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  Topic: Evolution of the horse; a problem for Darwinism?, For Daniel Smith to present his argument< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Steverino



Posts: 407
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 29 2007,07:25   

Daniel, as you use it, Design predicts everything whether it happened or not.  It's not an explanation but, and excuse.

--------------
- Born right the first time.
- Asking questions is NOT the same as providing answers.
- It's all fun and games until the flying monkeys show up!

   
Richard Simons



Posts: 425
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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 29 2007,10:40   

Quote
Using my argument from personal incredulity, what other advantage of loss of digits has been suggested?

Less problem with hanging toenails?

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All sweeping statements are wrong.

  
carlsonjok



Posts: 3324
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 29 2007,11:02   

Quote (Richard Simons @ Sep. 29 2007,10:40)
Quote
Using my argument from personal incredulity, what other advantage of loss of digits has been suggested?

Less problem with hanging toenails?

I realize you are making a funny, but I would note that structural problems with hoof wall, which is essentially the equivalent of a toe nail, are quite serious. Severe problems, like acute laminitis (founder), can lead to the horse having to be euthanized.  Remember that the next time you have an ingrown nail. ;)

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It's natural to be curious about our world, but the scientific method is just one theory about how to best understand it.  We live in a democracy, which means we should treat every theory equally. - Steven Colbert, I Am America (and So Can You!)

  
Richard Simons



Posts: 425
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 29 2007,11:10   

Someotherguy:
Quote
I had that same problem, but I emailed steve and, presumably, he fixed it for me because the problem went away.

On one of the occasions when I was able to get on I posted here but I never saw a response so I assumed it was unfixable.

(But thanks to composing this, I've found out why the http key was not working.)

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All sweeping statements are wrong.

  
Richard Simons



Posts: 425
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 29 2007,11:11   

Sorry - wrong thread.

--------------
All sweeping statements are wrong.

  
Richard Simons



Posts: 425
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 29 2007,11:18   

Carlsonjok:
I did not think of it when I responded about hanging toenails, but now you mention it I remember I've read enough of James Herriott and Dick Francis to know that laminitis can be a severe problem. I've also frequently seen sheep in Wales eating on their knees because of what I gather is laminitis caused by wet conditions.

--------------
All sweeping statements are wrong.

  
carlsonjok



Posts: 3324
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 29 2007,11:32   

Quote (Richard Simons @ Sep. 29 2007,11:18)
Carlsonjok:
I did not think of it when I responded about hanging toenails, but now you mention it I remember I've read enough of James Herriott and Dick Francis to know that laminitis can be a severe problem. I've also frequently seen sheep in Wales eating on their knees because of what I gather is laminitis caused by wet conditions.

I don't know anything about sheep, but with horses the link between wet weather and laminitis is more correlation than causation.  While laminitis can have mechanical causes, it is quite often related to dramatic changes in diet. For example, turnout on lush pasture after a diet of mostly hay can trigger it.  I have a Welsh Pony that has had two bouts of founder, both related to such diet changes during wet spring weather.

So, anyone want to wager whether Daniel will be back or not?

--------------
It's natural to be curious about our world, but the scientific method is just one theory about how to best understand it.  We live in a democracy, which means we should treat every theory equally. - Steven Colbert, I Am America (and So Can You!)

  
JAM



Posts: 503
Joined: July 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 29 2007,14:17   

Quote (George @ Sep. 28 2007,07:44)
Quote (Daniel Smith @ Sep. 28 2007,03:31)
Quote
However, in the formulation of this view, not enough consideration has been given to the fact that the evolutionary trend of reduction in the number of toes had already been introduced long before the plains were occupied in the early Tertiary by the precursors of the horse; these inhabited dense scrub, meaning that they lived in an environment where the reduction of the primitive five-toed protoungulate foot was not an advantage at all. In the descendants, then, the rest of the lateral toes degenerated and the teeth grew longer step by step... regardless of the mode of life, which... fluctuated repeatedly, with habitats switching around among forests, savannas, shrubby plains, tundra, and so on.
If selection alone were decisive in this specialization trend, we would have to ascribe to it a completely incomprehensible purposefulness...
Basic Questions in Paleontology pp. 358-359, (emphasis his)

So basically Schindewolf is saying that horses developed single-toed hooves regardless of the selection pressures applied?

Just to clarify, horses don't (yet) have single-toed hooves. Bones (metacarpal/metatarsal) from the two flanking (2 and 4) digits still remain. They serve no useful purpose (they often become inflamed or broken), while the tops of the front ones still form part of a joint:

http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/livestock/horses/facts/89-093.htm

If they suggest design, their designer was an idiot. Maybe Daniel can explain the elegance of their design if he disagrees.

  
Daniel Smith



Posts: 970
Joined: Sep. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 30 2007,15:32   

Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Sep. 28 2007,06:05)
 
Is there anything that design predicts that evolution does not?

Seems as everything evolution can do, the designer(s) can also do. So your position is essentially meaningless unless you can somehow differentiate the two.

Is there a differentiation somewhere between the two things?

I could say the same thing about the currently held theory.  Is there anything that will ever be found that you won't somehow make to fit and eventually make to be a prediction of the currently held theory?
Are  protein synthesis, cell division, sexual reproduction, intelligence, speech, flight, sight, hearing, circulatory systems, etc. predicted by the current theory?
Since the current theory predicts "happy accidents", anything useful is then said to be predicted.
ID predicts useful features as well, so we're back to square one aren't we?
   
Quote

Are there any predictions of design that are not retrospective? I.E make a prediction for a something that's currently unknown that can be tested and the result will unambigiously say "designed" or "evolved".

If not, it seems to be all "design predictions" are worthless if they predict exactly the same things that evolution does.

Pointless.

Can you point me to a list of as yet untested "predictions" that common descent by design makes, or are they only available retrospectively? If the latter, then give up now, you'll never be able to convince anybody.

Some predictions (these are my own and in no way represent predictions of the ID movement in general):

Because evolution is proactive, not reactive:

Organisms will show evidence of preparation for anticipated environments; rudiments of organs not yet needed will be found.
When confronted with environmental changes, organisms will adapt using pre-existing features (already coded for in the genome) or will become extinct - no new features will develop slowly over time.
Patterns and laws will be found that govern how evolution works.

From the fossil record:
Lineages will be found to have begun before environments in which they later flourished began.
Mass extinctions will have been preceded by the introduction of new types that would dominate the next phase in earth’s cycle.
Organisms will be found to have begun the adaptive process before adaptation was necessary.
Patterns will be found in the origin, differentiation and eventual extinction of lineages that are not dependent upon environmental factors but exist across all manner of differing environments, geographical locations, types of organisms and ages.

Genetically:
Mathematical patterns not explainable by the current theory will be found when comparing sequences of different organisms.
The genetic code will be found to be more sophisticated and more robust than previously thought.
Embedded and overlapping coding will be found to be more prevalent than previously thought.
Careful examination of genomes will find preparatory and adaptive codes “waiting in the wings” ready to be utilized in case of environmental changes- many just a frame shift away.
Frame shifting will be found to be a more common mechanism for sudden evolutionary change than previously thought.
Every part of the entire genome of any organism will be found to either be used at some time in the organisms life, or be of future use.  There are no unusable “Leftovers”.
No adequate explanation other than design will ever be found for the origin of life’s most basic components - i.e. protein synthesis, cell division, sexual reproduction, etc.

Universally:
Because the earth, and the solar system were specifically designed for life, no life or signs of previous life will be found on any other planets within our field of exploration.

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"If we all worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true is really true, there would be little hope of advance."  Orville Wright

"The presence or absence of a creative super-intelligence is unequivocally a scientific question."  Richard Dawkins

  
Daniel Smith



Posts: 970
Joined: Sep. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 30 2007,15:35   

Quote (JAM @ Sep. 29 2007,14:17)
If they suggest design, their designer was an idiot.

Many are.
What's your point?

--------------
"If we all worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true is really true, there would be little hope of advance."  Orville Wright

"The presence or absence of a creative super-intelligence is unequivocally a scientific question."  Richard Dawkins

  
Daniel Smith



Posts: 970
Joined: Sep. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 30 2007,15:53   

Quote (jeannot @ Sep. 28 2007,14:21)
Common descent by design?
Can you develop, Daniel?

Basically common descent by design (or designed descent) is the view the evolution of organisms was planned out in advance.  
I have to clarify here that this was not Schindewolf's view.  He held "mysticism" (as he called it) in contempt and thought that evolution proceeded by internal factors alone - which constrained it along certain paths.  For this reason he also held Darwinism in contempt.

--------------
"If we all worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true is really true, there would be little hope of advance."  Orville Wright

"The presence or absence of a creative super-intelligence is unequivocally a scientific question."  Richard Dawkins

  
jeannot



Posts: 1200
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 30 2007,15:55   

Quote (Daniel Smith @ Sep. 30 2007,15:53)
Quote (jeannot @ Sep. 28 2007,14:21)
Common descent by design?
Can you develop, Daniel?

Basically common descent by design (or designed descent) is the view the evolution of organisms was planned out in advance.  
I have to clarify here that this was not Schindewolf's view.  He held "mysticism" (as he called it) in contempt and thought that evolution proceeded by internal factors alone - which constrained it along certain paths.  For this reason he also held Darwinism in contempt.

What's your position? Do you support common descent?

  
Daniel Smith



Posts: 970
Joined: Sep. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 30 2007,16:03   

Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Sep. 28 2007,05:24)

This may be contrasted with Darwin's predictions: to fail to find nested hierarchy in nature would be to falsify his model of evolution.

But the nested hierarchy was developed to classify organisms before Darwin's time!
Ever heard of Linnaeus?
So how then can it be a prediction of Darwinism?

   
Quote
(Daniel: Still waiting for you to retract your patently false claim vis interest in data with no biases or preconceptions.)

Thanks for continually telling me what I'm thinking and how best I should express my thoughts.  (I bet you're a big hit at parties!)

BTW, do you know what I'm thinking right now?

--------------
"If we all worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true is really true, there would be little hope of advance."  Orville Wright

"The presence or absence of a creative super-intelligence is unequivocally a scientific question."  Richard Dawkins

  
jeannot



Posts: 1200
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 30 2007,16:13   

Quote (Daniel Smith @ Sep. 30 2007,16:03)
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Sep. 28 2007,05:24)

This may be contrasted with Darwin's predictions: to fail to find nested hierarchy in nature would be to falsify his model of evolution.

But the nested hierarchy was developed to classify organisms before Darwin's time!
Ever heard of Linnaeus?
So how then can it be a prediction of Darwinism?

Linné's classification was flawed. His nested hierarchy is largely inconsistent across characters, it is full of contradictions.
And I fail to see how this undermines Darwin's prediction. Linné formulated no hypothesis behind his classification, expect perhaps something similar to common design, which can predict anything (hence nothing).

  
Daniel Smith



Posts: 970
Joined: Sep. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 30 2007,16:15   

Quote (carlsonjok @ Sep. 28 2007,06:11)
 
Quote (Daniel Smith @ Sep. 28 2007,04:12)
 
OH, And the city doesn't really count as "the wild" now does it?

For whom?  Certainly, it isn't the wild for humans inasmuch as it consolidates all sorts of things, like grocery stores and homes, for our convenience.  But for feral cats, alas without currency to buy themselves a bag of Friskies or take out a mortgage, it is the wild.

Well, cats and dogs rely on humans for their sustenance, therefore the cities (which have dumpsters, trash cans and gutters full of food scraps) don't really qualify as an environment of the type where natural selection was proposed to have done all of it's major work now does it?
So, let me rephrase this:
Remove humans from the world and what happens to dogs, cats and cultivated plants?
It is my contention that natural selection will reduce varieties.
 
Quote
Never mind.  After over six pages and you haven't even mentioned a horse and that is the reason you are here, no?

If you go back to Brainstorms, you'll see that the horse was just one example I used in a discussion with Alan Fox while discussing the theory of evolution in general.  I don't know why he decided to start this thread making that the sole subject.  That was not my doing.  Schindewolf's main argument from horse evolution was that the horse developed a single toed foot before it was advantageous to do so.  So far no one has disputed his position with any evidence that shows it to be a false claim.

--------------
"If we all worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true is really true, there would be little hope of advance."  Orville Wright

"The presence or absence of a creative super-intelligence is unequivocally a scientific question."  Richard Dawkins

  
carlsonjok



Posts: 3324
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 30 2007,16:22   

Quote (Daniel Smith @ Sep. 30 2007,16:15)
Quote (carlsonjok @ Sep. 28 2007,06:11)
   
Quote (Daniel Smith @ Sep. 28 2007,04:12)
 
OH, And the city doesn't really count as "the wild" now does it?

For whom?  Certainly, it isn't the wild for humans inasmuch as it consolidates all sorts of things, like grocery stores and homes, for our convenience.  But for feral cats, alas without currency to buy themselves a bag of Friskies or take out a mortgage, it is the wild.

Well, cats and dogs rely on humans for their sustenance, therefore the cities (which have dumpsters, trash cans and gutters full of food scraps) don't really qualify as an environment of the type where natural selection was proposed to have done all of it's major work now does it?
So, let me rephrase this:
Remove humans from the world and what happens to dogs, cats and cultivated plants?
It is my contention that natural selection will reduce varieties.
   
Quote
Never mind.  After over six pages and you haven't even mentioned a horse and that is the reason you are here, no?

If you go back to Brainstorms, you'll see that the horse was just one example I used in a discussion with Alan Fox while discussing the theory of evolution in general.  I don't know why he decided to start this thread making that the sole subject.  That was not my doing.  Schindewolf's main argument from horse evolution was that the horse developed a single toed foot before it was advantageous to do so.  So far no one has disputed his position with any evidence that shows it to be a false claim.

How interesting that you managed to quote my entire post except one sentence.  That sentence read:

Quote
Perhaps you would like to define the characteristics of an eco-system and then explain to us how an urban environment is not one?


I am sure that was an unintentional oversight that you will correct now.

--------------
It's natural to be curious about our world, but the scientific method is just one theory about how to best understand it.  We live in a democracy, which means we should treat every theory equally. - Steven Colbert, I Am America (and So Can You!)

  
jeannot



Posts: 1200
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 30 2007,16:25   

Quote (Daniel Smith @ Sep. 30 2007,16:15)
Quote (carlsonjok @ Sep. 28 2007,06:11)
   
Quote (Daniel Smith @ Sep. 28 2007,04:12)
 
OH, And the city doesn't really count as "the wild" now does it?

For whom?  Certainly, it isn't the wild for humans inasmuch as it consolidates all sorts of things, like grocery stores and homes, for our convenience.  But for feral cats, alas without currency to buy themselves a bag of Friskies or take out a mortgage, it is the wild.

Well, cats and dogs rely on humans for their sustenance, therefore the cities (which have dumpsters, trash cans and gutters full of food scraps) don't really qualify as an environment of the type where natural selection was proposed to have done all of it's major work now does it?
So, let me rephrase this:
Remove humans from the world and what happens to dogs, cats and cultivated plants?
It is my contention that natural selection will reduce varieties.

That's entirely possible in the case of domesticated animals like cats and dogs, who were subject to strong divergent selection. Such divergent selection is probably weaker in the wild.
But does that mean that selection hinders the emergence of new types? The answer is no.
It is demonstrated that natural selection helps speciation.
There are dozens of documented cases of ecological speciation.

  
Daniel Smith



Posts: 970
Joined: Sep. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 30 2007,16:56   

Quote (George @ Sep. 28 2007,07:44)
 
Quote (Daniel Smith @ Sep. 28 2007,03:31)
   
Quote
However, in the formulation of this view, not enough consideration has been given to the fact that the evolutionary trend of reduction in the number of toes had already been introduced long before the plains were occupied in the early Tertiary by the precursors of the horse; these inhabited dense scrub, meaning that they lived in an environment where the reduction of the primitive five-toed protoungulate foot was not an advantage at all. In the descendants, then, the rest of the lateral toes degenerated and the teeth grew longer step by step... regardless of the mode of life, which... fluctuated repeatedly, with habitats switching around among forests, savannas, shrubby plains, tundra, and so on.
If selection alone were decisive in this specialization trend, we would have to ascribe to it a completely incomprehensible purposefulness...
Basic Questions in Paleontology pp. 358-359, (emphasis his)

So basically Schindewolf is saying that horses developed single-toed hooves regardless of the selection pressures applied?  How does he know what those pressures were?  How does he know the scrub was dense?  Paleoecologists today can identify what species were present in the landscape at a point in time, but have much more difficulty in determining vegetation structure.  This has led to disagreements over what the European landscape of most of the Holocene was.  Yes there were lots of oak trees present, but was it closed forest?  Was it patches of scrub interspersed with grassy plains?  Was it widely spaced parkland-like trees?

In other words, what was the quality of his data and how far is he spreading it with rhetoric?

He doesn't go into any details (in this book at least - he may have in others or in one of his papers) about how he knew the environmental conditions were such as he described, so I can't tell you how he determined that.

I'm assuming that the man described in 1965 by Stephen Jay Gould's advisor, Dr. Norman Newell as "the greatest living paleontologist", used the scientific method and the accepted evidence of his day to determine these factors.

You might be in a position to show that he made a false claim, but you must base that on evidence from that time period.

--------------
"If we all worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true is really true, there would be little hope of advance."  Orville Wright

"The presence or absence of a creative super-intelligence is unequivocally a scientific question."  Richard Dawkins

  
Daniel Smith



Posts: 970
Joined: Sep. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 30 2007,18:32   

Quote (Alan Fox @ Sep. 29 2007,04:17)

So, is there another example that better illustrates Berg's alternative to RM + NS?    

Berg's book is full of examples.  He makes his case on cumulative evidence, making mention of so many species, orders, organs, locations, periods, races, genera, etc. and etc... that I can't remember half of them, (his examples probably average at least one per page, and there are over 400 pages!).  So once again, I'll be unable to provide a "best" example, but I'll give you one example:
           
Quote
Osborn (1902, 1907), basing his inferences on the study of the teeth of various groups of mammals, comes to the conclusion that teeth have "predispositions" to vary in a definite direction: in the process of the evolution of teeth full development is reached only by what had previously existed in a potential condition.  Therefore, similar characters in teeth appear quite independently in various groups, such as horses, rhinoceroses, Titanotheria.  Nor is this all.  It is possible to detect a similar evolution of the tubercles of the molars in such widely separate groups as Perissodactyla, and Primates (including the Lemuroidea).  Tubercles appear in a strictly definite position, so that there can be no question of chance.  We have to deal here, says Osborn (1902, p.267; 1907, p. 228), with a definite and determined evolution, governed by certain rules.  This may be seen from the following (Osborn, 1902, pp. 267-268; 1907, pp. 235-236):--

1.  Teeth are distinguished by a very singular property, i.e. that they are laid down and formed under the gums.  Consequently use or disuse cannot exert any effect upon their form.  On the contrary, the more they are used, the sooner they wear out.

2.  At the same time, teeth are one of the most progressive organs.

3.  The different families and orders of the Mammalia diverged from one another at the time when their upper molars possessed three tubercles each, the lower from three to five.  Therefore, only those tubercles are homologous which may be compared to the above mentioned primary ones.

4.  New supplementary tubercles are consequently not homologous, but convergent.  At the same time the occurrence of such tubercles is independent of individual variation.

Natural selection could thus play no part in the evolution of teeth in mammals, because they appear in perfectly definite positions.

Had the supplementary tubercles appeared without any definite order, at random, we should then have observed an unusual diversity in the teeth of mammals in all parts of the world.  But such is not the case: as we have seen, the occurrence of new tubercles follows definite rules in various families; in the upper molars from one to eight supplementary tubercles develop at strictly definite points.  We thus unavoidably come to the conclusion that even in the primary tritubercular condition of the molars a tendency has been inherent which to a certain extent predetermines their future variation and evolution (1907, p. 237).
Not only do the teeth, says Osborn, develop independently of chance variations being selected (for tubercles are predetermined); but the skull, the vertebral column and the extremities are subject to the same principle  of development in a definite direction (1907, p. 237)
Nomogenesis, pp. 123-124, (emphasis his)
BTW, the "Osborn" quoted above is Henry Fairfield Osborn
           
Quote

OK. The RM + NS theory claims that organisms are shaped by their environments. Where a population exists and is subject to change in that environment, selection will result in adaptive change or extinction. Adaptation is not predictive.

From your quote, Schindewolf is claiming that horses began adapting to life on the plains before arriving in that environment. If true, this would indeed be a grave problem for evolution.

How does Schindewolf establish the prevailing climate and vegetation associated with a particular fossil?

I don't know the answer to that.  But normally, when he is about to give a disputed position, he gives the alternate view as well.  He gives no alternate view here, so I'm assuming it was the accepted view at that time.

--------------
"If we all worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true is really true, there would be little hope of advance."  Orville Wright

"The presence or absence of a creative super-intelligence is unequivocally a scientific question."  Richard Dawkins

  
Daniel Smith



Posts: 970
Joined: Sep. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 30 2007,18:55   

Quote (jeannot @ Sep. 30 2007,15:55)
   
Quote (Daniel Smith @ Sep. 30 2007,15:53)
   
Quote (jeannot @ Sep. 28 2007,14:21)
Common descent by design?
Can you develop, Daniel?

Basically common descent by design (or designed descent) is the view the evolution of organisms was planned out in advance.  
I have to clarify here that this was not Schindewolf's view.  He held "mysticism" (as he called it) in contempt and thought that evolution proceeded by internal factors alone - which constrained it along certain paths.  For this reason he also held Darwinism in contempt.

What's your position? Do you support common descent?

I'm not sure.  Berg didn't appear to, Schindewolf did.  My opinion is still developing.

I'm interested in the truth - that's all.  My goal is to find out what really happened.

--------------
"If we all worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true is really true, there would be little hope of advance."  Orville Wright

"The presence or absence of a creative super-intelligence is unequivocally a scientific question."  Richard Dawkins

  
Daniel Smith



Posts: 970
Joined: Sep. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 30 2007,18:58   

Quote (carlsonjok @ Sep. 30 2007,16:22)
How interesting that you managed to quote my entire post except one sentence.  That sentence read:

   
Quote
Perhaps you would like to define the characteristics of an eco-system and then explain to us how an urban environment is not one?


I am sure that was an unintentional oversight that you will correct now.

Well, since it was "the wild" and not "an ecosystem" that I originally specified, perhaps you will now explain to me how the city fits my definition of "the wild"?

--------------
"If we all worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true is really true, there would be little hope of advance."  Orville Wright

"The presence or absence of a creative super-intelligence is unequivocally a scientific question."  Richard Dawkins

  
Henry J



Posts: 4046
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 30 2007,22:02   

Re "Mass extinctions will have been preceded by the introduction of new types that would dominate the next phase in earth?s cycle."

If the previously dominant types became extinct, where else would the dominant types of the next era come from besides those that were non-dominant in the previous era?

Henry

  
Richard Simons



Posts: 425
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 30 2007,22:47   

Daniel:  
Quote
But the nested hierarchy was developed to classify organisms before Darwin's time!
Ever heard of Linnaeus?
So how then can it be a prediction of Darwinism?

Because the theory of evolution predicted that all aspects of organisms follow the same nested hierarchy. This has proven to be true, even for chemicals such as cytochrome C and DNA that were completely unknown 150 years ago. It is also generally true as regards anatomy, physiology, parasites, diseases and biogeography. That is why it is possible to predict, for example, that bonobos will have the same broken vitamin C gene as we do and elephants will not. That is why researchers looked amongst the apes to find something similar to HIV rather than doing a massive survey of rabbits.

Linnaeus was a creationist, as was virtually everyone of his day, and likely used a nested hierarchy as a tool rather than to indicate genuine relationships. Have you any evidence that he used it to make predictions?

--------------
All sweeping statements are wrong.

  
carlsonjok



Posts: 3324
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 01 2007,05:14   

Quote (Daniel Smith @ Sep. 30 2007,18:58)
Quote (carlsonjok @ Sep. 30 2007,16:22)
How interesting that you managed to quote my entire post except one sentence.  That sentence read:

     
Quote
Perhaps you would like to define the characteristics of an eco-system and then explain to us how an urban environment is not one?


I am sure that was an unintentional oversight that you will correct now.

Well, since it was "the wild" and not "an ecosystem" that I originally specified, perhaps you will now explain to me how the city fits my definition of "the wild"?

Well, you haven't defined "the wild" with sufficient rigor other than to imply that an urban environment isn't it because it is an environment where natural selection ceases to operate.  Indeed, "the wild" isn't even a scientific term.  That is why I am asking you to define what an eco-system is and then explain why an urban environment, as experienced by feral animals, is not such a thing.

EDIT: corrected a very badly written sentence.

--------------
It's natural to be curious about our world, but the scientific method is just one theory about how to best understand it.  We live in a democracy, which means we should treat every theory equally. - Steven Colbert, I Am America (and So Can You!)

  
George



Posts: 312
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 01 2007,07:22   

Quote (Daniel Smith @ Sep. 30 2007,16:56)
Quote (George @ Sep. 28 2007,07:44)
   
Quote (Daniel Smith @ Sep. 28 2007,03:31)
   
Quote
However, in the formulation of this view, not enough consideration has been given to the fact that the evolutionary trend of reduction in the number of toes had already been introduced long before the plains were occupied in the early Tertiary by the precursors of the horse; these inhabited dense scrub, meaning that they lived in an environment where the reduction of the primitive five-toed protoungulate foot was not an advantage at all. In the descendants, then, the rest of the lateral toes degenerated and the teeth grew longer step by step... regardless of the mode of life, which... fluctuated repeatedly, with habitats switching around among forests, savannas, shrubby plains, tundra, and so on.
If selection alone were decisive in this specialization trend, we would have to ascribe to it a completely incomprehensible purposefulness...
Basic Questions in Paleontology pp. 358-359, (emphasis his)

So basically Schindewolf is saying that horses developed single-toed hooves regardless of the selection pressures applied?  How does he know what those pressures were?  How does he know the scrub was dense?  Paleoecologists today can identify what species were present in the landscape at a point in time, but have much more difficulty in determining vegetation structure.  This has led to disagreements over what the European landscape of most of the Holocene was.  Yes there were lots of oak trees present, but was it closed forest?  Was it patches of scrub interspersed with grassy plains?  Was it widely spaced parkland-like trees?

In other words, what was the quality of his data and how far is he spreading it with rhetoric?

He doesn't go into any details (in this book at least - he may have in others or in one of his papers) about how he knew the environmental conditions were such as he described, so I can't tell you how he determined that.

I'm assuming that the man described in 1965 by Stephen Jay Gould's advisor, Dr. Norman Newell as "the greatest living paleontologist", used the scientific method and the accepted evidence of his day to determine these factors.

You might be in a position to show that he made a false claim, but you must base that on evidence from that time period.

You misunderstand me.  I'm not saying he was lying.  I'm questioning how he knew what Tertiary environmental conditions were like and how good were the data he based his conclusions on.  As I said before, it is difficult enough for today's paleoecologists to reconstruct past vegetation.  It would have been much more difficult and imprecise for the ecologists of a century ago.  Palynology, one of the more powerful tools, was only in its infancy.

To summarise:  he may have based his theories on the understanding of the day, but if that understanding is wrong, his ideas crumble.

  
Alan Fox



Posts: 1365
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 01 2007,07:29   

Daniel wrote earlier:  
Quote
If you go back to Brainstorms, you'll see that the horse was just one example I used in a discussion with Alan Fox while discussing the theory of evolution in general.  I don't know why he decided to start this thread making that the sole subject.


My recollection is that you first raised the example here:

 
Quote
   (AF wrote) Would you like to cite your best example?

(DS wrote) There are so many. You really should read the books. Berg and Schindewolf cite hundreds of examples - Berg mostly from modern biology and Schindewolf mostly from the fossil record. It's really does them a disservice to try to pick a "best" example, but I'll give you one that Schindewolf describes:

   quote:To this extent, the one toed horse must be regarded as the ideal running animal of the plains. It's early Tertiary ancestors had four digits on the front feet and three on the hind feet, and low crowned cheek teeth. Since in the later Tertiary, an expansion of plains at the expense of forests has been observed, this change in environmental conditions and the consequent change in the mode of life has been represented as the cause of linear, progressive selection leading up to the modern horse.
   However, in the formulation of this view, not enough consideration has been given to the fact that the evolutionary trend of reduction in the number of toes had already been introduced long before the plains were occupied in the early Tertiary by the precursors of the horse; these inhabited dense scrub, meaning that they lived in an environment where the reduction of the primitive five-toed protoungulate foot was not an advantage at all. In the descendants, then, the rest of the lateral toes degenerated and the teeth grew longer step by step... regardless of the mode of life, which... fluctuated repeatedly, with habitats switching around among forests, savannas, shrubby plains, tundra, and so on.
   If selection alone were decisive in this specialization trend, we would have to ascribe to it a completely incomprehensible purposefulness...

   Basic Questions in Paleontology pp. 358-359, emphasis his.

posted 17. September 2007 12:35

  
Alan Fox



Posts: 1365
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 01 2007,07:31   

Daniel wrote:  
Quote
Some predictions (these are my own and in no way represent predictions of the ID movement in general):

Because evolution is proactive, not reactive:

Organisms will show evidence of preparation for anticipated environments; rudiments of organs not yet needed will be found.
When confronted with environmental changes, organisms will adapt using pre-existing features (already coded for in the genome) or will become extinct - no new features will develop slowly over time.
Patterns and laws will be found that govern how evolution works.

From the fossil record:
Lineages will be found to have begun before environments in which they later flourished began.
Mass extinctions will have been preceded by the introduction of new types that would dominate the next phase in earth’s cycle.
Organisms will be found to have begun the adaptive process before adaptation was necessary.
Patterns will be found in the origin, differentiation and eventual extinction of lineages that are not dependent upon environmental factors but exist across all manner of differing environments, geographical locations, types of organisms and ages.

Genetically:
Mathematical patterns not explainable by the current theory will be found when comparing sequences of different organisms.
The genetic code will be found to be more sophisticated and more robust than previously thought.
Embedded and overlapping coding will be found to be more prevalent than previously thought.
Careful examination of genomes will find preparatory and adaptive codes “waiting in the wings” ready to be utilized in case of environmental changes- many just a frame shift away.
Frame shifting will be found to be a more common mechanism for sudden evolutionary change than previously thought.
Every part of the entire genome of any organism will be found to either be used at some time in the organisms life, or be of future use.  There are no unusable “Leftovers”.
No adequate explanation other than design will ever be found for the origin of life’s most basic components - i.e. protein synthesis, cell division, sexual reproduction, etc.

Universally:
Because the earth, and the solar system were specifically designed for life, no life or signs of previous life will be found on any other planets within our field of exploration.


I congratulate you, Daniel, for being so forthright and producing testable predictions.

Re the search for evidence of life on Mars, there are three possible outcomes that I can foresee.

1:Evidence is found for a life-form totally different from anything seen on Earth, say, not even based on carbon, but, for instance, built on silicon.

2: Evidence is found for a life-form bearing distinct similarities to terrestrial lifeforms.

3; No evidence found.

If 1, abiogenesis is almost inevitable on any suitable planet, given enough time.

If 2, lifeforms such as bacterial spores may travel across space as passengers in meteorites. (Panspermia)

If 3, we still don't know.

  
Daniel Smith



Posts: 970
Joined: Sep. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 01 2007,19:37   

Quote (George @ Oct. 01 2007,07:22)
You misunderstand me.  I'm not saying he was lying.  I'm questioning how he knew what Tertiary environmental conditions were like and how good were the data he based his conclusions on.  As I said before, it is difficult enough for today's paleoecologists to reconstruct past vegetation.  It would have been much more difficult and imprecise for the ecologists of a century ago.  Palynology, one of the more powerful tools, was only in its infancy.

To summarise:  he may have based his theories on the understanding of the day, but if that understanding is wrong, his ideas crumble.

Schindewolf's book was published (originally - in German) in 1950.  While technically that was in the last century, (so was 1999), it wasn't "a century ago".  

This is what he said:
 
Quote
Since in the later Tertiary, an expansion of plains at the expense of forests has been observed, this change in environmental conditions and the consequent change in the mode of life has been represented as the cause of linear, progressive selection leading up to the modern horse.
(emphasis mine)

I assume "has been observed" means that it was well accepted.  Perhaps newer data has proved him wrong, I don't know.

--------------
"If we all worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true is really true, there would be little hope of advance."  Orville Wright

"The presence or absence of a creative super-intelligence is unequivocally a scientific question."  Richard Dawkins

  
Daniel Smith



Posts: 970
Joined: Sep. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 01 2007,19:45   

Quote (carlsonjok @ Oct. 01 2007,05:14)
   
Quote (Daniel Smith @ Sep. 30 2007,18:58)
  Well, since it was "the wild" and not "an ecosystem" that I originally specified, perhaps you will now explain to me how the city fits my definition of "the wild"?

Well, you haven't defined "the wild" with sufficient rigor other than to imply that an urban environment isn't it because it is an environment where natural selection ceases to operate.  Indeed, "the wild" isn't even a scientific term.  That is why I am asking you to define what an eco-system is and then explain why an urban environment, as experienced by feral animals, is not such a thing.



I didn't think I had to define "the wild" when I made my statement.  I think most people here understood what I meant.  

Lets just say "the wild" is what exists outside cities, towns, or anywhere else man dwells.  That was what the ecosystem was like before man arrived on the scene and throughout the majority of natural selection's functional influence.

 
Quote
EDIT: corrected a very badly written sentence.

BTW, How do you edit posts here?

--------------
"If we all worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true is really true, there would be little hope of advance."  Orville Wright

"The presence or absence of a creative super-intelligence is unequivocally a scientific question."  Richard Dawkins

  
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4238
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 01 2007,19:57   

Quote (Daniel Smith @ Sep. 30 2007,16:53)
     
Quote (jeannot @ Sep. 28 2007,14:21)
Common descent by design?
Can you develop, Daniel?

Basically common descent by design (or designed descent) is the view the evolution of organisms was planned out in advance.  
I have to clarify here that this was not Schindewolf's view.  He held "mysticism" (as he called it) in contempt and thought that evolution proceeded by internal factors alone - which constrained it along certain paths.  For this reason he also held Darwinism in contempt.

Planned in advance essentially = frontloading, which presents problems that render the hypothesis unworkable on the face of it.

The processes of adaptation and speciation described in the standard RM+NS model have enabled living organisms to track the countless contingent changes in environments and ecosystems in which those organisms have been embedded over the last 38 million centuries (or so). Even with such tracking a vast majority of species ended in extinction, presumably when these variations become too extreme to track. Indeed, the successes, failures and interactions of some species mold the ecological context for the successes and failures of others, all embedded in a contingently changing physical and environment.  

"Planned in advance" would require storage in advance of the countless adaptations, speciation events, ecoloogical interactions, and even extinction events that have been entailed in the story of the survival of life on earth within this endless succession of changing environments and ecosystems, as well as a program determining in advance the order in which these changes unfold. Yet the environmental transitions with with life has been confronted, and that demand these changes, result from physical processes (planetary, geological, meteorological, astronomical, etc.) that are themselves inherently contingent and unguided and which cannot themselves possibly have been "arranged," "planned," or "predicted." Moreover, we are talking the varied environments and apposite adaptations of every extinct and every extant lineage of descent that have taken their places among the astronomical number of ramifications of the tree of life.

With that in mind, "preplanned" becomes utterly implausible and even absurd, in my view.

--------------
Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  
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