Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The voice of faith

Fundamentalist Chris unveils this gem of a comment:


Rhology: Diff kinds of dogs are examples of MICROevolution.
I'm looking for a dog turning into a human. Something like that. Lizards into birds.


So, Rhology. Here's how I see your definitions. Microevolution is evolution that can be observed over a human lifetime. Macroevolution is evolutions that happens over considerably more than a human lifetime.

Then, you declare that there's no proof for macroevolution because nobody has ever seen it happen over a human lifetime!!!!

Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.


Little further comment is needed, I should think.

21 comments:

Chris Severn said...

Little further comment is needed, I should think.

No further comment required if I've accurately described your position, I agree :)

Rhology said...

No offense, but you are the very picture of blindness.

Rintintin said...

macroevolution = microevolution x time

1) if you disagree (which you obviously do :)), could you highlight exactly where the given limit to evolutionary processes are and why this would be the case?

2) why would you expect to be able to observe processes taking 10s/100s/1000s of millions of years directly? This is a bit like saying historical events from several hundreds or thousands of years can't have happened because noone sat and watched them or is able to replicate them in every detail

3) all organisms alive now = equally evolved. modern reptiles are as evolved as birds are, likewise dogs and humans. This being the case, why would you expect a modern species to evolve into an already existing modern species (even if it was possible to massively ramp up rates of evolution several million fold)?

4) even if scientists were able to vastly accelerate evolution rates in a lab by a speed of several million times and constantly vary selective pressures, why would you expect the exact same outcome again such eg lizards--->birds?

Rhology said...

Assumption. Show me some evidence.

1) the kind of animal.
But again, I'm only going by what HAS BEEN OBSERVED. I refuse to speculate like you apparently love to do.

2) I would accept observation and records of things that have been observed over time. But since records and such haven't been kept, I don't see a good reason to assume what you say.
Seriously, outside of your pre-existing worldview, why assume this is the case?

3) Assumption.

4) I'd expect to see SOME change out of KIND of animal. Not necessarily lizard into bird, but lizard into non-lizard.
But that wouldn't be acceptable, since that wouldn't be performed via Darwinian mechanisms. Think a bit people.

Rintintin said...

Where's the assumption? in mi=ma x t. Whether you agree it happened or not is up to you, but that's essentially what its defined as

1) speciation has been observed numerous times in the lab and nature.

By kind do you mean species, genera, families? Given that certain species cannot interbreed but there are examples of members from different genera can, kind is very vague. Also, how do you explain fossil animals with features intermediate between whatever definition of 'kind' you use?

2) Im not sure how old the oldest person is, but im guessing around 115 or so - so that rules out observation for almost everything that has ever happened (never mind that even then, most phenomena are observed first hand by very very few people). if written evidence is the only physical evidence you accept, then do you accept legal verdicts using DNA evidence given that neither written nor directly observable evidence of the event is available in almost all cases?

3) where is the assumption here - Im not sure I follow you?

4) so something like lizards into lizards that arent able to breed with their parent stock? Also, how do you explain fossil records that show gradual transitions in features between two taxa (don't bother with the Henry Gee quotes, as I know that he's not saying what you think he is)?

Rintintin said...

"mi=ma x t."

oops, that should be macro=micro x t :)

Rhology said...

Yeah, I figured it out. Thanks for the clarification. :-D

ma = mi x t is an assumption. You've never observed ma occur, so you're assuming that it equals ma rather than mi x t = + or -, swinging mi that revolves around its original kind.
That's what HAS been observed, BTW, chez les Darwin's finches anyway.




1) That's not what I'm talking about.
And you can't define species in any way that everyone agrees on, so I feel little obligation to define "kind" more precisely.


2) These limitations are set up by YOUR system. It's not my fault that it's impossible to fulfill w/o big assumptions.
Keep records of these macroevolutions and we'll talk. Or, our descendants will. But why assume that this is correct when it hasn't been seen?
Shoot, I haven't seen Scientology be right. Ever. But that's OK - I'll just assume it is and be happy. And try to push it on everyone in the public schools and call everyone else "stupid, ignorant, or wicked" who doesn't agree.

3) Ick, never mind.
What I should've said was that I'm trying to find out if there's any EVIDENCE for this macroevol. One kind of organism into another kind.
A banana into a dog, as it were. A lizard into a bird. Something into something else. Not a dog into a dog.

4) No, a lizard into something that's not a lizard.
I love that you keep harping on this - it shows how weak your 'evidence' is and continually justifies my skepticism.
Oh, have you read Gee's book? If not, how would you know that?

NAL said...

rhology:
For one thing, you don't know that they descended from the same organism. You assume it.

I would say they (Chihuahua and Great Dane) share a common ancestor. Do you believe that the Chihuahua and Great Dane are God-made or man-made?

Rhology said...

Since they are examples of micro-evol in action, I don't know. I don't see how it should matter to my position, honestly.

NAL said...

Let's assume they were man-made. Then to argue that they don't share a common ancestor, would require that man made each from scratch. With all of our technology, man does not have the capability to make either (we can't even make a bacteria). Therefore, the conclusion that they do not share a common ancestor is absurd. The conclusion that they do share a common ancestor is rational.

NAL said...

rhologY:
I'm looking for a dog turning into a human. Something like that.

This show a fundamental lack of understanding of evolution. Evolution doesn't claim that dogs turned into humans. It claims that dogs and humans share a common ancestor. A dog turning into a human is not an example of any kind of evolution.

Rhology said...

That's fine, they share a common ancestor. We're still talking about DOGS. A DOG came from a DOG. Whoopie - I've never disputed that.

And I'm gratified to see you admit that humans haven't succeeded in replicating abiogenesis.

And when I say "dog turn into a human", I'm expecting that you keep up a bit with the convo. I'm looking for evidence that one kind of organism turned into another kind via Darwinian mechanisms. Doesn't have to be a dog into a human. Just a dog into a something-other-than-dog.

Rintintin said...

"A lizard into a bird. Something into something else."

yes there is a lot of evidence of this - the reptile---> bird fossil transition is very clear, with numerous examples of reptiles gradually displaying more bird-like and less reptile-like features in a chronological order. These aren't covered by the Linnaean classification system (through no fault of Linnaeus' it should be said, as the first reptile-like bird fossil was discovered long after he devised his classification system)

Really you have two choice of explanation for this - over time populations have acquired new features, resulting in what we observe with hindsight suggesting a transition between ancient reptiles and birds (and again worth bearing in mind that prior to their discovery, evolutionary theory has predicted the appearance and geographical location of many of these fossils - something of a fluke that they find exactly what they predict in so many instances...)

or

God individually created then killed off numerous species that give the appearance of bridging a gap between birds and reptiles by showing less/more of the primitive and derived features of each taxon, then laid them in the fossil record in a perfect (but ultimately deceptive) chronological order.


As for Henry Gee, no I haven't read his book (I tried to get it over Christmas, but the bookshop I went to didn't have it) - but you have repeatedly implied that Henry Gee doesn't agree there are transitional fossils either, or that the fossil record doesn't support evolution which is simply untrue going by these quotes from him that I searched for:

"Darwinian evolution by natural selection is taken as a given in IN SEARCH OF DEEP TIME, and this is made clear several times"

"Neither does this mean that fossils exhibiting transitional structures do not exist, nor that it is impossible to reconstruct what happened in evolution."

"faith should not be subject to scientific justification. But the converse also holds true -- science should not need to be validated by the narrow dogma of faith. As such, I regard the opinions of the Discovery Institute as regressive, repressive, divisive, sectarian and probably unrepresentative of views held by people of faith generally. In addition, the use by creationists of selective, unauthorized quotations, possibly with intent to mislead the public undermines their position as self-appointed guardians of public values and morals. "

None of those sound like the statements of a guy who agrees with your position, or the impression you were trying to give of his position.

And try to push it on everyone in the public schools and call everyone else "stupid, ignorant, or wicked" who doesn't agree.

When have I or anyone else on here ever stated the latter part of ^^^?

I'm also against every other creation myth and pseudoscience such as astrology being taught in science classes, so its not anything against Christianity in particular. Would you be for Mayan, Hindu or Scientology creation stories being taught too if fairness is your concern? What about other (equally nonsensical) naturalistic creation ideas such as those of Senapathy or Schwabe - if it's naturalism vs God that is the case here why do scientists reject those ones also?

If you don't like it in the public schools here's an easy experiment you can do to refute evolution and support creationism:

set up an empty cage - pray for a creature of any sort to be created spontaneously from nothing. If/when it happens, then creationism is supported and evolution is flat wrong.

NAL said...

rhology:
That's fine, they share a common ancestor.

Considering the physical differences between a Chihuahua and a Great Dane, and that they share a common ancestor, would it be unreasonable to conclude that a lion and a tiger share a common ancestor?

Rhology said...

RTT,

You can say all you want that the transitional forms for lizards to birds are wonderful and full and all that.
For one thing, and I hate to keep saying this but you force me to it, you have disagreement in your own camp. And Gee's argument makes sense! It will take more than a one-sentence "oh, actually, what I was saying doesn't hold water" from Gee to take down his original argument. You don't think Antony Flew's arguments are all bunk just b/c he turned to a theist later in life, do you? If Richard Carrier gets to cast doubts on Flew's testimony based on suspicions of tampering and such, I have every reasonable right to suspect that Gee is saying what the establishment wants him to say, given that I've read his book and his present statements are going back on his own arguments in the book in many ways.

And I'm not using the DInst's talking pts on this anyway. I actually read the book. Got it from the public library - you might try that, actually. :-)
And even if the fossil record were everythg you could have ever dreamed of, it doesn't change the fact that such is easily accounted for in a YEC system.

so its not anything against Christianity in particular

That's a relief. :-D
The same couldn't be said of the New Atheists/Brights in general, but you never said you're among them, so that's not necessarily your problem.

Would you be for Mayan, Hindu or Scientology creation stories being taught too if fairness is your concern?

No, for the same reasons that I don't want TOE taught as What Really Happened, b/c it didn't.
But there's another side to this - ID has convinced a good number of modern scientists. Darwinians prefer to gloss this over and pretend like it's not happening; disbar them from their posts in univs and deny them tenure and other suppressions of free thought. It's pitiful - you're acting like the Vatican in the Middle Ages in many ways.

set up an empty cage - pray for a creature of any sort to be created spontaneously from nothing.

That's one of the stupidest things you've ever said.
What would that prove? When it doesn't happen, the conclusion would easily be that God is not a circus monkey. Please.



NAL,

I'm not sure about a lion and tiger.
But your argument needs evidence that Darwinian mechanisms can produce a diff kind of organism from one that already exists. You need evidence of lizards -> birds, chimps -> humans. Not cats -> cats. I don't know of anyone who denies that cats beget cats.

Peace,
Rhology

Rintintin said...

RTT,

You can say all you want that the transitional forms for lizards to birds are wonderful and full and all that.
For one thing, and I hate to keep saying this but you force me to it, you have disagreement in your own camp. And Gee's argument makes sense! It will take more than a one-sentence "oh, actually, what I was saying doesn't hold water" from Gee to take down his original argument. You don't think Antony Flew's arguments are all bunk just b/c he turned to a theist later in life, do you? If Richard Carrier gets to cast doubts on Flew's testimony based on suspicions of tampering and such, I have every reasonable right to suspect that Gee is saying what the establishment wants him to say, given that I've read his book and his present statements are going back on his own arguments in the book in many ways.


I dont know much about Anthony Flew, what I do know is that he's not a biologist, which is the discussion in question here, so his case is irrelevant really.

This is an absurd argument - Henry Gee is amongst thousands of religious scientists (even around 40% or so of evolutionary biologists are religious!). Do you honestly think select scientists sit in some 'Dr Evil' style underground lair dreaming up plans to discredit the bible? Then force everyone to accept them under threat of banishment from 'the establishment'?

Gee is pretty clear on what he does and doesn't mean from what Ive read of his statements. He's successful, prominent and knowledgeable enough in his field that he doesn't have to bend to anyone's pressure, evolutionist or otherwise. Furthermore the accuracy of the ToE (according to his quotes) is stated several times in his book! (one example he gives is on page 5 so you can check it).

That's a strange thing to say if he's changing his mind on the book that already states he thinks the ToE is correct!

How do you explain earlier disciplines fronted by creationist Christians (prior to the ToE) that went looking for archaeological and geological support for the bible, but didn't find it and therefore came up with alternative explanations based on the evidence they did find? Were they all part of some elaborate conspiracy leading up to the ToE too - or more realistically did the data supporting the bible simply not exist?


And I'm not using the DInst's talking pts on this anyway. I actually read the book. Got it from the public library - you might try that, actually. :-)
And even if the fossil record were everythg you could have ever dreamed of, it doesn't change the fact that such is easily accounted for in a YEC system.


On the former - tried the university library, but it doesn't have it. I think I'll get it from amazon once Ive finished a few others Im reading. Obviously you know its content better than me, but it seems clear that Dr. Gee is not saying what you would like to think he is saying.

On the latter - unfortunately YEC cant account for the fossil/geological record.

1) The sheer volume of fossils - if all fossils were alive preflood, even conservative estimates of numbers would put the space per animal down to a few square yards of space on earth. Thats before plants are taken into account also.

2) The sorting of fossils - evidence of any and all fossils should be present in any and all strata if all life was created at the same time. Unfortunately for YEC, this is not the reality.

3) predictions prior to discovery for appearance and geographical location of fossils - this should not be possible if the ToE is wrong.

there are lots more, but we can keep it simple for just now.

That's a relief. :-D
The same couldn't be said of the New Atheists/Brights in general, but you never said you're among them, so that's not necessarily your problem.


To be honest I'm not really familiar with the work of 'the New Atheists' beyond the odd newspaper article etc, so can't really say much either way about them!


No, for the same reasons that I don't want TOE taught as What Really Happened, b/c it didn't.
But there's another side to this - ID has convinced a good number of modern scientists. Darwinians prefer to gloss this over and pretend like it's not happening; disbar them from their posts in univs and deny them tenure and other suppressions of free thought. It's pitiful - you're acting like the Vatican in the Middle Ages in many ways.


Mike Behe and Scott Minnich both still have their jobs at universities, despite being prominent ID advocates.

There are barely even a handful of scientists that support ID (relatively speaking). Even fewer of those are currently working as scientists, many simply have a science PhD then pursued other careers. Most of them aren't biologists, a discipline where around all but 0.1% accept the ToE. there are more scientists on Project Steve than signed up to the vaguely worded ID petition (which an evolutionary biologist could technically sign and still reject ID/creationism).

I'd have no problem with biblical creationism being taught as science if the natural world reflected the words of the bible. The only problem being that:

a) it doesn't, and this holds for a variety of disciplines not just biology
b) the use of miracles/god did it is required, which is (i) unscientific and (ii) a cover-all for absolutely every observation, therefore has no explanatory or predictive power and as such is a belief.
c) there is nothing to distinguish its biological, geological and cosmological creation stories from the million and one other mythologies floating around, other than special pleading.

ID has not generated any data. ever. even in their own journal. They have spent 20 years or so complaining about evolution. That's it. What exactly are they going to fill up mainstream journals with?

Tenure gets denied to people all the time, IDists or not - pushing nonsense such as dowsing, astrology or tarot reading as science probably wouldn't do anyone any favours either in their scientific career. As ID has no explanations, practical use or data, and barring the appearance of God anytime soon, no hope of producing any of those why would it not be frowned upon?

Science isn't some caring sharing enterprise where each and every idea is equally valid.

That's one of the stupidest things you've ever said.
What would that prove? When it doesn't happen, the conclusion would easily be that God is not a circus monkey. Please.


It would prove that organisms can be created as we see them now, without requiring any ancestor or natural process of creation. I know its silly - because it is silly. Yet this is exactly what creationists of all stripes believe.

orthodox said...

It's very simple. Micro-evolution is natural selection among the existing genetic code.

Macro-evolution (if it exists) would be genetic mutation leading to new and useful information in the genetic code that wasn't there before.

Chris Severn said...

Thanks orthodox.

So it's about mutations then. What a shame we don't see mutations in nature. Oh, wait. We do!

Lucian said...

I think You guys are missing the point here: micro-evolution doesn't happen in a human life-time either: has anyone of You Gents here ever seen a poodle evolve in to a bulldog, or the other way around? :-\

The difference lies in the fact that micro-evolution has this (unproven, yet believable) aura of *plausibility* floating out around it ... which is more than we can safely predicate of its "bigger brother" ...

Rin Tin Tin, You might be intersted, perhaps, to check out my conversation with "The Joly Nihilist" over here; I think we both laid out some very interesting points there.

Orthodox, the reason I don't believe that bacteria evolve into mice, or frogs into apes is the same reason that I don't believe that any first century Liturgy >evolved< into any Protestant service we see in existence.

macroevolution = microevolution x time

No. It's not. Carpets don't >evolve< into airplanes. (Not even flying carpets can do that). :-|

Just my two cents.

Lucian said...

Chris Severn,

mutation within certain bounds, never mutation outside certain bounds. Unity within diversity, and diversity in unity: that's the DNA.

G-man said...

I'd like to go back to the original topic, if I may:

This is titled "the voice of faith." Rho, how does Chris' comment, as you cited it here, amount to "faith?"

Second, you called Chris a "fundamentalist." What did you mean by that, and what led you to use that word? As always, I appreciate honest and sincere responses.