Joined: May 2006
Let's begin correcting your errors, Mr. Hunter:
First, you begin by posting a quote from me:
|Deadman wrote: 1 .Isn't the very claim that "theory-laden" observations are somehow "less than" or inferior to "theory-UNladen" observations...itself a theory-laden hypothesis? How does your view qualify as "better?" when it is also laden with theory?|
You then say : "Please be careful. My point was merely that you'll have a difficult time persuading people that the evidence powerfully supports your theory, if you are interpreting observations accoring to the theory. "
I assure you, Mr. Hunter, I am quite careful in how I use words. You are not, however. You stated that evidence drawn from paleontology, evo-devo, genetics, etc. is "theory-laden" and I asked a specific set of questions to you about your circular mode of denying the relevance of those data:
| Mr. Hunter, you have a very nice circular scheme going on here to sell your snake oil, congratulations.|
Let's examine it:
1. You arrive and say
|How is it that similarities such as the pentadactyl pattern are such powerful evidence for evolution, in light of equala and greater levels of similarity in distant species, such as dsplayed in the marsupial and placental wolves?|
2. You steadfastly refuse to state what SPECIFIC characters you are referring to and wish to compare to pentadactyly. (I challenge you to cite where you have mentioned any specific characters in thylacines/wolves).
Instead, you point to cartoon images and say "see?"
3. When you are offered paleontological, genetic and comparative anatomy data, you reject it, claiming that it is "theory-laden" and somehow this negates the data itself.
4. Having effectively denied the existence of evidence supporting common inheritance of structural ( pentadactyl) characters, you then;
5. Repeat #1.
Very cute, Sir!!
To this you have replied:
|The reasoning here is circular because you are interpreting the evidence according to the theory of evolution, and then claiming it powerfully supports evolution. It makes little sense to explain that homologies such as the pentadactyl pattern are powerful evidence for evolution because, after all, such similarities are "deeper and are the result of common inheritance," whereas those other similarities "are superficial and are appear not to have resulted from shared inheritance." What you need to do is explain why some similarities are "deeper" and others are "superficial."|
But you say you won't accept genetic, paleontological, evo-devo evidence of this because it is tautological and "theory-laden"
Okay, let's do a little epistemic thought-experiment. Suppose I am a long-lived and tirelessly industrious being on this planet, investigating it.
I find that time exists. I find that radiometric dating exists. I find that pentadactyly exists in all mammals. I find that I can dig up fossils that are pentadactyl. I find that genetic information and evo-devo data exist that indicate this common shared character has a strong and relatively unchanged time-span on this planet. I therefore will take that data to mean things on this planet are connected and have a deep time-frame in which they arose. I can do this without any evolutionary framework at all in my mind.
Now, I will ask you once again...WHAT CHARACTER/TRAIT in THYLACINES and WOLVES do you want me to compare this evidence to?
Be specific, Mr. Hunter and make sure you don't merely cite a suite of characters/traits...and please don't just point to a cartoon and say "those," because I want to finish this little thought experiment in epistemology, Mr. Hunter.
Oh, and you mentioned this about my example of patagium in phalangers/flying squirrels and pentadactyly:
|Your answer was that skin is easier to evolve than bones (wasn't that you?). That was sufficient for me. I do not need to multiply examples, for this one is subjective, circular, and clearly shows the weakness of the claim.|
Actually, it's not subjective or circular , and that is a misrepresentation of what I did say. I specifically noted that the flying squirrel and phalanger don't have structurally identical patagium...BUT their pentadactyly IS precisely the same. Further, I am in fact arguing that skin attachments and increased skin area in between attachments IS in fact easier for a strain of animals to change than basic bone structure...why do I say that? Because we have no large-scale evidence of septadactyly or octadactyly to point to. We have only pentadactyl mammals on the planet. We have only a few gliding mammals. Further, we can conduct experiments showing that basic bauplan features are far less susceptible to mutation and alteration than skin attachments to bone, especially under selection by the environment and reproductive success. None of these observations or experiments would NECCESSARILY involve any preconceived "theory-laden" position on my part.
You also claimed erroneously that I had said this:
|Deadman wrote: Let’s concentrate on the specific question: “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 in distant species, such as displayed in the marsupial and placental mouse?” First, this question is misphrased. The important thing about the forelimbs of birds, bats, dogs, pterosaurs, pigs, moles, anteaters, dolphins, and so forth is that their differences overwhelm their similarities, but their similarities are deeper and are the result of common inheritance. In contrast, their similarities are in many ways far less than the similarities between golden moles and marsupial moles or between ‘flying’ squirrels and ‘flying’ phalangers, but the latter similarities are superficial and are appear not to have resulted from shared inheritance. Both sets of comparisons and contrasts provide powerful evidence for evolution.|
That was N.Wells here: http://www.antievolution.org/cgi-bin....p=48807
Now, Mr. Hunter, can you please address my points that I made?
|Mr. Hunter: A few additional thoughts. Note that I have given responses to your questions and that I would hope that fairness and honesty in debate would compel you to respond to the questions of others directly.|
1 .Isn't the very claim that "theory-laden" observations are somehow "less than" or inferior to "theory-UNladen" observations...itself a theory-laden hypothesis? How does your view qualify as "better?" when it is also laden with theory? If you assert it is not "theory-laden", can you please explain your association with DI?
2. How did you determine that characters were "equal or greater " in similarity when there are no justifications at all ( in your mind) of making such a claim? Was it due to "theory-laden" observations? On this point, I'd also like you to show me an example of scientific observation that is not theory-laden.
3. You have steadfastly refused even up to now, to simply enumerate what these characters ARE that you wish to compare to pentadactyly . When you did mention the patagium in Phalangers/Flying Squirrels, you seemed to ignore the evidence that shows that there is very little underlying structural similarity in the two adaptations other than "skin stretched between fore- and hindfeet." which doesn't have the same weight as pentadactyly that can be seen in all mammals today, in the fossil record of mammals and beyond and that has relatively well-known genetic and developmental evidence -- all of which you will of course, "invalidate" by saying it is "theory laden"
4. Varying degrees of subjectivity and falsifiability are different things, sir. I suggest you learn what falisifiability is before you go equating the two. Falsifiability, in Popper's terms, primarily involves conceiving of a statement/observation that would negate claim X. Many "subjective" claims can be falsified.
If, for instance, a person claims that theory-laden observations are inferior to those observations done without such theoretical "baggage," then this is an undemonstrated subjective claim.
Such a claim can be falsified by pointing to observations that are "theory-laden" ( such as evolutionary theory) and showing that the observations in question are the best-supported we have, in addition to fulfilling other criteria such as testability, repeatability, etc. Conversely, I don't know of any other "theory-laden" observations that provide the breadth and depth of explanatory and predictive value that evolutionary theory has in regard to observations such as the fossil record and it's interrelations to comparative anatomical observations and genetic/evo-devo.
These facts run counter to your subjective view of " inferior theory-laden" observations (beyond the fact that you have yet to even demonstrate that "theory-unladen" scientific observations even exist at all...much less the notion of "unladen" observations in general) Got it?
I eagerly await your direct and concisely unambiguous responses.
If this is to be seen as an actual exchange of claims/supporting evidence, then you have to actually respond to posts fully, Mr. Hunter, not just the parts you like.
AtBC Award for Thoroughness in the Face of Creationism