Saturday, December 19, 2015

Evolution is a Scientific Fact: A Proposition

Evolutionists disagree amongst themselves about the theory of evolution but they agree about the fact of evolution. If there is one point of agreement within evolution-dom, it is that evolution is a scientific fact. A few years after Darwin died Joseph Le Conte explained that evolution is a law, not a theory, and it is a law to which every department of natural studies must adhere. It is not merely as certain as gravity, "Nay, it is far more certain." Similarly, Teilhard de Chardin maintained that "evolution is a light which illuminates all facts, a trajectory which all lines of thought must follow—this is what evolution is."

In 1951 George G. Simpson wrote that there really is no point nowadays in continuing to collect and to study fossils simply to determine whether or not evolution is a fact. The question, concluded Simpson, has been decisively answered in the affirmative. Scientist and social critic Ashley Montagu elevated evolution beyond all other theories. It was, according to Montagu, "the most thoroughly authenticated fact in the whole history of science."

In his biology textbook Neil Campbell informed the student that “The term theory is no longer appropriate except when referring to the various models that attempt to explain how life evolves … it is important to understand that the current questions about how life evolves in no way implies any disagreement over the fact of evolution.”

For Douglas Futuyma evolution “is a fact, as fully as the fact of the earth’s revolution about the sun,” and Richard Lewontin says it is time “to state clearly that evolution is a fact.” Niles Eldredge claims that “Evolution is a fact as much as the idea that the earth is shaped like a ball.”

The National Academy of Sciences explains that in science the word “fact” can be used “to mean something that has been tested or observed so many times that there is no longer a compelling reason to keep testing or looking for examples. The occurrence of evolution in this sense is a fact. Scientists no longer question whether descent with modification occurred because the evidence supporting the idea is so strong.”

And Harvard's Ernst Mayr explained that the fact of evolution is so overwhelmingly established that it would be irrational to call it a theory.

That evolution is a scientific fact is an important claim. Let’s look at exactly what evolutionists are saying:

Evolution: For evolutionists this word refers to the idea that all the species arose via natural laws. God did not use miracles to create the biological world, instead everything arose by the play of the natural processes and laws we observe. Moths changing color or bacteria gain resistance to antibiotics do not constitute evolution. They are at best tiny examples of evolution. Such examples of adaptation do not prove evolution any more than a flat parking lot proves the flat earth theory. Evolution is a big theory.

Is: This evolutionary claim is not tentative. Evolutionists are not merely saying that some evidence supports their theory. They are not saying parts of evolution are true, or that evolution might be a fact. There is no wiggle room here. Evolution is a scientific fact.

Scientific: What type of fact is evolution? It is a scientific fact? This means that this conclusion is arrived at via logic. Scientific reasoning is, if anything, logical. Fallacies are rooted out and eliminated. And the evidence used in the reasoning is public. There is no private knowledge required to understand evolution and its status as a fact. Also, the premises of scientific reasoning are objective. There are no subjective axioms. One need not adhere to Buddhism or Baptism to understand and agree with scientific reasoning.

Fact: This word can mean different things to different people, but in this context evolutionists are quite clear about their usage. A favorite comparison, as demonstrated by Le Conte above, is with gravity. Evolution is a fact every bit as much as is gravity (or more so according to Le Conte). There’s not much nuance here. Sure evolution may not be true, but only in the sense that gravity might not be true. This existence could be a big dream, with none of what we experience being real. But aside from such Berkeleyan quandaries, we can count on the veracity of evolution.

Now that we understand just what evolutionists are claiming, what can we say about it? There is indeed much to say, but the most important observation that is immediately obvious from the evolution genre is that while evolutionists consistently make this claim, it is nowhere demonstrated.

To be sure evolution is often proved to be a fact, but in every case metaphysical premises are involved. If god wouldn’t have created the mosquito then yes, evolution in one form or another must be a fact. But such theological musings (yes, evolutionists really do assert this very premise) fall far outside of the objectivity criterion.

And while the evolution literature is often scientific, in those cases the theory is never shown to be a fact. This problem is not slight. It is not the case that evolution is quite convincing but just shy of fact-hood. Darwin’s theory, in whatever form it is presented, comes nowhere close to being a fact when we restrict the premises to the realm of empirical science. In fact—if we want to speak of facts—the fact is evolution is highly problematic.

For many years I have searched the evolution genre. I have scanned the journals and reviewed the texts. From Darwin and Le Conte to Carroll and Coyne, I have pored over the literature. I have nowhere found an exposition of this most important fact. I have seen evolution proven to be a fact, and I have seen evolution presented as science, but I have never seen evolution shown to be a scientific fact.

And so I have a proposition for evolutionists. Show me your fact and I will promote it. Explain why evolution is a scientific fact and I will retract my criticisms as unfounded. Back up your claim and I will be an evolutionist.

[Repost]

126 comments:

  1. Amen. Great thread and points and well said. Excellent cage fight challenge to them.
    Evolition, in its great claims, is not true. Not factual. Muuch less sciency factual.

    The funny thing in your quotes, like Simpson, is that they persuade themselves that fossils make a biological PROCESS fact claim.
    All the fossils do is what they do. A moment in time of that dead creatures last moment.
    Creationists have failed to understand that fossils are not biological evidence for relationships or process. Even if evolution was true THEY still would not be.
    This proven simply by any extraction of the geological presumptions behind their deposition would render the biology claims null and void. They would admit this.
    The failure of evolution to be debunked by science has been the failure to see biology is not in the rocks.
    A flaw of reasoning is going on here.
    EXample.
    Fossils have nothing to say about their origins , NOTHING.
    Evolution has never been on bio sci evidence. Possibly non bio sci evidence but if its NON bIO then its not science. A biology theory must be on biology evidence to be scientific.
    No space alien videos are allowed however accurate in documenting bio origins.


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  2. Amen. Great thread and points and well said. Excellent cage fight challenge to them.
    Evolition, in its great claims, is not true. Not factual. Muuch less sciency factual.

    The funny thing in your quotes, like Simpson, is that they persuade themselves that fossils make a biological PROCESS fact claim.
    All the fossils do is what they do. A moment in time of that dead creatures last moment.
    Creationists have failed to understand that fossils are not biological evidence for relationships or process. Even if evolution was true THEY still would not be.
    This proven simply by any extraction of the geological presumptions behind their deposition would render the biology claims null and void. They would admit this.
    The failure of evolution to be debunked by science has been the failure to see biology is not in the rocks.
    A flaw of reasoning is going on here.
    EXample.
    Fossils have nothing to say about their origins , NOTHING.
    Evolution has never been on bio sci evidence. Possibly non bio sci evidence but if its NON bIO then its not science. A biology theory must be on biology evidence to be scientific.
    No space alien videos are allowed however accurate in documenting bio origins.


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  3. Explain why evolution is a scientific fact and I will retract my criticisms as unfounded.

    That's a fool's errand, as you well know.

    You are the only judge of what you will accept.

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    Replies
    1. Sorry but saying natural selection did it doesn't work. Natural selection kills off the defects. It does not induce anything, it only operates on what is already available. When evolutionists say that "natural selection has fashioned wings for flight, fins for swimming, and legs for walking," they are not making a meaningful scientific statement.

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    2. You're not sorry. You're silly.

      Citations to your claims about what so-called evolutionists say?

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    3. Pendant

      Do you mean something like this?
      Feathers were initially developed to keep birds warm

      Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2236373/Birds-evolved-wings-warmth-flight-new-findings-suggest.html#ixzz3v4Xgc2ID

      This is the opening statement. For something to "be developed" it requires a developer. Shouldn't the evolutionary process be
      "Feathers spontaneously formed through some [...insert adjective...] evolutionary mechanism and since they kept the poor deformed misfit warm, and apparently made the creature more attractive for reproduction, they continued to grow on future generations because of natural selection."

      Of course the article, an example of how research is boiled down for public consumption, simply states that feather were developed and we're to assume that "evolution" is capable of this.

      It's no wonder you wouldn't get the response you demand, anyone who has read the research understands what Dr Hunter wrote.

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    4. ohandy1: Of course the article, an example of how research is boiled down for public consumption, simply states that feather were developed and we're to assume that "evolution" is capable of this.

      The solution to that is to look at the original research, Longrich et al., Primitive Wing Feather Arrangement in Archaeopteryx lithographica and Anchiornis huxleyi, Current Biology 2012.

      ohandy1: Of course the article, an example of how research is boiled down for public consumption, simply states that feather were developed and we're to assume that "evolution" is capable of this.

      There is virtually no one actively working in biology who doesn't accept evolution. The study doesn't reinvent the wheel, but shows that feathers predate flight. Nothing in the study suggests the change in how feathers were structured would not be able to occur in incremental and selectable steps.

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    5. Really Zachriel?

      The point wasn't to refute (or support) the research, it was to show how research is presented. Of course the majority of folks "working in biology" accept evolution, it's presumed. But how is presumption of this nature scientific?

      For all the time I've been reading this blog there's been a consistent theme; that there is a religious component to evolutionary theory which drives the way evidence is evaluated. There is a priori belief in evolutionary theory which leads all evidence being seen as supportive. For all the times the evidence doesn't fit the stock-and-trade answer is simply "we don't know yet, but it's not a problem for evolutionary scientists". That answer is a circular as the original assumption of evolutionary theory.

      One of the hallmarks of faith is the inability to pursuade someone away from a particular belief. When has contrary evidence ever disuaded an evolutionist? Only when that faith is weak I'd say, but peer pressure is very effective at preserving challenged faith in any religion. Go ahead and read the excuses yourself, you will probably find some of your own objections in there:

      https://sites.google.com/site/darwinspredictions/responses-to-common-objections

      I found the challenge in the OP cuts right to the heart of the matter... evolution isn't about fact, it's about faith.

      Merry Christmas

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    6. ohandy1: But how is presumption of this nature scientific?

      It's scientific because it is based on the evidence.

      ohandy1: When has contrary evidence ever disuaded an evolutionist?

      The Relativity of Wrong
      http://chem.tufts.edu/AnswersInScience/RelativityofWrong.htm

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    7. Zachriel: It's scientific because it is based on the evidence.

      Perhaps you didn't understand the context when I said "it's presumed". Evolutionary theory is presumed to be true prior to any evaluation of evidence. It's a common criticism of evolutionary theory and it's typically answered the same each time; "it's been established by 150 years of study - it's supported by all reputable scientists - where's your peer reviewed evidence it's not..." and so on.

      And before you use the other fall-back "you don't understand how science works", I do understand that hypotheses are developed before experimentation. There is much documentation in this blog to show how that process is warped when it comes to Evolutionary theory.

      The simple fact is that none of these responses actually provide a solution to the problem of a priori arguments. The entire article you offered, while entertaining, was based on rhetoric. At best it offers a reason to impugn lit majors, but honestly, it reveals an ardant defense for the faith of the evolutionist in a "someday" solution to known problems with ToE. Isn't that the point I made?

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    8. ohandy1: Evolutionary theory is presumed to be true prior to any evaluation of evidence.

      That's hardly the case. Darwin's theory was publicly proposed in 1858, and was immediately scrutinized by other scientists. Since then, it has been tested in many ways. Some of those tests have resulted in substantial changes and expansions of the theory, such as the incorporation of genetic theory.

      If you are interested in the evidence, you might want to start with the phylogenetic tree and the fossil succession.

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    9. It's all circular because the paradigm demands it.

      There can be no active creator (except for OOL until OOL becomes the topic then there again comes the official "someday" appeal) therefore naturalistic processes MUST be sufficient to account for life and its diversity. Even when the proposed mechanisms don't work. There has to be a way.

      And isn't that the bulk of this blog? Chronicling the failures of current theory?

      Biologos is trying to find middle ground but I'm not sure they've figured out where that is yet. Perhaps a fools errand.

      If you want to operate within this naturalism paradigm that's fine, but to suggest that it's because science requires it then you have veered into the religion of scientism.

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    10. Zachriel: If you are interested in the evidence, you might want to start with the phylogenetic tree and the fossil succession.

      ohandy1: ...

      You forgot to address the evidence.

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    11. Zachriel

      As I saidThe point wasn't to refute (or support) the research, it was to show how research is presented.

      As for addressing the phylogenetic tree I think Dr. Hunter did that enough

      http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/search?q=phylogenetic+tree





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    12. ohandy1: As for addressing the phylogenetic tree I think Dr. Hunter did that enough

      He hardly addressed it at all. The fit to the nested hierarchy can be determined objectively. The degree of congruence is very high across most taxa.

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    13. Zachriel, you believe in evolution. I get it. But your belief, even when combined with the cumulative belief of the majority of biologists, doesn't constitute proof. It's belief/trust/faith. If that's enough for you then enjoy scientism.

      I have no axe to grind as to YEC/OEC/EC. I do express my opinion regarding the idea of natural forces be capable of producing the universe, life, and the diversity of life without intelligent input.

      Naturalism has been shown over and over as incapable of producing life and its diversity. Clinging to faith that the capability will one day be discovered is your prerogative, but it seems to me you're far too dismissive of evidence that conflicts with your belief system.

      you should read through some of the archives on the tree..

      Merry Christmas

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    14. ohandy1: But your belief, even when combined with the cumulative belief of the majority of biologists, doesn't constitute proof.

      Science doesn't "prove" claims, but supports them with evidence, something you have refused thus far to discuss.

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    15. something you have refused thus far to discuss.

      Because that was never the topic of this thread. Presentation of evidence and "what scientists say" was.

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    16. Cornelius Hunter: For evolutionists {Evolution} refers to the idea that all the species arose via natural laws.

      That is incorrect. What evolutionary biologists mean by "evolution" is either observed evolution, or the theory of evolution, which posit specific mechanisms to explain the history of life.

      Cornelius Hunter: Evolution is a scientific fact.

      That is correct. Evolution is both a fact and a theory.

      Cornelius Hunter: It is a scientific fact? This means that this conclusion is arrived at via logic.

      It means hypothetico-deduction.

      Cornelius Hunter: Evolution is a fact every bit as much as is gravity

      That's right. Gravity is both a fact and a theory.

      Cornelius Hunter: And while the evolution literature is often scientific, in those cases the theory is never shown to be a fact.

      More confusion. Theories aren't facts, but explanatory frameworks.

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    17. Zachriel, are you really having so much trouble understanding the point? You're arguing semantics and definitions, pulling quotes out of context, and never really addressing the question at hand.

      We know "evolution" is a fact by strict definition of "change over time". Cars have evolved, the internet has evolved, opinions evolve, etc. but in the context of this discussion evolution was defined in the OP. You changing the definition to one you prefer, then taking umbrage with the application of the definition is just silly.

      Do you consider the idea that all the species arose via natural laws a fact? If so, can you prove it?

      The question is simple so complaining about verbiage rather than addressing the question makes you sound more like a politician than a scientist (or at least someone talking about science). Lecturing people who do understand what you're talking about as though they don't doesn't make you sound smarter, just arrogant.

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    18. ohandy1: We know "evolution" is a fact by strict definition of "change over time".

      It's a specific biological process, the change in the genetic composition of a population over time.

      ohandy1: You changing the definition to one you prefer, then taking umbrage with the application of the definition is just silly.

      It's quite simple. The word "evolution" has more than one meaning. It can refer to the fact of evolution. It can refer to the Theory of Evolution. It's very simple to make the distinction, though Cornelius Hunter apparently has troubles with the distinction.
      http://www.stephenjaygould.org/library/gould_fact-and-theory.html

      ohandy1: Do you consider the idea that all the species arose via natural laws a fact?

      That's what the scientific evidence supports.

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    19. Zachriel: That's what the scientific evidence supports.

      You're evading again.

      Is it, the idea that all species arose via natural laws, a fact?

      Delete
    20. "And humans evolved from apelike ancestors whether they did so by Darwin's proposed mechanism or by some other, yet to be discovered." From Mr. Gould's unofficial archive. So Evolution is true because evolution is true... yea, that's not circular. If this is one of your intellectual idols it's no wonder that you pontificate so much.

      The problem with this logic is presuming a valid statement such as this is necessarily true. Gould's statement above may be valid, but cannot be proven true. This is where proof comes in. Science makes valid arguments regarding evolution but they rely on presumptions that the premises are true, such as what mechanisms were/are involved in OOL and its diversity.

      Hence Dr. Hunter's question regarding natural laws; is it a true premise? If you say it is true then how do you prove it? Do you simply label all dissent as perverse and take your victory lap? That seems to be the SOP in "science". Can you do better?

      Merry Christmas and Happy Holy days.

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    21. ohandy1: Is it, the idea that all species arose via natural laws, a fact?

      If you mean common descent and mechanisms such as natural selection, that is what the evidence supports.

      ohandy1: Gould's statement above may be valid, but cannot be proven true.

      Science doesn't deal in proof as in mathematics, but evidence.

      Delete
    22. Ok Zachriel, how about this: can you show the premise to be true so as to make dissent perverse?

      or will you continue to pontificate while hiding behind semantics...

      Delete
    23. ohandy1: can you show the premise to be true so as to make dissent perverse?

      "Natural laws" is too vague to be testable, but evidence can be found to support specific mechanisms, including gradual change from common ancestors.

      ohandy1: or will you continue to pontificate while hiding behind semantics.

      You indicated you weren't interested in the evidence.

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    24. Responding as I try out my new chair :) My wife is AWESOME!

      "Natural laws" is too vague to be testable

      The premise that all species arose via natural laws isn't scientific, it's metaphysical. It's a faith statement. No matter how much evidence you cite to support your faith it cannot be shown true. In fact, the mechanisms you refer to are not supported by evidence as much as this premise. Take away the premise and the evidence leads nowhere. By extension it takes faith to believe in the (nearly) unlimited power of these mechanisms.

      I understand faith. I disagree with where you placed yours but that's your perogative. I also disagree with presenting it as something it isn't in academia. Common decent is not a fact, its a doctrine of evolutionary theology. Theology because evolution is granted god-like power to create.

      If you never grasp the role of faith in evolutionary theory how will you understand the objections to it?


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    25. ohandy1: In fact, the mechanisms you refer to are not supported by evidence as much as this premise.

      The only way to argue that point is by reference to the scientific evidence, something you have refused to engage.

      Delete
    26. ohandy1

      Common decent is not a fact, its a doctrine of evolutionary theology.


      Well no, common descent has amassed enough scientific evidence it is considered scientific fact. That you can't or won't understand that isn't science's problem.

      If you never grasp the role of faith in evolutionary theory how will you understand the objections to it?

      If you never grasp that your claim "evolutionary theory is faith based" is based on your own ignorance of how science works how will you ever understand why your blithering gets ignored?

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    27. Well no, common descent has amassed enough scientific evidence it is considered scientific fact. That you can't or won't understand that isn't science's problem.

      https://sites.google.com/site/darwinspredictions/home

      Delete
    28. Zachriel and Ghostrider, the premise is not vague and the question not complicated. My understanding of science has nothing to do with your ability to answer. Your blanket assertions are not an answer and for folks who present themselves as highly educated in this matter you should be somewhat embarrassed by your answers.

      can you show the premise to be true so as to make dissent perverse?

      If the question confuses you just read up a few comments.

      If you think there is evidence that shows the premise to be true then please name it. The challenge of the OP was concise and bold, it's you who equivocate.

      Delete
    29. ohandy1: If you think there is evidence that shows the premise to be true then please name it.

      We have direct observations of evolution, and the history can be determined from the nested hierarchy and fossil succession.

      Delete
    30. Zachriel, you're going in circles. How does this establish that the premise of life and its diversity arising from purely natural laws is true?

      The nested hierarchy and fossil succession only support evolutionary theory if the premise is true.

      Delete
    31. Zachriel, you're going in circles. How does this establish that the premise of life and its diversity arising from purely natural laws is true?

      The nested hierarchy and fossil succession only support evolutionary theory if the premise is true.

      Delete
    32. ohandy1: The nested hierarchy and fossil succession only support evolutionary theory if the premise is true.

      That's funny. Do you understand the meaning of "scientific evidence"?

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    33. ohandy1

      How does this establish that the premise of life and its diversity arising from purely natural laws is true?

      The nested hierarchy and fossil succession only support evolutionary theory if the premise is true.


      No. Evolution is the process that happens after you have imperfect self-replicators with inherited traits competing for resources. There is a huge amount of evidence this process is responsible for all the various animal and plant forms on the planet in the last 3.5+ billion years. The origin of life is abiogenesis, a whole different scientific field.

      Evolution would still be a scientific fact no matter how the first life arose, through natural means or supernatural POOFING.

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    34. Yes, I do understand scientific evidence.
      No, I'm not talking about abiogenesis.

      The fossil record only shows fossils of what lived, it doesn't say how they are related. The relationship between the fossils and common descent is a construct of man's imagination to explain the evidence we find.

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    35. ohandy1: Yes, I do understand scientific evidence.

      Then you should understand hypothetico-deduction.

      ohandy1: The fossil record only shows fossils of what lived, it doesn't say how they are related.

      If organisms are related by branching descent, then we should observe a nested hierarchy. We observe a nested hierarchy; therefore, the hypothesis is supported.

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    36. We observe a nested hierarchy; therefore, the hypothesis is supported.

      Without ever establishing that it's even possible?

      Delete
    37. You really don't seem to understand the scientific method.

      ohandy1: Without ever establishing that it's even possible?

      Z: If the Earth rotates {chain of deductions}, the pendulum should be retarded. The pendulum is retarded; therefore, the hypothesis is supported.

      O: Without ever establishing that it's possible?

      Z: That's what the test of retardation is all about. If the test is positive, it supports the hypothesis. If the test is negative, it falsifies the hypothesis.


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    38. You're talking about a fully understood mechanism. Evolution doesn't have this.

      Your claim is that nested hierarchy supports the hypothesis of comon ancestor yet that hierarchy has been frought with trouble for a very long time. It takes faith (and a lot of ad hoc hypotheses) to make it work.

      http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2014/05/evolution-professor-biological-designs.html

      Delete
    39. ohandy1: You're talking about a fully understood mechanism. Evolution doesn't have this.

      That's the whole point of the scientific method. It allows us to have some limited understanding even while most of the universe is shrouded in mystery.

      ohandy1: Your claim is that nested hierarchy supports the hypothesis of comon ancestor yet that hierarchy has been frought with trouble for a very long time.

      At least you're trying to address the point. Darwin pointed to several reasons why the nested hierarchy wouldn't be exact, including convergence (which is evidence of natural selection) and hybridization. In any case, while the signal of the nested hierarchy isn't perfect, it clearly exists, and is consistent with branching descent.

      However, no one piece of evidence can be considered definitive. There's also the fossil succession.


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  4. Excellent article! The idea that evolution is a fact beyond any doubt, when there is really no substance to base it on, is the greatest bluff in the whole history of science! Keep up the good work, Sir!

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  6. Hunter's speciality is projection. He is a Biblical fundamentalist. He believes what he believes because the Bible says it, he believes it, and that's it.

    Hunter claims in this post to have read vastly in the evolution literature for the fact of evolution, but he can't even get the basic point right, which is that the fact of evolution is DESCENT WITH MODIFICATION, i.e. common ancestry. This fact does not necessarily mean that natural selection is the main driving force, or something else, including something teleological. These, at various points, have been debated as various parts of the explanatory theory. Since the 1930s, natural selection has been on top as the most important force, with numerous challenges on details, just as one can debate the relative importance of erosion versus other forces in geology. But this entire vast debate never questioned DESCENT WITH MODIFICATION, which virtually everyone educated accepted within a decade or two of the Origin. That's the fact of evolution, and that's fundamentally what Hunter would like to disprove and replace with miracles like it says in (his American fundamentalist reading of) the Bible.

    Hunter just ignores the crashingly overwhelming statistical confirmations of common ancestry. The odds of e.g. morphological and molecular phylogenies agreeing as much as they do (there are sometimes disagreements, but they are statistically minor, at least if you are open-minded enough to actually learn about the relevant statistics, and not just quote mine from people who don't) are miniscule. The fossil record shows similar statistical agreement. Etc.

    Hunter's arguments against these published, peer-reviewed, well-known, statistical, empirical tests of common ancestry basically boil down to "well maybe GodDidIt that way cause he creates according to his good pleasure." He apparently thinks anything that contradicts his utterly useless and untestable view is religion. It's no better than the high schoolers that try to get out of math class by claiming that math is against their religion. And he ignores the fact that his argument undermines all statistical hypothesis testing everywhere in science, not just in evolution. In his quest to take down evolution, he takes down all of science.

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    1. The earth and the universe are young. That is a Fact. So evolution is a bluff invented by fundamentalist atheists.

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    2. No Juan, evolution did not come from atheists. You can find a few influences here and there, such as skeptic David Hume, but they are a small minority.

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    3. Nick_M:

      Hunter's speciality is projection. He is a Biblical fundamentalist. He believes what he believes because the Bible says it, he believes it, and that's it.

      No, I’m not a fideist or a fundamentalist (you got the Biblical part right though).


      he can't even get the basic point right, which is that the fact of evolution is DESCENT WITH MODIFICATION, i.e. common ancestry.

      Actually it is you who “can't even get the basic point right.” Common descent is certainly important, but it is forfeitable. Evolutionists (e.g., Valentine, Cleland, Woese) have contemplated multiple OOL events, communal / lateral evolution, etc., rather than common descent. Clearly species need not share a common ancestor under evolutionary theory. See for example:

      http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1369848607000519
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC393957/
      http://www.pnas.org/content/95/12/6854.full


      This fact does not necessarily mean that natural selection is the main driving force

      I never said it did. Yet another false criticism from evolutionists.


      That's the fact of evolution, and that's fundamentally what Hunter would like to disprove and replace with miracles like it says in (his American fundamentalist reading of) the Bible.

      No, that is not my reading of the Bible (you got the American part right though).


      Hunter just ignores the crashingly overwhelming statistical confirmations of common ancestry. The odds of e.g. morphological and molecular phylogenies agreeing as much as they do (there are sometimes disagreements, but they are statistically minor

      I wouldn’t bring up statistics if I were you, especially with me. I’m sure your hyperbole can dissuade students from learning the science, but your blatant lies can’t stand up to the facts (real facts this time). There are so many obvious examples of the failure of the common descent pattern it is hard to know where to begin. You have literally turned science on its head. Readers can see micro RNA examples in these posts:

      http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2012/06/evolution-professor-tree-is-all-wrong.html
      http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2015/03/microrna-study-we-liberated-ourselves.html

      Another example are the aminoacyl–tRNA synthetases. There are many more examples where those came from and the idea that common descent rests on “crashingly overwhelming statistical confirmations” isn’t even wrong. There is no way to dignify it, it simply is a lie. Here is what Woese had to say:

      Phylogenetic incongruities can be seen everywhere in the universal tree, from its root to the major branchings within and among the various taxa to the makeup of the primary groupings themselves. Yet there is no consistent alternative to the rRNA phylogeny, and that phylogeny is supported by a number of fundamental genes. … Exceptions to the topology of the rRNA tree such as these are sufficiently frequent and statistically solid that they can be neither overlooked nor trivially dismissed on methodological grounds. Collectively, these conflicting gene histories are so convoluted that lateral gene transfer is their only reasonable explanation (18)

      Continued …

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    4. Nick_M:

      Hunter's arguments against these published, peer-reviewed, well-known, statistical, empirical tests of common ancestry basically boil down to "well maybe GodDidIt that way cause he creates according to his good pleasure."

      Pathetic and bizarre.


      And he ignores the fact that his argument undermines all statistical hypothesis testing everywhere in science, not just in evolution. In his quest to take down evolution, he takes down all of science.

      No, here and in your other comments, your criticisms apply to evolutionary thought. You are the one with the religious tests and manipulation of the science, and who is forcing his views onto others, and then projecting that onto people like me. You have it all backwards, and your criticisms are so false they are laughable. Evolutionists really need a reality check.

      They say there are lies, damn lies, and then there are statistics. Of course this applies not to statistics in general, but to the unfortunate abuse and manipulation of statistics to gain a desired conclusion, such as in your false high claims. Yes, you can use statistics to make a common descent pattern compelling, but only by pre filtering out large volumes of contradictory data, and using ill conceived statistical tests. You could also prove the Earth is flat.

      Delete
    5. Nick M

      "the fact of evolution is DESCENT WITH MODIFICATION,..."

      What is actually the fact is neither you or any evolutionist can demonstrate 'descent with modification' has led to the vast diversity of life originating with a common ancestor.

      Delete
    6. NickM
      What educated people think is irrelevant unless their thinking is shown to be well done on subjects they only vrish up against.
      if educated people rejected evolution, they do by heaps, would this matter?
      They would say SCIENTISTS/Specialisists say its true.
      Anyways.
      Statistics is not biological scientific evidence for evolution.
      Trees drawn are drawn not from stats but from presumptions of evolution.
      Creationist can draw these trees and also have stats work for us.
      I understand there is a species of intution to see fossil creatures looking alike and so conclude they evolved from each other and so on.
      Yet stats would say this for people today if we all were suddemly fossilized. Our looking alike but not quite would also work in evolution stats to show we evolved from each other.
      Only the geology stuff would be the problem.
      No stats. Evolution must be based on bio sci. No math.

      Delete
  7. Evolution as Fact and Theory by Stephen Jay Gould
    http://www.stephenjaygould.org/library/gould_fact-and-theory.html

    ReplyDelete
  8. Cornelius Hunter: Common descent is certainly important, but it is forfeitable. Evolutionists (e.g., Valentine, Cleland, Woese) have contemplated multiple OOL events, communal / lateral evolution, etc., rather than common descent.

    So? Might as well add Darwin, who posited one or a few original ancestors. Yet per your understanding, this means Darwin wasn't proposing a theory of evolution.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Zachriel:

      So?

      So common descent is an auxiliary hypothesis, not in the core theoretic. Evolutionists can forfeit common descent. They cannot forfeit naturalism. From the OP: "For evolutionists this word refers to the idea that all the species arose via natural laws. God did not use miracles to create the biological world, instead everything arose by the play of the natural processes and laws we observe." When evolutionists hold that evolution is a fact, they are not merely referring to common descent. @changingGoalPosts

      Delete
    2. Cornelius Hunter: Evolutionists can forfeit common descent.

      No. It just means you don't understand common descent. Even if bacteria were to have a separate origin from eukaryotes, people and porcupines still share a common ancestor.

      Delete
    3. Zachriel,

      "No. It just means you don't understand common descent. Even if bacteria were to have a separate origin from eukaryotes, people and porcupines still share a common ancestor."

      If this is indeed true, it must be easily and repeatedly demonstrable. In fact it must have been demonstrated numerous times already. Yet every time you or any evolutionist is asked for such a demonstration one is greeted with,'you obviously don't understand common descent.'

      Needless to say, this response was worn thin a very long time ago. But, if you feel you can demonstrate this claim go ahead, we're all ears.

      Delete
    4. Nic: If this is indeed true, it must be easily and repeatedly demonstrable.

      The hypothetical entailments must be repeatedly demonstrable — which they are.

      Delete
    5. Zachriel,

      "The hypothetical entailments must be repeatedly demonstrable — which they are."

      Nope, the actual process of descent must be demonstrable, and it is not.

      Feel free to keep trying though.

      Delete
    6. Nic: Nope, the actual process of descent must be demonstrable, and it is not.

      Perhaps in your mind, but not in science.

      In your analysis, the claim that dinosaurs once roamed the Earth can't be demonstrated, even though we have ample evidence that they did.

      Rather, hypothetico-deduction means deducing entailments from the hypothesis, then testing those entailment. For instance, to show that the Earth rotates, Halley demonstrated the retardation of the pendulum.

      Delete
    7. Zachriel,

      "In your analysis, the claim that dinosaurs once roamed the Earth can't be demonstrated, even though we have ample evidence that they did."

      Palpable nonsense. Demonstrating the existence of dinosaurs has absolutely nothing to do with demonstrating they and we evolved from a common ancestor, nor do Halley's earth rotation experiments. You might just as well use the existence of jars to demonstrate the origin of marmalade.

      Please, let's hear no more about how much you understand science and how those who disagree with you don't.

      Delete
    8. Nic: Demonstrating the existence of dinosaurs has absolutely nothing to do with demonstrating they and we evolved from a common ancestor

      It has to do with your claim that because a claim is true, it must be directly demonstrable. Feel free to retract or clarify the claim. But if you insist on the claim, then it is clearly relevant, and indicates a misunderstanding of the scientific method.

      Delete
    9. Zachriel said:

      In your analysis, the claim that dinosaurs once roamed the Earth can't be demonstrated, even though we have ample evidence that they did.

      Having evidence is not the same to demostrate.

      For instance, to show that the Earth rotates, Halley demonstrated the retardation of the pendulum.

      You have demostrated the retardation of the pendulum, the rotation of the earth is one of the possibles hypothesis.

      Delete
    10. Zachriel,

      "It has to do with your claim that because a claim is true, it must be directly demonstrable."

      You made a statement claiming that descent from a common ancestor was true; 'people and porcupines still share a common ancestor.' Therefore you should be able to provide proof to back up that claim. Are you going to do that or do you simply intend to dodge your obligation?

      And please, no more drivel about the 'scientific method', you have no clue what that means, you just like to toss it about in a vain attempt to convince yourself of the validity of your arguments.

      It is exactly what Blas said, holding to a particular interpretation of the evidence is not equal to demonstrating the truth of your position vis a vis that interpretation.

      Delete
    11. Blas: Having evidence is not the same to demostrate.

      evidence, the available body of facts or information indicating whether a belief or proposition is true or valid.

      demonstrate, clearly show the existence or truth of (something) by giving proof or evidence.

      So to demonstrate means to provide facts clearly supporting a claim. If you want to restrict your use of the term, that's fine, but it doesn't change the underlying scientific evidence.

      Blas: You have demostrated the retardation of the pendulum, the rotation of the earth is one of the possibles hypothesis.

      There are other possible hypotheses, which is why scientific claims are always considered tentative, even when strongly supported.

      Nic: You made a statement claiming that descent from a common ancestor was true; 'people and porcupines still share a common ancestor.' Therefore you should be able to provide proof to back up that claim.

      Well, evidence. Science can't provide proof in the sense used in mathematics. Evidence includes the nested hierarchy and fossil succession.

      Delete
    12. ZAchriel,

      "Evidence includes the nested hierarchy and fossil succession."

      Oh please, not the nested hierarchy stupidity again! Is that the only argument you have? We've been over that ground half a dozen times and you still haven't caught on that it does not fly? Really, you're hopeless.

      No Zachriel, your precious nested hierarchy nonsense is not evidence for anything other than your obtuseness.

      Delete
    13. Zachriel,

      "demonstrate, clearly show the existence or truth of (something) by giving proof or evidence."

      Which is exactly what you consistently fail to do.

      Delete
    14. Zachriel said:
      There are other possible hypotheses, which is why scientific claims are always considered tentative, even when strongly supported.

      Evolution, even strongly supported, is a tentative claim.

      QED

      Delete
    15. Nic: Oh please, not the nested hierarchy stupidity again!

      Think about it, Nic. Darwin pointed to the nested hierarchy. There are entire fields of study, complete with journals, concerning the nested hierarchy.

      Blas: Evolution, even strongly supported, is a tentative claim.

      Sure. However, "In science, 'fact' can only mean 'confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent.'"

      Delete
    16. Zachriel,

      "Darwin pointed to the nested hierarchy. There are entire fields of study, complete with journals, concerning the nested hierarchy."

      And it all means nothing. Because Darwin talked about it and people study it and write about it does not make it true or even valuable in terms of explaining the origin of diversity of life. History is replete with examples of people studying and writing about subjects which amounted to nothing.

      "'confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent.'"

      And evolution does not even remotely meet that standard and the situation is getting worse by the day.

      Delete
    17. Nic: And it all means nothing.

      What is means is that you can't respond to the evidence for evolution by handwaving away one of the major components of that evidence pointed to by the vast majority of biologists.

      Delete
    18. Zachriel said:
      "However, "In science, 'fact' can only mean 'confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent.'"

      That is only valid in your definition of science.

      Delete
    19. Zachriel,

      "What is means is that you can't respond to the evidence for evolution by handwaving away one of the major components of that evidence pointed to by the vast majority of biologists."

      First, it is only evidence for evolution if you assume from the outset that evolution is true. Thus, it is a circular argument. It appears evolutionists are completely unable to grasp that concept.

      Second, it would not matter if every biologist who has ever existed believed it to be a fact, (which they don't), that in itself would not make it true.

      You simply seem to be unable to grasp the very obvious flaws in your reasoning. Why is that the case?

      Delete
    20. Nic: First, it is only evidence for evolution if you assume from the outset that evolution is true.

      The tree pattern exists regardless of the explanatory framework.

      Nic: Second, it would not matter if every biologist who has ever existed believed it to be a fact, (which they don't), that in itself would not make it true.

      No, however, it is much more likely that experts in the field are correct, than that non-experts are correct about that field. Nonetheless, the evidence is always determinative. But when the evidence was pointed out to you, you waved your hands.

      Delete
    21. Zachriel,

      "The tree pattern exists regardless of the explanatory framework."

      So what?

      "But when the evidence was pointed out to you, you waved your hands."

      No, I did not. I simply do not hold to the same interpretation of the pattern; which is arbitrary by the way; as you do and you cannot handle that fact.

      You see this arbitrary pattern as solid evidence for evolution when it can be explained other ways. But you refuse to accept that.

      Delete
    22. Nic: So what?

      Glad you agree.

      Nic: I simply do not hold to the same interpretation of the pattern

      What is your testable hypothesis that is consistent with the nested hierarchy and the fossil succession?

      Delete
    23. Zachriel,

      "What is your testable hypothesis that is consistent with the nested hierarchy and the fossil succession?"

      Your question leads me to assume you believe common descent is testable. That I would like to see.

      Delete
    24. Nic: Your question leads me to assume you believe common descent is testable.

      In other words, you can't provide an alternative hypothesis.

      Delete
    25. Zachriel,

      "In other words, you can't provide an alternative hypothesis."

      First, nested hierarchies are an arbitrary system based upon another arbitrary system.

      Second, there is no 'fossil succession' outside the minds of ardent evolutionists.

      Design could be a hypothesis upon which a nested hierarchy could exist.

      Now, do you believe common descent can be tested? If you do I would like to see how you would do that.

      Delete
    26. Nic: First, nested hierarchies are an arbitrary system based upon another arbitrary system.

      The nested hierarchy is a mathematical pattern whose fit can be objectively determined, just as an ellipse is a mathematical pattern whose fit can be objectively determined.

      Nic: Second, there is no 'fossil succession' outside the minds of ardent evolutionists.

      Really? Are you saying there is not a period in geology before vertebrates and after vertebrates?

      Nic: Design could be a hypothesis upon which a nested hierarchy could exist.

      Design doesn't *entail* a nested hierarchy unless you propose something about the intentions of the designer.

      Nic: Now, do you believe common descent can be tested?

      Sure. Let's start with the fossil succession, which you claim doesn't exist.

      Delete
    27. Zachriel,

      "The nested hierarchy is a mathematical pattern whose fit can be objectively determined, just as an ellipse is a mathematical pattern whose fit can be objectively determined."

      Why don't you demonstrate that 'fact' for me.

      "Really? Are you saying there is not a period in geology before vertebrates and after vertebrates?"

      There are geological layers where you tend to find vertebrates and layers in which you don't. That's true.

      "Design doesn't *entail* a nested hierarchy unless you propose something about the intentions of the designer."

      Palpable nonsense!

      "Sure. Let's start with the fossil succession, which you claim doesn't exist."

      I'm all ears. This should be good. Please remember what it means to 'test' something. It does not mean inventing a just-so story.

      Delete
    28. Nic: Why don't you demonstrate that 'fact' for me.

      The most direct way is to start by classifying organisms by trait to see if they fall into a nested pattern.

      Nic: There are geological layers where you tend to find vertebrates and layers in which you don't.

      More specifically, do you agree we can date the strata such that there was a period before vertebrates, and a period where vertebrates are found?

      Nic: Palpable nonsense!

      Instead of waving your hands, why don't you show the deductions involved. How is the nested hierarchy entailed in design?

      Delete
    29. Zachriel,

      "The most direct way is to start by classifying organisms by trait to see if they fall into a nested pattern."

      How about you start with the traits of speech, written language and abstract thought. See what kind of nested hierarchy you can construct.

      "More specifically, do you agree we can date the strata such that there was a period before vertebrates, and a period where vertebrates are found?"

      So you're dating the strata by the organisms which are found in it?

      "Instead of waving your hands, why don't you show the deductions involved. How is the nested hierarchy entailed in design?"

      I'm not waving my hands, I don't care about a nested hierarchy. You're the one making such claims, as such the onus is on you to support your position.

      Delete
    30. Nic

      How about you start with the traits of speech, written language and abstract thought. See what kind of nested hierarchy you can construct.


      Nic you really should at least do a cursory search before sticking your foot in your mouth.

      Mapping the Origin of Indo-European Language

      If you did think before speaking I suppose you wouldn't be Nic. :)

      Delete
    31. Zachriel,

      "Nic you really should at least do a cursory search before sticking your foot in your mouth."

      Not very bright are we? Nor is your reading comprehension much to write home about. My question to you was; "How about you start with the traits of speech, written language and abstract thought. See what kind of nested hierarchy you can construct."

      Sure you can make a hierarchy of languages but that was not your claim, genius. You said; "The most direct way is to start by classifying ORGANISMS by trait,..." Take careful note of your use of the word 'organisms'. First, as languages are not organisms your response comes no where near to fulfilling the requirements of classifying organisms according to traits.
      Second, in my question language is one of the traits you are supposed to apply in constructing your hierarchy. You were not asked to construct a hierarchy of language.

      You were required by the nature of your claim and my question to make a nested hierarchy of organisms based on the traits of language, written speech and abstract thought.

      So, as usual, Zachriel, it is you with both feet firmly planted in your mouth.

      Do you wish to try again, following the correct parameters this time?

      Delete
    32. Nic: Not very bright are we? Nor is your reading comprehension much to write home about.

      That's funny.

      Delete
    33. Nic: How about you start with the traits of speech, written language and abstract thought.

      There's only one species on Earth capable of speech and written language, so you can't construct a nested hierarchy of Earthling species based on that trait.

      As ghostrider pointed out, there is a signal of a nested hierarchy for languages, though it is quite imperfect, and the rate of change is such that the deep history is obscured. What is interesting, though, is that the nested hierarchy of languages has some, albeit imperfect correlation to the genetic characteristics of the speakers of those languages.

      Nic: So you're dating the strata by the organisms which are found in it?

      Strata can be dated relatively, by the Principle of Superposition. Strata can be provided rough dates by observing rates of sedimentation. Finally, absolute dates can often be provided by radiometrics. The three measures are consistent with one another.

      Now that we have established the relative and absolute dates, we can then form a correlation with fossils.

      An interesting story. In the nineteenth century, physicists determined the Earth could be only a few tens-of-millions of years old, due to the continued presence of volcanoes as representative of the residual heat of Earth's creation. Geologists and biologists claimed that the Earth must be hundreds-of-millions or billions of years old. You would think that physics, purported to be an exact science, would have had the upper hand. However, it turned out that one of the physical assumptions was wrong. There was another source of energy within the Earth, radioactivity. With the discovery of radioactivity, the calculations based on physics matched the findings of geology and biology. Touché by Darwin!

      Nic: I don't care about a nested hierarchy.

      Then you don't care about your own position. You've said there is a nested hierarchy pattern. You've said this is entailed in the design hypothesis. We suggested it can only be entailed if you make some assumptions about the designer. You said no. So we asked you to show us the deductions that lead from an ambiguous designer to the nested hierarchy.

      Delete
    34. Zachriel,

      "There's only one species on Earth capable of speech and written language, so you can't construct a nested hierarchy of Earthling species based on that trait."

      That's correct, and how do you explain that in evolutionary terms? If evolution is true that should not be the situation.

      "the nested hierarchy of languages,..."

      Get it through your head, I am not asking you about a hierarchy of languages but of organisms, using language ability as one of the traits. So please, forget the hierarchy of languages and at least try to understand your problem.

      "by observing rates of sedimentation."

      And how, exactly do you 'observe' rates of sedimentation which occurred 5 million years ago?

      "The three measures are consistent with one another."

      Rocks observed to have formed from a 1950s volcanic eruption in New Zealand produced dates from 100,000 to 3.5 million years old. That sounds highly accurate and reliable to me. How about you?

      The bottom line with radiometric dating is the need to make many assumptions before you can begin to apply results. Therefore, though it can be a useful tool it is not a very reliable tool. There are simply too many variables and assumptions involved.

      "Then you don't care about your own position."

      As usual you completely miss the point. I don't care about a nested hierarchy as it does nothing to establish any position. You can use it to defend your arguments, and I, if I chose too, could use it to defend mine. Also, it is based on arbitrary factors as I have clearly demonstrated, (but as usual you refuse to accept that fact.) As a result it's a moot point. That is why I don't care about it.

      Delete
    35. Zachriel,

      "Nic: Not very bright are we? Nor is your reading comprehension much to write home about."

      That's funny.

      Yeah, it sure is, I do that more than I like to admit. I get into an exchange with someone and I tend to focus on that individual and sometimes miss it when someone else interjects, as happened here. I offer my apologies. As I have said before all comments are meant as friendly banter and not meant to be mean spirited.

      I don't think I will have much time today seeing as it is Christmas Eve. So I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and everyone here a very Merry Christmas and I hope you all have a safe and happy new year. I am sure we will butt heads many more times over the next little while.

      Take care, my friend.

      Delete
    36. Nic: That's correct, and how do you explain that in evolutionary terms?

      The ability to communicate is not limited to humans. Speech provides a significant evolutionary advantage in social organisms.

      Nic: I am not asking you about a hierarchy of languages but of organisms, using language ability as one of the traits.

      It's interesting that the hierarchy of languages roughly correlates with the hierarchy of ethnic diversity in humans.

      Nic: And how, exactly do you 'observe' rates of sedimentation which occurred 5 million years ago?

      Sedimentation is directly observable.

      Nic: Rocks observed to have formed from a 1950s volcanic eruption in New Zealand produced dates from 100,000 to 3.5 million years old.

      You're probably referring to Snelling's publication in a creationist journal. As with all radiometric datings, there are significant limitations. At the low end of Potassium-Argon dating, there are high error bars, and mishandling can result in anomalous readings.

      Do you have a citation to a replication of the results by an independent study group?

      Nic: The bottom line with radiometric dating is the need to make many assumptions before you can begin to apply results.

      Of course, but radiometric dating is self-consistent, and consistent with dating provided by other means.

      Nic: I don't care about a nested hierarchy as it does nothing to establish any position.

      You claimed "Design could be a hypothesis upon which a nested hierarchy could exist." It's your claim. That you won't substantiate the claim is up to you.

      Delete
    37. Nic: Yeah, it sure is, I do that more than I like to admit.

      We mostly fumble along ourselves. Have a safe and happy Christmas holiday.

      Delete
  9. I have to agree with Jason Rosenhouse.
    "Personally, I find it incredible that the four fundamental forces of physics, operating from the moment after the Big Bang, could rearrange matter into everything that we see today. That unintelligent causes can ultimately lead to the creation of intelligent creatures, who can then rearrange matter and energy in clever ways, is, I entirely agree, hard to believe."
    Jason Rosenhouse

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why did you quote-mine Rosenhouse and omit the rest of his statement?

      Rosenhouse "As I see it, the idea that naturalism is correct in general, and that Darwinian evolution is correct in particular, has just two things going for it. As it happens, though, they are two big things. The first is that every scrap of evidence discovered by scientists points strongly in that direction. If evolution is false, for example, then it should have been trivially easy to disprove. And yet every scrap of data we have is consistent with what evolution tells us to expect. It certainly did not have to be that way. Science might have discovered that the earth was just ten thousand years old and that there were fundamental discontinuities between organisms that correspond to some plausible notion of “created kind.” Science might have discovered all manner of things that were just fundamentally beyond what natural forces can do. Might have, but didn’t.

      Which brings us to the other thing evolution, and naturalism more generally, have going for them. However superficially implausible they seem, the only alternative on offer is much harder to believe.

      Sewell urges us to look for the simple explanation. But there is nothing simple in the idea of an omnipotent magic man who lives in the clouds. Whatever mysteries you think you have found in the naturalistic view of life pale in comparison to what happens when you try to comprehend an entity with the attributes God is said to have."

      An Essay On Simplicity - Jason Rosenhouse

      Delete
    2. I know he also said
      "However superficially implausible they seem, the only alternative on offer is much harder to believe."

      Evolutionists ask us to Believe that all the wonders of the universe somehow came together magically with no help of any intelligence or any known natural laws. That I find impossible to believe.

      Delete

    3. Evolutionists ask us to Believe that all the wonders of the universe somehow came together magically with no help of any intelligence or any known natural laws.


      Whoever said evolution doesn't follow known natural laws??

      That I find impossible to believe.

      Fortunately Mike reality doesn't depend on your inability to believe it.

      Delete
  10. Maybe someone can tell us why all the multiple lines evidences supporting common descent over deep time listed in this article aren't scientific.

    29+ Evidences for Macroevolution
    The Scientific Case for Common Descent

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's called confirmation bias. Scientists seek to evaluate how a theory compares to the evidence, not protect it from the evidence. See this:

      https://sites.google.com/site/darwinspredictions/home

      Delete
    2. So there's no actual explanation of why any specific piece of the listed evidence doesn't qualify as scientific, just a blanket hand-waving denial. Got it.

      What do evolution deniers do to protect against their own severe confirmation bias?

      See this:

      I did. It has nothing to do with the evidence listed in the article.

      Delete
    3. It has nothing to do with the evidence listed in the article

      Yup, that's what happens with confirmation bias. The science isn't there. You can't test the flat Earth theory by ignoring the contradictions. Nice own goal. If you were a scientist you would be interested in how the evidence bears on the theory rather than trying to protect the theory at all costs.

      Delete
    4. Yup, that's what happens with confirmation bias.

      Still no actual rebuttals to the evidence in the Theobald article I see, no reason to think the evidence isn't scientific.

      What do you do to protect against your own severe confirmation bias?

      Delete
  11. What do you do to protect against your own severe confirmation bias?

    That's easy. He ignores it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nice own goal. Confirmation bias is when you sweep data under the rug, not when you lift up the rug.

      Delete
  12. A common understanding of the progression of chemicals to living organisms per the naturalistic evolutionary assertions seems to entail the efficacy of certain processes and mechanisms per the claims of those proponents.

    So what is the empirical evidence that demonstrates that mutation, selection, drift, neutral evolution etc. (as well as any other claimed contributing factors) are capable of producing the constituencies of the protein cycle required in living organisms as we know them?

    ReplyDelete
  13. Cornelius Hunter wrote:

    "And so I have a proposition for evolutionists. Show me your fact and I will promote it. Explain why evolution is a scientific fact and I will retract my criticisms as unfounded. Back up your claim and I will be an evolutionist."

    If you would have asked if the roundshape of planet earth is a scientific fact, would we not have the same situation?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Whats surprises me is this reaction from Conernelius Hunter:

    "Sorry but saying natural selection did it doesn't work. Natural selection kills off the defects. It does not induce anything, it only operates on what is already available. When evolutionists say that "natural selection has fashioned wings for flight, fins for swimming, and legs for walking," they are not making a meaningful scientific statement."

    I thought the question posed in the opening post was about showing evolution to be a scientific fact.
    In that case, I do not know why we should now switch to talk about a mechanism that is thought to direct evolution. If the mechanism is shown to be false and natural selection is discarded by all scientists, then still we have the question if evolution is a scientific fact.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. [**still enjoying my new chair, computer is the most comfortable place now. Thank you wife!]

      Ed, I've been reading Dr. Hunter's articles for a little while now. The point he makes over and over again is once again ignored or completely missed by everyone with a dissenting opinion.

      When he writes about natural selection not being enough it's to make the point that it's not about the mechanisms. It's about the premises under which the mechanisms are presumed to operate. At it's core evolutionary theory goes like this:

      Life is therefore it evolved

      This is the "fact" of Evolution. Why is this true? Can it be shown true?

      You can say this same thing another way. Premise: "Life arose strictly from natural processes".
      Is this a true premise? Can it be shown true?

      If you can show this premise to be true then you have proven ("shown" for those who will lament the use of "proven") evolution, as understood by biologists, to be a fact.

      When one of those evolutionary mechanisms cannot be shown to work "science isn't bothered" because "someday" the natural mechanism will be discovered, so states the operating premise. Of course this attitude is necessary because virtually every mechanism used to explain evolutionary theory hits a wall of incredulity at some point. How is this attitude scientific? In reality it's not, it's religious. Hence the tagline "religion drives science".

      Delete
  15. "At it's core evolutionary theory goes like this:

    Life is therefore it evolved"

    That is not what evolution theory says. Is simply says that life is AND that it evolved.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ok, "life is diverse therefore it evolved"
      It's still a pronouncement that cannot be shown true scientifically. It's a statement of faith.

      Delete
    2. It is a pronouncement you make up.
      A typical strawman.

      Delete
    3. ohandy1

      Ok, "life is diverse therefore it evolved"
      It's still a pronouncement that cannot be shown true scientifically. It's a statement of faith.


      You have it wrong again. No one says "life is diverse therefore it evolved". What science says is "the evidence from both extant species and the fossil record show an almost identical and very distinct branching hierarchy over deep time, therefore we infer evolution through common descent over deep time took place."

      That may be harder to grasp than your Creationist strawman version but at least it's scientifically accurate.

      Delete
    4. The problem is simple; the mechanisms by which this descent was to have taken place cannot be shown capable of producing the results you're inferring.

      Simply put, you can't show that it works at far too many points along the way. You have to infer that evolution can produce change on a far greater scale than ever witnessed. By doing this you turn science on its head. You abandon the whole observable part.

      I don't expect this is a problem for you, but that's because it's a faith issue and not a science issue.

      If you want to throw the Pluto orbit at me you're wasting your time. It's a false comparison.

      Delete
    5. ohandy1

      The problem is simple; the mechanisms by which this descent was to have taken place cannot be shown capable of producing the results you're inferring.


      Wrong. Not only can it be shown they but it's already been done to the satisfaction of people who study and research the evidence as their profession.

      Simply put, you can't show that it works at far too many points along the way. You have to infer that evolution can produce change on a far greater scale than ever witnessed. By doing this you turn science on its head. You abandon the whole observable part.

      Science doesn't have to eyewitness a phenomenon or recreate it 100% in a lab to understand how an event occurred. Ken Ham's "were you there??? Did you see it??" bit of stupidity is rejected even by grade school children.

      If you want to throw the Pluto orbit at me you're wasting your time. It's a false comparison.

      How about the theory of plate tectonics? Have you even seen one of the Alps form from scratch or seen Africa touching South America?

      Delete
    6. Not only can it be shown they but it's already been done to the satisfaction of people who study and research the evidence as their profession.

      Just because a bunch of scientists concur a scientific fact is established? Is science a democracy now?

      Science doesn't have to eyewitness a phenomenon or recreate it 100% in a lab to understand how an event occurred.

      That's not the argument and perhaps why you continue to misunderstand the Creationist viewpoint. Evolution, as defined by evolutionists, cannot be shown to work. More than that, it cannot even be shown possible (in spite of your assertions otherwise). I'm not talking about the fancy animations and imaginations that say it's possible, I'm not talking about possible in the sense of "who knows", I'm talking about actually overcoming the points that contridict the narrative, where "someday discoveries" currently fill the blank spots. You should know what I'm talking about, it's central to this blog that you've been reading for a long time. I don't follow Ken Ham.

      Perhaps one day it will be shown possible, but until then how can evolution be a scientific fact? You see commonalities in DNA and without establishing it as possible, you assume a common ancestor and evolution without intelligent intervention, when did assumptions qualify as facts? It may be so completely reasonable in your mind as to have standing as fact, but that's faith.

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    7. ohandy1

      Just because a bunch of scientists concur a scientific fact is established? Is science a democracy now?


      OK then, how do you establish scientific fact? Is plate tectonic movement that causes mountain formation a scientific fact? When did you ever see a whole mountain rise?

      Evolution, as defined by evolutionists, cannot be shown to work.

      Too late. It's already been shown to work. Maybe next time. :)

      I'm talking about actually overcoming the points that contridict the narrative, where "someday discoveries" currently fill the blank spots.

      There aren't any points that contradict the narrative. There is creationist ignorance of the evidence and narrative that they claim is some sort of magic barrier.

      Perhaps one day it will be shown possible, but until then how can evolution be a scientific fact?

      It's considered a scientific fact because it's amassed enough positive evidence over the last 150 years to gain facthood. You don't need every last piece of a jigsaw puzzle to know for a fact the picture it shows. You don't need every small detail settled before you know for a fact evolution over deep time happened.

      Delete
  16. ghostrider, you answered to ohandy1:

    You have it wrong again. No one says "life is diverse therefore it evolved".

    And right you are.
    The fact that ohandy1 writes such nonsense and even repeats it tells us that he is not at all interested in science.
    I must say that so far the noble defenders of ID and creationism appearing on this blog simply seem to reject the scientific method!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Have you never used a literary device to convey an idea?

      The fact that your every post is a complaint about how something was stated rather than dealing with what was stated implies you simply want to discredit the person rather than deal with the idea.

      You complained about which questions were posed in the OP.
      You complained about the validity of the proposition of the OP.
      You complained about my verbiage in presenting an idea.
      You complained about it again.
      And finally, you seek solidarity in your complaints as to the veracity of my interest.

      Do you understand the OP? Do you understand the dissenting perspective? Or are your objections an expression of your disdain for any opposition to your worldview?

      When have you actually entered discourse? If an idea isn't presented with sufficient clarity, does the lack of clarity refute the idea? Or does focusing on clarity act as a crutch to ignore the real point?

      This shouldn't be personal, why do you take it so?

      Evolution is no champion of the scientific method.

      Delete
  17. If loads of independent lines of evidence all point to common descent, than that hypothesis simply becomes a fact.
    That is the same with the round shape of the earth. All observations we have done so far point to the earth having that shape and so we consider it te be a fact.

    It is simply the way science works and it is what is completely neglected in the OP, in which this is written:

    "Moths changing color or bacteria gain resistance to antibiotics do not constitute evolution. They are at best tiny examples of evolution. Such examples of adaptation do not prove evolution any more than a flat parking lot proves the flat earth theory. Evolution is a big theory."

    That is a flawed representation of what science is about, suggesting that evolution is considered a fact on the basis of only one or two pieces of evidence. That mr. Hunter writes down such a text tells us that he does not understand the scientific method.

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  18. Ed,

    "That mr. Hunter writes down such a text tells us that he does not understand the scientific method."

    You know Ed, I am really sick and tired of your constant refrain of everyone who doubts evolution does so only because they do not understand science. I think it is about time you put-up or shut-up.

    Please tell us why we do not understand science and you so readily do. And I don't mean simply continue to make the assertion, I mean PROVE it! Prove how you understand science and anyone who doubts evolution does not.

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  19. For your information: I won't discuss with you anymore because a discussion with you is impossible.

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  20. Ed,

    "For your information: I won't discuss with you anymore because a discussion with you is impossible."

    Ed, you never discussed anything to begin with. You simply made indefensible assertions. You continually said I did not understand science, yet could never demonstrate how that was true. I guess to you expressing your opinion is all that is needed to make something true. You could never answer my question as to how evolution was science, independent of its reliance on biology, genetic, etc., despite your repeated claims it was indeed a science.

    The bottom line is, you were never interested in discussing anything, you were only interested in asserting your opinion and when that didn't work, you simply accused me of being ignorant about science. Not really the way to have a honest and free discussion, is it Ed?

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    Replies
    1. Nic

      Ed, you never discussed anything to begin with. You simply made indefensible assertions.


      In a bid to repeat his 2015 success Nic takes the early 2016 lead in projection. :D

      Delete
  21. ghostrider,

    "In a bid to repeat his 2015 success Nic takes the early 2016 lead in projection. :D"

    You know ghostrider, if you were ever to say anything of actual value I'm sure the shock would be too much for everyone to bear.

    ReplyDelete