To this non-biologist the discussion on common ancestry has been very
informative. I am still trying to figure how it fits in actual model testing
and their interpretations.
Doug Hayworth strongly supports common ancestry and Paul Nelson questions
it. I do not recall the positions of other individuals.
Paul Nelson said in a response to Terry Gray, "Common descent is not a
hypothesis being tested by the data. Rather, the data are being interpreted
with common descent as a given."
If common ancestry is a given and it is used to structure scientific
classification in biology, the two together appear to create a "design"
condition as a pattern for evolution. My CD encyclopedia states that "The
classification of organisms is a science called taxonomy or systematics.
Scientific classification is an interpretation of facts". There is , of
course, more to the theory of evolution. This design condition would affect
the creation of hypotheses and the interpretations of the evidence.
Repeated tests of consistency with theory would show how well the evidence
fits the theory that assumes common ancestry. Is this not circular
How can someone say that the evidence supporting common ancestry is
overwhelming? We seem to be force fitting the evidence. It seems that we
need a new kind of scientific classification that is not dependent on the
assumption of common ancestry.
Am I wrong in my current impression about common ancestry? Can anyone
suggest clarifying material to read?
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