Hello from Australia!

Sockra Tease
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Hello from Australia!

I have just joined this great Forum and look forward to some interesting discussions.

I found this place by accident, or should I say 'chance? I was investigating the historical Jesus question and came to a link about Josephus written by a member of this Forum (Josephus - What's the Deal? by Rook_Hawkins). I read it and was impressed by the article. I thought: well, if this is the quality of discussion on this Forum it will be worth while hanging around.

Just a brief bio: I am an ex-pat Canadian living in Australia in a small rural town. Many eons ago, I graduated from university with a degree in Philosophy and English Literature. I am semi-retired now and am working the rust off my brain cells. Lately, I have been disturbed by a trend in argumentation now that puts enormous emphasis on truth by authority - if you don't have a relevant degree in the subject or haven't a peer-reviewed paper out there, your opinion is (of course) meaningless and worthless. I'm afraid I am old-school: an argument stands on its own merit no matter who presented it. Add to that the "a thousand experts say it is true, so it must be true" canard and just about any speculation is easily sown up neat.

My latest curiosity is the similarity between two hotly debated positions: the historical Jesus proposal and the Theory of Evolution. It strikes me that both arguments rely on rather similar argument styles and yet a rationalist-leaning mind in one case will argue the evidence doesn't exist, so the proposal fails, and yet, in the other case will argue that despite the lack of evidence, the proposal still holds. It is really a fascinating phenomenon for me!

Anyway, I will wander around and sample some threads just to make sure I don't repeat what is already there.

Hope to meet some of you down the road!

S.

 

 

(Yeh... Socrates is my hero...)


harleysportster
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Welcome to the forum

Welcome aboard. Glad to have you here.


tonyjeffers
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Welcome Sockra. Of course

Welcome Sockra. Of course not all the conversation here is of the highest quality, as we tend to banter some, but don't be hasty. There are many good minds and interesting people here including a few lunatics that come and go. You'll know who is who soon enough. 

Don't be afraid of repeating what is already here. We do it all the time. I'm sure whatever you say will have some other spin on the subjects. And if not, somebody will likely post for you a link to the thread pertaining the subject matter you have brought up.

Also it is very hard to tell what is in a thread just going by the title. Many times the subject matter will change quite quickly inside a thread. If you do find an old thread you would like to address, don't be afraid to resurrect it.

We are usually happy to get new posts from a fresh outlook, so don't be shy about starting a thread on anything you like.

 

"...but truth is a point of view, and so it is changeable. And to rule by fettering the mind through fear of punishment in another world is just as base as to use force." -Hypatia


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Welcome to the forum. 

Welcome to the forum.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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Welcome! Just don't expect

Welcome!
Just don't expect EVERY conversation to be of the quality of the one you read already. You'll be disappointed. Sticking out tongue

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


Atheistextremist
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Hi there

 

Sockra Tease wrote:

 

My latest curiosity is the similarity between two hotly debated positions: the historical Jesus proposal and the Theory of Evolution. It strikes me that both arguments rely on rather similar argument styles and yet a rationalist-leaning mind in one case will argue the evidence doesn't exist, so the proposal fails, and yet, in the other case will argue that despite the lack of evidence, the proposal still holds. It is really a fascinating phenomenon for me!

 

 

Welcome to the site. Are you saying here that empiricists argue on the one hand that the theory of evolution by natural selection through environmental pressure on procreation is true 'despite a lack of evidence' while on the flip side these same 'rationalists' insist the evidence for jesus does not exist? It seems to me you are saying this. 

You'd be aware of course, that evolution can be observed in the lab any given day of the week and is supported by the 500,000 almost entirely extinct species fossilized in sedimentary rocks. Given this latter evidence, if god created species he didn't just do it the once - he keeps ducking back every so often for another go. Meanwhile, the evidence for supernatural Jesus is based entirely on the literary historical method - with almost all the verbiage coming from the apologetic construct of the NT which was shaped by the early church.

The core principles of source criticism were formulated by two Scandinavian historians, Olden-Jørgensen (1998) and Thurén (1997) and there are a number I want to highlight. According to Olden-Jørgensen and Thurén, human sources may be relics such as a fingerprint; or narratives such as a statement or a letter. Relics are more credible sources than narratives but we have no relics reliably related to jesus and millions of fakes. If you call fossils relics of past life, which they are, then we have tens of millions of evolutionary relics - very few of which are fake. 

The core principles of source criticism I want to raise include the following:

* Any given source may be forged or corrupted. Strong indications of the originality of the source increase its reliability.

* The tendency of a source is its motivation for providing some kind of bias. Tendencies should be minimized or supplemented with opposite motivations. 

* If it can be demonstrated that the witness or source has no direct interest in creating bias then the credibility of the message is increased.

The issue here is that the bias of the NT is beyond conjecture. The early church writers could hardly be said to be writing with no direct interest in creating bias. They were in the business of creating a personality cult. The third party texts that support an historical jesus are frail. We have mentions of the existence of a christian cult, some fake quotes inserted into Josephus' Jewish Wars and no relics whatever. 

Clearly then, these two arguments - that for the existence of an historical jesus, and that for the existence of evolution through natural selection - are not the same thing at all and any suggestion they have similarities is going to need some serious support from you. 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Extreme

Extreme wrote:
Are you saying here that empiricists argue on the one hand that the theory of evolution by natural selection through environmental pressure on procreation is true 'despite a lack of evidence' while on the flip side these same 'rationalists' insist the evidence for jesus does not exist? It seems to me you are saying this.

 

Funny how I read right thru that without realizing it.  I guess I'm not the only one.  You've saved me from sounding like a dumbass more than once Extreme.

 

x

"...but truth is a point of view, and so it is changeable. And to rule by fettering the mind through fear of punishment in another world is just as base as to use force." -Hypatia


Sockra Tease
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Thank you all for the nice

Thank you all for the nice welcomes. I'm sure this place will easily meet my expectations: I have sampled enough threads around here to say that safely.

And thanks to Atheistextremeist for the extended reply. Yes, I think that is the conundrum that I face at this moment. I appreciate the reference to source criticism. I have taken note.

I have pretty much reached a conclusion about "relic" evidence being non-existent for a historical Jesus, and document sources to be pretty inconclusive, or worse...

When I approach Evolution Theory, I take a Descartian approach and begin with full scepticism and then work my way back to the full Theory.

 

This is where I get stumped. Yes, I am told there is a wealth of evidence... but evidence for what? I am fully on track for proven evidence for adaptation (what I call microevolution - that species adapt within their species). The eyeless cave-fish that still have residual eye sockets but no eyes is indeed proof beyond doubt for adaptation. And there is much more.

But I'm stuck on clear, persuasive evidence for speciation - what I call macroevolution - the premise that one species adapts so much as to actually develop into a different species. I make a distinction between what is actually IN the fossil record and what people infer FROM the fossil record. There is a multitude of fossils, but to put fossil A beside fossil B and declare that one species descended from another is a speculation placed upon the fossils, not a direct piece of evidence derived from the fossils.

I suppose this may be a topic for the Science sub=forum rather than an Introduction thread, but that is where I am now. I don't argue Evolution Theory is wrong, but I am desperately trying to argue it is more science than religion. I can't find the relics yet.

(By the way, my bias is absolutely pro-Science. I just fear that Evolution Theory has poisoned the well of Science, but I am hoping I am wrong.)

 


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Hi Sockra

Hi,

Obviously as a Chrisitan I understand that you're dead wrong on the issue of the historical Jesus issues, but i do have respect that you atleast attempt to be consistent to your epistemology and history via the Mishnah. There was a Jesus, we both agree.

I had a chance to discuss this with a Jesus Seminar "scholar," and it is interesting since they have the same presuppositions as the Historical Jesus guys. He admitted that their black ball voting via what is and isn't is in reflection to what god they wish to make in their own image. This was also reflected in one of his works.

Though why you are more consistent then say most, you are not consistent within your professed means of what is. And perhaps as you continue, we will have a chance to discuss this.

Welcome.

Respectfully,

Jean Chauvin (Jude 3).

A Rational Christian of Intelligence (rare)with a valid and sound justification for my epistemology and a logical refutation for those with logical fallacies and false worldviews upon their normative of thinking in retrospect to objective normative(s). This is only understood via the imago dei in which we all are.

Respectfully,

Jean Chauvin (Jude 3).


Sockra Tease
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I appreciate your thoughtful

I appreciate your thoughtful reply Mr. Chauvin. I must say, you have made some very intriguing and reasoned replies on this Forum, and I look forward to some chats. I do note some terseness at times, but I offer the benefit of the doubt and assume you are replying in kind to what you receive. I try not to be disputational as much as I try to not fall into declarations that are unreasoned. (I won't pretend that doesn't happen at time though, and if that can be pointed out in my remarks, I welcome it: I value truth over my personal ego.)

Something in your diction at times, and your creative sentences, suggest you may be a writer as well as a reader?

I hesitate to call myself an atheist as I can't get around the 'positive' supposition of non-existence that it entails. If I were pushed to declare a stance, I suspect I lean to a pretty undefined as yet, deism. A personal god that answers prayers is not part of my Universe these days. I am intrigued lately by Evolution Theory, not so much for its science content - the biological sciences are no source of dispute or anxiety for me - as for the philosophical speculations that biological scientists derive from the science... 'nother matter indeed.

I look forward to discussion of the historicity of Jesus, but I will look around more to ensure I'm not asking folks to repeat what they have already offered here.

 

Cheers.

 


harleysportster
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Sockra Tease wrote: I

Sockra Tease wrote:

 

I hesitate to call myself an atheist as I can't get around the 'positive' supposition of non-existence that it entails. If I were pushed to declare a stance, I suspect I lean to a pretty undefined as yet, deism. A personal god that answers prayers is not part of my Universe these days. I am intrigued lately by Evolution Theory, not so much for its science content - the biological sciences are no source of dispute or anxiety for me - as for the philosophical speculations that biological scientists derive from the science... 'nother matter indeed.

 

Of course, you do know that there are Positive Atheists and Negative Atheists, right ? Positive, meaning the declaration that there is no god and can not be. Negative, (which many of us are) who simply say that in the absence of all evidence the logical default position is disbelief.

Check out the video on the home page that explains the difference between an agnostic, a negative atheist and a positive atheist.

 

 

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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Sugar and spice and everything nice I say :)

SUGAR Tease wrote:
Thank you all for the nice welcomes. I'm sure this place will easily meet my expectations: I have sampled enough threads around here to say that safely.

And thanks to Atheistextremeist for the extended reply. Yes, I think that is the conundrum that I face at this moment. I appreciate the reference to source criticism. I have taken note.

But I'm stuck on clear, persuasive evidence for speciation - what I call macroevolution - the premise that one species adapts so much as to actually develop into a different species.

I just fear that Evolution Theory has poisoned the well of Science, but I am hoping I am wrong.)

 



   Please allow this as a plus one to the nice welcomes. Your theory is not without some merit within a 'hyper-evolutionary' expression. But, It would actual be used by the "biased" as a means to undermining the whole of 'human' evolutionary theory.  That is my reward for being so warm and polite to us.  That said.  By now we know that we know Dawinian Evolution as a whole as overwhelmingly stood the test of time magnificently. And we're getting more and more confirmation all the time from molecular genetics and other dimensions of biology that Darwin was teaching. There are still areas of controversy, and I'll give you one of them. There's an enormous and very productive argument and research program going on in the evolutionary biology community as to whether or not the unit of natural selection -- the basic unit upon which natural selection acts -- is at the level of gene, the level of the individual, or, in some cases, at the level of the group.

 ===  
  Dont pay much attention , apparently most are "in darkness and walk in darkness, and does not know where we are going . ." or was that the one who hates his brother.  Sorry, addressed to 'another' member,  as he says.  Anyone with your manners is very welcome to me most of all.

 


Sockra Tease
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harleysportster wrote:Sockra

harleysportster wrote:

Sockra Tease wrote:

 

I hesitate to call myself an atheist as I can't get around the 'positive' supposition of non-existence that it entails. If I were pushed to declare a stance, I suspect I lean to a pretty undefined as yet, deism. A personal god that answers prayers is not part of my Universe these days. I am intrigued lately by Evolution Theory, not so much for its science content - the biological sciences are no source of dispute or anxiety for me - as for the philoal' if it actually can'tsophical speculations that biological scientists derive from the science... 'nother matter indeed.

 

Of course, you do know that there are Positive Atheists and Negative Atheists, right ? Positive, meaning the declaration that there is no god and can not be. Negative, (which many of us are) who simply say that in the absence of all evidence the logical default position is disbelief.

Check out the video on the home page that explains the difference between an agnostic, a negative atheist and a positive atheist.

Much obliged for the referral. I am still working on a notion that "theism" or  even "deism" is our human answer to the main questions "Whence the Universe?" and "Whence You and I?" (Of course a load of sub-questions, such as, "Can something spring from nothing?" fall under here). But my feeling is to truly live without a god, truly "a-theistically" is to live without an answer to these questions. One's "theism" is simply one's answer to these questions. If "chance" is the force, or dynamic, or mechanism, that explains, then 'chance' is your theism. Chance is your "god", of sorts. But if you believe in the dynamic of chance, but add that 'chance' does not explain everything, does not explain Whence Universe? or Whence Life?? then it is just a natural process within Nature, and the questions still stand. I find that problematic as I think "chance" is not evidenced in Nature; we infer it exists by evidenced eventualities and we attribute these events to - what I assert to be, a supernatural force * - 'chance'. I tend to cringe when people suggest "chance" explains things.

 

Yes, I know - it can't be supernatural if it "happens" in Nature, but is it 'natural" if it can't actually be evidenced by science in Nature, as opposed to an inference we place on the science we see?

 


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Deism is seen to be welcome from my observations

 Deism has a long and a relatively happy place on this board

   You are welcome Smiling


Sockra Tease
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Much obliged for the welcome

Much obliged for the welcome danatemporary.

I am well aware I need to tread carefully. I'm certainly not on a mission to destroy Evolution Theory. In my mind some of it certainly still can stand the test of time. I have a problem with allegations of evidence of speciation over mere adaptation. It raises my suspicions when, around the racecourse, papers are shown to me where some birds are flying around aa continent and one specimen is caught and seen to be the same species as another but with different coloured wings. The conclusion? of course: speciation. But I stop and consider: no, that appears to be adaptation, not speciation.

Moreover, I come across argumentation that suggests, for instance the near identical DNA homology between chimp and man can ONLY be explained by lineage-descent from a common ancestor. I personally don't see the "only way" logic part... to me that is not biological science, that is speculation, "natural philosophy", and the onus of proof should be severe.

It is things like this that stall me, but I will learn more and more no doubt.

 


Jean Chauvin
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Hi Sockra

Hi Sockra,

You seem like a nice person. Since you claim the title deist, it should be noted that you are now forced to carry out a specific means of what is. You cannot be an empiricist (no deist has ever been an empiricist) nor can you be a mystic. You are forced with the epistemology of the French Revolution via Romanticism where they invaded the biggest cathedral, murdered the Christians, and placed a naked woman on the altar as the goddess of Reason (capital R Reason). Reason was worshipped as a god and was the means of EVERYTHING.

It's interesting that you relate your interest in evolution since no naked woman is on the altar to determine its conclusions.

Respectfully,

Jean Chauvin (Jude 3).

A Rational Christian of Intelligence (rare)with a valid and sound justification for my epistemology and a logical refutation for those with logical fallacies and false worldviews upon their normative of thinking in retrospect to objective normative(s). This is only understood via the imago dei in which we all are.

Respectfully,

Jean Chauvin (Jude 3).


Atheistextremist
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Hi Sockra

Sockra Tease wrote:

Thank you all for the nice welcomes. I'm sure this place will easily meet my expectations: I have sampled enough threads around here to say that safely.

And thanks to Atheistextremeist for the extended reply. Yes, I think that is the conundrum that I face at this moment. I appreciate the reference to source criticism. I have taken note.

I have pretty much reached a conclusion about "relic" evidence being non-existent for a historical Jesus, and document sources to be pretty inconclusive, or worse...

When I approach Evolution Theory, I take a Descartian approach and begin with full scepticism and then work my way back to the full Theory.

 

This is where I get stumped. Yes, I am told there is a wealth of evidence... but evidence for what? I am fully on track for proven evidence for adaptation (what I call microevolution - that species adapt within their species). The eyeless cave-fish that still have residual eye sockets but no eyes is indeed proof beyond doubt for adaptation. And there is much more.

But I'm stuck on clear, persuasive evidence for speciation - what I call macroevolution - the premise that one species adapts so much as to actually develop into a different species. I make a distinction between what is actually IN the fossil record and what people infer FROM the fossil record. There is a multitude of fossils, but to put fossil A beside fossil B and declare that one species descended from another is a speculation placed upon the fossils, not a direct piece of evidence derived from the fossils.

I suppose this may be a topic for the Science sub=forum rather than an Introduction thread, but that is where I am now. I don't argue Evolution Theory is wrong, but I am desperately trying to argue it is more science than religion. I can't find the relics yet.

(By the way, my bias is absolutely pro-Science. I just fear that Evolution Theory has poisoned the well of Science, but I am hoping I am wrong.)

 

 

Suffice to say, abiogenesis is unexplained. The living cell is hellish complicated but study of cellular organelles and of other micro-organisms indicates Eukaryotes are symbiotic communities formed as parasitic organisms gave up their free form life and took to living in share houses. To my mind the pivotal development in multicellularity is cellular junctions. The complexities remain tangled but the underlying material biochemistry of life shows it is constructed of the same elements and molecules as those found on the Earth. There is nothing supernatural about life. 

Given you agree that microevolution takes place, I think there's a key factor you are not taking into account and that factor is time - vast spans of time. Macroevolution is Microevolution x Time. You also need to take into account that fossilization of species now extinct supports the notion all modern creatures are descended from older ones which have altered to suit changing environmental pressures. It's estimated 99.9 per cent of fossils are of creatures that are extinct yet ecological niches are teaming with new life. 

Also consider fossils are very rarely formed. The dead animal needs to be covered in sediment within 24-48 hours - preferably in an anerobic environment. These stringent conditions and the fast work of scavengers ensure fossils are most commonly found in tar pits, mud wallows, esturine river mouths, and the like. But there are fossils that are clearly intermediate forms. Whales with vestigial legs, for instance. Hominids that are clearly closer in appearance to the concestor of chimps and people. Birds with feathers. 

Evolutionary theory is multi-disciplinary and profoundly challenging but all the hypotheses relating to natural selection interlock and there has never been a piece of evidence found that does not support the over-arching theory. Rejection of evolution requires a person take on, with no evidence whatever, a supernatural cause for all life. Given your apparent commitment to empirical scepticism, plumping for a possible supernatural explanation just because there is not enough empirical evidence might burst your credulity meter. 

I think when you say you are trying to prove to yourself that evolution is more 'science than religion' you give away a flaw in your thinking. The empiricist does not need to be completely right and does not need to have faith. The current best modifiable hypotheses can be considered to be the best explanation a person has in the absence of total certainty. There is no threat of death or torment for getting it wrong. In fact, the acceptance there is no absolute certainty is a good first step, in my opinion. The idea of truth, to me, is a commitment to be open to new evidence.  

Something else to bear in mind is that modern science is no more than 400 years old while life is closer to 3 billion. But advances are being made. Along with the attempt to map the 100 billion neurones in a human brain, another current project I love is the attempt to reverse engineer a complete genome in order to establish which genes represent its earliest reproducible forms - cellular and molecular. Advances in computer science - quantum computing in particular - will redraw our ability to model the past.

As for there being no relics, there are definitely relics. Fossils in sediment and amber are treasures from the pages of Earth's scrapbook, slammed shut on living forms tens, hundreds and thousands of millions of years ago, preserving past lives with exquisite delicacy, inviolate and indubitable. 

 

amber fossil 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


Atheistextremist
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Deism

danatemporary wrote:

 Deism has a long and a relatively happy place on this board

You are welcome Smiling

 

+1

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


Sockra Tease
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Jean Chauvin wrote:Hi

Jean Chauvin wrote:

Hi Sockra,

You seem like a nice person. Since you claim the title deist, it should be noted that you are now forced to carry out a specific means of what is. You cannot be an empiricist (no deist has ever been an empiricist) nor can you be a mystic. You are forced with the epistemology of the French Revolution via Romanticism where they invaded the biggest cathedral, murdered the Christians, and placed a naked woman on the altar as the goddess of Reason (capital R Reason). Reason was worshipped as a god and was the means of EVERYTHING.

It's interesting that you relate your interest in evolution since no naked woman is on the altar to determine its conclusions.

Respectfully,

Jean Chauvin (Jude 3).

Well if a naked woman were on the altar of an Evolution Church, I would want to count her toes first - on all twelve of her feet.

I used to be a Mystic Mythicist but got tired of wiping my spittle off my computer screen, so I converted.

Empiricsm is a pretty handy tool for doing the empirical work of science. When it comes to making conclusions from the empirical work, I find a lot of gods and angels come sliding in.

I have had some people chaff at my discussions on Evolution and argue that since I do not have a degree in biological science I really can't comment authoritatively on Evolution. To which I generally respond that a degree in biology allows you to do the (empirical) science authoritatively and make direct empirically derived conclusions; it does not allow you to speculate - with impunity - upon the science with philosophical authority or logical integrity. A nice degree in Philosophy might be the recourse for that ambition.

(Are you really sure Evolution has no naked woman on the altar?)

 

 


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Sockra Tease wrote:
Just a brief bio: I am an ex-pat Canadian living in Australia in a small rural town. Many eons ago, I graduated from university with a degree in Philosophy and English Literature. I am semi-retired now and am working the rust off my brain cells. Lately, I have been disturbed by a trend in argumentation now that puts enormous emphasis on truth by authority - if you don't have a relevant degree in the subject or haven't a peer-reviewed paper out there, your opinion is (of course) meaningless and worthless. I'm afraid I am old-school: an argument stands on its own merit no matter who presented it. Add to that the "a thousand experts say it is true, so it must be true" canard and just about any speculation is easily sown up neat.

Yes you are old school. Your school is also older than Socrates. An argument must stand on its own. However I do give overworked experts the leeway to require challengers to learn the subject first. That said I have not come across a person with a real degree who took that attitude if approached knowledgably and if not quite ready, the expert generally suggests sources to learn the subject to better frame the issue.

To take it one step further, that for which there is no physical evidence cannot be argued. Ideas are not physical evidence and cannot be argued. A one time girl friend called it mental masturbation.

I have several observations involving Josephus as a section of my website www.giwersworld.org/made-in-alexandria/index.html that might interest you.

 

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

www.ussliberty.org

www.giwersworld.org/made-in-alexandria/index.html

www.giwersworld.org/00_files/zion-hit-points.phtml


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Sockra Tease wrote:
My latest curiosity is the similarity between two hotly debated positions: the historical Jesus proposal and the Theory of Evolution. It strikes me that both arguments rely on rather similar argument styles and yet a rationalist-leaning mind in one case will argue the evidence doesn't exist, so the proposal fails, and yet, in the other case will argue that despite the lack of evidence, the proposal still holds. It is really a fascinating phenomenon for me!

As to evolution, you have to separate the evidence from the theory. The fact of fossils is the older they are the more different from animals today. If they are old enough they are entirely different from today. Those are facts of what is called evolution for lack of a better term.

Theories explain facts. There have been several theories of evolution. The theory proposed by Darwin has been the most successful in explaining the most facts. The redneck alternative of creationism regardless of its guise is a complete failure as an explanation for the facts.

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

www.ussliberty.org

www.giwersworld.org/made-in-alexandria/index.html

www.giwersworld.org/00_files/zion-hit-points.phtml


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Sockra Tease wrote:
This is where I get stumped. Yes, I am told there is a wealth of evidence... but evidence for what? I am fully on track for proven evidence for adaptation (what I call microevolution - that species adapt within their species). The eyeless cave-fish that still have residual eye sockets but no eyes is indeed proof beyond doubt for adaptation. And there is much more.

But I'm stuck on clear, persuasive evidence for speciation - what I call macroevolution - the premise that one species adapts so much as to actually develop into a different species. I make a distinction between what is actually IN the fossil record and what people infer FROM the fossil record. There is a multitude of fossils, but to put fossil A beside fossil B and declare that one species descended from another is a speculation placed upon the fossils, not a direct piece of evidence derived from the fossils.

The issue is rather simpler. We know from experience the fossil record so far uncovered in incomplete as it was less complete in the past. It is really no different from observing that 300 years ago very little was known of North America as a whole but over time that knowledge increased. The same thing has happened with the fossil record. A century ago very few transitional species were known. Today very few are unknown. In the mean time no species without antecedent or successor have been found. There are still no six legged dinosaurs and no two headed dragons nor anything seriously surprising save to the way a journalism major might write it up. 

Because there is no evidence contradicting the darwinian theory of the facts of evolution and because when this was done a century and more ago and in the intervening years the intermediate species have been found the robustness of the darwinian theory has been established. Not to say it is ultimately the best explanation of the facts but it is the best so far.

Beyond fossil hunting itself the theory not only unifies present day knowledge of biology but is instrumental in a working knowledge of very practical things like developing flu vaccines.

 

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

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Sockra Tease wrote:

Much obliged for the welcome danatemporary.

I am well aware I need to tread carefully. I'm certainly not on a mission to destroy Evolution Theory. In my mind some of it certainly still can stand the test of time. I have a problem with allegations of evidence of speciation over mere adaptation.

If that is all then you have no issue at all. The definition of species is arbitrary. We can call all the African, Asian and American species of lion a single species by simply changing the definition of species. Scientists love to define things as finely as possible on the assumption of useful.

A working defintion of existing species is they are different species if they either cannot or do not interbreed. African lions and tigers can interbreed, tigons and ligers. They do not occupy the same territory so they do not. Chiclids do occupy the same rivers but do not interbreed but are so similar it is difficult to imagine they can not.

So when fossil hunters find clearly different but related by bone shapes separated by millions of years calling them different species is a name choice. It started long ago when the fossil record was very incomplete and the idea they were related was not established so species was a very likely correct term. Now that it is much more complete fossils named different species in the past are being consolidated into single species.

These are things you won't know unless you follow the subject. Creationists never follow the subject but if they do then they are liars. There is no middle ground; at least none they present. 

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

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Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:

Sockra Tease wrote:

Thank you all for the nice welcomes. I'm sure this place will easily meet my expectations: I have sampled enough threads around here to say that safely.

And thanks to Atheistextremeist for the extended reply. Yes, I think that is the conundrum that I face at this moment. I appreciate the reference to source criticism. I have taken note.

I have pretty much reached a conclusion about "relic" evidence being non-existent for a historical Jesus, and document sources to be pretty inconclusive, or worse...

When I approach Evolution Theory, I take a Descartian approach and begin with full scepticism and then work my way back to the full Theory.

 

This is where I get stumped. Yes, I am told there is a wealth of evidence... but evidence for what? I am fully on track for proven evidence for adaptation (what I call microevolution - that species adapt within their species). The eyeless cave-fish that still have residual eye sockets but no eyes is indeed proof beyond doubt for adaptation. And there is much more.

But I'm stuck on clear, persuasive evidence for speciation - what I call macroevolution - the premise that one species adapts so much as to actually develop into a different species. I make a distinction between what is actually IN the fossil record and what people infer FROM the fossil record. There is a multitude of fossils, but to put fossil A beside fossil B and declare that one species descended from another is a speculation placed upon the fossils, not a direct piece of evidence derived from the fossils.

I suppose this may be a topic for the Science sub=forum rather than an Introduction thread, but that is where I am now. I don't argue Evolution Theory is wrong, but I am desperately trying to argue it is more science than religion. I can't find the relics yet.

(By the way, my bias is absolutely pro-Science. I just fear that Evolution Theory has poisoned the well of Science, but I am hoping I am wrong.)

 

 

Suffice to say, abiogenesis is unexplained. The living cell is hellish complicated but study of cellular organelles and of other micro-organisms indicates Eukaryotes are symbiotic communities formed as parasitic organisms gave up their free form life and took to living in share houses. To my mind the pivotal development in multicellularity is cellular junctions. The complexities remain tangled but the underlying material biochemistry of life shows it is constructed of the same elements and molecules as those found on the Earth. There is nothing supernatural about life.

Quite agree there is nothing supernatural about biological sciences and their descriptions of the evidenced mechanisms and structures we do see. The invocation of the speciation mechanism (hypothesis) when it appears to be utterly unevidenced in nature is my qualm. The invocation of antecedent species, invoked as mere place holders to connect species we do have evidence for is another problem for me.

Atheistextremist wrote:

Given you agree that microevolution takes place, I think there's a key factor you are not taking into account and that factor is time - vast spans of time. Macroevolution is Microevolution x Time. You also need to take into account that fossilization of species now extinct supports the notion all modern creatures are descended from older ones which have altered to suit changing environmental pressures. It's estimated 99.9 per cent of fossils are of creatures that are extinct yet ecological niches are teaming with new life.

I actually know of no fossil that in itself evidences that it descended from another species (fossil). I know the claim is often made; I am in the position now of inquiring where such evidence truly exists. Science must do more than assert that it is so; it must provide evidence that it is so. At one time I did acknowledge that yes, much time would be required for the proposition that one species transforms into another species; however it seems the fast evolving Evolution Theory, in its attempt to explain the very sudden quick development of Cambrian Explosion phyla has in fact collapsed that time factor dramatically. Again, this raises suspicion for me.

The connections for me are startling: just as some Christian apologists like to play around with the duration of the six days in Genesis, Evolution Theorists now play around with the time required for one species to change into another. A disturbing echo.

Atheistextremist wrote:

Also consider fossils are very rarely formed. The dead animal needs to be covered in sediment within 24-48 hours - preferably in an anerobic environment. These stringent conditions and the fast work of scavengers ensure fossils are most commonly found in tar pits, mud wallows, esturine river mouths, and the like. But there are fossils that are clearly intermediate forms. Whales with vestigial legs, for instance. Hominids that are clearly closer in appearance to the concestor of chimps and people. Birds with feathers.

They may be called intermediate forms but that is nomenclature. Do we actually have hard evidence of the common ancestor between chimp and man? Surely Evolution Theory is not asking us to take it on faith as the fossil record is likely destroyed by now?

 

Atheistextremist wrote:

Evolutionary theory is multi-disciplinary and profoundly challenging but all the hypotheses relating to natural selection interlock and there has never been a piece of evidence found that does not support the over-arching theory. Rejection of evolution requires a person take on, with no evidence whatever, a supernatural cause for all life. Given your apparent commitment to empirical scepticism, plumping for a possible supernatural explanation just because there is not enough empirical evidence might burst your credulity meter.

I think my problem is not that there is not enough evidence but that there appears to be not any. From my reading so far, the bulk of testimony is 'evidence' by assertion not empiricism. I will grant that there is no evidence that disproves Evolution Theory, but that merely puts Evolution Theory on the same level as Christianity: no evidence to disprove it. As I tend to dismiss 'invisible hand' theories in economics, I also tend to dismiss invisible hand theories in biology.

 

Atheistextremist wrote:

I think when you say you are trying to prove to yourself that evolution is more 'science than religion' you give away a flaw in your thinking. The empiricist does not need to be completely right and does not need to have faith. The current best modifiable hypotheses can be considered to be the best explanation a person has in the absence of total certainty. There is no threat of death or torment for getting it wrong. In fact, the acceptance there is no absolute certainty is a good first step, in my opinion. The idea of truth, to me, is a commitment to be open to new evidence. 

I fully agree, and I am all for a modification of Evolution Theory that brings it back to the real evidence and the speculations should be removed from the Science - not removed from Theory, and I am aware there are various articulations of Evolution Theory. Personally, I believe the tree paradigm that requires Single Common Ancestry needs a rethink. A grass paradigm with species of common DNA, not ancestry-descent, evolving, not speciating, from the "DNA soup" fits a little more nicely with what we really see. I think it better explains the CE and the ominous lack of fossils to evidence all those antecedent species which appear to have not existed.

 

Atheistextremist wrote:

Something else to bear in mind is that modern science is no more than 400 years old while life is closer to 3 billion. But advances are being made. Along with the attempt to map the 100 billion neurones in a human brain, another current project I love is the attempt to reverse engineer a complete genome in order to establish which genes represent its earliest reproducible forms - cellular and molecular. Advances in computer science - quantum computing in particular - will redraw our ability to model the past.

Science has such a great deal to accomplish, indeed. That is why I would love to see the supernatural excluded. We simply cannot invent things that have no evidence behind them; from the Science, that is. We are all human and allowed to have our beliefs. If folks need an Adam and Eve, whether it be Genesis people or antrecedent species, so be it.

Atheistextremist wrote:

As for there being no relics, there are definitely relics. Fossils in sediment and amber are treasures from the pages of Earth's scrapbook, slammed shut on living forms tens, hundreds and thousands of millions of years ago, preserving past lives with exquisite delicacy, inviolate and indubitable.

True, Biology has many many many relics. Evolution Theory? I have yet to see a fossil that evidences speciation. Nor a fossil of that species that gave birth to BOTH chimp and man.

 Of course, while I have been waiting, I have been thinking about what Science should and should not do.


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A_Nony_Mouse wrote:Sockra

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

Sockra Tease wrote:

Much obliged for the welcome danatemporary.

I am well aware I need to tread carefully. I'm certainly not on a mission to destroy Evolution Theory. In my mind some of it certainly still can stand the test of time. I have a problem with allegations of evidence of speciation over mere adaptation.

If that is all then you have no issue at all. The definition of species is arbitrary. We can call all the African, Asian and American species of lion a single species by simply changing the definition of species. Scientists love to define things as finely as possible on the assumption of useful.

A working defintion of existing species is they are different species if they either cannot or do not interbreed. African lions and tigers can interbreed, tigons and ligers. They do not occupy the same territory so they do not. Chiclids do occupy the same rivers but do not interbreed but are so similar it is difficult to imagine they can not.

So when fossil hunters find clearly different but related by bone shapes separated by millions of years calling them different species is a name choice. It started long ago when the fossil record was very incomplete and the idea they were related was not established so species was a very likely correct term. Now that it is much more complete fossils named different species in the past are being consolidated into single species.

These are things you won't know unless you follow the subject. Creationists never follow the subject but if they do then they are liars. There is no middle ground; at least none they present. 

I agree with very much of this. And yes I am finding that the "species naming" is getting to be crucial as to whether speciation occurs or not, which is why ET and those claiming such speciation evidence exists must be kept close watch of. It is that "consolidation" process that disturbs me. It happens much too quickly and, I believe, without scientific justification.

No matter how long the highway goes from Denver to Salem and Boston, at some point it simply must fork. For chimp and man to come from one antecedent species, at some point back in time there was a fork. It can fork in Colorado or Mass., no matter, but it simply must fork. We need to ask: where have we ever evidenced one species give rise to TWO species except in an imaginative theory?

I have followed the subject well enough to see the evidence of mendacity and argument by authority all too often. Scientists study birds of a species in one country, then see a bird of the same species in another country but with some altered colourations and "Eureka!" they claim to be the famous scientists who have discovered the best evidence yet for speciation - proof that one species has changed into another. What they really found was two examples of the same species but with differing environment adaptations. And yet, their paper gets included in the canard: "there is just so much evidence... it is undeniable!"

 

 

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

Sockra Tease wrote:
This is where I get stumped. Yes, I am told there is a wealth of evidence... but evidence for what? I am fully on track for proven evidence for adaptation (what I call microevolution - that species adapt within their species). The eyeless cave-fish that still have residual eye sockets but no eyes is indeed proof beyond doubt for adaptation. And there is much more.

But I'm stuck on clear, persuasive evidence for speciation - what I call macroevolution - the premise that one species adapts so much as to actually develop into a different species. I make a distinction between what is actually IN the fossil record and what people infer FROM the fossil record. There is a multitude of fossils, but to put fossil A beside fossil B and declare that one species descended from another is a speculation placed upon the fossils, not a direct piece of evidence derived from the fossils.

The issue is rather simpler. We know from experience the fossil record so far uncovered in incomplete as it was less complete in the past. It is really no different from observing that 300 years ago very little was known of North America as a whole but over time that knowledge increased. The same thing has happened with the fossil record. A century ago very few transitional species were known. Today very few are unknown. In the mean time no species without antecedent or successor have been found. There are still no six legged dinosaurs and no two headed dragons nor anything seriously surprising save to the way a journalism major might write it up. 

Because there is no evidence contradicting the darwinian theory of the facts of evolution and because when this was done a century and more ago and in the intervening years the intermediate species have been found the robustness of the darwinian theory has been established. Not to say it is ultimately the best explanation of the facts but it is the best so far.

Beyond fossil hunting itself the theory not only unifies present day knowledge of biology but is instrumental in a working knowledge of very practical things like developing flu vaccines.

The problem for me is that with some of what ET is proposing, it is not a case of the fossil record being incomplete, as the fossil record not being there at all. These connecting species appear to be missing. Yes, I have encountered attempts to present adapting fossils - fossils that clearly belong within a species determination - as suddenly evidence of a transitional species but really, that is no different than Christian apologists demanding the Gospels are eye-witness accounts. We need evidence, not mere assertions.

As well, I would begin to suggest that the lack of evidence can now be presented as evidence against Darwin's Theory: he himself wrote with dismay at the diggers not finding what he clearly anticipated to find. Not proof of error, just evidence that tends to that conclusion. If you claim a small Pacific island is a hotbed of civilized activity, and you arrive there and find no speck of human occupation past or present, I'm not sure 'incomplete evidence' describes the situation. Would you allow the evidence for God is lacking or incomplete?

 

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

Sockra Tease wrote:
My latest curiosity is the similarity between two hotly debated positions: the historical Jesus proposal and the Theory of Evolution. It strikes me that both arguments rely on rather similar argument styles and yet a rationalist-leaning mind in one case will argue the evidence doesn't exist, so the proposal fails, and yet, in the other case will argue that despite the lack of evidence, the proposal still holds. It is really a fascinating phenomenon for me!

As to evolution, you have to separate the evidence from the theory. The fact of fossils is the older they are the more different from animals today. If they are old enough they are entirely different from today. Those are facts of what is called evolution for lack of a better term.

Theories explain facts. There have been several theories of evolution. The theory proposed by Darwin has been the most successful in explaining the most facts. The redneck alternative of creationism regardless of its guise is a complete failure as an explanation for the facts.

Alas, my problem is that there is very little evidence to separate out of (macro) Evolution theory. There are an immense number of fossils evidencing the glorious array of species tha have existed, and some still do. But that is all. That is all we can deem from the fossil record: what the species were and roughly when they existed. When Evolution begins to play connect-the-dots with descendency, it needs a great deal of evidence, especially when counter-intuitive propositions of a species giving birth to TWO species are proposed. A dynamic that has not been evidenced in nature and yet... how many antecedent species are claimed to have done this? Millions? Billions? Trillions? All the way back to a Single Common Ancestor that did some incredibly slow Big Bang and slowly speciated it all?

Does it really sound like we have the evidence sown up for these speculations?

 

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

Sockra Tease wrote:
Just a brief bio: I am an ex-pat Canadian living in Australia in a small rural town. Many eons ago, I graduated from university with a degree in Philosophy and English Literature. I am semi-retired now and am working the rust off my brain cells. Lately, I have been disturbed by a trend in argumentation now that puts enormous emphasis on truth by authority - if you don't have a relevant degree in the subject or haven't a peer-reviewed paper out there, your opinion is (of course) meaningless and worthless. I'm afraid I am old-school: an argument stands on its own merit no matter who presented it. Add to that the "a thousand experts say it is true, so it must be true" canard and just about any speculation is easily sown up neat.

Yes you are old school. Your school is also older than Socrates. An argument must stand on its own. However I do give overworked experts the leeway to require challengers to learn the subject first. That said I have not come across a person with a real degree who took that attitude if approached knowledgably and if not quite ready, the expert generally suggests sources to learn the subject to better frame the issue.

To take it one step further, that for which there is no physical evidence cannot be argued. Ideas are not physical evidence and cannot be argued. A one time girl friend called it mental masturbation.

I have several observations involving Josephus as a section of my website www.giwersworld.org/made-in-alexandria/index.html that might interest you.

I certainly can accept that argument were I ever to intrude upon the biological sciences and make challenges upon the science. I simply ask for the same leeway when these overworked experts stray from the science they do so well and begin to offer invalid arguments and sloppy reasoning. At that point, I challenge them to go back and separate the real science from the wild speculations and learn, from philosophy, how to argue from premise to valid conclusion.

Fully agree with you and your past girlfriend! Ideas are not physical evidence. I am reassessing Evolution Theory now and trying to separate idea from science. As I said much before, I am finding a lot of religion in ET, and I value Science too much to let it slip by without pointing my finger at it.

 

Thanks for the Josephus link!! I look forward to indulging.

 


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What would you say about a

What would you say about a ring species, sir? Do you accept that they exist as defined? 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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Welcome, Sokra, good to see

Welcome, Sokra, good to see you.

Forgive me if I am unjustified in saying this, but you seem to be a creationist masquerading as only being a skeptic.

We have often had disquised Christians come on the forum pretending to be Atheists.  Of, course Christianity and Creationism is not always linked, but it is the most common combination we see here.

You seem to fight the Theory of Evolution in regards to speciation from one ancestrial species into two or more descendent species based simply on claiming that the theory is incomplete, vague, or not grounded in science.  This is the normal methodology recommended by fundamental christian based think tanks on how to fight against the ToE.

If I have understood your line of reasoning, you think that there are never any branching among the animal kingdom.  That, well obviously except for the 99 percent of species that are extinct, every species alive today had an ancestor alive 500 million years ago that was the same species.  The only difference in relatvely minor variations.

I find this baffling.

There have been no known fossils of Homo sapiens, rabbits, cows, dogs, apes, monkeys, horses, giraffes, elephants, camels, penquins, walruses, eagles, vultures, shrews, mice, wolves, well you get it, 200 million years ago.  But we have found thousands upon thousands of species of animals that lived back that long ago.

Where do you contend they all magically came from?  God or aliens?

Oh, also about your mention about the Cambrian "Explosion".  The "explosion" happened over a period of 70-80 million years and is a wonderful example of punctuated equilibrium.  Another wonderful example of punctuated equilibrium is the Mammallian Explosion that has been occuring over the past 65 million years since the dinosaurs mostly died out.  Resulting in, along with other less noteworthy humans,  the two of us existing. Sticking out tongue

Really attaching the word "explosion" on either of these events is unfortunate.  The Cambrian radiation is now known to not have been as rapid as once thought. Indeed, statistical analysis shows that the Cambrian explosion was no faster than any of the other radiations in animals' history.

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci


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Gurgle....

 

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

Birds with feathers. 

 

 

dinosaurs with feathers....

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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butterbattle wrote:What

butterbattle wrote:

What would you say about a ring species, sir? Do you accept that they exist as defined? 

I suppose I would say they are an intriguing anomoly. They obviously are quite important in reminding us to be aware of what we mean by the term 'species'. They seem to evidence an adaption process that results in some interference or interruption of procreative ability. As an aside, I should think that if two parents gave birth to a daughter that grew up to be infertile (could not procreate), I would hesitate to suggest an evolutionary process was in evidence. I would think something genetic went wrong in this particular instance.

I suppose I would also caution that this is a far step from evidence that one species adapts into an entirely different species.


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Watcher wrote:Welcome,

Watcher wrote:

Welcome, Sokra, good to see you.

Forgive me if I am unjustified in saying this, but you seem to be a creationist masquerading as only being a skeptic.

We have often had disquised Christians come on the forum pretending to be Atheists.  Of, course Christianity and Creationism is not always linked, but it is the most common combination we see here.

Thank you for the welcome. Yes, I do realize I may come across as a Creationist as I appear to be attacking Darwinism, or Evolution Theory, or so on, but I can assure you, I am a lover of Science. When I was a young kid in my early teens I devoured any Isaac Asimov "science for kids" books I could get hold of. I fell in love with philosophy later on and studied it intensely because I value honest inquiry in any form. I have no quarrel with biological science and to the extent they can show adaptation, I am happy with "Evolution" Theory.

My quarrel is with what I see, or more rightly what I suspect I see (and I am discussing this in the hope the error of my ways can be shown to me) is that some rather unscientific behaviour is taking place hiding behind Darwin's coat-tails.

I believe Science is an endeavour that presents a 'best-fit' hypothesis to explain the facts. As the facts in nature are matched up to the theory, the "just a theory" turns into a scientific explanation. I do not believe that Science should be engaged in presenting a hypothesis, asserting the evidence must exist, then asserting that since the evidence must exist it therefore does exist, and then asserting that despite the lack of evidence, we should still consider the hypothesis as a "best-fit explanation" and just wait (another 170 years maybe?) for the evidence to turn up.

Do you believe that is good science?

This, I believe poisons the well, and worse still, if you look closely, it allows the introduction of God to be declared a "scientific" fact. That is what we should be concerned about, and I believe atheists really should look at modern science now (with this new paradigm of 'scientific evidence') and see that Evolution Theory is opening the door of Science wide open for Creationists. I am actually trying to close the door before God comes in.

(By the way.. aren't you curious why the Vatican has embraced Evolution Theory just recently???)

Watcher wrote:

You seem to fight the Theory of Evolution in regards to speciation from one ancestrial species into two or more descendent species based simply on claiming that the theory is incomplete, vague, or not grounded in science.  This is the normal methodology recommended by fundamental christian based think tanks on how to fight against the ToE.

My fight is with an assertion being made that evidence exists when it does not. I do not believe that is good science.

Christians have posited that Jesus came to us as God-in-Flesh long ago, and the evidence is overwhelming, so overwhelming that we would have to be idiots to doubt the incredible mass and weight of evidence that God exists, that Jesus existed, and it all happened as laid out. As we atheists and deists know, or have plausibly argued, it is nonsense to pretend what does exist as evidence is "overwhelming", but well-reputed, peer-reviewed scholars - the "experts" in their fields - are saying the evidence is just so massive, well, what a fool you are to disbelieve!

Does this argument sound familiar? Do you see why I make the comparison? Substitute ET for JC and we are on common ground, aren't we?

What I am examining now is this assertion for ET that the evidence is "overwhelming". I know the experts say it is so, but if we rely on authority alone, how can you be an atheist in the face of so much 'expert' opinion?

Watcher wrote:

If I have understood your line of reasoning, you think that there are never any branching among the animal kingdom.  That, well obviously except for the 99 percent of species that are extinct, every species alive today had an ancestor alive 500 million years ago that was the same species.  The only difference in relatvely minor variations.

I find this baffling.

There have been no known fossils of Homo sapiens, rabbits, cows, dogs, apes, monkeys, horses, giraffes, elephants, camels, penquins, walruses, eagles, vultures, shrews, mice, wolves, well you get it, 200 million years ago.  But we have found thousands upon thousands of species of animals that lived back that long ago.

Where do you contend they all magically came from?  God or aliens?

If by branching you mean one species develops into another species, then I do dispute the proposition. I would be persuaded to think it MAY be true if at least one single, solitary piece of evidence could be brought to light to support it. I simply find the evidence for speciation rather.... underwhelming. (By speciation I don't mean simply that different species exist - of course that is true; by speciation I mean the concept that one species does more than simply adapt but actually alters to the point of becoming one OR MORE species.)

I prefer the grass paradigm: DNA is a soil. Yes, over millions of years, trillions of blades of grass in wondrously different mutations have come out of that soil. Many have died out. But each one came out independently. To me, suggesting that only one blade of grass came out of the soil, and that one blade of grass "branched out" into trillions of blades of grass is a wild speculation, and by being wild, really does demand some substantial proof. I am looking for that substantial proof.

And just as when there is a forest fire, or a fire that may devastate your lawn of grass, the soil allows more grass to eventually pop up. Ergo punctuated equilibrium. Grass grows again; you don't need a new Single Common Ancestor for the tree trunk to branch out all over again for each PE event. Grass will grow nicely all by itself.

Where do/did they all come from? Well I don't know but I would disagree with Darwin that it all started by having life breathed into it by a Creator. Unlike Darwin, I am not a Creationist.

For Darwin, abiogenesis was not a mystery; he had explained it with a Creator. I do not feel that is an "explanation". I do not feel that "natural selection" is an explanation, it is a description only. (Just as saying "the apple fell to the ground" is not a substitute for the Law of Gravity.) It is not science to pretend you have explained something when you have really only just described it.

Watcher wrote:

Oh, also about your mention about the Cambrian "Explosion".  The "explosion" happened over a period of 70-80 million years and is a wonderful example of punctuated equilibrium.  Another wonderful example of punctuated equilibrium is the Mammallian Explosion that has been occuring over the past 65 million years since the dinosaurs mostly died out.  Resulting in, along with other less noteworthy humans,  the two of us existing. Sticking out tongue

Really attaching the word "explosion" on either of these events is unfortunate.  The Cambrian radiation is now known to not have been as rapid as once thought. Indeed, statistical analysis shows that the Cambrian explosion was no faster than any of the other radiations in animals' history.

I appreciate the update on the Cambrian events. I just see that same term used all over the place, but didn't think there was any derogatory baggage with it. I will take note.

Though none of this comes near to explaining the lack of transitional fossils. It has been a very long time now. I wonder what will come first: the Second Coming or actual evidence of that common ancestor of ours between Chimp and Man? It seems both theories are waiting for the evidence to arrive. Yet another comparison.

As "just a theory" I have no problem with Evolution. I just think we need to reassess it as "science".

 


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Could you explain to me why almost all fossils - especially the older ones - are of extinct creatures?

How is it that organisms from the past have died out yet ecological niches remain filled. 

 

Why is it so?

 

Also, could you explain why it is that genetic signatures show the relationships between not just between all life but between more closely related species.

How is it that humans are 98 per cent chimp yet only 92 per cent rodent, and just 64 per cent banana? Why can geneticists establish the specific genes that led to branching species?

Explain this in the absence of the theory of natural selection by environmental pressure on procreation... 

Also, outline for us what sort of material fossil record you would require to accept evolutionary theory. So you expect a similar material record for deist creation? 

As I'm sure you know, the creatures of the Cambrian are all extinct. Why is it so?

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Could you explain to me why almost all fossils - especially the older ones - are of extinct creatures?

How is it that organisms from the past have died out yet ecological niches remain filled. 

Why is it so?

Also, could you explain why it is that genetic signatures show the relationships between not just between all life but between more closely related species.

How is it that humans are 98 per cent chimp yet only 92 per cent rodent, and just 64 per cent banana? Why can geneticists establish the specific genes that led to branching species?

Explain this in the absence of the theory of natural selection by environmental pressure on procreation... 

Also, outline for us what sort of material fossil record you would require to accept evolutionary theory. So you expect a similar material record for deist creation? 

As I'm sure you know, the creatures of the Cambrian are all extinct. Why is it so?

Not entirely certain what I am asked to explain. Why are nearly all fossils, fossils of exinct animals? It is a harsh universe and a harsh earth climate and many species don't "make it through". We may go the same way in the medium fture too. We will leave fossils when we are extinct; and for now, go to any cemetary and you can see human fossils while we are not extinct.

Don't know what "ecological niches" are. Species die out. Fossils remain. How does that prove one species changes into a completely different species?

There is a great deal of good science on genetic signatures. It all comes down to this: do you believe it is a scientifically valid proposition that mere DNA homology PROVES common DESCENT?  Can a banana be a life form that just happens to share DNA homology with us, or does there have to be a mythical species created for the purposes of connecting the banana to the human by a direct "blood-line"? Is it good science to invent species out of the supernatural world for this purpose? I realize the Law of Continuity may demand this direct lineage exist, but is it good science to pretend the evidence exists in advance of its possibly, but highly unlikely now, discovery?

"Why can geneticists establish the specific genes that led to branching species?" Ah, now this is rather sly: what have geneticists established? They have established the genes. They have not established that they branch. No. They merely infer that they do branch to support the Theory. We must insist on scientific rigor here: we must separate the science from the religious speculations placed upon the science in order to assert the Theory must be true.

How does "natural selection" explain anything? Can you tell me how 'natural selection' explains HOW or WHY these species formed? Does the apple fall to the ground because the ground 'selected' it? Does that explain how or why the apple fell to the ground? How can "natural selection upon random mutations" possibly be considered an "explanation"?

What evidence would I accept? I can't imagine what it might be to tell you the truth. Just as with the God hypothesis, the proposals are so absolutely supernatural, I don't know what possible evidence could convince me of these existents (intermediate antecedent species) or processes being "of Nature". Unfortunately, speciation appears to be of the same order as theism. For theists to claim the Gospels are eyewitness accounts and therefore should be called evidence makes as little sense as a 'scientist' putting two fossils together and asserting, not evidencing, one DESCENDED from the other. In both cases, we are asked to believe on faith.

 

I must say, these questions are curious given the quote in your signature box. Do you believe Evolution Theory is knowledge derived by experiment, or is it imagination? Do you know of any experiments that have replicated the speciation mechanism where one species has been "evolved" into another? (At a level of course where the species change is quite evident, as opposed to cellular development WITHIN the species. Going from zygote to embryo is not speciation of course.)

 

 


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If you are being obtuse or simply failing to comprehend my point. The terrestrial herbivores of yesterday were dinosaurs. The terrestrial herbivores of today are mammals. The terrestrial carnivores of yesterday were dinosaurs but now they are mammals. But the 2 groups did not co-exist in the same ecosystems, occupying the same ecological niches. 

So, Sockra. Did god return and create mammals and grasses after the dinosaurs died out? Answer this one question with a straight yes or no.

 

 

 

 

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Atheistextremist wrote:

 

 

If you are being obtuse or simply failing to comprehend my point. The terrestrial herbivores of yesterday were dinosaurs. The terrestrial herbivores of today are mammals. The terrestrial carnivores of yesterday were dinosaurs but now they are mammals. But the 2 groups did not co-exist in the same ecosystems, occupying the same ecological niches. 

So, Sockra. Did god return and create mammals and grasses after the dinosaurs died out? Answer this one question with a straight yes or no.

Yes. I am failing to comprehend your point. The herbivores of yesterday are not the herbivores of today. There are species of yesterday you label dinosaurs; there are species of today you call dinosaurs that you label mammals.

I am missing what this actually proves in Science. Are you using mere labels to suggest this evidences one species changes into another.

Does your evidence for Evolution really only come down to naming games?

 


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Atheistextremist wrote:

 

 

If you are being obtuse or simply failing to comprehend my point. The terrestrial herbivores of yesterday were dinosaurs. The terrestrial herbivores of today are mammals. The terrestrial carnivores of yesterday were dinosaurs but now they are mammals. But the 2 groups did not co-exist in the same ecosystems, occupying the same ecological niches. 

So, Sockra. Did god return and create mammals and grasses after the dinosaurs died out? Answer this one question with a straight yes or no.

I could take another stab at it with a different sense to your question. Here is a hypothesis for you:

At time X, Mammal Y roamed the earth. the climate conditions, and a million other variables were nicely right for Mammal Y to be 'selected' and prosper.

Then the climate changed drastically; the conditions altered very dramatically and sadly Mammal Y went extinct. The earth then went into an ice age.

At time X plus 2 million years, the earth warmed up and the climate conditions returned to somewhat time X conditions.

At this time, nature selects another species darn similar to Mammal Y, because of similar conditions etc.; call it Mammal Z. Some features are different; this time maybe carnivore instead of herbivore. Smaller legs, different colours, different style eyes..whatever. Different. Pretty darn similar, but different.

Mammal Z lives a million years and goes extinct.

We have fossils for both Mammals in their respective time periods. Their DNA homology is astounding similar, but then, is that a surprise since - though in different epochs - they formed under very similar conditions.

 

Now... I ask you:

Is this hypothesis I present, which stays very strictly close to the fossil evidence we have, more reasonable than invoking the Law of Continuity and thereby inventing a whole series of intermediary, imaginary, species between Mammal Y and Mammal Z - for which there is no fossil record - just to assert that Mammal Z was directly descended from Mammal Y?

 


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Sockra Tease wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

 

If you are being obtuse or simply failing to comprehend my point. The terrestrial herbivores of yesterday were dinosaurs. The terrestrial herbivores of today are mammals. The terrestrial carnivores of yesterday were dinosaurs but now they are mammals. But the 2 groups did not co-exist in the same ecosystems, occupying the same ecological niches. 

So, Sockra. Did god return and create mammals and grasses after the dinosaurs died out? Answer this one question with a straight yes or no.

Yes. I am failing to comprehend your point. The herbivores of yesterday are not the herbivores of today. There are species of yesterday you label dinosaurs; there are species of today you call dinosaurs that you label mammals.

I am missing what this actually proves in Science. Are you using mere labels to suggest this evidences one species changes into another.

Does your evidence for Evolution really only come down to naming games?

 

 

 

I'm not suggesting dinosaurs turned into mammals nor am I adventuring with labels - I want to know where you think mammals came from if they did not evolve from some earlier forms of life - studies suggest a type of reptile. I hope we can agree that 3.5 billion years ago the sum total of life was single-celled archeans. Today there's a vast diversity. Where did all this life come from if not as a result of genetic speciation over vast periods of time?

What is your alternative hypothesis to the theory of evolution by natural selection? Empirical evidence clearly shows that dinosaurs used to exist but now do not exist. Yet at the same time fossils show mammals used not to exist but now do exist.

What I'm trying to do here is find a fundamental point of agreement. You either believe evolution is possible or it's not. Did mammals evolve from earlier forms of life? If not, where did they come from? I feel if I can get you to agree that mammals did evolve from earlier life forms, then we are at least on the same track. At this point I'm not worried about exact fossil ladders showing every tiny mutation and filling every gap but the general principle of the possibility.

Your saying you cannot accept macroevolution flies in the face of the fossil record which shows the oldest life is simplest, the latest is most complicated and diverse. Again, I want you to tell me where mammals came from if not from earlier forms. I want to stick to this one point because the fossil record is very clear on this. 

 

 

 

 

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Sockra Tease wrote:

 

Is this hypothesis I present, which stays very strictly close to the fossil evidence we have, more reasonable than invoking the Law of Continuity and thereby inventing a whole series of intermediary, imaginary, species between Mammal Y and Mammal Z - for which there is no fossil record - just to assert that Mammal Z was directly descended from Mammal Y?

 

 

I think evolution is far more sprawling and disjointed than you seem to be implying here. Let's say a particular reptile evolves through environmental selection of beneficial mutations to have what we label mammalian characteristics that support nocturnalism - fur and warm blood and live birth. At first there is only one of these species but as the weather gets colder and the dinosaurs' habitat changes and they die out, this single line of mammals branches out to exploit additional niches in the now empty ecosystem.

Some eat grass, some climb trees, some eat each other, some get big and some stay small. Some surf the Internet in an endless search for cosmic meaning, while eating chocolate biscuits. Over the history of their class - about 200 million years - they are divided by genetic speciation. Yet all came from one single species of rodent-like creature and this shared genetic identity can be seen in the fundamental similarities in their genomes. Ultimately, one creature was best suited to a changing environment and its ancestors and their multifarious genetic speciations came to predominate. 

These genetic bottlenecks and class developments are what both genetic and fossil evidence supports.  

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Atheistextremist wrote:I'm

Atheistextremist wrote:


I'm not suggesting dinosaurs turned into mammals nor am I adventuring with labels - I want to know where you think mammals came from if they did not evolve from some earlier forms of life - studies suggest a type of reptile. I hope we can agree that 3.5 billion years ago the sum total of life was single-celled archeans. Today there's a vast diversity. Where did all this life come from if not as a result of genetic speciation over vast periods of time?

Species, I would contend, did not evolve at all. Species do adapt. But any and all evidence for speciation is inferred evidenced not scientific evidence. You can say "studies suggest a type of reptile", but with regard to rationality, that argument is as strong as saying the Gospels suggest that Jesus was historically real and was God. It can be claimed, but it should not be claimed as scientific fact.

'Natural selection' forms species. That is the bedrock claim of The Theory. That formation process is ongoing.That of course is mere inference just as the inference that natural selection only happened once in time, back at abiogenesis with a single celled bacteria and ALL life forms descended from it. So... we have two theories all of a sudden. Both derived from mere speculation. It seems to me that the 'ongoing abiogenesis' theory would help explain punctuated equilibrium. If you are speaking in terms of abiogenesis, then as with all species, I don't know where mammals came from. I don't know where any specific species came from. I don't know where life came from. If you are talking about speciation, then mammals did not "come from" anywhere. Natural selection created the mammal; the mammal lived and died. That is all. That is certainly all the fossil record tells us. Why do we infer a lineage when the evidence is not there to do so?

We are here not as a result of genetic speciation but as a result of natural selection over time.

 

Atheistextremist wrote:

What is your alternative hypothesis to the theory of evolution by natural selection? Empirical evidence clearly shows that dinosaurs used to exist but now do not exist. Yet at the same time fossils show mammals used not to exist but now do exist.

At one time the conditions were optimal for natural selection to create the dinosaur. Later, in other conditions, natural selection created the mammal. If the conditions allow both species to co-exist, the fossil record will show they co-existed. If the fossil record shows that these mammals did not exist when the dinosaurs existed, then there are reasons for this: climate conditions, climate catastrophes, or extinction events. Many possibilities. The dinosaurs lived then died. Then later, the mammals lived. That is all the fossil record tells us. It is pure inference, not science, to place Fossil A beside Fossil B and proclaim B is a direct descendent of A. To present such a (I say, wild) speculation, we must first evidence, in Nature, that the mere process of speciation can even take place in the natural world. That is what real science would, and should, do.

Before we say the apple "fell up" to the clouds, shouldn't we first show how an apple can fall "up"?

Atheistextremist wrote:

What I'm trying to do here is find a fundamental point of agreement. You either believe evolution is possible or it's not. Did mammals evolve from earlier forms of life? If not, where did they come from? I feel if I can get you to agree that mammals did evolve from earlier life forms, then we are at least on the same track. At this point I'm not worried about exact fossil ladders showing every tiny mutation and filling every gap but the general principle of the possibility.

I appreciate that, and yes this is the crucial point. The basis of Evolution Theory. Do species speciate? My contention, given the presumption that we must be rational, and the presumption we must be true to Science, is that it is clearly not a rational nor scientific proposition that species evolve into other species. Without a doubt, Evolution Theory violates Occam's Razor, and many times over. How many times you may ask? Well, for about as many times as imaginary antecedent species have been created to fill the spaces between species we do have evidence for. (Yet another comparison between religion and Evolution: the god of the gaps versus the antecedent species of the gaps?)

Moreover, this speciation mechanism (ONE species eventually splitting/procreating into TWO) violates Occam's Razor. A process that cannot be evidenced in the lab, and by its nature cannot be evidenced in the fossil record, and cannot be verified and cannot be falsified, is given full impunity by Science. This is what the Vatican has delighted in, and atheists and true lovers of Science should really stand up and take notice of what is really going on here!

Atheistextremist wrote:

Your saying you cannot accept macroevolution flies in the face of the fossil record which shows the oldest life is simplest, the latest is most complicated and diverse. Again, I want you to tell me where mammals came from if not from earlier forms. I want to stick to this one point because the fossil record is very clear on this. 

Alas, the fossil record does not show speciation. The fossil record shows what life existed at what time allowing that the further back in time you go, the thinner the record gets. We cannot ignore that Life grows in an environment, and such factors help determine what does and does not get selected. Science must be careful with its assumptions and inferences. Just as not every gunshot murder is committed by the registered owner of the gun, so not every species is descended from its earlier co-habitant. We just infer it. It is possible the reason why Species B comes after Species A is because Species B could not form in the conditions back when Species A formed. I like this theory better because I don't have to invent intermediary species out of nowhere, in contradiction to the fossil record, and again, violating Occam's Razor.

 

 

Atheistextremist wrote:

I think evolution is far more sprawling and disjointed than you seem to be implying here. Let's say a particular reptile evolves through environmental selection of beneficial mutations to have what we label mammalian characteristics that support nocturnalism - fur and warm blood and live birth. At first there is only one of these species but as the weather gets colder and the dinosaurs' habitat changes and they die out, this single line of mammals branches out to exploit additional niches in the now empty ecosystem.

Some eat grass, some climb trees, some eat each other, some get big and some stay small. Some surf the Internet in an endless search for cosmic meaning, while eating chocolate biscuits. Over the history of their class - about 200 million years - they are divided by genetic speciation. Yet all came from one single species of rodent-like creature and this shared genetic identity can be seen in the fundamental similarities in their genomes. Ultimately, one creature was best suited to a changing environment and its ancestors and their multifarious genetic speciations came to predominate. 

These genetic bottlenecks and class developments are what both genetic and fossil evidence supports.  

All I can respond to here is that the fossil record shows these species to exist in their time respective time-frames. It is pure speculation to impose a lineage upon these divergent species.

To my ears, and to my rational bent of mind, it simply sounds like a missing chapter from the Book of Genesis rather than real science. All that is missing is God's command to the species to divide and multiply. 

Yes, reptiles can adapt and develop and change, even adapt pretty significantly. But that species of reptile will remain that species of reptile for all time or go extinct. The shark has been around how long now? It will always be a shark; as the oceans change it will change and adapt, but it will always be a shark. And that is simply because there has never been shown in Nature, and in the world of science, that a process exists that turns a shark so far from its DNA construct as to be something entirely other. If we allow, hypothetically, for non-curved space, a ray of light will travel straight for how long? Forever? (Notwithstanding black hole warpage that is.) If I were to suggest that beyond 100 million light years, light starts to turn around or travel at an angle, would you not ask for evidence of this? If it appears in the short distance that light never bends, and never behaves as suggested, are you to suddenly believe it does so in the long-term, merely because it is the long-term...and can't be verified by our equipment? So you can't prove me wrong.


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Sockra Tease wrote:Watcher

Sockra Tease wrote:

Watcher wrote:

If I have understood your line of reasoning, you think that there are never any branching among the animal kingdom.  That, well obviously except for the 99 percent of species that are extinct, every species alive today had an ancestor alive 500 million years ago that was the same species.  The only difference in relatvely minor variations.

I find this baffling.

There have been no known fossils of Homo sapiens, rabbits, cows, dogs, apes, monkeys, horses, giraffes, elephants, camels, penquins, walruses, eagles, vultures, shrews, mice, wolves, well you get it, 200 million years ago.  But we have found thousands upon thousands of species of animals that lived back that long ago.

Where do you contend they all magically came from?  God or aliens?

If by branching you mean one species develops into another species, then I do dispute the proposition. I would be persuaded to think it MAY be true if at least one single, solitary piece of evidence could be brought to light to support it. I simply find the evidence for speciation rather.... underwhelming. (By speciation I don't mean simply that different species exist - of course that is true; by speciation I mean the concept that one species does more than simply adapt but actually alters to the point of becoming one OR MORE species.)

I prefer the grass paradigm: DNA is a soil. Yes, over millions of years, trillions of blades of grass in wondrously different mutations have come out of that soil. Many have died out. But each one came out independently. To me, suggesting that only one blade of grass came out of the soil, and that one blade of grass "branched out" into trillions of blades of grass is a wild speculation, and by being wild, really does demand some substantial proof. I am looking for that substantial proof.

And just as when there is a forest fire, or a fire that may devastate your lawn of grass, the soil allows more grass to eventually pop up. Ergo punctuated equilibrium. Grass grows again; you don't need a new Single Common Ancestor for the tree trunk to branch out all over again for each PE event. Grass will grow nicely all by itself.

Where do/did they all come from? Well I don't know but I would disagree with Darwin that it all started by having life breathed into it by a Creator. Unlike Darwin, I am not a Creationist.

For Darwin, abiogenesis was not a mystery; he had explained it with a Creator. I do not feel that is an "explanation". I do not feel that "natural selection" is an explanation, it is a description only. (Just as saying "the apple fell to the ground" is not a substitute for the Law of Gravity.) It is not science to pretend you have explained something when you have really only just described it.

Sokra, please don't ignore my questions.  I'm am honestly baffled by what you think the more plausible answer is.

There have been no known fossils of Homo sapiens, rabbits, cows, dogs, apes, monkeys, horses, giraffes, elephants, camels, penquins, walruses, eagles, vultures, shrews, mice, wolves, well you get it, 200 million years ago.  But we have found thousands upon thousands of species of animals that lived back that long ago.

Where do you contend they all magically came from?  God or aliens?

*Sigh*  

Anyway, I'm sorry, but I've "discussed" this issue with so many "gawd did it" individuals that I'm very tired of having the same discussion for the 7,843rd time with someone that I am still fairly sure is...well this may be taken as an attack or something...  You're trolling.   You think GOD did it.  That's what I believe you're coming from.  Your reluctance to answer my question above I take as further evidence that my assumption is correct.

You claim that you see no evidence for speciation.  Ok, well we have to first define species.   That's the big trick.  If you and I can't come to a mutually agreed upon definition that we will use for this discussion then we should not even pursue it.  If we can agree, then I will show you proven, scientifically verified, PEER REVIEWED, evidence.

That's something you might want to look into.   Peer Review.

Scientists don't allow each other to speculate or present an idea not based on proven hard data.

Scientists LIVE for finding the flaws, assumptions, incorrect premises, etc in other scientist's work.   If it is not documented as it happens, it didn't happen.   That's what scientists chant to themselves in their sleep.

If it is not presented for the entire global body of other scientists to pick apart and beat it to death, it isn't science.

There is no leap or fanciful thinking in established science.   There are tentative hypothesis' that are often proven incorrect but EoT is not a hypothesis.  We are more certain of the truth of the theory of evolution than we are of a sun centered solar system.  Literally.

Species.  Let's define it.   Because there is not one universally agreed upon definition.

The one that I normally operate under is that two different "kinds" of animals are different species if they cannot mate and produce sexually viable offspring.   Is this definition acceptable?

 

 

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Sockra Tease wrote: The

Sockra Tease wrote:

 The shark has been around how long now? It will always be a shark; as the oceans change it will change and adapt, but it will always be a shark. And that is simply because there has never been shown in Nature, and in the world of science, that a process exists that turns a shark so far from its DNA construct as to be something entirely other.

Incorrect.   Both Sawfish and Manta Rays are descended from sharks.

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Sockra Tease wrote:We have

Sockra Tease wrote:

We have fossils for both Mammals in their respective time periods. Their DNA homology is astounding similar, but then, is that a surprise since - though in different epochs - they formed under very similar conditions.

Now... I ask you:

Is this hypothesis I present, which stays very strictly close to the fossil evidence we have, more reasonable than invoking the Law of Continuity and thereby inventing a whole series of intermediary, imaginary, species between Mammal Y and Mammal Z - for which there is no fossil record - just to assert that Mammal Z was directly descended from Mammal Y?

Actually no.  It doesn't.   And not JUST because that idea is based on no evidence.  It's just not what has been proven to be the case.

You're describing convergent evolution.  Does it exist?  Heck yeah, all over the place.

Is the DNA of two animals that are superficially and shockingly similar and fitting the same ecological niche the same over very similar compared to other animals?   Not even close.

Animal displaying convergent evolution to the common tiger:

Tasmanian Tiger:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thylacine

One of the most well documented series of intermediary fossil records:

Whale Evolution: http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/evograms_03

 

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Watcher wrote:Sokra, please

Watcher wrote:

Sokra, please don't ignore my questions.  I'm am honestly baffled by what you think the more plausible answer is.

There have been no known fossils of Homo sapiens, rabbits, cows, dogs, apes, monkeys, horses, giraffes, elephants, camels, penquins, walruses, eagles, vultures, shrews, mice, wolves, well you get it, 200 million years ago.  But we have found thousands upon thousands of species of animals that lived back that long ago.

Where do you contend they all magically came from?  God or aliens?

*Sigh* 

Species do not come from gods, nor do they come from aliens. If you are asking about abiogenesis, I am with everyone else on the planet in ignorance as to how Life began. I am constantly being told by adherents of Evolution Theory that the theory addresses species origins and not Life origin, so I can accept that.

'Natural selection' is a description of a process of species-creation. I can accept that as a description, though not an explanation of species creation. To get a true explanation one needs to answer the abiogenesis question, so I don't fault the description as being deficient. It just doesn't answer the question that no one can answer yet. That is okay with me.

I am though on guard for people who assert that they know where Life came from and that 'natural selection' explains it all. That seems to me to overstep the mark.

 

Watcher wrote:

Anyway, I'm sorry, but I've "discussed" this issue with so many "gawd did it" individuals that I'm very tired of having the same discussion for the 7,843rd time with someone that I am still fairly sure is...well this may be taken as an attack or something...  You're trolling.   You think GOD did it.  That's what I believe you're coming from.  Your reluctance to answer my question above I take as further evidence that my assumption is correct.

You claim that you see no evidence for speciation.  Ok, well we have to first define species.   That's the big trick.  If you and I can't come to a mutually agreed upon definition that we will use for this discussion then we should not even pursue it.  If we can agree, then I will show you proven, scientifically verified, PEER REVIEWED, evidence.

I share your frustration. I have discussed Evolution Theory with many, many adherents and still no one has presented evidence for me. They have presented what they claimed to be evidence, but it all turns out to be evidence by assertion, not evidence by scientific fact. When they get tired of me, they resort to the same arguments theists use to 'evidence' Jesus as God: argument by authority: "so many experts in peer-reviewed papers say it is so, so who are you to disagree with them?", and finally argument by ad hominem: "you're a crackpot".

What I like about this Forum is a determined attitude for rational thought, so I am presenting my case on that basis.

The argument form I encounter most often, and you'd be surprised how many scientists in peer-reviewed papers use this form, is:

1) For our Theory A to be true, X must be true

2) If X must be true, X must exist.

3) If X must exist, then X does exist.

4) As X does exist, our Theory A therefore is true.

This is why I suggest scientists who do their science well, should refrain from writing papers with speculations in them. They do not know how to reason (rationally) when it comes to theorizing.

As you can see anything from Flying Spaghetti Monsters, to antecedent species to gods can take the place of X. It's a catch-all argument. It doesn't really matter what X is. Sadly, these games pass for real science now.

Watcher wrote:

That's something you might want to look into.   Peer Review.

Scientists don't allow each other to speculate or present an idea not based on proven hard data.

Scientists LIVE for finding the flaws, assumptions, incorrect premises, etc in other scientist's work.   If it is not documented as it happens, it didn't happen.   That's what scientists chant to themselves in their sleep.

If it is not presented for the entire global body of other scientists to pick apart and beat it to death, it isn't science.

I'm afraid scientists do allow each other to speculate without hard data, but only if they are presenting approved orthodox theory. You will see lots of "by evolutionary ways" tags in the papers as a signal to readers that the author is on the ET team. That they aren't Creationists in sheep's clothing. There are usually remarks such as "and there is only one possible way that this could happen... by descent from a common ancestor." Even though, clearly, there is more than one way. The scientists will certainly pick apart any of the science that may be incorrect. Absolutely. But when you get to the wrapping up speculating part of a paper, well, really, you just have to be in accord with the doctrine to get a pass. Say whatever you want, as long as it is Evolutionary Theory.

If you look very carefully, with philosopher's eyes, at the science papers, peer-reviewed, in circulation, you could choke on the non sequitors alone. But the science is solid. It's just the inferences placed upon the science that is in question.

It really is little different than theology scholarship: the credentials and the historical work is rock solid. It is just when you get to the end and they say, "therefore Jesus rose from the dead as outlined in the text" that you get to the speculative part.

So tell me, when so many peer-reviewed papers are published by theologians - scholars and experts in their fields - why are you an atheist? because what they say is?.... nonsense? ... or not persuasive?... Well if that is the case, you will have a sense of how I am looking at Evolution.

 

Watcher wrote:

There is no leap or fanciful thinking in established science.   There are tentative hypothesis' that are often proven incorrect but EoT is not a hypothesis.  We are more certain of the truth of the theory of evolution than we are of a sun centered solar system.  Literally.

Well my contention is that Evolution Theory is fanciful thinking. That speciation, the absolute core of ET, cannot be evidenced in nature is enough for me. That antecedent species are invented to fill the gaps is enough for me. There is as much Truth about speciation in ET as there is truth about God in the Bible; and both religious camps are dead certain about it. What people don't see is that both camps are resorting to myth-making to make their claims. I'll  understand if you think I am trolling - I get many reactions, and people don't like their faiths being challenged. I just hope you appreciate the abject rationality of my remarks, even if you dispute their content.

 

Watcher wrote:

Species.  Let's define it.   Because there is not one universally agreed upon definition.

The one that I normally operate under is that two different "kinds" of animals are different species if they cannot mate and produce sexually viable offspring.   Is this definition acceptable?

Well yes, the definition of species can be near as slippery as the definition of god. I can settle for an interim definition of species based on procreation, but I hesitate to make it absolute. There may be exceptions. As I said before, I wouldn't want a definition where, by the wording itself, a woman who happens to be infertile is "kicked out" of homo sapiens. As well, cellular damage could result in inability to procreate. As well, science experiments that artificially simulate fertilization across species would need to be excluded... and so forth... so yes, a hard clear definition is elusive. It's a workable one though at the start, with room for anomolies.

 


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Watcher wrote:Sockra Tease

Watcher wrote:

Sockra Tease wrote:

 The shark has been around how long now? It will always be a shark; as the oceans change it will change and adapt, but it will always be a shark. And that is simply because there has never been shown in Nature, and in the world of science, that a process exists that turns a shark so far from its DNA construct as to be something entirely other.

Incorrect.   Both Sawfish and Manta Rays are descended from sharks.

No. I'm afraid this is an example of evidence by assertion, not evidence by fact. You have been told that sawfish are descended from sharks, and now you are asserting it to me. If I were to press you for evidence this assertion was true, you could easily point me to many papers that scientifically describe the similar DNA homology. These papers, after outlining the very similar DNA homology will then, in grand cavalier fashion, declare than homology proves descent.... Oh ... and it could ONLY BE THIS WAY.

I'm afraid that is not evidence, it is mere assertion: homology does not PROVE descent. That is the most major 'non sequitor' flaw that is massively pervasive in ET literature.

It is as this:

1) A dead body is found in the library; death by gunshot wound.

2) A gun is nearby, smoking still.

3) Forensic (scientific studies) are done on the gun; ballistics studies are done on the bullet. The body is examined by a doctor.

4) Police investigate the gun and locate the registered owner.

The argument form (as used by ET)  will be:

A) The murder was by gunshot.

B) The gun was used to do the murder.

C) The registered owner of the gun is the murderer.

An argument heavily backed by much scientific investigation. Very reasonable and very plausible. Case closed.

If you can see the hole in this, you may begin to see the holes in ET peer-reviewed papers. And the holes have nothing to do with the actual biological sciences involved. Just as the forensics in this case are no problem.

 


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Watcher wrote:Sockra Tease

Watcher wrote:

Sockra Tease wrote:

We have fossils for both Mammals in their respective time periods. Their DNA homology is astounding similar, but then, is that a surprise since - though in different epochs - they formed under very similar conditions.

Now... I ask you:

Is this hypothesis I present, which stays very strictly close to the fossil evidence we have, more reasonable than invoking the Law of Continuity and thereby inventing a whole series of intermediary, imaginary, species between Mammal Y and Mammal Z - for which there is no fossil record - just to assert that Mammal Z was directly descended from Mammal Y?

Actually no.  It doesn't.   And not JUST because that idea is based on no evidence.  It's just not what has been proven to be the case.

You're describing convergent evolution.  Does it exist?  Heck yeah, all over the place.

Is the DNA of two animals that are superficially and shockingly similar and fitting the same ecological niche the same over very similar compared to other animals?   Not even close.

Animal displaying convergent evolution to the common tiger:

Tasmanian Tiger:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thylacine

One of the most well documented series of intermediary fossil records:

Whale Evolution: http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/evograms_03 

I'm not sure what we want to infer from this . Call it convergent evolution if you will, I am happy to believe birds and bats have wings from independent creations or formations through natural selection. I happy to believe that chimps and man have 99.9% DNA homology yet are two completely independent species. That is as far as the science can take us. If you want to carry on - beyond science and into speculation about direct or indirect lineages, you may do so. I just ask that if you infer one of these the ancestor of the other, please don't call that science... unless you have compelling evidence of course. Not just assertions that it is so and simply MUST be so.

Evograms of whale evolutions are speculations in picture form that are based on homology implies descent. That's fine as a speculation; again, it is not science. I suppose the most famous evograms are the pictures of the chimp-like thing on the left and several "evolutions" in the middle and a homo sapien man on the right. Cartoons are powerful marketing tools in the place of real evidence. All this artistic creativity is getting in the way of the real facts. Alot of people went back to church after the movie The Ten Commanments came out; Charlton Heston gave a great performance and sparked people up. That in no way proves that God exists. Evograms prove nothing, but they are convincing to some.

I don't mean to sound harsh or trolling, but we can see now that alot of inferencing is going on in this Theory. ET has a very very strong hold on people. There seems to be some innate desire for everything to "go back to" the One. Whether it is the One as "Singularity" in cosmology, or the One as Single Common Ancestor - people, especially those who may have just abandoned their religion, seem to subconciously want to adopt a secular Genesis Theory of some sort. It fills the void and gives a comfort with an echo of "In the beginning...". The actual science of it seems to take the back seat. The psychology of ET is pretty powerful!

 

 


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Ok, I think I understand

Ok, I think I understand what your flaw in thinking is.

You, for some reason, think that evolutionary scientists are first gathering facts and then, later coming up with an explanation to fit those fact.

They aren't doing this.

The strength behind the Theory of Evolution is it's power to make predictions BEFORE we have the evidence.

That's just good science.  Oddly enough, all of those thousands upon thousands of evolutionary scientists are not stupid.

If we have a theory that attempts to explain some aspect of the world or universe, which necessarily has to produce predictions based on that theory, is proven to be accurate over and over and over again, it becomes more convincing. 

The Theory of Evolution has accurately made thousands of predictions that when later tested, and the evidence is gathered, analyzed, prodded, peer reviewed, repeated around the world, is repeatedly unerringly proven true.

One prediction was the relationship between humans and chimps.  ToE predicted that we shared a common ancestor.  This is before we had most of the evidence we have today.

So, in order to test this evidence, we had a problem to solve.

Chimps have 24 pairs of chromosomes, humans have 23 pairs.  Moreso, all the other great apes (gorillas, bonobos, orangutans) had 24 pairs.  If the EoT was accurately describing how evolution works then we must account for that missing pair of chromosome.  Otherwise EoT is proven false.  We can't reconcile that with evolutionary theory.

So, decades after the relationship prediction was made, when we had discovered the structure of DNA, and had learned how to do genetical analysis, scientists took a look out both sets of chromosomes.

They found that if we split human chromosome 2 and inverted one section of it, it accounted for the difference.  Even more exciting, we found that no genes were lost from the fused ends of 2A and 2B driving a rock hard, undeniable fact that supported evolutionary theory.

PREDICTION PROVEN ACCURATE.

This is only one prediction.   The tip of the iceburg.

 

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci


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Sockra Tease wrote:As an

Sockra Tease wrote:
As an aside, I should think that if two parents gave birth to a daughter that grew up to be infertile (could not procreate), I would hesitate to suggest an evolutionary process was in evidence. I would think something genetic went wrong in this particular instance.

I don't see how this has anything to do with ring species.

Quote:
I suppose I would also caution that this is a far step from evidence that one species adapts into an entirely different species.

Huh? "Entirely different species" are defined as two groups that cannot interbreed. Ring species are defined such that the two populations at the ends of the spectrum cannot interbreed. 

Please explain what you think a ring species is.

 

 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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Watcher wrote:Ok, I think I

Watcher wrote:

Ok, I think I understand what your flaw in thinking is.

You, for some reason, think that evolutionary scientists are first gathering facts and then, later coming up with an explanation to fit those fact.

They aren't doing this.

The strength behind the Theory of Evolution is it's power to make predictions BEFORE we have the evidence.

That's just good science.  Oddly enough, all of those thousands upon thousands of evolutionary scientists are not stupid.

Actually, I do believe the opposite. With Evolution Theory we essentially have the Theory first, and then the "facts" are made to fit the Theory. (The only exceptions being, of course, Darwin and Wallace and so on who "discovered" the initial facts. From then on The Theory takes hold.)

With the chimp to homo sapien evogram firmly placed on the walls of school classrooms, generation after generation of school kids are told that this is the way, no matter what. People believe Evolution is true because they are told, from a young age, it is true, and by the way, you will need many degrees in Science to prove it false, so don't bother. There are clips on YouTube with Dawkins strutting around with great fervor and religious zeal trying to ensure that the religion myth is done away with and the Evolution myth is put in its place - though he erroneously calls it science.

But it gets worse. The poison spreads: the fossil record betrays Evolution. Darwin's expectations were not met by the fossil record. He knew it in his lifetime before he passed away. It saddened him. Now though, we can jig the Theory to try out a workaround. Like cosmology can turn one Big Bang into maybe a pulsing set of bangs, so ET can offer punctuated equilibriums. Sadly, that is not enough to actually fill the gaps. We need fossils to evidence the incredible number of mythical species dreamed up to fill the gaps. The fossils aren't there. Now, in days gone by, that would have necessitated a full re-think of the Theory. But ET is not science ; it is a religion. You cannot "re-think" a religion! And so, for the first time in modern Science History, science has declared.... "ignore it!" Some day in the future the fossils will arrive. Let us just wait for the facts to catch up with the Theory. (So you see, the Theory really does come first, and not only do the facts come second, but even if the facts don't come, the Theory still stands and we are told to just sit and wait it out.) This is what ET has done to proper Science: even when the fossil record, the gaps, provide counter evidence, the Theory is so important, counter-evidence is to be ignored. That is what is called science nowadays. What a disgrace...

I believe you are attributing the good work that biological scientists do to Evolution Theory. That is a way to give ET credence I suppose, but it is not quite fair. Biology is great science, and the study of DNA by biologists have given great achievements and advances. Absolutely. But that is science. Evolution has given us nothing but myth. Evolution has made no predictions; Evolution simply looks to the past and constructs a lineage mythology, AND it creates species that don't exist to do it. Evolution is poisoning the well of Science by deliberately introducing "myth as allegedly scientific explanation." Biology gives us predictability. Evolution gives us religion masquerading as science.

Evolution invokes evograms to persuade people that this lineage has actually taken place, but there is no science to support it. It is like pretending that Hydrogen descended from Helium. Why do we need to have a descent myth like this? Is it not possible to have Helium, and Hydrogen and that is all? That is certainly all for Science. Sure, helium and hydrogen have "structural homology" - they both have electrons and protons. What do we infer from that? Descent? Why?

I suppose I am cautious at the "thousands of scientists couldn't be wrong argument", or stupid instead of wrong. Consider the wide spread of atheism now. The underlying inference of atheism is that thousands and thousands of scientists then and now who believe/ed in god are also stupid. Issac Newton believed in God, and alchemy and more. Stupid was he?

If an atheist can believe thousands of theists are terribly misguided and wrong, it is not inconceivable that thousands of Evolutionists could be misguided. Especially if they have had that chimp evogram in front of their faces for decades: the kind of indoctrination that Dawkins yearns for in the schools.

Watcher wrote:

If we have a theory that attempts to explain some aspect of the world or universe, which necessarily has to produce predictions based on that theory, is proven to be accurate over and over and over again, it becomes more convincing. 

The Theory of Evolution has accurately made thousands of predictions that when later tested, and the evidence is gathered, analyzed, prodded, peer reviewed, repeated around the world, is repeatedly unerringly proven true.

One prediction was the relationship between humans and chimps.  ToE predicted that we shared a common ancestor.  This is before we had most of the evidence we have today.

So, in order to test this evidence, we had a problem to solve.

Chimps have 24 pairs of chromosomes, humans have 23 pairs.  Moreso, all the other great apes (gorillas, bonobos, orangutans) had 24 pairs.  If the EoT was accurately describing how evolution works then we must account for that missing pair of chromosome.  Otherwise EoT is proven false.  We can't reconcile that with evolutionary theory.

So, decades after the relationship prediction was made, when we had discovered the structure of DNA, and had learned how to do genetical analysis, scientists took a look out both sets of chromosomes.

They found that if we split human chromosome 2 and inverted one section of it, it accounted for the difference.  Even more exciting, we found that no genes were lost from the fused ends of 2A and 2B driving a rock hard, undeniable fact that supported evolutionary theory.

PREDICTION PROVEN ACCURATE.

This is only one prediction.   The tip of the iceburg.

I really can't accept that. Evolution has made no predictions I know of. Biological sciences have though. Many. I hope you aren't suggesting that Evolution "predicted" the sawfish was descended from the shark, and..... lo and behold... it is!" ? I wouldn't call that a prediction. It is only an inference, like the god inference. We should make a distinction between proper sciences - biological sciences, and Evolution. Evolution is speculation, not science.

There are many papers out there remarking on the chimp and man DNA homology. It is pretty darn close. Evolution says there is ONE, AND ONLY ONE explanation to account for this: common descent - descent from a common ancestor (as yet totally unevidenced in Nature. Unevidenced, but that's okay. We are told to just wait until the evidence arrives. Sound familiar? A borrow-over from Christianity maybe?).

But there is not only ONE way. Evolution itself tells us that. the other way is.... guess what?....

Natural selection. Nature selected chimps with 24 pairs. Nature selected homo sapien with 23 pairs. Why is that not a solution? Remember: for Evolutionists, 'natural selection' explains everything. What a tidy solution, since it is in the family so to speak - it is a premise within Evolution Theory itself, and it is more rational because we need not violate Occam's razor and invent a common descent species out of the supernatural world.

But no, if you want to go the supernatural route instead of 'natural selection', go ahead. Being a religion, Evolution can invent whatever it wants...all the way back to that Single Common Ancestor.

The more you look at Christianity, the more the evidence seems to disappear before you. Now, when you apply a rational, not evangelical, mind to Evolution....my oh my oh my...

 


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butterbattle wrote:Sockra

butterbattle wrote:

Sockra Tease wrote:
As an aside, I should think that if two parents gave birth to a daughter that grew up to be infertile (could not procreate), I would hesitate to suggest an evolutionary process was in evidence. I would think something genetic went wrong in this particular instance.

I don't see how this has anything to do with ring species.

Quote:
I suppose I would also caution that this is a far step from evidence that one species adapts into an entirely different species.

Huh? "Entirely different species" are defined as two groups that cannot interbreed. Ring species are defined such that the two populations at the ends of the spectrum cannot interbreed. 

Please explain what you think a ring species is.

I suppose it is more imprtant to know what YOU think ring species is/are if you are presenting them as scientific substantiation for Evolution Theory. Do you believe speciation is occurring, or is this really ONE species that, in an anomolous adapting process, adapts to a point where procreation is halted? Are you arbitrarily naming the specias at one end of the ring Specias A and at the other end, Species B, and thereby claiming 'speciation'? If so, I find it unwhelming evidence as the differences at each end seem quite minimal in terms of categorization. I would think more study needs to be done with regard to what adaption process is going on that results in an interference with procreation. Are ring species a "selected" mutation that should be called a "fail"? They don't speciate, they simply fail to procreate to expectation. I suppose it helps ET to initially label it a set of species rather than one species having difficulty procreating.

 

As with light. For so long the truism: "light travels in straight lines", held fast.

Now we see light bend around black holes.

What action do we take? Do we add a proviso to the truism, or do we abandon the truism?

 


Atheistextremist
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I'm sure I'm not the only

 

Sockra Tease wrote:

 

Actually, I do believe the opposite. With Evolution Theory we essentially have the Theory first, and then the "facts" are made to fit the Theory. (The only exceptions being, of course, Darwin and Wallace and so on who "discovered" the initial facts. From then on The Theory takes hold.)

With the chimp to homo sapien evogram firmly placed on the walls of school classrooms, generation after generation of school kids are told that this is the way, no matter what. People believe Evolution is true because they are told, from a young age, it is true, and by the way, you will need many degrees in Science to prove it false, so don't bother. There are clips on YouTube with Dawkins strutting around with great fervor and religious zeal trying to ensure that the religion myth is done away with and the Evolution myth is put in its place - though he erroneously calls it science.

But it gets worse. The poison spreads: the fossil record betrays Evolution. Darwin's expectations were not met by the fossil record. He knew it in his lifetime before he passed away. It saddened him. Now though, we can jig the Theory to try out a workaround. Like cosmology can turn one Big Bang into maybe a pulsing set of bangs, so ET can offer punctuated equilibriums. Sadly, that is not enough to actually fill the gaps. We need fossils to evidence the incredible number of mythical species dreamed up to fill the gaps. The fossils aren't there. Now, in days gone by, that would have necessitated a full re-think of the Theory. But ET is not science ; it is a religion. You cannot "re-think" a religion! And so, for the first time in modern Science History, science has declared.... "ignore it!" Some day in the future the fossils will arrive. Let us just wait for the facts to catch up with the Theory. (So you see, the Theory really does come first, and not only do the facts come second, but even if the facts don't come, the Theory still stands and we are told to just sit and wait it out.) This is what ET has done to proper Science: even when the fossil record, the gaps, provide counter evidence, the Theory is so important, counter-evidence is to be ignored. That is what is called science nowadays. What a disgrace...

I believe you are attributing the good work that biological scientists do to Evolution Theory. That is a way to give ET credence I suppose, but it is not quite fair. Biology is great science, and the study of DNA by biologists have given great achievements and advances. Absolutely. But that is science. Evolution has given us nothing but myth. Evolution has made no predictions; Evolution simply looks to the past and constructs a lineage mythology, AND it creates species that don't exist to do it. Evolution is poisoning the well of Science by deliberately introducing "myth as allegedly scientific explanation." Biology gives us predictability. Evolution gives us religion masquerading as science.

 

one thinking this, but you make some very odd assertions, Sockra.

You seem to fail to understand the concept of modifiable hypothesis. You assert the fossil record 'betrays' evolution, you insist evolutionary theory is a religion and that science declares 'Ignore it!' when faced with things it does not know. You insist the gap fossils aren't there as if they will never be there, when tens of thousands of new fossils are discovered every year and many intermediates. You claim there is counter evidence for evolution but what you are doing is highlighting gaps in a record that is entirely self sustaining. No fossil evidence has ever been found that undermines evolution and if you have some I want to see it. 

You also seem to ignore the posts of others who offer you intermediate fossils. Just as you ignore the advances in the study of genetic speciation and even in the existence of the reptilian brain underlaying the mammalian limbic system and the primate neocortex in humans. We all know the science is incomplete but evolutionary theory is proven across multiple disciplines. You have even admitted it works within species but chose to deny there is a point when natural selection expresses genetic speciation even though Darwin's finches and Wallace's butterflies prove you quite wrong. 

I'm not sure what your core beliefs actually are and you seem to keep them close to your chest. As a deist I assume you believe some hypothetical external first cause created life. Yet you insist natural selection creates species and reject the idea of speciation as if natural selection by climate change/continental drift and other environmental pressure does not inevitably lead to it. You say there is no common ancestor yet we know the oldest life forms are archeo bacteria that existed alone on the planet for hundreds of millions of years. You ignore the fact all multicellular creatures are comprised of colonies of highly specialised Eukaryote cells, all, as far as we can tell, identical in primary form and function to Eukaryotes that are over 2.7 billion years old. 

Further, you call ET a lineage mythology but offer no proof of fossils that undermine its fundamental contention that life changes over time. You also insist science 'creates' creatures that don't exist when we all know it hypothesises their existence then searches for data to support its hypothesis. You say evolution is religion masquerading as science. You even suggest ET claims we evolved from chimps when quite obviously every living organism is the current latest model and we all know evolution doesn't work laterally but applies backwards in time. These feeble throwaways seem to me to betray your repeated assertions you are devoted to one true science or to rational thought. 

Sockra, if you have anything empirically new to offer that undermines the data supporting evolutionary theory, anything that is not a wave at a fossil gap or an assertion of your own opinion based on an appeal to complexity or an appeal to ignorance, now's the time to dish it up. 

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


Atheistextremist
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This diversion

Sockra Tease wrote:

butterbattle wrote:

Sockra Tease wrote:
As an aside, I should think that if two parents gave birth to a daughter that grew up to be infertile (could not procreate), I would hesitate to suggest an evolutionary process was in evidence. I would think something genetic went wrong in this particular instance.

I don't see how this has anything to do with ring species.

Quote:
I suppose I would also caution that this is a far step from evidence that one species adapts into an entirely different species.

Huh? "Entirely different species" are defined as two groups that cannot interbreed. Ring species are defined such that the two populations at the ends of the spectrum cannot interbreed. 

Please explain what you think a ring species is.

I suppose it is more imprtant to know what YOU think ring species is/are if you are presenting them as scientific substantiation for Evolution Theory. Do you believe speciation is occurring, or is this really ONE species that, in an anomolous adapting process, adapts to a point where procreation is halted? Are you arbitrarily naming the specias at one end of the ring Specias A and at the other end, Species B, and thereby claiming 'speciation'? If so, I find it unwhelming evidence as the differences at each end seem quite minimal in terms of categorization. I would think more study needs to be done with regard to what adaption process is going on that results in an interference with procreation. Are ring species a "selected" mutation that should be called a "fail"? They don't speciate, they simply fail to procreate to expectation. I suppose it helps ET to initially label it a set of species rather than one species having difficulty procreating.

 

As with light. For so long the truism: "light travels in straight lines", held fast.

Now we see light bend around black holes.

What action do we take? Do we add a proviso to the truism, or do we abandon the truism?

 

 

adds nothing to the topic at hand. The modifiable hypothesis is perfectly capable of handling the discovery of new evidence relating to the bending of light. If you want this discovery to help you, show us your new evidence.   

Stay on the topic instead of diving off into these abstractions. Do you agree the fossil record shows that the first Eukaryotes are about 3 billion years old? 

Do you agree the fossil record shows that these single celled organisms lived on earth in the absence of multicellular creatures for 1.5 billion years? 

Just yes or no will do. 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Atheistextremist wrote: one

Atheistextremist wrote:

 one thinking this, but you make some very odd assertions, Sockra.

You seem to fail to understand the concept of modifiable hypothesis. You assert the fossil record 'betrays' evolution, you insist evolutionary theory is a religion and that science declares 'Ignore it!' when faced with things it does not know. You insist the gap fossils aren't there as if they will never be there, when tens of thousands of new fossils are discovered every year and many intermediates. You claim there is counter evidence for evolution but what you are doing is highlighting gaps in a record that is entirely self sustaining. No fossil evidence has ever been found that undermines evolution and if you have some I want to see it.

Actually I do understand and accept modifiable hypothesis. That is what I ask more of from Evolution Theory. The Theory needs to be scaled back to the actual evidence we have and the violations of Occam's razor need to be acknowledged and we need to remove the species that are not proven to exist and we need to remove the speciation mechanism which has never been shown to exist in nature. Yes, I am all for modifying Evolution Theory - modify it back to proper Science. Intermediate fossils have not been found. Fossils have been found, and they require labelling. Temptation for mendacity will be great. What is an intermediate fossil? Pretending a hominid fossil is actually a fossil of some antecdent species pre-hominid is not Science; it is playing with evidence. Scientists, in an attempt to be the famous ones who have "proved" Darwin correct have pretended a species of bird has actually "speciated" and become another species. The news didn't make much of a splash as it was rather obvious it was a pathetic attempt to pretend two birds of the same species were "birds of a different feather." As an athesist, I am sure you are aware of the mendacities from religious apologists and their attempts to present speculations and inferences as facts. Do you really believe Evolution evangelists are immune from such motivations? Shouldn't we be on guard for people slipping the wool over us? I need fossils where it is evident they are ancestors or descendents of a different species. Just saying it is so, doesn't make it so: we know that with the god hypothesis don't we? Your so-called imtermediate fossils are nothing more than a shard of wood in a monestary that the monks claim came from the Cross. The pedigree of the actual thing is a matter of faith, not science. I say again: DNA homology does not PROVE descent. It is a gross non sequitor that I am hoping gets recognized more and more for what it is.

Atheistextremist wrote:

You also seem to ignore the posts of others who offer you intermediate fossils. Just as you ignore the advances in the study of genetic speciation and even in the existence of the reptilian brain underlaying the mammalian limbic system and the primate neocortex in humans. We all know the science is incomplete but evolutionary theory is proven across multiple disciplines. You have even admitted it works within species but chose to deny there is a point when natural selection expresses genetic speciation even though Darwin's finches and Wallace's butterflies prove you quite wrong.

 

The finches and butterflies argumenst have been debateable as evidence for speciation. The intermediate fossils I have spoken to just now. As for ignoring science and advances, yes I ignore a great deal of it: the science that doesn't pertain to the Evolution theses I ignore, because that is science and it is valid and rational. It can be ignored as it doesn't impact. I do not ignore science that proves speciation and common ancestry from mythical species because there is no science to ignore. These things are being asserted to be true without evidence. That is my problem with The Theory. Assertions instead of evidence. That is the playground of religion. I do not want science to become religion. Though I am a deist, (I think?) I do believe such a god is "proven" in the heart through faith not science. There is no place in science, which studies the universe, for god. So, I am not trying to sneak God into Science; I actually want "him" kept out!! That is what worries me about the change of rules: that a supposition can turn into "scientific fact" without supporting evidence. That disturbs me. As said before, I am disturbed that the registered owner of the gun is arrested for murder. The registration is not evidence of murder. It is a non sequitor. The fossils do not evidence speciation; that is a non sequitor too.

 

Atheistextremist wrote:

I'm not sure what your core beliefs actually are and you seem to keep them close to your chest. As a deist I assume you believe some hypothetical external first cause created life. Yet you insist natural selection creates species and reject the idea of speciation as if natural selection by climate change/continental drift and other environmental pressure does not inevitably lead to it. You say there is no common ancestor yet we know the oldest life forms are archeo bacteria that existed alone on the planet for hundreds of millions of years. You ignore the fact all multicellular creatures are comprised of colonies of highly specialised Eukaryote cells, all, as far as we can tell, identical in primary form and function to Eukaryotes that are over 2.7 billion years old.

Natural selection that can create one species is natural selection that can create a trillion species. Unless we solve the question of the mechanism of abiogenesis from square one, we cannot conclusively say one way or another how life forms. I suppose you are looking at a lawn of grass and saying, "Amazing what one grass seed can do!" And I say, "Huh? What makes you think this all came from one grass seed? Three months ago, I scattered several buckets of grass seed. The grass blades are growing independently - some slower than others". For all we know, deep in the jungles, new species are formig now. For all we know. New species are being "discovered" but how long have they been around?

Atheistextremist wrote:

Further, you call ET a lineage mythology but offer no proof of fossils that undermine its fundamental contention that life changes over time. You also insist science 'creates' creatures that don't exist when we all know it hypothesises their existence then searches for data to support its hypothesis. You say evolution is religion masquerading as science. You even suggest ET claims we evolved from chimps when quite obviously every living organism is the current latest model and we all know evolution doesn't work laterally but applies backwards in time. These feeble throwaways seem to me to betray your repeated assertions you are devoted to one true science or to rational thought.

Well, abiogenesis may 'change' over time. Which is just to say if a process that creates life in the first place is posited, how can we just assume it can only do it once at one single point in time and it's finished. Finis. Natural selection takes over from then on. No. isn't it a possible hypothesis that along with natural selection (being an ongoing process) that abiogenesis is also an ongoing process, so species are constantly being created... ergo punctuated equilibrium possibly? If a comet hit the earth and created incredible trauma, let's say 97% of all species die. After a few hundred thousand years or so, when the effects settle a bit.. is it possible that new life may form again? If so, that is a matter of abiogenesis - an ongoing mechanism. Descent isn't the only mechanism. Abiogenesis is its own mechanism. We close our eyes to that possibility if we pretend "descent answers all; move on folks; there's nothing more here to see... or discover." Science needs this spirit of inquiry; not blind allegiance to a Theory.

Atheistextremist wrote:

Sockra, if you have anything empirically new to offer that undermines the data supporting evolutionary theory, anything that is not a wave at a fossil gap or an assertion of your own opinion based on an appeal to complexity or an appeal to ignorance, now's the time to dish it up. 

I have no fossils to present to undermine ET; I have no evidence to disprove ET... but we must play fair here. Do you have proof god doesn't exist? I believe I can undermine the logic of ET by simply exposing its unscientific character. The "assertion instead of evidence" nature of ET is plain and obvious to see. It is simply up to each one of us to decide if that is what Science should be. If so, you have no basis to stop a theistic scientist from arguing that God is abiogenesis. Your only possible objection would be that there is no evidence for god as abiogenesis, and the reply would be: so what? there is no evidence for speciation and YOU can assert it to be fact, so I can assert my suppositions to be fact too.

"But, you may say, there is  actually NO evidence for god being abiogenesis or god at all!"

"Well, comes the reply, god creates life, and abiogenesis creates life and we obviously see that life has been created, so there we have evidence of god."

Rationally, we shouldn't allow that but sadly, ET has changed the rules, and we no longer actually NEED evidence to call something fact.

 

I'm not trolling by the way. Does anyone else here see - though not agreeing - but actually SEE this problem about the new, post ET paradigm about scientific evidence? "We don't need evidence right now; it's enough the Theory is right. The evidence will come in the future." ???  Yikes.