Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Questions to which it's hard to get answers

bossmanham invited me over to this thread where he's been participating and I thought it'd be fun to respond to "Teacup" in particular.



@Teacup,
You defined “theory” for us. When has the disputed part of evolution - macroevolution from common ancestor - been REPEATEDLY OBSERVED?
You said a theory explains the facts. Which facts does ID not explain? Be specific, give me 3 and explain why.
You talked about fossils. Please prove that any of the organisms who are fossilised ever had children.
You mentioned intermediate skulls. How do you KNOW they are intermediate between apes and humans? And why believe you when so many past “intermediate” skulls have been found, trumpeted as “intermediates”, and later quietly rejected?
You mentioned dinos -> birds. Why is it that many scientists are now doubting this connection, how do you know they did evolve into birds, and how do you know that any fossils you might bring up in support of that contention had children?
You mentioned “legitimate scientific journals”. Do you not realise that this commits the genetic fallacy? How exactly do logical fallacies strengthen the Darwinian position? Be specific.
You mentioned creationists refusing peer review. Again, genetic fallacy, as well as argument from ignorance and unknown other cause. Maybe the peers reject them for no good reason or on ideological grounds. You have to think these things thru.
You mentioned “fundamentalists”. Again, genetic fallacy. Further, ppl such as Dawkins easily qualify as “Darwinian fundamentalists”. I don’t see you dismissing them for that reason!
You mention Hitchens - you think he MUST discuss such things? This is just stupid. Who’s forcing him at gunpoint to do so?
And when has Hitch ever debated a creationist? (Calling ID theorists “creationists” is more evidence of your fundy ignorance. Strawmen are also logical fallacies.)
Finally, the moronic comment from Stephen Roberts is more-than-adequately answered here:http://bit.ly/fVZfMK Do try again.
Peace,
Rhology

35 comments:

NAL said...

Rho:

You talked about fossils. Please prove that any of the organisms who are fossilised ever had children.

Strawman argument. Whether the fossilized organisms had offspring is irrelevant to any claims of evolution.

bossmanham said...

Still not sure how that
s irrelevant, NAL. Maybe you can clear it up? If the fossil in question doesn't make descendents, then how can anything descend from it?

NAL said...

It's irrelevant becaouse evolution doesn't claim that an individual fossilized organism had offspring.

David said...

"Prove that a fossil had babies" is one of Alan's favorite arguments. To the best of my knowledge, it's not used by many (if any) other YECers. For example, I may be wrong, but I don't believe that it's used by AiG or the ICR. From that, I think we can draw a conclusion about the quality of this argument.

Rhology said...

It's used by Henry Gee, chief editor of Nature magazine. From that, I think we can draw a conclusion about the quality of this argument.

David said...

"It's used by Henry Gee, chief editor of Nature magazine."

As evidence against evolution? I don't think so.

If this is relevant to the question of whether or not life evolved, why don't all YECers use the argument?

Rhology said...

As an argument against the typical Darwinian screed using the fossil record. How about you bone up a bit on your reading before you engage on a topic about which you're ignorant? Is that fair?

And I'm sorry, I didn't realise argumenta ad populum suddenly became valid.

David said...

"As an argument against the typical Darwinian screed using the fossil record. How about you bone up a bit on your reading before you engage on a topic about which you're ignorant? Is that fair?"

Huh? Could you explain? Does Henry Gee say that the fossil record is worthless for testing the evolutionary hypothesis? Does he say that there is nothing to be learned from fossils?

"And I'm sorry, I didn't realise argumenta ad populum suddenly became valid."

I think that you are misunderstand what I'm saying. Good arguments tend to spread and are adapted by many people and organizations. Bad arguments die. It's a selction thing. If your argument had validity or quality, I would expect it to spread, and I would expect it to be adapted and used by many others. This isn't happening. Why not?

Rhology said...

David,

http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com/2008/06/gee-whiz.html
http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2007/05/evolutionary-mirror-reading.html

And what is it about "that's a logically fallacious argument" do you not understand?

bossmanham said...

Yeah, seems like simple logic to me that if you don't know whether a fossil had children, you can't say that anything descended from it.

This is why Darwin wanted TONS of intermediate species. But, *gasp* we don't gots it.

NAL said...

BMH:

Yeah, seems like simple logic to me that if you don't know whether a fossil had children, you can't say that anything descended from it.

Common ancestry does not require that the fossilized organism had descendants.

Common ancestry does not require that the entire species, represented by the fossilized organism, had any descendants.

The entire species, represented by the fossilized organism, could have gone extinct the day after the individual died, and that would have no effect on common ancestry.

Rhology said...

No effect other than the fact that you have no evidence for it.

David said...

And here's a link for you.

http://blogs.nature.com/henrygee/2007/12/11/witless-quote-mining

NAL said...

Rho:

No effect other than the fact that you have no evidence for it.

So, you've given up trying to defend your "ever had children" argument. I don't blame you. It's logically absurd.

bossmanham said...

NAL,

we aren't talking about fossils that they say simply went extict, we're talking about fossils they say are direct ancestors of now living species. If those fossils had no decendents, then it is impossible that they could be direct ancestors of anything.

David said...

Further clarification by Henry Gee.

http://blogs.nature.com/henrygee/2007/12/11/witless-quote-mining

Do you really believe that Gee thinks the fossil record is worthless when it comes to testing evolution or understanding past events? I'm pretty sure that he would disagree with this position.

Rhology said...

You didn't read the Gee Whiz post with much care. Go back and read it again.

Also witness Gee agreeing with me in this combox.

And the Triablogue post doesn't "mine" - the quotes are long. The argument stands on its own merits whether Gee still agrees with it or not. See, you're still stuck on the genetic fallacy. It's uncomfy, isn't it?

David said...

I cannot point to a particular fossil and say that this particular individual, when alive, gave birth to another individual that gave birth to another individual that (etc., etc.) gave birth to my dog.

So what? Honestly, so what? This is the mother of stawmen arguments, and you can scream "logically fallacy" all you want, but if this argument had any merit, it would be widely adopted by YECers everywhere. It has no merit.

NAL said...

bmh:

... they say are direct ancestors of now living species.

Perhaps you misundertood "them." Perhaps you rather argue against stawmen.

Either way, it doesn't effect common ancestry.

David said...

"Also witness Gee agreeing with me in this combox."

And what, exactly, does Gee agree with? When you say he "agrees with you", you need to be much more specific.

Gee objects to a certain way of using the fossil record. No problem, I agree with much of what he is saying. But does that mean that Gee thinks the fossil record is worthless when it comes to testing evolution or understanding past events? Does he believe that the fossil record offers no support for evolution? Does he consider paleontology a waste of time?

Rhology said...

I'm done with you on this, David, until you show some evidence you've actually read the stuff I'm pointing you to. Ta ta.

David said...

Dude, I read it. I understand Gee's points. I understand cladistics, and the value of combining cladistics with fossil evidence. I agree with much of what he said. I understand that I can't pick up a fossil and say that this specific individual gave birth to the direct ancestor of my dog.

Again, so what?

None of what Gee said is particularly relevant to your "prove that fossils had children" argument. If this is supposed to be an argument against evolution, it's a strawman argument and a bad one at that.

bossmanham said...

NAL,

No, because there are nice little charts that...chart the descendency from early apes to man; apparently as a direct lineage.

That's what neo-Darwinism teaches.

Thing is, you can't postulate common ancestry if you can't show that these things have decendents. Ancestors requires reproduction. You must assume they had children.

I've given my argument, all you've done is say, "No that's wrong," but you haven't at all refuted the argument. I'll be waiting.

bossmanham said...

Now I'm not saying that assuming something had children is wrong, nor am I saying that this line of argumentation is that strong. I am saying that it's intellectually weak to simply dismiss it out of hand without some argument on your part.

David said...

"You must assume they had children."

This is difficult to assume? It's a major hurdle if we have to assume that biological organisms reproduce?

bossmanham said...

If you're going to say specific fossils are ancestors of currently living organisms, then yes I think you do.

But also read my previous post.

NAL said...

bmh:

No, because there are nice little charts that...chart the descendency from early apes to man; apparently as a direct lineage.

That's what neo-Darwinism teaches.


Not quite. You are assuming that a particular fossil find is on a direct lineage with another species. That would be highly improbable. A fossil find is likely to be from a branch of a cladogram, not the main trunk.

It is also likely that the species, represented by that fossil, went extinct.

NAL said...

I agree with David, it looks like he read the material. It looks like he comprehends what Gee is saying.

In the Henry Gee link, note that Rho refers to the fossil record as "overwhelming evidence." I don't see anyone here referring to the fossil record as "overwhelming." He conveniently leaves off the "overwhelming" when he wants to move the goalposts.

Rhology said...

I got the "overwhelming" bit from Darwinians, who claim the evidence for evolution is "overwhelming". I have yet to see much of any.

NAL said...

The evidence for evolution, all told, is overwhelming. The fossil record is just one piece of the total and hence, is not, by itself, as overwhelming.

1 Evidence from comparative physiology and biochemistry

2 Evidence from comparative anatomy

3 Evidence from paleontology

4 Evidence from geographical distribution

5 Evidence from observed natural selection

6 Evidence from observed speciation

7 Evidence from artificial selection

It all supports common descent. All it takes to disprove common descent is one counter-example. Just one.

Rhology said...

1 Assumptions with respect to comparative physiology and biochemistry

2 Assumptions with respect to comparative anatomy

3 Assumptions with respect to paleontology

4 Assumptions with respect to geographical distribution

5 Assumptions with respect to observed natural selection

6 Assumptions with respect to observed speciation

7 Assumptions with respect to artificial selection


Fixed it for you.

David said...

"Fixed it for you."

Sigh. It's like arguing with a brick wall.

thechemistscorner said...

David,
Just to clarify, evidence for common descent is not evidence for the mechanism of evolution. That is, the neo-Darwinian mechanism is an attempt to explain common descent. Typically, when a creationist asks for evidence for evolution, he/she means the mechanism not common descent.

Your frustration might stem from Rhology arguing against both common descent and the mechanism.

bossmanham said...

Beyond similar genetic structures, which can be described in other ways than just common descent, you have no evidence for it.

aztexan said...

I was shocked -- SHOCKED! -- to see that Jimmy Fowler of FW Weekly half-insinuated he's a theist ("believer," or whatever he wrote) before all but waving off ID/Creationism; then immediately name-dropped some Episcopalian she-bitch--er, BISHop. "She-bishop," I was trying to say.

See, Fowler has been writing for D/FW papers for a long time. And he's openly gay and liberal. I've met him, in fact -- back when he was on the Dallas side of the Metroplex, writing for mega-liberal New Times Media rag The Dallas Observer. Hadn't thought of ol' Jimmy in some time. Had to grin at this. Ruefully, of course.

My twofold point is, (a) media libtards, and (b) small world. That is all.

Oh, also: lot's o' gays in the Bible Belt who identify as "Christians" and faithfully attend their favorite gay-exalting "church" of modernism/moralistic-therapeutic deism. Yep. Had no inkling Jimmy Fowler was among the queereligious, but am not surprised, as I've met and befriended several in that camp. They're sweet and charming folks without exception, which makes their blindness so much the sadder. :-(