Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: [creationevolutiondebate] One for Michael Tong

Expand Messages
  • al adrian
    Randy, Thanks for posting this excellent example of evolution in action. Al Randy Raymond wrote: Michael is fond of posting some long
    Message 1 of 12 , Apr 1, 2005
    • 0 Attachment
      Randy,
      Thanks for posting this excellent example of evolution in action.
      Al

      Randy Raymond <randytoad@...> wrote:

      Michael is fond of posting some long article about some sort of
      special adaptation and then simply stating something like "explain
      this by evolution". I suggest we turn the tables. We should post
      articles demonstrating some of the principles of evolution and asking
      him to "explain this by intelligent design". Here's my first attempt:

      It is from http://www.actionbioscience.org/evolution/irwin.html


      Ring species provide unusual and valuable situations in which we can
      observe two species and the intermediate forms connecting them. In a
      ring species:
      A ring of populations encircles an area of unsuitable habitat.
      At one location in the ring of populations, two distinct forms
      coexist without interbreeding, and hence are different species.
      Around the rest of the ring, the traits of one of these species
      change gradually, through intermediate populations, into the traits
      of the second species.

      Ring species:
      a ring of populations in which there is only one place where 2
      distinct species meet. A ring species, therefore, is a ring of
      populations in which there is only one place where two distinct
      species meet. Ernst Mayr4 called ring species "the perfect
      demonstration of speciation" because they show a range of
      intermediate forms between two species. They allow us to use
      variation in space to infer how changes occurred over time. This
      approach is especially powerful when we can reconstruct the
      biogeographical history of a ring species, as has been done in two
      cases.




      California salamanders exhibit ring species traits.

      Ensatina salamanders

      One well-studied ring species consists of salamanders in the Ensatina
      eschscholtzii group, distributed in mountains along the west coast of
      North America. In 1949, Robert Stebbins5 described a fascinating
      pattern of geographical variation in these salamanders:
      Two distinct forms of Ensatina salamanders, differing dramatically in
      color, coexist in southern California and interbreed there only
      rarely.
      These two forms are connected by a chain of populations to the north
      that encircles the Central Valley of California, and through this
      ring of populations the color patterns of the salamanders change
      gradually.

      DNA analysis supports a common ancestor for these salamanders.
      Stebbins thought that this situation arose when an ancestral
      population of salamanders, in northern California, expanded southward
      along two fronts, one down the Sierra Nevada mountains, and the other
      down the coastal mountains. The two groups gradually became different
      as they moved south. When they met again in southern California, the
      two expanding fronts were so different that they rarely interbred,
      and were therefore different species. More recently, a team of
      researchers led by David Wake6-8 has examined genetic relationships
      among salamander populations using DNA sequences and other molecular
      traits, and the genetic evidence has supported Stebbins' hypothesis.
      The geographical variation, when combined with the inferred history
      revealed by the molecular traits, allows us to envision the small
      steps by which a single ancestral species in the north gave rise
      through evolutionary divergence to two species in southern
      California.
      Greenish warblers, a ring species, are found in parts of Asia and
      eastern Europe.










      Greenish warblers

      Another ring species that has provided valuable insights into
      speciation consists of the greenish warblers (Phylloscopus
      trochiloides). These small, insect-eating songbirds breed in the
      forests of central and northern Asia and eastern Europe. In the
      center of Asia is a large region of desert, including the Tibetan
      Plateau and the Taklamakan and Gobi Deserts, where the warblers
      cannot live. Instead, they inhabit a ring of mountains surrounding
      this region, as well as the forests of Siberia to the north. The
      warblers have remarkable geographic variation:9-11
      In Siberia, two distinct forms of greenish warblers coexist, one in
      the west and one in the east, their distributions narrowly
      overlapping in central Siberia, where they do not interbreed. These
      forms differ in color patterns, the songs that males sing to attract
      mates, and genetic characteristics. Also, males of each form usually
      do not recognize the song of the other form, but respond strongly to
      their own.
      The traits that differ between the two Siberian forms change
      gradually through the chain of populations encircling the Tibetan
      Plateau to the south.
      Thus two distinct species are connected by gradual variation in
      morphological, behavioral, and genetic traits.

      DNA evidence points to an ancestor somewhere in the Himalayas.









      Claude Ticehurst,9 who during the 1930s studied variation in museum
      specimens of greenish warblers, hypothesized that the present pattern
      of variation arose when an ancestral species in the south, perhaps in
      the Himalayas, expanded northward along two pathways, one on the west
      side of Tibet and the other on the east. The two expanding fronts
      gradually became different, resulting in two distinct Siberian forms.
      More recently, studies of genetic variation and song variation have
      strongly supported this view.10-11

      The pattern of song variation is particularly interesting:
      Songs are short and simple in the south, but to the north songs
      become gradually longer and more complex along both pathways into
      Siberia.
      However, songs have also become different in structure, resulting in
      distinct differences in songs between the Siberian forms.

      Song patterns changed as new species emerged.



      The birds distinguish between these differences; males respond
      aggressively to tape recordings of their own songs, thinking that
      another male has invaded their territory, but they do not respond to
      songs of the other form. In most species of songbirds, songs play an
      important role in mate choice; usually, only males sing, and females
      listen to songs when deciding which male to choose as a mate.12
      Speciation is essentially the evolution of reproductive isolation
      between two populations, and song differences can cause reproductive
      isolation. Hence, the geographical variation in songs of greenish
      warblers provides a rare illustration of how gradual change in a
      trait can cause speciation.


      Ring species provide strong evidence for evolution.









      Complete geographical isolation is not necessary to produce new
      species.

      Demonstrations of evolution

      Greenish warblers and Ensatina salamanders illustrate three
      fundamental ways that ring species can teach us about evolution:
      Ring species provide strong evidence for evolution causing the
      appearance of new species, demonstrating that many small changes can
      eventually accumulate into large differences between distinct
      species. Some critics of evolutionary theory think that evolution can
      only cause limited change within a species and cannot lead to the
      evolution of new species. Ring species show that they are wrong;
      variation between species is qualitatively similar, though different
      in degree, to variation within a species.
      Ring species allow a reconstruction of the history and causes of
      divergence during speciation, since spatial variation may illustrate
      change through time. Without the rings of populations connecting the
      terminal forms, we would have little understanding of the history of
      divergence of greenish warbler songs or Ensatina color patterns.
      Ring species provide evidence that speciation can occur without
      complete geographic isolation. As discussed at the beginning of this
      article, the prevailing view of speciation has been that two
      populations must become geographically isolated, such that they do
      not exchange genes, before speciation can occur (this process is
      called 'allopatric speciation'). Ring species, however, show that the
      ends of a long chain of interbreeding populations can diverge to the
      point that they do not directly interbreed, even though genes can
      travel between them through the intermediate populations (in other
      words, they are connected by 'gene flow'). This aspect of ring
      species has been rather controversial, and critics have argued that
      some apparent examples of ring species, such as Ensatina, have breaks
      in gene flow.13






      Yahoo! Groups SponsorADVERTISEMENT
      Children InternationalWould you give Hope to a Child in need? �Click Here to meet a Girl
      And Give Her Hope�Click Here to meet a Boy
      And Change His Life Learn More

      ---------------------------------
      Yahoo! Groups Links

      To visit your group on the web, go to:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/creationevolutiondebate/

      To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
      creationevolutiondebate-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com

      Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Michael Tong
      Michael: Very easy to explain. The designer created organisms with the ability to adapt to different environments. Why speciation? Because hybrids are
      Message 2 of 12 , Apr 1, 2005
      • 0 Attachment
        Michael: Very easy to explain. The designer created organisms with the
        ability to adapt to different environments. Why speciation? Because
        hybrids are unsuitable for either parent's environment. This ability to
        adapt has limits. That is why the California salamanders never change
        into reptiles. Humans do not design vehicles that are suitable only to
        one environment. One may have to change tires or fluids depending on the
        environment. Military vehicles must have a different camouflage. It
        would be more convenient if vehicles could change automatically but
        humans don't have the technology to accomplish this.

        On Thu, 31 Mar 2005 18:49:43 -0000 "Randy Raymond" <randytoad@...>
        writes:
        >
        >
        > Michael is fond of posting some long article about some sort of
        > special adaptation and then simply stating something like "explain
        > this by evolution". I suggest we turn the tables. We should post
        > articles demonstrating some of the principles of evolution and
        > asking
        > him to "explain this by intelligent design". Here's my first
        > attempt:
        >
        > It is from http://www.actionbioscience.org/evolution/irwin.html
        >
        >
        > Ring species provide unusual and valuable situations in which we can
        >
        > observe two species and the intermediate forms connecting them. In a
        >
        > ring species:
        > A ring of populations encircles an area of unsuitable habitat.
        > At one location in the ring of populations, two distinct forms
        > coexist without interbreeding, and hence are different species.
        > Around the rest of the ring, the traits of one of these species
        > change gradually, through intermediate populations, into the traits
        >
        > of the second species.
        >
        > Ring species:
        > a ring of populations in which there is only one place where 2
        > distinct species meet. A ring species, therefore, is a ring of
        > populations in which there is only one place where two distinct
        > species meet. Ernst Mayr4 called ring species "the perfect
        > demonstration of speciation" because they show a range of
        > intermediate forms between two species. They allow us to use
        > variation in space to infer how changes occurred over time. This
        > approach is especially powerful when we can reconstruct the
        > biogeographical history of a ring species, as has been done in two
        > cases.
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > California salamanders exhibit ring species traits.
        >
        > Ensatina salamanders
        >
        > One well-studied ring species consists of salamanders in the
        > Ensatina
        > eschscholtzii group, distributed in mountains along the west coast
        > of
        > North America. In 1949, Robert Stebbins5 described a fascinating
        > pattern of geographical variation in these salamanders:
        > Two distinct forms of Ensatina salamanders, differing dramatically
        > in
        > color, coexist in southern California and interbreed there only
        > rarely.
        > These two forms are connected by a chain of populations to the north
        >
        > that encircles the Central Valley of California, and through this
        > ring of populations the color patterns of the salamanders change
        > gradually.
        >
        > DNA analysis supports a common ancestor for these salamanders.
        > Stebbins thought that this situation arose when an ancestral
        > population of salamanders, in northern California, expanded
        > southward
        > along two fronts, one down the Sierra Nevada mountains, and the
        > other
        > down the coastal mountains. The two groups gradually became
        > different
        > as they moved south. When they met again in southern California, the
        >
        > two expanding fronts were so different that they rarely interbred,
        > and were therefore different species. More recently, a team of
        > researchers led by David Wake6-8 has examined genetic relationships
        >
        > among salamander populations using DNA sequences and other molecular
        >
        > traits, and the genetic evidence has supported Stebbins' hypothesis.
        >
        > The geographical variation, when combined with the inferred history
        >
        > revealed by the molecular traits, allows us to envision the small
        > steps by which a single ancestral species in the north gave rise
        > through evolutionary divergence to two species in southern
        > California.
        > Greenish warblers, a ring species, are found in parts of Asia and
        > eastern Europe.
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Greenish warblers
        >
        > Another ring species that has provided valuable insights into
        > speciation consists of the greenish warblers (Phylloscopus
        > trochiloides). These small, insect-eating songbirds breed in the
        > forests of central and northern Asia and eastern Europe. In the
        > center of Asia is a large region of desert, including the Tibetan
        > Plateau and the Taklamakan and Gobi Deserts, where the warblers
        > cannot live. Instead, they inhabit a ring of mountains surrounding
        > this region, as well as the forests of Siberia to the north. The
        > warblers have remarkable geographic variation:9-11
        > In Siberia, two distinct forms of greenish warblers coexist, one in
        >
        > the west and one in the east, their distributions narrowly
        > overlapping in central Siberia, where they do not interbreed. These
        >
        > forms differ in color patterns, the songs that males sing to attract
        >
        > mates, and genetic characteristics. Also, males of each form usually
        >
        > do not recognize the song of the other form, but respond strongly to
        >
        > their own.
        > The traits that differ between the two Siberian forms change
        > gradually through the chain of populations encircling the Tibetan
        > Plateau to the south.
        > Thus two distinct species are connected by gradual variation in
        > morphological, behavioral, and genetic traits.
        >
        > DNA evidence points to an ancestor somewhere in the Himalayas.
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Claude Ticehurst,9 who during the 1930s studied variation in museum
        >
        > specimens of greenish warblers, hypothesized that the present
        > pattern
        > of variation arose when an ancestral species in the south, perhaps
        > in
        > the Himalayas, expanded northward along two pathways, one on the
        > west
        > side of Tibet and the other on the east. The two expanding fronts
        > gradually became different, resulting in two distinct Siberian
        > forms.
        > More recently, studies of genetic variation and song variation have
        >
        > strongly supported this view.10-11
        >
        > The pattern of song variation is particularly interesting:
        > Songs are short and simple in the south, but to the north songs
        > become gradually longer and more complex along both pathways into
        > Siberia.
        > However, songs have also become different in structure, resulting in
        >
        > distinct differences in songs between the Siberian forms.
        >
        > Song patterns changed as new species emerged.
        >
        >
        >
        > The birds distinguish between these differences; males respond
        > aggressively to tape recordings of their own songs, thinking that
        > another male has invaded their territory, but they do not respond to
        >
        > songs of the other form. In most species of songbirds, songs play an
        >
        > important role in mate choice; usually, only males sing, and females
        >
        > listen to songs when deciding which male to choose as a mate.12
        > Speciation is essentially the evolution of reproductive isolation
        > between two populations, and song differences can cause reproductive
        >
        > isolation. Hence, the geographical variation in songs of greenish
        > warblers provides a rare illustration of how gradual change in a
        > trait can cause speciation.
        >
        >
        > Ring species provide strong evidence for evolution.
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Complete geographical isolation is not necessary to produce new
        > species.
        >
        > Demonstrations of evolution
        >
        > Greenish warblers and Ensatina salamanders illustrate three
        > fundamental ways that ring species can teach us about evolution:
        > Ring species provide strong evidence for evolution causing the
        > appearance of new species, demonstrating that many small changes can
        >
        > eventually accumulate into large differences between distinct
        > species. Some critics of evolutionary theory think that evolution
        > can
        > only cause limited change within a species and cannot lead to the
        > evolution of new species. Ring species show that they are wrong;
        > variation between species is qualitatively similar, though different
        >
        > in degree, to variation within a species.
        > Ring species allow a reconstruction of the history and causes of
        > divergence during speciation, since spatial variation may illustrate
        >
        > change through time. Without the rings of populations connecting the
        >
        > terminal forms, we would have little understanding of the history of
        >
        > divergence of greenish warbler songs or Ensatina color patterns.
        > Ring species provide evidence that speciation can occur without
        > complete geographic isolation. As discussed at the beginning of this
        >
        > article, the prevailing view of speciation has been that two
        > populations must become geographically isolated, such that they do
        > not exchange genes, before speciation can occur (this process is
        > called 'allopatric speciation'). Ring species, however, show that
        > the
        > ends of a long chain of interbreeding populations can diverge to the
        >
        > point that they do not directly interbreed, even though genes can
        > travel between them through the intermediate populations (in other
        > words, they are connected by 'gene flow'). This aspect of ring
        > species has been rather controversial, and critics have argued that
        >
        > some apparent examples of ring species, such as Ensatina, have
        > breaks
        > in gene flow.13
      • Randy Raymond
        ... on the ... ************************************************************************ Read the article more carefully, there are no significant environmental
        Message 3 of 12 , Apr 11, 2005
        • 0 Attachment
          --- In creationevolutiondebate@yahoogroups.com, Michael Tong
          <mtong5@j...> wrote:
          > Michael: Very easy to explain. The designer created organisms with the
          > ability to adapt to different environments. Why speciation? Because
          > hybrids are unsuitable for either parent's environment. This ability to
          > adapt has limits. That is why the California salamanders never change
          > into reptiles. Humans do not design vehicles that are suitable only to
          > one environment. One may have to change tires or fluids depending
          on the
          > environment. Military vehicles must have a different camouflage. It
          > would be more convenient if vehicles could change automatically but
          > humans don't have the technology to accomplish this.
          >
          ************************************************************************
          Read the article more carefully, there are no significant
          environmental differences around the ring. The species involved are
          not adapted to different environments, if they were there would be
          discrete non-interbreeding populations, not a continuum.

          I just got back from a trip to Hawai'i (the state and the island). If
          there was ever an indisputable proof of evolution, it's the Hawaiian
          islands (almost as good as Darwin's Galapogos). Something like 85% of
          the indigenous species found on this most remote of island chains are
          found nowhere else on earth. Yet many are quite similar to species
          found in North America, the closest continental land mass and the
          direction from which the winds and ocean currents come. Special
          design to meet the requirements of a peculiar environment does not
          explain this, because the environment of the Hawaiian Islands is not
          significantly different from that of the thousands of other tropical
          islands of the Pacific. Proof of this can be seen from the fact that
          when plants or animals from other tropical environments are introduced
          to Hawai'i, they do very well, crowding out the indigenous species.
          The vast majority of the species that were found in Hawai'i before the
          first polynesians arrived, a mere 1000 years ago, are now extinct;
          replaced by introduced species.
        • wingsofblue11
          ... with the ... Because ... ability to ... change ... only to ... camouflage. It ... but ...
          Message 4 of 12 , Apr 14, 2005
          • 0 Attachment
            --- In creationevolutiondebate@yahoogroups.com, "Randy Raymond"
            <randytoad@y...> wrote:
            >
            > --- In creationevolutiondebate@yahoogroups.com, Michael Tong
            > <mtong5@j...> wrote:
            > > Michael: Very easy to explain. The designer created organisms
            with the
            > > ability to adapt to different environments. Why speciation?
            Because
            > > hybrids are unsuitable for either parent's environment. This
            ability to
            > > adapt has limits. That is why the California salamanders never
            change
            > > into reptiles. Humans do not design vehicles that are suitable
            only to
            > > one environment. One may have to change tires or fluids depending
            > on the
            > > environment. Military vehicles must have a different
            camouflage. It
            > > would be more convenient if vehicles could change automatically
            but
            > > humans don't have the technology to accomplish this.
            > >
            >
            **********************************************************************
            **
            > Read the article more carefully, there are no significant
            > environmental differences around the ring. The species involved are
            > not adapted to different environments, if they were there would be
            > discrete non-interbreeding populations, not a continuum.
            >
            > I just got back from a trip to Hawai'i (the state and the island).
            If
            > there was ever an indisputable proof of evolution, it's the Hawaiian
            > islands (almost as good as Darwin's Galapogos). Something like 85%
            of
            > the indigenous species found on this most remote of island chains
            are
            > found nowhere else on earth.

            Are you suggesting that these species evolved only on the island?
            Name these species. Creationists would explain that beacuse of the
            continuntal drift after the flood, migartion and the selcetion of
            genes are what caused this special variations. You gave no examples
            of this species and how they "evolved" as opposed to simply selction
            and migration after the flood. Actualy, speaking about speciation,
            speciation occurs much faster sometimes than evolutionists expect.
            This is further proof of rapid post flood migration and selction.

            Yet many are quite similar to species
            > found in North America, the closest continental land mass and the
            > direction from which the winds and ocean currents come. Special
            > design to meet the requirements of a peculiar environment does not
            > explain this, because the environment of the Hawaiian Islands is not
            > significantly different from that of the thousands of other tropical
            > islands of the Pacific.

            Yes, it does. The creator designed the kinds with avariety of genes,
            natural selection and migration sorted them out. There was no new
            information.

            Proof of this can be seen from the fact that
            > when plants or animals from other tropical environments are
            introduced
            > to Hawai'i, they do very well, crowding out the indigenous species.

            So? what does this have to do with evolution? Were is the new
            information?
            > The vast majority of the species that were found in Hawai'i before
            the
            > first polynesians arrived, a mere 1000 years ago, are now extinct;
            > replaced by introduced species.

            So? Natuarl secection and post flood migration explain this perfecty.
          • piasanaol
            ... genes, ... ***** Pi: 1) Please define kind . I ve been asking this of creationists for years and still don t have a good answer. ***** ... perfecty.
            Message 5 of 12 , Apr 14, 2005
            • 0 Attachment
              --- In creationevolutiondebate@yahoogroups.com, "wingsofblue11"
              <wingsofblue11@y...> wrote:
              > Yes, it does. The creator designed the kinds with avariety of
              genes,
              > natural selection and migration sorted them out. There was no new
              > information.

              *****
              Pi:
              1) Please define "kind". I've been asking this of creationists for
              years and still don't have a good answer.
              *****


              Blue:
              > So? Natuarl secection and post flood migration explain this
              perfecty.

              ******
              Pi:
              If we are talking about Noah's flood, there are a few issues before
              you will be able to claim "post flood migration". We can begin by
              showing that there was, in fact, a flood. For starters, where did
              the water come from and where did it go. Then we can address the
              consequences of 40 days and nights of rain on a global scale.
              *****
            • Chris Cogan
              *Intelligent* Intelligent Design by Chris Cogan, 2005 Creationists and Intelligent Design (or ID) advocates often claim that their views are scientific. The
              Message 6 of 12 , Apr 14, 2005
              • 0 Attachment
                *Intelligent* Intelligent Design
                by Chris Cogan, 2005

                Creationists and "Intelligent Design" (or ID) advocates often claim that their views are scientific. The only problem
                with this claim has been the complete lack of any such science. Because of the claim that they are interested in being
                scientific, and yet they insist on retaining the intelligent designer idea under it all, they should be seen to leap on
                any intelligent designer theory that could actually work.

                Therefore, in order to help things along, I have spent some time working out an *intelligent* intelligent design theory,
                one that actually has a (very slim) chance of being true, and one that even has meaningful testable predictions. People
                who have been debating with creationists and ID folks for a few years will notice that this theory is not exactly new;
                it is not intended to be as much novel as a more or less well-developed expression of a view that is normally stated in
                a paragraph or two, and then followed by more or less unrelated subject matter. It is possible that the complete
                "package" of this theory, as I formulate it below, is in fact novel, but I certainly don't know that for a fact.

                Be that as it may, let's look at the theory itself.

                The basic idea, as indicated above, is to retain the idea of intelligent design while adding modifications to it as
                required in order to accommodate and explain the facts. It's not a good theory in comparison to modern evolutionary
                theory, but it is vastly closer to being a good theory than are *any* current design theory claims made by the ID and
                creationist crowds (and the very factors that *make* it such a relatively good theory are the *same* factors that
                creationists and ID people won't like, too).

                We start by generally summarizing the data and background assumptions.

                1. All of the main well-established
                conclusions of the sciences other than
                the theory of evolution are either
                true or close enough. For example, the
                age of the Earth is assumed actually
                to be about 4.5 billion years, just as
                mainstream science indicates. Another
                and more directly relevant example: I
                assume that the designer started life
                on Earth about 3.8 billion years ago.
                2. The data of evolution is genuine. No
                God has been planting faked fossils,
                as would be required to make ordinary
                creationism "work." Fossils are really
                about as old, usually, as radiometric
                and other dating techniques indicate.
                3. There has been a kind of evolution of
                life on Earth. That is, there is a
                relationship between earlier and later
                species that connects them, but it is
                not one of Darwinian evolution, nor is
                it one of some sort of inbuilt "urge"
                of living organisms to evolve. This
                will all become clearer as we go
                along.
                4. The designer is not omnipotent and not
                omniscient. He may only have the
                intelligence, of say, a smart human
                being (or there may be many designers
                working together).
                5. The designer is definitely not
                supernatural. A supernaturalistic
                version could be constructed, but it
                would not be as good, and it would be
                even more of an affront to Occam's
                Razor than my version already is.
                6. The data includes all the usual data
                used to support evolution. I just use
                it for a different purpose. This way I
                don't have to try to explain away the
                data (as creationists and ID folks
                normally try to do (when they don't
                simply evade the question!)). The data
                includes all the fossils, millions of
                them, or even millions of tons of them
                (in places like the Grand Canyon).
                7. I assume ordinary genetics but there
                is a small potential here for
                problems.
                8. I assume ordinary biological science,
                including biochemistry.
                9. I assume ordinary chemistry,
                especially those parts of it that
                apply to the things we find in nature
                now or think we would have found in
                nature in the past.
                10. I assume ordinary geology and
                geophysics.
                11. Biogeographical information, such as
                the fact that, in many cases, closely
                related species occur in localized
                geographical areas (all zebras occur
                in Africa, for example).

                Basically, this simply includes all of the data now used to support the modern neo-Darwinian theory of evolution.

                Now for the theory itself. Current design theory assumes an omnipotent and omniscient God did the designing (maybe only
                one in a million ID advocates honestly thinks the designer may be something other than God; the rest of those who say
                that their designer may be something else than God are lying; it will become clear why this is so later).

                This assumption of the designer being God or at least of having God-like powers relative to the needs of designing life
                on Earth is the source of all of the main problems of current design theory.

                Why? Because, if we assume that the designer is omnipotent and omniscient, then we can't explain many of the oddities
                and infelicities of nearly all living things that we have ever studied in detail, such as the placement of the human
                eye's light-receptors behind the neurons that carry their signals to the brain. Another example: The fact mentioned
                above, that, often closely related species occur in a geographically localized area. Further, they often occur in a
                temporally localized way (all within a relatively short period of time after the occurrence of the first species in a
                group of related species). These various oddities make no sense given the designer usually posited.

                That is, in order to make the designer theory work, we have to impose some severe constraints on the designer. One of
                them is that, while the designer is intelligent, he (or it or they) is not so intelligent as to be able to create the
                more sophisticated life forms from scratch -- or, if he is, he is unable to do so because of limitations in power, such
                as not being able to construct a suitable large genome from scratch.

                This restriction means that, except for the very first (and, we may guess, simplest) instance of a living organism, all
                of the following species are constructed strictly by a process of manipulating the genes (almost always only very
                slightly) during or before reproduction, so that, one day, a proto-hominid primate gives birth to a true hominid
                offspring that becomes the genetic basis for a new, truly hominid species.

                This process is always a matter of "tinkering" because the designer doesn't know enough or have good enough equipment to
                reliably perform much larger changes in a single reproductive cycle, and, in any case, the offspring has to be enough
                like the parent organism (for sexually reproducing organisms) that it will be able to find a mate. In principle, larger
                changes could be made to non-sexual organisms, but there would still be the issue of viability. Any really large
                single-generation change will almost always kill the organism that carries it. Since the designer can't make more than a
                few changes at once that it can be sure will work, it tends to make only one change per parent organism or pare of
                parent organisms per generation (though the designer obviously has to make multiple changes to a species over short
                periods of time, it doesn't have to make many changes per individual organism).

                One major constraint has already been hinted at: The designer cannot bring much physical force to bear, or at least he
                cannot do so without killing things that it this force is applied to. For this reason, he can't transport organisms over
                any significant distances (if he can move them at all). This is why all the zebras occur in Africa: The designer started
                with a proto-zebra that existed in Africa (but not elsewhere), tinkered with it to get the first zebra, and then
                tinkered with that one (or a sub-population of it) to get the next zebra species, and so on.

                Because of the constraints on the designer, there is no way he could easily create a zebra elsewhere, because he
                couldn't move a zebra and he had to start with a species that was already very close to being a zebra. This is why
                related species are related: Except for the first one of each group, all of the rest are created from that first
                (perhaps indirectly -- and it is created from a closely related species that is not quite part of the new group). This
                is also why we see temporal groupings of species: The first species is created, and all the subsequent ones have to
                derive directly or indirectly from that one, and when that group is no longer viable and goes extinct, it will not ever
                be precisely re-created again unless the designer find a genome that is "close enough" to be (eventually) tweaked into
                being the genome of that species.

                My assumption here is that, once he has created a species or a group of species and it goes extinct, he have generally
                have no desire (or not enough resources to bother) to re-create it.

                Who is the designer? I don't know. I've been speaking of "a" designer, but it may be that there are millions of them,
                all working, perhaps intermittently, on "Project Earth-Life." The designer may be some species on a planet very far
                away, who have managed to use their presumably advanced technology to reach out to Earth (without actually coming here)
                and that, advanced though it may be, their technology is able to exert only enough force to perform small molecular
                modifications to the genes of existing organisms (or, if they are lucky, perhaps to create some minimally complex life
                form that they can then manipulate to produce the rest through time).

                Why did life change so slowly over time for the first three billion years? Again, I can't say, but perhaps the designer
                had other fish to fry, such as defending against enemies from neighboring star systems, or he just lost interest for the
                most part. For whatever reason, the progress of his many changes has been irregular in speed and direction. One
                constraint may also be that he had to make new life forms be adapted to their respective environmental conditions, and
                he may not really have known how to do this for more complex organisms for the first few billion years. Another
                possibility is that the designer is another species and that most of them have moved into sophisticated virtual reality
                systems and didn't have much interest in exploring the universe for a long time, and it may only have been recently that
                more of them decided to get involved in the directed-modification project on Earth again, thereby increasing the labor
                pool enough to get more work done.

                Now, let's consider whether my theory works well, given the data. First, let me admit that, in some respects, it's not a
                great theory, because, for example, it makes many more -- and more radical -- assumptions than does the competing
                neo-Darwinian theory. Of course, theistic design theory adopts the most radical of all assumptions, and is wildly
                supernatural to boot (and, it doesn't work scientifically!).

                To begin the examination: First, this theory accords with the general development of life on Earth from the simplest to
                the sophisticatedly complex (such as humans). Evolution says this is because life started out simply and really had
                nowhere to spread out but into the niches suitable for more-complex organisms as the niches for the simplest ones were
                used up. My theory says somewhat the same thing except that it assumes that the first life-form was simple because that
                was all the designer could directly produce, given their knowledge and technology constraints. Some organisms were
                gradually "tinkered" by the designer into progressively more of the same niches that evolution would fill. The designer
                had to follow the same kind of path that evolution would have because he could only make small changes and because each
                new organism, to be successful, had to be suited to its environment (because the designer couldn't keep an organism
                alive if it was too unsuited to live in its environment -- again because of technology limitations).

                At each step along the way, each new species was achieved generally by subtle steps of genetic manipulation, done
                according to the designer's hopes or plans for the future species. Humans were created from pre-humans because that
                pre-human species was what was available to work from, and no really large changes could easily be made to any other
                species in a reasonable time that would also be compatible with whatever environments the various prospective organisms
                would find themselves in.

                I think my theory even allows us to preserve all of genetics. Our designer interferes in genetic processes, but not
                terribly often, and only enough to get the results he wants, which means that most genetic observations are of genetic
                processes or events that are not being interfered with at the time. Further, because he can generally only tweak, any
                individual change he makes is likely to be so small as not to significantly upset genetic statistics. It's only in the
                long haul that his interventions are noticeable -- or would be if we had also a good record of exactly what would have
                happened on Earth without the designer's interference (presumably nothing much at all, biologically, if the current
                theory of evolution is really false in a basic way).

                Predictions:

                Just one, for now: I predict, on the basis of my theory that, if a new group of related species is found in some
                geographical area that has been "enclosed" in some way (by mountain ranges and/or water, for example, such that there
                has been no opportunity for any of them to escape on the back of another species, or any thing of that sort) since the
                first such species appeared, then all members of this related group of species will be in that very same geographical
                area. Why will they all be in the same area? Because the designer can't move a species to another area, and so all
                species that he derives from an existing species will have to be derived by manipulating genetic material in individual
                organisms or germ cells.

                I note that this same prediction can be based on the conventional theory of evolution as well, so the results of this
                prediction (assuming we find such a new group of related species) will not show that my theory is better than the
                conventional theory. It will, however, show that it is better, by far, by light-years, than the current ID theory touted
                by the likes of the so-called Discovery Institute and its intellectual toadies.

                Problems with this theory

                The first and most obvious problem is that it violates Occam's Razor, as any design theory alternative to conventional
                evolutionary theory must. This is inherent in introducing a designer at all. In principle, the real-world data could one
                day be too much for evolutionary theory to be able to handle without introducing a designer. Until that day comes,
                however, the Occam's Razor problem remains.

                The second problem is that we don't know the goals of the designer, so we can't make the kinds of long-term predictions
                about how life would change given different environmental conditions that we could with evolutionary theory.

                Another major problem is that, as far as I can see at present, this theory makes no predictions that are distinctive to
                it as compared with ordinary evolutionary theory. Indeed, it has been made to "mimic" evolutionary theory, in a sense,
                because it had to encompass and integrate the same data and make the same predictions in cases that we already know about.

                Worse, I don't think we can ever make it distinctively testable, at least not without modifying it to include a specific
                further sub-theory about the goals and possible additional constraints of the designer. If we make the right set of
                assumptions about the designer, we may be able to make a theory that can be put to special tests that would distinguish
                its predictions from those of ordinary evolutionary theory. However, I don't think any such variation will do well in
                such tests.

                Related to the Occam's Razor issue is the issue of ad hoc components. The theory is a collection of assumptions based
                each on a different set of considerations. The assumption that the designer can't really move more than a few molecules
                around to make genetic modifications is added in order to make the theory fit biogeographical and temporal data about
                groupings of closely related species.

                The assumption that the designer is intelligent but not omnipotent or omniscient is added, independently of the one just
                described, in order to account for the frequent appearance of what would be design flaws if we assume that the designer
                is both omniscient and omnipotent (or at least extremely knowledgeable and easily able to create the genes necessary for
                any set of traits he wants). The assumption that the designer may have been distracted for much of the past few billion
                years by other things is made to explain the extremely slow changing of life on Earth for the first three plus billion
                years.

                All of this ad hoc introduction of assumptions make the theory "work" for classes of data that it otherwise would not,
                but what we'd rather have is a set of basic principles that make the theory work "automatically" for these same classes
                of data, without having to stop and add a new assumption that explains what would otherwise not make a lot of sense from
                really intelligent designer.

                I don't see any way out of this. Indeed, I expect we may have to add more ad hoc assumptions as time goes on and we find
                more things that the theory does not yet handle. That is, I don't see the theory being very much able to account for
                as-yet-unexamined classes of data without requiring such changes, each of them added only for the purpose of fitting
                that particular class of data into the system. This is far better than the ID/creationist approach of simply ignoring,
                denying, explaining away, or distorting the data, but it suggests that the theory is not really correct (which I
                wouldn't think it is anyway, but that's a different matter).

                And, although I think we can reduce the designer's interference to a low enough level and have him do it in such a way
                as not to significantly "infect" genetic science, I'm not entirely happy with that aspect of the theory. In effect, this
                is almost a form of explaining away, in that the data of genetics suggests a view of what happens genetically that's
                quite different from what this theory suggests.

                Prospects:

                This theory is not ideal because it posits so much for so little (as compared to conventional evolutionary theory), and
                because it has no scientific advantages over conventional evolutionary theory in terms of predictive power.

                On the other hand, in comparison to the view that the designer is God, this theory is a huge improvement.

                And yet, I don't think most ID advocates will find even this theory acceptable, even though it really is an intelligent
                intelligent design theory.

                Why will ID people reject it even though it is obviously better than their own intelligent design theory? Why will they
                reject a theory that is actually scientific (if in a somewhat loose sense) whereas their own theory cannot make any
                testable predictions?

                They will reject it because their position is not really a matter of science. It is, in fact, an almost purely religious
                view, and all the ID talk is nothing more than propaganda aimed at trying to wedge their own religion into our public
                schools and into our government, at the expense of everyone else's religion (and the philosophical views of the
                non-religious).

                They are religious dogmatists with all the scientific interest of the average abortion-clinic bomber. The ID proposal is
                their attempt to bypass our Constitution and our courts prohibition on imposing their religion on our children in the
                public school system and thus further the process of indoctrinating everyone's innocent and intellectually relatively
                defenseless children into being right-wing fundamentalist religious nutcases like themselves.

                How do we know this? I mean, aside from the fact that they reject any attempt to produce a genuinely scientific
                intelligent design theory? Because, that's exactly what they have said they want (though they didn't phrase it in
                exactly those terms, of course). Initially, when the Discovery Institute was starting out, they said this to each other
                and to religious people they were trying to recruit. Now that they have good funding, they've put on a (rather thin and
                more or less transparent) veneer of scientific respectability, while still espousing the same political goals amongst
                themselves).

                The point of my proposed intelligent intelligent design theory is to expose the fact that their motives are not what the
                ID people pretend them to be the public, and to expose the fact that their honesty is (to say the least) minimal.

                If they were genuinely more interested in science than in pushing religion, they would welcome any theory such as the
                one I propose with open arms and jubilant enthusiasm, because it does exactly what they claim designer theory can and
                should do (but which their own theory has not been able even to approach). They would adopt it, they would begin
                developing it further and formalizing it, they would begin working out further tests, they would begin applying it to
                empirical research, and writing computer emulations to implement and demonstrate its key points, and so on.

                But, the basic idea of using a non-supernatural theory has been around for years. Behe has even used it as an evasion of
                the charge that he's just pushing religion. However, ID folks have never actually tried to develop this idea because
                that's not what they actually want. A non-theistic, naturalistic designer theory, if accepted, would destroy the value
                of ID for their social and political goals, so, though they may occasionally trot out this idea, they are grossly
                dishonest in doing so (if they were honest about it, they'd actually put some work into the idea and I and others
                wouldn't have to do it for them).



                --Chris
              • Randy Raymond
                ... depending ... are ... island). ... Hawaiian ... 85% ... ********************************************************************** I am not just suggesting it,
                Message 7 of 12 , Apr 15, 2005
                • 0 Attachment
                  --- In creationevolutiondebate@yahoogroups.com, "wingsofblue11"
                  <wingsofblue11@y...> wrote:
                  >
                  > --- In creationevolutiondebate@yahoogroups.com, "Randy Raymond"
                  > <randytoad@y...> wrote:
                  > >
                  > > --- In creationevolutiondebate@yahoogroups.com, Michael Tong
                  > > <mtong5@j...> wrote:
                  > > > Michael: Very easy to explain. The designer created organisms
                  > with the
                  > > > ability to adapt to different environments. Why speciation?
                  > Because
                  > > > hybrids are unsuitable for either parent's environment. This
                  > ability to
                  > > > adapt has limits. That is why the California salamanders never
                  > change
                  > > > into reptiles. Humans do not design vehicles that are suitable
                  > only to
                  > > > one environment. One may have to change tires or fluids
                  depending
                  > > on the
                  > > > environment. Military vehicles must have a different
                  > camouflage. It
                  > > > would be more convenient if vehicles could change automatically
                  > but
                  > > > humans don't have the technology to accomplish this.
                  > > >
                  > >
                  >
                  **********************************************************************
                  > **
                  > > Read the article more carefully, there are no significant
                  > > environmental differences around the ring. The species involved
                  are
                  > > not adapted to different environments, if they were there would be
                  > > discrete non-interbreeding populations, not a continuum.
                  > >
                  > > I just got back from a trip to Hawai'i (the state and the
                  island).
                  > If
                  > > there was ever an indisputable proof of evolution, it's the
                  Hawaiian
                  > > islands (almost as good as Darwin's Galapogos). Something like
                  85%
                  > of
                  > > the indigenous species found on this most remote of island chains
                  > are
                  > > found nowhere else on earth.
                  >
                  > Are you suggesting that these species evolved only on the island?
                  **********************************************************************
                  I am not just suggesting it, I'm stating it as a fact!! Most of the
                  indigenous Hawaiian (the chain, not the island) species are found
                  nowhere else on earth. Most of these are found on more than one
                  island on the chain, but many are found only on one island.
                  **********************************************************************
                  > Name these species.
                  **********************************************************************
                  I'll name a few that I myself saw:
                  Nene Goose, Several species of Honey Creeper, Hawaiian seal, "Happy
                  Face" spider, several species of fruit fly, Ohia tree, Koa tree and
                  hundreds of others.
                  **********************************************************************

                  Creationists would explain that beacuse of the
                  > continuntal drift after the flood, migartion and the selcetion of
                  > genes are what caused this special variations. You gave no examples
                  > of this species and how they "evolved" as opposed to simply
                  selction
                  > and migration after the flood.

                  **********************************************************************
                  Migration after the flood!!! Now how do you suppose that organisms
                  like trees, insects etc. migrated 10,000 miles across mountains and
                  oceans to get from the Mountains of Ararat to Hawaii?

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

                  Actualy, speaking about speciation,
                  > speciation occurs much faster sometimes than evolutionists expect.
                  > This is further proof of rapid post flood migration and selction.
                  **********************************************************************
                  Please take the time to actually find out about the things you are
                  talking about. The process you describe IS evolution. Nothing
                  annoys me more about YEC's than their arrogance. They seem to
                  believe that after reading a few ICR tracts, they know enough to
                  argue with people who have spent entire careers studying the
                  subject.
                  **********************************************************************

                  >
                  > Yet many are quite similar to species
                  > > found in North America, the closest continental land mass and the
                  > > direction from which the winds and ocean currents come. Special
                  > > design to meet the requirements of a peculiar environment does not
                  > > explain this, because the environment of the Hawaiian Islands is
                  not
                  > > significantly different from that of the thousands of other
                  tropical
                  > > islands of the Pacific.
                  >
                  > Yes, it does. The creator designed the kinds with avariety of
                  genes,
                  > natural selection and migration sorted them out. There was no new
                  > information.
                  >
                  > Proof of this can be seen from the fact that
                  > > when plants or animals from other tropical environments are
                  > introduced
                  > > to Hawai'i, they do very well, crowding out the indigenous
                  species.
                  >
                  > So? what does this have to do with evolution? Were is the new
                  > information?
                  > > The vast majority of the species that were found in Hawai'i
                  before
                  > the
                  > > first polynesians arrived, a mere 1000 years ago, are now extinct;
                  > > replaced by introduced species.
                  >
                  > So? Natuarl secection and post flood migration explain this
                  perfecty.

                  **********************************************************************
                  Well yes, natural selection and migration DO explain this perfectly.
                  These processes are part of the theory of evolution. In fact, along
                  with genetic isolation, they pretty much ARE the theory of
                  evolution. I did not say that the organisms in question changed from
                  non-living matter to living organisms on the Hawaiian island chain.
                  In case it has never been pointed out to you before, living organisms
                  arising from non-living matter is NOT evolution. The name for this
                  process is biogenesis, and its theories are completely independent of
                  evolution.

                  As for the flood. What evidence (outside of the book of Genesis) do
                  you have that there ever was a worldwide flood? Did the Hawaiian
                  islands arise from the Pacific Ocean before or after the flood? How
                  do you suppose organisms like trees, insects etc. got to the Hawaiian
                  islands from the mountains of Ararat in a mere 4500 years?

                  **********************************************************************
                • Michael Tong
                  ... to ... on the ... ************************************************************************ Randy: Read the article more carefully, there are no significant
                  Message 8 of 12 , Apr 15, 2005
                  • 0 Attachment
                    > Michael: Very easy to explain. The designer created organisms with the
                    > ability to adapt to different environments. Why speciation? Because
                    > hybrids are unsuitable for either parent's environment. This ability
                    to
                    > adapt has limits. That is why the California salamanders never change
                    > into reptiles. Humans do not design vehicles that are suitable only to
                    > one environment. One may have to change tires or fluids depending
                    on the
                    > environment. Military vehicles must have a different camouflage. It
                    > would be more convenient if vehicles could change automatically but
                    > humans don't have the technology to accomplish this.
                    >
                    ************************************************************************
                    Randy: Read the article more carefully, there are no significant
                    environmental differences around the ring. The species involved are
                    not adapted to different environments, if they were there would be
                    discrete non-interbreeding populations, not a continuum.

                    I just got back from a trip to Hawai'i (the state and the island). If
                    there was ever an indisputable proof of evolution, it's the Hawaiian
                    islands (almost as good as Darwin's Galapogos). Something like 85% of
                    the indigenous species found on this most remote of island chains are
                    found nowhere else on earth. Yet many are quite similar to species
                    found in North America, the closest continental land mass and the
                    direction from which the winds and ocean currents come. Special
                    design to meet the requirements of a peculiar environment does not
                    explain this, because the environment of the Hawaiian Islands is not
                    significantly different from that of the thousands of other tropical
                    islands of the Pacific. Proof of this can be seen from the fact that
                    when plants or animals from other tropical environments are introduced
                    to Hawai'i, they do very well, crowding out the indigenous species.
                    The vast majority of the species that were found in Hawai'i before the
                    first polynesians arrived, a mere 1000 years ago, are now extinct;
                    replaced by introduced species.

                    Michael: So in the case of the California salamander, you think there
                    are no environmental differences from Northern California to Southern
                    California? When will the salamander change to a reptile?

                    In doesn't make any difference that the Hawaiian Islands are similar to
                    other tropical areas. Why couldn't the designer create different
                    organisms to inhabit similar environments? Apparently, the designer is a
                    prolific artist.
                  • Michael Tong
                    Chris: Why? Because, if we assume that the designer is omnipotent and omniscient, then we can t explain many of the oddities and infelicities of nearly all
                    Message 9 of 12 , Apr 15, 2005
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Chris: Why? Because, if we assume that the designer is omnipotent and
                      omniscient, then we can't explain many of the oddities
                      and infelicities of nearly all living things that we have ever studied in
                      detail, such as the placement of the human
                      eye's light-receptors behind the neurons that carry their signals to the
                      brain. Another example: The fact mentioned
                      above, that, often closely related species occur in a geographically
                      localized area. Further, they often occur in a
                      temporally localized way (all within a relatively short period of time
                      after the occurrence of the first species in a
                      group of related species). These various oddities make no sense given the
                      designer usually posited.

                      Michael: That's your opinion that the eye was poorly designed. For a
                      different viewpoint see www.trueorigin.org/retina.asp

                      What's wrong with the designer creating organisms with variability?
                      Without variability, organisms would be extremely restricted to a
                      particular environment and unable to survive changes in the environment.

                      Chris: This restriction means that, except for the very first (and, we
                      may guess, simplest) instance of a living organism, all
                      of the following species are constructed strictly by a process of
                      manipulating the genes (almost always only very
                      slightly) during or before reproduction, so that, one day, a
                      proto-hominid primate gives birth to a true hominid
                      offspring that becomes the genetic basis for a new, truly hominid
                      species.

                      Michael: This is nonsense. The fossil record reveals the sudden
                      appearance of life forms without transitionals. For instance, during the
                      Cambrian Explosion 19 to 35 phyla appeared without any morphological
                      antecedents. Also, the first bat in the fossil record was a bat,
                      complete with echo-locating system.

                      Chris: One major constraint has already been hinted at: The designer
                      cannot bring much physical force to bear, or at least he
                      cannot do so without killing things that it this force is applied to. For
                      this reason, he can't transport organisms over
                      any significant distances (if he can move them at all). This is why all
                      the zebras occur in Africa: The designer started
                      with a proto-zebra that existed in Africa (but not elsewhere), tinkered
                      with it to get the first zebra, and then
                      tinkered with that one (or a sub-population of it) to get the next zebra
                      species, and so on.

                      Michael: There are or were wolves, mammoths, horses, and humans in the
                      Americas as well as Eurasia. Evolutionists postulate that the Siberian
                      land bridge enabled this interchange of animals. But this is just
                      postulation. With humans, some scientists have even proposed that the
                      first Americans came by boat.

                      Certainly, the lyrics to the song which Stephen suggested I listen to,
                      The Mummer's Dance at
                      http://www.ladynwavsone.com/mummersdance.html is more pleasant to read
                      than Chris' long-winded article.
                    • Chris Cogan
                      ... Chris: I looked it over, and, after finding the few points where actual argumentation is found, conclude that it is just the same old creationist crap
                      Message 10 of 12 , Apr 17, 2005
                      • 0 Attachment
                        > Chris: Why? Because, if we assume that the designer is omnipotent and
                        > omniscient, then we can't explain many of the oddities
                        > and infelicities of nearly all living things that we have ever studied in
                        > detail, such as the placement of the human
                        > eye's light-receptors behind the neurons that carry their signals to the
                        > brain. Another example: The fact mentioned
                        > above, that, often closely related species occur in a geographically
                        > localized area. Further, they often occur in a
                        > temporally localized way (all within a relatively short period of time
                        > after the occurrence of the first species in a
                        > group of related species). These various oddities make no sense given the
                        > designer usually posited.
                        >
                        > Michael: That's your opinion that the eye was poorly designed. For a
                        > different viewpoint see www.trueorigin.org/retina.asp

                        Chris: I looked it over, and, after finding the few points where actual argumentation is found, conclude that it is just
                        the same old creationist crap re-warmed. None of the alleged advantages of the human eye's structural arrangement are
                        such that they could not be had just as well with the reversal of the layers in question. We know that this can work,
                        because some animals do in fact have them in the opposite order (birds, for example, some of which also are noted for
                        having good vision).

                        No, if it's design, it's poor design, period. All of the excuses made for our current arrangement are merely attempts at
                        explaining away the evidence against design, attempts at finding some other alternative, no matter how pitiful, to the
                        obvious one that the human eye, considered as design, is poor design.

                        Arguments like the one you pointed me to would be a lot more persuasive if there weren't existing examples of eyes that
                        don't have the problems of the human eye.

                        No, the human eye is just a result of progressive re-adaptation of pre-existing structures, and so shows some of the
                        "design" errors that arise from such a blind method of "designing" things.

                        (And, even if the eye were, by chance, not a good example for my case, I could find hundreds of others, such as the
                        "design" of the human wrist, or the leg bones buried in the bodies of whales. And these are just the gross
                        *morphological* design flaws.)

                        In short, the human eye remains as better support for either "my" design theory or for evolution, because both account
                        for the "mistakes" in terms of limitations on the processes that lead from earlier to later stages in the evolution of
                        organs such as the human eye. Ordinary supernaturalistic/theistic design theory (creationism and "intelligent design")
                        don't have a means for accounting for these facts well at all.

                        >
                        Michael:
                        > What's wrong with the designer creating organisms with variability?
                        > Without variability, organisms would be extremely restricted to a
                        > particular environment and unable to survive changes in the environment.

                        Chris: Variability is not the question. Bad design is the question. Try to keep up. Variability is another issue. I'm
                        talking about things that don't work well, because they were either poorly designed or because they evolved from other
                        structures or systems along paths constrained by the lack of suitable variations, a lack that is at least sometimes the
                        result of the required variations being too much of a leap for evolution to take, so it took a different path, one that
                        produced a result with what would be considered signs of bad design if it were considered as design at all.

                        >
                        > Chris: This restriction means that, except for the very first (and, we
                        > may guess, simplest) instance of a living organism, all
                        > of the following species are constructed strictly by a process of
                        > manipulating the genes (almost always only very
                        > slightly) during or before reproduction, so that, one day, a
                        > proto-hominid primate gives birth to a true hominid
                        > offspring that becomes the genetic basis for a new, truly hominid
                        > species.
                        >
                        > Michael: This is nonsense. The fossil record reveals the sudden
                        > appearance of life forms without transitionals.

                        Chris: No it doesn't. The fossil record CAN'T reveal any such thing, even if it were true that the there were sudden
                        appearances of life forms without transitionals. There cannot, in general, be positive evidence for such claims.

                        The idea that the fossil record can reveal any such thing assumes the falsehood that the fossil record is complete,
                        which we know it's not (and that we have all of the fossil record, which is also false!). Your argument is an argument
                        from ignorance: "We don't have evidence of certain transitionals in the fossil record, therefore they did not exist."
                        That is, you are arguing from a lack of information about something to a positive fact about reality. But such an
                        argument can only be sound in special cases, and we already know that this is not one of those special cases.

                        At least try to get your logic right, even if you can't get your facts right.

                        Michael:
                        > For instance, during the
                        > Cambrian Explosion 19 to 35 phyla appeared without any morphological
                        > antecedents.

                        Chris: Prove it. Name one, and then prove that there were no morphological antecedents. Refer only to actual facts, not
                        to facts that you don't have (such as that you don't have evidence of the antecedents in the fossil record).

                        How would you prove this? How do you infer, from the lack of a fossil for something that that something didn't exist,
                        unless you first assume the false premise that the fossil record, as we currently know it, is absolutely complete for
                        the period in question? Basically, you can't do this, because there is simply no sound rule of inference that allows you
                        to argue any such thing in a case like this.

                        As is normally the case with arguments from ignorance, your argument is also a false-alternative argument: Since there
                        are no fossils for some transitionals, you conclude that the transitionals didn't exist.

                        But there are other possibilities:

                        1. They existed but didn't leave any fossils.

                        2. If that's not good enough, there's another alternative: They left fossils, but in a part of the fossil record that we
                        haven't gotten to yet.

                        3. And, if that's not good enough, there is yet another alternative: They left fossils, but something happened to them
                        (they existed in a limited area that was washed away or destroyed by volcanic action, etc.).

                        4. And, there is even at least one more alternative: The transitionals existed but didn't have hard body parts that left
                        fossils for us to find, because the step that led to the fossilized organisms was the transitional step. This may not
                        apply to some species, but it can certainly apply to a few.

                        5. But wait! There's more: The transitions occurring in the Cambrian Explosion often occurred quite rapidly, in
                        geological terms, but fossilization, even at its best, tends to be skimpy, so there is no reason why we should expect to
                        find fossils for all these cases. A species with a fast life-cycle (of, say, a few weeks) can undergo many generations
                        in a geologically short time, and evolution to new forms can occur so fast that few, if any fossils will ever be found.

                        6. Finally, some of the transitionals may simply have been completely destroyed after they died, by bacterial or other
                        such processes (or, maybe they died by getting eaten). If their hard body parts were not sufficiently hard to prevent
                        this, it would hardly be a surprise if they were routinely completely broken down after death and so left us no fossils.

                        It may even be that some combination of two or more of the above six alternatives to your explanation occurred in some
                        cases.

                        And, there may be other alternatives that I haven't thought of.

                        The point is that your favored explanation for the lack of found fossils is not logically derived from the facts,
                        because there are at least the above six other explanations for the apparent (or actual) lack of such fossils. Thus,
                        even if your conclusion that there were no transitionals is true (which we have no reason at all to think is the case),
                        your argument doesn't show that this is the case.

                        Try to adhere a little more closely to ordinary rules of logic in your arguments. You just make your position look
                        stupid when you use such bad arguments.


                        Michael: Also, the first bat in the fossil record was a bat,
                        > complete with echo-locating system.

                        Chris: Really? How do you know? Has the entire fossil record been examined in sufficient detail to rule out the
                        possibility that there is a bat fossil somewhere that was a transitional to the bat you mention? I don't know how much
                        of the fossil record we have studied, but I'd bet that it's in the neighborhood of .1 percent (that is, one tenth of one
                        percent). Most of it is utterly inaccessible to us with present technology and resources, and much of it has been
                        largely destroyed (by subduction, erosion, and other such processes that occur in nature).

                        Did you personally examine all of the entire fossil record that has ever existed since shortly before the first known
                        bat fossil?

                        No?

                        Well, then, do you know of anyone who has made such an examination?

                        If so, how did they do it? Did they pry up the edges of continents and pull out the subducted layers? Did they somehow
                        go around and gather up all the lost molecules of bits of fossil that were washed away by rain and floods and destroyed
                        by natural processes in jungles and such?

                        Well? Just how did you obtain your claimed omniscience about what is in parts of the fossil record that humans haven't
                        examined and recorded, and in parts that no longer even exist?

                        If you can tell us how you achieved such omniscience, I'm sure the rest of us would like to know so we can apply the
                        same methods to becoming omniscient in other fields. Actually having to observe and think in order to obtain most
                        knowledge is sometimes a chore. Omniscience, even if it was limited to the fossil record, would be a wonderful thing.

                        Given your omniscience about the fossil record, you should be able to win a Nobel prize with almost no effort at all.

                        So, why haven't you?

                        Could it be because you are not omniscient, and that your omniscience claims are therefore false, and that you don't
                        know whether there are or were bat fossils of bat transitionals?

                        Are you claiming that it's not possible that you missed transitionals that existed, and that, therefore, you are in a
                        position to say for sure that they never existed merely because no fossils of them have been found (or, at least, found
                        and recognized as such)?

                        Is that what you are claiming? That the lack of evidence proves that there were no bat transitionals?

                        Frankly, I have my doubts.

                        That is, I have my doubts that this lack of known transitionals proves that there were no transitionals.

                        So: Prove it.

                        > Chris: One major constraint has already been hinted at: The designer
                        > cannot bring much physical force to bear, or at least he
                        > cannot do so without killing things that it this force is applied to. For
                        > this reason, he can't transport organisms over
                        > any significant distances (if he can move them at all). This is why all
                        > the zebras occur in Africa: The designer started
                        > with a proto-zebra that existed in Africa (but not elsewhere), tinkered
                        > with it to get the first zebra, and then
                        > tinkered with that one (or a sub-population of it) to get the next zebra
                        > species, and so on.
                        >
                        > Michael: There are or were wolves, mammoths, horses, and humans in the
                        > Americas as well as Eurasia. Evolutionists postulate that the Siberian
                        > land bridge enabled this interchange of animals. But this is just
                        > postulation. With humans, some scientists have even proposed that the
                        > first Americans came by boat.
                        >

                        Chris: Yes, there were/are wolves, mammoths, etc. But they are irrelevant to my point. My designer has to be unable to
                        transport noticeable mass because the evidence shows that some groups of species only exist in given geographical
                        regions. The zebras are a case in point. Humans, or proto-humans, were able to leave Africa because they were able to
                        survive along the way where zebras would not have survived.

                        My claim was not that all animals of every closely related group of species are in the same geographical region, but
                        that a viable theory has to explain why there are any such isolated groupings at all (there are, in fact quite a few).
                        Evolution explains this, and the design theory I offer also explains it (though not as well as evolution does), but
                        ordinary design theory does not explain it.

                        The point is that a limited designer theory works better, scientifically (and philosophically, for that matter) than an
                        omnipotent and omniscient one does. I chose the designer's limitations to provide explainability for facts that
                        otherwise make no sense.


                        Chris: It is not the spreading of species that needs explanation, but the localization of related species that needs
                        explanation.

                        >
                        Michael: Certainly, the lyrics to the song which Stephen suggested I listen to,
                        > The Mummer's Dance at
                        > http://www.ladynwavsone.com/mummersdance.html is more pleasant to read
                        > than Chris' long-winded article.

                        Chris: I suppose I should just take that as an indication that my writing skills are not the best, but I can't help also
                        thinking that it's because you don't want design theory to become scientific in the way that I suggested it could,
                        because it would then undermine your design theory.

                        The absolute worst thing, in some ways, that could happen to creationism/ID would be a truly scientific design theory,
                        because it would do what creationism/ID advocates claim they want (be both scientific and yet a design theory) while at
                        the same time showing that their design claims are false or scientifically pointless, thus depriving them of their use
                        of it for supporting their religious and political causes.

                        Unfortunately, even the best design theory (from a scientific point of view) is no match for the theory of evolution,
                        given presently-available data, and I see no reason to think that this will change. In principle, it might. We might one
                        day come across real evidence of design of life on Earth, but I think there is very little hope for it, given the
                        coverage of modern genetics and evolutionary theory. This is because the theories we already have seem to be sufficient
                        in principle to explain anything that we have any reason to expect to find in living things (even if, in some cases, we
                        do not yet actually have evolutionary/genetic explanations for some of them).

                        Thus, even though the actual proved existence of a designer (of the type that would fit the known facts) would be a
                        total death-blow to current theistic design theory, we will just have to make do with evolutionary theory instead.

                        Final notes:

                        I notice that, while you quibbled about the design of the human eye, and made some really bad fossil-record arguments,
                        you didn't really deal with any of the main points of my theory. Given your known love of your design theory, I'd think
                        you'd want to be able to provide a much more substantial argument against my theory than what you provided.

                        I'm betting that it's because, despite the weaknesses of my design theory, it's still better than your design theory.

                        As to being long-winded, keep in mind that I was presenting, a theory that is intended to cover the entire territory of
                        data that is covered by the theory of evolution and (supposedly) by conventional "intelligent design." The kind of
                        illogic you routinely offer can be presented in a sentence or two because your arguments rarely make any real connection
                        between the data and the conclusion; they are merely assertions that such a connection exists, not rational or
                        scientific attempts to show that it exists.

                        --Chris
                      • Michael Tong
                        ... Chris: I looked it over, and, after finding the few points where actual argumentation is found, conclude that it is just the same old creationist crap
                        Message 11 of 12 , Apr 22, 2005
                        • 0 Attachment
                          > Michael: That's your opinion that the eye was poorly designed. For a
                          > different viewpoint see www.trueorigin.org/retina.asp

                          Chris: I looked it over, and, after finding the few points where actual
                          argumentation is found, conclude that it is just
                          the same old creationist crap re-warmed. None of the alleged advantages
                          of the human eye's structural arrangement are
                          such that they could not be had just as well with the reversal of the
                          layers in question. We know that this can work,
                          because some animals do in fact have them in the opposite order (birds,
                          for example, some of which also are noted for
                          having good vision).

                          No, if it's design, it's poor design, period. All of the excuses made for
                          our current arrangement are merely attempts at
                          explaining away the evidence against design, attempts at finding some
                          other alternative, no matter how pitiful, to the
                          obvious one that the human eye, considered as design, is poor design.

                          Arguments like the one you pointed me to would be a lot more persuasive
                          if there weren't existing examples of eyes that
                          don't have the problems of the human eye.

                          No, the human eye is just a result of progressive re-adaptation of
                          pre-existing structures, and so shows some of the
                          "design" errors that arise from such a blind method of "designing"
                          things.

                          (And, even if the eye were, by chance, not a good example for my case, I
                          could find hundreds of others, such as the
                          "design" of the human wrist, or the leg bones buried in the bodies of
                          whales. And these are just the gross
                          *morphological* design flaws.)

                          In short, the human eye remains as better support for either "my" design
                          theory or for evolution, because both account
                          for the "mistakes" in terms of limitations on the processes that lead
                          from earlier to later stages in the evolution of
                          organs such as the human eye. Ordinary supernaturalistic/theistic design
                          theory (creationism and "intelligent design")
                          don't have a means for accounting for these facts well at all.

                          Michael: According to the article at www.trueorigin.org/retina.asp the
                          RPE and choroid are necessary for the human retina to function. However,
                          since both are opaque they cannot be located in front of the
                          photoreceptors. Reference an article which gives more detail on the
                          structure of a bird's eye. Since you claim that the article contains the
                          same old creationist crap, you should have no problem finding an article
                          using the structure of the bird's eye to refute this supposed creationist
                          crap.

                          Michael:
                          > For instance, during the
                          > Cambrian Explosion 19 to 35 phyla appeared without any morphological
                          > antecedents.

                          Chris: Prove it. Name one, and then prove that there were no
                          morphological antecedents. Refer only to actual facts, not
                          to facts that you don't have (such as that you don't have evidence of the
                          antecedents in the fossil record).

                          How would you prove this? How do you infer, from the lack of a fossil for
                          something that that something didn't exist,
                          unless you first assume the false premise that the fossil record, as we
                          currently know it, is absolutely complete for
                          the period in question? Basically, you can't do this, because there is
                          simply no sound rule of inference that allows you
                          to argue any such thing in a case like this.

                          As is normally the case with arguments from ignorance, your argument is
                          also a false-alternative argument: Since there
                          are no fossils for some transitionals, you conclude that the
                          transitionals didn't exist.

                          But there are other possibilities:

                          1. They existed but didn't leave any fossils.

                          2. If that's not good enough, there's another alternative: They left
                          fossils, but in a part of the fossil record that we
                          haven't gotten to yet.

                          3. And, if that's not good enough, there is yet another alternative: They
                          left fossils, but something happened to them
                          (they existed in a limited area that was washed away or destroyed by
                          volcanic action, etc.).

                          4. And, there is even at least one more alternative: The transitionals
                          existed but didn't have hard body parts that left
                          fossils for us to find, because the step that led to the fossilized
                          organisms was the transitional step. This may not
                          apply to some species, but it can certainly apply to a few.

                          5. But wait! There's more: The transitions occurring in the Cambrian
                          Explosion often occurred quite rapidly, in
                          geological terms, but fossilization, even at its best, tends to be
                          skimpy, so there is no reason why we should expect to
                          find fossils for all these cases. A species with a fast life-cycle (of,
                          say, a few weeks) can undergo many generations
                          in a geologically short time, and evolution to new forms can occur so
                          fast that few, if any fossils will ever be found.

                          6. Finally, some of the transitionals may simply have been completely
                          destroyed after they died, by bacterial or other
                          such processes (or, maybe they died by getting eaten). If their hard body
                          parts were not sufficiently hard to prevent
                          this, it would hardly be a surprise if they were routinely completely
                          broken down after death and so left us no fossils.

                          It may even be that some combination of two or more of the above six
                          alternatives to your explanation occurred in some
                          cases.

                          And, there may be other alternatives that I haven't thought of.

                          The point is that your favored explanation for the lack of found fossils
                          is not logically derived from the facts,
                          because there are at least the above six other explanations for the
                          apparent (or actual) lack of such fossils. Thus,
                          even if your conclusion that there were no transitionals is true (which
                          we have no reason at all to think is the case),
                          your argument doesn't show that this is the case.

                          Try to adhere a little more closely to ordinary rules of logic in your
                          arguments. You just make your position look
                          stupid when you use such bad arguments.

                          Michael: Following is an excerpt from the peer- reviewed article The
                          Origin of Biological Information and the Higher Taxonomic Categories by
                          Stephen Meyer. It can be found at www.discovery.org

                          To say that the fauna of the Cambrian period appeared in a geologically
                          sudden manner also implies the absence of clear transitional intermediate
                          forms connecting Cambrian animals with simpler pre-Cambrian forms. And,
                          indeed, in almost all cases, the Cambrian animals have no clear
                          morphological antecedents in earlier Vendian or Precambrian fauna (Miklos
                          1993, Erwin et al. 1997:132, Steiner & Reitner 2001, Conway Morris
                          2003b:510, Valentine et al. 2003:519-520). Further, several recent
                          discoveries and analyses suggest that these morphological gaps may not be
                          merely an artifact of incomplete sampling of the fossil record (Foote
                          1997, Foote et al. 1999, Benton & Ayala 2003, Meyer et al. 2003),
                          suggesting that the fossil record is at least approximately reliable
                          (Conway Morris 2003b:505).

                          Note that there is no evidence of the fossil record being incomplete.
                          One of the phylum appearing in the Cambrian is Brachiopoda. But the
                          members of Brachiopoda have hard shells. Consequently, their absence in
                          the Precambrian is evidence that they didn't exist then. It is you who
                          have to prove why 19 to 35 phyla appeared in the Cambrian without any
                          transitional forms. How can you claim evolution is a fact, yet cannot
                          prove your explanations for the lack of transitionals?

                          > Michael: There are or were wolves, mammoths, horses, and humans in the
                          > Americas as well as Eurasia. Evolutionists postulate that the Siberian
                          > land bridge enabled this interchange of animals. But this is just
                          > postulation. With humans, some scientists have even proposed that the
                          > first Americans came by boat.
                          >

                          Chris: Yes, there were/are wolves, mammoths, etc. But they are irrelevant
                          to my point. My designer has to be unable to
                          transport noticeable mass because the evidence shows that some groups of
                          species only exist in given geographical
                          regions. The zebras are a case in point. Humans, or proto-humans, were
                          able to leave Africa because they were able to
                          survive along the way where zebras would not have survived.

                          My claim was not that all animals of every closely related group of
                          species are in the same geographical region, but
                          that a viable theory has to explain why there are any such isolated
                          groupings at all (there are, in fact quite a few).
                          Evolution explains this, and the design theory I offer also explains it
                          (though not as well as evolution does), but
                          ordinary design theory does not explain it.

                          The point is that a limited designer theory works better, scientifically
                          (and philosophically, for that matter) than an
                          omnipotent and omniscient one does. I chose the designer's limitations to
                          provide explainability for facts that
                          otherwise make no sense.

                          Michael: Why can't the designer create organisms and have them live in
                          specific areas? If you put a type of clock in what room, do you have to
                          put this same type of clock in another room?

                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.