Brown's Evidence - Originally posted to the kcfs.org discussion forum

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Permalink | Kevin Nyberg | 06-22-2005 | 11:26 AM

quote:
Originally posted by forthekids:
I plan on addressing some of your issues in another thread. I've started a rough draft, but it may take me a while to complete. I've been quote mined so many times now that I'm going to run through all the old threads before I respond to some of the issues that have been thrown at me.

This seems to be an interesting new usage of the term, "quote-mining." I believe what has happened to you would better be termed "caught blatantly contradicting yourself."

But I do realize that using the term in novel settings tends to weaken its effect, thereby reducing its impact upon others who employ it in lieu of empirical research.

kdn


Permalink | forthekids | 06-22-2005 | 02:28 PM

Hey Jack, while you may not be teaching that false story that helped prop up evolution for 150 years, some still were teaching it at least as recently as of 1997. Read Endnote c for Embryology several more times. (I presume you are reading Brown's endnotes and not just complaining about them, because he has lots of them or because you say they are out of date.)

What do we do with all those textbooks sitting on library shelves that still contain Haeckel's pictures? What do we do for the hundreds of millions of people still living who were taught Haeckel's story, but have never been told it was wrong, except a few of us who have heard if from creationists? Don't you think people would be interested to know that Haeckel, a leading evolutionist, falsified the evidence to gain support for his theory, and the educated public hardly objected? Did your science committee flag that ridiculous story as something teachers should call attention to as being dead wrong? Help us out, Jack.

Ken Miller, who you and other evolutionist know quite well and look to for advise, reportedly said that "Most biologists first learned that Haeckel's drawings were frauds in 1997. We changed our textbooks as soon as we learned of this." Josh, I'll bet the piece you just posted resulted from Ken Miller realizing that his textbook contained that 150-year-old fraud. Again, a lot of lies have been told for a long time just to prop up evolution.

Guess what else,

I have a Topeka High textbook in front of me right now. Here’s how it addresses this issue:

The evolutionary history of organisms is also seen in the development of embryos. At some time in their development, all vertebrate embryos have a tail, buds that become limbs, and pharyngeal pouches. The tail remains in most adult vertebrates. Only adult fish and immature amphibians retain pharyngeal pouches (which contain their gills). In humans, the tail disappears during fetal development, and pharyngeal pouches develop into structures in the throat.

They have changed the wording a bit, but it implies that human embryos had tails. I never had a TAIL. What I had was the lower part of the spinal column. The reason it was much much longer in the embryo is because the spinal column is full of very complicated bones, and the total length of the spine starts out longer in proportion to the body than it will be later. This is just a matter of good design. There are such complicated bones in your spine that it needs to start out larger and longer in relation to the body. Later, the trunk grows bigger as internal organs develop.

As for the development of gills changing into structures in the human throat, it all sounds a bit fishy to me!


Permalink | Josh Rosenau | 06-22-2005 | 03:18 PM

quote:
Originally posted by forthekids:
Hey Jack, while you may not be teaching that false story that helped prop up evolution for 150 years, some still were teaching it at least as recently as of 1997. Read Endnote c for Embryology several more times. (I presume you are reading Brown's endnotes and not just complaining about them, because he has lots of them or because you say they are out of date.)

What do we do with all those textbooks sitting on library shelves that still contain Haeckel's pictures? What do we do for the hundreds of millions of people still living who were taught Haeckel's story, but have never been told it was wrong, except a few of us who have heard if from creationists? Don't you think people would be interested to know that Haeckel, a leading evolutionist, falsified the evidence to gain support for his theory, and the educated public hardly objected? Did your science committee flag that ridiculous story as something teachers should call attention to as being dead wrong? Help us out, Jack.

Ken Miller, who you and other evolutionist know quite well and look to for advise, reportedly said that "Most biologists first learned that Haeckel's drawings were frauds in 1997. We changed our textbooks as soon as we learned of this." Josh, I'll bet the piece you just posted resulted from Ken Miller realizing that his textbook contained that 150-year-old fraud. Again, a lot of lies have been told for a long time just to prop up evolution.

Guess what else,

I have a Topeka High textbook in front of me right now. Here’s how it addresses this issue:

The evolutionary history of organisms is also seen in the development of embryos. At some time in their development, all vertebrate embryos have a tail, buds that become limbs, and pharyngeal pouches. The tail remains in most adult vertebrates. Only adult fish and immature amphibians retain pharyngeal pouches (which contain their gills). In humans, the tail disappears during fetal development, and pharyngeal pouches develop into structures in the throat.

They have changed the wording a bit, but it implies that human embryos had tails. I never had a TAIL. What I had was the lower part of the spinal column. The reason it was much much longer in the embryo is because the spinal column is full of very complicated bones, and the total length of the spine starts out longer in proportion to the body than it will be later. This is just a matter of good design. There are such complicated bones in your spine that it needs to start out larger and longer in relation to the body. Later, the trunk grows bigger as internal organs develop.

As for the development of gills changing into structures in the human throat, it all sounds a bit fishy to me!

It may sound fishy, but there it is, true whether you believe it or not. You also had a tail when you were an embryo. Sorry, that's how these things go.

You also had a notochord, a cartilaginous tube that is common to all Chordata, the phylum we belong to. That structure disappears as the embryo develops, but it unites that whole clade.

The paragraph you quoted is entirely accurate. Embryos do reveal common ancestry, they just don't pass through every stage along the way. Indeed, if closely related species didn't have more similar embryos than more distantly related species, that would be very fishy indeed.

Find me a modern textbook that has the Haeckel drawings rather than photographs or modern drawings made from accurate observations. Maybe some textbooks were floating around like that in 1997, but it's almost 2006. Get with the times.

There are plenty of frauds of all sorts. What matters is not that Haeckel's drawings were wrong, but what the embryos actually show, which is remarkable consistency. Yes Haeckel tweaked some features of the drawings. He did so to fit a bizarre misunderstanding of evolution, an idea discredited long ago. The overall picture of evolution and the meaning modern biologists gain from embryos doesn't change because of the way Haeckel changed his drawings.

Science corrects its mistakes. Is that to be held against us? Does the forgery of the James ossuary disprove the New Testament?

It isn't clear what this Item is supposed to prove. Dishonesty exists, but that doesn't invalidate the work of honest people. Even though I'm sure Fred Phelps doesn't buy evolution, I don't paint you with the same brush as him.

Maybe you can figure out how to set bad science aside and look at the good work that's been done in the last 150 year.


Permalink | forthekids | 06-22-2005 | 03:42 PM

Josh,

It's really a crying shame you have been so indoctrinated by this crap. You're a smart kid. To bad you've sunk all your time and energy into a theory that is on its way to extinction.

Well, at least you'll always have microev. to be proud of. [Wink]


Permalink | Josh Rosenau | 06-22-2005 | 04:11 PM

quote:
Originally posted by forthekids:
Josh,

It's really a crying shame you have been so indoctrinated by this crap. You're a smart kid. To bad you've sunk all your time and energy into a theory that is on its way to extinction.

Well, at least you'll always have microev. to be proud of. [Wink]

What part of what I wrote do you disagree with?

Or are you just shooting off at the mouth?


Permalink | Aster | 06-22-2005 | 04:53 PM

quote:
Originally posted by forthekids:
Josh,

It's really a crying shame you have been so indoctrinated by this crap. You're a smart kid. Too bad you've sunk all your time and energy into a theory that is on its way to extinction.

Well, at least you'll always have microev. to be proud of. [Wink]

Ftk,

For someone who's still learning, you already talk better than a pro. I was impressed with your post of June 22, 2005 01:28 PM. I would say it's time you got at least a Master's degree, if not a Ph.D. (in Talk.Origins ?).

Now, what's this about a theory [of Evolution] on its way to extinction ? Have you heard of a Cause ? Do we get an Intelligent replacement, at least ? Shall we recognize it when we see it, or do we just have to believe in it ?

Please explain.


Permalink | apple | 06-22-2005 | 04:53 PM

quote:
Originally posted by forthekids:
Josh,

It's really a crying shame you have been so indoctrinated by this crap. You're a smart kid. To bad you've sunk all your time and energy into a theory that is on its way to extinction.


man.. ftk. It's a crying shame (if you'd waste the tears) that you believe that he is
wrong'. I hope you see the light someday. It is one thing to be deceived and far another to unknowlingly deceive others.


Permalink | Jason Meyers, PhD | 06-22-2005 | 05:06 PM

quote:
Originally posted by forthekids:
I never had a TAIL. What I had was the lower part of the spinal column. The reason it was much much longer in the embryo is because the spinal column is full of very complicated bones, and the total length of the spine starts out longer in proportion to the body than it will be later. This is just a matter of good design. There are such complicated bones in your spine that it needs to start out larger and longer in relation to the body. Later, the trunk grows bigger as internal organs develop.

Okay, we have a hypothesis. While embryologists say you had a tail and lost it, you say that you just grew into a long spinal column. This seems like a testable difference. If the embryologists are right, you should see extra structures initially that regress or are removed. If you are right, everything should stay in place with no structures lost.

Fortunately, in 1978 the following was found:

quote:

Am J Anat. 1978 May;152(1):111-29.

Evidence of a role for cell death in the disappearance of the embryonic human tail.

Fallon JF, Simandl BK.

The development and disappearance of the human tail between stages 14 and 22 were studied using scanning and transmission electron microscopy, supravital staining and light microscopy. The tail is a prominent feature of the human embryo during stage 14 and is composed of paired somites, mesenchyme and extensions of the neural tube, notochord and gut. The tail grows with the embryo through early stage 17 when it extends more than a millimeter from the trunk. Overgrowth by the trunk at the base of the tail may account for the loss of part of its length during late stage 17 and stage 18. However, during stage 17 cells begin to die in all structures throughout the tail. Cell death continues in the succeeding stages reaching massive numbers by stages 18 and 19, and the tail becomes less and less prominent with developmental time. Most of the dead cells are phagocytosed. The debris-laden macrophages appear to migrate from the tail to the body. By late stage 21 or early stage 22 there is no free tail. We conclude that cell death has a major role in the destruction of tail structures and the concurrent loss of the human tail.
(my emphasis)

That is, while the trunk grows a little over the tail, most of the tail is lost when the cells in all of the extra somites, etc. die.

Or from a more recent report:

quote:

During normal human development a number of transient structures form and subsequently regress completely. One of the most prominent structures that regress during development is the human tail. We report here a histological and ultrastructural study of cell death in the cranial and caudal (tail) parts of the neural tube in 4 to 6-week-old human embryos. Initially, the human tail is composed of tail bud mesenchyme which differentiates into caudal somites, secondary neural tube, notochord and tail gut. Later on, these structures gradually regress by cell death.

For those interested, the article goes on to describe both apoptotic and necrotic cell death throughout the degenerating tail and proposes roles for the two types of cell death.

FTK, here is an example where I'd like to hear your specific thoughts. Your reply to Josh gave no details about what you disagree with, but rather gave the type of personal attack which you seemed to deplore in another posting. You clearly like debating topics and want to keep the issue focused on science. Don't let this degenerate. Let's talk science about these tails.


Permalink | forthekids | 06-22-2005 | 07:45 PM

Aster writes:

quote:
Now, what's this about a theory [of Evolution] on its way to extinction ? Have you heard of a Cause ? Do we get an Intelligent replacement, at least ? Shall we recognize it when we see it, or do we just have to believe in it ?
I have a new reply for that:
quote:
I have been rather surprised to discover that many biologists dispute the propriety of a purely skeptical position. They assert that the skeptic is obligated to provide a better theory than the one he attacks. [my emphasis]
Or if that doesn’t do it for you try this:

http://www.scienceministries.org/

Read the article titled The Mechanism Behind Intelligent Design

That ought to give you something to rip apart for awhile.


Permalink | Aster | 06-22-2005 | 08:41 PM

quote:
Originally posted by forthekids:
Aster writes:
quote:
Now, what's this about a theory [of Evolution] on its way to extinction ? Have you heard of a Cause ? Do we get an Intelligent replacement, at least ? Shall we recognize it when we see it, or do we just have to believe in it ?
I have a new reply for that:
quote:
I have been rather surprised to discover that many biologists dispute the propriety of a purely skeptical position. They assert that the skeptic is obligated to provide a better theory than the one he attacks. [my emphasis]
Or if that doesn’t do it for you try this:

http://www.scienceministries.org/

Read the article titled The Mechanism Behind Intelligent Design

That ought to give you something to rip apart for awhile.

Ftk,

I did as you asked, I read the article and it's pretty good. I knew all the stuff already, but no harm in a refreshment course.

But you'll excuse me if I don't rip it apart. It's two o'clock in the morning in my part of the world and I got to get some sleep. So get someone else to do the ripping, O.K. ? [Wink]


Permalink | celdd | 06-22-2005 | 08:46 PM

FTK said

quote:
I have been rather surprised to discover that many biologists dispute the propriety of a purely skeptical position. They assert that the skeptic is obligated to provide a better theory than the one he attacks.
Science works by presenting observations or experimental results and presenting an explanation. Other scientists have access to the data and approach used, and can provide confirming observations or alternate explanations. Over time, a consenses develops as to the preferred explanation. Just dismissing a scientific conclusion without providing an alternative with data to support the criticism is not particularly useful in advance understanding of the natural world (which is what science is afterall).

FTK said
quote:
Read the article titled The Mechanism Behind Intelligent Design
I read this so you the rest of you don't have to. This article by Anonymous is not dated. He/she starts off by an attack: "atheistic, Darwinian concept of evolution which has destroyed so much of the original spiritual nature of human society...."

His/her basic thesis is that Light is not part of the physical universe because it has no mass, volume, or role in the flow of time. Since it is not physical, it must be spiritual, and must be God's mechanism to transmit information and instructions to the physical universe. God used Light to create the universe in the beginning, and to tell atoms how to combine to form various molecules. God uses Light to tell DNA how to change to accomplish modifications in lifeforms when he wants a change. He/she concludes that this is a scientifically verifiable mechanism of how God created the universe.

He/she says this all can be verified by checking with reputible scientists sympathetic to intelligent design. (By the way, this explanation seems to unambiguously identify the intelligent designer as God.)

Yes, FTK, scientists are unlikely to find this proposed mechanism for intelligent design more useful that the existing body of scientific work.


Permalink | MisterOpus1 | 06-22-2005 | 08:52 PM

Hello,

quote:
I have been rather surprised to discover that many biologists dispute the propriety of a purely skeptical position. They assert that the skeptic is obligated to provide a better theory than the one he attacks
It does seem that the folks here have defended evolutionary theory rather well, so it really isn't a matter of asking for an alternative theory in substitution for a defense on evolution, as your quote above implies. Rather, they simply want to hear exactly what you or any other individual who feels evolution is incorrect to propose a theory in which you do feel correct, which you seem to do regardless with your second quote:

quote:
Or if that doesn’t do it for you try this:

http://www.scienceministries.org/

Read the article titled The Mechanism Behind Intelligent Design

That ought to give you something to rip apart for awhile.

Curious as to why that author posted his/her name as "anonymous", don't you think?

So from what I gather from that article, God created Light, from which is the mechanism for ID, correct? Okay, how do we test this theory? How do we validate it in any way? How does one falsify this idea? If this is the proposed mechanism for ID, how did Mr./Mrs. "anonymous" come to such a supported conclusion for this mechanism? Any citations of studies performed to support it?

And yes, I'm afraid the notion that evolution is on it's way to extinction, or that more and more "scientists" don't support evolution is nothing new. It's been said throughout the history of the theory, yet it still remains:

http://home.entouch.net/dmd/moreandmore.htm


Permalink | Walt Brown | 06-23-2005 | 01:23 AM

Conclusion 2: The Arguments for Evolution Are Outdated and Often Illogical

21. Rapid Burial

Fossils all over the world show evidence of rapid burial. Many fossils, such as fossilized jellyfish,(a) show by the details of their soft, fleshy portions(b) that they were buried rapidly, before they could decay. (Normally, dead animals and plants quickly decompose.) The presence of fossilized remains of many other animals, buried in mass graves and in twisted and contorted positions, suggest violent and rapid burials over large areas.(c) These observations, together with the occurrence of compressed fossils and fossils that cut across two or more layers of sedimentary rock, are strong evidence that the sediments encasing these fossils were deposited rapidly—not over hundreds of millions of years. Furthermore, almost all sediments were sorted by water. The worldwide fossil record is, therefore, evidence of rapid death and burial of animal and plant life by a worldwide, catastrophic flood. The fossil record is not evidence of slow change.(d)
 -
Above: Fossil of Fish Swallowing Fish. The fossilization process must have been quite rapid to have preserved a fish in the act of swallowing another fish. Thousands of such fossils have been found

 -
Above: Fish-in-Long Fish. In the belly of the above 14-foot-long fish is a smaller fish, presumably the big fish’s breakfast. Because digestion is rapid, fossilization must have been even more so.

 -
Above: Fish-in-Curved Fish. The curved back shows this fish died under stress.

 -
Above: Dragonfly Wing. This delicate, 1½-foot-long wing must have been buried rapidly and evenly to preserve its details. (Imagine the size of the entire dragonfly!)
______________________________________________

a. Thousands of jellyfish, many bigger than a dinner plate, are found in at least seven different horizons of coarse-grained, abrasive sandstone in Wisconsin. [See James W. Hagadorn et al., “Stranded on a Late Cambrian Shoreline: Medusae from Central Wisconsin,” Geology, Vol. 30, No. 2, February 2002, pp. 147–150.]

Coarse grains slowly covering a jellyfish would allow atmospheric oxygen to migrate in and produce rapid decay. Burial in clay or mud would better shield an organism from decay. If coarse-grain sand buried these jellyfish in a storm, turbulence and abrasion by the sand grains would tear and destroy the jellyfish. To understand how thousands of jellyfish were gently collected and preserved in coarse-grained sand, read the liquefaction chapter beginning here.

Charles Darwin recognized the problem of finding fossilized soft-bodied organisms such as jellyfish. He wrote:
No organism wholly soft can be preserved.
Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species, p. 330.
Once again, a prediction of evolution is seen to be wrong.

* Preston Cloud and Martin F. Glaessner, “The Ediacarian Period and System: Metazoa Inherit the Earth,” Science, Vol. 217, 27 August 1982, pp. 783–792. [See also the cover of that issue.]

* Martin F. Glaessner, “Pre-Cambrian Animals,” Scientific American, Vol. 204, March 1961, pp. 72–78.

b. Donald G. Mikulic et al., “A Silurian Soft-Bodied Biota,” Science, Vol. 228, 10 May 1985, pp. 715–717.

* “… preconditions for the preservation of soft-bodied faunas: rapid burial of fossils in undisturbed sediment; deposition in an environment free from the usual agents of immediate destruction—primarily oxygen and other promoters of decay, and the full range of organisms, from bacteria to large scavengers, that quickly reduce most carcasses to oblivion in nearly all earthly environments; and minimal disruption by the later ravages of heat, pressure, fracturing, and erosion. … But the very conditions that promote preservation also decree that few organisms, if any, make their natural homes in such places.” Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1989), pp 61–62.

c. Presse Grayloise, “Very Like a Whale,” The Illustrated London News, 1856, p. 116.

* Sunderland, pp. 111–114.

* David Starr Jordan, “A Miocene Catastrophe,” Natural History, Vol. 20, January–February 1920, pp. 18–22.

* Hugh Miller, The Old Red Sandstone, or New Walks in an Old Field (Boston: Gould and Lincoln, 1858), pp. 221–225.

d. Harold G. Coffin, Origin By Design (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Assn., 1983), pp. 30–40.


Permalink | Josh Rosenau | 06-23-2005 | 01:55 AM

quote:
Originally posted by Walt Brown:
Conclusion 2: The Arguments for Evolution Are Outdated and Often Illogical

21. Rapid Burial

Fossils all over the world show evidence of rapid burial. Many fossils, such as fossilized jellyfish,(a) show by the details of their soft, fleshy portions(b) that they were buried rapidly, before they could decay. (Normally, dead animals and plants quickly decompose.) The presence of fossilized remains of many other animals, buried in mass graves and in twisted and contorted positions, suggest violent and rapid burials over large areas.(c) These observations, together with the occurrence of compressed fossils and fossils that cut across two or more layers of sedimentary rock, are strong evidence that the sediments encasing these fossils were deposited rapidly—not over hundreds of millions of years. Furthermore, almost all sediments were sorted by water. The worldwide fossil record is, therefore, evidence of rapid death and burial of animal and plant life by a worldwide, catastrophic flood. The fossil record is not evidence of slow change.(d)
 -
Above: Fossil of Fish Swallowing Fish. The fossilization process must have been quite rapid to have preserved a fish in the act of swallowing another fish. Thousands of such fossils have been found

 -
Above: Fish-in-Long Fish. In the belly of the above 14-foot-long fish is a smaller fish, presumably the big fish’s breakfast. Because digestion is rapid, fossilization must have been even more so.

 -
Above: Fish-in-Curved Fish. The curved back shows this fish died under stress.

 -
Above: Dragonfly Wing. This delicate, 1½-foot-long wing must have been buried rapidly and evenly to preserve its details. (Imagine the size of the entire dragonfly!)
______________________________________________

a. Thousands of jellyfish, many bigger than a dinner plate, are found in at least seven different horizons of coarse-grained, abrasive sandstone in Wisconsin. [See James W. Hagadorn et al., “Stranded on a Late Cambrian Shoreline: Medusae from Central Wisconsin,” Geology, Vol. 30, No. 2, February 2002, pp. 147–150.]

Coarse grains slowly covering a jellyfish would allow atmospheric oxygen to migrate in and produce rapid decay. Burial in clay or mud would better shield an organism from decay. If coarse-grain sand buried these jellyfish in a storm, turbulence and abrasion by the sand grains would tear and destroy the jellyfish. To understand how thousands of jellyfish were gently collected and preserved in coarse-grained sand, read the liquefaction chapter beginning here.

Charles Darwin recognized the problem of finding fossilized soft-bodied organisms such as jellyfish. He wrote:
No organism wholly soft can be preserved.
Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species, p. 330.
Once again, a prediction of evolution is seen to be wrong.

* Preston Cloud and Martin F. Glaessner, “The Ediacarian Period and System: Metazoa Inherit the Earth,” Science, Vol. 217, 27 August 1982, pp. 783–792. [See also the cover of that issue.]

* Martin F. Glaessner, “Pre-Cambrian Animals,” Scientific American, Vol. 204, March 1961, pp. 72–78.

b. Donald G. Mikulic et al., “A Silurian Soft-Bodied Biota,” Science, Vol. 228, 10 May 1985, pp. 715–717.

* “… preconditions for the preservation of soft-bodied faunas: rapid burial of fossils in undisturbed sediment; deposition in an environment free from the usual agents of immediate destruction—primarily oxygen and other promoters of decay, and the full range of organisms, from bacteria to large scavengers, that quickly reduce most carcasses to oblivion in nearly all earthly environments; and minimal disruption by the later ravages of heat, pressure, fracturing, and erosion. … But the very conditions that promote preservation also decree that few organisms, if any, make their natural homes in such places.” Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1989), pp 61–62.

c. Presse Grayloise, “Very Like a Whale,” The Illustrated London News, 1856, p. 116.

* Sunderland, pp. 111–114.

* David Starr Jordan, “A Miocene Catastrophe,” Natural History, Vol. 20, January–February 1920, pp. 18–22.

* Hugh Miller, The Old Red Sandstone, or New Walks in an Old Field (Boston: Gould and Lincoln, 1858), pp. 221–225.

d. Harold G. Coffin, Origin By Design (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Assn., 1983), pp. 30–40.

We'll start by pointing out the TalkOrigins responses to some of these "arguments."

Contorted skeletons do not necessarily indicate sudden death, nor do local sudden burials disprove evolution.

Fossils crossing geological layers do not falsify evolution.

Fossilization need not be rapid nor completely anoxic.

Large numbers of fossils do not indicate anything unexpected.

If you actually read the paper on jellyfish, it explains that the fossils are impressions, not mineralized soft tissue:

quote:
How are jellyfish stranded? During mass strandings, most jellyfish settle on the surface with their subumbrella down, and they commonly pump their bells in an attempt to escape from stranding (Scha¨fer, 1941, 1972; Bruton, 1991; Rozhnov, 1998). This escape behavior often compounds their fate, because they pump much of their stomach and internal cavities full of sand, thus exacerbating their fate through extreme sand loading. After prolonged exposure, their carcasses shrink in size and interspaces between umbrellar lobes increase, sometimes leaving a thin film of dehydrated mesoglea that contains symmetry similar to the original animal (Bruton, 1991). After further decay, the only structure often preserved within the umbrellar center is a convex sediment mound formed either through pulsing of the dying jellyfish or decomposition of the sediment-laden gastrovascular cavity (Nathorst, 1881; Scha¨fer, 1941; Norris, 1989). Around these sediment mounds, concave rings can form when jellyfish repeatedly contract their bell margin upon touching the substrate, excavating a moat-like circular depression neartheir bell margin (Kornicker and Conover, 1960; Bruton, 1991). Convex rings also form around these mounds as sediments accrete around umbrellar margins. In subsequent sedimentation events, ripples abruptly terminate at these ring margins (Scha¨fer, 1941; Linke, 1956; Kornicker and Conover, 1960; Hamada, 1977). In coarse-grained sediments, jellyfish tissues cannot be fossilized; however, impressions of their carcasses and penultimate behaviors can be preserved when buried by damp sediments that are subaerially exposed or intermittently wetted (Scha¨fer, 1941, 1972; Kornicker and Conover, 1960; Thiel, 1971), like the sediments that characterized Mt. Simon environments.

Looks like the paper already answered your questions about preservation. You either failed to read past the first page, or figured none of your readers would do so. I very much suspect that you assumed gullible readers would think this was a great example.

As for Darwin, I don't see how his comment on preservation of soft-tissues is an evolutionary comment, or falsified by anything you presented. It's a double-whammy, an inaccurate red herring.

I don't see how those fish prove anything. There are two ways those fossils could have formed. One is that the fish were caught in a mudslide or other rapid event in the moment when one was biting the other. Instant death and neither fish is in the other's digestive tract, so the speed of digestion is irrelevant (a red herring again).

The other possibility is that the fish happened to drift into that position post-mortem.

Neither falsifies evolution.

I don't know what you think the dragonfly wing proves. Rapid death and rapid fossilization do not falsify evolution, and insect wings are very slow to decay anyway, so they wouldn't have to fossilize quickly.

It's a pretty picture though.

Nothing that you said is evidence for any sort of flood. Dead fish don't prove a flood. Nor is there any evidence that all this death was simultaneous. In fact, there is copious evidence that it was spread over several hundred million years. I'm sure we'll get to that later.


Permalink | Salvador T. Cordova, IDEA GMU | 06-23-2005 | 07:00 AM

Dr. Brown,

I only just realized you are posting here. Well, it's time for me to join in on the fun.

You may be interested in the developments on this thread: Joe Meert and Salvador on Mantle Plumes


Salvador


Permalink | Salvador T. Cordova, IDEA GMU | 06-23-2005 | 07:19 AM

quote:

KC cites:

Their expression patterns support the hypothesis that insect wings evolved from gill-like appendages that were already present in the aquatic ancestors of both crustaceans and insects.

This is postdicitive speculation. The strength of the molecular homology is becoming seriously in doubt as we are discovering "convergence" at every level, even the molecular level. Similarity of form is no longer a strong basis for the assumption of common ancestry of widely separated species. Such speculation led Zimmer to say our hearts possibly evolved from the throat of worms. If the conclusions sound untenable, maybe it's because they are untenable.


Permalink | Salvador T. Cordova, IDEA GMU | 06-23-2005 | 07:37 AM

quote:

Josh wrote:

We'll start by pointing out the TalkOrigins responses to some of these "arguments."

Contorted skeletons do not necessarily indicate sudden death, nor do local sudden burials disprove evolution.

Fossils crossing geological layers do not falsify evolution.

Fossilization need not be rapid nor completely anoxic.

Large numbers of fossils do not indicate anything unexpected.


The problem Josh is that one can not generalize these mechanisms to account for every case, especially those cases that are clear examples that even paleontologists would suggest imply rapid burial. What is apparent is uniformitarian assumptions have too many counter examples to make uniformitarian assumptions essentially useless. If rapid deposition occurs, who's to say that didn't occur for all the layers?


Permalink | Salvador T. Cordova, IDEA GMU | 06-23-2005 | 08:24 AM

quote:
Originally posted by KC:
Walt writes:

quote:
Information, based on our experience, only comes from intelligence. There you have it. That’s why we call it “intelligent design
Walt, consider a gene duplication (a mutation commonly observed in organisms). Then consider a mutation to the new copy that gives the protein a slightly different functional capability (something also commonly observed). You now have an increase in information in the organism's genome. No intelligence required.

KC

Walt,

There are many IDists and even possibly some creationists who believe mutations can create new organs if the information was front loaded into the organism to create what we view as mutations. James Shapiro has done work on this area.

Also an organ may disappear because of a single point mutation only to re-appear later because of a mutation that "fixes" the original point mutation by reversion. The genes do not contain all the information, and it is possible that the source of mutations in the genes originates from other parts of the biological system by design.

Thus, I would say in general we do not see mutations form new organs, but "never" is perhaps too strong a word.

In regards to gene duplication, there are some serious problems with the theory that are beginning to pop up with that mechanism.

1. The statistical profiles of duplicated genes and their sequence divergences may be incompatible with ancient ancestry. The method of making this inference is not too far removed from the methods we use to date Mito-chondrial Eve or Y-chromsomal Adam. The pseudo genes and other duplicated genes may have too little a degree of sequence divergence to support that the view gene duplication is a real force. We are faced with the problem that if gene duplication occurs, why are the sequences between the real genes and the duplicated genes so close after long spans of time, especially the "conserved" regions. Natural selection supposedly is not in force on these non-coding genes, thus the sequences should have been more scrambled than they are. This area of research is still too new, but it looks like yet another belief could be on it's way out the door.


2. There are problems for gene duplication because of the metabolic disadvantage it confers to the organisms. A paper on that very idea was published:

Can Gene Duplication Promote Evolution
quote:

This means that the evolution of transcription and translation rates is not an evolutionarily neutral process. They are under active selection opposing them.

Natural selection does not favor gene duplication as a mechanism. Darwinian evolution should favor simplicity not large increases in complexity and innovation. Becauses Darwinian evolution has no foresight, the idea of expending metabolic or other such resources for invovating complexity makes little sense. In addition to the work of Spiegelman (long ago), we now have more relevant research such as done recently. The issue of metabolic load was no small debate regarding the Avida computer simulations of evolution. I'm glad to seem empirical measurements are being made to demonstrate, metabolic load, though weakly selective is sufficient to be detected and select against complexity innovation.

3. Also of note:

quote:

Proceedings, National Academy of Sciences:
Coppage citation of Huhges


Evolutionary biologists agree that gene duplication has played an important role in the history of life on Earth, providing a supply of novel genes that make it possible for organisms to adapt to new environments. The existence of diverse multigene families, particularly in eukaryotes, provides evidence that numerous events of gene duplication followed by functional diversification have shaped genomes as we know them. But it is less certain how this panoply of new functions actually arises, leaving room for ingenious speculation but not much rigor. Cases where we can reconstruct with any confidence the evolutionary steps involved in the functional diversification are relatively few.




Permalink | Salvador T. Cordova, IDEA GMU | 06-23-2005 | 08:33 AM

quote:

Coppage citation of Huhges


Evolutionary biologists agree that gene duplication has played an important role in the history of life on Earth, providing a supply of novel genes that make it possible for organisms to adapt to new environments. ...But it is less certain how this panoply of new functions actually arises, leaving room for ingenious speculation but not much rigor.


The bolded portion summarizes what evolutionary biology is all about.


Permalink | Aster | 06-23-2005 | 08:36 AM

quote:
Originally posted by celdd:
Science works by presenting observations or experimental results and presenting an explanation. Other scientists have access to the data and approach used, and can provide confirming observations or alternate explanations. Over time, a consenses develops as to the preferred explanation. Just dismissing a scientific conclusion without providing an alternative with data to support the criticism is not particularly useful in advance understanding of the natural world (which is what science is afterall).


1. This is one of the themes developed in Richard Kuhn's "The structure of scientific revolutions" and its makes sense. If you want people to abandon one of the foundations of their basic tenets (in whatever domain), the least is to provide them with a believable and attractive alternative tenet. No one likes being left hanging in air.

2. Still, I personally wouldn't go so far as presenting as a general rule that "just dismissing a scientific conclusion without providing an alternative with data to support the criticism is not particularly useful".

If a scientific conclusion is wrong, and if you can demonstrate that to the satisfaction of the people who are concerned with the issue, that's a great step forward. That sets them thinking about what's to be done about the situation, and someone, someday, will maybe develop an alternative idea that's more worthwhile.

It's often said in the scientific community that the main contribution of an important scientist is not the answers he provides, but the questions he raises, which set everybody in the field working to try to find out the answers.

I thought of this illustration of my point : If someone is being tried for murder, and if you can demonstrate somehow that he's not the murderer, that's very useful (to him, to the police, to the judge, etc.) even though you haven't identified the real murderer.


Permalink | Jack Krebs | 06-23-2005 | 08:39 AM

There is lots we don't know, but new knowledge comes in all the time. A hundred years ago or so the same sentence could have been written about some other branch of science. The fact that these fields of biology are new and full of incompletely known issues doesn't mean that their foundations are wrong, although they do provide a convenient target for pot-shotters like Salvador.


Permalink | KC | 06-23-2005 | 10:15 AM

Salvador's post on gene duplication has nothing to do, of course, with what I was talking about in his quote of me. I was showing how a duplication and subsequent mutation (both commonly observed events) can increase information in a genome without the need for intelligence, contra to what Walt Brown was contending.

KC


Permalink | Josh Rosenau | 06-23-2005 | 10:30 AM

I'm not sure any of Sal's posts have anything to do with the original content. I'm ignoring him on this thread.


Permalink | Salvador T. Cordova, IDEA GMU | 06-23-2005 | 10:43 AM

quote:
Originally posted by KC:
Salvador's post on gene duplication has nothing to do, of course, with what I was talking about in his quote of me. I was showing how a duplication and subsequent mutation (both commonly observed events) can increase information in a genome without the need for intelligence, contra to what Walt Brown was contending.

KC

Dr. Brown,

Even though I and KC are on othersides of the issue, I do regard his ideas seriously, and he is well qualified in the areas he comments on.

That said, there is no question that variation occurs. One of the problems in these discussions is defining what kind of information is being discussed. From a loose perspective, one can even suggest noise is "information".

Making the field of biological information more rigorous is a challenege for all parties, not just IDists and creationists, but everyone. I do have good background in information theory, and I would caution to avoid using the word "never" but rather "very unlikely".

Perhaps the better way to frame the arguement is to note a long term trend in the increase of FUNCTIONAL information not likely to be feasible. One can build a hut out of grass, but that does not imply one can build a skyscraper with the same mechanisms and materials. The scalability of the accumulated information variations we see through gene duplication is highly suspect.

It's pure speculation that duplicated genes can account for those proteins which require incredible engineering to even fold, much less be functional. It is still early in research, but proteins exists which can only be discovered in 1 out of maybe 10^77 possible DNA sequences. They have no functional intermediates as they are effectively irreducibly complex. These kinds of improbable proteins serve as counter examples to the adequacy of gene duplication as a force of evolutionary novelty.

The reason I mentioned the "recovery" of formally lost organs was to anticipate the fact some evolutionist cite such reversions as "proof" new organs evolve. (Ken Miller used such a "proof" where some creature began growing a tail with one point mutation change). So again, I would caution agaist using the word, "never". Even if you are right, we have the examples such as the one Ken Miller cites that give the appearance of your thesis being refuted. Also a mutation can cause extra wings, and those are cited as "new organs".

That said, I do highly recommend KC's comments to you, I think your work will and your case will benefit by engaging critics like KC.


Permalink | celdd | 06-23-2005 | 11:15 AM

quote:
Conclusion 2: The Arguments for Evolution Are Outdated and Often Illogical

21. Rapid Burial

….The worldwide fossil record is, therefore, evidence of rapid death and burial of animal and plant life by a worldwide, catastrophic flood…..



Rapid burial of fossils has no relevance to evolutionary theory. Furthermore, fossil condition is only one of many (and probably the least important) characteristics that can be used to infer the relative sedimentation rate and depositional environment of a particular stratum. I haven’t done the research to confirm or deny that these examples are in fact from rapidly-deposited strata. Saying that rapid burial can only be explained by a worldwide, catastrophic flood ignores the worldwide stratigraphic record.

The world’s sedimentary strata represent all of the environments we see today, and probably others. For example, we have glacial deposits, alluvial fans, deserts, sand dunes, rivers, lakes, marshes, swamps, lagoons, deltas, beaches, barrier bars, tropical reefs, shallow marine shelves, deep marine basins, turbidities, etc., and yes, some flood deposits.

The depositional environments are identified by integrating numerous features including sediment texture (grain size distribution, angular or rounded grains, sorting etc.), small and large scale sedimentary structures (such as ripples, channels, massive bedding, laminations etc), the geometry of the strata, lateral changes in the strata and the sequence of strata above and below, and the type and assemblage of fossils within the strata (ie plants and animals are specific to certain environments).

The worldwide stratigraphic and fossil record does not support Brown’s contention that it is all due to a worldwide flood.


Permalink | Salvador T. Cordova, IDEA GMU | 06-23-2005 | 12:12 PM

quote:

Rapid burial of fossils has no relevance to evolutionary theory.

Rapid burial of is suggestive of a flood paricularly thousands of acres of fossilized trees pointing in the same direction.

It is fair to say that it is not necessarily a global flood, however, mass fossilizations such as the trees pointed in one orient are suggestive of a fairly sizable cataclysm.

The global flood explains many fossilization. It also explains the appearance of the geological column which is cited as evidence the Earth is old. If an explanation for the geological column is made that defies the Old Earth interpretation, then that opens more doors for the Young Earth interpretation. A Young Earth interpretation refutes Darwinian evolution.

A Young Earth, even and Earth that is only 100 million years old will destroy Darwinian evolution.


Permalink | Salvador T. Cordova, IDEA GMU | 06-23-2005 | 12:14 PM

quote:

The depositional environments are identified by integrating numerous features including sediment texture (grain size distribution, angular or rounded grains, sorting etc.), small and large scale sedimentary structures (such as ripples, channels, massive bedding, laminations etc), the geometry of the strata, lateral changes in the strata and the sequence of strata above and below, and the type and assemblage of fossils within the strata (ie plants and animals are specific to certain environments

Like Darwinian evolution the interpretations are fundamentally circular in some way.


Permalink | Lane | 06-23-2005 | 12:17 PM

In response to Josh's comments about Malachite man, which leaves him to believe all creationists are hoaxsters...Piltdown man and Nebraska man (instrumental if the Scopes trial) were hoaxes too.

But wait, science is self correcting he says...sure when they know they are going to be nailed.

And if its self correcting, it can by definition never be wrong.

A tautology when you think about it.

But probably the worst part about the foul mouthed Rosenau is his hypocrisy...he gets to cuss people out at will but gets upset when opposed.

What a spoiled brat...maybe he was abused as a baby?


Permalink | Walt Brown | 06-23-2005 | 12:35 PM

Response #3 of 10:
Jason Meyers, in the quote below, repeated parts of a point I made concerning the distinction between microevolution and macroevolution. Macroevolution requires increasing complexity, such as the gaining of new vital organs. (It is not simply change above the species level.) Microevolution involves no increase in complexity, only changes in size, shape, color, or minor genetic alterations. (My children have microevolved from me. Big deal.) We see “micro” every day; I know of no instance where “macro” has been observed. Science must be based on what is observed, especially through experiments. Notice the lack of experimental support for what Jason describes below.

Also notice how often evolutionists will point to examples of microevolution, such as the color changes in the Peppered Moth or the changing beak sizes in Darwin’s finches, to argue for macroevolution. This is a “bait and switch tactic.” Don’t be fooled.

Because Jason Meyer’s rebuttal to my first category of evidence contained so many mistaken ideas, I have reproduced his entire rebuttal and inserted my comments after each false idea. My words (preceded by WB:) are in bold; his words (preceded by JM:) are not.

quote of WB by JM:

quote:
Microevolution [...] involves changes only in size, shape, color, or minor genetic alterations caused by a few mutations. [...] Notice that microevolution plus time will not produce macroevolution. [micro + time /= macro]"

JM: I fail to understand the last sentence here. What are some possible mechanisms for "microevolution"?
* Polymerase error
* Environmental mutagens
* Recomination
* Viral insertion/mutation
* Genetic duplication
Others?

WB: Mutations and change in allele frequencies are two that come to mind. There are many types of mutations, but they are generally in the form of a random change in a highly integrated, extremely complex living system. (Let’s not quibble about whether the changes are truly random, or only pseudo random. For all practical purposes, they are random.)

If you build a computer (a highly integrated system), get it running nicely, and then make random changes in the wiring level or inside the integrated circuits, you probably will not improve the computer. Yes, one out of a thousand may be beneficial in certain unusual situations, and a small percentage will be neutral (not cause any apparent change). However, most will be harmful. A short string of non-lethal mutations in organisms might occur, but nothing approaching the number needed to produce a new vital organ. A living organism is much, much more complex and integrated than the world’s best computer.


JM: Apparently the author is willing to agree that these DNA changes can alter protein structure, function or expression sufficiently to alter shape and size (presumably of the organism). So what in any of the above mechanisms prohibits accumulation of mutations or prevents the mechanisms from having more than a subtle change in protein function?

WB: Each mutation is much more likely to kill the organism than help it. The build-up of mutations—called the “genetic load”—increasingly weakens the organism. We see this in dog breeds which have become too specialized. Certain mutations, such as hearing losses in Dalmatians or cleft pallets in Boston Terriers at birth, weaken the animals but other traits have appealing characteristics for some owners. (I once raised Bostons and feel that they have too much of a genetic load.)

JM: Just taking polymerase error, we know many of the rates of errors for various polymerase. To my knowledge, none of them have shown the peculiar character of only making errors until some percentage of errors have been reached and then no longer make errors. That is, if we pick up ~64 DNA errors per sexual generation (estimate from Drake, 1999), the polymerase will not realize in 100 generations that they've made 6400 errors and can't make any more without crossing the line to "macroevolution" (or whereever the proposed dividing line is). The only difference between accumulating 64 mutations and 6400 mutations (or 640,000) is time, assuming a constant rate of mutation.

WB: You are overlooking three problems. First, the number of horizontal or downhill steps an organism makes doesn’t determine whether macroevolution occurs. Make an infinite number if you like. Macroevolution requires a huge net increase in complexity and information—a gigantic leap upward, enough to produce new vital organs.

Second, the probability of survival, which, in general, decreases as the string of mutations increases, must be thrown into the calculation. That geometrically increasing risk will eventually swamp your linear increase in mutations with time.

Third, living systems contain “irreducible complexity.” This fatal problem for macroevolution has been frequently mentioned by creationists for decades, but in 1996 Michael Behe, in his book Darwin’s Black Box, packaged and clearly explained it. Here is my description of his book.

Darwin had to treat complex molecules, cells, and organs as black boxes—something too complex to understand. Today, our greater understanding of these “black boxes” shows they could not have evolved in an incremental, evolutionary manner. Behe, a biochemist, is not a creationist. However, he concludes that intelligent design is the only explanation for very complex “black boxes” such as bacterial motors, immune systems, metabolic pathways, vision, blood clotting systems, and the bombardier beetle.

My favorite example of “irreducible complexity” is the bacterial motor. I explained it in the 5th edition of In the Beginning: Compelling Evidence for Creation and the Flood (1995) as follows:

Many bacteria, such as Salmonella, Escherichia coli, and some Streptococci, propel themselves with miniature motors at up to 15 body-lengths per second, equivalent to a car traveling 150 miles per hour—in a liquid. These extremely efficient, reversible motors rotate up to 100,000 revolutions per minute. Each shaft rotates a bundle of whiplike flagella that acts as a propeller. The motors, having rotors and stators, are similar in many respects to electrical motors. However, these electrical charges come from a flow of protons, not electrons. The bacteria can stop, start, and change speed, direction, and even the “propeller’s” shape. They also have intricate sensors, switches, control mechanisms, and a short-term memory. All this is highly miniaturized. Eight million of these bacterial motors would fit in the circular cross section of a human hair. (Footnotes omitted.)

How could bacterial motors have evolved, Jason? The many components of each complex system could not have evolved in stages without placing a selective disadvantage on the organism, and natural selection would have quickly wiped it out. The entire system would work only if all components evolved completely and were in place within a few generations.

I’m sure we haven’t even begun to grasp the complexity of living systems. As a mechanical engineer looking at these mind-boggling systems, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry when I hear people such as you say they just evolved.


JM: Next, a single point mutation could completely destroy the function of a protein. Or it could change its substrate selectivity. Or it could change its kinase activity. Or it could have no effect whatsoever on the protein.

WB: Of course.

JM: On a protein level, it's not the number of mutations that matter, it's where they are and what the amino acid change is. A conservative amino acid change (that is replacing an amino acid with one that has nearly the same properties) may have very little effect on the protein. Changing an amino acid in the active site to a completely different amino acid may well kill the activity. Changing a normally phosphorylated amino acid to a non-phosphorylatable one could make a protein more or less active than the unmutated one. What I'm trying to get at here is that there is not some magic threshhold of mutations after which a protein will change function. A single change in the right place could have a small or tremendous effect, or hundreds of changes in neutral locations could have no effect. A new stop-codon could make a useless protein or could make a protein that cannot be turned off. A new splice site could remove a critical piece of a protein or could open it up to slightly different function. When does the change in a protein go from microevolution to macroevolution and how does the cause of the mutation know to only make micro changes?

WB: For discussion purposes, let’s say that something like bacteria evolved into birds and humans. Those hypothetical series of steps had to traverse hundreds of vital organs. After a new vital organ evolved, one should wonder how the organism had survived before it had that vital organ, because without the newly evolved vital organ, the “critter” is (by the definition of vital) dead!

The same thing applies to important body parts that are not organs. As I explained in Category 9, “If a leg of a reptile were to evolve into a wing of a bird, it would become a bad leg long before it became a good wing.” Natural selection would quickly wipe out the handicapped reptile.

Evolving something with irreducible complexity would be macroevolution. When you can explain that to me, Jason, I will be happy to listen.


JM: Finally, what are the actual differences between humans and apes (leaving the soul aside)? A few changes in size, shape of some bones, a bigger brain, loss of hair, changes in teeth, and a few other things. Now, since microevolution is sufficent to explain changes in size and shape, is there really anything macro that has changed in human evolution? Probably the biggest thing is the brain size, but as many neurobiologists are finding, relatively subtle changes in expression or activity of a few genes can all lead to enhanced growth of the brain (and the author agrees that microevolution can explain changes in size of things). Most of the general mechanisms for wiring of the brain are highly conserved and are not substantially different in most vertebrates. Or put another way, there really isn't that much different from chimps that requires de novo development of radically new systems, proteins, etc.

WB: Don’t assume that just because microevolution sometimes results in changes in size, that changing the size of an ape’s brain by 3-4 times only requires microevolution. Bad logic. I’ve already discussed language and speech differences between humans and apes (categories 13 and 14). Do you really believe that with enough time and mutations, an ape could produce an opera or invent a computer?

JM: So where is the magic line in the sand between the last common ancestor of chimps (or bonobos) and humans across which CANNOT be crossed? How do the polymerase know that they can no longer make errors once they've made too many to be just microevolution? How do they know to only make errors in regions that lead to small changes in protein function?

WB: The line is somewhere between a point mutation and the tens of thousands of special, nonlethal mutations needed to produce irreducible complexity or new vital organs.

Errors never produce macroevolution, Jason. Start changing wires in your computer at random and tell me when you suddenly have a new and useful component. (I’ll show you how to patent it; you’ll be rich.) [Smile]

A biology teacher who does not explain to his or her students what irreducible complexity is and why it is important in understanding whether macroevolution occurred is uninformed or negligent. Likewise, school administrators and school boards at all levels who don’t require that students learn about irreducible complexity are neglecting their duty. The Kansas Board of Education may become the first state school board with the courage to do what is right with this subject.

Kansas, in the heartland of the United States, would be a great place to begin this overdue reform. The Kansas Board of Education will get a lot of flack from people who don’t understand irreducible complexity and hundreds of other scientific topics, but most Americans will be greatful. Within 10 years, I believe 80% will praise the action.


Science's answer is simple. There is no difference between macroevolution and microevolution. Genetic changes will accumulate if they are beneficial and will be weeded out if they are not. There is no magic dividing line or novel mechanisms required for micro and macro to never meet.

WB: That’s not science’s answer; that’s your answer.

For more on this fascinating topic, please look carefully at
www.creationscience.com/onlinebook/ReferencesandNotes34.html and
www.creationscience.com/onlinebook/ReferencesandNotes37.html. Sir Fred Hoyle’s “thundering monkeys” will give you a good laugh.

Walt Brown



Permalink | Salvador T. Cordova, IDEA GMU | 06-23-2005 | 12:51 PM

Geologist Ariel Roth at one the world's best YEC instituteions, Loma Linda/GRI explores the issue of the geological column:

Geological Column

quote:


By noting the rates at which the surfaces of the continents are eroded and carried away by rivers to the oceans (see section 2 for specific values), one can calculate the length of time required to remove a given thickness of the continents. Judson and Ritter (1964) have estimated that for the United States the rate of erosion averages 6.1 cm/1000 years. At this rate of denudation the continents, which average 623 m above sea level, would be eroded to sea level in a mere 10.2 Ma. In other words, at this rate the present continents would be eroded over 340 times in the 3500 Ma assumed for the age of the continents. The observation by the famous geologist Powell that "mountains cannot long remain mountains" certainly seems appropriate. The estimate of 10 Ma given above has been a well-accepted figure (Schumm 1963) and has subsequently been referred to in a number of publications including Dott and Batten (1971, p. 136) and Garrels and Mackenzie (1971, pp. 114-115). Earlier, Dole and Stabler (1909) gave figures indicating that it would take about twice as long. Judson (1968), while correcting for human activity, suggests 34 Ma for complete erosion of the continents. None of these figures does much to alleviate the discrepancy which is especially significant when one considers mountain ranges such as the Caledonides of western Europe and the Appalachians of North America which are assumed to be several hundred Ma old. Why are these ranges here today if they are so old?
Rates of erosion are greater in high mountains and lower in regions of less relief (Ahnert 1970, Bloom 1971, Ruxton and McDougall 1967, and Schumm 1963). Ruxton and McDougall (1967) report erosion rates of 8 cm/1000 years near sea level and 52 cm/1000 years at an altitude of 975 m in the Hydrographers Range in Papua. Rates of 92 cm/1000 years are reported for the Guatemala-Mexico Border Mountains (Corbel 1959), 100 cm/1000 years for the Himalayas (Menard 1961), and in the Mt. Rainier region of Washington Mills (1976) documents erosion rates of up to 800 cm/1000 years. Probably the highest recorded regional rate is 1900 cm/1000 years from a volcano in New Guinea (Ollier and Brown 1971).
It has been suggested that mountains still exist because they are constantly being renewed by uplift from below. However, this process of uplift could not go through even one complete cycle of erosion and uplift without eradicating the layers of the geologic column found in them. Present erosion rates would tend to rapidly eradicate evidence of older sediments; yet these sediments are still very well-represented, both in mountains and elsewhere.


PS
I'm pleased to say, one creationist by the name of Timothy Standish was able to maint his cover at my school GMU and got a PhD. Standish is now a biologist with Loma Linda/GRI of which Roth was a part.


Permalink | Les Lane | 06-23-2005 | 01:04 PM

Sal-

Roth makes the ludicrous assumption that uplift and erosion are everywhere uniform. I'll agree that the GRI is likely the best of the YEC institutes, but its goals are still apologetics, not science. Faculty are chosen for their YEC beliefs, not the quality of thier science.


Permalink | Jason Meyers, PhD | 06-23-2005 | 01:27 PM

quote:
Originally posted by Walt Brown:
Notice the lack of experimental support for what Jason describes below.

I posted a comment earlier to an article in Science showing that changes in microsatellite length (variation of microsatellite length is relatively easy to explain biologically) could lead to dramatic differences in social behavior and pair bonding. Is that a micro-evolutionary change or a macro-evolutionary change? It's clearly the sort of thing that could lead to speciation (due to behavioral isolation), so I'd guess that would be macro-evolution. Nevertheless, it's a clear example of how genetic variation can select behavioral traits.

Or you could look at KC's comments for other examples of mutations leading to changes.

And I'm sad to note the lack of experimental support in your comment. All you did was wave your hand and say, "But mutations are bad, so they can't accumulate" without showing anything to prove it. The only example you gave was dog breeds. My dog is a border collie, which have been bred for a long time with little care for conformation (hopefully their recent inclusion in AKC doesn't destroy the breed by forcing conformation) and caring only for intelligence. He is a heck of a lot smarter than the American Cockers I know (which have been bred to have a short and abrupt cranium). Some dogs are bred to have better smelling, hearing, etc. Yes, some dogs carry detrimental characters in the background (e.g. hip displasia or deafness or ...). That happens with inbreeding. The same could be said for the many human "Jewish diseases" such as Tay Sachs, which are present in much higher numbers in certain populations that for religious reasons had little outcrossing. But at the same time these problems are carried in the background, dog breeding has shown that size, shape, intelligence, instinctual behavior, webbing between toes, sensory perception, etc. can all be fixed in populations in relatively short periods.

And other than waving your hand, you don't explain why if sizes, shape, intelligence, etc. can be altered by mutations in the short term, these changes cannot be continued in the long term. Could chimpanzees and bonobos be simply microevolutionary cousins separated by many years? Could chimps and gorillas? How about various new-world monkey species? What about all primates, which more or less share all of the major and major structures in common?

Here's what you say about macroevolution:
quote:
Macroevolution requires a huge net increase in complexity and information—a gigantic leap upward, enough to produce new vital organs.
What new vital organs have been formed between mice and humans? Isn't it, in fact, primarily changes in size, shape, etc.? The sort of changes that we can see happening in small form through micro-evolution? What is irreducibly complex in changing from a mouse to a human? What completely novel vital organ had to be formed? What had to become completely non-functional before it could re-evolve?

quote:
The line is somewhere between a point mutation and the tens of thousands of special, nonlethal mutations needed to produce irreducible complexity or new vital organs.
Where have you shown that a new vital organ takes 10,000 special mutations? In fact, as evidence we've been citing in these fora show, subtle mutations can have rather dramatic effects on structure and behavior.

Walter, you claimed that all I presented was mistaken ideas, but your only answer to any of them was "I don't believe this is so, because it's so complex". That's essentially what you wrote after every single one of my points. That's not a scientific answer, that's personal incredulity. Show us what you mean by complexity. Don't just claim it is so complex that it couldn't work.


Permalink | Eric Reynolds | 06-23-2005 | 01:58 PM

The distinction between macro- and micro-evolution is arbritrary and meaningless.


Permalink | KC | 06-23-2005 | 02:09 PM

Walt Brown writes:

quote:
Many bacteria, such as Salmonella, Escherichia coli, and some Streptococci, propel themselves with miniature motors at up to 15 body-lengths per second, equivalent to a car traveling 150 miles per hour—in a liquid. These extremely efficient, reversible motors rotate up to 100,000 revolutions per minute. Each shaft rotates a bundle of whiplike flagella that acts as a propeller. The motors, having rotors and stators, are similar in many respects to electrical motors. However, these electrical charges come from a flow of protons, not electrons. The bacteria can stop, start, and change speed, direction, and even the “propeller’s” shape. They also have intricate sensors, switches, control mechanisms, and a short-term memory. All this is highly miniaturized. Eight million of these bacterial motors would fit in the circular cross section of a human hair. (Footnotes omitted.)

How could bacterial motors have evolved, Jason? The many components of each complex system could not have evolved in stages without placing a selective disadvantage on the organism, and natural selection would have quickly wiped it out. The entire system would work only if all components evolved completely and were in place within a few generations

Glad you asked, Walt. The proteins making up the flagellum are very similar to the proteins of the TTSS secretory systems of cells. One mechanism for the evolution of the flagellum and TTSS is that both the flagellum and the TSS had a common ancestor. The case is made in two papers. The first describes the proposed evolutionary relationships:

Gophna U,EZ Rona, and D Graur (2003). Bacterial type III secretion systems are ancient and evolved by multiple horizontal-transfer events. Gene 312: 151-163.

From the abstract (my emphasis):

quote:
Type III secretion systems (TTSS) are unique bacterial mechanisms that mediate elaborate interactions with their hosts. The fact that several of the TTSS proteins are closely related to flagellar export proteins has led to the suggestion that TTSS had evolved from flagella. Here we reconstruct the evolutionary history of four conserved type III secretion proteins and their phylogenetic relationships with flagellar paralogs. Our analysis indicates that the TTSS and the flagellar export mechanism share a common ancestor, but have evolved independently from one another. The suggestion that TTSS genes have evolved from genes encoding flagellar proteins is effectively refuted.
The second paper describes the steplike mechanism:

Pallen MJ, SA Beatson and CM Bailey (2005). Bioinformatics, genomics and evolution of non-flagellar type-III secretion systems: a Darwinian perspective. FEMS Microbiol Rev 29(2):201-29

Here's the abstract:

quote:
We review the biology of non-flagellar type-III secretion systems from a Darwinian perspective, highlighting the themes of evolution, conservation, variation and decay. The presence of these systems in environmental organisms such as Myxococcus, Desulfovibrio and Verrucomicrobium hints at roles beyond virulence. We review newly discovered sequence homologies (e.g., YopN/TyeA and SepL). We discuss synapomorphies that might be useful in formulating a taxonomy of type-III secretion. The problem of information overload is likely to be ameliorated by launch of a web site devoted to the comparative biology of type-III secretion
However, a pertinent passage, which shows the steps is here (my emphasis):

quote:
If we accept the above analysis, then parsimony demands that we also accept the notion that the flagellar and non-flagellar systems have evolved from a common ancestor, rather than the idea that non-flagellar systems have evolved from flagellar systems. The reasoning for this assertion is as follows. To get from the common ancestor of all type-III secretion systems via a flagellar system to a non-flagellar system would require seven steps: gain of the motor, acquisition of the chemotaxis apparatus and recruitment of the sigma/anti-sigma mechanism during the evolution of the flagellar system, and then, in the lineage leading to the NF-T3SSs, loss of the motor, uncoupling from the chemotaxis apparatus and demise of the sigma/anti-sigma mechanism, followed by gain of the translocation apparatus. However, if the flagellar and non-flagellar systems diverged from a common ancestor, then we need posit only four steps: gain of the motor, gain of the chemotaxis apparatus and gain of the sigma/anti-sigma mechanism in the flagellar lineage, and gain of the translocation apparatus in the non-flagellar lineage.
KC


Permalink | Josh Rosenau | 06-23-2005 | 02:16 PM

quote:
Originally posted by Lane:
In response to Josh's comments about Malachite man, which leaves him to believe all creationists are hoaxsters...Piltdown man and Nebraska man (instrumental if the Scopes trial) were hoaxes too.

But wait, science is self correcting he says...sure when they know they are going to be nailed.

And if its self correcting, it can by definition never be wrong.

A tautology when you think about it.

But probably the worst part about the foul mouthed Rosenau is his hypocrisy...he gets to cuss people out at will but gets upset when opposed.

What a spoiled brat...maybe he was abused as a baby?

Learn to read. And leave my parents out of this. If you disagree with my science, explain why, if not, go back to the bathroom with your girlie mags.

I said that the existence of some frauds don't invalidate the rest of the claim. I don't consider FtK or Brown to be fraudsters because of the behavior of other creationists, but Brown thinks evolution is a fraud because of a 150 year old fraud.

Too bad your reading comprehension is as pitiful as your logic.


Permalink | Robert Madison | 06-23-2005 | 03:10 PM

Lane Says:

quote:
But wait, science is self correcting he (Josh) says...sure when they know they are going to be nailed.

And if its self correcting, it can by definition never be wrong.

A tautology when you think about it.

Huh?

That doesn't make any sense.

The very concept of "Self-correcting" pre-supposes the existence of error, or of some *thing* which needs to be corrected.

That science is self-correcting is a big part of what makes science, science.

It's definitely not a tautology.


Permalink | Liz Craig | 06-23-2005 | 09:24 PM

Lane posted:

quote:


In response to Josh's comments about Malachite man, which leaves him to believe all creationists are hoaxsters...Piltdown man and Nebraska man (instrumental if the Scopes trial) were hoaxes too.


I think you meant "leads him to believe," and I don't think Josh said *all* creationists are hoaxsters. But never mind...

Recently, I saw a TV documentary about the "Piltdown Man" hoax, and if you did, too, you'd know that even from the beginning, certain scientists were skeptical of Dawson's "find."

Also, you'd know that the discovery was announced in 1912. Think of all the forensic tools that were not available to scientists of that time. Also, the evolutionary tree (or bush) was not nearly so complete in those days, so people were much less sure what a "missing link" between ape and man might look like.

It wasn't until 1949 that modern scientific methods were applied to examining the "Piltdown man" and other bones from the site. Here's a quote from a BBC site about it:

quote:


It was not until new technology for the dating of fossils was developed, in the late 1940s, that Piltdown Man came to be seriously questioned once again. In 1949, Dr Kenneth Oakley, a member of the staff at the Natural History Museum, tested the Piltdown fossils and found that the skull and jaw were not that ancient.

'It had simply been boiled and stained to match the colour and antiquity of the Piltdown gravels.'

He joined forces with Professor Joe Weiner and Sir Wilfrid Le Gros Clark from Oxford, to apply stringent tests to all the Piltdown remains. They realised that the human-like wear pattern on the teeth had been created by artificially filing down the teeth from an orang-utan jaw. The skull pieces were found to have come from an unusually thick-boned - but quite recent - human skull. It had simply been boiled and stained to match the colour and antiquity of the Piltdown gravels.

Although many of the mammal fossils were genuine, they had also been stained to match the skull and came from all over the world. It turned out that every single one of the 40 odd finds at Piltdown had been planted.


Hmm. Apparently by Dawson, the man who claimed to have found the original skull. In the documentary, they said that for many years, he claimed to have found more bones around the area, but later investigation revealed that he or others associated with him had been planting them.

The truth will out, sooner or later. I can't imagine why you think scientists would deliberately fake archaeological finds. Dawson wasn't even a scientist, just a loyal Brit trying to help his countrymen claim the "first man" for his country.

Scientists these days have a hard time faking anything because communications are so much better, and we know so much more now and have much better tools for investigating claims like this. Today, Piltdown Man wouldn't last five minutes. The forensics lab in any medium-sized police department would be able to tell immediately that the skull had been dyed, for instance.

You might recall in the past few years, there was a "fraud" in China when peasants, hoping to be paid more for a complete reptile/bird skeleton, turned in bones from a couple of unrelated species. I think the problem was discovered in days or weeks, not years. And it was announced by the scientific community.

Scientists announce immediately when a fraud has been discovered. Creationists, on the other hand, hang onto their frauds as long as possible, e.g., the Paluxy Man Tracks. I think even AIG says not to use that one anymore.

Science IS self-correcting. Other scientists like nothing more than to find holes in someone else's ideas. That's why peer review is so effective in weeding out bad science or pseudoscience. It's also the reason ID was shown to be non-science and nonsense years ago.

BTW, Arthur Conan Doyle and others may also have been involved in the Piltdown Man hoax; to this day, no one is completely sure what happened.


Permalink | KC | 06-23-2005 | 09:46 PM

I know this is old, but I just had to comment. Walt writes:

quote:
Some inherited behavior is lethal to the animal but beneficial to unrelated species. For example, many animals (goats, lambs, rabbits, horses, frogs, toads) scream when a predator discovers them. This increases their exposure but warns other species.
I find it interesting that Walt looks at this only from the point of view of the species which issues warning cries/behavior. Has it never occurred to him that the unrelated species may be exploiting the warning behavior of the other species?


KC


Permalink | Walt Brown | 06-24-2005 | 02:38 AM

Conclusion 2: The Arguments for Evolution Are Outdated and Often Illogical

22. Parallel Strata

The earth’s sedimentary layers are typically parallel to adjacent layers. Such uniform layers are seen, for example, in the Grand Canyon and in road cuts in mountainous terrain. Had these parallel layers been deposited slowly over thousands of years, erosion would have cut many channels in the topmost layers. Their later burial by other sediments would produce nonparallel patterns. Because parallel layers are the general rule, and the earth’s surface erodes rapidly, one can conclude that almost all sedimentary layers were deposited rapidly relative to the local erosion rate—not over long periods of time. (The mechanism involved is explained in the liquefaction chapter that begins here.)

 -
Above: Polystrate Fossil. Fossils crossing two or more sedimentary layers (strata) are called poly (many) strate (strata) fossils. Consider how quickly this tree trunk in Germany must have been buried. Had it been slowly, its top would have decayed. Obviously, the tree could not have grown up through the strata without sunlight and air. The only alternative is rapid burial. Some polystrate trees are upside down, which could occur in a large flood. Soon after Mount St. Helens erupted in 1980, scientists saw trees being buried in a similar way in the lake-bottom sediments of Spirit Lake. Polystrate tree trunks are found worldwide. (Notice the 1-meter scale bar, equal to 3.28 feet, in the center of the picture.)


Permalink | Josh Rosenau | 06-24-2005 | 11:44 AM

I'll let the geologists point out the geology, and just repeat a link I offered yesterday.

Polystrate fossils don't falsify evolution.


Permalink | celdd | 06-24-2005 | 01:11 PM

22. Parallel Strata - comments

Again, evolution is a theory that deals with how life has changed through time. The stratigraphic and fossil record provide overwhelming evidence of these changes throughout the last 600 million years. Brown brings up stratigraphy and sedimentology only to try to discredit the stratigraphic and fossil record and thereby discredit evolutionary theory.

A lot of sedimentary layers are parallel due to gravity. However, this is not always the case. Sand dunes, braided streams, deltas, and glacial deposits for example, have varying sub-units of sediment with different orientations and/or compositions in direct proximity. This is observed in today’s world and can be recognized in ancient deposits.

Brown’s statement that surface erosion of strata is not observed is just incorrect. It’s quite common in terrestrial deposits, and found in submarine canyons and deep sea fans in ocean sediments. In the stratigraphic record, many if not most unconformities are erosional surfaces.

Many layered marine deposits extend over large distances because that is the nature of marine environments. Because they aren’t exposed while they are being deposited, of course they don’t have significant erosional evidence within them. This also explains why much of the stratigraphic column is marine – marine sedimentary layers are preserved by the nature of the environment. With some exceptions, only if uplifted above sea level do erosional features develop.

There’s no logic to the statement that because the layers are parallel they must have been rapidly deposited. Parallel layers can be observed in both rapid and slow depositional environments.

Brown’s follow-up chapter on his liquefaction theory for the worldwide stratigraphic record is beyond any reasonable interpretation of the stratigraphic record or sedimentology. He ignores the unique characteristics of strata throughout the world, how greatly those characteristics can be correlated to present day processes in various depositional environments, and tries to force it all into a one-scenario-fits-all theory. He purports that all sedimentary rock layers, regardless of composition, were formed by liquefaction of the sediments unleashed by the flood. Liquefaction, however, would be expected to disturb and homogenize any layers by churning them up, not segregate them - let alone stratify the fossils within them.


Permalink | Bill A | 06-24-2005 | 03:31 PM

Walt Brown said:

quote:
WB: You are overlooking three problems. First, the number of horizontal or downhill steps an organism makes doesn’t determine whether macroevolution occurs. Make an infinite number if you like. Macroevolution requires a huge net increase in complexity and information—a gigantic leap upward, enough to produce new vital organs. (emphasis mine)
Jason responded:
quote:
What new vital organs have been formed between mice and humans?
So does that make mice and men the same 'kind'? Is the only difference between mice and men microevolution?


Permalink | Walt Brown | 06-24-2005 | 03:49 PM

Response #4 of 10:
Jim Swan’s rebuttal, made at 11:19 AM on June 6, was selected by evolutionist judges as one of the 10 best critiques of my Conclusion 1: Organic evolution has never been observed. All his comments are reproduced below and are preceded by “JS:”. My words, preceded by “WB:”, are in bold. Jim Swan began by quoting part of the statement I made on 3 June.

quote:
Before considering how life began, we must first understand the term “organic evolution.” Organic evolution, as theorized, is a naturally occurring, beneficial change that produces increasing and inheritable complexity. Increased complexity would be shown if the offspring of one form of life had a different and improved set of vital organs. This is sometimes called the molecules-to-man theory—or macroevolution. [See Figure 4 at
www.creationscience.com/onlinebook/LifeSciences2.html#wp1090370]

JS: Evolution neither assumes that changes are 'beneficial' nor that they increase complexity.

WB: I never said that each change at the mutation level had to be beneficial or increase complexity. If macroevolution happens, many mutations must come together to produce new complexity, such as a new vital organ. The net effect of all those mutations would be a beneficial change to the organism in its environment, perhaps a changing environment.

JS: Being 'beneficial' depends among other things upon the circumstances: what is beneficial in one situation may not be in another. When a change is beneficial, if it increases the likelihood of reproductive success, then that change may be more likely to be retained.

WB: I agree.

JS: Likewise, evolutionary change may lead to greater complexity, depending on one's definition of 'complexity,' but need not do so.

WB: As I made clear in the paragraph from which you drew your quote above, macroevolution is what is at issue in the life sciences. Macroevolution must produce greater complexity which requires large increases in information. New vital organs and irreducible complexity would be examples of greater complexity. Where has it happened, Jim? Can you show me any natural process that produces large, nontrivial amounts of information? Natural processes tend to destroy information. All living things contain gigantic amounts of information!

JS: For example, the loss of eyes among cave-dwelling organisms might well be described as involving loss of complexity; but the change is nevertheless an example of natural selection.

WB: Loss of vision would certainly be a loss in complexity, an example of devolution. Remember, evolutionists need to show how new complexity arises, not disappears. Whether a loss of vision benefitted the cave-dwellers remains to be shown. Scenarios (“just-so-stories,” as Stephen Jay Gould called them) which evolutionists are masters at weaving, can be imagined in which the organisms benefitted. Other stories can be imagined in which the loss of vision was not too harmful, in which case, natural selection was not acting.

JS QUOTING WB:
quote:
Microevolution, on the other hand, does not involve increasing complexity. It involves changes only in size, shape, color, or minor genetic alterations caused by a few mutations. Macroevolution requires thousands of “just right” mutations. Microevolution can be thought of as “horizontal” change, whereas macroevolution, if it were ever observed, would involve an “upward,” beneficial change in complexity. Notice that microevolution plus time will not produce macroevolution. [micro + time /= macro]

JS: [/QUOTE]
And here's one of your problems: you want to be able to define terms for science. You cannot. Setting up paper scientists and then knocking them down may be fun for you; but it has nothing to do with how science works.

WB: I certainly can and should explain what I mean by a term I use. It’s part of the way people communicate. Whether it eventually enters Webster’s Dictionary is for others to decide. Creationists and evolutionists agree that microevolution, as I defined the term, occurs.

I emphasize that point because evolutionists so often use a “bait and switch” tactic. They show an example of “micro” and then conclude “macro.” Or, they say, as Jason Meyers does, if “micro” can occur, then “macro” can, because there is no dividing line between them. Others say that “micro” occurs, so with enough time, “macro” will. That is fuzzy thinking.

So many textbooks say that evolution is just change, or “change through time.” (Sounds so intellectual, doesn’t it?) People see change all the time, so some conclude that “macro” must happen. No. “Macro” is a special type of change that no one has ever seen. Science must be based on what is seen.

Good teachers can use the creation-evolution issue to help students identify many examples of poor logic.


JS: [/QUOTE]
Actually, Creationists, including ID advocates, often make this claim [that microevolution occurs]; but it is often preperatory to disputing even 'minor changes.' I no longer believe Creos' claims to accept "microevolution."

WB: I didn’t find “Creos” or “preperatory” in any of my dictionaries. Would you please define your terms? [Smile]

You lie too much for me to accept your integrity.
[QB]

WB: Could you be specific, please? I’m sure most readers at KCFS would like to know where, according to you, I am lying. It may be easier for you to make ad hominem attacks than to address and present scientific evidence.

Walt Brown:



Permalink | forthekids | 06-24-2005 | 04:38 PM

If anyone has extra time on their hands, it would be helpful if someone could explain to me how that tree (in Brown’s category 22) "grows" through the sediments. If possible, try to explain it unscientifically. I’ve read articles and seen video in regard to Mt. St. Helen’s where trees seem to have done the same thing through catastrophe. If not a flood, then how?

I know Josh has posted some articles from talkorigins. I’ll read those tonight, but wondered if any of you can give me a short, understandable explanation.


Permalink | Josh Rosenau | 06-24-2005 | 05:05 PM

The TalkOrigins response says:

quote:
Sudden deposition is not a problem for uniformitarian geology. Single floods can deposit sediments up to several feet thick. Furthermore, trees buried in such sediments do not die and decay immediately; the trunks can remain there for years or even decades.
And yes, we did see that at Mt. St. Helens.

The longer FAQ says:
quote:
As for Malone's "problem" with the "thousands of years" for the tree to remain upright for "slow accumulation" to occur, it is a non-problem - he is simply interpolating the average depositional rates for an entire formation down to the scale of metres. This is not the correct way to do it, because individual beds can be deposited rapidly (say, sands and mud during a levee breach), and then little deposition can occur for a long time (e.g., a soil horizon), as is observed in modern river floodplain environments where trees commonly occur. In short, he is assuming conventional geologists would interpret the occurrence the simple way he has interpolated - they do not.
In other words, while an entire formation may have taken a long time to develop, a flash flood may have caused rapid deposition. The trees had roots going down, and indeed, several successive floods could lay down multiple layers before the tree would rot. I'm not a geologist, but that makes sense to me.

This may not disprove what Brown is suggesting, except that there's no other evidence for the global flood he invokes. A local flood does just as well.


Permalink | celdd | 06-24-2005 | 05:08 PM

FTK

I think I read that Dr. Brown asserts that geologists think all deposition was slow. That's wrong. That catastrophic events have happened and have left their mark in the rocks is totally accepted by geologists.

Ash falls or debris flows from volcanic eruptions, rivers changing course in floodplains, and migrating sand dunes can bury and fossilize trees in place easily, and rapid enough so the tree wouldn't decay before being buried.

Here's a link that explains this, with examples, in an understandable way. linky


Permalink | KC | 06-24-2005 | 11:56 PM

quote:
Originally posted by Bill A:
Walt Brown said:
quote:
WB: You are overlooking three problems. First, the number of horizontal or downhill steps an organism makes doesn’t determine whether macroevolution occurs. Make an infinite number if you like. Macroevolution requires a huge net increase in complexity and information—a gigantic leap upward, enough to produce new vital organs. (emphasis mine)
Jason responded:
quote:
What new vital organs have been formed between mice and humans?
So does that make mice and men the same 'kind'? Is the only difference between mice and men microevolution?

As we can see clearly, Walt has decided to define macroevolution in a purely arbitrary and idiosyncratic manner. He's simply drawing back the definitional threshold of macroevolution to where he thinks it cannot be observed so that he can point to it and say, 'Aha!' Literary readers have seen this tactic before:

quote:
`I don't know what you mean by "glory",' Alice said.

Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. `Of course you don't -- till I tell you. I meant "there's a nice knock-down argument for you!"'

`But "glory" doesn't mean "a nice knock-down argument",' Alice objected.

`When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, `it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less.'

`The question is,' said Alice, `whether you can make words mean so many different things.'

`The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, `which is to be master -- that's all.'

Alice was too much puzzled to say anything; so after a minute Humpty Dumpty began again. `They've a temper, some of them -- particularly verbs: they're the proudest -- adjectives you can do anything with, but not verbs -- however, I can manage the whole lot of them! Impenetrability! That's what I say!'

`Would you tell me please,' said Alice, `what that means?'

`Now you talk like a reasonable child,' said Humpty Dumpty, looking very much pleased. `I meant by "impenetrability" that we've had enough of that subject, and it would be just as well if you'd mention what you mean to do next, as I suppose you don't mean to stop here all the rest of your life.'

`That's a great deal to make one word mean,' Alice said in a thoughtful tone.

`When I make a word do a lot of work like that,' said Humpty Dumpty, `I always pay it extra.'

`Oh!' said Alice. She was too much puzzled to make any other remark.

--Lewis Carrol, Through the Looking Glass

KC


Permalink | Walt Brown | 06-25-2005 | 04:24 AM

Conclusion 2: The Arguments for Evolution Are Outdated and Often Illogical

23. Fossil Gaps

If evolution happened, the fossil record should show continuous and gradual changes from the bottom to the top layers. Actually, many gaps or discontinuities appear throughout the fossil record.(a) At the most fundamental level, a big gap exists between forms of life whose cells have nuclei (eukaryotes, such as plants, animals, and fungi) and those that don’t (prokaryotes such as bacteria and blue-green algae).(b) Fossil links are also missing between numerous plants,(c) between single-celled forms of life and invertebrates (animals without backbones), among insects,(d) between invertebrates and vertebrates (animals with backbones),(e) between fish and amphibians,(f) between amphibians and reptiles,(g) between reptiles and mammals,(h) between reptiles and birds,(i) between primates and other mammals,(j) and between apes and other primates.(k) In fact, chains are missing, not links. The fossil record has been studied so thoroughly it is safe to conclude these gaps are real; they will never be filled.(l)
_________________________________________

a. “But, as by this theory innumerable transitional forms must have existed, why do we not find them imbedded in countless numbers in the crust of the earth?” Darwin, The Origin of Species , p. 163.

“… the number of intermediate varieties, which have formerly existed [must] truly be enormous. Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely-graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and serious objection which can be urged against the theory [of evolution].” Ibid., p. 323.

Darwin then explained that he thought these gaps existed because of the “imperfection of the geologic record.” Early Darwinians expected the gaps would be filled as fossil exploration continued. Most paleontologists now agree this expectation has not been fulfilled.

The Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago has one of the largest collections of fossils in the world. Consequently, its former dean, Dr. David Raup, was highly qualified to summarize the situation regarding transitions that should be observed in the fossil record.
Well, we are now about 120 years after Darwin and the knowledge of the fossil record has been greatly expanded. We now have a quarter of a million fossil species but the situation hasn’t changed much. The record of evolution is still surprisingly jerky and, ironically, we have even fewer examples of evolutionary transition than we had in Darwin’s time. By this I mean that some of the classic cases of darwinian change in the fossil record, such as the evolution of the horse in North America, have had to be discarded or modified as a result of more detailed information—what appeared to be a nice simple progression when relatively few data were available now appears to be much more complex and much less gradualistic. So Darwin’s problem has not been alleviated in the last 120 years and we still have a record which does show change but one that can hardly be looked upon as the most reasonable consequence of natural selection. David M. Raup, “Conflicts Between Darwin and Paleontology,” Field Museum of Natural History Bulletin , Vol. 50, No. 1, January 1979, p. 25.

* “In fact, the fossil record does not convincingly document a single transition from one species to another.” Stanley, p. 95.

* “But fossil species remain unchanged throughout most of their history and the record fails to contain a single example of a significant transition.” David S. Woodruff, “Evolution: The Paleobiological View,” Science , Vol. 208, 16 May 1980, p. 716.

* Dr. Colin Patterson, a senior paleontologist at the British Museum (Natural History), was asked by Luther D. Sunderland why no evolutionary transitions were included in Dr. Patterson’s recent book, Evolution. In a personal letter, Patterson said:
I fully agree with your comments on the lack of direct illustration of evolutionary transitions in my book. If I knew of any, fossil or living, I would certainly have included them. You suggest that an artist should be asked to visualise such transformations, but where would he get the information from? I could not, honestly, provide it, and if I were to leave it to artistic licence, would that not mislead the reader? … Yet Gould and the American Museum people are hard to contradict when they say that there are no transitional fossils. As a palaeontologist myself, I am much occupied with the philosophical problems of identifying ancestral forms in the fossil record. You say that I should at least “show a photo of the fossil from which each type organism was derived.” I will lay it on the line—there is not one such fossil for which one could make a watertight argument. Copy of letter, dated 10 April 1979, from Patterson to Sunderland.

* “But the curious thing is that there is a consistency about the fossil gaps: the fossils go missing in all the important places. When you look for links between major groups of animals, they simply aren’t there; at least, not in enough numbers to put their status beyond doubt. Either they don’t exist at all, or they are so rare that endless argument goes on about whether a particular fossil is, or isn’t, or might be, transitional between this group or that.” [emphasis in original] Hitching, p. 19.

* “There is no more conclusive refutation of Darwinism than that furnished by palaeontology. Simple probability indicates that fossil hoards can only be test samples. Each sample, then, should represent a different stage of evolution, and there ought to be merely ‘transitional’ types, no definition and no species. Instead of this we find perfectly stable and unaltered forms persevering through long ages, forms that have not developed themselves on the fitness principle, but appear suddenly and at once in their definitive shape; that do not thereafter evolve towards better adaptation, but become rarer and finally disappear, while quite different forms crop up again. What unfolds itself, in ever-increasing richness of form, is the great classes and kinds of living beings which exist aboriginally and exist still, without transition types, in the grouping of today.” [emphasis in original] Oswald Spengler, The Decline of the West , Vol. 2 (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1966), p. 32.

* “This regular absence of transitional forms is not confined to mammals, but is an almost universal phenomenon, as has long been noted by paleontologists. It is true of almost all orders of all classes of animals, both vertebrate and invertebrate. A fortiori, it is also true of the classes, themselves, and of the major animal phyla, and it is apparently also true of analogous categories of plants.” George Gaylord Simpson, Tempo and Mode in Evolution (New York: Columbia University Press, 1944), p. 107.

“… the geologic record did not then and still does not yield a finely graduated chain of slow and progressive evolution. In other words, there are not enough intermediates. There are very few cases where one can find a gradual transition from one species to another and very few cases where one can look at a part of the fossil record and actually see that organisms were improving in the sense of becoming better adapted.” Ibid., p. 23.

* “Surely the lack of gradualism—the lack of intermediates—is a major problem.” Dr. David Raup, as taken from page 16 of an approved and verified transcript of a taped interview conducted by Luther D. Sunderland on 27 July 1979.

* “… there are about 25 major living subdivisions (phyla) of the animal kingdom alone, all with gaps between them that are not bridged by known intermediates.” Francisco J. Ayala and James W. Valentine, Evolving, The Theory and Processes of Organic Evolution (Menlo Park, California: The Benjamin Cummings Publishing Co., 1979), p. 258.

“Most orders, classes, and phyla appear abruptly, and commonly have already acquired all the characters that distinguish them.” Ibid., p. 266.

* “All paleontologists know that the fossil record contains precious little in the way of intermediate forms; transitions between major groups are characteristically abrupt.” Gould, “The Return of Hopeful Monsters,” p. 23.

* “The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology. The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches; the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the evidence of fossils. … We fancy ourselves as the only true students of life’s history, yet to preserve our favored account of evolution by natural selection we view our data as so bad that we never see the very process we profess to study.” Stephen Jay Gould, “Evolution’s Erratic Pace,” Natural History , Vol. 5, May 1977, p. 14.

“New species almost always appeared suddenly in the fossil record with no intermediate links to ancestors in older rocks of the same region.” Ibid., p. 12.

* “The absence of fossil evidence for intermediary stages between major transitions in organic design, indeed our inability, even in our imagination, to construct functional intermediates in many cases, has been a persistent and nagging problem for gradualistic accounts of evolution.” Stephen Jay Gould, “Is a New and General Theory of Evolution Emerging?” Paleobiology , Vol. 6, No. 1, 1980, p. 127.

* In a published interview, Dr. Niles Eldredge, an invertebrate paleontologist at the American Museum of Natural History, stated:
But the smooth transition from one form of life to another which is implied in the theory is … not borne out by the facts. The search for “missing links” between various living creatures, like humans and apes, is probably fruitless … because they probably never existed as distinct transitional types … But no one has yet found any evidence of such transitional creatures. This oddity has been attributed to gaps in the fossil record which gradualists expected to fill when rock strata of the proper age had been found. In the last decade, however, geologists have found rock layers of all divisions of the last 500 million years and no transitional forms were contained in them. If it is not the fossil record which is incomplete then it must be the theory. “Missing, Believed Nonexistent,” Manchester Guardian (The Washington Post Weekly), Vol. 119, No. 22, 26 November 1978, p. 1.
Gould and Eldredge claimed transitional fossils are missing because relatively rapid evolutionary jumps (which they called “punctuated equilibria”) occurred over these gaps. They did not explain how this could happen.

Many geneticists are shocked by the proposal of Gould and Eldredge. Why would they propose something so contradictory to genetics? Gould and Eldredge were forced to say that evolution must proceed in jumps. Never explained, in genetic and mathematical terms, is how such large jumps could occur. To some, this desperation is justified.

* “… the gradual morphological transitions between presumed ancestors and descendants, anticipated by most biologists, are missing.” David E. Schindel (Curator of Invertebrate Fossils, Peabody Museum of Natural History), “The Gaps in the Fossil Record,” Nature, Vol. 297, 27 May 1982, p. 282.

* “Despite the bright promise that paleontology provides a means of ‘seeing’ evolution, it has presented some nasty difficulties for evolutionists the most notorious of which is the presence of ‘gaps’ in the fossil record. Evolution requires intermediate forms between species and paleontology does not provide them.” David B. Kitts (School of Geology and Geophysics, University of Oklahoma), “Paleontology and Evolutionary Theory,” Evolution, Vol. 28, September 1974, p. 467.

* “In spite of the immense amount of the paleontological material and the existence of long series of intact stratigraphic sequences with perfect records for the lower categories, transitions between the higher categories are missing.” Goldschmidt, p. 98.

“When a new phylum, class, or order appears, there follows a quick, explosive (in terms of geological time) diversification so that practically all orders or families known appear suddenly and without any apparent transitions.” Ibid., p. 97.

* “There is no fossil record establishing historical continuity of structure for most characters that might be used to assess relationships among phyla.” Katherine G. Field et al., “Molecular Phylogeny of the Animal Kingdom,” Science , Vol. 239, 12 February 1988, p. 748.

b. “The prokaryotes came first; eukaryotes (all plants, animals, fungi and protists) evolved from them, and to this day biologists hotly debate how this transition took place, with about 20 different theories on the go . … [What was thought to be an intermediate between prokaryotes and eukaryotes] is no longer tenable .” Katrin Henze and William Martin, “Essence of Mitochondria,” Nature , Vol. 426, 13 November 2003, p. 127.

c. If evolution happened, nonvascular plants should have preceded vascular plants. However, fossils of nonvascular plants are not found in strata evolutionists believe were deposited before the earliest vascular plants appeared.
The bryophytes [nonvascular plants] are presumed to have evolved before the appearance and stabilization of vascular tissue—that is, before the appearance of these tracheophytes [vascular plants]—although there is no early bryophyte [nonvascular plant] fossil record. Lynn Margulis and Karlene V. Schwartz, p. 250.

* “The actual steps that led to the origin of seeds and fruits are not known … .” Ibid.

* “It has long been hoped that extinct plants will ultimately reveal some of the stages through which existing groups have passed during the course of their development, but it must be freely admitted that this aspiration has been fulfilled to a very slight extent, even though paleobotanical research has been in progress for more than one hundred years. As yet we have not been able to trace the phylogenetic history of a single group of modern plants from its beginning to the present.” Chester A. Arnold, An Introduction to Paleobotany (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1947), p. 7.

* “… to the unprejudiced, the fossil record of plants is in favour of special creation. If, however, another explanation could be found for this hierarchy of classification, it would be the knell [the death signal] of the theory of evolution. Can you imagine how an orchid, a duckweed, and a palm have come from the same ancestry, and have we any evidence for this assumption? The evolutionist must be prepared with an answer, but I think that most would break down before an inquisition. Textbooks hoodwink.” E. J. H. Corner, “Evolution,” Contemporary Botanical Thought , editors Anna M. MacLeod and L. S. Cobley (Chicago: Quadrangle Books, 1961), p. 97.

* “The absence of any known series of such intermediates imposes severe restrictions on morphologists interested in the ancestral source of angiosperms [flowering plants] and leads to speculation and interpretation of homologies and relationships on the basis of the most meager circumstantial evidence.” Charles B. Beck, Origin and Early Evolution of Angiosperms (New York: Columbia University Press, 1976), p. 5.

* “The origin of angiosperms, an ‘abominable mystery’ to Charles Darwin, remained so 100 years later and is little better today.” Colin Patterson et al., “Congruence between Molecular and Morphological Phylogenies,” Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics , Vol. 24, 1993, p. 170.

d. “The insect fossil record has many gaps.” “Insects: Insect Fossil Record,” Britannica CD, Version 97 (Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc., 1997).

e. Speaking of the lack of transitional fossils between the invertebrates and vertebrates, Smith admits:
As our present information stands, however, the gap remains unbridged, and the best place to start the evolution of the vertebrates is in the imagination. Homer W. Smith, From Fish to Philosopher (Boston: Little, Brown, and Co., 1953), p. 26.

* “How this earliest chordate stock evolved, what stages of development it went through to eventually give rise to truly fishlike creatures we do not know. Between the Cambrian when it probably originated, and the Ordovician when the first fossils of animals with really fishlike characteristics appeared, there is a gap of perhaps 100 million years which we will probably never be able to fill.” Francis Downes Ommanney, The Fishes , Life Nature Library (New York: Time Incorporated, 1963), p. 60.

* “Origin of the vertebrates is obscure—there is no fossil record preceding the occurrence of fishes in the late Ordovician time.” Arthur N. Strahler, Science and Earth History: The Evolution/Creation Controversy (Buffalo, New York: Prometheus Books, 1987), p. 316.

f. “… there are no intermediate forms between finned and limbed creatures in the fossil collections of the world.” Taylor, p. 60.

g. Evolutionists believe amphibians evolved into reptiles, with either Diadectes or Seymouria as the transition. Actually, by the evolutionists’ own time scale, this “transition” occurs 35 million years (m.y.) after the earliest reptile, Hylonomus (a cotylosaur). A parent cannot appear 35 million years after its child! The scattered locations of these fossils also present problems for the evolutionist.

TABLE 2 can be seen at www.creationscience.com/onlinebook/ReferencesandNotes24.html#wp1019104

[See Steven M. Stanley, Earth and Life Through Time (New York: W. H. Freeman and Co., 1986), pp. 411–415. See also Robert H. Dott Jr. and Roger L. Batten, Evolution of the Earth , 2nd edition (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1976), p. 311.]

It is true that skeletal features of some amphibians and some reptiles are similar. However, huge differences exist in their soft internal organs, such as their circulatory and reproductive systems. For example, no evolutionary scheme has ever been given for the development of the many unique innovations of the reptile’s egg. [See Denton, pp. 218–219 and Pitman, pp. 199–200.]

h. “Gaps at a lower taxonomic level, species and genera, are practically universal in the fossil record of the mammal-like reptiles. In no single adequately documented case is it possible to trace a transition, species by species, from one genus to another.” Thomas S. Kemp, Mammal-Like Reptiles and the Origin of Mammals (New York: Academic Press, 1982), p. 319.

i. “The [evolutionary] origin of birds is largely a matter of deduction. There is no fossil evidence of the stages through which the remarkable change from reptile to bird was achieved.” W. E. Swinton, “The Origin of Birds,” Biology and Comparative Physiology of Birds , editor A. J. Marshall (New York: Academic Press, 1960), Vol. 1, Chapter 1, p. 1.

* Some have claimed birds evolved from a two-legged dinosaur known as a theropod. However, several problems exist.

** A theropod dinosaur fossil found in China showed a lung mechanism completely incompatible with that of birds. [See John A. Ruben et al., “Lung Structure and Ventilation in Theropod Dinosaurs and Early Birds, Science , Vol. 278, 14 November 1997, pp. 1267–1270.] In that report, “Ruben argues that a transition from a crocodilian to a bird lung would be impossible, because the transitional animal would have a life-threatening hernia or hole in its diaphragm.” [Ann Gibbons, “Lung Fossils Suggest Dinos Breathed in Cold Blood,” Science , Vol. 278, 14 November 1997, p. 1230.]

** Bird and theropod “hands” differ. Theropods have “fingers” I, II, and III (having lost the “ring finger” and little finger), while birds have fingers II, III, and IV. “The developmental evidence of homology is problematic for the hypothesized theropod origin of birds.” [Ann C. Burke and Alan Feduccia, “Developmental Patterns and the Identification of Homologies in the Avian Hand,” Science , Vol. 278, 24 October 1997, pp. 666–668.] “… this important developmental evidence that birds have a II-III-IV digital formula, unlike the dinosaur I-II-III, is the most important barrier to belief in the dinosaur origin [for birds] orthodoxy.” [Richard Hinchliffe, “The Forward March of the Bird-Dinosaurs Halted?” Science , Vol. 278, 24 October 1997, p. 597.]

** Theropod “arms” (relative to body size) are tiny, compared with the wings of supposedly early birds.

** “… most theropod dinosaurs and in particular the birdlike dromaeosaurs are all very much later in the fossil record than Archaeopteryx [the supposed first bird].” Hinchliffe, p. 597.

** See “What Was Archaeopteryx?” at www.creationscience.com/onlinebook/FAQ119.html#wp1365100.

** Birds have many unique features difficult to explain from any evolutionary perspective, such as: feathers, tongues, and egg shell designs.

j. “When and where the first Primates made their appearance is also conjectural. … It is clear, therefore, that the earliest Primates are not yet known …” William Charles Osman Hill, Primates (New York: Interscience Publishers, Inc., 1953), Vol. 1, pp. 25–26.

* “The transition from insectivore to primate is not clearly documented in the fossil record.” A. J. Kelso, Physical Anthropology , 2nd edition (New York: J. B. Lippincott Company, 1974), p. 141.

* “Modern apes, for instance, seem to have sprung out of nowhere. They have no yesterday, no fossil record. And the true origin of modern humans—of upright, naked, toolmaking, big-brained beings—is, if we are to be honest with ourselves, an equally mysterious matter.” Lyall Watson, “The Water People,” Science Digest , May 1982, p. 44.

k. “At any rate, modern gorillas, orangs and chimpanzees spring out of nowhere, as it were. They are here today; they have no yesterday, unless one is able to find faint foreshadowings of it in the dryopithecids.” Donald Johanson and Maitland Edey, Lucy: The Beginnings of Humankind (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1981; reprint, New York: Warner Books, 1982), p. 363.

l. “It may, therefore, be firmly maintained that it is not even possible to make a caricature of an evolution out of palaeobiological facts. The fossil material is now so complete that it has been possible to construct new classes and the lack of transitional series cannot be explained as due to the scarcity of the material. The deficiencies are real, they will never be filled.” Nilsson, p. 1212.

* “… experience shows that the gaps which separate the highest categories may never be bridged in the fossil record. Many of the discontinuities tend to be more and more emphasized with increased collecting.” Norman D. Newell (former Curator of Historical Geology at the American Museum of Natural History), “The Nature of the Fossil Record,” Adventures in Earth History, editor Preston Cloud (San Francisco: W. H. Freeman and Co., 1970), pp. 644–645.

* “A person may choose any group of animals or plants, large or small, or pick one at random. He may then go to a library and with some patience he will be able to find a qualified author who says that the evolutionary origin of that form is not known.” Bolton Davidheiser, Evolution and Christian Faith (Phillipsburg, New Jersey: The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, 1969), p. 302.

Davidheiser, a Ph.D. zoologist and a creationist, goes on to list more than 75 additional examples beyond those already mentioned in this book.


Permalink | Salvador T. Cordova, IDEA GMU | 06-25-2005 | 09:50 AM

quote:

Glad you asked, Walt. The proteins making up the flagellum are very similar to the proteins of the TTSS secretory systems of cells. One mechanism for the evolution of the flagellum and TTSS is that both the flagellum and the TSS had a common ancestor. The case is made in two papers. The first describes the proposed evolutionary relationships:

Gophna U,EZ Rona, and D Graur (2003). Bacterial type III secretion systems are ancient and evolved by multiple horizontal-transfer events. Gene 312: 151-163.


As pointed out on Mike Gene's website:
Guest Article on DeVolution


quote:

The type III secretory system

The eubacterial flagellum has been cited as an obstacle to Darwinian evolution (Denton 1985; Behe 1996). In response to this, many Darwinists, primarily writing on internet discussion boards, have raised the type III secretory system as illustrating a step in the evolution of the flagellum. The secretory system is employed by bacteria for transporting proteins into other cells, which can either harm the receiver or establish a mutualistic symbiosis, as in Rhizobium and legumes, where the bacteria provides the plant with nitrogen, while the plant supplies nutritients.

The secretory system has substantial homologues with the flagellum (Hueck 1998), and some critics imagine the simple secretory system as a precursor to the more complex flagellum. This, however, is at odds with the concensus of the scientific community, which is that it was the secretory system that evolved from the flagellum, not the other way around (e.g. Stephens & Shapiro 1996; Macnab 1999; Nguyen 2000), though see Gohpna, Ron & Graur (2003) for a dissenting opinion and Saier (2004) for a response. Contrary to acting as a "steppping stone" in the evolution of flagella, the secretory system is the result of reducing selection, a common fate for organisms living in close symbiotic relationships (Andersson & Andersson 1999).



Further, within speicies molecular similarity indicates a common heritage (essentially a "paternity" type test), but it is pure speculation it this "paternity" test works accross species or the major taxanomic boundaries. Evidence of molecular "convergence" has seriously weakened that viewpoint.

PS
Graur is an ardent anti-IDist who boasted about their bullying out of academia. One of the ID leaning professors of molecular biology at George Mason, Dr. Caroline Crocker, suffered at the hands of the inquisition which Graur boasts about. Dr. Crocker was no longer employed by the university a month after she was featured in the journal Nature.


Permalink | KC | 06-25-2005 | 09:52 AM

Walt Brown writes:


quote:
Gould and Eldredge claimed transitional fossils are missing because relatively rapid evolutionary jumps (which they called “punctuated equilibria”) occurred over these gaps. They did not explain how this could happen.
I'm confused. I have Gould and Eldredge's original paper on punctuated equilibria ("punk eek") in front of me. On page 86, plain as day, they write:

quote:
We contend that a notion developed elsewhere [outside of paleontology], the theory of allopatric speciation, supplies a more satisfactory picture for the ordering of paleontological data.
Eldredge, N and SJ Gould (1972). Punctuated equilibria: an alternative to phyletic gradualism. In Models in Paleobiology, T Schopf, ed. PP. 82-115

The rest of the paper is devoted to showing how allopatric speciation can explain the patterns seen in the fossil record. How Walt can make this claim is beyond me. The only conclusion I can come to is that he has never actually read Gould and Eldredge's work in the primary literature.

By the way, allopatric speciation had been accepted by many geneticists long before Gould and Eldredge came along, so Walts following passage is just plain wrong:

quote:
Many geneticists are shocked by the proposal of Gould and Eldredge. Why would they propose something so contradictory to genetics?
I challenge Walt to show that Gould and Eldredge proposed anything contradictory to genetics.

quote:
Gould and Eldredge were forced to say that evolution must proceed in jumps. Never explained, in genetic and mathematical terms, is how such large jumps could occur.
Walt is obviously unfamiliar with the body of work done on the genetics of speciation, which is the underpinning for allopatric speciation, which in turn is the mechanism Gould and Eldredge use to drive punk eek. I recommend a very nice review paper by Jerry Coyne and H Allen Orr to bring him up to speed:

Coyne, JA and HA Orr (1998). The evolutionary genetics of speciation. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B 353:287-305.

KC


Permalink | Salvador T. Cordova, IDEA GMU | 06-25-2005 | 09:53 AM

quote:
Originally posted by Les Lane:
Sal-

Roth makes the ludicrous assumption that uplift and erosion are everywhere uniform. I'll agree that the GRI is likely the best of the YEC institutes, but its goals are still apologetics, not science. Faculty are chosen for their YEC beliefs, not the quality of thier science.

The "ludicrous assumption" is part of what is used in "proof by contradiction". Roth was essentially showing the hopelessness of of uniformitarian assumptions which had been the basis of old earth lyellian geology. Even with if the average (not necessarily uniform) erosion rates are 6 cm /1000 years we get wipe out of the continents. It is an unresolved problem that has not been addressed.


Permalink | Salvador T. Cordova, IDEA GMU | 06-25-2005 | 10:14 AM

quote:
Originally posted by KC:
Walt Brown writes:


quote:
Gould and Eldredge claimed transitional fossils are missing because relatively rapid evolutionary jumps (which they called “punctuated equilibria”) occurred over these gaps. They did not explain how this could happen.
I'm confused. I have Gould and Eldredge's original paper on punctuated equilibria ("punk eek") in front of me. On page 86, plain as day, they write:

quote:
We contend that a notion developed elsewhere [outside of paleontology], the theory of allopatric speciation, supplies a more satisfactory picture for the ordering of paleontological data.
Eldredge, N and SJ Gould (1972). Punctuated equilibria: an alternative to phyletic gradualism. In Models in Paleobiology, T Schopf, ed. PP. 82-115

The rest of the paper is devoted to showing how allopatric speciation can explain the patterns seen in the fossil record. How Walt can make this claim is beyond me. The only conclusion I can come to is that he has never actually read Gould and Eldredge's work in the primary literature.


From Wikipedia Allopatric Speciation :

quote:

Allopatric speciation (also known as Allopatry) is speciation by geographical isolation.

Speciation is especially likely to occur in small populations that have become separated from the main populations, e.g., on islands, or in small lakes. One famous example is Hawaiian flies. Many of the small islands have endemic fly species. Theoretically, flies migrated to the smaller islands when the islands had recently emerged by volcanic action. Separated from the main population, the small fly population diverges genetically, adapting to the new island until it is a separate species from the original parent population. This example also illustrates the founder's effect.


We basically see species that separate off from the main population, in some cases they change enough that they don't ever mate with the parent species. These are sub-speciation events which we observe. The sub species retain the major characteristics of the parent species. In the case of Allopatric Speciation of Fruit Flies, after all is said and done, the sub-species are still Fruit Flies.

Like Darwin, Gould and Eldridge extrapolate tiny examples to account for big changes with absolutely zero direct empirical observation. Their theories are not much above the hopeful monster theories.

quote:

KC wrote:

By the way, allopatric speciation had been accepted by many geneticists long before Gould and Eldredge came along, so Walts following passage is just plain wrong:

You mean geneticists like Goldshmidt who advocated hopeful monster theories.

quote:


Hopeful Monster Theory

The Hopeful Monster theory was proposed by Richard B. Goldschmidt to explain the gaps in the fossil record. He proposed that the evolutionary mechanism that explains the fossil record might be embryological monsters, such as the occasional birth of a two-legged sheep or a two-headed turtle. This would explain the apparent saltations or "leaps" in the fossil record.

Stephen J. Gould made reference to the Hopeful Monster theory in proposing his alternative theory of punctuated equilibrium. In an article in Natural History, Gould noted: "the extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology. We fancy ourselves as the only true students of life's history, yet to preserve our favorite account of evolution by natural selection we view our data as so bad that we never see the very process we profess to study." Natural History, May 1977 p.14. He penned another article for the June/July, 1977 issue of Natural History, titled The Return of Hopeful Monsters.


We do see monsters and tremendous mutants through induced mutation via radiation or chemical means, but in the lab we see that the species will resist mating with a monster offspring. Further, these monsters tend to be so highly deformed that they are dysfunctional and selected against. It is at it's root, a desperate appeal to chance.

quote:

KC wrote:
quote:

Walt wrote:
Many geneticists are shocked by the proposal of Gould and Eldredge. Why would they propose something so contradictory to genetics?

I challenge Walt to show that Gould and Eldredge proposed anything contradictory to genetics.

quote:
Gould and Eldredge were forced to say that evolution must proceed in jumps. Never explained, in genetic and mathematical terms, is how such large jumps could occur.
Walt is obviously unfamiliar with the body of work done on the genetics of speciation, which is the underpinning for allopatric speciation, which in turn is the mechanism Gould and Eldredge use to drive punk eek. I recommend a very nice review paper by Jerry Coyne and H Allen Orr to bring him up to speed:

Coyne, JA and HA Orr (1998). The evolutionary genetics of speciation. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B 353:287-305.

KC

Subspeciation is a fact, however, to claim it can account for significant changes is like claiming because we can build huts out of grass we can build skyscrapers in the same way.

We're essentially seeing the equivocation of the idea of Allopatric Speciation. In one sense it means observed small changes, in another it is an unwarranted extrapolation supposedly proven by the observed small changes.

PS
Like Graur, Coyne is another rabid anti-IDist who apparently is very hostile to Christians. He wrote a letter recently in response to the group of Articles in Nature (where I was mentioned regarding Intelligent Design on the College Campuses). He and his comrades showed their true color.


Permalink | KC | 06-25-2005 | 10:19 AM

Sal writes:

quote:
As pointed out on Mike Gene's website:
Guest Article on DeVolution

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The type III secretory system

The eubacterial flagellum has been cited as an obstacle to Darwinian evolution (Denton 1985; Behe 1996). In response to this, many Darwinists, primarily writing on internet discussion boards, have raised the type III secretory system as illustrating a step in the evolution of the flagellum. The secretory system is employed by bacteria for transporting proteins into other cells, which can either harm the receiver or establish a mutualistic symbiosis, as in Rhizobium and legumes, where the bacteria provides the plant with nitrogen, while the plant supplies nutritients.

The secretory system has substantial homologues with the flagellum (Hueck 1998), and some critics imagine the simple secretory system as a precursor to the more complex flagellum. This, however, is at odds with the concensus of the scientific community, which is that it was the secretory system that evolved from the flagellum, not the other way around (e.g. Stephens & Shapiro 1996; Macnab 1999; Nguyen 2000), though see Gohpna, Ron & Graur (2003) for a dissenting opinion and Saier (2004) for a response. Contrary to acting as a "steppping stone" in the evolution of flagella, the secretory system is the result of reducing selection, a common fate for organisms living in close symbiotic relationships (Andersson & Andersson 1999).
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sal, Walt is asking how could the flagellum evolve. I gave him one scenario. Walt's entire argument is that the concept is inconceivable. I'm obviously arguing otherwise.

quote:
Further, within speicies molecular similarity indicates a common heritage (essentially a "paternity" type test), but it is pure speculation it this "paternity" test works accross species or the major taxanomic boundaries.
Since we have observed incipient speciation develop, we know that species come from other species. This means we cannot argue against molecular similarity as indicating evidence of descent. To do so requires denying what we know about basic inheritance.

As for major taxonomic boundaries (such as genus, family, order, etc), it should be made clear that these 'boundaries' are purely arbitrary and do not imply that higher taxa are actual natural units. As such, one cannot argue that such 'boundaries' prevent anything from occurring 'across' them. Art's silversword example is a classic refutation of that position.

But all of this really should be taken up on another thread.

KC


Permalink | Salvador T. Cordova, IDEA GMU | 06-25-2005 | 10:29 AM

quote:

Dr. Brown wrote:

WB: Mutations and change in allele frequencies are two that come to mind. There are many types of mutations, but they are generally in the form of a random change in a highly integrated, extremely complex living system. (Let’s not quibble about whether the changes are truly random, or only pseudo random. For all practical purposes, they are random.)


Dr. Brown,

I agree that there are mutations that should appropriately be modeled as random noise type errors. However, we are seeing evidence of designed mutations.

When one listens to a modem signal, it sounds like noise, yet it is not. We have an analogous problem in sorting out designed mutations from accidental mutations.

I point this out to help anticipate arguments by the evolutionists who will use adaptive mutations as evidence of Darwinian evolution.

I link here to articles by Michael Behe, Royal Truman, and Chris Ashcraft to point out that the situation is a little more subtle. Although overall, as you know, I'm much in agreement with you're work.


Michael Behe on Adaptive Mutations (Response to Ken Miller)

Examples of Designed Mutation in the Immune System by Royal Truman

Evolution: God's Greatests Creation by Aschreaft (a YEC)


Permalink | KC | 06-25-2005 | 10:33 AM

Sal writes:

quote:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

KC wrote:

By the way, allopatric speciation had been accepted by many geneticists long before Gould and Eldredge came along, so Walts following passage is just plain wrong:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

You mean geneticists like Goldshmidt who advocated hopeful monster theories.


quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Hopeful Monster Theory

The Hopeful Monster theory was proposed by Richard B. Goldschmidt to explain the gaps in the fossil record. He proposed that the evolutionary mechanism that explains the fossil record might be embryological monsters, such as the occasional birth of a two-legged sheep or a two-headed turtle. This would explain the apparent saltations or "leaps" in the fossil record.

Stephen J. Gould made reference to the Hopeful Monster theory in proposing his alternative theory of punctuated equilibrium.

I challenge Sal to show us where Eldredge and Gould make any reference to Goldschmidt when they proposed their theory in the original punk eek paper, or their subsequent paper in 1977:

Gould, SJ and N Eldredge (1977). Punctuated equilibria: the tempo and mode of evolution reconsidered. Paleobiology 3: 115-151.


quote:
We do see monsters and tremendous mutants through induced mutation via radiation or chemical means, but in the lab we see that the species will resist mating with a monster offspring. Further, these monsters tend to be so highly deformed that they are dysfunctional and selected against. It is at it's root, a desperate appeal to chance.
And Gould and Eldredge never appealed to them as part of their theory.

KC


Permalink | Salvador T. Cordova, IDEA GMU | 06-25-2005 | 10:56 AM

quote:

KC asks:

I challenge Sal to show us where Eldredge and Gould make any reference to Goldschmidt when they proposed their theory in the original punk eek paper, or their subsequent paper in 1977:


Thank you for pointing out it wasn't in their original punk eek or 1977 paper, but since you pointed out that Gould's thesis was consistent with accepted work by geneticists, I presumed you had no problem with me suggesting Gould was making a variation on Goldshmidt's Hopeful Monsters.

As a matter of fact, here is Gould himself writing about Hopeful Monsters and Goldshmidt:

The Return of the Hopeful Monsters by Stephen Gould


quote:

Gould writes:

Big Brother, the tyrant of George Orwell's 1984, directed his daily Two Minutes Hate against Emmanuel Goldstein, enemy of the people. When I studied evolutionary biology in graduate school during the mid-1960s, official rebuke and derision focused upon Richard Goldschmidt, a famous geneticist who, we were told, had gone astray. Although 1984 creeps up on us, I trust that the world will not be in Big Brother's grip by then. I do, however, predict that during this decade Goldschmidt will be largely vindicated in the world of evolutionary biology.



PS
I should note, Stephen J. Gould was one of the teachers of creationists Kurt Wise who was instrumental to the formation of the Baraminology group which Stephen Meyer and Richard Sternberg were associated with. They were involved in the now infamous: Origin of Biological Information paper.


Permalink | KC | 06-25-2005 | 11:40 AM

Sal writes (his emphasis):

quote:
Allopatric speciation (also known as Allopatry) is speciation by geographical isolation.
This is not necessarily true, Sal, though for a long time this was thought to be the case. THe equivalence of allopatric speciation can occur in sympatry, when ecological circumstances give rise to divergent selection, and that selection results in changes which result in reproductive isolation between two populations in close proximity (sympatry). There is a growing body of evidence for this, summarized quite nicely in the following paper:

Schluter, D (2001). Ecology and the origin of species. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 16(7): 372-380.

I know I just used a bunch of fancy words, so let me illustrate with a simple example. In post glacial lakes in Canada, a pattern of speciation has been observed among fish known as sticklebacks. As the glaciers retreated, they left behind lakes which are isolated, trapping remnants of a once-continuous population of sticklebacks into fragmented subpopulations. In many of the lakes containing sticklebacks, two distinct species of sticklebacks have arisen: one specializing in eating plankton, which is found in the upper reaches of the lake waters, and a benthic species, which consumes larger prey found typically in deeper waters and sediments.

The planktivores are always smaller and more slender than the benthivores. The two species are reproductively isolated enough to remain distinct populations, but the isolation isn't perfect: some hybridization does occur, because the fish choose mates that most closely resemble them in size. Thus, the smallest benthic fish will sometimes mate with the largest planktonic fish, and viable hybrids are created. But here is the kicker: hybrids, while viable, take much longer to grow than offspring produced from benthic X benthic and planktonic X planktonic matings. So these fish cannot demographically compete with the others, thus always remain rare. What all of this means is that the populations remain distinct overall, even though they are in close proximity. In effect, they are ecologically isolated from each other, rather than geographically isolated.

By this time I'm sure you are wondering what all of this has to do with Gould and Eldredge (where we began the discussion). Well, what we are beginning to understand is that reproductive isolation between populations can occur not just by geographic isolation but by ecological isolation as well. Gould and Eldredge's punk eek theory begins by pointing out that many species in the paleontological record remain in stasis, i.e, unchanged (morphologically, at least), for long periods of time, and speciation occurs in what appears to be bursts of rapid activity. What Goudl and Eldredge were proposing as an explanation for this was that ecological circumstances were driving the changes. That is, when ecological conditions were stable, there was limited opportunity for speciation to occur (remember, no two species can occupy the same niche for long periods of time) because the availability of new niches was limited. Thus we see stasis in the fossil record. However, ecological change/disruptions can provide opportunity for new niches to develop and divergent selection to occur to encourage speciation, and when this occurs, the speciation can be quite rapid (as in our stickleback example, which has happeneed in tens of thousands of years, not millions). This is reflected in the fossil record as a quite abrupt appearance. So, overall, the fossil record appears 'punctuated', with long periods of stasis and rapid bursts of speciation.

There is no need for hopeful monsters to explain what we see.

KC


Permalink | Josh Rosenau | 06-25-2005 | 12:51 PM

I'm astounded by Walt Brown's claim that we will never find any more transitional fossils.

That's the most profoundly unscientific and unprovable statement. Indeed, if we wait a few weeks, I imagine we'll find even more transitions.

Last November we had Pierolapithecus catalaunicus. In Sahelanthropus tchadensis in April. What makes Wally B. so certain we're all done?

This is the dumbest thing he's said yet. The usual mining of Darwin for contextless quotes, misunderstandings and misrepresentations of what other biologist and paleontoligists have said, and easily falsified statements.


Permalink | Salvador T. Cordova, IDEA GMU | 06-25-2005 | 01:40 PM

quote:
Originally posted by Josh Rosenau:
I'm astounded by Walt Brown's claim that we will never find any more transitional fossils.

That's the most profoundly unscientific and unprovable statement. Indeed, if we wait a few weeks, I imagine we'll find even more transitions.

Last November we had Pierolapithecus catalaunicus. In Sahelanthropus tchadensis in April. What makes Wally B. so certain we're all done?

This is the dumbest thing he's said yet. The usual mining of Darwin for contextless quotes, misunderstandings and misrepresentations of what other biologist and paleontoligists have said, and easily falsified statements.

I'm afraid your post does not accurately convey what Dr. Brown was saying. He said:

quote:

Dr. Brown wrote:
The fossil record has been studied so thoroughly it is safe to conclude these gaps are real; they will never be filled.(l)


The gaps he was referring to were:

quote:

Dr. Brown wrote:

At the most fundamental level, a big gap exists between forms of life whose cells have nuclei (eukaryotes, such as plants, animals, and fungi) and those that don’t (prokaryotes such as bacteria and blue-green algae).(b) Fossil links are also missing between numerous plants,(c) between single-celled forms of life and invertebrates (animals without backbones), among insects,(d) between invertebrates and vertebrates (animals with backbones),(e) between fish and amphibians,(f) between amphibians and reptiles,(g) between reptiles and mammals,(h) between reptiles and birds,(i) between primates and other mammals,(j) and between apes and other primates

The problem is not just that these colossal gaps exists, it's that theoretical transitionals don't even make sense! A classic example is the theoretical transitional between Eukaryotes (the architecture seen in multi-cellular organisms and a few unicellular organisms) and Prokaryotes (the architecture seen in bacteria).

In fact, to explain cellular evolution, Woese writes:

On e the evolution of cells

quote:

The time has come for Biology to go beyond the Doctrine of Common Descent.

In fact he proposes based on science alone, that there were no transitionals in the classical sense.

As far as the other "evidence" you offered, Josh, those are speculations being passed off as facts. The link you provided mentioned Flores man, and that hasn't been resolved as a transitional. Also regarding Pierolapithecus catalaunicus see
Response to Comment on "Pierolapithecus catalaunicus, a New Middle Miocene Great Ape from Spain :

quote:


Uncertainties regarding phylogenetic affinities among fossil hominoids are still considerable and result from both the pervasive nature of homoplasy and the fragmentary nature of available fossil remains (1). The intrinsic difficulties of the material, as well as methodological problems, may distort the results of phylogenetic analyses. Thus, parsimony-based cladistic analyses may fail to reveal the true phylogenetic relationships as shown, for instance, through a cladistic test of the firmly established phylogeny of extant hominoids (2).



So much for your evidence, Josh. Even the community of Darwinists have doubts about it, so perhaps you should offer more convincing examples.


In any case, small gaps being partially breeched (as in the rather shaky case of supposed horse evolution) does not automatically mean they are breechable in the large cases Brown outlined. He has essentially offered a falsifiable claim!


Permalink | Salvador T. Cordova, IDEA GMU | 06-25-2005 | 02:42 PM

quote:

Josh wrote
Josh in November, 2004 There's also something eerie about looking at the earliest known hominoid, a possible ancestor of modern humans and apes.


We have the concept of parents and siblings. In the Grand scheme of common ancestry this metaphor is extended. A "parent" group is the ancecstor, a "sister" group suggests that a one group is linked to another by a common ancestor. That means a "sister" group is formally not an ancestor.

Correct me if I'm wrong, Josh, but that means Pierolapithecus catalaunicus cannot possibly be a transitional.


quote:

Salvador Moyà-Solà writes:

The orthograde body plan of Pierolapithecus situates this genus within the crown hominoids. The great ape facial anatomy makes it a sister group of great apes and humans.




Permalink | Walt Brown | 06-25-2005 | 02:44 PM

Response #5 of 10:
At 12:58 PM on June 11, Josh Rosenau explained, in a sketchy sort of way, how eyes evolved and how fish developed legs. It all sounds so nice to true believers and the uninitiated, especially if some technical terms are thrown in. The problem arises when one asks, “Where’s the evidence?” I’ll let Josh explain.

quote:
As to eyes: Here's a section from Douglas Futuyama's textbook on evolution. Look at that figure, which shows a theoretical model for eye evolution on one side, and actual eyes found in the wild.

The theoretical model is about what Darwin predicted, a series of functional eyes, each simpler than the next. While the practical demonstrantion is in snails, similar sequences can be assembled for the vertebrate eye.

The important point is that each stage in eye evolution is functional. Later stages may be more efficient, but early stages must do something. A photosensitive patch can help flatworms avoid light areas where predators can eat them. Having those cells in a cup rather than flat lets the animal locate the light source more precisely. And so forth, as illustrated and discussed.

These illustrations are based on peer reviewed research, and I can go into more detail if you'd like.

As for the coelocanth, the fact is that it is both a fossil from the earliest days and a modern fish disproves nothing. It was well adapted to its life. That's good. Some of its ancestors offspring developed the use of fins as legs, while others stayed in the same place and look the same. The fact that I look like my grandfather doesn't mean he didn't exist a long time ago.

Sometimes natural selection acts to keep things teh same, sometimes it changes things. If the coelocanth were ill-suited for life, it would never have evolved as an intermediate stage in leg development. The fact that it has survived and thrived indicates that it is not just an intermediate, it is a viable and successful species, as advanced as it can be for its own needs.

Evolution isn't pushing towards the land or the sea. Coelocanths don't have stiff fins so that their offspring can evolve legs. They have stiff fins because that's what works for them. Legs worked for their ancestors' offspring, so the fins that weren't like legs were selected against.

This is pure story telling—speculation—what leading evolutions call “just-so-stories.” Within the field of evolutionary biology, it is rampant and accepted. In fact, anyone who objects to the method too loudly is banished from the club. If you are a graduate student, it usually means no degree. If you are a professor, it means no tenure—or worse.

The point can be illustrated by a story told by Engineering Professor Murray Eden of MIT.
quote:
An example of how this theory [of evolution] can, by its loose logical structure, explain anything, is provided by J. C. Fentress of the University of Rochester’s Brain Research Center. While in Cambridge, studying the habits of the British vole—a type of field mouse—he found that one species would freeze when it observed a test object moving overhead, while the other species would run. One species happened to live in the woods while the other inhabited the fields. Fentress took this data to some zoologist friends, but he reversed the observations and asked them why—when the converse was actually true—the woodland species ran away and the field species froze. These zoologists were able to give a very elaborate and satisfying explanations for this false data by using conventional ideas about [natural] selection theory.
Murray Eden, “Heresy in the Halls of Biology: Mathematicians Question Darwinism,” Scientific Research, November 1967, p. 60.

Josh then ended his explanation for eyes and fish legs with a rare admission of this nonscientific method that eliminates the need for evidence.

quote:
I don't think you are getting yourself into the right mindset. You don't have to believe all this is true, but evolution is a self-consistent view of the world, and you can't critique the scientists if you misunderstand the approach. Once you understand it, you are entitled to offer critiques, and they're entitled to accept, reject, or ignore your critique. As long as you get mixed up over these relatively basic concepts, some people won't take your critique seriously.

What is the evidence, Josh? If you used your arm-waving methodology in physics, chemistry, or any of the applied sciences, such as engineering (where the end product must work), you would quickly become unemployed.

First, let’s try to agree on what science and evidence are. Here are my definitions. I would welcome comments from anyone.

Science: A field of study seeking to better understand natural phenomena through the use of observations and experiments. Broad, but increasingly precise and concise relationships are sought between causes and effects. These relationships, called scientific laws, help predict future phenomena and explain past events.

Scientific Evidence: Something that has been observed with instruments or our senses, is verifiable, and helps support or refute possible explanations for phenomena.

What is some evidence, Josh? Let’s just start in your field, the life sciences, with DNA. DNA is loaded with coded information. How are vast quantities of information produced? How are codes produced? Please review Categories 15 and 16, which can be found here(15) and here(16). Next, explain how irreducible complexity arises.

Just-so-stories are not evidence, Josh.

Walt Brown

PS. Josh, you are confused about the coelacanth, and I am not just referring to its spelling. To understand the history of the issue and what evolutionists were claiming before live coelacanths were discovered and observed in their habitats, see www.creationscience.com/onlinebook/ReferencesandNotes66.html#wp1177983. Predictions and speculations by evolutionists were wrong at every turn.

Also, I hope you know that there are many kinds of eyes, not just our retina-and-lens type. Each works on different optical, electrical, and physical principles. Therefore, evolving eyes doesn’t require just one chain of miracles, it involves many chains.


Permalink | Salvador T. Cordova, IDEA GMU | 06-25-2005 | 02:50 PM

quote:

Walter Brown commented:

In fact, anyone who objects to the method too loudly is banished from the club. If you are a graduate student, it usually means no degree. If you are a professor, it means no tenure—or worse.


I'm sad to say, Dr. Caroline Crocker at my school, 1 month after her appearance in Nature, is no longer employed by the university. The PhD and masters biology grad students within IDEA are keeping a low profile, so are the untenured professors.

Engineering students and science majors in other disciplines are freer to champion dissent.


Permalink | Gary S. Gaulin | 06-25-2005 | 03:00 PM

quote:

Dr. Brown wrote:

At the most fundamental level, a big gap exists between forms of life whose cells have nuclei (eukaryotes, such as plants, animals, and fungi) and those that don’t (prokaryotes such as bacteria and blue-green algae).(b) Fossil links are also missing between numerous plants,(c) between single-celled forms of life and invertebrates (animals without backbones), among insects,(d) between invertebrates and vertebrates (animals with backbones),(e) between fish and amphibians,(f) between amphibians and reptiles,(g) between reptiles and mammals,(h) between reptiles and birds,(i) between primates and other mammals,(j) and between apes and other primates

Like the other examples Brown gave the links between apes and other apes and humans are now well understood. The least you could do is understand it.

Humans with 46 chromosomes branched from the great apes which have 48 chromosomes. This was the result of the fusion of two chromosomes 2p and 2q.

http://www.evolutionpages.com/chromosome_2.htm

Even though the chromosomes were fused (human) the DNA would likely have been viable for reproduction within the original ape population. All of the original DNA would have been there. Protein synthesis would have not changed due to the ends of chromosomes (telomeres) not having active DNA coding in it. Only difference between it and an unfused chromosome is it had two centromeres as is still the case in our chromosome 2.

Mitosis would carry on as usual, like this really cool website illustrates:

http://www.cellsalive.com/mitosis.htm

We are now able to use DNA evidence to help prove evolution. And it is very conclusive.

http://www.indiana.edu/~ensiweb/lessons/chr.clad.html

Brown's attacks are way outdated and don't even present anything scientific. Just the usual mindless kicking of something some people don't want to understand.


Permalink | Salvador T. Cordova, IDEA GMU | 06-25-2005 | 03:04 PM

quote:

Like the other examples Brown gave the links between apes and other apes and humans are now well understood. The least you could do is understand it.


That goes against the article that Josh inavertently help me find:

Response to Comment on "Pierolapithecus catalaunicus, a New Middle Miocene Great Ape from Spain

quote:

Uncertainties regarding phylogenetic affinities among fossil hominoids are still considerable and result from both the pervasive nature of homoplasy and the fragmentary nature of available fossil remains (1).

The least you can do is understand similarity of form does not imply common ancestry. Does the word homoplasy or convergence mean anything to you?
"Convergent" evolution and homoplasy


Richard Sternberg rightly calls convergence a "Darwinian Epicycle".


Permalink | Gary S. Gaulin | 06-25-2005 | 03:14 PM

Salvador, there are still details about how one thing became another to be resolved but you have a tendency of suggesting that these details somehow disproves evolution.


Permalink | Josh Rosenau | 06-25-2005 | 11:24 PM

quote:
Originally posted by Walt Brown:
Response #5 of 10:
At 12:58 PM on June 11, Josh Rosenau explained, in a sketchy sort of way, how eyes evolved and how fish developed legs. It all sounds so nice to true believers and the uninitiated, especially if some technical terms are thrown in. The problem arises when one asks, “Where’s the evidence?” I’ll let Josh explain.

quote:
As to eyes: Here's a section from Douglas Futuyama's textbook on evolution. Look at that figure, which shows a theoretical model for eye evolution on one side, and actual eyes found in the wild.

The theoretical model is about what Darwin predicted, a series of functional eyes, each simpler than the next. While the practical demonstrantion is in snails, similar sequences can be assembled for the vertebrate eye.

The important point is that each stage in eye evolution is functional. Later stages may be more efficient, but early stages must do something. A photosensitive patch can help flatworms avoid light areas where predators can eat them. Having those cells in a cup rather than flat lets the animal locate the light source more precisely. And so forth, as illustrated and discussed.

These illustrations are based on peer reviewed research, and I can go into more detail if you'd like.

As for the coelocanth, the fact is that it is both a fossil from the earliest days and a modern fish disproves nothing. It was well adapted to its life. That's good. Some of its ancestors offspring developed the use of fins as legs, while others stayed in the same place and look the same. The fact that I look like my grandfather doesn't mean he didn't exist a long time ago.

Sometimes natural selection acts to keep things teh same, sometimes it changes things. If the coelocanth were ill-suited for life, it would never have evolved as an intermediate stage in leg development. The fact that it has survived and thrived indicates that it is not just an intermediate, it is a viable and successful species, as advanced as it can be for its own needs.

Evolution isn't pushing towards the land or the sea. Coelocanths don't have stiff fins so that their offspring can evolve legs. They have stiff fins because that's what works for them. Legs worked for their ancestors' offspring, so the fins that weren't like legs were selected against.

This is pure story telling—speculation—what leading evolutions call “just-so-stories.” Within the field of evolutionary biology, it is rampant and accepted. In fact, anyone who objects to the method too loudly is banished from the club. If you are a graduate student, it usually means no degree. If you are a professor, it means no tenure—or worse.

The point can be illustrated by a story told by Engineering Professor Murray Eden of MIT.
quote:
An example of how this theory [of evolution] can, by its loose logical structure, explain anything, is provided by J. C. Fentress of the University of Rochester’s Brain Research Center. While in Cambridge, studying the habits of the British vole—a type of field mouse—he found that one species would freeze when it observed a test object moving overhead, while the other species would run. One species happened to live in the woods while the other inhabited the fields. Fentress took this data to some zoologist friends, but he reversed the observations and asked them why—when the converse was actually true—the woodland species ran away and the field species froze. These zoologists were able to give a very elaborate and satisfying explanations for this false data by using conventional ideas about [natural] selection theory.
Murray Eden, “Heresy in the Halls of Biology: Mathematicians Question Darwinism,” Scientific Research, November 1967, p. 60.

Josh then ended his explanation for eyes and fish legs with a rare admission of this nonscientific method that eliminates the need for evidence.

quote:
I don't think you are getting yourself into the right mindset. You don't have to believe all this is true, but evolution is a self-consistent view of the world, and you can't critique the scientists if you misunderstand the approach. Once you understand it, you are entitled to offer critiques, and they're entitled to accept, reject, or ignore your critique. As long as you get mixed up over these relatively basic concepts, some people won't take your critique seriously.

What is the evidence, Josh? If you used your arm-waving methodology in physics, chemistry, or any of the applied sciences, such as engineering (where the end product must work), you would quickly become unemployed.

First, let’s try to agree on what science and evidence are. Here are my definitions. I would welcome comments from anyone.

Science: A field of study seeking to better understand natural phenomena through the use of observations and experiments. Broad, but increasingly precise and concise relationships are sought between causes and effects. These relationships, called scientific laws, help predict future phenomena and explain past events.

Scientific Evidence: Something that has been observed with instruments or our senses, is verifiable, and helps support or refute possible explanations for phenomena.

What is some evidence, Josh? Let’s just start in your field, the life sciences, with DNA. DNA is loaded with coded information. How are vast quantities of information produced? How are codes produced? Please review Categories 15 and 16, which can be found here(15) and here(16). Next, explain how irreducible complexity arises.

Just-so-stories are not evidence, Josh.

Walt Brown

PS. Josh, you are confused about the coelacanth, and I am not just referring to its spelling. To understand the history of the issue and what evolutionists were claiming before live coelacanths were discovered and observed in their habitats, see www.creationscience.com/onlinebook/ReferencesandNotes66.html#wp1177983. Predictions and speculations by evolutionists were wrong at every turn.

Also, I hope you know that there are many kinds of eyes, not just our retina-and-lens type. Each works on different optical, electrical, and physical principles. Therefore, evolving eyes doesn’t require just one chain of miracles, it involves many chains.

You left out the links that I provided, and I don't think you read them.

I know you won't respond to this, making this "debate" an excercise in futility.

I find it fascinating that you regard the multiplicity of eyes as evidence against evolution. If there were one perfect design, why should there be so many in the world, all arranged in a hierarchy.

You consider what I offered as "just-so" stories, but I offered theoretical models of eye evolution (including models built without a full understanding of the diversity of eyes) and actual evidence that each stage in the model actually can be observed, even within a family of snails. That's a falsifiable model and the data support it.

I don't care what people used to say about the coelacanth, I care what they say NOW. I'm not a scientist in the 1950s and neither are you. Let's talk about science today, not 50 years ago.

I've responded to Cat.s 15 and 16.

I never said evidence wasn't important. I was replying to a phrasing in something FtK (or you, who knows) wrote which indicated a dramatic misunderstanding of evolution. The fact that you are so adept at taking words out of context proves nothing except your vacuity.

Salvador: Finding the precise common ancestor of a species is very unlikely. That ancestral population will be small, and it won't be preserved unless an individual dies at exactly the right place. Closely related sister taxa can inform us about the common ancestor, and if you acknowledge that they are sister taxa, you can't deny that a common ancestor exists, which is the point.

I chose those two examples because those and numerous other transitional forms have been identified since Brown wrote that paragraph. He doesn't know what will be found in the next year, let alone the rest of history.


Permalink | RBHoppe | 06-26-2005 | 12:19 AM

Salvador wrote

quote:
Like Darwin, Gould and Eldridge extrapolate tiny examples to account for big changes with absolutely zero direct empirical observation. Their theories are not much above the hopeful monster theories.
Atually, in the 1972 paper Eldredge and Gould described two different sets of fossil evidence of speciation that supported their hypothesis, one from Eldredge's work with trilobites and one from Gould's work with snails.

RBH


Permalink | Walt Brown | 06-26-2005 | 04:45 AM

Conclusion 2: The Arguments for Evolution Are Outdated and Often Illogical

24. Missing Trunk

The evolutionary tree has no trunk. In the earliest part of the fossil record (generally the lowest sedimentary layers of Cambrian rock), life appears suddenly, full-blown, complex, diversified,(a) and dispersed—worldwide.(b) Evolution predicts that minor variations should slowly accumulate, eventually becoming major categories of organisms. Instead, the opposite is found. Virtually all of today’s plant and animal phyla—including flowering plants,(c) vascular plants,(d) and vertebrates(e)—appear at the base of the fossil record. In fact, many more phyla are found in the Cambrian than exist today.(f) Complex species, such as fish,(g) worms, corals, trilobites, jellyfish,(h) sponges, mollusks, and brachiopods appear suddenly, with no sign anywhere on earth of gradual development from simpler forms. Insects, a class comprising four-fifths of all known animals (living and extinct), have no evolutionary ancestors.(i) The fossil record does not support evolution.(j)
____________________________________________

a. “There is another and allied difficulty, which is much more serious. I allude to the manner in which species belonging to several of the main divisions of the animal kingdom suddenly appear in the lowest known fossiliferous rocks.” Darwin, The Origin of Species, p. 348.

“The abrupt manner in which whole groups of species suddenly appear in certain formations, has been urged by several palaeontologists—for instance, by Agassiz, Pictet, and Sedgwick—as a fatal objection to the belief in the transmutation of species. If numerous species, belonging to the same genera or families, have really started into life at once, the fact would be fatal to the theory of evolution through natural selection.” Ibid., p. 344.

“To the question why we do not find rich fossiliferous deposits belonging to these assumed earliest periods prior to the Cambrian system, I can give no satisfactory answer.” Ibid., p. 350.

“The case at present must remain inexplicable, and may be truly urged as a valid argument against the views here entertained.” Ibid., p. 351.

* “The most famous such burst, the Cambrian explosion, marks the inception of modern multicellular life. Within just a few million years, nearly every major kind of animal anatomy appears in the fossil record for the first time … The Precambrian record is now sufficiently good that the old rationale about undiscovered sequences of smoothly transitional forms will no longer wash.” Stephen Jay Gould, “An Asteroid to Die For,” Discover, October 1989, p. 65.

* “And we find many of them [Cambrian fossils] already in an advanced state of evolution, the very first time they appear. It is as though they were just planted there, without any evolutionary history. Needless to say, this appearance of sudden planting has delighted creationists.” Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker (London: W.W. Norton & Company, 1987), p. 229.

* Richard Monastersky, “Mysteries of the Orient,” Discover, April 1993, pp. 38–48.

* “One of the major unsolved problems of geology and evolution is the occurrence of diversified, multicellular marine invertebrates in Lower Cambrian rocks on all the continents and their absence in rocks of greater age.” Daniel I. Axelrod, “Early Cambrian Marine Fauna,” Science, Vol. 128, 4 July 1958, p. 7.

* “Evolutionary biology’s deepest paradox concerns this strange discontinuity. Why haven’t new animal body plans continued to crawl out of the evolutionary cauldron during the past hundreds of millions of years? Why are the ancient body plans so stable?” Jeffrey S. Levinton, “The Big Bang of Animal Evolution,” Scientific American, Vol. 267, November 1992, p. 84.

* “Granted an evolutionary origin of the main groups of animals, and not an act of special creation, the absence of any record whatsoever of a single member of any of the phyla in the Pre-Cambrian rocks remains as inexplicable on orthodox grounds as it was to Darwin.” T. Neville George, “Fossils in Evolutionary Perspective,” Science Progress, Vol. 48, No. 189, January 1960, p. 5.

b. Strange Cambrian fossils, thought to exist only in the Burgess Shale of western Canada, have been discovered in southern China. See:

** L. Ramskšld and Hou Xianguang, “New Early Cambrian Animal and Onychophoran Affinities of Enigmatic Metazoans,” Nature, Vol. 351, 16 May 1991, pp. 225–228.

** Jun-yuan Chen et al., “Evidence for Monophyly and Arthropod Affinity of Cambrian Giant Predators,” Science, Vol. 264, 27 May 1994, pp. 1304–1308.

Evolving so many unusual animals during a geologic period is mind-boggling. But doing it twice in widely separated locations stretches credulity to the breaking point. According to the theory of plate tectonics, China and Canada were even farther apart during the Cambrian.

c. “… it is well known that the fossil record tells us nothing about the evolution of flowering plants.” Corner, p. 100.

* A. K. Ghosh and A. Bose, “Occurrence of Microflora in the Salt Pseudomorph Beds, Salt Range, Punjab,” Nature, Vol. 160, 6 December 1947, pp. 796–797.

* A. K. Ghosh, J. Sen, and A. Bose, “Evidence Bearing on the Age of the Saline Series in the Salt Range of the Punjab,” Geological Magazine, Vol. 88, March–April 1951, pp. 129–133.

* J. Coates et al., “Age of the Saline Series in the Punjab Salt Range,” Nature, Vol. 155, 3 March 1945, pp. 266–267.

* Clifford Burdick, in his doctoral research at the University of Arizona in 1964, made discoveries similar to those cited in the four preceding references. [See Clifford Burdick, “Microflora of the Grand Canyon,” Creation Research Society Quarterly, Vol. 3, May 1966, pp. 38–50.]

d. S. Leclercq, “Evidence of Vascular Plants in the Cambrian,” Evolution, Vol. 10, No. 2, June 1956, pp. 109–114.

e. John E. Repetski, “A Fish from the Upper Cambrian of North America,” Science, Vol. 200, 5 May 1978, pp. 529–531.

* “Vertebrates and their progenitors, according to the new studies, evolved in the Cambrian, earlier than paleontologists have traditionally assumed.” Richard Monastersky, “Vertebrate Origins: The Fossils Speak Up,” Science News, Vol. 149, 3 February 1996, p. 75.

* “Also, the animal explosion caught people’s attention when the Chinese confirmed they found a genus now called Yunnanzoon that was present in the very beginning. This genus is considered a chordate, and the phylum Chordata includes fish, mammals and man. An evolutionist would say the ancestor of humans was present then. Looked at more objectively, you could say the most complex animal group, the chordates, were represented at the beginning, and they did not go through a slow gradual evolution to become a chordate.” Chien, p. 3.

* “At 530 million years, the 3-centimeter-long Haikouichthys appears to be the world’s oldest fish, while another new specimen, Myllokunmingia, has simpler gills and is more primitive. To Conway Morris and others, the presence of these jawless fish in the Early Cambrian suggests that the origin of chordates lies even farther back in time.” Erik Stokstad, “Exquisite Chinese Fossils Add New Pages to Book of Life,” Science, Vol. 291, 12 January 2001, p. 233.

* “The [500] specimens [of fish] may have been buried alive, possibly as a result of a storm-induced burial. … The possession of eyes (and probably nasal sacs) is consistent with Haikouichthys being a craniate, indicating that vertebrate evolution was well advanced by the Early Cambrian.” D. G. Shu et al., “Head and Backbone of the Early Cambrian Vertebrate Haikouichthys,” Nature, Vol. 421, 30 January 2003, pp. 527, 529.

f. “A simple way of putting it is that currently we have about 38 phyla of different groups of animals, but the total number of phyla discovered during that period of time [Cambrian] (including those in China, Canada, and elsewhere) adds up to over 50 phyla. That means [there are] more phyla in the very, very beginning, where we found the first fossils [of animal life], than exist now.

“Stephen Jay Gould has referred to this as the reverse cone of diversity. The theory of evolution implies that things get more complex and get more and more diverse from one single origin. But the whole thing turns out to be reversed—we have more diverse groups in the very beginning, and in fact more and more of them die off over time, and we have less and less now.” Paul Chien (Chairman, Biology Department, University of San Francisco), “Explosion of Life,” www.origins.org/articles/chien_explosionoflife.html , p. 2. Interviewed 30 June 1997.

“It was puzzling for a while because they [evolutionary paleontologists] refused to see that in the beginning there could be more complexity than we have now. What they are seeing are phyla that do not exist now—that’s more than 50 phyla compared to the 38 we have now.” Ibid., p. 3.

g. “But whatever ideas authorities may have on the subject, the lung-fishes, like every other major group of fishes that I know, have their origins firmly based in nothing, a matter of hot dispute among the experts, each of whom is firmly convinced that everyone else is wrong … I have often thought of how little I should like to have to prove organic evolution in a court of law.” [emphasis in original] Errol White, “A Little on Lung-Fishes,” Proceedings of the Linnean Society of London, Vol. 177, Presidential Address, January 1966, p. 8.

* “The geological record has so far provided no evidence as to the origin of the fishes …” J. R. Norman, A History of Fishes, 3rd edition (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1975), p. 343.

* “All three subdivisions of the bony fishes first appear in the fossil record at approximately the same time. They are already widely divergent morphologically, and they are heavily armored. How did they originate? What allowed them to diverge so widely? How did they all come to have heavy armor? And why is there no trace of earlier, intermediate forms?” Gerald T. Todd, “Evolution of the Lung and the Origin of Bony Fishes—A Causal Relationship?” American Zoologist, Vol. 20, No. 4, 1980, p. 757.

h. Cloud and Glaessner, pp. 783–792.

i. “There are no fossils known that show what the primitive ancestral insects looked like … Until fossils of these ancestors are discovered, however, the early history of the insects can only be inferred.” Peter Farb, The Insects, Life Nature Library (New York: Time Incorporated, 1962), pp. 14–15.

* “There is, however, no fossil evidence bearing on the question of insect origin; the oldest insects known show no transition to other arthropods.” Frank M. Carpenter, “Fossil Insects,” Insects (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1952), p. 18.

j. “If there has been evolution of life, the absence of the requisite fossils in the rocks older than the Cambrian is puzzling.” Marshall Kay and Edwin H. Colbert, Stratigraphy and Life History (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1965), p. 103.


Permalink | Joe Meert | 06-26-2005 | 09:03 AM

quote:
Originally posted by Walt Brown:
Conclusion

JM: This is what we get??? A cut and paste only? Are you able to argue anything outside the book or will your arguments be of the FTK variety? If so, there is not much value to your posting here. PRATT lists are not entertaining. Is this what I should have expected had you agreed to debate? A copy of your already published book? I'm very disappointed (but hardly surprised).

Cheers

Joe Meert


Permalink | Josh Rosenau | 06-26-2005 | 11:21 AM

TalkOrigins has responded to Brown's claim. Editted to disambiguate.


Permalink | apple | 06-26-2005 | 11:34 AM

quote:
Originally posted by Joe Meert:
This is what we get??? A cut and paste only?

the book seems to be of the cut and paste variety. What did you expect?


Permalink | Salvador T. Cordova, IDEA GMU | 06-26-2005 | 12:39 PM

quote:


Josh wrote insightfull:

Salvador: Finding the precise common ancestor of a species is very unlikely.


Thank you for pointing out the difficulty of finding evidence for Darwinian evolution. [Wink] Walt did say it's ulikely we'll find transitionals for the major gaps, and I appreciate that your statements seem supportive of Walter's thesis. [Wink]


Permalink | apple | 06-26-2005 | 12:44 PM

quote:
Originally posted by Salvador T. Cordova, IDEA GMU:



Thank you for pointing out the difficulty of finding evidence for Darwinian evolution. [Wink] Walt did say it's ulikely we'll find transitionals for the major gaps, and I appreciate that your statements seem supportive of Walter's thesis. [Wink]


(seem is the operative word)


Permalink | Les Lane | 06-26-2005 | 01:24 PM

We have again the "argument from incompleteness". Incompleteness is a strength of science (allows predictions), not a weakness.


Permalink | Walt Brown | 06-26-2005 | 03:03 PM

Response #6 of 10:
At 10:56 AM on June 6, Jason Meyers posted the following rebuttal. My interspersed comments are in bold. Of the eleven sentences and three supporting footnotes in Category 4, Jason mentioned his objections to one reference and this sentence:

quote:
WB: Therefore, organisms that have allegedly evolved the most should have short reproduction cycles and many offspring.
JM: I just can't let this pass.

First of all, which organisms have evolved “the most"? All species in existance today are evolved

WB: Jason, don’t assume that all species have evolved—what you should be trying to demonstrate. That’s bad logic.

JM: Each is trying to fit their own niche. Just because humans have the biggest brain doesn't mean we are most evolved. Other species hear better, see better, move faster, live in environments we cannot, etc.

WB: I agree that different organisms have amazingly different capabilities, and we can’t easily say which is more complex: the frequency-modulated radar and discrimination systems of bats; the sonar systems of dolphins, porpoises, and whales; the efficient aerodynamic capabilities of hummingbirds; the control systems, internal ballistics, and combustion chamber of bombardier beetles; or the precise and redundant navigational systems of many birds, fish, and insects. What we can say is that no component of these extremely complex systems could have evolved without placing the organism at a selective disadvantage. Each of these systems, and thousands of others, would not work until all components were complete and in place.

Once more, we are talking about irreducible complexity, aren’t we? Many experiments have been performed on these irreducibly complex systems, showing and confirming their amazing details. You wrote that I had not shown any experimental evidence. Are you blind to the conclusions of these experiments? There’s a little of your evidence.

Let’s start with bacterial motors. Several experiments have shown motor efficiencies approaching 100% at slow speeds! Conventional electrical motors can’t be scaled down to propel a bacterium through a liquid, because the ratio of inertial-to-viscous forces is proportional to scale. In effect, the liquid becomes stickier the smaller you get. Therefore, the efficiency is remarkable. Who can design and produce such motors? Please explain it, Jason, and don’t merely say that because these motors exist, evolution did it. Remember, the burden is on you to show that macroevolution does all of this.

Honest evolutionists will admit, at least in private, that this complexity is amazing, currently unexplainable, and better explained by an intelligent designer. But, they insist, maybe it can someday be explained. Then, why not in the meantime tell students (and teachers) about it?

Also notice that the best engineers using the most sophisticated technologies cannot duplicate aspects of each of these irreducibly complex systems. Why do you think random mutations—mistakes—can? Consider the Arctic Tern.
 -

 -
Above: Arctic Tern Migration Routes and Cockpit. The Arctic Tern, a bird of average size, navigates across oceans, as shown above, with the skill normally associated with navigational equipment in modern intercontinental aircraft. A round trip for the Tern might be 22,000 miles. The Tern’s “electronics” are highly miniaturized, extremely reliable, maintenance free, and easily reproduced. Furthermore, this remarkable bird needs no training. If the equipment in the lower picture could not have evolved, how could the Tern’s more amazing “equipment” have evolved?

Equally amazing is the monarch butterfly that flies thousands of miles from breeding grounds as far north as Canada to wintering grounds as far south as Mexico. Processing information in a brain the size of a pin head, it navigates using a magnetic compass and, to a lesser extent, the Sun.

Evolutionists say that bacteria evolved long before a human or a bird or a radish. Then humans, birds, and radishes—farther up your evolution ladder—evolved more than bacteria. But organisms with short reproductive cycles (like bacteria) should have evolved further, in general, than those with long reproductive cycles (like humans, birds, and radishes).


JM: Second, the author needs to learn about r-selected and K-selected reproduction. Basically, all species have to choose somewhere on the continuum of "make as many offspring as you can" (r-selection) and "care as best you can for the offspring you have" (K-selection). Mammals, due to the need to nourish their young, cannot have 100+ offspring per day like the fish I work on. Zebrafish dump out thousands of times the offspring and just entrust them to the law of averages with no prenatal or postnatal care necessary (not to mention eating many of their offspring themselves).

WB: I know about r-selected and K-selected reproduction. Yes, humans nurture their young more than other mammals, who nurture their young more than reptiles, amphibians, fish, and invertebrates, who invest more in their offspring that bacteria. That sequence also goes from long to short reproductive cycles. However, evolution predicts that the organisms that macroevolved the most from bacteria would have even shorter reproduction cycles and would be even more r-selected. They should be efficient and fast “gene-producing machines.”

JM: Is one strategy better or worse? No, it depends on the life history, environment, etc. of the species.

Humans are one of the most K-selected species, and it has been argued that the increased parental contact is at least part of why we have the intelligence we have. Notably, we are becoming even more K-selected, a trend that leads to sub-replacement levels in some populations.

WB: Those “arguments” are “just-so-stories,” basically pure speculation.

JM: Finally, the article "Global Dispersal of Free-Living Microbial Eukaryote Species" by Findlay cited by Dr. Brown [(c) below] is completely misinterpreted (shocking, I know).

WB: Not at all, as I will explain. You are jumping to a conclusion without all the facts.

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
WB: Organisms that occupy the most diverse environments in the greatest numbers for the longest times should also, according to evolution, have the greatest potential for evolving new features and species. Microbes falsify this prediction as well. Their numbers per species are astronomical, and they are dispersed throughout practically all the world’s environments. Nevertheless, the number of microbial species are relatively few.(c) New features apparently don’t evolve.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From the article

quote by JM:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If ubiquitous dispersal is typical of most (if not all) microbial eukaryotes, we would expect relatively low global species richness.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

JM: To try to summarize the article, because individual species of microbial eukaryotes are present almost everywhere, there is less pressure for speciation. These microbes are well adapted to live in almost every environment that has been examined, so there isn't any geographical isolation (which is a key part of speciation) or need to develop alternative life strategies for different environments, thus less need and less ability for speciation.

WB: Are they “well adapted to live in almost every environment” because there are relatively few microbe species? If so, the conclusion is “backed out” of the data to explain the data. Circular reasoning, Jason.

JM: This is exactly contrary to what Dr. Brown claims evolution teaches. He simply takes the information that there are fewer species of protozoa than insects and draws his own expectations claiming that they disprove evolution when the paper shows exactly why the evidence supports evolution and selection.

WB: I never said that they “disprove evolution.” Please don’t misquote me. The sentence you quoted from Finlay’s paper jumped out when I first read it, because it was contrary to everything else in the paper and what one would expect from evolution. Therefore, I wrote Finlay 3 years ago on 5 June 2002 to get a clarification. Here is my complete letter. As you will see in his response, “there really is no information available to allow an adequate answer.”
quote:
Dear Dr. Finlay,

5 June 2002

I read and reread several times your excellent article in 10 May's issue of Science. Thank you.

The astronomical numbers of microbes per species and their wide dispersal throughout so many different environments across the planet is amazing. However, the relatively small number of microbial species (compared to all other life) is puzzling. With microbes occupying so many more different environments where variations could evolve, and with their rapid reproduction cycles, why shouldn't we see even more microbial species than exist in the rest of life?

Here's a possible answer. With these microbial species being so ubiquitous, fewer isolated niches would exist. So a new variation that might evolve would have to compete with the ancestral species. However, wouldn't some variations be so favorable that the new species would be able to coexist or dominate the ancestral species in some special environments? Also, given the short reproductive cycles, shouldn't some "founder" populations in unusual niches remain isolated for enough generations that they could become established?

Thanks for your help.

W. Brown

WB: Here is Dr. Finlay’s kind response two days later (emphasis mine):

quote:

7 June 2002

Hello and thanks for your e-mail and kind words.

Regarding the relatively low number of microbial species - this is probably due to the absence of effective barriers to dispersal. Allopatric speciation is, after all, one of the principal mechanisms facilitating speciation in animals for example, where geographical barriers (mountain ranges, islands surrounded by oceanic water etc,) allow different species to evolve often in complete isolation of each other (marsupial species in Australia etc.). My point is that most geographical barriers are probably irrelevant to microbial dispersal.

I guess you are offering a similar explanation ("fewer isolated niches would exist"). Regarding your other points (establishment of new variants that arise) - there really is no information available to allow an adequate answer. My own feeling is that most microbial species (especially microbial eukaryote species) represent adaptive peaks in the niches in which they live and that invasions of outsiders are usually unsuccessful.

Best wishes

Bland Finlay

WB: I carefully considered Dr. Finlay’s reaction to my understanding of what should be the natural consequence—from an evolutionary standpoint—of rapidly reproducing microbes spread throughout all the world’s niches. I concluded that the number of microbe species, instead of being relatively few, should be relatively large. I still believe that is what macroevolution predicts.

JM: I'm tiring of this shoddy research, forthekids. Are you noticing a trend? Quotes unsupported by data (or even the uncited rest of the quote). "Evidence" which is nearly the opposite of what is claimed. And still no positive predications of his own?

WB: Look carefully at my reference (c) to Finlay’s work. It simply was to support the fact that “the number of microbial species are relatively few.(c)” I was not leaning on his opinion—with which I disagree—that we would expect a relatively low number of microbe species. Please read more carefully, and get all the facts before you jump to an insulting conclusion.

Walt Brown



Permalink | Salvador T. Cordova, IDEA GMU | 06-26-2005 | 03:24 PM

quote:

Jason Meyers: I just can't let this pass.

First of all, which organisms have evolved “the most"? All species in existance today are evolved

There are several qualitative ways this can be described. The first is if a creature is a living fossil, it can be argued it hasn't evolved as much as some other creature. A shark might be considered one such "living fossil".

Secondly, if it supposedly has many ancient features, it supposedly has not evolved very much. Such was the case with a supposedly 2 Billion Year old Living fossil identified by Harvard astrobiologist Andrew Knoll:
Knoll in Astrobiology Magazine

quote:

And, even more extraordinarily, cyanobacteria appear to have survived relatively unchanged. Schopf says that they do not look appreciably different from the cyanobacteria of two billion years ago. How could cyanobacteria be so untouched by the processes of evolution, when in the same amount of time the rest of life evolved from a single celled organism to the vast range of forms we see today, including our own human species?


The reproductive cycle time places speed limits on fixations of change as is well known in population genetics. The problem Walt alludes to is real. A small bacterial population can go through about 10 generations in 4 hours depending on conditions. That would be about 200 years for 10 generations of humans, yet we see examples of bacteria that have not changed like cyanobacteria.


Permalink | Unsympathetic reader | 06-26-2005 | 05:52 PM

There was earlier commentary about not finding multicellular organisms with "intermediate" numbers of cells. For example, why don't we see organisms made of two cells?

Well, actually we do: Take Anabaena. This is a genus of filamentous cyanobacteria. The colonies are filamentous because cells divide end-to-end. Anabaena stalks can be made of one, two, three ... up to hundreds or thousands of cells.

But that's a boring and trite answer to original question.

What's more interesting is that Anabaena have two cell types: The more common, reproductively-capable type and a terminally-differentiated heterocyst that fixes nitrogen for the rest of the stalk. Depending on environmental conditions, some of the reproducing cells enter a separate, terminal differentiation pathway that produces a heterocyst.

Perhaps the original question about trying to find intermediates with 2,3 or more cells is misguided because it assumes that the historical progression to multicellularity actually followed that route. I think the development of multiple cell types is more relevant.


Permalink | Bill A | 06-26-2005 | 05:59 PM

Of course, the article that Sal refers to above also calls cyanobacteria

quote:
"evolution's most successful ecologic generalists."
The article gives several reasons for the slow evolution of cyanobacteria such as:
quote:
Another reason cyanobacteria have been able to get away with so little evolutionary change is because of their ability to live almost anywhere. Evolution is often propelled by the need to adapt to environmental change.
and
quote:
In addition, cyanobacteria reproduce non-sexually. The vast numbers of possible genetic combinations that we see in sexually reproducing organisms just don't occur with cyanobacteria.
.

The article also says:
quote:
Evolution hasn't completely by-passed cyanobacteria. There is evidence that some modern cyanobacteria are more sophisticated than their ancestors, forming communities with a range of adaptations to maximize their share of the available light and nutrients.
So, there seems to be good reasons why these bacteria have evolved slowly.


Permalink | Josh Rosenau | 06-26-2005 | 06:01 PM

quote:
Originally posted by Salvador T. Cordova, IDEA GMU:
quote:


Josh wrote insightfull:

Salvador: Finding the precise common ancestor of a species is very unlikely.


Thank you for pointing out the difficulty of finding evidence for Darwinian evolution. [Wink] Walt did say it's ulikely we'll find transitionals for the major gaps, and I appreciate that your statements seem supportive of Walter's thesis. [Wink]

Too bad you didn't appreciate the insight. Transitionals may not be direct ancestors, but will be close enough to illuminate the pattern of descent. Lucy may not be the direct ancestor of any modern human, but she's still a transitional.


Permalink | Walt Brown | 06-27-2005 | 02:04 AM

Conclusion 2: The Arguments for Evolution Are Outdated and Often Illogical

25. Out-of-Place Fossils

Frequently, fossils are not vertically sequenced in the assumed evolutionary order.(a) For example, in Uzbekistan, 86 consecutive hoofprints of horses were found in rocks dating back to the dinosaurs.(b) Hoofprints of some other animal are alongside 1,000 dinosaur footprints in Virginia.(c) A leading authority on the Grand Canyon published photographs of horselike hoofprints visible in rocks that, according to the theory of evolution, predate hoofed animals by more than a 100 million years.(d) Dinosaur and humanlike footprints were found together in Turkmenistan(e) and Arizona.(f) Sometimes, land animals, flying animals, and marine animals are fossilized side-by-side in the same rock.(g) Dinosaur, whale, elephant, horse, and other fossils, plus crude human tools, have reportedly been found in phosphate beds in South Carolina.(h) Coal beds contain round, black lumps called coal balls, some of which contain flowering plants that allegedly evolved 100 million years after the coal bed was formed.(i) In the Grand Canyon, in Venezuela, in Kashmir, and in Guyana, spores of ferns and pollen from flowering plants are found in Cambrian(j) rocks—rocks supposedly deposited before flowering plants evolved. Pollen has also been found in Precambrian(k) rocks deposited before life allegedly evolved.

Petrified trees in Arizona’s petrified forest contain fossilized nests of bees and cocoons of wasps. The petrified forests are reputedly 220 million years old, while bees (and flowering plants which bees require) supposedly evolved almost a 100 million years later.(l) Pollinating insects and fossil flies, with long, well-developed tubes for sucking nectar from flowers, are dated 25 million years before flowers are assumed to have evolved.(m) Most evolutionists and textbooks systematically ignore discoveries which conflict with the evolutionary time scale.
__________________________________

a. Walter E. Lammerts has published eight lists totaling almost 200 wrong-order formations in the United States alone. [See “Recorded Instances of Wrong-Order Formations or Presumed Overthrusts in the United States: Parts I–VIII,” Creation Research Society Quarterly, September 1984, p. 88; December 1984, p. 150; March 1985, p. 200; December 1985, p. 127; March 1986, p. 188; June 1986, p. 38; December 1986, p. 133; and June 1987, p. 46.]

* “Fossil discoveries can muddle our attempts to construct simple evolutionary trees—fossils from key periods are often not intermediates, but rather hodgepodges of defining features of many different groups.” Neil Shubin, “Evolutionary Cut and Paste,” Nature, Vol. 394, 2 July 1998, p. 12.

b. Y. Kruzhilin and V. Ovcharov, “A Horse from the Dinosaur Epoch?” Moskovskaya Pravda [Moscow Truth], 5 February 1984.

c. Richard Monastersky, “A Walk along the Lakeshore, Dinosaur-Style,” Science News, Vol. 136, 8 July 1989, p. 21.

d. Edwin D. McKee, The Supai Group of Grand Canyon, Geological Survey Professional Paper 1173 (Washington D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1982), pp. 93–96, 100.

e. Alexander Romashko, “Tracking Dinosaurs,” Moscow News, No. 24, 1983, p. 10. [For an alternate but equivalent translation published by an anti-creationist organization, see Frank Zindler, “Man—A Contemporary of the Dinosaurs?” Creation/Evolution, Vol. 6, No. 1, 1986, pp. 28–29.]

f. Paul O. Rosnau et al., “Are Human and Mammal Tracks Found Together with the Tracks of Dinosaurs in the Kayenta of Arizona?” Parts I and II, Creation Research Society Quarterly, Vol. 26, September 1989, pp. 41–48 and December 1989, pp. 77–98.

* Jeremy Auldaney et al., “More Human-Like Track Impressions Found with the Tracks of Dinosaurs in the Kayenta Formation at Tuba City Arizona,” Creation Research Society Quarterly, Vol. 34, December 1997, pp. 133–146 and back cover.

g. Andrew Snelling, “Fossil Bluff,” Ex Nihilo, Vol. 7, No. 3, March 1985, p. 8.

* Carol Armstrong, “Florida Fossils Puzzle the Experts,” Creation Research Society Quarterly, Vol. 21, March 1985, pp. 198–199.

* Pat Shipman, “Dumping on Science,” Discover, December 1987, p. 64.

h. Francis S. Holmes, Phosphate Rocks of South Carolina and the “Great Carolina Marl Bed” (Charleston, South Carolina: Holmes’ Book House, 1870).

* Edward J. Nolan, “Remarks on Fossils from the Ashley Phosphate Beds,” Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, 1876, pp. 80–81.

* John Watson (8302 Daleview Drive, Austin, Texas 78758) has done extensive library research on the relatively unknown fossil discoveries in these beds. Their vast content of bones provides the rich phosphate content. Personal communications, 1992.

i. A. C. Noé, “A Paleozoic Angiosperm,” The Journal of Geology, Vol. 31, May–June 1923, pp. 344–347.

j. R. M. Stainforth, “Occurrence of Pollen and Spores in the Roraima Formation of Venezuela and British Guiana,” Nature, Vol. 210, 16 April 1966, pp. 292–294.

* A. K. Ghosh and A. Bose, pp. 796–797.

* A. K. Ghosh and A. Bose, “Spores and Tracheids from the Cambrian of Kashmir,” Nature, Vol. 169, 21 June 1952, pp. 1056–1057.

* J. Coates et al., pp. 266–267.

k. George F. Howe et al., “A Pollen Analysis of Hakatai Shale and Other Grand Canyon Rocks,” Creation Research Society Quarterly, Vol. 24, March 1988, pp. 173–182.

l. Stephen T. Hasiotis (paleobiologist, U.S. Geological Survey, Denver), personal communication, 27 May 1995.

* Carl Zimmer, “A Secret History of Life on Land,” Discover, February 1998, pp. 76–83.

m. Dong Ren, “Flower-Associated Brachycera Flies as Fossil Evidence for Jurassic Angiosperm Origins,” Science, Vol. 280, 3 April 1998, pp. 85–88.


Permalink | Joe Meert | 06-27-2005 | 07:34 AM

quote:

25. Out-of-Place Fossils[/b]
Frequently, fossils are not vertically sequenced in the assumed evolutionary order.(a) For example, in Uzbekistan, 86 consecutive hoofprints of horses were found in rocks dating back to the dinosaurs.(b) Hoofprints of some other animal are alongside 1,000 dinosaur footprints in Virginia.(c) A leading authority on the Grand Canyon published photographs of horselike hoofprints visible in rocks that, according to the theory of evolution, predate hoofed animals by more than a 100 million years.(d) Dinosaur and humanlike footprints were found together in Turkmenistan(e) and Arizona.(f) Sometimes, land animals, flying animals, and marine animals are fossilized side-by-side in the same rock.(g) Dinosaur, whale, elephant, horse, and other fossils, plus crude human tools, have reportedly been found in phosphate beds in South Carolina.(h) Coal beds contain round, black lumps called coal balls, some of which contain flowering plants that allegedly evolved 100 million years after the coal bed was formed.(i) In the Grand Canyon, in Venezuela, in Kashmir, and in Guyana, spores of ferns and pollen from flowering plants are found in Cambrian(j) rocks—rocks supposedly deposited before flowering plants evolved. Pollen has also been found in Precambrian(k) rocks deposited before life allegedly evolved.

Petrified trees in Arizona’s petrified forest contain fossilized nests of bees and cocoons of wasps. The petrified forests are reputedly 220 million years old, while bees (and flowering plants which bees require) supposedly evolved almost a 100 million years later.(l) Pollinating insects and fossil flies, with long, well-developed tubes for sucking nectar from flowers, are dated 25 million years before flowers are assumed to have evolved.(m) Most evolutionists and textbooks systematically ignore discoveries which conflict with the evolutionary time scale.

JM: More cut-and-paste? Do you have anything new or original to contribute or just a rehash of misinformation. Let's look at a few of these, shall we?

1. WB regurgitates: Pollen has also been found in Precambrian(k) rocks deposited before life allegedly evolved.

JM: Life evolved shortly after the planet formed. Nevertheless, creationists from Loma Linda have investigated this creationist claim and found it to be less than billed. Perhaps you should update your book?
http://www.grisda.org/origins/08007.htm

2. WB regurgitates: Petrified trees in Arizona’s petrified forest contain fossilized nests of bees and cocoons of wasps. The petrified forests are reputedly 220 million years old, while bees (and flowering plants which bees require) supposedly evolved almost a 100 million years later.

JM: I happen to be very close friends with Steve Hasiotis and his work shows that bees, wasps and ants evolved earlier than the body fossil evidence suggests. These are not 'out-of-order' fossils at all, but provide evidence that social insects evolved earlier than first thought. In science, new data demand rethinking of older ideas. The presence of these fossil mounds is not anathema to evolution, but rather shows that the insects evolved earlier than previously thought.

3.WB spews: Dinosaur and humanlike footprints were found together in Turkmenistan(e)

JM: Wow, humanlike? Not necessarily the same thing as 'human' though is it? Many ill-preserved footprints may appear to be human, but that's not because they were made by humans.

Lastly, I notice that several of your references are from unscientific publications such as Creation Science magazines. These are not exactly the most scientifically rigorous pubs since they have reached a foregone conclusion before publication! I also notice that many of your references are quite old. Did you bother to look for updates in the recent literature? Oops, nevermind as the Loma Linda article shows you do not update when new contradictory information is available.

Cheers

Joe Meert


Permalink | Jack Krebs | 06-27-2005 | 08:46 AM

Some of Brown's cites in this last post are from the the 1800's!

And of course, citing Ex Nihilo and Creation Institute documents begs the question of what the source of their information is.

This has been instructive, and I'll be blunt: Walt Brown is a quack and a fraud. Anyone who takes his material seriously, and thinks it is "scientific" (and this applies, I wil be honest and say, to ftk also) really doesn't know what science, scientific research, and scientific knowledge is all about.


Permalink | Josh Rosenau | 06-27-2005 | 09:43 AM

Conclusion Pi: Science can't explain all animals

The US Patent Office has acknowledged this being, but evolutionists can't explain its origins.

 -


Permalink | Christensen | 06-27-2005 | 11:04 AM

This is a massive example of an exercise in the "non-sequitur".

With the useful helpful comments from Josh...who sees himself as "a uniter, not a divider." [Smile] [Smile]

SUPPOSE Brown's arguments are refuted, that he is not an expert, etc.

Does it follow that the mechanism of evolution by mindless undirected processess is therefore established?

No.

Does refuting Brown refute "intelligent design"?

No.

I.E. its a massive exercise in...what?

Straw men and marginalization..."marginalization", there's another word for Nyberg's list.


Permalink | Jack Krebs | 06-27-2005 | 11:20 AM

Josh's sandwich dog is definitely a non-sequiter - I agree with that.

Christensen writes,

quote:
SUPPOSE Brown's arguments are refuted, that he is not an expert, etc.

Does it follow that the mechanism of evolution by mindless undirected processess is therefore established?

No.

Does refuting Brown refute "intelligent design"?

No.

I agree with this also. Brown is a YEC. He makes statements that are potentially testable via science, and those statements have been rejected by science as false. The discussion with and about Brown has nothing to do with ID.

ID, on the other hand, makes non-testable assertions that confuse a scientific view with a theological view. ID conflates a scientific description of the world, which necessarily involves random and chance events, with a theological description in which an omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient God is present in all natural events in ways that surpass our understanding. What is chance to us is not chance to God.

Therefore, there is not a contradiction between the scientific description of the world that observes a natural unfolding of events and a theological description in which God guides, and has guided, the world to be as He wills it to be.


Permalink | Joe Meert | 06-27-2005 | 11:21 AM

quote:
Originally posted by Christensen:
[QB] This is a massive example of an exercise in the "non-sequitur".

JM: Your points below are well-taken. However, let's look at this in a different way. Quite a number of people have bought into Walt's notion that the earth is young and evolution has not taken place. It is therefore quite useful to point out the vacuous nature of Brown's 'scholarship'. While that in and of itself does not 'prove' evolution, it does show that a purported alternative to evolution is not scientifically viable.

Cheers

Joe Meert


Permalink | Bill A | 06-27-2005 | 11:41 AM

Christensen,

You said:

quote:
Does refuting Brown refute "intelligent design"?

No.

I.E. its a massive exercise in...what?

Straw men and marginalization...

Are you calling Walt a straw man?


Permalink | Walt Brown | 06-27-2005 | 02:55 PM

Response #7 of 10:
At 7:16 AM on June 14, KC posted the a simple rebuttal to my Category 12 which reads:

quote:
12. Extraterrestrial Life?

No verified form of life which originated outside of earth has ever been observed. If life evolved on earth, one would expect that the elaborate experiments sent to the Moon and Mars would have detected at least simple forms of life (such as microbes) that differ in some respects from life on earth.(a)

KC’s rebuttal had only these six words: “This is a massive non sequitur.” (A non sequitur is Latin for “it does not follow logically.”) But millions of people who believed that life evolved on Earth did expect that life might be found on the Moon or on Mars.

Maybe my intended meaning wasn’t clear. Is this better?
quote:
No verified form of life which originated outside of earth has ever been observed. Many who believed life evolved on earth also expected life would have evolved on the Moon or Mars. One would expect that the elaborate experiments sent to the Moon and Mars would have detected at least simple forms of life (such as microbes) that, because of their different evolutionary history, vary in some respects from life on earth.(a)
“Martian mythology” began in earnest in 1877, when Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli reported seeing grooves on Mars. The Italian word for groove is “canali,” therefore, many of us grew up hearing about “canals” on Mars—a mistranslation. Because canals are man-made structures, people started thinking about “little green men” on Mars.

In 1894, Percival Lowell, a wealthy, amateur astronomer with a vivid imagination, built Lowell Observatory primarily to study Mars. Lowell published a map showing and naming Martian canals, and wrote several books: Mars (1895), Mars and Its Canals (1906), and Mars As the Abode of Life (1908). Even into the 1960s, textbooks displayed his map, described vegetative cycles on Mars, and explained how Martians may use canals to convey water from the polar ice caps to their parched cities. Few scientists publicly disagreed with the myth, even after 1949 when excellent pictures from the 200-inch telescope on Mount Palomar were available. Those of us in school before 1960 were directly influenced by such Martian myths; virtually everyone has been indirectly influenced. Remember, back then, few of us questioned evolution.

Artists, science fiction writers, and Hollywood helped fuel this “Martian mania.” In 1898, H. G. Wells wrote The War of the Worlds telling of strange-looking Martians invading Earth. In 1938, Orson Welles, in a famous radio broadcast, panicked many Americans into thinking New Jersey was being invaded by Martians. In 1975, two Viking spacecraft were sent to Mars to look for life. Carl Sagan announced shortly before the spacecraft completed their tests that he was certain life would be discovered—a reasonable conclusion, if life evolved. The prediction failed.

In 1996, researchers at NASA claimed that a meteorite from Mars [named ALH84001] appeared to contain fossilized life. Even the President of the United States (Clinton) announced the discovery of this meteorite before a global audience. Many people around the world thought it showed that life had been on Mars. Why? Because if life evolved on Earth, why shouldn’t it have evolved elsewhere, such as on Mars?

(As I explain in the footnote to Category 12, that claim of fossilized life in ALH84001 has now been largely debunked. See Richard A. Kerr, “Requiem for Life on Mars? Support for Microbes Fades,” Science, Vol. 282, 20 November 1998, pp. 1398–1400.)

Yes, KC, simple logic does say that if life evolved on Earth, it might have evolved on the Moon or Mars. But the premise is wrong! As Categories of Evidence 1–42 show, life is so complex it could not have evolved—anywhere!

Darwin proposed that life began in a “warm little pond.” This silly idea influenced researchers, teachers, and students for 140 years. As some of you may know, the difficulty in evolving the first living cell from inorganic matter is so immense that knowledgeable evolutionists now acknowledge the problem (but not so loudly that teachers and students learn of it). However, these top evolutionists have not thrown in the towel. They simply change their theory of evolution to, “How organisms evolved once the first life was on earth.” In about a week, we will address the insurmountable obstacles to a living cell evolving from inorganic matter. Evolutionist experts know the problems; why shouldn’t students be told this as well? It can be done simply.

No one has stated this more clearly than Dr. Philip S. Skell:

quote:
An open letter to the Kansas State Board of Education from Professor Philip S. Skell, Member, National Academy of Sciences, Evan Pugh Professor of Chemistry, Emeritus Penn State University.

May 12, 2005

Dr. Steve E. Abrams, Chair
Kansas State Board of Education
C/O Kansas State Department of Education
120 SE 10th Avenue
Topeka KS 66612-1182
Fax: (785) 296-7933

Dear Dr. Abrams:

I have been following the controversy over the adoption of new science standards in your state with interest. I am writing—as a member of the National Academy of Sciences—to voice my strong support for the idea that students should be able to study scientific criticisms of the evidence for modern evolutionary theory along with the evidence favoring the theory.

All too often, the issue of how to teach evolutionary theory has been dominated by voices at the extremes. On one extreme, many religious activists have advocated for Bible-based ideas about creation to be taught and for evolution to be eliminated from the science curriculum entirely. On the other hand, many committed Darwinian biologists present students with an idealized version of the theory that glosses over real problems and prevents students from learning about genuine scientific criticisms of it.

Both these extremes are mistaken. Evolution is an important theory and students need to know about it. But scientific journals now document many scientific problems and criticisms of evolutionary theory and students need to know about these as well.

Many of the scientific criticisms of which I speak are well known by scientists in various disciplines, including the disciplines of chemistry and biochemistry, in which I have done my work. I have found that some of my scientific colleagues are very reluctant to acknowledge the existence of problems with evolutionary theory to the general public. They display an almost religious zeal for a strictly Darwinian view of biological origins.

Darwinian evolution is an interesting theory about the remote history of life. Nonetheless, it has little practical impact on those branches of science that do not address questions of biological history (largely based on stones, the fossil evidence). Modern biology is engaged in the examination of tissues from living organisms with new methods and instruments. None of the great discoveries in biology and medicine over the past century depended on guidance from Darwinian evolution—it provided no support.

As an aside, one might ask what Darwin would have written today if he was aware of the present state of knowledge of cell biology, rather than that of the mid 19th century when it was generally believed the cell was an enclosed blob of gelatin? As an exemplar, I draw your attention to what Prof. James A. Shapiro, bacteriologist, U. of Chicago, wrote (http://www.bostonreview.net/br22.1/shapiro.html).

For those scientists who take it seriously, Darwinian evolution has functioned more as a philosophical belief system than as a testable scientific hypothesis. This quasi-religious function of the theory is, I think, what lies behind many of the extreme statements that you have doubtless encountered from some scientists opposing any criticism of neo-Darwinism in the classroom. It is also why many scientists make public statements about the theory that they would not defend privately to other scientists like me.

In my judgment, this state of affairs has persisted mainly because too many scientists were afraid to challenge what had become a philosophical orthodoxy among their colleagues. Fortunately, that is changing as many scientists are now beginning to examine the evidence for neo-Darwinism more openly and critically in scientific journals.

Intellectual freedom is fundamental to the scientific method. Learning to think creatively, logically and critically is the most important training that young scientists can receive. Encouraging students to carefully examine the evidence for and against neo-Darwinism, therefore, will help prepare students not only to understand current scientific arguments, but also to do good scientific research.

I commend you for your efforts to ensure that students are more fully informed about current debates over neo-Darwinism in the scientific community.

Yours sincerely,

Professor Philip S. Skell
Member, National Academy of Sciences
Evan Pugh Professor of Chemistry, Emeritus
Penn State University

Keep thinking about it, KC.

Walt Brown


Permalink | Josh Rosenau | 06-27-2005 | 02:59 PM

quote:
Originally posted by Christensen:
This is a massive example of an exercise in the "non-sequitur".

With the useful helpful comments from Josh...who sees himself as "a uniter, not a divider." [Smile] [Smile]

SUPPOSE Brown's arguments are refuted, that he is not an expert, etc.

Does it follow that the mechanism of evolution by mindless undirected processess is therefore established?

No.

Does refuting Brown refute "intelligent design"?

No.

I.E. its a massive exercise in...what?

Straw men and marginalization..."marginalization", there's another word for Nyberg's list.

All valid points. Wally B.'s arguments are indeed a massive exercise in non sequitur and straw men.


Permalink | KC | 06-27-2005 | 03:49 PM

Walt writes:

quote:
KC’s rebuttal had only these six words: “This is a massive non sequitur.” (A non sequitur is Latin for “it does not follow logically.”) But millions of people who believed that life evolved on Earth did expect that life might be found on the Moon or on Mars.

Maybe my intended meaning wasn’t clear. Is this better?

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
No verified form of life which originated outside of earth has ever been observed. Many who believed life evolved on earth also expected life would have evolved on the Moon or Mars. One would expect that the elaborate experiments sent to the Moon and Mars would have detected at least simple forms of life (such as microbes) that, because of their different evolutionary history, vary in some respects from life on earth.(a)

Why would anyone, knowing the conditions on the Moon, and comparing them to the conditions on Earth, expect that life would have evolved on the Moon?

As for Mars, the jury's out. But it was the Moon example that attracted my attention.

KC


Permalink | forthekids | 06-27-2005 | 03:53 PM

Jack writes:

quote:
Some of Brown's cites in this last post are from the the 1800's!

And of course, citing Ex Nihilo and Creation Institute documents begs the question of what the source of their information is.

This has been instructive, and I'll be blunt: Walt Brown is a quack and a fraud. Anyone who takes his material seriously, and thinks it is "scientific" (and this applies, I wil be honest and say, to ftk also) really doesn't know what science, scientific research, and scientific knowledge is all about.

Jack - by all means let’s be blunt. For you to make a statement like the one above, either:

a. You don’t know as much about science as you claim.
b. You are SO biased that you have built a wall that is insurmountable, and your vision of the other side is obstructed.
c. You are a fool.

I’m leaning toward (b), but (a) is in the running due to the fact that since the day I entered this forum, I have not seen you offer anything substantial in regard to science. Although, you do love to debate the religious aspect of the controversy.

Speaking of old dates, why not take a look at the dates when the various geological time scales were first developed. Try this site . And! Brown’s list of notes is so extensive it is amazing.

For the record, Brown’s responses have been outstanding! It’s been all I can do not to pull out my pom poms and do a little cheer after each response. It’s not my style to rub it in, but I’d be willing to bet that those lurkers who ride the fence are quite impressed.

For you to call Brown a quack and a fraud tells me a little about you.


Permalink | Josh Rosenau | 06-27-2005 | 04:27 PM

FtK: What in Wally's responses have you been so thrilled about? I've found them nearly content-free.


Permalink | Les Lane | 06-27-2005 | 04:29 PM

FTK-

Neither debate nor accumulating lists of anomalies are scientific methods. If Walter Brown were a scientist he'd not simply create lists. He'd look for the most testable arguments, create hypotheses and test them. Since he doesn't do this, he can't publish in the scientific literature.

If he were a scientist, when he consulted the National Academy he would seek those who know most about evolution. He in fact cites Phil Skell, an expert on carbens who knows alomost nothing about evolution. Citing people who agree with you rather than experts is a hallmark of apologetics.


Permalink | Robert Madison | 06-27-2005 | 04:33 PM

Science (again) is only concerned with the evidence.

Why is this important?

Well, because it - the evidence - confirms that if there *IS* a God, that he/she is always consistent, and never, ever, lies to us. It is up to us to pay close enough attention, to ask the right questions, and to figure out how to get nature to reveal her secrets to us. But nature isn't a liar, and neither is God. The story nature tells is consistent, as we would expect from a God worthy of the name.

The evidence - and there is plenty of it - from multi-disciplinary fields such as geology, astronomy, cosmology, physics, chemistry, evolution, etc ALL point to roughly the same age for the earth: about 4.5 billion years.

The only way it can be anything else is for the basic and fundamental understandings of ALL of those disciplines, and all of the relevant sub-disciplines, to be wrong.

In other words, in order for Walt to be right, ALL OF SCIENCE has to be wrong.

But we already know it isn't wrong.

The only conclusion - which is pretty much inescapable - is that Walt is wrong.

And, there is nothing "wrong" with being wrong. Being wrong can be very valuable, because now you know what *isn't* going on.

Anyway...at the end of the day, Walt is wrong.


Permalink | Salvador T. Cordova, IDEA GMU | 06-27-2005 | 04:43 PM

quote:

Joe wrote:

JM: Life evolved shortly after the planet formed. Nevertheless, creationists from Loma Linda have investigated this creationist claim and found it to be less than billed. Perhaps you should update your book?
http://www.grisda.org/origins/08007.htm

I don't think that may be a supportable point, Joe, the GRI/Loma Linda is dated 1981.


quote:

Origins 8(1):7-12 (1981).


The citation Walt offers is from 1988:

quote:

k. George F. Howe et al., “A Pollen Analysis of Hakatai Shale and Other Grand Canyon Rocks,” Creation Research Society Quarterly, Vol. 24, March 1988, pp. 173–182.

1981 < 1988. That implies the GRI Loma/Linda paper could not have been investigating claims made 7 years later in 1988.

Therefore, I think Walt's work is more up-to-date than the GRI Loma/Linda paper you cited.

In fact the Loma/Linda GRI paper makes reference to an interesting case:

quote:

Although there may not be evidence for Precambrian pollen in the Grand Canyon, there is one thoroughly documented report of the occurrence of pollen and vascular tissue of higher plants which does support the existence of angiosperms earlier in the fossil record. The story surrounding the discovery of authentic higher plant remains in the Saline series of the Salt Range in Punjab, India, and its subsequent elaboration is anecdotal but nevertheless is worth investigating. Although the subject of the Salt Range beds is proscribed among Indian and many western paleontologists today, the case rests precisely where it did 30 years ago (Ghosh et al. 1951). The fossils are modern in aspect ("Eocene" according to Sahni 1944) yet the beds containing the fossils are overlain conformably by early Cambrian sediments (Coates et al. 1945). Creationists who wish evidence for the existence of angiosperms early in the fossil record should cite this well-known case.





Permalink | Jeremy Mohn | 06-27-2005 | 05:01 PM

quote:
Jack - by all means let’s be blunt. For you to make a statement like the one above, either:

a. You don’t know as much about science as you claim.
b. You are SO biased that you have built a wall that is insurmountable, and your vision of the other side is obstructed.
c. You are a fool.

May I respectfully submit another option?

quote:
d. Jack has drawn a conclusion with which FtK disagrees.
We are all free to draw our own conclusions. It is clear that FtK disagrees with Jack, but that in itself does not make his conclusion wrong.

Personally, I tend to agree with Jack. I don't know that I would go so far as to call Walt Brown a "quack" and a "fraud," but the two words seem to at least partially describe him, as revealed by some of his comments on this forum. His recent reference to an "evolutionary ladder" pretty much solidified it for me: Walt does not understand the concepts he attempts to criticize.

Does this lack of understanding make him a "quack" and a "fraud?" Not necessarily. It certainly makes him unqualified to continue criticizing evolution.

Even more importantly, because people like FtK apparently believe he is a qualified critic, I think he should be identified as an impediment to the advancement of scientific understanding. I am sorry to say, but calling him a "quack" and a "fraud" may be what it takes to get that point across.


Permalink | Salvador T. Cordova, IDEA GMU | 06-27-2005 | 05:04 PM

Phil Skell is a pioneer of antibiotic research. I was with him at the scandalous showing of Privilged Planet


Former IDEA member Tristan Abbey interviews Skell

quote:


This interview with Dr. Philip Skell was conducted in June 2005 by Tristan Abbey. Dr. Skell is an Evan Pugh Professor of Chemistry, Emeritus, at Pennsylvania State University . He is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences . Interview questions are in bold; responses are in standard text. The views expressed below do not necessarily reflect the views of IDURC

1. What are your scientific qualifications?

Emeritus Evan Pugh Professor, Penn State U., member National Academy of Sciences, Engaged in pioneer work with antibiotics during WW II.

2. Do you believe in evolution (i.e., common descent of all life on Earth through random mutations and natural selection)?

Evaluating it as a scientist, I see very little scientific evidence supporting it; it is not an unreasonable speculation.

3. How has your work specifically in antibiotics affected your views on evolution?

Reflection on it many years later failed to reveal any occasion when historical biology was part of the considerations about how to proceed.

4. You have spoken about a “historical biology” being separate from an “experimental biology.” Could you please elaborate on the distinction?

Modern biology is engaged in examining the structures and functions of tissues from live organisms; it is the most prolific and important branch of all the sciences. Historical biology has only the minuscule fragments of our ancestors, fossils, for examination. They are stones, not tissues. The geologists provide a reasonable time line, but minuscule evidence about their function, zero evidence for the “transit” from one species to another. The claim for “mountains of evidence” is a disingenuous lie. The modern biology, demonstrably, makes no use of the historical biology; at times the historical is an encumbrance on the modern.

5. What are your thoughts on intelligent design? Are you moved at all by the evidence and arguments presented by ID theorists? Should it be taught in schools?

ID is a balance for rampant Darwinism. From a science point of view, neither should be taught in a science class. They are both best presented in a non-science class devoted to speculations on pre-history.

6. You recently wrote a letter to the Kansas State Board of Education expressing support for teaching criticism of neo-Darwinism. What drove you to write this letter?

If Darwinism is to be taught, both its criticisms and the alternatives should be linked.

7. What are your thoughts on the cultural/political agenda of the Discovery Institute?

Important in two respects, one personal, the other science-related. For the latter, Darwinian thinking needs the balance of alternatives, preferably discussed in venues other than the experimental science ones. For the former, there are numerous social/political considerations currently driven by the materialist metaphysics that should be more balanced, especially as one considers the demographics of those beliefs in the US .

8. Do you have any advice for aspiring young scientists skeptical of neo-Darwinism?

If neo-Darwinism is defined to be identical with modern experimental biology there is no problem. The conflation of neo-Darwinism with the historical biology, and its frequent companion materialist philosophy, should be recognized and exposed for what it is, rather than disingenuously introduced as science.




(Apparently his paying a heavy price in terms of his reputation for being so open about his views now that he is very old. Would we expect otherwise from the orthoxy?)


Permalink | KC | 06-27-2005 | 05:11 PM

Sal writes (note my emphasis):

quote:
In fact the Loma/Linda GRI paper makes reference to an interesting case:


quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Although there may not be evidence for Precambrian pollen in the Grand Canyon, there is one thoroughly documented report of the occurrence of pollen and vascular tissue of higher plants which does support the existence of angiosperms earlier in the fossil record. The story surrounding the discovery of authentic higher plant remains in the Saline series of the Salt Range in Punjab, India, and its subsequent elaboration is anecdotal but nevertheless is worth investigating. Although the subject of the Salt Range beds is proscribed among Indian and many western paleontologists today, the case rests precisely where it did 30 years ago (Ghosh et al. 1951). The fossils are modern in aspect ("Eocene" according to Sahni 1944) yet the beds containing the fossils are overlain conformably by early Cambrian sediments (Coates et al. 1945). Creationists who wish evidence for the existence of angiosperms early in the fossil record should cite this well-known case.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

KC


Permalink | Jason Meyers, PhD | 06-27-2005 | 05:12 PM

quote:
Originally posted by Walt Brown:

quote:
WB: Therefore, organisms that have allegedly evolved the most should have short reproduction cycles and many offspring.
JM: I just can't let this pass.

First of all, which organisms have evolved “the most"? All species in existance today are evolved

WB: Jason, don’t assume that all species have evolved—what you should be trying to demonstrate. That’s bad logic.



Walt,
I'm not assuming what I'm trying to demonstrate, I'm trying to explain what the theory of evolution teaches. I'm not using this statement to prove evolution, I'm trying to use it to explain a VERY BASIC point in evolution to you. That is, all species in existence (according to the theory) are evolved. If you are going to disprove evolution, you cannot do so by claiming things about "more evolved" species. The theory claims that both our 100,000,000,000 cell brain and the <1,000 cell nematode are both evolved. The mechanism of evolution does not promote complexity over simplicity. It promotes organisms adapted to fit their environmental niche. Learn a bit about the theory you are trying to criticize.

quote:

What we can say is that no component of these extremely complex systems could have evolved without placing the organism at a selective disadvantage.

How about electro-reception in fish, which is a modification of the lateral line system?

quote:

Each of these systems, and thousands of others, would not work until all components were complete and in place.

Why? Where has this ever been shown? Just thinking about sensory systems, the TRP family of receptors is a perfect example of how you can get a tremendous diversity of sensory modalities from subtle changes to a core channel type. These receptors underlie (at least in part) our sense of balance, hearing, acid sensitivity, osmoregulation, touch, pain, temperature, etc. The family tree is well described and I strongly encourage you to look at it. It's not hard to make slight modifications and turn a channel sensitive to capsaicin (hot peppers, and conveniently the same channel as senses hot temperature) into one sensitive to menthol (cool mint, and conveniently the same channel as senses cold temperature).

Remember, Walt, just because you say that something could not happen does not mean that scientists aren't studying exactly those questions.

quote:

Many experiments have been performed on these irreducibly complex systems, showing and confirming their amazing details. You wrote that I had not shown any experimental evidence. Are you blind to the conclusions of these experiments?

Which experiments have proved anything is irreducibly complex? ANYTHING? You just say it, but nothing has shown that increased efficiency from evolution could not do it.

quote:

Honest evolutionists will admit, at least in private, that this complexity is amazing,

Yes.


quote:
currently unexplainable,
Somewhat, but that's what research grants are for. Most of developmental biology is unexplainable too. So is most neuroscience. So is ....

quote:

and better explained by an intelligent designer.

WHY? Why do you take this sudden claim that if we don't understand something now, the only answer is God? Oops, I mean that the only answer is that there is no natural answer and therefore we have to have a supernatural explanation. Would you have said the same thing about DNA in 1900? How could all of the information necessary to pass information between generations possibly be carried inside a cell? It must be supernatural! Until scientists figure it out, that is. Didn't there used to be a God of Thunder and of Sun and of all those things people couldn't explain? Why do we need someone to fill in the gaps we have today?

quote:

Then, why not in the meantime tell students (and teachers) about it?

About what? I haven't seen any specifics of your theory? Should we tell them about God? Sure, in religion class. As soon as there is some science for ID, let's discuss whether it is pedagogically appropriate for whatever age students. Until then, there's nothing to teach.

I've taken the liberty of not commenting on your examples of "Gee, look at how X seems as complicated as something humans made, therefore it couldn't have evolved" as it is (a) not scientific and (b) not logical.

quote:

Evolutionists say that bacteria evolved long before a human or a bird or a radish. Then humans, birds, and radishes—farther up your evolution ladder—evolved more than bacteria.

But according to the theory of evolution, the bacteria is still evolving, worms are evolving, fish are evolving. Nothing in the theory of evolution stops things from evolving. Anything alive is producing mutations and passing them to their offspring, and if those offspring are more reproductively fit in their environment, they'll do better than offspring that are less reproductively fit. Humans are NOT the most evolved organism. We may have some traits that are highly derived compared to ancestral traits, some critters living in relatively stable environments may have more ancestral traits, but according to the theory of evolution, everything alive today is subject to evolution.

quote:

However, evolution predicts that the organisms that macroevolved the most from bacteria would have even shorter reproduction cycles and would be even more r-selected. They should be efficient and fast “gene-producing machines.”

Why? Because Walter Brown says so? If something is able to have more offspring survive by altering it's reproductive strategy towards K-selection, then it will. One of the major predictors of reproductive strategy is environment niche. If resources are few, a strategy that leads to most efficient use of those resources (fewer offspring to compete) will be far favorable to one where the environment is drastically overpopulated. Everything is not about how quickly one can reproduce. It's about how well you can reproduce.

quote:

WB: Are they “well adapted to live in almost every environment” because there are relatively few microbe species? If so, the conclusion is “backed out” of the data to explain the data.

I don't understand your converse argument. How could something be well adapted BECAUSE there are few species? Explain your reasoning.

quote:

I concluded that the number of microbe species, instead of being relatively few, should be relatively large. I still believe that is what macroevolution predicts.

But that's not what the article says, and that's not what Dr. Findlay's response says, and thus you are not right in saying that "evolution predicts it". You're allowed to believe it, but you haven't justified your belief to me. If you'd like me to make a point-by-point refutation of your letter, I'll provide it, but I think that the key is that the absence of isolation limits the ability to separate newly forming species. We don't have the answers to exactly how each of these species is acting, but the theory of evolution certainly does not claim that something with overwhelming adaptive capacity to survive in almost any environment as it is should have the most number of speciation events. In fact, I think Findlay's conclusion that there should be fewer speciation events is quire reasonable.


Permalink | csadams | 06-27-2005 | 05:23 PM

In Jack Krebs' posts I've read here, his tone has been calm, clear, and endlessly patient, even with those who have gone beyond the bounds of the patience of others. Jack doesn't seem to be the type to call a person a quack or a fraud unless that person had earned the title.

Those of you who know Jack better are probably more equipped to judge, though.


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