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Adam Nagy

Rule #6 - Why It's Important And What You Should Know About It

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Rule #6 - Equivocation, particularly regarding what "evolution" means. It is intellectually dishonest to claim that micro-evolution (something everyone agrees occurs) proves that all life originates from a common ancestor.

 

Since there are many evolutionists here, I'm going to allow for a discussion that will help clarify what rule #6 is and hopefully give evolutionists, that enjoy posting here, a moment of pause before thinking that once they've demonstrated a minor generational change that they've somehow won the debate.

 

Since this thread gives a back door to questioning board moderation, it will be monitored closely. If it stays civil... Great! If not... It will be locked.

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Well said, Adam. Anyone arguing that micro+time=macro is not being fair to science or to the members of this forum. We don't KNOW that macro-evolution is the result of a cumulative process. We can theorize that it is such but to claim it as fact or even as proof of evolution is being insincere to say the least.

 

Perhaps we could discuss what limits there are that prevent micro+time from resulting in macro-evolution? I understand the usual Creationist answer would be that it's not observed but I think it's worth discussing. I've heard Creationists argue that there are limits to variation and that organisms cannot variate outside of their "kind" but I would like to address this scientifically instead of philosophically. Would this be a good place to have this discussion or should I start another thread?

 

As for as arguing about board moderation... don't worry about that. This is your home and I am guest here. I always wipe my feet before entering the house.

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We also need to be careful not to let the equivocation of macro-evolution creep in. Please also see our FAQ on this, especially:


What is evolution? When the word evolution is used in this forum, it can refer to chemical, cosmic, or biological evolution. By chemical evolution, we mean either the origin of the elements, or abiogenesis (life from non-life). By cosmic evolution we mean the origin of the universe, galaxies, stars, planets, etc. By biological evolution, we mean the origin of species from a common ancestor (all life from a single cell). We do not debate small-scale change and adaptation (termed micro-evolution by evolutionists, which sometimes includes speciation), on this forum since both sides agree it occurs. It is also disingenuous to claim macro-evolution proves evolution since this term now encapsulates speciation, which itself is a loose categorization where organisms can be reclassified as different species merely because of geographic isolation and change in mating habits (see bullet item below on What is Species/Speciation). It is intellectually dishonest to claim that since micro-evolution is true, or that speciation occurs, then large-scale, molecules-to-man evolution must also be true, or the canard that evolution is simply a shift in allele frequencies (even my college Biology book refrains from using this as a global definition of evolution, but instead refers to this as micro-evolution[1]). An example that occurred on this forum was the fallacious claim that "Domesticated animals are a perfectly valid example of evolution at work." Anyone who continues to use such equivocal arguments for evolution after being referred to this FAQ will be banned from the forum. For more on this equivocation, see my article The Evolution Definition Shell Game.

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Good addition, Fred.

 

Members, if you don't understand what is being enforced when we disallow members from engaging too long in these equivocal discussions this is the place to ask about it...

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We also need to be careful not to let the equivocation of macro-evolution creep in. Please also see our FAQ on this, especially:

What is evolution? When the word evolution is used in this forum, it can refer to chemical, cosmic, or biological evolution. By chemical evolution, we mean either the origin of the elements, or abiogenesis (life from non-life). By cosmic evolution we mean the origin of the universe, galaxies, stars, planets, etc. By biological evolution, we mean the origin of species from a common ancestor (all life from a single cell). We do not debate small-scale change and adaptation (termed micro-evolution by evolutionists, which sometimes includes speciation), on this forum since both sides agree it occurs. It is also disingenuous to claim macro-evolution proves evolution since this term now encapsulates speciation, which itself is a loose categorization where organisms can be reclassified as different species merely because of geographic isolation and change in mating habits (see bullet item below on What is Species/Speciation). It is intellectually dishonest to claim that since micro-evolution is true, or that speciation occurs, then large-scale, molecules-to-man evolution must also be true, or the canard that evolution is simply a shift in allele frequencies (even my college Biology book refrains from using this as a global definition of evolution, but instead refers to this as micro-evolution[1]). An example that occurred on this forum was the fallacious claim that "Domesticated animals are a perfectly valid example of evolution at work." Anyone who continues to use such equivocal arguments for evolution after being referred to this FAQ will be banned from the forum. For more on this equivocation, see my article The Evolution Definition Shell Game.

 

Good point Fred. I usually think of macro-evolution as morphological transformation on the scale of "lizards" into birds and "shrews" into men, but I also try to make sure I define it in those terms to avoid ambiguity. Encapsulating speciation under the term macro-evolution is yet another part of the semantic shell game.

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We also need to be careful not to let the equivocation of macro-evolution creep in. Please also see our FAQ on this, especially:

What is evolution? When the word evolution is used in this forum, it can refer to chemical, cosmic, or biological evolution. By chemical evolution, we mean either the origin of the elements, or abiogenesis (life from non-life). By cosmic evolution we mean the origin of the universe, galaxies, stars, planets, etc. By biological evolution, we mean the origin of species from a common ancestor (all life from a single cell). We do not debate small-scale change and adaptation (termed micro-evolution by evolutionists, which sometimes includes speciation), on this forum since both sides agree it occurs. It is also disingenuous to claim macro-evolution proves evolution since this term now encapsulates speciation, which itself is a loose categorization where organisms can be reclassified as different species merely because of geographic isolation and change in mating habits (see bullet item below on What is Species/Speciation). It is intellectually dishonest to claim that since micro-evolution is true, or that speciation occurs, then large-scale, molecules-to-man evolution must also be true, or the canard that evolution is simply a shift in allele frequencies (even my college Biology book refrains from using this as a global definition of evolution, but instead refers to this as micro-evolution[1]). An example that occurred on this forum was the fallacious claim that "Domesticated animals are a perfectly valid example of evolution at work." Anyone who continues to use such equivocal arguments for evolution after being referred to this FAQ will be banned from the forum. For more on this equivocation, see my article The Evolution Definition Shell Game.

WOW ! ! !

 

What you describe as unacceptable definitions of biological evolution pretty much cover every definition of it that I've ever seen. Good thing I rarely discuss biological evolution. I'm not much of a life-sciences type anyway. My interests, and my reason for rejection of Genesis literalism are in the physical sciences.

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WOW ! ! !

 

What you describe as unacceptable definitions of biological evolution pretty much cover every definition of it that I've ever seen. Good thing I rarely discuss biological evolution. I'm not much of a life-sciences type anyway. My interests, and my reason for rejection of Genesis literalism are in the physical sciences.

 

I guess then you've been sucked in to the macro = micro propaganda machine... Perhaps ask yourself, (and your fellow evolutionists), what evidence is there verifying the claim of micro = macro. I've asked evolutionists this question all the time and thus far the only answers I have been given are

 

A: There is evidence, (but never presented any)

B: Don't know

C: Its based on people thinking its a logical progresion (subjective opinion = not evidence)

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I guess then you've been sucked in to the macro = micro propaganda machine... Perhaps ask yourself, (and your fellow evolutionists), what evidence is there verifying the claim of micro = macro. I've asked evolutionists this question all the time and thus far the only answers I have been given are

That's the problem. The definitions of "macro" I've always seen have been deemed "equivocation."

 

I've always considered speciation to be "macro" and ring species an example of the process at work. (I mean "speciation" as a genetic inability to reproduce, not merely geographic isolation or mating habits.)

 

That said, physics still causes a lot more trouble for a literal Genesis then evolution ever could.

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That's the problem. The definitions of "macro" I've always seen have been deemed "equivocation."

 

I asked you for evidence demonstrating that micro = macro.... Merely complaining that this site doesn't allow people to imagine such a link doesn't demonstrate that such a link exists.

 

If there was a link from micro to macro THEN the stipulations given here are not fair. It is the burden of the evolutionist to demonstrate the link between the two (and by demonstrate I mean experiment as per the scientific method).

 

Assuming a link doesn't give evolutionist's carte blanche to force others to believe the evolutionist's assumptions as fact. Demonstration is required.

 

I've always considered speciation to be "macro" and ring species an example of the process at work. (I mean "speciation" as a genetic inability to reproduce, not merely geographic isolation or mating habits.)

 

What you consider is a subjective determination, as such is not evidence of reality. I could claim that Turquoise is the best colour in the world, and that is my subjective determination, however that doesn't mean it really is the best colour in the world.

 

That said, physics still causes a lot more trouble for a literal Genesis then evolution ever could.

 

Relevance? (Apart from changing goal posts?)

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That's the problem. The definitions of "macro" I've always seen have been deemed "equivocation."

 

I've always considered speciation to be "macro" and ring species an example of the process at work. (I mean "speciation" as a genetic inability to reproduce, not merely geographic isolation or mating habits.)

 

Pi, that's the dirty little skeleton in the closet this forum and Fred's website seek to expose. Logical large scale problems like the transformation of the dead end lung system of a reptile into the one way lung system of a bird, without losing functionality in the process, are rarely dealt with in the TOE, but are ultimately required by it. They're just swept under the rug of deep time, as "ring species" and other observations of minor changes and genetic isolation are touted as proof of the inevitability of universal common descent.

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I asked you for evidence demonstrating that micro = macro.... Merely complaining that this site doesn't allow people to imagine such a link doesn't demonstrate that such a link exists.

 

If there was a link from micro to macro THEN the stipulations given here are not fair. It is the burden of the evolutionist to demonstrate the link between the two (and by demonstrate I mean experiment as per the scientific method).

 

Definition of MACROEVOLUTION
: evolution that results in relatively large and complex changes (as in species formation)

.

 

(Source: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/macroevolution )

 

 

Changing the definition of "macro" from the one in the dictionary is not fair. Even more when use of the dictionary definition is deemed "equivocation" and subjects one to punative sanctions. Them's the rules and I don't have to agree with them.

 

That said, it is not *my* burden to meet *your* definition of terms. We would first need to agree on what constitutes "macro" evolution. I use the dictionary definition.

 

 

What you consider is a subjective determination, as such is not evidence of reality. I could claim that Turquoise is the best colour in the world, and that is my subjective determination, however that doesn't mean it really is the best colour in the world.

How about when what I consider is a match for the dictionary definition?

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Pi, that's the dirty little skeleton in the closet this forum and Fred's website seek to expose. Logical large scale problems like the transformation of the dead end lung system of a reptile into the one way lung system of a bird, without losing functionality in the process, are rarely dealt with in the TOE, but are ultimately required by it. They're just swept under the rug of deep time, as "ring species" and other observations of minor changes and genetic isolation are touted as proof of the inevitability of universal common descent.

You guys are looking for micro explanations in a theory that is still at the macro stages of its .... um .... evolution. The science necessary to determine those kinds of details is still in its infancy.

 

One thing I do point out to my students.... whichever theory of origins you believe, we're all cousins.

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I asked you for evidence demonstrating that micro = macro.... Merely complaining that this site doesn't allow people to imagine such a link doesn't demonstrate that such a link exists.

 

If there was a link from micro to macro THEN the stipulations given here are not fair. It is the burden of the evolutionist to demonstrate the link between the two (and by demonstrate I mean experiment as per the scientific method).

 

You're right; Imagining such a link doesn't prove micro and macroevolution are different scales of the same thing.

 

Of course I do believe they're different scales of the same thing, and here's why:

 

I'm sure we all know that microevolution occurs through various mechanisms, all of which have been observed: Bases are substituted, deleted or inserted, and genes are added and made redundant. All of those changes are subject to natural selection, and changes occur that make the organism more likely to survive.

 

So the question is what genetic changes are required to turn a bacterium into a human (a change you would consider macroevolution)?

 

Well, bases need to be substituted, added, deleted or inserted, and genes need to be added and made redundant. Those changes need to be subject to natural selection, and changes must occur that make the organism more likely to survive.

 

If there's anything else it needs, I've never heard it.

 

That's why the mechanisms of micro and macroevolution are the same.

 

Now there are certainly things that could stop this from being true. If you'd like to discuss any of those it would probably be best to start a new thread:

 

A feature that couldn't evolve without going through a period of having no benefit. Also known as an irreducibly complex feature.

 

Negative mutations constantly degrading genomes.

 

Increased information being one of the requirements of human evolution, and an increase in information being possible.

 

 

Note, this isn't an argument for macroevolution occurring in the past, just that the process is possible.

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You're right; Imagining such a link doesn't prove micro and macroevolution are different scales of the same thing.

 

Great :D You've just demonstrated more understanding than many of the previous evolutionists I've discussed this issue with.

 

Of course I do believe they're different scales of the same thing, and here's why:

 

I'm sure we all know that microevolution occurs through various mechanisms, all of which have been observed: Bases are substituted, deleted or inserted, and genes are added and made redundant. All of those changes are subject to natural selection, and changes occur that make the organism more likely to survive.

 

So the question is what genetic changes are required to turn a bacterium into a human (a change you would consider macroevolution)?

 

Well, bases need to be substituted, added, deleted or inserted, and genes need to be added and made redundant. Those changes need to be subject to natural selection, and changes must occur that make the organism more likely to survive.

 

If there's anything else it needs, I've never heard it.

 

That's why the mechanisms of micro and macroevolution are the same.

 

Wrong.

 

You've simplified the issue to mere exchange or variance of bases. The occurence of new functions and their fixation is much more complicated.

 

1- Are such variances when multiplied indicative of large-scale change?

 

As per the common definition of evolution, it is merely measured as a change in the allele percentage of a population. An example of this is a population of people having 5% red hair and over a decade having 9% red hair.

 

Now does is a change in hair colour indicative of large-scale structural change? Nope... Different colour hair does nothing for this.

 

Another example can be the occurrence of citrate consuming ability of bacteria outside of the normal citrate consuming conditions for that bacteria... Would the ability to consume citrate unhindered lead to large-scale structural change? Nope... (Ironic since this example is used as evidence of evolution).

 

2- The second issue is the requirement for each change to be beneficial. As has been mentioned by others previously, whilst changes happen and are beneficial under certain specific conditions the overall fitness of the organism is impeded.

 

3- Observed limitation of change

 

4- The fourth issue is oscillating change. Studies done with Darwin's finches mentions that the beak % for the population changed when a drought affected the population. However when the drought passed the population went back to the original % meaning no net change was observed. These results fit with the Creationist account in that God created organisms with an inbuilt capacity to adapt to a changing environment.

 

5- Environment as the driver of evolutionary change. Considering the ever-changing nature of the environment there could not be constant change to allow for the fixation of a trait.

 

 

Now there are certainly things that could stop this from being true. If you'd like to discuss any of those it would probably be best to start a new thread:

 

That is what this thread is for, no new thread is needed.

 

A feature that couldn't evolve without going through a period of having no benefit. Also known as an irreducibly complex feature.

 

Certainly, and we observe irreducibly complex features in organisms all over the place.

 

Immune system

Digestive system

Cellular signal cascade

Cellular respiration

DNA replication

Cellular replication

etc

 

Negative mutations constantly degrading genomes.

 

Increased information being one of the requirements of human evolution, and an increase in information being possible.

 

I have yet to hear of an example of an increase in information.

 

Note, this isn't an argument for macroevolution occurring in the past, just that the process is possible.

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That said, physics still causes a lot more trouble for a literal Genesis then evolution ever could.

Start a thread instead of tossing out a potential thread-derailer...

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Guys, I'm seeing this thread spiraling out of control. Two things to keep this thread open.

 

Evolutionists - This thread is meant as a Q&A and not an editorial. Keep it on topic and direct your concerns towards the administration here, myself included.

 

Creationists - Unless you also have questions... thanks for your help but please let the admins handle this thread. Thanks!

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My apologies Adam

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My apologies Adam

Thanks, Gilbo. Your contributions here are valued but just the way this thread unfolded so far is very instructive and solidifies the need to have a clean Q&A for rule #6. Fred has done a great job tying this all together for us but I'm hoping this interactive thread can serve as a supplemental tool for those that struggle understanding the motive in rule #6 or how to interact with the topic knowing that such a line of argument risks having posting privileges revoked.

 

There are plenty of evolutionists here who enjoy a virtually unencumbered liberty to discuss their beliefs once they understand what rule #6 accomplishes. In reality, it's as much for them as it is for us.

 

Rule #6 keeps discussions at a higher level than without.

 

More to come...

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Definition of MACROEVOLUTION

: evolution that results in relatively large and complex changes (as in species formation)

.

 

(Source: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/macroevolution )

 

 

Changing the definition of "macro" from the one in the dictionary is not fair. Even more when use of the dictionary definition is deemed "equivocation" and subjects one to punative sanctions. Them's the rules and I don't have to agree with them.

 

That said, it is not *my* burden to meet *your* definition of terms. We would first need to agree on what constitutes "macro" evolution. I use the dictionary definition.

 

 

How about when what I consider is a match for the dictionary definition?

 

Macro-evolution has a long history of being a flimsy definition. It all depends on the evolutionist you are talking to as to whether or not macro-evolution includes speciation, even the article on macro-evolution at talk origins makes this clear. That being said, you are completely missing the point of this rule. We are not changing the definition of macro-evolution! Instead, we are saying that it is a waste of time to debate if speciation occurs since both creationists and evolutionists have long agreed on this. It therefore becomes disingenuous for an evolutionist to come on this forum and offer a speciation example as proof that evolution is true. It would be no different than me claiming cows & horses don't interbreed therefore creation is true. You can believe whatever definition of macro you want, as long as you don't dishonestly claim that some speciation example proves "macro-evolution" and thereby proves that all life evolved from a common ancestor. Such a spurious claim becomes a waste of time for our members to have to deal with, and will unabashedly result in "punitive sanctions" (one qualifier - I'm personally ok with sympatric speciation as fair game for debate).

 

Fred

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Wrong.

 

You've simplified the issue to mere exchange or variance of bases. The occurence of new functions and their fixation is much more complicated.

 

Isn't a function a result of the arrangement of bases?

 

1- Are such variances when multiplied indicative of large-scale change?

 

As per the common definition of evolution, it is merely measured as a change in the allele percentage of a population. An example of this is a population of people having 5% red hair and over a decade having 9% red hair.

 

I wasn't referring to simple change in the proportions of population that have a particular hair colour, or any feature really. I'm referring to new genetic sequences that occur through the mechanisms of microevolution.

 

Another example can be the occurrence of citrate consuming ability of bacteria outside of the normal citrate consuming conditions for that bacteria... Would the ability to consume citrate unhindered lead to large-scale structural change? Nope... (Ironic since this example is used as evidence of evolution).

 

By structural change you mean a change in morphology, instead of a change in molecular function I assume? I would have thought that a change in morphology would also be governed by genetic sequences, and would be subject to selection. Do you believe they're not governed by genetic sequences or subject to natural selection?

 

2- The second issue is the requirement for each change to be beneficial. As has been mentioned by others previously, whilst changes happen and are beneficial under certain specific conditions the overall fitness of the organism is impeded.

 

I understand this is your position. We are discussing this on the other thread so there's no need to repeat ourselves here.

 

3- Observed limitation of change

 

What are the observed limitations of change?

 

4- The fourth issue is oscillating change. Studies done with Darwin's finches mentions that the beak % for the population changed when a drought affected the population. However when the drought passed the population went back to the original % meaning no net change was observed. These results fit with the Creationist account in that God created organisms with an inbuilt capacity to adapt to a changing environment.

 

Again, I'm not referring to the proportion of the population with an already existing feature. I'm talking about new genetic sequences. Regardless, if the environment doesn't return to its ancestor's environment then wouldn't the changes not revert?

 

5- Environment as the driver of evolutionary change. Considering the ever-changing nature of the environment there could not be constant change to allow for the fixation of a trait.

 

I'm not sure what you mean here. Can you please give an example.

 

That is what this thread is for, no new thread is needed.

 

I disagree. These are all very complicated topics. If a new person comes to browse this forum for these topics it would easiest for them if they can find threads dedicated to these specific topics, rather than browsing through tangental topics on the off chance they'll be discussed there. Would you like me to create a new thread for each of these topics?

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Dataforge, I don't think Gilbo will respond in this thread. You had your response. Please review this thread for the guideline I set. If you violate the purpose of this thread further, it's a week off. Thank you.

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Would you like me to create a new thread for each of these topics?

 

Go ahead :)

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Hi Adam,

Perhaps rule 6 should be explained here as this is where this conversation will inevitably lead to.

And btw...

Shouldn't this rule be applied both ways?

Should the creationist view of a subject that is not to be discussed be allowed to be presented here if, by rule it cannot be given the chance to be refuted?

Let's discuss this here...

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I think we're intentionally lenient with people regarding this subject. Sometimes you have to give someone the benefit of the doubt. They may have foolishly accepted the generalization that if they prove any variety to a creationist that the debate is won. While it's probably not unheard of, I think a lot of evolutionist propaganda props up the straw creationist, that doesn't accept micro-evolution/variations in their literature as the problem that keep us from seeing the mechanism for large scale changes.

 

Nonaffiliated, what do you want to discuss that you think is not allowed? You may be confused. You can talk about micro-evolution in its proper context. If you ramble on about how molecules-to-man evolution is proven with the demonstration of variations within kinds of animals... we're all too busy to entertain such shallow discussion.

 

Let me ask you this; How long would you hang out at a forum that used the argument about humans evolving from monkeys and the fact that monkeys still existed as proof against evolution?

 

...that's what I thought.

 

I wouldn't want to hang out there either. ;)

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