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Re: [OriginsTalk] Re: Something a few of you (us) maybe able to agree with...to some extent...

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  • Charles Palm
    D R Lindberg: A very good example of what comes from getting your information from anti-science sources. Charles P: I understood that, All should be judged
    Message 1 of 13 , Nov 30, 2011
      D R Lindberg: A very good example of what comes from getting your
      information from anti-science sources.

      Charles P: I understood that, "All should be judged on their merits as
      people and politicians, whatever their faith and whatever their beliefs".
      What did you understand about the article?

      Charles P: Which science sources do you recommend?


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Kamran
      ________________________________ From: D R Lindberg To: OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com Sent: Thursday, December 1, 2011 4:14 AM Subject:
      Message 2 of 13 , Dec 1, 2011
        ________________________________
        From: D R Lindberg <dr.lindberg@...>
        To: OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Thursday, December 1, 2011 4:14 AM
        Subject: [OriginsTalk] Re: Something a few of you (us) maybe able to agree with...to some extent...


         >
        > Joe:  But it is equally strange coming from evolutionists like Richard Dawkins who have said, without a single shred of evidence, that life on our planet may have been seeded by space aliens. Even those evolutionists who reject Dawkins’ faith in extraterrestrial life have a belief system of their own; namely, that intelligent life somehow
        evolved capriciously and accidentally from inorganic matter, even though the possibility of complex organisms evolving without guidance is mathematically nearly impossible.
        >

        DRL: A very good example of what comes from getting your information from anti-science sources. Saying something is possible does not amount to "faith in
        extraterrestrial life," any more than someone saying that it is possible that anti-evolutionist websites sometimes do not lie amounts to faith in anti-evolutionist websites.


        Kamran: Saying something is possible should mean that the speaker has thought it through in his/her mind that the event in question can indeed occur, especially when  he has invoked that event as a possible answer to a fundamental question.  Only someone with low knowledge of all relevant factors involved would think that to answer/evade the question of how life started here on earth, we can allow the possibility that extraterrestrial life brought it here.  It's either that, or to serve his goal of offering some sort of an answer where he has none,  the speaker is assuming he is talking to sheep. In fact many of the sources you may assume as "scientific" wouldn't mind if they were talking to sheep. But I must admit that the Clergy, especially the Islamic brand, are champions in considering their audience as sheep.

        **************************

        DRL: And the "mathematically nearly impossible" argument has been demonstrated to be a fallacy, whether or not Julian Huxley subscribed to it.


        Kamran: Yes I'd give you that.  Personally I don't agree with invoking "mathematical impossibility" in many cases including the present debate.  This qualification is erroneous because it implies that the expected outcome is essentially possible but it may never happen due to the number of trials necessary to potentially produce the desired outcome. But the truth is that the outcome in question, ie. Life coming from non life through autonomous and independent function of natural forces, is impossible and not at all a function of the number of trials.  Normally I use the example of producing a number seven by rolling a perfect single dice that has only six sides numbered 1 to 6.  In such a case we shouldn't say that it is mathematically impossible to produce a 7 because the number 7 is not even in the set under trial.  Similarly, the blind unconscious natural forces don't have it in them to put life together; before, now, or ever. The machine
        of life also doesn’t have it in it to evolve the way claimed by evolutionist; before, now, or ever. Of course human intelligence will do incredible things later on but that is another matter.
         

        **************************


        DRL: My four grandparents were born in four countries on three different continents, so what were the probabilities that they would ever get together, and then that my parents would? If you go by the logic of Rabbi Shmuley's argument, I don't exist. I suppose he would say that it is irrational for me to believe that I do exist.


        Kamran: Your challenge to the probability-based arguement is correct.  Much like the fact that if you were holding thirteen playing cards in your hand, you could work out "mathematically impossible" odds that such a hand could come randomly out of 52 cards before it was dealt.  This is why probability is not a right tool to invoke in challenging abiogenesis or biological evolution.


        ************************

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Jim Goff
        SOMETHING A FEW OF YOU (US) MAYBE ABLE TO AGREE WITH...TO SOME EXTENT Joe (quoting Rabbi Shmuley Boteach): But it is equally strange coming from evolutionists
        Message 3 of 13 , Dec 1, 2011
          SOMETHING A FEW OF YOU (US) MAYBE ABLE TO AGREE WITH...TO SOME EXTENT

          Joe (quoting Rabbi Shmuley Boteach): "But it is equally strange coming from evolutionists like Richard Dawkins who have said, without a single shred of evidence, that life on our planet may have been seeded by space aliens. Even those evolutionists who reject Dawkins's faith in extraterrestrial life have a belief system of their own; namely, that intelligent life somehow evolved capriciously and accidentally from inorganic matter, even though the possibility of complex organisms evolving without guidance is mathematically nearly impossible."
          D R Lindberg: "A very good example of what comes from getting your information from anti-science sources."




          Would you care to document your insinuation that Rabbi Shmuley is "anti-science"?

          D R Lindberg: "Saying something is possible does not amount to 'faith in extraterrestrial life,' any more than someone saying that it is possible that anti-evolutionist websites sometimes do not lie amounts to faith in anti-evolutionist websites."

          Setting aside your snide insinuation that "anti-evolutionists" are chronic liars, it's plain from some of the things that Dawkins has written that he does have "faith in extraterrestrial life." For example, in "The God Delusion" he wrote:

          "Whether we get to know about them or not, there are very probably alien civilizations that are superhuman, to the point of being god-like in ways that exceed anything a theologian could possibly imagine."

          Clearly, before one can think it's very probable that there are superhuman alien civilizations, he first has to have faith that extraterrestrial life exists.

          D R Lindberg: "And the 'mathematically nearly impossible' argument has been demonstrated to be a fallacy.... My four grandparents were born in four countries on three different continents, so what were the probabilities that they would ever get together, and then that my parents would? If you go by the logic of Rabbi Shmuley's argument, I don't exist. I suppose he would say that it is irrational for me to believe that I do exist."

          No, he would probably say that you miss the point of the "mathematically nearly impossible" argument (which has not "been demonstrated to be a fallacy"). No matter how improbable it might have been for your four grandparents to get together, no one is surprised that they did. Why? Because their meetings were not specified events (i.e., events conforming to independently given specifications). Unspecified events of high improbability occur all the time, but their occurrence does not falsify the "mathematically nearly impossible" argument - an argument that applies only to specified events (such as the origin of the first protein molecule, a molecule comprised of a sequence of amino acids that had to meet certain biofunctional specifications in order to form a biologically useful molecule rather than a biologically useless polypeptide, much like the sequence of letters you're now reading had to meet specifications given by the English language in order to be a meaningful sentence rather than a meaningless string of letters).

          By way of illustration, no one would be surprised to learn that the following meaningless sequence of letters was formed by randomly drawing Scrabble tiles from a hat:

          fpgmrjvcuejektiogmdkgoypddkgbitjbkekgblbnirkfbkky

          But no one in his right mind would accept that the following sequence of letters, which conveys meaning by virtue of its conformity to specifications given by the English language, was formed by randomly drawing Scrabble tiles from a hat:

          nowisthetimeforallgoodmentocometotheaidoftheparty

          Both sequences of letters are 49 letters in length, thus there is only one chance in 26^49 (or about 2x10^69) that either sequence would be formed by randomly selecting Scrabble tiles from a hat. Chance is a perfectly acceptable explanation for the first sequence (which conforms to no independent specifications), but it is an utterly preposterous explanation for the second sequence (which - by virtue of its sequence specificity - is "mathematically nearly impossible" if its formation is turned over to chance).

          You're not alone in missing the point of the "mathematically nearly impossible" argument. For example, biologist PZ Myers (a bulldog for Darwinism and ringmaster at the Darwinist blog Pharyngula) recently mocked the argument in this way:

          "If I played bridge very, very fast, dealing out one hand every minute, that means I'd still have to wait 1.1 million years to get any particular hand you might specify ahead of time...and my life expectancy is only on the order of 102 years. Therefore, bridge is impossible. Similarly, if you add up all the nucleotide differences between me and my cousin, the likelihoods of these particular individuals is infinitesimally small...but so what? We're here."

          Now, no one who makes the "mathematically nearly impossible" argument thinks that "bridge is impossible." Neither do they think that the improbability that "particular individuals" should be born means that it's highly improbable that anyone should be born. Myers mocks an argument that he simply doesn't understand. For the context of his lame comments and a response to them by biologist Ann Gauger (whose research on protein evolution Myers was ridiculing), go to:

          http://www.evolutionnews.org/2011/10/on_protein_evolution_pz_myers052251.html

          ENTWICKLUNG

          D R Lindberg: "So Weikart is right because Weikart says Weikart is right. How impressive! And how surprising!"

          I'm not at all surprised that you would misrepresent what Weikart said, given your visceral objection to his argument that Hitler was deeply influenced by Darwin's ideas. But I'm sure that less jaundiced readers would have noticed that Weikart did not ask them to agree that his translation of Entwicklung in Hitler's writings was right simply because he said so. He instead made a solid, evidence-based case for the validity of his translation. You, on the other hand, merely assert that he's wrong, thereby asking readers to accept that you're right simply because you say so.

          Jim in Vermont





          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Charles Palm
          Understanding Evolution: http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/nature_06 To ask someone to accept ideas purely on faith, even when these ideas are
          Message 4 of 13 , Dec 1, 2011
            Understanding Evolution:
            http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/nature_06 To ask someone
            to accept ideas purely on faith, even when these ideas are expressed by
            "experts," is unscientific. While science must make some assumptions, such
            as the idea that we can trust our senses, explanations and conclusions are
            accepted only to the degree that they are well founded and continue to
            stand up to scrutiny.

            Charles P: Please do not take my word for anything. Each person should
            verify for themselves whether or not ToE is scientific.

            Charles P: NCSE supports the philosophy that life on earth evolved
            gradually beginning with one primitive species and then branched out over
            time, throwing off many new and diverse species.

            Tree of Life Web Project: http://tolweb.org/tree/ The Tree of Life Web
            Project (ToL) is a collaborative effort of biologists and nature
            enthusiasts from around the world. On more than 10,000 World Wide Web
            pages, the project provides information about biodiversity, the
            characteristics of different groups of organisms, and their evolutionary
            history (phylogeny).

            Introduction to Cladistics:
            http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/clad/clad1.html There
            are three basic assumptions in cladistics:
            1 Any group of organisms are related by descent from a common ancestor.
            2 There is a bifurcating pattern of cladogenesis.
            3 Change in characteristics occurs in lineages over time.

            Charles P: Why can't someone here on Origins Talk describe the
            macroevolution of any present day living species using ToE? If the ToE is
            scientific, it should be very easy to list the hypothetical common
            ancestors of any lineage.
            http://tolweb.org/Lepidoptera Please identify the common ancestor for this
            group, the group that includes the monarch butterfly.

            Gluadys: You have already seen that. You know where to find the evidence
            on the evolution of horses, whales, humans and other lineages.

            Charles P: Yes, I do. The fossil record shows only stasis and extinction.
            Please do not take my word for it. Please verify it for yourself. All
            that is required is for someone to show us a paleontology site so that we
            on Origins Talk can "search" to find examples of "stasis" and "extinction"
            and whatever else the paleontologists conclude exists in the fossil record
            in addition to "stasis and extinction".

            Charles P: Honest scientists have not been able to describe the evolution
            of horses, whales, humans and other lineages. To falsify my statement, all
            that is required is for someone to identify the older ancient extinct
            fossil species that is the common ancestor of two or more younger ancient
            extinct fossil species.
            1 http://tolweb.org/Perissodactyla/15980 Please identify the common
            ancestor of horses.
            2 http://tolweb.org/Cetacea/15977 Please identify the common ancestor of
            whales.
            3 http://tolweb.org/Hominidae/16299 Please identify the common ancestor
            of humans.

            Charles P: ToE only assumes that any group of organisms are related by
            descent from a common ancestor. To ask someone to accept ideas purely on
            faith, even when these ideas are expressed by "experts," is unscientific.
            There is not one single example of macroevolution to be found on The Tree
            of Life Web Project.

            Charles P: Your disagreement is with honest scientists. Please verify it
            for yourself.


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • gluadys
            It seems to me that the only thing we all agree on is that the other side doesn t really listen to us carefully and ascertain what our real position is. So
            Message 5 of 13 , Dec 1, 2011
              It seems to me that the only thing we all agree on is that "the other side" doesn't really listen to us carefully and ascertain what our real position is.

              So everyone is flailing at strawmen of their own making.

              Perhaps that is something we can all strive to avoid more than we have. Perhaps we should all talk less of what we think others say and be more expansive about our own position and why we hold to it.

              (I say "we" because I think I am as guilty as anyone else and need to do better at this.)



              --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, Jim Goff <JamesGoff_960@...> wrote:
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > SOMETHING A FEW OF YOU (US) MAYBE ABLE TO AGREE WITH...TO SOME EXTENT
              >
              > Joe (quoting Rabbi Shmuley Boteach): "But it is equally strange coming from evolutionists like Richard Dawkins who have said, without a single shred of evidence, that life on our planet may have been seeded by space aliens. Even those evolutionists who reject Dawkins's faith in extraterrestrial life have a belief system of their own; namely, that intelligent life somehow evolved capriciously and accidentally from inorganic matter, even though the possibility of complex organisms evolving without guidance is mathematically nearly impossible."
              > D R Lindberg: "A very good example of what comes from getting your information from anti-science sources."
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > Would you care to document your insinuation that Rabbi Shmuley is "anti-science"?
              >
              > D R Lindberg: "Saying something is possible does not amount to 'faith in extraterrestrial life,' any more than someone saying that it is possible that anti-evolutionist websites sometimes do not lie amounts to faith in anti-evolutionist websites."
              >
              > Setting aside your snide insinuation that "anti-evolutionists" are chronic liars, it's plain from some of the things that Dawkins has written that he does have "faith in extraterrestrial life." For example, in "The God Delusion" he wrote:
              >
              > "Whether we get to know about them or not, there are very probably alien civilizations that are superhuman, to the point of being god-like in ways that exceed anything a theologian could possibly imagine."
              >
              > Clearly, before one can think it's very probable that there are superhuman alien civilizations, he first has to have faith that extraterrestrial life exists.
              >
              > D R Lindberg: "And the 'mathematically nearly impossible' argument has been demonstrated to be a fallacy.... My four grandparents were born in four countries on three different continents, so what were the probabilities that they would ever get together, and then that my parents would? If you go by the logic of Rabbi Shmuley's argument, I don't exist. I suppose he would say that it is irrational for me to believe that I do exist."
              >
              > No, he would probably say that you miss the point of the "mathematically nearly impossible" argument (which has not "been demonstrated to be a fallacy"). No matter how improbable it might have been for your four grandparents to get together, no one is surprised that they did. Why? Because their meetings were not specified events (i.e., events conforming to independently given specifications). Unspecified events of high improbability occur all the time, but their occurrence does not falsify the "mathematically nearly impossible" argument - an argument that applies only to specified events (such as the origin of the first protein molecule, a molecule comprised of a sequence of amino acids that had to meet certain biofunctional specifications in order to form a biologically useful molecule rather than a biologically useless polypeptide, much like the sequence of letters you're now reading had to meet specifications given by the English language in order to be a meaningful sentence rather than a meaningless string of letters).
              >
              > By way of illustration, no one would be surprised to learn that the following meaningless sequence of letters was formed by randomly drawing Scrabble tiles from a hat:
              >
              > fpgmrjvcuejektiogmdkgoypddkgbitjbkekgblbnirkfbkky
              >
              > But no one in his right mind would accept that the following sequence of letters, which conveys meaning by virtue of its conformity to specifications given by the English language, was formed by randomly drawing Scrabble tiles from a hat:
              >
              > nowisthetimeforallgoodmentocometotheaidoftheparty
              >
              > Both sequences of letters are 49 letters in length, thus there is only one chance in 26^49 (or about 2x10^69) that either sequence would be formed by randomly selecting Scrabble tiles from a hat. Chance is a perfectly acceptable explanation for the first sequence (which conforms to no independent specifications), but it is an utterly preposterous explanation for the second sequence (which - by virtue of its sequence specificity - is "mathematically nearly impossible" if its formation is turned over to chance).
              >
              > You're not alone in missing the point of the "mathematically nearly impossible" argument. For example, biologist PZ Myers (a bulldog for Darwinism and ringmaster at the Darwinist blog Pharyngula) recently mocked the argument in this way:
              >
              > "If I played bridge very, very fast, dealing out one hand every minute, that means I'd still have to wait 1.1 million years to get any particular hand you might specify ahead of time...and my life expectancy is only on the order of 102 years. Therefore, bridge is impossible. Similarly, if you add up all the nucleotide differences between me and my cousin, the likelihoods of these particular individuals is infinitesimally small...but so what? We're here."
              >
              > Now, no one who makes the "mathematically nearly impossible" argument thinks that "bridge is impossible." Neither do they think that the improbability that "particular individuals" should be born means that it's highly improbable that anyone should be born. Myers mocks an argument that he simply doesn't understand. For the context of his lame comments and a response to them by biologist Ann Gauger (whose research on protein evolution Myers was ridiculing), go to:
              >
              > http://www.evolutionnews.org/2011/10/on_protein_evolution_pz_myers052251.html
              >
              > ENTWICKLUNG
              >
              > D R Lindberg: "So Weikart is right because Weikart says Weikart is right. How impressive! And how surprising!"
              >
              > I'm not at all surprised that you would misrepresent what Weikart said, given your visceral objection to his argument that Hitler was deeply influenced by Darwin's ideas. But I'm sure that less jaundiced readers would have noticed that Weikart did not ask them to agree that his translation of Entwicklung in Hitler's writings was right simply because he said so. He instead made a solid, evidence-based case for the validity of his translation. You, on the other hand, merely assert that he's wrong, thereby asking readers to accept that you're right simply because you say so.
              >
              > Jim in Vermont
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
            • Charles Palm
              Gluadys: It seems to me that the only thing we all agree on is that the other side doesn t really listen to us carefully and ascertain what our real
              Message 6 of 13 , Dec 1, 2011
                Gluadys: It seems to me that the only thing we all agree on is that "the
                other side" doesn't really listen to us carefully and ascertain what our
                real position is. So everyone is flailing at strawmen of their own making.
                Perhaps that is something we can all strive to avoid more than we have.
                Perhaps we should all talk less of what we think others say and be more
                expansive about our own position and why we hold to it. (I say "we"
                because I think I am as guilty as anyone else and need to do better at
                this.)

                Charles P: Please be more expansive about your own position and why you
                hold to it. OOPS! Please do not give us a long narrative of your version
                of ToE. In response to this post, please discuss with us here on Origins
                Talk what paleontologists see in the fossil record. Please save what you
                see in the fossil record for another post.

                The Paleontological Society: The Paleontological Society is an
                international nonprofit organization devoted exclusively to the advancement
                of the science of paleontology. The Society was founded in 1908 in
                Baltimore, Maryland, and was incorporated in April 1968 in the District of
                Columbia. The Society has several membership categories, including regular,
                student, retired, emeritus, and spousal. Members, representing 40
                countries, consist of professional paleontologists, academicians,
                explorationists, science editors, earth-science teachers, museum
                specialists, land managers, students, amateurs, and hobbyists.

                Charles P: Why not consider the possibility that the fossil record only
                shows us "stasis and extinction"?

                Gluadys: Because, as any paleontologist can tell you, that would be
                teaching a falsehood.

                Paleontological Journals: http://www.psjournals.org/search/advanced
                Paleontological
                Journals Online users may narrow their search using one or more of the
                criteria in the box to the left. Search may also be limited to all content,
                subscribed content, or selected titles.

                Charles P: Please use the "advanced search" feature to show us that
                considering the possibility that the fossil record only shows us "stasis
                and extinction", as you stated it, "would be teaching a falsehood".

                Charles P: The best way for you to understand our differences is with your
                specific example of your version of ToE as you describe the step-by-step
                macroevolution from one ancient primitive species to a present day species.

                Gluadys: You have already seen that. You know where to find the evidence
                on the evolution of horses, whales, humans and other lineages.

                Charles P: http://www.psjournals.org/action/doSearch Here are the results
                for horses, whales, humans, and other lineages. (Anywhere in article)
                1 Horse evolution: 46 articles.
                2 Whale evolution: 41 articles.
                3 Manatee evolution: 3 articled.
                4 Human evolution: 128 articles.

                The Paleontological Society:
                http://www.paleosoc.org/evolutioncomplete.htm Because
                evolution is fundamental to understanding both living and extinct
                organisms, it must be taught in public school science classes. In contrast,
                creationism is religion rather than science, as ruled by the Supreme Court,
                because it invokes supernatural explanations that cannot be tested.
                Consequently, creationism in any form (including �scientific creationism,�
                �creation science,� and �intelligent design�) must be excluded from public
                school science classes. Because science involves testing hypotheses,
                scientific explanations are restricted to natural causes.

                Charles P: We understand that The Paleontological Society believes that
                Intelligent Design is just another form of creationism. We understand that
                no one wants a TV evangelist teaching science classes. We can respect
                their misunderstanding when we have honest doubts about ToE. We respect
                that honest doubts might be misinterpreted as "anti-science".

                Charles P: Why not consider the possibility that the fossil record shows
                us only "stasis and extinction"? If there is something more in the fossil
                record than "stasis and extinction", can anyone on Origins Talk show us
                what else is in the fossil record? What evidence from paleontology can we
                "discuss" here on Origins Talk that would support ToE without distracting
                us again in "debates" about definitions?


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • gluadys
                ... No need. I do not have a personal version of the theory of evolution. The one in standard textbooks is fine by me. ...
                Message 7 of 13 , Dec 1, 2011
                  --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, Charles Palm <palmcharlesUU@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Charles P: Please be more expansive about your own position and why you
                  > hold to it. OOPS! Please do not give us a long narrative of your version
                  > of ToE.
                  >


                  No need. I do not have a personal version of the theory of evolution.
                  The one in standard textbooks is fine by me.






                  >
                  > Charles P: Why not consider the possibility that the fossil record only
                  > shows us "stasis and extinction"?
                  >
                  > Gluadys: Because, as any paleontologist can tell you, that would be
                  > teaching a falsehood.
                  >
                  > Paleontological Journals: http://www.psjournals.org/search/advanced
                  > Paleontological
                  > Journals Online users may narrow their search using one or more of the
                  > criteria in the box to the left. Search may also be limited to all content,
                  > subscribed content, or selected titles.
                  >
                  > Charles P: Please use the "advanced search" feature to show us that
                  > considering the possibility that the fossil record only shows us "stasis
                  > and extinction", as you stated it, "would be teaching a falsehood".
                  >




                  http://www.psjournals.org/toc/pbio/current

                  Here are the titles of the articles in the current issue of Paleobiology. A brief glance shows that paleontologists are researching turtle habitat, chaetognath lifestyles, how conifers shifted from producing pollen to producing seeds, whether one can reliably detect low-density tree cover from woodrat middens, and the diet of extinct whales and their ancestors. All those topics unrelated to stasis and extinction in just one issue of one magazine. They have many more in the archives as well as the Journal of Paleontology and its archives. You underestimate very seriously what can be learned from the fossil record if you think it only shows stasis and extinction.


                  > Charles P: The best way for you to understand our differences is with your
                  > specific example of your version of ToE as you describe the step-by-step
                  > macroevolution from one ancient primitive species to a present day species.
                  >
                  > Gluadys: You have already seen that. You know where to find the evidence
                  > on the evolution of horses, whales, humans and other lineages.
                  >
                  > Charles P: http://www.psjournals.org/action/doSearch Here are the results
                  > for horses, whales, humans, and other lineages. (Anywhere in article)
                  > 1 Horse evolution: 46 articles.
                  > 2 Whale evolution: 41 articles.
                  > 3 Manatee evolution: 3 articled.
                  > 4 Human evolution: 128 articles.
                  >



                  There you are. Lots of reading ahead of you.






                  >
                  > Charles P: We understand that The Paleontological Society believes that
                  > Intelligent Design is just another form of creationism. We understand that
                  > no one wants a TV evangelist teaching science classes. We can respect
                  > their misunderstanding when we have honest doubts about ToE. We respect
                  > that honest doubts might be misinterpreted as "anti-science".
                  >



                  I have seen many people express honest doubts about evolution. They have, they think, good reason to honestly doubt evolution.

                  So far, I have not found a case where the honest doubt of an individual cannot be traced to a dishonest presentation of evolution by someone else. I don't expect that every person has the time or inclination to discover the dishonesty in such presentations.

                  The Index of Creationist Claims documents the source of many dishonest statements made about evolution by leading anti-evolution "scholars".


                  What current claims made about evolution by evolutionary scientists do you consider dishonest and why? (Let's not drag up centuries old faux pas which have long been corrected like Piltdown Man).




                  > Charles P: Why not consider the possibility that the fossil record shows
                  > us only "stasis and extinction"? If there is something more in the fossil
                  > record than "stasis and extinction", can anyone on Origins Talk show us
                  > what else is in the fossil record?

                  >

                  One of the most important things we can see in the fossil record is a pattern of history that supports the development of various lineages consistent with the theory of common descent. Sometimes there are examples of evolution in progress such as this illustration of one species breaking into two species. (Speciation)

                  http://www.don-lindsay-archive.org/creation/radiolarian.html

                  Or there is this 66 million year unbroken record of foraminifera showing about 330 different species (only a few of which are included in the picture from one segment of this history).

                  http://www.don-lindsay-archive.org/creation/foram.html

                  These clearly do not show stasis, but gradual change over time.


                  >
                  >What evidence from paleontology can we
                  > "discuss" here on Origins Talk that would support ToE without distracting
                  > us again in "debates" about definitions?


                  That would be nice, but it is only possible if everyone uses agreed on definitions. For example, if people are disagreeing on whether macroevolution happens, it may be they are not disagreeing on what actually happens but on whether what actually happens meets the definition of "macroevolution". But whose definition? The basic scientific meaning includes speciation as macroevolution, but many anti-evolutionists do not consider speciation to be macroevolution.

                  From Macroevolution: Its Definition, Philosophy and History
                  by John Wilkins http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/macroevolution.html

                  "In evolutionary biology today, macroevolution is used to refer to any evolutionary change at or above the level of species. It means at least the splitting of a species into two (speciation, or cladogenesis, from the Greek meaning "the origin of a branch", see Fig. 1) or the change of a species over time into another (anagenetic speciation, not nowadays generally accepted [note 1]). Any changes that occur at higher levels, such as the evolution of new families, phyla or genera, are also therefore macroevolution, but the term is not restricted to those higher levels. It often also means long-term trends or biases in evolution of higher taxonomic levels."
                • Kamran
                  ________________________________ From: gluadys To: OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com Sent: Friday, December 2, 2011 2:55 AM Subject:
                  Message 8 of 13 , Dec 2, 2011
                    ________________________________
                    From: gluadys <g_turner@...>
                    To: OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com
                    Sent: Friday, December 2, 2011 2:55 AM
                    Subject: [OriginsTalk] Re: Something a few of you (us) maybe able to agree with...to some extent/Entwicklung


                     
                    gluadys: It seems to me that the only thing we all agree on is that "the other side" doesn't really listen to us carefully and ascertain what our real position is.

                    So everyone is flailing at strawmen of their own making.

                    Perhaps that is something we can all strive to avoid more than we have. Perhaps we should all talk less of what we think others say and be more expansive about our own position and why we hold to it.

                    (I say "we" because I think I am as guilty as anyone else and need to do better at this.)


                    Kamran: Thanks for pointing this out.  I may be guilty of some of this; ie. the "the other side doesn't really listen" part.  It is not by intention though.  Anyway some of the commentaries and opinions regarding the other side are just to spice up the debate, which could sometimes use a little flare up.

                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • D R Lindberg
                    ... agree with...to some extent... ... Richard Dawkins who have said, without a single shred of evidence, that life on our planet may have been seeded by space
                    Message 9 of 13 , Dec 2, 2011
                      --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, Kamran <forkamran@...> wrote:
                      >

                      > ________________________________
                      > From: D R Lindberg dr.lindberg@...
                      > To: OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com
                      > Sent: Thursday, December 1, 2011 4:14 AM
                      > Subject: [OriginsTalk] Re: Something a few of you (us) maybe able to
                      agree with...to some extent...
                      >
                      >
                      > >
                      > > Joe: But it is equally strange coming from evolutionists like
                      Richard Dawkins who have said, without a single shred of evidence, that
                      life on our planet may have been seeded by space aliens. Even those
                      evolutionists who reject Dawkins’ faith in extraterrestrial
                      life have a belief system of their own; namely, that intelligent life
                      somehow
                      > evolved capriciously and accidentally from inorganic matter, even
                      though the possibility of complex organisms evolving without guidance is
                      mathematically nearly impossible.
                      > >
                      >
                      > DRL: A very good example of what comes from getting your information
                      from anti-science sources. Saying something is possible does not amount
                      to "faith in
                      > extraterrestrial life," any more than someone saying that it is
                      possible that anti-evolutionist websites sometimes do not lie amounts to
                      faith in anti-evolutionist websites.
                      >
                      >
                      > Kamran: Saying something is possible should mean that the speaker has
                      thought it through in his/her mind that the event in question can indeed
                      occur, especially when he has invoked that event as a possible answer
                      to a fundamental question. Only someone with low knowledge of all
                      relevant factors involved would think that to answer/evade the question
                      of how life started here on earth, we can allow the possibility that
                      extraterrestrial life brought it here. It's either that, or to serve
                      his goal of offering some sort of an answer where he has none, the
                      speaker is assuming he is talking to sheep. In fact many of the sources
                      you may assume as "scientific" wouldn't mind if they were talking to
                      sheep. But I must admit that the Clergy, especially the Islamic brand,
                      are champions in considering their audience as sheep.
                      >

                      The good rabbi was referring to this sequence from the Discovery
                      Institute-promoted film "Expelled, No Intelligence Allowed," where Ben
                      Stein pressures Dawkins into speculating about how life began, despite
                      Dawkins's protestations that this is not something that science yet has
                      any answers to. So these are his speculations, not beliefs.

                      Then, notice how Stein twists what Dawkins says. And notice how he puts
                      the lie to the claim that Intelligent Design is not about God.
                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BoncJBrrdQ8

                      Here's a comment on the film:
                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2Dw0oCd3bo

                      Dawkins seems to be a favourite target. This is how he describes another
                      similar incident:
                      Dawkins on Answers in Genesis:
                      In September 1997, I allowed an Australian film crew into my house in
                      Oxford without realizing that their purpose was creationist propaganda.
                      In the course of a suspiciously amateurish interview, they issued a
                      truculent challenge to me to ‘give an example of a genetic
                      mutation or an evolutionary process which can be seen to increase the
                      information in the genome’. It is the kind of question only a
                      creationist would ask in that way, and it was the point I tumbled to the
                      fact that I been duped into granting an interview to creationists
                      â€" a thing I normally don’t do, for good reasons. In my
                      anger I refused to discuss the question further, and told them to stop
                      the camera. However, I eventually withdrew my peremptory termination of
                      the interview, because they pleaded with me that they had come all the
                      way from Australia specifically to interview me. Even if this was a
                      considerable exaggeration, it seemed, on reflection, ungenerous to tear
                      up the legal release form and throw them out. I therefore relented.
                      My generosity was rewarded in a fashion that anyone familiar with
                      fundamentalist tactics might have predicted. When I eventually saw the
                      film a year later, I found that it had been edited to give the false
                      impression that I was incapable of answering the question about
                      information content. In fairness, this may not have been quite as
                      intentionally deceitful as it sounds. You have to understand that these
                      people really believe their question cannot be answered!
                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Snelling
                      <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Snelling>
                      Anti-evolutions put up the video of Dawkins's pause, while he is trying
                      to contain his anger at their deceit, and claim that it shows that he is
                      "stumped by the question."

                      Dawkins and other interviewees were similarly deceived as to the purpose
                      of the film when they agreed to appear in "Expelled."

                      **************************


                      --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, Charles Palm <palmcharlesUU@...>
                      wrote:
                      >
                      > D R Lindberg: A very good example of what comes from getting your
                      > information from anti-science sources.
                      >
                      > Charles P: I understood that, "All should be judged on their merits
                      as
                      > people and politicians, whatever their faith and whatever their
                      beliefs".
                      > What did you understand about the article?
                      >
                      > Charles P: Which science sources do you recommend?
                      >
                      I am not knowledgeable enough to make any specific recommendations. All
                      I can to is tell you about some sources that I find useful. You have to
                      judge for yourself, but this takes some general background knowledge on
                      your part. I suggest that you try to get as broad a range of sources as
                      possible, to avoid possible biases. There are lots of books out from
                      competent scientists. I also try to follow the podcasts from Science and
                      Nature magazines, USGS, and Scientific American, science podcasts from
                      the NY Times and the Guardian, the "Quirks and Quarks" program from the
                      CBC, and a couple from the BBC. I know the Australian ABC also has a
                      science program which probably has a podcast, and probably many more.
                      The problem, as always, is time. I've mentioned, I think, the free DVDs
                      you can get from the HHMI, and the BBC and the PBS Nova programs have
                      put out some good science DVDs. The CBC's Nature of Things program has
                      put out a couple of very interesting series on geology, which are
                      available on DVD, at least in this country.
                      On the internet, I imagine that any site sponsored by a good university
                      should be reliable. MIT has whole lecture series available free, pretty
                      well all their undergraduate science courses, it appears. I think some
                      other universities do too.

                      This article gives some advice on how to identify sources that are NOT
                      reliable:
                      http://www.skepticalscience.com/5-characteristics-of-scientific-denialis\
                      m.html

                      Good luck!



                      --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, Jim Goff <JamesGoff_960@...> wrote:
                      >
                      >
                      > SOMETHING A FEW OF YOU (US) MAYBE ABLE TO AGREE WITH...TO SOME EXTENT
                      >
                      > Joe (quoting Rabbi Shmuley Boteach): "But it is equally strange
                      coming from evolutionists like Richard Dawkins who have said, without a
                      single shred of evidence, that life on our planet may have been seeded
                      by space aliens. Even those evolutionists who reject Dawkins's faith in
                      extraterrestrial life have a belief system of their own; namely, that
                      intelligent life somehow evolved capriciously and accidentally from
                      inorganic matter, even though the possibility of complex organisms
                      evolving without guidance is mathematically nearly impossible."
                      > D R Lindberg: "A very good example of what comes from getting your
                      information from anti-science sources."
                      >
                      >
                      > Would you care to document your insinuation that Rabbi Shmuley is
                      "anti-science"?

                      No. It is his source, Ben "Science-Leads-to-Killing-People" Stein's
                      cinematic masterpiece, I was referring to.

                      Obviously.

                      >
                      > D R Lindberg: "Saying something is possible does not amount to 'faith
                      in extraterrestrial life,' any more than someone saying that it is
                      possible that anti-evolutionist websites sometimes do not lie amounts to
                      faith in anti-evolutionist websites."
                      >
                      > Setting aside your snide insinuation that "anti-evolutionists" are
                      chronic liars,

                      That is sad, isn't it, especially since so many of them claim to be
                      Christians. And what to me is even sadder is the fact that other
                      Christians fail to take them to task. As Edmund Burke put it, "The
                      only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do
                      nothing."

                      > it's plain from some of the things that Dawkins has written that he
                      does have "faith in extraterrestrial life." For example, in "The God
                      Delusion" he wrote:
                      >
                      > "Whether we get to know about them or not, there are very probably
                      alien civilizations that are superhuman, to the point of being god-like
                      in ways that exceed anything a theologian could possibly imagine."
                      >
                      > Clearly, before one can think it's very probable that there are
                      superhuman alien civilizations, he first has to have faith that
                      extraterrestrial life exists.
                      >

                      Are you sure? If someone said that it is very probable that Jesus was an
                      actual person, would you say he had faith in Jesus?

                      Perhaps even more appropriate, given the season, if someone said that it
                      is very probable that St. Nicholas was an actual person, would you say
                      he had faith in Santa Claus (which historically is a corruption of the
                      Dutch form of St. Nicholas)?

                      In your mind, is there no difference between "entertaining the
                      possibility" and "having faith"?

                      In recent years, I have heard people say that Chinese explorers reached
                      North America before Columbus. Now, I have never looked into this and I
                      have no evidence one way or the other, so I'm not going to reject the
                      possibility. In other words, I suppose it might be possible. I don't
                      know. Does this mean that I "have faith" that the Chinese "discovered"
                      North America, or even that I "have faith" that the Chinese did any
                      extensive exploring across the Pacific or, indeed, in any direction?

                      Strange kind of faith!

                      > D R Lindberg: "And the 'mathematically nearly impossible' argument
                      has been demonstrated to be a fallacy.... My four grandparents were
                      born in four countries on three different continents, so what were the
                      probabilities that they would ever get together, and then that my
                      parents would? If you go by the logic of Rabbi Shmuley's argument, I
                      don't exist. I suppose he would say that it is irrational for me to
                      believe that I do exist."
                      >
                      > No, he would probably say that you miss the point of the
                      "mathematically nearly impossible" argument (which has not "been
                      demonstrated to be a fallacy"). No matter how improbable it might have
                      been for your four grandparents to get together, no one is surprised
                      that they did. Why? Because their meetings were not specified events
                      (i.e., events conforming to independently given specifications).
                      Unspecified events of high improbability occur all the time, but their
                      occurrence does not falsify the "mathematically nearly impossible"
                      argument - an argument that applies only to specified events (such as
                      the origin of the first protein molecule, a molecule comprised of a
                      sequence of amino acids that had to meet certain biofunctional
                      specifications in order to form a biologically useful molecule rather
                      than a biologically useless polypeptide, much like the sequence of
                      letters you're now reading had to meet specifications given by the
                      English language in order to be a meaningful sentence rather than a
                      meaningless string of letters).
                      >

                      As Gluadys has pointed out, letters in English words are not a good
                      analogy, since with DNA, any combination of three letters will form a
                      word, in the sense that any combination of three nucleotides will lead
                      to the formation of an amino acid, whereas in English, or any other
                      language, many combinations of letters do not form words. Language has
                      far more redundancy (which is why I mentioned changes that would form
                      words in my examples - which you failed to respond to meaningfully).

                      > By way of illustration, no one would be surprised to learn that the
                      following meaningless sequence of letters was formed by randomly drawing
                      Scrabble tiles from a hat:
                      >
                      > fpgmrjvcuejektiogmdkgoypddkgbitjbkekgblbnirkfbkky
                      >
                      > But no one in his right mind would accept that the following sequence
                      of letters, which conveys meaning by virtue of its conformity to
                      specifications given by the English language, was formed by randomly
                      drawing Scrabble tiles from a hat:
                      >
                      > nowisthetimeforallgoodmentocometotheaidoftheparty
                      >
                      Are you claiming that your sentence is more specified than I am?

                      I guess I'll have to change my username to Unspecified.

                      Will you please explain what on earth is meant here by "unspecified"? It
                      appears to be an essential part of your argument, yet you never define
                      it, other than suggesting I read books that are not available to me.

                      (I was intending to read "Signature in the Cell" over the Xmas break,
                      but now I find it is not in our university library, even though I had
                      thought it was. I found another book by Meyer though.)

                      . . . . . . . . . . .

                      >
                      > ENTWICKLUNG
                      >
                      > D R Lindberg: "So Weikart is right because Weikart says Weikart is
                      right. How impressive! And how surprising!"
                      >
                      > I'm not at all surprised that you would misrepresent what Weikart
                      said, given your visceral objection to his argument that Hitler was
                      deeply influenced by Darwin's ideas. But I'm sure that less jaundiced
                      readers would have noticed that Weikart did not ask them to agree that
                      his translation of Entwicklung in Hitler's writings was right simply
                      because he said so. He instead made a solid, evidence-based case for
                      the validity of his translation. You, on the other hand, merely assert
                      that he's wrong, thereby asking readers to accept that you're right
                      simply because you say so.
                      >
                      No, although this does happen to be something I could perhaps be
                      considered an authority on. While my knowledge of German is not all I
                      would like it to be, I did receive top marks on the Advanced German
                      course I took, I lived in Berlin for a time, where I worked in an almost
                      entirely German speaking workplace, and have done translations from
                      German professionally from time to time, including an operating manual
                      for a submarine. But more generally, I have studied, taught and
                      otherwise worked with languages for over half a century. Very few of my
                      days involve only English, so I do have a basic idea of how different
                      languages work.

                      And part of that basic understanding is that you cannot say that because
                      a word COULD mean something, it DOES mean that something in any given
                      context. If Weikart had any evidence of other translators coming to the
                      same conclusion in the particular contexts he is discussing, he
                      certainly would have mentioned them. But he gives arguments, rather
                      than evidence. So he is asking his readers (most of whom will have no
                      idea of German) to accept what he is saying because he says so.

                      And despite your accusation, I NEVER ask anyone to "accept that [I'm]
                      right simply because [I] say so." I have already suggested that you
                      check with the German department in any nearly university. Or find a
                      (neutral on this issue) friend who speaks German. Or learn some German
                      yourself.

                      Or read something about the difficulties of translation, or about how
                      languages work.

                      Likewise, with anything else I may say. Although I try to check my
                      sources and to be accurate, no one is perfect, so check the facts!

                      And, according to your posting, apparently my suspicion of Weikart is
                      supported by someone named Robert J. Richards, who I had never heard of,
                      and who I'm danged sure has never heard of me, so there could be no
                      collusion.

                      So you have two (at least! I'm sure there must be others, if anyone
                      cares to look.) completely independent thinkers who come to the same
                      conclusion. But I doubt that would carry any weight with true believers.



                      --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, Jim Goff <JamesGoff_960@...> wrote:
                      >
                      >
                      > STEPHEN C. MEYER IN LONDON
                      >
                      > D R Lindberg: "The other day, it was Hitler, one of the Discovery
                      Institute's favourite hobbyhorses for badmouthing 'Darwinists'."
                      >
                      > Actually, DI Fellows never say or even suggest that evolutionary
                      biologists (or "Darwinists") are tainted by Hitler. Some of them have,
                      however, written about the influence that Darwin's ideas exerted on
                      Hitler.
                      >
                      > D R Lindberg: "Now it's crying to mommy because the adoration and awe
                      that the brilliant geniuses from the Discovery Institute think they are
                      entitled to is not flooding in from all quarters, and accusing critics
                      of a 'lack of substantive rebuttal to [their) arguments.' As they say,
                      turn about is fair play. So does that mean that Hitler is intended to
                      be a 'substantive rebuttal to the arguments' of Neil Shubin, Sean
                      Carroll,
                      > Lynn Margulis, and so many others...?"
                      >
                      > Of course it doesn't. As I've repeatedly told you (to no avail,
                      alas), the DI fellows who write about the intellectual connection
                      between Darwin in Hitler explicitly state that the connection does
                      nothing whatsoever to discredit either the scientific legitimacy or the
                      merits of Darwinian theory. For example, in an essay titled "Can a Jew
                      Be a Darwinist?" (which appears in "God and Evolution"), David
                      Klinghoffer (a DI Senior Fellow and an Orthodox Jew) wrote:
                      >
                      > "It can't be said often enough that Darwinism's intellectual fruits,
                      including, indirectly, Nazism, do not of course by themselves invalidate
                      Darwin's theory of evolution."
                      >
                      > For another example, Jonathan Witt (a Senior Fellow of DI's Center for
                      Science & Culture) wrote:
                      >
                      > "The fact that Darwin's theory has resulted in violence does not, of
                      course, make that theory wrong."
                      >
                      Well, then why do you (and the DI, and Ben Stein) continue to bring it
                      up, if not to play the same rhetorical trick as the politician who says,
                      in feigned innocence, "I would never, in all my days, ever suggest that
                      my opponent is a liar, a crook, a fornicator, and a general all-round
                      scumbag," thereby doing the very thing that he claims he is not doing -
                      smearing his opposition by suggesting all those things he says he is not
                      suggesting?

                      But why do you ignore the important part of my posting, the question
                      about the scarcity of actual scientific work from all the "scientists"
                      associated with the Discovery Institute? Their "Complete List" that you
                      linked to shows roughly the amount of work expected from one scientist
                      in a real scientific institution, although there appear to be a couple
                      of dozen of them.

                      How do you explain it?

                      Cheers!





                      Nothing from the Discovery Institute makes sense except in light of the
                      Wedge.
                      - Pete Dunkelberg
                      http://www.talkreason.org/articles/SI_Resp.cfm
                      <http://www.talkreason.org/articles/SI_Resp.cfm>




                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Charles Palm
                      Charles P: Please be more expansive about your own position and why you hold it. Gluadys: No need. I do not have a personal version of the theory of
                      Message 10 of 13 , Dec 2, 2011
                        Charles P: Please be more expansive about your own position and why you
                        hold it.

                        Gluadys: No need. I do not have a personal version of the theory of
                        evolution. The one in standard textbooks is fine by me.

                        Charles P: Faith is good. I respect your faith that the NCSE has
                        honorable intentions. I wish that they were not so anti-creationist. I
                        would trust their teachings more if they were not so dogmatic about being
                        anti-Intelligent-Design. The NCSE does not seem to understand the
                        difference between creationism and Intelligent Design.

                        Hebrews 11:1-3 Faith is the assured expectation of things hoped for, the
                        evident demonstration of realities though not beheld. For by means of this
                        the men of old times had witness borne to them. By faith we perceive that
                        the systems of things were put in order by God�s word, so that what is
                        beheld has come to be out of things that do not appear.

                        Gluadys: http://www.psjournals.org/toc/pbio/current Here are the titles
                        of the articles in the current issue of Paleobiology. A brief glance shows
                        that paleontologists are researching turtle habitat, chaetognath
                        lifestyles, how conifers shifted from producing pollen to producing seeds,
                        whether one can reliably detect low-density tree cover from woodrat
                        middens, and the diet of extinct whales and their ancestors. All those
                        topics unrelated to stasis and extinction in just one issue of one
                        magazine. They have many more in the archives as well as the Journal of
                        Paleontology and its archives. You underestimate very seriously what can be
                        learned from the fossil record if you think it only shows stasis and
                        extinction.

                        Charles P:
                        http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/2011/08/24/jurassic-mammal-moves-back-marsupial-divergence/
                        Thank you for not taking my word for anything. Thank you for verifying
                        that paleontologists continue to research the similarities among extinct
                        fossils and the stasis of living fossils. Their work is fascinating and
                        their discoveries, such as the Juramaia sinensis, have made obsolete the
                        theories written in "Why Evolution Is True" when describing convergent
                        evolution of marsupials.

                        Charles P: When paleontologists concluded that "Jurassic Mammal Moves Back
                        Marsupial Divergence", I have mixed emotions. On one hand, I am glad to
                        see the erroneous theories of "Why Evolution Is True" sent back to the
                        drawing board as being unscientific. I am glad to see that honest
                        scientists are updating the old theories. However, I am disappointed that
                        there are still so many average readers who continue to believe in ToE no
                        matter what the honest scientists conclude.

                        Gluadys: There you are. Lots of reading ahead of you. I have seen many
                        people express honest doubts about evolution. They have, they think, good
                        reason to honestly doubt evolution. So far, I have not found a case where
                        the honest doubt of an individual cannot be traced to a dishonest
                        presentation of evolution by someone else. I don't expect that every
                        person has the time or inclination to discover the dishonesty in such
                        presentations. The Index of Creationist Claims documents the source of
                        many dishonest statements made about evolution by leading anti-evolution
                        "scholars".

                        Charles P: Honestly, I understand the "debates" between creationists and
                        evolutionists. It reminds me of the debates among the different
                        Fundamentalist Christian denominations. People have their own personal
                        philosophies and they look toward science for the slightest bit of evidence
                        to justify their prejudices. They can take a few verses from the Bible,
                        interpret them to their own satisfaction, and then tirelessly debate honest
                        doubters by calling them bad names for not believing in the word of God.
                        My interest here on Origins Talk is to describe the origin and diversity
                        of life. I will study whatever scientific information that anyone wishes
                        to present and I respect the inherent dignity and worth of every person.

                        Gluadys: What current claims made about evolution by evolutionary
                        scientists do you consider dishonest and why? (Let's not drag up centuries
                        old faux pas which have long been corrected like Piltdown Man).

                        Charles P: I consider it dishonest for anyone (whether they are an
                        evolutionary scientist, creationist, theistic evolutionist, ID theorist,
                        etc.) to write as if they were politicians trying to stay in office or
                        trying to be elected to replace the "bad guys". In my opinion, it is
                        dishonest to argue that evolution is "right" because creationism is
                        "wrong". In my opinion, it is dishonest to argue that creation is "right"
                        because evolutionism is "wrong".

                        Charles P: In my opinion, there are still authors who like to "rattle the
                        cage" or "yank the chain" of the other guys, but really have nothing
                        scientific to say about their own personal philosophies. My philosophies
                        include what I have understood about Intelligent Design. I hope not to be
                        dogmatic, I hope that no one will take my word for anything. I hope that
                        each person will study the scientific evidence for themselves. In my
                        searches, you have probably noticed that I try to use the information
                        provided by honest scientists. In my opinion, an honest scientist is a
                        person who says: "This is the evidence. I interpret the evidence this way.
                        Please explain why you interpret the evidence differently".

                        Gluadys: One of the most important things we can see in the fossil record
                        is a pattern of history that supports the development of various lineages
                        consistent with the theory of common descent. Sometimes there are examples
                        of evolution in progress such as this illustration of one species breaking
                        into two species. (Speciation).

                        A Smooth Fossil Transition: single celled Radiolarian:
                        http://www.don-lindsay-archive.org/creation/radiolarian.html Technical
                        Details. Radiolarians are small, one-celled drifting (nektonic) plankton
                        with silica-based "skeletons" (tests). The fossils in the diagram were
                        found in deep-sea drill cores from the northern Pacific. The species at
                        the top left of the diagram is considered to be the original species,
                        rather than a new species. As you can see, the size has changed a little,
                        but the difference does not have enough statistical significance.

                        Charles P:
                        http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/0_0_0/evodevo_03 In my
                        opinion, Radiolarians are a good example of stasis or developmental
                        constraint or microevolution or speciation. In my opinion, these should
                        all be grouped together to fit into the concept of "descent with limited
                        modification. The descendants always look very much like their ancestors.

                        Gluadys: http://www.don-lindsay-archive.org/creation/foram.html Or there
                        is this 66 million year unbroken record of foraminifera showing about 330
                        different species (only a few of which are included in the picture from one
                        segment of this history). These clearly do not show stasis, but gradual
                        change over time.

                        Charles P: As Jim in Vermont would probably say, "This is a distinction
                        without a difference". Yes, I see a gradual change over time in the same
                        way that I see canine evolution to become Chihuahuas and Great Danes. And
                        it am in agreement with calling it evolution, speciation, stasis,
                        developmental constraint, or microevolution. Whatever you call it, in my
                        opinion it does not add up to "macroevolution". I prefer not to be
                        distracted in "debates" about definitions.

                        Gluadys: That would be nice, but it is only possible if everyone uses
                        agreed on definitions. For example, if people are disagreeing on whether
                        macroevolution happens, it may be they are not disagreeing on what actually
                        happens but on whether what actually happens meets the definition of
                        "macroevolution". But whose definition? The basic scientific meaning
                        includes speciation as macroevolution, but many anti-evolutionists do not
                        consider speciation to be macroevolution.

                        Charles P: Why do you conclude that it is scientific to say, "Life on
                        earth evolved gradually beginning with one primitive species that branched
                        out over time throwing off many new and diverse species."? In my opinion,
                        it is not scientific until the step-by-step process is described using
                        species named at the Tree of Life Web Project. Specifically, I would like
                        to see the scientific evidence that an older ancient fossil species is the
                        common ancestor of two or more younger ancient fossil species.

                        Charles P: http://tolweb.org/Sirenia/15984 The manatee is supposed to be
                        the best example of macroevolution. Evolutionists seem to believe that
                        finding a definition to fit the philosophy is sufficient to be called
                        scientific evidence. You have often read my opinion as "intelligently
                        designed rhetoric to win debates". Again, this reminds me of
                        Fundamentalist Christians debating their philosophy with those who honestly
                        question their dogmas.

                        Charles P: In my opinion, it is not scientific to design definitions just
                        for the purpose of winning debates. For example, if I can get you to agree
                        that the sun rises in the morning and that the sun sets in the evening,
                        then by definition we have a geocentric solar system. It would be
                        unscientific to say that the earth revolves around the sun.

                        Charles P:
                        http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/similarity_ms_01 The NCSE
                        wants us to agree to the definition of common ancestry. Everyone knows
                        about ancestors and genealogy. Many animals look very similar. Everyone
                        knows that traits are inherited from ancestors. However, that would not
                        explain how the ichthyosaurs, sharks, and dolphins developed their dorsal
                        fins. Scientists have already agreed that those species are not related
                        and they do not appear close to one another at the Tree of Life Web
                        Project. The only way for the believers in ToE to describe this diversity
                        of life is to get other scientists to agree on the definitions of
                        "homologies" and "analogies".

                        Charles P: Look what happens when scientists base their philosophies on
                        definitions. Homology: traits inherited by two different organisms from a
                        common ancestor. Analogy: traits inherited by two different organisms not
                        from a common ancestor. In other words, there are only two possibilities
                        defined and either way the student or average reader is, by definition,
                        accepting ToE. By the way, "not common ancestry" is defined as "convergent
                        evolution". OK. Now it sounds scientific.

                        Characteristics of Science:
                        http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/nature_06 To ask someone
                        to accept ideas purely on faith, even when these ideas are expressed by
                        "experts," is unscientific.

                        Charles P: Please do not take my word for it. Please verify it for
                        yourself. However, faith is good when you can't verify your philosophies.
                        Hebrews 11:1-3.


                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • gluadys
                        ... Do you think the science texts used in colleges and universities are not based on sound evidence and logic? Do you think it takes faith to believe what
                        Message 11 of 13 , Dec 3, 2011
                          --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, Charles Palm <palmcharlesUU@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > Charles P: Please be more expansive about your own position and why you
                          > hold it.
                          >
                          > Gluadys: No need. I do not have a personal version of the theory of
                          > evolution. The one in standard textbooks is fine by me.
                          >
                          > Charles P: Faith is good.
                          >

                          Do you think the science texts used in colleges and universities are not based on sound evidence and logic? Do you think it takes faith to believe what they say?




                          >
                          >The NCSE does not seem to understand the
                          > difference between creationism and Intelligent Design.
                          >

                          The trial in Dover was over a book published under the title Of Pandas and People which introduces high school students to Intelligent Design. It was the researchers at NCSE who turned up the evidence that the book was in production some years earlier under a different working title and introduced students to scientific creationism. The contents of the book were not changed. What was changed were the references to Creator/creationism. These were changed to designer/design.

                          You do not have to take my word for this. It was introduced as evidence at the trial and is also published on line.

                          When creationism and intelligence design can use exactly the same textbook, many paragraphs word-for-word identical, is it any wonder many people cannot see any difference between them? I have certainly not seen any significant difference. Can you explain to me what the difference is? All I see is anti-evolution creationism presented in secular language.




                          >
                          > Charles P:
                          > http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/2011/08/24/jurassic-mammal-moves-back-marsupial-divergence/
                          > Thank you for not taking my word for anything. Thank you for verifying
                          > that paleontologists continue to research the similarities among extinct
                          > fossils and the stasis of living fossils. Their work is fascinating and
                          > their discoveries, such as the Juramaia sinensis, have made obsolete the
                          > theories written in "Why Evolution Is True" when describing convergent
                          > evolution of marsupials.
                          >



                          > Charles P: When paleontologists concluded that "Jurassic Mammal Moves Back
                          > Marsupial Divergence", I have mixed emotions. On one hand, I am glad to
                          > see the erroneous theories of "Why Evolution Is True" sent back to the
                          > drawing board as being unscientific.
                          >
                          >

                          But they are not being "sent back to the drawing board" because they are neither erroneous nor unscientific. What fact, what theory in Coyne's book is affected by this discovery? Please show me the passage in the book made outdated, erroneous or unscientific by the discovery of Jumaia sinensis.


                          Please desist from making claims you cannot or will not substantiate.



                          >
                          >However, I am disappointed that
                          > there are still so many average readers who continue to believe in ToE no
                          > matter what the honest scientists conclude.
                          >
                          >

                          Honest scientists have concluded that evolution is a fact and that common descent is a fact. They have also concluded that natural selection plays a decisive role in evolution.

                          So average readers are taking their cue from honest scientists. As they should.


                          (Can you find any honest scientists who have shown that any of these are not true?)



                          >
                          > Charles P: My interest here on Origins Talk is to describe the origin and diversity
                          > of life. I will study whatever scientific information that anyone wishes
                          > to present and I respect the inherent dignity and worth of every person.
                          >

                          As long as you do not respect dishonesty and dishonest tactics. Whatever the inherent dignity of worth of a person is, it does not excuse laziness, misrepresentation, dubious debate tactics or outright falsehood. I would hope that when these features are found in any source you turn to, you start taking claims made there with a large grain of salt.


                          Do you find any of this in Jerry Coyne's scientific statements? Have you found any statement in his book which he has not backed up with concrete evidence and rational logic? If so, I would like to see what you have identified as dubious. (Specific paragraphs, for example.)


                          > Gluadys: What current claims made about evolution by evolutionary
                          > scientists do you consider dishonest and why? (Let's not drag up centuries
                          > old faux pas which have long been corrected like Piltdown Man).
                          >
                          > Charles P: I consider it dishonest for anyone (whether they are an
                          > evolutionary scientist, creationist, theistic evolutionist, ID theorist,
                          > etc.) to write as if they were politicians trying to stay in office or
                          > trying to be elected to replace the "bad guys". In my opinion, it is
                          > dishonest to argue that evolution is "right" because creationism is
                          > "wrong". In my opinion, it is dishonest to argue that creation is "right"
                          > because evolutionism is "wrong".
                          >


                          Well, that is a nice general position, but you did not provide any specific example of the sort of dishonesty or political statement you are talking about. Nor have you provided anything from the current claims made about evolution which you consider belong in this category.

                          Since you repeat so often that the current theory is outdated and no longer scientific and is only supported by dishonest scientists, I thought you would have lots of examples of that. But it seems you can't find even one. Please don't give me general philosophy when what I am asking for is substantive evidence of what you claim.

                          Please name one current scientific claim made by scientists about evolution which you consider to be dishonest along with an explanation of what is dishonest about it.




                          > Charles P: In my
                          > searches, you have probably noticed that I try to use the information
                          > provided by honest scientists.
                          >

                          Actually, I have seen the opposite. I have seen you uncritically accept the word of people who are patently dishonest while claiming dishonesty, or at least error, among scientists with no example given of the dishonesty or error. I have seen you misrepresent the significance of scientific news, (such as saying the discovery of Jumaia sinensis makes Jerry Coyne's book obsolete).

                          I can only conclude that you are not able to tell truth from fiction when it comes to the science of evolution and that you need an intensive course in evolution before you pass judgment on it.


                          >
                          > Please explain why you interpret the evidence differently".
                          >


                          I wish you would answer this question when it is posed to you.





                          >
                          > A Smooth Fossil Transition: single celled Radiolarian:
                          > http://www.don-lindsay-archive.org/creation/radiolarian.html Technical
                          > Details. Radiolarians are small, one-celled drifting (nektonic) plankton
                          > with silica-based "skeletons" (tests). The fossils in the diagram were
                          > found in deep-sea drill cores from the northern Pacific. The species at
                          > the top left of the diagram is considered to be the original species,
                          > rather than a new species. As you can see, the size has changed a little,
                          > but the difference does not have enough statistical significance.
                          >
                          > Charles P:
                          > http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/0_0_0/evodevo_03 In my
                          > opinion, Radiolarians are a good example of stasis
                          >




                          Why, given the example of gradual change and speciation in the diagram? This does not look like stasis to me. (Remember the question you just proposed "why do you interpret this evidence differently?" Please answer that question just as you expect me to answer it when you pose the question.)


                          >
                          >or developmental
                          > constraint or microevolution or speciation. In my opinion, these should
                          > all be grouped together to fit into the concept of "descent with limited
                          > modification.


                          By "these" are you referring to "radiolarians". They are already grouped together.

                          http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/protista/radiolaria/rads.html
                          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiolaria

                          But they are grouped together at a Class or Sub-class level. Within that group they are divided into at least four orders and these further into various other smaller taxa. The illustration I gave you was of a speciation. Species are the smallest definable group. There are at least 150 known species and probably many more not known yet.

                          When you say "these" all belong together, what do you mean? Do you mean, for example, that the whole class should be counted as only one species?

                          Or by "these" do you mean the list "stasis, developmental constraint, microevolution, speciation"? If so, what do you mean by "these should all be grouped together"? I would really appreciate some help from you in learning to understand what you intend to say.


                          >
                          > The descendants always look very much like their ancestors.
                          >


                          Is that something you have substantiated with evidence or is it an article of faith?


                          >
                          > Gluadys: http://www.don-lindsay-archive.org/creation/foram.html Or there
                          > is this 66 million year unbroken record of foraminifera showing about 330
                          > different species (only a few of which are included in the picture from one
                          > segment of this history). These clearly do not show stasis, but gradual
                          > change over time.
                          >
                          > Charles P: As Jim in Vermont would probably say, "This is a distinction
                          > without a difference". Yes, I see a gradual change over time in the same
                          > way that I see canine evolution to become Chihuahuas and Great Danes. And
                          > it am in agreement with calling it evolution, speciation, stasis,
                          > developmental constraint, or microevolution.
                          >


                          It cannot be both "speciation" and "microevolution". The terms in the list are not synonyms.

                          Evolution (general): a process of change over time—can apply to many different types of changes such as stellar evolution, chemical evolution, evolution of language, law, art, technology, etc.
                          Evolution (biology): the process of change in species over time.
                          Speciation: the division of a species into two or more distinct species
                          Stasis: a period in the history of a species when there is very little morphological change. Some species show more stasis than others. Many species show more stasis at one point in their history than others.
                          Developmental constraint: a constraint on the sort of morphological change that can occur in a species due to its inherited genome. i.e. all terrestrial vertebrates have an upper limit of four limbs and five digits.
                          Microevolution: evolutionary change that occurs within a species and does not lead to an increase in the number of species.
                          Macroevolution: evolution that occurs at or above the level of species; macroevolution increases the number of species through speciation and increases the divergence between species as the two (or more) new branches continue to evolve separately from each other.

                          So, one cannot say that "stasis" is a synonym of "developmental constraint" or that "speciation" is a synonym of "evolution". Each term has its own meaning.



                          >
                          > Whatever you call it, in my
                          > opinion it does not add up to "macroevolution".
                          >

                          But do you agree that as the foraminifera evolved they divided into different species? (or if you prefer, different breeding populations with different unique characters).

                          Do you recognize that whatever YOU call it, this is what scientists call "macroevolution"?

                          Naturally, as I said in my last post, you may use a different definition. And it may be true that if we agree to use your definition, we agree that this is not macroevolution. That doesn't change what happens. It just changes what label we put on it. And it is not going to change the view of scientists that macroevolution does happen. It just means you and they are talking about different ideas which you happen to call by the same name.

                          So we don't need to debate whether "macroevolution" happens. What we need is to consider whether speciation happens as the scientists claim and what the effect of evolution is on populations which have speciated.


                          >
                          > I prefer not to be
                          > distracted in "debates" about definitions.
                          >


                          Then let's look at the actual empirical events we can document without worrying about what label we will put on them.

                          There are a great many events associated with biological evolution: changes at the level of DNA; changes to proteins coded by DNA sequences; changes in host organisms (as compared to their parents) due to the aforementioned changes; consequences (good, bad and indifferent) to organisms exhibiting these changes; changes in the organism's population over time now that these new genes have been added to its gene pool; ecological circumstances that influence the distribution of new character traits in scope and time.

                          We can look at all these and more; we can get into the consequences of these and what evidence they will produce in geographical distribution, molecular and morphological taxonomic distribution, types of fossils found and at what time periods, etc. etc.

                          We can focus on what is actually happening rather than debating definitions.



                          >
                          > Charles P: Why do you conclude that it is scientific to say, "Life on
                          > earth evolved gradually beginning with one primitive species that branched
                          > out over time throwing off many new and diverse species."?
                          >


                          Because of the evidence that this is so. (There is a great deal of evidence, not just one key item of information. So I will not provide a list. But some time ago I suggested we look at the 29+ evidences of macroevolution (and common descent) posted on TalkOrigins. I usually find that people never get beyond the first one even though it is very simple. But the point is that there is not just one, there are 29 (and more). If you have 29 indicators that an idea is correct, and none that it is incorrect, what would your conclusion be?




                          > In my opinion,
                          > it is not scientific until the step-by-step process is described using
                          > species named at the Tree of Life Web Project.


                          Do you mean "process" or do you mean "history"? A history would be a list of ancestors in a lineage, possibly with a list of each mutation or other factor that produced a changed character trait all in proper sequence with documentation of each step.

                          That would be nice to have, but the amount of data still to be collected is formidable, even for one species, much less for all known species (and the list of known species is growing by leaps and bounds every day.) Biologists don't even have time to catalogue all species, much less describe them and research their genomes. So how can we get histories of them all?

                          Of course, they are trying. Many scientists are working on discovering just what molecular changes occurred to bring about specific evolutionary changes.

                          Process is a different matter. Since the process is the same in all species, it is fairly simple to say what the process involves, even when we have not investigated the details in a particular species. We know, for example, that an evolutionary change must involve, at some point, a change in the genome. Scientists know before they begin looking for the specific change they want to find that there is one which is responsible for a particular evolutionary change in a specific species. Similarly, they know that natural selection (or some form of selection) played a role in making certain features more common than other possibilities which existed in the population. They know or can find out which species or species groups are more closely related to each other than to species outside the group. They know that evolution has to produce a pattern of relationship like that of a family tree; and they can use various types of evidence to determine which branch of a family tree different species must be on.

                          They can know these things because every step of the evolutionary process is known from observation to actually happen in nature. In fact, it is because the process is known to happen that they can use the characteristics of the process to discover the history of various lineages.

                          Since it is knowledge of the process that helps discover the historical lineages and how species are connected through descent from common ancestors, it is not necessary to know exactly who each ancestor is or to have completed the family tree in detail before saying we know evolution happens or that common ancestry is a fact. It really works the other way around. Because we know these are facts, they lead us into discoverying the history of each species. But the volumen of data is so great that it will take a very long time before we have more than sketchy outlines of each particular historical line.



                          >
                          >Specifically, I would like
                          > to see the scientific evidence that an older ancient fossil species is the
                          > common ancestor of two or more younger ancient fossil species.
                          >

                          There is none, and you have been told that before. A fossil does not come with information about how it is connected to the family it belongs to, nor how it is connected to modern species of the same family. The fossil record is like one huge mass grave with no skeletons identified. You may know that in your grandfather's generation many of your family were buried in such a grave (perhaps due to a plague or accident that took many lives and left little time to bury them properly). But how would you be able to identify which skeleton is your grandfather's brother, which his nephew, which one of his sons, which a cousin? A fossil may have any one of analagous relationships to a modern species of the same family: direct ancestor, sibling species of direct ancestor; more distant relationship to direct ancestor, descendant of a sibling species of the direct ancestor, etc. It is quite impossible to say which relationship is the one that actually pertains. What can be said is that it has the proper characteristics to be a relation to the modern species and to the ancestor of the modern species. And since it either is the ancestor or allied to the ancestor, it provides pertinent information about the sort of creature the ancestor was.

                          Given that we can't pinpoint the exact relationship of a fossil to later species, there is still evidence of the sort you are looking for. Hyracotherium is well-known as the most probable ancestor of modern horses. But it is a very probable ancestor of the modern rhinoceros as well. Early Australopithecines are a recognized transitional form between ourselves and the ancestor we share with chimpanzees: but species like A. afarensis had many descendants. Some of them eventually became us, but others evolved in a different direction becoming heavier, with stronger bones, thicker skeletons and massive grinding teeth. As a group these species are placed in the genus Paranthropus. So Australopithecus also gave rise to two distinct genera: Paranthropus and Homo.


                          >
                          > Charles P: http://tolweb.org/Sirenia/15984 The manatee is supposed to be
                          > the best example of macroevolution.
                          >
                          >

                          Well,it is one person's opinion that it is the best example of macroevolution. It is certainly a good example, but let's not assume that there is any consensus that it is the best.

                          Do you understand why this person thinks it is a very good example? Do you have any reason to question that evolution could produce the phenomena discussed? Can you describe evidence for any other process which could produce the same phenomena?


                          >
                          > Charles P:
                          > http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/similarity_ms_01 The NCSE
                          > wants us to agree to the definition of common ancestry. Everyone knows
                          > about ancestors and genealogy. Many animals look very similar. Everyone
                          > knows that traits are inherited from ancestors. However, that would not
                          > explain how the ichthyosaurs, sharks, and dolphins developed their dorsal
                          > fins.
                          >

                          It indicates that their most recent common ancestor did not have a dorsal fin. Each of these groups developed that adaptation independently after the lineages split into different groups.

                          There is a good discussion of differentiating homologies and analogies in the Ridley tutorials.
                          http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/ridley/tutorials/The_reconstruction_of_phylogeny7.asp
                          Start here and go through the next 10 or so pages. (they are all very short.)






                          >Scientists have already agreed that those species are not related
                          > and they do not appear close to one another at the Tree of Life Web
                          > Project. The only way for the believers in ToE to describe this diversity
                          > of life is to get other scientists to agree on the definitions of
                          > "homologies" and "analogies".
                          >

                          Well, it takes evidence to get scientists to agree, so the definition of the terms rest on observable evidence. One has to demonstrate that a character is a homology before one can use it to infer descent. The tutorials above discuss some of the means scientists use to determine which similarities are really homologous and which merely analogous traits independent of descent. Generally speaking if a common trait in what otherwise appear to be unrelated(or rather distantly related) species has a function common to all, it is usually an analogy. In homologies, the reverse is often the case: the similarity persists even through changes in function.

                          I know of nothing other than evolution which can explain the existence of both sets of similarities coherently.

                          Do you have an alternative to an evolutionary explanation for these?



                          >
                          > Charles P: Please do not take my word for it. Please verify it for
                          > yourself. However, faith is good when you can't verify your philosophies.
                          > Hebrews 11:1-3.
                          >
                          >
                          >

                          No, it is not. Hebrews 11 is not about philosophy. Nor about science either. Faith is not a matter of believing propositions.
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