Jan 202007
 

Definitions:

Common descent is the idea that two populations or species share a common ancestral species, and are both descended from that ancestor by normal processes of replication. This is a fairly commonplace notion. The theory of common descent states that all species (on Earth, at least) share common ancestors, back to a single common ancestor of all life.

The mechanisms that produce diversity from common ancestors are those of the Theory of Evolution.

Is above definition correct?

Anyone bother to give Common design definition so we can start debate?  Preferably by one who opposes the concept.

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The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

Inunison

Your post confirms that you think Common Design denies evolution, and that is not true. What you presented here shows that species can change but that does not entail Common Descent. Also you need to get away from Theological arguments for Common Descent. Because if you use them it will only show that Common Descent is based on one’s particular view on Creator – religion.

Well I did say someone else should define common design. I look forward to seeing your definition.

What do you mean by the “Theological arguments for Common Descent”?
A:

The biochemical similarity of living things fits easily within a design framework. One can just easily say that all life was constructed to look like the unified work of a single designer

It is compatible with common design, but required by common descent.

The fact that some leading evolutionists believe early life forms were biochemically distinct from modern forms confirms that evolution does not predict biologic universals.

I had not heard of that. Can you be more specific? It is always helpful to provide quotes and links when you make claims like this.

What if plants, animals, and bacteria all had different codes (traits)? Such a finding would not falsify evolution; rather, it would be incorporated into the theory. For if the code is arbitrary, why should there be just one? The blind process of evolution would explain why there are multiple codes.

Codes or traits? A single ancestor suggests one basic system of inheritance; I do not think it requires it.

The claim that all organisms have one or more traits in common is true in the sense that all living things necessarily have the traits by which life is defined, but that is simply a tautology– living things all have the traits of living things.

I think there are more traits that those required by the definition of life. There is no reason that all living things have the same fundamental biochemistry (DNA/RNA plus infrastructure, same 20 amino acids)… except that they are all related, of course.
B:

It is not a corollary of the hypothesis of common descent that organisms will have features by which they can be classified as groups within groups. Common descent can explain or accommodate nested hierarchy (though not without difficulty in the specific case of Neo-Darwinism), but it does not predict it. There are mechanisms of descent from a common ancestor that would yield a different pattern. If common descent can yield either nested hierarchy or something else, then the presence of nested hierarchy does not count as evidence of common descent.

Could you give an illustration of how common descent could give something other than a nested hierarchy? Something along the lines of species A gives species B and C, species B gives… It is easy to make this claim, but I think you will find it difficult to give that illustration.

The pattern of descent depends on the extent that evolved characters are later lost. Suppose losses are significant, and characters are replaced at a high rate. Then there is no reason to expect a nested pattern. Descendants could be totally different from their distant ancestors and sister groups, with little or no semblance of nested similarities linking them. Simple processes of loss, replacement, anagenesis, transposition, unmasking, or multiple biogenesis would prohibit such a pattern. Since hierarchical patterns (such as cladograms or phenograms) are not predicted by common descent they are not evidence for common descent.

No, this is wrong. The hierarchy would still exist, it would just be very difficult to determine.

However, I stated earlier (post 3) that evolution is a slow process. There are no sudden jumps, no point when you can say this generation was this species, the next generation was another species. This is a strawman argument; it is not what common descent is claiming.

There are facets of the hierarchy which do not flow naturally from any sort of random undirected evolutionary process.

Another vague assertion. Come on! Explain what you mean. Give examples or links to back it up. What facets? What does “flow naturally” mean?

The notion that the nested hierarchy of organisms is incompatible with design is based, not on science, but on the unprovable theological assumption that if God created life he would do it in some other way. As we could see in large measure by recent posts.

Sure, God could have designed life last Thursday to make it appear that common descent was true. Are you arguing that there is no evidence conceiveable that would support common descent but refute common design?

Perhaps you should define common design, eh?
C:

There is an obvious disconnect between the alleged prediction and fulfillment. The fulfillment refers to only one basis of comparison (biological molecules), not all bases of comparison, and it refers to only some comparisons on the selected basis (some biological molecules), not all comparisons.

Where do you get that from? Common descent was originally derived from the morphological similarities. The molecular similarities are now taken as more reliable, but the agreement is very good.

The important point is that it is not a prediction of the hypothesis of common ancestry that phylogenies constructed from comparisons of biological molecules will match phylogenies constructed from comparisons of morphology. This is obvious from the fact molecular and morphological phylogenies often are inconsistent, and yet the hypothesis of common descent is not considered falsified. The discordant data are simply accommodated by the theory.

You say “often are inconsistent”. How often is that? Like a fifty times out of a hundred, or fifty times out of ten million? Here again a quote and a link might go a long way to supporting your claims.

From here:

Well-determined phylogenetic trees inferred from the independent evidence of morphology and molecular sequences match with an extremely high degree of statistical significance. Many genes with very basic cellular functions are ubiquitous– they occur in the genomes of most or all organisms. An oft-cited example is the cytochrome c gene. Since all eukaryotes contain the gene for this essential protein, neither its presence nor its function correlates with organismal morphology. Additionally, because of the fact of DNA coding redundancy, parts of certain DNA sequences have absolutely no correlation with phenotype (e.g. certain introns or the four-fold degenerate third-base position of most DNA codons). Due to these two aspects of certain DNA sequences, ubiquity and redundancy, DNA sequences can be carefully chosen that constitute completely independent data from morphology. (See point 17 and 18 for more background about the molecular sequence evidence and for more detail about how it is independent of morphology.) The degree of phylogenetic congruence between these independent data sets is nothing short of incredible.

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

Okay then…

Common Design

Let us suppose YEC for a moment. The idea behind commin design is that all the archetypes created by God have varying trait in common because there was a single designer who used the same design module across a variety of archetypes. He started with a basic body plan of two fore limbs and two hind limbs, and modified that conceptual design to produce the design for a bird. The desigm for a bird was then further refined to give the actualised designs for chickens and eagles.

I guess common design is not restricted to YEC. The design event could have happened at the Cambrian explosion, for example, or frequent invervals over the last 4 billion years. It is a creationist theory (though not necessarily a Biblical creationist theory) because it claims each archetype is created in isolation.

An analogy to human design is apparent. Although every model of washing machine is created in isolation, the design will take features found in many other washing machines, such as a spinning drum, a control mechanism, a water heater, a timer. Models of dish washers will show the same pattern, where most of the features are pretty similar. Furthermore, we can see a relationship – but a more “distant” one – between the dish washer and the washing machine, as both have control mechanisms, water heaters and timers. We could look at freezers, and see a rather different set of design features for a rather different job, but there are still some common features even here. Thus, we could build a hierarch of kitchen appliances.

Common Descent

Common descent, in contrast, is not a creationist theory (the common ancestor could have been created by God, but I still would not call it a creationist theory. Common descent says that species have evolved, that is changed by small amounts over numerous generations. The changes have to be small to keep the continuity; all the way from “molecules to man” or “goo to you” there are no sudden jumps where you might be sure this generation is one species, the next generation is a new species. It is all gradual change (even for punctuated equilibrium, the change is small). Quite how that change happens is not a part of common descent. I believe it is through a process of variation and selection, but other people (bertvan and mturner at ARN) say the organism itself is intelligently designing the changes to the species. It could be God directing the mutations. It could be something else. Common descent is neutral on the mechanism of evolution.

Comments by the IDists

Evolution is a controversial topic, so it is necessary to address a few basic questions at the beginning of the book. Many people think that questioning Darwinian evolution must be equivalent to espousing creationism. As commonly understood, creationism involves belief in an earth formed only about ten thousand years ago, an interpretation of the Bible that is still very popular. For the record, I have no reason to doubt that the universe is the billions of years old that physicists say it is. Further, I find the idea of common descent (that all organisms share a common ancestor) fairly convincing, and have no particular reason to doubt it.

Behe, M.J., “Darwin’s Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution,” Free Press: New York NY, 1996, pp.5-6

Dembski from here:

Indeed, intelligent design is perfectly compatible with common descent.

Dembski from here:

More significantly for the educational curriculum, however, is that intelligent design has no stake in living things coming together suddenly in their present form. To be sure, intelligent design leaves that as a possibility. But intelligent design is also fully compatible with large-scale evolution over the course of natural history, all the way up to what biologists refer to as “common descent” (i.e., the full genealogical interconnectedness of all organisms). If our best science tells us that living things came together gradually over a long evolutionary history and that all living things are related by common descent, then so be it. Intelligent design can live with this result and indeed live with it cheerfully.

Denton from here:

It is important to emphasize at the outset that the argument presented here is entirely consistent with the basic naturalistic assumption of modern science – that the cosmos is a seamless unity which can be comprehended ultimately in its entirety by human reason and in which all phenomena, including life and evolution and the origin of man, are ultimately explicable in terms of natural processes. This is an assumption which is entirely opposed to that of the so-called “special creationist school”. According to special creationism, living organisms are not natural forms, whose origin and design were built into the laws of nature from the beginning, but rather contingent forms analogous in essence to human artifacts, the result of a series of supernatural acts, involving the suspension of natural law. Contrary to the creationist position, the whole argument presented here is critically dependent on the presumption of the unbroken continuity of the organic world – that is, on the reality of organic evolution and on the presumption that all living organisms on earth are natural forms in the profoundest sense of the word, no less natural than salt crystals, atoms, waterfalls, or galaxies.

I started a thread at ARN about the evidence for common descent, by the way. There was not much response, but admittedly ARN is pretty quiet these days.

inunison
inunison
13 years ago

Hi Pixie,

Thank you man. I think you give us your definition and than we can modify it if necessary. No need to accuse anyone of anything here. We are just debating things in a friendly manner, I hope.

Don’t understand what do you mean by “Common descent is neutral on the mechanism of evolution.” Will you please explain.

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

I have been and will continue to use common descent to mean specifically that all organisms are descended from a single or very limited number of organisms (and for convenience I will say it is a single ancestor). No one is disputing that every breed of dog has a common ancestor.

The theory of evolution is just one way that we could have common descent; common descent is not restricted to that (afterall Behe and Denton accept common descent). Common descent is neutral on the mechanism of evolution.

I suggest some one who believes in common design define it. I am bound to get accused of misrepresention.

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

I was expecting this to get a bit more lively.

Something I missed on the ARN page was the issue of biogeography; the distribution of different species.

Here:

How can we make intelligible the colossal diversity of living beings and the existence of such extraordinary, seemingly whimsical creatures as the fungus, beetle, and fly described above? And why are island groups like the Galopagos so often inhabited by forms similar to those on the nearest mainland but belonging to different species? Evolutionary theory explains that biological diversity results from the descendants of local or migrant predecessors becoming adapted to their diverse environments. This explanation can be tested by examining present species and local fossils to see whether they have similar structures, which would indicate how one is derived from the other. Also, there should be evidence that species without an established local ancestry had migrated into the locality.
Wherever such tests have been carried out, these conditions have been confirmed. A good example is provided by the mammalian populations of North and South America, where strikingly different native organisms evolved in isolation until the emergence of the isthmus of Panama approximately 3 million years ago. Thereafter, the armadillo, porcupine, and opossum–mammals of South American origin–migrated north, along with many other species of plants and animals, while the mountain lion and other North American species made their way across the isthmus to the south.
The evidence that Darwin found for the influence of geographical distribution on the evolution of organisms has become stronger with advancing knowledge. For example, approximately 2,000 species of flies belonging to the genus Drosophila are now found throughout the world. About one-quarter of them live only in Hawaii. More than a thousand species of snails and other land mollusks also are found only in Hawaii. The biological explanation for the multiplicity of related species in remote localities is that such great diversity is a consequence of their evolution from a few common ancestors that colonized an isolated environment. The Hawaiian Islands are far from any mainland or other islands, and on the basis of geological evidence they never have been attached to other lands. Thus, the few colonizers that reached the Hawaiian Islands found many available ecological niches, where they could, over numerous generations, undergo evolutionary change and diversification. No mammals other than one bat species lived in the Hawaiian Islands when the first human settlers arrived; similarly, many other kinds of plants and animals were absent.
The Hawaiian Islands are not less hospitable than other parts of the world for the absent species. For example, pigs and goats have multiplied in the wild in Hawaii, and other domestic animals also thrive there. The scientific explanation for the absence of many kinds of organisms, and the great multiplication of a few kinds, is that many sorts of organisms never reached the islands, because of their geographic isolation. Those that did reach the islands diversified over time because of the absence of related organisms that would compete for resources.

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

Have some problems with the spam filter, so breaking up my post…

Here:

A. The total number of species on oceanic islands is small compared to the number on an equal area of continent
B. Proportion of endemic species is very high
C. Oceanic islands are missing entire Classes
D. Endemic species often possess characters that are adaptive elsewhere, but are useless characters on the island
E. Endemic species often show (new) adaptive traits not possessed by any of their relatives
F. Batrachians are universally absent (except one frog in New Zealand)
G. Terrestrial mammals are not found on any island >300 miles from mainland
H. But arial mammals are found on such islands, and many of these are endemic
I. Also a correlation between the depth of the sea separating islands inhabited by mammals and the degree of “affinity” (classification) between these species
J. “The most striking and important fact” (p. 397) is the affinity of these island species to those of the nearest mainland, without being actually the same species
K. Within an archipelago, species are more closely related to each other than to those on the mainland (but still distinct from each other)
L. The principle applies widely that island inhabitants are most closely related to the inhabitants of a region from which colonization is possible
M. According to this principle, it must be the case that at some former time, a single parental species covered both ranges (i.e., the migration event itself)
N. Darwin draws a parallel between Time and Space in the “Laws of Life” (p. 409)

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

Here:

Another clue to patterns of past evolution is found in the natural geographic distribution of related species. It is clear that major isolated land areas and island groups often evolved their own distinct plant and animal communities. For instance, before humans arrived 60-40,000 years ago, Australia had more than 100 species of kangaroos, koalas, and other marsupials such as dogs, cats, bears, horses. Land mammals were entirely absent from the even more isolated islands that make up Hawaii and New Zealand. Each of these places had a great number of plant, insect, and bird species that were found nowhere else in the world. The most likely explanation for the existence of Australia’s, New Zealand’s, and Hawaii’s mostly unique biotic environments is that the life forms in these areas have been evolving in isolation from the rest of the world for millions of years.

inunison
inunison
13 years ago

C:

– There is an obvious disconnect between the alleged prediction and fulfillment. The fulfillment refers to only one basis of comparison (biological molecules), not all bases of comparison, and it refers to only some comparisons on the selected basis (some biological molecules), not all comparisons.

– The important point is that it is not a prediction of the hypothesis of common ancestry that phylogenies constructed from comparisons of biological molecules will match phylogenies constructed from comparisons of morphology. This is obvious from the fact molecular and morphological phylogenies often are inconsistent, and yet the hypothesis of common descent is not considered falsified. The discordant data are simply accommodated by the theory.

inunison
inunison
13 years ago

B:

– It is not a corollary of the hypothesis of common descent that organisms will have features by which they can be classified as groups within groups. Common descent can explain or accommodate nested hierarchy (though not without difficulty in the specific case of Neo-Darwinism), but it does not predict it. There are mechanisms of descent from a common ancestor that would yield a different pattern. If common descent can yield either nested hierarchy or something else, then the presence of nested hierarchy does not count as evidence of common descent.

– The pattern of descent depends on the extent that evolved characters are later lost. Suppose losses are significant, and characters are replaced at a high rate. Then there is no reason to expect a nested pattern. Descendants could be totally different from their distant ancestors and sister groups, with little or no semblance of nested similarities linking them. Simple processes of loss, replacement, anagenesis, transposition, unmasking, or multiple biogenesis would prohibit such a pattern. Since hierarchical patterns (such as cladograms or phenograms) are not predicted by common descent they are not evidence for common descent.

– There are facets of the hierarchy which do not flow naturally from any sort of random undirected evolutionary process. If the hierarchy suggests any model of nature it is typology and not common descent.

– The notion that the nested hierarchy of organisms is incompatible with design is based, not on science, but on the unprovable theological assumption that if God created life he would do it in some other way. As we could see in large measure by recent posts.

– It may be that the nested hierarchy of living things simply is a reflection of designer’s orderliness. Accordingly, it is not evidence for or against either theory.

– Any set of objects, whether or not they originated in an evolutionary process, can be classified hierarchically. Chairs, for instance, are independently created; they are not generated by an evolutionary process: but any given list of chairs could be classified hierarchically, perhaps by dividing them first according to whether or not they were made of wood, then according to their color, by date of manufacture, and so on. The fact that life can be classified hierarchically is not, in itself, an argument for common descent.

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

A. Madagascar
Madagascar is a large island that is actually a piece of a continent (not like Hawaii which is created by volcanoes) that is separated from other land masses. It has the highest level of endemism (i.e., organisms that only live there) on earth. For example of the 150 amphibians present there 148 are only found in Madagascar. 90% of all the reptiles and 100% of the rodents are only found in Madagascar. Lemurs are only found in Madagascar.
Why might this be so? Plate tectonic theory says that Madagascar used to be part of India and Antarctica and so the animals at that time were able to rove back and forth between these land masses. When Madagascar separated from India and Antarctica, the animals were isolated and since that time (when they had a common ancestor with Indian and Antarctican animals) they have evolved to look very different. This would also explain the presence of fossils on Madagascar that are related to the living animals there now.
B. The Hawaiian Islands
Like Madagascar, the plants and animals on Hawaii are almost completely different from anywhere else on earth. Unlike Madagascar, Hawaii is a set of volcanic islands. The animals and plants almost certainly came there from another continent. Yet they clearly have changed since arriving. Even on the islands, the species are often different from one island to another. Thus we can see that evolution has happened even between islands.
Consistent with the idea that the animals and plants have their common ancestors on the mainland, there is only one mammal native to Hawaii – the bat. Only the bat has been able to get to Hawaii. There are NO native reptiles, as no reptiles have been able to get across the over 1000 miles of open ocean to the islands.

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

Here:

The trees on the remote island of St. Helena are unlike the trees anywhere else on earth. Sunflowers are the closest relative to the strange gumwood tree and to the various cabbage-trees. And, the most closely related sunflower is the local sunflower. The scientific explanation is that this volcanic island was originally formed far away from any continent, and therefore started out with no land plants. Eventually, some sunflower seeds managed to get there. Since no one else was filling the role of “tree”, the largest plants on the island – some of the sunflowers – took the job. Transformed by time and competition and by the demands of their role, they now look like trees.
Every other remote island has its own examples. In the Galapagos, the role of woodpecker is taken by a finch. Or rather, it’s mostly a finch, but it has a beak specialized for the woodpecker role. Apparently, the only land bird which got to the Galapagos was a finch, so all the land birds there are modified finches. (DNA studies prove the relationship.)
In Hawaii, the role of woodpecker was taken by a modified honeycreeper bird. Again, every land bird in Hawaii is a modified honeycreeper. There’s a honeycreeper “parrot” too.
Most remote islands had flightless birds, such as the Dodo. There is an obvious evolutionary explanation for why these existed on islands, but not on continents. Birds could get to islands, and ground animals couldn’t. So, the role of ground animal was available, and on each island, some bird took on the role. From this explanation, we can predict that each island would have its own unique species of flightless bird. And that is a correct prediction.
Because of Australia, South America, and the various remote islands, it’s easy to come up with a really long list. For example, South American tropical species are more closely related to South American desert species than they are to African tropical species. Australia’s marsupials took on the roles of predator (Tasmanian Wolf), mouse, mole, wolverine (Tasmanian Devil), and anteater.

It is probably worth mentioning that evidence in geology indicates that Antartica, South America, Australia and New Guinea were all part of one large continent at one time, so today we see some marsupials in South America (and into North America by migration) and in New Guinea. The only placental mammals in Australia before the arrival of Europeans were bats and dingos; the former flew, the latter descended from dogs brough by man.

teleologist
13 years ago

ID could be true, and could include common descent. Darwinism could be true, and includes common descent.

I accept this, but I was contesting your statement that ” Common descent is neutral on the mechanism of evolution” , which I do not believe to be true.

I think there is a fundamental difference in that scientists are actively working to combat our ignorance about how evolution happened, and indeed creationist will argue from their own ignorance about issue scientists already have explanations for.

You may believe what you said here but it doesn’t make it true. Creationists do not argue from ignorance but rather we are skeptical and dispute the fairy tale stories by Darwinians as science, Creationists are strict empirical evidentialists.

But your spin to trot out this tired attack on ID completely evaded my point that ID critics are arguing from ignorance. Can you give another argument from these scientists other than we can’t “imagine” why the designer did it this way or we don’t know the teleology of certain artifacts; therefore it must be random and unguided Darwinism? Why aren’t Darwinians more critical of their own argument from ignorance?

ID forbids imagining how or why the designer did certain things

Again you are wrong about what ID forbids. inunison is right, it is presumptuous to speculate on how or why the designer created certain things. We are still in the identification stage. Science can’t be expected to answer all the questions at the beginning of a theory. e.g. If you find a crystal based fusion engine, the first task is to identify if it is designed or if it is a natural phenomenon. It is only after an artifact has been identified as designed do we speculate on how it is designed. ID scientists are working hard to build a working theory on design detection and a library of artifacts that can be accepted by the scientific community. To insist that ID must know everything about an artifact, Darwinists are embellishing an argument from ignorance.

Then explain the distribution of placentals and marsupials.

What is there to explain? Every species migrates and adapt within limits to their environments to create microevolutionary uniqueness. Some of the isolation and uniqueness are due to the supercontinent theory. Distribution is not a problem for ID. Can you explain how distribution is evidence for macroevolution?

The brown tree snake was introduced by man in the 1950s apparently. Is this the species you are thinking about?

No. There is only one species of snake in Hawaii, the Brahminy Blind Snake, presumably introduced to the islands from Asia. I have not seen any definitive evidence of this. If you can I would appreciate it. The problem for the Darwinists is that there is no evidence to explain all the different indigenous species of birds and insects on the island. I don’t know of any diligent scientists that you speak of, who are actually trying to find the precise genesis of these indigenous species, other than taking the easy presupposed Darwinian fairy tale that it must have migrate to the island somehow.

Features shared due to convergence will not. The prediction from common design should be that all shared features have the same underlying genetic code.

Really? Let me get this straight, are you saying that morphology and phenotype have no genetic basis? Can you give some evidence that any convergent expressions have different genetic compositions?

My prediction is that common design does have similar underlying genetic codes for those phenotypic features.

There is nothing in common descent that says a species cannot “remain relatively unchanged for over 100mya” (same for Darwinism, but let us stick to common descent for this thread).

This is why Darwinian evolution is not science, isn’t it, because it can’t be tested. Darwinian evolution can’t have speciation and stasis as a result of mutation and selection. I am talking about common descent. Why don’t you explain how common descent is possible if species stay in stasis through mutation and selection pressures over such long periods of time?

By the way, I am not seeing any evidence for common design

What are you talking about? I gave you 2 links to examples of evidence for design, Convergent evolution and molecular convergence. Convergence makes no sense under the mechanisms of Darwinian evolution. It only makes sense under the design paradigm where a designer can utilize existing designs to build similar and identical new forms in disparate environments and independent of prior forms. This is exactly what we see in nature.

inunison
inunison
13 years ago

There is more but lets debate these first 5.

I’ll start with problems that I have with above predictions/fulfillments:

A:

– The biochemical similarity of living things fits easily within a design framework.  One can just easily say that all life was constructed to look like the unified work of a single designer

– The fact that some leading evolutionists believe early life forms were biochemically distinct from modern forms confirms that evolution does not predict biologic universals.

– What if plants, animals, and bacteria all had different codes (traits)?  Such a finding would not falsify evolution; rather, it would be incorporated into the theory.  For if the code is arbitrary, why should there be just one?  The blind process of evolution would explain why there are multiple codes.

– The claim that all organisms have one or more traits in common is true in the sense that all living things necessarily have the traits by which life is defined, but that is simply a tautology– living things all have the traits of living things.

Will continue later with the rest.  Sorry The Pixie this is coming along too slow.

inunison
inunison
13 years ago

Hi The Pixie,

Your post confirms that you think Common Design denies evolution, and that is not true. What you presented here shows that species can change but that does not entail Common Descent. Also you need to get away from Theological arguments for Common Descent. Because if you use them it will only show that Common Descent is based on one’s particular view on Creator – religion.

I will start with claims for Common Descent:

A: THE FUNDAMENTAL UNITY OF LIFE
1. If universal common ancestry is true, then all organisms will have one or more traits in common.
2. All organisms have one or more traits in common.

B: A “NESTED” HIERARCHY OF SPECIES
1. If universal common ancestry is true, then organisms will be classifiable in a nested hierarchy.
2. Organisms are classifiable in a nested hierarchy.

C: CONVERGENCE OF INDEPENDENT PHYLOGENIES
1. If universal common ancestry is true, then phylogenies constructed from any comparisons of organisms will “converge” on the standard phylogenetic tree.
2. Phylogenies constructed from comparisons of certain biological molecules in organisms “converge” on the standard phylogenetic tree.

D: POSSIBLE MORPHOLOGIES OF PREDICTED COMMON ANCESTORS
1. If universal common ancestry is true, then all fossilized animals will “conform” to the standard phylogenetic tree.
2. All fossilized animals “conform” to the standard phylogenetic tree.

E: CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER OF PREDICTED COMMON ANCESTORS
1. If universal common ancestry is true, then fossil intermediates will appear in the “general chronological order” reflected in the standard phylogenetic tree;
2. Fossil intermediates appear in the “general chronological order” reflected in the standard phylogenetic tree;

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

Teleologist

The mechanisms for common descent from ID and Darwinian evolution perspectives are mutually exclusive therefore it can’t be neutral.

ID could be true, and could include common descent. Darwinism could be true, and includes common descent. So common descent does not side with either one, it is neutral. Conversely, if we knew for a fact that common descent was true, we could not reject ID on that basis, and we could not reject Darwinism.

Isn’t this merely an argument from ignorance? Like so many of the criticisms of ID, the idea that we can’t “imagine” why the designer did it this way or we don’t know the teleology of certain artifacts, therefore it must be random and unguided Darwinism. Why aren’t Darwinians more critical of their own argument from ignorance.

I think there is a fundamental difference in that scientists are actively working to combat our ignorance about how evolution happened, and indeed creationist will argue from their own ignorance about issue scientists already have explanations for.

On the other hand, ID forbids imagining how or why the designer did certain things. Inunison called me presumptuous for doing so, and it is well known that ID shies away from any qustion about the designer.

What I don’t understand is why do Darwinians continue to think that by pulling out examples of microevolution would be enough to fool people who are knowledgeable about macroevolution?

Then explain the distribution of placentals and marsupials.

This has actually an interesting question. I’ve been pondering on this for some time. Maybe you can help me understand how does Darwinian evolution create a snake in a 10my old island like Hawaii?

The brown tree snake was introduced by man in the 1950s apparently. Is this the species you are thinking about?

As I said this is evidence against Darwinian evolution and common descent because of convergence.

Convergence gives us a strong prediction. According to common descent, features that animal share because of shared ancestry will be due to the same underlying genetic code. Features shared due to convergence will not. The prediction from common design should be that all shared features have the same underlying genetic code.

This is also another interesting problem for Darwinian (CD). How is it possible for species like the marsupial opossiums in South America to remain relatively unchanged for over 100mya? I though the Darwinian theory was suppose to predict that isolation should produce unique and new macro species changes?

There is nothing in common descent that says a species cannot “remain relatively unchanged for over 100mya” (same for Darwinism, but let us stick to common descent for this thread).

By the way, I am not seeing any evidence for common design, or any attempt to explain anything using common design so far, only supposed evidence against common descent.

teleologist
13 years ago

Pixie and others you all seem to be busy posters in the past few days.

Pixie,

Common descent is neutral on the mechanism of evolution.

I think I know what you mean but it is unnecessarily obscurant. You should really phrase it in accordance by how ID theorists and Darwinists understand these mechanisms — although I am not sure what a mechanism is, from an ID perspective. The mechanisms for common descent from ID and Darwinian evolution perspectives are mutually exclusive therefore it can’t be neutral.

Your quotes from Behe and Dembski only add to the confusion when you’ve conflated the idea of common ancestry with “mechanisms” . Common descent is an inference from the data but have no influence on the data itself. Where as the mechanism does not only evaluate the data but also may be the data. e.g. genetic drift, information theory, irreducible complexity.

Let me also just say that while I respect and agree with other IDists on the core tenets of ID; I am a Creationists that accepts the universe to be billions of years in age and reject common descent, so Behe is wrong in is characterization of Biblical Creationists.

How can we make intelligible the colossal diversity of living beings and the existence of such extraordinary, seemingly whimsical creatures as the fungus, beetle, and fly described above?

Isn’t this merely an argument from ignorance? Like so many of the criticisms of ID, the idea that we can’t “imagine” why the designer did it this way or we don’t know the teleology of certain artifacts, therefore it must be random and unguided Darwinism. Why aren’t Darwinians more critical of their own argument from ignorance.

And why are island groups like the Galopagos so often inhabited by forms similar to those on the nearest mainland but belonging to different species?

What I don’t understand is why do Darwinians continue to think that by pulling out examples of microevolution would be enough to fool people who are knowledgeable about macroevolution?

Here:

This can hardly be considered as real scientific evidence let alone for macroevolution or common descent. While none of the points qualifies as empirical evidence for macroevolution, other lines of evidences can certainly falsify them. e.g. Convergent evolution from the Anolis lizards, wolves, sandlance and chameleon eyes, and numerous examples of common morphology from differing environments. Darwinian macroevolution and common descent is also falsified at the molecular level with molecular convergence or more accurately molecular common design.

The most likely explanation for the existence of Australia’s, New Zealand’s, and Hawaii’s mostly unique biotic environments is that the life forms in these areas have been evolving in isolation from the rest of the world for millions of years.

This has actually an interesting question. I’ve been pondering on this for some time. Maybe you can help me understand how does Darwinian evolution create a snake in a 10my old island like Hawaii?

Australia’s marsupials took on the roles of predator (Tasmanian Wolf), mouse, mole, wolverine (Tasmanian Devil), and anteater.

As I said this is evidence against Darwinian evolution and common descent because of convergence.

so today we see some marsupials in South America

This is also another interesting problem for Darwinian (CD). How is it possible for species like the marsupial opossiums in South America to remain relatively unchanged for over 100mya? I though the Darwinian theory was suppose to predict that isolation should produce unique and new macro species changes?

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

I accept this, but I was contesting your statement that ” Common descent is neutral on the mechanism of evolution” , which I do not believe to be true.

I suspect we are using the word “mechanism” differently.

But anyway, you think it is not true. Argue the case then.

I think there is a fundamental difference in that scientists are actively working to combat our ignorance about how evolution happened, and indeed creationist will argue from their own ignorance about issue scientists already have explanations for.

You may believe what you said here but it doesn’t make it true. Creationists do not argue from ignorance but rather we are skeptical and dispute the fairy tale stories by Darwinians as science, Creationists are strict empirical evidentialists.

This is joke right? “Creationists are strict empirical evidentialists”?

What scientists do is hypothosise about what might be, given the observations available and a background knowledge of how the univese works. This is true for evolution, forensic science, chemistry, whatever. They then go looking for supporting evidence. Once a fair amount of evidence has been collected, they publish their tentative claims. Creationist, when it suits them, like to label these claims as “just-so” stories. “just-so” stories are tentative, but supported ideas about evolution that disagree with the Bible. It is spin; a way to pretend that the claim is just made up, without having to bother with the evidence that supports it.

It is the antithesis of empirical evidentialism!

But your spin to trot out this tired attack on ID completely evaded my point that ID critics are arguing from ignorance. Can you give another argument from these scientists other than we can’t “imagine” why the designer did it this way or we don’t know the teleology of certain artifacts; therefore it must be random and unguided Darwinism? Why aren’t Darwinians more critical of their own argument from ignorance?

Sure, here is another argument. The MET claims are science. The claims are based ob observationsd, make predictions and those predictions have been tested.

Can you point to a “risky” prediction from creationism – or more specifically, from common design? By “risky”, I mean a prediction that disagrees with the established paradigm, i.e., common descent. If not, you have no science.

Again you are wrong about what ID forbids. inunison is right, it is presumptuous to speculate on how or why the designer created certain things. We are still in the identification stage. Science can’t be expected to answer all the questions at the beginning of a theory. e.g. If you find a crystal based fusion engine, the first task is to identify if it is designed or if it is a natural phenomenon. It is only after an artifact has been identified as designed do we speculate on how it is designed. ID scientists are working hard to build a working theory on design detection and a library of artifacts that can be accepted by the scientific community. To insist that ID must know everything about an artifact, Darwinists are embellishing an argument from ignorance.

Oh, that tired refrain. Imagine next week on CSI (the TV show, not the dubious ID claim), the forensic scientists say, well we have determined that the death was caused by an intelligent agent. Hopefully by the end of the day we can give you some information about how it was done, like whether he was shot or stabbed.

It does not happen like that. The reality is that any evidence for design also gives clues about the design process, the designer and the purpose.

The reality is that ID makes a political decision to avoid the designer question, to distance itself from creationism. Do you honestly believe otherwise?

What is there to explain? Every species migrates and adapt within limits to their environments to create microevolutionary uniqueness. Some of the isolation and uniqueness are due to the supercontinent theory. Distribution is not a problem for ID. Can you explain how distribution is evidence for macroevolution?

We are talking about common design, which is a creationist theory, not ID.

Now, from the claims of common design, how do you explain the distribution of placental and marsuial mammals?

The brown tree snake was introduced by man in the 1950s apparently. Is this the species you are thinking about?

No. There is only one species of snake in Hawaii, the Brahminy Blind Snake, presumably introduced to the islands from Asia. I have not seen any definitive evidence of this. If you can I would appreciate it. The problem for the Darwinists is that there is no evidence to explain all the different indigenous species of birds and insects on the island. I don’t know of any diligent scientists that you speak of, who are actually trying to find the precise genesis of these indigenous species, other than taking the easy presupposed Darwinian fairy tale that it must have migrate to the island somehow.

As opposed to the creationist fairy tale that God put them there?

I did find that all Brahminy Blind Snakes are female; they reproduce a sexually. So you only need one to float over at some point, rather than a breeding pair.

Really? Let me get this straight, are you saying that morphology and phenotype have no genetic basis?

For convergent evolution, yes.

This is why Darwinian evolution is not science, isn’t it, because it can’t be tested. Darwinian evolution can’t have speciation and stasis as a result of mutation and selection. I am talking about common descent. Why don’t you explain how common descent is possible if species stay in stasis through mutation and selection pressures over such long periods of time?

Why is that a problem? Sorry, I cannot see why a very slow evolution is a problem.

Pix: By the way, I am not seeing any evidence for common design
Tel: What are you talking about? I gave you 2 links to examples of evidence for design, Convergent evolution and molecular convergence. Convergence makes no sense under the mechanisms of Darwinian evolution. It only makes sense under the design paradigm where a designer can utilize existing designs to build similar and identical new forms in disparate environments and independent of prior forms. This is exactly what we see in nature.

What was I talking about? I was talking about this thread on common descent vs common design. As this was your first post, I think maybe you had not given any links.
Wrt molecular convergence evidence against Darwinian evolution:
Here:

Apolipoprotein(a) [apo(a)] is the distinguishing protein component of lipoprotein(a), a major inherited risk factor for atherosclerosis. Human apo(a) is homologous to plasminogen. It contains from 15 to 50 repeated domains closely related to plasminogen kringle four, plus single kringle five-like and inactive protease-like domains. This expressed gene is confined to a subset of primates. Although most mammals lack apo(a), hedgehogs produce an apo(a)-like protein composed of highly repeated copies of a plasminogen kringle three-like domain, with complete absence of protease domain sequences. Both human and hedgehog apo(a)-like proteins form covalently linked lipoprotein particles that can bind to fibrin and other substrates shared with plasminogen. DNA sequence comparisons and phylogenetic analysis indicate that the human type of apo(a) evolved from a duplicated plasminogen gene during recent primate evolution. In contrast, the kringle three-based type of apo(a) evolved from an independent duplication of the plasminogen gene approximately 80 million years ago. In a type of convergent evolution, the plasminogen gene has been independently remodeled twice during mammalian evolution to produce similar forms of apo(a) in two widely divergent groups of species.

The hedgehog apo(a)-like gene apparently was derived by remodeling the kringle 3 domain of plasminogen, in a process distinct from the derivation of the human apo(a) gene from plasminogen kringle 4, kringle 5, and protease domains (6). Both the UPGMA alignments using total nucleotide sequences (data not shown) and using only the absolutely conserved residues (Fig. 2A) suggest that the ancestor of hedgehog apo(a) arose in the line leading to placental mammals after the separation from marsupials, with the latter analysis placing it closest to hedgehogs.

Here:

Apo(a) is virtually confined to primates, and the gene may have arisen during primate evolution. One exception is the occurrence of an Lp(a)-like particle in the hedgehog. Cloning of the hedgehog apo(a)-like gene shows that it is distinctive in form and evolutionary history from human apo(a), but that it has acquired several common features. It appears that the primate and hedgehog apo(a) genes evolved independently by duplication and modification of different domains of the plasminogen gene, providing a novel type of “convergent” molecular evolution.

So eviolution hit upon the same (more or less) protein twice. Convergent evolution. The prediction from common descent is that the underlying genetic code will be different, while common design says the same. Guess what? The articles say they are different.

teleologist
13 years ago

What scientists do is hypothosise about what might be, given the observations available and a background knowledge of how the univese works. This is true for evolution

No this is not true for Darwinian evolution. I would say Darwinists have not provide a SINGLE piece of empirical evidence that macroevolution has ever taken place. Can you show me a single piece of empirical evidence that has been “collected” that demonstrates the hypothesis that a bacterium turned into a fish into an amphibian into a reptile into etc, etc. All we ever get from Darwinians are fairy tale stories of disparate fossil of alleged common descent.

Creationists are strict evidentialists when it comes to science because we understand what science is. When we make a hypothesis, we must be able to test the premise of that hypothesis through repeatable observation and predictions. Darwinism fails in both counts.

Sure, here is another argument. The MET claims are science. The claims are based ob observationsd, make predictions and those predictions have been tested.

I’ve been asking you and other Darwinists for a long time now. Show us just one example of this prediction of common ancestry with empirically tested results, no putative hand waiving from scattered fossils which disproves your prediction.

Can you point to a “risky” prediction from creationism – or more specifically, from common design?

I just gave you one i.e., convergence in phenotypical features from diverse environments have similar genetic design. Here is another one, IC could not be derived from random and unguided processes.

Oh, that tired refrain. Imagine next week on CSI (the TV show, not the dubious ID claim),

The only problem is that you want to stop the science and investigation at the first 5 minutes of the show because they don’t give you all the answers. Darwinists are anti-science.

The reality is that ID makes a political decision to avoid the designer question

Now you are misrepresenting ID again! There is no political factor involved with ID when it comes to the designer. It is a non-starter. ID does not address and I suspect will never be able to address the designer question. We might be able to address the design process but never the designer unless the designer decides to show up. Just as Darwinism and archaeology will never be able to address the designer question when it comes to Stonehenge, unless the designer shows up.

We are talking about common design, which is a creationist theory, not ID.

Wrong again. Common design can be a part of ID. You might be thinking about Biblical Creationist who are against common ancestry, which is not a part of ID.

Now, from the claims of common design, how do you explain the distribution of placental and marsuial mammals?

I just gave that to you, why don’t you tell me what specifically is the problem with what I’ve said so I can understand what it is that you are looking for.

As opposed to the creationist fairy tale that God put them there?

Don’t put words in my mouth. I’ve never said that. I am only raising the questions that Darwinists must answer if Darwinian evolution is to be viewed as a viable scientific theory.

I did find that all Brahminy Blind Snakes are female; they reproduce a sexually. So you only need one to float over at some point, rather than a breeding pair.

This is a joke. This is exactly the kind of fairy tale stories from Darwinists I am talking about. 2500 miles of ocean surround the Hawaiian Islands. It is beyond credulity that a tiny snake can float all that distance.

For convergent evolution, yes.

Can you tell me what is the underlying cause for the phenotype expressions, if it is not genetics?

Why is that a problem?

This is the problem if you can’t see why the same Darwinian prediction produces two opposite results given the same conditions.

So eviolution hit upon the same (more or less) protein twice.

That is the point. Even at a 50% identify the probability of in hitting that convergence would be 4.75 X 101865. It is not believable with those odds.

The prediction from common descent is that the underlying genetic code will be different, while common design says the same. Guess what? The articles say they are different.

You don’t understand what the article is saying. It inferred that Apo(a) was homologous to the common plasminogen 90mya. At that time plasminogen diverged and became two different proteins but somehow 90my later they end up at a different protein Apo(a) with 50% identity performing essentially the same function. No, common descent do not make these predictions, but common design does.

teleologist
13 years ago

It is interesting and of course not surprising that you ducked defining what exactly the theory of common design is claiming.

Now that is funny, because I was not that I am required to give a definition. Honestly, I have not thought about it in terms of some formal theory or hypothesis, but I will take a stab at it if it makes you happy. I look at common design in the sense that Darwinists look at common descent. Where a Darwinist sees similar features and attribute those similarities to common ancestry, I see a designer using the same features in different biological organisms.

Could you point to a web site that you think is both good science and creation science; somewhere with some substance (Walt Brown’s web site for example has plenty of substance).

Oh I can do much better than Walt Brown’s web site. Would you consider the prestigious Journal Nature good science? How about the Science Magazine, PloS and PNAS? There is no difference between “good science” and “creation science” . Every day these prestigious scientific publications inform us about how new experiments have failed to provide any empirical evidence for the Darwinian claim of macroevolution. And sometimes I find stories like the one I cited above that shows why a design inference is much more plausible than an unguided and random process. I don’t think we need to start a thread about the truthfulness of these prestigious publications, do you?

And how exactly do you test that prediction? You cannot. It is not falsifiable.

Of course you can, maybe not at our level of science today but maybe soon. e.g. Create a life from scratch, allow it to randomly mutate in different environments and see if it will randomly arrive at similar morphologies, and that would falsify common design. There are a lot of other ways to falsify common designs. Another method that is within our capabilities now is to take 2 diverse species and randomly mutate them and observe to see if they can produce the similar complexity as the paper I cited above.

How about you, do you know of a way to falsify common descent other than finding a fossil rabbit?

The way this scienmce thing works is that you infer a hypothesis from observations. Then you suppose the hypothesis is true, and consider what the necessary consequences are for that hypothesis. These are the predictions. You then go and test those predictions. This makes the hypothesis falsifiable.

We all know what these things are. Save us some time and instead of talking about it show us some empirical evidence of these predictions that proves your hypothesis. Common design is a proven fact e.g. GMO and gene therapy. There is no doubt that design can and are reused in biological systems. The question now is can we completely rule out RM&NS. The answer seems to be a firmer yes every day.

IC is not a necessary prediction of common design or ID. And “convergence in phenotypical features from diverse environments have similar genetic design” is not testable.

Originally I mentioned IC in response to your question about creation or design from my POV. But now I don’t know why it can’t be a part of common design. Blood clotting is universal similar in all animals throughout the history of life. If common descent is true and it can turn a fish into a fox like mammal and turn it back to a water dwelling mammal, I would think there should be equal diversity on how blood clotting works. Nope, common design is a better inference for IC to me.

Not so. Darwinists are the ones actually doing the science, remember!

How can I forget. You Darwinists spend all you time telling us that you are doing science, but all you ever produce are fairy tales. I remember.

We know plenty about the designers of stone henge. How many eyes they have, what they eat (we can even say exactly which 20 amino acids they require in their diet), etc.

There you go again spinning fairy tales. Prove it! Show me the evidence. Are there inscription on Stonehenge? Do you have pictures of the construction? The fact to the matter is that you don’t know anything about the designers but you somehow can infer that Stonehenge must be designed. Imagine that, what a quaint idea.

Oh, no! Common design says something about how the creator created. Ergo, not ID remember.

Can you tell me how does it show “how” the creator created?
Common design can be a part of ID, remember?

What I was hoping for was some explanation or rationalisation for why placental mammals are distributed in one way, and marsuial mammals another way. Why are they not all mixed in together.

Huh? What part of the supercontinent theory did you not understand? Check wiki if you need help.

Check back and see what I did if you are not sure what an “explanation” is.

It seems all you did was to throw out a bunch of quotes. Why don’t you remind me?

Are you honestly saying you do not believe God put them there? You are on record on this site as a creationist!

Huh? I am a creationist but why would that make it necessary for me to conclude that God put the snake and all the insects and birds in Hawaii? There is no theological reason for me to do so and I do not yet have scientific reason either. I am skeptical of the Darwinian explanations and find it very unconvincing. Care to give another try other than floating?

Can you walk me through the maths here (and the English)?

Please read the post for the detail.

It is you getting it wrong. From the second article “duplication and modification of different domains of the plasminogen gene”. Different mutations to different parts of the plasminogen gene, i.e., different genetic code.

The problem appears to be that you don’t understand about genetics. The reason why they can even consider it as homologous is because the 2 proteins perform the same function and are inordinately similar.

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

Teleologist

It is interesting and of course not surprising that you ducked defining what exactly the theory of common design is claiming. The last thing you want is to be pinned down to specifics. I am curious how long you can keep avoiding that.

Creationists are strict evidentialists when it comes to science because we understand what science is. When we make a hypothesis, we must be able to test the premise of that hypothesis through repeatable observation and predictions. Darwinism fails in both counts.

Could you point to a web site that you think is both good science and creation science; somewhere with some substance (Walt Brown’s web site for example has plenty of substance). We could then look at how truthful this claim is. I find it surprising, to say the least. You might want to start a new thread.

Pix: Can you point to a “risky” prediction from creationism – or more specifically, from common design?
Tel: I just gave you one i.e., convergence in phenotypical features from diverse environments have similar genetic design.

And how exactly do you test that prediction? You cannot. It is not falsifiable. Not so very risky then.

Here is another one, IC could not be derived from random and unguided processes.

How is IC a necessary consequence of common design?

The way this scienmce thing works is that you infer a hypothesis from observations. Then you suppose the hypothesis is true, and consider what the necessary consequences are for that hypothesis. These are the predictions. You then go and test those predictions. This makes the hypothesis falsifiable. If the predictions are risky, are not what the current theory predicts and turn out to be correct, you publish.

IC is not a necessary prediction of common design or ID. And “convergence in phenotypical features from diverse environments have similar genetic design” is not testable.

The only problem is that you want to stop the science and investigation at the first 5 minutes of the show because they don’t give you all the answers. Darwinists are anti-science.

Not so. Darwinists are the ones actually doing the science, remember!

Now you are misrepresenting ID again! There is no political factor involved with ID when it comes to the designer. It is a non-starter. ID does not address and I suspect will never be able to address the designer question. We might be able to address the design process but never the designer unless the designer decides to show up. Just as Darwinism and archaeology will never be able to address the designer question when it comes to Stonehenge, unless the designer shows up.

We know plenty about the designers of stone henge. How many eyes they have, what they eat (we can even say exactly which 20 amino acids they require in their diet), etc. Sure, there are some details, but we have a pretty good idea.

Wrong again. Common design can be a part of ID. You might be thinking about Biblical Creationist who are against common ancestry, which is not a part of ID.

Oh, no! Common design says something about how the creator created. Ergo, not ID remember.

Pix: Now, from the claims of common design, how do you explain the distribution of placental and marsuial mammals?
Tel: I just gave that to you, why don’t you tell me what specifically is the problem with what I’ve said so I can understand what it is that you are looking for.

What I was hoping for was some explanation or rationalisation for why placental mammals are distributed in one way, and marsuial mammals another way. Why are they not all mixed in together. Check back and see what I did if you are not sure what an “explanation” is.

Pix: As opposed to the creationist fairy tale that God put them there?
Tel: Don’t put words in my mouth. I’ve never said that. I am only raising the questions that Darwinists must answer if Darwinian evolution is to be viewed as a viable scientific theory.

Are you honestly saying you do not believe God put them there? You are on record on this site as a creationist!

That is the point. Even at a 50% identify the probability of in hitting that convergence would be 4.75 X 101865. It is not believable with those odds.

Can you walk me through the maths here (and the English)?

Pix: The prediction from common descent is that the underlying genetic code will be different, while common design says the same. Guess what? The articles say they are different.
Tel: You don’t understand what the article is saying. It inferred that Apo(a) was homologous to the common plasminogen 90mya. At that time plasminogen diverged and became two different proteins but somehow 90my later they end up at a different protein Apo(a) with 50% identity performing essentially the same function. No, common descent do not make these predictions, but common design does.

It is you getting it wrong. From the second article “duplication and modification of different domains of the plasminogen gene“. Different mutations to different parts of the plasminogen gene, i.e., different genetic code.

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

The distribution of eyes is another puzzle for common design. The reverse-wired eye of vertebrates is common to sharks, eagles and man. The obverse-eye is, of course found in cephalopods, such as squid. Common descent says that they are distributed thus because the shark, eagle and man (together with all other vertebrates) share a common ancestor that happened to evolve the reverse wired eye, while the cephapods are not, but are instead descended from some ancestor with the first obverse-wired eye.

The prediction from common design should be that we each get the eye best suited to our environment and life style, regardless of any passing similarity in our morphology. Sure, fish have a backbone like us, as well as several other features in common, but living underwater, they will be better served by the obverse-wired eye, like the squid (or the squid would be better served by the reverse-wired eye). What you expect from common design is that each “kind” has the features that suits it best. If the obverse eye works best in this situation, then every beast in that situation should have it.

inunison
inunison
13 years ago

Hi The Pixie,

Your post #20 is another one that uses Theological argument for Common Descent. And I am asking you again to refrain from doing so. For the simple reason that I can give you numerous Theological Design arguments as to why distribution of eyes points to a single Creator. However as you are well aware none of these can be scientifically evaluated. But I am prepared to concede to your point if you can tell us what special insight you have into the mind of The Designer.

teleologist
13 years ago

The distribution of eyes is another puzzle for common design.

On the contrary, I say this is a much bigger problem for Darwinian evolution. Doesn’t Darwinian evolution say that we are in a biological arms race? Isn’t differential survival supposed to select out those organisms with less favorable phenotypes to their environments? Why would evolution continue to pass on these disadvantageous genes?

As inunison has said we can go back and forth with this all day, but I’ve given you my best empirical evidences for common design. Why don’t you answer my request and give me the best empirical evidence that you have for common descent. Please do not tell me that shark — mammal eye thing is the best empirical evidence that you have for common descent.

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

Teleologist

Now that is funny, because I was not that I am required to give a definition. Honestly, I have not thought about it in terms of some formal theory or hypothesis,

Really? This thread is about comparing one to the other. How can we do that properly without a formal statement of exactly what is entailed in each?

… but I will take a stab at it if it makes you happy. I look at common design in the sense that Darwinists look at common descent. Where a Darwinist sees similar features and attribute those similarities to common ancestry, I see a designer using the same features in different biological organisms.

The theory of common descent says life started a little under 4 billion years ago, and has been slowly evolving (by whatever mechanism) ever since, in numerous directions.
Does common design make any estimate about when species were created? For example, could there have been a single design event in the Cambrian, and all species we see to day evolved from then? I get the impression that the answer is no, but the last thing I want is to be accused of misrepresenting you guys. How much evolution does common design allow? To quantify that, does common design allow a lion to be related to a tiger (which many would call micro-evolution), a house cat, a dog (certainly macro-evolution), etc.

Oh I can do much better than Walt Brown’s web site. Would you consider the prestigious Journal Nature good science? How about the Science Magazine, PloS and PNAS? There is no difference between “good science” and “creation science”. Every day these prestigious scientific publications inform us about how new experiments have failed to provide any empirical evidence for the Darwinian claim of macroevolution. And sometimes I find stories like the one I cited above that shows why a design inference is much more plausible than an unguided and random process. I don’t think we need to start a thread about the truthfulness of these prestigious publications, do you?

I would not call any of them creation science. Creation science – as if you did not know – makes some very clear claims about the world, claims that contradict mainstream science. If creation scientists are the strict empiricalist that you claim they are, you should be able to point me to sites that have creation science and we can judge the truth of your claim.

From the way you are blatently dodging, I think we both know you cannot.

Of course you can, maybe not at our level of science today but maybe soon. e.g. Create a life from scratch, allow it to randomly mutate in different environments and see if it will randomly arrive at similar morphologies, and that would falsify common design.

No, that would only show it could be common descent, not that it could not be common design. And then there is the issue of running the experiment for billions of years, making it effectively impossible, and hence the claim unfalsifiable.

There are a lot of other ways to falsify common designs. Another method that is within our capabilities now is to take 2 diverse species and randomly mutate them and observe to see if they can produce the similar complexity as the paper I cited above.

Again, this would only show common descent was possible, not that common design was impossible.

As usual for ID/creationism, what you are really arguing for is anti-evolution. You can find nothing to support your own hypothesis, only to test ours.

How about you, do you know of a way to falsify common descent other than finding a fossil rabbit?

Very similar genetic sequences in distantly related organisms, but absent in closely related organisms.

We all know what these things are.

You seem to believe that you do, and yet when asked, you can offer no predictions that necessarily follow from your hypothesis. Time and again you show that actually you do not know it.

Start by stating your theory in as much detail as you can. Then think about what the necessary consequences are – if you theory is true, then logically these consequences must be true. See if you can explain why they must be true in that case. If you cannot, they are not predictions.

Then think about when it is actualy possible to run an experiment to confirm or deny the prediction.

Save us some time and instead of talking about it show us some empirical evidence of these predictions that proves your hypothesis. Common design is a proven fact e.g. GMO and gene therapy.

This is sadly a common trick in these debates – though the first time I have seen it at this site. Sometimes design means what the creator did, sometimes it includes what man has done. Be honest; is the theory of common design really about GMO and gene theory?

What is interesting about genetic engineering by mankind is that you find genetic sequences from one organism in a completely unrelated organism.

There is no doubt that design can and are reused in biological systems.

And there are clear signs of it when mankind reuses the genes from one organism in another. It sticks out like a sore thumb. Because it is against the natural pattern of genetic sequences, where that kind of reuse is not seen.

Pix: IC is not a necessary prediction of common design or ID. And “convergence in phenotypical features from diverse environments have similar genetic design” is not testable.
Tel: Originally I mentioned IC in response to your question about creation or design from my POV. But now I don’t know why it can’t be a part of common design. Blood clotting is universal similar in all animals throughout the history of life. If common descent is true and it can turn a fish into a fox like mammal and turn it back to a water dwelling mammal, I would think there should be equal diversity on how blood clotting works. Nope, common design is a better inference for IC to me.

So? IC is not a prediction of common design. Common design could be true, but IC structures could still be absent from the universe, if the designer created life like that.

There you go again spinning fairy tales. Prove it! Show me the evidence. Are there inscription on Stonehenge? Do you have pictures of the construction? The fact to the matter is that you don’t know anything about the designers but you somehow can infer that Stonehenge must be designed. Imagine that, what a quaint idea.

It is actually pretty well established that stone henge was built by stone age man. Not a proven fact – you do not get them in science – but well established nevertheless.

Can you tell me how does it show “how” the creator created?
Common design can be a part of ID, remember?

Common design says the creator used design features

What I was hoping for was some explanation or rationalisation for why placental mammals are distributed in one way, and marsuial mammals another way. Why are they not all mixed in together.

Huh? What part of the supercontinent theory did you not understand? Check wiki if you need help.

It was the part that fits with the theory of common design.Does the Wiki entry mention common design? Somehow I doubt.

Another explanation dodged.

Huh? I am a creationist but why would that make it necessary for me to conclude that God put the snake and all the insects and birds in Hawaii? There is no theological reason for me to do so and I do not yet have scientific reason either. I am skeptical of the Darwinian explanations and find it very unconvincing. Care to give another try other than floating?

Why not give your explanation? Oh, wait, this thread is about you avoiding explanations.

Please read the post for the detail.

There you go again. You just cannot explain anything. It seems almost pathelogical.

The problem appears to be that you don’t understand about genetics. The reason why they can even consider it as homologous is because the 2 proteins perform the same function and are inordinately similar.

But are coded from different sequences of DNA. As predicted by common descent.

On the contrary, I say this is a much bigger problem for Darwinian evolution. Doesn’t Darwinian evolution say that we are in a biological arms race? Isn’t differential survival supposed to select out those organisms with less favorable phenotypes to their environments? Why would evolution continue to pass on these disadvantageous genes?

But I gave an explanation of how it happened, given common descent. You as usual can give no explanation.

As inunison has said we can go back and forth with this all day, but I’ve given you my best empirical evidences for common design. Why don’t you answer my request and give me the best empirical evidence that you have for common descent. Please do not tell me that shark — mammal eye thing is the best empirical evidence that you have for common descent.

I have yet to see anything on this thread that resembles evidence for common design, just evidence you think opposes common descent. I have yet to see anyone attempt to show how common design can explain the features I have brought up. Indeed, inunison’s atest post seems to be arguing that we are not even allowed to do so!

Is anyone prepared to argue for common design? Or are we wasting our time?

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

Teleological

I disagree. All science is Creation science. Darwinians would like to make a distinction between Creation science with “science” . In truth Creation science is antithetical to Darwinian science, but then again Darwinian science isn’t real science so we don’t have a problem.

Okay, okay, you want to go down the road of sematic squabbling and cheap sniping. I guess that is no surprise.

So I will ask the question differently. Given your claim that creationist are “strict empiricalist”, can you point me to a web site that discusses the claims of the creation event in a strictly empirical way?

If you want to call it dodging that is fine. I’ve given you is what I believe to be the best empirical evidences for common design and against common descent. If you want to call the articles and web sites I referenced as not science or dodging, go right ahead. BTW, what is the best empirical evidence you have for common descent?

But I have seen no attempt at any evidence for common design, only evidence you think is against common descent.

Pix: No, that would only show it could be common descent, not that it could not be common design.
Tel: Er”, that’s what I am saying. You confidently declared common design is not falsifiable but now you confidently declared that it is falsifiable. Hmm”.

So you are making the assumption that if common descent is not true, then it necessarily follows that common design is true?

Do you think that is a reasonable assumption? I can think of a third possibility; that life on Earth was designed by a number of creators working in isolation. No common descent, no common design. Maybe you want to argue for the validity of your assumption, but to leave it unspoken is not the way to win an honest argument.

Duh. Isn’t this circular reasoning? How do Darwinians classify phylogeny? You stack the deck and classify organisms as close or distant relative by your perceived sequences and then you want people to disprove it by finding outgroups? But even if I find evidence that this is indeed case would that change you mind? I don’t think so. You know like the purple sea urchin, which has more homology to us than flies or worms.

Actually the relatedness of organisms was originally based on the cladogram devised by Linneaus, a creationist.

Please stop being a bombastic popinjay and explain what theory am I suppose to explain to you.

That would be the one you are arguing for. Check the thread title. If still in doubt I will tell you, it is the theory of common design.

I will get back to you on the rest of your post when you have explained what you theory – yes, the theory of common design still – actually says. Because right now I get the feeling you really want to avoid doing that. And if that is the case, I really cannot be bothered debating with you.

teleologist
13 years ago

I would not call any of them creation science. Creation science – as if you did not know – makes some very clear claims about the world, claims that contradict mainstream science. If creation scientists are the strict empiricalist that you claim they are, you should be able to point me to sites that have creation science and we can judge the truth of your claim.

I disagree. All science is Creation science. Darwinians would like to make a distinction between Creation science with “science” . In truth Creation science is antithetical to Darwinian science, but then again Darwinian science isn’t real science so we don’t have a problem.

From the way you are blatently dodging, I think we both know you cannot.

If you want to call it dodging that is fine. I’ve given you is what I believe to be the best empirical evidences for common design and against common descent. If you want to call the articles and web sites I referenced as not science or dodging, go right ahead. BTW, what is the best empirical evidence you have for common descent?

No, that would only show it could be common descent, not that it could not be common design.

Er”, that’s what I am saying. You confidently declared common design is not falsifiable but now you confidently declared that it is falsifiable. Hmm”.

Again, this would only show common descent was possible, not that common design was impossible.

That may be true but I would be left without my best empirical evidence for common design. As an empirical evidentialist, unlike Darwinian storytellers, I have to follow the evidence. I can understand how this might not be a problem for you.

what you are really arguing for is anti-evolution. You can find nothing to support your own hypothesis, only to test ours.

Are you experiencing some self induced cognitive dissonance?

Very similar genetic sequences in distantly related organisms, but absent in closely related organisms.

Duh. Isn’t this circular reasoning? How do Darwinians classify phylogeny? You stack the deck and classify organisms as close or distant relative by your perceived sequences and then you want people to disprove it by finding outgroups? But even if I find evidence that this is indeed case would that change you mind? I don’t think so. You know like the purple sea urchin, which has more homology to us than flies or worms.

Start by stating your theory in as much detail as you can.

Please stop being a bombastic popinjay and explain what theory am I suppose to explain to you.

Then think about when it is actualy possible to run an experiment to confirm or deny the prediction.

Oh you mean like the details that you’ve been giving on the empirical experiments to test the predictions of your Darwinian hypothesis?

This is sadly a common trick in these debates

Empirical evidence is a common trick. Now that is a Darwinian for you.

What is interesting about genetic engineering by mankind is that you find genetic sequences from one organism in a completely unrelated organism.

Oh you mean like in the case of convergent evolution, with thylacine-wolf, sandlance-chameleon, marsupial-placental counterparts, crustacean-dragonfly eyes, hedgehog-human Apo(a), etc” Don’t let these empirical evidence fool you it is just a debate trick.

Because it is against the natural pattern of genetic sequences, where that kind of reuse is not seen.

If you haven’t noticed these patterns have been set for millions and even billions of years ago. So to claim the current static pattern as evidence for no design is ludicrous. That would be analogous to saying a computer has always been the nature order of things and any redesign of it now does not prove that it was once designed.

So? IC is not a prediction of common design.

I never said that it was a prediction. I said it is a part of common design.

It is actually pretty well established that stone henge was built by stone age man. Not a proven fact – you do not get them in science – but well established nevertheless.

I understand that as a Darwinian you are not interested in empirical sciences but just for kicks how do you know that Stonehenge was built by humans? Please layout your evidence.

What I was hoping for was some explanation or rationalisation for why placental mammals are distributed in one way, and marsuial mammals another way. Why are they not all mixed in together.

I get it now. This is that theological question that inunison was talking about. As an empirical evidentialist, I have no idea why. But then again I have no idea why Stravinsky would compose the Rite of Spring the way he did either. It doesn’t mean that isn’t a reason for it but I just don’t know. Is that allowed in science, I don’t know?

It was the part that fits with the theory of common design.Does the Wiki entry mention common design? Somehow I doubt.

No of course not wiki is a Darwinian propaganda machine why would they say anything positive about common design. But I just want to make sure you understand the supercontinent theory and why animals are isolated.

Another explanation dodged.

Another explanation that Pixie failed to understand.

But are coded from different sequences of DNA. As predicted by common descent.

Duh of course they were from 2 different sequences of DNA that is why Darwinians call it Convergence. This is also the reason why it is evidence for common design and not common descent.

BTW, where, who and how was this prediction made before this study?

There you go again. You just cannot explain anything. It seems almost pathelogical.

Funny you should mention pathological because I don’t remember you giving any empirical evidence for common descent. OTOH, you been attacking the empirical evidences that I’ve offered for common design. Isn’t that interesting?

Is anyone prepared to argue for common descent?

teleologist
13 years ago

This may surprise you but biologist look at things called “fossils” , which, like archaeological evidence, are buried in the ground. They can even be radiodated, just like archaeological finds

Pixie, your ignorance is beyond help but I will point this out for the reader in case some might be confused by your misdirection. Pixie is a master of obfuscation and equivocation. What he did was to conflate what these other branches of sciences are trying to prove with Darwinian evolution. e.g. When an archaeologist looks at a pottery his task is to place that pottery in a historical context. He uses radiometric dating to fix a date on that artifact, that’s his end objective. A Darwinian evolutionist when they look at a fossil they need to know how that species originated from common descents POV. So when he says biologists also radiometrically date the fossil, this has absolutely no relevance to common descent. Fixing a date is the end objective for the archaeologist. Fixing a date for a Darwinian is only the beginning. This kind of ignorance can only be found in Darwinists like Pixie.

inunison
inunison
13 years ago

Is anyone prepared to argue for common descent?

Hi teleologist, that would be me, see post #11. As time permits I will continue.

Hi The Pixie,

It is here, that we can learn an extremely valuable lesson in the design/descent controversy. That lesson is this: rarely is it the data that are in dispute– it is the interpretation placed on the data that is in dispute. We both have access to the same data. You, however, look at the data and say that is proof of common ancestry. Me, on the other hand, examine the exact same data and suggest that is evidence of design. In essence, a stalemate exists. We both have an answer to the data at hand. And in many instances, either explanation might appear legitimate. However, the evolutionists’ argument works only if certain portions of the data for common descent are presented. If all the available data are allowed full exposure, then the inference from data fails.

Evidence for common descent entails too many anomalies, too many counter-instances, far too many phenomena which simply do not fit easily into the orthodox picture The proof of that lies in an examination of the data that have become available during the past several years. For example, Wysong provided an extensive list of such data, among which were the following examples:

# The octopus eye, pig heart, Pekingese dog’s face, milk of the ass, and the pronator quadratus muscle of the Japanese salamander are all very similar to analogous human structures. Do these similarities show evolutionary relationships?
# The weight of the brain in proportion to body weight is greater in the dwarf monkey of South America, the marmoset, than in man. Since this proportion is used to show relationship between primates and man, is the marmoset, therefore, more evolved than man?
# The plague bacterium (Pasteurella pestis [now designated as Yersinia pestis– BT/BH]) afflicts only man and rodent. Does this similarity show close relationship?
# Plant nettle stings contain acetylcholine, 5-hydroxytryptamine and histamine. These chemicals are also found in man. Are man and plant closely related?
# The root nodules of certain leguminous plants and the crustacean, Daphnia, contain hemoglobin, the blood pigment found in man. Are these organisms closely related to man?
# If certain specific gravity tests are run on the blood of various animals, the frog and snake are found to be more similar to man than the monkey is to man.
# If the concentration of red blood cells in animals is compared (millions per cubic millimeter of blood), man is more similar to frogs, fish, and birds than he is to sheep.
# Since bones are often used to show relationships, bone chemistry should be useful in this regard. If the calcium/phosphorus ratio is plotted against bone carbonate, man proves to be close to the turtle and elephant, the monkey close to the goose, and the dog close to the horse but distant from the cat.
# The tetrapyrole chemical ring is found in plant chlorophyll, in hemoglobin and other animal respiratory pigments, sporadically as a coloring pigment in molluscan shells, and also in the feathers of some bird species. How does tetrapyrole similarity speak for relationships

When someone– like Philip Gingerich– picks up two bones, concludes that they very likely came from an organism like an antelope, and then assigns them to a “four-legged whale,” that is not homology at work. Nor is it good science at work. It is sheer imagination and wishful thinking!

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

Inunison

I am sorry, but I get the same feeling from you. Again, no attempt to say what the theory of common design actually says, or to explain the data using common design.

Here we are considering the relative merits of two different theories. As a working scientist, I judge a theory by how useful it is. At the end of the day, we have no way of know what is actually right and wrong, all we can say is this theory explains the data well, this theory does not. So when we look at the data, let us see which theory explains it and which does not.

Early, I mentioned the distribution of placental and marsupial mammals. I said how common descent explains the distribution. No one here has attempted to show how common design explains the data. One-nil to common descent. I mentioned the distribution of obverse- and reverse-wired eyes, and I said how common descent explains the distribution. No one here has attempted to show how common design explains the data. Two-nil to common descent. In your latest post you have presented a list of supposed problem for common descent, but again no attempt to show how common design explains the data. I am already winning the explanations contest, so at this point I feel I can sit back and relax. Once you guys come up with some explanations, and level the score, I will get back to your list.

Back in your post 13, you made the claim “Common descent can explain or accommodate nested hierarchy…, but it does not predict it. There are mechanisms of descent from a common ancestor that would yield a different pattern.” I challenged you to show how common descent can fail to produce a nested hierarchy in post 16. Have you looked at this? Have you found an example of common descent that does not produce a nested hierarchy? If you are going to make claims like this, you should be prepared to back them up or admit you were wrong. If your claim is true, it should be easy to find that different pattern (you made the claiming knowing what you were talking about right?). So I will keep mentioning this until you address it by the way, to make sure it does not get forgotten.

inunison
inunison
13 years ago

Hi The Pixie,

The question of origins is plainly a matter of science history– not the domain of applied science. Contrary to the unilateral denials of many evolutionists, one’s worldview does indeed play heavily on one’s interpretation of scientific data, a phenomenon that is magnified in matters concerning origins, where neither repeatability, nor observation, nor measurement– the three immutable elements of the scientific method– may be employed. The fact is many proponents of evolutionism nevertheless persist in claiming exclusive “scientific” status for their popularized beliefs, while curtly dismissing (if not angrily deriding) all doubters. So you as a working scientist you should be aware that “explanations” you refer to are speculations or “just so” stories. The sad part is many scientist accept these as some kind of religious dogma.

Your “explanation” of distribution of placental and marsupial mammals is case in point. The fact is distribution of marsupials is not well answered by evolutionary theories. According to Michael Pitman, “the most diverse fossil assemblies have been obtained from South America and, later (Pliocene), Australia” (Pitman, Michael (1984), Adam and Evolution (London: Rider).). That is, according to the fossil record, the marsupials already were well defined as a distinct group before the alleged separation of Australia from other continents. Thus, geographic separation cannot be as significant to their development as evolutionists like to think (or as they would like everyone else to think).

There also are numerous other facts in regard to the distribution of living (and/or fossil) organisms. For example, evolutionists are forced to admit that marsupials once lived in Europe, Asia, and in abundance in North America, yet now are largely absent (except for opossums in the Americas). The Pixie, consider the following revealing admission from two evolutionists:

Living marsupials are restricted to Australia and South America (which were part of the supercontinent Gondwana); North American opossums are recent immigrants to the continent. In contrast, metatherian fossils from the Late Cretaceous are exclusively from Eurasia and North America (which formed the supercontinent Laurasia). This geographical switch remains unexplained (Cifelli, R.L. and B.M. Davis (2003), “Marsupial Origins,” Science, 302:1899–1902, December 12.).

I quite understand that you are upset (for the want of better word) because we are giving you facts showing your “explanations” to be plain speculations based on your particular view of what God (gods, aliens, agents…who ever) could and could not do.

inunison
inunison
13 years ago

Hi The Pixie,

So come on! Find one of these “mechanisms of descent from a common ancestor that would yield a different pattern” . You said they exist. Was this just a hope, a faith that they do? Were you just bluffing? Frankly, I am not going to believe what you say unless you can back up this claim.

I have had no illusions that you would believe me, as you reject anything that does not fit your understanding of origins and evolution, even papers coming from evolutionary scientists you outright reject.

So come on! Find one of these “mechanisms of descent from a common ancestor that would yield a different pattern” . You said they exist. Was this just a hope, a faith that they do? Were you just bluffing? Frankly, I am not going to believe what you say unless you can back up this claim.

You read my posts selectively as well.

…shows that – despite the supposed inherent contradiction – common descent can give a nested hierarchy.

Common descent can give nothing, it is just an metaphysical idea derived by inference from existing data and yes, it can explain nested hierarchy and also non-nested non-hierarchy. Hence it is devoid of meaning and usefulness for science.

inunison
inunison
13 years ago

I challenged you to show how common descent can fail to produce a nested hierarchy in post 16

It is quite evident that careful reading of my post #13 gives you an answer to which you replied:

No, this is wrong. The hierarchy would still exist, it would just be very difficult to determine.

To me it looks like desperate attempt to salvage your pet theory.

I also said that nested hierarchy is not evidence for or against either theory and I explained the reasons why I think so.

You might also want to read Denton, “Evolution: The Theory in Crisis” p 136,137 (I believe you have his book) and also article by Patterson, “Cladistics”, Biologist, 27:234-240 and Thompson, “A Radical Look at Fish-Tetrapod Relationships”, Paleobiology, 7: 153-156. Thoughts of this last two scientists you can also find in Denton’s book.

There is inherent contradiction between an orderly hierarchic pattern and random evolutionary process to top it up. Design, being non random event better explains data than common descent.

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

Inunison

The question of origins is plainly a matter of science history– not the domain of applied science. Contrary to the unilateral denials of many evolutionists, one’s worldview does indeed play heavily on one’s interpretation of scientific data, a phenomenon that is magnified in matters concerning origins, where neither repeatability, nor observation, nor measurement– the three immutable elements of the scientific method– may be employed.

Do you think the same is true of archeology or forensic science? I think that in all three cases scientists observe the evidence there today from events in the past. Chemists cannot see electrons, but still observe their effects, still measure their effects, still expect repeatability in those measurements. Forensicscientists cannot see the murder, but they still observe the effects, still measure those effects, still expect repeatability in those measurements. Biologists cannot see the evolution of the diversity of life we see today, but they still observe the effects, still measure those effects, still expect repeatability in those measurements.

The fact is many proponents of evolutionism nevertheless persist in claiming exclusive “scientific” status for their popularized beliefs, while curtly dismissing (if not angrily deriding) all doubters.

And rightly so! When the theory of common design gets stated in sufficient detail that you can draw predictions about what evidence will be around today, and then test those predictions, and show them to be consistently better than the predictions for common descent, then you can claim science.

That has happened for common descent, but not for common design. So scientists will inevitably persist in claiming exclusive “scientific” status for common descent. And the more IDists try to pass off common design as science, as equivalent to common descent, without actually bothering to do the first step and stating exactly what that claim consists of, the more derision you will receive.

The ball is in your court. Do the science. The first step is to clearly state what it is you are claiming. What is the theory of common design? When did the design happen? What is related to what? Etc.

So you as a working scientist you should be aware that “explanations” you refer to are speculations or “just so” stories. The sad part is many scientist accept these as some kind of religious dogma.

They start as speculations, then scientists think about the necessary consequences, and what would be expected in the world today, then look for confirming (or refuting) evidence. That is science. Same for biology, geology, physics.

Then the creationists decide they do not like that science because it contradicts their interpreation of the Bible, so they label it a “just-so” story. That is dogma.

Your “explanation” of distribution of placental and marsupial mammals is case in point. The fact is distribution of marsupials is not well answered by evolutionary theories. According to Michael Pitman, “the most diverse fossil assemblies have been obtained from South America and, later (Pliocene), Australia” (Pitman, Michael (1984), Adam and Evolution (London: Rider).). That is, according to the fossil record, the marsupials already were well defined as a distinct group before the alleged separation of Australia from other continents. Thus, geographic separation cannot be as significant to their development as evolutionists like to think (or as they would like everyone else to think).

Pitman is then ignorant of the claims of common descent. Marsupials arose on the supercontinent that consisted of Australia, South America and Antartica (as I said in post 8). So their fossils are found in Australia, South America and Antartica. They were geologically separate from the rest of the world. See here for example (you will probably want to dismiss that as a “just-so” story, but please at least acknowledge that common descent does have an explanation).

Now, how about that common design explanation?

There also are numerous other facts in regard to the distribution of living (and/or fossil) organisms. For example, evolutionists are forced to admit that marsupials once lived in Europe, Asia, and in abundance in North America, yet now are largely absent (except for opossums in the Americas). The Pixie, consider the following revealing admission from two evolutionists:
Living marsupials are restricted to Australia and South America (which were part of the supercontinent Gondwana); North American opossums are recent immigrants to the continent. In contrast, metatherian fossils from the Late Cretaceous are exclusively from Eurasia and North America (which formed the supercontinent Laurasia). This geographical switch remains unexplained (Cifelli, R.L. and B.M. Davis (2003), “Marsupial Origins,” Science, 302:1899–1902, December 12.).

So you do know that Australia and South America were joined, but you still quoted Pitman, who thinks that marsupials in South America are a problem. The site I linked to before does explain this observation. Marsupials appeared on the northern supercontinent first, and migrated south; placentals later appeared in the north, and out competed the marsupials there, but could not migrate south as the continents had moved apart. Yes, another speculation (or, as it opposes a literal interpretation of the Bible, a “just-so” story). But a speculation that is supported by the placement of the fossils, that fits with the findings in geology about the movement of tectonic plates.

As opposed to the deafening silence we get from the common design proponents when asked to explain this observation.

I quite understand that you are upset (for the want of better word) because we are giving you facts showing your “explanations” to be plain speculations based on your particular view of what God (gods, aliens, agents”who ever) could and could not do.

What I am highlightong is that your theory does not allow you make speculations! This is why it is not science. This is why it is not useful. This is why scientists will stick with common descent. A theory that makes predictions and gets them right 90% of the time and can explain 90% of what we observe is far superior to a theory that gives no predictions and offers no explanations at all.

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

There is inherent contradiction between an orderly hierarchic pattern and random evolutionary process to top it up. Design, being non random event better explains data than common descent.

If the contradiction is real, you could devise a random evolutionary process, and show that it produces a pattern that is not a nested hierarchy. Is it really that difficult to find one single example of common descent that does not give a nested hierarchy? You seem very sure of yourself, so must think it is possible? Simple even?

But you cannot do it! Instead you refer me to books where other people make the same claim. Why should I believe them? Have any of them got an example? One, just one example of common descent not giving a nested hierarchy will prove you right, and me (and all the evolutionists) wrong. But I bet Denton did not do that.

Have a go. Indeed, anyone reading this, have a go. Can anyone out there in ID-land find me an example of common descent that does not give a nested hierarchy?

I will get the ball rolling, shall I? (the blog s/w removes leading spaces and backslashes for some reason from preformated text, so it looks a bit odd)

..A
..|
..B
./.*
C…D

Here we have three tiers, the top tier consists of all the animals descended from the first colony of species A (that is A, B, C and D), the second tier is all the animals descended from the first colony of species B (that is B, C and D), while the bottom tier is all the animals descended from the first colony of species C (that is just C), and an equivalent group for species D. Groups C and D nested inside group B, while group B nests inside group A. A nested hierarchy.

A
|
B
|
C

Here we have three tiers again, the top tier consists of all the animals descended from the first colony of species A (that is A, B and C), the second tier is all the animals descended from the first colony of species B (that is B and C), while the bottom tier is all the animals descended from the first colony of species C (that is just C). Group C nested inside group B, while group B nests inside group A. A nested hierarchy. Again.

….A
…/.*
..B…D
./…/.*
C…E…F

Here we have three tiers again, the top tier consists of all the animals descended from the first colony of species A (that is A, B, C, D, E and F), the second tier is all the animals descended from the first colony of species B (that is B and C) and a second group descended from D (that is D, E and F), while the bottom tier has groupings for C, E and F. Groups E and e nested inside group D, group C nested inside group B, while groups B and D nest inside group A. A nested hierarchy. Again.

So now it is your turn. See what you can do. Read what Denton says, surely that will lead you to the answer. Roll dice if you want it random.

But do not expect to be taken too seriously until you have had a go!

As an aside, the second law of thermodynamics ultimately comes down to the fact that energy is distrubuted at random. A law that covers all physics, chemistry and biology without exception, based on randomness. How about that for an inherent contradiction!

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

Teleologist

Ah, more of the semantic squabbling. Just tell me what you mean by “common design”, if “theory of common design” confuses you so.

Not only does this demonstrate ignorance of science, it is down right silly. In archaeology we can test the digs, radiometric date the finds. We can study the culture through the tools, art and writings from the past. We can test every one of these aspects of a civilization with our experiences today. We can’t do that with Darwinian evolution. When Darwinists claim that a major taxonomic form mutated into another sometime in the distant past.

Wow, what an ignorance of biology you are displaying. This may surprise you but biologist look at things called “fossils”, which, like archaeological evidence, are buried in the ground. They can even be radiodated, just like archaeological finds (the dates contradict the Bible, so you will want to discredit them, but this is what biologists do). And do you know what? Biologists also test their theories with out observations of species alive today too!

Who are you trying to kid? I’ve asked you repeatedly to provide what you consider as the strongest empirical evidence for common descent and up to now you still have not shown any, why?

I have decided to debate the ID way, which is to just rubbish the opposition’s theory, and say nothing at all about mine. There is lots of evidence for common descent, and it explains everything we see in nature. In contrast, common design has many facets that do not make sense or just contradict what we see.

Easy.

inunison
inunison
13 years ago

Hi The Pixie,

What I am highlightong (sic) is that your theory does not allow you make speculations! This is why it is not science. This is why it is not useful.

Now this sounds like a cheap propaganda that is often encountered debating these issues. I am disappointed that you are using it as well.

You often claim that the concept of design has never been useful in science. You are plain wrong. A nice example that demonstrates this comes from William Harvey, who employed teleological reasoning to uncover the circulation of blood. Teleology played a crucial role in providing the motivation for doing science.

Do you think The Pixie that this world is governed by haphazard and chance? Or rather do you believe that it is ruled by reason? Is not the core of reality based on reason? Modern science is premised on the faith that reality is rational and coherent and it owes this faith to the teleologists and not the materialists.

Even Kant admits great respect for the argument because of its stimulus to scientific enquiry: he realizes that many biological investigations have been motivated by the expectation of purpose in organic structures.

Kant writes of Design:

“It enlivens the study of nature. . . . It suggests ends and purposes, where our observation would not have detected them by itself, and extends our knowledge of nature by means of the guiding concept of special unity, the principle of which is outside Nature.”

Kant’s notion of teleology had an enormous influence on the work of German biologists in the first half of the nineteenth century. Like Kant, for the most part these biologists did not regard teleology and mechanism as polar opposites, but rather as explanatory modes complementary to each other. Mechanism was expected to provide a completely accurate picture of life at the chemical level, without the need to invoke ‘vital forces.’ Indeed, Kant and many of the German biologists were strongly committed to the idea that all objects in Nature, be they organic or inorganic, are completely controlled by mechanical physical laws. These scientists had no objection to the idea that living beings are brought into existence by the mechanical action of physical laws. What they objected to was the possibility of constructing a scientific theory, based on mechanism alone, which described that coming into being, and that could completely describe the organization of life. . . . In Kant’s view, a mechanical explanation”could be given only when there is a clear separation between cause and effect. In living beings, causes and effects are inextricably mixed. . . . ultimate biological explanations require a special non-mechanical notion of causality – teleology – in which each part is simultaneously cause and effect. Parts related to the whole in this way transcend mechanical causality.

It is clear to many that biology has long been drawing from teleology to succeed. Although it officially denies teleology, biology works only because it relies on teleology. The illusion is that biology’s success has been guided by the assumptions of materialism and Darwinian evolution. Yet materialism cannot justify the constant reference to intelligent design concepts and language so ubiquitous in biology and Darwinian evolution is more like icing on a cake than any kind of core ingredient.

It will take only a slight nudge to shift the hidden teleology of biology out into the open. That is, ID researchers can easily do all that science has done and perhaps more by simply viewing a protein as a sensor rather than being like a sensor. Science is built upon the faith that reality is rational and ID can take this faith into the realm of biology, where thus far, the discovery of the irrational has become the stop point at the hands of the irrational blind watchmaker.

teleologist
13 years ago

Check the thread title. If still in doubt I will tell you, it is the theory of common design

I know what the problem is, Pixie can’t read. The title of this thread does not say THEORY of common design. And he can’t read what I said as in comment #21. ” Honestly, I have not thought about it in terms of some formal theory or hypothesis” .

I don’t know of a “theory of common design” , but then again I don’t consider the “theory of common descent” (according to Pixie) is a theory either.

Do you think the same is true of archeology or forensic science? I think that in all three cases scientists observe the evidence there today from events in the past. ” Biologists cannot see the evolution of the diversity of life we see today, but they still observe the effects, still measure those effects, still expect repeatability in those measurements.

Not only does this demonstrate ignorance of science, it is down right silly. In archaeology we can test the digs, radiometric date the finds. We can study the culture through the tools, art and writings from the past. We can test every one of these aspects of a civilization with our experiences today. We can’t do that with Darwinian evolution. When Darwinists claim that a major taxonomic form mutated into another sometime in the distant past. Can we reproduce that event or a similar event today? To make this comparison is ludicrous. Next thing Pixie will be telling us that Darwinian evolution is as well tested as gravity.

When the theory of common design gets stated in sufficient detail that you can draw predictions about what evidence will be around today, and then test those predictions, and show them to be consistently better than the predictions for common descent, then you can claim science.

That has happened for common descent

Who are you trying to kid? I’ve asked you repeatedly to provide what you consider as the strongest empirical evidence for common descent and up to now you still have not shown any, why?

Marsupials appeared on the northern supercontinent first, and migrated south; placentals later appeared in the north, and out competed the marsupials there, but could not migrate south as the continents had moved apart. Yes, another speculation (or, as it opposes a literal interpretation of the Bible, a “just-so” story).

Pixie don’t let you religious Atheism get in the way of science. Yes, you are promoting a just-so story because you have no empirical evidence to support this fairy tale. When Darwinists don’t know the answer you always fall back to that tired diatribe about survival of the fittest. There is absolutely no evidence that selection and environment have anything to do with the extinction of marsupial in the northern hemisphere.

Do you know when the marsupial and placental lines first appeared? What sorts of animals were competing with each other? What was the environment that caused the fitness? How strong was the selection coefficient? What about the great extinction event, could that have anything to do with their extinction? You don’t know any hard evidence to make that conclusion, yet you sit there nonchalantly and declare the placental out competed the marsupial because it fits your Darwinian fairy tale. Go ahead but don’t expect rational people to accept it.

inunison
inunison
13 years ago

Hi The Pixie,

Your post #32 does not show that common descent predicts nested hierarchy. We are going in circles here but let me repeat from post #13:

Any set of objects, whether or not they originated in an evolutionary process, can be classified hierarchically. Chairs, for instance, are independently created; they are not generated by an evolutionary process: but any given list of chairs could be classified hierarchically, perhaps by dividing them first according to whether or not they were made of wood, then according to their color, by date of manufacture, and so on. The fact that life can be classified hierarchically is not, in itself, an argument for common descent.

Which makes your challenge “Can anyone out there in ID-land find me an example of common descent that does not give a nested hierarchy?” nonsensical.

There are various ways in which existing organisms could descend from a common ancestor and not exhibit a nested hierarchy. Anagenesis, loss of characters, replacement of characters, transposition of characters, atavism (masking and unmasking), and convergence all work against a hierarchical pattern, and the bare hypothesis of universal common ancestry says nothing about the rate or prevalence of those processes. They can be invoked in whatever blend is necessary to explain whatever pattern is found. Therefore, the claim that the hypothesis of universal common ancestry makes a falsifiable prediction that organisms will exhibit a pattern of nested hierarchy is incorrect. In short, nested hierarchy is not a falsifiable prediction of common ancestry because the theory includes without restriction processes that work against that pattern. Those processes can be invoked in any blend to account for any non-nested pattern that is observed.

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

Inunison

Teleology played a crucial role in providing the motivation for doing science.

Sure. But not actually in the science itself.

Do you think The Pixie that this world is governed by haphazard and chance? Or rather do you believe that it is ruled by reason? Is not the core of reality based on reason? Modern science is premised on the faith that reality is rational and coherent and it owes this faith to the teleologists and not the materialists.

Now this sounds like a cheap propaganda that is often encountered debating these issues. I am disappointed that you are using it as well.

If you stop to actually think for a moment, it might cross your mind that science is all about reason, laws and cause and effect. It also acknowledges that there are random elements too (see quantum mechanics for that).

Even Kant … blind watchmaker.

Great. So you can find an example of how the theory of common design has been used then? Oh, no, to do that you might have to let me into the secret of exactly what the theory of common design actually is.

Your post #32 does not show that common descent predicts nested hierarchy. We are going in circles here but let me repeat from post #13:

No, it only shows that – despite the supposed inherent contradiction – common descent can give a nested hierarchy. But the point was to show that it really is not that difficult to present a pattern of comon descent on this thread. So how come you cannot?

Any set of objects, whether or not they originated in an evolutionary process, can be classified hierarchically. Chairs, for instance, are independently created; they are not generated by an evolutionary process: but any given list of chairs could be classified hierarchically, perhaps by dividing them first according to whether or not they were made of wood, then according to their color, by date of manufacture, and so on. The fact that life can be classified hierarchically is not, in itself, an argument for common descent.
Which makes your challenge “Can anyone out there in ID-land find me an example of common descent that does not give a nested hierarchy?” nonsensical.

Oh, please, the desparation to avoid the issue! Any set of objects can be classified hierarchically. But we are talking about a nested hierarchy. Something you said is not always the case for common descent: “Common descent can explain or accommodate nested hierarchy (though not without difficulty in the specific case of Neo-Darwinism), but it does not predict it. There are mechanisms of descent from a common ancestor that would yield a different pattern.”

So come on! Find one of these “mechanisms of descent from a common ancestor that would yield a different pattern”. You said they exist. Was this just a hope, a faith that they do? Were you just bluffing? Frankly, I am not going to believe what you say unless you can back up this claim.

inunison
inunison
13 years ago

Hi The Pixie

These ideas might interest you and relate to some issues in theoretically exploring design

Introduction

Intelligent design is a unique conjoining of scientific, mathematical, and investigative disciplines. Mathematics is utilized principally for probabilistic calculations of events. Knowledge from physics and chemistry enables observational accounts to correspond with empirical data. Special sciences such as archeology and forensics provide foundations for design criteria, while psychology and neuroscience lend premises for understanding intelligence. The observational method of investigation employed by intelligent design is derived from time-tested scientific methodology:

Causality

Intelligent design employs the principal of causality, or cause and effect, to study specific phenomena. The effects observed are design, with intelligence inferred as the cause.

Induction

Intelligent design operates by an inductive procedure of inquiry wherein science explores new areas of knowledge by moving from facts and data that are well-established, and extrapolating from those areas of knowledge into the obscure knowledge that is being pursued. More specifically, ID makes retrodictive inferences about the past from present evidence.

The purpose of using inductive reasoning by intelligent design is to formulate general principles based on specific observations of recurring patterns in samples. So, samples used in an inductive proposition must share one or a subset of designated properties. The induction holds if
1)the examples share the designated properties, and
2)the dissimilarities do not make a relevant difference to the property(ies) one wishes to explain.

So, how does ID utilize inductive reasoning when it proposes that the characteristic of design, or a purposeful arrangement of parts, is found in phenomena? Design can be found in phenomena we factually know were intelligently designed, and design can also be found in phenomena where the cause is not known, e.g. specific microbiological components, certain aspects of the universe, and the universe as a whole.

When considering the biological and microbiological realm, ID proposes that specific features of living cells and features of man-made machines share the characteristic of design, or a purposeful arrangement of parts.

The likenesses between man-made information structures and bio-informational structures are so strong, that they are by definition the same type of phenomena. Additionally, the likenesses between man-made mechanical structures and bio-molecular machines are so strong, indeed, the likenesses are so close; by definition they are the same type of phenomena.

When considering the universe, ID proposes that specific cosmological features have the characteristic of purposeful arrangement of parts, since the multitude of natural forces, universal constants, and fundamental characteristics are supremely fit for the purpose of allowing life to exist.

Uniformity

ID is an application of the principle of uniformity to observed phenomena which have the characteristic of design.

The basis used in this observation is the verifiable fact that intelligent agents use building techniques that:

* infuse large amounts of information into data structures at one time
* develop complex communication systems
* make production capabilities based on informatic code
* channel energy through nonrandom pathways
* involve very complicated development processes
* bring about results that are of infinitesimally small probability
* utilize high quantity and quality of coordinated parts

These are capabilities we see intelligent agents employing, and these capabilities are exactly what we see in living systems.

Uniform sensory experience

Another aspect of uniformity utilized by empirical science is the uniform experience of the senses.
ID employs uniform sensory experience by noting that that certain effects, especially functional information, have only one repeatedly and uniformly observed cause; intelligence.

Statistical probability

Intelligent design premises are based on a statistical warranted inference, called the Design Inference. This probabilistic inference is being developed by a mathematician and philosopher named William Dembski, who has named the main premise of the inference Specified Complexity. Specified Complexity probabilistically sifts through possible causal explanations, eliminating non-teleological causes that do not work towards an intended goal, leaving the researcher to a statistically warranted inference to design.

Causal adequacy

ID proposes that specific natural phenomena that give the appearance of design may have a fundamentally intelligent cause. By inductive logic, intelligence is proposed as the cause for the characteristic of design in specific phenomena.

* There is no observational or verifiable scientific evidence for an ateleological origin of designed phenomena. The insistence that designed objects in nature have an ateleological origin rests on metaphysical arguments, not scientific ones. In addition to this complete lack of evidence, it is extremely improbable that chance and necessity gave rise to these designed phenomena.
* However, there is reliable and verifiable evidence demonstrating that intelligence can form these structures, making intelligent design a viable explanatory option.

Interpretation

In interpretation, it is a purely a posteriori and inductive argument based on the repeated application of the cause and effect between the well-established effects of intelligent causes and specific attributes of phenomena in nature.

If you are so inclined you may also want to check this paper:

The origin of biological information and the higher taxonomic categories

This is also very relevant and relates to some questions that are important to those interested in ID and to those interested in understanding the world from a neo–Darwinian viewpoint

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

Inunison

… it can explain nested hierarchy and also non-nested non-hierarchy.

Then show us one example of how common descent can give a non-nested non-hierarchy.

I can only think of one reason for you not doing so and that is that you are unable to do so. And if you cannot do so, then you know this claim is false. And if you are knowingly making false claims, I have no desire to continue debating with you.

Support your claim, find just one example of how common descent can give something other than a non-nested non-hierarchy, one of these “mechanisms of descent from a common ancestor that would yield a different pattern” and I will look at the other points you make.

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

When an archaeologist looks at a pottery his task is to place that pottery in a historical context.

And when a biologist looks at a fossil, his task is to place the fossil in an evolutionary context. Kind of similar so far.

He uses radiometric dating to fix a date on that artifact, that’s his end objective.

And the biologist uses radiometric dating to fix a date on the fossil. And like the archaeologist, the biologist uses that information to build a picture of how the universe works. For the biologist, that means how evolution has happened, for the archaeologist, that means how history happened. This may surprise you but there is more to archaeology than just finding out the dates!

A Darwinian evolutionist when they look at a fossil they need to know how that species originated from common descents POV.

And the archaeologist needs to know how the artifact originated, and how the culture that built the artefact originated.

So when he says biologists also radiometrically date the fossil, this has absolutely no relevance to common descent.

What? Of course it does, it places the organism in the “tree of life” that is common descent. The height in the tree is the date of the fossil. It is directly relevant.

Fixing a date is the end objective for the archaeologist.

This kind of ignorance can only be found in IDists like Teleologist!

inunison
inunison
13 years ago

Hi The Pixie,

Really don’t like repeating myself, so hopefully now you can stop with your mantra

There are various ways in which existing organisms could descend from a common ancestor and not exhibit a nested hierarchy. Anagenesis, loss of characters, replacement of characters, transposition of characters, atavism (masking and unmasking), and convergence all work against a hierarchical pattern, and the bare hypothesis of universal common ancestry says nothing about the rate or prevalence of those processes. They can be invoked in whatever blend is necessary to explain whatever pattern is found. Therefore, the claim that the hypothesis of universal common ancestry makes a falsifiable prediction that organisms will exhibit a pattern of nested hierarchy is incorrect

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

Inunison

Really don’t like repeating myself, so hopefully now you can stop with your mantra

I am not asking you to repeat the same assertion again and again and again. I am asking you to think about that claim, and show how it can possibly be true. Show an example. If your assertion was true, why would that be difficult? I believe either you know no example is possible, or you do not understand what it is you are posting. Either way, why should I want to debate with someone who posts stuff like that?

How Common Descent Works

Imagine it is the year 2200, and you are sitting up in heaven, looking down at your descedants. There are your children (perhaps in heaven with you too by now), your grandchildren, you great grandchildren, and so on. Each of your great grandchildren is, of course, the child of one of your grandchildren, so you could group all your great grandchildren in terms of which of your grandchildren is their parent. But wait. Each of those great grandchildren is a grand child of your children, so you might want to group all your great grandchildren in terms of which of your children is their grandparent. Then again, you just say they are all your great grandchildren, one big happy group.

And do you know what? The first set of groups (great grandchildren who share a parent) nests entirely inside the second group (great grandchildren who share a grandparent), and the second group nests entirely within the third group (great grandchildren who share a great grandparent). And that has to be true.

Let us now pick out a few descendants. The person at the top is you, the common ancestor. Let us suppose you have a child called Brian, Brian has a child that I will call Charlie, and Charlie has a child called David. For this to be nested hierarchy, it must be true that any grouping that is lower in the hierarchy must nest entirely within groups higher up the hierarchy. In this case we have a grouping that is “Charlie’s descendants”, so for this to be a nested hierarchy it must always be the case that the “Charlie’s descendants” group nests completely within the “Brian’s descendants” group, and also, higher up the hierarchy, within the “Inunison’s descendants”.

So is this necessarily the case? Yes! If David and his siblings are all descendants of Charlie, and if Charlie is a descendant of Brian, then it must also be true that David and his siblings are also descendants of Brian; that is, it must be true that any member of the “Charlie’s descendants” group is also a member of the “Brian’s descendants” group. Or to put it aother way, it is necessarily true that the “Charlie’s descendants” group nests completely within the “Brian’s descendants” group.

The only possible problem arises if there is incest. If you were a Brahminy Blind Snake, which reproduces asexually, that would be impossible, and the nested hierarchy would be a certainty.

Evolution is like the Brahminy Blind Snake; a new species evolves from a single earlier species. It is not possible for two species to come together to form a third – species can be defined as animals unable to breed, so that excludes any coming together.

How any Pattern of Common Descent can be Assigned to a Nested Hierarchy

I challenged Inunison to produce some pattern of common descent, some mechanism that will not produce a nested hierarchy knowing that it is not possible. Whatever pattern of descent he comes up with, if every organism can be traced back to the common ancestor, and each species has evolved from a single previous species – the requirements of common descent – then here is what I shall do…

Let me first assume that Inunison’s diagram has the single common ancestor at the top, and all the species extant today at the bottom, as I did earlier. If not, we could just turn his diagram so it is, and this allows me to explain better.

I draw two horizontal lines, the first about a third of the way down, the second two thirds of the way down. These present points in time; for real evolution they might be two billion years ago and one billion years ago. They let us see what species were alive at that time. Let us say these were time t1 and t2. The bottom of the diagram I will call t3 (today), and the top, representing when life began, t0.

And now it is just like before. All the species at the bottom, at t3, are like the great grandchildren. They can all be grouped by which species at t2 they are descended from, just as the great grandchildren could be grouped by the grandchildren they are descended from. Or they can be grouped by which species at t1 they are descended from, just as the great grandchildren could be grouped by the children they are descended from.

Let us now pick out a few species. The organism at the top I will call alpha. Alpha has a descendant alive at time t1 called beta, beta has a descendant alive at time t2 that I will call gamma, and gamma has a descendant still aline today (time t3) called delta. For this to be nested hierarchy, it must be true that any grouping that is lower in the hierarchy must nest entirely within groups higher up the hierarchy. In this case we have a grouping that is “gamma’s descendants”, so for this to be a nested hierarch it must always be the case that the “gamma’s descendants” group nests completely within the “beta’s descendants” group, and also, higher up the hierarchy, within the “alpha’s descendants”.

So is this necessarily the case? Yes! If the species delta and the closely related species are all descendants of species gamma, and if species gamma is a descendant of species beta, then it must also be true that species delta and the closely related species are also descendants of species beta, that is, it must be true that any member of the “gamma’s descendants” group is also a member of the “beta’s descendants” group. Or to put it aother way, it is necessaril true that the “gamma’s descendants” group nests completely within the “beta’s descendants” group.

No Discernable Nested Hierarchy?

Despite the above, it could still be the case that the nested hierarchy cannot be reconstructed. It could be that changes are too frequent for long distance relationships to be established. The nested hierarchy still exists, but we cannot see it properly.

Inunison clings to the following claim (repeating it as a mantra, without actually understanding what it means I suspect):

There are various ways in which existing organisms could descend from a common ancestor and not exhibit a nested hierarchy. Anagenesis, loss of characters, replacement of characters, transposition of characters, atavism (masking and unmasking), and convergence all work against a hierarchical pattern, and the bare hypothesis of universal common ancestry says nothing about the rate or prevalence of those processes. They can be invoked in whatever blend is necessary to explain whatever pattern is found. Therefore, the claim that the hypothesis of universal common ancestry makes a falsifiable prediction that organisms will exhibit a pattern of nested hierarchy is incorrect.

Perhaps this is clever, because if challenged, the author can say he only meant no discernableThe Challenge

Unfortunately, Inunison has fallen for it, and makes some rather stronger claims (post 13):

Common descent can explain or accommodate nested hierarchy (though not without difficulty in the specific case of Neo-Darwinism), but it does not predict it. There are mechanisms of descent from a common ancestor that would yield a different pattern. If common descent can yield either nested hierarchy or something else, then the presence of nested hierarchy does not count as evidence of common descent.

I challenge Inunison to support these claims. All he has to do is provide one single example of common descent that does not give a nested hierarchy, just on of these “mechanisms of descent from a common ancestor that would yield a different pattern”. Unfortunately for Inunison, this will require that he actually thinks about what he is posting, rather than repeating the same claim again and again. If the claim was true, and if Inunison actually understood what he claims, this would be easy. He could prove me wrong with no trouble at all.

But if I am right, he will not find that one example, and instead will dodge the issue, as he has studiously done up to now.

Bradford
Bradford
13 years ago

Common design: shared design as determined by anomalies to the application of natural selection. They would include the concept of front loading, origin of life and DNA repair mechanisms. All three entail challenges to selection and provide a basis for a design alternative.

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

Bradford

Welcome to the debate, and thank you for being brave enough to define common design for us. I will wait and see if the others agree with you before commenting further.

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

Strict Empirical Evidentialists
Back in post 15, Teleoloist made the extraordinary claim:

Creationists are strict empirical evidentialists

In post 18, he elaborates:

Creationists are strict evidentialists when it comes to science because we understand what science is. When we make a hypothesis, we must be able to test the premise of that hypothesis through repeatable observation and predictions.

Frankly, I do not believe that. So I challenged Teleologist to back up that claim. For a couple of posts he pretended that all science is creation science – despite the obvious fact that nearly all scientists reject creationism! For example, in post 21 he says:

Oh I can do much better than Walt Brown’s web site. Would you consider the prestigious Journal Nature good science? How about the Science Magazine, PloS and PNAS? There is no difference between “good science” and “creation science” .

Does he really think anyone will believe that the journal Nature is full of examples of creationist making hypotheses, testing the premise of that hypothesis through repeatable observation and predictions?

So in post 27 I rephrase the question, to give him less room to wriggle his way out of it:

So I will ask the question differently. Given your claim that creationist are “strict empiricalist” , can you point me to a web site that discusses the claims of the creation event in a strictly empirical way?

The response? Ignore the question!

There seems to be a common tactic here. Just as with the claim by Inunison that common descent need not produce nested hiarachy, Teleologist seems to think it is reasonable to, well, make stuff up! And if your opponent calls your bluff, just avoid giving a proper answer for a few posts and hope he forgets. And as I said in my post to Inunison, I see no point debating with someone who is in the habit of just making stuff up.

So I challenge Teleologist to support his claim: “Creationists are strict evidentialists when it comes to science because we understand what science is. When we make a hypothesis, we must be able to test the premise of that hypothesis through repeatable observation and predictions.”

inunison
inunison
13 years ago

Hi The Pixie,

You are telling me that I am making it difficult for you to check my previous posts? Come now. If you read them in the first place instead of just following you own train of thoughts, you would be able to find my thoughts on your challenge. My post #43 repeats main point. If you want details from evolutionary literature go to these papers/articles:

Bushes in the Tree of Life

Pegasoferae, an unexpected mammalian clade revealed

Platypus sex is XXXXX-rated

the eyeless, earless sea urchin has genes that in humans are involved in detecting sight and sound

spindle cell neurons in whales, which are only found in primates

inunison
inunison
13 years ago

Hi The Pixie,

Instead of throwing challenge after challenge you need to go back to posts and actually read what I presented or linked to. I gave you the list of evolutionary mechanisms that do give other pattern than nested hierarchy, than I gave you examples that cannot be explained using common descent. On top of all that I gave you links to evolutionary literature that has huge reserves regarding common ancestry and classifications that is done according to orthodox Darwinism. With the slight of hand you rejected all of that but still keep on asking for mechanisms and examples.

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

I threw you exactly one challenge, hardly “throwing challenge after challenge”. And that challenge was to substantiate what you posted. After three days, you cannot find that one example of common descent that is not a nested hierarchy. Just one trivial thing to do to prove me wrong – well, trivial if all that stuff you posted and linked to actually meant something. I know it did not; I know you cannot do it, of course. Instead, you have descended to accusing me of “slight of hand”, and making a vague claims that you have already fulfilled the challenge. I salute you audacity!

I gave you the list of evolutionary mechanisms that do give other pattern than nested hierarchy, than [then?] I gave you examples that cannot be explained using common descent.

Good for you. But the challenge was about common descent giving a pattern other than a nested hierarchy. What you seem to be saying is that you listed evolutionary mechanisms that do not involve common descent. So as examples of common descent not giving a nested hierarchy… well, they are not really going to cut it, are they?

Actually, I would be interested to know which post has that list, I do not remember it. Odd that you somehow neglected to tell us all which post you did that in, making it difficut to go back and check.

So to recap, the challenge revolves around your claim in post 13 (by the way, do you see what I am doing here? I am quoting an earlier post by you, to support what I am saying. If you want people to believe you have already answered the challenge, you might want to do that):

Common descent can explain or accommodate nested hierarchy (though not without difficulty in the specific case of Neo-Darwinism), but it does not predict it. There are mechanisms of descent from a common ancestor that would yield a different pattern. If common descent can yield either nested hierarchy or something else, then the presence of nested hierarchy does not count as evidence of common descent.

The claim is about these “mechanisms of descent from a common ancestor that would yield a different pattern”. The challenge, to show us one of those mechanisms with an example of common descent not giving a nested hierarchy. One challenge. But an impossible one, admittedly.