Sep 102005
 

There are some pests which IDists are dealing with at a another discussion board known as ARN.

One of the members there is a real pest. He goes by the pseudoname, Pixie (that’s right, this guy chose to identify himself with a species of fairy). He epitomizes the “derail, misrepresent, spam and jam” tactics of Darwinists trying to disrupt the valiant work of IDists trying to communicate and educate the interested readers.

I decided to post here at Teleological.org in the hopes of having a place where IDists can be free from tactics of critics like Pixie. Also, I hope my presence here will draw more web traffic, and I hope to soon give some exculsive news on the developing Caroline Crocker saga.

When the ARN discussion board began in 2000, it was flooded with Darwinists. In the good ole’ days, it was 100 Darwinists to 1 semi-IDist by the name of DNAunion. Things have changed over yonder at ARN.

People like Teleologist, Mike Gene, myself saw many battles over that discussion board. The complexion of that board has completely changed since those early days.

The Darwinists have been giving ground in general, not just at ARN. In 2000, ID was obscure, but now even the President of United States has endorsed it’s teaching, and this is paralleled by so much of ID’s advance into the mainstream culture. This general change in the culture has been reflected by the much stronger participation by IDist at ARN. I would also like to publicly express my thanks to the ARN management.

However the remaing crtics of ID don’t go down without a fight. They insist on being entitled to spam and jam discussion with garbage. I’ve been falsely accused of not facing them, not true. You can see their cowardly response to my debate challenges last year:
My Challenge to My Critics and Their Cowardly Response

They want to attack in Wolfpacks and in I describe in Defeating Wolfpacks how to defeat them. They are too chicken to take me on, one-on-one.

Pixie accuses me of not being able to handle his comments. Readers know I’ve been quite successful at dealing with Pixie’s comments and have dispensed with several critics who never came back to ARN after being soundly defeated in debate.

Pixie writes at ARN in:
The Tree of Life (or lack thereof)

This is exactly the behaviour I was describing. If you do like how a thread is going, you like to delete. If you are posting rubbish, you make a thread the skeptics cannot post on. Even better, you have your own forum, and you can delete the comments you cannot handle.

I can handle any of your comments, Pixie. I can also handle the excrement of dogs. My unwillingness to handle dog excrement does not imply inability to handle dog excrement, only dislike of the doing so. Same principle applies to your comments.

Salvador Cordova

  97 Responses to “IDists vs Pests at ARN”

  1. Regarding:
    http://www.arn.org/ubb/ultimatebb.php/ubb/get_topic/f/13/t/002502.html

    Salvador says “I’ve been quite successful at dealing with Pixie’s comments …”

    This has involved:

    Deleting the whole thread to “deal” with my comments (no longer permitted at ARN after this came to light)
    Setting up “Rule 9” threads I cannot post on (he devised “Rule 9” for this purpose)
    Concentrating on one minor point and ignoring the important points (see the thread in question)
    Generally just ignoring difficult questions

    Salvador says: “He epitomizes the “derail, misrepresent, spam and jam” tactics of Darwinists trying to disrupt the valiant work of IDists trying to communicate and educate the interested readers.” If you read the thread (and I ancourage you to do so), you will see Salvador responds EXCLUSIVELY to the off-topic comments and ignores all my on-topic comments. Why do you think that might be?

    Pixie

  2. Hiya Pixie!

    Welcome to Teleological.Org. Nice to see you! I’m so glad you’d visit this thread. Let me say, you are free to say what you want on this thread, just remember, there are outsiders reading this, so you may want to temper what you say….

    Would you really like to debate about the biotic message of nested hierarchies? We can do it here in this thread.

    Again, welcome to teleological. We’re happy to have one of the premeire critics of ID posting here. We hope you’ve enjoyed your visit here, and hope you’ll choose to post through teleolgical the next time you take a flight through the internet.

    In any case, I commend you for successfully derailing the Tree of Life thread at ARN. That was an impressive derailment, absolutely. The way you got the thread to wander off topic was phenomenal. I don’t think there is anyway I could get back on topic.

    In fact your approach is so effective let me formalize it:

    1. Join the thread, say a few things on topic, then fabricate an incriminating sounding accusation against a member and subtly introduce it

    2. Get the victim party (like me) to go for the bait and defend his reputation again

    3. rinse and repeat

    Follow steps 1,2,3 and you’ve got a great strategy for very effective derailment.

    Sal

  3. “Would you really like to debate about the biotic message of nested hierarchies? We can do it here in this thread.”
    The only problem with doing it here is that I do not trust you not to edit my posts. ARN is an ID friendly site; why not there?

    “In any case, I commend you for successfully derailing the Tree of Life thread at ARN. That was an impressive derailment, absolutely. The way you got the thread to wander off topic was phenomenal. I don’t think there is anyway I could get back on topic.”
    Sure you could. You could answer any of the points I listed. If you think they are wrong, just explain why. Thread back on rail.

  4. Welcome Pix. I was thinking of posting on this topic. I guess I’ll wait to see what you have to say first. I am late to the party. Would you please recap for me and the readers here what are the points that you’ve listed? How are they relevant to Darwinian evolution? Thanks.

  5. The only problem with doing it here is that I do not trust you not to edit my posts. ARN is an ID friendly site; why not there?

    I’m promoting this new weblog. The little debate here will help me advertise it some more.

    Save what you write here somewhere. That will be proof to you I didn’t change your posts.

    Please answer teleologists questions. Thank you.

  6. Salvador

    I really do not find your post reassuring; just becaise I know you have edited my posts, how would I prove that to anyone else if you can quickly delete my protests? With that in mind, I have started a thread at ARN:

    http://www.arn.org/cgi-bin/ubb/ultimatebb.cgi/ubb/get_topic/f/13/t/002515.html?

  7. Pix,

    You are being ridiculous. Has he edited or deleted any of your posts so far? How and what could Sal do to your posts without it coming across that you are not engaged in a debate? Lastly, there is no need to edit or delete any of your comments because it is better to let you embarrass yourself. You are defending an untenable Darwinian position.

    Is Sal right that the only way you can debate is to have other pest at ARN help you to distract, obfuscate and equivocate out of the issue? It would appear so.

  8. Teleogist

    It is a fact that Salvador would delete whole threads at ARN; seemingly the only thing that stopped that practice was a change to the forum rules. He gives a different reason for why he did, but he surely did it.

    On that thread at ARN he said: “See:IDEA club at GMU may get more news coverage for a sample of the new weblog. I’d like to let you know you’re more than welcome to post there, and I’m more than welcome to delete your posts.”
    http://www.arn.org/cgi-bin/ubb/ultimatebb.cgi/ubb/get_topic/f/13/t/002502/p/2.html?

    If I am going to have a formal debate with him, I want it not only to be done fairly, but to be done so I can TRUST it to be done fairly. Maybe Salvador would be entirely fair and honest, but given the above I cannot be entirely sure of that. If I win the debate, how can I be sure he will not delete my posts or the whole web page in a year’s time? The only way to be sure is to deprive Salvador of the opportunity by having the debate at ARN (which is an ID forum, so is hardly friendly to me).

    You said: “You are defending an untenable Darwinian position.” I think not, and have posted a lengthy text explaining why molecular distances support the tree of life. I am not afraid to debate Salvador; I am afraid to debate him here.

    The debate thread, where the Darwinian position is (hopefully) clearly explained:
    http://www.arn.org/cgi-bin/ubb/ultimatebb.cgi/ubb/get_topic/f/13/t/002515.html?

    Pixie

  9. In that case then, Pixie, please refrain from posting outside of thist thread at teleological unless I give the OK. You may keep posting to this thread, but not other threads at this website.

    From here on out, I will moderate threads I start. Posts which I deem useless rehahes will be subject to being moved to a memory hole, or being deleted.

    Thanks in advance for you cooperation.

    Salvador

  10. Teleogist

    There you go; Salvador has clearly stated he will delete my posts in certain situations. Is it any surprose I will not debate with him here? If he wants to “play God” here, then so be it. We debate at ARN!

    http://www.arn.org/cgi-bin/ubb/ultimatebb.cgi/ubb/get_topic/f/13/t/002515.html?

    Pixie

  11. Well Pix, he stipulated under what condition he would moderate threads. If you are able to debate without useless rehashes then you have nothing to worry about. You claim he can’t be trusted, but from his perspective you can’t be trusted either. You must realize the other side would feel the same way about you right? It would be nice to see you debate here.

  12. As far as the thread Pixie opened at ARN,
    Do molecular distances support the tree of life?

    Pixie obviously ignores what I say, and misrepresents it to suit his needs. See what I said here:
    CSI detected through Molecular Systematics.

    If you think this thread is an argument agaist the “tree of life” then you don’t understand what this thread is about. You may be thinking I’m arguing against the “tree of life” since I’m a creationist, but for the sake of argument I’m granting common descent as a working hypothesis in this thread.

  13. Teleogist

    Yes, Salvador stipulated under what condition he would moderate threads – but I do not trust him to restrict himself like that. He might, he might not. And I agree that from his perspective, I cannot be trusted either (not that I have ever deleted threads or threatened to delete posts). So the solution is to debate at ARN, which is as neutral a site as we will find.

  14. Salvador

    How can my post at ARN about molecular distances misrepresent what you said when I do not indicate what your position is at any point in the two posts? I had supposed that you do not believe molecule distances support common descent. As it sprung from a thread that you had called “The Tree of Life (or lack thereof)”, and you are well known to favour YEC, I kind of felt I was on safe ground. Was I wrong?

    Do you believe that common descent is likely? Or do you believe common descent is unlikely, but you accept that the molecular evidence supports common descent anyway? Either way, just state clearly what your position is.

    Otherwise, if you believe the molecular evidence does not supports common descent then we can have a debate.

    Finally, if you know in your heart molecular evidence supports common descent, but refuse to admit it publicly, you would do best to try to evade commiting yourself one way of the other.

    Then there is the issue of “the jewel of perfection”. It would seem to me that you are (also) claiming that the “perfection” in the molecular distances is the product of intelligence, rather than random mutations. If you still make that claim (and please state either way), then again we can debate that issue.

    At the end of the day I do not know what you are claiming, and have often found it frustrating at ARN trying to drag it out of you. My opening posts on the debate thread at ARN present MY position (and to give casual readers a good background on the subject too), and should allow you argue against what every part of it you disagree with. I am sure there will be some you agree with. I am equally sure there is some you disagree with.

    Pixie

  15. Pix, this is what I mean. Sal said nothing about you deleting post at ARN. His point is that you debate with useless rehashes that is not germane to the point. There is no control over at ARN to do that. I have encountered that myself at ARN, which is why I am also over here.

    P.S. This is like the debate before the debate between politicians. πŸ™‚

  16. Pixie asks: Was I wrong?

    The tree of life thread was simply posting some developments. You and that other pest Gary S. Gaulin turned it into a debate about molecular and morphological distances and about accusations about me deleting threads where I’m supposedly losing the debate.

    You accused me deleting the biotic message thread. I did not, and I proved it.

    As far as former threads which I deleted, I did so because I had the option of doing so at the time. It’s not my fault some of you all didn’t understand the options. And as far as me supposedlylosing the debate, the subject matter was carried on into a featured thread. Little old me against 22 Darwinists. Is that a fair debate. Well, the IDist at ARN know who was left standing at the end of that exchange.

    Response to Salvador

    Anyway, what’s the point of opening a thread, saying it’s a debate, when both sides are not even arguing over something. I said for the sake of argument, we can assume common descent. The point was to show, common design was implicated, even on the generous assumption of common descent. Apparently, you didn’t get it. We don’t communicate.

  17. Pixie

    ” His point is that you debate with useless rehashes that is not germane to the point.”

    I thought he was being ironic!

    See that thread anbout the tree of life from which this all sprung. Towards the end of page 1 I pointed out that a certain diagram was wrong to use the phrase “morphological distances”, and I even repeated the diagram in my post to make it clear exactly which one I was talking about… And still Salvador replies by talking about another diagram altogether. How much “not germane to the point” can you get? And when this was pointed out, suddenly he decides I am a low priority!

    Check out Salvador’s posting habits from about a year ago for spam posting, especially any started by Dembski, where Salvador frequently said how pleased he was that Dembski was posting, then made some off-topic comment that would successfully derail the thread.

    “There is no control over at ARN to do that.” Look, at the end of the day I just do not trust Salvador (not because he is a creationist/IDist, but based on past experiences), and I will not debate at a site that he moderates.

    Neutral site – great
    Pro-ID site – fine
    Anti-ID site – I would not expect Salvador to want to debate there
    Salvador-moderated site – no way

    By the way, are you the say Teleologist who posts at ARN?

    Pixie

  18. Salvador

    “You and that other pest Gary S. Gaulin turned it into a debate about molecular and morphological distances …”
    But these were issues you brought up; you were (in my opinion) using them erroneously to support the claims of the OP. I was arguing that you were wrong (I made other points too about how the claims of the OP were wrong). That is how a scientific discussion goes. One person proposes a hypothesis, and gives the evidence to support it. The opponents of the hypothesis are then free to point out that evidence is wrong, or that it fails to support the hypothesis, if they believe that to be the case.

    You offered a diagram of time against morphological distance, presumably to support your claims. I pointed out that the diagram was fundamentally flawed, and thus implied that it offered no support to your claims. If the issue of morphological distance was not permitted on that thread, why did YOU bring it up?

    “… and about accusations about me deleting threads where I’m supposedly losing the debate.”
    It is a fact that you deleted threads at ARN, and only a change in the rules stopped you. I made it clear that it was just my opinion that you did it when you were losing (fortunately RBH saved one, so people can judge for themselves).

    “You accused me deleting the biotic message thread. I did not, and I proved it.”
    I ASKED if you had, knowing that you had been in the habit of doing so. It seemed entirely likely to me at the time. You told me you had not. I accept that

    “As far as former threads which I deleted, I did so because I had the option of doing so at the time.”
    Your reason for deleting threads was just because you could?

    So if I debate you here, where you have the option of deleting my posts, I guess I can assume you will delete my posts “because I had the option of doing so at the time”

    “I said for the sake of argument, we can assume common descent.”
    Here we go with the evasion. You know very well that molecular distances fully support common descent.

    [quote]The point was to show, common design was implicated, even on the generous assumption of common descent.[/quote]
    I do not want you to make the “generous assumption of common descent”, I want you to debate what you believe. Do you believe in common descent? If so, have the decency to say so, and not call it a “generous assumption “. If not, then let us debate how and why the molecular evidence supports common descent.

    “Apparently, you didn’t get it. We don’t communicate.”
    Well if you really want to communicate, you could start by stating clearly if:
    * You believe in common descent.
    * You believe the molecular distances are good evidence for common descent

    But we both know you cannot answer those questions without getting deeper in the poo-poo.

    Pixie

  19. Pixie opined,

    “That is how a scientific discussion goes. ”

    No, that’s how discussions between IDists and annonymous Darwin Internetists goes. Dembski describes it well for IDists on the net dealing with critics:

    “A bright young novice to this debate comes along, makes an otherwise persuasive argument, and finds it immediately shot down. Substantive objections are bypassed. Irrelevancies are stressed. Tables are turned. Misrepresentations abound. One’s competence and expertise are belittled. The novice comes back, reframes the argument, clarifies key points, attempts to answer objections, and encounters the same treatment. The problem is not with the argument but with the context of discourse in which the argument is made. The solution, therefore, is to change the context of discourse.

    Hardcore critics who’ve adopted a zero-concession policy toward intelligent design are still worth engaging, but we need to control the terms of engagement. Whenever I engage them, the farthest thing from my mind is to convert them, to win them over, to appeal to their good will, to make my cause seem reasonable in their eyes. We need to set wishful thinking firmly to one side. The point is not to induce a cognitive shift in our critics, but instead to clarify our arguments, to address weaknesses in our own position, to identify areas requiring further work and study, and, perhaps most significantly, to appeal to the undecided middle that is watching this debate and trying to sort through the issues.

    Critics and enemies are useful. The point is to use them effectively.”

    Both teleologist and I have learned much about how to better present ID to others through the process of discussion on the net. For me, ARN is only meant to be “batting practice” for engaging the public at large. It turns out the internet practice has been valuable and successful at preparing IDists to participate in the public arena. So thank you for the batting practice, it helped refine a message that I used to help get our movement publicity!

    Engaging Darwinists on the net is only for practice and getting them to reveal their cards and for amusement. Over time, I’ve learned how you guys do business on the net. Let me describe the typical scenario:

    Let me describe the Darwinist debate template:

    1. IDist opens the topic

    2. Darwinist makes an irrelevant comment, a mis-representation, an ad hominen (veiled or direct), a red-herring.

    3. IDists fights to quash all the off-topic nonsense, but in the process only perpetuates the derailment.

    4. Sock Puppets join in the fray….

    5. Topic Derailed, Darwinists succeed in preventing communication.

    There are counter measure tactics to deal with the above template. This weblog is one of them, and Rule 9 is another….

    Now, I noticed the uproar over the Sock-Puppet counter measures rule, the infamous Rule 9. It allowed IDists to control the terms of engagement. Readers won’t be forced to sift through your off-topic, confused postings before they get to the insightful comments of the IDists. Now we have supplemented that with weblogs. We now have more effective means of engaging Darwinists on the net.

    Cheerio,
    Salvador

  20. “But these were issues you brought up; you were (in my opinion)”

    No, look at the first response, it was that pest Gary S. Gaulin (banned by the way after 1 post from ISCID!) bringing up a doctored diagram and erroneous diagram. (What did I say about Darwinist tactics).

    I ended up responding to his garbage and the thread was derailed. Well, I could start the thread up under Rule 9 ask that you, Gary, and new members refrain from posting. Nice way to dispense with jamming maneuvers…

    Salvador

  21. Salvador quotes Dembski about what anti-ID “pests” do. They are all very general; he makes no attempt at anything specific, just tars me with one very broad brush. In contrast, when I asked about his thread deleting activities, I was very specific about what thread, allowing Salvador the opportunity to clear his name (for that thread anyway). I ask that Salvador do me the same curtesy, and if he has any real complains about what I have done on this web page, on the Tree of Life thread, or the debate thread at ARN, I ask that he state exactly what I have done wrong, and give me the opportunity to clear my name as he did. For reference, the accusations are:

    1. Substantive objections are bypassed.
    2. Irrelevancies are stressed.
    3. Tables are turned.
    4. Misrepresentations abound.
    5. One’s competence and expertise are belittled.

    Please, Salvador, try to be as clear as you most possibly can. If you think I have misrepresented you, please state what position I have put upon you and (no chance of this, but I ask anyway) what your real position is. If there are numerous instances, please feel free to restrict yourself to the worst five.

    On the other hand, if there are actually no examples of the above five behaviours, then just skip all this, and we will know you were talking about other people.

    Dembski says: “The point is not to induce a cognitive shift in our critics, but instead to clarify our arguments, to address weaknesses in our own position, to identify areas requiring further work and study, and, perhaps most significantly, to appeal to the undecided middle that is watching this debate and trying to sort through the issues.”
    I applaud this sentiment. Please, Salvador, address the weaknesses in your position (rather than “generously” allowing common descent, accept common descent is true, or debate the evidence for it) and most importantly clarify your arguments.

    Salvador: “Let me describe the typical scenario:
    Let me describe the Darwinist debate template:
    1. IDist opens the topic
    2. Darwinist makes an irrelevant comment, a mis-representation, an ad hominen (veiled or direct), a red-herring.
    3. IDists fights to quash all the off-topic nonsense, but in the process only perpetuates the derailment.
    4. Sock Puppets join in the fray”.
    5. Topic Derailed, Darwinists succeed in preventing communication.”

    Look at the Tree of Life thread, and see what really happened.
    1. IDist opens the topic (OP)
    2. Darwinist makes a response (Reply #1)
    3. IDist posts an irrelevant or erroneous diagram (Reply #2)
    4. Darwinist fights to show why the diagram is nonsense (Reply #3, 5,6,7, 10)
    5. IDist focuses on single off-topic comment among numerous on-topic comments, successfully derailing topic (Reply #11)
    6. Topic Derailed, IDist succeeds in preventing communication.
    7. Darwinist drag thread back on topic (Reply #25)
    8. IDist cites paper that, if he had read he would know does not support his case (Reply #26)
    9. IDist continues to evade the issues raised (Reply #31)
    10. IDist complains on other thread/site about Sock Puppets (above)

    Actually, that is fairly standard. Sadly Dembski’s ideal of clarifying points, addressing weaknesses just does not happen.

    “No, look at the first response, it was that pest Gary S. Gaulin (banned by the way after 1 post from ISCID!) bringing up a doctored diagram and erroneous diagram. (What did I say about Darwinist tactics).”
    That is just not true. Gary S. Gaulin produced a diagram showing the tree of life that does NOT mention morphological distances, and is a good summary of the situation as described in the paper from the OP (the so-called doctoring is an edit to reflect the findings of the paper). Salvador’s next post gives a different diagram, that DOES have morphological distances. Salvador, if you want to change your mind about the validity of that diagram then say that on the thread. Otherwise, if you think the diagram is valid and presuming you posted it because it supports your claims, then it is perfectly reasonable to your opponents to point out why it is nonsense.

    Still waiting to see if you can answer these questions:
    *You believe in common descent.
    *You believe the molecular distances are good evidence for common descent

    Pixie

  22. Pixie,

    Can you ask me a simple question, one at a time?

    Salvador

  23. Pix,

    You accuse Sal of ignoring the important and difficult questions? Is it related to cytochrome-c? Can you specify just one of those questions? How is it evidence for Darwinian evolution?

    BTW, yes I am the same teleologist that posts on ARN. πŸ˜€

  24. Salvador

    One question:

    Do you believe the molecular distances are good evidence for common descent?

    Pixie

  25. Pixie asked:

    Do you believe the molecular distances are good evidence for common descent?

    Personally, no. But I won’t use molecular distances to argue against common descent because it would not be a solid argument. There are better arguments against common descent.

    Thus, I said, for the sake of argument, regarding molecular distance, let’s assume common descent true since I don’t think it’s the best argumen against common descent.

    Have you figured out yet that my discussion over hierarchies was over design not descent?

    Salvador

  26. Sure, I could see straight away that you wanted to avoid a debate over whether molecular distances are evidence of common descent – for the simple reason you can think of no counter argument. Thus, you are so keen to make the “generous” concession that common descent is true. What is especially ironic is that if I was to suggest that you believe in common descent I would get accused of misrepresentation. but if you want to misrepresent your own position…

    Well, okay then; there are, you claim, better arguments against common descent, but at least we know where we stand. I say molecular distances are evidence for common descent. You say molecular distances are neither evidence for nor evidence against common descent. We have a disagreement, that means we can have a debate.

    Perhaps you would like to debate the design inherent in the molecular distances too. That is fine.

    Pixie: Molecular distances are good evidence for common descent, but are not evidence for design.

    Salvador: Molecular distances are not evidence for common descent, and even if they were then they would be good evidence for design anyway.

    The thread awaits, and has been for some days now.

    Pixie

  27. What would you like me to say, how about this: “molecular distances are suggestive of common descent if we close our minds like good and faithful closed-minded Darwinists and fail to weigh any other evidence that would resolve the issue.”

    But oh, crud, we do have the problem of convergence, the fossil record, the problem of theoretical transitionals (like the common ancestor of protostome and deuterostome for starters, eukaryotic transcription versus prokaryotic transcrion, etc.), irreducible complex structures, abiogenesis, population gentics….. I mean, in the absense of other evidence, sure, you can believe molecular distance supports common ancestry. Heck that’s practically the only thing ye Darwinists appeal to, when perhaps an alternative explanation is in order given the other evidence.

    Salvador

  28. I thought we had half an answer then, but no, Salvador has changed his mind… In answer to my question, “Do you believe the molecular distances are good evidence for common descent?” last time around he said “Personally no”, this time he is saying “molecular distances are suggestive of common descent”, but say there is (in his view) a lot of other evidence against common descent.

    And herein lies the problem. Take that thread that Salvador deleted. There was one question everyone wanted to know the answer to, but despite numerous posts asking for him to clarify what he believes in, all we got was obfuscating rubbish. Eventually Salvador ran over of obfuscations and deleted the thread. Or look at this on-going thread (http://www.arn.org/ubb/ultimatebb.php/ubb/get_topic/f/13/t/002514/p/2.html), about the Explanatory Filter, where Salvador complains that Darwinists keep asking the same question over and over again (“Darwinists like to repeat their misrepresentations even after being repeatedly called on them. That is known as Argumentum Ad Nauseam”). The REASON Darwinist keep repeating their misrepresentations, keep asking the same questions is that Salvador is pathologically incapable of giving a straight answer.

    Why is that? I think it is because he is too worried about the political implications to actually commit himself. In this case he would like to say “no, molecular distances are NOT good evidence for common descent” (he is a YECer, though even there he is careful not to commit himself), but if he states it clearly like that he will get sucked into a debate he knows he cannot win. So we get the answer that molecular distances are not good evidence AGAINST common descent, and later, well actually molecular distances are SUGGESTIVE of common descent, but there is a lot of other evidence against common descent.

  29. Pix wrote: Salvador has changed his mind” In answer to my question, “Do you believe the molecular distances are good evidence for common descent?” last time around he said “Personally no” , this time he is saying “molecular distances are suggestive of common descent” , but say there is (in his view) a lot of other evidence against common descent.

    Pix, are you sure that is what Sal said? Did you missed this part of his sentence “if we close our minds like good and faithful closed-minded Darwinists” I don’t see any conflict in what Sal said.

    You think molecular distances are good evidence for common descent. Can you tell me the precise line of each extant species with its’ subsequent immediate progenitor back to the bacterium? What was the mutation rate of each of these species and the Darwinian reason for their mutation rates?

  30. Teleologist

    Salvador said: molecular distances are suggestive of common descent if we close our minds like good and faithful closed-minded Darwinists and fail to weigh any other evidence that would resolve the issue

    I said, quoting Salvador: “molecular distances are suggestive of common descent” , but say there is (in his view) a lot of other evidence against common descent.

    I know Salvador’s words require a kind of mystical reading, but the way I understood it, he was agree that the molecular distances are evidence of common descent, but he was qualifying that by saying that common descent is shown to be wrong (in his view) by so many other things. What is your interpretation? I am still keen to debate with Salvador on this, but even when I ask a simple question about what he believes it takes days to actually get an answer that we all read to have the same meaning. Perhaps Slvador can clarify, but I strongly suspect his next post will muddy the waters further. You have obviously read his posts, what do you think Salvador is saying here; can you tell us in your own words? Or has he confused you too?

    Pixie

  31. Teleologist,

    Given what I have said, can tell me what you think my position is on the issues? I’m guessing yes. Is it my failure to communicate, or is Pixie just refusing to understand?

    1. What do I personally believe about common descent?

    2. Are the reasons I doubt common descent things like:
    the problem of convergence, the fossil record, the problem of theoretical transitionals (like the common ancestor of protostome and deuterostome for starters, eukaryotic transcription versus prokaryotic transcrion, etc.), irreducible complex structures, abiogenesis, population genetics

    3. Though I disbelieve common descent on account of some of the things listed in #2, I don’t believe molecular distances are a good way to argue against common descent.

    thanks,
    Salvador

  32. This is how it goes. I ask a questiopn, Salvador answers three others. There is your failure to communicate. So teleologist, can you answer this one, a slight rehash of my original question for clarity:

    4. Ignoring the other possible problems he has with common descent, does Salvador believe molecular distances offer good (or any) evidence for common descent?

  33. Pixie says, “This is how it goes. I ask a questiopn, Salvador answers three others. ”

    Teleologist, Pixie is playing sematic games. To illustrate the tactic:

    Pest Asks: “Have you stopped beating you mother yet?”

    I could respond with:

    1. Yes
    2. No
    3. I have not beat my mother and am not beating her
    4. I point out the suspicious nature of the question

    Pest response:

    1. You were guilty of beating your mother
    2. Your are guilty of still beating your mother
    3. You didn’t answer my question
    4. You’re disucssing things irrelevant to my question so you can evade debate

    rinse and repeat

    In regards to molecular distances, consider this. If you drank some really hot tea (say 160 Farenheit) and immediately put a thermometer in your mouth, in the absense of consideration that you drank hot tea, would that be suggestive that you had a fever????

    Now, in the absense of all the other considerations, are molecular distances suggestive of common descent. Do you see the parallels and the semantic games being played here??

    Salvador

  34. “If you drank some really hot tea (say 160 Farenheit) and immediately put a thermometer in your mouth, in the absense of consideration that you drank hot tea, would that be suggestive that you had a fever????”
    Surely the answer is yes, if you had no knowledge of the tea, you would suggest fever as being one possible reason for the high temperature. You would also say recently have a hot drink was an alternative hypothesis, sure. Would you prefer that I phrase it like this:

    Are the molecular distances compatible with common descent?

  35. Pix, I think Sal’s position on molecular distances, as common descent is pretty clear. He said no it is not good evidence for common descent. I think your confusion might have arisen due to his colorful response. πŸ˜€

    From my reading of both your exchanges here, this is what I think Sal’s position is.
    Sal thinks that there are better arguments against common descent and so do I.

    His point is that even if you assume common descent is true, molecular distances is still not a good evidence to demonstrate common descent.

    Is this your position Sal? Maybe I understand what Sal is saying because we probably have similar positions.

    As I’ve said I was thinking of writing a post similar molecular evolution so I am interested in this debate. Why do you think molecular distance is a good evidence for common descent? I don’t. Can you tell me the precise line of each extant species with its’ subsequent immediate progenitor back to the bacterium? What was the mutation rate of each of these species and the Darwinian reason for their mutation rates?

  36. Pix, I don’t think that your analogy is a good example of molecular distances and common descent. I think to make your analogy more accurate you have to say you don’t know where the thermometer reading came from. Would you then still say that it is indicative of a fever? This is the problem with molecular distance and its’ relation to common descent.

  37. Teleologist

    We have some data, and we are trying to decide how the data fits the competing hypotheses. If the data is compatible with the theory (and is relevant), then it offers evidence for the theory. Sure, the evidence could offer evidence for more than one theory, so would not be good evidence to distinguish between the them.

    For the analogy, the data is a high temperature in the mouth. Say we have four hypotheses; a fever, a recent hot drink, wearing a hat and dead. There are some questions to ask:

    Is the high temperature compatible with the hypothesis?
    Is the high temperature relevant to the hypothesis?
    Is the high temperature explained by the hypothesis?

    If the answer is yes to all three, then your hypothesis is well supported, but not proven, as there may be other hypotheses that do just as well. In this contrived example, we can eliminate the “dead” hypothesis as not compatible with the data. The “dead” hypothesis has been disproved. We can also eliminate the “hat” hypothesis as not relevant to the data. Unlike the “dead” hypthesis, the “hat” hypothesis is not disproven, it is just not relevant. But the “recent hot drink” and “fever” hypotheses both answer yes to all three questions. The data we have supports both hypotheses, and we must look elsewhere to distinguish between the two.

    Perhaps the person states that he has not had a recent hot drink. This new data is not compatible with the “recent hot drink” hypothesis, so that is disproved. The new data is not relevant to the “fever” hypothesis, so we would not say that this data supports the fever hypothesis. However, now we have eliminated the “recent hot drink” hypothesis, we can go back to the early data and hypotheses, and note that only one hypothesis remains.

    Then we have the molecular distances data. We have various hypotheses, common descent is the one of interest. The questions are:

    Is the molecular distances data compatible with the hypothesis?
    Is the molecular distances data relevant to the hypothesis?
    Is the molecular distances data explained by the hypothesis?

    I believe the answer to all these is yes (see the thread at ARN). It sounds as though Salvador would reluctantly accept that the answer to the first is yes too, as he says he would not use the molecular distances data to argue against common descent. What you you think? What do you think Salvador believes?

    Are molecular distances compatible with common descent?

    Pixie

  38. Pix,

    The analogy of the thermometer is that it assumes it came from a mouth. Unless it was observed coming from a mouth then it is only an assumption. All of your competing hypothesis is meaningless based on that assumption.

    Similarly if you assume common descent any hypothesis based on common descent would be meaningless. Are there any hypothesis that does not rely on common descent? And please don’t use cladistic because that is bogus.

    To answer your question no, molecular distances is not compatible with common descent. Do you know why it is not compatible with common descent? You need to answer these questions first. Can you tell me the precise line of each extant species with its’ subsequent immediate progenitor back to the bacterium? What was the mutation rate of each of these species and the Darwinian reason for their mutation rates? I have many more questions but you can start with these.

  39. “The analogy of the thermometer is that it assumes it came from a mouth. Unless it was observed coming from a mouth then it is only an assumption. All of your competing hypothesis is meaningless based on that assumption.”

    But it is usually the case that we know how data was obtained. We know the molecular distances data comes from comparing cytochrome-c amino acid sequences (among oter places), and if you look back at Salvador’s original scenario, he states “put a thermometer in your mouth”; we know that the high temperature reading comes from the mouth, and we build hypotheses on that basis. If all you have to go on is a thermometer reading of 39.3degC, and no idea what that relates too, then the data is useless.

    “Similarly if you assume common descent any hypothesis based on common descent would be meaningless. Are there any hypothesis that does not rely on common descent? And please don’t use cladistic because that is bogus.”

    We make the assumption that the paient has a fever, and consider the consequences of that assumption. One consequence is an elevated temperature in the mouth. This is a therefore a prediction of the hypothesis. We look at the evidence; an elevated temperature in the mouth. This is consistent with the prediction, it is compatible with the hypothesis. We note that an ordinary temperature, on the other hand, would not be compatible with the hypothesis, but instead would disprove the hypothesis. We have a prediction that follows logically from the assumption of the hypothesis, a falsifiable prediction at that, and the prediction is shown to be true by the data. The data therefore supports the hypothesis. Of course, it does not prove the hypothesis, as other hypotheses might make the same prediction (such as the “recent hot drink” hypothesis).

    “To answer your question no, molecular distances is not compatible with common descent. Do you know why it is not compatible with common descent? You need to answer these questions first. Can you tell me the precise line of each extant species with its’ subsequent immediate progenitor back to the bacterium? What was the mutation rate of each of these species and the Darwinian reason for their mutation rates? I have many more questions but you can start with these.”
    I do not know why you believe molecular distances are not compatible with common descent. How about you just tell me, rather than (rather rudely) demanding answers of me first. If you want to see why I believe molecular distances ARE compatible with common descent, please see this page at ARN, where I go into significant detail, without requiring any IDist first answer any number of loaded questions.
    http://www.arn.org/ubb/ultimatebb.php/ubb/get_topic/f/13/t/002515.html

    Do you think Salvador also thinks molecular distances are not compatible with common descent? Or has he failed to make his position clear?

    Is there any chance of Salvador answering the question himself?

    Pixie

  40. We had several evo-post Docs appear at the IDEA meeting at Paul Gross school. I told them the molecular clock hypothesis is doomed. They said, “no one believes the molecular clock anymore….”. They practically accused me of using the molecular clock hypothesis as a strawman! lol

    If the molecular distances are incompatible with empirically measured mutation rates, then molecular distances are a weak support for common descent at best, and a refutation at worst. The considerations for common descent therefore should be made by examing other lines of evidence.

    The early indications are we’re on the verge of a disaster because of the problem of evolutionary convergence at the molecular level! Further the laboratory measured mutation rates are showing indications of not being consistent with prevailing theories (more disasters for evolutionary theory, at some point one wonders if theory that is so malleable is anything more than a just so tautology with promises to provide a future mechanism, just so long as it is naturalistic). My bold prediction is measured rates (which are hard to determine because thay are so slow) will refute prevailing views.

    Salvador

  41. That sounds pretty much like a “No, molecular distances are not compatible with common descent” (I admit I am not absolutely sure). So here we have an issue to debate. I say molecular distances are compatible with common descent, Salvador says not. I have stated my case at ARN already.

    Just to be clear, I do not advocate molecular clocks; I agree with Salvador’s collegues who suggest this may be a strawman. My posts at ARN explain why a constant mutation rate is not required.

    I hope Salvador can offer us “bold predictions” of what science might find in the future…
    Pixie

  42. Pix, debate it here. We can use the publicity. πŸ™‚ I’ve invited you to answer a few of my questions a few times already. Answer my questions and debate it here.

    If molecular clock is a strawman then it is a creation of Darwinists. I don’t remember an IDist using molecular clock as evidence for evolution do you?

  43. Pixie wrote:

    I say molecular distances are compatible with common descent, Salvador says not. I have stated my case at ARN already.

    I am saying you are framing the discussion from a misleading perspective. Would you say gravity supports or refutes common descent or common design? In similar manner, the molecular distance in and of itself is insufficient to say one way or another, and that is my position. My position is you are framing the discussion incorrectly, the better phrasing is what lines of evidence support or refute common descent, what lines of evidence support common design?

    You’ve essentially asked me, “have you stopped beating your mother yet?” You are framing the argument incorrectly. The question should first be, are molecular distances in and of themselves capable of addressing the issue of common descent. If “no”, then it is in appropriate to ask if molecular distances support common descent. As poorly framed as your question was, I tried to provide an answer, any way. Perhaps I would have been better advised to point out why it was not an appropriate question in the first place.

    When someone asks, “have you stopped beating your mother yet?” I will respond, the first question to ask is “are you beating your mother?” If the answer is no, then it is logically in appropriate to ask “have you stopped beating your mother yet?”

    Pixie is asking framing the debate incorrectly. This seems a standard operating procedure by Internet defenders of Darwin.

    Salvador

  44. “I am saying you are framing the discussion from a misleading perspective. Would you say gravity supports or refutes common descent or common design? In similar manner, the molecular distance in and of itself is insufficient to say one way or another, and that is my position.”
    Oh, dear, I thought we had done this to death with the elevated oral temperature analogy.

    First of all, please note that I have modified my question; I asked whether molecular distances are COMPATIBLE with common descent (and you quoted that in your last response), and you answered about whether molecular distances SUPPORT with common descent. Is this because you do not read my posts, or you do not understand the difference?

    Remember, the “Fever” hypothesis and the “Hat” hypothesis were both compatible with the high temperatuire, but only the “Fever” hypothesis was supported by it. Gravity does not support common descent, but you cannot disprove common descent with gravitry, so gravity is compatible with common descent.

    Shall we try it this way:

    Can you disprove common descent using molecular distances (and please do not answer that there are better ways of disproving it – that is irrelevant to this discussion – just can you do with molecular distances)?

    If not, would you accept that molecular distances are COMPATIBLE with common descent (in the same way that gravity is compatible with common descent)?

    Either molecule distances can be used to disprove common descent (and if you believe that we can debate it) or molecular distances are compatible with common descent (and if you agree with that we can discuss what common descent and design predict about molecular distances). I am happy to concede that molecular distances are compatible with any design theory I can think of, by the way.

    Pixie

  45. Pixie asked:

    Shall we try it this way:

    Can you disprove common descent using molecular distances (and please do not answer that there are better ways of disproving it — that is irrelevant to this discussion — just can you do with molecular distances)?

    Maybe, maybe not. I won’t know till I try will I? Do I have interest in trying? Not at this time.

    For the sake of the readers, let me clarify my position to you:

    Do I believe in special creation? Yes.

    Do I believe it can be defended on theoretical and empirical grounds? Yes.

    Would I use molecular distances in isolation as an argument? Not at this time.

    Why do I discuss molecular distances in the first place? To establish common design, to establish how flawed certain evolutionary assumptions are (like the molecular clock hypothesis), not specifically to refute common descent.

    Salvador

  46. Can you disprove common descent using molecular distances

    Can you prove common descent using molecular distances?
    1. Can you tell me the precise line of each extant species with its’ subsequent immediate progenitor back to the bacterium?
    2. What was the mutation rate of each of these species and the Darwinian reason for their mutation rates?

  47. Salvador

    “Maybe, maybe not. I won’t know till I try will I? Do I have interest in trying? Not at this time.”
    I read that as: As far as you know, you cannot disprove common descent by molecular distances, or, as far as you know, common descent is compatible with common descent.

    “Would I use molecular distances in isolation as an argument? Not at this time.
    Why do I discuss molecular distances in the first place? To establish common design, to establish how flawed certain evolutionary assumptions are (like the molecular clock hypothesis), not specifically to refute common descent.”
    Do you believe molecular distances PROVE common design, SUPPORT common design or are COMPATIBLE with common design (do you appreciate the difference)?

    What other evolutionary assumptions do you believe are disproved by molecular distances, other than molecular clock hypothesis (which I also reject) and common descent (which you say you do not know if molecular distances disprove or not)?

    Teleologist

    I was hoping you would present your reasons for believing you can refute common descent using molecular distances. I am sure Salvador will be interested, as he states above he does not know how to do that himself.

    “Can you prove common descent using molecular distances?”
    No. Think back to the elevated oral temperature analogy. Can you PROVE a fever from that data? No. All you can say is that the “Fever” hypothesis predicts an elevated temperature, so is supported by the evidence, but you cannot be sure another hypothesis does not predict the same – such as the “Recent Hot Drink” hypothesis.

    “Can you tell me the precise line of each extant species with its’ subsequent immediate progenitor back to the bacterium?”
    No. Can you tell me the name of every extant species?

    “What was the mutation rate of each of these species…”
    See previous answer.

    “… and the Darwinian reason for their mutation rates?”
    I would suppose that life has evolved an optimum mutation rate (or range of mutation rates). Too fast mutation, and too many offspring will die before they are born. Too slow and the species will not be able to change when the environment changes. This supposes some inheritable mechanism(s) that can influence the mutation rate; error correction is one such. The optimum mutation rate will vary from species to species and from situation to situation.

    Hopefully now you have these answers we can look forward to your refuting of common descent by molecular distances. Yeah, right.

    Pixie

  48. Teleologist

    Sorry, just spotted this:

    “If molecular clock is a strawman then it is a creation of Darwinists. I don’t remember an IDist using molecular clock as evidence for evolution do you?”
    Er, that would be a bit odd, IDists using something as evidence for evolution… We shall see if Salvador tries to use it as evidence against evolution; he has already brought it up twice, and I have stated I reject it twice. A third time, and I think we can safely label it an ID strawman.

    Pixie

  49. I wrote:

    “Maybe, maybe not. I won’t know till I try will I? Do I have interest in trying? Not at this time.”

    Pixie re-words:

    I read that as: As far as you know, you cannot disprove common descent by molecular distances, or, as far as you know, common descent is compatible with common descent.

    No, Pixie, you are again misrepresenting what I said. You are making an unwarranted extrapolation from my comments.

  50. Pixie,

    You seem to have a pathalogical condition. I call it the “misrepresent what IDist say” (MWIS) syndrome. I afraid I don’t have many cures for that malady. But can you find it in yourself, not to reword what I say, not to draw unwarranted extrapolations from what I say. Here is an exercise for you that I think might alleviate you of some of the symptoms, though I think the root cause of your Malady is that you are a Darwinist, and you suffer from the logic illnesses of DarLogicians (an oxymoron by the way).

    Here is the exercise, quote the following of what I say in your next post:

    Maybe, maybe not. I won’t know till I try will I? Do I have interest in trying? Not at this time.

    and then offer an interpretation by simply repeating what I say by cutting and pasting:

    Maybe, maybe not. I won’t know till I try will I? Do I have interest in trying? Not at this time.

    That way you are ensured of not misrepresenting what I way. I would like to see if you can accomplish that little task. If you can’t do that, that is evidence you are still suffering MWIS syndrome, and you have my regrets.

  51. “No, Pixie, you are again misrepresenting what I said. You are making an unwarranted extrapolation from my comments.”

    Really? Perhaps you could explain the difference. Can you tell me which of the following are misrepresenting your position?

    1.) Can you disprove common descent by molecular distances? “Maybe, maybe not. I won’t know till I try will I? Do I have interest in trying? Not at this time.”

    2.) You do not currently know if you can disprove common descent by molecular distances, and are not interested in trying at the moment.

    3.) You do not know if you can disprove common descent by molecular distances

    4.) As far as you know, you cannot disprove common descent by molecular distances

    5.) As far as you know, common descent is compatible with molecular distances.

    For anyone else reading this, I invite you to consider which of the above YOU think misrepresents Salvador. How sure are you? Teleologist, you want to try this game? Can you tell me which of the above are reasonable representations of Salvador’s position, and which are deliberate misrepresentations (is it possible any are just misunderstandings)?

    Personally, I think the accusations of misrepresentation are a smoke screen to avoid Salvador having to answer this question:
    “Do you believe molecular distances PROVE common design, SUPPORT common design or are COMPATIBLE with common design (do you appreciate the difference)?”

    And this question:
    “What other evolutionary assumptions do you believe are disproved by molecular distances, other than molecular clock hypothesis (which I also reject) and common descent (which you say you do not know if molecular distances disprove or not)?” I guess the acid test is if he chooses to answer them or not.

    “…offer an interpretation by simply repeating what I say by cutting and pasting:”
    This would be great for Salvador, if his opponents were only allowed to copy-and-paste what he said, but not actually make any comments on it. But hardly the basis for a good discussion. Of course, if he could have a go at stating his position clearly in the first place…

    Pixie

  52. Upon consideration, perhaps I did word it poorly. Would you say you:
    You do not know if you can disprove common descent by molecular distances or not; you do not know if common descent is compatible with molecular distances or not; you are not aware of any proof that common descent is wrong that is based on molecular distances.

    If that is what you meant/prefer I will amend my last post at ARN accordingly.

    By the way, I seem to remember that a long time ago we discussed having a debate. We seem to be struggling to find a subject…

    Do molecular distances prove common descent? We all agree no.
    Are molecular distances a necessary prediction of common descent? I presented the case at ARN, but no takers.
    Do molecular distances disprove common descent? Salvador does not know, Teleologist seems overly shy about presenting his case.
    Do molecular distances prove common design? Salvador reluctant to present case.
    Are molecular distances a necessary prediction of common design? Salvador reluctant to present case.
    Do molecular distances disprove common design? We all agree no
    Is the molecular clock hypothesis reasonable? We all agree no
    Do molecular distances disprove another aspect of Darwinian evolution? Salvador reluctant to present case.

    Pixie

  53. “Can you prove common descent using molecular distances?”
    No.

    I think you’ve just answered your own statement. We both just refuted molecular distances as prove for common descent. To be fair maybe what you are asking is for me to refute the idea that molecular distance as an inference for common descent?

    Think back to the elevated oral temperature analogy. Can you PROVE a fever from that data? No. All you can say is that the “Fever” hypothesis predicts an elevated temperature, so is supported by the evidence, but you cannot be sure another hypothesis does not predict the same — such as the “Recent Hot Drink” hypothesis.

    Again, I say this is an incompatible analogy. The thermometer hypothesis only makes sense if it is assumed that it came from the mouth of a person. Without knowing the source of where the thermometer came from, all of your hypotheses is irrelevant. As in the case of molecular distances unless you know the mutation rate of each antecedent species from which the protein was derived, your hypothesizing is irrelevant.

    “Can you tell me the precise line of each extant species with its’ subsequent immediate progenitor back to the bacterium?”
    No. Can you tell me the name of every extant species?

    Huh? What is the relevance of that question?

    “What was the mutation rate of each of these species””
    See previous answer.

    Agree see previous answer.

    “… and the Darwinian reason for their mutation rates?”
    I would suppose that life has evolved an optimum mutation rate (or range of mutation rates). Too fast mutation, and too many offspring will die before they are born. Too slow and the species will not be able to change when the environment changes. This supposes some inheritable mechanism(s) that can influence the mutation rate; error correction is one such. The optimum mutation rate will vary from species to species and from situation to situation.

    No, you misunderstand my question. I am not talking about a generic hypothetical mutation rate. I want to know the specific cause of the mutation rates for the entire allege species lineage of the extant species that you want to compare. The reason is that unless you know the cause of the mutation rate you would not know if the rates have changed over time. For example, (for simplification purpose) let’s assume that bacteria and humans are parallel lineages with 60% difference. The mouse has 2 antecedent ancestors from the bacteria each with 20% mutational differences totaling 60%. How would you know if this is the correct phylogenic tree? For instance humans could have been the result of a special creation 5 million years ago and has an extremely high rate of mutation until recently it has stopped. Where as the mouse lineage has a slow mutation rate over billions of years. Until you have more definitive empirical data, your molecular distances hypothesis is meaningless.

    Teleologist seems overly shy about presenting his case.

    Well Pix, you and me both then. I don’t remember you presenting your case for molecular distances prove common descent either. For that matter where is your case that molecular distances is compatible with common descent?

  54. “I think you’ve just answered your own statement.”
    Actually I answered YOUR question. I have never claimed molecular distances PROVE common descent, no one who understands how science works would claim anything was proven in that way.
    “We both just refuted molecular distances as prove for common descent. To be fair maybe what you are asking is for me to refute the idea that molecular distance as an inference for common descent?”
    No, what I asked was: “Are molecular distances compatible with common descent?” And you said: “To answer your question no, molecular distances is not compatible with common descent.” I believe that molecular distances are compatible with common descent, but do not prove common descent. Do you understand the difference?

    “Again, I say this is an incompatible analogy. The thermometer hypothesis only makes sense if it is assumed that it came from the mouth of a person. Without knowing the source of where the thermometer came from, all of your hypotheses is irrelevant.”
    But the scenario originally given by Salvador included this information. The data that we have is a high temperature reading taken from the mouth. Given a high temperature reading in the mouth, the hypotheses are reasonable (to be honest, I am not too sure what your point is).

    “As in the case of molecular distances unless you know the mutation rate of each antecedent species from which the protein was derived, your hypothesizing is irrelevant.”
    You do not need to know the mutation rate and you do not need a constant mutation to be able to determine the Tree of Life. If you prefer, common descent gives a prediction about the pattern one would expect from molecular distances, and this pattern is what we see. See my posting at ARN for details on why this is so.

    “Huh? What is the relevance of that question?”
    It is a typical creationist ploy to point out that scientists do not know every detail of evolutionary history, and to therefore claim that evolution must be wrong. I believe that is utter nonsense. A detailed history would be nice, but is hardly a requirement to show evolution is true (consider how many details we have of any creation or ID theory). My point, then, was to illustrate this by pointing out how little we know about extant species. Does anyone doubt that life exists on Earth? And yet we cannot name all those those living things… Using creationist logic, we should conclude there is no life on Earth. Utter nonsense, you will object, and rightly so.

    “No, you misunderstand my question.”
    I thought I might be, and if you look back I answered it quite differently last time around.

    “I am not talking about a generic hypothetical mutation rate. I want to know the specific cause of the mutation rates for the entire allege species lineage of the extant species that you want to compare. The reason is that unless you know the cause of the mutation rate you would not know if the rates have changed over time.”
    I do not know if they have changed over time. Please note that a constant mutation rate is not required. See my post at ARN.

    “For example, (for simplification purpose) let’s assume that bacteria and humans are parallel lineages with 60% difference. The mouse has 2 antecedent ancestors from the bacteria each with 20% mutational differences totaling 60%. How would you know if this is the correct phylogenic tree? For instance humans could have been the result of a special creation 5 million years ago and has an extremely high rate of mutation until recently it has stopped. Where as the mouse lineage has a slow mutation rate over billions of years. Until you have more definitive empirical data, your molecular distances hypothesis is meaningless.”
    Of course special creation is always a possibility; God could have created mouse, human and bacterial cytochrome-c to appear to be the result of common descent when he made the universe last week. That is one reason I say that molecular distances are compatible with common descent, but do not prove common descent.

    Beyond that, I do not entirely follow the discussion here. You are assuming that bacteria and humans are descended from a single ancestor, and that there is a 60% difference between them, so far, so good. What do you mean by “antecedent ancestors” (I am not a biologist; this may be a common term in this subject for all I know)? It is important to be clear that the ancestor of the mouse is not the same as the modern day bacteria you mentioned before; perhaps we could call that precursor bacteria (I am not sure it would even have been bacteria). The mouse will have had about a billion ancestors going back to the precursor bacteria.

    The way one would group the mouse and determine its place in the Tree of Life would be to look at the distances between it and the human cytochrome-c and it and the bacteria cytochrome-c. Mainstream science, based on common descent and Linnean cladistic, would group the mouse as a mammal, with the human, so would PREDICT a small molecular distance to humans (5% to 10%), while a large one very similar to the human-bacteria distance to modern day bacteria. This prediction can be readily checked, of course.

    “Well Pix, you and me both then. I don’t remember you presenting your case for molecular distances prove common descent either.”
    No faulting your memory. In fact all you had to do was read my last post where I said: “Do molecular distances prove common descent? We all agree no.”

    “For that matter where is your case that molecular distances is compatible with common descent?”
    It is at ARN, and I have linked t it several times. I posted it there to stop Salvador deleting it. Here is the link again:
    http://www.arn.org/cgi-bin/ubb/ultimatebb.cgi/ubb/get_topic/f/13/t/002515.html?

    The three points I really want to get across, because I do not want to have to keep saying them, are:

    * Molecular distances DO NOT prove common descent
    * The explanation of molecular distances DOES NOT require constant mutation rate
    * That explanation has been presented at ARN

    Pixie

  55. Do you understand the difference?

    Yes I do Pix, but you were the first one to bring up the idea of prove. You asked “Can you disprove common descent using molecular distances” Can you disprove something that cannot be proven? In the strictest sense of science we hold every theory as provisional. You are the one that walked us down this definitive quandary. Again we both agree that common descent can not be proven by molecular distances.

    The data that we have is a high temperature reading taken from the mouth.

    Never mind what Sal was trying to point out. You’ve adopted that analogy and I am saying to you that it is not compatible with molecular distances and common descent. Do you understand that?

    You do not need to know the mutation rate If you prefer, common descent gives a prediction about the pattern one would expect from molecular distances, and this pattern is what we see. See my posting at ARN for details on why this is so.

    You are absolutely wrong on this. I gave the reasons in my previous post why this is a necessity. Demonstrate how your hypothesis can be relevant without this knowledge? In essence what you are saying is that it doesn’t matter how a fortunate teller knows your future, as long as he/she is right then fortunate telling is compatible with futuristic predictions?

    See my posting at ARN for details on why this is so.

    Please recount details here. I don’t want to misrepresent what you are saying in the context of our current discussion.

    A detailed history would be nice, but is hardly a requirement to show evolution is true

    Sorry you are wrong again. A detailed knowledge of what transpired is a requirement if you are to formulate the basis for all your subsequent theories. Just as you must know where the thermometer came from in order for any of your hypothesis to be relevant. We both know that it is a Darwinian ploy to fill missing evidence to support their hypotheses with “we can’t know everything” . The problem is that what we do know does not justify your assumptions.

    I do not know if they have changed over time. Please note that a constant mutation rate is not required. See my post at ARN.

    I never said that a constant rate was required. Whatever the rate, my point is that you must be able to know the rate.

    Of course special creation is always a possibility

    Sorry, you keep missing the point. IOW, when you believe in everything you believe in nothing or if you think that everything is true then nothing is true.

    The three points I really want to get across

    I have no problem with your first two points. Please show me your argument here.

  56. teleologist

    “Yes I do Pix, but you were the first one to bring up the idea of prove. You asked “Can you disprove common descent using molecular distances” Can you disprove something that cannot be proven? In the strictest sense of science we hold every theory as provisional. You are the one that walked us down this definitive quandary. Again we both agree that common descent can not be proven by molecular distances.”
    That is how science generally is. We can never prove relativity is right, for instance, all we can do is any number of experiments that show its predictions are consistently accurate, that is, they support the theory. However, potentially, you could do experiments that disprove relativity; if the theory predicts one thing, and experiment shows another (and no mistakes were made in either) then relativity would be disproved.

    Remember the elevated oral temperature thing? How can we forget… The “Fever” hypothesis predicted a high temperature, and this agreed with the data – but that did not prove the hypothesis, it merely supported it. The “Dead” hypothesis predicted a low temperature, in contradiction of the data. The “Dead” hypothesis was thus disproved.

    In science, you can never prove a hypothesis is true, you can sometimes prove it was false. In science, all hypotheses are held as tentatively true – or proven false.

    “Never mind what Sal was trying to point out. You’ve adopted that analogy and I am saying to you that it is not compatible with molecular distances and common descent. Do you understand that?”
    Okay. But I do not understand why. As far as I can see the analogy is good for any science; can you explain why you feel otherwise. When in science do you have data but no idea where the data came from? What am I missing?

    “You are absolutely wrong on this. I gave the reasons in my previous post why this is a necessity. Demonstrate how your hypothesis can be relevant without this knowledge? In essence what you are saying is that it doesn’t matter how a fortunate teller knows your future, as long as he/she is right then fortunate telling is compatible with futuristic predictions?”
    Read what I posted at ARN.

    “Sorry you are wrong again. A detailed knowledge of what transpired is a requirement if you are to formulate the basis for all your subsequent theories. Just as you must know where the thermometer came from in order for any of your hypothesis to be relevant. We both know that it is a Darwinian ploy to fill missing evidence to support their hypotheses with “we can’t know everything” . The problem is that what we do know does not justify your assumptions.”
    If you weanted to know the reasons for World War II, you would be wise to look back in history. But you do not need to know EVERYTHING that happened in human history to 1939 to understand it; all you need is a (relatively) very small number of facts. Sure, you want to know about World War 1, but you certainly do not need to know the names of all the soldiers, you would not be interested in the Minoans or Zulu nation. You can read numerous books on the causes of World War II, and none will mention the Minoans, none will mention the Zulu nation and none will list all the soldiers involved in World War I. Furthermore, when people research the causes of World War II, they do not start at the dawn of time, and work forwards through time, tracing every person’s action. No, they start from the outbreak of the war, pick out the salient points, the important people, and trace them backwards.

    Evolution is like that. We can look at a cat, say, and wonder how it can to be – its evolutionary history. We do not start from first life, and try to piece together every generation from there. Rather, we start from the existing cat, and trace back the important features.

    If you like, if you assume common descent, then you would predict that it is not possible to trace back evolutionary lineages perfectly. This prediction has proven true, of course.

    Another point to consider is that any discipline in science had a start, and when it was just starting, our knowledge in that discipline was minimal – that did not make it automatically wrong. Absence of knowledge is a dubious way to prove anything!

    “I never said that a constant rate was required. Whatever the rate, my point is that you must be able to know the rate.”
    Why do you think that is true?

    Common descent predicts a certain PATTERN that will be see in the molecular distances. You do not need to know the rate to make that prediction.

    “Sorry, you keep missing the point. IOW, when you believe in everything you believe in nothing or if you think that everything is true then nothing is true.”
    I think YOU missed the point. Let me be quite clear that I do NOT believe is special creation. I merely noted that special creation is COMPATIBLE with the molecular distances.

    Pixie

  57. Here is my first post at ARN, for those who cannot be bothered to follow the link. Some of the diagrams may get messed up by the formatting here.

    Cytochrome-c

    Cytochrome-c is a protein which is used in the production of cellular energy, and has been around for a very long time. Cytochrome-c is made up of just over 100 amino acids. About 30 of these are vital to its operation; if a mutation in the DNA results in a change to any one of these then the cytochrome stops working, and the organism quickly dies. However, about 70 are merely spacers; their sole function is to make sure the vital 30 are the right distance away from each other. You need 70 amino acids there, but it does not matter which amino acids they are.

    Comparing Cytochrome-c Between Species

    Scientists have collected data on the cytochrome-c of numerous species, and compared them against each other. Here is a snippet of data.

    Horse Dog Penguin Pigeon Sunflower
    Horse 0 6 11 11 41
    Dog 6 0 10 9 39
    Penguin 11 10 0 4 41
    Pigeon 11 9 4 0 39
    Sunflower 41 39 41 39 0

    At first glance the data is pretty straighforward. Horses are closely related to dogs (according to the theory of Common Descent), so have similar cytochrome-c – only 6 differences. Penguins are closely related to pigeons, so have only 4 different amino acids in their cytochrome-c. Sunflowers are distantly related to all of them, and so we see about 40 differences.

    The problem is that some people believe the results are too good. We are talking about random mutations here, and yet look at that last column; the values for the sunflower are all 40, give or take one. What gives? Is this “perfectection” a sign of a Designer, a biotic message from God?

    Let us consider the horse, the dog and the sunflower. According to Common Descent, the dog and the horse had a common ancestor a few million years ago, which I will call the horse-dog precursor. The sunflower had a common ancestor with the other about a billion years ago; call it the plant-animal precursor.

    We could guess at how many changes there have been in cytochrome-c over the billion years from plant-animal precursor to sunflower, or from plant-animal precursor to horse, but we have no way of knowing. Here are a couple of possibilities:

    P~A
    /
    /
    30 / 7
    /
    / H~D
    / 4 / 2
    Sunflower Horse Dog

    P~A
    /
    /
    12 / 25
    /
    / H~D
    / 4 / 2
    Sunflower Horse Dog

    In the first one there were 30 mutations on the way to the sunflower, and only 11 (=7+4) to the horse. In the second there were 12 mutations to the sunflower, and only 29 to the horse. In either case, the total number of differences between the sunflower and the horse is 41, so either might be right, or neither.

    Note that the only bit that is the same is from the horse-dog precursor and down. The data says there are six differences between the horse and the dog, and two more when you go from the sunflower to the horse compared to the sunflower to the dog, so I was obliged to use 4 and 2 there.

    Hopefully it is clear that a whole set of diagrams are possible of the form:

    P~A
    /
    /
    a / b
    /
    / H~D
    / 4 / 2
    Sunflower Horse Dog

    … where a + b = 37, and a >= 0, b >= 0.

    So what about this divine perfection? The prefection is simply an artefact of the diagram. When you consider the sunflower to the horse difference compared to the sunflower to the dog difference, 37 of the changes are the same. It is like two people driving from a house in one city to different houeses in a second city being surprised that 90% of their routes were the same.

    The only difference is the short bit from the horse-dog precursor to either the dog or the horse. When you go to the horse there are 4 mutations, and when you go to the dog there are 2. There is a two fold difference in the mutation rate along the only part of the diagram where they are different.

    I suggest that a two fold difference is more indictative of random mutation than of “divine perfection”.

  58. Here is my second post at ARN. I see the diagrams have been well and truly messed up in the previous post. I still recommend people see the posts at ARN to see it properly.

    Modelling Cytochrome-c Changes

    Sometimes it is helpful to use a model to see how changes in the amino acid sequence accumulate over time. There are twenty amino acids, and each has a conventional letter to represent it (B, J, O, U, X and Z are not used), so the simplest way to repesent an amino acid sequence is a string of letters. For instance …

    htdlmvfwecimfdet

    This might mutate over time (technically the DNA mutates) …

    htdlmvfwecimfdet
    htdlsvfwecimfdet
    htdlsvfweaimfdet
    htdlsvfweaimfpet

    The lineage might split …

    htdlsvfweaimfpet
    /
    htdlsvfweaimfpet htdlsvfweaimfpet

    Mutate some more …

    htdtsvfweaimfpet htdlsvfweaimfpet
    htdysvfweaimfpet htdlsvfweaimfpet
    htdysvfweaiifpet htdlsqfweaimfpet
    htdysvfweaiifpet htdlsqfweaimfpet

    Split again on one side …

    htdysvfweaiifpet htdlsqfweaimfpet
    | /
    htdysvfweaiifpet htdlsqfweaimfpet htdlsqfweaimfpet

    Mutate some more …

    htdysvfweaiifpet htdlsqfweaimfpet htdlsqfweaimfpet
    htdysvfweaiifpev htdlsqfweaimfpet htdlrqfweaimfpet
    htdysvfweaiifpev hptdlsqfweaimfpet htdlrqfweaimfpet
    htdysvfwewiifpev hpdlsqfweaimfpet htdlrqfleaimfpet
    htbysvfwewiifpev hpdlsqfweaimfpet htdlrqfleaimfpet
    htbysvfwewiifpev hpdlsqfweaimfpet htdlrqfleaimfpet

    … to present day. The biologist can determine the last three amino acid sequences (say they come from species A, B and C respecively), and get the molecular distance between these three species.

    A htbyssfwewiifpev
    B hpdlsqfweaimfpet
    C htdlrqfleaimfpet

    A B 7
    A C 8
    B C 3

    If you want to group these species, you would say that B and C belong together, as their sequences are much more similar (analogous to the dog and horse before), while A is quite different (like the sunflower).

    Note the “perfection” in the number. The mutations were pseudo-random – I made them up so they would have no pattern, they did not happen regularly or evenly. Nevertheless, the molecular distance from A to B is almost identical to the molecular distance from A to C. Hopefully it is now clear why.

    It is worth noting in closing that there will come a point when the number of mutations is so large that the tree can no longer be determined (this does not mean the tree does not exist of course). This will happen when the molecular distance is getting close to or exceeds the number of amino acids. For the above sequences of sixteen amino acids, the data will be confused once the molecular distance gets to around thirteen. You are still okay for grouping species with smaller molecular distances, but the longer ones are lost in time. Fortunately, cytochrome-c changes very slowly (there are only 40 changes between animals and plants) and has 70 amino acids, so it is only when you are looking at the very earliest organisms, the most basic of taxa that you run into problems (but it can seem like a problem when you use a model with only a few letters, but a lot of mutations).

    The 70 non-essential amino acids in cytochrome-c are probably not free to vary between all 20 amino acids, rather they will be constrained to a limited set (for instance, just hydrophilic amine acids at one site). A mutation that leads to an amino acid being replaced by one outside the “allowed” set will result in inactive cytochrome-c, and the death of the organism. The important consequence of this is that the mutations that are passed on to future generations are a small subset of the total number of mutations, so the apparent mutation rate (the rate of change of amino acids) is rather less than the actual mutation rate.

  59. Clearly there is a lesson that Salvador can learn here. What I did was present a clear, coherent explanation based on logic and science, without extraneous and irrelevant claims. When you do that, the opposition are unable to make any reasonable objection.

    THAT IS THE WAY TO DEAL WITH PESTS!

    Contrast this with Salvbador. It took several posts before he would admit he did not know what molecular distances will tell us about common descent – and he was not even interested in finding out (tough, he now knows). To be honest, I was expecting him to evadeHe threw in other irrelevant but unlikely claims:
    “To establish common design, to establish how flawed certain evolutionary assumptions are (like the molecular clock hypothesis), not specifically to refute common descent.”
    These may or may not be true, but if he makes claims like that, he as to expect evolutionists to pick up on them, and point them out as the rubbish they are (if they are). Consequence: thread side-tracked. Salvador did this to several threads Dembski started at ARN, successfully derailing them.

    Then we have Teleologist, attempting to disprove common descent by twenty questions. This strategy is fundamentally flawed, as it assumes I have perfect understanding of the current theory of evolution. I do not. If he had a good argument, it would not depend on extracting something from me.

    So let us recap:

    *Do molecular distances prove common descent? We all agree no.
    *Are molecular distances a necessary prediction of common descent? I presented the case here and at ARN, and no one seems to want to debate that.
    *Do molecular distances disprove common descent? Salvador does not know, Teleologist seems overly shy about presenting his case.
    *Do molecular distances prove common design? Salvador reluctant to present case.
    *Are molecular distances a necessary prediction of common design? Salvador reluctant to present case.
    *Do molecular distances disprove common design? We all agree no
    *Is the molecular clock hypothesis reasonable? We all agree no
    *Do molecular distances disprove another aspect of Darwinian evolution? Salvador reluctant to present case.

    Pests 1… IDists 0

    Thank you for your attention.

    Pixie

  60. Then we have Teleologist, attempting to disprove common descent by twenty questions. This strategy is fundamentally flawed, as it assumes I have perfect understanding of the current theory of evolution. I do not. If he had a good argument, it would not depend on extracting something from me.

    Pix, is this how a Darwinist defend Darwinism, through bloviating, obfuscation and equivocation? LOL! You know perfectly well that I never said that I can disprove common descent by 20 questions or molecular distances. Congratulations pix, you’ve knocked that straw man out of the park. LOL!

    What I did say was that unless you know the exact mutation rate and the exact lineages of the species that you are comparing the molecular distances with, molecular distances is irrelevant for common descent.

    All you have succeeded in showing is that anything that you can’t disprove is compatible with common descent. Brilliant pix. If all Darwinists were more like you, it would explain the failure of Darwinism to explain anything.

    plant-animal precursor to sunflower, or from plant-animal precursor to horse

    pix, in your little protein tree there can you tell me what the tree looks like for P~A to sunflower and P~A to H~Pigeon? IOW, what is the distance from P~A to the common ancestor of the Horse and Pigeon and the distance from the ancestor of the horse and pigeon to the horse and to the pigeon?

    Here is a much more parsimonious explanation of a protein sequence that works without assuming common descent.

  61. Oh, a reply. Well done. I am having a go at formating my response; you have no guide as to how to do that on your site that I could see, so I am guessing. If you see lots of odd mark-up, I guessed wrong.

    Pixie: Then we have Teleologist, attempting to disprove common descent by twenty questions. This strategy is fundamentally flawed, as it assumes I have perfect understanding of the current theory of evolution. I do not. If he had a good argument, it would not depend on extracting something from me.

    Teleologist: Pix, is this how a Darwinist defend Darwinism, through bloviating, obfuscation and equivocation? LOL! You know perfectly well that I never said that I can disprove common descent by 20 questions or molecular distances. Congratulations pix, you’ve knocked that straw man out of the park. LOL!
    I guess I misunderstood you. I started from:
    Comment by teleologist — September 22, 2005 @ 11:19 pm
    To answer your question no, molecular distances is not compatible with common descent.

    Do you say molecular distances can be used to disprove common descent? If they are not compatible then surely the answer is yes, or we have a different in opinion as to what compatible means (or perhaps some other word, but I guess that one).

    What I did say was that unless you know the exact mutation rate and the exact lineages of the species that you are comparing the molecular distances with, molecular distances is irrelevant for common descent.
    No, you also said it was not compatible :
    Comment by teleologist – September 22, 2005 @ 11:19 pm
    To answer your question no, molecular distances is not compatible with common descent.

    Are you backtracking, now you realise Salvador cannot think of anyway in which molecular distances are not compatible with common descent? It is okay to admit you were wrong.

    All you have succeeded in showing is that anything that you can’t disprove is compatible with common descent.
    I hope I have showed that this is generally true. If X is not compatible with Y, then either X is true, or Y is true, but it is logically impossible for both X and Y to be true (neither could be true as well). If we know that X is true, and we can prove that X and Y are incompatible, then it must follow that Y is false. If X and Y are compatible, then you cannot use one to disprove the other. I kind of hoped you realised what compatible meant when you used it earlier. Sorry, my mistake.

    In this discussion, we all agree that the molecular distances data are true. If anyone believes molecule distances are incompatible with common descent, and can prove it, he will disprove common descent. Do you just hope molecular distances are not compatible with common descent? Or do you have some logical reason?
    Brilliant pix. If all Darwinists were more like you, it would explain the failure of Darwinism to explain anything.
    As I said, my mistake for assuming you know what compatible means. Hopefully we have cleared that up now.
    pix, in your little protein tree there can you tell me what the tree looks like for P~A to sunflower and P~A to H~Pigeon? IOW, what is the distance from P~A to the common ancestor of the Horse and Pigeon and the distance from the ancestor of the horse and pigeon to the horse and to the pigeon?
    No I cannot. Did you really read what I posted? Try reading very carefully around where I said:
    In the first one there were 30 mutations on the way to the sunflower, and only 11 (=7+4) to the horse. In the second there were 12 mutations to the sunflower, and only 29 to the horse. In either case, the total number of differences between the sunflower and the horse is 41, so either might be right, or neither.
    We do not know and it does not matter. I said this before; why do you keep asking about it? If you think common descent cannot be true unless we know the exact details of the mutations, please explain why.

    Here is a much more parsimonious explanation of a protein sequence that works without assuming common descent.
    Is that an explanation or a joke? Call me old-fashioned, but I thought explanations had to explain (I am sure that is the root of the word). I always thought an explanation would be composed of sentences. All you have is five words – one of them spelt wrong – no verbs or adverbs or adjectives. Lists of numbers with nothing to indicate what they represent, where they come from or what you are trying to show with them. Can a protein sequence be reduced to a single number? Not that I am aware of. Do the numbers represent the number of mutations? As the start at 100 (at the bottom) I guess not. Are the numbers the number of differences in the protein? As they go up to 300, and there are only 100 or so amino acids in cytochrome-c, that would make no sense.

    Brilliant tel. If all IDists were more like you, it would explain the failure of IDism to explain anything…

    Pixie

  62. Looks like I got it mostly right (it is done with angle brackets for anyone interested), just the quotes were wrong. Is it confusing? I will repost it anyone cannot follow easily who said what.

  63. Do you say molecular distances can be used to disprove common descent? If they are not compatible then surely the answer is yes, or we have a different in opinion as to what compatible means (or perhaps some other word, but I guess that one).

    Pix, now you are just play semantics. I’ve already said that you can’t definitively disprove a theory unless you can prove it in the scientific sense. Molecular distance is not compatible with common descent in the sense that it is not a provable or falsifiable hypothesis. Under your definition you can make any specious hypothesis to be compatible with molecular distance.

    Are you backtracking

    No pix, why don’t you explain how you can have a viable hypothesis when it is not falsifiable?

    I hope I have showed that this is generally true. If X is not compatible with Y, then either X is true,

    No, pix you are setting up a straw man again. Your logic is faulty. Just from a logic point of view your statement is incorrect. X can be not equal to Y and both can still be true, but not at the same time and in the same relationship. This is basic logic 101.

    You are starting from a false premise that you know what X is. What I’ve been saying all along if you’ve pay any attention is that you cannot assume X/common descent. Therefore whatever the value of Y/molecular distances is irrelevant. The molecular distances are predicted under special creation, space aliens, inter-dimensional interferences. The point is that unless you can establish a relationship between the 2 premises you can’t draw any conclusion.

    I do not know why you believe molecular distances are not compatible with common descent. How about you just tell me, rather than (rather rudely) demanding answers of me first.

    Excuse me. I am not the one being rude. I asked you several time before I can even get a semi-straight answer from you. The questions that I’ve asked are not rude. I want to know if you can establish a relationship between molecular distances and common descent as the working basis for your hypothesis. It seems clear to me now that you can’t and which is what I thought would be the case. What you have done is taken 2 disparate data points and imagined that there is a link between the two.

    In the first one there were 30 mutations on the way to the sunflower, and only 11 (=7+4) to the horse. In the second there were 12 mutations to the sunflower, and only 29 to the horse. In either case, the total number of differences between the sunflower and the horse is 41, so either might be right, or neither.
    We do not know and it does not matter. I said this before; why do you keep asking about it? If you think common descent cannot be true unless we know the exact details of the mutations, please explain why.

    Reading carefully is a good idea pix. I am not asking about constant rate. I haven’t mentioned that for some time now. LOL!

    Please focus on your examples. Think about what you have. You can take the 1 st or the 2 nd case it matters not, just work through the distances for the other species. i.e. in the 1 st case you have the horse-dog ancestor, work it through with the horse-penguin ancestor. IOW, find the distances between the horse and penguin with their last common ancestor. Do that and see if it makes sense to you? πŸ˜€

    All you have is five words — one of them spelt wrong — no verbs or adverbs or adjectives. Lists of numbers with nothing to indicate what they represent, where they come from or what you are trying to show with them.

    My fault. I thought you would be smart enough to understand it within the context of what we are debating.

    I was being lazy and didn’t want to draw it out on a diagram. In your little examples you’ve drawn a tree of common descent. In my example there is no tree, all the species are parallel to each other from time zero. The numbers 1 st column can represent the amino acid sequence of a protein for the sunflower. It could hypothetically be zero mutation being static from time zero. The 2 nd column would be the sequence for the horse and so forth. The difference may or may not be the result of past mutations, but the distances between the species matches those that are observed. Again this example does not require common descent, it is also compatible (by your definition) with molecular distances.

    The numbers are just a symbolic representation of the actual amino acids. What I am trying to show is the difference of the amino acid in that sequence. It was just easy for me to do on a spreadsheet that’s all.

  64. Pixie misrepresents:

    “Salvador reluctant to present case.”

    No, I have more fun things to do than argue in circles with you. Besides, our IDEA chapter has yet another wave of reporters coming to interview us! Woohoo!

    That’s more fun. Telling the reporters that rising numbers biology majors and professors at secular universities in the USA are dissing Darwin is more fun and productive than wasting keystrokes on Pixie’s circuitous red herring and semantic games.

    Rather than drawing flawed inferences for the reader, could you simply state more empirical facts. Can you prove that molecular distances un-equivocally support common descent?

    Salvador

  65. No, pix you are setting up a straw man again. Your logic is faulty. Just from a logic point of view your statement is incorrect. X can be not equal to Y and both can still be true, but not at the same time and in the same relationship. This is basic logic 101.
    I never said X was equal to Y. I guess we go back to the high temperature analogy. X could be a high oral temperature, and Y a fever. You can have a high temperature and have a fever, so in this case X and Y are compatible. They do not necessarily prove each other, just because we have a high oral temperature it does not follow that we hae a fever.

    Okay, suppose X is still a high oral temperature, but Y is dead. If you are dead you cannot have a high temperature, and conversely, if you have a high temperature, you are not dead. If this case X and Y are not compatible, and if you know one is true, then the other cannot be.
    You are starting from a false premise that you know what X is. What I’ve been saying all along if you’ve pay any attention is that you cannot assume X/common descent. Therefore whatever the value of Y/molecular distances is irrelevant.
    I am saying that X is common descent, so of course I know what it is (but we are debating if it is true or not). I am saying Y is the molecular distances data. I think we all agree that Y is true. If you can show that X and Y are incompatible, and we know Y is true, then X must be false. You will have refuted common descent.

    So that is whether they are compatible, whether one disproves the other. Then there is something else, which is that one predicts the other. I claim that if we assume common descent then that would lead us to conclude that the molecular distances would have a certain pattern. I discussed that in the postimgs at ARN, reproduced above.

    The molecular distances are predicted under special creation, space aliens, inter-dimensional interferences. The point is that unless you can establish a relationship between the 2 premises you can’t draw any conclusion.
    No, molecular distances are not predicted by, they are compatible with special creation, space aliens, inter-dimensional interferences (probably).

    Pix, now you are just play semantics. I’ve already said that you can’t definitively disprove a theory unless you can prove it in the scientific sense.
    What does “prove it in the scientific sense” mean? And anyway, I have already said (several times now, using the high oral temperature analogy) how you can disprove a theory. Frankly I find it very odd that you believe you can only disprove a theory if it can be proven. It is like saying I can only catch you lying if I know you are telling the truth.

    Molecular distance is not compatible with common descent in the sense that it is not a provable or falsifiable hypothesis. Under your definition you can make any specious hypothesis to be compatible with molecular distance.
    Well that is certainly an ideosyncratic sense of compatible. There are certainly any number of specious hypothesis that are compatible with molecular distances, but not all. A simple reading of Genesis would lead one to conclude there were a limited number of “kinds”, and to predict that either each kind has its own unique cytochrome-c sequence, or alternatively that all kinds had the same cytochrome-c sequence, so the distances between a cat and a dog would be similar to the distance between a cat and a sunflower (either very large in the former case or very small in the latter case). Either of these creation theoiries are incompatible with the molecular distances data that we see. Both are disproved (and creatioinists are forced to invent ad hoc explanations to expain that data).

    No pix, why don’t you explain how you can have a viable hypothesis when it is not falsifiable?
    Common descent makes predictions about the pattern of molecular distances, a prediction that could be wrong, but turns out to be right. Common descent is falsifiable, but not false.

    I asked you several time before I can even get a semi-straight answer from you. The questions that I’ve asked are not rude. I want to know if you can establish a relationship between molecular distances and common descent as the working basis for your hypothesis. It seems clear to me now that you can’t and which is what I thought would be the case. What you have done is taken 2 disparate data points and imagined that there is a link between the two.
    But I am not claiming we can use molecular distances to determine the entire evolutionary history of the planet. What I am claiming is that common descent predicts the molecular distances will conform to a certain pattern. And it does.

    Please focus on your examples. Think about what you have. You can take the 1 st or the 2 nd case it matters not, just work through the distances for the other species. i.e. in the 1 st case you have the horse-dog ancestor, work it through with the horse-penguin ancestor. IOW, find the distances between the horse and penguin with their last common ancestor. Do that and see if it makes sense to you?
    I am not sure if I get your point, but I would guess there were 3 changes from the mammal-bird precursor (M~B) to the horse-dog precursor (H~D), 3 from M~B to the penguin-pigeon precursor (P~P), 3 from P~P to the penguin, and 1 from P~P to the pigeon. That does not quite work, and the reason is that these are random changes, and sometimes a change occurs at a site that has already changed. I would guess that a site changed between H~D and the horse, and the same site changed between P~P and the penguin, also a site between M~B and H~D also changed between P~P and the penguin, and another between M~B and P~P that also changed between M~B and P~A or P~A and sunflower.

    Common descent does not predict all that detail, common descent just predicts a pattern which will include some slight slippage like that because it is based on a random process.
    My fault. I thought you would be smart enough to understand it within the context of what we are debating.
    I get accused of misrepresenting IDists almost daily. Now you know why. They assume I automatically know what they are talking about.
    In my example there is no tree, all the species are parallel to each other from time zero. The numbers 1 st column can represent the amino acid sequence of a protein for the sunflower.
    It never honestly crossed my mind that each number is an amino acid. It may interest you to know that there are only 20 different amino acids used to make all the proteins of all life on Earth, and not 300+. It was those high numbers that threw me off.
    Again this example does not require common descent, it is also compatible (by your definition) with molecular distances.
    As far I can see your hypothesis is that the amino acids were just created like that. That hypothesis is certainly consistent with the molecular distances data. However, it is not predicted by it.

    Pixie

  66. Cannot get the hang of those quote formating codes.

    Pixie misrepresents:
    “Salvador reluctant to present case.”

    No, I have more fun things to do than argue in circles with you. Besides, our IDEA chapter has yet another wave of reporters coming to interview us! Woohoo!
    It is an empirical fact that you are reluctant to present the case. That may be because you are busy, maybe because you have no case, I do not know. I do recall you saying you wanted to have a debate on this thread. And now you do not. Your choice, but for whatever reason you will not have a debate, i.e., you are reluctant to debate.

    And it is oh-so-typical of ID that it spends so much more effort on PR than science. I think I know why.

    Can you prove that molecular distances un-equivocally support common descent?
    Yes (support, but not prove), see earlier.

    Pixie

  67. Can you go back and edit your posts after posting? I’m able to reformat after posting. If not, I suppose only admins can edit their posts…..

  68. Speaking of pests, there’s one worthless contributor at ARN by the name of Poet…. Another reason not to waste time.

    So Pixie can’t prove common descent with molecular distances. Well said.

  69. Of interest are developments as outlined at Uncommon Descent:
    Missense Meanderings

    Mark A. DePristo, Daniel M. Weinreich and Daniel L. Hartl

    Taken as a whole, recent findings from biochemistry and evolutionary biology indicate that our understanding of protein evolution is incomplete, if not fundamentally flawed.

    It deals with the problems posed by molecular distances and a purley naturalistic orgins scenario. I link to things from that thread. A poster by the name of cambion displays typical Darwinist dogmatism. He doesn’t even address the problem that one needs molecular clocks for each protein.

    Salvador

  70. See, Teleologist, how Salvador once more brings up molecular clocks, when I have said several times they are not required. Thus, I suggest this is a strawman, as I originally suspected.

  71. Teleologist

    I think one of the problems we are having is that we have very different ideas of how science works; eg what does compatible mean. I have attempted to explain what I understand these things to mean, perhaps you could spend a few minutes explaining what you mean by them. Could you give an example of two things that are compatible in the scientific sense and two things that are not compatible. Can you give an example of a theory that has been proved “in the scientific sense” and explain what that means? Can you give an example of how a theory might be disproved? Can you give an example ofd how a theory predicts something (and indicate whether the prediction relies on any assumptions)?

    Please say if you are still unsure how I use these terms, and I will attempt to explain again myself. Hopefully once we understand each other better we can proceed a little more easily.

    Pixie

  72. Salvador

    With regards to the paper Dembski found, why do you think this affects my argument (do you think the authors believe in common descent or not)?
    * In addition to functional properties, proteins have a wide range of biophysical characteristics, such as stability, propensity for aggregation and rate of degradation. These properties are at least as important as function for cellular and organismal fitness.
    * Proteins tolerate only narrow ranges of stability, aggregation propensity and degradation rate. Many individual missense mutations perturb these traits by amounts that are on the same order as the permissible range of values, and are consequently common causes of human genetic disease.

    This is undoubtedly true, and explains why cytochrome-c has changed so very slowly over billions of years. Most mutations lead to unfavourable biophysical characteristics, and so do not get pasted to the next generation. Although about 70 amino acids can change, they are very restricted in those changes for exactly that reason.

    *We propose a new model of protein evolution that is reminiscent of a constrained ‘random walk’ through fitness space, which is based on the fitness consequences and distribution of mutational effects on function, stability, aggregation and degradation.
    A random walk is perfectly consistent with the random changes process I am proposing for the common descent model. How does it fit with your common design model?

    Pixie

  73. Here is an excellent page about the scientific method:
    http://biology.clc.uc.edu/courses/bio104/sci_meth.htm

    In particular, read the sections on hypotheses…
    In a cause and effect relationship, what you observe is the effect, and hypotheses are possible causes. A generalization based on inductive reasoning is not a hypothesis. An hypothesis is not an observation, rather, a tentative explanation for the observation. For example, I might observe the effect that my throat is sore. Then I might form hypotheses as to the cause of that sore throat, including a bacterial infection, a viral infection, or screaming too much at a ball game.

    Hypotheses can be proven wrong/incorrect, but can never be proven or confirmed with absolute certainty. It is impossible to test all given conditions, and someone with more knowledge, sometime in the future, may find a condition under which the hypothesis does not hold true.

    And prediction:
    A prediction is the expected results if the hypothesis and other underlying assumptions and principles are true and an experiment is done to test that hypothesis. For example, in physics if Newton’s Theory of Motion is true and certain “unexplained” measurements and calculations pointing to the possibility of another planet are correct, then if I point my telescope to the specific position that I can calculate mathematically, I should be able to discover/observe that new planet. Indeed, that is the way in which Neptune was discovered in 1846.

    Pixie

  74. What I said was,

    Would you really like to debate about the biotic message of nested hierarchies? We can do it here in this thread.

    You want to frame the discussion over something to do with common descent or molecular distances supporting the tree of life. You misrepresent my position yet again about what I want to debate. We’ve gone 74 posts over something I did not agree to. You’re arguing over something I did not agree to debate. You try to frame the discussion in unproductive terms.

  75. Salvador

    “Would you really like to debate about the biotic message of nested hierarchies? We can do it here in this thread.”
    If you have a claim you want to debate, then you go ahead and make it, and offer us some data or reasoning to support it. What is the biotic message in the nested hierarchies? What is your reasoning? What evidence supports your claim? What predictions can we draw from your hypothesis?

    I cannot debate it because I do not know what your position is. I get accused of misrepresenting you on a daily basis, and yet here we are, you want to debate with me, but are too shy to put forward your argument, in case it gets shot down in flames. How much easier to say nothing, and then if I argue against the biotic message you can accuse me of misreprsentation, and if I do not, you can accuse me of dodging the debate that you were willing to have.

    I made some claims about molecular distances and common descent. I backed up those claims with some lengthy discussions as to why we would expect to see what we do. You are then able to respond to my position, knowing fairly well what it is that I am claiming (I hope).

    Why not try the same. Why not come out into the open, and state is clear English (and that is the tricky part, I guess) what you believe about the biotic message. I can then respond, and we can have that debate.

    Pixie

  76. Salvador

    This page is getting too long already. Why not start a new blog entry on the biotic message, and we can debate there? For one thing, it might encourage you to explain your position more clearly if it fronts a blog entry. Put a link on this page to it.

    Pixie

  77. Pix, use

    and

    without the spaces inside the angle brackets.

  78. I have attempted to explain what I understand these things to mean, perhaps you could spend a few minutes explaining what you mean by them. Could you give an example of two things that are compatible in the scientific sense and two things that are not compatible.

    Please say if you are still unsure how I use these terms, and I will attempt to explain again myself. Hopefully once we understand each other better we can proceed a little more easily.

    Perhaps this is what Sal means by circuitous red herring and semantic games. Here is my understanding of a theory. I have no idea what compatibility means in a scientific sense. The way you seem to be using it is that anything that does not disprove each other is compatible. I see no relevance for “compatibility” in science.

    I never said X was equal to Y

    Pix, didn’t you say this?

    If X is not compatible with Y, then either X is true, or Y is true

    And I said this,

    X can be not equal to Y

    What you did was set X and Y to be exclusive opposites. I just pointed out that is a logical fallacy.

    I guess we go back to the high temperature analogy.

    No let’s not. πŸ™‚ I’ve already said this does not apply.

    No, molecular distances are not predicted by, they are compatible with special creation, space aliens, inter-dimensional interferences (probably).

    Can you prove that molecular distances cannot be predicted by these hypotheses?

    Frankly I find it very odd that you believe you can only disprove a theory if it can be proven. It is like saying I can only catch you lying if I know you are telling the truth.

    Consider this, when you set out to disprove something, you must be able to measure against something that is already proven. For instance, the force gravity predicts that mass objects attracts each other to fall toward its’ center. To disprove the theory, if you can show 2 mass objects do not attract or fall toward each other (provided no other forces are involved), then you have disproved the theory. The key there is that you must prove gravity has no affect on mass objects.

    How do you disprove molecular distances is “compatible” with common descent? Do you predict that more ancient species have greater distances than more recent species? If so, do you not first need to prove common descent? Is this not circular reasoning?

    That does not quite work

    That’s right. It doesn’t work and you haven’t even traced it back to the plant ~ animal precursor yet. I am not sure how a site change would affect the total amino acid substitution. In any case, it works under my parallel evolution case without common descent. Does this mean that parallel evolution disproves common descent? πŸ˜€

    It never honestly crossed my mind that each number is an amino acid. It may interest you to know that there are only 20 different amino acids used to make all the proteins of all life on Earth, and not 300+. It was those high numbers that threw me off.

    Well, I guess I do vaguely know that is the case. πŸ˜€ I did say

    The numbers are just a symbolic representation of the actual amino acids. What I am trying to show is the difference of the amino acid in that sequence.

    LOL! What is #15 amino acid? Leucine? Serine? Alanine? Valine? No, the numbers are symbolic. It is use to show difference between different species.

    That hypothesis is certainly consistent with the molecular distances data. However, it is not predicted by it.

    Why not? I just predicted that parallel descent would produce these differences.

  79. Teleologist

    Thanks for the blockquote hint.

    Here is my understanding of a theory. I have no idea what compatibility means in a scientific sense.

    From that page: The explanation of a theory must be observable, testable and produce valid predictions (accurate deterministically reproducible). In other word, a theory must be empirically true. That is not quite how I would define it, but not far off, and we can go with that. When you said prove “in a scientific sense”, is that what you had in mind?

    The way you seem to be using it is that anything that does not disprove each other is compatible. I see no relevance for “compatibility” in science.

    Being able to disprove things is vital in science. It is what falsifiablity is all about. Furthermore, if you have a hypothesis that is not compatible with the accepted laws of nature you will have a hard time getting it accepted. But it is just possible that your hypothesis is correct, and the accepted laws of science are wrong. Thus, it is better to say the two are incompatible, rather than to say your theory is disproved by the laws of nature, and discount your theory out of hand (this could be important for ID).

    Pix: I never said X was equal to Y

    Tel: Pix, didn’t you say this?
    “If X is not compatible with Y, then either X is true, or Y is true”
    And I said this,
    “X can be not equal to Y”
    What you did was set X and Y to be exclusive opposites. I just pointed out that is a logical fallacy.

    X and Y are statements. X could be “It is night” and Y could be “The sun is shining”. X and Y are not compatible, if one is true, then the other is not. Suppose instead that X was “It is day”. Now they are compatible, both can be true at the same time. In neither case is X equal to Y.

    No let’s not. I’ve already said this does not apply.

    But you have not explained why. What is the problem with knowing where the temperature reading was taken? I work in a lab, and often take temperature readings as part of my job, and I can assure you I always know where the reading comes from. Did you read this:
    http://biology.clc.uc.edu/courses/bio104/sci_meth.htm

    That site uses a sore throat example. Do you think that is valid? If so, I will use that instead.

    Can you prove that molecular distances cannot be predicted by these hypotheses?

    No. It is up to the proposer of the hypothesis to show how the prediction follows logically and inevitably from the hypothesis, and no one has ever done that for these theories. I feel I am safe claiming that (but it is not a scientific claim, I will concede).

    Consider this, when you set out to disprove something, you must be able to measure against something that is already proven. …

    Right, the hypothesis must be capable of being proven, rather than proven, for you to disprove it. I get what you mean now.

    How do you disprove molecular distances is “compatible” with common descent? Do you predict that more ancient species have greater distances than more recent species? If so, do you not first need to prove common descent? Is this not circular reasoning?

    If the distances between species in the tree of life were not approximately proportional to the number of differences in their cytochrome-c, that would disprove common descent. For example, cats and dogs are quite close, so common derscent predicts a small number of differences, dogs and sunflowers are a lot way apart, so a lot of differences.

    “That does not quite work”

    That’s right. It doesn’t work and you haven’t even traced it back to the plant ~ animal precursor yet. I am not sure how a site change would affect the total amino acid substitution. In any case, it works under my parallel evolution case without common descent. Does this mean that parallel evolution disproves common descent?

    And at this point I realise exactly what sort of a debate you want. Do you really feel that was an honest way to quote me? I get accused of misrepresenting Salvador on a daily basis, and here you are, quoting a small sentence fragment that totally distorts my position. If I say something does not work, and then follow that in the same sentence with an explanation as to why, then have the honest to quote the full sentence. You may feel the explanation is not valid – it so, say why, do not just miss it out. You have not even included an ellipsis to indicate there was more to the sentence. This is quote-mining at its worst.

    Here is what I really said:

    That does not quite work, and the reason is that these are random changes, and sometimes a change occurs at a site that has already changed.

    .

    Pix: It never honestly crossed my mind that each number is an amino acid. It may interest you to know that there are only 20 different amino acids used to make all the proteins of all life on Earth, and not 300+. It was those high numbers that threw me off.

    Tel: Well, I guess I do vaguely know that is the case.

    Right. And when you said:

    My fault. I thought you would be smart enough to understand it within the context of what we are debating.

    Boy do I feel stupid for not realising you were representing to 20 amino acids by the number 1 to 300. It never crossed my mind that you had not read my posts at ARN (reproduced here at your request) where it says there are only 20 amino acids, and that even outlines a convention where one letter is used for each, and so had decided to represent 20 amino acids by the numbers 1

    I did say
    “The numbers are just a symbolic representation of the actual amino acids. What I am trying to show is the difference of the amino acid in that sequence.”
    LOL! What is #15 amino acid? Leucine? Serine? Alanine? Valine? No, the numbers are symbolic. It is use to show difference between different species.

    Okay, fine, but do not imply I am stupid for not realising what you were talking about when you gave no indication at all and it was so far displaced from reality.

    Why not? I just predicted that parallel descent would produce these differences.

    As far as I can see you have given no indication of where the sequences came from.. Remember your definition of a theory? “The explanation of a theory must be observable, testable and produce valid predictions (accurate deterministically reproducible). ” Where is that explanation? How does it produce this prediction? All we have is a lot of numbers and five words.

    Pixie

  80. Thus, it is better to say the two are incompatible, rather than to say your theory is disproved by the laws of nature, and discount your theory out of hand (this could be important for ID).

    Don’t you mean Darwinism rather than ID? Darwinism has been one long fairy tale contradicting empirical evidence. In any case I still don’t see your evidence of the relationship between molecular distances and common descent. All I am reading is your rhetoric that common descent predicts molecular distances. Which is why I ask for evidence of molecular mutation rates of extent and antecedent species.

    X and Y are statements.

    Of course and I understood it as such. The problem is that you were using this logic to equate it to compatibility right? Again you logic is flawed. Consider these statements. I am the father. I am the son. Can both these statements (X and Y) be both true at the same time? Yes.

    But you have not explained why. What is the problem with knowing where the temperature reading was taken?

    Yes. I did. For the umpteenth time common descent is not a given. It is an unproven, untested, undemonstrated assumption.

    No. It is up to the proposer of the hypothesis to show how the prediction follows logically and inevitably from the hypothesis

    But you also said this.

    molecular distances are not predicted by, they are compatible with special creation, space aliens, inter-dimensional interferences

    You seem to know the answer already, so I figure I would ask you.

    Teleo: How do you disprove molecular distances is “compatible” with common descent?

    If the distances between species in the tree of life were not approximately proportional to the number of differences in their cytochrome-c, that would disprove common descent. For example, cats and dogs are quite close, so common derscent predicts a small number of differences, dogs and sunflowers are a lot way apart, so a lot of differences.

    Once again, using your model horse to P~A precursor as 11 mutations. The distance between the horse and penguin does not add up and still if the distance from penguin to sunflower is also required to be at 11 mutations. Unless your are suggesting the penguin is the M~B precursor. Does this disprove molecular distances with common descent? I guess if you just want to throw out data that doesn’t fit your hypothesis than it would work.

    Demonstrated empirically why a dog and cat should have closer molecular distances without circular reasoning of assumed common ancestry. Second, it is just as possible that the dog and cat ancestors (even assuming common descent) had vast molecular distances in their proteins in the past. It may be recently that their mutations have converged to a close distance. This is why I keep asking for a scientific relationship between the two. All I am getting is just a bunch of unfalsifiable assumptions. This again demonstrate the irrelevance of molecular distances as a hypothesis for anything, let alone common descent.

    Why do you just bring up cytochrome-c? Is this some magical Darwinian protein to prove compatibility of molecular distances for common descent?

    And at this point I realise exactly what sort of a debate you want. Do you really feel that was an honest way to quote me? I get accused of misrepresenting Salvador on a daily basis, and here you are, quoting a small sentence fragment that totally distorts my position.

    Please, I have no intention of quoting you out of context. Anyone interested can easily scroll back up the window and see what you wrote. Besides I am currently in a direct dialogue with you, you know what you said. Yes, I key in on that sentence because I wanted to emphasize that your model does not produce the right results. You can give your reason for why the mutations don’t add up, but the bottom-line is that you didn’t mention about these anomaly beforehand did you? Would you being deliberately deceptive? I don’t think so, but I could be wrong. Finally, I did give the reason in the form of a question why I don’t accept your explanation for the anomaly is sufficient. Even if you have a site shift, it still does not affect the total number of amino acid change in the protein. Your numbers still won’t add up.

    It never crossed my mind that you had not read my posts at ARN (reproduced here at your request) where it says there are only 20 amino acids, and that even outlines a convention where one letter is used for each,

    I guess it never occurred to me that you didn’t read why I said the numbers are symbolic. They aren’t exact representation. Why must I use your convention? I don’t know the exact protein sequence of cyto-c thus making it a lot more difficult to keep track of the difference. The difference was what I was interested in.

    Okay, fine, but do not imply I am stupid for not realising what you were talking about when you gave no indication at all and it was so far displaced from reality.

    That goes both ways. I was merely replying in kind. For the record, I don’t think you are stupid at all.

    As far as I can see you have given no indication of where the sequences came from.. Remember your definition of a theory? “The explanation of a theory must be observable, testable and produce valid predictions (accurate deterministically reproducible). ” Where is that explanation? How does it produce this prediction? All we have is a lot of numbers and five words

    LOL! This is very funny. So it is alright for you to demand that I need to indicate where the sequences came from, but you don’t need to indicate why does your sequence come from? All I have from you has been hearsay assumption of common descent. In that same vein, I am saying that parallel evolution is the case. If you read my last post you know that I explained where it came from. Please don’t tell me again that it is just 5 words and numbers. You should know full well by now what that table represents. For the sake of accommodating your complaint let me summarize my hypothesis here. My hypothesis says that none of the 5 species share a common ancestor. They could be the result of special creation or parallel evolution. It is possible that aa seq of the sunflower has been in stasis and there has never been any changes. The horse has accumulated 41 mutations relative to the sunflower. The dog has 39 mutations relative to the sunflower. However of those 39 only 4 are different than the horse’s mutations. Since the horse has 2 more mutations than the dog the total difference between the dog and horse would be 6. It makes sense that the horse and dog mutations are similar because they are similar animals living in similar environment. This is the same reason given by Darwinists for convergent evolution.

    In a second case where it is possible the sunflower is mutating. The results would be the same. The sunflower is very different from the animals so the evolutionary path between it and the animals would result in a similar molecular distances.

  81. Teleologist

    Don’t you mean Darwinism rather than ID? Darwinism has been one long fairy tale contradicting empirical evidence.

    No, no. Creationists portray Darwinism in that way, but the fact that it has been a part of mainstream science for over a century suggests otherwise. However, I feel this could lead us in to a much wider debate; let us stick to molecular distances for this thread.

    In any case I still don’t see your evidence of the relationship between molecular distances and common descent.

    Try reading it then. For one thing you if you had read it, you would have discovered there were only 20 different amino acids.

    Which is why I ask for evidence of molecular mutation rates of extent and antecedent species.

    I do not know them. Again, this suggests you are not reading what I type, as I have said this several times now.

    Of course and I understood it as such. The problem is that you were using this logic to equate it to compatibility right? Again you logic is flawed. Consider these statements. I am the father. I am the son. Can both these statements (X and Y) be both true at the same time? Yes.

    I am not following you here. Can you really be both the father and the son at the same time? I would have said no. You can be [i]a[/i] father and [i]a[/i] son, sure, but not [i]the[/i] father and [i]the[/i] son. Or is this a God thing? Or perhaps you are wanting to change the frame of reference between the two statement?

    “But you have not explained why. What is the problem with knowing where the temperature reading was taken?”
    Yes. I did. For the umpteenth time common descent is not a given. It is an unproven, untested, undemonstrated assumption.

    Wrong way round. Common descent is analogous to the “recent hot drink” hypothesis. It is the molecular distances evidence that is analogous to the elevated oral temperature. We all agree on the molecular distances data, we know where it comes from. We all know where the temperature comes from.

    Once again, using your model horse to P~A precursor as 11 mutations. The distance between the horse and penguin does not add up and still if the distance from penguin to sunflower is also required to be at 11 mutations. Unless your are suggesting the penguin is the M~B precursor. Does this disprove molecular distances with common descent? I guess if you just want to throw out data that doesn’t fit your hypothesis than it would work.

    I thought I explained that, but no problem. Sometimes the amino acid at a certain positin can change twice in the chain of changes down the tree of life. This means that two changes are seen as only one difference when you compare cytochrome-c between the species. Thus there is a small degree of approximation (see also later).

    Demonstrated empirically why a dog and cat should have closer molecular distances without circular reasoning of assumed common ancestry.
    We are really have problems with predictions. From here (again):

    A prediction is the expected results if the hypothesis and other underlying assumptions and principles are true and an experiment is done to test that hypothesis. For example, in physics if Newton’s Theory of Motion is true and certain “unexplained” measurements and calculations pointing to the possibility of another planet are correct, then if I point my telescope to the specific position that I can calculate mathematically, I should be able to discover/observe that new planet. Indeed, that is the way in which Neptune was discovered in 1846.

    See, what the astronomers did was they assumed Newton’s Theory of Motion was true, and used that assumption to do a calculation, and make a prediction. Are you suggesting that maybe they should not have used the Theory to make the prediction or what? Can you give an example of how a prediction can be made to test a hypothesis? Try it, and see what problems you run in to.

    Second, it is just as possible that the dog and cat ancestors (even assuming common descent) had vast molecular distances in their proteins in the past. It may be recently that their mutations have converged to a close distance.

    Sure, that is possible. However, there is a very good tie up between distance in the tree of life and molecular distances (so good Salvador calls it a “Jewel of Perfection”); the prediction from common descent (yes, the prediction we arrive at if we assume common descent is true) matches what we see.

    Why do you just bring up cytochrome-c? Is this some magical Darwinian protein to prove compatibility of molecular distances for common descent?

    Again, more evidence you did not read my posts. We discuss cytochrome-c first and foremost because Salvador found a web site with the data on. Cytochrome-c has been around a very long time (in Darwinian thinking anyway), since before plants and animals diverged, and changed relatively little. I believe molecular distances can be derived from other proteins, but they may only show a subsection of the Tree of Life, and more importantly I do not know where the data is.

    Even if you have a site shift, it still does not affect the total number of amino acid change in the protein. Your numbers still won’t add up.

    It is not a site shift, but two changes at one site. Say we have a precursor with the sequence abcdefgh, leading to two species.
    abcdefgh [precuror] –> abcdrfgh [species 1]
    abcdefgh [precuror] –> abcdrfgh [species 2]
    There have been two changes, but because they both occured at position 5, we see only one difference between the two species. Perhaps I should have mentioned it before, but it is pretty obvious that such a thing can happen.

    I guess it never occurred to me that you didn’t read why I said the numbers are symbolic. They aren’t exact representation. Why must I use your convention?

    Firstly, it is not my convention, but a global one. Secondly, whatever convention you use, I would expect you to have only 20 amino acids.

    LOL! This is very funny. So it is alright for you to demand that I need to indicate where the sequences came from, but you don’t need to indicate why does your sequence come from? All I have from you has been hearsay assumption of common descent. In that same vein, I am saying that parallel evolution is the case. If you read my last post you know that I explained where it came from. Please don’t tell me again that it is just 5 words and numbers. You should know full well by now what that table represents. For the sake of accommodating your complaint let me summarize my hypothesis here. My hypothesis says that none of the 5 species share a common ancestor. They could be the result of special creation or parallel evolution.

    Read again what I said about common descent, the posts I made at ARN, and reproduced here. They explain why, if we assume common descent, we predict that molecular distances will be approximately proportional to distances in the Tree of Life. Common descent does not predict specifically how many differences or what the distances are, just what sort of a pattern we expect.

    What I am failing to see is what your hypothesis is actually predicting. Clearly not the actual sequences, as these are merely symbolic. Is there any pattern that your hypothesis predicts? Can you explain how the predict follows logically from the hypothesis? I would guess not, as the hypothesis allows for both special creation and parallel evolution.

    It is possible that aa seq of the sunflower has been in stasis and there has never been any changes. The horse has accumulated 41 mutations relative to the sunflower. The dog has 39 mutations relative to the sunflower. However of those 39 only 4 are different than the horse’s mutations. Since the horse has 2 more mutations than the dog the total difference between the dog and horse would be 6. It makes sense that the horse and dog mutations are similar because they are similar animals living in similar environment. This is the same reason given by Darwinists for convergent evolution.

    In a second case where it is possible the sunflower is mutating. The results would be the same. The sunflower is very different from the animals so the evolutionary path between it and the animals would result in a similar molecular distances.

    I am trying to decide how this differs from common descent. Sure, it is possible that the sunflower has not mutated at all, though unlikely, but that would still fit with common descent. The only bit that makes me think you are not discussing common descent is the “living in similar environment”. You mention at this point convergent evolution, which is very interesting in its own way. The Darwinian hypothesis (which includes common descent of course) allows for convergence, but says the convergence is morphological, and not apparent at the moleculr level. The prediction from Darwinism is that although ducks and platypuses have bills, because they are descended from a precursor animal (by that I mean the last common ancestor) that did not have a bill the DNA that codes for the bill will be quite different. Ducks and geese have a much more recent precursor, which probably did have a bill, so one would predict (assuming Darwinism) similar DNA encoding for those bills. Darwinism says the bills of ducks and platypuses have evolved independantly, but in the same way to do the same job of grubbing around at the bottom of rivers.

    In contrast, you seem to be suggesting that the amino acid sequence of cytochrome-c is in some way connected to the environment the animal lives in. Would you predict bat cytochrome-c to be very close to pigeon cytochrome-c? Would you predict butterfly cytochrome-c to be very close to hummingbird cytochrome-c?

    To be honest, I am not too clear on what you mean by parallel evolution, as opposed to special creation. Do you mean special creation of a lare number of original kind, followed by a long period of time during which these kinds can evolve into numerous species? Are you thinking of a single special creation event a long, long time ago, or a series of such events? What do you predict would be the pattern of differences in the cytochrome-c proteins following a special creation event? Are you suggesting that the Designer will originally have created all animals with identical cytochrome-c? Were dogs and horses originally created as separate “kinds”?

    Pixie

  82. Creationists portray Darwinism in that way, but the fact that it has been a part of mainstream science for over a century suggests otherwise.

    You are joking right? Darwinism has been around for over a century so it must be right? Have you ever heard of Aristotelian forms or pre-relativity theory of light? They were the mainstream science for a lot longer than Darwinism, although I wouldn’t put Darwinism in the same category because Darwinism does not rise to their level.

    Try reading it then. For one thing you if you had read it, you would have discovered there were only 20 different amino acids.

    Huh? 20 aa is evidence that molecular distances has some relationship to common descent?

    I do not know them. Again, this suggests you are not reading what I type, as I have said this several times now.

    You have a bad habit of falsely accusing me of not reading what you wrote. In fact I was not asking a question in that quote. I was merely recounting the reason for asking the question in the first place.

    Wrong way round. Common descent is analogous to the “recent hot drink” hypothesis. It is the molecular distances evidence that is analogous to the elevated oral temperature. We all agree on the molecular distances data, we know where it comes from. We all know where the temperature comes from.

    Nice spin, but it still won’t work. We don’t know the history of the molecular distances. IOW, what if the horse~dog distance was 50 and recently it converged back to 6? You can’t make it work under you can establish a contingent relationship.

    I thought I explained that, but no problem. Sometimes the amino acid at a certain positin can change twice in the chain of changes down the tree of life.

    Really? How do you know this? I thought we were only comparing the seq of extent species.

    Demonstrated empirically why a dog and cat should have closer molecular distances without circular reasoning of assumed common ancestry.
    We are really have problems with predictions. From here (again):

    Are you saying that you are assuming dog and cat are related and use that assumption to prove molecular distances? I thought you were assuming molecular distances and common descent was the explanation? This is circular reasoning Pix!

    Sure, that is possible. However, there is a very good tie up between distance in the tree of life and molecular distances (so good Salvador calls it a “Jewel of Perfection” ); the prediction from common descent (yes, the prediction we arrive at if we assume common descent is true) matches what we see.

    This makes no sense at all as a response to my question.

    Cytochrome-c has been around a very long time (in Darwinian thinking anyway), since before plants and animals diverged, and changed relatively little.

    Good. I have a couple of other protein I want to bring out that challenges your molecular distances scheme.

    There have been two changes, but because they both occured at position 5, we see only one difference between the two species.

    This is an argument against your own hypothesis. First you are making a speculation of what might have happen. Second, this means you have no idea of the history of the distance. It is possible that 1mya the distance of the horse to sunflower and dog was reverse, s~h = 6 and h~m = 6. This is the reason why your hypothesis is irrelevant.

    Firstly, it is not my convention, but a global one. Secondly, whatever convention you use, I would expect you to have only 20 amino acids.

    I never said there wasn’t.

    if we assume common descent, we predict that molecular distances will be approximately proportional to distances in the Tree of Life.

    I thought you assume molecular distance and hypothesize common descent. You need to keep the Darwinian fairy tale straight.

    Common descent does not predict specifically how many differences or what the distances are, just what sort of a pattern we expect.

    So back to version 1 of your story. Common descent does not necessitate a prediction of the differences that we see in extent species. I think I’ve already demonstrated that in our debate here.

    What I am failing to see is what your hypothesis is actually predicting. Clearly not the actual sequences, as these are merely symbolic. Is there any pattern that your hypothesis predicts? Can you explain how the predict follows logically from the hypothesis? I would guess not, as the hypothesis allows for both special creation and parallel evolution.

    What is the actual sequence? Are you being deliberately obtuse in fear of my example? You are a scientist aren’t you? You know full well that a symbolic representation is an abstract of the real object. In this case the actual amino acids that make up the protein sequences. By harping on this complaint because I didn’t want to waste time describing the entire protein only suggests to me that you are avoiding my argument.

    The Darwinian hypothesis (which includes common descent of course) allows for convergence, but says the convergence is morphological, and not apparent at the moleculr level.

    Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. First just because Darwinist weave some fairy tale explanation of convergence. It doesn’t mean that it is true. Darwinism has completely failed to account for convergence. Second, convergence is not limited to morphological but it also exist at the molecular level. Read this.

    In contrast, you seem to be suggesting that the amino acid sequence of cytochrome-c is in some way connected to the environment the animal lives in. Would you predict bat cytochrome-c to be very close to pigeon cytochrome-c? Would you predict butterfly cytochrome-c to be very close to hummingbird cytochrome-c?

    Certainly environment is a factor that influence mutation. Don’t you think so?

    To be honest, I am not too clear on what you mean by parallel evolution, as opposed to special creation.

    In my example the 5 species does not have to be a result of special creation. I am not speculating how these species came about. Just as Darwinism do not speculate about the origin of life as a prerequisite for Darwinian evolution. The only important point in my example is that all 5 species do not share a common ancestor. Their evolution (mutation) and molecular distances are independent of phylogeny.

  83. This thread began because of Pixie’s accusation about the supposedly deleted thread on “The Biotic Message of Nested Hierarchies”. It turns out he simply could not find it. The thread exists at ARN to this day.

    I provided the link to Pixie. Has he conveniently misplaced it again?

    Pixie, why don’t you post what the Biotic Message states.

  84. Salvador

    So you want to have a debate on the biotic message of the twin nested hierarchy, but cannot be bothered to cut-and-paste your argument from another thread at ARN? This must be some usage of the phrase “want to debate” that I was not previously aware of… Instead he wants me to post what he believes – and undoubtedly he will then shriek “misrepresention”.

    The Central Claim of Message Theory

    Life was reasonably designed for survival and for communicating a message that tells where life came from. The biotic message says, “Life is the product of a single designer — life was intentionally designed to resist all other interpretations of origin.”

    Before getting on to the biotic message, I would like to spend a few moments discussing the “Designer’s Message in Salt” hypothesis. As everyone knows, salt is sodium chloride, that is, it is made up of sodium ions and chloride ions. However, did you know that in each salt crystal, the ions are arranged in an alternativing pattern?

    -sodium-chloride-sodium-chloride-sodium-chloride-

    This continues without flaw for billions of atoms, in three dimensions. This order, the “Jewel of Perfection” if you will, is a clear sign of an intelligent agent, and further more is a obvious message from that designer that he exists.

    Of course, no one actually subscribes to the “Designer’s Message in Salt” hypothesis. Why is that? Because there is a perfectly good explanation for the ordering (like ions repel, unlike attract), and – more importantly – everyone knows ad understands that explanation.

    Which brings us to that other “Jewel of Perfection” – the twin nested hierarchy. So what differences are there? (1) It is actually no where near perfect and (2) a lot of people do not properly understand the naturalistic explanation for the pattern we see.

    To help drive the point home, let me make the following assumption “for the sake of argument” (even though I personally reject these assumptions, but for the sake of scientific inquiry, I make them):
    I will assume, Common Ancestry.
    I will show that Macro Evolution (if it happened) could not be Darwinian, but had to be Intelligently Designed because of the fact of Nested Hierarchies. But then if we establish Intelligent Design, do we even need macro evolution? Maybe, maybe not.

    The next point is that to prove Biotic Messages, Salvador is obliged to assume common descent (or as he calls it, common ancestory). Here we are already debating common descent, and Salvador has to assume I am right to make his argument…

    May be I am missing something here, I must confess. I have no clue how Salvador can assume common descent, but reject macro-evolution.

    Okay, let us think about messages (and this may or may not fit with Salvador’s specific claims). Let us assume Biblical creationism (and please note, I assume that to show flaws in a hypothesis, in contrast to Salvador who assumes common descent to prove biotic messages). At one time the designer (God) passed on his message by talking directly to people (Adam and Eve), later he worked though agents, such as angels and burning bushes, then though his son. And that was it. No more messages, for two thousand years. And when we do get a message, it is something that was set up a long time ago, and which is readily interpreted as evidence of no God. If we assume this guy is eternal, then why has he so dramatically changed his way of communicating with his people? If this guy is all-knowing, why did he pick a message that fits so well with a theory that is compatible with atheistism? If God really did want to send a message to us, he picked a bizarre, arhuably stupid, way to do it.

    Pixie

  85. >

    Sorry this has taken so long to post. It concerns me that our posts get ever longer. There are a few issues that I feel it would be useful to highlight, with the hope of getting them resolved, anmd hopefully cut down the amount I have to type.

    Is the “Elevated Oral Temperature” Example Representative of How Science Is Done?

    This is important because if we cannot decide how we can evaluate hypotheses, we are not going to get anywhere! Ignoring how it relates to common descent, do you accept that “Elevated Oral Temperature” example is a reason illustration of how things are done in science; that is how a hypothesis can be disproved, but not proved, how a prediction is made, etc.?

    How about the example in the link I found about a sore throat, is that any more or any less reasonable?

    Is the “Elevated Oral Temperature” Example Analogous to Common Descent and Molecular Distance?

    This all stems from Salvador of course:

    In regards to molecular distances, consider this. If you drank some really hot tea (say 160 Farenheit) and immediately put a thermometer in your mouth, in the absense of consideration that you drank hot tea, would that be suggestive that you had a fever????
    Now, in the absense of all the other considerations, are molecular distances suggestive of common descent. Do you see the parallels and the semantic games being played here??

    I think that Salvador makes it pretty clear that fever is analogous to common descent, and the high temperature (which we know is taken orally) is analogous to the molecular evidence. You seem to be confused on this.

    Pix: But you have not explained why. What is the problem with knowing where the temperature reading was taken?

    Tel: Yes. I did. For the umpteenth time common descent is not a given. It is an unproven, untested, undemonstrated assumption.

    Pix: Wrong way round. Common descent is analogous to the “recent hot drink” hypothesis. It is the molecular distances evidence that is analogous to the elevated oral temperature. We all agree on the molecular distances data, we know where it comes from. We all know where the temperature comes from.

    Tel: Nice spin, but it still won’t work. We don’t know the history of the molecular distances. IOW, what if the horse~dog distance was 50 and recently it converged back to 6? You can’t make it work under you can establish a contingent relationship.

    In the light of this new (old) information, can you review whether the “Elevated Oral Temperature” is analogous to our debate? If not, can you explain why you think we do not know where the temperature came from? Remember, temperature is analogous to molecular distance, and we know that comes from measuring the differences in the cytochrome-c sequences between different species.

    Two Versions of My Story?

    So back to version 1 of your story. Common descent does not necessitate a prediction of the differences that we see in extent species. I think I’ve already demonstrated that in our debate here.

    Can you tell me what those two versions are?

    There is (I am afraid) this nagging doubt that just maybe this is a ploy; you know you are lost, so you make erroneous claims that I have changed what I am claiming. Could you put my mind at rest by stating exactly what two (or more) versions you think I am claiming? I will then try to explain how they can be reconciled.

    Just What Did the Numbers in That Spreadsheet Mean?

    Pix: Firstly, it is not my convention, but a global one. Secondly, whatever convention you use, I would expect you to have only 20 amino acids.
    Tel: I never said there wasn’t.

    You had a string of numbers for five species; you gave the impression these were the amino acid sequences, and the amino acids seemed to be represented by the numbers 1 to 300. Can you explain what those numbers represent? How come it is only now you have decided that actually you did know there were only 20 amino acids, when I first pointed out that error on October 4, 2005 @ 4:07 pm?

    You may find it helpful to look at Salvador’s Biotic message thread at ARN, where he repeats much of the backgroumd for cytochrone-c that I gave. He also has the actual sequences for about a dozen species too (curtesy N.Wells).

    What is the actual sequence? Are you being deliberately obtuse in fear of my example? You are a scientist aren’t you? You know full well that a symbolic representation is an abstract of the real object. In this case the actual amino acids that make up the protein sequences. By harping on this complaint because I didn’t want to waste time describing the entire protein only suggests to me that you are avoiding my argument.

    I appreciate that you were not describing the actual amino acid sequence. When I first saw the numbers, I assumed they showed how each species was changing over time. Before your last post I was settling on each column being a possible amino acid sequence, with each number representing a different amino acid; read across the row to see the differences between species. I now feel less sure of this.

    I am at a loss as to why you are so reluctant to just say what it means.

    In my example the 5 species does not have to be a result of special creation. I am not speculating how these species came about. Just as Darwinism do not speculate about the origin of life as a prerequisite for Darwinian evolution. The only important point in my example is that all 5 species do not share a common ancestor. Their evolution (mutation) and molecular distances are independent of phylogeny.

    So in what sense was it a prediction? How would that disprove common descent? What is your point? And why does it take so long to drag the explanationout of you?

    Convergence

    Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. First just because Darwinist weave some fairy tale explanation of convergence. It doesn’t mean that it is true. Darwinism has completely failed to account for convergence. Second, convergence is not limited to morphological but it also exist at the molecular level. Read this.

    That is an interesting article, and raises some issues. I have neither the time not the knowledge to discuss them properly, but I will say a few things. You portray mutation and natural selection as being in competition; they are actually complementary, working together to produce variety and converge. It makes no sense to ask which is more powerful.

    The wolf-thylacine issue is not a big deal, to my mind; I think the similarilties can be explained. The identical proteins; are these exactly the same sequences, or is it like cytochrome-c, where only about 30% has to be the same? There are only a limited number of proteins that will do a specific task, and occasionally nature will hit on the same one twice. I wonder if both are derived from a fairly similar protein (with another fuction) that was in the common ancestor. Darwinism is, in part, an optimisation process, and there are probably a very small number of optimal proteins for each task, so if two lineages hit on the same optimal solution occasionally, it is not that surprising.

    The compound eye is (in my opinion) the most troubling for Darwinism. However, I would imagine there are people trying to understand why this might be so, even as we debate it. There are issues in evolutionary that need to be resolved.

    Fishes (and people) have eyes with lens that focus light on cells at the back of the eye, the retina. The cells are wired so nerves come out the front, then all go back though a hole in the retina. The result is a blind spot. The squid (obviously living in the same environment as the fish) has the cells wired the other way, so the nerves come out the back. No blind spot. Would a design scenario predict that? How does a design scenario explain it?

    If ID can come up with a hypothesis that can explain all this, then you might be on a winner. So far ID has not. Darwinism (modern evolutionary theory) explains 99% of it, which is 97% better than ID, so for now we stick with Darwinism.

    We Do Not Need to Know the Rate of Mutation, the History of the Mutations, the Entire Evolutionary History

    We don’t know the history of the molecular distances. IOW, what if the horse~dog distance was 50 and recently it converged back to 6? You can’t make it work under you can establish a contingent relationship.

    This is an argument against your own hypothesis. First you are making a speculation of what might have happen. Second, this means you have no idea of the history of the distance. It is possible that 1mya the distance of the horse to sunflower and dog was reverse, s~h = 6 and h~m = 6. This is the reason why your hypothesis is irrelevant.

    I thought you assume molecular distance and hypothesize common descent. You need to keep the Darwinian fairy tale straight.

    Are you saying that you are assuming dog and cat are related and use that assumption to prove molecular distances? I thought you were assuming molecular distances and common descent was the explanation? This is circular reasoning Pix!

    Darwin proposed common descent to explain the relationships that were devised by Linneus (a creationist). This is where we get the idea that cats and dogs are related.

    Common descent is a hypothesis. If we assume the hypothesis we would predict that, if they are apparently closely related from Linneas’ hierarchy, there will be a short moleculat distance between them. The data fits with this prediction, supporting the original assumption.

    We do not need the history of the molecular distances. If you believe otherwise, please explain why, and we can explore your misunderstanding.

    The Rest

    Tel: Don’t you mean Darwinism rather than ID? Darwinism has been one long fairy tale contradicting empirical evidence.

    Pix: Creationists portray Darwinism in that way, but the fact that it has been a part of mainstream science for over a century suggests otherwise.

    Tel: You are joking right? Darwinism has been around for over a century so it must be right?

    Do you really believe that in science any theory is EITHER “one long fairy tale contradicting empirical evidence” OR “must be right”, and if I say Darwinism is not the former, I must be claiming the latter?

    Huh? 20 aa is evidence that molecular distances has some relationship to common descent?

    No, no. The fact that you were talking about 300+ different amino acids is evidence that you did not read my explanation of the relationship between molecular distances and common descent.

    Pix: I thought I explained that, but no problem. Sometimes the amino acid at a certain positin can change twice in the chain of changes down the tree of life.

    Tel: Really? How do you know this? I thought we were only comparing the seq of extent species.

    The common descent prediction is based on random changes at a number of positions. Surely it is common sense that if the changes are random then occasionally they will happen more than once at the same position?

    Tel: Second, it is just as possible that the dog and cat ancestors (even assuming common descent) had vast molecular distances in their proteins in the past. It may be recently that their mutations have converged to a close distance.

    Pix: Sure, that is possible. However, there is a very good tie up between distance in the tree of life and molecular distances (so good Salvador calls it a “Jewel of Perfection”); the prediction from common descent (yes, the prediction we arrive at if we assume common descent is true) matches what we see.

    Tel: This makes no sense at all as a response to my question.

    Hmm, I did not explain that well, I agree. Yes, cats and dogs could have converged to closeness, but if this is a random process, then that would be unlikely. Add in horses and rats, all pretty close, and the odds get even more unlikely – and certainly no one would predict such a pattern. On the other hand, if you start with the assumption of common descent, then you would predict very small differences for cats and dogs, a little more for rats and horses.

    Pixie

  86. Pix, I am tired of debating semantics with your analogy. I’ve explained to you why it doesn’t apply. If you can’t understand it then I don’t want to waste any more time with it. The bottom-line is that you still have not shown a contingent relationship between molecular distance and common descent. All you have is conjecture and rhetoric claiming the 2 are related through circular reasoning.

    Pix, Do you even understand what the word symbolic mean? πŸ˜€

    You completely underestimated the argument of the article about the problem with convergence.

  87. Pixie Misrepresents yet again:

    So you want to have a debate on the biotic message of the twin nested hierarchy

    Can you get not even get a sentence I wrote without misquoting in? Sheesh! The word “twin” is related to the Darwinist Phylogeny! I’m surely not arguing for Darwinism! What a waste of time.

  88. Salvador

    Pixie Misrepresents yet again:
    “So you want to have a debate on the biotic message of the twin nested hierarchy”
    Can you get not even get a sentence I wrote without misquoting in? Sheesh! The word “twin” is related to the Darwinist Phylogeny! I’m surely not arguing for Darwinism! What a waste of time.
    It has been pretty clear for a week that the last thing you want is an actual debate. I obviously did not misquote you because I made no indication that I was quoting you then, such as putting that in the blockquote thing or using quote marks.

    The reason for my confusion stems from this, which you wrote in the other thread:

    This thread is a spin-off from Twin Nested Hierarchies thread which was a spin-off merger of numerous other threads.

    You say you are surely not arguing for Darwinism, but the twin nested hierarchy is more specifically related to common descent. Sure, Darwinism includes common descent, but is rather more than that. Why would you be arguing for common descent? Frankly, I have no idea, but you did say that you were assuming common ancestry “I will assume, Common Ancestry” (which I guess is common descent) for your argument on that other thread. If you assume common ancestry, surely you are arguing for common descent, which relates to the twin hierarchy?

    If you wanted a fair and honest debate, you could have explained your position, but that was never your intention. Instead, you invite me to wade though your low-content waffle on another site, then come back and report. And, let us be honest, with your ability to explain I was bound to get something wrong.

    I made no indication I was quoting you, so cannot have misquoted you
    You used the term twin nested hierarchy yourself on the other thread
    You assume common ancestory on the other thread, which is consistent with a twin nested hierarchy
    You are unwilling to state what your real position is

    Misrepresentation was inevitable and undoubtedly what you hoped for. And that gives you a good excuse to avoid a debate you cannot win.

    But, hey, it is your blog, and people can decide for themselves who has tried to engage in reasoned argument, and taken the time to explain in depth what he means – often numerous times – and who has not.

    Pixie

  89. Teleologist

    Pix, I am tired of debating semantics with your analogy. I’ve explained to you why it doesn’t apply.

    And it was abundantly clear that you had misunderstood it – you had confused the hypothesis with the prediction! That makes me suspect that your objection is not valid. I see you are avoiding answering whether you thing the analogy to science in general is good or not; do not want to get pinned down I guess.

    The bottom-line is that you still have not shown a contingent relationship between molecular distance and common descent. All you have is conjecture and rhetoric claiming the 2 are related through circular reasoning.

    1. I have explained that predictions in science are done by assuming a hypothesis, and then drawing logical conclusions from that about what patterns we expect to see in nature. And I realise that after all this time, I still do not know if you agree with that.

    2. I have assumed common descent, and drawn a logical conclusion about the pattern we would expect to see in molecular distances. This was in the first two posts at ARN, since repeated here.

    I guess you are wanting to get out of the debate too. That is fine, I am happy with the way I have stated my position. Any interested reader can decide if the elevated oral temperature analogy is reasonable or not, whether I have shown why common descent makes the predictions it does or not. See here for details by the way (it is all on this thread too, but harder to find, and the diagrams got messed up):
    http://www.arn.org/cgi-bin/ubb/ultimatebb.cgi/ubb/get_topic/f/13/t/002515.html?

    When I post on sites like this and ARN, I am conscious that the important readers are the undecided. In that light, I try to explain everything as clearly as I can. As the owner of this blog site, surely you must do the same? Every new entry must be directed at encouraging more people to consider ID. Why then are you so shy about explaining what you mean? I am a scientist, I know this subject to some degree, and yet when I looked at that list of numbers I had no idea what it was about. What hope have the people you are really talking to of understanding it? Please bear in mind that none of us are telepathic; it might make sense to you, but never assume that it therefore makes sense to anyone else. Would it really have been so big a deal to say a few sentences about what the numbers represent (and yes, I know they are symbolic, but symbolic of what), and where they came from?

    Perhaps I should let you go on preaching to the converted, your inability or unwillingness to explain can only harm your argument. But I find it frustrating not knowing what you are saying, and (despite Salvador’s claims) I would far rather debate against your real position, rather than what I think you mean It sure gets tedious trying to drag that explanation out of you, and we end up with an explanation spread over six posts, that I might follow, but anyone skimming the thread has no hope. If you have an explanation, give it. This blog is for telling people about ID. So do that! Every time I say I do not understand is another opportunity to put your case across.

    I will not have convinced any die-hard creationists/IDists, and you will not convince any die-hard Darwinist, but I hope anyone reading this who is considering both sides will appreciate that I have taken the time to explain carefully what I mean, I hope that I have given them the best opportunity to understand my points, and ultimately, of course, I hope I have convinced them I am right. I suspect I have been more successful than you.

    Pixie

  90. I am happy to let the reader determine who is making a better argument. I challenge the reader and Pix to state clearly from his comments so far the contingent relationship between molecular distances and common descent. It doesn’t exist and this is the reason why Pix keeps running back to the analogy. I have asked time and time again for Pix to demonstrate how molecular distances is related to common descent. Pix’s response is to use an analogy. If molecular distances is such good evidence for the support of common descent why can’t Pix just show how they are related instead of using some unrelated analogy.

    When Pix is not using his unrelated analogy, he resorts to circular reasoning to explain molecular distances. For instance when I ask him how does he know what the molecular distance history is? He doesn’t know but if he assumes common descent then this is what we should see today. In other words he needs to use his unsubstantiated common descent to justify the molecular distances and then use molecular distances to support common descent.

    When I tried to show him an example of how molecular distances would work without common descent, he just get bogged down with semantics. I can’t help it if he doesn’t understand what the word symbolic means. I suspect his mind just refuse to accept the possibility that molecular distances is irrelevant to common descent or common descent is not an option.

    If Pix really wants to debate the issue of molecular distances supports common descent, all he has to do is to show how they are related. In other words, why must molecular distances indicate ancestry? If the reader will recall this has been my position all along, Molecular distances is irrelevant to common ancestry until Pix can demonstrate that relevance. However, Pix just want to skip that step and talk about what the molecular differences are.

    I hate to do this but I will go back to an analogy that we both agreed on and that is gravity is irrelevant to common descent. Pix can assume common descent and talk about the force of gravity and how it works and the differences of the gravitational force of the moon and the sun all day long. It is irrelevant until he can show how these forces are related to common descent.

    Let’s put this back in more explicit terms. Why does the difference or similarity of protein sequences between species need common ancestry? Please note that when we say molecular distances we are not talking about changes/mutations of a protein sequence. We are talking about the nature or the difference of that change/stasis. If there were zero distance does that mean that there is no common ancestry? If there were 50% difference does that mean there is common ancestry? There is no point in talking about the differences between a sunflower and a horse or the horse and a dog if the difference does not necessarily mean a common ancestor or parallel changes of independent species.

  91. Pixie Misrepresents again

    You say you are surely not arguing for Darwinism, but the twin nested hierarchy is more specifically related to common descent. Sure, Darwinism includes common descent, but is rather more than that. Why would you be arguing for common descent? ”

    Why don’t you fix your misrepresentations before you proceed. I could do it for you, but I’ll wait for you to give it a try. Your last post was full of misrepresentations. You want to debate, then represent my position accurately, which you seem pathalogically unable to do. Am I arguing for common descent? Am I arguing for TWIN nested hierarchies?

    The fact my “biotic message of nested hierarchies” thread was a spin off of the “Twin Nested Heirarchies” thread does not me I endorse TWIN nested hierarchies, I was simply giving the background of how the separtate thread was inspired.

    Why don’t you state what my position is, what I said I would debate. I’m tired of spoon feeding it to you. You seem incapable of even repeating verbatim what I said.

  92. I am happy to let the reader determine who is making a better argument. I challenge the reader and Pix to state clearly from his comments so far the contingent relationship between molecular distances and common descent. It doesn’t exist and this is the reason why Pix keeps running back to the analogy. I have asked time and time again for Pix to demonstrate how molecular distances is related to common descent. Pix’s response is to use an analogy. If molecular distances is such good evidence for the support of common descent why can’t Pix just show how they are related instead of using some unrelated analogy.

    The analogy shows how science works in general. Do you agree with that or not?

    When Pix is not using his unrelated analogy, he resorts to circular reasoning to explain molecular distances. For instance when I ask him how does he know what the molecular distance history is? He doesn’t know but if he assumes common descent then this is what we should see today. In other words he needs to use his unsubstantiated common descent to justify the molecular distances and then use molecular distances to support common descent.

    Right, so we have to decide how science works, and once we have established that we can see if we can use it here.

    I contend that in science, you assume a hypothesis to make a prediction, and see if that prediction matches reality. Do you agree with that or not? Can you think of an example we can discuss in science of a hypothesis successfully making a prediction?

    I content (see my posts at ARN for example) that if we assume the common descent hypothesis, we would predict that molecular distances are proportional to distances in the Tree of Life (as originally devised by the creationist Linnaeus). Do you agree that the Tree of Life (as originally devised by the creationist Linnaeus) is not an assumption of common descent?

    Have you read my first two posts at ARN, since reproduced here somewhere? What did you disagree with, or not understand? Please quote me, and I will justify or explain.

    When I tried to show him an example of how molecular distances would work without common descent, he just get bogged down with semantics. I can’t help it if he doesn’t understand what the word symbolic means. I suspect his mind just refuse to accept the possibility that molecular distances is irrelevant to common descent or common descent is not an option.

    I have said several times that molecular distances do not prove common descent, that they are compatible with any number of other hypotheses, including special creation.

    If Pix really wants to debate the issue of molecular distances supports common descent, all he has to do is to show how they are related.

    See my posts at ARN. If you disagree with the logic, or the data, or anything I actually say, then say so – but quote me, to reassure me that you read it. So far all you have objected to are things I do not claim, such as needed the entire molecular history (which leads me to suspect you never bothered to read it).

    In other words, why must molecular distances indicate ancestry? If the reader will recall this has been my position all along, Molecular distances is irrelevant to common ancestry until Pix can demonstrate that relevance. However, Pix just want to skip that step and talk about what the molecular differences are.

    No, I started this debate by posting at ARN what that relevance is.

    I hate to do this but I will go back to an analogy that we both agreed on and that is gravity is irrelevant to common descent. Pix can assume common descent and talk about the force of gravity and how it works and the differences of the gravitational force of the moon and the sun all day long.

    Can you think of an example from science where two things are related? Perhaps we can work with that.

    It is irrelevant until he can show how these forces are related to common descent.

    Read the first two posts at ARN.

    Let’s put this back in more explicit terms. Why does the difference or similarity of protein sequences between species need common ancestry?

    It does not need common descent. Common descent predicts it, which supports the claim of common descent, but does not prove it (I am sure I said that before).

    Please note that when we say molecular distances we are not talking about changes/mutations of a protein sequence. We are talking about the nature or the difference of that change/stasis.

    The molecular distance is the number of different amino acids. Do you understand that?

    If there were zero distance does that mean that there is no common ancestry?

    Zero distance means very closely related, like humans and chimps.

    If there were 50% difference does that mean there is common ancestry?

    Well, humans and sunflowers are only about 40% different, so 50% different would imply even more distantly related than that.

    How many times have I said the prediction from common descent is thar molecular distance is approximately proportional to distance in the Tree of Life? Do you know what that means?

    There is no point in talking about the differences between a sunflower and a horse or the horse and a dog if the difference does not necessarily mean a common ancestor or parallel changes of independent species.

    You do not have to believe in common descent to be able to count the differences between sunflower cytochrome-c and dog cytochrome-c. Look at the data Salvador put in the Biotic Messages thread at ARN to see the real data. See if you can spot what the differences are, count how many there are, and that is the molecular distance. It is not rocket science.

    My prediction: You will be able to answer less than half these questions.

    Pixie

  93. The analogy shows how science works in general. Do you agree with that or not?

    In my opinion an analogy should always be limited in scope of what it is trying to equate. In any case, it is pointless to debate an analogy of which we disagree on the efficacy to molecular distances and common descent. I think the readers can see that you are only interested in hiding behind some unrelated analogy. I just want you straightforward presentation of the necessary relevance between molecular distances and common descent.

    I have said several times that molecular distances do not prove common descent, that they are compatible with any number of other hypotheses, including special creation.

    I did not ask you to prove anything. I am asking you to show relevance. For example, a judge might ask a lawyer on the relevance of his/her question during a trial, without addressing the veracity of the evidence. A lawyer can present all the evidence and how it points to person A. If the opposing counsel can show that it also applies to person B then the whole argument by the first lawyer is irrelevant.

    So far all you have objected to are things I do not claim, such as needed the entire molecular history (which leads me to suspect you never bothered to read it).

    That is a complete misrepresentation. Show me where I said you claimed that you needed the entire molecular history. Just because you didn’t claim something it does not mean that my objection is not valid.

    No, I started this debate by posting at ARN what that relevance is.

    Then it should be simple for you to state it here for the record.

    Can you think of an example from science where two things are related? Perhaps we can work with that.

    Yes, free falling objects are a result of gravity. I have not proved gravity but it is a necessary contingency that can be used to test the theory of gravity. Even your dreaded elevated temperature above 98.6 is a contingency for a fever. Can you think of two things in science (other than molecular distances and common descent) where they don’t have this contingent relationship.

    It does not need common descent. Common descent predicts it, which supports the claim of common descent, but does not prove it (I am sure I said that before).

    A fortune teller predicts the future which supports the fortune teller. Is that science?

    Well, humans and sunflowers are only about 40% different, so 50% different would imply even more distantly related than that.

    Why? It is not a necessary explanation.

    How many times have I said the prediction from common descent is thar molecular distance is approximately proportional to distance in the Tree of Life? Do you know what that means?

    How many time have I ask you why is that relevant? Do you know what that means?

    You do not have to believe in common descent to be able to count the differences between sunflower cytochrome-c and dog cytochrome-c.

    Same as above.

    My prediction: You will be able to answer less than half these questions.

    Which is already more that you have answered mine.

  94. Teleologist

    It has long been a suspicion of mine that you do not properly read my posts. You have now confirmed that:

    Pix: No, I started this debate by posting at ARN what that relevance is.
    Tel: Then it should be simple for you to state it here for the record.

    If you had read my posts you would have noticed one that starts:

    Comment by The Pixie — September 27, 2005 @ 2:49 pm
    Here is my first post at ARN, for those who cannot be bothered to follow the link. Some of the diagrams may get messed up by the formatting here.

    Cytochrome-c

    … and then the rest of that post was reproduced here for the record.

    Comment by The Pixie — September 27, 2005 @ 2:52 pm
    Here is my second post at ARN. I see the diagrams have been well and truly messed up in the previous post. I still recommend people see the posts at ARN to see it properly.

    Modelling Cytochrome-c Changes

    … and then the rest of the second post was reproduced here for the record. These were lengthy posts, too. Yet somehow they slipped you by.

    As did these comments made in subsequent posts, where I clearly state that the posts at ARN were reproduced here. I guess you also failed to read all six of them.?

    I presented the case here and at ARN
    I discussed that in the postimgs at ARN, reproduced above.
    It never crossed my mind that you had not read my posts at ARN (reproduced here at your request)
    Read again what I said about common descent, the posts I made at ARN, and reproduced here.
    This was in the first two posts at ARN, since repeated here.
    Have you read my first two posts at ARN, since reproduced here somewhere?

    Now, can I suggest you go back and read what I posted on this thread, at your request?

    Pixie

  95. Nevertheless, others might read this thread, so I will address the other points.

    Pix: The analogy shows how science works in general. Do you agree with that or not?

    In my opinion an analogy should always be limited in scope of what it is trying to equate. In any case, it is pointless to debate an analogy of which we disagree on the efficacy to molecular distances and common descent. I think the readers can see that you are only interested in hiding behind some unrelated analogy. I just want you straightforward presentation of the necessary relevance between molecular distances and common descent.

    I have no idea why you say an analogy should always be limited in scope of what it is trying to equate, but at least you admit it is your opinion.

    The point of this analogy is to try to determine what is valid reasoning in science in general and then to see if we can apply that to the case in hand. Your objection to the analogy revolves specifically around common descent, and not science in general, which might lead one to think that you accept that is how science is done. Nevertheless, you seem incapable of actually ansering the question: The analogy shows how science works in general. Do you agree with that or not?

    Could you try again please?

    I did not ask you to prove anything. I am asking you to show relevance. For example, a judge might ask a lawyer on the relevance of his/her question during a trial, without addressing the veracity of the evidence. A lawyer can present all the evidence and how it points to person A. If the opposing counsel can show that it also applies to person B then the whole argument by the first lawyer is irrelevant.

    As I said before, read my first two posts at ARN. Clearly you have yet to do that..

    Pix: So far all you have objected to are things I do not claim, such as needed the entire molecular history (which leads me to suspect you never bothered to read it).

    Tel: That is a complete misrepresentation. Show me where I said you claimed that you needed the entire molecular history. Just because you didn’t claim something it does not mean that my objection is not valid.

    Ah, but I did not say that you said I claimed that, did I? Your objection is that we do know the entire molecular history, and I never claimed that we do. Maybe a subtle difference, but not actually a misrepresentation – so please do not call it such.

    This need for a molecular history crops up a lot, eg:

    October 7, 2005 @ 7:53 pm: Second, this means you have no idea of the history of the distance. It is possible that 1mya the distance of the horse to sunflower and dog was reverse, s~h = 6 and h~m = 6. This is the reason why your hypothesis is irrelevant.

    Same post: Nice spin, but it still won’t work. We don’t know the history of the molecular distances. IOW, what if the horse~dog distance was 50 and recently it converged back to 6? You can’t make it work under you can establish a contingent relationship.

    October 10, 2005 @ 7:40 am: For instance when I ask him how does he know what the molecular distance history is? He doesn’t know but if he assumes common descent then this is what we should see today.

    It seems to be vitally important to you, and yet irrelevant to my explanation. Can you explain – and that means putting words into sentences – how I was able to miss it out of my explanation (those two posts at ARN; I hope you have been shamed into actually reading them now)? Is there some gap in my logic (please quote the bit where the logic jumps without reason because I missed out the molecular history) or is this just a strawman?

    Yes, free falling objects are a result of gravity. I have not proved gravity but it is a necessary contingency that can be used to test the theory of gravity. Even your dreaded elevated temperature above 98.6 is a contingency for a fever. Can you think of two things in science (other than molecular distances and common descent) where they don’t have this contingent relationship.

    Because of gravity, objects fall. Because of a fever, the patient has a high oral temperature. Because of common descent, the molecular distance between two species is approximately proportional to their distance in Linneaus hierarchy. That sort of contingency?

    A fortune teller predicts the future which supports the fortune teller. Is that science?

    Do you know a fortune teller who is always approximately right? Can that fortune teller explain the reasoning by which he arrives at his prediction (and does it make sense)? If yes, then I would say it is science (perhaps meteorology, for example).

    Tel: Why does the difference or similarity of protein sequences between species need common ancestry? Please note that when we say molecular distances we are not talking about changes/mutations of a protein sequence. We are talking about the nature or the difference of that change/stasis. If there were zero distance does that mean that there is no common ancestry? If there were 50% difference does that mean there is common ancestry?

    Pix: It does not need common descent. Common descent predicts it, which supports the claim of common descent, but does not prove it (I am sure I said that before).

    Pix: Well, humans and sunflowers are only about 40% different, so 50% different would imply even more distantly related than that.

    Tel: Why? It is not a necessary explanation.

    Why what? Common descent is not a necesary explanation (I am sure I said that before (I am sure I said that before)), but it is the best we have at the moment.

    Pix: How many times have I said the prediction from common descent is thar molecular distance is approximately proportional to distance in the Tree of Life? Do you know what that means?

    Tel: How many time have I ask you why is that relevant? Do you know what that means?

    Yes, it means you did not read the posts at ARN, that I later reproduced here at your request. Please do so.

    Pix: You do not have to believe in common descent to be able to count the differences between sunflower cytochrome-c and dog cytochrome-c.
    Tel: Same as above.

    Same as above, “How many time have I ask you why is that relevant?”. Here we are talking at great length about the origin of molecular distances, and you question whether the way to calculate molecular distances is relevant? I hope I have misunderstood you…

    Pix: My prediction: You will be able to answer less than half these questions.

    Tel: Which is already more that you have answered mine.

    Let us see. I will go back and see which questions you actually answered. You can do likewise (perhaps you could do it twice, once before reading my ARN posts that were reproduced here, and then again, after you have read them).

    1. “The analogy shows how science works in general. Do you agree with that or not?” You answered a different question about the connection to common descent, when this was explicitly about science in general.

    2. “I contend that in science, you assume a hypothesis to make a prediction, and see if that prediction matches reality. Do you agree with that or not?” Not answered

    3. “Can you think of an example we can discuss in science of a hypothesis successfully making a prediction?” There was the gravity analogy, but no clue how we get to a prediction, and indeed no suggestion that was attempting to answer this question (see 6).

    4. “Do you agree that the Tree of Life (as originally devised by the creationist Linnaeus) is not an assumption of common descent?” No reply.

    5. “Have you read my first two posts at ARN, since reproduced here somewhere? What did you disagree with, or not understand?” I will be generous and count these as one. No formal reply, but it is obvious that the answer is no.

    6. “Can you think of an example from science where two things are related?” Answered; the gravity thing.

    7. “The molecular distance is the number of different amino acids. Do you understand that? ” No reply.

    8. “How many times have I said the prediction from common descent is thar molecular distance is approximately proportional to distance in the Tree of Life? Do you know what that means?” The first part is a rhetorical question, the second was not answered.

    I count that as one question out of eight answered. Only two of them actually made it into your reply, all the rest were just ignored. I really hope I do better than that. When you are having a debate it is helpful to agree on the basics, but that relies on both sides saying what they believe the basics to be. And these are basic questions about how science works, and what our background knowledge is. If you cannot decide if you want to agree or disagree with me about how predictions work, about what molecular distances are, etc. then we will get nowhere.

    Of course, if you know you are on shaky ground, evading the basic questions is a great idea. You get the chance to change your mind later in the debate, you delay having to answer any tricky questions and, of course, the old favourite, you can scream “Misrepresentation!” whenever you like (and if you put it in bold it must be true, it seems).

    Hmm, then again, maybe you are not answering my questions because you never actually read them…

    Pixie

  96. It has long been a suspicion of mine that you do not properly read my posts. You have now confirmed that:

    LOL! Is this how you debate, through dispersion and obfuscation. Does anyone wonder why I get tire of Pix’s repetitive empty rhetoric? I read your posting here and I saw nothing in it that answers my question. If it is answered in your past posting can you please give some indication of what you actually said? Do you even know what my question/challenge to your hypothesis is? Well? Do you?

  97. The analogy shows how science works in general. Do you agree with that or not?

    Why are you obsessed with debating an analogy? Is it because you can’t answer my challenge?

    As I said before, read my first two posts at ARN. Clearly you have yet to do that.

    I read it. Clearly you either don’t understand my challenge or you are obfuscating.

    Ah, but I did not say that you said I claimed that, did I?

    Do you have a problem with logic or English? If you are not implying that I object to thing you claim then why put my objection and your claims in the same sentence? You are still misrepresenting my saying “we do know the entire molecular history” . That is the opposite of what I am saying. We don’t know. Which is evidence that you don’t understand my question/challenge.

    This need for a molecular history crops up a lot,

    Do you even have the slightest clue of what I am questioning?

    It seems to be vitally important to you, and yet irrelevant to my explanation. Can you explain — and that means putting words into sentences

    Yes I can explain it to you again for the umpteenth time, if you will admit that you are just clueless about science.

    Because of gravity, objects fall. Because of a fever, the patient has a high oral temperature.

    NO! Are you this clueless? Can’t you even repeat what I just said? I said, “free falling objects are a result of gravity” , “elevated temperature above 98.6 is a contingency for a fever” . Do you see the difference?

    Because of common descent, the molecular distance between two species is approximately proportional to their distance in Linneaus hierarchy. That sort of contingency?

    No that is not what I am asking? Are you clueless?

    Do you know a fortune teller who is always approximately right?

    We are not asking for prove or right or wrong. The response was to you claim of prediction. Do you understand the difference?

    I think that is enough. I am not going to waste any more time with the rest of your post until you can demonstrate that you understand my question/challenge or you admit that you are clueless about science.
    BTW Pix, unless you can demonstrate that you have some clue to my challenge or science I am going to lock this topic for the next couple of weeks. This will give you some time to reread some of my posts to get a better understanding. Also I will not be accessing the internet in the next couple of weeks. If you are a good boy Sal might unlock it for you to post.

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