Friday, June 13, 2008

Gee whiz

Dr Funkenstein (whom I believe blogs alternately as Rintintin) (he's not trying to hide or anything, it's just not 100% clear to me if they're blogfriends or the same person) has read In Search of Deep Time by Henry Gee and has written a review of it. Thing is, I really think that he has missed a lot of the implications of the points Gee is making, and the points that I've been making based off of that. Let's take us a look.

Dr Funkenstein said:
Gee's book did not give obvious grounds for supporting anti-evolutionary viewpoints'.

Except for calling into extremely serious question any hope of using the fossil record to support Darwinian theory. Gee would look at other evidence.
And I've been selective in how I quoted and cited him. I've not said he's YEC or anythg close. So your book review should prolly take that into acct unless you're also responding to someone else about the book (which is of course possible).

Other taxonomic systems suffer for various reasons

Which is why your criticism of creationist classifications are specious.

If you are going to cite Gee, you have to be willing to accept that he makes a lot of statements that support the complete opposite of your worldview.

I cite Gee for what he is saying, not for what I'd like him to say.
He's making serious points with respect to the fossil record, and he's wrong that evolution from common ancestor occurred. Big deal - you refer to me as if I'm a real person, so you get at least one thing right. Yet you're wrong in being an atheist. People are complicated and capable of making many different kinds of assertions.

The cladistic approach described in Deep Time generates a phylogenetic tree where our closest living relative is the chimpanzee.

Which does not appeal to the fossil record for support. Fine.

we would expect to find fossils that show a pattern of being more/less morphologically similar to us and chimps.

Here's where you missed the point. You don't know. That's Gee's point.
And mine as well, just I make it in a different way; I tell you you're not being scientific b/c you're not observing.
This statement is what makes me wonder with what mind you read Gee.

Again, as Deep Time points out,

Deep Time doesn't point out ANYthing. That's Gee's whole thesis. It is an impenetrable fog.

Single celled organisms appear before multicellular ones. Fish appear before reptiles, birds and mammals, and and ancient hominids appear before what we recognise as modern humans.

Assumption, assumption, assumption. Gee's book is saying that you. Don't. Know. That.

the fossil record is far from the only line of evidence used in evolutionary theo

I know, but I'm not quoting Gee against those other things. I quote him where he's relevant.

there's only so much space he has available, and I don't think the main purpose of his book was to go over that evidence in detail

Not asking him to. I'm asking YOU to review him fairly, and I'm disappointed.

A fossil is observed,

And you don't know what it means, what it belonged to, when, nor where.
And no, it's not observed with the repetitive basis I discussed. We've been over this.

You also appear to have ignored the points where he states that based on the fossil record it becomes impossible to determine where fish end and tetrapods start, likewise for birds and non-birds.

I? No, maybe you forgot that I'm the one claiming the fossil record tells you nothing. I think you reversed me and you.

This is pretty clearly in line with what would expected if evolution were true is it not, with the blurring of boundaries between what were previously considered distinct 'archetypes'?

Um, I guess, but that is just as easily accted for in YEC, so it's not evidence for your position.
And this is irrelevant to Gee.

but it is the kind of extinct animal that is expected to exist if the prediction (and by extension, evolutionary theory) is sound

Which are assumptions pulled out of your butt. This is the overwhelming evidence and methodology I'm supposed to bow down to?

you are a presuppositional apologist, and thus your entire worldview is based on concluding anything that doesn't fit with what you want to believe must be flat wrong by default.

That is a poor misstatement of what it is to be a presuppositional apologist.

How is this even an argument? This is just invoking ad hoc miracles

It's an argument b/c it accts for the data. Darwinians should try that some time - accting for data.
How are they ad hoc when they've been known about and referred to for many thousands of years longer than Darwinian theory? You're just making stuff up to throw "ad hoc" at.

coupled with the bizarre assertion that your God has it in for me and people like me for no apparent reason.

1) Make the argument it's "bizarre".
2) God has it in for you b/c you're a sinner and you use the gifts He's given you to deny He exists and that He created all this. Maybe you'd be OK with it if I claimed all the credit for YOUR life's work.

So not a single dinosaur in the same strata as a human, either because a violent flood managed to somehow separate every single human fossil from every single dinosaur fossil.

Which I doubt is true, but so what?

Any chance he could take some time to cure AIDS or cancer instead of playing with fossils?

What is your argument that He should?
Then make an argument that you have any rational grounds for making "should" statements at all.

66 comments:

NAL said...

Rho:
Except for calling into extremely serious question any hope of using the fossil record to support Darwinian theory.

Henry Gee:
Darwinian evolution by natural selection is a theory in the formal sense that it is a hypothesis that has been tested, repeatedly, and found to be consistent with all the evidence that we can throw at it. Much of this evidence, from the fossil record and from genetics, did not exist in Darwin’s time, and it is a testament to Darwin’s prescience and the elegance of his theory of evolution by natural selection that it has proved so robust, so all-encompassing, so right.

It would seem that Henry Gee thinks that the fossil record is evidence of Darwinian evolution by natural selection. I will accept his words instead of your
(mis)representation.

steve said...

For more of Gee in "his own words":

http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2007/05/evolutionary-mirror-reading.html

NAL said...

Steve's URL got cut off. Here's the link:

Evolutionary mirror-reading

steve said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
steve said...

It should be evident from my excerpts that Alan didn't misrepresent Gee.

John Morales said...

Quoth Rhology:
Dr Funkenstein said:
Gee's book did not give obvious grounds for supporting anti-evolutionary viewpoints'.

Except for calling into extremely serious question any hope of using the fossil record to support Darwinian theory. Gee would look at other evidence.

Even without reading the source material in full, by NAL's quote Much of this evidence, from the fossil record and from genetics, did not exist in Darwin’s time... it's clear, as NAL says, that Henry Gee thinks that the fossil record is evidence of Darwinian evolution by natural selection.

Rhology, are you occupying that small conceptual space where HG's belief and serious doubts coexist?

If so, granting that improbability is not proof of impossibility (even though quantity has a quality of its own), Rhology's point might be merely weakly supportable rather than wishful denial. That, I consider progress.

Well done, Rhology!

Rhology said...

JOhn,

Anyone can read the lengthy excerpts from Gee on the Triablogue link posted above.
He changed his tune somewhere in there. My speculation is that he got the Dembski/Gonzalez treatment. Those guys didn't fold, but Gee did. Obviously they go further than he, but nevertheless.
But again, that's just speculation. But the vast difference exists nonetheless, no matter what speculation is applied to explain it. I don't think Gee will say, and that's indirect corroboration of my idea.

NAL said...

Rho:
He changed his tune somewhere in there.

Did he? Or are you reading into his words something that he didn't intend? I find no contradiction between Steve's excerpts from his book and his blog post that I linked to. Perhaps you could pick a specific example from Steve's link that indicates a change of tune.

steve said...

NAL is disregarding the actual logic of the quotes I posted by Gee. Given Gee's reasoning, how does the fossil record supply evidence of evoluton?

Dr Funkenstein said...

Hi

Dr F/RTT (me) are the same person - I originally chose RTT purely so you would find it easier to keep track of responses as you had a few anonymous commentators posting. I just preferred the Dr F moniker when I opened a blogger.com acct. - so hopefully that clears that up!

Anyway, on to the meat & bones...

Except for calling into extremely serious question any hope of using the fossil record to support Darwinian theory. Gee would look at other evidence.

No, he argues against seeing ancestor-descendant relationships (ie this fossil was the parent species of that one), and adaptive purpose - eg birds evolved feathers so they could fly, as opposed to the appearance of feathers being a feature that was eventually useful for flight.

He's essentially arguing against this idea, where we take a series of organisms/fossils and draw a straight line (usually towards humans). In fact he says as much himself on several occasions:here here and here


And I've been selective in how I quoted and cited him. I've not said he's YEC or anythg close. So your book review should prolly take that into acct unless you're also responding to someone else about the book (which is of course possible).

I agree - I did make the point that it was a general response, so some points may not reflect your personal view. For example, a friend of mine who is pro ID ran a facebook group for a while where he was under the impression that many well known biologists, including Henry Gee, rejected the ToE, so it was just answering the wide range of views I've seen.

Which is why your criticism of creationist classifications are specious.

Not really. Our knowledge of biodiversity and biology has expanded and classification systems have to take this into account. As Henry's book points out, seeing the boundary line between major taxonomic groups becomes very difficult based on what we now have from the fossil record - concepts like 'birds' and 'fish' are useful abstractions as opposed to anything that forms a discrete group in nature. Cladistics has been around for almost 50 years, but the relatively recent advent of computers makes it easier to use now since it requires a lot of computational power and the ability to handle large amounts of data.

Biblical literalism of the sort you subscribe to clearly indicates there must be fairly stark boundaries - it makes it difficult to discuss if noone is willing to stick their neck out and point out where these boundaries lie. For example, biblical kind is used in Genesis to refer generally to a general group of animals (such as birds or cattle), then later (Leviticus) to refer to specific subsets of birds such as ravens (where it notably also makes the mistake of grouping bats in with birds, when bats are in fact mammals).

Which does not appeal to the fossil record for support. Fine.

But remember - cladistics can also accomodate extinct animals/fossils, which is a point Henry makes early on (after all, is there much difference between looking at the morphological features of a Homo Neanderthalis skeleton fossil and a Chimp/Homo Sapiens skeleton?). It restricts itself largely to living organisms for creating cladograms from molecular data (although there are examples of DNA samples extracted from extinct organims). However, the phylogenies from the molecular data (these are constructed from sequences of ubiquitous genes such as cytochrome C) are congruent with the ones from morphological data - why would independent data converge on the same phylogenies, since there is no reason the phenotypes are dependent on similar genotype?

Also, under the biblical view, why should there be any greater or lesser degree of relatedness between a chimp and a human, or a bird and a human? These are after all completely discrete groups in your view - why do they fall into the same pattern of relatedness no matter what data is used to construct the cladogram?

Deep Time doesn't point out ANYthing. That's Gee's whole thesis. It is an impenetrable fog.

I was referring to the book title rather than the phenomenon itself. And Gee clearly doesn't think it's an impenetrable fog - difficult to study yes, impossible no.


Assumption, assumption, assumption. Gee's book is saying that you. Don't. Know. That.

This is just flat wrong, since these are hypotheses that can and have been tested. There are about 25 places in the world where the geological column exists pretty much as you'd see it in a textbook. If you dig down far enough, you always get to the pre Cambrian, the oldest rocks on Earth. There has never once been (eg) a mammalian or bird fossil discovered in this strata. There have been however been single celled fossils discovered. In fact, mammalian and bird fossils are also absent from the Cambrian (where the first hard bodied animals appear), Silurian, Ordovician and Devonian as well - this accounts for about 90%+ of the Earth's geological history. All this is exactly in line with the expectations from the standard phylogenetic tree. Alternatively, you could offer another explanation as to why no mammalian or bird fossils are found outside of this 10% of the Earth's rocks, or why certain fossils are restricted to certain geographical locations.

I know, but I'm not quoting Gee against those other things. I quote him where he's relevant.

Remember though that cladistics is based on descent with modification - hence why copies of manuscripts can be studied in a similar manner. All these other evidences are kind of important to the whole enterprise - the fossil record is just one part of the jigsaw. A lot of people would argue the most important evidence for common descent comes from living organisms - Darwin certainly ranked embryology and biogeography as two of the most important factors. The advent of molecular biology has served very well as a means of support for common descent also.

And you don't know what it means, what it belonged to, when, nor where.

How could you find a fossil and not have evidence of where you found it? It has to be found somewhere. That 'somewhere' gives us information ie geographical location, rock layer, geological time period, coexisting fossils etc etc. As for identification try this example - I used to do Anatomy practical classes, where we had to occasionally deal with skeletons. Now obviously you have no idea what relationship this 300 year old skeleton has to you. It could conceivably be your direct ancestor. Most likely it isn't, but you know it is related to you by the fact that it's a human skeleton. You can pick out features that relate to your own (especially from an X-Ray of yourself for example). Similarly when you see a hominid fossil, you can see features that resemble your own. You can then look at other hominid fossils and see similarities and differences with the first one and yourself. Looking at the jpg I put up before, it's pretty hard to point to anywhere that the ape-like fossils stop, and the human-like ones begin, although there's a good chance none of them have a lineal chain of ancestry. Jonathan Wells even says as much in 'Icons':

"Many fossils have been found that appear to be genuine, and many of them have some features that are ape-like and some that are human-like."

Quite an admission for a YEC I have to say.

And no, it's not observed with the repetitive basis I discussed. We've been over this.

But you genuinely seem to have no grasp of scientific repeatability no matter how many times I explain it. I can't make this any clearer - repeatability refers to the ability to use the same procedure to obtain the same/similar result, not recreating the same phenomenon again and again. To solve a murder, do the police have to kill someone to make sure the scenario is repeated? No, of course not. But they do have to make sure they get the same results each time when they test a DNA sample for example.

I? No, maybe you forgot that I'm the one claiming the fossil record tells you nothing. I think you reversed me and you.

The ToE clearly implies that the boundaries between living organisms is fuzzy rather than stark. YEC clearly implies the boundaries are stark rather than fuzzy. Now on Gee's statements, which does the fossil record support?

Um, I guess, but that is just as easily accted for in YEC, so it's not evidence for your position.
And this is irrelevant to Gee.


OK, please offer your alternative explanation why 90% of the Earth's rocks have no mammalian fossils, why dinosaur and human fossils are never found in the same strata or where the stark boundaries between groups of organisms exist. I'm almost certain this will entail invoking ad-hoc miracles or evading answering the question re: kinds.

Which are assumptions pulled out of your butt. This is the overwhelming evidence and methodology I'm supposed to bow down to?

Rhology, this thread is about a book dedicated to explaining how evolutionary hypotheses are constructed and can be tested.

That is a poor misstatement of what it is to be a presuppositional apologist.

Not really - since this is exactly what happens with PA (the fact that there is more than one PA approach says quite a lot):

A lot of assertions about how God is self-evident when for the vast majority of the world's population throughout history he clearly isn't (the idea of something being self-evident is that you don't have to argue for it, and it should be apparent to everyone - like existence for example). Also factor in that it's pretty easy to assert TGOTB as self-evident when you have already been exposed to the bible.

'the impossibility of the contrary' - and we prove that us having this discussion couldn't occur in an atheistic world how exactly?

'just knowing' what you want to believe is true

How we 'presuppose the Christian worldview' (no more so than anyone presupposes the FSM or the Great Pumpkin grounds rationality, logic etc).

It's a speciality of PAs just to pull any miracle they need out of thin air, since you do it constantly.

Evidence is only evidence if it aligns with your belief system.

God has apparently gifted us with reason and logic, yet when we actually apply it lots of people come up with conclusions quite in opposition to the bible.

On the one hand we get told about the doctrine of providence where things work in an orderly fashion, then on the other we get told miracles happen or people can peform feats of telekinesis and so on - I don't really see how these can co-exist.

It's an argument b/c it accts for the data. Darwinians should try that some time - accting for data.
How are they ad hoc when they've been known about and referred to for many thousands of years longer than Darwinian theory? You're just making stuff up to throw "ad hoc" at.


Because the bible doesn't describe the miracles you pull out of thin air - the bible doesn't even make it clear that the other planets in the solar system or bacteria exist never mind the fossil record, which I'd fully expect if it was merely the writings of men several thousand years ago.

1. Sure, making up miracles can account for the data - just like the tooth fairy accounts for why a child finds a dollar in place of the tooth under the pillow the following morning.

2. 'Miracles' have been around for a long time. So have stories, wishful thinking, exaggeration and superstition. The fact that lots of people have believed in them doesn't make them any more true. In fact you reject most of the ones that don't fit your worldview. There's no particular reason biblical miracles are any more likely than any other supernatural claim

3. As an example, suppose someone tells me a volcano has erupted, so I go and check. I expect to find lava flows, billowing smoke, falling rocks etc etc. Yet when they show me the volcano there is nothing like this, just a mountain. So they tell me God performed a miracle to hide all this evidence (just like he did for the great flood) - it certainly accounts for all the data, but so does the idea that someone simply made up a story and nothing of the sort actually happened.

1) Make the argument it's "bizarre".
2) God has it in for you b/c you're a sinner and you use the gifts He's given you to deny He exists and that He created all this. Maybe you'd be OK with it if I claimed all the credit for YOUR life's work.


And we're back to fire and brimstone territory once again...why would this 'God of love' make a human to deliberately reject his existence just so he could punish him for eternity? That's the sort of thought process I'd associate with a psychopath, not a loving entity. if you can't see why this counts as bizarre then there's not really much I can say to explain it to you. If this was anything other than TGOTB, I'm fairly certain you'd be agreeing with me.

Which I doubt is true, but so what?

Yet again you've gone down the road of 'it can't be true because I don't want to believe it'. Even AIG struggled to come up with some good bulls**t to answer this one. It is a simple fact that no dinosaur fossil has ever been found in the same strata as a human one. Don't you find it slightly suspect that a violent churning flood somehow managed to perfectly separate millions of fossils from one and other?

What is your argument that He should?
Then make an argument that you have any rational grounds for making "should" statements at all.


What would you rather have - a cure for a disease that you or someone close to you will almost inevitably get some day, or a God who spends his time trying to trick scientists?

It should be evident from my excerpts that Alan didn't misrepresent Gee.

NAL is disregarding the actual logic of the quotes I posted by Gee. Given Gee's reasoning, how does the fossil record supply evidence of evoluton?

I don't know if you saw it, but Henry Gee actually cites that very post on your blog as an example of someone quote mining him.

John Morales said...

Epic fail - case closed.

Thanks, Dr Funkenstein, for the link to Gee's blog.

Steve, you really should admit that any implications you draw from the quotes you've linked to are your own and not HG's - HG writes
"I was warned that when I said that to place a lot of fossils in a line and draw arrows between them is no way to create a credible model of evolution, I’d be jumped on by creationist quote-miners, and so I was. My apparent support for creationist rubbish is all over the web like a cheap suit.

My response was (and still is) is that creationists are so desperate to acquire credibility that they’d twist one’s words any old how, whatever you said – and that I wasn’t about to modify my pronouncements to accommodate this particular bunch of bozos. That my stance is justified comes from the fact that no matter how loudly I state that creationism is a consignment of geriatric shoe manufacturers, they’ll still rip me off for quotes just the same."

John Morales said...

Um, thank you NAL for the link.

<mutter>

steve said...

As Gee himself admits, he's backpedaling for tactical reasons. He's embarrassed that "creationists" are quoting him. But he isn't backing away from the statements he made in his book. He's backed himself into a corner. He can't recant what he said. He can only whine about how the "wrong" people are quoting him.

John Morales said...

Steve, it's stronger than that.

He has explicitly repudiated your interpretation.

You say he's whining, he says you're a bozo.

He is rather more credible than you.

Dr Funkenstein said...

It seems that he clearly disagrees with the interpretation anti-evolution people have drawn from his words - after all he knows what he meant better than anyone, and seems to have said as much on at least 4 or 5 occasions. He also makes it pretty clear he doesn't pander to anyone's wishes, creationist or evolutionist. Having now read the book for myself, I've not seen anywhere he's obviously backpedalled, but I guess people will have to read it to make their own decision on that.

Rhology said...

Credibility is in the eyes of the beholder, John.
I don't recall Steve putting out a published book and then backpedaling and scrambling to exonerate himself before the Darwinian Inquisition as Gee apparently is.
The guy doesn't even get why we are quoting him, says:
My apparent support for creationist rubbish

As if we cite him as a supporter of creationism or ID. He doesn't even get it.

John said:
creationists are so desperate to acquire credibility

Actually, I'm pretty satisfied with where my arguments have stood with Darwinians.
And YOU apparently don't get it either. We cite Gee to show the dissension over such basic ideas as the support lent from the fossil record within the Darwinian camp.
Feel free to respond to what we're actually saying sometime.


Dr Funk,
Thanks for clearing up your identity. :-D That's what I thought, I just wanted to make sure I didn't misunderstand.

after all he knows what he meant better than anyone

I'm sure, but I don't trust him to COMMUNICATE that. INterestingly, my hypothesis accounts for his book AND what he's saying now while conveniently also fitting what we know about the Darwinian establishment. It's looking better and better.

He also makes it pretty clear he doesn't pander to anyone's wishes, creationist or evolutionist.

Apparently, neither does he pander to the wishes of those who might like him to respond to the points that we are actually making with respect to his work.

I've not seen anywhere he's obviously backpedalled

Which makes me think you're somewhat incredibly biased. The quotes are right there.


Peace,
Rhology

John Morales said...

Rhology, I see my claims have not persuaded you.

We cite Gee to show the dissension over such basic ideas as the support lent from the fossil record within the Darwinian camp.

Dissention, eh?

Here's
PZ Myers on the subject.

"First of all, the fossil evidence is flawed and imperfect, which every evolutionary biologist will tell you, and as creationists are fond of quoting. Even Darwin's Origin goes on at length to document the imperfection of the geological record — all it can do is demonstrate a long pattern of change and diversity over earth's history (which does contradict literalist interpretations of the bible) and hint at transitions and connections between lineages … and even the fossil lineages are a product of a connect-the-dots sort of exercise."

---

PS you misattributed a quote of Gee's to me in your previous response.

Rhology said...

Dig it, dig it.
I'll refer back to this in the future, I bet.

You guys speak out of both sides of your mouth. WHen arguing about ToE, the fossil record is sufficient. When you're called on the dissension in the ranks, you're "remembering" that the fossil record is incomplete and insufficient.
Moving the goalposts as needed - it's the MO of the Darwinian camp.

Dr Funkenstein said...

The problem is Rhology, you aren't really trying to make any positive claims for your own side. All you've said is God created life and there was a flood that killed nearly everything and that (supposedly) Henry Gee says the fossils aren't evidence for evolution. But why don't we find any old fossils in any old strata? Why won't you attempt to give us an indication of what a kind is - you say that you've never seen an animal 'evolve out of kind' but then refuse to say what a kind is? Why does Henry Gee say we can't see a point where non-birds stop and birds start since according to Genesis birds are a discrete kind? Why does Jonathan Wells admit that there are fossils with ape-like and human like-features and how is this accounted for by YEC which states that man is a discrete creation from apes?

Rhology said...

Dr Funk, you continue to miss the point.

But why don't we find any old fossils in any old strata?

Deep Time. You can't know that.

Why won't you attempt to give us an indication of what a kind is - you say that you've never seen an animal 'evolve out of kind' but then refuse to say what a kind is?

Just start SOMEwhere and we'll see what happens.
And I don't feel any great urgency since your side can't define "species" either.

Why does Henry Gee say we can't see a point where non-birds stop and birds start since according to Genesis birds are a discrete kind?

Sounds like Deep Time again. These questions are amazing. Are you sure you weren't just reading a Calvin and Hobbes book?

Why does Jonathan Wells admit that there are fossils with ape-like and human like-features and how is this accounted for by YEC which states that man is a discrete creation from apes?

We can have no idea how those creatures acted. Or whether they actually existed like I exist, as in really had flesh and blood and were alive in space-time.
This is part of the difficulty of forensic science. What I love is that you have to try to base so much off of that and it just can't support itself.
And Wells isn't YEC, nor do I claim everythg Wells says. So what?



Peace,
Rhology

Paul C said...

Credibility is in the eyes of the beholder, John.

I see - when you think Gee's argument supports your point, he's credible. When he points out that you've completely missed the point of his argument, he's not credible.

Move the goalposts much?

Rhology said...

I haven't cited him as credible. I've cited him as evidence of dissension within the Darwinian camp. And then I use his arguments as foils against other Darwinians in the combox.
Ie - "the fossil record is evidence for our position."
Me: "Gee says otherwise in his book, though whatever he's saying now might say otherwise. Deal with the arguments in his book and while you're at it, maybe could you help me understand why his story has changed so much."

Dr Funkenstein said...

Deep Time. You can't know that.

You don't believe deep time actually exists though, so you can't really make any claims about how hard it is to understand. So go on then, tell us how YEC accounts for the fact that despite a violent flood that killed everything, this curious pattern of fossil sorting has occurred.

Just start SOMEwhere and we'll see what happens.
And I don't feel any great urgency since your side can't define "species" either.


But you think your worldview is better than mine and has more explanatory power. You've said YEC explains things such as the fossil record and origins of life very well. Here's your chance to show how. The fact that you refuse to answer this every time makes me think that

a) you know that nothing resembling a discrete kind actually exists in nature
b) Creationism doesn't actually have the explanatory power you claim it does
c) The fact that the bible has at least two different possible usages of it makes it very shaky, as well as using it to incorrectly group a mammal as a bird


In the biological sense, a widel used defintion of species is populations of interbreeding organisms incapable of or unwilling to breed with other groups - since life is a dynamic process, it is often hard to draw distinct boundaries (for example in ring species), all of Which we have been over before. Since I've at least offered an answer perhaps you can now do likewise.

Sounds like Deep Time again. These questions are amazing. Are you sure you weren't just reading a Calvin and Hobbes book?

A complete non-answer again, surprisingly enough.

We can have no idea how those creatures acted. Or whether they actually existed like I exist, as in really had flesh and blood and were alive in space-time.
This is part of the difficulty of forensic science. What I love is that you have to try to base so much off of that and it just can't support itself.


Every fact in life requires an interpretation - fossils look much like the remains of once living creatures, so we interpret them as such. The alternative is to provide another explanation as to what they are/were. If they aren't exctinct organisms, what are/were they? The murder investigation team has to interpret the facts just as much - you've still yet to explain why you won't shout that down too.

And Wells isn't YEC, nor do I claim everythg Wells says. So what?

You've repeatedly suggested the comments of various scientists show that 'Darwinism' is in disarray. Does this mean that biblical creationism is in disarray given the huge number of differing variations of it that exist?


In summary, you appear to have no actual interest in making any case for what you believe, or demonstrating the explanatory power of your worldview that you have claimed. You also have a contradictory position on the merits of forensic sciences, for no apparent reason. You also seem to just evade questions rather than make any attempt to give a worthwhile answer.

Paul C said...

Rhology: I haven't cited him as credible. I've cited him as evidence of dissension within the Darwinian camp

Gee: this disagreement is hardly evidence of some great scientific coverup - religious fundamentalists such as the DI - who live by dictatorial fiat - fail to understand that scientific disagreement is a mark of health rather than decay.

Consider your worries addressed. His arguments haven't changed; you simply didn't understand them in the first place.

Dr Funkenstein said...

addendum: to correct a mistake - Jonathan Wells is an OEC, not a YEC as I stated before.

John Morales said...

So you dig that PZ quote, Rhology.

PZ is known to be uncompromising, so would it surprise you he endorsed Donald Prothero with a guest post on his site?

"But we still have a long way to go to convey to the general public just how strong the fossil evidence for evolution has become."

What's going on here?

...

Rhology said...

Dr Funk said:

You don't believe deep time actually exists though

But you do, so Gee's point goes against your case.

so you can't really make any claims about how hard it is to understand

Argument? Why can't I answer you on your own grounds?

tell us how YEC accounts for

Meh, don't feel like it. It's beside this point. You're the one with the overwhelming evidence on your side. Overwhelm me.

But you think your worldview is better than mine and has more explanatory power

As do you. So what?

You've said YEC explains things such as the fossil record and origins of life very well. Here's your chance to show how.

God did it.
It's far better than your answer, which is: We can't know for sure, so we find certain things buried in the ground and impose our question-begging worldview onto them and figure out a system that forces the intellectually honest among us to call into question any moral position and trust in our own cognitive faculties that we might have. And it doesn't do anythg in terms of explaining how life came about - we know even less about that.

I like the former better than the latter, but then again I like holding to positions that are consistent.

a) you know that nothing resembling a discrete kind actually exists in nature

Sorry, this statement just makes no sense.

c) The fact that the bible has at least two different possible usages of it makes it very shaky

By "usages of it" do you mean usages of the word "kind"? To what do you refer?

a widel used defintion of species is populations of interbreeding organisms incapable of or unwilling to breed with other groups

Is that THE definition or just A definition?
That's pretty close to what I'd call "kind", as well. So there we go - let's move on to sthg else, K?


Dr Funk said: Why does Henry Gee say we can't see a point where non-birds stop and birds start since according to Genesis birds are a discrete kind?
Rhology said: Sounds like Deep Time again.
Dr Funk said: A complete non-answer again


Let the reader judge. It's your job to show how Gee's point on Deep Time does NOT hamstring your ability to claim knowledge of such.
Your inability or unwillingness to countenance this point of Gee's makes me doubt you read the book, or at minimum that you are intellectually honest enough to let Gee be Gee and speak for himself.


fossils look much like the remains of once living creatures, so we interpret them as such

Yes, and that requires a worldview grid that's in place already when you look at the thing in the ground. Is it a rock? Is it a living zebra? Is it your mother? No, you know it's a fossil b/c of the grid in place already. And I of course question that your worldview has the right origins model and so you misinterp the age and disposition of fossils.
And of course, Gee's point is that you may know it is a once-living creature, but as far as its connectedness in the evolutionary chain, you can know next to nothing for sure.

Does this mean that biblical creationism is in disarray given the huge number of differing variations of it that exist?

ID-ers don't claim to be creationists.
Creationists don't claim the ID-ers as part of their camp.
It's only the Darwinians that lump them together, and that's just as pitifully cowardly and dishonest as an atheist telling me what I do and don't believe despite correction.

Jonathan Wells is an OEC, not a YEC as I stated before.

Provide evidence that he's a "C" at all. Is he a stated creationist?
(I question this but I don't know for sure either way. Help us out here.)



John Morales said:
"But we still have a long way to go to convey to the general public just how strong the fossil evidence for evolution has become."

What's going on here?


Looks like Myers' statement that you cited and Gee disagree with this statement.
This is pretty fundamental - does the fossil record provide an evidential foundation for ToE or doesn't it? This kind of disarray is not the good kind and speaks to a serious confusion within the Darwinian camp.


Peace,
Rhology

John Morales said...

Deep time is another way to say geological timespans.

Rhology might be more convinced if he worked in oil exploration.

The concept of deep time may not be correct in an epistemological sense, but it seems the exploration companies aren't fussed so long as it works.

Fossils are used to date rocks.
---
One of the most economically valuable uses of fossils is for finding oil. Oil companies are
interested in the age of rocks because oil was produced during certain time periods on Earth.
One of the most prolific periods of oil production was during the Cretaceous. During this time,
marine algae died and built up in great quantities on the seafloor. When this organic material is
buried, it is heated and put under pressure. If this continues to the right temperature and
pressure, then oil is produced. The Persian Gulf region is rich in oil because it contains large
quantities of rock from this time period.
---

John Morales said...

1. "But we still have a long way to go to convey to the general public just how strong the fossil evidence for evolution has become."

2. "the fossil evidence is flawed and imperfect"

Apparently, Rhology, you don't consider that it is possible 1 and 2 are compatible with each other.

I don't think it's excessively charitable to at least consider that they may be saying that the evidence is flawed and imperfect, yet still strong.

NAL said...

Rho:
... you know it's a fossil b/c of the grid in place already. And I of course question that your worldview has the right origins model and so you misinterp the age and disposition of fossils.

It is you that has a grid in place already. That was the grid that was in place when fossils were discovered that raised the possibility of extinction. Even early discovers understood that fossils are contraindicative of YEC. It is rather sad that you are making the same arguments today that were made in the 17th century to try and explain away fossils. Now that's consistency.

Rhology said...

Everyone has a grid in place, NAL. I have never denied that I have one. It's just that mine is not self-refuting unlike an atheistic grid.

Paul C said...

It's just that mine is not self-refuting unlike an atheistic grid.

Do you think that if you say that atheism is self-refuting enough times, it might become true? Because so far you seem to have singularly failed to present a case that atheism is self-refuting, let alone successfully persuaded any of the actual atheists who comment here. (And of course it goes without saying that are a substantial number of Christians who don't subscribe to your particular self-defeating brand of apologetics.)

Dr Funkenstein said...

This kind of disarray is not the good kind and speaks to a serious confusion within the Darwinian camp.

I wasn't actually thinking about cdesign proponentsists, sorry ID proponents, when I mentioned creationism, I was meaning:

1. YEC
2. OEC
3. theistic evolution
4. gap creationism
5. progressive creationism
6. omphalos hypothesis (apparent age creationism)
7. day age creationism
8. fixity of species creationism subscribed to by the likes of Cuvier and Agassiz (there are a very small minority that still hold to this)

all of which are biblical interpretations of life. No doubt there are many others I haven't thought of.

Then you have differences of opinion over PA approaches from Van Til and Clark, as well as other similar but non-identical approaches such as Plantinga's reformed epistemology.

You claim the fossils might not be extinct animals, other YECs such as Marcus Ross, Kurt Wise and Ken Ham claim they are.

IDists can't come to a consensus on the age of the Earth, common descent, whether design is front loaded/a result of repeated intervention or even whether ID has a scientific theory or not.

This kind of disarray is not the good kind and speaks to a serious confusion within the creationist camp...

Provide evidence that he's [J. Wells] a "C" at all. Is he a stated creationist?

From his Kansas testimony:


Q. You do accept, do you not, common descent within species?

A[Wells]. Within a single species, of course. I don't know anyone who doesn't.

Q. What about among species?

A. Among species? Well, I stated in my power point that I find it extremely unlikely based on the evidence that the animal phyla are related through common ancestry. Other biologists have said they're dubious of common ancestry at levels higher than that. The levels in between, I don't know. As a scientist I would have to say each case would have to be settled based on the evidence.

Q. What about between humans, the humans-- Homo sapiens and other species, such as prehominids?

A. I think it's extremely unlikely based on the evidence.

Q. You would agree that that opinion is a rather insignificant minority that believes that?

A. Well, I don't feel insignificant, but I've already conceded I'm with the minority, yes. If someone could show me a mechanism whereby an ape-like creature could turn into something like a human, I would accept it. But I've looked and I haven't found it, not even remotely close.

Rhology said...

Well, only YEC and #6 (both of which I hold to) are biblical, so...

Look, I'm just saying, take this for what it's worth. Disarray does not necessarily equal flat out wrongness. We know that about ToE from other sources.
And what it's worth is that there's no room for these blanket statements like "ToE is attested-to by the fossil record." Just don't say that and agree with me that such is wrongheaded and we'll move on.

And that testimony is somewhat interesting, but doesn't answer the question.

NAL said...

Rho:
And what it's worth is that there's no room for these blanket statements like "ToE is attested-to by the fossil record." Just don't say that and agree with me that such is wrongheaded and we'll move on.

Attested? Who said attested? More hyperbole? Henry Gee said that the evidence for Darwinian evolution by natural selection, comes in part from the fossil record. Let Gee be Gee and speak for himself.

Rhology said...

Didn't say Gee said that. Others have said that. Like the links I posted.

Dr Funkenstein said...

Didn't say Gee said that. Others have said that. Like the links I posted.

Which is why myself and others have repeatedly referred to other lines of evidence for evolution also. In the links you posted I referred to eg developmental biology, pseudogenes, HERVs, transposable elements, chromosomal fusions and patterns of variation in ubiquitous genes.

Your argument for the great explanatory power of YEC thus far has been:

Meh, don't feel like it. It's beside this point.

I'll translate that as 'I can't explain it, but I can just assert the following':

God did it.
It's far better than your answer


1. it's not, because I've learned nothing from this statement. If you'd said 'I have absolutely no idea' it would tell me just as much
2. you have another hypothesis (God) on top of the question of how biodiversity was created to explain (I know you can assert it, but the explanations are somewhat lacking - I can assert the FSM as an equally good justification)
3. it is irrelevant what the data is, as that non-explanation can be thrown out at anything

Couple this with mental gymnastics and willingness to pull miracles and stories out of thin air that there isn't any mention of in the biblical, despite criticising 'Darwinian just-so storytelling'.

No offence, but it should be fairly obvious why we have a hard time taking YEC seriously, since you have one set of rules for that and hold everyone else to a completely different standard of proof.

Rhology said...

See if I care whether you take YEC seriously. You hold to a self-refuting epistemology, so what you think about ANYthing is hot air until you plug that leak.

But this thread is not about YEC, so that's why I don't want to veer into it.

a completely different standard of proof.

It's YOUR standard of proof that YOUR camp keeps claiming it can meet. I'm asking you to fulfill YOUR OWN STATED STANDARD. If you can't, change your standard. Stop using "overwhelming evidence" and suchlike as your talking points. Say "well, we're kinda sure but not really" and stop demonising ID and YEC, 'cause you never know, maybe you missed something. This is just nonsense from you.

Paul C said...

You hold to a self-refuting epistemology

If you say that long enough, it'll come true. Also, you have to close your eyes and tap your heels together while you're saying it, otherwise the magic doesn't work.

NAL said...

Rho:
Stop using "overwhelming evidence" and suchlike as your talking points.

You were the one who used "overwhelming evidence" to describe the fossil record.

John Morales said...

Rhology is sometimes honest.

You hold to a self-refuting epistemology, so what you think about ANYthing is hot air until you plug that leak.

See, unless we change our epistemology, whatever we think about ANYthing is hot air.

Revealing.

John Morales said...

Right, my final entry in this thread.

Rhology's post claimed that:
Dr Funkenstein [...] has read In Search of Deep Time by Henry Gee and has written a review of it. Thing is, I really think that he has missed a lot of the implications of the points Gee is making, and the points that I've been making based off of that.

I'm pretty sure it's been clearly established that
* The only claimant to such implications are Rhology and other creationists
* Henry Gee and non-creationists do not see such implications
* Henry Gee explicitly repudiates the claimed implications.

What it looks like is that you posted this with a preconceived opinion unsupported by actual research, and then you got called on it.

Your blog, your opinion, Rhology.

On the one hand, I remain impressed at your bravery against indomitable oddds - these comment threads have been essentially you alone against a bunch of rationalists - and you never cavil nor censor us. I'd like to think one day you'll see these very posts and wince, and all kudos to you if you do.

On the other hand, I feel sorry for you, Rhology - your only supporter here, Steve, was directly dismissed by Henry Gee himself, and you've had to play the ultimate card to avoid facing the questions posed... and these youthful opinions of yours will be on the record.

How embarassing!

Rhology said...

NAL,

Sorry man, 'twasn't me. I got that from Darwinians. Have you not yet picked up on the "answering you on your own grounds" theme of this thread? Better late than never.



John,

Yes, you're absolutely right. Unless your epistemology becomes NOT self-defeating, ANYthing you say is questionable/doubtful. That's a fairly basic point.

Henry Gee explicitly repudiates the claimed implications...your only supporter here, Steve, was directly dismissed by Henry Gee himself

Leaving the statements in his book unaccounted for.
My speculative hypothesis still makes the most sense here.

these comment threads have been essentially you alone against a bunch of rationalists

Well, a bunch of atheists. Calling someone with a self-defeating epistemology a "rationalist" stretches the term past its breaking point.

you never cavil nor censor us.

I think, as I'm sure you do as well, everyone benefits from the most open exchange of ideas possible.

I'd like to think one day you'll see these very posts and wince, and all kudos to you if you do.

Yeah, I think that's the hope for everyone here, actually, for the other guy. :-D

Peace,
Rhology

NAL said...

Rho:
Leaving the statements in his book unaccounted for.

You don't want the statements in his book accounted for. You have not asked the Darwinists how they resolve the apparent contradiction between his book and his other statements.

It is a fantasy, of yours and others, that Gee's book somehow discredits the fossil record as evidence of Darwinian evolution by natural selection. To leave Gee's statements unaccounted for, maintains that fantasy.

Henry Gee said...

Oh dear. I think I should make it clear, once and for all, and without fear of ambiguity or contradiction, that my book 'In Search of Deep Time' is not written in support of creationism in any form, including Intelligent Design, and that none of the statements in that book should be read as evidence in support of creationism or intelligent design. Of course, I can't stop people from reading into my book what they want. After all, some people see the images of the Virgin Mary in slices of toast, and if that's what floats their boat, there's nothing I can do to stop them, nor would I want to. -- Henry Gee

Rhology said...

"Dr Gee" appears to be getting around...here's my answer to him.

Henry Gee said...

What people believe is up to them, and what I say is unlikely to change anyone's minds (and, frankly, I have better things to do that read through this very long and excessively tedious comment thread). What I do object to, most strenuously, is that my views have been and are being misrepresented; wilfully so, in that I have made it very clear on many occasions that my book is not meant to support any viewpoint other than an evolutionary one. Statements I made in the book that have been seized on (and quoted out of context) in support of creationism were intended to combat a view of evolution that is unfalsifiably narrative. That's a very long way from casting doubt on evolution. Therefore, for people to quote my book in support of creationist ideas, when my views are very clear and well-known, can only be seen as the actions of those who have very little indeed to support their ideas.

Rhology said...

Hello Dr. Gee,

I understand you have no wish to be involved in a long comment thread on a small-time blog. I don't begrudge you that at all. And I'm not being sarcastic.

I simply must object to what is a mischaracterisation of the point I've been making. I have nowhere claimed that your book lends support to ID or creationist views. Perhaps someone could quote me doing so.
Rather, I have simply been pointing out that your book's points, if true, do not allow for statements such as "The fossil record is very important and overwhelming evidence for Darwinian evolution." This is not an ID or creationist point. It is merely an observation.

So I hasten to correct any misunderstanding between us and thank you for your time.

Peace,
Rhology

NAL said...

Rho:
I have nowhere claimed that your book lends support to ID or creationist views.

But you have used his book to cast doubt regarding the use of the fossil record to support Darwinian evolution.

Henry Gee:
That's a very long way from casting doubt on evolution.

NAL said...

Note how we've gone from:

Rho:
Except for calling into extremely serious question any hope of using the fossil record to support Darwinian theory.

to:

Rho:
... do not allow for statements such as "The fossil record is very important and overwhelming evidence for Darwinian evolution."

Talk about moving the goalposts.

Rhology said...

If you say so, NAL.

steve said...

No one ever argued that Gee intentionally wrote Deep Time in support of creationism or ID theory. Rather, he uses arguments which undermine the evidence for evolution.

I'd add, though, that his personal intentions are irrelevant to the objective implications of his arguments. No one who is pounding on Alan, including Gee, has made any effort to deal with the actual, lengthy, verbatim quotes which I cited.

Deal with the quotes!

If you can't deal with the quotes, that's a tacic admission that Alan was right all along.

Dr Funkenstein said...

"You don't believe deep time actually exists though."

Funkenstein is incorrigibly dimwitted on the nature of an internal critique. Alan doesn't have to accept Gee's chronology to use Gee's concessions for the sake of argument. There's nothing wrong with citing a Darwinian when a Darwinian makes damning admissions about Darwinism. Alan is merely accepting Gee's assumptions for the sake of argument. Is Funkenstein so dense that he can never figure out the nature of an ex hypothesi argument?

Rhology said...

Check it - I've made the big time. Time for a well-deserved ice cream cone.

Dr Funkenstein said...

I don't particularly wish to engage in a slanging match Steve, but yes I am aware of what an internal critique is - perhaps that wasn't the smartest thing I've posted, but we all make the occasional silly remark, yourself excepted apparently.

I realise we should instead stand in awe of intellectual heavyweight keyboard warriors such as yourself who are thankfully here to point out our failings for us.

Paul C said...

If you can't deal with the quotes, that's a tacic admission that Alan was right all along.

No, there's nothing to "deal with". People who are sufficiently interested can read Gee's book and his public statements and draw their own conclusions about your case - which is that you don't have any substantial argument to make. The fossil record is incomplete? *Shock* Humans use heuristics to fill in gaps in their knowledge? *Gasp* Scientists disagree with each other? *Faint*

Alan doesn't have to accept Gee's chronology to use Gee's concessions for the sake of argument.

Yes, but so far "Alan" hasn't presented an argument, and neither have you. In your own words, "I didn't say if I agreed or disagreed with Gee. I didn't draw any inferences from his arguments regarding the creation/evolution debate."

All you've done is type out some quotes and then - despite the context that those quotes appeared in, and despite numerous public statements by their author that you have misunderstood and misrepresented him - claimed that they undermine evolution in some undefined way that you assert is blindingly obvious, but apparently only to you and about 37 other people.

If you have an argument, you should probably put it forward about now. Otherwise this thread - and all the others like it - merely demonstrate the intellectual and moral bankruptcy of creationism to the world.

John Morales said...

Check it - I've made the big time.

Indeed.

Oh yes, your concerns were noted by the big time - and the big time said, and I quote (my emphasis):

"Now, I have no problems with faith. None whatsoever. My views on atheism are well-known (if you don’t know, then I’m against it)."
...
"What worries me is the anxiety that people of faith have that evolutionary ideas are somehow subversive or should destabilize one’s faith in any way. I think that this anxiety rests on a simple categorical mistake, that science and faith occupy the same ground as part of some zero-sum game.

But my main criticism of faith-based responses to evolution have nothing to do with science, and everything to do with faith. If it is the case that people of faith feel threatened by science, which, by definition and practice, is concerned with provisional solutions in the real world, then one is entitled to ask searching questions about the security of that faith."

Rhology, enjoy your well-deserved cone. I think it's got icing on it.

John Morales said...

Looking at that quote, I'm impressed at the clarity and pithiness of HG's prose.

I'm going to have to read some more... kind of how I do with Theodore Dalrymple* - just for the prose. I love language. :)

* yes, I know it's a pseudonym.

Rhology said...

Mmmm, 'twas tasty.

After a little interaction with Dr. Gee on his blog (and thanks to Dr F for pointing it out to me), it looks like Gee is more or less in agreement with me, now that he understands what my point is and what it is not. The plot thickens...

NAL said...

Steve:
Rather, he uses arguments which undermine the evidence for evolution.

That is your fantasy. You have provided zero arguments to support this fantasy.

Steve:
No one who is pounding on Alan, including Gee, has made any effort to deal with the actual, lengthy, verbatim quotes which I cited.

Again, this is flat out wrong:

Henry Gee:
Statements I made in the book ... were intended to combat a view of evolution that is unfalsifiably narrative. That's a very long way from casting doubt on evolution.

What part of that statement do you not understand? You mischaracterize his critique of using to fossil record to support an "unfalsifiable narrative" as a critique of using the fossil record to support evolution. Either you do not understand the distinction or you're being disingenuous.

Rhology said...

You yourself created a hyperlink for the post in which are located all those quotes from Gee's book. Why haven't you even tried to interact with them yet?

Paul C said...

After a little interaction with Dr. Gee on his blog (and thanks to Dr F for pointing it out to me), it looks like Gee is more or less in agreement with me, now that he understands what my point is and what it is not.

"More or less in agreement" with you? Well, he's in agreement with your final statement - but since (as Gee himself says) that was the entire point of the book, it's more accurate to say that you're more or less in agreement with him.

I assume that you are also in agreement with the conclusions that he draws: that microevolution can and does scale up to macroevolution; that "to say that the products of nature were produced by Divine fiat is unsatisfying to an inquiring mind"; and that (and this one I liked the most):

If it is the case that people of faith feel threatened by science, which, by definition and practice, is concerned with provisional solutions in the real world, then one is entitled to ask searching questions about the security of that faith.

Dr Funkenstein said...

I've offered my summary of my opinions here

I'll probably make it my last post on the subject, as i don't think there's too much else to be said that would make the book's contents clearer without someone actually reading it for themselves.

Rhology said...

I am no more logically obligated to agree with everything that a man says as long as I agree with one thing he says than you are logically obligated to believe that there IS a God b/c you also agree with Gee that micro- can be scaled up to macro-evolution.

And after all this hullabaloo, my points on Gee's book stand by his own affirmation. Fun stuff, actually. I don't know if I expected that, but we finally got there.

Paul C said...

I am no more logically obligated to agree with everything that a man says as long as I agree with one thing he says than you are logically obligated to believe that there IS a God b/c you also agree with Gee that micro- can be scaled up to macro-evolution.

The comparison is spurious. Gee's views on evolution both inform and are informed by the quotations that you are referring to. It's hard to see how you can accept the quotes without accepting the context in which they were written - after all, you are continually telling us nonbelievers that we must not do that with Bible quotes.

And after all this hullabaloo, my points on Gee's book stand by his own affirmation.

The only point that you have made is to restate Gee's thesis - so it's hardly surprising that he agrees with you. Do you have anything to say beyond that, or is it the limit of this analysis?

Rhology said...

In case you missed the entire point of this thread and combox, Paul, my contention has been Gee's thesis and the interlocutors have been telling me I got it all wrong. Gee's agreement with me vindicates my position and shatters the counterpoints.

Paul C said...

You certainly have a rich fantasy life. Your original contention was that Gee's book [calls] into extremely serious question any hope of using the fossil record to support Darwinian theory. You then changed your position to focus on people claiming that the fossil record is "overwhelming evidence", despite the fact that the only person on this thread to use the phrase "overwhelming evidence" was you, which NAL actually pointed out to you. Clearly this statement is something that Gee would agree with, but he would equally clearly not support your original point that his work calls into question the utility of the fossil record to support evolutionary theory.

We know that Gee disagrees with you on that point because he says so. In his NSCE release, he explains That it is impossible to trace direct lineages of ancestry and descent from the fossil record should be self-evident... this is a logical constraint that must apply even if evolution were true -- which is not in doubt, because if we didn't have ancestors, then we wouldn't be here. Neither does this mean that fossils exhibiting transitional structures do not exist, nor that it is impossible to reconstruct what happened in evolution.

What he objects to is not the use of the fossil record in Darwinian theory, but the use of the fossil record to "tell a story" in ancestor/descendant terms.

You have employed a classic apologist tactic of switching your contention midway through a discussion to a less ridiculous position, getting agreement on the less ridiculous position and then claiming that the agreement also covers your original position. It does not and you are by no means "vindicated".