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Evolution is a Fact, Just Like Gravity is a Fact! UhOh!

In this week’s New Scientist, there is an article about gravity that deals with a string theorist’s reformulation of gravity as an entropic force. This reformulation describes gravity as an emergent property of space, time and matter, and NOT as a physical force itself.

Here’s a quote from the actual article:

Of course, Einstein’s geometric description of gravity is beatiful, and in a certain way compelling. Geometry appeals to the visual part of our minds, and is amazingly powerful in summarizing many aspects of a physical problem. Presumably this explains why we, as a community, have been so reluctant to give up the geometric formulation of gravity as being fundamental. But it is inevitable we do so. If gravity is emergent, so is space time geometry. Einstein tied these two concepts together, and both have to be given up if we want to understand one or the other at a more fundamental level.

The results of this paper suggest gravity arises as an entropic force, once space and time themselves have emerged.

I will simply add that my own musings on space-time, and on Einsteinian relativistic presuppositions, tells me that Verlinde is correct, and that he is only one step away (it is a rather giant step, however) from a great leap forward in our understanding of space, time and matter.

I don’t need to bring out all the implications of this for the Darwinian-ID debate. This theoretical finding throws gravity, as a fundamental force of nature, into question. So, if gravity is now to be understood as a phenomena, and not a “fact”, then what about Darwinian extravagence?

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42 Responses to Evolution is a Fact, Just Like Gravity is a Fact! UhOh!

  1. Gravitational THEORY may not be well-grounded (pun intended) but gravity seems quite intact. The lack of detection of a graviton hasn’t left me hovering. My personal feeling is that evolutionary theory needs quite a bit of work, but common descent is well observed.

  2. REC:

    Common descent is not at issue. What is at issue is the mechanism whereby one species gives rise to another, and not in the varietal sense, ie, microevolution.

    If one studies population genetics, one finds that no mechanism exists that can explain the kinds of macroevolutionary events contained in the fossil record. I’m personally at the point where I consider population genetics to be a complete waste of time. Many evolutionary biologists would agree. In one of the recent issues of “The Scientist”, the notion of an “Extended Synthesis” supplanting the “Modern Synthesis” is presented. It is an admission that population genetics (= to Modern Synthesis, more or less) can’t explain so many things that nature produces.

    As to gravity, your comments reflect a very simple-minded approach to what is rather revolutionary. Verlinde doesn’t say that gravitational effects don’t exist, he is simply “grounding” its effects within entropic principles. But then gravity is no longer a force, but rather an emergent property, emerging, as it does, from the interplay between space, matter and degrees of freedom. ID doesn’t say that macroevolution DIDN’T occur; rather, it questions the mechanism given as its cause. But, we’re told, evolution is as a principle of diversity is as soundly grounded as is gravity when it comes to bodies being attracted to one another. No one is denying the phenomena; we, instead, are questioning the causal roots of the phenomena. If the causal roots of the gravity are now being called into question, then this argument, long used by Darwinists, now works against them, and, now becomes a means by which the vacuity of Darwinist “just-so” stories comes into clear view.

  3. PaV,

    Your title states:

    Evolution is a fact just like gravity is a fact! UhOh!
    I thought you intended to state both were non-factual. Your response makes me think you intend the opposite.

    Restated, I think we agree:

    Gravity is not in dispute. It is a fact. TBoth observations are sound. The laws of gravitation are mathematical descriptions of the mechanics of gravity. They are not descriptions of its origin.

    Likewise, I’m glad you agree common descent is not at issue, and that evolution is objectively and observably a fact. What is in dispute are the mechanisms behind it. Horizontal gene transfer, design, or natural mechanisms may all account for it.

    However, to say that gravity or evolution are not facts is false (if you believe in common descent). String theory, gravitons, NDE, design, abiogenesis could all be wrong, but the observations can’t be.

  4. Verlinde states:

    “I am convinced now, gravity is a phenomenon emerging from the fundamental properties of space and time,”,,,further cite from article: Verlinde uses the holographic principle to consider what is happening to a small mass at a certain distance from a bigger mass, say a star or a planet. Moving the small mass a little, he shows, means changing the information content, or entropy, of a hypothetical holographic surface between both masses. This change of information is linked to a change in the energy of the system.

    Then, using statistics to consider all possible movements of the small mass and the energy changes involved, Verlinde finds movements toward the bigger mass are thermodynamically more likely than others..

    He is correct is so far as he has gone, yet it seems he has neglected to take “dark matter” into consideration in his quest to find the primary “cause” of gravity. He should be asking what is the foundational entity (source) that is causing space-time to curve where no detectable matter is present? i.e. He should be asking what is true source for gravity that can explain the curvature of space-time that we witness for the dark matter, which we can’t see, as well as explaining the curvature of space-time we witness for mass which we can see?
    I firmly believe the answer for that particular question is “transcendent information”.

    Let There Be Light
    http://lettherebelight-77.blogspot.com/
    Excerpt: The fact that quantum teleportation shows an exact “location dominion”, of a photon of energy by “a qubit of infinite information”, satisfies a major requirement for the entity needed to explain the missing Dark Matter. The needed transcendent explanation would have to dominate energy in a very similar “specified location” fashion, as is demonstrated by the infinite information of quantum teleportation, to satisfy what is needed to explain the missing dark matter.

    Colossians 1:17
    He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

    Moreover, the fact that simple quantum entanglement shows “coordinated universal control” of entangled photons of energy, by transcendent information, satisfies a major requirement for the entity which must explain the missing Dark Energy. i.e. The transcendent entity, needed to explain Dark Energy, must explain why the entire space of the universe is expanding in such a finely-tuned, coordinated, degree, and would have to employ a mechanism of transcendent dominion and control very similar to what we witness first hand in the quantum entanglement experiments.

    Job 9:8
    He stretches out the heavens by Himself and walks on the waves of the sea.

    Thus “infinite transcendent information” provides a coherent picture of universal control, and specificity, that could possibly unify all of physics upon further elucidation. It very well may be possible to elucidate, mathematically, the overall pattern God has chosen to implement infinite information in this universe. This following article powerfully backs up my intuition:

    Is Unknown Force In Universe Acting On Dark Matter?
    Excerpt: It is possible that a non-gravitational fifth force is ruling the dark matter with an invisible hand, leaving the same fingerprints on all galaxies, irrespective of their ages, shapes and sizes.” ,,Such a force might solve an even bigger mystery, known as ‘dark energy’, which is ruling the accelerated expansion of the Universe.”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....154644.htm

    “I discovered that nature was constructed in a wonderful way, and our task is to find out its mathematical structure”
    Albert Einstein

    John1:1
    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

  5. PaV, #2

    In one of the recent issues of “The Scientist”, the notion of an “Extended Synthesis” supplanting the “Modern Synthesis” is presented. It is an admission that population genetics (= to Modern Synthesis, more or less) can’t explain so many things that nature produces.
    ————————————
    Here is a quote from the article you mention:

    It will be titled, Evolution: The Extended Synthesis. “The word ‘extended’ is important because it implies quite clearly that there is no rejection of the previous synthesis,” Pigliucci says. “There is no rejection of the Modern Synthesis. There is no rejection of Darwinism. It’s an extension of it—we think a significant extension in a lot of different directions which neither Darwin nor the Modern Synthesis could have possibly thought of.”
    This doesn’t exactly support your belief that that population genetics (= to Modern Synthesis, more or less) is “a complete waste of time”.

  6. camanintx [4]

    You’ve quoted one supposed expert. There are others in that same article who completely agree with what I’ve stated.

    Here at UD, Allen MacNeil of Cornell Univ. has said that the neo-Darwinism is dead. That’s the basic notion. The evo-devo people have left Darwinism behind.

    And, please, tell me how you feel about the argument that has been made by so many for so long; namely, evolution, like gravity, is a fact. Well, the chair has been pulled out of that one. It really is quite an embarassment for the Darwinist side–or, at least, it should be.

  7. REC[3]:

    Gravity is not in dispute. It is a fact. TBoth observations are sound. The laws of gravitation are mathematical descriptions of the mechanics of gravity. They are not descriptions of its origin.

    I know this is hard to believe, but Verlinde, the author of the article above, derives the phenomena of gravity using the laws of entropy and other laws of physics. It falls out of the equations. He derives Newton’s second law simply employing space and entropy, etc.

    The net effect is to render gravity an “epiphenoma” that “emerges” from underlying forces. Translation: gravity is illusory. Granted this is cutting edge physics, several prestigious physicists are impressed with Verlinde’s work. It will be some time before the physics “community” will accept the “death” of gravity as we have known it, but that is the bottom-line to Verlinde’s approach. I will add again that I think we are on the brink of a reinterpretation of all of Einstein’s work. His work begins with a couple of simple assumptions, and those assumptions, in the end, could prove to be wrong. So, if Einstein can be wrong, will the Darwinists insist that Darwin can’t be? Will gravity no longer be a fact but evolution continue to be one as far as they’re concerned?

  8. PaV

    Fine, but yet I remain, firmly in my seat. The phenomenon of gravity remains.

    Also, I tend to be skeptical of new calculations. Lets see if it stands the test of time.

    One criticism from the new scientist article:

    “The jury is still out for many others. Some believe that Verlinde is using circular reasoning in his equations, by “starting out” with gravity. Others have expressed concern about the almost trivial mathematics involved, leaving most of the theory based on very general concepts of space, time and information.”

    So I’ll give it a “we’ll see.” But observable facts are distinct from theory.

  9. Also,

    I’m fairly new here, but is bornagain77 a troll? His/her arguments seem like an atheist’s parody of what is trying to be accomplished here…..

  10. PaV wrote:

    “Common descent is not at issue. What is at issue is the mechanism whereby one species gives rise to another . . .”

    Common descent is definitely a potential issue — perhaps not in the point you are making specifically on this thread, but as a general matter. Specifically, the idea of “common descent” spans a wide range of meanings, from the obvious and non-controversial observation that we and the creatures around us have apparently all descended from prior similar creatures, to the much more questionable and controversial assertions: that species A eventually turned into species B; that man arose through a similar kind of lineage; that there is a universal common ancestor; etc.

    Oh, there are certainly a number of examples we could point to where transition from one species to another is plausible, in the sense of similar morphology or comparative genomics. However, this only means that species A turning into species B is *consistent with* evolutionary ideas of common descent. In most cases — even the most tantalizing cases — common descent from A to B is a possibility, a proposition, an educated guess, but nowhere near proven. Add to this fact the additional fact that there are numerous species that appear to be lacking in any kind of reasonable predecessor, and we end up with a very real question about whether all the species around us arose through common descent (in the latters senses of that term, as described above).

    At any rate, I fully understand your point that, for purposes of argumentation, we can assume common descent largely across the board and still have the key question unanswered: what informational input is required and by what mechanism did the changes come about. On that I agree. I simply want to point out that we should not lose sight of the numerous questions still surrounding “common descent,” broadly understood.

  11. REC,

    I’m fairly new here, but is bornagain77 a troll? His/her arguments seem like an atheist’s parody of what is trying to be accomplished here…..

    You’re not new here, you’re the troll.

  12. PaV, I’m confused. Why would the question of whether gravity is an emergent property or not compromise the fact that gravity is uniformly observed and undisputed?

    I just don’t see how this post legitimately criticizes evolution at all.

  13. PaV, #6

    And, please, tell me how you feel about the argument that has been made by so many for so long; namely, evolution, like gravity, is a fact. Well, the chair has been pulled out of that one. It really is quite an embarassment for the Darwinist side–or, at least, it should be.
    —————————————
    There is the fact of gravity, that things fall when I drop them, and the Theory of Gravity, that things fall because masses attract each other.

    There is the fact of evolution, that populations of organisms change over time, and the Theory of Evolution, that these changes are explained by random mutations and natural selection.

    Darwin’s Theory of Evolution was certainly not the be-all and end-all of evolutionary theory just as Newton’s Theory of Gravity was not the last word in physics. Modern Synthesis and Extended Synthesis no more discard RM & NS as a process of biological evolution than Relativity discarded Newton’s Laws of motion, they merely complete them.

  14. Eric Anderson:

    I share your same concerns.

    REC:

    bornagain is not a troll. And his posts don’t usually have this same kind of content. He’s a valuable contributor here.

    bornagain:

    The ideas you’re expressing are similar to mine. I have a definite notion of how some of physics can be reinterpreted and have started to pursue it a bit. It could prove to be very interesting. And….it would have theological implications, though that is not the starting point of my reflections.

    Retroman:

    Two points: (1) The argument is routinely made that evolution is a “fact” just like gravity is a “fact”. This argument is meant to say that evolution is, in fact, unassailable. (2) The counterargument has always been that there are several ways to consider evolution. For example, there is the fossil record. There are “breeds” that can be formed, thus indicating plasticity of phenotype. And then there is the explanation given for all these phenomena, which is itself called “evolution”. And, so, while obviously observing the phenomena, we can still reject the explanatory cause given. Our critics arrogantly reject this counterargument. Verlinde’s treatment of gravity shows just how arrogant—and unscientific—our critics have been. AND, further, they have sought refuge on this island of surety, and that island is being shaken to its roots. Verlinde’s interpretation of gravity is not a force at a distance like Newton, nor is it, exactly, a curvature of space like Einstein, but rather has to do with the characteristics of space itself, and, specifically, its many degrees of freedom coupled to its ultimate discreetness. So, the explanatory core of gravity has changed—radically; something our critics would have laughed at us about should we have proposed it. It’s now our turn to laugh at their arrogance. ALL theories are ultimately hypotheses that have, at the moment, grounds for acceptance. But that can always change. And science has a history of theories coming and going. But NOT Darwinism. So what if his theories are 160 years old. So what if the “co-founder” of natural selection ended up in disagreement with Darwin. So what if the Modern Synthesis is completely incapable of explaining what we find in nature. No matter—the theory lives on. A little humility, I think, is now in order.

  15. #4 camanintx

    It will be titled, Evolution: The Extended Synthesis. “The word ‘extended’ is important because it implies quite clearly that there is no rejection of the previous synthesis,” Pigliucci says. “There is no rejection of the Modern Synthesis. There is no rejection of Darwinism. It’s an extension of it—we think a significant extension in a lot of different directions which neither Darwin nor the Modern Synthesis could have possibly thought of.”

    This doesn’t exactly support your belief that that population genetics (= to Modern Synthesis, more or less) is “a complete waste of time”.

    Of course it does not reject Darwinism because variation and selection do happen. See malaria resistance, for example. So Darwinism is part of the extended synthesis because it does do things. They just need to conjure up a natural way to produce complex, specified information. So Darwinism and the Modern Synthesis should make up around 0.001% of the Extended Synthesis – at least as far as the production of new information is concerned (it does a great job preserving what is already there). Hence the phrase “significant extension” – if Darwinism were the main driving force behind biological novelty, an extension wouldn’t need to be labeled “significant”. So as for the origin of life and species, yes I would comfortably say that population genetics is a waste of time.

  16. PaV,

    Of interest,,,

    The Physics of the Small and Large: What is the Bridge Between Them? Roger Penrose
    Excerpt: “The time-asymmetry is fundamentally connected to with the Second Law of Thermodynamics: indeed, the extraordinarily special nature (to a greater precision than about 1 in 10^10^123, in terms of phase-space volume) can be identified as the “source” of the Second Law (Entropy).” http://www.pul.it/irafs/CD%20I.....enrose.pdf

    That statement was from a paper in which Penrose was trying to find a bridge between quantum mechanics and gravity,,,,and tends to agree with Verlinde’s statement:

    The results of this paper suggest gravity arises as an entropic force, once space and time themselves have emerged.

    ,,, After a bit of reflection,, I think there is much promise in his “holographic” model for more precisely elucidating the required “non-material” explanation for gravity, or at least for elucidating how space-time curvature precedes as well as is primary and dominant of “material” gravity. i.e. His model seems to be “primed” to account for “dark matter”,,, and indeed his model may also be found to explain dark energy as well if he can find a congruent entropic measurement for Dark Energy, which at first glance should be so since Dark Energy is “expanding” space-time itself.

  17. uoflcard, #15

    Of course it does not reject Darwinism because variation and selection do happen. See malaria resistance, for example. So Darwinism is part of the extended synthesis because it does do things. They just need to conjure up a natural way to produce complex, specified information.
    ————————————————
    Many have already done that.

    Evolution of Biological Information

    Evolution of biological complexity

    The evolutionary origin of complex
    features

  18. Translation: gravity is illusory.

    E pur si muove.

  19. REC — but common descent is well observed.

    Intra-species, maybe, (i.e. dogs) but are you saying a prokaryote has been seen evolving into a eukaryote?

  20. Heinrich: I speak Italian. Yes, the effects of gravity are real; however, the causal mechanism for gravity, per Verlinde, is illosory if we believe either Newton or Einstein. Is Darwin so sacrosanct?

    When an argument is presented as being the strongest of arguments, and then this argument is shown to be suspect, to simply go on as if it’s no big deal reeks of rationalization. When that happens, truth suffers.

    bornagain:

    Interesting quotes. I’ll look at your link. I’m very impressed with Penrose.

  21. PaV, #20

    When an argument is presented as being the strongest of arguments, and then this argument is shown to be suspect, to simply go on as if it’s no big deal reeks of rationalization. When that happens, truth suffers.
    ————————————-
    Newton’s theory of gravity became suspect in 1859 when Mercury’s orbital precession was found to differ from what the theory predicted. Despite the advent of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, Newtonian physics is still taught today because it is foundational. Has truth suffered because of this?

  22. caminintx wrote:

    “There is the fact of evolution, that populations of organisms change over time . . .”

    Sorry, but you must be *way* more specific than that. I am aware of many different ways the word “evolution” is used in the literature, ranging from the obvious and well-observed to the outrageous and wildly-speculative. For example, if all you mean is that nature isn’t forever static, then big deal — and we don’t need Charles’ theory to help us there. If, on the other hand, you mean something much more grand (and controversial), such as abiotic origins, descent of man, universal common descent, etc., then you have no “fact” to point to — it is still theory.

    There is simply no comparison between evolution and gravity in terms of their factual content, specificity, or predictive capabilities. Gravity is observed literally every moment of every day; we can measure very precisely how planes and rockets will react at any given distance from the earth; we can send men to the moon and ships to the outer planets. Sure, there are some very interesting nuances about exactly how gravity works, and we probably have much to learn there. But for someone to suggest that evolution (whatever that slippery term means) is as well an established fact as gravity is more than ludicrous, it is laughable.

  23. I went to the Adami article referenced by caminintx and then to the articles citing it and it a veritable gold mine of stuff on complexity and information with lots of full text articles. Here is the link I accessed

    http://scholar.google.com/scho.....2F9%2F4463

    It seems all their data for complexity arising is in computer programs and not actual genomes. You would think that genomes is where the action should be.

  24. Eric Anderson, 22

    Sorry, but you must be *way* more specific than that. I am aware of many different ways the word “evolution” is used in the literature, ranging from the obvious and well-observed to the outrageous and wildly-speculative. For example, if all you mean is that nature isn’t forever static, then big deal — and we don’t need Charles’ theory to help us there. If, on the other hand, you mean something much more grand (and controversial), such as abiotic origins, descent of man, universal common descent, etc., then you have no “fact” to point to — it is still theory.
    ———————————–
    It’s really not that complicated. The Theory of Evolution is based upon mechanisms derived directly from observed facts.

    Researchers have observed organisms gaining new functions through random mutation and natural selection. They have observed how successive incremental changes in groups of organisms from a common ancestor can lead to distinctly separate species.

    Extrapolating a theory of common descent from these observed facts is no harder than deriving Galileo’s heliocentric theory from Newton’s laws of gravity.

  25. jerry, #23

    It seems all their data for complexity arising is in computer programs and not actual genomes. You would think that genomes is where the action should be.
    ————————————
    Since only a few biological genomes have been completely sequenced, how long do you suggest we wait for experiments based on them to be developed, executed and analyzed?

  26. “Since only a few biological genomes have been completely sequenced, how long do you suggest we wait for experiments based on them to be developed, executed and analyzed”

    I think several thousand have been sequenced. I believe there is a site someplace on the internet that keeps track of them. My guess is the software to analyze them and to compare them is what is at issue. Also I am sure there are many more partial genomes that have been sequenced.

    Nobody has reported anything earth shattering yet for all these sequenced genomes both whole and partial.

  27. “Researchers have observed organisms gaining new functions through random mutation and natural selection. They have observed how successive incremental changes in groups of organisms from a common ancestor can lead to distinctly separate species.”

    Then maybe you should write a book on it. I am over half way through Dawkins’ new book and so far he hasn’t reported any of this. You should email him so you can help him with his next book. Also email Jerry Coyne and let him know too.

  28. jerry, #27

    “Researchers have observed organisms gaining new functions through random mutation and natural selection. They have observed how successive incremental changes in groups of organisms from a common ancestor can lead to distinctly separate species.”

    Then maybe you should write a book on it. I am over half way through Dawkins’ new book and so far he hasn’t reported any of this. You should email him so you can help him with his next book. Also email Jerry Coyne and let him know too.
    ———————————-
    I’m sure they can find these themselves.

    Appl. Environ. Microbiol., May 1995, 2020-2022, Vol 61, No. 5
    Copyright © 1995, American Society for Microbiology

    Emergence of nylon oligomer degradation enzymes in Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO through experimental evolution

    ID Prijambada, S Negoro, T Yomo and I Urabe

    and

    Nature 230, 289 – 292 (02 April 1971); doi:10.1038/230289a0

    Experimentally Created Incipient Species of Drosophila

    Theodosius Dobzhansky & Olga Pavlovsky

  29. “I’m sure they can find these themselves.”

    Your examples are micro evolution and don’t make the cut. I do not know how many times the nylon example has been brought up but it is irrelevant. ID doesn’t question changes like these.

    That you brought them up here, means you don’t have anything. So I take back my suggestion and that you should not contact Dawkins or Coyne. You are no better off than they are.

  30. camanintx[21]:

    You’re indulging in the very kind of rationalization I decry.

    You’re giving a “know-it-all” answer. You think you know something and you know nothing.

    Read Verlinde’s article and try to understand it.

    Here’s what he says in the “Conclusion and Discussion” section:

    (This is the very first paragraph.)

    Gravity has given many hints of being an emergent phenomenon, yet up to this day it i still seen as a fundamental force. The similarities with other known emergent phenomena, such as thermodynamics and hydrodynamics, have been mostly regarded as just suggestive analogies. It is time we not only notice the analogy, and talk about the similarity, but finally do away with gravity as a fundamental force.”

    Do you get it now? Gravity is, as I’ve stated above, an “epiphenomenon”, not a real, fundamental force. Rather, it is a byproduct of a different kind of physical architecture; that is, the net result of “entropic forces” (which are microscopic and involve “degress of freedom”, none of which involves “mass”, except for its effect on these degrees of freedom). This means that the whole way of thinking about gravity must change. Yes, apples still fall in “perpendicular lines” to the earth, as Newton noticed, but the “force” he associated with those “perpendicular lines” really doesn’t exist—just as Darwinian evolution doesn’t exist, although the fossil record shows a progressives “evolution” of forms.

    But happy rationalizing! I’m sure you’re not going to want to change the way you think about gravity or Darwin. And, in this, truth suffers.

  31. jerry:

    I think several thousand have been sequenced. I believe there is a site someplace on the internet that keeps track of them. My guess is the software to analyze them and to compare them is what is at issue. Also I am sure there are many more partial genomes that have been sequenced.

    Nobody has reported anything earth shattering yet for all these sequenced genomes both whole and partial.

    It surprises me that you “believe there is a site someplace on the internet that keeps track of them”. Actually, these sequenced genomes should be at the heart of ID research and should be used as the main resource for anybody really wanting to do ID research. Unfortunately, neither the Biologic Institute nor the Evolutionary Informatics Lab went in this direction (to my best knowledge they didn’t publish anything in this field). Currently, all sequencing data are assembled by programs that presume evolution as the source of biological information. And these programs run reliably as has been proven by molecular biological techniques e.g. FISH staining of chromosomes [not to be mistaken as your inner fish ;)], genomic southerns, radiation hybrid clones etc. again and again. It would be interesting to see what design theory could contribute to this field because there are some fields where better algorithms would be helpful. If ID would produce anything that could be proven in the wet lab reality the community would quickly adopt such techniques. Until then you may be more reluctant to convict 21st century biology.

  32. 24 camanintx

    “successive incremental changes in groups of organisms from a common ancestor can lead to distinctly separate species.”

    The incremental and somehow advantageous change from rodent to bat or lizard to bird should be in the fossil record, but it is lacking. Nor is there the transformation from short to long necked giraffe. Out of all the animals in the world there isn’t a single example of incremental change in the fossil record.

  33. jerry

    It seems all their data for complexity arising is in computer programs and not actual genomes. You would think that genomes is where the action should be.

    You may tell this the sciensists at the Biologic Institute and the Evolutionary Informatics Lab who are focussing on algorithms too.

  34. caminintx wrote:

    Researchers have observed organisms gaining new functions through random mutation and natural selection.

    I presume you are referring to loss of information, or minimal incremental change, both already well covered by Behe. In any event, you are definitely talking about microevolution, which is my point precisely — we have no basis to extrapolate grand Evolution from the trivial and obvious changes seen in microevolution.

    They have observed how successive incremental changes in groups of organisms from a common ancestor can lead to distinctly separate species.

    Really? You are again talking about microevolutionary changes and using a very minimal “species” definition. I would be very interested in any examples of “successive incremental changes” that produced any macroevolutionary change. Fact: there aren’t any you can point to.

    Extrapolating a theory of common descent from these observed facts is no harder than deriving Galileo’s heliocentric theory from Newton’s laws of gravity.

    You seem confused about the analogy. How does gravity extrapolate to heliocentrism? In any event, back to the topic, the question is precisely whether the extrapolation of a grand evolutionary narrative from the paucity of observed facts is warranted. Simply stating that one can extrapolate isn’t helpful — that is precisely the point at issue. We can just as easily assert, as I will, that there is no good reason to think that we can extrapolate broader macroevolutionary changes from the observed microevolutionary changes. So far, it appears there is no evidence to support such an extrapolation, only that the theory needs it.

  35. “It surprises me that you “believe there is a site someplace on the internet that keeps track of them”

    Here is a site that seems to keep track of them. I actually thought there was a lot more as I was reading about a guy who was in charge of this but I overestimated the number.

    http://genomesonline.org/index.htm

    Here is another site that says there 180 different organisms

    http://www.genomenewsnetwork.o.....e_p1.shtml

  36. jerry, #29

    Your examples are micro evolution and don’t make the cut.
    ————————————-
    Out of the 3 billion base pairs in our DNA, two human individuals can differ by as much as a million base pairs. A single individual alone has about 170 mutations in their DNA. With over 6 billion individuals currently living, that is a lot of random mutation for natural selection to work from.

    The difference between humans and chimps is only about 180 million base pairs. Since these examples illustrate that can and do change over time, maybe you can direct me to a mechanism that prevents the micro-evolutionary changes illustrated from becoming macro-evolutionary changes over thousands and millions of years.

  37. Davem, #32

    “successive incremental changes in groups of organisms from a common ancestor can lead to distinctly separate species.”

    The incremental and somehow advantageous change from rodent to bat or lizard to bird should be in the fossil record, but it is lacking. Nor is there the transformation from short to long necked giraffe. Out of all the animals in the world there isn’t a single example of incremental change in the fossil record.
    ————————————-
    I suppose you have never heard of archaeopteryx, the bird that is more like a dinosaur, or Bohlinia, the giraffe with an intermediate neck length?

    And maybe you could explain exactly what incremental changes between rodent and bat you think should be present in the fossil record?

  38. “The difference between humans and chimps is only about 180 million base pairs. Since these examples illustrate that can and do change over time, maybe you can direct me to a mechanism that prevents the micro-evolutionary changes illustrated from becoming macro-evolutionary changes over thousands and millions of years.”

    Just that there is no evidence it ever happened. Read Behe’s The Edge of Evolution. Small changes do happen and things can change over a long period of time but so many new capabilities require more than just small changes that getting the new information for them seems out of range for natural processes.

    Also gene flow prevents major changes from happening and even with a widely dispersed species such as humans nothing has changed so why when they were confined to Africa and close to the Chimps were there no gene flow to keep them homogeneous. I can imagine some reasons but to just quote deep time is meaningless. It is more of an appeal to magic then ID is to an intelligence.

  39. Jerry,

    “no evidence it ever happened”

    You can’t seriously be saying that no such fossils exist which exhibit the intermediate stages that evolution, descent w/ modification, would necessitate, are you?

  40. jerry, #38

    Just that there is no evidence it ever happened.
    ————————————-
    I suppose a sequence of fossil skulls exhibiting a gradual transition from ape to human over the last 2.5 million years wouldn’t qualify as evidence for you.

  41. “no evidence it ever happened”

    I was referring to the micro to macro evolution comment.

    I just read Dawkins who covers human evolution in fair detail. And lists all the fossils etc. That is not what I was talking about. I can see where it would be unclear. Just no macro evolution from micro evolution.

    And if you want to quibble, we use a definition of complex novel capabilities for macro evolution or something similar. Think eyes, flight, brains etc.

  42. Jerry,

    “I was referring to the micro to macro evolution comment”

    Ok, fair enough. However, it’s important to point out that camanintx made the comparisons based on just genomic differences asking why one couldn’t have descended from the other.

    As in, are there that many morphological & other differences that known evolutionary processes couldn’t reasonably account for between what we find in the fossil record?

    Quoting you directly : “The incremental and somehow advantageous change from rodent to bat or lizard to bird should be in the fossil record”

    In this context regarding humans you’re clearly asking for evidence of fossils which are representative of being intermediary between certain apes and now H. Sapiens. This you admit exists, so question is then are these evidence of descent w/ modification at the macro level a clearly those exhibited aren’t all the same species, so clearly some major changes were going on.

    “we use a definition of complex novel capabilities for macro evolution or something similar”

    Jerry, how would the progression of apes becoming more & more like modern humans over time be for this comparison? Surely, these changes are novel as they represent the increase in cranium & brain size, changes in morphology which becomes more & more evidently ‘human like’ & less ‘ape like’ would this suffice? If not why not?

    In terms of novelty, such increases in the size of a cranium wouldn’t be much different then asking for a group of theropods which had feathers to be related to those which later became the first primitive birds.

    I think to some extend the fossil evidence is indicative of what macro evolution aught to entail, never mind such DNA evidence like Human Chromosome 2 fusion.

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