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Let’s Blow The Lid Off Transitional Fossils!


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#1 Mankind

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 09:36 PM

“There are many transitional fossils. The only way that the claim of their absence may be remotely justified, aside from ignoring the evidence completely, is to redefine "transitional" as referring to a fossil that is a direct ancestor of one organism and a direct descendant of another. However, direct lineages are not required; they could not be verified even if found. What a transitional fossil is, in keeping with what the theory of evolution predicts, is a fossil that shows a mosaic of features from an older and more recent organism.” http://www.talkorigi...c/CC/CC200.html

So here we see that a transitional fossil is not a direct lineage of any other fossil, just one that looks like another one, one that has the same form as another one. Why couldn’t a cat and dog fossils be transitional one from another? With that definition I see no reason why not. What I am reading is two fossils that look alike are transitional as long as they match what is on the evolution chart. They don’t have to show any linkage, just show the chart and show the bones.

I’m sorry if people have been fooled for so long in believing that "transitional" implies an ancestor / descendant relationship. We also see that a transitional fossil cannot even be verified as transitional if found. What? This entire time people have been led to believe there are verified transitional fossils?

#2 PZ1

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Posted 06 March 2010 - 04:23 AM

What a truly appalling screed, evincing multiple basic misunderstandings of evolutionary science as well as fundamental errors in logical reasoning.

Of course we are not looking for a series of direct ancestors and descendents. The chances of finding such creatures is essentially zero and, as that article explains, such relationships could never be established anyway. Instead, what we are looking for are organisms that display transitional features, indicating a progression through time. Examples of this are abundant in the fossil record, at different taxonomic levels.

Transitional Fossil Existence Challenge

The Claim:

Anti-evolutionists often make a claim that the fossil record contains no transitional fossils. This runs counter to the claims of many researchers in paleontology.

The Challenge:

This challenge is to show just how much familiarity the anti-evolutionist making the claim of no transitional fossil sequences has with the actual evidence of the fossil record. By making a universal claim concerning transitional fossils, the anti-evolutionist should be prepared to back up the claim with extended technical discussion of the reasons why all sequences that others believe to be transitional in nature really are not transitional. Because there have been many such sequences put forward by various researchers, this challenge focusses upon one case at a time. The first such case is found in:

Pearson, P.N.; Shackleton, N.J.; and Hall, M.A., 1997. Stable isotopic evidence for the sympatric divergence of _Globigerinoides_trilobus_ and _Orbulina_universa_ (planktonic foraminifera). Journal of the Geological Society, London, v.154, p.295-302.

Now, it is up to you to show why the fossil sequence described therein fails to show transitional fossils. After you outline your objections to this sequence, I have another 100 or so citations of sequences that are said to show fine grained transitions ready to go, one at a time, until either you demonstrate that none are actually transitional, or you give up your claim.

Consider yourself challenged.



#3 PZ1

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Posted 06 March 2010 - 04:48 AM

I thought I'd better add that simply linking to creationist websites' attempted 'rebuttals' of transitional fossils is inadequate. It is my experience that no creationists on those sites have any training at all in the field of paleontology, and those that do (Kurt Wise) admit that transitional fossils exist and so their work isn't featured.

If you want some basic details on the fossil record, I would recommend the work of Kevin Padian, Donald Prothero, and Neil Shubin who have all made their work available to the public. Each of these has spent decades working in the field and each has more credentials in the field than all of the anti-evolution movements (young earth, ID, or whatever else you care to mention) combined.

For a Christian perspective I would suggest you look at the work of Keith Miller, an evangelical Christian paleontologist at Kansas State University;
Taxonomy, Transitional Forms, and the Fossil Record
The Precambrian to Cambrian Fossil Record and Transitional Forms

#4 Mankind

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Posted 06 March 2010 - 06:06 AM

What a truly appalling screed, evincing multiple basic misunderstandings of evolutionary science as well as fundamental errors in logical reasoning.

Of course we are not looking for a series of direct ancestors and descendents. The chances of finding such creatures is essentially zero and, as that article explains, such relationships could never be established anyway. Instead, what we are looking for are organisms that display transitional features, indicating a progression through time. Examples of this are abundant in the fossil record, at different taxonomic levels.

Transitional Fossil Existence Challenge

View Post


I used to have a misunderstanding of transitional fossils you are correct, perpetuated by evolutionists that tell us that the fossil record is irrefutable. I used to think transitional fossils meant a direct relationship to each other. Matter of fact I used to ponder to myself, if evolution via common descent isn’t true, where do they get all these transitional fossils? And you even confirm this with your post, that a direct relationship can’t even be established.

So the burden is on the person making the claim. If you are making the claim of transitional fossils and admit that it can’t be verified, how come I have to prove otherwise? By definition they can’t be verified so my work is done. However they can be verified to be a distinct life form which validates the creationist’s position by default. Now, prove they are transitional or admit that they are conveniently positioned fossils laid side by side to show something that you want to be true.

#5 Mankind

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Posted 06 March 2010 - 06:15 AM

I thought I'd better add that simply linking to creationist websites' attempted 'rebuttals' of transitional fossils is inadequate. It is my experience that no creationists on those sites have any training at all in the field of paleontology, and those that do (Kurt Wise) admit that transitional fossils exist and so their work isn't featured.

If you want some basic details on the fossil record, I would recommend the work of Kevin Padian, Donald Prothero, and Neil Shubin who have all made their work available to the public. Each of these has spent decades working in the field and each has more credentials in the field than all of the anti-evolution movements (young earth, ID, or whatever else you care to mention) combined.

For a Christian perspective I would suggest you look at the work of Keith Miller, an evangelical Christian paleontologist at Kansas State University;
Taxonomy, Transitional Forms, and the Fossil Record
The Precambrian to Cambrian Fossil Record and Transitional Forms

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I don’t need any further websites to explain what a transitional fossil is or why I should accept them, unless you are saying the Talk Origins website, the one that evolutionists promote and quote frequently is mistaken of misinformed.  Should I accept something that can’t be verified?  I do that yes and it is called faith.  Now you are asking me to have faith in science?  Just believe?  I can believe the prophets of science in white coats and test tubes?  Please show me where Talk Origins is mistaken and why I don’t have to accept transitional fossils by faith if they can’t be verified.

#6 PZ1

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Posted 06 March 2010 - 07:17 AM

They have been verified and established as 'transitional' by paleontologists. The fact that you don't understand what that term means, and has always meant, does not impact upon that.

Quite frankly whether you accept them or not has no bearing on whether they are transitional. They have been established by paleontologists as transitional (according to the scientific definition of that term) and they will remain transitional regardless of whether you or any other creationist accepts them.

PS: I notice you weren't up to the challenge, no creationist ever has been.

#7 AFJ

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Posted 06 March 2010 - 08:57 AM

What a truly appalling screed, evincing multiple basic misunderstandings of evolutionary science as well as fundamental errors in logical reasoning.

Of course we are not looking for a series of direct ancestors and descendents. The chances of finding such creatures is essentially zero and, as that article explains, such relationships could never be established anyway. Instead, what we are looking for are organisms that display transitional features, indicating a progression through time. Examples of this are abundant in the fossil record, at different taxonomic levels.

Transitional Fossil Existence Challenge

View Post

I'll take your challenge. I think we need to go a little deeper here, all the way to the basic idea of homology. That is, if we can sort things that 'look alike' and put our time line on them, we have a case for transitional fossils.

Let's deal with 'look alike' fossils in light of their design. I define design as neutral without implication. Things are designed either by outside intelligence or random processes.

Posted Image

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Here is the classic Coelacanth to Ichthyostega transition from fish to amphibian.

"...there is a fundamental difference between the bones of these fish and the feet of such land animals as Ichthyostega. As shown in Diagram 1, the bones in the Coelacanth are not connected to its backbone. The bones in Ichthyostega, however, as shown in Diagram 2, are directly attached to the backbone."   Source 1

Based on papers from:
1- Maria Genevieve Lavanant, Bilim ve Teknik magazine, April 1984, No. 197, p. 22.

2- R. L. Carroll, Vertebrate Paleontology and Evolution, New York: W. H. Freeman and Co., 1988, p. 4.

3- Barbara J. Stahl, Vertebrate History: Problems in Evolution, Dover, 1985. p. 148.


So we have (non weight bearing) fins not connected to the backbone, to (weight bearing) legs connected to the backbone. Do you have any other fossils to submit, perhaps there is one that I have not heard about?

If not, unless you believe in LaMarkian evolution, which believes acquired traits are inherited (that is--that somehow, by a forced retreat from the seas , the bearing of weight caused a slow adaptation of fins to legs), you are forced to Darwinian evolution, and natural selection.

We will now add unguided mutation as the source of phenotypical change. So these two bio-machines--both beneficial in their respective environments, both again change as an alleged result of chance. There not any kind of slow acquired traits that are passed as a result of weight bearing.

And again, your transitions don't have any common engineering design.

Posted Image

One is for weight bearing and walking, one for swimming. One supports the weight, one propels through water. It's like you are saying you can make a tire from a boat paddle!

Furthermore, one of the principles that spoke against evolution to me is summed up in this quote...

"...any living thing undergoing "pre-adaptation" should be eliminated by way of natural selection, because the more characteristics it develops that are appropriate to dry land, the more disadvantaged it will be in water."Souce 1


So in the transition itself, selection will work against a fin on land, or a 'transitional leg.' And only your assumptions would judge something to be a transitional leg anyway. Amphibian bodies, from a engineering standpoint transition from land to water, but fish do not transition from water to land.

Bottom line, the evolutionary 'beggar at the wedding' borrows design features from the amphibian, who is designed to transition from land to water, to make an argument for fish transitioning from water to land. The slight of hand shell game.

#8 jason777

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Posted 06 March 2010 - 10:40 AM

The comical part is; all fish that do walk on their fins are ray finned fish and not lobe finned (e.g. Mudskipper,Snakehead,Frogfish,Walking Catfish) and the only lobe finned fish "the ceolacanth" lives in deep water and never goes anywhere near the surface or shallow water. In fact,from a design prespective,only lobe fins can invert the ceolacanth so it can so it can detect prey items buried in the substrate "it has nothing to do with walking" All of the examples from nature contradict the fairytales told by evolution.

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#9 AFJ

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Posted 06 March 2010 - 10:59 AM

The comical part is; all fish that do walk on their fins are ray finned fish and not lobe finned (e.g. Mudskipper,Snakehead,Frogfish,Walking Catfish) and the only lobe finned fish "the ceolocanth" lives in deep water and never goes anywhere near the surface or shallow water. All of the examples from nature contradict the fairytales told by evolution.

5puuyKvX0o8&hl=en_US&fs=1

OJJlb93kf4k&hl=en_US&fs=1
Enjoy.

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I like mud skippers. They have a 'special gill sac' which is like a bio-canteen--only for breathing. Here we see a purposeful feature which works in harmony with the adapted fins. Notice the fins are not bearing weight--they are push the fish forward on low friction mud.

Also the fact that they are 'modern animals' shows that many of these so-called transitions are just an extinct species. Just like the mud skipper, they had their niche. Millions of years are not required for the explanation of the fossil. It could have been extinct a thousand years ago--or we may discover one in a jungle somewhere in the future.

#10 Mankind

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Posted 06 March 2010 - 01:06 PM

They have been verified and established as 'transitional' by paleontologists. The fact that you don't understand what that term means, and has always meant, does not impact upon that.

Quite frankly whether you accept them or not has no bearing on whether they are transitional. They have been established by paleontologists as transitional (according to the scientific definition of that term) and they will remain transitional regardless of whether you or any other creationist accepts them.

PS: I notice you weren't up to the challenge, no creationist ever has been.

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I get my understanding of transitional from Talk Origins, an evolution promoting website, quoted by evolutionists frequently, and they say that transitional fossils cannot be verified. Can you quote a paleontologist, or have a link to a paleontologist that says that transitional fossils have been verified and what that person's definition of transitional is? I would like to compare that to what Talk Origins says.

What Talk Origins says is the fossils show "mosaic features" of other fossils. Meaning the creatures look like other creatures. If that is all it takes, besides drawing lines on a chart, then of course they can't be verified. Direct lineages are not required for a transitional fossil. Transitional to most people means a direct ancestor / descent relationship. At least is has to me until now. Please show your paleontologist contradicting Talk Origins and maybe I will accept your source and discount Talk Origins.

#11 Bruce V.

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Posted 07 March 2010 - 01:01 PM

What about convergent evolution?

Isn't convergent evolution is that similarities in characteristics is not due to evolution. When do we know that something is homologous or convergent evolution?

Isn't the tree of life based on the assumptions of those making the tree of life.

Lets see.

1. Assume evolution;
2. Make a TOL based on this assumption;
3. Throw out fossils that contradict the TOL or call them convergent evolution;
4. Use the tree of life to prove common decent and evolution.


In truth this is circular logic. Assume it as truth, filter all the data through that filter, than claim it proves your first assumption.

So my question is why can't these nodes and inferences be convergent evolution? Where is the line or the science? Is it all just interpretation?

Based on molecular phylogeny we are finding that this tree is falling apart and that convergent evolution is much more common than we thought.

#12 jason777

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Posted 07 March 2010 - 01:25 PM

Exactly,Bruce. Evolution predicts common descent not straight lines. If reality demonstrates the pattern predicted by the competing model,then redefine yours to be parasitic on theirs. All of the design you see is just an illusion. :blink:

Richard Dawkins, Oxford, "Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose." The Blind Watchmaker, p.1

Francis Crick, Nobel Laureate, "Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed but rather evolved." What Mad Pursuit, 1988, p.




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#13 Mankind

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Posted 07 March 2010 - 06:51 PM

What about convergent evolution?

Isn't convergent evolution is that similarities in characteristics is not due to evolution.  When do we know that something is homologous or convergent evolution?

Isn't the tree of life based on the  assumptions of those making the tree of life. 

Lets see. 

1.  Assume evolution;
2.  Make a TOL based on this assumption;
3.  Throw out fossils that contradict the TOL or call them convergent evolution;
4.  Use the tree of life to prove common decent and evolution.
In truth this is circular logic.  Assume it as truth, filter all the data through that filter, than claim it proves your first assumption.

So my question is why can't these nodes and inferences be convergent evolution?  Where is the line or the science?  Is it all just interpretation?

  Based on molecular phylogeny we are finding that this tree is falling apart and that convergent evolution is much more common than we thought.

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The problem is without verifiable transitional fossils, there is no evolution, convergent or not, only the inference and presupposition of evolution. Without any verifiable transitional fossils, and by definition no fossil can be verified as transitional, there is no verifiable evolution. When we hear Dawkins say “we have tons of transitional fossils”, we know from the definition of transition fossils that what he really has is fossils that show “mosaic features” of other fossils. That is a fossil that is of another form which confirms creation by definition. So Dawkins is really saying “we have tons of fossils that verify creation that prove evolution”.

#14 Guest_Tommy_*

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Posted 07 March 2010 - 07:57 PM

The problem is without verifiable transitional fossils, there is no evolution, convergent or not, only the inference and presupposition of evolution. 

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Fossils are the icing on the cake. We observe speciation in the present; the hypotheis that this accounts for all biological diversity predicts far less land mammals and land reptiles on oceanic isalnds than those which were once part of continents and the observation of this supports common ancestry. That there is no empirically-based alternative to the TOE confirms it as a scientific fact. This is before getting on to ERVs, fused chromosomes, defunct vitamin C genes and nested hierarchies, each of which ALONE is enough to close the case. The TOE and general relativity are the two great insights of our industrialized society and to deny them is intellectual vandalism.

#15 jason777

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Posted 07 March 2010 - 08:21 PM

Your correct. Looking at either one is enough to throw evolution out.

The ERV's in humans are similar to the rhesus monkey,but quite different from the chimpanzee.

The study by Romano and colleagues being published this week on PLoS Onerevealed that human ERV-K had a similar demographic signature to that of the rhesus monkey, both differing greatly from that of the chimpanzee. The data suggested that the humans and rhesus have been purging ERV-K copies from their genomes while the chimpanzee ERV-K population kept the signature of increasing numbers of ERV-K amplification in the genome of ancestral primates during the last 20 million years.


http://www.scienceda...71009212538.htm

It's funny watching them make predictions and then stories why the prediction fails. LOL





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Posted 07 March 2010 - 09:29 PM

The ERV's in humans are similar to the rhesus monkey,but quite different from the chimpanzee.
http://www.scienceda...71009212538.htmIt's funny watching them make predictions and then stories why the prediction fails. LOL
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Your link describes analysis of one family of ERV (out of 24 in the human genome). The article concludes by noting the greater genetic disparity in chimps as compared to other primates - this is hardly surprising as there is less chance of their being population being subjectcted to genetic bottlenecking if they haven't left their ancestral habitat. The greater genetic homogenity of other primates suggests more bottlenecking and explains their loss of ERV-K that is not seen in chimps. Your link shows the great power of ERVs in inferring natural history; the patterns of the two dozen families show common ancestry.

#17 Mankind

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Posted 07 March 2010 - 10:32 PM

Fossils are the icing on the cake.  We observe speciation in the present; the hypotheis that this accounts for all biological diversity predicts far less land mammals and land reptiles on oceanic isalnds than those which were once part of continents and the observation of this supports common ancestry.  That there is no empirically-based alternative to the TOE confirms it as a scientific fact.  This is before getting on to ERVs, fused chromosomes, defunct vitamin C genes and nested hierarchies, each of which ALONE is enough to close the case.  The TOE and general relativity are the two great insights of our industrialized society and to deny them is intellectual vandalism.

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Fossils are not icing on the cake because there are no verifiable transitional fossils according to one of the most quoted evolution promoting websites. Try bringing someone a cake without icing and seeing what happens, you might as well not bring the cake. Or bring someone a computer without a monitor, you can’t tell if it is working. Without verifiable transitional fossils you can’t tell or see evolution working either so it is not empirical. All of the other things you mentioned came after the ToE, so they did not lead to the ToE, the ToE led to them. They do not invalidate creation which means they are suppositions for the evolutionists to hang their hat on.

#18 AFJ

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 02:27 AM

Fossils are the icing on the cake.  We observe speciation in the present; the hypotheis that this accounts for all biological diversity predicts far less land mammals and land reptiles on oceanic isalnds than those which were once part of continents and the observation of this supports common ancestry.  That there is no empirically-based alternative to the TOE confirms it as a scientific fact. This is before getting on to ERVs, fused chromosomes, defunct vitamin C genes and nested hierarchies, each of which ALONE is enough to close the case.  The TOE and general relativity are the two great insights of our industrialized society and to deny them is intellectual vandalism.
*

Fossils are not icing on the cake because there are no verifiable transitional fossils according to one of the most quoted evolution promoting websites. Try bringing someone a cake without icing and seeing what happens, you might as well not bring the cake. Or bring someone a computer without a monitor, you can’t tell if it is working. Without verifiable transitional fossils you can’t tell or see evolution working either so it is not empirical. All of the other things you mentioned came after the ToE, so they did not lead to the ToE, the ToE led to them. They do not invalidate creation which means they are suppositions for the evolutionists to hang their hat on.

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Evos closed the case 100 years ago. You prejudicially accuse creationists of being 'intellectual vandals' because we do not adhere to the ToE. If you ever follow your theory, something is a 'fact' only until further data comes in, and then it is replaced with another 'fact.' What happened to the old 'fact?'

All the while, you don't understand the interconnected, interdependent machinery of the cell, along with symbiotic systems which would have been impossible for macro-evolution to design. Micro evolution already has the 'stuff' to work with--macro has to create new 'stuff' together at the same time.

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 10:21 AM

Fossils are not icing on the cake because there are no verifiable transitional fossils according to one of the most quoted evolution promoting websites.


TalkOrigins clearly does not claim that there are no verifiable transitional fossils, it states that they do not necessarily demonstrate direct lineage.

Without verifiable transitional fossils you can’t tell or see evolution working either so it is not empirical. 


Science has observed speciation within our lifetime. The weight of empirical evidence supporting the TOE is irrefutable and would still be so were the fossilization process not possible.

All of the other things you mentioned came after the ToE, so they did not lead to the ToE, the ToE led to them.  They do not invalidate creation which means they are suppositions for the evolutionists to hang their hat on.

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Darwin came to realise evolution based on comparative anatomy, agriculutural breeding and the order of fossils through geological layers. Evidence is evidence regardless of the order in which it was obtained. The TOE renders supernatural involvement in natural history unnecessary. The Genesis creation account is completely falsified.

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 10:27 AM

Evos closed the case 100 years ago.  You prejudicially accuse creationists of being  'intellectual vandals' because we do not adhere to the ToE.  If you ever follow your theory, something is a 'fact' only until further data comes in, and then it is replaced with another 'fact.'  What happened to the old 'fact?' 


An old fact, such as divine creation, becomes a point of historicl interest. Science closed the case on speciation over a hundred years ago and moved on to more challenging questions. Willful ignorance inhibits civilization and prejudice against it is justified.

All the while, you don't understand the interconnected, interdependent machinery of the cell, along with symbiotic systems which would have been impossible for macro-evolution to design.  Micro evolution already has the 'stuff' to work with--macro has to create new 'stuff' together at the same time.

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You assert impossibility but give no reason why this should be the case.




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