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Ehud

Common Descent or Common Designer

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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:

  1. 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

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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

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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

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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
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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

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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

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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.ns.ca/Environment/NHR/archaeopteryx.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

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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

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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.

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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.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/section2.html#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.

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