Joined: June 2006
Excellent. I will try to answer your questions, Ftk. Now, I am no biologist, just an actor, but I'm going to explain this in my own words, without linking to anything. You should try this once in a while--I'm not poking at you, here. But if you write posts and comments in your own words and actually address the issues you'll find two things happen:
1. Your brain engages and you start to think critically about the issues.
2. You reveal your level of understanding of the issues. At this point, other people can step in and help you more easily because they know the specifics of where to start. This will now be seen as the more knowledgeable people here correct my following comment.
[QUOTE]Okay, let’s try this again...I’ll ask Blipey this time...
|2. Long before Darwin, both creationists and evolutionists were aware that organisms share similiarities, though they disagree as to why that is. We also know that before Darwin, similiarities were already being classified, and there would be no reason why those classifications wouldn’t have continued to be updated as further research took place.|
As Icky said above, there were no evolutionists before Darwin. Biology at this point was mostly classification, observational. Anyone can observe and write down findings. An easy way to see the differences of even this observational science is to take a look at how species have been grouped over the years. As evolutionary biologists continued to do research and as the science of genetics has grown, species have been reclassified. The question is could creationists have done this reclassification?
Well, I say probably so, but would they have even tried? In the classic creationist label of "kinds" we see a limitation of how creationists look at the world. Your example of "environmental similarities" shows this. As Lenny has asked, why do fish and dolphins have different genes if they both are ocean-going creatures that look very similar? A creationist who observes these similarities has no reason to continue to pursue knowledge of these species as regards their lineage. If he does quit looking, he stops on the wrong answer.
Now, an evolutionist, working from common descent, notices that there are similarities between whales and hippos (not something that is apparent at first thought, perhaps). Continuing to research this, they find morphological similarities between the two that add credence to CD.
|Now, what prediction can an evolutionist make to propose a "novel idea" that a creationist cannot?|
The key here is understanding of the classification system--the why. A creationist can say with confidence that "these things are similar, I have looked at them". Now he asks why. His answer is that the Designer made them that way. Now, did the designer:
1. use similar parts to make their bodies look the same, but their organs are arranged differently?
2. use similar parts to make their immune systems work similarly, but their body plans are completely dissimilar?
3. come up with a completely new way to provide a similar function? what is the Designer's goal--the same parts? the same ends? how do we know?
The theory of common design requires us to know what the purpose of the Designer is. This is something that IDers say cannot be done. If it cannot be done, how can we possibly use the theory of common design? If the Designer is unknown and unknowable, the theory of common design is useless from the get-go.
Now, the theory of common descent allows us to structure the plethora of living things into a knowable order. Using this knowable order we can predict traits, proteins, and abilities that things in this order may have by comparing them to other things that have a common ancestor.
A common design theory doesn't let us know what the commonality might be. We simply can't know before hand, unless we steal the blueprints from the designer. We only know what the similarity is AFTER finding it.
A common descent theory allows us to say "hey, we might find this sort of thing here, because other things that are close to it in the hierarchy also have it. We predict what we might find BEFORE looking for it, by an educated guess, not blind guessing.
|Can an evolutionist, due to his beliefs about common descent, look into a crystal ball and predict exactly which tree is needed and use this knowledge to propose novel ideas without researching and classifying all the trees first?|
Yes. Sometimes he will be wrong, but he has a much better chance of being right than a creationist operating from a notion of common design. By looking up the hierarchy, he can make educated guesses as to what he will find as he works his way down the hierachy--BEFORE observing the trees.
But I get the trick question- there isn't any such thing as one molecule of water. -JoeG
And scientists rarely test theories. -Gary Gaulin