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  Topic: Cornelius Hunter Thread< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

Posts: 3094
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 28 2007,13:12   

I have no problem with evolution, in principle. My skepticism is with several of the evidential arguments. I came here asking for a justification/ defense of one of the most fundamental claims of evolution. My question was, how is it that similarities such as the pentadactyl pattern are such powerful evidence for evolution, in light of equal and greater levels of similarity

Yes, then you go on to complain that people here have not pointed to work that sufficiently quantified the relative evolutionary significance of traits...that you leave unstated.

I asked other than skin as patagium, what traits do you find so significant in sugar gliders and flying squirrels...if it's to be about pentadactyly v. patagium, you have to admit that the universality of pentadactyly in mammals seems a tad more ...well, UNIVERSAL ( and hence basic) ... than mammals with patagium. Pentadactyly is part of the mammalian bauplan and patagium webbing is not.  If you want to say " but this is merely subjective"  uh...okay. Gosh, Waterloo!

You claimed that I had "pointed to some references (good background material but they don't answer the question)." well, Mr. Hunter, I did happen to say you could start there ...and not that it was where you'd find Ye Compleat Evolutionary Answere™ , illustrated in easy-to-color form.

Vogel speaks about constraints-- physical constraints that have to be addressed in gliding...lift, drag, gravity, etc., that all fit into a hypothetical "big answer"  The genetic/evo-devo/medical data on various mammalian syndromes that cause webbing of skin would have given you some data, too. There's similar sources for osteal concerns and limbs/digits.

This is a wide-open and burgeoning field, and the fact is that yes, at present we have no algorithm that allows you to plug in weighted values of specific traits/characters and arrive at a quantified instant answer.

At present, however, there are lots of people working on how to determine methods of untangling this Gordian Knot of genetic, developmental, functional, and evolutionary influences that generate integrated morphologies and how to create models allowing for precisely what you apparently want. Is it accomplished? No. Won't you contribute to our cause? A mind is a terrible thing to waste at the DI, where they produce little peer-reviewed work that I have seen.

For the moment, I feel pretty secure in pointing to pentadactyly and saying " this universal mammalian character carries more weight than non-universal patagium" But I see you have problems with that. Tsk. Then do some work.  
Oh, on a final the last line of your claim:    

My question was, how is it that similarities such as the pentadactyl pattern are such powerful evidence for evolution, in light of equal and greater levels of similarity

So you're saying there that the patagium similarity between sugar gliders and flying squirrels is equal or greater in significance as pentadactyly?

Two questions: (1) are you serious? and (2) However did you determine that the characters were "equal or greater " in similarity when there are no justifications at all ( in your mind) of making such a claim?

AtBC Award for Thoroughness in the Face of Creationism

  510 replies since Jan. 26 2007,15:35 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

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