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Common Descent or Common Designer


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#1
Ehud

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The big problem I have with Evolution, is not natural selection or mutations or sexual selection or speciation, it is the proposition that all life is related by descent. I’ve never met a Creationist who did not believe that some life is related by decent (i.e. horses, donkeys, and zebras had common horse-like ancestor), yet Darwin took this clear observation and extrapolated it to its extreme…into the realm of, I believe, nonscience. He said:

“It is a truly wonderful fact--the wonder of which we are apt to overlook from familiarity--that all animals and all plants throughout all time and space should be related to each other…”
~Origin of Species


Let’s not forget how extreme a claim it is to say all living things are related…one which must be supported by large amounts of evidence. Indeed, ask any Evolutionist, and they will say that it is. So what is the evidence? That is the purpose of this thread, to examine the evidence for common descent at large, or at specific steps (i.e. dinos to birds, apes to humans, etc.). I certainly am not familiar with all of the so-called evidence in support of common descent, but I am willing to learn. If the Bible is indeed true then it must be able to offer a reasonable explanation for all scientific facts.

“Fact:

  • something that actually exists; reality; truth:”


It is not my intention to dispute the facts themselves, but the interpretation placed on them. So what is the evidence for common descent?

Hold the Fort,
Ehud

#2
FresnoJoe

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“It is a truly wonderful fact--the wonder of which we are apt to overlook from familiarity--that all animals and all plants throughout all time and space should be related to each other…”
~Origin of Species


Not So Beloved

But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand. Isaiah 64:8

Or Why I See This Dead Man's Philosophy

Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands?

Woe unto him that saith unto his father, What begettest thou? or to the woman, What hast thou brought forth?

Thus saith the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me. I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.

I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways: he shall build my city, and he shall let go my captives, not for price nor reward, saith the LORD of hosts.
Isaiah 45:9-13

As Poison Mixed Into Science And Foolishly Declared Facts

Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save. Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me.

Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.

I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.

Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed.
Isaiah 45:20-24

For Unlike All Animals And All Plants Throughout All Time (Present And Past) And Space

For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. Isaiah 65:17

Man Is Not Only Special, He Has Become A Corrupting Odorous Foolish Sinner

But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. Isaiah 64:6

But Man's Creator Will Surely Call Him Beloved And Son

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. Romans 8:15

If He Would But Turn From Sins

Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil. Who knoweth if he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him; even a meat offering and a drink offering unto the LORD your God? Joel 2:12-14

To Love And Worship

Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. Revelation 5:12-13

The Only Begotten

Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: Ephesians 3:8-9

Son

~


If the Bible is indeed true then it must be able to offer a reasonable explanation for all scientific facts.


Yes Beloved The Bible Is True And This Is Why I Believe It's A Reasonable Expectation
To Look For All Scientific Mythologies


Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the LORD, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us? Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter's clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding?

Is it not yet a very little while, and Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field, and the fruitful field shall be esteemed as a forest?

And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness.

The meek also shall increase their joy in the LORD, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.
Isaiah 29:15-19

To Soon Blow Away
Along With The Dust Of All Material Creation (Except Man) For All Time


And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. Revelation 20:11

And Why It's Priesthood Will Soon Enough Kneel

For the terrible one is brought to nought, and the scorner is consumed, and all that watch for iniquity are cut off: That make a man an offender for a word, and lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate, and turn aside the just for a thing of nought. Isaiah 29:20-21

In Eternal Shame Before All Heaven

Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels. Mark 8:38

And The Christ

I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
Revelation 22:13-17

~

Believe


For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

And Be Blessed Beloved

But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city. Hebrews 11:16

Love, Joe

#3
Ehud

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I just wanted to quickly mention that in this thread I do not wish to flog a dead horse. The first post was merely to introduce the topic. I realize that those supporting Evolution on this forum have submitted the evidence in various threads at various times in the past; this thread was merely intended to narrow the discussion to the question of common descent. I had intended to start off the discussion with some previous evidence, but these plans have changed due to some unforseen issues. Therefore, the floor is open to anyone who would like to submit what they believe is good evidence for common descent to start off the discussion.

This isn't a challenge by any means. I (and others I hope) am interested in objectively analyzing the evidence for what it's worth, and if I find I am holding an inaccurate position, I hope I will be honest enough to change it.

Hold the Fort,
Ehud

#4
Ehud

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I must reiterate that this is not intended to be a challenge to come out and fight. I’m not sitting around waiting to pounce on an Evolutionist, just hoping to have a good discussion.

With regard to microevolution, it may surprise you that I fully accept both microevolution (defined as evolutionary changes within a species) and macroevolution (defined as evolutionary changes at or above the level of species).

If you have billions of microevolutionary steps, is the final result still a microevolution from the initial organism?


The short answer is, absolutely. The problem is, you are imagining microevolution as a directional process progressing towards bigger and better life forms. Let me illustrate, suppose you left Paris at ~34 m above sea level and started walking around Europe. 1 billion small steps later (obviously a VERY roundabout way) you ended up in Berlin also ~34 m above sea level. What was your net change in altitude...0 m. You might have wandered high into the Alps or down to the coast, but 1 billion small steps later your net change was 0. Microevolution (and macroevolution for that matter) is not an upward progression of increasing complexity (in fact, often there is a decrease). Rather, it is a built in process of variation over time to enable organisms to adapt to a variety of environments. Similarly, on your way to Berlin you could cover a limited range of altitudes but no number of steps would ever get you to the moon.

And why are we so similar to "lower" primates, instead of looking completely different from any other living being?


If we were completely unique beings in our design then human biological research would be at a stand-still. It is very reasonable that God would reuse a working model (a hypothesis which I will not expound on now) so we could study E. coli, baker’s yeast, fruit flies, roundworms, zebrafish, chicks, mice, and, yes, even monkeys to learn about our own biology (humans share genes with all of these organisms). Brilliant, if you ask me.

I will not oblige you by answering your other off topic questions. Although, feel free to read the following article to see why there are body size limits for exoskeletons (Scaling in biology: The consequences of size). However, I’ld like to ask you an on topic question…assuming you accept a materialistic origin of life, what is the evidence that convinced you that all life as we know it is related?

Hold the Fort,
Ehud

Edited by Ehud, 29 November 2012 - 05:26 PM.


#5
Guest_ninhao_*

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Let’s not forget how extreme a claim it is to say all living things are related…one which must be supported by large amounts of evidence. Indeed, ask any Evolutionist, and they will say that it is. So what is the evidence? That is the purpose of this thread, to examine the evidence for common descent at large, or at specific steps (i.e. dinos to birds, apes to humans, etc.). I certainly am not familiar with all of the so-called evidence in support of common descent, but I am willing to learn. If the Bible is indeed true then it must be able to offer a reasonable explanation for all scientific facts.


Hello Ehud,

My daughter studied ancient DNA of the Moa under Professor Lambert and the Archaeopteryx was presented in a discussion as the link between dinos and birds. Do you have any argument that debunks this ?

As it shows quite a few traits of both birds and dinosaurs, Archaeopteryx has often been deemed a link between them.[7] In the 1970s, John Ostrom, following T. H. Huxley's lead in 1868, argued that birds evolved within theropod dinosaurs and Archaeopteryx was a critical piece of evidence for this argument; it had a number of bird traits, such as a wishbone, flight feathers, wings and a partially reversed first toe, and a number of dinosaur and theropod features. For instance, it has a long ascending process of the ankle bone, interdental plate, an obturator process of the ischium, and long chevrons in the tail. In particular, Ostrom found that Archaeopteryx was remarkably similar to the theropod family Dromaeosauridae



http://landbeforetim...i/Archaeopteryx

#6
thomas t

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As far as I know, the tail-growing genes are still available but are suppressed by other genes. No human designer would work like that. If I do not need a certain functionality I simply remove it, I would not add complexity by constructing an inhibitor of said functionality (unless I foresee that I might need it again).

[...] It is theoretically possible to reuse the design of big invertebrates and promote them to moral agents. Of course, It is entirely possible that God decided that primates required less work to be upgraded, but this does not seem prima facie very plausible given omnipotence. The only plausible scenario is that God had humans in mind and opportunistically created the other primates as intermediate designs to be reused; but why not assemble humans directly, if He could assemble primates directly from non-primates? Looks like the other primates are necessary at all.



Ciao

- viole

Awww Viole,
you are such a talented and gifted human designer....
Let me suppose that, if God ever comes into troubles with his creating work ... he would be very blessed by your comments. Would you ever give him your advice?

Thomas

#7
FresnoJoe

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Let’s not forget how extreme a claim it is to say all living things are related…one which must be supported by large amounts of evidence. Indeed, ask any Evolutionist, and they will say that it is. So what is the evidence? That is the purpose of this thread, to examine the evidence for common descent at large, or at specific steps (i.e. dinos to birds, apes to humans, etc.). I certainly am not familiar with all of the so-called evidence in support of common descent, but I am willing to learn. If the Bible is indeed true then it must be able to offer a reasonable explanation for all scientific facts.


Hello Ehud,

My daughter studied ancient DNA of the Moa under Professor Lambert and the Archaeopteryx was presented in a discussion as the link between dinos and birds. Do you have any argument that debunks this ?

As it shows quite a few traits of both birds and dinosaurs, Archaeopteryx has often been deemed a link between them.[7] In the 1970s, John Ostrom, following T. H. Huxley's lead in 1868, argued that birds evolved within theropod dinosaurs and Archaeopteryx was a critical piece of evidence for this argument; it had a number of bird traits, such as a wishbone, flight feathers, wings and a partially reversed first toe, and a number of dinosaur and theropod features. For instance, it has a long ascending process of the ankle bone, interdental plate, an obturator process of the ischium, and long chevrons in the tail. In particular, Ostrom found that Archaeopteryx was remarkably similar to the theropod family Dromaeosauridae


http://landbeforetim...i/Archaeopteryx


Reasons

And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. And the evening and the morning were the fifth day. Genesis 1:20-23

To Think

And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:24-25

You Think

In an article in the British Journal of Photography (Vol. 132, March 1985) Hoyle and associates make the rather astonishing claim that Archaeopteryx is a forgery! From examining the specimen in the British Museum and from photographs which they took of it they argue that the impressions of feathers in the stone were faked. They claim that someone must have made a cement like matrix which was applied to the stone into which chicken feathers were then pressed in order to leave the impressions of plumage! They further claim that the sedimentary textures of the slab and counterslab are different and that on a fine scale these two slabs do not fit 'hand-in-glove' they way in which they ought.

These are astonishing claims and they have been have been reported through the world's media (Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, Guardian, The Times [all in London], Dagens Nyheter [Stockholm], New York Times, etc.). It is a curious dispute because the principal exponents of this view are not paleontologists. Hoyle is an astronomer, his colleague Chandra Wickramasinghe is an astrophysicist and Lee Spetner is an Israeli physicist. It calls into question a major piece of fossil evidence regarding evolution and imputes the integrity of Sir Robert Owen, one of the major pillars of British paleontology, who, it is alleged, must have been privy to the hoax. Why Owen, who was an opponent of Darwin and evolution, should have wanted to do something of this sort also boggles the imagination. If such an allegation were true it would be even more astonishing than the expose of the Piltdown Man.

The authoritative rebuttal of this view comes in a paper published in Science (Vol 232, 2 May, 1986, pp. 622-625) by Alan Charig, Frank Greenaway, Angela Milner, Cyril Walker and Peter Whybrow unequivocally entitled Archaeopteryx Is Not a Forgery. Their arguments are technical and detailed but in essence they show that there is no evidence of such 'doctoring' of the slab; that mineral-filled hairline fissures extend from the feathers and into the bones of the animal rpoving that they are from one and the same source; that minerological evidence conclusively shows that the slab and counterslab connect together and that differences in sedimentary texture between the two are perfectly in keeping with such deposits and the ways in which they are created. They point out that in addition there are remains of five Archaeopteryx discovered at different times and places and under well documented conditions. In only one of these specimens is the state of preservation such that the presence of feathers cannot unequivocally be established.

Others might be deterred but Hoyle and Wickramasinghe have replied with Archaeopteryx, The Primordial Bird a book published in London by Christopher Davis in 1987. In it they repeat their claims in addition to advancing the notion that evolution proceeds in sudden fits and starts as a result of genetic storms of viruses carried to the earth from outer space. "Egads," you might think "where is the line between science and science fiction?" Molecular biologist have reacted with embarrassment to these mystical outpourings and have replied that there exists not an iota of evidence to support these wild theories. In a review of the book in New Scientist (10 September, 1987) Beverly Halstead writes;

"This contribution [is] one of the most despicable pieces of writing it has ever been my misfortune to read. It displays utter contempt for minimal standards of scholarship ... [and] will remain for a long time a stain on the reputation of both authors."
Not an ambivalent response.

Archaeopteryx meanwhile continues to be the subject of serious scholarship and causes dispute among scientists who do not question its authenticity. In an article published in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society in 1984 (Vol. 82, pp. 119-158) and called "The avian relationship of Archaeopteryx and the origin of birds", R. A. Thulborn argues that Archaeopteryx is not, in fact, a bird at all! From careful morphological analysis of birds, dinosaurs, reptiles and Archaeopteryx he concludes that Archaeopteryx is no more closely related to birds than several types of theropod dinosaurs including tyrannosaurids and ornithomimids. He argues that Archaeopteryx is not an ancestral bird and transfers it to the dinosaur suborder Theropoda. He believes that there may not, in fact, be any 'missing link' between dinosaurs and birds to be discovered in the fossil record but that birds may have arisen by means of a 'saltative' change between the two groups. By this he means a sudden and abrupt evolutionary change rather than the gradual and progressive kind advocated by Darwin.

http://www.chebucto....haeopteryx.html


~

And The Truth About The Truth Of All Creation


And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: Ephesians 3:9

Is That Jesus Christ Is The LORD

Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. Revelation 4:11

~

Want More?


For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

Believe And Be Blessed Beloved

And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
Revelation 22:12-15

Love, Joe

#8
Ehud

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Since I cannot compete with you on genes, alleles, biochemistry, etc. my arsenal is quite limited. Probably I would use the fact that we still have the capability to grow a tail. As far as I know, the tail-growing genes are still available but are suppressed by other genes. No human designer would work like that. If I do not need a certain functionality I simply remove it, I would not add complexity by constructing an inhibitor of said functionality (unless I foresee that I might need it again).


Great, this is something we can work with! So could you explain the preceding statement further: 1) Can you site at least one reference for the "fact" that we have the capability to grow a tail. That will give us some objective starting point for examining this evidence. 2) Do you believe that the exclusive function of "tail-growing genes" is in fact to grow tails? 3) If it could be shown that humans do not have the capability to grow a tail would you doubt common descent.

I honestly do not know the answer to the first two questions, though I have very strong suspicions about the second (and believe this is where the weakness lies). I merely raise the third question as an illustrative point. Ultimately, most "debates" are not about the evidence. Here, viole has presented what she finds to be the most convincing evidence that man shares a common ancestor with other animals, yet if it could be shown that this argument was totally falacious (by her standards), would that cause her to rethink her position on common descent...NO. She holds the position of common descent because her mainstream worldview requires this of her. With that being said, we will still address the evidence because I have no doubt that I have incorrect preconceptions about the way God created and examining all the sides of an issue will hopefully help in constructing the most accurate Creation model.

Hold the Fort,
Ehud

#9
D-9

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The evidence is basically evolution; once you have evolution common descent follows naturally. Things like the fossil record in transitional fossils and paleobiogeography, homologous structures, homologous genes, pseudo-genes, ERVs, vestigial structures, evo-devo, and so on coupled with our knowledge of heredity and what you call "micro" evolution and you have common descent.

#10
D-9

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Since I cannot compete with you on genes, alleles, biochemistry, etc. my arsenal is quite limited. Probably I would use the fact that we still have the capability to grow a tail. As far as I know, the tail-growing genes are still available but are suppressed by other genes. No human designer would work like that. If I do not need a certain functionality I simply remove it, I would not add complexity by constructing an inhibitor of said functionality (unless I foresee that I might need it again).


Great, this is something we can work with! So could you explain the preceding statement further: 1) Can you site at least one reference for the "fact" that we have the capability to grow a tail. That will give us some objective starting point for examining this evidence. 2) Do you believe that the exclusive function of "tail-growing genes" is in fact to grow tails? 3) If it could be shown that humans do not have the capability to grow a tail would you doubt common descent.

I honestly do not know the answer to the first two questions, though I have very strong suspicions about the second (and believe this is where the weakness lies). I merely raise the third question as an illustrative point. Ultimately, most "debates" are not about the evidence. Here, viole has presented what she finds to be the most convincing evidence that man shares a common ancestor with other animals, yet if it could be shown that this argument was totally falacious (by her standards), would that cause her to rethink her position on common descent...NO. She holds the position of common descent because her mainstream worldview requires this of her. With that being said, we will still address the evidence because I have no doubt that I have incorrect preconceptions about the way God created and examining all the sides of an issue will hopefully help in constructing the most accurate Creation model.

Hold the Fort,
Ehud


Here is a link that deals with human tails and they cite their sources so you know they aren't just making it up: http://www.talkorigi...ml#atavisms_ex2

So it appears that scientists have found the genes for tails in other organisms and we have them too. Every now and then these genes are no longer suppressed in us humans and we end up with a tail.

As for question #2, I don't see it as a make or break for common descent; regardless of how many functions a gene has if it's passed on it's passed on. It may be that non-exclusivity for the genes is a necessary requirement for a (logical) common designer, but I don't see any number of possible functions for a gene necessary for common ancestry whether it be 1 or 100. IOW, why can't the genes for a tail have another function if common ancestry is true?

And I think Viole hit the nail on the head with her Aspirin analogy. As my previous post alluded, the silver bullet demonstrating common descent or evolution, IMHO, is not a single fact but the observation that you have multiple fields and facts that are harmonized/synthesized into a coherent explanation of them by the theory of evolution. And that in of itself is powerful evidence of evolution's success as a scientific theory.

#11
thomas t

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Hallo Viole

In order to define design we have to reference our capacity of designing. Do you know other conscious designers than humans? I don't, so I must refer to them when I consider design principles. Otherwise, you could replace the word "design" with the word "gvhgchn" and achieve the same meaning.

So, do you think it is a good idea to provide mechanisms that inhibit a certain useless function vs. removing the function altogether?

I agree with Ehud in that you simply forgot possible reasons other than growing a tail for that gene.
Please, use another word for design. You can use "baking", whereas some Christians keep using "design", I think that would be a basis for a good further discussion.

So, do you think it is a good idea to provide mechanisms that inhibit a certain useless function vs. removing the function altogether?

I bet you are not an engineer :)

I am not either, but it does not take a lot of skills to see that a simpler design that implements the same functionality is preferrable.


well, but obviously you think that I am a human designer, too, just like you are. Actually I'm not. So that question seems useless, I guess.

design principles

Have you already set up principles for doing arts? I am sure it was also you having established all of them available in today's world. And I am also sure that Armani and other known artists thank you every day for your guidance on their work..

I am just thinking of another art form, remembering the infamous soccer match Italy vs. Germany this summer. Germany had their structure with principles for everything. The Italian team didn't have any structure at all within their attacking lines. They seemed to get their inspiration just out of the moment. They won.

Blessings
Thomas

#12
Ehud

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As my previous post alluded, the silver bullet demonstrating common descent or evolution, IMHO, is not a single fact but the observation that you have multiple fields and facts that are harmonized/synthesized into a coherent explanation of them by the theory of evolution.


I fully agree with D-9 regarding the silver bullet concept on a grand scale. However, viole was asked what evidence she personally found convincing…

assuming you accept a materialistic origin of life, what is the evidence that convinced you that all life as we know it is related?


The follow-up question (“if this evidence were shown to be false would you doubt your pisition?...) was intended to draw out some important information…and it worked. In fact, viole revealed in her next post that the snippet of evidence she presented wasn’t what convinced her, but her true reason for belief was a faithful adherence to the views of mainstream science:

Well, yes you are right. But that is because I have no clue about biology, I am forced to accept the main view of biologists…


I don’t criticize this, as I also basically accept what I hear from mainstream science as well. Afterall, we could never possibly examine everything we hear (scientific or otherwise). However, while we cannot address the whole (for lack of time), let's address it's individual parts. Viole, do you basically agree with the link D-9 posted regarding the human tails? This is what I will be looking at and I want to make sure I’m addressing what you consider evidence. BTW, I don’t know the answer to the human-tail question, but it ought to be readily explained by the Creation model.

Hold the Fort,
Ehud

P.S. D-9, in the following statement...

The evidence is basically evolution; once you have evolution common descent follows naturally.


what do you mean by "evolution"? Because I certainly do not see how common descent "naturally" follows from changing distributions of alleles over time. Perhaps, a better phrase would be, once you have a naturalistic view of origins, common descent necessarily follows.

Edited by Ehud, 01 December 2012 - 08:34 AM.


#13
D-9

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The truth is there is no 'silver bullet” that demonstrates universal common ancestry (UCA). Those who accept that notion simply “assume” UCA based on materialistic mythology. Scientists are increasingly becoming apostates from Darwinism for the obvious reason - when the philosophical hype is stripped away it reveals a flawed concept that cannot be supported via scientific investigation.

"Darwinian evolutionary theory was my field of specialization in biology. Among other things, I wrote a textbook on the subject thirty years ago. Meanwhile, however I have become an apostate from Darwinian theory and have described it as part of modernism’s origination myth. Consequently, I certainly agree that biology students at least should have the opportunity to learn about the flaws and limits of Darwin’s theory while they are learning about the theory’s strongest claims."


Dr. Stanley Salthe, Professor Emeritus, Brooklyn College of the City University of New York


Well the "assumption" of materialistic mythology is the same assumption Newton used to determine the law of gravity instead of accepting the idea that angels physically moved/controlled the planets. The bottom line is that your argument here is essentially one about the validity of the scientific method, summed up you simply do not like the methodology of science because it doesn't deal with the supernatural but solely with the natural.

Also, the idea that scientists are increasingly doubting ToE is just wrong. Every single poll continually shows that over 99% of scientists able to understand evolution in-depth accept evolution as the centerpiece of modern biology. Finding a few professors with credentials that doubt evolution is not impressive at all, if you recall I cited a professor of molecular biology from Berkeley not too long ago that denies AIDS, there are people with weird and wacky ideas everywhere and some of them have credentials. But what does the scientific community at large think about evolution?


The evidence is basically evolution; once you have evolution common descent follows naturally.

Your circular reasoning above really proves nothing - does it?


It's not circular reasoning, I'm just pointing out that evolution and common descent can be thought of as two sides of the same coin because they are so closely connected to one another. By demonstrating UCA you demonstrate ToE, and if you demonstrate ToE UCA is a very obvious inference from that. Which makes the evidence for each virtually identical, just a slightly different tone and emphasis.

Things like the fossil record in transitional fossils and paleobiogeography, homologous structures, homologous genes, pseudo-genes, ERVs, vestigial structures, evo-devo, and so on coupled with our knowledge of heredity and what you call "micro" evolution and you have common descent.

But where is your science that connects all of the above with UCA? Homologous structures, the fossil record, etc works very well for common design - what compels anyone to assume common ancetry besides wishful thinking?


The science is the theory; the theory is able to make sense of a wide variety of observations that deal with the above and more, that is powerful evidence for any scientific theory. To understand why all of those things support ToE/UCA you have to spend time going over each one and how it fits in with the theory.

I think we also need to establish the parameters of the OP, or your specific discussion you wish to engage in. What I mean is, are we focusing on the science itself, i.e. what is the best scientific explanation, or are we more concerned with teleology which may not be the best scientific explanation at all?

#14
D-9

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The follow-up question (“if this evidence were shown to be false would you doubt your pisition?...) was intended to draw out some important information…and it worked. In fact, viole revealed in her next post that the snippet of evidence she presented wasn’t what convinced her, but her true reason for belief was a faithful adherence to the views of mainstream science:


Well, yes you are right. But that is because I have no clue about biology, I am forced to accept the main view of biologists…


I don’t criticize this, as I also basically accept what I hear from mainstream science as well. Afterall, we could never possibly examine everything we hear (scientific or otherwise). However, while we cannot address the whole (for lack of time), let's address it's individual parts. Viole, do you basically agree with the link D-9 posted regarding the human tails? This is what I will be looking at and I want to make sure I’m addressing what you consider evidence. BTW, I don’t know the answer to the human-tail question, but it ought to be readily explained by the Creation model.

Hold the Fort,
Ehud


Not only do we not have time to address everything we hear/see, but we rarely have the understanding to competently evaluate the evidence ourselves to begin with. Indeed, often the only way to competently evaluate the evidence ourselves is to be an expert too, and most people are not experts at anything.

I may be wrong but my understanding is that philosophically, unless you are an expert in said field yourself, the best way to determine truth is to see what the consensus among relevant experts is. So for evolution our best tool philosophically for determining the truth of the matter, as a bunch of laymen on an internet forum, is to find out what the consensus among the scientific community is. As you probably know, the answer to that question is definitive support for ToE.

As for the human tail argument, think about it. For sake of argument and devils advocate lets say all those 'tails' were really outgrowth protrusions in an odd place and has nothing to do with tails. It certainly demolishes that particular human atavism as evidence for evolution, as it would no longer be an atavism, but it doesn't negate the fact that we do have the genes to make a tail and that can be used as evidence for human evolution. It doesn't negate any other pieces of evidence either, and it really doesn't even make the argument for a designer more compelling. So in reality Waldoz's question, while I'm sure sincere, is simply the wrong question to ask.

P.S. D-9, in the following statement...


The evidence is basically evolution; once you have evolution common descent follows naturally.


what do you mean by "evolution"? Because I certainly do not see how common descent "naturally" follows from changing distributions of alleles over time. Perhaps, a better phrase would be, once you have a naturalistic view of origins, common descent necessarily follows.


"Evolution" as in the modern usage of "evolution" in the biological sciences, or perhaps the process described by ToE. An allele frequency change, say from 25% homozygous dominant 25% homozygous recessive 50% heterozygote, to 26% homozygous dominant 24% homozygous recessive and 50% heterozygous, is evolution at the smallest level possible - we haven't even introduced a new allele or even change the frequencies that much. But evolution by no means ends with a shuffling of alleles already there, speciation which has been observed in lab and wild is still evolution even though it usually requires more than a simple allele frequency shuffle. Or dino to bird, while definitely more than a shuffling of alleles, is another example of evolution.

#15
D-9

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You may want to review what you are posting. Newton did not rely on mythology – he helped develop the scientific method of inquiry – no myth allowed. Darwinism, however relies heavily of mythology and unfounded speculations, i.e., man/chimp common ancestry, dinosaurs morphing into birds, etc.

You are again mistaken – I fully accept the validity of the scientific method but that method does not demonstrate UCA – thus your lack of convincing evidence.



Isn't your phrase "materialistic mythology" a euphemism for "naturalism"? Science is naturalism, so my understanding of your words is that Newton used "materialistic mythology" to come up with his theories and laws you now seem to praise. Odd.

Science is not decided at the polling stations and you still don't get it. Many scientists are going where the evidence leads them and are becoming 'apostate from Darwinism'. 99% of Darwinian scientists are atheist and they reject guided design in nature out of hand for the obvious reason. Your point remain moot – 99% of Darwinian scientists can be wrong.



I understand it perfectly well; you made a claim that the scientific community is losing support for ToE and this is simply false. The big ideas these dissenters have have been thoroughly debunked by their peers - just look up the Dover Trial. You are also very mistaken to think that 99% of ToE scientists are atheists, it is more around 60%. I'm not trying to be mean, but unless you're just playing dumb you really have no clue as to what you're talking about.

The only problem with your simplistic explanation of complex problems is the ToE does not demonstrate UCA.



Genetics establishes a UCA pretty well, and genetics is essentially part of the ToE as far as we need to be concerned.

You are dancing and you didn't answer my question – since homologous structures, the fossil record, etc works very well for common design - what compels anyone to assume common ancestry besides wishful thinking?

The floor is all yours my friend - spend all the time you want going over each example and demonstrate via the scientific method how each demonstrates UCA?



I did answer your question, the most compelling evidence that I see is that these multiple different fields all converge on a single conclusion, evolution. Take homologous structures, evolution provides a clear and coherent explanation for why we see homologous structures based off mechanisms we have observed and studied. The problem with a common designer, well one of the many problems, is that it has very little predictive power; it cannot explain why we see homologous structures to the same degree as evolution - the best you have is God decided to do it that way because God is God. This is apparent when you realize that God can do whatever he wants, he can come up with dozens of different designs. Yet, for example, the HOX genes control basic body plans (i.e. where your arms and legs go), so why would God have the HOX genes of a fly and chicken be functionally identical with each having their own unique silent mutations? Common design cannot give a satisfactory answer to this, but evolution can. You find examples like this everywhere from all the different fields; evolution can coherently explain facts and adds to our knowledge, common design can only offer ad hoc interpretations of what we find.


The OP has established parameters for you to operate within. What more do you require? The question remains – can you present your case – can you defend your creation myth via science? You're up...



I already told you what I require, is this discussion about science or teleology?

You are quite wrong – where would we be if Galileo had followed the “consensus among relevant experts” of his day. Again, science does not operate by majority vote.



You need to pay more attention when you read, we are talking about those not qualified to professionally offer an opinion, Galileo does not fall into this category. Besides, lets not confuse Galileo's struggle with modern creationism, it doesn't fly. When Galileo told people about his ideas and the observations to back it up people told him that the devil was messing with his telescope so he wasn't seeing the world as it is. In contrast, the scientific literature has thoroughly debunked creationism/ID through the scientific process, there really is no comparison.

But you only assume dino-bird evolution. Where is your scientific evidence? How can random mutation add the required information needed to change dinosaur forelegs into wings of flight? Please be specific with your answer.


I have a serious question, what is your relationship with Ehud? Ehud responds to my posts on your behalf and you respond to my posts on Ehud's behalf. The precision of these events makes me doubt coincidence, are you relatives? I feel like I'm talking to two very similar people.

There is lots of evidence for dino to bird, you have genetic evidence, similar bone structure, the behavior/instincts of birds, and transitional fossils. How can random mutations do this? Natural selection. And I have a question of my own, is going from wing to arm a decrease in information?

#16
Ehud

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"Evolution" as in the modern usage of "evolution" in the biological sciences, or perhaps the process described by ToE. An allele frequency change, say from 25% homozygous dominant 25% homozygous recessive 50% heterozygote, to 26% homozygous dominant 24% homozygous recessive and 50% heterozygous, is evolution at the smallest level possible - we haven't even introduced a new allele or even change the frequencies that much. But evolution by no means ends with a shuffling of alleles already there, speciation which has been observed in lab and wild is still evolution even though it usually requires more than a simple allele frequency shuffle. Or dino to bird, while definitely more than a shuffling of alleles, is another example of evolution.



Herein lies the problem…to all of the readers out there, the above paragraph illustrates the reason for the immense confusion on this topic. D-9 has argued that 99% of scientists accept evolution. I would estimate that 100% of scientists and 100% of Creation scientists also accept evolution. It all depends on how you define evolution. This was not always apparent to me, but became so during several interesting experiences, only a few of which I will highlight here.

During my master’s degree in biology I took a required course called Professional Development in Biology. At one point during the semester the discussion of teaching evolution came up. The professor talked about how he would teach General Biology for Non-majors, and inevitably there would be a few students who would challenge evolution. To these students he would point out the simple peppered moth example…“At such-and-such point in time you had alleles present in the population which produced white moths at a higher frequency that black moths. After the industrial revolution the allele frequencies changed to produce a majority of black moths and just a few white…etc (I’m sure everyone here has heard the peppered moth story).” He would then ask them if they believed this. Of course the student would say, yes, to which he would reply, “Then you believe in evolution.” Now before you other Creationists out there get up in arms about the peppered moth story, it is important to note that he is absolutely correct. This is biological evolution. However, as the professor was sharing this story, it was the next statement he made that peaked my interest. He said, “Now I can understand students having a hard time accepting common descent, but evolution itself is a fact.” This was when I began to realize that there was a major disconnect between what the general audience calls evolution and what scientists call evolution.

This realization was dramatically reinforced just a few semesters later. I do not tout my beliefs, but the Bible and science question came up during my first meeting with my PI (Principle Investigator…what bosses are called in the science field). Therefore, my thesis committee required that I take the class, Principles of…yep you guessed it…Evolution. Now one might think that this class would spend a good bit of time talking about the fossil record, missing links, or abiogenesis; however, the teacher quickly defined evolution as “a change in the distribution of alleles over time” (or more generally, “a change in genomes over time”), and we spent most of the class talking about things like population genetics, Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, and natural selection/genetic drift (all concepts which Creationists readily agree with). I remember at one point in the class the teacher listed the criteria required in order for no evolution to be occurring (there are 5 of them: no mutations, no migration, no natural selection, no genetic drift, completely random mating). He then pointed out, “There is no place in the world where the conditions exist for evolution not to happen.” Case closed…right. Yes, if we are considering evolution as accurately defined by a change in the distribution of alleles over time. Does D-9 take us for fools by insisting on a definition of evolution which exceeds that of the experts in the field?


But evolution by no means ends with a shuffling of alleles already there, speciation which has been observed in lab and wild is still evolution even though it usually requires more than a simple allele frequency shuffle. Or dino to bird, while definitely more than a shuffling of alleles, is another example of evolution.



Make no mistake, you can dig around on the internet and find scientists defining evolution as D-9 does, but one only need to take a course in evolution to find out what it is really talking about. When seen in this light it is no wonder that 99% percent of scientists accept evolution. It is probably also true that the vast majority of scientists do accept common descent (evolution aside). This is not surprising as science is a self-perpetuating system…the current generation of scientists trains the next generation. Unfortunately, Bible believing Christians began to flee science leaving it to become saturated by materialists, naturalists, and atheists who are required to believe in common descent based on their world view. One physics teacher I had told me of an interesting happening to a Creationist colleague who earned his PhD at the University of Southern Alabama (they had earned their PhDs together). During his doctorate he had coauthored a book supporting Creationism and was asked to remove his name from the authorship before receiving his degree. Indeed, as mentioned above, I was required to take Principles of Evolution (which I did not mind) because I was a Creationist (this course was not part of the university requirements for the master’s degree). The powers that be are making a great effort to ensure that their vast majority never dwindles.

Based on a review by Ecklund and Scheitle (http://www.jstor.org...p.2007.54.2.289), only 17.4% of biologists consistently believe in a God. The other 82.6% fall into the category of atheist (41%), agnostic (29.9%), or higher power/transient believers (7.7 and 4.1 % respectively). This does not even take into account the interactive role those claiming theism allow their God to play. Therefore, among biologists, 82.6% (give or take a few percentage points) are going to believe in common descent by default, their worldview does not allow for any other explanation. Whether the science profession has a tendency to produce atheists/agnostics or whether these freethinker type of individuals are specifically attracted to scientific careers is an interesting question (for another thread another time), but the bottom line is this, the majority support for common descent among scientists will never change*. One must begin to wonder if this whole discussion is useless; D-9 has taken an unassailable position by seeking refuge behind the impenetrable scientific majority:


I may be wrong but my understanding is that philosophically, unless you are an expert in said field yourself, the best way to determine truth is to see what the consensus among relevant experts is.



From this I gather that the only thing that could change his mind would be to change the minds of the scientific majority, which I’ve just shown is not going to happen anytime soon. That’s not to say that D-9 hasn't suggested evidence:


Genetics establishes a UCA pretty well, and genetics is essentially part of the ToE as far as we need to be concerned.




Take homologous structures, evolution provides a clear and coherent explanation for why we see homologous structures based off mechanisms we have observed and studied.



…or my favorite…


The evidence is basically evolution;



...he is just careful to qualify this evidence by saying...


Not only do we not have time to address everything we hear/see, but we rarely have the understanding to competently evaluate the evidence ourselves to begin with.



This tactfully negates him from the responsibility of either presenting the evidence in detail or having to defend it against scrutiny…the majority of experts say this is good evidence, so it must be, and who are we to say that it’s not. I do find it interesting that 100% (n=2) of the common descenters who have responded to this thread ultimately base their belief on the majority scientific opinion.

Hold the Fort,
Ehud




*Until Christ’s return

Edited by Ehud, 03 December 2012 - 09:44 AM.


#17
D-9

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You still misunderstand – materialism is the notion that everything is made of matter. A myth is fiction with a bit of half-truth that forms part of an ideology (Darwinism). Newton believed in the Judeo-Christian God (non-materialist) and I suspect he thought birds had always been birds.



I understand what materialism is, and if you want you can say that science is methodologically materialistic. Although Newton believed in God, his theories are founded on materialism much in the same way as Darwin's.

But it is true and you misunderstand the facts—scientists are becoming apostates from Darwinism, thus we have seen hundreds of PhD scientists signing the “Dissent from Darwinism” statement. They were not signing any such statement in 1959 or 1989. We certainly do not see hundreds of scientists signing a Dissent from Cell Theory statement – why Darwinism?



There have actually always been a minority of scientists that have rejected ToE, and the percentages have been fairly stable for decades, it is not increasing or decreasing. With the advent of technology, especially the internet, it is just simply easier to get a signed statement going and have the general public aware, but the dissenters have always been there and they are not increasing percentage wise.

Again, you are simply waiving your hands in the air and chanting your mantra. Where is your science that demonstrates man and chimp have a UCA? As I have explained - the floor is all yours---take your time and let's see what you really have (or don't have). If you take the challenge, please post your evidence on this thread. Thanks in advance.



You asked how UCA flows from ToE, and I replied with genetics. That isn't hand-waiving, that is me answering your question. You cannot ask someone what 1+1 is and then say that answer doesn't demonstrate how to do long division.

But that is not evidence—that is simply more speculation and assumptions. Connect the dots for us—if you can. Present some real verifiable science. If homeobox sequences prove UCA then present your evidence that it does--step-by-step. You do understand how scientific inquiry works? Remember, you are the one making extraordinary claims – the burden is yours to present the required evidence.



In science a theory is used to explain facts. Facts are everywhere, theories is what interprets those facts. So here we have an observation/fact that the chicken and fly homebox is functionally identical (we've replaced one homebox with another and it works perfectly fine) yet each have their own unique silent mutations. If you like we can treat ID as a proposed scientific theory alongside evolution, and the question is which one better explains this observation, which one can make more sense out of it? When you have two competing scientific theories this is the type of stuff scientists do to determine which one is correct or on the right track.

Well, if we are going to discuss Darwinism we will need to discuss a little science and a lot of mythology.



You didn't answer my question.... are you trying to engage in a scientific discussion or a teleological discussion?

Your concept of history is poor. Galileo (a minority scientist) was opposed by the majority science of the day - Ptolemaic astronomy - a science which had nothing to do with devils.



The people of the time used the argument that the devil changed what you saw when you looked into a telescope in order to preserve the ptolemaic model. Our species didn't quite fully grasp the idea of magnification at the time; they weren't convinced it actually worked properly.

And I have serious and non-serious answers. You decide: (1) Me and Ehud like to play 'good cop/bad cop'. I play the bad cop with the rubber hose and Ehud is the polite good cop who brings the interogee a cup of cappuccino mocha. Or (2) This is an open forum and anyone can ask/answer questions as they will and I have not had the pleasure of a formal introduction to Ehud but like you, I know him only by his posts on this forum.



I just find the timing and actions of both of you.... odd.... unless there is some sort of communication or history behind the scenes. If I'm in error pay me no mind, weirder coincidences have happened before.

Do you mean (1) there is a lot of evidence but you can't find it, (2) do you mean there is a lot of evidence but you do not know how to present it or (3) do you mean that you are only blowing smoke and there is not compelling evidence?



Did you not notice how I listed several avenues by which dino-bird evolution has been established?

Before I answer you will need to clarify your creation myth - which came first the dino forearm, the bird wing or the ape-like human/chimp ancestor?


No need to clarify; if going from arm to wing is an increase in information, is going from wing to arm a decrease? Why does the evolutionary "myth" as you describe it, have influence over what the actual DNA information is doing?

#18
Ehud

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P.S. I just found these other survey results published in Nature (http://www.nature.co...l/394313a0.html). According to this survey of members of the National Academy of Sciences (top scientists), "biological scientists had the lowest rate of belief (5.5% in God, 7.1% in immortality)." Therefore, the 94.5% of biologists which do not express belief in God will by default accept common descent...that explains a lot.

Edited by Ehud, 03 December 2012 - 10:19 AM.


#19
Ehud

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P.S. I just found these other survey results published in Nature (http://www.nature.co...l/394313a0.html). According to this survey of members of the National Academy of Sciences (top scientists), "biological scientists had the lowest rate of belief (5.5% in God, 7.1% in immortality)." Therefore, the 94.5% of biologists which do not express belief in God will by default accept common descent...that explains a lot.


Not necessarily.

Ii is more plausible that it is the contrary. It is their close-up knowledge of common descent that makes it difficult for them to believe in God. In my case, the acceptance of evolution and common descent was the first catalyst of losing my faith, and not vice versa.

Ciao

- viole


Point taken...as noted in my previous post, "Whether the science profession has a tendency to produce atheists/agnostics or whether these freethinker type of individuals are specifically attracted to scientific careers is an interesting question (for another thread another time), but the bottom line is this, the majority support for common descent among scientists will never change." I agree that this question would be an interesting one to address.

In the context of this discussion, when polling largely atheistic/agnostic scientists, we would expect majority support for common descent...this conclusion holds true (and it is the one we're talking about at the moment).

Hold the Fort,
Ehud

#20
D-9

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Does D-9 take us for fools by insisting on a definition of evolution which exceeds that of the experts in the field?



I'm not insisting on a definition foreign to scientists; dino-bird for example certainly had changes in allele frequencies, it is just a bit more dramatic than the peppered moth example (as you have multiple subsequent changes to the gene pool over many generations). Evolution (ToE) comprises of small and big changes, micro and macro if you will, and "accepting" evolution usually implies both, not just the micro to speciation aspect. It's a shame your professors didn't go over this.

Make no mistake, you can dig around on the internet and find scientists defining evolution as D-9 does, but one only need to take a course in evolution to find out what it is really talking about. When seen in this light it is no wonder that 99% percent of scientists accept evolution. It is probably also true that the vast majority of scientists do accept common descent (evolution aside). This is not surprising as science is a self-perpetuating system…the current generation of scientists trains the next generation. Unfortunately, Bible believing Christians began to flee science leaving it to become saturated by materialists, naturalists, and atheists who are required to believe in common descent based on their world view.



I'm pretty sure scientists are aware of evolution polls to mean things like human-chimp common ancestor and whales evolving from land mammals, not just the Hardy-Weinberg equation. Plus your analysis doesn't seem to take into account the many scientists who are theistic evolutionists, some of which greatly informed the modern synthesis and still others who have high standings in academia. One thing to note, which is very telling in my view, is that really the only scientists who deny ToE are religious; you get almost no atheists rejecting ToE, yet you have many theists accepting ToE. As Viole noted, it probably makes more sense to conclude that those scientists are atheists because (in part, as there are obviously many variables to consider) they accept X Y and Z in science, rather than they accept X Y and Z because they are atheists, and I think the distribution of atheist and theist scientists in the evo debate illustrates that point.

Based on a review by Ecklund and Scheitle (http://www.jstor.org...p.2007.54.2.289), only 17.4% of biologists consistently believe in a God. The other 82.6% fall into the category of atheist (41%), agnostic (29.9%), or higher power/transient believers (7.7 and 4.1 % respectively). This does not even take into account the interactive role those claiming theism allow their God to play. Therefore, among biologists, 82.6% (give or take a few percentage points) are going to believe in common descent by default, their worldview does not allow for any other explanation. Whether the science profession has a tendency to produce atheists/agnostics or whether these freethinker type of individuals are specifically attracted to scientific careers is an interesting question (for another thread another time), but the bottom line is this, the majority support for common descent among scientists will never change*. One must begin to wonder if this whole discussion is useless; D-9 has taken an unassailable position by seeking refuge behind the impenetrable scientific majority:


I may be wrong but my understanding is that philosophically, unless you are an expert in said field yourself, the best way to determine truth is to see what the consensus among relevant experts is.



From this I gather that the only thing that could change his mind would be to change the minds of the scientific majority, which I’ve just shown is not going to happen anytime soon.



I cannot get the figures you presented as they aren't in the abstract and I'm not about to spend $12 to get the full paper. Although those numbers do not exactly correlate with the many polls I have seen over the years, and the wiki page that deals with Ecklund's research in this area doesn't mention those numbers, but more importantly (in my mind) the argument seems to miss some important aspects of science like the peer-reviewed process and the history of scientific thought and practices. Science is all about change; we idolize those scientists who went against the status quo and came up with a new theory that yielded fruit. If someone were to disprove ToE they would win a nobel prize, same if someone could show a creation model that is scientifically better than the modern synthesis model, which inadvertently would disprove ToE as it stands. There is great incentive to disprove ToE in science, provided you do so with verified data and correct scientific thinking, and scientists can demonstrate these things via the peer-reviewed process.

So what has happened in the peer-review process? In a nutshell, creationists/IDers got their behinds whooped. Or to put it another way, if the ID model is better, why don't these ID scientists use ID to enhance our knowledge and make new discoveries, where is the predictive power of ID, where is its fruit? If another fundamentally different model to ToE is better at these things why hasn't it gotten the attention of the scientific community in any meaningful way? And I don't think appeal to atheism flies here, as I mentioned before many theistic scientists accept evolution, and most theistic scientists do accept evolution by far, so metaphysical belief does not appear to be a big factor if a factor at all. Also, the acceptance of evolution does not seem to be greatly influenced by the level of prestige of the scientist (although a little), yet the belief or non-belief of God correlates much stronger with prestige, and I would use that as evidence that acceptance of evolution does not hinge on metaphysical belief, although it may inform it. It appears to be much more likely that scientists haven't changed their minds in the past 150 years, even in the face of discovering DNA and genetics which could have potentially completely falsified the theory (i.e. no twin-nested hierarchy), because the evidence really does point to evolution and not ID.

I didn't say that polling scientists is the only valid way of determining truth, just the (single) best way for laymen, and such is not a bad idea for experts too ya know - although it doesn't carry as much weight as for laymen. As always the synthesis of all information is most valuable. But please recall that you yourself said, in one of your posts to Viole, that you don't criticize non-experts defaulting to the experts of the matter, and that you yourself accept what you hear of main-stream science from other scientists. So I find it odd that you criticize me as being closed minded for defaulting to the expert consensus as the best way for laymen to determine the truth of the matter, especially since you and Waldoz have provided less evidence for ID and against ToE than Viole and myself have given for ToE....


Not only do we not have time to address everything we hear/see, but we rarely have the understanding to competently evaluate the evidence ourselves to begin with.



This tactfully negates him from the responsibility of either presenting the evidence in detail or having to defend it against scrutiny…the majority of experts say this is good evidence, so it must be, and who are we to say that it’s not. I do find it interesting that 100% (n=2) of the common descenters who have responded to this thread ultimately base their belief on the majority scientific opinion.



Again, you said to Viole that you accept what you "hear" from main-stream science, I assume because you don't have infinite time nor are you competent in every field of science or even every field of biology - I know of no one who is competent in all fields of biology, that would be crazy. Similarly, I "hear" lots of stuff from main-stream science and I accept it, one of those things happens to be evolution and some of the evidence thereof. A bit of a double standard on your part perhaps, but lets not dwell on negatives.

I am not against discussing the evidence though; I would be interested to see your response to the human tail atavism if you found anything, along with an ID perspective on why the homebox is functionally identical in chickens and flies yet each differ in silent mutations. I'd also be willing to engage any meaningful response to other pieces of evidence I've touched on, even if they are only sincere questions.

So in the spirit of scientific discourse I propose, as a general motif of the discussion, that we examine the evidence in light of both models, ToE and ID in an effort to determine which one explains the data/observations better. This is a standard practice in science when you have two competing theories/models.




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