All joking aside, in light of recent discussion I decided this deserved it's own thread. I will re-iterate some of my main points that didn't seem to get a lot of attention.
"In the broadest sense, evolution is merely change, and so is all-pervasive; galaxies, languages, and political systems all evolve. Biological evolution ... is change in the properties of populations of organisms that transcend the lifetime of a single individual. The ontogeny of an individual is not considered evolution; individual organisms do not evolve. The changes in populations that are considered evolutionary are those that are inheritable via the genetic material from one generation to the next. Biological evolution may be slight or substantial; it embraces everything from slight changes in the proportion of different alleles within a population (such as those determining blood types) to the successive alterations that led from the earliest protoorganism to snails, bees, giraffes, and dandelions."
- Douglas J. Futuyma in Evolutionary Biology, Sinauer Associates 1986
"Moreover, "fact" doesn't mean "absolute certainty"; there ain't no such animal in an exciting and complex world. The final proofs of logic and mathematics flow deductively from stated premises and achieve certainty only because they are not about the empirical world. Evolutionists make no claim for perpetual truth, though creationists often do (and then attack us falsely for a style of argument that they themselves favor). In science "fact" can only mean "confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional consent." I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms."
- Steven J. Gould
Appeal to Authority/Ad Populum?
According to a 2009 report by the Pew Research Center, 97% of US scientists accept that humans have evolved over time. Only 2% of scientists claimed to be creationist, and only 8% claimed to be Intelligent Design advocates(Pew 2009).
Pierson5 wrote:This isn't an appeal to authority. The appeal to authority logical fallacy is when you argue that a conclusion is correct simply because a known authority said so. There is an important distinction to be made here. If you argue that evolution is a fact because most relevant scientists think so, that is a logical fallacy. However, if you argue that evolution is a fact and most relevant scientists agree with that conclusion based upon the evidence, this separation between scientific skepticism and appeal to authority is a little clearer.
We put our trust in experts and scientists because they represent the evidence. Experts are then vassals of knowledge, public manifestations of the evidence science uncovers. If this was truly a fallacy the whole movement was committing, we would never see any expert admonished for their position. If a beloved scientist came out tomorrow in full favor of crop circles, cryptozoology, etc... we would certainly change our views of his or her "authority" pretty quickly. It is not the authority of the figure that I trust, it is their interpretation of science, the scientific method, and evidence that I trust, and even this is open to revision.
Evidence?Pierson5 wrote:Experts build a lifetime of knowledge, not in isolation but in concordance with other scientists. As was said before, trusting the opinion of someone who accurately represents the preponderance of evidence is not an appeal to authority, it is using an expert by proxy to state a position on the evidence. Surely not everyone has the time to research all of the topics themselves in science. It would be hard to learn all of the ins and outs of evolution if that was not your field or if you do not have the time, but knowing the basic facts and the weight of evidence behind evolution is enough to state my case. The same can be said about any discipline in science.
1.There are many independent lines of evidence that converge and support the theory of evolution:
ERV Data: See (Lebedev et al., 2000)
Hemoglobin Data: See Figure 1 in (Genji, 1985) .
Protein Sequence Data: See Table 3 in (Glazko, et al., 2005)
DNA Data: See the tree created in (Koop et al., 1989).
Cytochrome C Data: Data from //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/. Simply search the Protein database for "CYCS" and the scientific name of the organism. We then took the protein sequences from the database and plugged them into the ClustalW2 sequence alignment program to create a phylogram. This is such a simple process that anyone can independently verify these results. Note that orangutans, gorillas, chimpanzees, and humans all have identical cytochrome C sequences and thus the cytochrome c data does not extend to that end of the chart.
2.Independent Phylogenies confirm the Tree of Life
Sanderson 2008 reported that 14,289 independent phylogenies, built from a grand total of 2.6 million different genetic sequences, confirmed a strong phylogenetic trend. In other words, all of the independent analyses converged on a highly similar tree of life. The probability of such a strong indication is extraordinarily low without taking into account common descent.
A phylogenetic tree of life, showing the relationship between species whose genomes had been sequenced as of 2006.
3. Independent protein sequences show similar relationships
A scientific study of 5 random protein sequences in a variety of mammals concluded that all phylogenetic trees created using each of the 5 sequences reached a very similar consensus tree. (Penny et al. 1982)
4.Diverse fossil data and molecular data reach the same evolutionary conclusion
Example: Scientists estimate that 80 million years ago fermentable fruits became prominent. This is supported by evidence from the yeast genome, which suggests that yeast obtained its ability to ferment glucose around that time. It is also supported by the fossil record, which shows that fruit also became widespread around that time. Molecular clocks also suggest that major changes occurred in the genomes of fruiting plants and fruit flies around that time. Quite simply, with all of this evidence converging, one must admit that 80 million years ago fermentable fruits did, in fact, become prominent. There is no other satisfactory explanation. (Benner et al. 2002)
5.Phylogeny from Hominid Morphology
Strait and Grine 2004 performed a cladistic analysis of various morphological features recovered from the hominid fossil record. This is essentially a complicated way of comparing the number of physical similarities between species, and concluding that more physically similar species are more likely to be closely related.
Although this kind of analysis would not be extraordinarily powerful evidence for evolution on a large scale, a strict consensus of four different analysis which all obtained highly similar results, shown below, mathematically demonstrates the evidence of gradual change over time which lies within the hominid fossil record.
6. Molecular clocks confirm paleontological estimates of metazoa phyla origins
Analyzing several genes in a variety of metazoa, Ayala et al. 1998 found that their molecular clock approximations of the origins of the animal phyla corresponds to physical data from the fossil record.
And many others....
Intelligent Design and Science
There are CORE ideas in science. They have been very well tested, they are major theories, major explanations. We use these concepts to explain the natural world in many ways. Heliocentrism is here to stay. Astronomers are not debating if the planets really revolve around the sun. This is a well accepted scientific concept. So is cell theory, atomic theory, inflationary theory and evolutionary theory (descent with modification/common ancestry) are all core ideas in science.
Around these core ideas are the FRONTIER ideas of science. This is what's going on in journals that are produced and work that is being done in laboratories and in the field. This is where we are testing new ideas and seeing what ideas fit with the core ideas. Some of these frontier ideas will become core ideas. Many aren't going to work out. A lot of the questions you guys are asking (mechanisms, drift, patterns) fall in this category. Some of these frontier ideas end up out in the FRINGE.
FRINGE ideas are the third concentric section. Scientists aren't really spending a lot of time on fringe ideas. These are ideas that in some way conflict with the core ideas of science. The probability that these ideas are actually going to lead to something useful with regards to our understanding of the natural world is very low. These are things like ESP, telekinesis and yes, intelligent design. Now, it is possible for fringe ideas to become frontier ideas to become core ideas. A classic example from geology is plate tectonics. The idea of continental drift was a fringe idea in science. Then, sea floor spreading was discovered, a mechanism for how the continents could slide around on the shelves was understood pretty well and the idea of continental drift and plate tectonics became a frontier idea of science and ultimately a core idea in science. If the evidence is presented, the scientific consensus will admit they were wrong and accept the new idea.
My point here is, if you think ID has any chance at becoming a core idea in science do the work. If you disagree with my points above and you want ID to become a legitimate science, the burden of proof is on you to show that you have something that helps us understand the natural world. Tell me a way in which ID can be subjected to a scientific test, NOT a test of evolution. A common theme I see here is false dualism (if it's not evolution, then it's ID, which is the false dichotomy logical fallacy).
You can find the previous thread here: //discussions.godandscience.org/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=37254&start=120
To which I replied with:Jlay wrote:I am surpirsed that you would start with this. Imagine? Well, you are certainly welcome to imagine all you want.
You have no mountain of evidence. If you do, simply provide the best single example in the fossil record of evolution along with what it specifically and previously evoloved from and later specifically involved into. This would be a hands down slam dunk.
Along with a lengthy description.
Jlay questioned the "leg bones" near the posterior end of the whale, in which case my response was:
This goes back to my main point, and I have yet to hear a better explanation.Pierson5 wrote:I'm curious, what would you call these vestigial appendages? Flippers? Because it looks like they are a bunch of leg bones packed inside a whale to me. Let's hear your hypothesis. Are you claiming ignorance and saying you don't know (nothing wrong with that) or do you have evidence for a different hypothesis? I'm sure it is backed up with more evidence than what I have shown you.
The only one who has actually attempted to have a rational discussion and address my main point is Reactionary, and I appreciate the time he spends to read my objections and respond to them.
1. This was an argument against naturalism and says nothing about whether ID is true. False dichotomy.Reactionary wrote:So, why do I think ID is legitimate?
1. The mind. I wrote about the evolutionary argument against naturalism, you said that you'd take a look at it and address it - I'll be waiting for your opinion.
2. The First Cause. We know that 1) Everything that begins to exist has a cause, 2) The Universe began to exist, so 3) The Universe has a cause. The only way to avoid infinite regress would be to hypothesize an eternal, immaterial and transcedent Cause, which we Christians call God.
3. The appearance of design. We all have a standard of estimating what looks randomly assembled, what appears designed, and what had to be designed.
3.1. Fine-tuning of the Universe. Cosmological constants are immensely precisely calibrated. Can we attribute them to random chance?
3.2. Fine-tuning of our galaxy, the Solar System and the life-sustaining conditions on Earth.
3.3. Uniqueness of life. Life is (so far at least) only found on Earth. Furthermore, we can't create it out of non-living matter although we know how the material aspect of life works.
2. An argument for a deistic worldview. This deity didn't have to necessarily create all living organisms. It could have thrown all the building blocks of life (amino acids) out into space and let nature take its course.
3. Please enlighten me on this "Gold Standard of Design." You better make sure things like snowflakes or places like Giant's Causeway don't fall into this standard.
3.1 See #2
3.2 See #2
3.3 Even if life was only found on Earth, which doesn't seem likely, that would not prove intelligent design correct. We can't create living matter out of non-living matter, again says nothing about intelligent design being correct. Evolution says nothing about the origin of life or abiogenesis. Even if we could, creationists would just as easily turn it around and point out we designed it, so it must have a designer (a comment said during our earlier discussions).
Why wouldn't we witness any new creations? Looking at the fossil record (elephants or horses for example), these things are "being created" all the time only to become extinct a short time later. If you are trying to say we wouldn't witness any new creations in the present, does this mean that ID is unfalsifiable? If so, it isn't science, does not belong in a science classroom and this discussion is over.Reactionary wrote:Quite obviously, if we had been created, we'd hardly witness any new creations in the present. On the other hand, if we had evolved, we should witness positive changes in the present. So, we should keep in mind that we'd have problems if we wanted to observe ID at work.
If you feel I didn't address any of the previous points brought up in our last discussion, feel free to bring them back here. BUT, please address my main point at the same time.