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#41 Ron

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 11:26 AM

With all due respect - there's a reason Microevolution has that "-evolution" at the end of it.

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Yes, it’s because it’s a prevarication from the word adaptation that allows for the false worldview of “macro”evolution. Otherwise you’d be honest and simply call it “adaptation”.

Observed changes in the Genome lead into Speciation - and that is exactly the definition of Biological Evolution. It is an observable fact. A Law.

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First – speciation would be an apelike creature “evolving” in to a man. Not one type dog (etc…) adapting to its surroundings, and yet remaining a dog.

Which is the explenation I just gave you above?

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You didn’t give an explanation; you merely gave an opinion with absolutely NO factual substantiation. If you had actual evidence, you would have actually provided that evidence, not excuses in the form of equivocations due to getting caught in a bold falsehood. Again, evolution “IS NOT” a law! But, you found yourself caught in a lie, and simply could not admit it.

#42 Squawk

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 07:12 AM

First – speciation would be an apelike creature “evolving” in to a man. Not one type dog (etc…) adapting to its surroundings, and yet remaining a dog.


No, speciation would be on lineage branching into two. Ie, two daughter species from a single parent species. Classification of the daughter species necessarily means they are still given the same designation as the parent. Humans are still apes are still primates are still mammals are still Eukaryotes.

If you want a real world example look no further than ring species of salamander, highlighted elsewhere on this forum by me and probably by others.
Species is the only rigorously defined taxonomic level, and even then it is constrained. It would be defined as a population through which gene transfer can occur.

Genus, family, order etc are all arbitrarily applied for ease of classification, but all stem from speciation events. Ie. Take a given lizard and apply a speciation event. You know have two species of lizard. Allow the process to repeat a couple of times in each lineage and you now have 8 species, neatly grouped together as a genus.

Allow another 4 or 5 speciation events in each lineage and the group that was previously referred to as a genus is now an order or family. The original 4 (or maybe 8) subspecies would now be referred to as separate genera.

This method of classification is often misunderstood and is a cause of much confusion. For some reason people continue to insist that the formation of new phyla or genera requires something other than a speciation event. It doesn't, it just requires that that speciation event was followed by numerous further speciation events making it reasonable for us to choose to classify the organisms into distinct groups.

#43 Ron

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 09:52 AM

First – speciation would be an apelike creature “evolving” in to a man. Not one type dog (etc…) adapting to its surroundings, and yet remaining a dog.

No, speciation would be on lineage branching into two. Ie, two daughter species from a single parent species. Classification of the daughter species necessarily means they are still given the same designation as the parent.

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That is basically what I just said. You have not provided a rebut to it, you simply reworded it. And, you have supplied absolutely NO evidence for it.

Humans are still apes are still primates are still mammals are still Eukaryotes.

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Beyond mere opinion, you have only made a presupposed and fact-less statement. Saying it’s so, does not make it so.

If you want a real world example look no further than ring species of salamander, highlighted elsewhere on this forum by me and probably by others.

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You may have highlighted is here and elsewhere, but you fail to mention that the salamander remains a “salamander”; absolutely no macro involved. Therefore it in no way supports your foundationless “a priori” Humans are still apes presupposition.

#44 dmwessel

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 09:54 AM

No, speciation would be on lineage branching into two. Ie, two daughter species from a single parent species. Classification of the daughter species necessarily means they are still given the same designation as the parent. Humans are still apes are still primates are still mammals are still Eukaryotes.

If you want a real world example look no further than ring species of salamander, highlighted elsewhere on this forum by me and probably by others.
Species is the only rigorously defined taxonomic level, and even then it is constrained. It would be defined as a population through which gene transfer can occur.

Genus, family, order etc are all arbitrarily applied for ease of classification, but all stem from speciation events. Ie. Take a given lizard and apply a speciation event. You know have two species of lizard. Allow the process to repeat a couple of times in each lineage and you now have 8 species, neatly grouped together as a genus.

Allow another 4 or 5 speciation events in each lineage and the group that was previously referred to as a genus is now an order or family. The original 4 (or maybe 8) subspecies would now be referred to as separate genera.

This method of classification is often misunderstood and is a cause of much confusion. For some reason people continue to insist that the formation of new phyla or genera requires something other than a speciation event. It doesn't, it just requires that that speciation event was followed by numerous further speciation events making it reasonable for us to choose to classify the organisms into distinct groups.

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The bodies of skinned (not that I enjoy the thought) rabbits and cats (small felines) are identical. Obviously one species that went two ways.

#45 Seek123

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 10:01 AM

[quote name='Ron' date='Feb 11 2011, 09:52 AM']
Humans are still apes are still primates are still mammals are still Eukaryotes.

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[/quote]
Beyond mere opinion, you have only made a presupposed and fact-less statement. Saying it’s so, does not make it so.

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[/quote]

Well, there is fact in his statement, in that there are similarities allowing for similar classifications. But classifying in this manner is misleading and inferrs common ancestory, when it could just as easily be the result of common design.

#46 dmwessel

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 10:29 AM

Beyond mere opinion, you have only made a presupposed and fact-less statement. Saying it’s so, does not make it so.

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Well, there is fact in his statement, in that there are similarities allowing for similar classifications.  But classifying in this manner is misleading and inferrs common ancestory, when it could just as easily be the result of common design.

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The Bible agrees with this classification, "humans are still apes (more like monkey=mine), are still primates, are still mammals are still Eukaryotes"

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In Gen. 2:7 man is a soul (Hebrew: a breathing creature/Greek: the animal sentiment principle only).

In other words, man was an animal at this stage. But what animal/mammal?

We have a tail bone! Ever watch little kids swing on the monkey bars at a playground? There's no doubt what animal man was!

In Gen. 2:8 this animal entered the garden (God's Paradise), got God's image (spirit/God is a Spirit) and changed.

#47 Squawk

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 11:02 AM


No, speciation would be on lineage branching into two. Ie, two daughter species from a single parent species. Classification of the daughter species necessarily means they are still given the same designation as the parent.

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That is basically what I just said. You have not provided a rebut to it, you simply reworded it. And, you have supplied absolutely NO evidence for it.


I stated it as I did because you showed a profound misunderstanding with the phrase "Not one type dog (etc…) adapting to its surroundings, and yet remaining a dog", and you continue to make the same mistake in your latest post.

The implication of that phrase is that you would not consider evolution to have occurred unless the daughter species were not still a dog. My example was simply to explain to you that regardless of how many speciation events occur in any dog lineage from this point forward, every daughter species will still be a dog, in the same way that they will always be a mammal.

Continuing to insist that this is not the case is arguing against a straw man. You're more than welcome to do so, but I don't know what it would achieve other than to convince others with a similar misunderstanding of evolutionary theory that you have a point. You don't.

Beyond mere opinion, you have only made a presupposed and fact-less statement. Saying it’s so, does not make it so.

I'd suggest this applies far more to anything you have said thus far than to anything I have said. But feel free to challenge me, show me how a human being is exempt from the definition of mammal, primate, ape or Eukaryote.

You may have highlighted is here and elsewhere, but you fail to mention that the salamander remains a “salamander”; absolutely no macro involved.

Once again displaying ignorance of basic evolutionary theory. Any descendent of any salamander will always be classified as a salamander. If you insist evolutionary theory says anything else you are arguing against a straw man of evolutionary theory. Macro-evolution is simply change at or above the species level, and since it applies perfectly to ring species, extant salamanders right now, your point is trivial to refute.

#48 Seek123

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 11:36 AM

I stated it as I did because you showed a profound misunderstanding with the phrase "Not one type dog (etc…) adapting to its surroundings, and yet remaining a dog", and you continue to make the same mistake in your latest post.

The implication of that phrase is that you would not consider evolution to have occurred unless the daughter species were not still a dog. My example was simply to explain to you that regardless of how many speciation events occur in any dog lineage from this point forward, every daughter species will still be a dog, in the same way that they will always be a mammal.

Continuing to insist that this is not the case is arguing against a straw man. You're more than welcome to do so, but I don't know what it would achieve other than to convince others with a similar misunderstanding of evolutionary theory that you have a point. You don't.
I'd suggest this applies far more to anything you have said thus far than to anything I have said. But feel free to challenge me, show me how a human being is exempt from the definition of mammal, primate, ape or Eukaryote.
Once again displaying ignorance of basic evolutionary theory. Any descendent of any salamander will always be classified as a salamander. If you insist evolutionary theory says anything else you are arguing against a straw man of evolutionary theory. Macro-evolution is simply change at or above the species level, and since it applies perfectly to ring species, extant salamanders right now, your point is trivial to refute.

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I get the jist of what you're trying to say, but one issue sticks out. If everything remained the same, in the sense that you are trying to illustrate (speciation events of slamanders will always be salamanders), than we as humans, are not only primates, mammals, and eukaryotes, but granted the TOE is true we are also, fish, amphibians, and reptiles (as all of these are types of animals that 'we once were' and therefore always should be right?)...this is obviously not true, so could you help to clarify?

#49 Squawk

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 12:31 PM

I get the jist of what you're trying to say, but one issue sticks out.  If everything remained the same, in the sense that you are trying to illustrate (speciation events of slamanders will always be salamanders), than we as humans, are not only primates, mammals, and eukaryotes, but granted the TOE is true we are also, fish, amphibians, and reptiles (as all of these are types of animals that 'we once were' and therefore always should be right?)...this is obviously not true, so could you help to clarify?

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Wahoo! And I mean that sincerely. Far from being "obviously not true", that is in fact exactly what we are saying.

I'd be the first to admit that this sounds strange, so let me expand it it somewhat. In general usage we classify organisms on their current state: we're both humans, your dog is a dog etc and so on and so forth. We also apply the same kind of classification historically, we take a snapshot (for creatures that lived millions of years ago via one or more fossils) and we give them names. We classify them based on morphology into discreet units, be those units species, genera, families or orders etc.

Now, bear with me, this is a hypothetical example but I hope my purpose for using it will become clear.

Lets propose, for the sake of this discussion, that every fossil ever found was from the same lineage, and that each was found 20 million years apart, with a total of 20 fossils. In other words, we have 400 years worth of fossils, with each descended from the other.

We would catagorise each fossil as belonging to a different species, 20 million years being a long enough period that in most cases sufficient change accumulates to warrant the definition of species being applied. With me so far?

Now, suppose that we discover 20 new fossils, each of which fits exactly into the gaps between the fossils we found already. Now we have 40 fossils, each with 10 million year gaps. We can likely still classify each as a different species since they would have evolved sufficiently to merit it.

Now think about repeating this process, over and over and over, adding in new fossils. First we have 5 million year gaps, then 2.5 million. Keep going, until you get to the point where you have one fossil for every individual (ie, every single individual in an unbroken line was preserved).

And now comes the hard point. Where do you draw the line? At what point does one species become another? In this case it would be impossible to identify any species. At the one end you'd have a fish of some description (actually 400m years ago probably not even a fish), and at the other end you'd have some extant creature, say a human. You could look at the line of fossils and see a clear progression, no individual showing a noticable difference to the one before, but the accumulated changes adding up to form the huge difference from start to finish.


So, back to the issue of classification. Because we don't have continuous data we only have snapshots in time. For ease of reference it makes sense to classify those animals, to give them names and assign them into groups. The lobe finned fish, amphibious tetrapods etc. By strict application it is correct to refer to humans as belonging to the clade lobe finned fish. The reason we don't is that it serves no practical purpose. Colloquially we refer to fish as extant creatures that we all consider to be fish, but by strict definition if you're descended from a fish, you're still a fish.

This position tends to cause an element of disbelief, because people make the erroneous link between extant fish which we are extremely distantly related to, and the fish that would be our direct ancestors. A reasonable analogy would be something along the lines of human ancestry. It's often said that a ridiculously high proportion of Europeans are descended from William the conquerer. It serves no purpose in the modern day to refer to ourselves that way and so generally we don't. You wouldn't refer to a relative separated by 15-20 generations as being family.


You mentioned reptiles and it's worth going over the definition of reptile. The reptiles are not actually on our lineage. If we go back far enough you find the amniotes, which branch into two clades. The synapsids and the saurapsids. Mammals are within the synapsids, reptiles (in the modern sense) are within the saurapsids. Both are part of the tetrapod lineage.

So, in summary, by strict classification you're still a fish. It's a quirk of the nature of classification, because we apply snapshots, enabled by the fragmentary nature of the evidence of history. Possibly an easier to understand version would be to refer to birds as dinosaurs. If I mention dinosaurs nobody will immediately think of birds, but by taxonomic classification birds are dinosaurs (thoropod dinosaurs as it happens). I'd recommend reading the book "your inner fish" for a much more rounded presentation than anything I said here. Theres a particularly good video on youtube on this, lemme see if I can find it


Aha, found it


#50 Seek123

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 01:12 PM

Wahoo! And I mean that sincerely. Far from being "obviously not true", that is in fact exactly what we are saying.

I'd be the first to admit that this sounds strange, so let me expand it it somewhat.  In general usage we classify organisms on their current state: we're both humans, your dog is a dog etc and so on and so forth. We also apply the same kind of classification historically, we take a snapshot (for creatures that lived millions of years ago via one or more fossils) and we give them names. We classify them based on morphology into discreet units, be those units species, genera, families or orders etc.

Now, bear with me, this is a hypothetical example but I hope my purpose for using it will become clear.

Lets propose, for the sake of this discussion, that every fossil ever found was from the same lineage, and that each was found 20 million years apart, with a total of 20 fossils. In other words, we have 400 years worth of fossils, with each descended from the other.

We would catagorise each fossil as belonging to a different species, 20 million years being a long enough period that in most cases sufficient change accumulates to warrant the definition of species being applied. With me so far?

Now, suppose that we discover 20 new fossils, each of which fits exactly into the gaps between the fossils we found already. Now we have 40 fossils, each with 10 million year gaps. We can likely still classify each as a different species since they would have evolved sufficiently to merit it.

Now think about repeating this process, over and over and over, adding in new fossils. First we have 5 million year gaps, then 2.5 million. Keep going, until you get to the point where you have one fossil for every individual (ie, every single individual in an unbroken line was preserved).

And now comes the hard point. Where do you draw the line? At what point does one species become another? In this case it would be impossible to identify any species. At the one end you'd have a fish of some description (actually 400m years ago probably not even a fish), and at the other end you'd have some extant creature, say a human. You could look at the line of fossils and see a clear progression, no individual showing a noticable difference to the one before, but the accumulated changes adding up to form the huge difference from start to finish.


Thank you for the explanation. Correct me if I'm wrong, but according to the TOE, populations eventually stabalize for large amounts of time and then adjust to environmental pressures between stabalization points? If this is true, than in your example we would most likely be able to observe the fossils and notice where one population was stable and then notice the gray area between the two stable populations. We could classify each stable populaton seperately and then call the gray area, the transitional period. This transitional period would be the fossil evidence that I believe most creationists want (usually refered to as a transitional fossil, but I think it would be more of a set of transitional fossilS), but evolutionists have probability of fossils being formed on their side, so we cannot collect enough data to realize where the transitional period is located. It reminds me of an analogy I heard from an evo on this forum before, but I want to modify it a bit. If there was a square drawn on a piece of paper and you used 2 billion pieces of paper to slowly round the corners out and turn it into a circle there would be no clear change form page to page, but I think that it would be changing fairly rapidly for say a couple thousand sheets and then for a couple thousand sheets remain the same and repeat. We would then be able to recognize the periods of time when the shape is changing and the periods of time where the shape remained the same (because it was 'fit' for the current environment and had no environmental pressures) Then again, I could be misrepresenting the TOE and all of this could be wrong.

So, back to the issue of classification. Because we don't have continuous data we only have snapshots in time. For ease of reference it makes sense to classify those animals, to give them names and assign them into groups. The lobe finned fish, amphibious tetrapods etc. By strict application it is correct to refer to humans as belonging to the clade lobe finned fish. The reason we don't is that it serves no practical purpose. Colloquially we refer to fish as extant creatures that we all consider to be fish, but by strict definition if you're descended from a fish, you're still a fish.

This position tends to cause an element of disbelief, because people make the erroneous link between extant fish which we are extremely distantly related to, and the fish that would be our direct ancestors. A reasonable analogy would be something along the lines of human ancestry. It's often said that a ridiculously high proportion of Europeans are descended from William the conquerer. It serves no purpose in the modern day to refer to ourselves that way and so generally we don't. You wouldn't refer to a relative separated by 15-20 generations as being family.


Ok, but heres where evos and creas differ. Evos can accept that there is not enough time to see a substantial change, where creas only consider that as a cop-out and arguement to the future fallacy. As is understood, at some point our ancestor would clearly not be a fish-like creature anymore, and that is what creationists are looking for, an observation where the speciation event results in something that is obviously a 'completely' different life-form than it was x amount of speciation events earlier. ie. a dog speciating into something that is clearly not a dog anymore, just as our fish-like ancestor supposedly eventually speciated into not a fish-like creature anymore.

You mentioned reptiles and it's worth going over the definition of reptile. The reptiles are not actually on our lineage. If we go back far enough you find the amniotes, which branch into two clades. The synapsids and the saurapsids. Mammals are within the synapsids, reptiles (in the modern sense) are within the saurapsids. Both are part of the tetrapod lineage.


Honestly, thank you, I appreciate your assistance and information. B)

So, in summary, by strict classification you're still a fish. It's a quirk of the nature of classification, because we apply snapshots, enabled by the fragmentary nature of the evidence of history. Possibly an easier to understand version would be to refer to birds as dinosaurs. If I mention dinosaurs nobody will immediately think of birds, but by taxonomic classification birds are dinosaurs (thoropod dinosaurs as it happens).  I'd recommend reading the book "your inner fish" for a much more rounded presentation than anything I said here. Theres a particularly good video on youtube on this, lemme see if I can find it

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Thanks again, I'll have to look into the book. I still don't see why macro-evolution wouldn't exist in the way creationists are looking for it though. Eventually a series of speciation events should lead to one population of life-forms that has only remotely small similarities to it's original ancestor.

"Possibly an easier to understand version would be to refer to birds as dinosaurs."
^ Us creationists want to see these types of events in real-time, we want to witness when it becomes pointless to consider a population as the 'common name' they are classified as, because we watched them become dramatically different, not because contemporary fossil documentation suggest the possibility of these changes happening.

#51 Squawk

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 02:09 PM

Thank you for the explanation.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but according to the TOE, populations eventually stabalize for large amounts of time and then adjust to environmental pressures between stabalization points?  If this is true, than in your example we would most likely be able to observe the fossils and notice where one population was stable and then notice the gray area between the two stable populations.  We could classify each stable populaton seperately and then call the gray area, the transitional period.  This transitional period would be the fossil evidence that I believe most creationists want (usually refered to as a transitional fossil, but I think it would be more of a set of transitional fossilS), but evolutionists have probability of fossils being formed on their side, so we cannot collect enough data to realize where the transitional period is located.  It reminds me of an analogy I heard from an evo on this forum before, but I want to modify it a bit.  If there was a square drawn on a piece of paper and you used 2 billion pieces of paper to slowly round the corners out and turn it into a circle there would be no clear change form page to page, but I think that it would be changing fairly rapidly for say a couple thousand sheets and then for a couple thousand sheets remain the same and repeat.  We would then be able to recognize the periods of time when the shape is changing and the periods of time where the shape remained the same (because it was 'fit' for the current environment and had no environmental pressures)  Then again, I could be misrepresenting the TOE and all of this could be wrong.

Actually thats a pretty good way of thinking about punctuated equilibrium, but I'd like to expand a bit. Genetic diversity arises fastest at times when selection pressures are minimised. If there are no selection pressures to steer a population towards a given trait then diversity is free to arise. If a new selection pressure arises, the population will be steered quickly towards a new niche since many individuals will be ill equipped to survive and thus less able to reproduce. The times of fastest transition are the periods where selection pressures are maximised after a period of them being minimised, since they can operate on a more diverse population.

Regarding the fossil evidence, half the issue is getting people to agree on what a transitional fossil is. I've posted a challenge before, and I'll post it again. Find any 3 fossils in the record that are proposed to be consecutive, 1 ancestral to 2 ancestral to 3 (ignoring for the moment that that isn't quite how it works). Now, taking the two outliers (fossils 1 and 3) explain what would be required for a fossil between the two to class as transitional. Finally, show that fossil 2 does not meet those criteria. If no transitional fossils exist that should be a trivial task to perform. Every time I've had someone attempt this they have provided instances that are not even closely related. One person even asked me for a single transition between early tetrapods and humans.



Ok, but heres where evos and creas differ.  Evos can accept that there is not enough time to see a substantial change, where creas only consider that as a cop-out and arguement to the future fallacy.  As is understood, at some point our ancestor would clearly not be a fish-like creature anymore, and that is what creationists are looking for, an observation where the speciation event results in something that is obviously a 'completely' different life-form than it was x amount of speciation events earlier.  ie. a dog speciating into something that is clearly not a dog anymore, just as our fish-like ancestor supposedly eventually speciated into not a fish-like creature anymore.


I think me and you can get along. Are you familiar with colour gradients? Something like this
http://www.tutorialg...op/0044/001.jpg

Ok, so, imagine dividing that image up into 1000 horizontal lines and stepping from one to the next sequentially, starting from black and ending at white. At no point would you ever observe a huge change in colour, but after 1000 steps what was black is now white. If you made the leap in one jump you'd observe a huge change.

The same is true of evolution. Consider the top to be, say, an early tetrapod and the end to be something like a dog. Rather than 1000 steps, we're talking about millions of incremental changes. Each individual change is small. Anything other than a small change is actually predicted against by evolutionary theory. You only notice large scale change when you look at stages where a large number of changes have been compiled. That's what I was getting at with my earlier example of a continuous fossil record.

One thing to note, a dog giving birth to a non-dog (or something so mis-shapen that it is not considered a dog) is not evolution. For starters anything a dog gives birth to is a dog (to illustrate that, consider a human baby. Could a human baby be so malformed that you would not consider it human? I hope not). The deformation would simply be a mutation, and a particuarly nasty one, one which is extremely unlikely to spread through the population. Evolution happens to populations, which requires that genes can propogate. The rate of evolution is restricted by population size and generation time, before we consider selection pressures. The larger the population and the longer the generation time, the longer evolutionary change takes. To form any kind of notable change to morphology it should be clear how vast the time scales required need to be. I'd go back to my previous example, find 3 consecutive fossils and then assess them as I said.



Honestly, thank you, I appreciate your assistance and information.  B)
Thanks again, I'll have to look into the book.  I still don't see why macro-evolution wouldn't exist in the way creationists are looking for it though.  Eventually a series of speciation events should lead to one population of life-forms that has only remotely small similarities to it's original ancestor.

That's exactly what happens, it just doesn't happen the way most creationists demand of evolution (an erroneous demand). You should note that speciation isn't actually a requirement to generate differences beyond having 2 distinct species. If two populations are incapable of breeding they will continue to diversify, it's impossible for it to be otherwise. The more speciation events, the greater the number of different species, but two populations kept isolated for millions of years in differing environments would still result in huge changes.



"Possibly an easier to understand version would be to refer to birds as dinosaurs."
^ Us creationists want to see these types of events in real-time, we want to witness when it becomes pointless to consider a population as the 'common name' they are classified as, because we watched them become dramatically different, not because contemporary fossil documentation suggest the possibility of these changes happening.

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Without a time machine it's simply not possible. Think how long it takes for a single gene to become fixed in a population. A good place to start might be this article, though it's heavy on the maths. http://www.ncbi.nlm....f/ge1462723.pdf

It explains the probability of a gene going to fixation within a population (with certain constraints applied).

If you want to observe evolution in real time you need something that reproduces much faster, which is why many experiments are performed on bacteria. Lenski's ecoli experiments are a favoured source of reference for a couple of reasons, in particular for the large amount of time they were carried out for (several decades).

Hope thats of some help.

#52 Seek123

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 05:04 PM

Actually thats a pretty good way of thinking about punctuated equilibrium, but I'd like to expand a bit. Genetic diversity arises fastest at times when selection pressures are minimised. If there are no selection pressures to steer a population towards a given trait then diversity is free to arise. If a new selection pressure arises, the population will be steered quickly towards a new niche since many individuals will be ill equipped to survive and thus less able to reproduce. The times of fastest transition are the periods where selection pressures are maximised after a period of them being minimised, since they can operate on a more diverse population.

Regarding the fossil evidence, half the issue is getting people to agree on what a transitional fossil is. I've posted a challenge before, and I'll post it again. Find any 3 fossils in the record that are proposed to be consecutive, 1 ancestral to 2 ancestral to 3 (ignoring for the moment that that isn't quite how it works). Now, taking the two outliers (fossils 1 and 3) explain what would be required for a fossil between the two to class as transitional. Finally, show that fossil 2 does not meet those criteria. If no transitional fossils exist that should be a trivial task to perform. Every time I've had someone attempt this they have provided instances that are not even closely related. One person even asked me for a single transition between early tetrapods and humans.


I suppose the other half of the issue you're talking about would be not only that creationists wouldn't be able to agree on what could be classified as transitional but the evolutionists gets an almost unlimited playing field when considering fossil sequences? The issue with this would definitely be that this supports the idea of the sequences that are asserted as being only imagined. That since there are so many possibilities of what might have happened, that most anything would be accepted by most people, especially those that just accept everything said by mainstream academia.

I think me and you can get along. Are you familiar with colour gradients? Something like this
http://www.tutorialg...op/0044/001.jpg

Ok, so, imagine dividing that image up into 1000 horizontal lines and stepping from one to the next sequentially, starting from black and ending at white. At no point would you ever observe a huge change in colour, but after 1000 steps what was black is now white.  If you made the leap in one jump you'd observe a huge change.

The same is true of evolution. Consider the top to be, say, an early tetrapod and the end to be something like a dog. Rather than 1000 steps, we're talking about millions of incremental changes. Each individual change is small. Anything other than a small change is actually predicted against by evolutionary theory. You only notice large scale change when you look at stages where a large number of changes have been compiled. That's what I was getting at with my earlier example of a continuous fossil record.

One thing to note, a dog giving birth to a non-dog (or something so mis-shapen that it is not considered a dog) is not evolution. For starters anything a dog gives birth to is a dog (to illustrate that, consider a human baby. Could a human baby be so malformed that you would not consider it human? I hope not).  The deformation would simply be a mutation, and a particuarly nasty one, one which is extremely unlikely to spread through the population. Evolution happens to populations, which requires that genes can propogate. The rate of evolution is restricted by population size and generation time, before we consider selection pressures. The larger the population and the longer the generation time, the longer evolutionary change takes. To form any kind of notable change to morphology it should be clear how vast the time scales required need to be. I'd go back to my previous example, find 3 consecutive fossils and then assess them as I said. 


I think we'll be able to get along just fine, as well. I know how the details work with the time conundrum, I'm definitely not asking for a dog to give birth to a non-dog but instead the entire series of 'speciation' events. The issue though is that because it is not an observable part of the TOE (since we can only witness a few of the shades between white and black, instead of the entire process), creationists refuse to accept it as a fact.

Though the shade analogy provides a good illustration of the time issues, we both know it's not completely parallel. Unlike gradually turning white into black, biology does not simply need to scatter dots and slowly increase the concentration. Instead biology is mostly random in terms of 'adaptation and natural selection'. When shading colors, it involves a continuous repeating pattern. So tying your previous example in, I would say that it still would be very difficult to accurately speculate on what this randomness actually did in the past.

That's exactly what happens, it just doesn't happen the way most creationists demand of evolution (an erroneous demand). You should note that speciation isn't actually a requirement to generate differences beyond having 2 distinct species. If two populations are incapable of breeding they will continue to diversify, it's impossible for it to be otherwise.

The more speciation events, the greater the number of different species, but two populations kept isolated for millions of years in differing environments would still result in huge changes.
Without a time machine it's simply not possible. Think how long it takes for a single gene to become fixed in a population. A good place to start might be this article, though it's heavy on the maths. http://www.ncbi.nlm....f/ge1462723.pdf

It explains the probability of a gene going to fixation within a population (with certain constraints applied).


But isn't that called a speciation event when two population become incapable of breeding? Again though, since it's going to take a really really really long time before we can actually falsify that the white is going to turn into black, creationists will continue to consider the TOE as an "unfalsifiable theory".

If you want to observe evolution in real time you need something that reproduces much faster, which is why many experiments are performed on bacteria. Lenski's ecoli experiments are a favoured source of reference for a couple of reasons, in particular for the large amount of time they were carried out for (several decades).

Hope thats of some help.

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I find the bacteria experiments very interesting. Though Lenski's has only achieved 50,000 generations as of February 2010, it still shows that the gray color remains a gray color, and doesn't show white turning into black.

#53 Squawk

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 05:32 PM

I suppose the other half of the issue you're talking about would be not only that creationists wouldn't be able to agree on what could be classified as transitional but the evolutionists gets an almost unlimited playing field when considering fossil sequences?  The issue with this would definitely be that this supports the idea of the sequences that are asserted as being only imagined.  That since there are so many possibilities of what might have happened, that most anything would be accepted by most people, especially those that just accept everything said by mainstream academia.


That throws up an issue. If someone is to deny that transitional fossils cannot be found it's a bit of a stretch to complain that the fossil record is extremely large and thus finding such fossils is easy. It's one or the other really.

Consider it this way. We have a mechanism, observable in real time, that can bring changes to the genome. We can observe the extent to which structural change can occur without a speciation event. Think dogs, a doberman and a chiwawa are capable of gene transfer, ergo we can surmise that such morphological differences can arise in any species. We have a large number of fossils (close to a billion at last count IIRC) that, when arranged in chronological order (determined by various methods that I'd rather not go into since it will prompt another long discussion), suggest a gradual progression of change throughout history.

The above can be done. Indeed, the fact that the above can be done is the reason why I posted the challenge of A-B-C regarding fossils. Though not possible in all circumstances (there are doubtless gaps), in a large proportion of cases the "B" fossil is closer to A or C than are many breeds of dogs to one another. That fact alone would actually be enough to convince me of the truth of evolution, but to be honest I actually consider the fossil record superfluous to requirements given genetic evidence.



I think we'll be able to get along just fine, as well.  I know how the details work with the time conundrum, I'm definitely not asking for a dog to give birth to a non-dog but instead the entire series of 'speciation' events.  The issue though is that because it is not an observable part of the TOE (since we can only witness a few of the shades between white and black, instead of the entire process), creationists refuse to accept it as a fact.


How about this for an analogy. You doubless have family and good friends who you see regularly. Day to day you don't really note any changes, but over time the changes build up so that when you see a photograph from, say, 10 years ago, you note a large difference in their appearance.

What would happen if I showed you one photo of myself when I was a baby, and another of me now? Would you be able to conclude it was me? Doubtful.
What if I showed you a photo of myself when I was a baby, another when I was 10, another when I was 20 and another now (I'm 29). All me? Possibly, but still not certain.

How about if I showed you a photo of me from every 6 month period since I was born. Pretty easy now to see that it's me, despite changes in appearance at every step.

The question is, how many fossils do I need to provide before it becomes plain to all that the sequence from the first to last actually works? Again, the challenge I set earlier seeks to expose this. If I can't find a fossil B, between A and C, that is not so dissimilar so as not to be transitional, then it's not far fetched at all to consider a relationship, one of ancestor/decedent. If I can find such a B, Consider B to be the new C and part of the challenge is now to find a new "B" between A and the old B. The gaps get ever smaller.


Though the shade analogy provides a good illustration of the time issues, we both know it's not completely parallel.  Unlike gradually turning white into black, biology does not simply need to scatter dots and slowly increase the concentration.  Instead biology is mostly random in terms of 'adaptation and natural selection'.  When shading colors, it involves a continuous repeating pattern.  So tying your previous example in, I would say that it still would be very difficult to accurately speculate on what this randomness actually did in the past.

If we had huge levels of randomness I'd agree. However we don't. The human genome consists of a couple of billion base pairs (nucleotide bases). The "average" human acquired 100-150 mutations. The majority of novel mutations will go extinct in due course, but some will go to fixation. The random element is so small, when considering the whole population, that evolution is actually a far smoother process than the black-white gradient. The analogy does fail, but not for the reason specified. The analogy fails because the black to white gradient has an end goal and only one degree of freedom. Evolution has an almost infinite number of degrees of freedom and no end goal. The black-white analogy only holds after the fact. Ie, we see where we got to and figure out how we got there.

But isn't that called a speciation event when two population become incapable of breeding?

Yes

  Again though, since it's going to take a really really really long time before we can actually falsify that the white is going to turn into black, creationists will continue to consider the TOE as an "unfalsifiable theory".

They can consider it to be just that, but since I and anyone else versed in biology could give you a huge list of ways to falsify evolution it's a claim without base. The sad thing is that the ways most creationists attempt to falsify evolution are not falsification points, Ray Comfort and his famous crocoduck, for example.

I find the bacteria experiments very interesting.  Though Lenski's has only achieved 50,000 generations as of February 2010, it still shows that the gray color remains a gray color, and doesn't show white turning into black.

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How do you define both black and white in this instance? Black is where you started, white is where you end up, the shades of gray are the bits in between.

##edit: Changed million for billion

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 06:37 PM

That throws up an issue. If someone is to deny that transitional fossils cannot be found it's a bit of a stretch to complain that the fossil record is extremely large and thus finding such fossils is easy. It's one or the other really.


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).

Consider it this way. We have a mechanism, observable in real time, that can bring changes to the genome. We can observe the extent to which structural change can occur without a speciation event. Think dogs, a doberman and a chiwawa are capable of gene transfer, ergo we can surmise that such morphological differences can arise in any species. We have a large number of fossils (close to a billion at last count IIRC) that, when arranged in chronological order (determined by various methods that I'd rather not go into since it will prompt another long discussion), suggest a gradual progression of change throughout history.

The above can be done. Indeed, the fact that the above can be done is the reason why I posted the challenge of A-B-C regarding fossils. Though not possible in all circumstances (there are doubtless gaps), in a large proportion of cases the "B" fossil is closer to A or C than are many breeds of dogs to one another. That fact alone would actually be enough to convince me of the truth of evolution, but to be honest I actually consider the fossil record superfluous to requirements given genetic evidence.

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And this again is where we differ. Dogs are evidence to me that life has the ability to adapt in many many various ways but the all still resemble the same animal. Humans do not still resemble our fish-like ancestor. We cannot witness these changes in animals, yet we are required to believe that complex organisms such as animals made said changes. 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.

How about this for an analogy. You doubless have family and good friends who you see regularly. Day to day you don't really note any changes, but over time the changes build up so that when you see a photograph from, say, 10 years ago, you note a large difference in their appearance.

What would happen if I showed you one photo of myself when I was a baby, and another of me now? Would you be able to conclude it was me? Doubtful.
What if I showed you a photo of myself when I was a baby, another when I was 10, another when I was 20 and another now (I'm 29). All me? Possibly, but still not certain.

How about if I showed you a photo of me from every 6 month period since I was born. Pretty easy now to see that it's me, despite changes in appearance at every step.

The question is, how many fossils do I need to provide before it becomes plain to all that the sequence from the first to last actually works? Again, the challenge I set earlier seeks to expose this. If I can't find a fossil B, between A and C, that is not so dissimilar so as not to be transitional, then it's not far fetched at all to consider a relationship, one of ancestor/decedent. If I can find such a B, Consider B to be the new C and part of the challenge is now to find a new "B" between A and the old B. The gaps get ever smaller.


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.

If we had huge levels of randomness I'd agree. However we don't. The human genome consists of a couple of billion base pairs (nucleotide bases). The "average" human acquired 100-150 mutations. The majority of novel mutations will go extinct in due course, but some will go to fixation. The random element is so small, when considering the whole population, that evolution is actually a far smoother process than the black-white gradient. The analogy does fail, but not for the reason specified. The analogy fails because the black to white gradient has an end goal and only one degree of freedom. Evolution has an almost infinite number of degrees of freedom and no end goal. The black-white analogy only holds after the fact. Ie, we see where we got to and figure out how we got there.


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).

They can consider it to be just that, but since I and anyone else versed in biology could give you a huge list of ways to falsify evolution it's a claim without base. The sad thing is that the ways most creationists attempt to falsify evolution are not falsification points, Ray Comfort and his famous crocoduck, for example.


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. 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. They're mostly pointless and pretty much only send a misleading strawman of creationism, as if the author just wanted to fill up space and make the TOE seem more 'potentially fragile' than it really is. There are but a few differences between creationists and evolutionists, and most do not deal with the way animals adapt to their environment within the limits of the observed adaptation events. 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.

How do you define both black and white in this instance? Black is where you started, white is where you end up, the shades of gray are the bits in between.


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.

#55 Squawk

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 03:31 PM

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.

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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.

#56 Ron

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 04:37 PM

Well, there is fact in his statement, in that there are similarities allowing for similar classifications.  But classifying in this manner is misleading and inferrs common ancestory, when it could just as easily be the result of common design.

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There is some fact in every misconception. Especially if that misconception is being used "a priory" to substantiate a given world-view.

#57 Seek123

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 04:42 PM

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.

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I agree that what can not be seen is not super-natural. And I'll use the Pluto example to expound on my view. We know that pluto will orbit the sun, we can witness a movement in space and predict with math where it will go. See the difference is that we know the limits of the planets moving in space. We know that pluto is not going to orbit the Sun for 20 years and then go to a different star, if someone said that it would I would call that a supernatural theory. Just as we witness changes within a limit (where the offspring of animals and speciation events always represent the same animal), just as we witness planets moving within a limit (planets don't just pack up and move to a different solar system). This is why we cannot apply it to the fossil record, because we cannot witness such great biological changes that are portrayed by the contemporary fossil documentation.

Yes, many various dogs have many various structures, but they are all still clearly a dog. Never have we witnessed a series of dog speciation events that result in something that is not clearly a dog-like animal, but we are supposed to believe that a fish-like animal can go through so many various changes as to become a human. When comparing extant wolves with dogs, they are clearly all still the same animal, the black and white analogy can never be a completed falsifiable test until we witness millions of generations, but until then all the empirical evidence we have supports variation within kinds.

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.

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Here is the way I see the "same design, same designer" arguement. God in is infinite wisdom understood life on earth, I'm sure you've heard if before, "the circle of life". If all life on earth were made of different things, than the way life interacts would not work the same, similar designs are required for things that interact and rely on each other.

To help clarify my stance a bit, I personally have no attachment to the idea of creationism. I hold the stance of a literal interpretation of the Bible because thus far I have not seen anything falsified with empirical evidence. If that happens I will than see the Bible as more symbolic, but I will retain my Christian (living more Christ-like) belief system.

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.

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I'm really interested in attempting your A-B-C fossil challenge, and if you can point me in the direction of a good website with a great fossil documentation I'll look around and see what I can come up. I understood your point and I'll work on your challenge. But the reason I used a similar analogy is to illustrate how just because we see images that can appear to be in sequence, until we witness that such changes can happen we won't believe they are possible.

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.

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I agree with what you are saying to an extent, I find it interesting though that you find the fossil record as being erraneous but than you illustrate why fossils are needed. Dogs for example, we can witness many many 'speciation' type events in dogs, but the end result is still clearly the almost the same animal it was before (wolves), never have we witnessed changes greater than that. When the fossils are displayed in the manner that they are, only than does it imply changes as great as 'macro-evolution'. The only reason there is a pattern of descent is because creative intelligent people made a pattern out of the puzzle pieces they found, never once was there a blueprint that shows them what they built out of it is correct. The way I see it, is that scientists analyzed the similarities between contemporary life, and then placed the skeletons in a manner that shows this similarity, but without proof that animals can actually change enough to be considered a different type of life-form, it is a cartoon of supernatural adaptation. But we as creationists have a blueprint, and thus far all empirical evidence fits into this blueprint, I'm sure you've realized by now I'm talking about the Bible.

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.

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?

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

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You must have misunderstood my point. I didn't literally mean that the TOE is unfalsifiable, but there are unfalsifiable aspects to it, if there is a part of a theory that is unfalsifiable than the theory is an unfalsifiable theroy. Such as macro-evolution, this is unfalsifiable, as we cannot have an experiment last millions/billions of years.
I'm not contending the levels of similarity asserted by phylogeny, there is no doubt in my mind about a monkey being more closely related to a dog. I suppose we could start though by looking at each of the genomes, or even something as simple as social behavior. Regardless, monkeys are more similar than dogs. Proving that dogs didn't come from wolves wasn't my point. It is the fact that there are aspects of the TOE that are unfalsifiable, and they are not recognized as such. I could tell you that a purple antelope cooks me dinner every night, and I could show you a meal, some fecal matter with purple in it, and all sorts of other empirical things. If none of those things actually prove that a purple antelope exists, or that an antelope can cook, than it's not a real theory. For some reason the TOE gets to bypass this speed-bump, there is no empirical evidence that proves a fish-like population can speciate into an amphibian-like population, into reptilian...etc..
I'm not contending science as being self-correcting either, creationism is guilty of the same thing when it comes to the small details. I didn't have much of a point with that comment, I'm not sure why I even posted it

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.

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The issue that rises now, is that I was keeping the color to scale of overall time and changes, not specifying per short term experiment. Evolution never stops, but it has never been observed to change colors, it only becomes a variation of the same color. If our fish-like ancestor is supposed to be black and humans are supposed to be white, than amphibian-like animals are part of the gray in between. Well amphibians have never been seen speciating over and over again until they became something that is not an amphibian, that gray always stays a gray, so how can I believe that it could become black.

#58 Seek123

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 04:50 PM

Actually Squak, if you go to this thread...
http://www.evolution...opic=4128&st=20
And look at post #22 I have series of three fossils in a row that I do not think fit the bill for evidence of transition between wolf-like animals to whales.

#59 Squawk

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 05:01 PM

If all life on earth were made of different things, than the way life interacts would not work the same, similar designs are required for things that interact and rely on each other.


On my way to bed so I'll answer the rest later. However, I just wanted to leave you with a thought. If you consider this to be the case, are you conceding that God was limited in the ways in which he could design life so that it was capable of interacting?

If so, you just placed a limit on gods power. If not, the this argument has no merit.

#60 The Ark

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 05:06 PM

I have two major issues with evolution and one of them is the "current animal"

I was just handling a lizard called an Eastern Water Dragon, grows to about 40 inches maybe a little more. When you you look at that animal (with this type of thread in mind) the ting you notice is it's very complete and symetrical. And everything fits just right, nothing too long or too short etc. My area of direct experience is reptiles so I will stay there but I think mammals would be the same.

Do we happen to be on earth at just the right time to observe these animals in their evolution cycle where all looks just right. Why don't we find viper snakes with some sort fang structure that is between the current complete animal and the more primitive fixed fang snakes.

I don't know of any snakes that can't separate the 4 jaw bones.

Are there any cats with half developed canine teeth or half developed claws.

It seems remarkable to me that we just happen to be here at the right time to observe what are complete animals.

There is something else at work, maybe just a case that current science does not cover it.




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