Either I or you are misunderstanding the other one. I'm nost saying that transitional fossils cannot be found, I'm saying that because there are so many ways that can be imagined of how animals morph into other animals, in a sense (I know it's not techically morphing but I think you'll get my jist), it is easy to imagine ways of animals morphing through the skeletons. I'm saying that even though the fossils show great leaps at times, or strange changes, you either have the choice of agreeing with it or not. Creationists say nay, there is so much speculation and imagination required in evolution through fossils that pretty much no matter what is found, with thousands of scientists there's bound to be one that can come up with some sort of explanation that doesn't involve God (because God is not technically science, and I can respect that) but still can't be witnessed (which is also under the definition of supernatural).
I disagree with the idea of can't be witnessed making something supernatural. The orbit of Pluto takes over 200 years, is it supernatural to say that pluto will orbit the sun? Of course not, we can infer the orbit of Pluto from the section of it that can be observed in conjunction with our understanding of gravity.
The same can be applied, though retrospectively, to fossils. We have a process through which variation can arise (evolution), and we have a chronological series of fossils that seem to show a progression in keeping with gradual change (all be it of the punctuated equilibrium kind). There's nothing supernatural here.
I wish to further combine two previous points. The first was that of the dogs. You will accept, I presume, the idea that there is what might be termed a large structural difference between a doberman and a chiwawa. Is it reasonable to say that if two fossils show approximately that same degree of difference they could still be the same species, or one very recently descended from the other (if you accept speciation).
Apply something akin to induction here. I have fossil A that is only fractrionally different (like our two dogs) to fossil B. Fossil B is different by a similar ammount to fossil C etc etc until we get to fossil Z. Now, fossil Z is massively different to fossil A, but at no point were any consecutive fossils greater than the difference between our dogs.
It's not exactly that clear cut, but thats the gist of it, and is why I mentioned the black to white analogy. End to end the differences are large, but we don't look end to end to observe the progression, the interesting bits are in the middle.
The fossiil record is the only thing that can be assembled in a manner to appear as though everything is connected at the start of life, without it there would be absolutely no evidence to suggest macro-evolution (when one population of animals as a result of x speciation events is clearly no longer the animal it was x speciation events ago) as possible.
Informative though the fossil record is, with recent (last 60 years) developments in evolutionary theory it is somewhat superfluous to requirements if you wish to examine the case of common ancestry. By far the most informative and persuasive evidence comes from genetics.
Genetic analysis, comparing the genomes of one species to another, provides us with a nested hierarchy. A true nested hierarchy forms from a branching process. The fact that phylogenetics gives us just such a hierarchy is strong evidence that the diversity of life were formed by a branching process. We know of only one branching process in nature, speciation, which results from neo-darwinian evolution.
A common creationist counter is "same design, same designer". So let me point out something. God, with infinite power, could choose any design, any method, any layout. If God chose to design life the way it is, he chose to do so in a way that looks like it evolved. Is that possible? Of course, acceptance of evolutionary theory does not preclude a God from existing and does not suggest that a God could not have influenced the process, but that is how it looks.
With the photos the problem is still that biologically my friends and family would still be my friends and family. Yes they would look different, but they would still clearly be the same type of life-form. If I showed you a picture of a child of one race, than a teenager of another race, than an adult of another race, and then an elder as another race, you may believe that they were all the same person changing over time (since there are almost limitless possibilities of what a person can imagine happening when extrapolating the idea of mutations and adaptation)....but we know now, with repeatable, observable evidence that these types of changes cannot happen.
I think you missed the point I was making with my analogy. The point I was making was that the more fossils we gather, the more confidence we can have of ancestry. The quesiton is, how close do fossils need to be in order to draw that conclusion, which is where my A-B-C and dog examples arise. I contend that we are well beyond the point of doubt, and to show that, I challenge people to come up with the series of fossils, ABC, considered to be consecutive, to tell us what would constitute transitional between A and C, and then to show how B doesn't apply.
The purpose of this challenge is to demonstrate that the record is (in most cases) fine grained enough to draw these conclusions. Doubtless there are examples where the fossil evidence is scant, but that's not an issue for this challenge.
Right, and this no end goal, and limitless possibilities is exactly the reason that I am skeptical about said fossil documentation, that's supposed to be the representation of the history of all life on earth....even though the possibilities are limitless so we could make up anything as long as it fits in with understood concepts of adaptation and natural selection, anyone will believe it (well anyone that doesn't want to witness such great biological changes before they believe).
The possibilities are limitless with constraints. Heredity implies very little change between generations. Huge leaps are nigh on impossible, so the direction of evolution at any given time is limited by the diversity of life at that time. Thats one of the reasons why fossil evidence works. If variation were unlimited there would be no pattern of descent.
Yes, the limitless but meaningless lists of falsifacation methods. Too bad most all of those methods of falsification would falsify creationism as well, since we all have to believe in allele frequency changes, mutations, and mutations passing on.
There is false equivalence here. Rather than going into depth on the methods of fasiifying evolution, I should point out that it has no relevence to evolutionary theory if one of its falsification points would also falsify creationism. You can't complain that evolution can't be falsified and then admit that it can be falsified, but that those falsification points would also falsify an alternative view.
They might as well of listed that the TOE could b e falsified if you can prove life doesn't exist, or if you can prove that dogs didn't come from wolves.
Showing that dogs did not descend from wolves (kinda hard since they can still breed) would not actually falsify evolution, it would just throw a major spanner in the works and cause a dramatic rethink.
Showing that humans share a more recent common ancestor with dogs than they do with the other apes, however, would falsify evolutionary theory right now. So, interesting thought experiment, how would one show that dogs are more closely related to humans than are the other apes. That might be an interesting exercise to engage in. Where would you start?
Not to mention that there have been times where the TOE was falisfied by things on the falsification list, but nope, it was just revised with another story, until that one gets falsified, rinse, recycle, repeat.
That's a common misconception amongst creationists. Evolution is simply descent with inherent modification in a reproducing population. The interesting research relates to how it manifests in the world. As new evidence is uncovered modifications incorporate new evidence. Punctuated equilibrium springs immediately to mind.
But let me throw that back at you. Would you not deem it a good thing that the theory was adapted in order to incorporate new evidence? Should it remain static in spite of the new evidence? What would be the point of that? Far from being a weakness, the ability to adapt and incorporate new evidence is the strongest aspect of science in my opinion.
I was refferring to them as gray colors because we don't know what the original kinds actually were. So if for instance there was a green kind, and a red kind. They would start as definitely green than dispearse into just different 'gray (as in not quite definitely green) shades' of green, and the red would make 'gray shades' of red, but they would never become not green or not red.
The colours are simply ways of referring to start and end points. In the Lenski experiment, black would be the initial population, white would be the finish, with everything in between. We can only apply such an analogy retrospectively, when we know both where we started, and where we finished. Finished, that is, in the sense of a stopping point for the classification. Evolution never stops.