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  Topic: Uncommonly Dense Thread 2, general discussion of Dembski's site< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Occam's Toothbrush

Posts: 555
Joined: April 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 07 2009,13:59   

Quote (Zachriel @ Aug. 07 2009,08:19)
For whatever reason, ID Advocates always stop reading when they find a quote they can mine.

³The verdict of paleontologists is practically unanimous: almost all agree in opposing [Alfred Wegener's hypothesis that the continents used to be one land mass and have since drifted apart]… The fact that almost all paleontologists say that the paleontological data oppose the various theories of continental drift should, perhaps, obviate further discussion of this point … It must be almost unique in scientific history for a group of students admittedly without special competence in a given field thus to reject the all but unanimous verdict of those who do have such competence.²

George Gaylord Simpson [of Neo-Darwinist fame], ³Mammals and the Nature of Continents, ²American Journal of Science 241 (1943): 1-31, p. 2.

I wonder if GilDodgen considers why the geologists bother with the opinions of paleontologists.

By the way, Simpson was adamantly opposed to Wegener's continental drift theory, proposing filtered land bridges to explain the data.

Here's the paper GilDodgen cited,  Mammals and the Nature of Continents. Reading a bit further.

Simpson: Unlike geological paleogeographers, the students of land faunas are not directly or greatly concerned with the details of coastlines. Their conceptions of continental individuality and stability are broad and relative. For instance an extension of a land area even for several hundred miles beyond a present coast is not likely to be detectable in their materials or to concern them unless this extension was a separate center of evolution or was a path of migration between lands separate at other times. Their continents are diagrammatic, not pictorial, and the paleozoölogist's use of such a term as "stable continent" may lead to misunderstanding unless this distinction of viewpoint is recognized.

So, paleontologists wouldn't care if continents drifted or were connected by land bridges. It's the same to them. So the informal survey of paleontological opinion doesn't reflect a geological claim.

Simpson: It is universally admitted that the distribution of land mammals and of other forms of terrestrial life is only explicable if some continents now separate, e.g. North America and Asia, have formerly been united and if some now united, e.g. North and South America, have formerly been separate. Much of the discussion of paleontological evidence for and against particular sorts of connections have been devoted to the proposition that stated connections did or did not exist. In so simple a form, this discussion is not always pertinent to the problem, because all paleogeographic systems admit and demand that connections did exist.

Wegener originally proposed his continental drift to explain the paleontological data that seemingly required unlikely land bridges, e.g. from Africa to Brazil. Simpson concludes.

Simpson: The known past and present distribution of land mammals cannot be explained by the hypothesis of drifting continents.

Nothing like citing the argument of someone who was wrong.

To paraphrase Sherlock Holmes, once you have eliminated all the explanations you refuse to accept, the one that remains, however retarded, is the one which must be taught in public school science class.

"Molecular stuff seems to me not to be biology as much as it is a more atomic element of life" --Creo nut Robert Byers
"You need your arrogant ass kicked, and I would LOVE to be the guy who does it. Where do you live?" --Anger Management Problem Concern Troll "Kris"

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