having it both ways. When they find a biological pattern, such as the pentadactyl structure, they claim it is a sign of evolution’s contingencies... But on the other hand, evolutionists also claim ownership of all of biology’s fantastic designs."

    A silly argument. The pentadactyl structure is curious precisely because it is probably NOT ideal for everyone. It displays variation on a common structure - exactly what we would expect if evolution were true and a 'redesign' was impossible.

    "The third problem is that similarities such as the pentadactyl structure in fact do not fit the expected pattern of common descent."

    You quote the well-known evolution denier Stephen Jay Gould (really Cornelius, doesn't it EVER bother you that none of the experts you quote actually SUPPORT you?)! What he was actually to was the very first vertibrates to come on land. Some had six, seven or eight digits on their forelimb. At the time of printing tiktaalik had not been discovered.

    But this is precisely the point he is making. There is nothing 'superior' or 'optimal' about five digits. The reason all tetrapods have them is merely because we are descended from a common ancestor who had five. It is merely an accident of biological history.

    If, on the other hand, all animals were designed, why would a designer create six, seven or eight digits at the time when limbs were just emerging, and then never create another creature again with more or fewer? The idea that he/she/it was experimenting certainly goes against the concept of such a designer being all-knowing, doesn't it?

    "Finally, the fourth problem is that the argument for why the pentadactyl structure proves evolution is metaphysical. Darwin’s argument, and those before and since are all about evolutionists non scientific premises about how biology should work and be designed. Surely god would never use such a thing as the pentadactyl structure in so many different species."

    The silliest of all. It is not a metaphysical argument at all. If animals share a common property, it is like that they inherited that property from a common ancestor. This has nothing to do with any theory other than common descent - nothing at all to do with what God/a designer would or would not do. You just cannot get God off your brain. I wonder why.

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  7. Cornelius,
    Your link under the third problem at the word "concluded" is messed up. Here is the link:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21884062

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  8. CH:
    If the designs were all different and somehow optimized for their respective applications, then evolutionists would point to that as evidence of natural selection choosing the best design.

    Possibly, but within limits. For one, we would want at least some fossil evidence that demonstrated a possible evolutionary history for each group.

    Now imagine that every species had a completely unique biology: different genetic codes based on different molecules, tissues and organs made from completely different materials, and so on. In that scenario, no reasonable person would suggest that common descent or evolution were true.

    Contrast that with the religious view that holds that "God did it" no matter what the facts are. If all tetrapods display a pentadactyl limb structure? God did it. If every species displayed a completely unique biology? God did that too.

    So I think you're wrong when you equate evolution with a religious belief as there are very real limits to what we can claim evolution can do. For the genuinely religious (those of the "God did it" clan) there are no such limits.

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  9. CH - "The first problem is that evolution has no scientific explanation for the origin of the pentadactyl structure."

    Ritchie - "Yes it does: the most recent common ancestor to all tetrapods had that pentadactyl arrangement of bones! There you go. Simple."

    Wow. How do you discuss origins with someone who obviously doesn't understand the word?

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  10. The first problem is that evolution has no scientific explanation for the origin of the pentadactyl structure.

    One could explain what the fossils tell about the evolution of sarcopterygian fin to polydactylous paddled limb, and the subsequent gradual reduction of digits. But Cornelius would object, this is not the relevant dimension of explanation. Then one could detail what developmental biology tells us about limb evolution and digit loss. Then Cornelius would say we don't know all the details of the molecular biology behind those changes, and we ignore the precise sequence of mutations that took place, as well as the precise environmental conditions that allowed them to become fixed. And he'd be right. We don't know everything, shame on us. Whatever we know, the things that we don't know will be the most important ones. Thus, all we may know is worthless. We don't know everything, so we don't know anything.

    The second problem is that evolutionists are having it both ways. [...] Evolution, they say, can only work with the limited raw materials and designs that are immediately available. [...]

    But on the other hand, evolutionists also claim ownership of all of biology’s fantastic designs.


    Biological diversity is characterised by great differences and yet conspicuous patterns of similarity. According to Cornelius, evolutionary theory is junk because it pretends to account for both. One's left wondering what kind of theory aiming to explain the diversity of life would be satisfactory for Cornelius. A theory that explains neither differences nor similarities? If so, ID is your right choice.

    The third problem is that similarities such as the pentadactyl structure in fact do not fit the expected pattern of common descent.

    Oh noes! THERE IS HOMOPLASY IN BIOLOGY!!!

    Good for us the case from common ancestry is made by looking at the combined data from all the characters we can, not by examining each character separately.

    And, by the way, the possibility Gould mentioned, that tetrapod pentadactyly had two separate origins remains just a possibility, as the phylogeny of early limbed vertebrates is still hotly discussed, and there are other candidate hypotheses in which pentadactyly would have a single origin.

    All the millions and millions of different species, including all their fantastic and unique designs.

    All species have unique 'designs'? If evolution can't create new 'designs', wouldn't this imply that species are effectively fixed and natural speciation is impossible? Didn't you just taught us (kind of)that the fixity of species was an evilutionist straw man?

    Be careful Cornelius, people may start thinking you're using 'design' as an empty buzzword.

    Surely god would never use such a thing as the pentadactyl structure in so many different species.

    No, silly. God is a complete mystery. It's a waste of time trying to find out how she would or would not do things. Let's leave that to creationists like Dembski, Wells and Luskin.

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  11. Ritchie,

    Tiktaalik has very little to do with this. I suspect good ol' Panderichthys has much more to tell about the evolution of our limbs.

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  12. I just love how the critics jump at the fingers and toes of your argument hoping, I guess, no one will notice the main point you are making. Just so the gaggle won't break their arms patting themselves on their backs, I write to summarize (again) the very simple point Dr. Hunter is making. To wit: the pentadactyl structure is better evidence for common design than for common descent because a) affirmatively, we know from observation and experience that specified design always has a designer and b) negatively, i-since there is no explanation for the development of the original five-point structure, there is no basis upon which to hypothesize the evolution of it, ii-there is enough discommonality between tetrapods (according to Gould) that common descent doesn't make sense anyway. In other words, belief in common descent is based on faith, not observation.
    Excellent post Dr. Hunter

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  13. Red Reader -

    "a) affirmatively, we know from observation and experience that specified design always has a designer"

    Not in biology we don't.

    "b) negatively, i-since there is no explanation for the development of the original five-point structure, there is no basis upon which to hypothesize the evolution of it,"

    No explanation? What is there that needs explaning, exactly?

    "ii-there is enough discommonality between tetrapods (according to Gould) that common descent doesn't make sense anyway."

    That is not even close to Gould's point. Perhaps you need to go back and read it again (and I mean follow the link, not just read Cornelius' excerpt with his spin, because he is quote mining).

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  14. Phinehas -

    "Wow. How do you discuss origins with someone who obviously doesn't understand the word?"

    I understand the word. What I don't understand is the problem. If you think the answer I gave Cornelius misses the point then perhaps you'd like to climb down off your high horse and elaborate rather than taking petty, childish swipes?

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  15. RedReader: …a) affirmatively, we know from observation and experience that specified design always has a designer and…

    We do? If so, then you should also affirm the following…

    …we know from observation and experience that designers always have material complex brains…

    After all, every time we've observed intelligent designers, they had complex material brains. Yet, I'm guessing you do not agree.

    RedReader: … b) negatively, i-since there is no explanation for the development of the original five-point structure, there is no basis upon which to hypothesize the evolution of it ,,,

    Just because you do not accept or understand the explanation, this doesn't mean it does not exist.

    RedReader: … ii-there is enough discommonality between tetrapods (according to Gould) that common descent doesn't make sense anyway.

    According to Gould or according to Cornelius' misrepresentation of Gould?

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  16. Ritchie,

    An "and" was missing after the first full stop in my post. I meant to imply two different things:

    1) Tiktaalik doesn't say much about pentadactyly, because its hard to determine the precise homology of each one of its radials, and the total number of radials is unknown.

    2) It's not clear whether the Tiktaalik or the Panderichthys fin architecture is closer to our limbs, and thus how informative each of them are about limb evolution. I'll elaborate.

    A new study of Panderichthys fin anatomy (Boisvert et al. 2008) showed it to be very similar to the limb of Acanthostega, even more so than Tiktaalik's fin. From the paper:

    In Tiktaalik and rhizodonts, it is surprising to discover , like in ‘osteolepiforms’(more primitive fish members of the stem group), the ulna and ulnare are of similar size. The axis of the fin comprises two more elements distal to the ulnare, and the distal radials are arranged pinnately around this axis. In contrast, in Panderichthys and tetrapods, the ulna is much longer than the ulnare, the ulnare is the last axial element, and the distal radials/digits are arranged in a transverse fan shape. It is difficult to say whether this character distribution implies that Tiktaalik is autapomorphic, that Panderichthys and tetrapods are convergent, or that Panderichthys is closer to tetrapods than Tiktaalik.

    I had the hunch Panderichthys could be closer to us than Tiktaalik, but of course this cannot be seriously addressed without a new proper phylogenetic analysis. I thought new analyses were to be made after that paper, but after a quick search I find no such analysis, except for one only with jaw characters (a rather small dataset), which recovers a polytomous relationship for both taxa and tetrapods. So, the puzzle remains.

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  17. This is a good article .
    What I would add is that the claim of common descent because of five is still just a line of reasoning. there is no evidence for the conclusion of a common origin . Its not based on investigation og biology but mere reasoning of what is or is not likely.

    Why not simply a common design means a common designer using a single blueprint.!?
    why does God have to have diversity?

    Then i would add they go crazy about invoking convergent evolution processes to explain unlikely things.
    So why is common descent here invoked for the five but not just convergent evolution?

    There is probably a good reason for five.
    The bible relates the case of a giant with six digits on feet.
    Implying the size demanded more digits.
    Another case is the one of the species of tree sloths has a extra vertebrate . Unlike most creatures.
    This again because of a unnatural need to hang upside down.
    So there seems to be a natural equation for the five.
    No reason to see it because of descent.
    In fact a common origin should of left endless varities of digits scattered amongst creatures.

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  18. Not sure if anyone has done a study on the biomechanics of different digit patterns in animals, but manufacturers of office chairs have known for years that a spread pattern of 5 weight bearing feet (the equivalent of 5 digits) is the optimum solution to the problem of balancing a dynamic load. 3 and 4 feet are too easy to tip, while the small extra stability of 6 feet over 5 is not worth the materials cost of the extra leg. It may well be that pattern of 5 digits on tetrapod legs arose as the optimum evolutionary trade between stability and energy cost.

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  19. Didn't the first true tetrapods, ichthyostegia, and acanthostega have seven or eight toes. So the ancestors of modern tetrapods had more digits. wat exactly would the evolutionary explanation for that be?

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  21. Norm did it ever occur to evolutionists that if all species had completely different materials for organs, etc, then life would be unsustainable? Ecosystems and symbiotic relationships would collapse immediately.

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  22. Ritchie, bringing the bird beak discussion forward, perhaps my view will be clearer if you can tell me what specific random mutations were acted upon by natural selection that caused Darwin's finch beaks to vary in size? When the study was conducted showing the obvious change in bird beak sizes, what mutation did they identify to explain this phenomenon?

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  23. Tedford the Idiot said...

    Norm did it ever occur to evolutionists that if all species had completely different materials for organs, etc, then life would be unsustainable? Ecosystems and symbiotic relationships would collapse immediately.


    Yeah Tedford, and if you had a brain you wouldn't be an idiot. Do you have a point?

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  24. natschuster said...

    Didn't the first true tetrapods, ichthyostegia, and acanthostega have seven or eight toes. So the ancestors of modern tetrapods had more digits. wat exactly would the evolutionary explanation for that be?


    Google is your friend nat.

    Polydactyly in early tetrapods

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  25. Neal: Norm did it ever occur to evolutionists that if all species had completely different materials for organs, etc, then life would be unsustainable? Ecosystems and symbiotic relationships would collapse immediately.

    Neal, i'm not following you.

    Are you suggesting that God couldn't have created different forms of life that were constructed out of "completely different materials"? Did God had no choice but to make species that depended on symbiotic relationships between them?

    On one hand, God is supposedly capable of creating an entire universe out of nothing. On the other hand, when it conflicts with your personal theological views, God is limited in that he's incapable of creating significantly different forms of life.

    Can you not see how arbitrary this is, or are you just hopping we wouldn't notice?

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  26. Its not based on investigation og biology but mere reasoning of what is or is not likely.

    Yes. How dare we ponder what is or not likely! We should just read the truth from the Koran!

    Why not simply a common design means a common designer using a single blueprint.!?
    why does God have to have diversity?


    It could, but as common design can fit anything and is very unparsimonious, it makes a horribly useless hypothesis.

    So why is common descent here invoked for the five but not just convergent evolution?

    Because when you consider the total evidence character congruence is high and common ancestry becomes the most likely explanation. It is much more likely that most traits are inherited with little change and a few are strongly modified, rather than all characters evolving independently with high convergence. Of course, you could try help by putting some God in any of those alternatives, but when you do so it loses any scientific relevance.

    The bible relates the case of a giant with six digits on feet.
    Implying the size demanded more digits.


    Wow, that's an impressive biomechanical argument.

    Another case is the one of the species of tree sloths has a extra vertebrate . Unlike most creatures.
    This again because of a unnatural need to hang upside down.


    Bradypodid sloths have two "extra" cervical vertebrae. Megalonychid sloths are missing one. Both of them have "unnatural needs to hang upside down". And what on Earth does this have to do with pentadactyly?

    In fact a common origin should of left endless varities of digits scattered amongst creatures.

    *Head desk*

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  27. Geoxus -

    Oh I see. Interesting. Didn't know that,

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  28. nat -

    I believe the misconception you are labouring under is that ichthyostegia and acanthostega are direct ancestors.

    Consider all your blood relatives of the last, say, five generations. If you were to pick out any particular one at random, they might well not be a direct ancestor. Your great, great grandfather's nephew (for example) shared a common ancestor with you, and one that lived closer to his time that to yours, but he is not a direct ancestor.

    The same principle is true in the fossil record. Ichthyostegia, Acanthostega, and others, are merely the earliest discovered tetrapods. That doesn't mean we are directly descended from them. In fact, playing the probability game, we are unlikely to be. These are likely to be merely very close cousins to the common ancestor of all living tetrapods.

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  29. "The first problem is that evolution has no scientific explanation for the origin of the pentadactyl structure. Amazingly, evolutionists cannot account for the evolution of the very structure they claim proves their theory."

    Cornelius, what is your scientific explanation for the origin of the pentadactyl structure?

    And what is your scientific explanation for the origin and structure of your chosen designer/god? After all, a scientific explanation of the origin and structure of your chosen designer/god is necessary to prove your theory, er, I mean beliefs, isn't it?

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  30. ba77 said:

    "Excellent Post Dr. Hunter!"

    What? No music and verses?

    Hey phil, have you ever even considered engaging in an actual discussion, and not just hit and run accolades for fellow godbots, snarky attacks on evolutionists and scientists, preaching, proselytizing, non-scientific bald assertions, and a ton of irrelevant links and quotes and off topic garbage?

    What's the matter phil? Are you afraid to face challenges to your bald assertions? Is that why you hide in the UD sanctuary?

    You are a poster boy for thoroughly indoctrinated, goose stepping god zombies.

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  31. Ritchie:

    SO the pentadactyl pattern is the result of inheritance from a pentadactyl ancestor. But the actual pentadactyl ancestor is still unknown. It seems that it happens every time. The actual ancestors are unknown. The fossils we find are just side branches, not the real transitions.

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  32. natschuster said...

    SO the pentadactyl pattern is the result of inheritance from a pentadactyl ancestor. But the actual pentadactyl ancestor is still unknown. It seems that it happens every time. The actual ancestors are unknown. The fossils we find are just side branches, not the real transitions.


    Nat, if you don't have the names and identities of every last one of your ancestors going back 2000 years, does that mean you have no ancestors?

    What do you think we should find to meet your demand for a transitional pentadactyl creature? Something with 5 1/2 digits?

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  33. nat -

    "SO the pentadactyl pattern is the result of inheritance from a pentadactyl ancestor."

    Correct.

    "But the actual pentadactyl ancestor is still unknown."

    Also correct.

    "It seems that it happens every time."

    I think you underestimate the odds against finding a particular species out of the billions which have lived and died throughout Earth's history.

    Imagine in 5 million years in the future, all the monkeys in the world could trace their ancestry back to a single common ancestor living in Africa today. If they knew where to look, they might uncover one of any number of species. And that's if they got the date bang on. Imagine how different the monkeys of Africa were even 5 million years ago. Add to which the odds against remains fossilising in the first place, and the chances of finding a specimen of any given specific species is rather remote. It should not be regarded as suspicious.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Neal -

    Jonathan Weiner devoted years of study to Darwin's finches, and wrote up his results in The Beak Of The Finch. Perhaps you'd like to listen to him give a speech about it on youtube. It is quite informative and worth the time to listen to:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWFDi2uK2rs

    ReplyDelete
  35. Neal:
    Norm did it ever occur to evolutionists that if all species had completely different materials for organs, etc, then life would be unsustainable? Ecosystems and symbiotic relationships would collapse immediately.

    Neal, your god is too small.

    ReplyDelete
  36. natschuster:

    But the actual pentadactyl ancestor is still unknown. It seems that it happens every time. The actual ancestors are unknown.

    No phylogenetic analysis can identify ancestors between terminal taxa. Phylogenetic analyses recover sister-group relationships between terminal taxa, not direct ancestry relationships between them. You are pretty good at not learning after all these years being spoon fed on this.

    A single cladogram is compatible with multiple hypotheses (not all equally parsimonious) of actual ancestry between terminal taxa, as each tip is collapsible to its nearest node. For example, this diagram representing sister-group relationships:

    --+------a
       `--+--b
            `--c

    Is compatible with all of these diagrams representing actual ancestry relationships:

    --+------a
       `--+--b
            `--c

    --+------a
       `--b--c

    --+------a
       `--c--b

    --a--+--b
           `--c

    --a--b--c

    --a--c--b

    In palaeontology, the actual ancestry relationships probably are pretty much as shown in the first diagram, although we cannot rule out the possibility of finding an actual ancestor of another terminal taxon. The problem is that we couldn't know it, as the case for actual ancestry from characters alone would be built from negative evidence (viz. 0 branch length: lack of autapomorphies).

    ReplyDelete
  37. That all mammalian species have exactly seven neck vertebrae is Proof Of "Evolution" ... that differing avian species have differing numbers of neck vertebrae is Proof Of "Evolution"

    ReplyDelete
  38. Ilíon said...

    That all mammalian species have exactly seven neck vertebrae is Proof Of "Evolution" ... that differing avian species have differing numbers of neck vertebrae is Proof Of "Evolution"


    All mammalian species don't have exactly seven neck vertebrae. Sloths for example have up to ten vertebrae. Science also doesn't offer 'proof' of evolution. It offers incredibly large amounts of consilient evidence.

    Can't you IDiots get anything right?

    ReplyDelete
  39. "All mammalian species don't have exactly seven neck vertebrae. Sloths for example have up to ten vertebrae."

    So, tell me, Thornton, ol' buddy -- are you saying:
    1) that DarwinDefenders are inveterate liars; or
    2) it was unwise on my part to have taken the claim by DarwinDefenders that all mammalian species have exactly seven neck vertebrae, and the significance thereof, to have been made in good faith?

    "Science also doesn't offer 'proof' of evolution. It offers incredibly large amounts of consilient evidence."

    The intellectual dishonesty of you folk is tiresome, indeed.

    "Can't you IDiots get anything right?"

    How about this: that *all* DarwinDefenders are intellectually dishonest, that *all* DarwinDefenders will "argue" anything ... and its opposite.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Thorton and Ritchie:

    We have the fossils of the side branches. We lots of pentadactyl fossils from the descendents. But the actual ancestors are still missing. Why can't we find it if it really existed? And this keeps on happening. We find the side branches, but not the ancestors? Why not? I know that argueing from negative evidence is tricky, but if I really, really expect to find something, and I find lots of other things, but not the thing I'm looking for, I begin to wonder why.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Geoxus:
    "Bradypodid sloths have two "extra" cervical vertebrae. Megalonychid sloths are missing one.


    Ilion
    " the claim by DarwinDefenders that all mammalian species have exactly seven neck vertebrae *


    * not intended to be a factual statement

    ReplyDelete
  42. Nat :
    "but if I really, really expect to find something, and I find lots of other things, but not the thing I'm looking for, I begin to wonder why.


    It does seem to defy logic, fossils buried for millions of years , anywhere in thousands of square miles and we can't find the exact one we are looking for. Very suspicious .

    ReplyDelete
  43. "* not intended to be a factual statement
    "

    But of course it was intended as a factual statement -- I'm not like you people, after all.

    The fact that the DarwinDefender who "argued" at me that all mammals have exactly seven neck vertebrae and that therefore "evolution" (whatever you folk mean by that term at any given time) is The Truth:
    1) is not here;
    2) was misinformed;
    doesn't change the factual nature of what I said.

    And, in fact, DarwinDefenders will still make such an argument, though in weaker form, and simultaneously as a base-assumption (that is, after all, how such folk "reason").

    ReplyDelete
  44. Here is one weak version of the circular "argument" that the seven neck vertebrae of mammals is Proof of Evolution: Foundational Concepts - Evolution "Evolution explains why groups of organisms share physical characteristics to different degrees. For example, all vertebrates are structurally supported by an internal skeleton with a vertebral column (backbone). This shared characteristic reflects their descent from a common ancestor in which these structures first evolved. A giraffe, for example, has seven vertebrae in its neck and so does a mole--in fact, nearly all mammals do. This is because all mammals evolved from an ancestor that had seven neck vertebrae. Evolution also explains why organisms are different. Mammal necks are of different lengths because of lengthening or shortening of each vertebra. These modifications allow different kinds of mammals to use their necks in different ways."

    ReplyDelete
  45. ... SO, and getting back to my first post on this sub-topic, since -- according to Darwinist Received Orthodoxy -- "A giraffe, for example, has seven vertebrae in its neck and so does a mole ... This is because all mammals evolved from an ancestor that had seven neck vertebrae", is the fact that different bird species have differing numbers of neck vertebrae a fact because birds do not share an ultime common ancestor?

    And you DarwinDefenders, with your studied stupidity, simply decline to understand the point I am making, which is that your arguments are both illogical and irrational, because you will "argue" both 'A' and 'not-A' simultaneously.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Will you DarwinDefenders ever stop engaging in such pathetic self-inflicted damage? Your games of "Gotcha" just never work out: for I know what I'm talking about and I generally do not speak beyond what I know.

    You all should try that sometime.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Ilion makes this statement:

    "the claim by DarwinDefenders that all mammalian species have exactly seven neck vertebrae"

    then to support it he offers this passage:

    "A giraffe, for example, has seven vertebrae in its neck and so does a mole--in fact, NEARLY all mammals do."

    ...and Ilion still wonders why the scientific community considers his sort to be morons.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Ilion:

    "I know what I'm talking about and I generally do not speak beyond what I know."

    No you don't and yes you do. Hey, I just argued 'A' and 'not-A' simultaneously!

    You are apparently just too dumb too realize that 'A' may be a good argument in one context, and 'not-A' in a different context, simultaneously. And because you're so full of yourself, you big mister computer programmer, you'd rather claim that thousands of scientists are intellectually dishonest than consider the possibility that you might be wrong.

    Classic Dunning-Kruger.

    ReplyDelete
  49. natschuster said...

    We have the fossils of the side branches. We lots of pentadactyl fossils from the descendents. But the actual ancestors are still missing. Why can't we find it if it really existed?


    I'll ask you again nat: How would you identify the actual ancestors if you saw them?

    BTW, I'd also like to hear your explanation for the observed polydactyly patterns in early tetrapods. Of course people in Hell want ice water too...

    ReplyDelete
  50. Ilíon: And you DarwinDefenders, with your studied stupidity, simply decline to understand the point I am making, which is that your arguments are both illogical and irrational, because you will "argue" both 'A' and 'not-A' simultaneously.

    First, I'm still waiting for your explanation as how we know the "point" your making is true. In fact, you've declined to acknowledge the question completely. Does this represents yet another point we decline to understand? Is it so obvious that your response is unnecessary?

    Again, how is it that we know the point your making is true? What's your explanation? Please be specific.

    Second, just as there are physicists that today better understand the theory of general relatively better than Einstein did, we've come to understand evolutionary theory better than Darwin did. This is common place in science. However, we're getting ahead of ourselves.

    It was the the natural theologist William Paley who introduced the notion of adaptation, which framed the very question that Darwin's theory addressed. Just as one cannot perform a magic trick without first creating the knowledge of how the trick is performed, biological adaptations cannot occur in the absence of the knowledge of how to perform them. The origin of these adaptations is the origin of this knowledge.

    As such, we're not arguing for "A" and "Not-A" simultaneously. Rather, we're arguing that the concrete adaptations we observe are best explained by the specific method of knowledge creation at work behind both Darwin's or original theory and and modern evolutionary synthesis.

    However, your use of the term "DarwinDefenders" suggests a willing refusal to recognize the difference between Darwin the man, his theory then, our current understanding of it today and the underlying explanation for how this knowledge is created.

    Let me guess, you blame Darwin for our refusal to "reason correctly" in the first place?

    ReplyDelete
  51. Oh, Scotty ... I don't answer to you personally or to any of you. You all are but source-material to me.

    ReplyDelete
  52. One would think, don't you think, that persons who like to play "Gotcha" and "Yer So Stoopid" might eventually at least stumble upon the idea of "Baited Trap" ... especially as it's their tits that keep getting caught in the wringer when they play "Gotcha" and "Yer So Stoopid".
    ===
    Thornton: "Ilion makes this statement: ... then to support it he offers this passage: ..."

    Isn't it interesting that the silly DarwinDefenders who buzz around Mr Hunter's blog seem to imagine that *I* have to answer for the things they imagine I have said because they can't be bothered to understand what I have in fact said?

    Thornton: "...and Ilion still wonders why the scientific community considers his sort to be morons."

    What!? Does this condemnation of me (can't the reader see me quaking in my boots?) even make sense if Thornton is no at least implicitly asserting that "the scientific community" is the arbiter of truth?

    Yet, is this not the same Thornton who wrote, just a few posts ago: "Science also doesn't offer 'proof' of evolution. It offers incredibly large amounts of consilient evidence"

    What an odd, odd world DarwinDefenders imagine they live in.

    ====
    Here is another odd fact about the odd DarLogic of DarwinDefenders -- had it been that I were claiming that all mammal species have exactly seven neck vertebrae, and had been claiming that this (alleged) fact is Proof of Evolution (whatever that word means), we all know that no one single DarwinDefender here would have peeped up to the contrary.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Gotta love it when one of the mouthy IDiots from UD makes a cameo appearance. You get a pompous ignoramus like Ilion here promptly demonstrating his scientific ignorance while sticking both feet into his mouth. Then he declares victory as he runs for the door.

    How about it Ilion - you have anything to add on the OP topic? Maybe (snicker) you can calculate the dFSCI of a pentadactyl hand structure so we can tell if it was designed or not. Or do simple-minded computer programmers not do that 'scientific evidence' stuff?

    ReplyDelete
  54. Oh? is that sonething like this -- Ya' gotta love it when unintended products and consequences of mindless accidents breed true to their ultimate parentage

    ReplyDelete
  55. nat -

    "We have the fossils of the side branches. We lots of pentadactyl fossils from the descendents. But the actual ancestors are still missing. Why can't we find it if it really existed? And this keeps on happening. We find the side branches, but not the ancestors? Why not?"

    Perhaps I confused you earlier.

    Species speciate and branch all the time. Given that, it is merely extremely unlikely that any specific species will be found - though it is possible.

    It is possible that, say, Tiktaalik IS the common ancestor of all tetrapods. And yet, just playing the probability game, it is highly unlikely. Also, if/when evidence emerges that it is not and that it is merely a cousin species, this should cause neither surprise nor concern.

    Finding a fossil (not a common event) of a particular species among the billions that have ever existed is like blindly finding an individual pebble on the beach, and the odds are still not very good if you have a vague idea of which patch of the beach and at which depth to look for it.

    ReplyDelete
  56. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Geoxus
    I still like my idea that the invoking of convergence evolution whenever needed by evolutionists means seeing like form as indicating like origin is undercut.
    Why not?
    Convergent evolutionism is profound in seeing same shaped creatures as being unrelated.

    My sloth point was from memory and incorrect by what you said yet still the point holds.
    Because of a severe need the sloth has a difference in its skeleton unlike most creatures in bone counting.
    So need alone can be a explanation for anatomy.
    Not origin.
    So simply because most creatures have like bones indicates their need for this is the origin. no reason to see it as indicating a common origin from a few.
    So a creator with a common blueprint would have creatures with common outline for common needs.
    Its the better idea.
    Like in physics. Simple laws.
    Evolutionism took laws out of biology.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Ilíon: Oh, Scotty ... I don't answer to you personally or to any of you. You all are but source-material to me.

    Ilíon,

    Do you always respond to criticism of your claims by conflating answering someone's direct question with being accountable or responsible to that someone?

    ReplyDelete
  59. Robert: My sloth point was from memory and incorrect by what you said yet still the point holds.
    Because of a severe need the sloth has a difference in its skeleton unlike most creatures in bone counting. So need alone can be a explanation for anatomy.

    Robert,

    While you probably do not realize it, what you're describing is essentially a variant of Lamarckianism. Giraffes needed to reach higher leafs, so future generations somehow did.

    The problem with Lamarckianism is that does not explain how the need to reach higher leafs ends up creating the knowledge of how to build longer necks. It's a form of spontaneous knowledge generation.

    ReplyDelete
  60. Byers,

    I still like my idea that the invoking of convergence evolution whenever needed by evolutionists means seeing like form as indicating like origin is undercut.
    Why not?


    Yes, that's the conclusion when you consider the total evidence. It's not a rhetorical trick.

    My sloth point was from memory and incorrect by what you said yet still the point holds.
    Because of a severe need the sloth has a difference in its skeleton unlike most creatures in bone counting.
    So need alone can be a explanation for anatomy. Not origin.


    That's an 'explanation' lacking any biomechanical justification and any kind of evidence whatsoever. Why is it that just some sloths 'need' more vertebrae?
    Some manatees have 7 cervical vertebrae and some have 6, how can that be explained by the 'conditions of existence'?

    And of course it says nothing about phylogenetic origin. The trait is autapomorphous. The simplest explanation is that some developmental constraint was released in this clade, perhaps as a neutral change or as the side-effect of some other change. But that doesn't undercut the case for common ancestry of sloths and other, say xenarthrans in particular among mammals. The number of cervical vertebrae is one among many characters. It happens to have a strong phylogenetic signal in our linage, like fur, but the whole phylogeny doesn't solely depend on it.

    AND THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH PENTADACTYLY.

    So simply because most creatures have like bones indicates their need for this is the origin. no reason to see it as indicating a common origin from a few.

    That would imply the special creation of pandas and grizzly bears, wolves and chihuahuas. What happened to your 'kinds'?

    Not all traits are adaptive, and you'll find coincidences in deep anatomical details between homologous bones used in very different ways in closely related animals. And what about the phylogenetic signal in neutral substitutions between genomes?

    Its the better idea.

    It's a horrible, useless idea. See above.

    Like in physics. Simple laws.

    No. Laws are descriptions of natural regularities.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Robert Byers,

    So need alone can be a explanation for anatomy.
    Not origin.


    OK. I've still got my wisdom teeth. Some people never get them at all. Some people have to have them removed. What is the need for these?

    ReplyDelete
  62. Hey guys, for those who don't know Robert Byers - don't waste your time. He's well known in E/C discussion board circles and has been posting his YEC take on things at many places for years. While he's always very polite and seems to be a friendly decent bloke, he's not all together upstairs, if you catch my drift. The cheese has done slid off his pizza.

    RB is like the chap you see on the street corner talking to the invisible pixies flitting around his head. It's best to just smile and walk the other way.

    ReplyDelete
  63. Venture Free: "An apple falls down when you let go of it. A helium balloon floats up when you let go of it. All I'm saying is that physics "predicts" both A (falling) and not-A (floating)."

    Well, there does appear to be something free about you; but is it really your ventures?

    In any event, and while I do hate to burst your balloon, it does seem a shame that no one has yet thought to educate you on this matter (and it's a pretty good bet that your fellow DarwinDefenders will not): these two events are, in fact, instances of the same phenomenon; they are not, as it happens, 'A' and 'not-A'.

    Venture Free: "... I sometimes just stand in awe of how amazingly humble I am."

    As indeed you have every right to be, and don't you ever let anyone tell you otherwise; for, after all, it is clear that you are a man with much of which to be humble.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Scott: "Do you always respond to criticism of your claims by conflating answering someone's direct question with being accountable or responsible to that someone?"

    Do you always conflate "Yer stoopid" with a criticism, much less a valid one?

    ReplyDelete
  65. T: "How about it Ilion - you have anything to add on the OP topic? "

    Ilíon: " (empty meaningless bluster) "


    So the answer is a resounding no.

    ReplyDelete
  66. Isn't it simply amazing that DarwinDefenders -- people who have mastered and made an art-form of the "Yer stoopid" argument -- seem to imagine that others have some sort of obligation to take them seriously, and to pretend that they do not tend to behave exactly like trolls?

    ReplyDelete
  67. Ilíon said...

    (more empty meaningless bluster)


    When you get tired of blowing hot air, feel free to give us your ID explanation for the observed polydactyly patterns in early tetrapods.

    ReplyDelete
  68. Thorton,

    Hey guys, for those who don't know Robert Byers - don't waste your time. He's well known in E/C discussion board circles and has been posting his YEC take on things at many places for years. While he's always very polite and seems to be a friendly decent bloke, he's not all together upstairs, if you catch my drift. The cheese has done slid off his pizza.

    Don't worry, I had figured out most of that a couple of his posts ago.

    ReplyDelete
  69. illion, since the OP is about the origin, and other aspects, of the "pentadactyl structure", maybe you could take some time out of your busy schedule of admiring yourself and grace us with your answer to the question I asked Cornelius. Here it is again:

    "Cornelius, what is your scientific explanation for the origin of the pentadactyl structure?"

    While you're at it, maybe you could provide your answer to this too:

    "And what is your scientific explanation for the origin and structure of your chosen designer/god? After all, a scientific explanation of the origin and structure of your chosen designer/god is necessary to prove your theory, er, I mean beliefs, isn't it?"

    ReplyDelete
  70. Scott: "Do you always respond to criticism of your claims by conflating answering someone's direct question with being accountable or responsible to that someone?"

    Ilíon: Do you always conflate "Yer stoopid" with a criticism, much less a valid one?

    I'm referring to the following question...

    Scott:I'm still waiting for your explanation for our relatively recent, rapid increase in the creation of knowledge. In the absence of such an explanation, preferring one way of "reasoning" over another is irrational.

    "Yer stoopid" is found in the above, where?

    ReplyDelete
  71. Ilion,

    Thornton: "...and Ilion still wonders why the scientific community considers his sort to be morons."

    What!? Does this condemnation of me (can't the reader see me quaking in my boots?) even make sense if Thornton is no at least implicitly asserting that "the scientific community" is the arbiter of truth?

    Yet, is this not the same Thornton who wrote, just a few posts ago: "Science also doesn't offer 'proof' of evolution. It offers incredibly large amounts of consilient evidence"

    What an odd, odd world DarwinDefenders imagine they live in.


    In the post Thornton was responding to, you made a gaffe, did you not? That is a truth. There is also lots of evidence that "your sort" makes lots of "intellectual errors". This does not necessarily mean that it is true that your sort are morons, but it does add to the evidence. There are large amounts of this evidence and you just added some more.

    ReplyDelete
  72. Interesting article:

    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2010-10/uoc-wvc101810.php

    ReplyDelete
  73. kilo papa:

    Your opening post is the most vile post I have ever seen on the internet. Do you think you can make such comments and not be eventually responsible for them? Do you think God will overlook this blasphemy?

    If you do, you'll find out you're very, very wrong.

    I have a motto for you: "Hate is great!!!"

    ReplyDelete
  74. Scott:

    "The pentadactyl structure exhibits adaptation. The origin of the knowledge of how to perform these adaptations is the origin of the pentadactyl structure. Evolutionary theory explains how this knowledge was created: genetic variation and natural selection."

    And, of course, if, as Dr. Hunter has pointed out, there were no pentadactyl structure at all, then that would also be due to the Darwinian power of "adaptation". So, if there is a pattern, this is proof of Darwinism; if there is no pattern, all the more proof of Darwinism.

    Darwinism is but nonsense. Literally, Darwinism is nonsense: utter nonsense.

    ReplyDelete
  75. It's the most wonderful time of the year again.

    To all our atheist friends we wish a Merry Festivus

    May they be blessed by the Festivus miracle.

    Here they can order festivus poles

    ReplyDelete
  76. Ilion
    " the claim by DarwinDefenders that all mammalian species have exactly seven neck vertebrae *


    Ilion
    "The fact that the DarwinDefender who "argued" at me that all mammals have exactly seven neck vertebrae


    You seem to have a habit of overstating your claim,probably to leave a false impression of its strength.

    Your "Baited Trap" could use a little work.

    ReplyDelete
  77. Eugen

    It's the most wonderful time of the year again.

    To all our atheist friends we wish a Merry Festivus

    May they be blessed by the Festivus miracle.


    Back at you, don't forget the Airing of Grievances and Feats of Strength.

    ReplyDelete
  78. I wrote: "The pentadactyl structure exhibits adaptation. The origin of the knowledge of how to perform these adaptations is the origin of the pentadactyl structure. Evolutionary theory explains how this knowledge was created: genetic variation and natural selection."

    Lino D'Ischia: And, of course, if, as Dr. Hunter has pointed out, there were no pentadactyl structure at all, then that would also be due to the Darwinian power of "adaptation".

    There isn't? Then what is CH referring to when he wrote…

    CH: The first problem is that evolution has no scientific explanation for the origin of the pentadactyl structure.

    Lino D'Ischia: So, if there is a pattern, this is proof of Darwinism; if there is no pattern, all the more proof of Darwinism.

    The pentadactyl structure does not exhibit adaptation?

    ReplyDelete
  79. Thorton
    Hey guys, for those who don't know Robert Byers - don't waste your time. He's well known in E/C discussion board circles and has been posting his YEC take


    True but his honesty is refreshing

    ReplyDelete
  80. The whole truth,

    See this: http://www.evodevojournal.com/content/2/1/11

    D'Ischia,

    Your opening post is the most vile post I have ever seen on the internet.

    You're lucky to have seen so little.

    Do you think God will overlook this blasphemy?

    It's generally Cornelius the one keeping an eye on blasphemies here*. I wonder what's been keeping him busy these days.

    * Every now and then comments disappear from this blog. So far, we've been attributing this to glitches in Blogger, but it would be interesting to consider divine intervention as another possibility. We could spend some time on this after the 'common design' issue.

    ReplyDelete
  81. velikovskys said...

    Thorton: "Hey guys, for those who don't know Robert Byers - don't waste your time. He's well known in E/C discussion board circles and has been posting his YEC take"

    True but his honesty is refreshing


    Agree 100%. He certainly is a rarity amongst Creationists and IDers.

    ReplyDelete
  82. Geouxus

    "So far, we've been attributing this to glitches in Blogger, but it would be interesting to consider divine intervention as another possibility."

    Could this be sign of a miracle,a Festivus miracle?

    ReplyDelete
  83. Eugen,

    Frank Costanza would not approve of those prices.

    D'Ischia,

    And, of course, if, as Dr. Hunter has pointed out, there were no pentadactyl structure at all, then that would also be due to the Darwinian power of "adaptation". So, if there is a pattern, this is proof of Darwinism; if there is no pattern, all the more proof of Darwinism.

    No proofs, just one particularly simple and conspicuous example from the whole dataset. Here.

    ReplyDelete
  84. illion, can you back this up?

    "the claim by DarwinDefenders that all mammalian species have exactly seven neck vertebrae"?

    And rather than the useless term "DarwinDefenders", can you show where biologists made that claim? Notice that biologists is plural, just like your term "DarwinDefenders". Can you show where even one biologist made that claim, or better yet, more than one?

    I'd hate to think that you overstate YOUR claims, as velikovskys suggested. After all, that would mean that you're intellectually dishonest, wouldn't it?

    ReplyDelete
  85. Scott:

    (i)The pentadactyl structure does not exhibit adaptation?(/i)

    Animals with a pentadactyl structure exhibit adaptation. Does this necessarily "prove" that it was caused by RV+NS?

    And from where did the pattern emerge? Why wasn't it three digits and an opposable thumb, or two, or six?

    So there's no reason to assume that the pentadactyl pattern was some kind of needed adaptation brought about via differential reproduction. So the emergence of this pattern cannot be explained, and its loss and recovery cannot be explained. But, of course, this proves Darwinism, you know.

    ReplyDelete
  86. D'Ischia,

    Animals with a pentadactyl structure exhibit adaptation. Does this necessarily "prove" that it was caused by RV+NS?

    No. It's evidence of a pattern of common ancestry, not of a specific mechanism of character evolution.

    And from where did the pattern emerge?

    From a polydactyl limb with at least 8 digits, followed by reduction of digits and then a stabilisation at five as the maximum probably as the effect of some developmental contraint. Read Gould's essay linked to in the OP.

    Why wasn't it three digits and an opposable thumb, or two, or six?

    My guess is mere contingency.

    So there's no reason to assume that the pentadactyl pattern was some kind of needed adaptation brought about via differential reproduction.

    Has anyone made that point here?

    So the emergence of this pattern cannot be explained, and its loss and recovery cannot be explained.

    are you talking about the paper Cornelius quotes from in the OP? I haven't read it, have you? It sounds interesting, but as digits are a case of serial homology, it's not like they're implying they are re-evolving from scratch.

    ReplyDelete
  87. Lino D'Ischia said...

    So there's no reason to assume that the pentadactyl pattern was some kind of needed adaptation brought about via differential reproduction. So the emergence of this pattern cannot be explained, and its loss and recovery cannot be explained. But, of course, this proves Darwinism, you know.


    We currently don't know why the pentadactyl pattern emerged over the various other multi-digit configurations exhibited by early tetrapods. As mentioned above, it may be that the pentadactyl pattern was the best compromise between stability and energy usage. Or it may be that the other lineages dies out for other reasons leaving the pentadactyl pattern the winner by default. The point is, once the pentadactyl pattern was established it has continued on, mostly unchanged, for hundreds of millions of years.

    Also, instances where morphological features have been lost then recovered aren't unusual or rare in evolutionary history. For instance, there is evidence that certain lineages of insects have gained, lost, and regained their wings multiple times over their evolutionary history. Such changes are driven by feedback from the ever changing environment.

    Since you don't like the evolutionary explanation, I'd be happy to listen to your ID explanation for the instances of other polydactly in early tetrapods, and the cases of loss and recovery of the pentadactyl pattern later on. Do you have one?

    ReplyDelete
  88. Geoxus said...

    are you talking about the paper Cornelius quotes from in the OP? I haven't read it, have you? It sounds interesting, but as digits are a case of serial homology, it's not like they're implying they are re-evolving from scratch.


    Haven't had a chance to read it yet either, but here is the full paper

    EVIDENCE FOR REPEATED ACQUISITION AND LOSS OF COMPLEX BODY-FORM CHARACTERS IN AN INSULAR CLADE OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN SEMI-FOSSORIAL SKINKS

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  89. Scott
    Yes. I insist there is and must be undiscovered biological mechanisms to explain biology diversity.
    Genesis is fine with that.
    In fact Genesis says men lived hundreds of years at first and so the biological mechanism for this is undiscovered but what there.

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  90. Geoxus
    The case with sloth could be that at first it was larger sloths who took to the trees and so required more bone support. Other sloths were smaller when taking to the trees and didn't need to change.

    Manatees for sure were first land creatures and easily have issues with how much bone support they need in their new world.

    I would say hair/fur is case in point for why its wrong to classify creatures by these like details. tHis is the origin of the error of seeing the group called mammals.
    I say there is no such group. ONly kinds.
    They simply have hair for like needs.
    yet unrelated to common biology.

    Its been a logical fallacy to see common origins because of common anatomy.
    In fact they reject this in convergent evolution theory.
    Where it is to rule in those cases.
    Then everywhere else they statring counting bones for heritage.
    In fact a common blueprint more likely explains common attributes from a common designer.
    What would you do if you were the creator?
    Evolution here shows its very much based on lines of reasoning and not biological investigation separate from presumptions.

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  91. Hawks.
    Wisdom teeth were a adaptation of people after the flood to allow a new meat eating diet. THe bible says only after the flood people ate meant.
    So the mechanism that instantly brought us this was effective but overdoing it. We needed our protein quick from meant and then after our heads got a little smaller.
    Wisdom teeth almost certainly came after the flood and not before.

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  92. Thorton.
    THanks. I never understand the malice one meets in origin issues.
    I always presume the evolutionists smell their demise and are very angry.
    however the bible says in all contentions there is a pride issue.
    People in origin issues are more educated and sharper generally and resent being told they are wrong about thought out ideas.
    Everybody but the the guys in the wrong smell sense it more.
    I am friendly but why not?
    on the winning intellectual side.

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  93. Ilion

    I'm impressed. That comment was up for less than about 30 seconds before I decided I'd rather not be so facetious.

    ReplyDelete
  94. Scott said:"Finding a fossil (not a common event) of a particular species among the billions that have ever existed is like blindly finding an individual pebble on the beach, and the odds are still not very good if you have a vague idea of which patch of the beach and at which depth to look for it."

    Interesting, how can the fossil record be evidence of evolution?

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  95. Venture Free: "... I decided I'd rather not be so facetious."

    Great; I can live with that.

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  96. "... So the emergence of this pattern cannot be explained, and its loss and recovery cannot be explained. But, of course, this proves Darwinism, you know."

    Everything ... and its opposite ... "proves" Darwinism. Well, we all know the old saying: "With 'evolution', all things are possible"

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  97. Robert Byers,

    Wisdom teeth were a adaptation of people after the flood to allow a new meat eating diet.

    I thought you were trying to do away with anything not having to do with need. You specifically wrote:

    So need alone can be a explanation for anatomy.
    Not origin.


    And yet, you are now bringing in origins. What gives?

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  98. Ilion,

    Everything ... and its opposite ... "proves" Darwinism.

    No. You are wrong. But thanks for adding to the evidence about "your sort" being ... you know...

    Well, we all know the old saying: "With 'evolution', all things are possible"

    No. Unlike ID. And thanks for adding even more to the evidence about "your sort" being ... you know...

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  99. Blas -

    "Interesting, how can the fossil record be evidence of evolution?"

    Actually I wrote the passage you quoted.

    Nevertheless, in answer to your question, the pattern given by the fossil record mirrors the pattern of the genetic record - the nested hierarchy we call the tree of like.

    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/phylo.html#fig1

    The fossil record is very far from complete, of course, but it can still gives us the shape of Earth's natural history.

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  100. Thorton:

    "Also, instances where morphological features have been lost then recovered aren't unusual or rare in evolutionary history. For instance, there is evidence that certain lineages of insects have gained, lost, and regained their wings multiple times over their evolutionary history."

    If you look at the paper Dr. Hunter refers to, Fig. 6 shows that a line of lizards that, for three consecutive ancestors, was limb-less, suddenly re-acquired limbs. How do you explain this? Where are the intermediates?

    Th:"Such changes are driven by feedback from the ever changing environment."

    With all due respect, this is nothing more than a "just-so" story. Think of human beings losing their arms and legs, and then reacquiring them: would this be due to a changed environment? Global warming, perhaps? None of this makes any sense. Hence, it's nonsense.

    There's an article being spolighted at PhysOrg today that talks about Lamarckian mechanisms responsible for the inheritance of traits for multiple generations. It's mediated via a "viral" RNA = viRNA. Obviously, this is non-Mendelian, and, NON-DARWINIAN. But it, of course, makes sense of what might happen in the case of "limbless" versus "limbed" animals. In the case of viRNA, the necessary genes are not "mutated"; rather, the viRNA interferes with the expression, or non-expression, of certain genes. The genes remain part of the genome the whole time. Thus, "sudden", and dramatic, changes can take place instantly.

    Naturally, though, this is non-Darwinian. Darwinism strikes out once again. Oh well . . . .

    P.S. What formatting tools/syntax tools, are there for this blog? How do you italicize, e.g.?

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  101. Geoxus:

    "No. It's evidence of a pattern of common ancestry, not of a specific mechanism of character evolution."

    No. I'm afraid it's only evidence of a common toolbox, and a similarity in ancestry. Common ancestry is an assumption for which, at the macro level, we have no real evidence. Commonality of design explains things--at the macro level--better than common ancestry. (As you know, of course, there's always those pesky missing intermediates.)

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  102. It seems that poor Ilion confuses unfalsified with unfalsifiable.

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  103. Robert :
    I always presume the evolutionists smell their demise and are very angry.


    Maybe but unlikely, the best hope for YEC to prevail would be a guest appearance by the Creator Himself. Even among believers it has marginal acceptance.

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  104. Lino:
    No. I'm afraid it's only evidence of a common toolbox, and a similarity in ancestry


    What is your evidence that it is a "common toolbox"? Do you have evidence how the Designer would create life? Surely you aren't suggesting that the Designer is limited to human techniques?

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  105. Geoxus said:

    "See this: http://www.evodevojournal.com/content/2/1/11"

    I'll check it out. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  106. Lino said:

    "Naturally, though, this is non-Darwinian. Darwinism strikes out once again. Oh well . . . ."

    You really need to get over your fear of, and obsession with, Darwin. It's almost 2012, and there's a lot more to the ToE than what Darwin discovered or proposed.

    Do any of you ID pushers have evidence and a testable hypothesis that explains the diversity of life better than what you call "Darwinism"? Do you have testable evidence that verifies the existence and actions (especially designing life) of your chosen god? Can you calculate the "CSI", "dFSCI", "FSCO/I", or "dFSCO/I" in a banana, a frog, a rock, and a human, and show your work?

    And one more question. Which is more complex:

    1. a human?

    2. or a butterfly?

    Please show how you arrived at your answer.

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  107. Hawks: "n the post Thornton was responding to, you made a gaffe, did you not? That is a truth. There is also lots of evidence that "your sort" makes lots of "intellectual errors". This does not necessarily mean that it is true that your sort are morons, but it does add to the evidence. There are large amounts of this evidence and you just added some more."

    Ah, Gentle Reader ... the world is full of fools, is it not? And more, clamoring all the time, to be added to those hollowed ranks.

    Consider this latest brave fool to earn his Cap: Hawks. What he is doing is defending an instance of Thornton engaging in the nasty habit of arguing 'not-A' immediately after having argued 'A' (as the need of the moment has changed), by pointing out that in one of his posts, Thornton was responding to an alleged "gaffe" on my part.

    Apparently, putting a DarwinDenier "in his place" takes reasonable (and moral) precedence over intellectual consistency and honesty.

    Of course, Hawks cannot actually produce my alleged "gaffe" ... the most he can do is repeat the assertion-based-on-misrepresentation of desperate DarwinDefenders.

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  108. "P.S. What formatting tools/syntax tools, are there for this blog? How do you italicize, e.g.?"

    The same way as on any other Blogspot blog:
    <i>italicize</i>
    <b>bold</b>

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  109. Lino D'Ischia said...

    If you look at the paper Dr. Hunter refers to, Fig. 6 shows that a line of lizards that, for three consecutive ancestors, was limb-less, suddenly re-acquired limbs. How do you explain this? Where are the intermediates?


    The paper doesn't investigate the causes of the limb reacquisition, but it does suggest that in at least some of the cases that digits have been
    reacquired via new evolutionary pathways as opposed to the re-expression of previously dormant genes. This study has no intermediates because it was based on DNA analysis of extant species. Didn't you read the paper?

    Now please, I'll ask again. What is your ID explanation for the phylogenetic pattern shown in the paper? IDCers love to whine "ToE can't explain all the details!" but ID has never offered a alternate explanation with any details. Not a single one.

    Th:"Such changes are driven by feedback from the ever changing environment."

    With all due respect, this is nothing more than a "just-so" story. Think of human beings losing their arms and legs, and then reacquiring them: would this be due to a changed environment? Global warming, perhaps? None of this makes any sense. Hence, it's nonsense.


    With all due respects, you just showed me you don't have the faintest clue about biology. 'Environment' doesn't mean climate or weather. A creature's environment is comprised of every factor that affects the creature's ability to live and reproduce - predators, food supply, competition from other members of its group, etc. And yes, it is theoretically possible that humans could evolve away their legs in the same way cetaceans did *IF* they were subjected to an environment long enough where legs were detrimental to survival.

    Now where is your ID explanation for the empirical data?

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  110. Ilion said...

    Of course, Hawks cannot actually produce my alleged "gaffe" ... the most he can do is repeat the assertion-based-on-misrepresentation of desperate DarwinDefenders.


    It's right here.

    You said evolution claims ALL mammals have seven vertebrae when the article you offered said NEARLY all.

    It was a pretty stupid mistake, unless you were deliberately lying. So which are you Ilion, stupid or a liar? I suppose you could be both.

    BTW, you forgot to provide your ID explanation for the empirical data in the OP paper. Why the delay?

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  111. illion, do the words in quotes look familiar to you?

    "a bare assertion is not an argument"

    Your bare assertions are not only NOT an argument, but laughable too.

    "humans aren't exactly known for letting reason get in the way when they want to think magically"

    Deranged religious humans like you, that is.

    "I don't answer to you personally or to any of you. You all are but source-material to me."

    No one here has to answer to you personally (or otherwise) either, and that goes double for the people here who don't let magic-god-thinking get in the way of evidence and reason. To me, at least, you are nothing but a bloviating fool that deserves to be mocked.

    I notice that you fearfully evade relevant points and questions and try to hide behind a transparent facade of impotent bluster. It's obvious that you're way out of your depth and have no clue about evolutionary biology, the fossil record, and science in general.

    I'm sure that you think you're an intelligent, educated, complex thinker and your chosen god's gift to the world, but you're actually just another run of the mill, closed-minded god zombie that chooses to believe in and promote religious fairy tales because it's much, much easier than studying and learning about reality.

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  112. Ilíon: "Of course, Hawks cannot actually produce my alleged "gaffe" ... the most he can do is repeat the assertion-based-on-misrepresentation of desperate DarwinDefenders."

    Thornton: "It's right here.

    You said evolution claims ALL mammals have seven vertebrae when the article you offered said NEARLY all.

    It was a pretty stupid mistake, unless you were deliberately lying. So which are you Ilion, stupid or a liar? I suppose you could be both.
    "

    Let's see:
    1) Thornton asserts that my alleged gaffe was to assert that "... evolution claims ALL mammals have seven vertebrae .." (and, apparently, links to himself to prove it);
    2) but, I never said that "... evolution claims ALL mammals have seven vertebrae ..", or even anything to that effect;

    3) We know that Thornton isn't simply making a mistake.

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  113. Ilíon said...

    2) but, I never said that "... evolution claims ALL mammals have seven vertebrae ..", or even anything to that effect;


    Ahem...

    Ilion above: "That all mammalian species have exactly seven neck vertebrae is Proof Of "Evolution""

    link

    I never understood why IDCers will lie to your face when the evidence of what they said is so easily accessible.

    Oh and Ilion, you forgot again to give us the ID explanation for the observed polydactyl patters in early tetrapods.

    You're not doing too well here Ilion. Maybe you should slink back to the security of the heavily censored cesspool of UD. The steaming floaters you leave fit right in there.

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  114. D'Ischia,

    No. I'm afraid it's only evidence of a common toolbox, and a similarity in ancestry.

    Obviously "toolbox" is a metaphor here, you don't really mean the designer used an actual toolbox with hammers and screwdrivers. Metaphors can be useful, but they are not substitutes for explanations in terms of the actual biology. What's the biological meaning of a "toolbox" being used by a designer? How does it happen?

    And what does "similarity in ancestry" mean?

    Commonality of design explains things--at the macro level--better than common ancestry.

    Commonality of design, organism being designed by a common intelligence, can account for anything. It doesn't predict a specific pattern. A modular re-use of components is compatible with it, but separate design for each "kind" is compatible as well. Any mix of the two is compatible too.

    It does provide a complete fit for anything, and that's precisely one of the reasons why it is useless.

    (As you know, of course, there's always those pesky missing intermediates.)

    Yes. We could have the complete record of intermediates, and that wouldn't have any effect in the fit of a common design hypotheses. If we had no intermediates we'd have no significant phylogenetic signal (it would be pretty hard to study homology in the first place), and the common ancestry hypothesis wouldn't be acceptably supported, while the common design hypothesis would still be fine. Sadly for you, we do have many intermediates. Certainly not even nearly as many as we'd like (well, we'd like to know it all), but quite enough to strongly support the common ancestry hypothesis.

    I do confess I'm happy we have strong support for a hypothesis such as common ancestry, as it allows us to do research such as the study mentioned by Cornelius. If all we had was the useless, unfalsifiable, common design hypothesis, what could we do with it? How would any research program be developed from it?

    I know I'd not be speculating about god's rationales. Since I'm not infinitely and perfectly great, intelligent, lovely, and stuff... that would be a foolish waste of time, and quite arrogant.

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  115. Ilion
    I apologize for my speculation that the reason you overstate is to bolster your assertion. You seem to be playing another game.

    Ilion
    2) it was unwise on my part to have taken the claim by DarwinDefenders that all mammalian species have exactly seven neck vertebrae, and the significance thereof, to have been made in good faith?


    It is unlikely that you would consider anything the enemy claimed to be in good faith , but real point is the use of "defenders" instead of "defender". How would your statement read if we used the correct singular?
    the claim by a DarwinDefender that all mammalian species have exactly seven neck vertebrae
    Quite a different claim, Am I unwise to consider it was a good faith mistake, an inadvertent stroke of the key?
    Then the bait" the giraffe story with the money quote" nearly all mammals do".
    Sit back and wait for the fun. Stoopid DarwinDefenders playing Gotcha. Sweet revenge.
    In response to my claim that your defenders statement was nonfactual you said it was The Truth, in Catholic theology intentionally leaving a false impression is called a Lie.

    Of course ,this scenario could just be the a side effect of massive dosages of ibuprofen or I could just be late to the game or I could be wrong.However on the plus side,any response ,none expected, would only be a confirmation of my preexisting belief in my version of the Truth.

    Again apologies for misjudging you as a pompous ,arrogant, know-it-all. You are "special"

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  116. Thorton:

    "The paper doesn't investigate the causes of the limb reacquisition, but it does suggest that in at least some of the cases that digits have been
    reacquired via new evolutionary pathways as opposed to the re-expression of previously dormant genes."

    Extremely vague. Of what scientific worth is this suggestion?

    "What is your ID explanation for the phylogenetic pattern shown in the paper?"

    How did you miss this? It was in my last post.

    "There's an article being spolighted at PhysOrg today that talks about Lamarckian mechanisms responsible for the inheritance of traits for multiple generations. It's mediated via a "viral" RNA = viRNA. Obviously, this is non-Mendelian, and, NON-DARWINIAN. But it, of course, makes sense of what might happen in the case of "limbless" versus "limbed" animals. In the case of viRNA, the necessary genes are not "mutated"; rather, the viRNA interferes with the expression, or non-expression, of certain genes. The genes remain part of the genome the whole time. Thus, "sudden", and dramatic, changes can take place instantly."

    Someone asked what proof is there of a toolbox. Well, we know all about Hox genes don't we? And we're finding proteins present in the lowest of taxonomic classes that have significant function in later taxa. This is all very consistent with ID notions.


    A simple starting explanation is that, with man in mind, the Designer (God), brought about this pattern early in the line leading up to man. It is a pattern that is used, and transformed, in a variety of ways to bring about a variety of forms.

    You Darwinists seem to forget that for over a century before Darwin, naturalists, scientists, were very comfortable with the notion of design. Even Dawkins says that life appears to be designed. The onus is on Darwinism to prove otherwise. If I have what appears to be an apple in my hand, if you want to assert that it is something other than an apple, that's up to you to do somehow; not up to me.

    Let's remember what this post is about: it's about Darwinism saying that the pentydactyl pattern proves Darwinism---a pattern that arises without any Darwinian explanation---and then having Darwinism perfectly conformable to a situation wherein this pattern appears. So the "law" of Darwinism seems to be: if it turns out to be A, that's fully consistent; it it turns out to be anti-A, that, too, is fully consistent with our theory. This doesn't inspire confidence.

    "With all due respects, you just showed me you don't have the faintest clue about biology. 'Environment' doesn't mean climate or weather."

    Apparently my needling went right over your head. Global warming, like Darwinism, is a fairy tale.

    As to your orthodoxy regarding the 'environment', well, does anyone really believe any of that?

    In the PhysOrg article I referenced to above, the effect of diet was passed on to future generations via the viRNA. Doesn't this explain the changing beak sizes of the Galapagos finches? Quite easily, really. And, of course, it is non-Mendelian, not involving the DNA found in the genome. Where is your population genetics to help you out here? No where to be seen, I'm afraid.

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  117. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  118. Lino D'Ischia said...

    Thorton: "The paper doesn't investigate the causes of the limb reacquisition, but it does suggest that in at least some of the cases that digits have been reacquired via new evolutionary pathways as opposed to the re-expression of previously dormant genes."

    Extremely vague. Of what scientific worth is this suggestion?


    Like all good science it opens avenues to new research. Of what scientific worth is "a Designer did it at an unknown time using unknown mechanisms for unknown purposes"?

    T:"What is your ID explanation for the phylogenetic pattern shown in the paper?"

    How did you miss this? It was in my last post.

    "There's an article being spolighted at PhysOrg today that talks about Lamarckian mechanisms responsible for the inheritance of traits for multiple generations. It's mediated via a "viral" RNA = viRNA


    So your hypothesis is that the Designed put viRNA in the skinks on purpose to cause the loss and reacquisition of digits and limbs?? Where is your evidence that such mechanisms are actually present and responsible for the limb patterns seen in the skinks? How do explain the timeline of the speciation events indicated by the genetic analysis? "The Designer did it" is a great all-purpose hand wave, but it explains nothing and advances scientific knowledge not one iota.

    Someone asked what proof is there of a toolbox. Well, we know all about Hox genes don't we? And we're finding proteins present in the lowest of taxonomic classes that have significant function in later taxa. This is all very consistent with ID notions.

    What would be inconsistent with ID notions?

    A simple starting explanation is that, with man in mind, the Designer (God), brought about this pattern early in the line leading up to man. It is a pattern that is used, and transformed, in a variety of ways to bring about a variety of forms.

    So you're a theistic evolutionist? You think your God used evolution to shape/mold man and all the other life forms with homologous limbs? What would falsify that hypothesis? Because if it can't be falsified, it's not science.

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  119. D'Ischia,

    Obviously, this is non-Mendelian, and, NON-DARWINIAN.

    Gosh, he killed DARWINISM! Now all we have left is modern evolutionary theory :(

    In the PhysOrg article I referenced to above, the effect of diet was passed on to future generations via the viRNA. Doesn't this explain the changing beak sizes of the Galapagos finches?

    LOL, so now viRNA is the explanation for everything. And somehow this has something to do with god.

    ReplyDelete
  120. Lino said:

    "A simple starting explanation is that, with man in mind, the Designer (God), brought about this pattern early in the line leading up to man. It is a pattern that is used, and transformed, in a variety of ways to bring about a variety of forms."

    Did your chosen designer god also bring about the "pattern" and "variety of forms" of cancer cells, deadly viruses, deadly bacteria, deadly mutations, asteroid impacts, forest fires, earthquakes, hurricanes, droughts, tornadoes, diarrhea, constipation, harmful parasites, deafness, hemorrhoids, blindness, heart attacks, toe nail fungus, mental illnesses, wars, and all the other things that cause suffering and/or death to humans and other organisms, "early in the line leading up to man"?

    On which of the six days of creation did he bring about all those patterns and forms?

    ReplyDelete
  121. Ilion,

    we all know what point you were trying to make. It's a fairly standard "point" that adds to the evidence of ... you know what...

    ReplyDelete
  122. Ilíon: Everything ... and its opposite ... "proves" Darwinism.

    First, I'd again point out that no mere observations alone positively "proves" Darwinism. You're need a solution to the problem of induction before this was possible. Care to enlighten us as to how you've managed this?

    Second, we now understand Darwin's theory better than Darwin did himself. And, given your claim, it would seem we understand it far better than you as well.

    Specifically, the underlying explanation behind evolutionary theory's predictions is an explanation for how the knowledge to build each species, as found in the genome, was created: genetic variation and natural selection. This is a variant of how we, as people, create knowledge: theories are formed via conjecture, which are tested by observations and those with errors are discarded.

    So, what would falsify evolutionary theory? Evidence that, given our best explanations a the time, implies that the knowledge of how to build each species was a created via some other means.

    For example, if an organism was observed to only (or mostly) undergo favorable mutations, as predicted by Lamarckianism or spontaneous generation, then the undirected variation aspect of Darwinism would be refuted. If reproduction resulted in organisms that were observed with new, complex adaptations, of which there were no precursors in there parents, the gradual aspect of Darwinism would be refuted, along with with this same explanation of knowledge creation. The same can be said If reproduction resulted in an organism that exhibited a complex adaptation that had survival value today, but was not favored by selection pressure in it's ancestry, such as new form of bear that could pick up wifi signals, sift through them to find packets of weather data and use that data to determine when it should enter or leave hibernation.

    Given these observations "Evolutionists" would have no where to go, as it's underlying explanation of knowledge creation could not be easily varied to account for these observations. A fundamentally new explanation, which did explain these new observations, along with existing observations that were explained by evolutionary theory, would be needed to take it's place.

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  123. illion,

    Your first post in this thread said this:

    "That all mammalian species have exactly seven neck vertebrae is Proof Of "Evolution" ... that differing avian species have differing numbers of neck vertebrae is Proof Of "Evolution""

    Later you said:

    "So, tell me, Thornton, ol' buddy -- are you saying:
    1) that DarwinDefenders are inveterate liars; or
    2) it was unwise on my part to have taken the claim by DarwinDefenders that all mammalian species have exactly seven neck vertebrae, and the significance thereof, to have been made in good faith?"

    And:

    "How about this: that *all* DarwinDefenders are intellectually dishonest, that *all* DarwinDefenders will "argue" anything ... and its opposite."

    And:

    "But of course it was intended as a factual statement -- I'm not like you people, after all."

    And:

    "The fact that the DarwinDefender who "argued" at me that all mammals have exactly seven neck vertebrae and that therefore "evolution" (whatever you folk mean by that term at any given time) is The Truth:
    1) is not here;
    2) was misinformed;
    doesn't change the factual nature of what I said.

    And, in fact, DarwinDefenders will still make such an argument, though in weaker form, and simultaneously as a base-assumption (that is, after all, how such folk "reason")."

    And you linked to this article...

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110505212314.htm

    ...which says no such thing as "all mammals have exactly seven neck vertebrae".

    You then linked to this article...

    http://paleobiology.si.edu/geotime/main/foundation_life3.html

    ...which also says no such thing, and in fact says:

    "A giraffe, for example, has seven vertebrae in its neck and so does a mole--in fact, nearly all mammals do."

    Then you said...

    "And you DarwinDefenders, with your studied stupidity, simply decline to understand the point I am making, which is that your arguments are both illogical and irrational, because you will "argue" both 'A' and 'not-A' simultaneously."

    ...which is based on a false premise on your part.

    You then said:

    "Will you DarwinDefenders ever stop engaging in such pathetic self-inflicted damage? Your games of "Gotcha" just never work out: for I know what I'm talking about and I generally do not speak beyond what I know.

    You all should try that sometime."

    You should look at a mirror, not to admire your arrogant self, but to see who's actually doing what you accuse "DarwinDefenders" of. Oh, and you don't know what you're talking about and you do speak beyond what you know.

    You then said"

    "Oh, Scotty ... I don't answer to you personally or to any of you. You all are but source-material to me."

    Do you answer personally to your mother? Didn't your mother tell you that she would rather see you dead than see you do a bad thing? For your sake, I hope she isn't watching you in this thread.

    Then you said:

    "Isn't it interesting that the silly DarwinDefenders who buzz around Mr Hunter's blog seem to imagine that *I* have to answer for the things they imagine I have said because they can't be bothered to understand what I have in fact said?"

    No imagining is necessary. Your words are there for all to see. In fact, you said what I and others have pointed out.

    You then said:

    "What!? Does this condemnation of me (can't the reader see me quaking in my boots?) even make sense if Thornton is no at least implicitly asserting that "the scientific community" is the arbiter of truth?"

    Well, there sure isn't any "truth" in YOUR assertions and lies.

    See part two.

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  124. Part two.

    illion said:

    "Here is another odd fact about the odd DarLogic of DarwinDefenders -- had it been that I were claiming that all mammal species have exactly seven neck vertebrae...."

    Nobody else said it either, so your assertions are again based on false premises on your part.

    You then said:

    "Isn't it simply amazing that DarwinDefenders -- people who have mastered and made an art-form of the "Yer stoopid" argument -- seem to imagine that others have some sort of obligation to take them seriously, and to pretend that they do not tend to behave exactly like trolls?"

    Since all of your assertions are essentially "Yer stoopid" assertions, and you haven't contributed anything even remotely relevant to the topic of the OP, why should anyone take you seriously?

    You then said:

    "Everything ... and its opposite ... "proves" Darwinism. Well, we all know the old saying: "With 'evolution', all things are possible""

    And your testable, scientific hypothesis, evidence, and explanation for the pentadactyl structure, or the unusual number of neck vertebrae in manatees and sloths, is...?

    You then said:

    "Consider this latest brave fool to earn his Cap: Hawks. What he is doing is defending an instance of Thornton engaging in the nasty habit of arguing 'not-A' immediately after having argued 'A' (as the need of the moment has changed), by pointing out that in one of his posts, Thornton was responding to an alleged "gaffe" on my part."

    Thorton (not "Thornton") did no such thing. If anything, you are the one arguing A, not-A, by trying to lie your way out of your own words. Your "gaffe" is not only alleged, it's a fact.

    You then said:

    "Apparently, putting a DarwinDenier "in his place" takes reasonable (and moral) precedence over intellectual consistency and honesty."

    You have been put in your place, only yer too stoopid to realize it. The consistent thing about you is that you don't have a clue.

    You then said:

    "Of course, Hawks cannot actually produce my alleged "gaffe" ... the most he can do is repeat the assertion-based-on-misrepresentation of desperate DarwinDefenders."

    All lies. Call your mom and tell her you've been a bad, dishonest, wicked boy. Ask her to post the date and time of your funeral here so that I can send flowers.

    You then said:

    "Let's see:
    1) Thornton asserts that my alleged gaffe was to assert that "... evolution claims ALL mammals have seven vertebrae .." (and, apparently, links to himself to prove it);
    2) but, I never said that "... evolution claims ALL mammals have seven vertebrae ..", or even anything to that effect;"

    You're missing the entire point. To be accurate, you didn't say "evolution claims" as Thorton stated, but you did say "the claim by DarwinDefenders that all mammalian species have exactly seven neck vertebrae...", and similar statements, that are not true of what evolutionary biologists say. If someone were to claim that it would be wrong whether they're a 'DarwinDefender' or not. And it doesn't really matter whether you used the word "evolution" or "DarwinDefenders" or that Thorton used the word "evolution" instead of "DarwinDefenders". Your dishonest attack is obviously aimed at evolution, evolutionary biologists, the ToE, and "DarwinDefenders", and what really matters is that you accused "DarwinDefenders" of claiming that "all mammalian species have exactly seven neck vertebrae" and linked to pages where no such thing was said.

    Gotcha. :)

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  125. What I can't understand is why persons with nothing to say keep trying to get my attention.

    ReplyDelete
  126. Ilíon said...

    What I can't understand is why persons with nothing to say keep trying to get my attention.


    We're not trying to get your attention. We're merely pointing out your blustering ignorance and dishonesty.

    Whether or not you decide to pay attention and stop embarrassing yourself with such behavior is your problem, not ours.

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  127. Thornton:

    Thornton: "The paper doesn't investigate the causes of the limb reacquisition, but it does suggest that in at least some of the cases that digits have been reacquired via new evolutionary pathways as opposed to the re-expression of previously dormant genes."

    LDI:

    Extremely vague. Of what scientific worth is this suggestion?

    Thornton: "Like all good science it opens avenues to new research. Of what scientific worth is "a Designer did it at an unknown time using unknown mechanisms for unknown purposes"?

    Thornton, how does the surmise,"digits have been reacquired via new evolutionary pathways as opposed to the re-expression of previously dormant genes," open up avenues to new research? It's no more than an educated guess. And what would the one possibility be in contrast to the other? Either the genes are present in BOTH the limbless and the limbed, or they are not. 50-50 chance. All you have to do is look. It's either the one, or the other. The rest is quibbling.

    There's no need to directly involve the Designer at each point of chronological change. I would suspect that the Designer "designed" the lizard with the capacity to change as environmental conditions determine. This is exactly what the Darwinist says. But there's this big difference: the Darwinist is completely unable to explain how the magnitude of change can take place in such a short period of time, while, according to the Design Inference, IDers would posit---you see, we make actual predictions, contra Darwinism, and predictions that can be falsified, contra Darwinism---that some kind of pre-conditioned regulatory mechanism is "triggered" under the right, and sustained, environmental conditions. (CH has a post on this very topic as we blog here.) I bet I turn out to be right, and Darwinism wrong again. But to true believers, this matters not.

    Th:"So your hypothesis is that the Designed put viRNA in the skinks on purpose to cause the loss and reacquisition of digits and limbs?? Where is your evidence that such mechanisms are actually present and responsible for the limb patterns seen in the skinks? How do explain the timeline of the speciation events indicated by the genetic analysis? "The Designer did it" is a great all-purpose hand wave, but it explains nothing and advances scientific knowledge not one iota."

    Not exactly. The hypothesis is that the Designer "designed" organisms with processes that are triggered by environmental input, and which bring about directed, and not random, changes in the organism, triggers that can be, if needed, reversed.

    When you say, "How do [you] explain the timeline of the speciation events indicated by the genetic analysis?", there are two reactions: (1) What timeline? How do you know if the changes occurred in twenty years, or in two million years (and Darwinism needs millions of years for even the smallest of changes)? None of this is known, but surmised per presumed ideas about speciation; it's genetic 'comparison', not 'analysis'; (2) Why does it need any explaining? Species change over time. We call it adaptation. And Darwinian randomness has some capacity to explain these changes. We call it microevolution. (However, per Dr. Hunter's other post, I suspect that in the end we'll find out that Darwinism is almost completely impotent to bring about progressive evolution.)

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  128. Thornton: (cont'd)


    Th: "What would be inconsistent with ID notions?"

    If it were demonstrated that some type of random (non-directed) process, or processes, could bring about a substantial increase in real information, where real information means something at the level of the creation of a entirely new protein complex within the cell.

    See how easy that was? So, now it's your turn. What is inconsistent with Darwinism?

    (And, if you reply along the lines of "a rabbit in the middle the Devonian", that would be something that is not inconsistent with Darwinism [the Archea, for example, are present right along side eukaryotes, and that doesn't slow you down one bit], but rather is inconsistent with the FOSSIL RECORD! So that won't work. We await.)









    "So you're a theistic evolutionist? You think your God used evolution to shape/mold man and all the other life forms with homologous limbs? What would falsify that hypothesis? Because if it can't be falsified, it's not science."

    How can you falsify it? Who's that smart?

    Yet this is all but a canard. Humans exist, do they not? Do humans have free will or not? Then how do propose to study this question scientifically?

    If someone takes the position that there is such a thing as free will, how will you falsify that claim? If someone takes the position that there is no such thing as free will, how will you falsify that claim? IOW, science cannot look beyond the molecules, and free will, if it exists, lies beyond the molecules---as does the Creator of this free will.

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  129. Lino D'Ischia said...

    Not exactly. The hypothesis is that the Designer "designed" organisms with processes that are triggered by environmental input, and which bring about directed, and not random, changes in the organism, triggers that can be, if needed, reversed.


    Now all you need to do is come up with a way to test that hypothesis, actually do the test, and produce some positive evidence that supports the idea.

    Be sure to call us when you've done that, K?

    Th: "What would be inconsistent with ID notions?"

    If it were demonstrated that some type of random (non-directed) process, or processes, could bring about a substantial increase in real information, where real information means something at the level of the creation of a entirely new protein complex within the cell.


    Let's ignore for a moment the fact that no one in the IDC camp has ever defined 'real information' as it applies to biological entities, or given a way to quantify this 'real information' to tell if it increased. How do you demonstrate that any process is truly random and not being directed by some omnipotent Loki God doing behind-the-scenes manipulation?

    That's why IDC claims can never be falsified, and why they're not science.

    See how easy that was? So, now it's your turn. What is inconsistent with Darwinism?

    Lots of things if discovered would falsify ToE. Finding that the phylogenetic tree formed from the fossil record was vastly different than the one formed from the genetic record would do it easily. So would finding chimera creatures, i.e horses with four legs plus wings.

    ToE is quite falsifiable, it just hasn't been falsified. But there is no conceivable evidence that can falsify "an omnipotent Designer did it".

    How can you falsify it? Who's that smart?

    No one. It's logically impossible to falsify IDC.

    Yet this is all but a canard. Humans exist, do they not? Do humans have free will or not? Then how do propose to study this question scientifically?

    That's a philosophical question, not a scientific one.

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  130. the whole truth:

    "Did your chosen designer god also bring about the "pattern" and "variety of forms" of cancer cells, deadly viruses, deadly bacteria, deadly mutations, asteroid impacts, forest fires, earthquakes, hurricanes, droughts, tornadoes, diarrhea, constipation, harmful parasites, deafness, hemorrhoids, blindness, heart attacks, toe nail fungus, mental illnesses, wars, and all the other things that cause suffering and/or death to humans and other organisms, "early in the line leading up to man"?"

    This is a caricature of the very thing Cornelious Hunter wrote about in two of his published books. This is a theological argument on your part, not science.

    Your premise is this (as was Darwin's): God created the world. God is good. The world is created by God. But the world is not good. Therefore God did not create the world.

    Do I see even one iota of science in any of that? No. It's pure theology.

    Have you heard of the Manicheaens? They believed in a principle of good and in a principle of evil. That was their solution to the problem of evil in the world. Your solution is that RM+NS = the diversity of life; and, of course, randomness can lead you anywhere---even towards bad stuff!!


    But let's not forget that in every single edition of the Origin of Species [except perhaps his last], Darwin ended his book with "form or forms" brought about by the Creator. He even believed in a Designer!!

    Since you're interested in theology, then, per Christian theology, per the Christian Bible, we're told that "every tear will be wiped away" when there comes about a "new heavens and a new earth". Maybe the Designer has something a little better in store for all of us. Are you prepared for that 'whole truth'.

    "On which of the six days of creation did he bring about all those patterns and forms?"

    ReplyDelete
  131. Lino D'Ischia said...

    Not exactly. The hypothesis is that the Designer "designed" organisms with processes that are triggered by environmental input, and which bring about directed, and not random, changes in the organism, triggers that can be, if needed, reversed


    I've got another question about your hypothesis. You claim organisms are designed to respond to environmental inputs which bring about directed changes. But as far as we can tell, environmental changing inputs themselves occur randomly, especially catastrophic ones - asteroid strikes, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, etc.

    In your scenario how does the Designer account for the random nature of the environmental changes? Do you also think the Designer is constantly intervening and causing catastrophic events like asteroid strikes just to force his 'front-loaded' organisms where it wants them to go? What is the mechanism for that?

    ReplyDelete
  132. Thorton:

    "Be sure to call us when you've done that, K?"

    No need for me to do it. Scientists are already doing it in their labs. And none of it looks good for Darwinism.

    "Let's ignore for a moment the fact that no one in the IDC camp has ever defined 'real information' as it applies to biological entities, or given a way to quantify this 'real information' to tell if it increased."

    Why ignore anything? I told you, show me that random processes brought about an entirely new protein complex, and I say that ID hasn't a leg to stand on. Plain and simple.

    "How do you demonstrate that any process is truly random and not being directed by some omnipotent Loki God doing behind-the-scenes manipulation?"

    Why this is really something. You're now hiding behind the possibility that what looks like its random may in fact turn out to have been manipulated "behind the scenes". This is rich. I thought this is what ID is supposed to be demonstrating.

    Let's just presume that if it looks random, it's random. Just as in: "If it looks designed, then it's probably designed."

    "Lots of things if discovered would falsify ToE. Finding that the phylogenetic tree formed from the fossil record was vastly different than the one formed from the genetic record would do it easily."

    My friend, they're finding things like this all the time. But there's always a "just-so" story at hand. And their belief in Darwinism continues unabated.

    "So would finding chimera creatures, i.e horses with four legs plus wings."

    But wait a second. If a horse had wings, then, when it is caught in a stampede that is going over the edge of a cliff, it could fly to safety. Obviously it would have a selective advantage over the other non-winged horses.

    Likewise, with wings, it could eat fruit at a higher level in a tree. Another selective advantage.

    The winged horse could fly over river basins and keep free of possibly breaking a leg. Another selective advantage.

    BTW, I could keep this up all day. Tell me when to stop.

    Th:"But there is no conceivable evidence that can falsify "an omnipotent Designer did it"."

    But you don't have to falsify an "omnipotent Designer"; all you have to do is show how new protein complexes come about all by themselves.

    LDI: Yet this is all but a canard. Humans exist, do they not? Do humans have free will or not? Then how do propose to study this question scientifically?

    Th: "That's a philosophical question, not a scientific one."

    Well, it's not quite that simple, is it?

    For example, if 'free will' exists and science cannot prove nor disprove it, then this is to admit that things exist of which science can tell us nothing. Therefore, it cannot, a priori, rule out a Divine Creator. So, then, can it tell us how the information contained in the cell came about? This is a scientific question, is it not? Doesn't the Designer hypothesis give us the best "explanation" of this information? (And, of course, the silly retort that if the Designer "did it", then science has nothing to do is pure nonsense. Why? Because right now science CAN'T tell us where this information came from and science goes on without batting an eye.)

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  133. Lino -

    No need for me to do it. Scientists are already doing it in their labs. And none of it looks good for Darwinism.

    Please link to some.

    Why ignore anything? I told you, show me that random processes brought about an entirely new protein complex, and I say that ID hasn't a leg to stand on. Plain and simple.

    As you wish:

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn14094-bacteria-make-major-evolutionary-shift-in-the-lab.html

    My friend, they're finding things like this all the time.

    Link to some.

    But wait a second. If a horse had wings, then, when it is caught in a stampede that is going over the edge of a cliff, it could fly to safety. Obviously it would have a selective advantage over the other non-winged horses...

    First of all, features do not suddenly evolve from nothing. A horse, as it is today, will not suddenly give birth to a winged foal. That's exactly the one-step feature development which is antithetical to evolution.

    Secondly, nothing in nature is free. While wings may provide situational advantages, it takes energy to develop and maintain them - energy which is wasted if you are not using them efficiently. If horses flew, then they would need extensive biological changes to make them aerodynamically efficient - their bones would be lighter if they were hollow, as birds' are, for example. But then they would be less able to reach the speed of a horse while galloping...

    Evolving means filling a niche. Horses are built for fast travel on the ground. Flight is a totally different way of life, and one that they would need to change extensively for. There is simply no selection pressure pushing them in that direction.

    For example, if 'free will' exists and science cannot prove nor disprove it, then this is to admit that things exist of which science can tell us nothing. Therefore, it cannot, a priori, rule out a Divine Creator.

    There is an infinite number of supernatural/magical creatures which MIGHT exist. And any observed phenomenon which is (initially) unexplained MIGHT be the handiwork of any one of them. If we allow for supernatural/magic creatures in science then we have no way of distinguishing the handiwork of a God from the handiwork of Santa Claus, or ghosts, or the flying spaghetti monster, or any of the infinite number of other possible hypothetical beings. We would, in short, have explained nothing.

    And, of course, the silly retort that if the Designer "did it", then science has nothing to do is pure nonsense. Why? Because right now science CAN'T tell us where this information came from and science goes on without batting an eye.

    Science 'goes on' precisely because we do not have all the answers. So we keep looking. That, fundamentally, is what science is. 'Goddidit' is a problem precisely because it is an answer - to ANYTHING. As soon as we identify ANY new mystery or observe ANY new phenomenon, we can immediately chalk it down to the handiwork of God and not even begin to look for a naturalistic explanation. Why would we, when we already have an answer right there ready for us?

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  134. Lino D'Ischia said...

    No need for me to do it. Scientists are already doing it in their labs. And none of it looks good for Darwinism.


    Which scientists? Which labs? What experiments are they performing? Be specific

    Empty rhetoric for Creationists is cheap Lino. Backing it up is the part you guys never do.

    "Let's ignore for a moment the fact that no one in the IDC camp has ever defined 'real information' as it applies to biological entities, or given a way to quantify this 'real information' to tell if it increased."

    Why ignore anything?


    OK then, please give me the definition of 'real information' and the objective way to quantify it. Remember, no ignoring!

    The winged horse could fly over river basins and keep free of possibly breaking a leg. Another selective advantage.

    BTW, I could keep this up all day. Tell me when to stop.


    Stop, because you're making yourself look foolish. Horse with wings would have six limbs, along with the associated blood flow and musculature. A population of six-legged mammals would not fit into any known evolutionary pattern and match with any known evolutionary ancestry. That's the problem, not any perceived reproductive benefits.

    But you don't have to falsify an "omnipotent Designer"; all you have to do is show how new protein complexes come about all by themselves.

    We have ample evidence of the process that creates genetic variations. We have ample evidence that such processes produced the proteins we see today. Dr. Joe Thornton has done excellent work reproducing the evolutionary history of certain protein complexes. Do you have any explanations for his data?

    Therefore, it cannot, a priori, rule out a Divine Creator. So, then, can it tell us how the information contained in the cell came about? This is a scientific question, is it not? Doesn't the Designer hypothesis give us the best "explanation" of this information?

    Define 'information' as it applies to cells.

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  135. Thorton (Brazen dishonesty or crass stupidity?): "I never understood why IDCers will lie to your face when the evidence of what they said is so easily accessible."

    While I'm willing to grant the theoretical possibility that DarwinDefenders are not the brightest lights on the string (it's Christmas-time), I simply cannot believe that someone who can manage to post a working link to a specific post in a thread is so stupid that after reading that post (so as to quote half of it) he cannot understand that he has been barking up the wrong tree all along, and that in twisting the meaning of the post (and supplying a link to it, so that any honest person with a basic grasp of English can easily see that he has twisted its meaning), he has shown himself, right out in front of God and all the angels (and any readers of this thread), to be the liar he always accuses me of being.

    Perhaps Gentle Reader's milage varies, such that he is able to believe that Thorton really is so stupid as to be unable to comprehend that "That all mammalian species have exactly seven neck vertebrae is Proof Of "Evolution" ... that differing avian species have differing numbers of neck vertebrae is Proof Of "Evolution"" is not a claim on my part that "... evolution claims ALL mammals have seven vertebrae ..." As I said above, I am unable to believe that Thorton is that stupid; however, what I can believe is that he is so brazenly dishonest that he would continue to assert the false claim, which previously might have been logically explained as due to misunderstanding on his part, but now must be explained as due either to adamantine stupidity or to-the-core dishonesty.

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  136. Wow, look at the little IDiot computer programmer trying to spin his screw up! See, when he said "That all mammalian species have exactly seven neck vertebrae is Proof Of "Evolution", he really meant "I like vanilla ice cream". It's everyone else's fault for reading what he wrote instead of what he thought.

    Hey Ilion, what's the dFSCI of a pentadactyl foot?

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  137. Lino D'Ischia,

    Why this is really something. You're now hiding behind the possibility that what looks like its random may in fact turn out to have been manipulated "behind the scenes". This is rich. I thought this is what ID is supposed to be demonstrating.

    And if you knew ID, you'd know that the intervention of a designer can NEVER be excluded. As Dembski has said, his explanatory filter never gives false positives but there is always the possibility of a false negative.

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  138. Isn't it tres amusing to see DarwinDefenders nantering on about "falsification" ... when everything they do and say is aimed at shielding Darwinism from critical evaluation, which would falsify it?

    ReplyDelete
  139. Ilíon said...

    Isn't it tres amusing to see DarwinDefenders nantering on about "falsification" ... when everything they do and say is aimed at shielding Darwinism from critical evaluation, which would falsify it?


    It's certainly highly amusing to see a painfully ignorant yet blithering IDiot computer programmer who thinks that

    "Gee, it's really complex, so my personal GAWD musta designed it!!"

    qualifies as a critical evaluation.

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  140. Norm and Scott,

    Scott said, "Are you suggesting that God couldn't have created different forms of life that were constructed out of "completely different materials"? Did God had no choice but to make species that depended on symbiotic relationships between them?"

    Norm said,
    "Now imagine that every species had a completely unique biology: different genetic codes based on different molecules, tissues and organs made from completely different materials, and so on. In that scenario, no reasonable person would suggest that common descent or evolution were true."

    --

    Norm, I assume that you mean species here on earth in our universe since you didn't indicate otherwise... So no, your scenario would not be sustainable given the nature of our earth. For starters, if every species was made of different materials getting food and nutrition would not be sustainable. Since you think a God that needs to constantly tinker with the food supply would be a "small", you really don't know what you want. Decide and get back to me.

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  141. It seems that a recap is in order.

    Ilíon: That all mammalian species have exactly seven neck vertebrae is Proof Of "Evolution" ... that differing avian species have differing numbers of neck vertebrae is Proof Of "Evolution"

    Ilíon: So, tell me, Thornton, ol' buddy -- are you saying:
    1) that DarwinDefenders are inveterate liars; or
    2) it was unwise on my part to have taken the claim by DarwinDefenders that all mammalian species have exactly seven neck vertebrae, and the significance thereof, to have been made in good faith?

    What we have here is yet another attempt to set a false dilemma designed to obscure what amounts to a loaded question.

    Ilíon: The intellectual dishonesty of you folk is tiresome, indeed.

    The "intellectual dishonesty" that you keep trying to disingenuously manufacture?

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  142. Lino, you have quite a few questions waiting for you in this thread. Questions about all the pro-ID work you claim is being done, and questions about your 'front-loading' hypothesis. Please stop ignoring them.

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  143. Ilion,

    ...when everything they do and say is aimed at shielding Darwinism from critical evaluation...

    Apart from your comment being a rather blatant and obvious lie (i.e. the everything bit), there isn't really a heck of a lot of critical evaluation going on here. See, for example, your own "your arguments are both illogical and irrational, because you will "argue" both 'A' and 'not-A' simultaneously" schtick.

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  144. Ilíon: "Isn't it tres amusing to see DarwinDefenders nantering on about "falsification" ... when everything they do and say is aimed at shielding Darwinism from critical evaluation, which would falsify it?"

    Thorton: "It's certainly highly amusing to see a painfully ignorant yet blithering IDiot computer programmer who thinks that "Gee, it's really complex, so my personal GAWD musta designed it!!" qualifies as a critical evaluation."

    Thorton, good little DarwinDefender that he is, subscribes to the notion that the primary criterion for determining whether an act of ratiocination is sound and rational lies in the answer it produces, such that (the more fool, him) he judges "it just happened, without reason, or without cause" to be "rational" and "nothing happens without cause" and "this is not the sort of thing that can just happen; thus there is a reason for it" to be irrational.

    On the other hand, persons who actually engage in sound and rational thought know that such determination is to be made by looking at the steps involved in the reasoning.

    So, poor, pathetic, little Thorton -- who rages against God, because 'personal God' turns out to mean something very different than he wishes it to mean -- has wedded himself to the twin propositions that "it just happened, without cause" and "it just happened, without reason", where "it" means everything.

    Of course, and thus the pathological patheticness of Thornton, "everything" also includes his belief that Darwinism (aka "ItJustHappened") is the truth about reality and the human condition -- that is, Thorton doesn't have reasons for believing as he does, he just does believe. Yet, one must wonder whether Thorton's mental state can even rightly be said even to comprise beliefs, seeing as as he has no reasons for them.

    But, by GAWD, whatever Thorton's mental states are properly called, they are THE TRUTH and he is compelled to irrationally hate anyone who simply says, "Well, that's all well and fine, but now why don't we examine these 'beliefs' under the critical light of sound reason"

    Moreover -- and get a whiff of this -- this is the same Thorton who, in this very thread, asserted that: "Science also doesn't offer 'proof' of evolution. It offers incredibly large amounts of consilient evidence."

    Does Gentle Reader fully appreciate the joke that Thorton has told us (much less the joke that he is)?

    Thorton has asserted that "science" cannot say that "evolution" is true (and, for once, possibly the first time ever on this blog, he is asserting something that is true). But, Hell! "science" can't even say what a DarwinDefender means by the term "evolution" from one sentence to the next.

    Think about this, Gentle Reader -- this same Thorton who admits that he can offer no basis, much less a rationally sound basis, for believing that "evolution" (whatever that means) is true, simultaneously imagines that he has the standing to call me stupid and dishonest because I do not believe that his "ItJustHappened" Darwinism is true.

    Allow me to emphasize the point -- DarwinDefenders cannot in honesty say that Darwinism can ever be show to be true ... and still they rage at and murderously hate those who say, "You know, I don't believe that Darwinism is true"

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  145. Ilíon said...

    (this evolutionary biology stuff scares me! Now my BVDs are soiled! Again!)


    Ilion, we're still waiting for your ID explanation for the observed polydactyly patterns in early tetrapods.

    Still waiting for you to calculate the dFSCI of a pentadactyl foot.

    I though a genius computer programmer / ID expert like yourself could do it easily. What's the hold up?

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  146. Ilion said...

    Think about this, Gentle Reader -- this same Thorton who admits that he can offer no basis, much less a rationally sound basis, for believing that "evolution" (whatever that means) is true, simultaneously imagines that he has the standing to call me stupid and dishonest because I do not believe that his "ItJustHappened" Darwinism is true.


    No Ilion. You're dishonest because you got caught in a pretty blatant lie. You're stupid because you though you could hand wave your way out of it when the evidence was still on the board. Neither have anything to do with your religiously based rejection of modern science.

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  147. Thorton, in loving detail, explains his fantasies: "(this evolutionary biology stuff scares me! Now my BVDs are soiled! Again!)"

    I ask you, is *anyone* surprised that Thorton:
    1) has such icky fantasies?
    2) is compelled to tell us about them?
    3) vainly imagines that anyone else finds them "hot"?

    ==
    Oh, my! The wv for this post was "corpromm", which is so fitting.

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  148. Thorton, the Irrationalist: "No Ilion. You're dishonest because you got caught in a pretty blatant lie. You're stupid because you though you could hand wave your way out of it when the evidence was still on the board. Neither have anything to do with your religiously based rejection of modern science."

    So, because Thorton -- who admits that Darwinism cannot be shown to be true, yet nonetheless imagines himself intellectually and morally superior to those who doubt that it is true, and whom he hates with a murderous passion -- "misunderstands" what I wrote, and will not understand it, that makes what a wrote a blatant lie? Ah, well, that is how DarLogic moves.

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  149. LOL! Poor Ilion. Doesn't understand a single thing about evolutionary theory, got caught lying about it, can't answer even the simplest questions concerning his ID claims. But he has the blustering self-righteous victim act down cold.

    Don't worry Ilion. You're not the first Liar for Jesus who got called on his dishonesty, and you won't be the last.

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  150. tedford said:

    "Norm, I assume that you mean species here on earth in our universe since you didn't indicate otherwise... So no, your scenario would not be sustainable given the nature of our earth. For starters, if every species was made of different materials getting food and nutrition would not be sustainable. Since you think a God that needs to constantly tinker with the food supply would be a "small", you really don't know what you want. Decide and get back to me."

    With that (and a lot of the other stuff you and other IDiots say) in mind:

    You religious goofballs crack me up. You claim that your god is ALL POWERFUL AND ALL KNOWING AND CREATED THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE AND EVERYTHING IN IT IN SIX DAYS. Your god can design and create ANYTHING! That is a seriously ass-kickingly potent god you have there! BUT, you also say that your god is limited in all kinds of ways. He can't do this and he can't do that. He's limited to whatever nature imposes on him, and in many cases he's limited in the same ways that humans are limited.

    One minute he's HUGE, but the next minute he's small. One minute he's easily capable of creating a universe, but the next minute he can't even create animals or plants out of "different materials" and create suitable food for them, or make them so that they never have to eat.

    One minute you god zombies try to use discoveries by science to support and promote your religious beliefs, but the next minute you deny that science has figured out a damn thing and all that needs to be believed and said is "God-did-it!".

    Your religious dogma claims that some people used to be giants and lived for 900+ years. Your god caused a world wide flood and made it last for a year. He turned someone into a pillar of salt. He parted a sea through moses. He spoke through a burning bush. He magically conceived a baby with a virgin without popping her cherry and later raised his illegitimate son from the dead. He can cause earthquakes, storms, volcanic eruptions, asteroid impacts, plagues, and a long list of other miraculous, supernatural events.

    He fine tuned the universe and created mankind in his own image. He created adam from dirt and eve from one of adam's ribs. He designed and made a talking snake and a magic tree. He answers prayers and told people what to write in the bible. He creates and installs souls and can keep people alive in a perpetual heaven of his creation, or put them in a perpetual tortuous hell of his creation. BUT, he can't create even one animal or plant out of a different material and figure out how to keep it alive.

    And then you wonder why science doesn't take ID and your other crazy assertions seriously. Get a clue.

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  151. illion said:

    "...now why don't we examine these 'beliefs' under the critical light of sound reason"

    That is just too funny coming from a nutcase who believes in impossible religious fairy tales.

    "icky"? LMAO!

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  152. The whole truth said...

    He fine tuned the universe and created mankind in his own image. He created adam from dirt and eve from one of adam's ribs. He designed and made a talking snake and a magic tree. He answers prayers and told people what to write in the bible. He creates and installs souls and can keep people alive in a perpetual heaven of his creation, or put them in a perpetual tortuous hell of his creation. BUT, he can't create even one animal or plant out of a different material and figure out how to keep it alive.


    Tedford is an idiot.

    Tedford is made in his God's image.

    It's not surprising at all that Tedford's God is an incompetent bumbler too.

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  153. Ilíon: Thorton, good little DarwinDefender that he is, subscribes to the notion that the primary criterion for determining whether an act of ratiocination is sound and rational lies in the answer it produces, such that (the more fool, him) he judges "it just happened, without reason, or without cause" to be "rational" and "nothing happens without cause" and "this is not the sort of thing that can just happen; thus there is a reason for it" to be irrational.

    While I'll let Thorton speak for himself, you'd probably call me a "DarwinDefender", yet this description does not describe me in the least.

    Ilíon: So, poor, pathetic, little Thorton -- who rages against God, because 'personal God' turns out to mean something very different than he wishes it to mean -- has wedded himself to the twin propositions that "it just happened, without cause" and "it just happened, without reason", where "it" means everything.

    You're tilting at windmills, Ilíon. This isn't the explanation behind evolutionary predictions.

    Furthermore, an intelligent agent that "just was", complete with the knowledge of how to build each spices, already present, serves no explanatory purpose. This is because one could more simply state that each species "just appeared", complete with this knowledge already present in it's DNA.

    All you've done is push the problem into some unexplainable mind that exists in some unexplainable realm. It's as if you've merely pushed the food around on your plate and claimed you've ate it. Yet, it's still sitting there staring you in the face.

    Ilíon: On the other hand, persons who actually engage in sound and rational thought know that such determination is to be made by looking at the steps involved in the reasoning.

    Then, by all means, tell us the sound and rational steps behind our or relatively recent and rapid increate in the creation of knowledge. What's you explanation?

    Ilíon: Of course, and thus the pathological patheticness of Thornton, "everything" also includes his belief that Darwinism (aka "ItJustHappened") is the truth about reality and the human condition -- that is, Thorton doesn't have reasons for believing as he does, he just does believe.

    What's particularly amusing here is your continual doge of my question, while simultaneously claiming "Thorton doesn't have reasons for believing as he does, he just does believe."

    In the absence of an explanation, it's you who "doesn't have reasons for believing as he does, he just does believe." Let me guess - after roughly 100,000 years, of which hominids developed brains equivalent to our own - God just must have decided that we should start making progress?

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  154. Ilíon: But, by GAWD, whatever Thorton's mental states are properly called, they are THE TRUTH and he is compelled to irrationally hate anyone who simply says, "Well, that's all well and fine, but now why don't we examine these 'beliefs' under the critical light of sound reason"

    That's all well and fine, Ilíon, but now why don't we examine the actual methods behind your supposed "sound reason". No?

    It seems that you've merely presupposed that everyone knows what sound reasoning is, that you possess it and that it's application is a good explanation for our recent and rapid increase in the creation of knowledge.

    Again, before a supposed refusal to "reason correctly" could be deceit, we'd have to know a particular way to reason is indeed "correct." How do you propose that we know this is the case, and to what degree? Please be specific.

    This wouldn't have anything to do with a voice in a whirlwind would it?

    Ilíon: Think about this, Gentle Reader -- this same Thorton who admits that he can offer no basis, much less a rationally sound basis, for believing that "evolution" (whatever that means) is true, simultaneously imagines that he has the standing to call me stupid and dishonest because I do not believe that his "ItJustHappened" Darwinism is true.

    You've got quite an argument there. Except for the part where you disingenuously misrepresent Thorton's position. And evolutionary theory. Which is pretty much, your entire argument.

    So, it seems, your entire argument is a disingenuously misrepresentation. Go figure.

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  155. And speaking of "sound reason", illion, do you really think that stories about (and belief in) talking snakes, a magic tree, universe creation in six days, a woman created from the rib of a man, incestuous sex and reproduction, giant people, 900+ year old people, a world wide flood to eliminate all sinful people, a boat that housed two of every critter on Earth during that flood, a pregnant human virgin giving birth to a god's son, a carpenter who walks on water and performs other miracles, the same guy rising from the dead after three days, the same guy sitting at the right hand of a god somewhere in the sky, an eternal uncaused god, a heaven and hell, a woman being turned into a pillar of salt, the parting of a sea, a guy living in the stomach of a fish or whale, and all the other fairy tales in christianity, and all the fairy tales in other religions, were all arrived at by using "sound reason"?

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