Ben Stein - Expelled movie

Discussion about scientific issues as they relate to God and Christianity including archaeology, origins of life, the universe, intelligent design, evolution, etc.
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Re: Ben Stein - Expelled movie

#61

Post by AttentionKMartShoppers » Fri Feb 22, 2008 12:19 pm

Hi SKMS - I'm only saying what I'm saying.
Now I understand why you're so avid about Darwinism. You think tautologies are somehow meaningful and say something new.
For example, your assessment "God is not sovereign" would not appear in any evolution textbook.
Does it have to? If you claim that evolution is unguided and random, you have said "God is not sovereign."

I would like to introduce you to modus tolles

1) P -> Q
2) ~Q
____
3) ~P

If God is sovereign (P), then as the Bible says, nature is submissive to the will of God (God runs the world) (Q).
Evolution is random and unguided (~Q).
___
Therefore God is not sovereign(~P).

Now, that is poorly worded, but it should be easily understood. It may not be said explicitly, but it is said by way of negation.
No version of your words, "one misguided version of evolution is atheists waving it as a banner saying "we explained it, God is gone!" - would appear in an evolution textbook.
I never said it would be found in a textbook, now did I? Please stop making things up. Or quote my relevant posts if I am wrong.
A third meaning is in specific reference to Darwin's theory of evolution...Darwinian evolution is not a matter of things developing "just by random chance." Darwinian evolution has two fundamental pieces. One is the genetic variation of offspring (which is the "chance" part and is due both to the normal genetic variations within a species and to mutations). But the other is "natural selection" (which is not random), in which the fittest offspring (best suited to their environment) survive, producing more offspring who pass on their genes. Over time, this combination of genetic variation and natural selection produces new species. On a small scale, Darwin's theory has been well verified...it is now quite clear that, at least on some scales, Darwinian mechanisms are indeed a valid description of nature.

A sixth way in which "evolution" is sometimes used is to refer to a metaphysical position in which atheistic philosophy is grafted onto the science in the mistaken belief that finding a natural explanation for something puts God out of the picture..."metaphysical naturalism." Such philosophical extrapolations are completely unscientific, and it is shameful when some try to pass them off as results of science.

Clearly these are two completely different concepts.
And I can get away saying the UK and Britain have nothing in common, because the United Kingdom dominated most of the world, but Britain is merely an island. You are splitting hairs.
Such philosophical extrapolations are completely unscientific, and it is shameful when some try to pass them off as results of science.
But isn't one way people argue for Darwinism is by saying we can see microevolution (different dog breeds for example), therefore macroevolution via extrapolation?

"You can't divorce the science and the philosophy." I reject the metaphysical position stated in #6 and hereby divorce the science from that philosophy in my discussions. That is an issue in a course on the Philosophy of Science but not an issue in any individual discipline and would not likely be found in a text of evolution.
So what? You reject it, it wouldn't be in a text of evolution, but how does that make it untrue? Darwin didn't do anything really new. The idea of biological evolution had been thought up by Anaximander and Darwin's grandfather, Erasmus. What about Haegal's philosophy? What about the fact Huxley, Darwin's bulldog, said the reason people accepted his ideas because it got around Moses (that is, it was now legitimate to talk about biology divorced from God and teleology). What about the fact that Darwin proposed gradual evolution, and that because of the utter lack of evidence in the fossil record, Stephen Jay Gould came up with the idea of punctuated equilibrium? How absurd is that? There is a lack of evidence for Darwinism, so the theory is adjusted not only to conform with the facts, but also adjusted so that there can be no facts supporting it. Things happened so quickly at discrete points in time that, we will not find evidence of evolution in the fossil record.
As you mentioned, The Late Stephen Jay Gould popularized an understanding of evolution that focused on the role of randomness and chance. "Rewind the tape" (of evolution), he would say, and imagine the whole process unfolding from the start once again: everything would be different. Yes, I think most evolutionists would agree with this.
Please refer to my modus tolens above. Implicit rejection of the sovereignty of God.
Now for the random and undirected. Evolution is random to a point, but non-random when it comes to natural selection. Survival of the fittest (not Darwin's words) is a non-random major feature of evolution. Evolution is also considered by scientists to be undirected. That is simply because there is no scientific evidence that it is directed. Any evidence to the contrary would be the biggest scientific news of the century and would get positive attention from scientists all over the world. As in any scientific pursuit, they are simply (and exclusively) following the trail of evidence.
No, Alfred Wallace came up with survival of the fittest. Darwin published first. I am not ignoring natural selection. But if you say it is unguided, you are saying the cause of new mutations is randomness, you've just said that there is nothing guiding it. You can't have it both ways. If you're saying that new mutations that natural selection will select are created randomly, you are explicitly saying there is nothing guiding it, there is no teleology behind it, no purpose, etc. Finally, you are completely naive. Do you also believing in Rousseau's idea of the "noble savage"? Do you think if you just tell people what is right, they will do it? By the way, how is the war on drugs going? Just say no? Fantastically, right? Now, you have an interesting problem. If scientists are simply (and exclusively) following the trail of evidence, why didn't Gould abandon Darwinism? He came up with punctuated equilibrium because there was no evidence in the fossil record for Darwinism. What about the scientists who don't believe in Darwinism? What about global warming, and the fact that there are scientists who claim global warming is manmade, and others who say it isn't. If scientists are "simply following the evidence," then why does the same evidence lead to contradictory conclusions? Nietzsche was horribly wrong, and his philosophy was self-defeating, but he was right about one thing. He called philosophers "hired guns." They were working out philosophy according to their own beliefs. And this is how people are in general.
It took them 6 years to find it, but the fossil confirmed a prediction of paleotology: not only was the new fish an intermediate between two different kinds of animals, but they had found it at the right time period in earth's history and in the right ancient environment. They engaged the local Inuit Indians to come up with the appropriate name.

The order of fossils in the world's rocks is powerful evidence of our connections to the rest of life. If, digging in 600 million years old rocks, they had found the earliest jellyfish lying next to the skeleton of a woodchuck, there would be something drasticly wrong. That woodchuck would have appeared earlier in the fossil record than the first mammal, reptile, or even fish - before even the first worm. Moreover, our ancient woodchuck would tell us that much of what we know about the history of the earth and life on it is wrong. Despite over a century of people looking all over the world for fossils, this type of finding has never happened.

Of course, a single column containing the entirely of earth history doesn't exist, but the pieces do, here and there. Putting them together is a continuing labor of love for paleotologists, like working a giant jigsaw puzzle.
By far the funniest thing you have just said is that paleontology provides evidence for Darwinism, and (I think you were getting at it) shows common descent. But you just said nowhere is the fossil record complete. You said it is up to paleontologists to put it back together, so to speak. But if there is no complete fossil record, then by what evidence are paleontologists putting it back together? And on what grounds did they determine that the fossil was an intermediate? On what grounds did they determine, with the evidence, that this fossil was a bridge between fish and amphibians? Finally, why do you completely ignore the Cambrian Explosion? And why do you also ignore the Avalon Explosion? If you are claiming there is positive evidence for Darwinism in the fossil record, then why are you ignoring all the evidence against Darwinism? How do you get off claiming the fossil record shows a gradual transition between species, despite the examples of massive influxes of new species in a relatively short period of time with no apparent ancestors?
http://www.thedesignoflife.net/blog/The ... fault.aspx
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Re: Ben Stein - Expelled movie

#62

Post by BGoodForGoodSake » Sat Feb 23, 2008 1:43 am

AttentionKMartShoppers wrote:By far the funniest thing you have just said is that paleontology provides evidence for Darwinism, and (I think you were getting at it) shows common descent. But you just said nowhere is the fossil record complete. You said it is up to paleontologists to put it back together, so to speak. But if there is no complete fossil record, then by what evidence are paleontologists putting it back together?
Forgive me if I am reading this wrong...
But it seems like you are saying that something cannot be peiced together unless it is already complete?

You must of had trouble putting jigsaw puzzles together as a child.
:)
I I have a puzzle and take away one peice can I determine the subject of the jigsaw puzzle?

I think you have to show that the puzzle is missing too many peices to show change over time. Not that the puzzle is missing peices.
It is not length of life, but depth of life. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Re: Ben Stein - Expelled movie

#63

Post by David Blacklock » Sat Feb 23, 2008 9:46 am

You're a funny man, KM - but loveable. Now we have the official KMarckian view - Darwin didn't do anything new, Anaximander and Erasmus tho't of it first, Haegal's philosophy stunk, Huxley sicced a bulldog on Moses, and Gould punctated Charlie's equilibrium. They're all now in Hell along with Neitchze, so good riddance....but is the evidence for evolution true?

Today's lesson: Alphaglobin forms part of hemoglobin, the protein in rbc's that carries Oxygen. Globins are useful in MOLECULAR DATING because all vertebrates have them and they date back at least 500 million years. Here's the way it works: Harmless mutations build up in genes - therefore also in proteins - at a slow and steady rate. For alphaglobin, the rate is about 1 amino acid change per 5 million years. Compare alphaglobin molecules in two different species, add up the amino acid changes, and multiply by 5. That is the approximate date in millions of years when the two species diverged.

The human protein version of cytochrome C (different mutation rate), used for handling energy, differs from a rhesus monkey's in just 1 amino acid out of 104. We differ from whales in 10 amino acids, bullfrogs in 18, and yeasts in 45. Molecular dating has become a powerful tool in constructing the "bush" of life. The previous bush derived from paleontology and homologies has been largely confirmed, but with important changes, based on the greater accuracy of the molecular approach.

DB

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Re: Ben Stein - Expelled movie

#64

Post by David Blacklock » Sun Feb 24, 2008 6:03 pm

Mankind is very recent on earth. Our planet has existed for 4 1/2 thousand million yrs (4 1/2 billion yrs). Evidence show life has existed in the oceans for 3 1/2 billion years and life has existed on land for only 300 million years. To make these vast periods of time more relevant, it is helpful to draw an analogy, reducing that 4 1/2 billion years to a 24 hour day. Suppose you outstretched your arms and that armspan represented the entire 4 1/2 billion year history of earth, from left to right, or a 24 hour day. In this scenario, the Cambrian explosion, when oxygen supplies drastically increased and life really began to kick in, starts in your right wrist, about 9:45 PM. Amphibians didn't crawled onto land until 10:20 PM. Dinosaurs didn't die off until 11:39 PM. Modern man didn't appear until less than 1 second before midnight!!! A single stroke of the nail file could eradicate human history. Geological time takes quite a bit of getting used to.

DB

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Re: Ben Stein - Expelled movie

#65

Post by AttentionKMartShoppers » Sun Mar 16, 2008 7:15 pm

BGoodForGoodSake wrote:
AttentionKMartShoppers wrote:By far the funniest thing you have just said is that paleontology provides evidence for Darwinism, and (I think you were getting at it) shows common descent. But you just said nowhere is the fossil record complete. You said it is up to paleontologists to put it back together, so to speak. But if there is no complete fossil record, then by what evidence are paleontologists putting it back together?
Forgive me if I am reading this wrong...
But it seems like you are saying that something cannot be peiced together unless it is already complete?

You must of had trouble putting jigsaw puzzles together as a child.
:)
I I have a puzzle and take away one peice can I determine the subject of the jigsaw puzzle?

I think you have to show that the puzzle is missing too many peices to show change over time. Not that the puzzle is missing peices.

Personally, I was always bad at jigsaw puzzles. I don't know if I just didn't feel like fixing something that someone broke, or if I just didn't like the stupid picture I was putting together.

What I think I was commenting on (oh I do think, thank you very much) is the fact that you are viewing the fossil record assuming something in order to piece it together. Take Contact for example. When Jody Foster received all these mathematical equations smeared across all of those transparent slides, she and the rest of the scientists couldn't find any four that fit together, and so the whole endeavor screeched to a halt, until the strange old guy with an airplane showed her that their expectations were wrong. They shouldn't have been expecting to put together four pieces to get a larger two dimensional square. What they should have been trying to do was put together the sheets together to form a 3 dimensional object, and he then proceeds to show animation of the slides being constructed into a series of cubes. Now, his people were thinking outside of the box and trying to figure out how the slides went together, but they were still assuming that the aliens were trying to send understandable information. The evidence fits the theory because you sort through your data to piece together evidence. For example, why did the old guy try to work on the slides? He thought there was information in the slides if put together. But couldn't the aliens have been simply playing a prank? Or possibly rick-rolling Earth? I should have responded before going on vacation and the week before I had my tests to be concerned about. Take it or leave it. Personally I think I was getting off on a tangent. I do that sometimes. I wish I could were black so people would say I'm articulate.

I think I knew this whole communication thing broke down, because I've been averse to getting back on for a while. Oh well, better to notice when I say something goofy. Hey, it could be worst, I had an atheist tell me the Constitution calls for the separation of personal beliefs and governments. I could be worst. Oh so much worst. There's room for improvement and for getting worst. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
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Re: Ben Stein - Expelled movie

#66

Post by AttentionKMartShoppers » Sun Mar 16, 2008 8:02 pm

David Blacklock wrote:You're a funny man, KM - but loveable. Now we have the official KMarckian view - Darwin didn't do anything new, Anaximander and Erasmus tho't of it first, Haegal's philosophy stunk, Huxley sicced a bulldog on Moses, and Gould punctated Charlie's equilibrium. They're all now in Hell along with Neitchze, so good riddance....but is the evidence for evolution true?

Today's lesson: Alphaglobin forms part of hemoglobin, the protein in rbc's that carries Oxygen. Globins are useful in MOLECULAR DATING because all vertebrates have them and they date back at least 500 million years. Here's the way it works: Harmless mutations build up in genes - therefore also in proteins - at a slow and steady rate. For alphaglobin, the rate is about 1 amino acid change per 5 million years. Compare alphaglobin molecules in two different species, add up the amino acid changes, and multiply by 5. That is the approximate date in millions of years when the two species diverged.

The human protein version of cytochrome C (different mutation rate), used for handling energy, differs from a rhesus monkey's in just 1 amino acid out of 104. We differ from whales in 10 amino acids, bullfrogs in 18, and yeasts in 45. Molecular dating has become a powerful tool in constructing the "bush" of life. The previous bush derived from paleontology and homologies has been largely confirmed, but with important changes, based on the greater accuracy of the molecular approach.

DB
You blew off my post. I guess that makes everything easy for you. And you're a meany. I WIN! Darwin didn't do anything radically new. And making fun of me doesn't change that. You can see a stream of Darwinism for thousands of years before him. I didn't say he just copied a little here, and a little there, but Darwin didn't suddenly have an epiphany while looking at finches.

I know molecular clocks are fun, if only they weren't so problematic.

They're inaccurate.
-Science's Blind Spot, pg 93
They can explain anything.
-Science's Blind Spot, pg 93
They contradict morphological trees.
-http://www.evolutionnews.org/2008/02/pe ... .html#more
Different molecules render different trees.
-Icons of Evolution, pg 49.
Bizarre results (rabbits grouped with primates instead of rodents, sea urchins placed among the chordates, cows closer to whales than horses)
-Icons of Evolution, pg 49.
No molecular tree of life.
-Icons of Evolution, pg 54.
They are "calibrated"(this isn't empirical science anymore, this is fudging numbers to get the "right" results.
-http://www.uncommondescent.com/intellig ... -responds/

It's really annoying when what one says is just brushed over, but here's a question I do want answered:
What about punctuated equilibrium? 1) If you are saying the fossil record is evidence of Darwinism, why is it that Stephen Jay Gould came up with a theory that says that there can't in principle be evidence for Darwinism? A theory that he came up with because the fossil record was such a problem? 2) If Darwin predicted that there would be fossil evidence of gradual change over time, isn't the fact there isn't this predicted fossil record a problem for Darwinism?

And here's something I missed the first time:
Anyway, I think most of the exchanges about ID/evolution are about things other than the issue. I'm pretty sure Behe's aware that his flagellum theory has been disproven many times over. Maybe by this time, he's too dug in and has too many people depending on him to change his stance.
Go ahead and keep on asserting stuff, it doesn't get old. But it gets annoying.
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Re: Ben Stein - Expelled movie

#67

Post by AttentionKMartShoppers » Sun Mar 16, 2008 8:08 pm

And we are even farther off course than we were last month. Now you're just preaching Darwinism to me and how the evidence proves it right, except when it doesn't. Stop that. I think that's against the forum rules, and is why BGood should have been booted long ago. But hasn't because everyone thinks he's so gosh darned cute. I have a hunch that BGood has made a second account to say the same things twice.
"My actions prove that God takes care of idiots."

He occasionally stumbled over the truth, but hastily picked himself up and hurried on as if nothing had happened.
- On Stanley Baldwin

-Winston Churchill

An atheist can't find God for the same reason a criminal can't find a police officer.

You need to start asking out girls so that you can get used to the rejections.
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Re: Ben Stein - Expelled movie

#68

Post by David Blacklock » Mon Mar 17, 2008 3:29 pm

Thanx for replying, KM. I was beginning to think nobody liked me. y:-?

I'll be glad to answer your questions. Gould wrote a lot of words. He was absolutely prolific. Occasionally, to his chagrin, he wrote things the anti-evolutionists took out of context, but he was 100% a believer in evolution. He noticed, along with others, that the fossil record seemed to go in spurts, with long times of stability, then times of rapid change. Evolutionists have no probelm with this. Times of rapid evolution occurred when conditions changed, causing extinctions and opening up new possibilities for other life forms. Times of stability created no circumstances that caused natural selection - or whatever other mechanisms are at work - to upset the apple cart.

The fossil evidence gets better every year. That it will never be complete is a given. It's only in unusual circumstances that fossils can be preserved - and those may be buried 50 feet down, so they're hard to find. The important thing is that when a fossil of a type that has never been seen before is found - it usually fits into a niche perfectly. When it doesn't, some minor tweaking of the "bush" of evolution might be necessary, which is OK. What is never found is a fossil that is completely out of its time zone, for example, a modern dog skeleton dog is never found buried in sediment that is 400 million years old. Fossils that are found fit the rest of the pattern and that's important.

The other thing that fits is DNA geneologies. These have mandated some corrections in the arrangement of certain geneologies, but basically they confirm the fossil record. The specific DNA changes can be followed because there are some living species that haven't changed for 400 million years and their DNA is available. The specific protein changes that result from the DNA also follows the pattern.
Gradual changes that can be followed over thousands of years leave indisputable trails of change, showing reusage of available structural and molecular parts for new purposes.

I'll take a look at your molecular clock data, but I've heard bad things about your source. Whatsa matter with an evolution text? You wouldn't go to a Christian Science Church if you wanted your prostate checked out, would you?

DB

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Re: Ben Stein - Expelled movie

#69

Post by David Blacklock » Mon Mar 17, 2008 4:07 pm

Hi KM: One of your sources was "Icons of Evolution" by Wells. I ran across this documentation about Wells' spurious use of sources in his book from Tim Beazley:

Wells' methodology in “Icons of Evolution” is to cite trustworthy experts in the relevant fields who allegedly support his claims. Wells' problem is that he cites several experts who are still living, and after those experts read Wells' book, they responded by accusing Wells of misrepresenting the facts.

I'll highlight just a few:

Wells cites Raff to support his accusation that evolutionists resort to circular reasoning in using homologous structures as evidence of evolution. Raff responded with a scathing editorial, "The creationist abuse of evo-devo." Wells' own expert says Wells is dishonest!

Wells discusses Haeckel's faked embryo drawings and cites Richardson to support his argument that embryology provides no support for evolution. Richardson promptly fired back: "We strongly disagree with this viewpoint. Data from embryology are fully consistent with Darwinian evolution. . . . . On a fundamental level, Haeckel was correct: All vertebrates develop a similar body plan. . . . [reflecting] shared evolutionary history . . . . Haeckel was overzealous [and] . . . showed many details incorrectly . . . . but they do not invalidate the mass of published evidence for Darwinian evolution. Wells' own expert says embryology provides strong evidence for evolution, and that it is Wells' statements that are "misleading or downright false!"

Regarding Kettlewell's peppered moth experiments, Wells screams in rage that peppered moths never rest on tree trunks. Wells cites Majerus as his expert here, but Majerus' own figures indicate that peppered moths do indeed rest on tree trunks about 25% of the time; over 60% if trunk/branch junctures are included.

Wells also screams bloody murder about Kettlewell's photos being staged, but other sources have unstaged photos which are basically identical to Kettlewell's. Since Kettlewell's photos are essentially identical to unstaged photos, what's the problem?
Oh, one more thing. Those unstaged photos? They came from Wells' own expert, Majerus.

For a thorough discrediting of each of the chapters of Wells' book, see http://www.ncseweb.org/icons/

Hope this helps,

DB

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Re: Ben Stein - Expelled movie

#70

Post by MarkyMark7 » Mon Mar 17, 2008 8:09 pm

DB, would you explain to me how scientists are getting some of these dates?

"Globins are useful in MOLECULAR DATING because all vertebrates have them and they date back at least 500 million years. Here's the way it works: Harmless mutations build up in genes - therefore also in proteins - at a slow and steady rate. For alphaglobin, the rate is about 1 amino acid change per 5 million years."

"Our planet has existed for 4 1/2 thousand million yrs (4 1/2 billion yrs). Evidence show life has existed in the oceans for 3 1/2 billion years and life has existed on land for only 300 million years."

Obviously they weren't there when Earth was formed etc., so what methods are they using for these dates? I've never seen any evidence that these dates are accurate at all.
A Quote from Prince Caspian (Aslan speaking to Caspian): "You come from of the Lord Adam and the Lady Eve, and that is both honor enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar, and shame enough to bow the shoulders of the greatest emperors on earth. Be content."

Sorry if I offend you in an apologetical discussion, I can be very crude.

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Re: Ben Stein - Expelled movie

#71

Post by David Blacklock » Mon Mar 17, 2008 10:34 pm

Hi Marky Mark:

Not completely what you asked for, but tho't it might be of interest. In particular, the variation in the measured rates of mutation appear to be large, using methods from 2001. From reading other studies, I don't see that this is yet resolved. This makes molecular dating more qualitative than quantitative - so far. If you want to read this whole article, here is the website:

pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?tool=pubmed&pubmedid=11806830

The history of life stretches back more than 3.6 billion years. The fossil record has traditionally provided the only way to date events in the history of life. Although enormously informative, however, the fossil record is far from perfect. It is both biased and incomplete: different organisms differ enormously in how well they can be fossilized, and many intervals of Earth's history are poorly represented.

The first protein sequences, obtained over 40 years ago, provided a second means of dating evolutionary events [1]. This involves calibrating the rate at which protein or DNA sequences evolve and then estimating when two evolutionary lineages diverged, using the sequence differences among their living representatives (Figure 1). Like the fossil record, this genomic record is far from perfect: *rates of sequence substitution vary over time and among lineages. Like the fossil record, however, the genomic record can provide a valuable source of information about the timing of evolutionary events. (asterisk added by DB for your pleasure).

Both fossils and sequence data provide biased and imperfect perspectives into the timing of evolutionary events. The quality of the fossil record is notoriously heterogeneous, because of the large variations in preservation potential, changes in sea level and sea chemistry, current exposure of rocks to erosion, and other factors [44]. The result is extraordinarily complete coverage in the fossil record of narrow intervals and locations in Earth's history and much poorer or non-existent coverage elsewhere. A fundamental property of the fossil record is that it always underestimates divergence times because it is incomplete.

The quality of information that can be extracted from sequence data is equally notorious, but for rather different reasons. *Variation in rates of sequence substitution is unpredictable and often rather large; furthermore, different lineages may have different patterns of rate variation [4,5,6,8,9]. Methods for estimating divergence times from sequence data do not rely on constant rates of substitution, but they do perform better when rate variation is small [10,11,12]. Unlike the fossil record, molecular evidence can both under- and over-estimate divergence times.
In conclusion, assigning dates to branches on the 'Tree of Life' remains problematic, because both of the available sources of information are far from perfect. Of one point, however, we can be quite confident: the molecular datasets pertinent to this issue will become vastly larger in the very near future, whereas new information from fossils will continue to accumulate only sporadically. Estimates of divergence times will eventually converge on consistent dates. It would indeed be shortsighted to ignore the enormous, and still largely untapped, store of information that genomes hold regarding the timing of important evolutionary events.

Too late now, I'll answer how they do it later.

DB

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Re: Ben Stein - Expelled movie

#72

Post by AttentionKMartShoppers » Mon Mar 17, 2008 11:05 pm

I'll be glad to answer your questions. Gould wrote a lot of words. He was absolutely prolific. Occasionally, to his chagrin, he wrote things the anti-evolutionists took out of context, but he was 100% a believer in evolution. He noticed, along with others, that the fossil record seemed to go in spurts, with long times of stability, then times of rapid change. Evolutionists have no probelm with this. Times of rapid evolution occurred when conditions changed, causing extinctions and opening up new possibilities for other life forms. Times of stability created no circumstances that caused natural selection - or whatever other mechanisms are at work - to upset the apple cart.
I never said Gould wasn't a Darwinist. Quite the opposite, I refer to him because he is. But here's the thing you ignore. If Darwinism predicts slow, gradual change, and Gould came up with punctuated to explain the evidence away, 1) where is your idealistic view that scientists follow the evidence wherever it leads, and 2) if a prediction of Darwinism turns out to be wrong, why is it simply swept under the rug, and Darwinism is modified to explain why its predictions come out false?

The fossil evidence gets better every year. That it will never be complete is a given. It's only in unusual circumstances that fossils can be preserved - and those may be buried 50 feet down, so they're hard to find. The important thing is that when a fossil of a type that has never been seen before is found - it usually fits into a niche perfectly. When it doesn't, some minor tweaking of the "bush" of evolution might be necessary, which is OK. What is never found is a fossil that is completely out of its time zone, for example, a modern dog skeleton dog is never found buried in sediment that is 400 million years old. Fossils that are found fit the rest of the pattern and that's important.
This reminds me of Darwin's response to a letter asking what it'd take for him to not believe in his own theory, and the responses included 1) an angel descending from the sky, a man being found made out of iron and brass (The Design Matrix, don't care to look up a page number), and in (I believe) Origin of the Species, he said his theory would completely fall apart if you could prove a negative (if you could show that something could not have evolved by Darwinian evolution).
The other thing that fits is DNA geneologies. These have mandated some corrections in the arrangement of certain geneologies, but basically they confirm the fossil record. The specific DNA changes can be followed because there are some living species that haven't changed for 400 million years and their DNA is available. The specific protein changes that result from the DNA also follows the pattern.
Gradual changes that can be followed over thousands of years leave indisputable trails of change, showing reusage of available structural and molecular parts for new purposes.
I could look it up myself, but define DNA genealogies to me. Just for the heck of it.
Whatsa matter with an evolution text? You wouldn't go to a Christian Science Church if you wanted your prostate checked out, would you?


Um, I don't have one yet? Once I'm done with my current books I'm going to read the "New Atheists," so that's about 12 books max I'll be getting, and after I waste my time on those, who knows. You don't become an encyclopedia overnight, I concentrate on certain areas, and then rotate from time to time. And it's expensive for a college student to be buying so much stuff.
Wells cites Raff to support his accusation that evolutionists resort to circular reasoning in using homologous structures as evidence of evolution. Raff responded with a scathing editorial, "The creationist abuse of evo-devo." Wells' own expert says Wells is dishonest!
Huh? "The creationist abuse of evo-devo" is a rather short quote.
Wells discusses Haeckel's faked embryo drawings and cites Richardson to support his argument that embryology provides no support for evolution. Richardson promptly fired back: "We strongly disagree with this viewpoint. Data from embryology are fully consistent with Darwinian evolution. . . . . On a fundamental level, Haeckel was correct: All vertebrates develop a similar body plan. . . . [reflecting] shared evolutionary history . . . . Haeckel was overzealous [and] . . . showed many details incorrectly . . . . but they do not invalidate the mass of published evidence for Darwinian evolution. Wells' own expert says embryology provides strong evidence for evolution, and that it is Wells' statements that are "misleading or downright false!"
Read the book and you'd know the above is a strawman. Wells does not come off as saying different fields don't provide evidence for Darwinism (he probably does believe that). He's getting across that much of the evidence in textbooks is flat out wrong. Haeckel started drawing the embryos at about the midway point (leaving out all the earlier stages that are very dissimilar). He also drew the later stages incorrectly. Haeckel didn't just show details incorrectly. That would be like saying I got a few details wrong when I mistakenly explained that Hitler invaded China in 1925 because he had a craving for rice.

As a further attempt at parody, may you give me some evolution textbooks I should get, and maybe I can find Well's scorecard for that particular book at the end of his book, and I have shown I shouldn't read the book as it is horribly flawed.
Regarding Kettlewell's peppered moth experiments, Wells screams in rage that peppered moths never rest on tree trunks. Wells cites Majerus as his expert here, but Majerus' own figures indicate that peppered moths do indeed rest on tree trunks about 25% of the time; over 60% if trunk/branch junctures are included.
I've never known someone to scream through writing.
Wells also screams bloody murder about Kettlewell's photos being staged, but other sources have unstaged photos which are basically identical to Kettlewell's. Since Kettlewell's photos are essentially identical to unstaged photos, what's the problem?
Oh, one more thing. Those unstaged photos? They came from Wells' own expert, Majerus.
I can't tell a photoshopped picture from a non-photoshopped one, so I plead ignorance on staged pictures. Wells doesn't say the moths never rest on tree trunks, but that normally it's exceptional, but during the experiment it was much more common. Of course, no mention of the rest of the chapter, where he explains the inconsistencies in the results, such as the fact "dark trunks, black moths prosper, lighter colored trunk, gray moths prosper" simply did not occur.

Must we use emotional language to tar people we disagree with?
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Re: Ben Stein - Expelled movie

#73

Post by David Blacklock » Tue Mar 18, 2008 4:31 am

That gradualism has ebbs and flows is not swept under the rug....That the Theory is modified when new evidence comes out is the way science works.... DNA geneologies - when the mutations in the non-coding portion of DNA are recorded and compared to other living creatures. Non-coding DNA segments are used because they ared subject to being taken out of circulation by natural selection. Then the DNA segments are compared and nodes of separation are estimated. It is a nice corrollary to fossil evidence which is timed with radioactive isotopes....I think "The creationist abuse of evo-devo" is the title he gave his article....Haegel's data is presented in most evolution texts because it has historical value. That is openly stated in the texts and is hardly a reason to hang your hat on as a rejection of the book...No, let's not use emotional language - I agree with you entirely.

More about DNA geeologies: For the past 40 years, evolutionary biologists have been investigating the possibility that some evolutionary changes occur in a clock-like fashion. Over the course of millions of years, mutations may build up in any given stretch of DNA at a reliable rate. For example, the gene that codes for the protein alpha-globin (a component of hemoglobin) experiences base changes at a rate of .56 changes per base pair per billion years*. If this rate is reliable, the gene could be used as a molecular clock.

When a stretch of DNA does indeed behave like a molecular clock, it becomes a powerful tool for estimating the dates of lineage-splitting events. For example, imagine that a length of DNA found in two species differs by four bases (as shown below) and we know that this entire length of DNA changes at a rate of approximately one base per 25 million years. That means that the two DNA versions differ by 100 million years of evolution and that their common ancestor lived 50 million years ago. Since each lineage experienced its own evolution, the two species must have descended from a common ancestor that lived at least 50 million years ago.

This general technique has been used to investigate several important issues, including the origin of modern humans, the date of the human/chimpanzee divergence, and the date of the Cambrian “explosion.”

Using molecular clocks to estimate divergence dates depends on other methods of dating. In order to calculate the rate at which a stretch of DNA changes, biologists must use dates estimated from other relative and absolute dating techniques.

*This number is for changes that affect the structure of the protein


Thank you for your thoughtful response, KM.

DB

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Re: Ben Stein - Expelled movie

#74

Post by Gman » Tue Mar 18, 2008 12:20 pm

Emmm, you took that from here David? y:-?

http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/e ... ocks.shtml
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Re: Ben Stein - Expelled movie

#75

Post by David Blacklock » Tue Mar 18, 2008 7:52 pm

Yes I did. Sorry about forgetting the credits. :oops: I was under a time constraint when I posted that. Thanx for pointing it out.

DB y>:D<

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