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The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 30 2007,13:21   

Dr. Hunter:

   
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Paley writes: If the structural convergence between marsupial and placental wolves argues against common descent as you seem to think, then why did the molecular analysis I cited earlier place the thylacines with other marsupials, in conformance with evolutionary predictions? Is this not an example of a passed test?



Please be careful. First, I did not say convergence argues against common descent. I'm merely using it to raise questions about a claim of powerful evidence. Second, no one is denying that evolution passes tests (a much weaker claim).


Ok, I just wanted be be sure, since many people have used the morphological similarities between the placental and marsupial wolves to argue that one can't make claims about common descent with respect to these creatures. I'm glad that you concede that thylacines share a common ancestor with other marsupials, and that common descent is falsifiable. Not all ID proponents would agree with these claims.

It seems your complaint is that evolutionary biologists do not use a consistent definition for homology when tracing lines of descent. If they were to use a consistent and objective criterion to distinguish between homologous and homoplastic characters, they might find that animals would be grouped in ways incongruent with their predictions. Therefore, homology, being a vague and ill-applied concept, does not support common descent.

Is the above a correct summary of your views?

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

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

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