Re: Stereotypes and reputations

From: Pim van Meurs <pimvanmeurs@yahoo.com>
Date: Fri Aug 05 2005 - 11:34:31 EDT

Cornelius Hunter wrote:

> Tim:
>
> It seems your reasons for rejecting creation are not very strong, and
> amount to a trivial testing of God, along the lines of the
> Bernoulli-Kant argument that God would not create a pattern.
>
>>
>> Against multiple, unrelated creation events:
>> * Very strong similarities among organisms (Organisms appear related).
>
> God can create organisms that share similarities. Imagine if there
> were not very strong similarities among organisms. then we could say:

Yes, God can create animals that way but why? Unless the mechanisms used
inevitably lead to nested hierarchies.

> * No strong similarities among organisms (Organisms appear unrelated
> as if produced by blind natural laws).
>
>> * Appearance of new organisms in the stratigraphic record
>> follows a pattern that generally correlates with relationships
>> traced by cladistics.
>
> And if this were not the case, we could say :
> * Appearance of new organisms in the stratigraphic record
> follows no pattern, as if produced by multiple OOL events.
>
>
>> * No physical trace of a potential creator found (e.g secondary
>> artifacts).
>
> The DNA code is not a "secondary artifact"?

You tell us... What makes DNA a 'secondary artifact'?

>> * Boundaries between species are often unclear.
>
> And if otherwise:
> * Boundaries between species are huge (as if created by multiple OOL
> events)
>

Let's not confuse appearance with actual. There are few evidences
supporting multiple OOL events.

> It is also very clear that species have changed over time and that the
> nested hierarchies generally track with at multiple levels (e.g. time,
> morphology, biochemistry & molecular sequences, as I mentioned
> previously).

CH: Yes, and the celestial bodies generally track geocentrism.

Huh?... As Tim points out vaste independent data support nested
hierarchies, easily explained by common descent, hard to explain by
'design' since nested hierachies are created by branching evolutionary
processes.
Although CH without any evidence suggests that "Manufactured objects can
fall into an hierarchical pattern." he provides no logical or scientific
argument to support this claim. In fact, I doubt that such an argument
can be made.

> Common descent is a genetic
> process in which the state of the present
> generation/individual is dependent only upon genetic
> changes that have occurred since the most recent
> ancestral population/individual. Therefore, gradual
> evolution from common ancestors must conform to the
> mathematics of Markov processes and Markov chains.

CH: False, gradual evolution can include accelerated mutation rates.

I have no idea what you are objecting to. Accelerated mutation rates are
still gradual just faster. In fact evolutionary theory explains
accellerated rates quite easily. Check out evolvability.

So far the vaste amount of evidence supporting CD is extremely well
explained by evolutionary theory. If CH has an alternative explanation,
then please present it. But given the focus of CH on 'disproving' CD, I
doubt that such an explanation could be forthcoming.

Thus my question becomes, why focus on trivial puzzles and ignore the
vaste amount of evidence in favor of CD?

CH believes that minor violations of a tree structure are evidence
against common descent when in fact the mechanisms that create such
vines are understood and the tree (with vines) can be reconstructed.
The reason that it has become so hard to disprove CD is because of the
overwhelming evidence supporting it. Not to mention the lack of any
competing explanation.

CH: Beyond all this, there is the problem that there are violations of
the nested hierarchy pattern that are not explained with either high
mutation rates or multiple origin of life events.

But then there are other known mechanisms, aren't there ? And the tree
can still be reconstructed but some genes show how they were acquired
horizontally. Same for symbiosis.

CH: The mitochondrial sequences are one example. Evolutionists will have
to use yet another story that cannot be falsified or verified to explain
why these sequences consistently violate the pattern, with very high
statistical confidence.

But evolutionists, contrary to CH's speculations, have provided a
'story', or as scientists refer to it hypothesis, and not only a story
but also ways to verify/falsify such a story.

CH: Another example is the photosynthetic bacteria. For bacteria
evolutionists appeal to mysteriously high levels of HGT that occur just
where we need them to occur. Fine, do what you need to do, but this is
not falsifiable.

FAlsifiable of course, but given the fact that these hypotheses fit the
evidence so well, quite a challenge. Let's not confuse these two concepts

And remind us again how does CH explain these data?

Could you also provide us with some links to these 'controversies'? I
would like to double check them. Are you still arguing that convergence
is evidence against CD by the way?
   

As far as nested hierarchies are concerned, did you
read Theobalt's FAQ?
http://talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/section1.html#nested_hierarchy

[quote]
The only known processes that specifically generate
unique, nested, hierarchical patterns are branching
evolutionary processes. Common descent is a genetic
process in which the state of the present
generation/individual is dependent only upon genetic
changes that have occurred since the most recent
ancestral population/individual. Therefore, gradual
evolution from common ancestors must conform to the
mathematics of Markov processes and Markov chains.
Using Markovian mathematics, it can be rigorously
proven that branching Markovian replicating systems
produce nested hierarchies (Givnish and Sytsma 1997;
Harris 1989; Norris 1997). For these reasons,
biologists routinely use branching Markov chains to
effectively model evolutionary processes, including
complex genetic processes, the temporal distributions
of surnames in populations (Galton and Watson 1874),
and the behavior of pathogens in epidemics.[/quote]

So far Hunter has yet to explain why we should reject the vaste evidence
of common descent

[quote]
The stunning degree of match between even the most incongruent
phylogenetic trees found in the biological literature is widely
unappreciated, mainly because most people (including many biologists)
are unaware of the mathematics involved (Bryant /et al/. 2002
<http://talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/section1.html#Bryant_etal2002>;
Penny /et al/. 1982
<http://talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/section1.html#Penny_etal1982>;
Penny and Hendy 1986
<http://talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/section1.html#PennyHendy1986>).
Penny and Hendy have performed a series of detailed statistical analyses
of the significance of incongruent phylogenetic trees, and here is their
conclusion:

"Biologists seem to seek the 'The One Tree' and appear not to be
satisfied by a range of options. However, there is no logical difficulty
in having a range of trees. There are 34,459,425 possible [unrooted]
trees for 11 taxa (Penny /et al/. 1982
<http://talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/section1.html#Penny_etal1982>), and
to reduce this to the order of 10-50 trees is analogous to an accuracy
of measurement of approximately one part in 106 ." (Penny and Hendy 1986
<http://talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/section1.html#PennyHendy1986>, p. 414)

For a more realistic universal phylogenetic tree with dozens of taxa
including all known phyla, the accuracy is better by many orders of
magnitude.
[/quote]

From:
http://talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/section1.html#independent_convergence

All CH had to offer was "You might want to go read the Penny (1982)
paper to see how meaningless it really is."

well tell us...
Received on Fri Aug 5 11:36:23 2005

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