Re: Stereotypes and reputations

From: Pim van Meurs <>
Date: Tue Aug 02 2005 - 12:38:00 EDT

Cornelius Hunter wrote:

> Pim:
> The placentals and marsupials are another example of the incredible
> convergence we find in biology. And the thylacine (marsupial) and grey
> wolf (placental) are examples from within the placental and marsupial
> lineages. If evolution and CD are true, then the story goes like this.

CD is a fact and does not depend on the underlying mechanism. Lets be
clear that CD is in no way undermined by placentals and marsupials.

> A long time ago, a small rodent something like a mouse or shrew split
> into two lineages which would become the placental and marsupial
> lineages. Those two lineages, over millions of years and in different
> corners of the earth would produce the same designs over and over.
> Cats, rats, mice, anteaters, flying squirrels, and yes, the wolf, just
> to name a few. How could random, unguided mutations lead to these same
> designs over and over?
Because mutations are not 'unguided' but rather determined by
contingencies (history) as well as constraints imposed by the
environment, chemisty, physics, mechanics and so on.

> I hope you don't answer "natural selection" because natural selection
> never created any of these. It merely would have selected them.

Indeed, natural selection selects for improvements but if these
improvements are constrained.

> They had to have been created by random mutations (those random
> mutations sure are clever). What you must say is that these designs
> are the only evolutionary winners. All other designs are either not at
> all viable, or sufficiently disadvantaged that they could not compete
> with these designs.

You missed the obvious alternative.

> A six legged wolf just wouldn't work. A four-eyed cat wouldn't work.

Both are historically constrained. Once you think about it, it makes
quite a bit of sense. I encourage you to check out the work of Kaufmann
who shows how convergence can be explained even without natural
selection via self organization. See his excellent book ///The Origins
of Order: Self-Organization and Selection in Evolution
/Copyright 1993 by Oxford University Press and Copyright 1993 by Oxford
University Press.

Let's also point out that marsupials and placentals do in no way
contradict or pose a problem for the fact of common descent. They do
require the mechanisms of evolution to be able to explain the
convergence. Science is slowly unravelling this puzzle as well.

What does ID propose again? Or do we agree that ID is scientifically
vacuous as it relies on our ignorance to find "evidence"?

Btw you made a confused statement

"Here we have example after example of similar designs that
evolutionists agree *could not* have arisen via common descent."

They arose via common descent but are not homologous.

" So if similar designs routinely arise independently, then we lose the
mandate for common descen"

Nope that is a misunderstanding of common descent. This would only be
the case if one could not distinguish between homology and analogy.
Received on Tue Aug 2 12:40:10 2005

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Tue Aug 02 2005 - 12:40:11 EDT