Nov 032005
 

According to Darwinian evolution, which is a unguided, unplanned process of random variation and natural selection. Evolution should not repeat itself, in other words you can’t replay the tape of life. Yet the observable evidence from nature contradicts this Darwinian thesis. Similar and unrelated forms are replete in nature. Is an “unguided, unplanned process of random variation and natural selection” a better explanation for this observation or is this the product of reuse by intelligent design?

Some Darwinians have tried to explain this common design as analogous forms in morphology; there are no real common design at the molecular level. In this essay are examples of molecular common design. For this post I would like to expound on one of the examples in the essay, “Convergent evolution in primates and an insectivore”. Before I begin let me include a couple of more related articles here and here.

The essay quotes from a study that shows the independent evolution (convergence) of the protein apolipoprotein(a). Apo(a) and apoB-100 are disulfide-linked forming the main constituents of lipoprotein(a) (lp(a)). This protein is only found in limited species of mammals, the primates and insectivore. [old world monkey (like the baboon), apes, humans and hedgehogs] Interestingly the hedgehog is considered to be our most distant mammalian relative. Our alleged ancestors have diverged about 90 mya.

The Darwinian explanation for the convergence of apo(a) is through the duplication of the homologous gene plasminogen, and then modified the duplicate allele to the same function as apo(a). In other words, the hedgehog at some point in its’ evolutionary past through, an unguided, unplanned process of random variation and natural selection, duplicated the same gene as the primates did at a different time in its’ past through, an unguided, unplanned process of random variation and natural selection. After the duplicated gene these respective species proceeded to modified this allele through, an unguided, unplanned process of random variation and natural selection, to perform the same function and to similar protein molecular sequences.

How much of a coincidence is this putative convergence? Apo(a) is a large protein almost 3kbp. A comparison between the hedgehog and human apo(a) shows approximately a 50% identity. A rough estimate of the probability of deriving the common sequence of 50% identity is 201434 = 4.75 X 101865. There are 20 different possible amino acids used in biological systems. For a protein to converge to an identity of 1434 amino acids similarities from a total of 2868 protein length is roughly 4 followed by 1,865 zeros. Is it reasonable to assume a Darwinian explanation or is it beyond credulity? ID is the only explanation that can overcome these probabilities. Common design is the only reasonable explanation for such molecular similarities.

  38 Responses to “molecular convergence evidence against Darwinian evolution”

  1. According to Darwinian evolution, which is a unguided, unplanned process of random variation and natural selection. Evolution should not repeat itself, in other words you can’t replay the tape of life.

    No, that’s the straw man version you need to argue against.

    In real life, it has happened that speciation of sticklebacks observed in the wild was exactly duplicated in a laboratory.

    What Gould said is that if we rewind the tape a few million years, we should expect different results in many places. That’s not exactly the same thing as saying evolution won’t repeat itself, and I can understand how a sloppy reading would miss the nuance. Evolution repeats itself all the time — it’s called “convergent” evolution, and you’ll find it listed in many books. In Gould’s last book, The Structure of Evolutionary Theory, for example, there are ten listings in the index under “convergence.” Some of them discuss exactly what you’re talking about.

  2. edarrell, you are throwing around the term convergent evolution as if it has some sort of scientific reality. You do know that “convergent evolution” is just a term used by Darwinists as substitute for empirical evidence?

    As for Gould, you are clutching at straws here. In Gould’s “Wonderful Life” he makes clear that evolution should not repeat (produce the same result) itself. The essay I linked to cites the research paper, in the prestigious journal Nature, which supports that hypothesis. I don’t know why you repeatedly embarrass yourself by equivocating my use of the phrase “should not repeat itself” with your use of “different results” , which is a distinction without a difference.

    I don’t think you even understand the mechanism of evolution let alone biology. I challenge you to prove your claim of the speciation of sticklebacks. Show me the evidence where Darwinists took a putative ancestor/descendent species to the stickleback and duplicated the speciation in the lab.

  3. The authors of the study you cite disagree with you.

    To recapitulate, human and hedgehog apo(a) have apparently evolved independently by remodeling different parts of a copied plasminogen gene.

    To our knowledge, this represents the only example of the independent, parallel evolution of a similar protein more than once. Although the human and hedgehog apo(a)-like proteins are not identical, they share several common attributes.

  4. Hi Zachriel,

    Can you be more specific? How do they disagree with me and in which specific points of mine do they disagree with?

  5. teleologist: Can you be more specific? How do they disagree with me and in which specific points of mine do they disagree with?

    The authors clearly believe that evolutionary processes are more than capable of achieving the level of identity in the protein at issue. From the article, To recapitulate, human and hedgehog apo(a) have apparently evolved independently by remodeling different parts of a copied plasminogen gene… These [other] examples demonstrate the ability of evolution to utilize precursor genes and proteins of different stock to solve similar biological problems“. You don’t really think they agree with you, that evolution is not able to explain their observations?

    teleologist: Evolution should not repeat itself, in other words you can’t replay the tape of life. Yet the observable evidence from nature contradicts this Darwinian thesis.

    The Theory of Evolution does not claim that no specific aspect of biology can ever repeat itself. As there are many cases of similarities not due to common inheritance, the Theory would have been tossed long ago if it couldn’t reasonably account for such similarities. In fact, convergence was even discussed by Darwin in Origin of Species. Look closely at what Darwin is saying and at a potential falsification of his theory.

    It is incredible that the descendants of two organisms, which had originally differed in a marked manner, should ever afterwards converge so closely as to lead to a near approach to identity throughout their whole organisation.

    This is something like what you are claiming, except not, of course. Humans and hedgehogs do not “near approach to identity throughout their whole organisation”.

  6. You don’t really think they agree with you, that evolution is not able to explain their observations?

    I never argued otherwise. Just as Henry Gee from the prestigious Journal Nature also made some remarkable statements against evolution but still would give obedience to Darwin, I have no doubt these researcher are dye in the wool Darwinian worshippers. What they or you believe is irrelevant. Science is about evidence and there is no evidence that a common sequence of 50% identity on such a large protein is credible. It is only by blind faith that you would believe a 1 in 4.75 X 101865 chance these molecules would converge.

    The Theory of Evolution does not claim that no specific aspect of biology can ever repeat itself.

    Stephen J Gould disagrees with you. More importantly everything we have learned from biology experimentally and through simulation — Macroevolution simulated with autonomously replicating computer programs — have shown that RM&NS do not produce repeatable results, even with the slightest differences. Therefore you can say whatever you want, I am only convinced by hard evidence.

    Humans and hedgehogs do not “near approach to identity throughout their whole organisation” .

    By acknowledging the problem of convergence for Darwinism does not make it go away. It is incumbent of Darwinian evolution to produce scientific results that demonstrate convergence can be achieved through RM&NS. So far every research and experiment we have has affirmed that macroevolutionary convergence is not possible. Your morphological distinction between humans and hedgehogs is a straw man, since we are talking about molecular convergence and not morphological convergence. Please read my essay for the distinction.

  7. Zachriel points out: The authors of the study you cite disagree with you.

    teleologist: Can you be more specific? How do they disagree with me and in which specific points of mine do they disagree with?

    Zachriel provides a brief explanation.

    teleologist: I never argued otherwise.

    Um, you asked. But a reader should consider that you have pointed to highly technical evidence revealed by experts in their field of study, but you ask that we should accept your interpretation of the data rather than theirs.

    teleologist: It is only by blind faith that you would believe a 1 in 4.75 X 101865 chance these molecules would converge.

    That’s an interesting construction. However, no evolutionary biologists, or computational biologists, believe that it requires anything like that.

    teleologist: Stephen J Gould disagrees with you.

    You obviously misunderstand the point-of-view of the person who wrote “evolution is a theory. It is also a fact.

    Frankly, I’m surprised by your response here. It’s almost as if you completely ignored my point. Aspects of convergence are not only possible, but expected. But we would not expect identical organisms to have evolved from widely separated lineages much less a complete reevolution of complete ecosystems that Gould refers to.

  8. Let’s try something. Would you predict that genomic analysis of a marsupial wolf would leave it nested within the marsupial clade or with the placental wolf? And can a biologist tell us the reproductive system of a wolf by only looking at its teeth?

  9. At issue here is that “evolution” explains everything. It explains how populations without a recent common ancestor can share features, genetic and morphological, that were not present in their common ancestor.

    Evolution explains stasis. Evolution explains stasis. Evolution explains a loss of complexity. Evolution explains a gain in complexity.

    However despite all of its alleged explanative power not one of its supporters can substantiate much of anything.

    The best we can hope for is “it evolved” or “evolution did it”.

    Zachriel:
    …but you ask that we should accept your interpretation of the data rather than theirs.

    LoL!! Too bad Zachriel doesn’t heed his own words. Oh well…

  10. teleologist: I never argued otherwise.

    Um, you asked.

    It is important to note that I never claim the authors of those papers disputed Darwinism. My OP only pointed out their conclusion that apo(a) from hedgehogs and humans are derived at independently. I then drew the conclusion due to the improbability of such a convergence that Darwinian evolution is not a viable explanation. Therefore when you say the authors disagreed with me and then processed to give the quote about the convergence of apo(a) that is an incorrect statement. I never challenged them on their findings. As a matter of fact, I am depending on their finding to be true to make my argument.

    but you ask that we should accept your interpretation of the data rather than theirs.

    I am not asking you to accept anything. I am merely pointing out the improbability of the independent derivation of this protein. You and the researchers can accept anything you want as I’ve said.

    teleologist: It is only by blind faith that you would believe a 1 in 4.75 X 101865 chance these molecules would converge.

    That’s an interesting construction. However, no evolutionary biologists, or computational biologists, believe that it requires anything like that.

    Well maybe you can tell me how a biologist would calculate the probability of a 3kbp protein with a 50% identity?

    You obviously misunderstand the point-of-view of the person who wrote “evolution is a theory. It is also a fact.”

    What point did I missed? I fail to see the relevance of your statement in the current context.

    It’s almost as if you completely ignored my point. Aspects of convergence are not only possible, but expected.

    Expected? By what predictable mechanism and scientific formula can you support this expectation or is it just rhetoric?

    But we would not expect identical organisms to have evolved from widely separated lineages much less a complete reevolution of complete ecosystems that Gould refers to.

    This is another straw man argument. No one is arguing for an entire identical organism to appear. Even Darwinism does not suggest that an entire organism appears whole from a distinct species. It is by slow cumulative mutations that novel organs and phenotypic features appear and then novel species are formed. The challenge to Darwinian evolution is how these novel organs and phenotypic feature can be formed from divergent species and different environments.

  11. If you are actually interested, you might try C. Campbell’s Thylacine Museum. They provide an excellent comparison of marsupial and placental wolf skulls. Also, try The Lancelet for compartive dentition.

  12. JoeG: At issue here is that “evolution” explains everything. It explains how populations without a recent common ancestor can share features, genetic and morphological, that were not present in their common ancestor.

    Natural selection would tend to cause similar adaptations in similar environments. However, the historical development of those adaptations are typically still evident.

    JoeG: Evolution explains stasis. Evolution explains stasis. Evolution explains a loss of complexity. Evolution explains a gain in complexity.

    That’s why you have to start with Common Descent. You have to understand the evidence for the historical divergence of organisms before much else makes sense. And that requires a knowledge of containment hierarchies, a pattern that has been at the very root of every argument on Common Descent since Darwin up to modern cladistics and systematics.

  13. If you are actually interested, you might try C. Campbell’s Thylacine Museum. They provide an excellent comparison of marsupial and placental wolf skulls. Also, try The Lancelet for compartive dentition.

    And” your point? I actually reference Campbell’s site and addresses the issue of dentition in my essay. Have you actually read the essay?

  14. Natural selection would tend to cause similar adaptations in similar environments. However, the historical development of those adaptations are typically still evident.

    This is bogus. Read my essay.

  15. teleologist: It is important to note that I never claim the authors of those papers disputed Darwinism.

    Noted. But,

    teleologist: I never challenged them on their findings.

    They *found* that such convergence was well within what is explainable by evolutionary mechanisms; gene duplication within a family of genes that have been duplicated many times previously.


    teleologist: Stephen J Gould disagrees with you.

    Zachriel: You obviously misunderstand the point-of-view of the person who wrote “evolution is a theory. It is also a fact.

    teleologist: What point did I missed? I fail to see the relevance of your statement in the current context.

    As I agree with Gould that evolutionary history would not repeat itself, it is clear you misunderstand the claim being made. Gould was well-aware of convergence and did not consider it a problem for the Theory of Evolution. The question is the relative influence of contingency and environmental selection (e.g. leading to convergence). Gould considers that contingency is more important than convergence saying,

    As a striking phenomenon, convergence draws our attention, but I think that we often overestimate its sway. Nearly all textbooks stress the admittedly remarkable convergences of several Australian mammals with their independently evolved counterparts in northern continents (for example, the marsupial “mole” with the denizens of our gardens, and the extinct Australian marsupial thylacine, otherwise known as the Tasmanian wolf, with doglike carnivores). When I first visited Australia, I expected to be overwhelmed by these demonstrations of convergence, but I encountered just the opposite phenomenon: uniqueness and difference, with convergence as an oddity singled out for textbook illustration.

    teleologist: Expected? By what predictable mechanism and scientific formula can you support this expectation or is it just rhetoric?

    It’s called natural selection. Similar environmental conditions will tend to lead to similar adaptations.

    teleologist: The challenge to Darwinian evolution is how these novel organs and phenotypic feature can be formed from divergent species and different environments.

    Well, first we have to clearly accept that such divergence occurred. Then we can discuss possible mechanisms of that change.

  16. teleologist: Read my essay.

    Denton points out that if you had never known about the geographical isolation between these two Subclasses of mammals, we would consider them to share a recent common ancestor.

    If you had attempted to answer my previous question, you might know that this statement is not correct. Can a biologist tell us the reproductive system of a wolf by only looking at its teeth? The answer is, they can. And therefore, by only looking at the dentition, they can classify Thylacine with the marsupials. This is due to the nested hierarchy, er, Pattern X, that pervades organic taxonomy. And it turns out that they would be right. For some reason (!), the dentition is highly correlated with the type of reproductive system. Just as mammary glands are highly correlated with the number of ear bones.

    Addendum: It depends, of course, on what you mean by “recent”. Mammals do share a common ancestor. Marsupials and Placentals evolved at nearly the same time, as can be determined by observations of the phylogenetic tree, er, Pattern X.

  17. Zachriel:
    Natural selection would tend to cause similar adaptations in similar environments.

    So when do cetaceans get gills?

    Zachriel:
    That’s why you have to start with Common Descent.

    It’s stupid to start with Common Descent. First you have to start with replication and mutations.

    However if one wants to invoke Common Descent that person had beter explain the DIFFERENCES. For anything short of that is non-scientific speculation based on an untestable assumption.

    Zachriel:
    Mammals do share a common ancestor.

    No they don’t. At least not as far as science can tell. If you are basing what you said on faith, that is fine. Just don’t try to pass it off as anything else.

  18. teleologist: I never challenged them on their findings.

    Zachriel: They *found* that such convergence was well within what is explainable by evolutionary mechanisms

    No, that is their conclusion or presupposition not their FINDINGS. The findings of their research only show that apo(a) of the hedgehogs and humans are derived independently.

    Gould was well-aware of convergence and did not consider it a problem for the Theory of Evolution.

    Yes”, but what was his scientific evidences to support the possibility of such convergence. His rhetoric on the thylacine and wolf completely misses the point of divergence that precedes the numerous species that went before them. You and Gould still have not shown any argument that is sufficient to reconcile his statement of repeatable evolution and convergence. You see, Gould’s statement was correct because he relied on empirical data that evolution cannot repeat itself, but he then falls back and accepts on blind faith that evolution created convergent forms.

  19. If you had attempted to answer my previous question, you might know that this statement is not correct. Can a biologist tell us the reproductive system of a wolf by only looking at its teeth? The answer is, they can.

    My statement was intended to address the points made by NCSE. Denton’s actually are argument is more nuance than what NCSE is trying to portray. If I remember correctly — I need to look it up to be more precise — is that if all we have to go on were the fossils of these species, we would conclude that they share a common ancestor. In fact the dentition is only significant because we know that they are unique between the marsupials and placentals. This of course is also a distraction from the real issue of the remarkably convergence of the other features between these two species. I am still waiting for the scientific evidence from Darwinism to explain this remarkable feat.

  20. JoeG: So when do cetaceans get gills?

    Several reasons that would not be expected. Most importantly, mammals require atmospheric oxygen to fuel warm blood and a high metabolism used in complex behaviors including intelligent activity and caring for their young. Also, the structures which used to be gills have been coopted for other functions, including mineral regulation. See Pharyngula.

    teleologist: No, that is their conclusion or presupposition not their FINDINGS. The findings of their research only show that apo(a) of the hedgehogs and humans are derived independently.

    The evolutionary prediction would be that this protein would be one of a family of nested proteins. Ta da! It is. The researchers determined the most parsimonious explanation based on their expert opinion and their novel observations. Some unknown and unknowable Intelligent Designer did it is not considered a parsimonious scientific explanation.

  21. teleologist: if all we have to go on were the fossils of these species, we would conclude that they share a common ancestor.

    They do, which explains the vast majority of their similarities. They are nested well within the mammal clade which is well within the synapsid clade which means they are amniotes.

    Humans are Animals.

  22. The evolutionary prediction would be that this protein would be one of a family of nested proteins. Ta da! It is.

    You keep throwing these terms out as though you actually have evidence for them. What prediction? There were no predictions! These proteins were discovered and then they are classed that’s it. There were never any predictions that this protein existed in hedgehogs before their DNA was sequenced and the proteins were found. This is a Darwinism bad habit of deception. You find something, classified it and say this was predicted to fit into this classification. This is silly. The improbability and complexity of the molecule demands that it must have been designed.

    They do, which explains the vast majority of their similarities.

    Please don’t be silly and play these semantic games. The fact to the matter is that the lines diverged long ago and it was not anything like the species we have now. To use your argument then everything should look that same.

  23. teleologist: What prediction? There were no predictions!

    The fact that the traits of biological organisms group naturally into an ordered set such that each subset is strictly contained within its superset. It’s a correlation which is successfully extrapolated to new observations, including molecular evidence.

    Take a look at this statement of yours. In fact the dentition is only significant because we know that they are unique between the marsupials and placentals.

    You say that with no sense of wonder whatsoever. But why is there this correlation? Why does counting teeth tell us what type of reproductive system an organism has? Why does having mammaries correlate with the number of ear bones whether the organisms swims, walks, hops or flies? And why can the entire plethora of characteristics, from holes in the skull to modifications of the scapula to the pattern of amino acids, be naturally arranged into an ordered set such that each subset is strictly contained within its superset.

    Why do you think JoeG and others so strongly resist a careful definition of this terminology?

  24. teleologist: The fact to the matter is that the lines diverged long ago and it was not anything like the species we have now. To use your argument then everything should look that same.

    Let’s not quibble over details. Humans are animals. Note that humans are members of the Animal Kingdom, that is, like sponges, they ingest food for energy and for protein, the building blocks of their structure…

  25. The fact that the traits of biological organisms group naturally into an ordered set such that each subset is strictly contained within its superset. It’s a correlation which is successfully extrapolated to new observations, including molecular evidence.

    You do understand that this is not a prediction right? It is a human contrived sorting system. A prediction of a phenomenon is what is required of science.

    Why does counting teeth tell us what type of reproductive system an organism has?

    Actually you have this backwards. We know about the reproductive system of an organism therefore we associate the dentition with that group. The fact that teeth fossilize and soft tissues are not preserved does not make teeth a more significant determinant in design or evolution. You are still ducking the question before you. How could RM&NS create such remarkable similarities?

    an ordered set such that each subset is strictly contained within its superset.

    This has nothing to do with the facts on the ground. You do understand that your need to organize and compartmentalize different patterns has absolutely no scientific reality to determine what actually happened in biology, right? Please tell me you understand the distinction between an idea of your mind and the physical reality.

  26. teleologist: You do understand that this is not a prediction right? It is a human contrived sorting system. A prediction of a phenomenon is what is required of science.

    Finally to the point! But incorrect. Before any reasonable discussion of common descent or deep evolution, we need to understand this pattern called the nested hierarchy and why it has been the crucial evidence for common descent since Darwin and today with computational biology and systematics.

    You yourself point out that there is a correlation between the teeth of certain mammals and their reproductive system. Correlation is pattern. And it turns out that virtually every organic characteristic is correlated in just this manner. E.g., we use the nested hierarchy of genomes to determine paternal relationships and establish genealogies. These patterns are not just “an idea of the mind”, but a reflection of the underlying relationships.

    But before we get to Common Descent, we need to understand the pattern, and then understand how we can classify organisms with independently derived characteristics.

  27. Consider this list.

    Animals
    Bilateria
    Chordata
    Craniata
    Vertebrata
    Gnathostomata
    Tetrapods
    Amniota
    Synapsida
    Mammalia
    Eutheria
    Primates
    Hominidae

    The key is that the key characteristics of each group is shared by the group and by any subset of that group. There are correlations throughout. Having mammary glands means having hair, not feathers (as well as the other characteristics of the containing group). Being a gnathostome means having a jaw (as well as the other characteristics of the containing group). Being a primate means having finger nails and forward-looking eyes (as well as the other characteristics of the containing group). Being an ape means having a flexible wrist (as well as the other characteristics of the containing group).

    This is just one lineage of the nested hierarchy.

  28. JoeG: So when do cetaceans get gills?

    Zachriel:
    Several reasons that would not be expected.

    Then what you stated earlier is contradicted. Thanks.

    Zachriel:
    Most importantly, mammals require atmospheric oxygen to fuel warm blood and a high metabolism used in complex behaviors including intelligent activity and caring for their young.

    Umm that is irrelevant. Why did they have to remain as mammals?

    On another note:

    If genetic convergence has now been admitted to then genetic similarities can NO LONGER BE USED AS EVIDENCE FOR A COMMON ANCESTOR.

    Zachriel:
    we need to understand this pattern called the nested hierarchy and why it has been the crucial evidence for common descent since Darwin

    It hasn’t been crucial to those who understand the theory. And as I have told you several times now, that which can be used as evidence for more than one scenario isn’t evidence for any.

    Also just saying NH is evidence for Common Descent when all the data points against it, is nothing more that sheer stupidity. And most likely why Zachriel cannot convince anyone with an IQ above 85.

  29. Zachriel:
    Why do you think JoeG and others so strongly resist a careful definition of this terminology?

    REALITY demonstrates it is Zachriel who so strongly resists careful and rigorous definitions of hierarchy theory.

    And what is so funny is that in his list in comment 27 the traits he mentions after the list can be reversed. IOW there isn’t ANY reason to infer that traits are immutable, but that is exactly what is required for Zachriel’s premise to even have a chance.

    As for new observations- EVERYTHING that we have observed in the wild and in the lab points to wobbling stability

  30. JoeG: Why did they have to remain as mammals?

    I’m surprised you don’t know the basics of orthodox evolutionary theory. If you mean by mammals that they nurse their young, then they have remained mammals thus far because that has been a successful adaptation. In addition, under orthodox evolutionary theory, any further adaptation would be slow modification of existing structures. Gills have already been coopted for other functions in land vertebrates, nor would gills provide the necessary oxygenation to maintain their existence as actively intelligent denizens of the oceans. I thought I already pointed this out. As far as the hydrodynamics of morphology, we would expect to see a process of gradual change over evolutionary history, such as rear limbs becoming reduced until only the observed vestigial components remain. This is what can be seen in the fossil record.

    Not every possible evolutionary history occurs. Evolution is an opportunistic process.

    JoeG: Also just saying NH is evidence for Common Descent when all the data points against it, is nothing more that sheer stupidity.

    Again, I would be happy to discuss the patterns in detail, but we do have to make sure that we are talking about the same thing. As you apparently conflate taxonomic classification with the nested hierarchy, I have suggested we work with a special definition. If this is acceptable, then we can move forward in the discussion. Pattern X is an ordered set such that each subset is strictly contained within its superset. Most mathematicians call it a nested hierarchy, but if you can’t bring yourself to do that, we have to use the definition provided because that is at the heart of all arguments about Common Descent from the time of Darwin to today’s computational biologists.

    Having defined the pattern at issue, next we need to discuss teleologist’s point about possible confusion of human-imposed categorization and categorization based on independently derived traits. Let’s try a simple case.

    We have a rabbit, a fish and a dog. Can we group two of these items based on observed traits?

    rabbit, fish — dog
    rabbit, dog — fish
    fish, dog — rabbit

    Which makes more sense, and how can you justify your answer?

  31. JoeG: IOW there isn’t ANY reason to infer that traits are immutable, but that is exactly what is required for Zachriel’s premise to even have a chance.

    The Creationist claiming that evolutionary theory requires the immutability of organic traits. I’ve got to admit, I found that comment to be very funny.

  32. JoeG: Why did they have to remain as mammals?

    Zachriel:
    I’m surprised you don’t know the basics of orthodox evolutionary theory.

    You mean that any organism we observe evolved that way? I am aware of those basics.

    Zachriel:
    If you mean by mammals that they nurse their young, then they have remained mammals thus far because that has been a successful adaptation.

    IOW there isn’t any real reason. Thanks, that is what I thought.

    JoeG: IOW there isn’t ANY reason to infer that traits are immutable, but that is exactly what is required for Zachriel’s premise to even have a chance.

    Zachriel:
    The Creationist claiming that evolutionary theory requires the immutability of organic traits.

    Umm I never said, thought nor implied that. What requires the immutability of traits is expecting to form a nested hierarchy from Common Descent based on characteristic traits.

    I have to admit I find your sophmoric inference skills to be very funny. That along with your inability to comprehend what is posted coupled with your inability to follow along, has been quite entertaining for the past year +. Thanks.

  33. On another note:

    If genetic convergence has now been admitted to then genetic similarities can NO LONGER BE USED AS EVIDENCE FOR A SHARED COMMON ANCESTOR.

  34. Zachriel: If you mean by mammals that they nurse their young, then they have remained mammals thus far because that has been a successful adaptation.

    JoeG: IOW there isn’t any real reason. Thanks, that is what I thought.

    The reason is right there. All you are doing is handwaving. (It’s as if you don’t care to consider any arguments that oppose your view.) Evolution is an opportunistic process and not every evolutionary pathway is going to be explored. Nevertheless, cetaceans have evolved and diversified.

    The issue of possible confusion over categorization was raised by our host. I note you never attempted to answer the question. Let’s try a simple case. We have a rabbit, a fish and a dog. Can we group two of these items based on observed traits?

    rabbit, fish — dog
    rabbit, dog — fish
    fish, dog — rabbit

    Which makes more sense, and how can you justify your answer?

  35. From The Deniable Darwin:

    SWIMMING IN the soundless sea, the shark has survived for millions of years, sleek as a knife blade and twice as dull. The shark is an organism wonderfully adapted to its environment. Pause. And then the bright brittle voice of logical folly intrudes: after all, it has survived for millions of years.

    This exchange should be deeply embarrassing to evolutionary biologists. And yet, time and again, biologists do explain the survival of an organism by reference to its fitness and the fitness of an organism by reference to its survival, the friction between concepts kindling nothing more illuminating than the observation that some creatures have been around for a very long time. “Those individuals that have the most offspring,” writes Ernst Mayr, the distinguished zoologist, “are by definition . . . the fittest ones.” And in Evolution and the Myth of Creationism, Tim Berra states that “[f]itness in the Darwinian sense means reproductive fitness-leaving at least enough offspring to spread or sustain the species in nature.”

    This is not a parody of evolutionary thinking; it is evolutionary thinking. Que sera, sera.

    And Zachriel’s “logic” mimics that unintended paradody! Hopefully this is not the type of thinking future generations are limited to.

    Zachriel:
    Nevertheless, cetaceans have evolved and diversified.

    True, from other cetaceans.

    BTW if you put the fish or rabbit with the dog, the dog will eat them. That’s what they do. It’s one of their observed traits.

    Good night, and good luck…

  36. In other words, you can’t answer the question.

  37. And Zachriel’s “logic” mimics that unintended paradody! Hopefully this is not the type of thinking future generations are limited to. (see comment 35 for details)

    BTW Zachriel- why should anyone answer the questions from a person who twists what is posted into something only his warped mind would infer?

    And why is it that YOU never answer any questions when they are asked of you?

    Perhaps if you started doing that then other people may feel that answering your questions is a reasonable request.

    And until you start demonstrating that we can scientifically explain the disfferences observed there isn’t anything I want to discuss with you pewrtaining to biological evolution.

    On another note:

    If genetic convergence has now been admitted to then genetic similarities can NO LONGER BE USED AS EVIDENCE FOR A SHARED COMMON ANCESTOR.

  38. Please let’s keep this thread strictly on convergence. I must insist on enforcing the protection of this OP. Any off topic comments will be deleted from this point on.

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