Re: It's the Bible or evolution

From: Preston Garrison <>
Date: Thu Oct 06 2005 - 04:58:22 EDT

>Actually we went over this in some detail a few weeks ago. Miller's
>pseudogene argument has several problems. Let me just focus on the
>main one: Special pleading.
>This comes from the fact that biology is full of examples of
>identical yet independent mutations. The term "mutational hotspot"
>is conveniently used, even if we don't quite understand the causal
>factors. In any case, independent mutations are a fact. Indeed, they
>are even observed in, of all things, pseudogenes (urate oxidase,
>GULO, etc). Evolutionists explain these as due to mutational
>hotspots. But if repeated, identical mutations can be explained as
>due to hotspots when common descent is ruled out, then this
>explanation is also possible even when CD is not ruled out. Miller's
>argument that these are compelling evidence commits the fallacy of
>special pleading.

This ignores quantitative considerations. Given the rates at which
point mutations occur and get fixed and the fact that there only 4
possibilities at each position, it is obvious that an equivalent
mutation can reoccur, with or without a hotspot. Transpositions are
much rarer and each one has 3 billion bases of targets for possible
locations. Everything that is known about LINE elements, endogenous
retroviruses, Alu elements indicates that they only have mild biases
about target locations. To suggest that this is analogous to
mutational hotspots is ludicrous. There is one example of an HERV
which is present in only one copy in human and several ape genomes.
In all it is at the same position.

Let me ask you about about related evidence. Are you not at all
struck by the obvious assembly of human chr 2 (if I remember right)
from 2 ape chromosomes? Why are there 2 sets of telomere repeats
fused head to head internally at the expected position? Why are there
remnants of a disused centromere at the expected place on one of the
arms of Hs chr 2?

I suspect that I am wasting my time here. Perhaps we can cut to the
chase. Is there any conceivable evidence that you would regard as
even favoring common descent, let alone make it the best hypothesis?
I suspect that there isn't. That your decision on what to believe is
really made in advance and independent of evidence, on some other,
presumably theological, basis. If that is the case, of course, it is
a waste of time trying to discuss evidence.

Received on Thu Oct 6 05:01:05 2005

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