Re: Evolution: A few questions

From: Vernon Jenkins <>
Date: Tue Jun 22 2004 - 19:37:15 EDT


Thanks for your informative posting. Just two points:

1) Clearly, you know far more about the structure and behaviour of aquatic
creatures than I. However, one hardly needs to be an expert to appreciate
that a fish developing lumps and protrusions - where previously there were
none - must experience greater drag and a corresponding reduced mobility.
That was the basis of the argument put to Glenn. Now you come along with an
illustration of the life cycle of a typical amphibian. But what is surely
most relevant - and missing - is a comparison of predation rates for the
different stages of the cycle.

2) You begin your opening paragraph with the words, "You are again
illustrating that you can find excuses for believing the dogma to which you
are committed, but not at all good at recognizing the assumptions on which
your claims rest." Actually, I'm still waiting for some courageous 'Goliath'
in this forum to explain why I should regard as completely insignificant the
fact that the opening verse of the Hebrew Scriptures (i.e. Genesis 1:1) is,
without doubt, the most remarkable combination of words ever written.

Could it be that you are that man, Dave?


----- Original Message -----
From: "D. F. Siemens, Jr." <>
To: <>
Cc: <>; <>;
Sent: Monday, June 21, 2004 4:49 AM
Subject: Re: Evolution: A few questions

> On Sun, 20 Jun 2004 23:18:55 +0100 "Vernon Jenkins"
> <> writes:
> > Hi, Dave,
> >
> > Thank you for this interesting illustration. However, just a few
> > points:
> >
> >
> >
> > 1) Your reference to 'down time' is hardly relevant to the
> > matter under
> > discussion, for I am not claiming that fins cease to function while
> > legs
> > develop, but simply that they must lose their effectiveness because
> > of the
> > hydro-dynamic impediments (eg swellings and protrusions) that must
> > herald
> > the presumed changes.
> >
> Vernon,
> You are again illustrating that you can find excuses for believing the
> dogma to which you are committed, but not at all good at recognizing the
> assumptions on which your claims rest. Here you assume that fins are
> ideally structured for their purpose, which purpose remains constant
> through change. However, fins function within constraints, for none are
> ideal for all finny functions. Indeed, pectoral and pelvic appendages are
> not what primarily drive fish through the water. Greatly expanded
> pectoral fins are essential for the flying fish, of course, but for the
> most part fins are used for changing direction. There is no reason to
> assume that this obvious function of fins will continue to be the
> function of developing limbs. There is also no need to assume that fins
> are necessary for efficient swimming, since sea snakes swim very well,
> thank you, without anything like fins. What is needed to support your
> claims is totally specious.
> >
> >
> > 2) What you have written brings back memories of Haeckel's
> > infamous
> > embryos and the concept of recapitulation. Clearly, all that is in
> > evidence
> > here is an inbuilt programme of development that takes us from a
> > fish-like
> > form to frog in a relatively brief span of time. The suggested
> > extrapolation
> > is, I believe, invalid.
> >
> Where did you get the idea that I wrote about recapitulation? All I
> claimed to illustrate was a change from an aquatic pollywog to an adult
> frog without loss of function at any stage. I contrasted this process
> with the need to pause activity for a general reorganization in the
> insect pupa. I see no way that a creature could survive if a quasi-pupal
> form were the adult. This is clearly anti-Haeckel. My argument is
> analogical. Let me restate it simply. If an aquatic pollywog can
> transform into a terrestrial frog (a toad makes the point more strongly)
> without hiccups, aquatic creatures could evolve into other forms,
> including terrestrial ones, without hitting road blocks. Since we have
> numerous fossils showing sequential development, and since such
> development can proceed smoothly, your argument is silly and misguided.
> >
> >
> > 3) I am intrigued by your closing paragraph. You question: why
> > would
> > God have to work out a series of intermediate creatures leading up
> > to the
> > current forms? As a TE (please correct me if I am wrong) you believe
> > that
> > man has appeared on the world scene by a divinely-ordained process
> > of
> > evolution. Presumably, with this ultimate end in view, He either
> > front-loaded all the necessary information for such an outcome into
> > the
> > first living cell, or otherwise constantly maintains a controlling
> > hand on
> > all that transpires. This being so, I can surely put the same
> > question to
> > you: why would God have to work out a series of intermediate
> > creatures
> > leading up to the current forms? Why all the carnage over a vast
> > period of
> > time? Is our God incapable of creating all living forms, together
> > with those
> > represented in the fossil record, simultaneously, in one mighty
> > operation?
> > In the Scriptures, God has revealed what actually happened way back.
> > He can
> > hardly be held responsible for the errors of those who have chosen
> > to
> >
> In this paragraph you assume that all information had to be
> "front-loaded." In the biological realm, this is nonsense. New
> information arises, as "bivalve" noted in this string on the 18th, if
> only through position effects. But there are other possibilities as well.
> To look at matters more broadly, can natural processes produce life? I
> don't know. It may be that original life had to be introduced
> miraculously. But I would not be surprised if we found that special
> conditions give rise to entities that could absorb nutrients, maintain
> homeostasis and reproduce--if we are able to recognize the entities as
> simple life forms, for they would certainly be different from what we
> find currently. Recent studies in the Sargasso Sea indicate that we have
> grave problems recognizing some contemporary life forms.
> Then you trot out the silly claim that "nature red in tooth and claw"
> cannot be the work of God. Think for a couple seconds on what the world
> would be like without death. Nearly a century ago we killed off all the
> large predators on the Kaibab Plateau north of Grand Canyon. In a few
> years, all the vegetation that deer could reach was gone, eaten, and all
> the deer were starving. Death is a necessary part of this world (but just
> try to design a world without death). Which death is better: slow
> starvation with the destruction of the ecosystem, or a quick bite by a
> predator? It's easy to oppose death because a partly eaten carcass is not
> a pretty sight. But it is a very silly argument.
> Vernon, I wish you had given evidence in this post that you had thought
> something through before setting it down. Unfortunately, you have merely
> parroted irrelevancies, items known to excite prejudices, and similar
> drivel. If you are going to respond, please do better.
> Dave
> >
> >
> >
> > Vernon
> >
Received on Tue Jun 22 20:12:48 2004

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