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stevestory



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2007,15:35   

Over on the Uncommonly Dense thread, Wesley, earlier, said:

Quote
Wesley R. Elsberry



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 25 2007,23:19  
Then there was the ID conference in San Francisco where Dr. Cornelius G. Hunter, the "expert" involved in the antievolution shenanigans in Roseville, CA, presented the wolf and thylacine as identical twins separated at birth argument. His visual aid, handily printed in the proceedings, consisted of two images side-by-side. On one side, you had the usual painting of two thylacines in color. On the other, you had the same painting, mirrored horizontally, and desaturated. Yep, you just could not tell the difference between the wolves on one side and the thylacines on the other. Uncanny, even.

At least, none of the ID attendees cottoned on. It wasn't until I pointed out the problem to Paul Nelson that the ID community had notice of it.


Cornelius Hunter has now shown up and replied:

Quote
Cornelius Hunter



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2007,16:11  
It is strange that evolutionists never get around to addressing the scientific issue. Wesley Elsberry appears to be denying convergence, but that can't be true. If he has an explanation for convergence then let's hear it. If not, then admit it. Here is the question for evolutionists: 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 mouse?

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/01/4/pdf/l_014_02.pdf


This is a specific thread for subsequent discussion of the topic.

   
stephenWells



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2007,15:47   

For starters, how about some discussion of dentition and skull morphology, with regard to the claim that the thylacine and the wolf have "almost identical" dentition?
We could start here: Thylacine museum, dentition

  
GCT



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2007,15:50   

Since Mr. Hunter is from the DI and all, maybe he can explain these "goals" from the wedge document:

Quote
5. Spiritual & cultural renewal:

Mainline renewal movements begin to appropriate insights from design theory, and to repudiate theologies influenced by materialism
Major Christian denomination(s) defend(s) traditional doctrine of creation & repudiate(s)
Darwinism Seminaries increasingly recognize & repudiate naturalistic presuppositions
Positive uptake in public opinion polls on issues such as sexuality, abortion and belief in God


Why would these be goals of a scientific movement?  I mean, ID has nothing to do with religion, right?

  
Wesley R. Elsberry



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2007,15:52   

It's strange how failing to note obvious differences in a mammalian dental formula amounts to a "scientific problem"... unless, of course, one is identifying the locus of the problem as the particular ignorance displayed by Hunter in urging the thylacine and wolf as somehow proving "problematic" for scientific explanation. Let's clear that one up first before proceeding to other supposed examples. If Jonathan Wells can get outraged over perfectly reasonable photographs to display the issue of crypsis, how come the ID community has not risen as one in condemnation of the far more flagrant abuse of imagery used by Hunter?

--------------
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
stevestory



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2007,15:55   

Quote (GCT @ Jan. 26 2007,16:50)
Why would these be goals of a scientific movement?  I mean, ID has nothing to do with religion, right?

While many ID supporters take the position that ID is not religion, I don't know that Cornelius Hunter has taken this position, so perhaps he admits that ID is creationism, the bible is scientifically accurate, etc.

   
GCT



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2007,16:04   

Quote (stevestory @ Jan. 26 2007,16:55)
Quote (GCT @ Jan. 26 2007,16:50)
Why would these be goals of a scientific movement?  I mean, ID has nothing to do with religion, right?

While many ID supporters take the position that ID is not religion, I don't know that Cornelius Hunter has taken this position, so perhaps he admits that ID is creationism, the bible is scientifically accurate, etc.

Fair enough.

Maybe he's a YEC and he thinks ID is religious.  Then, why try to pass it off as science, as the DI does?  Why do many other IDiots protest so much at the labeling of ID as religious instead of science.  He can answer these questions or the ones above, depending on what his position is.

  
guthrie



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2007,16:12   

PLease gentlemen, form an orderly queue.  One question at a time, or our guest will be overwhelmed.  
Just pretend you are British for a day or two.
We have good beer in compensation.

  
Tracy P. Hamilton



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2007,16:19   

Quote (guthrie @ Jan. 26 2007,16:12)
PLease gentlemen, form an orderly queue.  One question at a time, or our guest will be overwhelmed.  
Just pretend you are British for a day or two.
We have good beer in compensation.

Hear, Hear!

Wes' question is closest to mine (which I will not ask).

--------------
"Following what I just wrote about fitness, you’re taking refuge in what we see in the world."  PaV

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Mike PSS



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2007,16:44   

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/01/4/pdf/l_014_02.pdf [/quote]

Quote
adapted from The Human Evolution Coloring Book, 2d ed., by Adrienne L. Zihlman.
Produced by Coloring Concepts Inc. New York: HarperCollins, 2001.


Mr. Hunter is basing his initial argument from a write-up that accompanies a coloring book?

A COLORING BOOK??

A COLORING BOOK?!?!?!

  
GCT



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2007,16:44   

Quote (Tracy P. Hamilton @ Jan. 26 2007,17:19)
Quote (guthrie @ Jan. 26 2007,16:12)
PLease gentlemen, form an orderly queue.  One question at a time, or our guest will be overwhelmed.  
Just pretend you are British for a day or two.
We have good beer in compensation.

Hear, Hear!

Wes' question is closest to mine (which I will not ask).

No problem here.  I wouldn't mind seeing Wes and Hunter go at it.

  
hooligans



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2007,17:06   

As a longtime troll here and at the PandasThumb, I simply had to register and share in the communal guffaw of Mr. Hunter's argument. This chap has actually used, as his evidence, a picture from a coloring book designed for adolescents!!!! Holy crap!!! I finally get why the word TARD is used so often here.  :O

  
Cornelius Hunter



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2007,17:14   

==============================
Me: 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 mouse?

Stephen: "For starters, how about some discussion of dentition and skull morphology, with regard to the claim that the thylacine and the wolf have "almost identical" dentition?"

Wesley: "It's strange how failing to note obvious differences in a mammalian dental formula amounts to a "scientific problem"... unless, of course, one is identifying the locus of the problem as the particular ignorance displayed by Hunter in urging the thylacine and wolf as somehow proving "problematic" for scientific explanation. Let's clear that one up first before proceeding to other supposed examples. If Jonathan Wells can get outraged over perfectly reasonable photographs to display the issue of crypsis, how come the ID community has not risen as one in condemnation of the far more flagrant abuse of imagery used by Hunter? "
===============================

Stephen and Wesley are not reckoning with the problem. Hence Wesley comes to the erroneous conclusion about "flagrant abuse of imagery." I'll restate the question in more acceptable terms. 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? Please look at the very bottom here:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/01/4/pdf/l_014_02.pdf

Then look at here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Evolution_pl.png#filelinks

And then consider my question, and explain why similarities such as the pentadactyl pattern are such powerful evidence.

Regarding ID and religion, the question of whether or not proponents of a theory/position can (i) leverage the theory for non scientific purposes and (ii) simultaneously maintain that the theory itself is scientific, seems straightforward enough. Why would people want to do that? Again, this seems pretty obvious. It happens with a wide variety of theories (evolution comes to mind as an example). I'm more interested in the evidences *for* the theory rather than what metaphysics certain people want to conclude *from* the theory.

  
guthrie



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2007,17:26   

Sorry Tracy, make that Ladies and Gentlemen.  

As for the question- I thought that they were all related in the first place, so the last common ancestor probablty had 5 fingers as well.  Not to mention that they inhabit similar habitats, so that physical laws ensure some convergence upon similar body shapes etc.  
That seems quite straightforwards.

  
jeannot



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2007,17:33   

So Mr Hunter, you think that convergence is somehow problematic for the theory of evolution?
Well it's not, especially when it concerns gross morphology (body shape, etc).
Dolphins are like big fishes, aren't they?

  
dtheobald



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2007,17:44   

Quote (Cornelius Hunter @ Jan. 26 2007,17:14)
==============================
I'll restate the question in more acceptable terms. 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? Please look at the very bottom here:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/01/4/pdf/l_014_02.pdf

Then look at here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Evolution_pl.png#filelinks

And then consider my question, and explain why similarities such as the pentadactyl pattern are such powerful evidence.


The difference is simple.  In one case we have structural similarity that has a functional explanation (wolves).  In the other case, we have the much more puzzling phenomenon of structural similarity in spite of functional diversity (pentadactyl limbs).  This latter problem is what common ancestry explains, quite elegantly.  Hence it is this latter type of similarity that is evidence for evolutionary homology.

  
stevestory



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2007,17:55   

Quote (Cornelius Hunter @ Jan. 26 2007,18:14)
Stephen and Wesley are not reckoning with the problem. Hence Wesley comes to the erroneous conclusion about "flagrant abuse of imagery."

Wes, are you saying that Cornelius was misrepresenting a picture of a thylacine as a picture of a wolf, to assist his conclusions?

   
stevestory



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2007,18:14   

PZ says:
Quote
I could not believe this thread at the antievolution.org forum.  


They make laughingstocks of themselves, don't they?

   
brightmoon



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2007,18:41   

thoroughly puzzled now .... thylacines dont look like wolves ...like humans they walked on their heels which wolves dont do....in fact canids can't do that

is cornelius trying to say that thylacine anatomy is similar because of separate creation ?

no, the similarities are just there because they have the similiar  bone structure formed from the same genes and these organisms have a similiar omnivore lifestyle ...convergence isnt a problem for evolution ..it just points out a distant relationship rather than a close one

  
GCT



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2007,19:07   

I was going to stay out of this and just let it be about biology, but since you answered...

 
Quote (Cornelius Hunter @ Jan. 26 2007,18:14)
Regarding ID and religion, the question of whether or not proponents of a theory/position can (i) leverage the theory for non scientific purposes and (ii) simultaneously maintain that the theory itself is scientific, seems straightforward enough. Why would people want to do that? Again, this seems pretty obvious. It happens with a wide variety of theories (evolution comes to mind as an example). I'm more interested in the evidences *for* the theory rather than what metaphysics certain people want to conclude *from* the theory.

It's not a question of whether or not one can leverage a theory for non scientific purposes.  Anyone can erroneously say that evolution supports atheism or any notion of theism they care to like.  That's not what is at issue.  What is at issue is a policy paper by the DI that pretty explicitly states their objective of replacing science with god.

From the wedge document as a goal:

 
Quote
To replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and hurnan beings are created by God.


Mr. Hunter, you are a fellow of the DI, surely you know what their position is.  Do you reject that position?  Do you hold that ID is purely scientific?  If so, why does the DI push so hard for theistic understandings?

Edit:  By the way, what are these evidences for the theory that you brought up?

  
RBH



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2007,19:16   

Cornelius wrote    
Quote
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? Please look at the very bottom here:

PBS coloring book

Then look at here:

Wikipedia figure

And then consider my question, and explain why similarities such as the pentadactyl pattern are such powerful evidence.  (RBH: Fixed the raw urls to create links)
That first one is the coloring book again.  The second is an illustration of the fact that many (though not all) tetrapods have five 'fingers'.  Someone upthread was right: Cornelius really doesn't know the difference between homoplasy and homology.

RBH

--------------
"There are only two ways we know of to make extremely complicated things, one is by engineering, and the other is evolution. And of the two, evolution will make the more complex." - Danny Hillis.

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2007,19:16   

Dr Hunter:

DI continually tells us that ID is not creationism.

In the DI's Wedge Document, it states:

"FIVE YEAR OBJECTIVES

* Major Christian denomination(s) defend(s) traditional doctrine of creation"


If ID is not creationism, then (1) what is this "traditional doctrine of creation" that DI wants Christian churches to defend, and (2) why does DI want churches to defend it?

Or is DI just lying to us (under oath) when it claims ID isn't creationism.

Thanks in advance for not answering my questions.

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Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2007,19:27   

Hey Dr Hunter:

IDers complain a lot about evolution's "materialism".  What, precisely, about “evolution” is any more “materialistic” than, say, weather forecasting or accident investigation or medicine?  Please be as specific as possible.

I have never, in all my life, ever heard any weather forecaster mention “god” or "divine will” or any “supernatural” anything, at all.  Ever.  Does this mean, in your view, that weather forecasting is atheistic?

I have yet, in all my 46 years of living, to ever hear any accident investigator declare solemnly at the scene of an airplane crash, “We can’t explain how it happened, so an Unknown Intelligent Being must have dunnit.”  I have never yet heard an accident investigator say that “this crash has no materialistic causes — it must have been the Will of Allah”.  Does this mean, in your view, that accident investigation is atheistic?

How about medicine.  When you get sick, do you ask your doctor to abandon his “materialistic biases” and to investigate possible “supernatural” or “non-materialistic” causes for your disease?  Or do you ask your doctor to cure your naturalistic materialistic diseases by using naturalistic materialistic antibiotics to kill your naturalistic materialistic germs?

Since it seems to me as if weather forecasting, accident investigation,  and medicine are every bit, in every sense,just as utterly completely totally absolutely one-thousand-percent “materialistic” as evolutionary biology is, why, specifically, is it just evolutionary biology that gets your panties all in a bunch?  Why aren’t you and your fellow Wedge-ites out there fighting the good fight against godless materialistic naturalistic weather forecasting, or medicine, or accident investigation?

Or does that all come LATER, as part of, uh, “renewing our culture” … . . ?

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Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2007,19:33   

Hey Dr Hunter:

Do you repudiate the extremist Reconstructionist views of the primary funder of the Center for (the Renewal of) Science and Culture, Howard Ahmanson?  If so, why do you keep taking his money anyway?

--------------
Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
J-Dog



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2007,20:17   

Hey Dr. Hunter, since you are a DI fellow, maybe you can respond for Casey Luskin, or ask Casey Luskin to explain why he is so upset with The Flying Spaghetti Monster, seeing as how the DI is not about religion, it is all about science?

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Come on Tough Guy, do the little dance of ID impotence you do so well. - Louis to Joe G 2/10

Gullibility is not a virtue - Quidam on Dembski's belief in the Bible Code Faith Healers & ID 7/08

UD is an Unnatural Douchemagnet. - richardthughes 7/11

  
deadman_932



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2007,20:26   

Quote
Stephen and Wesley are not reckoning with the problem.

You didn't lay out any specifics that I can see, Mr. Hunter.

Yes, pentadactyly is observed. But what specific similarities are YOU referring to in regard to Thylacines and Canis lupus? It's not teeth. It's not skull morphology, is it? Other post-cranial features?

What SPECIFICALLY are you referring to, other than :" they look pretty similar in illustrations?"

I can think of other distantly-related organisms that look alike superficially. Here's a little eel that looks remarkably like a snake:
Here's an illustration:
Should I throw up my hands now and shout "We've met our Waterloo, they LOOK alike!?"

Try, just for starters : Vogel, Steven. (2003). Comparative Biomechanics: Life's Physical World. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

DePinna, M.C.C. 1991. "Concepts and tests of homology in the cladistic paradigm." Cladistics 7: 367-394. http://www.ib.usp.br/hennig/depinna1991.pdf

Some simple examples of convergence (homoplasy) : http://www.thegreatstory.org/convergence.pdf

Sorry, but I don't know if you can color in any of these.

--------------
AtBC Award for Thoroughness in the Face of Creationism

  
J-Dog



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2007,20:46   

Are we sure this is Dr. Hunter?  Could it really be DaveTard, or the MasterBaiter himself Dembski, pulling a little more "street theater"?  Hard to believe that a PhD would link to a coloring book... even if he is with Biola University.  

He's been awfully quiet... too quiet.  Could it be we chased ou new toy away?  Did he retreat to the DI lair to lick his wounds?  Did he retreat to a UD blog, where the moderators can protect him from the harsh reality of real questions?

Inquiring Minds Want To Know!

--------------
Come on Tough Guy, do the little dance of ID impotence you do so well. - Louis to Joe G 2/10

Gullibility is not a virtue - Quidam on Dembski's belief in the Bible Code Faith Healers & ID 7/08

UD is an Unnatural Douchemagnet. - richardthughes 7/11

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2007,20:54   

Quote (J-Dog @ Jan. 26 2007,20:46)
Are we sure this is Dr. Hunter?  Could it really be DaveTard, or the MasterBaiter himself Dembski, pulling a little more "street theater"?  Hard to believe that a PhD would link to a coloring book... even if he is with Biola University.  

He's been awfully quiet... too quiet.  Could it be we chased ou new toy away?  Did he retreat to the DI lair to lick his wounds?  Did he retreat to a UD blog, where the moderators can protect him from the harsh reality of real questions?

Inquiring Minds Want To Know!

Heck, I thought the entire POINT of asking questions to an IDer is just to demonstrate that they run from them every time.

It's not like anyone seriously expects them to ANSWER, or anything.

Look what happened to them the LAST time they answered questions, at Dover.

(snicker)  (giggle)

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N.Wells



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2007,21:11   

Quote
(From Cornelius Hunter) It is strange that evolutionists never get around to addressing the scientific issue. Wesley Elsberry appears to be denying convergence, but that can't be true. If he has an explanation for convergence then let's hear it. If not, then admit it. Here is the question for evolutionists: 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?


Let’s unpack the mistakes here.

1) Biologists have spent a lot of time over the last 170 years dealing with issues relating to similarity and convergence and their implications for evolutionary theory.  Do a Pubmed search on homology, homoplasy, or analogy, for example.  The charge that evolutionists “don’t get around to this” is completely false, and can only be indicative of profound ignorance of the field, or mendacity.  

2) Neither Wesley nor any biologist is in the position of denying convergence.  Biologists find it a fascinating subject, and spend a lot of time on it because it can tell a lot about evolutionary processes.

3) Biologists absolutely do have an explanation for convergence.  Organisms that start different may, if they take up similar life styles, become more similar over time if the requirements of their niche cause adaptation toward the same morphological/functional solution.  This is convergent evolution by natural selection.  A shining example is the different lineages of animals that have taken up a mole-like existence.  Burrowing requires specific adaptations: a strong forehead, short & strong arms and legs with spade-like hands, and eyes are useless (and may even be a liability due to the chances of injury and infection).  A giraffe would make a terrible burrower.  This has lead to impressive similarities between marsupial “moles”, golden moles (chrysochlorid insectivores), N. American / Eurasian moles (talpid insectivores), and, to a lesser degree, naked Somali mole rats.  (The marsupial ‘moles’ and the golden moles are especially similar).  


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.

First, some definitions:
Homology: underlying similarity, due to shared inheritance, despite divergence
Analogy: superficial similarity, despite lack of common ancestry, due to convergent evolution.
Homoplasy: similarity for any reason other than common ancestry, including drift.

Evolutionary biology interprets bird wings and bat wings as being analogous with respect to flight, but homologous with respect to being limbs constructed of a scapula, a humerus, a radius, an ulna, and several carpals, metacarpals, and phalanges.  (The limbs are homologous, but their flight is orthologous.)   Dolphins and ichthyosaurs are similarly claimed to be analogous with respect to body form, live birth, and precocious offspring.  Insect wings and vertebrate wings are considered to be analogous, while being only in the remotest sense homologous.

If we see the same embryological tissues contribute to two features, the same genes activated during its construction, utilization of the same developmental pathways, and the same bones ending up in much the same places in the same basic relationships to adjacent bones, nerves, blood vessels, and so forth, then we can make a reasonably secure claim of homology.  If we additionally have a fossil record that shows similar structures or a gradation of change in probable intermediates then the claim is that much stronger. For example, we have many very different vertebrate forelimbs in terms of shape and function, but they are all constructed out of a scapula, a humerus, a radius, an ulna, some carpals, some metacarpals, and a basic pattern of five phalanges (although the carpals, metacarpals, and phalanges can evidently fairly easily experience fusion, reduction, or loss).  

However, proving claims of homology can get complicated, as we have instances of morphologic and functional similarity being retained despite loss and substitution of the underlying genes, and there is no reason why convergence, parallelism, reversal, and stasis can’t all contribute to a single complex evolutionary history. Also, there is a good deal of confusion over the terms, both in the professional literature and elsewhere.

A key point that should not be lost sight of here is that the evolution is considered by biologists to be a vastly superior explanation for apparent homology than intelligent design or special creation.  Notwithstanding claims of an ineffable designer, it is hard to see why a designer would want to construct all vertebrate forelimbs, which fairly efficiently serve such a great variety of functions, from such a limited menu of underlying components, when they could so easily be improved by additional components and modifications.  It is far easier to see them as the result of a highly contingent history constrained by evolutionary processes and  ancestry.


With respect to the supposedly amazing similarity of the thylacine and the wolf, please forgive my repeating myself from the main UD thread: the thylacine and the wolf have got dramatically different reproductive systems and numerous skeletal differences (e.g., epipubic bones and shorter legs not adapted for wolf-like fast running on the thylacine).  The teeth are very different: the wolf has three large upper incisors per maxilla, whereas the thylacine has four tiny ones.  The thylacine has three upper premolars and four upper molars, whereas the wolf has four upper premolars and two molars.  The wolf, like all canids, has an amazing large, bladed, shearing P4, which the thylacine completely lacks.  In the lower jaw we again see 3 premolars and four molars in the thylacine, while the wolf has four premolars and three lower molars, although in this case it is the M1 that is huge and occludes with the upper P4.  (For details, see http://www.naturalworlds.org/thylacine/skull/dentition_comparison.htm )   These features that are different in the thylacine are shared with other marsupials, whereas the differences in the wolf are shared with other canids and other placental mammals, including fossils.  They are thus indicative of evolutionary relationships, and a great evolutionary distance between thylacines and wolves.

  
Wesley R. Elsberry



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2007,21:11   

Quote

Hence Wesley comes to the erroneous conclusion about "flagrant abuse of imagery."


What is "erroneous" about objecting to the use of the very same picture to represent two different species of mammals? How is that somehow not "flagrant abuse of imagery"? Maybe just because the assembled ID advocates, including many headliners from the DI CRSC, were too... something to notice? It certainly seems far worse to me than setting up moths on different backgrounds to illustrate crypsis.



More about Hunter, thylacines, wolves, and images

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"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
Cornelius Hunter



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 27 2007,03:29   

===============================================
Responding to GCT

Quote  
To replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and hurnan beings are created by God.


Mr. Hunter, you are a fellow of the DI, surely you know what their position is.  Do you reject that position?  Do you hold that ID is purely scientific?  If so, why does the DI push so hard for theistic understandings?



Of course I wouldn't be a DI fellow if I did not share some fundamenatal views with DI. But I certainly do not agree iwth everything that DI people have written. Regarding the quote above, the problem is this quickly gets fairly complicated, and too lengthy for posting. I'd like to defer to my upcoming book entitled *Science's Blindspot* which should be out in spring, where I go into issues such as this in detail. I hope the book will help build bridges between disparate folks who nonetheless share the goal of pursuing the truth rather than dogma.
===============================================



===============================================
Responding to Flank:
Flank: "Do you repudiate the extremist Reconstructionist views of the primary funder of the Center for (the Renewal of) Science and Culture, Howard Ahmanson?  If so, why do you keep taking his money anyway?"

And what money would that be? Please be specific.
===============================================



================================================
Responding to N. Wells
------------
1) Biologists have spent a lot of time over the last 170 years dealing with issues relating to similarity and convergence and their implications for evolutionary theory.  Do a Pubmed search on homology, homoplasy, or analogy, for example.  The charge that evolutionists “don’t get around to this” is completely false, and can only be indicative of profound ignorance of the field, or mendacity.  

CH responds: Most of the technical literature does not explore why comparative anatomy, for instance, is evidence for (or against) evolution, for the simple reason that it is not written from a theory-neutral perspective, but rather is written from an evolutionary perspective. Yes, the implications for evolutionary theory are explored, but typically only insofar as modifying the question of *how* evolution occurs, not *if* evolution occurs.
------------

------------
3) Biologists absolutely do have an explanation for convergence.  Organisms that start different may, if they take up similar life styles, become more similar over time if the requirements of their niche cause adaptation toward the same morphological/functional solution.  This is convergent evolution by natural selection.  A shining example is the different lineages of animals that have taken up a mole-like existence.  Burrowing requires specific adaptations: a strong forehead, short & strong arms and legs with spade-like hands, and eyes are useless (and may even be a liability due to the chances of injury and infection).  A giraffe would make a terrible burrower.  This has lead to impressive similarities between marsupial “moles”, golden moles (chrysochlorid insectivores), N. American / Eurasian moles (talpid insectivores), and, to a lesser degree, naked Somali mole rats.  (The marsupial ‘moles’ and the golden moles are especially similar).  

CH responds: A niche does not cause an adaptation. Adaptations occur via unguided biological variation, such as by mutations. They can then be selected for and become one step in a series of evolutionary changes. Because the biological variation is unguided, there is no target. And since the design space is large and a large number of designs and species are possible, the variation is not likely to repeat. This is why evolutionists are surprised by impressive similarities. Then they explain them as due to similar niches.
------------


------------
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.

CH responds: You are making theory-laden observations, and then telling us they are powerful evidence for your theory. Take a look here at the horse and bat limbs which are supposed to be homologous:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Evolution_pl.png#filelinks

From a theory-neutral perspective, what is it about the bat and horse similarities that are "deeper" and a "result fo common descent" ? Similarly, look here at the the flying squirrel and flying phalanger:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/01/4/pdf/l_014_02.pdf

Why are their similarities "superficial" and "appear not to have resulted from shared inheritance" ?
------------


------------
However, proving claims of homology can get complicated, as we have instances of morphologic and functional similarity being retained despite loss and substitution of the underlying genes, and there is no reason why convergence, parallelism, reversal, and stasis can’t all contribute to a single complex evolutionary history.

CH responds: One might think that different embryological development pathways and different underlying genes, which are quite common, would be problematic. Evolutionists were surprised, but then came up with increasingly complex explanations.
------------



------------
A key point that should not be lost sight of here is that the evolution is considered by biologists to be a vastly superior explanation for apparent homology than intelligent design or special creation.  

CH responds: Agreed, and that is an important point. But we also need to keep in mind that there are potentially many non scientific reasons why one might opt for one paradigm over another. For instance, above you accused me of mendacity, so obviously you are keen to this possibility of non scientific factors influencing one's thinking. I'm not accusing anyone of mendacity. I'm merely pointing out that it is hardly inconceivable that non scientific factors can sometimes have sway. I think we need to stick to the evidence and what it says.
------------
================================================

  
Ichthyic



Posts: 3325
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 27 2007,03:47   

Quote
Regarding the quote above, the problem is this quickly gets fairly complicated, and too lengthy for posting.


yeah... right.

you must be awfully simple minded to think the quoted section is anything other than crystal clear.

You were asked a very simple question, and you punted.

now we know why you work for the DI.

do they teach classes in obfuscation and deflection before you're allowed to claim you're an actual "fellow"?

...and about the rest of your lies:

we also note that we can clearly see the picture Wes kindly reposted right in the thread, you know the one right above your last bullshit session that says tasmanian wolf on one side and wolf on the other, even though they are both the same picture?

holly crap, you people amaze me.  How do you do these things and keep a straight face?

 
Quote
But we also need to keep in mind that there are potentially many non scientific reasons why one might opt for one paradigm over another.


emphasis mine, and unless you can name ONE good reason why a "paradigm" should be accepted in science for non scientific reasons, your argument is entirely full of holes.

...but you already knew that.

the real question is are you stupid, or are you just trying out some new angles?

 
Quote
I think we need to stick to the evidence and what it says.


L-I-A-R

you should have more honestly stated that thusly:

"I think I need to work more on making my manufactured evidence a bit more credible"

face it, your ilk views actual evidence like a vampire views the sun.

Your writings don't even rise to the level of mundane; that person was simply being kind to you to see what funny shit you would say next.

--------------
"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

-CC

  
Aardvark



Posts: 134
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 27 2007,04:09   

CH responds:

Quote
A niche does not cause an adaptation. Adaptations occur via unguided biological variation, such as by mutations. They can then be selected for and become one step in a series of evolutionary changes. Because the biological variation is unguided, there is no target. And since the design space is large and a large number of designs and species are possible, the variation is not likely to repeat. This is why evolutionists are surprised by impressive similarities. Then they explain them as due to similar niches.


Are you trying to say that there is some kind of law preventing evolution from creating superficially similar animals?

If so, then how is that law going to be incorporated into ID?

  
jeannot



Posts: 1200
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 27 2007,05:06   

It appears that Dr Hunter is confused in his argumentation. I’ll try to help him with my best English.

He seems to argue that convergence is a problem for the theory of evolution while, actually, he shows us that convergence is merely a problem for the inference of reliable phylogenies, which is a completely different issue.

Dr Hunter, if you want to use convergence as an argument against the ToE, you'll have to prove that convergent evolution is impossible. You haven't done anything of the sort, yet. We await.

Regarding the phylogenetic inference: yes, homoplasy (be it by convergence, reversion or parallelism) can be problematic. In fact, the whole field of cladistics aims at resolving issues due to homoplasy.  If hompoplasy didn’t exist, there wouldn’t be any researcher in phylogenetics, we would just use the good old principle of parsimony to infer phylogenies that would always be 100% accurate.
But how do we solves the problems?
First, we use our own experience and logic. We know, from experience, that some poorly defined traits like gross morphology can be extremely labile and cannot be used to support common ancestry (otherwise, dolphins would belongs to the fishes, wouldn't they?).
However, there are been confusions, especially in taxonomy, for example when defining the superclass of "pisces", separate from tetrapods, while in fact, we are more closely related to the trout than the trout is related to a shark. But the anatomy of the skeleton indicated us the correct topology. Sharks (chondrichthyes) don't have any bones, while humans and trouts (osteichtythes) do. The fish-like shape can be easily explained by the fact that fish have to swim, but why would humans and trouts have bones, if not by common ancestry?
Another way to get around homoplasy is using data from paleontology. We know, by the fossil record, that tetrapods evolved from particular osteichthyes, sometime in the Devonian,  while chondrichthyes (sharks) already existed. It confirms us that tetrapods and other osteichthyes share a more recent ancestor than osteichtyes and chondrichthyes.
Lastly, we now mainly resort to DNA sequences to infer phylogenies. In this case, all characters (nucleotides) are considered equal. Homoplasy is still common, but researchers have defined models of evolution which are used to detect the most probable tree. And those trees, with a very few exceptions, confirm the phylogenetic relationships that were established thanks to anatomy and paleontology (chondrichthyes and osteichthyes for instance).

I hope that helps.

  
don_quixote



Posts: 110
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 27 2007,05:11   

Cornelius, please learn how to use blockquotes. Thanks.

PS: learn some science too.

  
jeannot



Posts: 1200
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 27 2007,05:17   

Quote (Aardvark @ Jan. 27 2007,04:09)
CH responds:

Quote
A niche does not cause an adaptation. <snip>


Are you trying to say that there is some kind of law preventing evolution from creating superficially similar animals?

Dr Hunter's view is not accurate. The environment "causes" the adaptation to a particular niche, by selecting mutations.

Now, as I said, he just has to prove that morphological convergences are impossible, even if they result from different mutations.

I also would like to know his hypothesis. First, do placentals and marsupials share a common ancestor?

  
Cornelius Hunter



Posts: 11
Joined: Jan. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 27 2007,05:31   

Wesley:

You wrote: "What is "erroneous" about objecting to the use of the very same picture to represent two different species of mammals?"

No problem in pointing out my mistake. I presented over 120 slides that day which I had quickly put together, and yes there were a few mistakes here and there. Your contrived version of events, however, is absurd. There were no "ID headliners" at my talk. I did not present the "the wolf and thylacine as identical twins separated at birth argument." I did not claim that such "instances of convergence ... cannot be explained" by evolution. I did not copy one image, reverse it, and desaturate it (why wouldn't I have done that with the others?).

I normally would not take the time to respond to such a mixture of ad hominems and falsehoods, but you *are* pointing out a mistake in my graphics. Both wolf images were straight off the web, and in my hasty collection of marsupial and placental examples I accidentally got a marsupial wolf graphic confused as a placental. Yes it was a dumb mistake, but it was not at all important to my uncontroversial point, which was that in biology there are many convergences.

  
oldmanintheskydidntdoit



Posts: 4999
Joined: July 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 27 2007,05:44   

Quote (Cornelius Hunter @ Jan. 27 2007,05:31)
Wesley:

You wrote: "What is "erroneous" about objecting to the use of the very same picture to represent two different species of mammals?"

No problem in pointing out my mistake. I presented over 120 slides that day which I had quickly put together, and yes there were a few mistakes here and there. Your contrived version of events, however, is absurd. There were no "ID headliners" at my talk. I did not present the "the wolf and thylacine as identical twins separated at birth argument." I did not claim that such "instances of convergence ... cannot be explained" by evolution. I did not copy one image, reverse it, and desaturate it (why wouldn't I have done that with the others?).

I normally would not take the time to respond to such a mixture of ad hominems and falsehoods, but you *are* pointing out a mistake in my graphics. Both wolf images were straight off the web, and in my hasty collection of marsupial and placental examples I accidentally got a marsupial wolf graphic confused as a placental. Yes it was a dumb mistake, but it was not at all important to my uncontroversial point, which was that in biology there are many convergences.

decent of you to come clean. Now if you do not mind, we'll go on and on about this "error" for over 100 years.


--------------
I also mentioned that He'd have to give me a thorough explanation as to *why* I must "eat human babies".
FTK

if there are even critical flaws in Gauger’s work, the evo mat narrative cannot stand
Gordon Mullings

  
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4468
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 27 2007,06:20   

Quote

Your contrived version of events, however, is absurd. There were no "ID headliners" at my talk. I did not present the "the wolf and thylacine as identical twins separated at birth argument." I did not claim that such "instances of convergence ... cannot be explained" by evolution. I did not copy one image, reverse it, and desaturate it (why wouldn't I have done that with the others?).


OK, so none of the other speakers on the schedule came to your talk. I stand corrected.

However, the presence of the argument claiming that thylacine/wolf similarities represent a problem for homology, and thus evolutionary explanation, is confirmed both by the documentation of the proceedings and by notes from an attendee that I've now consulted.

As for *who* copied the image, flipped it, and desaturated it, I made no claim that that person was you. What I did say was that the image falsely labeled "Wolf" is the same image as the one correctly labeled "Tasmanian Wolf".

As a "mistake", though, that is a whopper.

Why did we not hear anything from your fellow ID advocates about this, and yet we *still* have all sorts of complaints about perfectly correct illustrations of crypsis in peppered moths?

Edited by Wesley R. Elsberry on Jan. 27 2007,06:38

--------------
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4468
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 27 2007,06:34   

Quote

CH responds: A niche does not cause an adaptation. Adaptations occur via unguided biological variation, such as by mutations. They can then be selected for and become one step in a series of evolutionary changes. Because the biological variation is unguided, there is no target. And since the design space is large and a large number of designs and species are possible, the variation is not likely to repeat. This is why evolutionists are surprised by impressive similarities. Then they explain them as due to similar niches.


Yes, the niche is not the *cause* of adaptation. However, nobody in this argument claimed it was. What you've left off, though, is the fact that the physical constraints that *define* the niche also will be perfectly straightforward explanations for why some changes will be favored (they improved differential reproduction) and others will be disfavored (they decreased differential reproduction). The example of burrowers is one illustrating this, and the example I've used, that of fast swimmers in water adopting a fusiform shape, is another. Changes that produce shape closer to fusiform are *preferred* in organisms that have to move through water quickly, and those that chunkify body shape are *disfavored* in organisms that have to move through water quickly. The fact that the organisms live in the water and try to move quickly doesn't *cause* any particular change to happen, but it *does* give us an independent reason for deriving an expectation for the eventual fate of any such change that does happen.

--------------
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
deadman_932



Posts: 3094
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 27 2007,07:23   

Quote
Most of the technical literature does not explore why comparative anatomy, for instance, is evidence for (or against) evolution, for the simple reason that it is not written from a theory-neutral perspective, but rather is written from an evolutionary perspective...From a theory-neutral perspective, what is it about the bat and horse similarities that are "deeper" and a "result fo common descent" ? Similarly, look here at the the flying squirrel and flying phalanger...Why are their similarities "superficial" and "appear not to have resulted from shared inheritance" ?


I took the liberty of combining two of your "responses" there, CH.

You know, Mr. Hunter, I gave you a perfectly good reference for questions of your sort:
Vogel, Steven. (2003). Comparative Biomechanics: Life's Physical World. Princeton: Princeton University Press. You might also look at Vogel's earlier work "Life's Devices," again, by Princeton U. Press.

Organisms on this planet share common ancestry so far as we can tell, by every means we have available.
I'll assume you would call this view "theory-laden" as if it were a perjorative. Well, great, you're welcome to do that. Since you're a member of the DI, I'd say your views are quite likely to be "theory-laden" as well, as I'm sure you'll eventually demonstrate.

At any rate, Mr. Hunter...on this planet, organisms encounter a non-biological reality in the form of oh, ---- physics, chemistry, hydrodynamics, aerodynamics etc., --- which constrain and at the same time, create "optima" that CAN affect the trajectory of organisms and the shared inherited characteristics of said organisms ( like oh, pentadactyly and the fact that...oh, ...mammals  .have SKIN), that have arisen , sometimes in similar ways .

Look at your instance of phalangers and flying squirrels, for example. Do they have gliding in common? Why, yes. Skin? Yes. Pentadactyly? Yes. Are they tetrapods? Yep. Biomechanically, there's not that many ways for mammals to glide, I'd say. Here's a sugar glider in action  
and a flying squirrel:


(the flying squirrel is headed "west," sugar glider "east")

Other than the fact that they are using loose folds of skin called patagium to "glide" what similarities do you find so significant?

For instance, are the patagium of oh, say sugar gliders  ATTACHED the same as in  flying squirrels?  No..the flying squirrel has little cartilaginous "spurs" that form a frame for the loose skin along the side of the body. This spur can be adjusted in angle which then results in greater or lesser tautness for the skin, aiding in "steering". In sugar gliders, the patagium attach from the "pinky finger" of the  forelimb back to the first toe of the hind foot.

Skin would appear to me to be far more susceptible to evolutionary change than bones and the bones of the two animals in question are distinct in regard to this gliding adaptation, no?  

Optima in relation to physical constraints in light of a common "bauplan" , eh? That common "bauplan" includes pentadactyly that is found throughout mammals and hence would carry a bit more "weight" , dont'cha think?
By the way, if this post seems a bit muddled, it's because I just woke up and it's 5:30 AM

--------------
AtBC Award for Thoroughness in the Face of Creationism

  
Shirley Knott



Posts: 148
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 27 2007,08:25   

deadman_932,
Lovely!  Thank you, delightful bit of writing there, with some lovely, direct, useful examples of the problem with stopping at the surface details.

hugs,
Shirley Knott

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 27 2007,09:02   

Wouldn't this paper indicate that the similarities are indeed skin-deep, at least with respect to thylacines? Why else would the molecules group them with (other) carnivorous marsupials?

I wish these fascinating creatures were still with us.

--------------
Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
slpage



Posts: 349
Joined: June 2004

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 27 2007,09:06   

Quote (guthrie @ Jan. 26 2007,17:26)
Sorry Tracy, make that Ladies and Gentlemen.  

As for the question- I thought that they were all related in the first place, so the last common ancestor probablty had 5 fingers as well.  Not to mention that they inhabit similar habitats, so that physical laws ensure some convergence upon similar body shapes etc.  
That seems quite straightforwards.

That Hunter is questioning the issue of a shared pentadactyly in marsupials and placental mammals is  a clear indication that is really does not understand evolution very well.

I knew this after encountering him at Infidels a few years ago - clueless, but as seems to be a requirement for the IDcreationist crowd, very, very sure of himself and the authenticity of his naive positions. (I know, I know - all those ad hominems - keep in mind, I am not using this to rebut his claims - that is easily and has been done by others - no, I am just pointing out the obvious)

That none of his fellow IDers have taken him aside and explained the basics of the position HE is arguing says as much about them as it does him.  This sort of covered-up incompetence is endemic in IDcreationist circles, from Dr.Cook to Dr.Wells to Dr. Hunter - titles clearly have little value when you pontificate on things you clearly do not get.

The truly sad part is this - the bible -believin' audiences will take what he says at face value because he is, after all, DOCTOR Hunter, pro-IDcreationist.



And yes - the establishment of pentadactyly in extant vertebrates goes back well before the split between marsupials and placentals.

  
slpage



Posts: 349
Joined: June 2004

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 27 2007,09:13   

Quote (Cornelius Hunter @ Jan. 27 2007,05:31)
Wesley:

You wrote: "What is "erroneous" about objecting to the use of the very same picture to represent two different species of mammals?"

No problem in pointing out my mistake.

Mistake.

"MISTAKE"????


A mistake is using "their" instead of "there", or writing "ilium" when you meant "ileum".

Using the same picture to represent two different species is not a mistake, especially when the picture was clearly manipulated (mirrored) in order to do so.

I mean, is it really that hard to Google Images for 'wolf'?

I smell purposeful dishonesty, myself.

But then, I have become conditioned to expect dishonesty and incompetence by the many egregious examples of this sort of thing from the DI crowd.

  
Mike PSS



Posts: 428
Joined: Sep. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 27 2007,09:34   

Quote (Cornelius Hunter @ Jan. 27 2007,04:29)
CH responds: A niche does not cause an adaptation. Adaptations occur via unguided biological variation, such as by mutations. They can then be selected for and become one step in a series of evolutionary changes. Because the biological variation is unguided, there is no target. And since the design space is large and a large number of designs and species are possible, the variation is not likely to repeat. This is why evolutionists are surprised by impressive similarities. Then they explain them as due to similar niches.

The bolded part shows how many IDC arguments that use "information theory" arguments make mistakes with RM+NS+Time (+other factors.  Don't want to go Portuguese on this one).

The first assumption that RM is "random and unguided" does not mean that NS is "random and unguided".  As deadman_932 states...
Quote
At any rate, Mr. Hunter...on this planet, organisms encounter a non-biological reality in the form of oh, ---- physics, chemistry, hydrodynamics, aerodynamics etc., --- which constrain and at the same time, create "optima" that CAN affect the trajectory of organisms and the shared inherited characteristics of said organisms ( like oh, pentadactyly and the fact that...oh, ...mammals  .have SKIN), that have arisen , sometimes in similar ways.


The "design space" may be large BUT the space itself is overlaid with an environment "field" that may influence the "direction" of selected mutations.  Let me rephrase that...
The "design space" is not neutral to the selected mutations.

Mr. Hunter:  Since your argument REQUIRES a neutral "design space", how does your argument hold up if the "design space" is not truly neutral to selection?

  
GCT



Posts: 1001
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 27 2007,09:53   

Quote (Cornelius Hunter @ Jan. 27 2007,04:29)
===============================================
Responding to GCT

Quote  
To replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and hurnan beings are created by God.


Mr. Hunter, you are a fellow of the DI, surely you know what their position is.  Do you reject that position?  Do you hold that ID is purely scientific?  If so, why does the DI push so hard for theistic understandings?



Of course I wouldn't be a DI fellow if I did not share some fundamenatal views with DI. But I certainly do not agree iwth everything that DI people have written. Regarding the quote above, the problem is this quickly gets fairly complicated, and too lengthy for posting. I'd like to defer to my upcoming book entitled *Science's Blindspot* which should be out in spring, where I go into issues such as this in detail. I hope the book will help build bridges between disparate folks who nonetheless share the goal of pursuing the truth rather than dogma.
===============================================

It seems that you don't really wish to answer my question.  I thought it was pretty straight-forward.  If ID is indeed scientific, and the DI is only concerned with pushing a scientific theorem, then there should be no need to sermonize to the crowd and continually speak about religious matters.  That the members of the DI can not help but speak, endlessly, on religious matters speaks volumes.  I have, to date, never heard a scientific argument for ID, yet I've heard many religious/philosophical arguments for ID.  I wonder why this is, but it seems I won't get an answer in this thread.

  
N.Wells



Posts: 776
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 27 2007,10:23   

I said      
Quote
if the requirements of their niche cause adaptation toward the same morphological/functional solution.


Cornelius Hunter responded      
Quote
A niche does not cause an adaptation. Adaptations occur via unguided biological variation, such as by mutations. They can then be selected for and become one step in a series of evolutionary changes. Because the biological variation is unguided, there is no target. And since the design space is large and a large number of designs and species are possible, the variation is not likely to repeat.


Let's unpack the mistakes again.  (Edited to add: I see that Mike addressed some of the same points while I was off-line.   Thanks, Mike.)

A) Adaptations do not solely occur via unguided variations.  They appear to occur mostly through mutations and recombination alternating with selection (among other pathways).  Recombination can be guided, in the sense of sexual selection, and ecological selection can also easily be directional.

B) "Because the biological variation is unguided, there is no target."   There is no target per se, but directional change is easily accomplished.  With possible rare exceptions, mutations appear to be unguided, but selection is entirely capable of imposing directionality on the process.  If there is differential reproductive success that is attributable in significant part to inheritable variation, and that preferential success continues over multiple generations, there will be a directional change in the population.  

C)  To the extent that the requirements of the niche are providing the challenge to reproductive success, it is fine to say that the requirements of the niche contributed to causing any resulting adaptations.  Those requirements contributed to the existence of the problem, they helped provide the motivation and the directionality of the change, and thus they helped produced the end result.

D)  "And since the design space is large and a large number of designs and species are possible, the variation is not likely to repeat."  The key here is that the design space is indeed large, so exactly identical variations are indeed unlikely to repeat, but there are many broad categories of problems faced by organisms that come up again and again, so the broad categories of responses are again fairly similar.  If you live in the water and need to either get food or avoid becoming food, you may well need to swim fast.  As Wesley said, the laws of hydraulics are quite constraining, so streamlining provides a common solution, thus a lot of fast aquatic creatures end up looking similar.  However, there is an infinity of ways to arrange minor details of form while being streamlined overall.  Thus superficially similar streamlining should not be a surprise, while similar arrangements of minor details would be. Deadman provided an excellent example of this when he talked about overall similarities in skin folds in gliding mammals versus dissimilar details of construction in different groups.  

There's no design reason that both a bat's wing and a bird's wing need to contain one scapula, one humerus, one radius and one ulna.  There's no design reason that all bat wings need to be supported by five fingers, whereas all bird wings need to contain two fused fingers plus one more in the form of the alula.  Why do all the bird versions contain so many similarities to each other that are never seen in bats, and vice versa?   How come all birds have feathers but none have fur, while the reverse is true for bats?   How come all birds share an alula and not a pteroid bone, whereas all pterosaurs share an pteroid but not an alula?  Common ancestry within each of those groups provides an easy explanation.  In a design world, any car can have windshield wipers, radios, and/or air conditioners.  In an evolution world, only Buicks might have air conditioners, only Fords might have windshield wipers, and only Jeeps might have radios.

     
Quote
This is why evolutionists are surprised by impressive similarities.

But mostly we aren't.  We are impressed by them, but our theory requires them.

   
Quote
Cornelius Hunter: It is strange that evolutionists never get around to addressing the scientific issue [of convergence].

   
Quote
Me: The charge that evolutionists “don’t get around to this” is completely false, and can only be indicative of profound ignorance of the field, or mendacity.

   
Quote
Hunter:  Most of the technical literature does not explore why comparative anatomy, for instance, is evidence for (or against) evolution, for the simple reason that it is not written from a theory-neutral perspective, but rather is written from an evolutionary perspective. Yes, the implications for evolutionary theory are explored, but typically only insofar as modifying the question of *how* evolution occurs, not *if* evolution occurs.

Hunter's second response does not save the woeful wrongness of his initial claim that evolutionists don't get around to discussing convergence.  

Furthermore, much of the discussion of convergence involves discussing the legitimacy of phylogenetic inferences ("does this particular similarity reflect a shared evolutionary history or not?", where "not" includes convergence).  However, "not" also includes ID.  If the answer was always that particular similarities could never confidently be attributed to a shared evolutionary history, then that would raise the issue of "if" evolution occurs, contrary to Hunter's claims.  


     
Quote
(Hunter) From a theory-neutral perspective, what is it about the bat and horse similarities that are "deeper" and a "result [of] common descent" ?

Already answered.  Deadman's answer is excellent, and I already said that if we see the same embryological tissues contribute to two features, the same genes activated during their construction, utilization of the same developmental pathways, and the same bones ending up in much the same places in the same basic relationships to adjacent bones, nerves, blood vessels, and so forth, then we can make a reasonably secure claim of homology.  If we additionally have a fossil record that shows similar structures or a gradation of change in probable intermediates then the claim is that much stronger.

  
stevestory



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 27 2007,13:43   

Real science makes significant findings all the time. H. pylori causes ulcers. Coffee protects against cirrhosis. Dark energy exists. Neutrinos have mass. New tests for cancer, new info about protein dynamics, materials with negative refraction indices, RNAi, WMAP and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on. And most findings you won't even hear about. The average postdoc toiling away in obscurity will produce 1-3 papers per year. (Those of you who watch the Discovery Institute may ask, "...and how many press releases?" The answer, strangely enough, is usually 'none'.)

If science had this big blind spot, and the discovery institute people have spent 15 years and millions of dollars looking into it, free of any competition, and not discovered a single significant thing, either the blind spot isn't really there, or the DI researchers are the stupidest collection of scientists ever assembled.

   
stevestory



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 27 2007,14:03   

Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Jan. 26 2007,22:11)


   
GCT



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 27 2007,15:29   

Quote (stevestory @ Jan. 27 2007,15:03)

Wow Steve, it's like you two were separated at birth.

  
stevestory



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 27 2007,16:01   

Anyone who would suggest anything other than an honest mistake in the above diagram is really avoiding the real issue about similarities.

It's strange that evolutionists never get around to addressing the scientific issue. The fact remains, and I'll rephrase the question Wesley and the rest of you are ignoring, why are some similarities--my brother is about 6'3 and I am 6', and we both have blonde hair--considered evidence for a close evolutionary relationship, whereas equal and greater levels of similarity--brad pitt is about 6' like me, and has blonde hair--are rejected?

Dumb old evolutionists.

   
k.e.



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 27 2007,18:06   

Quote (GCT @ Jan. 27 2007,15:29)
Quote (stevestory @ Jan. 27 2007,15:03)

Wow Steve, it's like you two were separated at birth.

I see C.H. needs some assistance....

Typical Darwinist ad homo attack.

When are you going to concentrate on my new book?


I only came here to get some tips on how to handle a skeptical press.

So give me some more questions, I need more practice ignoring them.

Lenny: whilst I didn't deny 'stone the adulterers to death'   Howie Ahmanson   was a major financier behind the DI, notice how I cleverly deflected the focus of the reply to a specific and propably unanswerable question on an actual cash contribution made by the miscreant Machiavelian mangler of the Episcopal Church.

There is no point trying to tie Howie Ahmanson to me and the DI.

If you had any brains, you would notice I can deny mendacity with the best of them.

Just try accusing me of deliberate deception by using the same drawing for a Tasmanian Tiger and a Wolf.

It was a mistake...it rhymes with mendacious....get it.

  
Tracy P. Hamilton



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 27 2007,18:39   

Quote (stevestory @ Jan. 27 2007,16:01)
Anyone who would suggest anything other than an honest mistake in the above diagram is really avoiding the real issue about similarities.

It's strange that evolutionists never get around to addressing the scientific issue. The fact remains, and I'll rephrase the question Wesley and the rest of you are ignoring, why are some similarities--my brother is about 6'3 and I am 6', and we both have blonde hair--considered evidence for a close evolutionary relationship, whereas equal and greater levels of similarity--brad pitt is about 6' like me, and has blonde hair--are rejected?

Dumb old evolutionists.


Steve,  I see no blond in the picture.  Am I supposed to color it in?  It may take a while - the DI has my crayons.

--------------
"Following what I just wrote about fitness, you’re taking refuge in what we see in the world."  PaV

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"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 27 2007,18:59   

Dr Hunter:

Thanks for not answering any of my questions.  Naturally, I didn't expect you to -- creationists do seem to all have lethal allergies to answering direct questions.

But then, my questions make their point to all the lurkers whether you answer them or not (though NOT answering them does seem to emphasize the point a wee bit).

So I don't really need your cooperation anyway.  (shrug)

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k.e.



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 28 2007,01:10   

OK lets be fair with Doc.CH

..... he got rolled on a tiny insignificant detail, we're making a moutain lion out of mole.

Here's a bone Doc.CH .....in fact a caveful of 200,000 to around 800,000 years ago of bones.

Your not a YEC are you?


“To find complete, undamaged skeletons of Australia’s largest predatory marsupial, Thylacoleo, was a dream come true.


You may have better luck making this marsupial 'liger' into a hat or a rabbit up your sleeve ...I dunno .....see how it plays with the pre-schoolers they love rabbits and they're easier to train.

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 28 2007,07:44   

Hey Doc, what are some of those things that you disagree with DI about?

Can you list a few, and explain why you disagree with them?

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"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 28 2007,07:52   

Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ Jan. 26 2007,19:16)
Dr Hunter:

DI continually tells us that ID is not creationism.

In the DI's Wedge Document, it states:

"FIVE YEAR OBJECTIVES

* Major Christian denomination(s) defend(s) traditional doctrine of creation"


If ID is not creationism, then (1) what is this "traditional doctrine of creation" that DI wants Christian churches to defend, and (2) why does DI want churches to defend it?

Or is DI just lying to us (under oath) when it claims ID isn't creationism.

Well, Doc . . . . ?

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"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 28 2007,07:55   

Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ Jan. 26 2007,19:27)
Hey Dr Hunter:

IDers complain a lot about evolution's "materialism".  What, precisely, about “evolution” is any more “materialistic” than, say, weather forecasting or accident investigation or medicine?  Please be as specific as possible.

I have never, in all my life, ever heard any weather forecaster mention “god” or "divine will” or any “supernatural” anything, at all.  Ever.  Does this mean, in your view, that weather forecasting is atheistic?

I have yet, in all my 46 years of living, to ever hear any accident investigator declare solemnly at the scene of an airplane crash, “We can’t explain how it happened, so an Unknown Intelligent Being must have dunnit.”  I have never yet heard an accident investigator say that “this crash has no materialistic causes — it must have been the Will of Allah”.  Does this mean, in your view, that accident investigation is atheistic?

How about medicine.  When you get sick, do you ask your doctor to abandon his “materialistic biases” and to investigate possible “supernatural” or “non-materialistic” causes for your disease?  Or do you ask your doctor to cure your naturalistic materialistic diseases by using naturalistic materialistic antibiotics to kill your naturalistic materialistic germs?

Since it seems to me as if weather forecasting, accident investigation,  and medicine are every bit, in every sense,just as utterly completely totally absolutely one-thousand-percent “materialistic” as evolutionary biology is, why, specifically, is it just evolutionary biology that gets your panties all in a bunch?  Why aren’t you and your fellow Wedge-ites out there fighting the good fight against godless materialistic naturalistic weather forecasting, or medicine, or accident investigation?

Or does that all come LATER, as part of, uh, “renewing our culture” … . . ?

Well, Doc . . . .?

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"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 28 2007,07:58   

Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ Jan. 26 2007,19:33)
Hey Dr Hunter:

Do you repudiate the extremist Reconstructionist views of the primary funder of the Center for (the Renewal of) Science and Culture, Howard Ahmanson?  If so, why do you keep taking his money anyway?

Well, Doc . . . .?

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Cornelius Hunter



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 28 2007,12:11   

Wesley Elsberry writes: "However, the presence of the argument claiming that thylacine/wolf similarities represent a problem for homology, and thus evolutionary explanation, is confirmed both by the documentation of the proceedings and by notes from an attendee that I've now consulted."

Actually, I did not question the evolutionary explanation, but I guess that would spoil your story. Folks, I am really not your enemy here. 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 in distant species, such as displayed in the marsupial and placental cousin species?

This was my question. There are many, many more examples of similarities that do not fit the common descent pattern. Why are those that can be fitted to the common descent pattern cited as such powerful evidence? Without some justification, this fundamental claim of evolution appears to be selective. Unfortunately, good justification is hard to come by. The vast majority of the responses simply avoided the question and made up their own.

For instance, Stephen Wells responded,  "For starters, how about some discussion of dentition and skull morphology, with regard to the claim that the thylacine and the wolf have 'almost identical' dentition?" Where did that claim come from?

Jeannot responded, "So Mr Hunter, you think that convergence is somehow problematic for the theory of evolution? ... if you want to use convergence as an argument against the ToE, you'll have to prove that convergent evolution is impossible." This is a combination strawman plus shifting the burden of the proof. Deadman responded with another version of this strawman: "Should I throw up my hands now and shout "We've met our Waterloo, they  [similar looking species] LOOK alike!?" He then pointed to some references (good background material but they don't answer the question).

Brightmoon responded: "is cornelius trying to say that thylacine anatomy is similar because of separate creation ?" Huh? Aardvark responded: "Are you trying to say that there is some kind of law preventing evolution from creating superficially similar animals?" No, I'm not saying that. I'm trying to find good justification for one of your claims. Wesley continued to avoid the question with this: "What you've left off, though, is the fact that the physical constraints that *define* the niche also will be perfectly straightforward explanations for why some changes will be favored (they improved differential reproduction) and others will be disfavored (they decreased differential reproduction)." Of course. Now, how about answering my question?

There were, however, a few answers to the question. N. Wells gave this answer:

"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."

Unfortunately the explanation that one type of similarity is "deep" and the other "superficial" isn't going to satisfy very many people. This explanation really just raises more questions. When I asked for details, he deferred to Deadman who did give an answer:

"Skin would appear to me to be far more susceptible to evolutionary change than bones and the bones of the two animals in question are distinct in regard to this gliding adaptation, no?  Optima in relation to physical constraints in light of a common "bauplan" , eh? That common "bauplan" includes pentadactyly that is found throughout mammals and hence would carry a bit more "weight" , dont'cha think? By the way, if this post seems a bit muddled, it's because I just woke up and it's 5:30 AM"

This seems like a perfectly reasonable answer, as far as it goes. The problem is it is farily subjective. Do we really want to make one of the fundamental evidential claims for evolution contingent on an opinion about what might, and might not, be more difficult for evolution to accomplish?

The one other answer was given by Douglas Theobald: "The difference is simple.  In one case we have structural similarity that has a functional explanation (wolves).  In the other case, we have the much more puzzling phenomenon of structural similarity in spite of functional diversity (pentadactyl limbs).  This latter problem is what common ancestry explains, quite elegantly.  Hence it is this latter type of similarity that is evidence for evolutionary homology."

Yes, of course, the personal incredulity of evolutionists is well documented. This is the standard response, but appeals to personal incredulity hardly make for strong scientific evidence. Nor does it help when evolutionists mysteriously drop this incredulity when such instances arise in distant species where common descent cannot be summoned as the explanation. In these cases we are told there was a structural convergence where the functions differ.

What we have here are a vast number of similarities across the spectrum in biology, often arising via different genes and development pathways, and often showing up in distant species. Whereever possible, they are ascribed to common descent. Otherwise they are said to have evolved independently. So far so good. But the former do not qualify as particularly powerful, objective, evidence for evolution.

  
Wesley R. Elsberry



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 28 2007,12:49   

Quote

Actually, I did not question the evolutionary explanation, but I guess that would spoil your story. Folks, I am really not your enemy here. 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 in distant species, such as displayed in the marsupial and placental cousin species?

This was my question. There are many, many more examples of similarities that do not fit the common descent pattern. Why are those that can be fitted to the common descent pattern cited as such powerful evidence? Without some justification, this fundamental claim of evolution appears to be selective. Unfortunately, good justification is hard to come by. The vast majority of the responses simply avoided the question and made up their own.


So, Hunter is not "anti-evolution", he's just "anti-common-descent". News flash: "common descent" is part of evolutionary science.

Mark Isaak, I think we may have a new item for your index.

--------------
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Wesley R. Elsberry



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 28 2007,12:56   

Of course, Douglas Theobald has had a bit more to say on the topic of homology than just the little bit stated in this thread.

--------------
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
jeannot



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 28 2007,13:06   

Quote
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 in distant species, such as displayed in the marsupial and placental cousin species?

We answered your question.

  
deadman_932



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

Quote
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 note...read the last line of your claim:    

 
Quote
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?

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Wesley R. Elsberry



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 28 2007,13:16   

Quote

Actually, I did not question the evolutionary explanation, but I guess that would spoil your story. Folks, I am really not your enemy here. 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 in distant species, such as displayed in the marsupial and placental cousin species?


Hunter gave a talk at Cornell. He described it in a blog post.

 
Quote

[...] I began the discussion with half-a-dozen scientific challenges to evolution. These were not details, but rather concerns regarding the core of evolution. [...]

Of course the answer is obvious. There indeed are serious scientific challenges to evolution that are awkward to face. There have always been such challenges. Evolutionary thinking is, and always has been, motivated by philosophical and theological concerns rather than the empirical evidence.

(Source)


People came to Hunter's talk and took notes. They described it in blog posts.

Let's see, arguments going to the "core of evolution"... So, if Hunter's claim here that he is OK with evolution, in principle, then the argument about homology must have been absent from his Cornell talk, since he describes those as going to the "core of evolution". But then we have the account of an attendee who says Hunter did use the homology argument there:

 
Quote

In his presentation, Hunter presented two slides representing some of his primary evidences of "flaws" in evolutionary theory, including the inadequacy of arguments from homology, specifically descrepancies between pentadactyl limb structure in vertebrates and the dissimilarity of the genes responsible for these morphological changes; and the complexity of transducin signaling in photon receptors of the eye.

(Source)


So, which is it: is homology something that does not, in principle, make one doubt evolutionary explanation, or is it an argument that goes to the "core of evolution"? There seems to be some confusion on this point.

Why did Dennis Wagner come to the conclusion that Hunter was taking sides?

 
Quote

But having been on both sides, Hunter now realizes the Darwinian Evolution is not a scientific theory, or even a compelling theory. It is a religious philosophy that has found a home in science.

(Source)


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"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
stevestory



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 28 2007,13:40   

The Index of Creationist Crap has a few interesting links on homology:

http://talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB810.html
http://talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB811.html
http://talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB821.html
http://talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB822.html

Read them if you're bored. I don't think this thread is going to get interesting until Cornelius starts making some precise claims.

   
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 28 2007,14:04   

Quote (Cornelius Hunter @ Jan. 28 2007,12:11)
I have no problem with evolution, in principle.

Then, uh, what are you bitching about.

Other than the simple fact that you're too stupid to understand the difference between "homology" and "analogy".

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stevestory



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 28 2007,14:26   

I don't know what Hunter's area of expertise is, but he's an Intelligent Design supporter and teaches at a bible college, so I bet it's not biology. If he ever gets around to making precise claims, instead of this vague stuff, he's going to be tsunamied with research.

   
deadman_932



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 28 2007,15:24   

Quote
I don't know what Hunter's area of expertise is, but he's an Intelligent Design supporter and teaches at a bible college

I was curious about that, too, so I was poking around and found :

Hunter, C.G., Darwin’s God: Evolution and the Problem of Evil, Brazos Press, 2001.

Hunter, C.G., “Why Evolution Fails the Test of Science,” in Uncommon Dissent: Intellectuals Who Find Darwinism Unconvincing, (Ed. W. Dembski) Intercollegiate Studies Institute / University of Chicago Press, 2004.

Here's some links to discussions of Hunter's previous claims:
http://www.pandasthumb.org/archives/2006/03/hunters_distort_1.html
http://evolutionblog.blogspot.com/2004....ne.html
http://evolutionblog.blogspot.com/2004....wo.html

and responses of Mr. Hunter :
http://www.iscid.org/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=6;t=000540
http://evolutionblog.blogspot.com/2004/09/does-this-guy-have-job.html

I'm fairly certain there's more out there, but I have errands to run. Note Salvador Cordova's sychophantic posturings in the ISID post above, though, it's pretty funny.

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The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 28 2007,15:42   

Dr. Hunter:

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?

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stevestory



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 28 2007,16:28   

I love how people on this board track things down.

So Hunter says:

Quote
Actually, I did not question the evolutionary explanation, but I guess that would spoil your story. Folks, I am really not your enemy here. I have no problem with evolution, in principle.


Yet he wrote an essay titled

Quote
“Why Evolution Fails the Test of Science”


by the way, from Jason Rosenhouse's comments, Hunter is a PhD version of AFDave.

EDIT: I retract this complaint. It turns out that Why Evolution Fails the Test of Science accords with his 'in principle' statement. In that essay he claims, as he does here, not that there is some internal flaw in the theory, but that the evidence is too weak.

   
stevestory



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 28 2007,17:00   

I went looking in the usual places to see if Hunter had ever actually published any fraudulent disproofs of evolution uh Intelligent Design Research. I looked for him in every pathetic issue of PCID. Easily distracted, I looked around the ISCID site a bit.

Quote
Essay Contests

The essay contests have been cancelled until further notice is given.


I wonder if it was cancelled because they didn't get any submissions. That sucks. I would gladly have whipped out, you know, 12 pages of "A duck's foot is irreducibly complex because if you remove it, the duck falls over." for $1,000.

Bring back the essay contest!

   
stevestory



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 28 2007,17:15   

In one of the essays linked above http://evolutionblog.blogspot.com/2004/08/hunter-part-one.html we find the absolutely bizarre argument that a problem for evolution is that there are just too many transitional fossils to accurately sort out.

   
Mike PSS



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 28 2007,17:52   

Mr. Hunter.
To create a quote box around someones quoted phrase type [quote] first.  Insert (or copy/paste) the message  then type [/quote}. (except replace the last } with a ]).  All the words/phrases/references between the typed "quotes" will be contained in a quote box.

***************************
Quote (Cornelius Hunter @ Jan. 28 2007,13:11)
...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 in distant species, such as displayed in the marsupial and placental cousin species?

This was my question. There are many, many more examples of similarities that do not fit the common descent pattern. Why are those that can be fitted to the common descent pattern cited as such powerful evidence? Without some justification, this fundamental claim of evolution appears to be selective. Unfortunately, good justification is hard to come by. The vast majority of the responses simply avoided the question and made up their own.
...
What we have here are a vast number of similarities across the spectrum in biology, often arising via different genes and development pathways, and often showing up in distant species. Whereever possible, they are ascribed to common descent. Otherwise they are said to have evolved independently. So far so good. But the former do not qualify as particularly powerful, objective, evidence for evolution.

So the bolded question is your present claim.  And the following paragraphs focus your question.  I think I can work with this now that a clear and concise question is put forward.

First, the evolutionary claim is made that pentadactyl pattern found within mammals is the result of common descent.  You do know that this means the common ancestor of mammals had pentadactyl pattern limbs.  And that this trait is carried by ALL mammals.

Second, the evolutionary claim is made that the morphological similarities between thylacine and wolves are developmental in nature because of similar environmental influences during each evolutionary event.  You do know that this means that an environmental niche was "available" for evolution to "fill" by RM+NS+time (+other factors) and that the "available" niche was duplicate at seperate and isolated geographic locations.  And that the resident species "eligible" to fill this niche within these geographic locations were different.

I dispute your analogy here because without further explanation about how pentadactyl limb development is comparable to thylacine/wolf morphological development.  You need to show either...
How did available environmental niche influence the development of pentadactyl limbs.
OR
What genetic similarities were developed between thylacine and wolf as a result of environmental nich development.

You can parse and rephrase this objection as you see fit.

I see the "challange" you've made as a conflation of two seperate examples of evolutionary change.  Both changes occur, but you have to make a logical link somewhere between the two for your "challange" to have any meaning.

  
N.Wells



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 28 2007,18:16   

Quote (Cornelius Hunter @ Jan. 28 2007,12:11)
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 in distant species, such as displayed in the marsupial and placental cousin species?

This was my question. There are many, many more examples of similarities that do not fit the common descent pattern.

.........

Unfortunately the explanation that one type of similarity is "deep" and the other "superficial" isn't going to satisfy very many people. This explanation really just raises more questions. When I asked for details, he [Wells, i.e. me] deferred to Deadman who did give an answer:
This seems like a perfectly reasonable answer, as far as it goes. The problem is it is farily subjective. Do we really want to make one of the fundamental evidential claims for evolution contingent on an opinion about what might, and might not, be more difficult for evolution to accomplish?

Again, you are overemphasizing some superficial similarities while disregarding important differences.  If you give a competent scientist either the skeletons or a tissue sample from any of the marsupial & placental analogs, he or she will be able to quickly and easily tell you which of each pair came from Australia & had a pouch.  

I think I answered your question more thoroughly than you acknowledged.  Theory holds (and observations support) that functionally important features are subject to considerable selective pressure, so we should expect many overall similarities.  However, when similarities are arrived at through separate evolutionary histories, then we should also see significant differences within or underlying the grossly similar features, and most of those differences that are not brand new innovations should be consistent with features of the ancestral group rather than with features of the morphologically analogous group.  Differences should be especially obvious in parts of the feature that aren't funtionally important.

The various forms of the vertebrate forelimbs are therefore important evidence for evolution because 1) they share fundamental similarities, 2) at the same time they fall into subsets that are characterized by shared differences (differences between the subgroups but shared within them), and 3) in both cases, the similarities and the differences are better explained by evolutionary history than by design.

I gave you some specific examples: bats, birds, and pterosaurs all fly and all have wings, although many of the details of wing construction are unique to each group (feathers, alulas, & fusion of fingers 2 & 3 to birds, pteroid bones to pterosaurs, highly reduced radii to bats).  Furthermore, many of the differences between the fliers tie each type to their ancestral group rather than to other types of fliers: early birds had reptilian tails and teeth, and even modern birds lay reptilian eggs with chorion, allantois, and amnion membranes.  Bats have fur and give milk.  We see this pattern extending down into genetic and biochemical character traits, and it is also widespread (albeit with some notably complex and confusing exceptions) in the fossil records of the various groups.

I already said that if we see the same embryological tissues contribute to two features, the same genes activated during their construction, utilization of the same developmental pathways, and the same bones ending up in much the same places in the same basic relationships to adjacent bones, nerves, blood vessels, and so forth, then we can make a reasonably secure claim of homology.  If we additionally have a fossil record that shows similar structures or a gradation of change in probable intermediates then the claim is that much stronger.

  
bystander



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 28 2007,18:44   

Another classic thread! I wonder how many lurkers will be de-converted based on Mr Hunter's vague hand waving and the factual replies given.

I wonder how long he'll last before he slinks off. For a professional purveyors of anti-science the internet can be a pain as your debates are there forever for all to see.

Michael

  
k.e.



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 28 2007,19:36   

Quote (bystander @ Jan. 28 2007,18:44)
Another classic thread! I wonder how many lurkers will be de-converted based on Mr Hunter's vague hand waving and the factual replies given.

I wonder how long he'll last before he slinks off. For a professional purveyors of anti-science the internet can be a pain as your debates are there forever for all to see.

Michael

Quote
I wonder how long he'll last before he slinks off. For a professional purveyors of anti-science the internet can be a pain as your debates are there forever for all to see.


Shhh!!

CH is doing nuance and if you state the obvious it doesn't work...willing straw men into existance requires everyone to concentrate on the swinging watch me hypnotize myself into believing that the endless argument IS an argument.

Well CH it's not.... it's a fallacy.

And did anyone tell you, you look geat in that new dress...
Yes, of course, the personal incredulity of evolutionists is well documented. This is the standard response, but appeals to personal incredulity hardly make for strong scientific evidence. Nor does it help when evolutionists mysteriously drop this incredulity when such instances arise in distant species where common descent cannot be summoned as the explanation. In these cases we are told there was a structural convergence where the functions differ.

...erm you have a Ph.D. but if you said that anywhere near where I studied you would have had them rolling in the ailse for displaying a lack of self awareness bordering on___(fill in the blank if you can CH) hint .....its called projection.


Save us the personal incredulity dressed up to look like ....actually scratch that....Lenny's questions ....any reason you are avoiding them?

Be honest now.

  
Ichthyic



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 29 2007,03:40   

Quote
Yes, of course, the personal incredulity of evolutionists is well documented. This is the standard response, but appeals to personal incredulity hardly make for strong scientific evidence


nice bit of projection there.

based on the language, I don't think in this case it's an unconscious reponse on your part (just a psychological defense mechanism).  I think you, as a common tactic by the religious right, prefer to use the language that best describes YOUR position, and throw it back on to your detractors.

it don't fly here.

where do you see personal incredulity on the part of the posters here?

please detail it before you make yet more projections based on your own level of personal incredulity.

and stop lying.

steve:

Quote
In that essay he claims, as he does here, not that there is some internal flaw in the theory, but that the evidence is too weak.


of course the evidence seems weak if you refuse to actually read any of it.

I can arbitrarily say that the evidence for the moon landings is weak too.  Unfortunately, just like with ol CH here, that would just make me a moron.

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Cornelius Hunter



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 30 2007,10:42   

Quote
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).

 
Quote
Deadman writes: 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!
[…]
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.


All good points, but you are drifting back into a strawman. You and many others have repeatedly argued against falsification. Secondly, universality is not crucial here. It can be forfeited (by evolutionary theory) without sacrificing the claim of homology or this evidential claim.

 
Quote
Mike PSS writes: First, the evolutionary claim is made that pentadactyl pattern found within mammals is the result of common descent.  You do know that this means the common ancestor of mammals had pentadactyl pattern limbs.  And that this trait is carried by ALL mammals.


No, it need not be carried by all mammals.

 
Quote
Mike PSS writes: Second, the evolutionary claim is made that the morphological similarities between thylacine and wolves are developmental in nature because of similar environmental influences during each evolutionary event.  You do know that this means that an environmental niche was "available" for evolution to "fill" by RM+NS+time (+other factors) and that the "available" niche was duplicate at seperate and isolated geographic locations.  And that the resident species "eligible" to fill this niche within these geographic locations were different.

I dispute your analogy here because without further explanation about how pentadactyl limb development is comparable to thylacine/wolf morphological development.  You need to show either...
How did available environmental niche influence the development of pentadactyl limbs.
OR
What genetic similarities were developed between thylacine and wolf as a result of environmental nich development.


The problem here is that you are placing the burden of disproof on me when you are making the evidential claim. I'm merely asking how those similarities, that happen to fit the evolutionary pattern, are supposed to count as powerful evidence. Of course evolution has an explanation, as you outlined above.

The answer to my question, according to standard evolutionary theory is, as Theobald concisely put it: "In one case we have structural similarity that has a functional explanation (wolves).  In the other case, we have the much more puzzling phenomenon of structural similarity in spite of functional diversity (pentadactyl limbs)."

In other words, for homologies such as the pentadactyl pattern, there doesn't seem to be a good reason why the same design would be used for different functions. This is puzzling for evolutionists.

There are several problems with this evidential claim, but I would like to focus on just two of them. First, the claim relies on an unproven premise. The premise is that the pentadactyl pattern is, at least in some cases, not an optimal or efficient design. The reasoning here is intuitive. It shows up for different functions, and it seems unlikely that one design can be the best for such different functions (digging, flying, grasping, etc.). That is all well and good, but we do not know this to be true.

Darwin made the claim a century and a half ago with nothing to back him up but intuition, and today nothing has changed. Take one look at the different pentadactyl designs (eg, in the horse and bat) and one can see it comes in very different shapes and sizes, and seems to function OK. Who knows, perhaps it is efficient. Perhaps the extent of structural similarity which we observe (which often isn't very much) makes sense for the given functional diversity. So this popular and important evidential claim entails a premise that is not known to be true. It may seem puzzling to us, but perhaps we should not throw up our hands and give up. It is certainly a very interesting observation, but hardly supports the claim that this is powerful evidence.

A second problem is that the claim is not scientific. Regardless of whether or not homologies such as the pentadactyl pattern are inefficient, this claim entails an "ought" premise. That is, the argument entails a premise about what biological designs ought to be like. This is metaphysical, and it makes the evidential claim impenetrable and outside of science, for one cannot use science to address opinions about what ought to be. One cannot argue against the metaphysical beliefs of evolutionists.

  
deadman_932



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 30 2007,11:16   

Uh, if anyone is skilled and  can translate Mr. Hunter's statements from vague jargonese into clear english,  post a version of it, please?   
Quote
You and many others have repeatedly argued against falsification.


Uh, how? Can you repost where I did this? I merely mentioned that pentadactyly is universal in mammals, reflecting a common bauplan and that patagium for gliding are not. For you, this constitutes "arguing against falsification?"

It seems to me that language in modern humans is useful for clear and effective speech/writing and that obfuscation is detrimental to that. Please try for clarity in saying precisely what you mean and laying out specific examples, would you?

When you gave the patagium example, silly me, I thought you were actually asking why I thought it was less relevant ( to me)  than pentadactyly.

I also notice that you didn't answer my questions.

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stevestory



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 30 2007,11:23   

Quote (deadman_932 @ Jan. 30 2007,12:16)
Uh, if anyone can translate Mr. Hunter's statements from vague jargonese into clear english, please post a version of it, would you?

Yeah, I scanned it, and concluded that somebody else can parse that hand-wavy philosophizing.

   
slpage



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 30 2007,11:53   

It seems Hunter has been beating the wolf/thylacine skull dead horse for at least 3+ years...

  
deadman_932



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 30 2007,12:21   

It's sort of interesting: I assume (perhaps mistakenly, given the ambiguity of how Mr. Hunter has been posting) that he's essentially asking HOW do we assign traits/characters into homology and homoplasy categories. Can we justify our assumptions there?

Keeping in mind that science doesn't deal in absolute,immutable truths and that such designations can be changed at any moment due to new discoveries ( because science is always tentative)...what seems to be the problem?

Well, here's the deal:

I would argue that what Mr. hunter is attempting to do --in his roundabout, ambiguity-laden way -- is to place ID and modern evolutionary theory on an "even playing field" by saying "both research programs are based on metaphysical and unfalsifiable assumptions."

The fact that he can't come out and say that is amusing to me.

In the past, prior to the genetic revolution and evo-devo studies, yep, there was a lot more seeming arbitrariness in placing things into "homology v. homoplasy" categories. But even a cursory scan of the relevant literature today has yielded me a bounty of information on the very topic...in just ten minutes, I gathered these papers:

Abouheif E. Developmental genetics and homology: a hierarchical approach. Trends Ecol Evol. 1997;12:405-408.
Abouheif E, Akam M, Dickinson WJ, Holland PWH, Meyer A, Patel NH, Raff RA, Roth VL, Wray GA. Homology and developmental genes. Trends Genet. 1997;13:432-433.
Arthur W. The concept of developmental reprogramming and the quest for an inclusive theory of evolutionary mechanisms. Evol Dev. 2000;2:49-57
Arthur W. Developmental drive: an important determinant of the direction of phenotypic evolution. Evol Dev. 2001;3:271-278
Arthur W. The emerging conceptual framework of evolutionary developmental biology. Nature. 2002;415:757-764
Brigandt, I. (2003) “Homology in comparative, molecular, and evolutionary developmental biology: The radiation of a concept.” Journal of Experimental Zoology (Molecular and Developmental Evolution) 299B: 9-17
Caroll S. Endless forms: the evolution of gene regulation and morphological diversity. Cell. 2000;101:577-580.
Carroll, SB.;Grenier, JK.; Weatherbee, SD. From DNA to Diversity: Molecular Genetics and the Evolution of Animal Design. Malden, MA: Blackwell Science; 2001. Shimeld SM, Holland
Carroll SB. Evolution at two levels: on genes and form. PLOS Biology. 2005;3:e245.
Davidson, EH. Genomic Regulatory Systems. Development and Evolution. San Diego: Academic Press; 2001.
Donoghue M, Ree RH. Homoplasy and developmental constraint: a model and an example from plants. Am Zool. 2000;40:759-769.
Fitch W. Homology - a personal view on some of the problems. Trends Genet. 2000;16:227-231.
Galliot B, Miller DJ. Origin of anterior patterning - how old is our head? Trends Genet. 2000;16:1-5.
Hedges SB. The origin and evolution of model organisms. Nat Rev Genet. 2002;3:838-849
Hedges SB, Blair JE, Venturi ML, Shoe JL. A molecular timescale of eukaryote evolution and the rise of complex multicellular life. BMC Evol Biol. 2004;4:2.
Hughes AL, Friedmann R. Shedding genomic ballast; extensive parallel loss of ancestral gene families in animals. J Mol Evol. 2004;59:827-833.
Jenner RA. Evolution of animal body plans: the role of metazoan phylogeny at the interface between patterns and processes. Evol Dev. 2000;2:208-221
Levine M, Tjian R. Transcription regulation and animal diversity. Nature. 2003;424:147-151
Meyer, A. Homology and homoplasy: the retention of genetic programs. In: Brock GR, Cardew G. , editor. Homology Symposium on Homology held at the Novartis Foundation (Symposium 222); London. Wiley: Chichester, UK; 1999. pp. 141-157.
Mindell DP, Meyer A. Homology evolving. Trends Ecol Evol. 2001;16:434-440.
Raff, RA. The Shape of Life: Genes, Development and the Evolution of Animal Form. Chicago: Chicago University Press; 1996.
Raible F, Arendt D. Metazoan evolution: some animals are more equal than others. Curr Biol. 2004;14:R106-108.
Telford MJ, Budd GE. The place of phylogeny and cladistics in Evo-Devo research. Int J Dev Biol. 2003;47:479-490.
True JR, Carroll SB. Gene co-option in physiological and morphological evolution. Annu Rev Cell Dev Biol. 2002;18:53-80.
Wake, DB. Homology and homoplasy. In: Edited by Hall BK, Olson WM. , editor. Keywords and Concepts in Evolutionary Developmental Biology. Harvard: Harvard University Press; 2003. pp. 190-201.
Wilkins, AS. The Evolution of Developmental Pathways. Sunderland: Sinauer Associates; 2002.
Wray GA, Abouheif E. When is homology not homology? Curr Opin Genet Dev. 1998;8:675-680.

Now, I have no particular interest in this area, but even I can see there's a lot of work being done there. Science is rarely satisfied by arbitrariness, and there seems to be a distinct trend in justifying how we categorize traits/characters.

Do we HAVE a specific algorithm NOW? No...but won't you join us and contribute to our search, Mr. Hunter?
Again, a mind is a terrible thing to waste at DI, which does little peer-reviewed research that I know of.

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Wesley R. Elsberry



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 30 2007,12:55   

Alan Gishlick on homology

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The Ghost of Paley



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

Dr. Hunter:

   
Quote
   
Quote
 
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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Occam's Aftershave



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 30 2007,13:28   

Quote (deadman_932 @ Jan. 30 2007,12:16)

Uh, if anyone can translate Mr. Hunter's statements from vague jargonese into clear english, please post a version of it, would you?


Hunter to English translation:

"The Bible says it, I believe it, that settles it.  Please send us your cash donations."

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improvius



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 30 2007,13:34   

Quote (Cornelius Hunter @ Jan. 30 2007,11:42)
In other words, for homologies such as the pentadactyl pattern, there doesn't seem to be a good reason why the same design would be used for different functions. This is puzzling for evolutionists.

I'm just a layman when it comes to science, and even I can tell this is BS.  It seems far easier for organisms to change proportion than to change structure.  Just look at dog breeds.  When I look at a thylacine, I see a stretched-out Tasmanian devil - not a wolf.

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Steviepinhead



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 30 2007,14:17   

Mike PSS:
 
Quote
First, the evolutionary claim is made that pentadactyl pattern found within mammals is the result of common descent.  You do know that this means the common ancestor of mammals had pentadactyl pattern limbs.  And that this trait is carried by ALL mammals.



Corny Hunter:
 
Quote
No, it need not be carried by all mammals.


Dood!  Try to keep up here: pendactyly need not be carried by all mammals, if their limbs were "designed" to optimize their current functionality, but it is. Why?  As we are reasonably entitled to conclude from looking around at current mammals, from reviewing the evidence from fossil mammals and the geologic contexts in which they are found, and from the genetic molecular and developmental evidence, the pendactyly we observe among all extant and extinct mammals is the result of common descent.  This is a prediction of evolution that's contra "intelligent design" (or, as we respectfully and civilly call it around here: sheer IDiocy...).

If some lineages of mammals are around long enough, and the adaptive pressures are powerful and persistent enough, maybe the outward phenotypic indicia of pendactyl ancestry would eventually disappear (the tippy-toes of horses, the back ends of whales, a strain of eight-toed cats or--more far-fetched, six-fingered psychic humans...).

The developmental and genetic indicia of ancestral pandyctyly would linger on for many ages but, after the passage of sufficient time, perhaps even those signs would be covered over by the palimpsest of later changes.

Arguably, however, it would take a very long time indeed for all traces of common mammal heritage to disappear, just as mammalian inner ear-bones may still be traced back to earlier quadruped jawbones, pandyctyly itself can be traced back to a "frozen accident" or early set of selections among the variant digit patterns seen in the earliest transitional tetrapods, and vertebrate body plans can be traced back to duplications of the urbilaterian Hox tool-kit.

If you have some kind of point here, not obscured beneath your verbal vagaries and determination to avoid the obvious implications of the evidence, it has so far failed to surface.

Either get on with it.

Or admit there is no actual "it" wherever you are at.

  
jeannot



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 30 2007,14:55   

Quote (improvius @ Jan. 30 2007,13:34)
 
Quote (Cornelius Hunter @ Jan. 30 2007,11:42)
In other words, for homologies such as the pentadactyl pattern, there doesn't seem to be a good reason why the same design would be used for different functions. This is puzzling for evolutionists.

I'm just a layman when it comes to science, and even I can tell this is BS.

Indeed, it's just nonsense.
And this observation would be far more puzzling for IDers. Why would a 'designed' whale have 5 fingers? I'm asking.
???
Quote
As we are reasonably entitled to conclude from looking around at current mammals, from reviewing the evidence from fossil mammals and the geologic contexts in which they are found

If I'm not mistaken, pentadactyly appeared with the tetrapods. Ichthyostega (devonian) had 5 fingers.

  
deadman_932



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 30 2007,15:33   

A few comments and questions:

(1)It seems odd to me that Mr. Hunter should decry the "theory-laden" views of science in regard to homology and homoplasy designations ;  isn't the very claim that "theory-laden" observations are somehow "LESS than"  "theory-Unladen" observations...itself a theory-laden hypothesis? Of course, I'm merely being facetious here, right? ;)

(2) When asked what specific characters Mr. Hunter finds "equal and greater in similarity" to pentadactyly...Mr Hunter has yet to respond.  I would wager that what Mr. Hunter will present is not a single character, but rather a suite of characters, i.e. they look alike in teeth, skull shape, quadrupedal body form, etc. Is there a term for this sort of fallacy in comparing one to many?

(3) When Mr. Hunter mentioned that patagium and pentadactyly were comparable characters in  terms of significance, I asked how did he determine this...and I've still gotten no answer. If I were pressed for an answer about MY views, I would point to studies in fossils, genetics and embryology/development that seem to indicate that pentadactyly is more significant. Mr. Hunter has (apparently) claimed that patagium are of "equal or greater significance," as pentadactyly...Can you show how you determined this, Mr. Hunter?  

Was it due to "theory-laden" observations?

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deadman_932



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 30 2007,15:42   

Jeannot: you might want to read this little bit on polydactyl Ichthyostega and Acanthostega: http://www.gate.net/~rwms/EvoLimb.html

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"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 30 2007,17:52   

Quote (deadman_932 @ Jan. 30 2007,11:16)
I also notice that you didn't answer my questions.

Or mine.

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N.Wells



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 30 2007,18:50   

From Cornelius Hunter
       
Quote
There are several problems with this evidential claim, but I would like to focus on just two of them. First, the claim relies on an unproven premise. The premise is that the pentadactyl pattern is, at least in some cases, not an optimal or efficient design. The reasoning here is intuitive. It shows up for different functions, and it seems unlikely that one design can be the best for such different functions (digging, flying, grasping, etc.). That is all well and good, but we do not know this to be true.

Darwin made the claim a century and a half ago with nothing to back him up but intuition, and today nothing has changed. Take one look at the different pentadactyl designs (eg, in the horse and bat) and one can see it comes in very different shapes and sizes, and seems to function OK. Who knows, perhaps it is efficient. Perhaps the extent of structural similarity which we observe (which often isn't very much) makes sense for the given functional diversity. So this popular and important evidential claim entails a premise that is not known to be true. It may seem puzzling to us, but perhaps we should not throw up our hands and give up. It is certainly a very interesting observation, but hardly supports the claim that this is powerful evidence.

A second problem is that the claim is not scientific. Regardless of whether or not homologies such as the pentadactyl pattern are inefficient, this claim entails an "ought" premise. That is, the argument entails a premise about what biological designs ought to be like. This is metaphysical, and it makes the evidential claim impenetrable and outside of science, for one cannot use science to address opinions about what ought to be. One cannot argue against the metaphysical beliefs of evolutionists.


There do seem to be features in organisms that, when we look at them, we think, "wow, even I could have designed that better", so we do make some intuitive arguments along these lines.  The recurrent laryngeal nerve in giraffes is a good example here.

However, there is much more substance and depth to these sorts of arguments than CH admits.  First, we know that better designs are possible because they exist in other organisms.  Giraffe necks are made out of the same seven neck vertebrae that we have, but this is only a constraint due to evolutionary history: hummingbirds (not being mammals) have 14 neck verterbrae.  In a world that contains squirrels and monkeys, you don’t have to be either a genius or a metaphysical philosopher to realize that tree kangaroos are not the epitome of adaptation to life in trees. There are many similar examples, although few are quite so comical.  This is an evidence-based conclusion.

Secondly, claims about ‘what biological designs ought to be like’ only get made in the most obvious of cases (like the giraffe's nerve, above).  The argument tends not to be how wings ought to work for birds or for bats, nor whether the basic tetrapod forelimb and its modifications work better for bats or for birds, but that all birds possess one version of the basic tetrapod forelimb, whereas all bats possess a different version.  The easiest explanation, given substantial overlaps in function between bird wings and bat wings, is that one set of solutions happened in some ancestral bird and has been inherited by all subsequent birds, whereas a different set of solutions happened in some bat ancestor and has since been inherited by all bats.  Similarly, but at another level, the commonalities in all tetrapod limbs are best explained by common inheritance.  If we go into subgroups of birds, we see additional patterns of shared similarities within groups and differences between groups.  As we get into finer and finer taxonomic levels, we are increasingly likely to run into difficulties with convergence.  However, CH initially claimed that convergence is a big problem at high taxonomic levels (as between thylacines and wolves), when it is not so much, and that biologists ignore convergence, when they study it with great care and considerable interest.

(edited to change "vertebrate" to "tetrapod", in order to exclude fish from the discussion.)

  
k.e



Posts: 1948
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 30 2007,22:46   

Gee CH .....You poured on more Nuance and Obscurantism, and STILL couldn't fool them!

Find an easier audience.

Isn't the DI only interested in teenagers?

You might like to look up the meaning of 'canard' and 'red herring' and throw in more nuance while you ring around for a compliant creationist crowd.

You even adjusted your right wing rhetoric....you toned down the bitching  ...when you can fake sincerity they say you've made it.

You need to be careful there though...don't forget to remind the audience why you are doing what you're doing.

Like this guy
Who has no problems nailing his colors to the mast.


New Mexico House sponsor Rep. W.C. “Dub” Williams, R-Glencoe sponsor of Senate Bill 371, “SCHOOL SCIENCE CONTENT STANDARDS,” and Senate Joint Memorial 9, “OBJECTIVE TEACHING OF BIOLOGICAL ORIGINS.”

Quote

“However we evolved, we’re here. What we evolved from we will never figure out,” Williams said. “There are many people who are absolutely convinced God did all of this and if you have the faith I have, God did it all.”


....yeah .......yeah I know that seems a nonsequitur to you.

All you are worried about is how god decided to let his designs seem to appear evolved rather than plain outright easily identifiable as designed like a Ford or GM car.

Instantly recognizable as pointing to a designer.... clear as day because the design is clearly separate from the object as determined by your neurons.

What you want to say is..."look at these two wolves god decided he needed a wolf so he made a wolf 'design 'and then let evolution fill in the gaps."

Now since you can read the mind of god all you have to do is say to anyone who will listen to the 'trvth'….” the very fact that we have a wolf design independent of evolution; that itself is evidence for the designer.”

Oh it's all so clear now.....yawn ...pathetic.

Lenny's questions? Any progress?

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The conservative has but little to fear from the man whose reason is the servant of his passions, but let him beware of him in whom reason has become the greatest and most terrible of the passions.These are the wreckers of outworn empires and civilisations, doubters, disintegrators, deicides.Haldane

   
Mike PSS



Posts: 428
Joined: Sep. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 31 2007,23:21   

Quote (Cornelius Hunter @ Jan. 30 2007,11:42)
   
Quote
Mike PSS writes: First, the evolutionary claim is made that pentadactyl pattern found within mammals is the result of common descent.  You do know that this means the common ancestor of mammals had pentadactyl pattern limbs.  And that this trait is carried by ALL mammals.


No, it need not be carried by all mammals.

Ummmm...
Common Descent = Nested Hierarchy
ALL mammals (extant and extinct) exhibit the pentadactyl limb pattern.
Please find me one example where a mammal (extant or extinct) doesn't have pentadactyl limbs or limb precursors.
If you want to discuss nested hierarchies then I'll probably have to channel Zachrial to this thread as he has numerous recent posts trying to explain this subject to a JoeG (over on the UD thread).
Quote
Quote
Mike PSS writes: Second, the evolutionary claim is made that the morphological similarities between thylacine and wolves are developmental in nature because of similar environmental influences during each evolutionary event.  You do know that this means that an environmental niche was "available" for evolution to "fill" by RM+NS+time (+other factors) and that the "available" niche was duplicate at seperate and isolated geographic locations.  And that the resident species "eligible" to fill this niche within these geographic locations were different.

I dispute your analogy here because without further explanation about how pentadactyl limb development is comparable to thylacine/wolf morphological development.  You need to show either...
How did available environmental niche influence the development of pentadactyl limbs.
OR
What genetic similarities were developed between thylacine and wolf as a result of environmental nich development.


The problem here is that you are placing the burden of disproof on me when you are making the evidential claim.

My questions are NOT burden of proof questions.  The questions are based on sound logic so that your argumentary claims can be logically LINKED to one another.  Without some type of answer (notice that you only have to answer one of them) then you don't have a linked comparative argument.  You just have two seperate observations that result in seperate answers.  There is NO claim you can make by comparing the two observations without some logical (NOTE: NOT EVIDENTIAL BUT LOGICAL) underpinnings to your statements.
 
Quote
I'm merely asking how those similarities, that happen to fit the evolutionary pattern, are supposed to count as powerful evidence. Of course evolution has an explanation, as you outlined above.

So you agree that my answers count as powerful evidence?
If you don't agree then you have to answer one of my questions to logically link the statements.
 
Quote
The answer to my question, according to standard evolutionary theory is, as Theobald concisely put it: "In one case we have structural similarity that has a functional explanation (wolves).  In the other case, we have the much more puzzling phenomenon of structural similarity in spite of functional diversity (pentadactyl limbs)."

In other words, for homologies such as the pentadactyl pattern, there doesn't seem to be a good reason why the same design would be used for different functions. This is puzzling for evolutionists.

I beg to differ with your conclusion here based on Theobold's quote.  You better parse or reference Theobold a little bit better to fit your conclusion you just made.  In fact I think the next paragraph you quoted (but didn't include) from the Theobold paper actually gives Theobold's answer to his "puzzling" statement.  Context in quoted phrases is important.

Maybe in your world view there has to be a "reason" associated with the use of similar design.  However, as the answers I gave above indicate there is NO puzzle to the functional dissimilarity of the pentadactyl homology in mammals.

 
Quote
There are several problems with this evidential claim, but I would like to focus on just two of them. First, the claim relies on an unproven premise. The premise is that the pentadactyl pattern is, at least in some cases, not an optimal or efficient design. The reasoning here is intuitive. It shows up for different functions, and it seems unlikely that one design can be the best for such different functions (digging, flying, grasping, etc.). That is all well and good, but we do not know this to be true.

First, no one but IDists seem to claim "optimum or efficient design".  I know I don't in my answer (nor does Theobold).  The only evolutionary claim made is that the pattern need only have enough function to support the organism.  This function, over time, may be "optimized" where version 2 (being a slight modification of version 1 due to evolutinary mechanisms) is better adapted to the function when compared to version 1.  However this is not "optimum design" nor does it have to be "efficient design".  There is no "best design" in the evolutionary pentadactyl pattern, only usefull function.
 
Quote
Darwin made the claim a century and a half ago with nothing to back him up but intuition, and today nothing has changed. Take one look at the different pentadactyl designs (eg, in the horse and bat) and one can see it comes in very different shapes and sizes, and seems to function OK. Who knows, perhaps it is efficient. Perhaps the extent of structural similarity which we observe (which often isn't very much) makes sense for the given functional diversity. So this popular and important evidential claim entails a premise that is not known to be true. It may seem puzzling to us, but perhaps we should not throw up our hands and give up. It is certainly a very interesting observation, but hardly supports the claim that this is powerful evidence.

And this is a strawman argument that you tried to create by claiming that pentadactyl limbs need to have "optimal or efficient design".

I'm blowing your straw down and you should look at my counter-point to your "optimal or efficient design" claim above and answer this first before making any conclusions based upon your "optimal or efficient design" claim.
 
Quote
A second problem is that the claim is not scientific. Regardless of whether or not homologies such as the pentadactyl pattern are inefficient, this claim entails an "ought" premise. That is, the argument entails a premise about what biological designs ought to be like. This is metaphysical, and it makes the evidential claim impenetrable and outside of science, for one cannot use science to address opinions about what ought to be. One cannot argue against the metaphysical beliefs of evolutionists.

I don't see how your making this metaconclusion from the evolutionary claim for pentadactyl limbs (common descent).  Please explain in some more detail how saying "common descent" as an answer can lead you to believe there is some "ought premise" put forward.  I'm confused with this response.

Mike PSS

  
Steviepinhead



Posts: 532
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 01 2007,11:56   

Among us, we seem to have sliced, diced, shredded, and decimated this guy's "claims."  To the point of duplication, in some instances (but that's okay--duplication's a covert metaphor for how "bigger" changes can occur, not to mention that--on the level of discourse--making much the same point from different angles or with different words or examples may benefit someone out there...).

Odd though that Corny is just sitting back, allowing the shredding to proceed without even token opposition.

'Fraid?  "Busy"?  

Lurkers should note this common IDiot behavior pattern: they seem to have plenty of time to waltz onto the stage making bold claims, and to hang in there for one or two rounds of shredding, but then they can't seem to find the time to "stay the course" when the going gets tough, or to respond with evidence, specific answers to pointed questions, little things like that...

Time is of course a precious commodity.  If only these chaps would give some thought to that rather obvious fact of life before they first opened their yaps.

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 01 2007,12:18   

Steviepinhead:

 
Quote
Among us, we seem to have sliced, diced, shredded, and decimated this guy's "claims."  To the point of duplication, in some instances (but that's okay--duplication's a covert metaphor for how "bigger" changes can occur, not to mention that--on the level of discourse--making much the same point from different angles or with different words or examples may benefit someone out there...).


Has Dr. Hunter ever clarified his views on what homoplasy implies for common descent? Or does he think the term "homoplasy" is circular?

I don't know anything about his views outside this thread. I hope he hasn't abandoned this board.  :angry:

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 01 2007,19:08   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Feb. 01 2007,12:18)
I hope he hasn't abandoned this board.

*I* hope he answers my #### questions.  (shrug)

--------------
Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
Cornelius Hunter



Posts: 11
Joined: Jan. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 02 2007,02:50   

Quote
Deadman wrote: Uh, if anyone is skilled and  can translate Mr. Hunter's statements from vague jargonese into clear english,  post a version of it, please?

 
Quote
You and many others have repeatedly argued against falsification.


Uh, how? Can you repost where I did this?


Sure, in an earlier post you wrote:

 
Quote
If you want to say " but this is merely subjective"  uh...okay. Gosh, Waterloo!


That's a sarcastic way of saying "you've not falsified my position." If you agree that the claim that homologies are powerful evidence for evolution is subjective, then we're on the same page.

 
Quote
Deadman wrote: It's sort of interesting: I assume (perhaps mistakenly, given the ambiguity of how Mr. Hunter has been posting) that he's essentially asking HOW do we assign traits/characters into homology and homoplasy categories. Can we justify our assumptions there? [...]

Well, here's the deal:

I would argue that what Mr. hunter is attempting to do --in his roundabout, ambiguity-laden way -- is to place ID and modern evolutionary theory on an "even playing field" by saying "both research programs are based on metaphysical and unfalsifiable assumptions."

The fact that he can't come out and say that is amusing to me.


Well I'm glad to see that this thread has served a useful purpose. I was beginning to despair that I might have been wasting my time. But no, I'm not asking "HOW do we assign traits/characters into homology and homoplasy categories"? I'm plenty familiar with these struggles. Nor am I attempting to mischaracterize ID, as you suggest.

 
Quote
Deadman wrote: In the past, prior to the genetic revolution and evo-devo studies, yep, there was a lot more seeming arbitrariness in placing things into "homology v. homoplasy" categories. But even a cursory scan of the relevant literature today has yielded me a bounty of information on the very topic...in just ten minutes, I gathered these papers:

Now, I have no particular interest in this area ....


Apparently not, otherwise you wouldn't be appealing to the genetic revolution.

 
Quote
Deadman wrote: When asked what specific characters Mr. Hunter finds "equal and greater in similarity" to pentadactyly...Mr Hunter has yet to respond.  I would wager that what Mr. Hunter will present is not a single character, but rather a suite of characters, i.e. they look alike in teeth, skull shape, quadrupedal body form, etc. Is there a term for this sort of fallacy in comparing one to many?


Arrggh!! You have anticipated my next move. I was amassing a mammoth list (I'm on page 167, single-spaced) of incredible similarities. But of course, it is all a grand fallacy. The dreaded one-to-many fallacy, as you point out. How foolish to think that anything could stand up to the bat versus horse limb similarity:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Evolution_pl.png#filelinks

One can easily see that they must share a common ancestor. What powerful evidence!

 
Quote
N. Wells wrote: There do seem to be features in organisms that, when we look at them, we think, "wow, even I could have designed that better", so we do make some intuitive arguments along these lines.  The recurrent laryngeal nerve in giraffes is a good example here.

However, there is much more substance and depth to these sorts of arguments than CH admits.  First, we know that better designs are possible because they exist in other organisms.  Giraffe necks are made out of the same seven neck vertebrae that we have, but this is only a constraint due to evolutionary history: hummingbirds (not being mammals) have 14 neck verterbrae.  In a world that contains squirrels and monkeys, you don’t have to be either a genius or a metaphysical philosopher to realize that tree kangaroos are not the epitome of adaptation to life in trees. There are many similar examples, although few are quite so comical.  This is an evidence-based conclusion.


Yes, agreed. I did not mean to say there is no reasonable evidence for functionally non optimal biological designs. My comments were directed at the pentadactyl pattern. Given the substantial differences between the horse and bat limbs, for instance, and given that we've never built a horse or a bat, it seems that it would be difficult for us to be certain that those designs are substantially inefficient.

 
Quote
N. Wells wrote: Secondly, claims about ‘what biological designs ought to be like’ only get made in the most obvious of cases (like the giraffe's nerve, above).  The argument tends not to be how wings ought to work for birds or for bats, nor whether the basic tetrapod forelimb and its modifications work better for bats or for birds, but that all birds possess one version of the basic tetrapod forelimb, whereas all bats possess a different version.  The easiest explanation, given substantial overlaps in function between bird wings and bat wings, is that one set of solutions happened in some ancestral bird and has been inherited by all subsequent birds, whereas a different set of solutions happened in some bat ancestor and has since been inherited by all bats. Similarly, but at another level, the commonalities in all tetrapod limbs are best explained by common inheritance.


Easiest explanation? Best explained? That would be a difficult position to defend, particularly given its enormous scientific problems. Be that as it may, my point in this thread is to ask the question: why are homologies such a powerful evidence? Your answer seems to be that in your opinion evolution is the best explanation. I can imagine several possible reasons why one might hold that opinion. There's one that is subjective. Another is metaphysical, and another is circular. Perhaps your reasoning escapes these problems. But as it stands, explanations such as yours above fails to show why the homologies are such powerful evidence.

 
Quote
N. Wells wrote: CH initially claimed that convergence is a big problem at high taxonomic levels (as between thylacines and wolves), when it is not so much, and that biologists ignore convergence, when they study it with great care and considerable interest.


I did not claim that "convergence is a big problem at high taxonomic levels." I used it as an example of one of the many problems with the "homology is powerful evidence" claim. Nor did I say that biologists ignore convergence.

 
Quote
Mike PSS writes: First, the evolutionary claim is made that pentadactyl pattern found within mammals is the result of common descent.  You do know that this means the common ancestor of mammals had pentadactyl pattern limbs.  And that this trait is carried by ALL mammals.

Me: No, it need not be carried by all mammals.

Mike PSS responds:
Ummmm...
Common Descent = Nested Hierarchy
ALL mammals (extant and extinct) exhibit the pentadactyl limb pattern.
Please find me one example where a mammal (extant or extinct) doesn't have pentadactyl limbs or limb precursors.


You are confusing observations with predictions. I was merely pointing out that evolution does not maintain that the pentadactyl pattern must be carried by all mammals or, by extension, that homologies must be present in all species in a lineage (otherwise evolution would have been falsified long ago).


 
Quote
Mike PSS writes: I beg to differ with your conclusion here based on Theobold's quote.  You better parse or reference Theobold a little bit better to fit your conclusion you just made.  In fact I think the next paragraph you quoted (but didn't include) from the Theobold paper actually gives Theobold's answer to his "puzzling" statement.  Context in quoted phrases is important.


I was quoting from Theobald's post.

 
Quote
Mike PSS writes:
 
Quote
A second problem is that the claim is not scientific. Regardless of whether or not homologies such as the pentadactyl pattern are inefficient, this claim entails an "ought" premise. That is, the argument entails a premise about what biological designs ought to be like. This is metaphysical, and it makes the evidential claim impenetrable and outside of science, for one cannot use science to address opinions about what ought to be. One cannot argue against the metaphysical beliefs of evolutionists.


I don't see how your making this metaconclusion from the evolutionary claim for pentadactyl limbs (common descent).  Please explain in some more detail how saying "common descent" as an answer can lead you to believe there is some "ought premise" put forward.  I'm confused with this response.


The problem is that you have diluted the evolutionary claim to make it defensible. The evolutionary claim is not merely "saying 'common descent' as an answer." If that were the case there would be no problem. But the evolutionary claim is that homologies such as the pentadactyl pattern make evolution compelling. This is supposed to be powerful evidence. Look here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Evolution_pl.png#filelinks

Do you seriously expect anyone, except for evolutionists, to find this convincing? People just roll their eyes at this stuff. I suggest you come up with something better than "we're puzzled by this so it is powerful evidence for evolution."

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 02 2007,03:35   

Quote (Cornelius Hunter @ Feb. 02 2007,02:50)
...etc.

Sir,
You talk a lot but fail to answer basic questions.
Answer Lenny (his questions are pretty basic) or admit you have nothing to say.

  
k.e



Posts: 1948
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 02 2007,06:28   

C.H.
 
Quote
People just roll their eyes at this stuff


You are of course aware that that is the well known logical fallacy

Argumentum populus iustus oculae volvo ?


Not quite as well known as the "Joseph Goebbels   shuffle" distract the hoi poloi with the old three card shuffle and If you are going to tell a lie make sure its a big one

So whats in your hand behind your back C.H. ?

The answers to Lenny's questions?

--------------
The conservative has but little to fear from the man whose reason is the servant of his passions, but let him beware of him in whom reason has become the greatest and most terrible of the passions.These are the wreckers of outworn empires and civilisations, doubters, disintegrators, deicides.Haldane

   
deadman_932



Posts: 3094
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 02 2007,06:30   

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
Quote
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!

--------------
AtBC Award for Thoroughness in the Face of Creationism

  
k.e



Posts: 1948
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 02 2007,06:46   

Quote (deadman_932 @ Feb. 02 2007,14:30)
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
Quote
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!

Cute in a 4 year old.

Discombobulated in a Post Doc.

Tell me C.H. do you have dreams of standing naked at bus stops?

--------------
The conservative has but little to fear from the man whose reason is the servant of his passions, but let him beware of him in whom reason has become the greatest and most terrible of the passions.These are the wreckers of outworn empires and civilisations, doubters, disintegrators, deicides.Haldane

   
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 02 2007,07:12   

Hey Doc, are you gonna answer my goddamn questions, or aren't you . . . . ?

--------------
Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 02 2007,07:27   

In case you've forgotten my simple questions, Doc:

*ahem*



DI continually tells us that ID is not creationism.

In the DI's Wedge Document, it states:

"FIVE YEAR OBJECTIVES

* Major Christian denomination(s) defend(s) traditional doctrine of creation"


If ID is not creationism, then (1) what is this "traditional doctrine of creation" that DI wants Christian churches to defend, and (2) why does DI want churches to defend it?

Or is DI just lying to us (under oath) when it claims ID isn't creationism.






IDers complain a lot about evolution's "materialism".  What, precisely, about “evolution” is any more “materialistic” than, say, weather forecasting or accident investigation or medicine?  Please be as specific as possible.

I have never, in all my life, ever heard any weather forecaster mention “god” or "divine will” or any “supernatural” anything, at all.  Ever.  Does this mean, in your view, that weather forecasting is atheistic?

I have yet, in all my 46 years of living, to ever hear any accident investigator declare solemnly at the scene of an airplane crash, “We can’t explain how it happened, so an Unknown Intelligent Being must have dunnit.”  I have never yet heard an accident investigator say that “this crash has no materialistic causes — it must have been the Will of Allah”.  Does this mean, in your view, that accident investigation is atheistic?

How about medicine.  When you get sick, do you ask your doctor to abandon his “materialistic biases” and to investigate possible “supernatural” or “non-materialistic” causes for your disease?  Or do you ask your doctor to cure your naturalistic materialistic diseases by using naturalistic materialistic antibiotics to kill your naturalistic materialistic germs?

Since it seems to me as if weather forecasting, accident investigation,  and medicine are every bit, in every sense,just as utterly completely totally absolutely one-thousand-percent “materialistic” as evolutionary biology is, why, specifically, is it just evolutionary biology that gets your panties all in a bunch?  Why aren’t you and your fellow Wedge-ites out there fighting the good fight against godless materialistic naturalistic weather forecasting, or medicine, or accident investigation?

Or does that all come LATER, as part of, uh, “renewing our culture” … . . ?





Do you repudiate the extremist Reconstructionist views of the primary funder of the Center for (the Renewal of) Science and Culture, Howard Ahmanson?  If so, why do you keep taking his money anyway?



For extra credit, you can tell us:

(1) what is it, specifically, that you think the designer did?
(2) what mechanisms do you think the designer used to do . . . well . . . whatever the heck you think it did?,  and
(3) where can we see the designer using these mechanisms today to do . . . well . . . anything?

--------------
Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
deadman_932



Posts: 3094
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 02 2007,07:49   

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.

--------------
AtBC Award for Thoroughness in the Face of Creationism

  
phonon



Posts: 396
Joined: Nov. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 02 2007,09:04   

Quote
I would argue that what Mr. hunter is attempting to do --in his roundabout, ambiguity-laden way -- is to place ID and modern evolutionary theory on an "even playing field" by saying "both research programs are based on metaphysical and unfalsifiable assumptions."

The fact that he can't come out and say that is amusing to me.
 
Quote
Well I'm glad to see that this thread has served a useful purpose. I was beginning to despair that I might have been wasting my time. But no, I'm not asking "HOW do we assign traits/characters into homology and homoplasy categories"? I'm plenty familiar with these struggles. Nor am I attempting to mischaracterize ID, as you suggest.
So you agree, Cornelius, that ID is sufficiently characterized as a "research program... based on metaphysical and unfalsifiable assumptions?" Since you didn't want to mischaracterize it.
 
Quote
Easiest explanation? Best explained? That would be a difficult position to defend, particularly given its enormous scientific problems. Be that as it may, my point in this thread is to ask the question: why are homologies such a powerful evidence? Your answer seems to be that in your opinion evolution is the best explanation. I can imagine several possible reasons why one might hold that opinion. There's one that is subjective. Another is metaphysical, and another is circular. Perhaps your reasoning escapes these problems. But as it stands, explanations such as yours above fails to show why the homologies are such powerful evidence.
It is solid evidence in the context of all other evidence.


All you are doing Cornelius is to make the common descent vs. common design argument over and over and over. Sorry that I'm not providing a dissertation in this comment box, but when all available evidence is taken into account common descent is the better of the two explanations.
Quote
The evolutionary claim is not merely "saying 'common descent' as an answer." If that were the case there would be no problem. But the evolutionary claim is that homologies such as the pentadactyl pattern make evolution compelling.
I'm sorry, but this is ridiculous. Please re-read your own statements. You obviously have a problem with common descent, then you say that common descent is no problem. You say that the evolutionary claim is that homology is evidence of common descent, then you say that this is not the case, that the evolutionary claim is that homology must be "compelling" evidence. I think you should seriously consider running for public office. I think you'd do well.

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With most men, unbelief in one thing springs from blind belief in another. - Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

To do just the opposite is also a form of imitation. - Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

  
Mike PSS



Posts: 428
Joined: Sep. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 02 2007,09:55   

Mr. Hunter,
I can't quite accuse you of obfuscation (yet).  You responded (thank you) BUT you didn't quite capture everything that I was saying.  That makes your responses either incomplete in reasoning or incorrect in conclusions.

   
Quote (Cornelius Hunter @ Feb. 02 2007,03:50)
   
Quote
Mike PSS writes: First, the evolutionary claim is made that pentadactyl pattern found within mammals is the result of common descent.  You do know that this means the common ancestor of mammals had pentadactyl pattern limbs.  And that this trait is carried by ALL mammals.

Me: No, it need not be carried by all mammals.

Mike PSS responds:
Ummmm...
Common Descent = Nested Hierarchy
ALL mammals (extant and extinct) exhibit the pentadactyl limb pattern.
Please find me one example where a mammal (extant or extinct) doesn't have pentadactyl limbs or limb precursors.


You are confusing observations with predictions. I was merely pointing out that evolution does not maintain that the pentadactyl pattern must be carried by all mammals or, by extension, that homologies must be present in all species in a lineage (otherwise evolution would have been falsified long ago).

No you were not.  You were using the pentadactyl pattern as supporting data to your argument.  ANY statements made specifically about pentadactyl patterns must hold true to the facts UNLESS you clarify your point.  You stated that "It {pentadactyl pattern} need not be carried by all mammals."  That is incorrect for the reasons I pointed out.  To correctly answer without confusing the subject you could easily have stated the more general observation about homologous structures.  But you chose pentadactyl and that is what I countered.

Also, it seems you understand the point about nested hierarchies as a structure to map out homologies but don't accept the concept.  The Wiki page you reference has a lot of pictures of the pentadactyl pattern, and ALL of the creatures pictured happen to fit within the "pentadactyl nested hierarchy".  If you don't understand what this means then we can get into more detail about the evolutionary claims related to nested hierarchies.  We could then create a picture map of "placenta nested hierarchies" and "marsupial nested hierarchies".  But I think what your missing in this whole structure is the basic tree of life structure that the evolutionary claim has created.

Tree of Life

When any of the above hierarchies are mapped onto the tree of life you will see a single source point for the claimed structure and every creature below that point will have homology with that claimed structure.  The homology map of the structure will not travel upward, or to other branches or twigs.

So let's be a bit less semantic and a bit more factual in the claims and comments.  The evolutionary claim is clear with supporting points both within biology and external to show that a nested hierarchy of the pentadactyl limb is strong evidence of common descent supported by the nested hierarchy that was created by factual analysis of present day animals (biology), fossils (paleontology), limb analysis (physiology), limb function (biology/physics), and many other data points.  

 
Quote
 
Quote
Mike PSS writes: I beg to differ with your conclusion here based on Theobold's quote.  You better parse or reference Theobold a little bit better to fit your conclusion you just made.  In fact I think the next paragraph you quoted (but didn't include) from the Theobold paper actually gives Theobold's answer to his "puzzling" statement.  Context in quoted phrases is important.


I was quoting from Theobald's post.

I stated that you made a strawman argument based upon what I thought was either a misinterpretation or misapplication of what Theobald said.  In other words you were using a selective quote AND a faulty conclusion without providing contextual support from Theobald.  Give the board the whole Theobald article, or the context around the quote and we'll see more clearly whether your conclusions fit the quote.

Specifically I would like to see if Theobald's use of the term "puzzled" fits your interpretation and subsequent claim of the term "puzzled".  THAT is why I need more information.
Quote
Quote
Mike PSS writes:
Quote
A second problem is that the claim is not scientific. Regardless of whether or not homologies such as the pentadactyl pattern are inefficient, this claim entails an "ought" premise. That is, the argument entails a premise about what biological designs ought to be like. This is metaphysical, and it makes the evidential claim impenetrable and outside of science, for one cannot use science to address opinions about what ought to be. One cannot argue against the metaphysical beliefs of evolutionists.


I don't see how your making this metaconclusion from the evolutionary claim for pentadactyl limbs (common descent).  Please explain in some more detail how saying "common descent" as an answer can lead you to believe there is some "ought premise" put forward.  I'm confused with this response.


The problem is that you have diluted the evolutionary claim to make it defensible. The evolutionary claim is not merely "saying 'common descent' as an answer." If that were the case there would be no problem. But the evolutionary claim is that homologies such as the pentadactyl pattern make evolution compelling. This is supposed to be powerful evidence. Look here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Evolution_pl.png#filelinks

Do you seriously expect anyone, except for evolutionists, to find this convincing? People just roll their eyes at this stuff. I suggest you come up with something better than "we're puzzled by this so it is powerful evidence for evolution."

Thanks for clarifying.
My answer is contained in my responses above relating to the tree of life.  There is a lot more information behind the answer "Common Descent".  Maybe in my answers I'll have to assume the questioner has NO knowledge of the theory of evolution.  That way I can explain (like I did above) that there is a structure, with supporting data, that exists to support the "Common Descent" conclusion.  Because contained within this structure is NON-CONTRADICTORY evidence based upon the interpretation of data within an evolutionary framework.  The FACT that ALL the data acquired before and since FITS THE THEORY is where the claim of powerful evidence for evolution comes from.

Do I really need to explain this to you?
Or are you really saying that evolutionists are not good salespeople with the theory?

Mike PSS

  
Steviepinhead



Posts: 532
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 02 2007,13:46   

GoP, if there was any reasonable hope that this guy was going to come back and get specific, then I might have joined your appeal to CH that he not precipitately "abandon" (horrors!) our little board...

But, despite your heavy hint--and the explicit requests from several others--that he come back and tell us in plain English what characters he's talking about and how he thinks these non-nested homologies do or don't challenge the powerfully-compelling nested hierarchies of common descent, Mr. Hunter instead took several days to mull things over but still came back with nothing the predictable handwaving vagaries and vapors.

Leaving any number of very pointed and trenchant questions unanswered.  The guy gives every indication of being a rather run-of-the-mill sort of maroon, and not even a very interesting or entertaining one.

At this point, I could care less whether he shows up again or not.

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 02 2007,17:59   

Quote (Steviepinhead @ Feb. 02 2007,13:46)
At this point, I could care less whether he shows up again or not.

I just want him to answer my #### questions.  (shrug)

No chance of that though, right Doc . . . .?

--------------
Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 02 2007,18:04   

Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ Feb. 02 2007,07:27)
Do you repudiate the extremist Reconstructionist views of the primary funder of the Center for (the Renewal of) Science and Culture, Howard Ahmanson?

It occurs to me that there might be some newbie lurkers out there who haven't heard about Mr Ahmanson.  So I offer:

The most militant of the Ayatollah-wanna-be's are the members of the "Reconstructionist" movement. The Reconstructionists were founded by Rouas J. Rushdoony, a militant fundamentalist who was instrumental in getting Henry Morris's book The Genesis Flood published in 1961. According to Rushdoony's view, the United States should be directly transformed into a theocracy in which the fundamentalists would rule directly according to the will of God. "There can be no separation of Church and State," Rushdoony declares. (cited in Marty and Appleby 1991, p. 51) "Christians," a Reconstructionist pamphlet declares, "are called upon by God to exercise dominion." (cited in Marty and Appleby 1991, p. 50) The Reconstructionists propose doing away with the US Constitution and laws, and instead ruling directly according to the laws of God as set out in the Bible---they advocate a return to judicial punishment for religious crimes such as blasphemy or violating the Sabbath, as well as a return to such Biblically-approved punishments as stoning.

According to Rushdoony, the Second Coming of Christ can only happen after the "Godly" have taken over the earth and constructed the Kingdom of Heaven here: "The dominion that Adam first received and then lost by his Fall will be restored to redeemed Man. God's People will then have a long reign over the entire earth, after which, when all enemies have been put under Christ's feet, the end shall come." (cited in Diamond, 1989, p. 139) "Christian Reconstructionism," another pamphlet says, "is a call to the Church to awaken to its Biblical responsibility to subdue the earth for the glory of God . . . Christian Reconstructionism therefore looks for and works for the rebuilding of the institutions of society according to a Biblical blueprint." (cited in Diamond 1989, p. 136) In the Reconstructionist view, evolution is one of the "enemies" which must be "put under Christ's feet" if the godly are to subdue the earth for the glory of God.

In effect, the Reconstructionists are the "Christian" equivilent of the Taliban.

While some members of both the fundamentalist and creationist movements view the Reconstructionists as somewhat kooky, many of them have had nice things to say about Rushdoony and his followers. ICR has had close ties with Reconstructionists. Rushdoony was one of the financial backers for Henry Morris's first book, "The Genesis Flood", and Morris's son John was a co-signer of several documents produced by the Coalition On Revival, a reconstructionist coalition founded in 1984. ICR star debater Duane Gish was a member of COR's Steering Committee, as was Richard Bliss, who served as ICR's "curriculum director" until his death. Gish and Bliss were both co-signers of the COR documents "A Manifesto for the Christian Church" (COR, July 1986), and the "Forty-Two Articles of the Essentials of a Christian Worldview" (COR,1989), which declares, "We affirm that the laws of man must be based upon the laws of God. We deny that the laws of man have any inherent authority of their own or that their ultimate authority is rightly derived from or created by man." ("Forty-Two Essentials, 1989, p. 8).

The Discovery Institute, the chief cheerleader for "intelligent design theory", is particularly cozy with the Reconstructionists. The single biggest source of money for the Discovery Institute is Howard Ahmanson, a California savings-and-loan bigwig. Ahmanson's gift of $1.5 million was the original seed money to organize the Center for Renewal of Science and Culture, the arm of the Discovery Institute which focuses on promoting "intelligent design theory" (other branches of Discovery Institute are focused on areas like urban transportation, Social Security "reform", and (anti) environmentalist organizing).

Ahmanson is a Christian Reconstructionist who was long associated with Rushdooney, and who sat with him on the board of directors of the Chalcedon Foundation -- a major Reconstructionist think-tank -- for over 20 years, and donated over $700,000 to the Reconstructionists. Just as Rushdooney was a prime moving force behind Morris's first book, "The Genesis Flood", intelligent design "theorist" Phillip Johnson dedicated his book "Defeating Darwinism" to "Howard and Roberta" -- Ahmanson and his wife. Ahmanson was quoted in newspaper accounts as saying, "My purpose is total integration of Biblical law into our lives."  

Ahmanson has given several million dollars over the past few years to anti-evolution groups (including Discovery Institute), as well as anti-gay groups, "Christian" political candidates, and funding efforts to split the Episcopalian Church over its willingness to ordain gay ministers and to other groups which oppose the minimum wage. He was also a major funder of the recent "recall" effort in California which led to the election of Terminator Arnie. Ahmanson is also a major funder of the effort for computerized voting, and he and several other prominent Reconstructionists have close ties with Diebold, the company that manufactures the computerized voting machines used. There has been some criticism of Diebold because it refuses to make the source code of its voting machine software available for scrutiny, and its software does not allow anyone to track voting after it is done (no way to confirm accuracy of the machine).

Some of Ahmanson's donations are channeled through the Fieldstead Foundation, which is a subspecies of the Ahmanson foundation "Fieldstead" is Ahmanson's middle name). The Fieldstead Foundation funds many of the travelling and speaking expenses of the DI's shining stars.

Ahmanson's gift of $1.5 million was the original seed money to organize the Center for Science and Culture, the arm of the Discovery Institute which focuses on promoting "intelligent design theory". By his own reckoning, Ahmanson gives more of his money to the DI than to any other poilitically active group -- only a museum trust in his wife's hometown in Iowa and a Bible college in New Jersey get more. In 2004, he reportedly gave the Center another $2.8 million. He sits on the Board Directors of Discovery Institute.

Since then, as his views have become more widely known, Ahmanson has tried to backpeddle and present a kinder, gentler image of himself.  However, his views are still so extremist that politicians have returned campaign contributions from Ahmanson once they learned who he was.

So it's no wonder that the Discovery Institute is reluctant to talk about the funding source for its Intelligent Design campaign. Apparently, they are not very anxious to have the public know that most of its money comes from just one whacko billionnaire who has long advocated a political program that is very similar to that of the Islamic fundamentalists in Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran.

And now that everyone knows the sort of company that Doc Hunter keeps, maybe NOW he will  . . . uh . . .  answer my #### questions.

Or, even better, maybe he will NOT.

--------------
Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
Ichthyic



Posts: 3325
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 02 2007,23:37   

Quote
I was beginning to despair that I might have been wasting my time.


oh no, if you were wasting your time as an entertainer, we wouldn't have made a thread for you!

you're doin' fine, keep it up.

your contortions and spin moves are better than Cirque du Solei!

It's definetly fun to watch, and not a waste of my time, at least, to observe it and show my friends.

bravo!

billy asked me if you will jump through a flaming hoop or do some sword swallowing next?

BTW, Lenny:

thanks, that bit on Ahmanson was exactly the kind of thing I love you for.

--------------
"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

-CC

  
k.e



Posts: 1948
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 03 2007,08:57   

Quote
BTW, Lenny:

thanks, that bit on Ahmanson was exactly the kind of thing I love you for.


I couldn't agree more Ichthyic.

10/10 for idiot grinding.

Dr.C.H. and the rest of them can run but they can't hide the fact they are tied up with the worst possible scum imaginable.

I don't have the slightest sympathy for them.

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The conservative has but little to fear from the man whose reason is the servant of his passions, but let him beware of him in whom reason has become the greatest and most terrible of the passions.These are the wreckers of outworn empires and civilisations, doubters, disintegrators, deicides.Haldane

   
Cornelius Hunter



Posts: 11
Joined: Jan. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 05 2007,01:31   

Quote
Stephen Elliott wrote: You talk a lot but fail to answer basic questions. Answer Lenny (his questions are pretty basic) or admit you have nothing to say.


Why is it that I'm supposed to answer Lenny's questions but not vice-versa?

 
Quote
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?


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. Let's go back to your point and I'll try to do a better job of explaining the problem:

 
Quote
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.


You are preaching to the choir. 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."

 
Quote
Deadman wrote: 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"


Deadman, you are beating a dead horse. We've already compared the pentadactyl pattern with the skin stretched between the fore and hindfeet of the phalanger and flying squirrel. 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.

 
Quote
phonon wrote:
 
Quote
Easiest explanation? Best explained? That would be a difficult position to defend, particularly given its enormous scientific problems ... explanations such as yours above fail to show why the homologies are such powerful evidence.

It is solid evidence in the context of all other evidence.


So you agree that homologies, on their own, are not powerful evidence for evolution? Because it is not the only so-called "powerful" evidence with problems.

 
Quote
Mike PSS wrote: You stated that "It {pentadactyl pattern} need not be carried by all mammals."  That is incorrect for the reasons I pointed out.


Actually, my statement was correct. Evolution does not require the pattern to be carried by all mammals.

 
Quote
Mike PSS wrote:
 
Quote
I was quoting from Theobald's post.

I stated that you made a strawman argument based upon what I thought was either a misinterpretation or misapplication of what Theobald said.  In other words you were using a selective quote AND a faulty conclusion without providing contextual support from Theobald.  Give the board the whole Theobald article, or the context around the quote and we'll see more clearly whether your conclusions fit the quote.


Here is the entire Theobald post:

 
Quote
Theobald wrote:
The difference is simple.  In one case we have structural similarity that has a functional explanation (wolves).  In the other case, we have the much more puzzling phenomenon of structural similarity in spite of functional diversity (pentadactyl limbs).  This latter problem is what common ancestry explains, quite elegantly.  Hence it is this latter type of similarity that is evidence for evolutionary homology.


Evolutionists are puzzled by the phenomenon of structural similarity in spite of functional diversity so therefore it is powerful evidence for evolution?!? I wonder how you think you are going to persuade scientists with arguments like this.

 
Quote
Mike PSS wrote:
The FACT that ALL the data acquired before and since FITS THE THEORY is where the claim of powerful evidence for evolution comes from.


This erroneous claim is unfortunately typical. In science, the evidence supporting a theory is important, but the evidence against a theory is also important. In fact, often times things get a lot more interesting when one investigates the latter. We ought not ignore the contrary evidences, or force-fit them. For some reason, however, evolutionists consistently make the bizarre claim that all the data ever acquired unambiguously fits their theory. They focus on one side of the story and ignore the other. I wonder why.

  
Ichthyic



Posts: 3325
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 05 2007,01:48   

HEY!

Cirque du Hunter is back!

 
Quote
Why is it that I'm supposed to answer Lenny's questions but not vice-versa?


nyah nyah.

gees, one would think you could be the bigger man, if you felt your position so strong.

i guess you don't.

*shrug*



 
Quote

Please be careful. (nice bit of patronizing idiocy to start with a comment like that) 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.


totall and utter BS.  it's like saying I show you a picture of a rock, and you say it's open to interpretation that it might be a bird instead, and make the assumption that just because everbody else thinks it's a rock, that doesn't make it so.

I'm sure there is a name for the logical fallacy you just pulled out of your ass there, but it escapes me at the moment.

your continued detailing of the "problem" just digs you in deeper, rather than elucidates any logical argument on your part.

 
Quote
Deadman, you are beating a dead horse.


no, he's not, as YOU are the one who keeps raising the issue in order to start your cycle of idiocy all over again.

hmm, not so much beating a dead horse, as a phoenix-from-the-ashes kind of thing on your part.

 
Quote
So you agree that homologies, on their own, are not powerful evidence for evolution?


that's not at all what he said.  just stop it.

 
Quote
Evolution does not require the pattern to be carried by all mammals.


uh, just restating your eroneous conclusion does not make it so.

 
Quote
Evolutionists are puzzled by the phenomenon of structural similarity in spite of functional diversity so therefore it is powerful evidence for evolution?!?


no, idiot, he was describing the definition of homology as used in evolutionary theory, by showing which was an example of it, and which is not.

 
Quote
In science, the evidence supporting a theory is important, but the evidence against a theory is also important.


indeed it is, and when you come up with anything remotely credible, we will be able to discuss it intelligently.

you have yet to do so, however.

oh, almost forgot:

Billy repeats his request for you to either do some knife swallowing or jump through a flaming hoop.

--------------
"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

-CC

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 05 2007,07:15   

Quote (Cornelius Hunter @ Feb. 05 2007,01:31)
Quote
Stephen Elliott wrote: You talk a lot but fail to answer basic questions. Answer Lenny (his questions are pretty basic) or admit you have nothing to say.


Why is it that I'm supposed to answer Lenny's questions but not vice-versa?

What's for me to answer?  You don't know the difference between "homology" and "analogy".  That's not MY fault.  (shrug)

As I said before, IDers ***NEVER*** answer my questions.  None of them.  Not Sal Cordova.  Not Paul Nelson.  Not you.

As I also said before, it doesn't matter.  My questions make their point all by themselves.  I don't need your cooperation.  

Although it does help emphasize the point when all of you refuse to answer.  Makes it look like . . . well . . . you all have something to hide.

Which, of course, you DO.

I will ask my questions again.  And again and again and again and again and again, as many times as I need to, until you either answer them or run away.  I'm a very patient man.



*ahem*

DI continually tells us that ID is not creationism.

In the DI's Wedge Document, it states:

"FIVE YEAR OBJECTIVES

* Major Christian denomination(s) defend(s) traditional doctrine of creation"


If ID is not creationism, then (1) what is this "traditional doctrine of creation" that DI wants Christian churches to defend, and (2) why does DI want churches to defend it?

Or is DI just lying to us (under oath) when it claims ID isn't creationism.






IDers complain a lot about evolution's "materialism".  What, precisely, about “evolution” is any more “materialistic” than, say, weather forecasting or accident investigation or medicine?  Please be as specific as possible.

I have never, in all my life, ever heard any weather forecaster mention “god” or "divine will” or any “supernatural” anything, at all.  Ever.  Does this mean, in your view, that weather forecasting is atheistic?

I have yet, in all my 46 years of living, to ever hear any accident investigator declare solemnly at the scene of an airplane crash, “We can’t explain how it happened, so an Unknown Intelligent Being must have dunnit.”  I have never yet heard an accident investigator say that “this crash has no materialistic causes — it must have been the Will of Allah”.  Does this mean, in your view, that accident investigation is atheistic?

How about medicine.  When you get sick, do you ask your doctor to abandon his “materialistic biases” and to investigate possible “supernatural” or “non-materialistic” causes for your disease?  Or do you ask your doctor to cure your naturalistic materialistic diseases by using naturalistic materialistic antibiotics to kill your naturalistic materialistic germs?

Since it seems to me as if weather forecasting, accident investigation,  and medicine are every bit, in every sense,just as utterly completely totally absolutely one-thousand-percent “materialistic” as evolutionary biology is, why, specifically, is it just evolutionary biology that gets your panties all in a bunch?  Why aren’t you and your fellow Wedge-ites out there fighting the good fight against godless materialistic naturalistic weather forecasting, or medicine, or accident investigation?

Or does that all come LATER, as part of, uh, “renewing our culture” … . . ?





Do you repudiate the extremist Reconstructionist views of the primary funder of the Center for (the Renewal of) Science and Culture, Howard Ahmanson?  If so, why do you keep taking his money anyway?



For extra credit, you can tell us:

(1) what is it, specifically, that you think the designer did?
(2) what mechanisms do you think the designer used to do . . . well . . . whatever the heck you think it did?,  and
(3) where can we see the designer using these mechanisms today to do . . . well . . . anything?

--------------
Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
k.e



Posts: 1948
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 05 2007,07:41   

Quote
As I said before, IDers ***NEVER*** answer my questions.  None of them.  Not Sal Cordova.  Not Paul Nelson.  Not you.


Considering we already know the answer and they know we know the answer you would think they would be running around making up all sorts of stories to cover those facts up.

Or shock horror admit they are a bunch of lying sleazebags and they were going to resign and change their ways like Haggard.

........Oh wait they're not Gay.

Bwhahahhahahahhahhahahahahahaha.


.....hey C.H. how do you feel when a Gay drug taking preacher who spent his parishners cash on his hobbies is more honest than you and homophobe Howard Ahmanson?

--------------
The conservative has but little to fear from the man whose reason is the servant of his passions, but let him beware of him in whom reason has become the greatest and most terrible of the passions.These are the wreckers of outworn empires and civilisations, doubters, disintegrators, deicides.Haldane

   
improvius



Posts: 807
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 05 2007,08:44   

Quote (Cornelius Hunter @ Feb. 05 2007,02:31)
Quote
Theobald wrote:
The difference is simple.  In one case we have structural similarity that has a functional explanation (wolves).  In the other case, we have the much more puzzling phenomenon of structural similarity in spite of functional diversity (pentadactyl limbs).  This latter problem is what common ancestry explains, quite elegantly.  Hence it is this latter type of similarity that is evidence for evolutionary homology.

Evolutionists are puzzled by the phenomenon of structural similarity in spite of functional diversity so therefore it is powerful evidence for evolution?!? I wonder how you think you are going to persuade scientists with arguments like this.

No, Theobald indicates that the similarity is superficially puzzling, but makes perfect sense if you consider common ancestry.  You seem to have this exactly backwards.

And you never responded to my previous comment about structure vs. proportions.  Maybe you missed it, so I'll try again.  Look at dog breeds.  They all share a basic dog structure, but the proportions of the structure can vary tremendously.  So it seems far easier for differences in prportions to evolve than it is for differences in structure.

Seriously, dude, this should stuff should be pretty easy to understand.  Maybe you should look into taking an intro bio course at a local community college or something.

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Quote (afdave @ Oct. 02 2006,18:37)
Many Jews were in comfortable oblivion about Hitler ... until it was too late.
Many scientists will persist in comfortable oblivion about their Creator ... until it is too late.

  
improvius



Posts: 807
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 05 2007,08:49   

Quote (Cornelius Hunter @ Feb. 05 2007,02:31)
This erroneous claim is unfortunately typical. In science, the evidence supporting a theory is important, but the evidence against a theory is also important. In fact, often times things get a lot more interesting when one investigates the latter. We ought not ignore the contrary evidences, or force-fit them. For some reason, however, evolutionists consistently make the bizarre claim that all the data ever acquired unambiguously fits their theory. They focus on one side of the story and ignore the other. I wonder why.

That would have been WAY more impressive if you had actually come up with examples of evidence against evolution.

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Quote (afdave @ Oct. 02 2006,18:37)
Many Jews were in comfortable oblivion about Hitler ... until it was too late.
Many scientists will persist in comfortable oblivion about their Creator ... until it is too late.

  
N.Wells



Posts: 776
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 05 2007,10:20   

[quote=Cornelius Hunter,Feb. 05 2007,01:31][/quote]
Quote
(CH, addressing various people):
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.
......  

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."
.....

We've already compared the pentadactyl pattern with the skin stretched between the fore and hindfeet of the phalanger and flying squirrel. 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.



CH,

I’m going to repeat some of what I said earlier, because I think I already answered your points.  Theory holds and observations confirm that functionally important features are subject to considerable selective pressure, so we expect many overall similarities between unrelated organisms that are doing similar things.  However, when similarities are arrived at through separate evolutionary histories, then we should also see significant differences within or underlying the grossly similar features, and most of those differences that are not brand new innovations should be consistent with features of the ancestral group rather than with features of the morphologically analogous group.  Differences should be especially obvious in parts of the feature that aren't functionally important or which resolve a functional problem in substantially different ways.

The various forms of the vertebrate forelimbs are therefore important evidence for evolution because 1) they share fundamental similarities, 2) at the same time they fall into subsets that are characterized by shared differences (differences between the subgroups but shared within them), and 3) in both cases, the similarities and the differences are better explained by evolutionary history than by design.

A good specific example of this is bats, birds, and pterosaurs.  They all fly and all have wings.  In each of them, the wing is made of a scapula, one upper-arm bone (the humerus), and two lower-arm bones (the radius and the ulna).   There is no particular reason to make a wing with those particular bones: insect wings work fine with no bones whatsoever, for example.  If you were making wings for hovering (humingbirds), dynamic soaring (albatrosses, large pterosaurs), strong pumping flight (geese, sparrows), swimming (penguins), and waving around to impress potential mates (ostriches), it is unlikely that you would want to make wings out of the same basic components.  (Since when are helicopters, submarines,  sailplanes, and 747s constrained to utilize the same basic construction?)  

However, underneath that unnecessary basic similarity, each group has a significantly different type of wing construction, with features that are unique to each group.  Birds have feathers, alulas, & fusion of fingers 2 & 3; pterosaurs have pteroid bones and the tip of their wing is supported by an extremely long “little finger”, and bats have highly reduced ulnas, with four fingers stretching out to the tips of the wing.  And again, many of the differences between the groups of fliers tie each type to their ancestral group rather than to other types of fliers (i.e., other functional groups): early birds had reptilian tails and teeth, and even modern birds lay reptilian eggs with chorion, allantois, and amnion membranes.  Bats have fur and give milk.  We see this pattern extending down into genetic and biochemical character traits, and it is also widespread (albeit with some notably complex and confusing exceptions) in the fossil records of the various groups.

The best evidence for homology is found when we see the same embryological tissues contribute to a feature in two different organisms, when the same genes are activated during the feature's construction, when the same developmental pathways are utilized, and when the same bones end up in much the same places in the same basic relationships to adjacent bones, nerves, blood vessels, and so forth. Then we can make a reasonably secure claim of homology.  If we additionally have a fossil record that shows similar structures or a gradation of change in probable intermediates then the claim is that much stronger.

  
deadman_932



Posts: 3094
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 05 2007,14:59   

Let's begin correcting your errors, Mr. Hunter:
First, you begin by posting a quote from me:    
Quote
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:    
Quote
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    
Quote
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:
   
Quote
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:        
Quote
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:      
Quote
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?    
Quote
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.

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deadman_932



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(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 05 2007,15:21   

Quote
For some reason, however, evolutionists consistently make the bizarre claim that all the data ever acquired unambiguously fits their theory. They focus on one side of the story and ignore the other. I wonder why.

Do you have another theory to offer up for the data, Mr. Hunter? I'd love to hear it -- I mean, thus far all you've done is to avoid that as well.

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AtBC Award for Thoroughness in the Face of Creationism

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
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(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 05 2007,17:45   

Quote (deadman_932 @ Feb. 05 2007,15:21)
Do you have another theory to offer up for the data, Mr. Hunter? I'd love to hear it -- I mean, thus far all you've done is to avoid that as well.

I'd love to hear it too.  I've been asking for DECADES to see a scientific theory of creation or ID, along with a demonstration of how to test it using the scientific method.

Alas, all I have ever gotten are various versions of "Jesus saves!" or "I don't have to tell you."

It's almost enough to make me think that . . . well . . . there *IS NO* scientific theory of creation or ID, and all those creation "scientists" and ID "theorists" are just . . .  well . . . LYING to us when they claim there is.

Are IDers lying to us when they claim there is a scientific theory of ID, Doc . . . . ?

If so, then Judge Jones was right, wasn't he.

If not, then . . . um . . . would you mind then telling us what that scientific theory of ID *is*?

Thanks in advance for not answering any of these questions.

--------------
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www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
Mike PSS



Posts: 428
Joined: Sep. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 05 2007,18:02   

Quote (Cornelius Hunter @ Feb. 05 2007,02:31)
   
Quote
Mike PSS wrote: You stated that "It {pentadactyl pattern} need not be carried by all mammals."  That is incorrect for the reasons I pointed out.


Actually, my statement was correct. Evolution does not require the pattern to be carried by all mammals.

Actually, your statement was incorrect for the reasons noted.  Pentadactyl pattern MUST be part of the mammilian body plan or else the nested hierarchy (thus common descent thus a large part of evolutionary theory) has a big issue to overcome.

The GENERAL statement about homology IS correct, when stated in the light of a nested hierarchy.

Do you agree that a nested hierarchy of organisms is formed from homologous structures?

 
Quote
Here is the entire Theobald post:
 
Quote
Theobald wrote:
The difference is simple.  In one case we have structural similarity that has a functional explanation (wolves).  In the other case, we have the much more puzzling phenomenon of structural similarity in spite of functional diversity (pentadactyl limbs).  This latter problem is what common ancestry explains, quite elegantly.  Hence it is this latter type of similarity that is evidence for evolutionary homology.


Evolutionists are puzzled by the phenomenon of structural similarity in spite of functional diversity so therefore it is powerful evidence for evolution?!? I wonder how you think you are going to persuade scientists with arguments like this.

If you ignore the bolded writing in the Theobald quote then you have come to the wrong conclusions.  If you notice the bolded writing then you must admit that Theobald agrees with me (how presumptuous of me).  The bolded statement means the pentadactyl limb pattern forms a nested hierarchy BECAUSE OF COMMON DESCENT.
{cue Jackie Chan: "Do yu unnerstan the wurds cummin out of mi mouth?"  Chris Tucker:  "####, nobody understands the words coming out of your mouth!")

 
Quote
 
Quote
Mike PSS wrote:
The FACT that ALL the data acquired before and since FITS THE THEORY is where the claim of powerful evidence for evolution comes from.

This erroneous claim is unfortunately typical. In science, the evidence supporting a theory is important, but the evidence against a theory is also important. In fact, often times things get a lot more interesting when one investigates the latter. We ought not ignore the contrary evidences, or force-fit them. For some reason, however, evolutionists consistently make the bizarre claim that all the data ever acquired unambiguously fits their theory. They focus on one side of the story and ignore the other. I wonder why.

Very philisophical of you.
Do you have any contrary evidence or are you just whinging here.
I think Deadman got on the bandwagon and asked for some logical link between your "similarity claim" of pentadactyl versus thylacine/wolf.  I asked you that a few days ago.  Remember?
 
Quote
 
Quote
 
Quote
Mike PSS writes: Second, the evolutionary claim is made that the morphological similarities between thylacine and wolves are developmental in nature because of similar environmental influences during each evolutionary event.  You do know that this means that an environmental niche was "available" for evolution to "fill" by RM+NS+time (+other factors) and that the "available" niche was duplicate at seperate and isolated geographic locations.  And that the resident species "eligible" to fill this niche within these geographic locations were different.

I dispute your analogy here because without further explanation about how pentadactyl limb development is comparable to thylacine/wolf morphological development.  You need to show either...
How did available environmental niche influence the development of pentadactyl limbs.
OR
What genetic similarities were developed between thylacine and wolf as a result of environmental nich development.


The problem here is that you are placing the burden of disproof on me when you are making the evidential claim.

My questions are NOT burden of proof questions.  The questions are based on sound logic so that your argumentary claims can be logically LINKED to one another.  Without some type of answer (notice that you only have to answer one of them) then you don't have a linked comparative argument.  You just have two seperate observations that result in seperate answers.  There is NO claim you can make by comparing the two observations without some logical (NOTE: NOT EVIDENTIAL BUT LOGICAL) underpinnings to your statements.


Mike PSS
***********************
TO THE BOARD...
Is it me or are we having the same conversation on page 5 as on page 1, page 2, and page 3?
When his bio outline has the following...
Quote
Cornelius G. Hunter is a graduate of the University of Illinois where he earned a Ph.D. in Biophysics. He is Adjunct Professor of Biophysics at Biola University and author of the award-winning Darwin's God: Evolution and the Problem of Evil, Darwin's Proof: The Triumph of Religion Over Science, and the forthcoming 2006 book Science's Blindspot (Baker/Brazos Press).

Dr. Hunter's research interests include optimal estimation and control of nonlinear systems and molecular biophysics.  Dr. Hunter's interest in the theory of evolution involves both the scientific, historical and theological aspects of the theory.

You would think that Dr. Hunter would have a fairly clear and concise rebuttal for almost every point we've made.  Because the scientific, historical and theological facts of evolution are his own interest.
{cue Mugato:  "Tigra, Magnum, Blue Steel, there all the same!!!  Doesn't anyone notice this but me?!?!"}

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 06 2007,13:19   

Quote (Cornelius Hunter @ Feb. 05 2007,01:31)
Quote
Stephen Elliott wrote: You talk a lot but fail to answer basic questions. Answer Lenny (his questions are pretty basic) or admit you have nothing to say.


Why is it that I'm supposed to answer Lenny's questions but not vice-versa?...

 

Well don't answer Lenny if you are unable.

How about this one. What exactly is the scientific theory/hypothesis of ID?

Surely that one is easy to answer.

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 06 2007,18:46   

Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Feb. 06 2007,13:19)
Well don't answer Lenny if you are unable.

Oh, he's not un-ABLE, he's un-WILLING.

He knows just as well as I do just what *honest* answers would do to the ID movement.

Just ask Judge Jones.

(snicker) (giggle)

--------------
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www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
Crabby Appleton



Posts: 250
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 07 2007,00:30   

Hmm, this one reminds me of my least favorite Taxi Driver. Considering the level of smarm, I dub Coney Hunter the Limo Driver.

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 07 2007,12:06   

Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ Feb. 06 2007,18:46)
 
Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Feb. 06 2007,13:19)
Well don't answer Lenny if you are unable.

Oh, he's not un-ABLE, he's un-WILLING.

He knows just as well as I do just what *honest* answers would do to the ID movement.

Just ask Judge Jones.

(snicker) (giggle)

Yes Lenny, I know.

I was being polite. Well sorta.

SteveStory has recently convinced me that his method of moderation is sound.

Let the IDists post, ask them questions in a reasonable way and watch the buggers run for the hills. I now consider this the better strategy for showing how vacuuous creationist arguments are (to lurkers [on this board]). It seems a bit more sensible than a massive "pile-on" that lets them run while claiming victory/persecution.*

*That last paragraph was not Steve's words, just my interpretation.

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 07 2007,14:40   

Stephen Elliot:

Quote
Let the IDists post, ask them questions in a reasonable way and watch the buggers run for the hills. I now consider this the better strategy for showing how vacuuous creationist arguments are (to lurkers [on this board]). It seems a bit more sensible than a massive "pile-on" that lets them run while claiming victory/persecution.*


Yep. Also, it lets the lurkers see the vast range of evidence the creationists have to combat. People who have read this thread and have followed the references have a much better appreciation of how scientists distinguish between homology and homoplasy. The molecular evidence alone shows that marsupial wolves are wolves in name only. This thread also demonstrates how creationists exaggerate the similarities between thylacines and wolves.

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
Ichthyic



Posts: 3325
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 07 2007,16:11   

Quote
This thread also demonstrates how creationists exaggerate the similarities between thylacines and wolves.


that's an understatement, given the pictorial evidence Wes presented.

;)

--------------
"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

-CC

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 07 2007,17:34   

Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Feb. 07 2007,12:06)
Let the IDists post, ask them questions in a reasonable way and watch the buggers run for the hills. I now consider this the better strategy for showing how vacuuous creationist arguments are (to lurkers [on this board]). It seems a bit more sensible than a massive "pile-on" that lets them run while claiming victory/persecution.*

Heck, I've been asking them questions for YEARS now.  The SAME questions. And never getting any answers.

As for whining about "persecution", they will whine anyway.  No matter WHAT we do or don't do.  Just like they did after they got their holy little asses kicked in Dover.   (shrug)

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Ichthyic



Posts: 3325
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 07 2007,20:01   

too bad you quit PT, Lenny.

Sal is busy over in two threads there as I write this.

I'm sure he'd love to answer the questions you have for him.

;)

--------------
"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

-CC

  
Steviepinhead



Posts: 532
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 07 2007,20:33   

What the heck, Lenny I ain't, but I undertook, in my humble pinheaded way, to at least remind Sal--or, more importantly, that "vast" ocean of lurkers--that Sal has left a few pretty basic questions unanswered:

Steviepinhead on the Evo Sunday thread on PT:
Quote
Hey, Sal, as long as you’ve reappeared here, however incoherently–

Aren’t we still waiting for your answers to Lenny’s simple, easy, little list of questions?

You know, like what the heck IS the “theory” of Intelligent Design in the first frickin’ place?

And, while we’re at it, where oh where, anywhere in the world, are there any ID-espousing scientists who are actually working in labs or the field to “test” any of ID’s hypotheses, whatever they are?

Needless to say, I won’t be holding my breath for you to trip all over yourself being honest, articulate, and forthcoming with, ahem, answers to any of these obvious and seemingly easy-to-answer-if-only-ID-were-science questions.


...Could possibly prove entertaining.

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 07 2007,21:10   

Quote (Steviepinhead @ Feb. 07 2007,20:33)
What the heck, Lenny I ain't, but I undertook, in my humble pinheaded way, to at least remind Sal--or, more importantly, that "vast" ocean of lurkers--that Sal has left a few pretty basic questions unanswered:

I bet Sal talks pretty bravely when I'm not around . . .

If he shoots his mouth off too much, a surprise visit could certainly be arranged.

;)

--------------
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www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
Ichthyic



Posts: 3325
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 07 2007,22:18   

don't bother.

Matt Young is playing mr. good cop on that thread right now.

--------------
"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

-CC

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 08 2007,06:10   

Quote (Ichthyic @ Feb. 07 2007,22:18)
don't bother.

Matt Young is playing mr. good cop on that thread right now.

Well, that takes all the fun right out of it, huh.

:(

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www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
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(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 08 2007,06:20   

One of the reasons I left PT is because it had been taken over by PZ's Puppies, who wanted to do nothing more than wage pointless religious wars.

Does that situation continue?

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"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 08 2007,06:24   

Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ Feb. 05 2007,17:45)
I've been asking for DECADES to see a scientific theory of creation or ID, along with a demonstration of how to test it using the scientific method.

Alas, all I have ever gotten are various versions of "Jesus saves!" or "I don't have to tell you."

So, by his utter silence,  I guess the implied answer from Dr Hunter to my simple question is "I dont have to tell you".


I'm shocked that he won't answer any of my simple questions.

Shocked, I say.

--------------
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Ichthyic



Posts: 3325
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 08 2007,19:55   

Quote
Does that situation continue?


haven't had a major religious war thread for a while.

longest thread recently is about Michael Balter's "teach the controversy" proposal.

--------------
"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

-CC

  
Darth Robo



Posts: 148
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(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 09 2007,03:15   

Ah, Balter.  If ever there was a guy who seriously needed a 'Lenny takedown'.  Miss ya at PT, Lenny.

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Stephen Elliott



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(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 09 2007,03:31   

Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ Feb. 08 2007,06:20)
One of the reasons I left PT is because it had been taken over by PZ's Puppies, who wanted to do nothing more than wage pointless religious wars.

Does that situation continue?

That is quite a big topic and probably should have it's own thread. Direct answers to that statement would probably go "all over the place"*.

* An English coloquialism that means several things, ie: "could go anywhere" "cause confusion" "create controversy" etc.

  
stevestory



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(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 09 2007,14:18   

I think Mr. Hunter realized his hand-waving pseudoarguments weren't going to work here.

   
Ichthyic



Posts: 3325
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(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 09 2007,15:01   

In using the word "realize" I think you give the man far too much credit, Steve.

;)

--------------
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"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
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(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 09 2007,17:41   

Quote (stevestory @ Feb. 09 2007,14:18)
I think Mr. Hunter realized his hand-waving pseudoarguments weren't going to work here.

Well, I think Dr Hunter is a gonad-less coward who, like other IDers, runs fast and far away from any conversation where he or his pals don't control the forum.

Not that I'm being impolite towards him, or anything . . . .

--------------
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Cornelius Hunter



Posts: 11
Joined: Jan. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 12 2007,00:24   

Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Feb. 06 2007,13:19)

Quote (Cornelius Hunter @ Feb. 05 2007,01:31)

Quote
Stephen Elliott wrote: You talk a lot but fail to answer basic questions. Answer Lenny (his questions are pretty basic) or admit you have nothing to say.  

Why is it that I'm supposed to answer Lenny's questions but not vice-versa?...

Well don't answer Lenny if you are unable.  


Perhaps you haven’t read through the posts. I did answer Lenny -- I needed clarification but no reply:

Quote (Cornelius Hunter @ Jan. 27 2007,03:29)
Responding to Flank:
Flank: "Do you repudiate the extremist Reconstructionist views of the primary funder of the Center for (the Renewal of) Science and Culture, Howard Ahmanson?  If so, why do you keep taking his money anyway?"

And what money would that be? Please be specific.


I need the specifics (dates, amounts, and check#’s would be nice) so I can contact DI and have them re-cut and send out those checks I never received. I had no idea they sent me money. I’m thankful to Lenny for apprising me of this, I could use some cash right about now (they’ve got a lot of money, don’t they?)

Quote (improvius @ Feb. 05 2007,08:44)
No, Theobald indicates that the similarity is superficially puzzling,  


If it is merely superficially puzzling then why do we need evolution to explain it?

Quote (improvius @ Feb. 05 2007,08:44)
, but makes perfect sense if you consider common ancestry.


Makes perfect sense? If this is your claim then we are on the same page, but the evolution claim here is that it is powerful evidence.

Quote (improvius @ Feb. 05 2007,08:44)
And you never responded to my previous comment about structure vs. proportions.  Maybe you missed it, so I'll try again.  Look at dog breeds.  They all share a basic dog structure, but the proportions of the structure can vary tremendously.  So it seems far easier for differences in prportions to evolve than it is for differences in structure. Seriously, dude, this should stuff should be pretty easy to understand.  Maybe you should look into taking an intro bio course at a local community college or something.


I know my questions must seem terribly naïve, but perhaps you will put up with one more. I’m still unclear as to why homologies such as the pentadactyl pattern are such powerful evidence (perhaps you do not think they are). If, as you point out with your dog example, proportions are easier to evolve than differences in structure, then how did all the structural differences we find in organisms evolve? Why is it that those differences present no big problem whereas the pentadactyl pattern pattern is “hard” to evolve, and so stand as powerful evidence? Now, let’s see, where’s that community college catalog?

Quote (N. Wells @ Feb. 05 2007,10:20)
A good specific example of this is bats, birds, and pterosaurs.  They all fly and all have wings.  In each of them, the wing is made of a scapula, one upper-arm bone (the humerus), and two lower-arm bones (the radius and the ulna).   There is no particular reason to make a wing with those particular bones: insect wings work fine with no bones whatsoever, for example.


I appreciate this good description of the evolution perspective. But how can I use this to argue that homologies are powerful evidence? For instance, your comparison of insect flight with bird/bat flight fails. The Reynolds number difference alone renders the comparison problematic, but there are other issues as well. I have never built a bird or a bat, and so I do not have a good understanding of how arbitrary are their wing designs, but the idea insect wing design reveals that bird wing design is arbitrary is erroneous.

Quote (N. Wells @ Feb. 05 2007,10:20)
If you were making wings for hovering (humingbirds), dynamic soaring (albatrosses, large pterosaurs), strong pumping flight (geese, sparrows), swimming (penguins), and waving around to impress potential mates (ostriches), it is unlikely that you would want to make wings out of the same basic components.  (Since when are helicopters, submarines,  sailplanes, and 747s constrained to utilize the same basic construction?)


Again, this is subjective. I’m supposed to say limb homologies are powerful evidence for evolution because it is “unlikely” they would be designed that way? And when they ask “says who?” how do I respond? I’m afraid saying “Evolutionists” isn’t going to cut it.

And you run into more problems with your appeal to genetic and biochemical character traits. These present incongruities all over the map. And your appeal to development pathways and genes is yet another problem for the evolutionary homology argument. Often homologies arise from different pathways and genes.

  
k.e



Posts: 1948
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 12 2007,00:39   

Quote
Perhaps you haven’t read through the posts. I did answer Lenny -- I needed clarification but no reply:

Quote

Quote (Cornelius Hunter @ Jan. 27 2007,03:29)
Responding to Flank:
Flank: "Do you repudiate the extremist Reconstructionist views of the primary funder of the Center for (the Renewal of) Science and Culture, Howard Ahmanson?  If so, why do you keep taking his money anyway?"


And what money would that be? Please be specific.  


I need the specifics (dates, amounts, and check#’s would be nice) so I can contact DI and have them re-cut and send out those checks I never received. I had no idea they sent me money. I’m thankful to Lenny for apprising me of this, I could use some cash right about now (they’ve got a lot of money, don’t they?)


Ah the Nuremberg Defense,  "I wasn't paid for being a member of an organisation that was funded by one the the most reviled men in American politics".

Smart Arse.

--------------
The conservative has but little to fear from the man whose reason is the servant of his passions, but let him beware of him in whom reason has become the greatest and most terrible of the passions.These are the wreckers of outworn empires and civilisations, doubters, disintegrators, deicides.Haldane

   
deadman_932



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Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 12 2007,00:47   

So, Mr. Hunter, why did you ignore my posts?  My questions are at the top of the page, Mr. Hunter. I don't think you missed them. What stops you from dealing with them?

Would you like to borrow some ethics? Perhaps a bit of honest inquiry and intellectual courage?
Pfft. And you wonder why people like you get laughed at.

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Ichthyic



Posts: 3325
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(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 12 2007,00:52   

Quote
If it is merely superficially puzzling then why do we need evolution to explain it?


*sigh*

again, you are sending up one strawman after another.

the answer of course is, WE DON'T.

reason:

because we don't need science to explain why something "appears" puzzling to morons.

We don't need science to explain why the earth "looks" flat, either (or at least, we haven't for hundreds of years).

OTOH, evolutionary theory explains homology quite well, as has been amply demonstrated over the last 100 years or so, and touched on yet again in this very thread.

Quote
I know my questions must seem terribly naïve,


actually, they more seem disingenuous and downright dishonest to me.

Oh, and Billy says he's gotten bored with the spins and contortions part of your act.

He wonders if you're nothing more than a one-trick pony?

--------------
"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

-CC

  
Cornelius Hunter



Posts: 11
Joined: Jan. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 12 2007,02:18   

Addressing the first part of Deadman's post:

Quote (deadman_932 @ Feb. 05 2007,14:59)
But you say you won't accept genetic, paleontological, evo-devo evidence of this because it is tautological and "theory-laden"


Evolutionists claim that homologies such powerful evidence. The question is: Why is this so? It seems strange that the answer is that we need first to understand the evidence in the context of other evidences, most of which were not available to Darwin, for instance. But be that as it may, these other evidences bring along their own problems. I think most people will gladly accept such evidences as supports for the homology evidential argument, but only when they are not force-fit to evolution in the first place. If we brush problems under the rug, then we’re not following the data. Instead, we’re presenting a theory-laden interpretation of the evidences.

Quote (deadman_932 @ Feb. 05 2007,14:59)
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.


And you can dig up fossils with other forms.

Quote (deadman_932 @ Feb. 05 2007,14:59)
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.


Well it depends on what you mean by “things on this planet are connected.” If you mean common descent, then this very much does reflect evolutionary thinking. The existence of a character for a long time span in many species does not, in itself, imply common descent.

Quote (deadman_932 @ Feb. 05 2007,14:59)
Now, I will ask you once again...WHAT CHARACTER/TRAIT in THYLACINES and WOLVES do you want me to compare this evidence to?


Look here at the pentadactyl patterns:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Evolution_pl.png#filelinks

Then look here at thylacine:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thylacine

and see the similarities with Canis lupus:

Quote
The Thylacine showed many similarities to the members of the Canidae (dog) family of the Northern Hemisphere: sharp teeth, powerful jaws, raised heels and the same general body form. This is an example of convergent evolution.   The skulls of the Thylacine (left) and the Timber Wolf, Canis lupus, are almost identical although the species are unrelated.


And answer this question: If species can exhibit similarities such as those in thylacines and wolves that are not due to common descent, then why must similarities such as the pentadactyl pattern be due to common descent? Do not merely explain the data according to evolution. This does not explain why it is powerful evidence. And do not presuppose evolution in your answer. Pick any similarity between thylacines and wolves if you feel that will help.

  
deadman_932



Posts: 3094
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 12 2007,03:32   

Mr. Hunter posts my quote:  
Quote
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.

And Hunter replies:  
Quote
And you can dig up fossils with other forms.

Really? what other fossils that fit the same pattern of non-reptilian, non -amphibian quadruped carnivore can I dig up that **doesn't** have pentadactyly within the last, oh, say 40 million years of fossil history? Why don't I see other arrangements of multidactyly for those carnivore fossils that fit the mammalian plan in that time period?

Please respond to that and my other questions above, and I will respond to yours fully. You DO want to at least give the IMPRESSION that you're not being disingenuous or deceptive, right?

And by the way, why DOESN'T comparative DNA count for you? I mean besides your claim that it too, is "theory-laden" despite you  being unable to address my questions about "theory-unladen" science above?

You also might want to address what specific alternate scientific theory you have in mind when you bemoan the inclusion of such anatomical/genetic into evolutionary theory? Don't be coy, Mr. Hunter. Be bold and present your alternate theory that can encompass such data.

--------------
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"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



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(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 12 2007,07:18   

Quote (deadman_932 @ Feb. 05 2007,15:21)
Do you have another theory to offer up for the data, Mr. Hunter? I'd love to hear it -- I mean, thus far all you've done is to avoid that as well.

I'd love to hear it too.  I've been asking for DECADES to see a scientific theory of creation or ID, along with a demonstration of how to test it using the scientific method.

Alas, all I have ever gotten are various versions of "Jesus saves!" or "I don't have to tell you."

It's almost enough to make me think that . . . well . . . there *IS NO* scientific theory of creation or ID, and all those creation "scientists" and ID "theorists" are just . . .  well . . . LYING to us when they claim there is.

Are IDers lying to us when they claim there is a scientific theory of ID, Doc . . . . ?

If so, then Judge Jones was right, wasn't he.

If not, then . . . um . . . would you mind then telling us what that scientific theory of ID *is*?

Thanks in advance for not answering any of these questions.

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"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
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(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 12 2007,07:20   

In case you've forgotten my simple questions, Doc:

*ahem*



DI continually tells us that ID is not creationism.

In the DI's Wedge Document, it states:

"FIVE YEAR OBJECTIVES

* Major Christian denomination(s) defend(s) traditional doctrine of creation"


If ID is not creationism, then (1) what is this "traditional doctrine of creation" that DI wants Christian churches to defend, and (2) why does DI want churches to defend it?

Or is DI just lying to us (under oath) when it claims ID isn't creationism.






IDers complain a lot about evolution's "materialism".  What, precisely, about “evolution” is any more “materialistic” than, say, weather forecasting or accident investigation or medicine?  Please be as specific as possible.

I have never, in all my life, ever heard any weather forecaster mention “god” or "divine will” or any “supernatural” anything, at all.  Ever.  Does this mean, in your view, that weather forecasting is atheistic?

I have yet, in all my 46 years of living, to ever hear any accident investigator declare solemnly at the scene of an airplane crash, “We can’t explain how it happened, so an Unknown Intelligent Being must have dunnit.”  I have never yet heard an accident investigator say that “this crash has no materialistic causes — it must have been the Will of Allah”.  Does this mean, in your view, that accident investigation is atheistic?

How about medicine.  When you get sick, do you ask your doctor to abandon his “materialistic biases” and to investigate possible “supernatural” or “non-materialistic” causes for your disease?  Or do you ask your doctor to cure your naturalistic materialistic diseases by using naturalistic materialistic antibiotics to kill your naturalistic materialistic germs?

Since it seems to me as if weather forecasting, accident investigation,  and medicine are every bit, in every sense,just as utterly completely totally absolutely one-thousand-percent “materialistic” as evolutionary biology is, why, specifically, is it just evolutionary biology that gets your panties all in a bunch?  Why aren’t you and your fellow Wedge-ites out there fighting the good fight against godless materialistic naturalistic weather forecasting, or medicine, or accident investigation?

Or does that all come LATER, as part of, uh, “renewing our culture” … . . ?





Do you repudiate the extremist Reconstructionist views of the primary funder of the Center for (the Renewal of) Science and Culture, Howard Ahmanson?  If so, why do you keep taking his money anyway?



For extra credit, you can tell us:

(1) what is it, specifically, that you think the designer did?
(2) what mechanisms do you think the designer used to do . . . well . . . whatever the heck you think it did?,  and
(3) where can we see the designer using these mechanisms today to do . . . well . . . anything?

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improvius



Posts: 807
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(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 12 2007,09:37   

Quote (Cornelius Hunter @ Feb. 12 2007,03:18)
And answer this question: If species can exhibit similarities such as those in thylacines and wolves that are not due to common descent, then why must similarities such as the pentadactyl pattern be due to common descent? Do not merely explain the data according to evolution. This does not explain why it is powerful evidence. And do not presuppose evolution in your answer. Pick any similarity between thylacines and wolves if you feel that will help.

Again, you're looking at features that are relatively easy to modify (skull size/proportions) vs. ones that are not (pentadactyl pattern).  This seems quite simple, so I'm not sure where your confusion is coming from.  You're comparing structure to proportion.

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Quote (afdave @ Oct. 02 2006,18:37)
Many Jews were in comfortable oblivion about Hitler ... until it was too late.
Many scientists will persist in comfortable oblivion about their Creator ... until it is too late.

  
Mike PSS



Posts: 428
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(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 12 2007,11:14   

Quote (Cornelius Hunter @ Feb. 12 2007,01:24)
I know my questions must seem terribly naïve, but perhaps you will put up with one more. I’m still unclear as to why homologies such as the pentadactyl pattern are such powerful evidence (perhaps you do not think they are). If, as you point out with your dog example, proportions are easier to evolve than differences in structure, then how did all the structural differences we find in organisms evolve? Why is it that those differences present no big problem whereas the pentadactyl pattern pattern is “hard” to evolve, and so stand as powerful evidence? Now, let’s see, where’s that community college catalog?

Do shellfish show a pentadactyl pattern?  But shellfish share some very common traits (the SHELL) while exhibiting vastly different body types (CRAB versus SHRIMP) while maintaining that distinct similarity (the SHELL).

NESTED HIERARCHY Mr. Hunter.  Nowhere in my explanation do I invoke evolutionary terminology OTHER THAN the tree of life.  We can compare similarities in structure (not shape) and function and form a nested hierarchy that will construct a tree of life.  All of this is based upon direct measurement of facts.

Now, the theory of evolution takes these facts and ties them together into the theoretical model that defines common descent.

However, the tree of life, when constructed by measurements of homologous structures of living and fossil organisms IS NOT INVOKING EVOLUTION.

If YOU have a seperate interpretation of the measurement of homologous structures of living and fossil organisms then WE WOULD LIKE TO HEAR IT.
Quote
I appreciate this good description of the evolution perspective. But how can I use this to argue that homologies are powerful evidence? For instance, your comparison of insect flight with bird/bat flight fails. The Reynolds number difference alone renders the comparison problematic, but there are other issues as well. I have never built a bird or a bat, and so I do not have a good understanding of how arbitrary are their wing designs, but the idea insect wing design reveals that bird wing design is arbitrary is erroneous.
I call Shenanigans.  This statement on Reynold's Number is only used to cofuse the issue.  We aren't aruing about the releative OPTIMUM of design, only that the PATH of design can occur to solve the problem (flight) through seperate paths with seperate structures (pentadactyl on one hand and insect structure on the other).
Quote
Again, this is subjective. I’m supposed to say limb homologies are powerful evidence for evolution because it is “unlikely” they would be designed that way? And when they ask “says who?” how do I respond? I’m afraid saying “Evolutionists” isn’t going to cut it.
SO TELL US WHAT YOU THINK SHOULD BE SAID INSTEAD OF NOT LIKING WHAT IS BEING SAID.
Quote
And you run into more problems with your appeal to genetic and biochemical character traits. These present incongruities all over the map. And your appeal to development pathways and genes is yet another problem for the evolutionary homology argument. Often homologies arise from different pathways and genes.

Are you done philosiphising?  Are you ready to put your own words down to point out "the problems" you've identified above?  Or are you just going to vent some more.

PLEASE TELL US THE SPECIFIC PROBLEMS WITH USING GENETIC AND BIOCHEMICAL MEASUREMENTS TO COMPARE HOMOLOGIES.

Please??
Mike PSS

  
The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 12 2007,12:19   

Dr. Hunter:

     
Quote
Evolutionists claim that homologies such powerful evidence. The question is: Why is this so? It seems strange that the answer is that we need first to understand the evidence in the context of other evidences, most of which were not available to Darwin, for instance. But be that as it may, these other evidences bring along their own problems. I think most people will gladly accept such evidences as supports for the homology evidential argument, but only when they are not force-fit to evolution in the first place. If we brush problems under the rug, then we’re not following the data. Instead, we’re presenting a theory-laden interpretation of the evidences.


So are you saying that evolutionists don't use homology consistently, and if they did, then homology might not support common descent? Please be clear here.

Since I still don't understand your point, let me just say this: When scientists interpret the pentadactyl limb as homologous across tetrapods, they assume that changing the basic structure of the limb bones is more difficult than simply altering their relative proportions. Some scientists may also surmise that a creator is free to modify his (its) designs to maximise their usefulness, so we'd expect substantially different limb structures across creatures in different environments. This evidence is indeed entangled in background assumptions. Yet look where this leads: given the above, the pentadactyl limb suggests a common ancestor for tetrapods under evolutionary theory. The theory then predicts that other measures of relatedness will group tetrapods together relative to other creatures. So look at the pentadactyl limb as a prediction, with subsequent analyses verifying that prediction. Now it's true that you can't use the same evidence to generate and test a hypothesis, so under this reasoning the limbs can't be used as evidence. But it does count as a prediction, and the subsequent morphological and molecular analyses would therefore be powerful evidence for common descent.

So even if you're right, you're wrong.

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mitschlag



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(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 12 2007,16:34   

Multiple statements by Cornelius Hunter on Feb 12, 2007:
   
Quote
Makes perfect sense? If this is your claim then we are on the same page, but the evolution claim here is that it is powerful evidence.

   
Quote
I know my questions must seem terribly naïve, but perhaps you will put up with one more. I’m still unclear as to why homologies such as the pentadactyl pattern are such powerful evidence (perhaps you do not think they are). If, as you point out with your dog example, proportions are easier to evolve than differences in structure, then how did all the structural differences we find in organisms evolve? Why is it that those differences present no big problem whereas the pentadactyl pattern pattern is “hard” to evolve, and so stand as powerful evidence? Now, let’s see, where’s that community college catalog?

   
Quote
I appreciate this good description of the evolution perspective. But how can I use this to argue that homologies are powerful evidence?

 
Quote
Again, this is subjective. I’m supposed to say limb homologies are powerful evidence for evolution because it is “unlikely” they would be designed that way?

   
Quote
Evolutionists claim that homologies such powerful evidence. The question is: Why is this so?

   
Quote
Do not merely explain the data according to evolution. This does not explain why it is powerful evidence.

"POWERFUL EVIDENCE" has been a Cornelius Hunter mantra from the beginning of this thread.  I have encountered this terminology in theology and law, but not in a scientific context.  Is there an epistemological point here, or is it empty rhetoric?

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"You can establish any “rule” you like if you start with the rule and then interpret the evidence accordingly." - George Gaylord Simpson (1902-1984)

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
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(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 12 2007,17:41   

Quote (mitschlag @ Feb. 12 2007,16:34)
"POWERFUL EVIDENCE" has been a Cornelius Hunter mantra from the beginning of this thread.  I have encountered this terminology in theology and law, but not in a scientific context.  Is there an epistemological point here, or is it empty rhetoric?

"Empty rhetoric" is indeed all that the, uh, "scientific theory of ID" consists of.  (shrug)


If Dr Hunter feels otherwise, he is entirely welcome to show us the scientific theory of ID, and explain to us how to test it using the scientific method.

But he won't.

He can't.

There isn't any.  (shrug)

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Ichthyic



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Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 12 2007,17:59   

Quote
Is there an epistemological point here, or is it empty rhetoric?


I trust you meant that as a rhetorical question?

--------------
"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

-CC

  
N.Wells



Posts: 776
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 12 2007,20:01   

Quote
But how can I use this to argue that homologies are powerful evidence? For instance, your comparison of insect flight with bird/bat flight fails. The Reynolds number difference alone renders the comparison problematic, but there are other issues as well. I have never built a bird or a bat, and so I do not have a good understanding of how arbitrary are their wing designs, but the idea insect wing design reveals that bird wing design is arbitrary is erroneous.

As someone else noted, the Reynold's number difference is more of a red herring than anything else.  (For example, the group of "flying insects" includes a dragonfly with a 6 ft wingspan.)  More importantly, all these flying groups exist, but each group maintains its own unique innovations. Whatever differences you come up with in how the different groups fly will be trumped by the existence of flightless birds, like ostriches and flightless rails, that still maintain basic bird hand-and-wing construction.

Quote
And you run into more problems with your appeal to genetic and biochemical character traits. These present incongruities all over the map. And your appeal to development pathways and genes is yet another problem for the evolutionary homology argument. Often homologies arise from different pathways and genes.

Those sorts of things pose difficulties, but not insuperable problems.  If all those separate things align, then homology is hard to refute.  If they fail to align and a biologist still thinks the features are homologous (which can happen), then the biologist needs some fancy evidence to support that claim.  If you, CH, want to dispute homology then you have to demonstrate that biochemistry, DNA, developmental histories, and nested hierarchies involving minor nonfunctional features can be achieved other than by common descent.

  
Stephen Elliott



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(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 14 2007,13:06   

Quote (Cornelius Hunter @ Feb. 12 2007,00:24)
 
Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Feb. 06 2007,13:19)

   
Quote (Cornelius Hunter @ Feb. 05 2007,01:31)

   
Quote
Stephen Elliott wrote: You talk a lot but fail to answer basic questions. Answer Lenny (his questions are pretty basic) or admit you have nothing to say.  

Why is it that I'm supposed to answer Lenny's questions but not vice-versa?...

Well don't answer Lenny if you are unable.  


Perhaps you haven’t read through the posts. I did answer Lenny -- I needed clarification but no reply:

So clarify. What is the "Theory of Inteligent Design"?

Sorry Mr. Hunter,
But so far you have answered just about nothing.
Look, I am possibly the least educated person on this board. Yet I have no problem spotting the quality of your "answers".
You sound like a politician/lawyer/debater rather than a scientist.
Do you think normal people cannot see the evasiveness not only in your "answers" but even in the weasly non-specific questions, worded in such a way as to be able to claim "that is not what I meant" when somebody gives an honest atempt at a reply?

Anyway, an answer to the most basic question would be a start. What is the "Theory of Intelligent Design"?

Don't tell me that is too difficult to answer. If it is (too difficult), maybe ID is not science.

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



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Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 14 2007,17:57   

Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Feb. 14 2007,13:06)
You sound like a politician/lawyer/debater rather than a scientist.

Indeed, that is the Center for (the Renewal of) Science and Culture  in a nutshell.

The ID movement is nothing but legal evasions and PR.  Nothing more, nothing less, nothing else.

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k.e



Posts: 1948
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(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 14 2007,19:16   

Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ Feb. 15 2007,01:57)
 
Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Feb. 14 2007,13:06)
You sound like a politician/lawyer/debater rather than a scientist.

Indeed, that is the Center for (the Renewal of) Science and Culture  in a nutshell.

The ID movement is nothing but legal evasions and PR.  Nothing more, nothing less, nothing else.

Yup that's it.

He's not here to consider careful argument , he's here to preach.

Anything that doesn't agree with his teaspoon of urine as  honey , is just waved away in the time honored fashion of the Priest or Politician.

It must be hard being a failed fraud as well as a failed scientist .......eh CH?

--------------
The conservative has but little to fear from the man whose reason is the servant of his passions, but let him beware of him in whom reason has become the greatest and most terrible of the passions.These are the wreckers of outworn empires and civilisations, doubters, disintegrators, deicides.Haldane

   
Stephen Elliott



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Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 15 2007,11:21   

Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ Feb. 14 2007,17:57)
Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Feb. 14 2007,13:06)
You sound like a politician/lawyer/debater rather than a scientist.

Indeed, that is the Center for (the Renewal of) Science and Culture  in a nutshell.

The ID movement is nothing but legal evasions and PR.  Nothing more, nothing less, nothing else.

Yes sir!
I think that I get that.
It just amuses me that ID idiots want to claim a
scientific basis for ID while dodging fair questions.

How old is the Earth/Universe? ID says..."doesn't matter"
Is common descent true? ID says...."Yes and No"

ID is a joke Lenny. That much I do understand.

I arived here as an ID suporter. Didn't take much to see which "side" had facts and evidence (thank you to all those people that lead me to facts).

Funnily enough, I consider most ID iluminaries as sales-men. Debating them would be daft as the buggers are happy to lie.

EDIT:
Cornelious Hunter is a clasic example. I have noticed how he dodges questions.

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



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Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 15 2007,17:24   

Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Feb. 15 2007,11:21)
Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ Feb. 14 2007,17:57)
 
Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Feb. 14 2007,13:06)
You sound like a politician/lawyer/debater rather than a scientist.

Indeed, that is the Center for (the Renewal of) Science and Culture  in a nutshell.

The ID movement is nothing but legal evasions and PR.  Nothing more, nothing less, nothing else.

Yes sir!
I think that I get that.

Oh heck, I know you do.

You were not my intended audience.  ;)

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Ichthyic



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(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 15 2007,18:44   

heh, ya know what we should discuss in this thread instead of thylacines and wolves?

thumbs.

like, oh, i dunno, how about the "thumb" of a black and white bamboo eating mammal, for example?

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GCT



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(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 15 2007,19:08   

Quote (Ichthyic @ Feb. 15 2007,19:44)
heh, ya know what we should discuss in this thread instead of thylacines and wolves?

thumbs.

like, oh, i dunno, how about the "thumb" of a black and white bamboo eating mammal, for example?

Have you ever really looked at your thumb?  I mean really looked at it?  Wow.

  
Cornelius Hunter



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Joined: Jan. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 18 2007,02:41   

Addressing the second part of Deadman's post:

 
Quote (deadman_932 @ Feb. 05 2007,14:59)
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.


Why do you find it to be significant that the pentadactyl pattern is “precisely the same”? Are you claiming that the homology evidential claim would falter if this were not the case?

 
Quote (deadman_932 @ Feb. 05 2007,14:59)
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...


OK, good...

 
Quote (deadman_932 @ Feb. 05 2007,14:59)
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.


Why is it important that septadactyly or octadactyly is not found in “large-scale”? And why is it important that mammals have only pentadactyl?

 
Quote (deadman_932 @ Feb. 05 2007,14:59)
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.


So is this then an evidential problem for evolution? For if basic baupan is hard to evolve, then how did evolution create such a menagerie? On the one hand, you want to argue that homologies such as the pentadactyl pattern are powerful evidence because, after all, it is so very difficult to modify. Therefore, when we observe it in different species, this must be evidence that the design was inherited from a common ancestor. But this is a curious argument to make when, on the other hand, we are saying evolution not only created the pentadactyl pattern, but very many other bauplan features over time.

 
Quote (deadman_932 @ Feb. 05 2007,14:59)
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?


Trust me, your evidential argument for a theory is going to be stronger if it does not entail conclusions that flow from the theory itself. If you disagree, then so be it. But I’m looking for justifications that are free of such theory laden-ness. More below.

 
Quote (deadman_932 @ Feb. 05 2007,14:59)
can you please explain your association with DI?


I am a Fellow, which is a fairly loose association. I need not agree with DI on anything in particular, and vice versa. I have not been given the secret handshake.

 
Quote (deadman_932 @ Feb. 05 2007,14:59)
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?


Look here at the pentadactyl patterns:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Evolution_pl.png#filelinks

Then look here at thylacine:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thylacine

and see the similarities with Canis lupus:

 
Quote
The Thylacine showed many similarities to the members of the Canidae (dog) family of the Northern Hemisphere: sharp teeth, powerful jaws, raised heels and the same general body form. This is an example of convergent evolution.   The skulls of the Thylacine (left) and the Timber Wolf, Canis lupus, are almost identical although the species are unrelated.


Are you saying similarities between thylacines and wolves are insubstantial compared to the bat and horse pentadactyl designs?

 
Quote (deadman_932 @ Feb. 05 2007,14:59)
I'd also like you to show me an example of scientific observation that is not theory-laden.


It is not a matter of whether or not theory-free observations are possible. Perhaps all observations are theory-laden, but the theory-laden-ness need not be particular to the theory one is trying to advocate. Here’s an example. An astronomer makes observations of distant galaxies and constructs a new theory about galaxies. His observations are laden with assumptions about the universality of natural laws, for instance. But such assumptions are generally accepted by his audience, though his new theory is not. The theory-laden-ness of his observations is not the problem. Rather, his new theory does not fit all the observations very well, though no one objects to the theory-laden-ness of the observations.

On the other hand, let’s look at an evolution example. An evolutionist uses DNA sequence data to construct phylogenies. First, the data are processed to cull homologous sequences, thus rejecting differences. Then the analysis is rerun several times to hone the results, and remaining outliers are explained as a consequence hypothetical evolutionary scenarios. The results are published, and later become strong evidence for evolution and we use them to confirm our flimsy conclusions.

 
Quote (deadman_932 @ Feb. 05 2007,14:59)
3. You have steadfastly refused even up to now, to simply enumerate what these characters ARE that you wish to compare to pentadactyly .


Again, look here at the pentadactyl patterns:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Evolution_pl.png#filelinks

Then look here at thylacine:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thylacine

and see the similarities with Canis lupus:

 
Quote
The Thylacine showed many similarities to the members of the Canidae (dog) family of the Northern Hemisphere: sharp teeth, powerful jaws, raised heels and the same general body form. This is an example of convergent evolution.   The skulls of the Thylacine (left) and the Timber Wolf, Canis lupus, are almost identical although the species are unrelated.


And answer this question: If species can exhibit similarities such as those in thylacines and wolves that are not due to common descent, then why must similarities such as the pentadactyl pattern be due to common descent? Do not merely explain the data according to evolution. This does not explain why it is powerful evidence. And do not presuppose evolution in your answer.

 
Quote (deadman_932 @ Feb. 05 2007,14:59)
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"


But the genetic and developmental evidence need not be theory laden (that is, in ways that are peculiar to evolutionary theory). That’s the key.

  
deadman_932



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(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 18 2007,07:55   

Quote
Trust me, your evidential argument for a theory is going to be stronger if it does not entail conclusions that flow from the theory itself.


Given your rather obvious aversion to answering direct questions, Mr. Hunter, you'll understand why I don't "trust you" on this or any other point. You have refused to answer a number of those, like WHAT SPECIFIC characters you wish to compare pentadactyly to. You also refuse to answer what ALTERNATE theory you hold to that can be similarly examined.  

Your primary refusal to accept evidence supporting homology is incredibly weak, Mr. Hunter.  

I asked for specific examples of characters that you wanted me to compare pentadactyly to. You still can't respond except to point at pretty pictures and say " look at their skulls and body shape and sharp teeth" ( those are your specific comments) Well, what about their skulls? The fact that they are generally what? WEDGE-shaped? That they have orbital bones in common? What?

What about their body shape, Mr. Hunter? That they are quadrupeds? What about their digitigrade locomotion? What other animals possess that? Are mammals with this condition that we see today fast runners? Do I need the taint of Darwinian theory to tell me that? No. You ignore all the observations that can be made about how the hunting carnivory lifestyle of the two animals would lead to vaguely similar skulls, with similarly "sharp  teeth" You ignore that carnivore skulls like the mustelids follow the same pattern, or mongooses, or many other examples. Will you argue that a weasel skull and wolf skull and "sharp teeth" and quadrupedal form are all "powerful evidence " of something? If so, what?

You rely on this claim of "you can't use that because it's 'theory-laden' " when I point out that Australia is known (in a evolutionary-theory-free way) to have split off from other land masses 30-35 million years ago.

You ignore the fossil data ( which can be observed in an "evolution-free-way") --that shows the marsupial "wolf"  to be distinct from C. Lupus -- for the same spurious reason.

You use the same unsupported premise when you disallow genetic data (by the way, Mr. Hunter, your caricature of how genetic phylogenies are done is hilarious.)

I have a little gift for you, Mr. Hunter. When I first read your little screed here, I was reminded of something: Faust. This was, of course, written by Goethe.

Goethe wrote many other things, one of which was " The Metamorphosis of Animals" (1816). Here's a quote:
"...the way of life powerfully reacts on form.
Thus the orderly growth of form is seen to hold,
Whilst yielding to change from externally acting causes."

Note that Goethe was able ( prior to Darwin) see that similar niches can and would lead to SOME similarities that have little basis in immediate common descent.  


   
Quote
If species can exhibit similarities such as those in thylacines and wolves that are not due to common descent, then why must similarities such as the pentadactyl pattern be due to common descent? Do not merely explain the data according to evolution. This does not explain why it is powerful evidence. And do not presuppose evolution in your answer.

See above. I don't HAVE to presuppose evolution in order to say that radiometric dating of fossils and geology shows that they cannot have immediate common descent.

I'll go back to my little thought experiment, Mr. Hunter:
**************************************************************************
I wish to present two VERY long-lived and industrious beings that tirelessly  investigated life on this planet.  These beings are merely going to observe and gather data prior to formulating a hypothesis about the data. I will call these hypothetical beings the WE..and I submit to you that WE will find these things:  

1.Time exists, along with various ways of measuring it. One powerfully-justified way of measuring will be called "Radiometric"
2. Organisms on this planet fall into large-scale groupings based on similar morphology and DNA that WE can call "reptiles" "amphibians" and "mammals." There are of course, other groups, but for now, let's concentrate on "mammals" that have specific features.
3. In observing the mammal group, pentadactyly is seen to be universal at the moment. WE have also observed that animals are born, give birth and die. When they give birth, variation in offspring is seen. Those variations can result in better/worse opportunities for a long life and breeding
4. Using observation of extant mammals, WE can group them according to characteristics that WE observe. WE can also note that observed  LOCOMOTION AND DIET aid in sorting animals into quasi-Linnean groups without invoking common descent.
5. WE find raised heels and sharp teeth in deer (yes, deer can bite and have "sharp teeth,"  so do horses) wolves, cats, lots of species, but not all. We observe that deer don't consistently eat meat and are not carnivores, but canids and felines are, as were some marsupials like Thylacines. WE observe that carnivory and herbivory and omnivory are most often accompanied by differing teeth and surface features of teeth. 
6. WE can examine the DNA of such species and further refine groupings. Contrary to your claim that such studies NECCESSITATE some evolutionary bias, I challenge YOU, Mr. Hunter, to demonstrate that this is so.
7. Using radiocarbon dating WE can find recent examples of dead canids and felines and Thylacines. WE observe them to be the same structurally to modern ones. WE then find increasingly older but anatomically identical examples as WE tirelessly dig up and compare fossils and entire suites of anatomical characteristics.
8. Reaching deeper into the bag of radiometric tools, WE find increasingly older forms of canids,  felines, and Thylacines--- keeping in mind that in our thought -experiment our long-lived beings can dig a LONG time and can dig up fossils anywhere ( or everywhere) on Earth. WE find lots of **other** fossils, too and begin the same process of comparing KNOWN extant specimens to recently-dead and much more distantly-dead specimens of mammals and other groups.
9.   WE refine such groups of fossils as well, based only on observed characteristics
10. WE find that "raised heels" and "sharp mammalian CARNIVORE teeth" reflect diet and locomotion and are not found universally . WE find that pentadactyly is still universal in mammals even in the deep, deep past.
11.  WE find that geology indicates Australia has been separate from other land masses for quite a long time, and that it was most recently connected to South America and Antarctica some 30-35 MYA. WE also observe that marsupials and mammals don't co-exist on Australia until recently. WE find that marsupials don't exist outside of Australia today except for Opossums. WE observe that only in deep time do WE find fossils bearing marsupial characters.

Given that locomotive modes and diet coincide with specific forms of teeth and digitigrade anatomy today, and given that WE have a "theoretically" NEAR-PERFECT fossil collection to compare current forms and ancient forms, given that We can use DNA comparatives, given that WE can isolate thylacines to Australia AND given that marsupial Thylacine dentition and multiple other characteristics are quite different from Wolf dentition and basio-cranial morphology, epipubic bones, etc., AND given that WE can show evolution occurs today, and given that Geology gives an evolutionarily-unbiased set of dates based on rocks that contain fossils....the question is why do YOU NOT view pentadactyly and dentition or digitigrade locomotion as carrying different value in constructing relatedness-relationships?

So... what do YOU say our hypothetical beings should do at this point? Place "sharp carnivore teeth," "wedge-shaped skull" and "digitigrade locomotion" as being  homologous or homoplasic ? If you select homologous or homoplasic, Justify your answer.

Now do the same with pentadactyly.

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GCT



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(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 18 2007,07:59   

Quote (Cornelius Hunter @ Feb. 18 2007,03:41)
 
Quote (deadman_932 @ Feb. 05 2007,14:59)
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?


Trust me, your evidential argument for a theory is going to be stronger if it does not entail conclusions that flow from the theory itself. If you disagree, then so be it. But I’m looking for justifications that are free of such theory laden-ness. More below.
 
Quote (deadman_932 @ Feb. 05 2007,14:59)
I'd also like you to show me an example of scientific observation that is not theory-laden.


It is not a matter of whether or not theory-free observations are possible. Perhaps all observations are theory-laden, but the theory-laden-ness need not be particular to the theory one is trying to advocate. Here’s an example. An astronomer makes observations of distant galaxies and constructs a new theory about galaxies. His observations are laden with assumptions about the universality of natural laws, for instance. But such assumptions are generally accepted by his audience, though his new theory is not. The theory-laden-ness of his observations is not the problem. Rather, his new theory does not fit all the observations very well, though no one objects to the theory-laden-ness of the observations.

On the other hand, let’s look at an evolution example. An evolutionist uses DNA sequence data to construct phylogenies. First, the data are processed to cull homologous sequences, thus rejecting differences. Then the analysis is rerun several times to hone the results, and remaining outliers are explained as a consequence hypothetical evolutionary scenarios. The results are published, and later become strong evidence for evolution and we use them to confirm our flimsy conclusions.

Ah, I see.  You've concluded that the conclusions are flimsy, and no matter how much confirmatory evidence is found, you will continue to contend that the conclusions are still flimsy.  So, it doesn't matter how many times the theory turns out to be right.  You've already decided that it isn't right, so all those confirmations of the theory are therefore "theory-laden" and therefore wrong.  Nice one.

  
deadman_932



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(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 18 2007,08:19   

Unlike you, I will answer EACH of your questions, Mr. Hunter ( while noting that you have failed to do the same ).
Quote
Why do you find it to be significant that the pentadactyl pattern is “precisely the same”? Are you claiming that the homology evidential claim would falter if this were not the case?

I find it significant in terms of homology because it has great time-depth that is unaltered IN. Yes, YOU can point to bats or Horses and say "look at the differences" between bats and horses and canids, but the fact remains that their five digits at the distal ends of limbs...remain precisely the same. You probably will be able to gull the public, though. People are often swayed by selective illustrations that ignore that EVERY mammal has pentadactyly.

Of course you'll exploit the "similarities" while ignoring the differences in other characters...wait...you already have done that.

For myself, yes, the pentadactyly evidence FOR common descent would fall apart IF...IF we saw that Miocene mammals were all octadactyl and that octadactyl mammals existed today.
Quote
Why is it important that septadactyly or octadactyly is not found in “large-scale”? And why is it important that mammals have only pentadactyl?

See above
Quote
So is this then an evidential problem for evolution? For if basic baupan is hard to evolve, then how did evolution create such a menagerie? On the one hand, you want to argue that homologies such as the pentadactyl pattern are powerful evidence because, after all, it is so very difficult to modify. Therefore, when we observe it in different species, this must be evidence that the design was inherited from a common ancestor. But this is a curious argument to make when, on the other hand, we are saying evolution not only created the pentadactyl pattern, but very many other bauplan features over time.

Cite those specific bauplan features that you think are relevant in mammals, Mr. Hunter. Don't be coy. "wedge-shaped skull?" "Sharp teeth?" "Quadrupedal form?" What?
Quote
Are you saying similarities between thylacines and wolves are insubstantial compared to the bat and horse pentadactyl designs?

Not "insubstantial," no. I have made my point clear. It is up to you to read and comprehend.

Now, Mr. Hunter...given that I have addressed EACH of your questions, please answer mine.
Do environmental constraints and feeding patterns and locomotion have an effect on "design space" that is NOT neutral in regards to selection?

What SPECIFICALLY is your "alterate theory" Mr. Hunter? You mentioned it in passing and I'd like to hear it. I have defended my views. Let's see what yours are, without your usual evasion.

Don't be shy, Mr. hunter -- I showed you mine, now show me yours.

Make sure you respond to my posts FULLY, Mr. Hunter. Don't be so stingy with your responses. Inquiring minds want to know.

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deadman_932



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(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 18 2007,08:35   

Quote (GCT @ Feb. 18 2007,07:59)
Ah, I see.  You've concluded that the conclusions are flimsy, and no matter how much confirmatory evidence is found, you will continue to contend that the conclusions are still flimsy.  So, it doesn't matter how many times the theory turns out to be right.  You've already decided that it isn't right, so all those confirmations of the theory are therefore "theory-laden" and therefore wrong.  Nice one.

Yup. Your observation, GCT, is remarkably similar to my observation and objection that I had noted earlier in the thread:
 
Quote (deadman_932 @ Feb. 02 2007,06:30)
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
   
Quote
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!


Interesting how many unsupported premises Mr. hunter uses...and how he consistently avoids dealing with his circular approaches.

And how he consistently avoids describing his claimed theory that is "ignored" by evolutionists in accounting for what we observe.

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"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



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(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 18 2007,09:06   

Quote (deadman_932 @ Feb. 18 2007,07:55)
Given your rather obvious aversion to answering direct questions, Mr. Hunter

Speaking of which . . . . shall I repeat my questions for you once again, Dr Hunter?  

No problem.  No need to thank me --- I'm happy to do it.

*ahem*




DI continually tells us that ID is not creationism.

In the DI's Wedge Document, it states:

"FIVE YEAR OBJECTIVES

* Major Christian denomination(s) defend(s) traditional doctrine of creation"


If ID is not creationism, then (1) what is this "traditional doctrine of creation" that DI wants Christian churches to defend, and (2) why does DI want churches to defend it?

Or is DI just lying to us (under oath) when it claims ID isn't creationism.






IDers complain a lot about evolution's "materialism".  What, precisely, about “evolution” is any more “materialistic” than, say, weather forecasting or accident investigation or medicine?  Please be as specific as possible.

I have never, in all my life, ever heard any weather forecaster mention “god” or "divine will” or any “supernatural” anything, at all.  Ever.  Does this mean, in your view, that weather forecasting is atheistic?

I have yet, in all my 46 years of living, to ever hear any accident investigator declare solemnly at the scene of an airplane crash, “We can’t explain how it happened, so an Unknown Intelligent Being must have dunnit.”  I have never yet heard an accident investigator say that “this crash has no materialistic causes — it must have been the Will of Allah”.  Does this mean, in your view, that accident investigation is atheistic?

How about medicine.  When you get sick, do you ask your doctor to abandon his “materialistic biases” and to investigate possible “supernatural” or “non-materialistic” causes for your disease?  Or do you ask your doctor to cure your naturalistic materialistic diseases by using naturalistic materialistic antibiotics to kill your naturalistic materialistic germs?

Since it seems to me as if weather forecasting, accident investigation,  and medicine are every bit, in every sense,just as utterly completely totally absolutely one-thousand-percent “materialistic” as evolutionary biology is, why, specifically, is it just evolutionary biology that gets your panties all in a bunch?  Why aren’t you and your fellow Wedge-ites out there fighting the good fight against godless materialistic naturalistic weather forecasting, or medicine, or accident investigation?

Or does that all come LATER, as part of, uh, “renewing our culture” … . . ?





Do you repudiate the extremist Reconstructionist views of the primary funder of the Center for (the Renewal of) Science and Culture, Howard Ahmanson?  If so, why do you keep taking his money anyway?



For extra credit, you can tell us:

(1) what is it, specifically, that you think the designer did?
(2) what mechanisms do you think the designer used to do . . . well . . . whatever the heck you think it did?,  and
(3) where can we see the designer using these mechanisms today to do . . . well . . . anything?




Thank you once again for not answering my simple questions, Dr Hunter.

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"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



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(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 18 2007,09:10   

Quote (deadman_932 @ Feb. 18 2007,08:35)
And how he consistently avoids describing his claimed theory that is "ignored" by evolutionists in accounting for what we observe.

Are IDers just lying to us when they claim there is a scientific theory of ID, Doc . . . . ?

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Stephen Elliott



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(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 18 2007,10:14   

Quote (deadman_932 @ Feb. 18 2007,08:19)
You probably will be able to gull the public, though. People are often swayed by selective illustrations that ignore that EVERY mammal has pentadactyly.

Don't be too certain about that. While I do not understand most of the science in this discussion, I can spot (very easily) just who is avoiding questions.

C.H. is looking no better than AFdave, Larry Fafarman or Thordaddy. Used car salesmen look trustworthy by comparison.

You know. I have yet to see an ID pedler look good outside a restricted posting arena. These people have no ability to argue whatsoever on a board where they can't ban/remove opposition.

  
The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 18 2007,17:00   

S. Elliot:

Quote
Don't be too certain about that. While I do not understand most of the science in this discussion, I can spot (very easily) just who is avoiding questions.


That's what I don't understand about Dr. Hunter. If he really believes that his argument is strong, he should welcome questions. Yet he won't even clarify his position for a layman like myself. That says something, I think.

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"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



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(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 18 2007,17:15   

Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Feb. 18 2007,10:14)
You know. I have yet to see an ID pedler look good outside a restricted posting arena. These people have no ability to argue whatsoever on a board where they can't ban/remove opposition.

I suppose that must be why they do so well in court.

(snicker)  (giggle)

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www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
bystander



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(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 18 2007,18:13   

This is an excellent thread. The emptiness of Mr Hunter's arguments have been clearly shown with no real insults. I think that Mr Hunter regrets ever posting here but also realises all of the potential suckers that will google his name and find this thread, so he keeps coming back but unfortunately digging himself deeper.

  
Mike PSS



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(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 18 2007,21:05   

Quote (Cornelius Hunter @ Feb. 18 2007,03:41)
Addressing the second part of Deadman's post:

Ahhh...  Selective answering (or maybe you think deadmans questions were all encompasing).
 
Quote
So is this then an evidential problem for evolution? For if basic baupan is hard to evolve, then how did evolution create such a menagerie? On the one hand, you want to argue that homologies such as the pentadactyl pattern are powerful evidence because, after all, it is so very difficult to modify. Therefore, when we observe it in different species, this must be evidence that the design was inherited from a common ancestor. But this is a curious argument to make when, on the other hand, we are saying evolution not only created the pentadactyl pattern, but very many other bauplan features over time.

Let's find out when the pentadactyl pattern occurs during organism development.  If it is early in the embryonic stage then the pattern could be considered "set" for all homologous creatures.  After all, within the nested hierarchy of pentadactyl patterns we don't see ANY alterations to this pattern.  We do see alterations to the FUNCTION of the pattern, but the pattern remains the same.  Maybe alteration (read mutation) of this basic pattern causes too much developmental stress within the organism (there are too many faults expressed in a fully grown creature because of this mutation) that override any potential benefit from a change in this pattern.

Isn't the pentadactyl pattern a fundamental item in embryonic development just like notochords or hemispheric symmetry?

 
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Look here at the pentadactyl patterns:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Evolution_pl.png#filelinks

Then look here at thylacine:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thylacine

and see the similarities with Canis lupus:

     
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The Thylacine showed many similarities to the members of the Canidae (dog) family of the Northern Hemisphere: sharp teeth, powerful jaws, raised heels and the same general body form. This is an example of convergent evolution.   The skulls of the Thylacine (left) and the Timber Wolf, Canis lupus, are almost identical although the species are unrelated.


Are you saying similarities between thylacines and wolves are insubstantial compared to the bat and horse pentadactyl designs?

The developmental patterns between thylacine and wolves are teeth, jaws, heels and body forms.  Answerring without "theory laden" explanations leads me to ask a couple questions about these two creatures.

1.  What is the basic food chain of the thylacine and wolves?
2.  What is the hunting technique of these two creatures?

In (1.) I would answer that both creatures need to take down a variety of creatures both small and large.  These are hunters more than scavengers most likely.  The rate of food intake would probably require the creatures to fully consume any prey (as opposed to choice bits like lions) which would require consumption of not only meaty items but also of bone marrow.  Since cracking bones requires set amount of forces I would surmise that the heavy set and muscular jaws are needed.  Ever seen a hyena?  Hunts in packs, hunter more than scavenger, eats (or trys to) everything on the body, looks like a wolf or a thylacine too.  Amazing.

In (2.) the hunting technique is a pack technique with a lopeing gait instead of a fast dash.  These creatures work together in tandem to wear down their prey over time, not to rush their prey like the cats.  If the thylacine hunted like a cat then I would expect the body shape to resemble a leopord or lion more than a wolf or hyena.  Are hyena's and wolves related?


 
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And answer this question: If species can exhibit similarities such as those in thylacines and wolves that are not due to common descent, then why must similarities such as the pentadactyl pattern be due to common descent? Do not merely explain the data according to evolution. This does not explain why it is powerful evidence. And do not presuppose evolution in your answer.

But the genetic and developmental evidence need not be theory laden (that is, in ways that are peculiar to evolutionary theory). That’s the key.

My premise is that the pentadactyl pattern is buried deep within the embryonic stage of all the organisms that express this pattern.  Changes to this pattern result in non-survivable offspring.

However, similarities with creatures who's environmental habits and lifestyle habits coincide lead to body plan developments that take advantage of that niche that they occupy.


What about Allosaurus and Tyranosaurus?  They were only seperated by 90 million years (give or take).  Yet their body plans are SO SIMILAR.  Why don't we make this comparison to support evolution?


Mr. Hunter.
Are you going to get specific or do we continue with this charade.  Actually, please be MORE condescending with us laymen.  I'm just an engineer and my biology terminology stinks.  Yet your latest attempt at conflation leaves me chuckling.

As I've said to AFDave before.  Is that all you've got?

Mike PSS

  
Ichthyic



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(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 18 2007,21:47   

given that mike just brought up hyenas, should we talk about how the clitoris has developed in that particular beastie?

it relates on point to issues of homology, that's for #### sure.

why is CH so stuck on comparing thylacines and wolves, when there are so many more interesting comparisons to be made?

hmm...

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"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

-CC

  
Mike PSS



Posts: 428
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(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 18 2007,22:40   

Quote (Ichthyic @ Feb. 18 2007,22:47)
given that mike just brought up hyenas, should we talk about how the clittoris has developed in that particular beastie?

it relates on point to issues of homology, that's for #### sure.

why is CH so stuck on comparing thylacines and wolves, when there are so many more interesting comparisons to be made?

hmm...

Calling Janiebell and CK!!

One "on-topic" squeege match that needs your particular attention.

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The anatomical position of the genitalia gives females total sexual control over who is allowed to mate with them.


Now there is an adaptation I hope I never see expressed physiologically.

Homo Sapiens only have the psychological part of this one perfected (point... laugh...).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyena

  
Ichthyic



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(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 19 2007,01:17   

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The anatomical position of the genitalia gives females total sexual control over who is allowed to mate with them.


It's length is variable, and considered a secondary sexual trait as well.

bigger the better.

There is a professor of behavioral ecology/psychology (Steve Glickman) at Berkeley who specializes in studying hyena social behavior.

He's raised some of them from babes, and they readily accept him as part of the "pack".

fascinating animals, really (well, the spotted ones anyway, striped hyenas are kinda shy and boring, IMO).  I recall spending time watching him work with the animals directly at the facility up in Strawberry Canyon.  Not only unusual social behavior based on entirely matriarchal heirarchies, but the vocalizations are quite complex as well.

and yes, they indeed can crunch a thighbone in a single bite.

http://psychology.berkeley.edu/faculty/profiles/sglickman.html

It was a blast having a psychologist on my advisory comittee who spent most of his time studying hyenas.

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"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

-CC

  
The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 19 2007,19:32   

Dr. Hunter:

     
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On the other hand, let’s look at an evolution example. An evolutionist uses DNA sequence data to construct phylogenies. First, the data are processed to cull homologous sequences, thus rejecting differences. Then the analysis is rerun several times to hone the results, and remaining outliers are explained as a consequence hypothetical evolutionary scenarios. The results are published, and later become strong evidence for evolution and we use them to confirm our flimsy conclusions.


There's a lot to say about this paragraph, but since I'm tired and irritable, I'll give you time to support this statement if you wish. Just two questions:

If molecular phylogenies are simply exercises in forcing the evidence to match preconceived ideas, then:

1) Why do the molecular trees surprise scientists so often, and

2) How are these phylogenies able to predict patterns of SINE insertions? The Afrotheria hypothesis was validated by retroposon evidence, and while it's true that the authors posit a "hypothetical evolutionary scenario" to explain a possible discrepancy caused by one insertion, the overall pattern supports common ancestry for these mammals.

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 26 2007,13:14   

Which animal has the stronger bite: the hyena, or the American Pit Bull/Staffordshire Terrier? Does anybody have any data on this? Is there even a reliable way to measure bite strength? Just curious, cause I hear so many different claims.

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
argystokes



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