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Evolution’s Repeat Performances

Would you believe that the blind, unguided process of evolution repeats itself? Would you believe that evolution somehow repeats striking patterns of change? Evolutionists do.

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93 Responses to Evolution’s Repeat Performances

  1. Well I could certainly believe it, the structure of life as we know it places constraints on what chance can do, the piece you link to recognizes this:

    What would that say about the roles of contingency, constraint, and adaptation?

    Given that constraints of various forms exist it seems (to me) likely that certain similar looking patterns would appear more than once. If you factor in recurring ecological changes, like a niche slowly changing because of an eroding river valley then you may well see repeating cycles of adaptation.

    I’m don’t see how any of this is inconsistent with the core of the evolutionary hypothesis.

  2. It seems evolutionists/materialists believe in miracles, upon miracles, upon miracles, just never acknowledging that there could actually be a “Miracle Maker”:

    Off topic:

    Turin Shroud Hologram Reveals The Words “The Lamb” – short video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XLcdaFKzYg

    ‘Holy Spirit’ by Nate Sallie – Shroud Hologram
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOHzgVh89eE

    A Quantum Hologram of Christ’s Resurrection?
    http://www.khouse.org/articles/2008/847

    Shroud Of Turin Carbon Dating Overturned By Scientific Peer Review – Robert Villarreal – Press Release video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEJPrMGksUg

  3. “This evidence contradicts evolutionary expectations, but what’s new?”

    What expectations are these? (and whose exactly?).

  4. 4
    Cornelius Hunter

    I’m don’t see how any of this is inconsistent with the core of the evolutionary hypothesis.

    What expectations are these? (and whose exactly?).

    There is no inconsistency with evolutionary theory when appropriately amended with explanations that need to justification beyond thought experiment. But before such findings were discovered, they were not expected by evolutionary theory, which views change as blind and unguided.

  5. “But before such findings were discovered, they were not expected by evolutionary theory, which views change as blind and unguided.”

    Were not expected by who? Was there a prediction by somebody (Darwin?) that the eye (for example) only evolved once, even though it is now known it to have evolved more than once. Perhaps there is, I’m just curious – so it would be helpful to back up your assertion with a reference.

  6. Would you believe that the blind, unguided process of evolution repeats itself?

    Yes.

    Would you believe that evolution somehow repeats striking patterns of change? Evolutionists do…This evidence contradicts evolutionary expectations, but what’s new?

    Whose expectations? We’ve known about convergent and parallel evolution for quite some time now.

    A niche exists, and we expect evolution to sometimes stumble upon the “good tricks” needed to fill that niche again and again. Sometimes independently from different starting points, as in “convergent evolution”. Sometimes independently from the same starting point, as in the case of “parallel evolution”.

    The article you’ve linked to isn’t making a sweeping, unexpected condemnation of evolutionary biology. It’s stating a simple fact:

    …the origin of ascus and costal shield was highly likely with sufficient possibilities afforded by time.

    It’s the same logic that allows me to say that “the origin of dog-like animals was historically contingent but likely”. You have eutherian wolves originating in the Palearctic, and then you look and you see the Tassie tiger convergently filling that niche elsewhere.

    Parallel evolution (as in the article you linked to) is even more likely, because multiple lineages can inherit from their common ancestor the same genetic or developmental closeness to “learning” that good trick.

  7. 7
    Cornelius Hunter

    JTaylor:

    Perhaps there is, I’m just curious – so it would be helpful to back up your assertion with a reference.

    I suspect it would be difficult to find evolutionists from years back explaining how they expect step-by-step evolutionary sequences of detailed designs to repeat themselves (or not repeat themselves).

    Tajimas:

    Whose expectations? We’ve known about convergent and parallel evolution for quite some time now.

    You are justifying one problem with another. We don’t “know” about convergent evolution. Convergent evolution is a hypothesis to try to explain how evolution can pull off the impossible, and create the same designs in different environments and from different initial conditions in an astronomical design space. Sure, if you believe that the squid and human eye are amazingly similar because lightning struck twice in the unguided process of evolution, then this new finding will not faze you.

    A niche exists, and we expect evolution to sometimes stumble upon the “good tricks” needed to fill that niche again and again.

    Why is that? Why do we expect evolution to “stumble upon the good tricks” again and again? This is the sort of just-so story that abounds in evolutionary theory to explain away the unexpected.

    (ps–I may be slow in responding to more comments to this post)

  8. Cornelius

    “But before such findings were discovered, they were not expected by evolutionary theory, which views change as blind and unguided.”

    This may be a root of your misunderstanding, change may be blind in the temporal sense of not able to predict the future but change is guided by the interaction of the phenotype with the environment, which then affects reproductive success. As Tajimas D points out, two organisms in a similar niche with a common genetic heritage would be likely to follow a similar evolutionary trajectory.

    “… once you believe in convergent evolution, this finding is easy to swallow. But not so for those who recognize the problems with convergent evolution.”

    It may help us if you briefly outline these problems.

  9. Yet again, Cornelius Hunter gets it completely wrong. He wrote:

    “But before such findings were discovered, they were not expected by evolutionary theory, which views change as blind and unguided.”

    Evolutionary theory has NEVER – even from its earliest inception – viewed the changes as “unguided”. The clue is in the phrase “natural selection” – by definition, “selection” is guided and in this case the selection is carried out by environmental factors (such as access to food or sexual selection).

    I’m sure you’ve been told this many times but you refuse to listen. And the reason is that you have your own, private religion with one of the articles of faith being that evolution is unguided; and you can’t bear the prospect that your religion is wrong, so you refuse to listen to the evidence because it proves you wrong.

  10. 10

    Though this following video does not do this subject nearly enough justice, it crudely portrays the trial and error processes we would naturally expect to see if blind processes truly had the ability to produce the stunning diversity of life we see in life.

    What The World Would Actually Look Like If Darwinism Were True
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pT3-jfA1vVU

  11. Bornagain, whomever made that video simply does not understand evolution or what evolution entails. It’s downright silly. It’s a strawman.

  12. bornagain77:

    Nice video, very funny! It reminded me of this except that, as far as I understand, he was not a fake.

    Joking aside I suppose you could argue that the contents of the video are more what you would expect a designer to produce if you assume they could re-use parts of existing designs. The idea that the slow, incremental changes in evolution would lead to a bird suddenly acquiring a rabbits head is clearly a joke but if we are to attribute nature to a designer then is is more feasible – indeed the photos in the video are a simulacrum of this design blending process.

    Part of my work involves designing and making machines and it isn’t unusual to take a functional subsystem from one machine and bolt it on to a different machine that has a substantially different lineage. The process is analogous to the way the creatures in the video would have to be created (if they were real).

  13. 13
    CannuckianYankee

    bornagain77,

    I noticed in the video that some of the images repeated. Is this an example of convergent, or parallel evolution? :)

  14. I believe it takes more belief to not believe in the ToE than it takes to believe the ToE, and for anybody regularly reading Cornelius Hunter, it’s hard to believe the Dr. has professional qualifications.

  15. 15
    Granville Sewell

    JTaylor,

    See p5 of the Nature Encyclopedia of Life Sciences article on Carnivorous Plants here (lower left paragraph):

    “The independent origin of complex synorganized structures, which are often anatomically and physiologially very similar to each other, appears to be intrinsically unlikely to many authors so that they have tried to avoid the hypothesis of convergence as far as possible. Yet, molecular comparisons have corroborated the independent origin of at least five of the carnivorous plant groups.”

    And see the previous paragraph for multiple examples of such “convergence”. Of course I can understand that anyone who is capable of believing that (for example) the eye arose once by chance processes would not find it too much harder to believe it arose several times through chance processes, but it does add to the (already astronomical) odds against.

  16. 16

    Tajimas D:

    We’ve known about convergent and parallel evolution for quite some time now.

    Someone unfamiliar with the subject could easily read this and conclude that a) something is known about convergent and/or parallel evolution, and b) it has been known for quite some time now.
    I’m intrigued by the proposition that in different parts of the world there are separate environmental niches that call for anteaters, and others that call for badgers.
    Is there any science behind this notion of environmental niches specifying the exact forms that will inhabit them, or is it assumed because it is required to explain so-called convergent evolution?

  17. JTaylor:
    “Were not expected by who?”

    Granville Sewell (Quoting)
    “…appears to be intrinsically unlikely to many authors so that they have tried to avoid the hypothesis of convergence as far as possible. Yet, molecular comparisons have corroborated the independent origin of at least five of the carnivorous plant groups.”

    So the idea of convergence (the hypothesis) existed but some scientists found it difficult to grasp until it was corroborated. That kind of indicates that is was expected, but only by those who developed the hypothesis.

    I’m a little unclear of what you are getting at here, you say that there are multiple examples of convergence but you also allude to not believing that it occurs? I’m also not clear how you calculate the odds against convergence – surely one occurrence is a possible indicator that the odds against are not all that high, which would make two occurrences even more likely.

    As has already been expressed, similar populations in similar circumstances are likely to follow similar trajectories.

  18. 18

    Excession:
    There’s no point to reasoning that uses its premise as evidence.
    We know that carnivorous plants converged because look! – there are different plants with different origins, and that’s how it happens.
    Convergence isn’t astronomically unlikely. See, it’s already happened.
    Populations in similar circumstances follow similar trajectories because there are similar populations in similar environments, and how else would they get that way?
    You haven’t provided anything except rewordings of your conclusion.

  19. Tajimas D.

    “We’ve known about convergent and parallel evolution for quite some time now,”

    Indeed. Some of the I.D. commentators here who seem to be hoping that it is evidence against naturalistic evolution would be surprised at how long.

    There was a guy called Charles Darwin in the 19th century who knew about it and was fascinated by it. He considered it to be evidence in support of his theory, and explained it by different organisms facing similar selection pressures sometimes developing similar characteristics.

  20. ScottAndrews:
    “We know that carnivorous plants converged because look! – there are different plants with different origins, and that’s how it happens.
    Convergence isn’t astronomically unlikely. See, it’s already happened.
    Populations in similar circumstances follow similar trajectories because there are similar populations in similar environments, and how else would they get that way?”

    “You haven’t provided anything except rewordings of your conclusion.”

    But those were all your words?

    Convergent evolution is just the acquisition of a similar trait in organisms that don’t share a direct proximal heritage. It has been observed in the sense that different organisms show similar traits that in many cases appear to be adaptations to similar environmental pressures.

    The theory of convergent evolution places these observations in a framework that explains how they can (and indeed ought to) occur via evolution.

    I am not proposing convergence, that was done a long time ago, I am not concluding that it is true either I’m just pointing out that contrary to what Cornelius claims it is not unexpected nor unlikely as a product of evolution. IF evolution works then we ought to see plenty of examples of convergence – we do see plenty of examples of convergence. They for a small part of the body of evidence for evolution.

    Legs are a very crude example of the general idea of convergence. Can you imagine any other way for a land animal to move around? The options are pretty limited so if evolution can work then legs are a likely outcome. True they are not the only one but to my knowledge nature appears to prefer walking and slithering to rolling on wheels.

  21. 21

    Sadly, Darwin passed on before testing his hypothesis that similar selective pressures were the causes of the similar features he observed.
    Let me get this straight: Darwin used convergent evolution, which requires evolution as a foundation, as evidence in support of evolution?

  22. 22

    Anthony states of the video in 9:

    “It’s a strawman.”

    To which I ask, “If evolution is this great powerhouse of innovation through trial and error processes why do we not see evolution performing real experiments with “real strawmen”? Why is comprehensible sentience, the ability to feel or perceive subjectively, to be limited to the animal kingdom?

    Or As Charles Darwin asked in the Origin Of Species “Why, if species have descended from other species by fine gradations, do we not everywhere see innumerable transitional forms? Why is not all nature in confusion, instead of the species being, as we see them, well defined? But, as by this theory innumerable transitional forms must have existed, why do we not find them embedded in countless numbers in the crust of the earth? But in the intermediate region, having intermediate conditions of life, why do we not now find closely-linking intermediate varieties?”

  23. 23

    Excession:
    You are mistaking evidence that fits within evolution for evidence that supports it. Unrelated anteaters fit but do not support evolution. If anything they leave evolution with more to explain. How does the fuzzy concept of an environmental niche define such a precise form?

    It has been observed in the sense that different organisms show similar traits that in many cases appear to be adaptations to similar environmental pressures.

    No, it has been observed that different organisms show similar traits.

  24. “Let me get this straight: Darwin used convergent evolution, which requires evolution as a foundation, as evidence in support of evolution?”

    I think its called a prediction. You can use newtons laws to make predictions about how objects will behave under the influence of gravity, and confirm hypotheses about the effects of gravity, but it does rely on gravity in the first place.

    Convergence is an expected result of evolution so seeing convergent evolution in systems hypothesised to have evolved does not ‘contradict evolutionary expectations’ as Cornelius claims.

  25. 25

    Excession states:
    “Convergence is an expected result of evolution so seeing convergent evolution in systems hypothesised to have evolved does not ‘contradict evolutionary expectations’”

    But Darwins main prediction is ever widening dissimilarity at the tips and nodes of his now discredited tree of life.

    Syvanen says. ….”We’ve just annihilated the tree of life. It’s not a tree any more, it’s a different topology entirely,” says Syvanen. “What would Darwin have made of that?”
    http://www.newscientist.com/ar.....-life.html

    As with everything else that disagrees with Darwinism, the evidence is “imagined” away with superficial rationalizations (epicycles).

  26. 26

    Excession:

    seeing convergent evolution in systems hypothesised to have evolved does not ‘contradict evolutionary expectations’

    Agreed. The hypothesis of convergent evolution does not contradict the other expectations or hypotheses of evolution.

  27. Excesssion

    Given that constraints of various forms exist it seems (to me) likely that certain similar looking patterns would appear more than once. If you factor in recurring ecological changes, like a niche slowly changing because of an eroding river valley then you may well see repeating cycles of adaptation.

    Do the contraints to which you refer lie in the environment or the organism or both? If the contraint lies within the organism, that runs counter to what most evolutionary biologist claim…that there are not limits to evolutionary change. That claim forms the basis of a lot of the criticism tossed Michael Behe’s way regarding his latest book The Edge of Evolution, the basic claim of which is that there are limits to what evolution can produce. So, if there is no restraint on biological evolutionary change, then why would we expect to see the same patterns emerge from similar enviromental changes, continents and eons apart? Even the late Stephen J. Gould once remarked that if we re-wound the tape of life, things would not be the same.

    The underlying assumption of evolution seems to be anything is possible. The hypothesis of “convergence” came about precisely because what was obeserved was not expected…actually the very opposite of what was expected. And now, in the case cited on the OP by Cornelius Hunter, we have yet another example of something contrary to what evolution would predict, so once again we stretch the theory to accomodate the contrary evidence. Evolution is the most elastic theory ever! No matter what turns up…evolution did it! There can be NO contrary evidence or falsification…it just HAS to work as advertised.

  28. Are there any strongly supported instances of convergent evolution? The Elliott Sober article cited in the Evolution’s Religion Revealed thread mentions how sharks and dolphins are both torpedo-shaped. In fact, if dolphins did indeed evolve from land mammals, then their transformation into a fish-like shape would seem a very dramatic example of convergence.

  29. bornagain77:“But Darwins main prediction is ever widening dissimilarity at the tips and nodes of his now discredited tree of life.”

    The tree metaphor works quite well here, the tips in totality grow further apart but not everything is growing outward, some branches grow inward and converge with others.

    ““What would Darwin have made of that?””

    He probably would have welcomed the correction and exclaimed – “of course, trees have roots!”

    Metaphors are not predictions.

  30. Excession

    Convergence is an expected result of evolution so seeing convergent evolution in systems hypothesised to have evolved does not ‘contradict evolutionary expectations’ as Cornelius claims.

    From Wikipedia we have
    this definition and description of convergent evolution. From this, what precisely is it that evolution predicts: convergence?, divergence?, analogy?, homology?, relay evolution?, parallel evolution? Punctuated equalibrium? All of the sub-hypothesis came about because the evidence didn’t turn out as expected by Darwin’s theory. Evolution, it seems, can predict and accomodate absolutely any outcome! What was that adage…that which explains everything, explains nothing. Hmmm…

  31. herb:
    “sharks and dolphins are both torpedo-shaped.”

    You kind of put your finger on it there. I don’t really see what the big issue is. Torpedo shapes are one of a very few shapes that are hydrodynamic so if you want to move fast through water it is the shape to be. If evolution can, as one of the claims goes, adapt a morphology for a niche then torpedo shaped sea creatures ought to emerge.

    If you want to design something to travel underwater as speed then you would use a torpedo shaped … torpedo. All for the same reasons – the physics of the environment constrain your design options.

  32. DonaldM:
    “All of the sub-hypothesis came about because the evidence didn’t turn out as expected by Darwin’s theory.”

    Don’t you mean that the modern evolutionary synthesis is the product of decades of research and careful refinement in the light of new evidence?

    Darwin was wrong about many things but the core of his evolutionary hypothesis was that organisms change from generation to generation in response to changing selection pressures using a mechanism of inheritance and divergence. (i.e imperfect replicators)

    None of the things you cite undermine this core so the periphery of the theory is refined in the light of new discoveries, just as it ought as a scientific theory.

  33. Excession states:

    “Don’t you mean that the modern evolutionary synthesis is the product of decades of research and careful refinement in the light of new evidence?”
    Yet the “complex interwoven network” finding is absolutely devastating for the population genetics scenario of evolution (modern neo-Darwinian synthesis) developed by Haldane, Fisher and Wright, since genes are now shown not to be the independent entities evolutionists required them to be (page 52 and 53: Genetic Entropy: Sanford 2005). Nor does it appear that evolution has any non-coding sections in the genome left to pull off its duplication/random mutation smoke and mirrors with any longer.

    Here are a few articles announcing these “revolutionary” interwoven complexity findings of the ENCODE study:

    BETHESDA, Md., Wed., June 13, 2007 -” An international research consortium (ENCODE) today published a set of papers that promise to reshape our understanding of how the human genome functions. The findings challenge the traditional view of our genetic blueprint as a tidy collection of independent genes, pointing instead to a complex network in which genes, along with regulatory elements and other types of DNA sequences that do not code for proteins, interact in overlapping ways not yet fully understood.”
    http://www.genome.gov/25521554

    Encyclopedia Of DNA: New Findings Challenge Established Views On Human Genome:
    The ENCODE consortium’s major findings include the discovery that the majority of DNA in the human genome is transcribed into functional molecules, called RNA, and that these transcripts extensively overlap one another. This broad pattern of transcription challenges the long-standing view that the human genome consists of a relatively small set of discrete genes, along with a vast amount of so-called junk DNA that is not biologically active. The new data indicate the genome contains very little unused sequences and, in fact, is a complex, interwoven network. In this network, genes are just one of many types of DNA sequences that have a functional impact.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....131932.htm

    Psalm 139: 14-15
    “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; ,,,, When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.”

    A ‘scientific revolution’ is taking place, as researchers explore the genomic jungle:
    “The science of life is undergoing changes so jolting that even its top researchers are feeling something akin to shell-shock. Just four years after scientists finished mapping the human genome – the full sequence of 3 billion DNA “letters” folded within every cell – they find themselves confronted by a biological jungle deeper, denser, and more difficult to penetrate than anyone imagined.”
    http://www.boston.com/news/glo.....ed/?page=1

    Junk DNA – Another Failed Prediction Of Evolution – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFNVfCAvrac

    Concluding paragraph of the ENCODE study:
    At the outset of the ENCODE Project, many believed that the broad collection of experimental data would nicely dovetail with the detailed evolutionary information derived from comparing multiple mammalian sequences to provide a neat ‘dictionary’ of conserved genomic elements, each with a growing annotation about their biochemical function(s). In one sense, this was achieved; the majority of constrained bases in the ENCODE regions are now associated with at least some experimentally derived information about function. However, we have also encountered a remarkable excess of experimentally identified functional elements lacking evolutionary constraint, and these cannot be dismissed for technical reasons. This is perhaps the biggest surprise of the pilot phase of the ENCODE Project, and suggests that we take a more ‘neutral’ view of many of the functions conferred by the genome.
    http://www.genome.gov/Pages/Re.....e05874.pdf

    John Sanford, a leading expert in Genetics, comments on some of the stunning poly-functional complexity in the genome:

    “There is abundant evidence that most DNA sequences are poly-functional, and therefore are poly-constrained. This fact has been extensively demonstrated by Trifonov (1989). For example, most human coding sequences encode for two different RNAs, read in opposite directions i.e. Both DNA strands are transcribed ( Yelin et al., 2003). Some sequences encode for different proteins depending on where translation is initiated and where the reading frame begins (i.e. read-through proteins). Some sequences encode for different proteins based upon alternate mRNA splicing. Some sequences serve simultaneously for protein-encoding and also serve as internal transcriptional promoters. Some sequences encode for both a protein coding, and a protein-binding region. Alu elements and origins-of-replication can be found within functional promoters and within exons. Basically all DNA sequences are constrained by isochore requirements (regional GC content), “word” content (species-specific profiles of di-, tri-, and tetra-nucleotide frequencies), and nucleosome binding sites (i.e. All DNA must condense). Selective condensation is clearly implicated in gene regulation, and selective nucleosome binding is controlled by specific DNA sequence patterns – which must permeate the entire genome. Lastly, probably all sequences do what they do, even as they also affect general spacing and DNA-folding/architecture – which is clearly sequence dependent. To explain the incredible amount of information which must somehow be packed into the genome (given that extreme complexity of life), we really have to assume that there are even higher levels of organization and information encrypted within the genome. For example, there is another whole level of organization at the epigenetic level (Gibbs 2003). There also appears to be extensive sequence dependent three-dimensional organization within chromosomes and the whole nucleus (Manuelides, 1990; Gardiner, 1995; Flam, 1994). Trifonov (1989), has shown that probably all DNA sequences in the genome encrypt multiple “codes” (up to 12 codes).
    (Dr. John Sanford; Genetic Entropy 2005)

    Believe it or not, materialists use to insist that most of the 95% of the genome, which did not directly code for proteins, was useless “Junk DNA”:

    Selfish DNA: the ultimate parasite. Orgel LE, Crick FH.
    The DNA of higher organisms usually falls into two classes, one specific and the other comparatively nonspecific. It seems plausible that most of the latter originates by the spreading of sequences which had little or no effect on the phenotype.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7366731

    Kimura (1968)6 developed the idea of “Neutral Evolution”. If “Haldane’s Dilemma”7 is correct, the majority of DNA must be non-functional.

    The slow, painful death of junk DNA:
    Junk DNA is not just a label that was tacked on to some DNA that seemed to have no function; it is something that is required by evolution. Mathematically, there is too much variation, too much DNA to mutate, and too few generations in which to get it all done. This was the essence of Haldane’s work. Without junk DNA, evolutionary theory cannot currently explain how everything works mathematically….Junk DNA is a necessary mathematical extrapolation…Without Junk DNA, evolution runs into insurmountable mathematical difficulties.
    http://creation.com/junk-dna-slow-death

    Some materialists, I’ve debated, have tried to get around the failed prediction of Junk DNA by saying evolution never really predicted Junk DNA was totally functionless (as if this helps them explain the “higher level” functionality being found for the “Junk DNA”): These following quotes expose their falsehood in denying the functionless Junk DNA predictions that were made by leading evolutionists:

    Susumu Ohno, a leader in the field of genetics and evolutionary biology, explained in 1972 in an early study of non-coding DNA that, “they are the remains of nature’s experiments which failed. The earth is strewn with fossil remains of extinct species; is it a wonder that our genome too is filled with the remains of extinct genes?”

    In 1994, the authoritative textbook, Molecular Biology of the Cell, co-authored by National Academy of Sciences president Bruce Alberts, suggested (incorrectly!) that introns are “largely genetic ‘junk’”: Unlike the sequence of an exon, the exact nucleotide sequence of an intron seems to be unimportant. Thus introns have accumulated mutations rapidly during evolution, and it is often possible to alter most of an intron’s nucleotide sequence without greatly affecting gene function. This has led to the suggestion that intron sequences have no function at all and are largely genetic “junk”

    Soon thereafter, the 1995 edition of Voet & Voet’s Biochemistry textbook explained that “a possibility that must be seriously entertained is that much repetitive DNA serves no useful purpose whatever for its host. Rather, it is selfish or junk DNA, a molecular parasite that, over many generations, has disseminated itself throughout the genome…”

    Will Darwinists try to Rewrite the History of Junk-DNA?
    In 1996, leading origin of life theorist Christian de Duve wrote: “The simplest way to explain the surplus DNA is to suppose that it is a parasite or at best a harmless but useless passenger, hitching a ride in the survival machines created by the other DNA.” (Richard Dawkins makes similar pronouncements that DNA is junk in an article after 1998)
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....ull_a.html

    Another leading biologist, Sydney Brenner argued in a biology journal in 1998 that:
    “The excess DNA in our genomes is junk, and it is there because it is harmless, as well as being useless, and because the molecular processes generating extra DNA outpace those getting rid of it.”

    The Unseen Genome, Gems Among the Junk:
    “I think this will come to be a classic story of orthodoxy derailing objective analysis of the facts, in this case for a quarter of a century,” Mattick says. “The failure to recognize the full implications of this—particularly the possibility that the intervening noncoding sequences may be transmitting parallel information in the form of RNA molecules—may well go down as one of the biggest mistakes in the history of molecular biology.” (John S. Mattick Scientific American (November, 2003)
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/

    Despite the unfounded disappointment of materialists, a large sampling of recent studies indicates that high level regulatory function is to be found for all sorts of previous “Junk DNA” sequences across the entire spectrum of the human genome. Sequences which were adamantly claimed to be absolute proof for Junk DNA by materialists, as well as adamantly claimed to be absolute proof for common ancestry by them. Yet if Junk DNA sequences show high-level regulatory function, then clearly the Junk DNA sequences can not possibly be considered “recent evolutionary add-ons”, and as such, nor can they be construed as proof for common ancestry.

    These following sites are excellent and have over one hundred peer-reviewed papers refuting every single class of Junk DNA that has been put forth by materialists:

    How Scientific Evidence is Changing the Tide of the Evolution vs. Intelligent Design Debate by Wade Schauer:
    List Of “Junk DNA discussed:
    Tandem Repeats, Transposons/Retrotransposons, SINE/Alu Sequences, LINES, Endogenous Retroviruses (ERVs) and LTR retrotransposons, Pseudogenes, C-Value Enigma, “Junk DNA” becomes “The Transcriptome”, “Junk DNA – the biggest mistake in the history of biology”, EVOLUTIONARY CONSERVATION, Human Accelerated Regions (HARs),
    ….What can we conclude from the evidence presented in this essay:
    · Every type of “Junk DNA” presented by pro-evolution websites has been found to have functional roles in organisms, which severely undermines the “shared errors” argument;
    http://www.geocities.com/wade_.....g_Tide.pdf

    On the roles of repetitive DNA elements in the context of a unified genomic-epigenetic system: – Sternberg R.
    It is argued throughout that a new conceptual framework is needed for understanding the roles of repetitive DNA in genomic/epigenetic systems, and that neo-Darwinian “narratives” have been the primary obstacle to elucidating the effects of these enigmatic components of chromosomes.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12547679

  34. Excession states:

    “Don’t you mean that the modern evolutionary synthesis is the product of decades of research and careful refinement in the light of new evidence?”
    Yet the “complex interwoven network” finding is absolutely devastating for the population genetics scenario of evolution (modern neo-Darwinian synthesis) developed by Haldane, Fisher and Wright, since genes are now shown not to be the independent entities evolutionists required them to be (page 52 and 53: Genetic Entropy: Sanford 2005). Nor does it appear that evolution has any non-coding sections in the genome left to pull off its duplication/random mutation smoke and mirrors with any longer.

    Here are a few articles announcing these “revolutionary” interwoven complexity findings of the ENCODE study:

    BETHESDA, Md., Wed., June 13, 2007 -” An international research consortium (ENCODE) today published a set of papers that promise to reshape our understanding of how the human genome functions. The findings challenge the traditional view of our genetic blueprint as a tidy collection of independent genes, pointing instead to a complex network in which genes, along with regulatory elements and other types of DNA sequences that do not code for proteins, interact in overlapping ways not yet fully understood.”

    Encyclopedia Of DNA: New Findings Challenge Established Views On Human Genome:
    The ENCODE consortium’s major findings include the discovery that the majority of DNA in the human genome is transcribed into functional molecules, called RNA, and that these transcripts extensively overlap one another. This broad pattern of transcription challenges the long-standing view that the human genome consists of a relatively small set of discrete genes, along with a vast amount of so-called junk DNA that is not biologically active. The new data indicate the genome contains very little unused sequences and, in fact, is a complex, interwoven network. In this network, genes are just one of many types of DNA sequences that have a functional impact.

    A ’scientific revolution’ is taking place, as researchers explore the genomic jungle:
    “The science of life is undergoing changes so jolting that even its top researchers are feeling something akin to shell-shock. Just four years after scientists finished mapping the human genome – the full sequence of 3 billion DNA “letters” folded within every cell – they find themselves confronted by a biological jungle deeper, denser, and more difficult to penetrate than anyone imagined.”

    Concluding paragraph of the ENCODE study:
    At the outset of the ENCODE Project, many believed that the broad collection of experimental data would nicely dovetail with the detailed evolutionary information derived from comparing multiple mammalian sequences to provide a neat ‘dictionary’ of conserved genomic elements, each with a growing annotation about their biochemical function(s). In one sense, this was achieved; the majority of constrained bases in the ENCODE regions are now associated with at least some experimentally derived information about function. However, we have also encountered a remarkable excess of experimentally identified functional elements lacking evolutionary constraint, and these cannot be dismissed for technical reasons. This is perhaps the biggest surprise of the pilot phase of the ENCODE Project, and suggests that we take a more ‘neutral’ view of many of the functions conferred by the genome.

    Believe it or not, materialists use to insist that most of the 95% of the genome, which did not directly code for proteins, was useless “Junk DNA”:

    Selfish DNA: the ultimate parasite. Orgel LE, Crick FH.
    The DNA of higher organisms usually falls into two classes, one specific and the other comparatively nonspecific. It seems plausible that most of the latter originates by the spreading of sequences which had little or no effect on the phenotype.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7366731

    Kimura (1968)6 developed the idea of “Neutral Evolution”. If “Haldane’s Dilemma”7 is correct, the majority of DNA must be non-functional.

    The slow, painful death of junk DNA:
    Junk DNA is not just a label that was tacked on to some DNA that seemed to have no function; it is something that is required by evolution. Mathematically, there is too much variation, too much DNA to mutate, and too few generations in which to get it all done. This was the essence of Haldane’s work. Without junk DNA, evolutionary theory cannot currently explain how everything works mathematically ….Junk DNA is a necessary mathematical extrapolation…Without Junk DNA, evolution runs into insurmountable mathematical difficulties.

    Some materialists, I’ve debated, have tried to get around the failed prediction of Junk DNA by saying evolution never really predicted Junk DNA was totally functionless (as if this helps them explain the “higher level” functionality being found for the “Junk DNA”): These following quotes expose their falsehood in denying the functionless Junk DNA predictions that were made by leading evolutionists:

    Susumu Ohno, a leader in the field of genetics and evolutionary biology, explained in 1972 in an early study of non-coding DNA that, “they are the remains of nature’s experiments which failed. The earth is strewn with fossil remains of extinct species; is it a wonder that our genome too is filled with the remains of extinct genes?”

    In 1994, the authoritative textbook, Molecular Biology of the Cell, co-authored by National Academy of Sciences president Bruce Alberts, suggested (incorrectly!) that introns are “largely genetic ‘junk’”: Unlike the sequence of an exon, the exact nucleotide sequence of an intron seems to be unimportant. Thus introns have accumulated mutations rapidly during evolution, and it is often possible to alter most of an intron’s nucleotide sequence without greatly affecting gene function. This has led to the suggestion that intron sequences have no function at all and are largely genetic “junk”

    Soon thereafter, the 1995 edition of Voet & Voet’s Biochemistry textbook explained that “a possibility that must be seriously entertained is that much repetitive DNA serves no useful purpose whatever for its host. Rather, it is selfish or junk DNA, a molecular parasite that, over many generations, has disseminated itself throughout the genome…”

    Will Darwinists try to Rewrite the History of Junk-DNA?
    In 1996, leading origin of life theorist Christian de Duve wrote: “The simplest way to explain the surplus DNA is to suppose that it is a parasite or at best a harmless but useless passenger, hitching a ride in the survival machines created by the other DNA.” (Richard Dawkins makes similar pronouncements that DNA is junk in an article after 1998)

    Despite the unfounded disappointment of materialists, a large sampling of recent studies indicates that high level regulatory function is to be found for all sorts of previous “Junk DNA” sequences across the entire spectrum of the human genome. Sequences which were adamantly claimed to be absolute proof for Junk DNA by materialists, as well as adamantly claimed to be absolute proof for common ancestry by them. Yet if Junk DNA sequences show high-level regulatory function, then clearly the Junk DNA sequences can not possibly be considered “recent evolutionary add-ons”, and as such, nor can they be construed as proof for common ancestry.

    These following sites are excellent and have over one hundred peer-reviewed papers refuting every single class of Junk DNA that has been put forth by materialists:

    How Scientific Evidence is Changing the Tide of the Evolution vs. Intelligent Design Debate by Wade Schauer:
    List Of “Junk DNA discussed:
    Tandem Repeats, Transposons/Retrotransposons, SINE/Alu Sequences, LINES, Endogenous Retroviruses (ERVs) and LTR retrotransposons, Pseudogenes, C-Value Enigma, “Junk DNA” becomes “The Transcriptome”, “Junk DNA – the biggest mistake in the history of biology”, EVOLUTIONARY CONSERVATION, Human Accelerated Regions (HARs),
    ….What can we conclude from the evidence presented in this essay:
    · Every type of “Junk DNA” presented by pro-evolution websites has been found to have functional roles in organisms, which severely undermines the “shared errors” argument;
    http://www.geocities.com/wade_.....g_Tide.pdf

    On the roles of repetitive DNA elements in the context of a unified genomic-epigenetic system: – Sternberg R.
    It is argued throughout that a new conceptual framework is needed for understanding the roles of repetitive DNA in genomic/epigenetic systems, and that neo-Darwinian “narratives” have been the primary obstacle to elucidating the effects of these enigmatic components of chromosomes.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12547679

  35. “The underlying assumption of evolution seems to be anything is possible.”

    I’m not at all sure this is true. I don’t think you will find any credible biologist arguing that e.coli could suddenly develop a way of metabolising steel.

    “That claim forms the basis of a lot of the criticism tossed Michael Behe’s way”

    I’m not sure that is really the point they were making. There are lots of restraints on evolution, all dictated by the physical properties of the environment. Gravity prevents elephants from having skinny legs.

    As I understand Behe, he believes that evolution is constrained so as to only be capable of linear progressions which makes certain structures impossible, whereas others argue that the progressions can be more circular, for example in employing scaffolding.

    “So, if there is no restraint on biological evolutionary change, then why would we expect to see the same patterns emerge from similar enviromental changes”

    Because there are constraints.

  36. bornagain77:
    We were discussing convergence not junk DNA. Why are you changing the subject?

    “neo-Darwinian “narratives” have been the primary obstacle to elucidating the effects of these enigmatic components of chromosomes.”

    I agree. I’ve met quite a few scientists, including evolutionary biologists who also agree. I said to one myself once that just because it doesn’t appear to do anything that doesn’t mean that it is junk.

    you say:

    “Some materialists, I’ve debated, have tried to get around the failed prediction of Junk DNA by saying evolution never really predicted Junk DNA was totally functionless”

    you then go on to provide a series of quotes in which some scientists hypothesise about why there is this apparent junk DNA. It turns out they were wrong but I’ve never found anyone who can explain to me WHY evolution predicts junk DNA, just a load of scientists who got it stuck in their heads that there was junk DNA and that it needed explaining.

    I’m curious, you use the terms Darwinists and materialists interchangeably to refer to people who though that some DNA might be junk. Is there a reason for this?

  37. I brought the topic up because evolution is without any rational foundation in science, and yet you pretend this is all fine and well with the esoteric predictions you try to defend. Please do elaborate (“tell me another fairy tale”) on evolutions ability to overcome the limits to variability now elucidated with the complex interwoven network tied to Mendelian genetics.

    I interchange materialists and Darwinists interchangeably in the preceding post because it is appropriate to elucidate the philosophical foundation to which neo-Darwinism is irrevocably married. i.e. materialism is the laughingstock of philosophy by the way.

  38. “I brought the topic up because evolution is without any rational foundation in science, and yet you pretend this is all fine and well with the esoteric predictions you try to defend. Please do elaborate (”tell me another fairy tale”) on evolutions ability to overcome the limits to variability now elucidated with the complex interwoven network tied to Mendelian genetics.”

    ??? I think you may be seeing things.

    “I interchange materialists and Darwinists interchangeably in the preceding post because it is appropriate to elucidate the philosophical foundation to which neo-Darwinism is irrevocably married. i.e. materialism is the laughingstock of philosophy by the way.”

    You are very strange. I don’t subscribe to this colourful interpretation of reality at all but if it makes you happy then that’s OK with me, just so long as you don’t try and hurt me for not believing in the same god(s) as you.

  39. Excession states:

    ??? I think you may be seeing things.

    And yet darwinists are expert at making imaginary conjectures (seeing things) with no basis in reality (which are not there)

    then excession states:

    “I don’t subscribe to this colourful interpretation of reality (materialism) at all”

    Please do tell excession, if blind material processes were not responsible for your life, what “colorful interpretation of reality” brought you into existence?

  40. 40
    William J. Murray

    The problem is that evolutionists have never shown that such a series of steps can be done even once, much less twice, relying on law and chance to accomplish it.

    Evolutionists like Iconofid and Excession assert that such changes are evidence of convergent or parallel evolution without even having demonstrated that natural evolutionary forces are sufficient to generate even one such lineage, much less two.

    How can they be “evidence” of a duplicate of a process that has never even been demonstrated possible in the first place?

  41. Mr Bornagain77,

    But Darwins main prediction is ever widening dissimilarity at the tips and nodes of his now discredited tree of life.

    Do you have a reference to Darwin himself for this idea?

  42. “And yet darwinists are expert at making imaginary conjectures (seeing things) with no basis in reality (which are not there)”

    I’m quit familiar with the science and I know how to distinguish between conjecture theory, prediction and evidence. Yo don’t appear to be which helps explain why you see things that aren’t there.

    “what “colorful interpretation of reality” brought you into existence?

    I have no idea. As I have already hinted I’m not opposed to the idea of a created universe but, unlike some on this forum, I don’t presume to know the motivations of an hypothetical creator. I also don’t see anything yet in the material world, created or otherwise, that prevents evolution from working or makes it incompatible with the idea of a created universe, just certain, very specific notions of creation.

  43. 43
    William J. Murray

    There’s an interesting common thread here, and about the dino-bird news; after evolutionists claim something “is evidence of evolution”, i.e., junk DNA, or their supposed dino-bird link, when it is later found to not be true, evolutionists then say “well, evolutionary theory never predicted those things in the first place, and the new facts are entirely consistent with evolutionary theory.”

    True. Evolutionary theory doesn’t really predict anything; evolutionists just take whatever current “facts” come to light and interpret them in some mannner so they support evolutionary theory. Then later, when new facts contradict those facts, the new facts are interpreted as being supportive of evolution as well.

    When your theory can take two entirely contradictory evidences(junk DNA and not-junk DNA) and interpret them both as supportive of your theory, then you don’t have much of a theory.

  44. “When your theory can take two entirely contradictory evidences(junk DNA and not-junk DNA) and interpret them both as supportive of your theory, then you don’t have much of a theory.”
    True, but I’ve never considered junk vs no junk to be evidentially relevant to the theory.

    BTW, its not ‘my theory’ I do comp science and I sometimes create instances of evolution. Junk ‘DNA’ is not required for virtual instances of evolution to work, nor is the absence of junk a requirement.

    As I understand ID it is quite easy to take any piece of evidence and argue that it fits with the ID hypothesis at some level, after all the fact that we live in a lucky universe where life emerged must indicate that the universe was created intentionally. Don’t you agree?

  45. 45

    excession states:
    I don’t presume to know the motivations of an hypothetical creator. I also don’t see anything yet in the material world, created or otherwise, that prevents evolution from working or makes it incompatible with the idea of a created universe, just certain, very specific notions of creation.”

    Well excession:

    You seem to be defending the neo-Darwinian position, which is strictly materialistic in its premise, without subscribing to the materialistic philosophy. i.e. your god, base philosophy, seems to be powerful enough to create the universe but not powerful enough to create life in it.

    Don’t you find your position odd?

    and then excession goes on to state:

    As I understand ID it is quite easy to take any piece of evidence and argue that it fits with the ID hypothesis at some level, after all the fact that we live in a lucky universe where life emerged must indicate that the universe was created intentionally. Don’t you agree?

    Well no I don’t!

    There are no apparent reasons why the value of each individual transcendent universal constant could not have been very different than what they actually are. In fact, the presumption of any materialistic theory based on blind chance expected a fairly large amount of flexibility in any underlying natural laws for the universe, since the natural laws themselves were postulated to arise from a material basis. They “just so happen” to be at the precise unchanging values necessary to enable carbon-based life to exist in this universe. All individual constants are of such a high degree of precision as to defy human comprehension. For example, the individual cosmological constant (dark energy) is balanced to 1 part in 10^120 and the individual mass density constant is balanced to 1 part in 10^60.

    Fine Tuning Of Dark Energy and Mass of the Universe – Hugh Ross – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7B0t4zSzhjg

    To clearly illustrate the stunning degree of fine-tuning we are dealing with in the universe, Dr. Ross has used the illustration of adding or subtracting a single dime’s worth of mass in the observable universe would have been enough of a change in mass density to make life impossible in this universe. This word picture he uses, with the dime, helps to demonstrate a number used to quantify that fine-tuning of mass, namely 1 part in 10^60 for mass density. Compared to the total mass of the observable universe, 1 part in 10^60 works out to about a tenth part of a dime, if not smaller. — Where Is the Cosmic Density Fine-Tuning? – Hugh Ross

    Although 1 part in 10^120 and 1 part in 10^60 far exceeds, by trillions upon trillions of levels of tolerance, the highest tolerance ever achieved in any man-made machine, (which is the 1 in 10^22 tolerance achieved for the Gravity Wave Detector; Ross), according to the esteemed British mathematical physicist Roger Penrose (1931-present), the odds of one particular individual constant, the “original phase-space volume” of the universe, required such precision that the “Creator’s aim must have been to an accuracy of 1 part in 10^10^123”. This number is gargantuan. If this number were written out in its entirety, 1 with 10^123 zeros to the right, it could not be written on a piece of paper the size of the entire visible universe, even if a number were written down on each atomic particle in the entire universe, since the universe only has 10^80 sub-atomic particles in it.

    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).”

    This 1 in 10^10^123 number, for the initial state of entropy for the universe, also lends strong support for “highly specified infinite information” creating the universe since;

    “Gain in entropy always means loss of information, and nothing more.”
    Gilbert Newton Lewis

    This staggering level of precision, for each individual universal constant scientists can measure, is exactly why many theoretical physicists have suggested the existence of a “super-calculating intellect” to account for this fine-tuning. This is precisely why the anthropic hypothesis has gained such a strong foothold in many scientific circles. American geneticist Robert Griffiths jokingly remarked about these recent developments,

    “If we need an atheist for a debate, I go to the philosophy department. The physics department isn’t much use anymore.”

    Further comments:

    “Intelligent design, as one sees it from a scientific point of view, seems to be quite real. This is a very special universe: it’s remarkable that it came out just this way. If the laws of physics weren’t just the way they are, we couldn’t be here at all. The sun couldn’t be there, the laws of gravity and nuclear laws and magnetic theory, quantum mechanics, and so on have to be just the way they are for us to be here. Some scientists argue that “well, there’s an enormous number of universes and each one is a little different. This one just happened to turn out right.” Well, that’s a postulate, and it’s a pretty fantastic postulate — it assumes there really are an enormous number of universes and that the laws could be different for each of them. The other possibility is that ours was planned, and that’s why it has come out so specially.” Nobel Prize winning Physicist Charles Townes

    “Astronomy leads us to a unique event, a universe that was created out of nothing and delicately balanced to provide exactly the conditions required to support life. In the absence of an absurdly improbable accident, the observations of modern science seem to suggest an underlying, one might say, supernatural plan.” Physicist and Nobel laureate Arno Penzias

    “If the Universe had not been made with the most exacting precision we could never have come into existence. It is my view that these circumstances indicate the universe was created for man to live in.” John O’Keefe (astronomer at NASA)

    “I find it quite improbable that such order came out of chaos. There has to be some organizing principle. God to me is a mystery but is the explanation for the miracle of existence, why there is something instead of nothing.” Alan Sandage (preeminent Astronomer from 1960′s – 70′s):

    The only other theory possible for the universe’s creation, other than a God-centered hypothesis, is some purposeless materialistic theory based on blind chance. Materialistic blind chance only escapes being completely crushed, by the overwhelming weight of evidence for design, by appealing to an infinity of other un-testable universes in which all other possibilities have been played out. Yet there is no hard physical evidence to support this blind chance conjecture. In fact, the “infinite multiverse” conjecture suffers from some very serious flaws of logic. For instance exactly which laws of physics, arising from which material basis, are telling all the other natural laws in physics what, how and when, to do the many precise unchanging things they do in these other universes? Plus, if an infinite number of other possible universes must exist in order to explain the fine tuning of this one, then why is it not also infinitely possible for a infinitely powerful and transcendent Creator to exist? I bet evolutionists will suddenly find a limit to what evolution is capable of doing when they realize that unconstrained possibility! Using the materialist same line of reasoning for an infinity of multiverses to explain the extreme fine-tuning of this one, if it is infinitely possible for God to exist then He, of 100% certainty, must exist no matter how small the probability is of His existence in one of these other infinity of universes, and since He certainly must exist, then all possibilities in all universes automatically become subject to Him since He is, by definition, All Powerful. To illustrate the absurdity of what the materialists now consider their cutting edge science: The materialistic conjecture of an infinity of universes to explain the fine tuning of this one also insures the 100% probability of the existence of Pink Unicorns no matter how small the probability is of them existing. In fact a infinity of universes insures the existence of an infinity of Pink Unicorns an infinite number of times. Thus it is self-evident the materialists have painted themselves into a inescapable corner of logical absurdities in trying to find an escape from the Theistic implications we are finding for the fine-tuning of this universe.

    Considering Buying Into the Multiverse? Caveat Emptor
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....verse.html

    Another escape from the theistic implications that materialists have postulated was a slightly constrained “string-theoretic” multiverse:

    Baron Münchhausen and the Self-Creating Universe:
    That the universe did not always exist is certain, even when multiverse scenarios are considered, since the mechanism of “eternal inflation” postulated to give rise to the multiverse is not eternal into the past (Borde, Guth& Vilenkin: arXiv:gr-qc/0110012 v2 14 Jan 2003)…..design inferences are epistemically warranted when specified information of a certain complexity (high improbability) is observed, quite independent of whether we have an explanation for the intelligence behind the design. Here’s a particularly telling example: Roger Penrose has calculated that the entropy of the big bang itself, in order to give rise to the life-permitting universe we observe, must be fine-tuned to one part in e10exp(123)?10^10exp(123). Such complex specified conditions do not arise by chance, even in a string-theoretic multiverse with 10^500 different configurations of laws and constants, so an intelligent cause may be inferred. What is more, since it is the big bang itself that is fine-tuned to this degree, the intelligence that explains it as an effect must be logically prior to it and independent of it – in short, an immaterial intelligence that transcends matter, energy and space-time. So much, then, for a personified universe engineering its own bio-friendliness: the universe is not a free lunch and the intelligence of which it gives evidence is not incipient within it.

    The following expert shows why the materialistic postulation of “string theory” is, for all intents and purposes of empirical science, a complete waste of time and energy:

    Not Even Wrong: The Failure of String Theory and the Search for Unity in Physical Law:
    Peter Woit, a PhD. in theoretical physics and a lecturer in mathematics at Columbia, points out—again and again—that string theory, despite its two decades of dominance, is just a hunch aspiring to be a theory. It hasn’t predicted anything, as theories are required to do, and its practitioners have become so desperate, says Woit, that they’re willing to redefine what doing science means in order to justify their labors.

    Materialists also use to try to find a place for the blind chance of materialism to hide by proposing a universe which expands and contracts (recycles) infinitely. Even at first glance, the “recycling universe” conjecture suffers so many questions from the second law of thermodynamics (entropy) as to render it effectively implausible as a serious theory, but now the recycling universe conjecture has been totally crushed by the hard empirical evidence for a “flat” universe by the “BOOMERANG” experiment.

    Evidence against the oscillating universe- Michael Strauss – video:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5A9G8k02vpI

    Evidence For Flat Universe Reported By Boomerang Project
    http://www.lbl.gov/ScienceArti.....-flat.html

    A “flat universe”, which is actually another surprisingly finely-tuned “coincidence” of the universe, means that this universe, left to its own present course of accelerating expansion due to “Dark Energy”, will continue to expand forever, thus fulfilling the thermodynamic equilibrium of the second law to its fullest extent (entropic “Heat Death” of the universe).

    The Future of the Universe
    excerpt: After all the black holes have evaporated, (and after all the ordinary matter made of protons has disintegrated, if protons are unstable), the universe will be nearly empty. Photons, neutrinos, electrons and positrons will fly from place to place, hardly ever encountering each other. It will be cold, and dark, and there is no known process which will ever change things. —- Not a happy ending.

    Psalm 102:25-27
    Of old You laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands. They will perish, but You will endure; Yes, they will all grow old like a garment; Like a cloak You will change them, And they will be changed. But You are the same, And Your years will have no end.

    Big Rip
    Excerpt: The Big Rip is a cosmological hypothesis first published in 2003, about the ultimate fate of the universe, in which the matter of universe, from stars and galaxies to atoms and subatomic particles, are progressively torn apart by the expansion of the universe at a certain time in the future. Theoretically, the scale factor of the universe becomes infinite at a finite time in the future.

    Romans 8:18-21
    I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.

    The only hard evidence there is, the stunning precision found in the universal constants, points overwhelmingly to intelligent design by an infinitely powerful Creator who originally established what the unchanging universal constants of physics could and would do at the creation of the universe. The hard evidence left no room for the blind chance of natural laws in this universe. Thus, materialism was forced into appealing to an infinity of un-testable universes for it was left with no footing in this universe. These developments in science make it seem like materialism was cast into the abyss of nothingness in so far as rationally explaining the fine-tuning of the universe.

    Proverbs 8:29-30
    “When He marked out the foundations of the earth, then I was beside Him as a master craftsman;”

  46. “You seem to be defending the neo-Darwinian position, which is strictly materialistic in its premise”

    Yes, it explains how organisms adapt from generation to generation and provides a framework for explaining many of the things we observe in the history of life on earth, without recourse to supernatural deities.

    “your god, base philosophy, seems to be powerful enough to create the universe but not powerful enough to create life in it.”

    No, Clever enough perhaps to design a universe in which life would arise. You are assuming that a god powerful enough to create a universe would have to hand design all life in it. Why?

    “All individual constants are of such a high degree of precision as to defy human comprehension.”

    Speak for yourself.

    I said:
    “the fact that we live in a lucky universe where life emerged must indicate that the universe was created intentionally. “

    then you disagreed before proceeding to outline how the fact that we live in a universe that can support life means that it must have been designed. A position entirely compatible with the MES.

    I didn’t read the rest of your post, there seemed little point.

  47. 47

    Excession states:

    Yes, it explains how organisms adapt from generation to generation and provides a framework for explaining many of the things we observe in the history of life on earth, without recourse to supernatural deities.

    Genetic Entropy explains the pattern of life’s history far more clearly and has a rigid basis for falsification.

    I think your framework is severely lacking in explanatory power:

    First and foremost, we now have concrete evidence for life suddenly appearing on earth, as soon as water appeared on the earth, in the oldest sedimentary rocks ever found on earth.

    Scientific Evidence For The First Life On Earth – video
    http://science.discovery.com/v.....dence.html

    Dr. Hugh Ross – Origin Of Life Paradox – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHEl9PZW4hc

    The hard physical evidence scientists have discovered in the geologic record is stunning in its support of the anthropic hypothesis. The oldest sedimentary rocks on earth, known to science, originated underwater (and thus in relatively cool environs) 3.86 billion years ago. Those sediments, which are exposed at Isua in southwestern Greenland, also contain the earliest chemical evidence (fingerprint) of “photosynthetic” life [Nov. 7, 1996, Nature]. This evidence had been fought by materialists since it is totally contrary to their evolutionary theory. Yet, Danish scientists were able to bring forth another line of geological evidence to substantiate the primary line of geological evidence for photo-synthetic life in the earth’s earliest sedimentary rocks (U-rich Archaean sea-floor sediments from Greenland – indications of >3700 Ma oxygenic photosynthesis (2003). Thus we now have conclusive evidence for photo-synthetic life in the oldest sedimentary rocks ever found by scientists on earth. The simplest photosynthetic bacterial life on earth is exceedingly complex, too complex to happen by accident even if the primeval oceans had been full of pre-biotic soup.

    General and Special Evidence for Intelligent Design in Biology:
    —- The requirements for the emergence of a primitive, coupled replication-translation system, which is considered a candidate for the breakthrough stage in this paper, are much greater. At a minimum, spontaneous formation of: – two rRNAs with a total size of at least 1000 nucleotides – ~10 primitive adaptors of ~30 nucleotides each, in total, ~300 nucleotides – at least one RNA encoding a replicase, ~500 nucleotides (low bound) is required. In the above notation, n = 1800, resulting in E <10-10^18. That is, the chance of life occurring by natural processes is 1 in 10 followed by 10^18 zeros. Koonin’s intent was to show that short of postulating a multiverse of an infinite number of universes, the chance of life occurring on earth is vanishingly small.

    Koonin’s estimate of 1 in 10 followed by 10^18 zeros, for the probability of the simplest self-replicating molecule, is a fantastically large number. The number 10^10^18, if written out in its entirety, would be a 1 with a million trillion zeros following to the right! The universe itself is estimated to have only 1 with 80 zeros following particles in it.

    Second:

    Most people have been taught that the evidence in the fossil record overwhelmingly confirms gradual evolution, whether gradual Theistic or gradual Darwinian evolution. Yet this is not the case at all. The fossil record itself is one of the most crushing things for people who believe in gradual evolution. In fact, what is termed the “Cambrian Explosion” is a total departure from the gradual theory of evolution and finds easy resolution for its suddenness in God’s fifth day of creation in Genesis.

    Genesis 1:20
    Then God said, “Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures,”….

    Investigating Evolution: The Cambrian Explosion PART 1 – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4DkbmuRhXRY

    Investigating Evolution: The Cambrian Explosion PART 2 – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZFM48XIXnk

    The hard facts of science betray the materialist once again. Some materialists say the evidence for the fossils transmutation into radically new forms is out there somewhere; we just have not found it yet. To justify this belief, a materialist will often say that soft bodied fossils were not preserved in the Cambrian fossil record, so transitional fossils were just not recorded in the fossil record in the first place (artifact hypothesis). Yet, the Chinese Cambrian fossil record is excellent in its preservation of delicate soft-bodied fossils which clearly show much of the detail of the soft body structures of these first creatures (And even detail of the sponge embryos before the time of the Cambrian period). So the problem for the materialist has not been alleviated. In fact the problem has become much worse. As Dr. Ray Bohlin stated, some of these recently discovered fossils are extremely unique and defy any sort of transitional scenario to any of the other fossils found during the Cambrian explosion.

    Besides the fossil record, recent DNA analysis testifies against any transitional scenario between Cambrian phyla:

    The new animal phylogeny: Reliability and implications:
    excerpt: “The new molecular based phylogeny has several important implications. Foremost among them is the disappearance of “intermediate” taxa between sponges, cnidarians, ctenophores, and the last common ancestor of bilaterians or “Urbilateria.”…A corollary is that we have a major gap in the stem leading to the Urbilataria. We have lost the hope, so common in older evolutionary reasoning, of reconstructing the morphology of the “coelomate ancestor” through a scenario involving successive grades of increasing complexity based on the anatomy of extant “primitive” lineages.” From Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, in 2000 -

    I like this following paper for though it is materialistic in its outlook at least Eugene Koonin, unlike many materialists, is brutally honest with the evidence we now have.

    The Biological Big Bang model for the major transitions in evolution – Eugene V Koonin – Background:
    “Major transitions in biological evolution show the same pattern of sudden emergence of diverse forms at a new level of complexity. The relationships between major groups within an emergent new class of biological entities are hard to decipher and do not seem to fit the tree pattern that, following Darwin’s original proposal, remains the dominant description of biological evolution. The cases in point include the origin of complex RNA molecules and protein folds; major groups of viruses; archaea and bacteria, and the principal lineages within each of these prokaryotic domains; eukaryotic supergroups; and animal phyla. In each of these pivotal nexuses in life’s history, the principal “types” seem to appear rapidly and fully equipped with the signature features of the respective new level of biological organization. No intermediate “grades” or intermediate forms between different types are detectable;

    I could go a lot further for the evidence against evolution is so overwhelming.

  48. 48
    William J. Murray

    Excession,

    No. In any specific claim of ID, I.D. is easily disqualified simply by showing that law & chance are sufficient explanations.

    On the other hand, given enough time and chance, anything can happen in evolution, right? Order, disorder, junk DNA, non-junk DNA, gradualism, punctuated equillibrium, distinctly different evolution because of divergence; similar/identical convergent and parallel evolution even when separated, defiance of genetic entropy, manufacturing of specified, complex coded information, ancient organisms with virtually identical DNA as present organisms, fast-reproducing organisms, slow-reproducing organsims.

  49. 49

    Hi William,

    On the other hand, given enough time and chance, anything can happen in evolution, right?

    No, of course not:

    The notion of trade-offs is central to evolutionary theory. Without constraints, organisms would evolve to
    become masters of all traits. As they do not, organisms must have a limited set of possible phenotypes
    (Maynard Smith, 1978). At the boundary of this set organisms face a trade-off: they can only improve one
    trait at the expense of the others. There exists a long literature that tells how, given such boundary constraints
    and given that evolution maximizes some optimization criterion, we can calculate the phenotypes
    that we should expect to evolve (e.g. Maynard Smith, 1978; Stephens and Krebs, 1986; Lessells, 1991; Roff,
    1992; Stearns, 1992; Alexander, 1996; McNamara et al.,2001).

    Rueffler C, TJM VanDooren & JAJ Metz (2004). Adaptive walks on changing landscapes: Levins’ approach extended. Theoretical Population Biology 65: 165-178

  50. 50

    Theoretical Population Biology:

    The name says it all:

    Let’s see what real world evidence says:

    The malaria parasite, due to its comparatively large population size, has in 1 year more mutation/duplication/selection events than all mammal lineages would have had in the entire +100 million years they have been in the fossil record. Since single cell organisms, and viruses, replicate far more quickly than multi-cellular life-forms can, scientists can do experiments on single celled organisms, and viruses, to see what we can actually expect to happen over millions of years for larger life forms if evolution were true.

    Malaria and AIDS are among the largest real world tests that can be performed to see if evolutionary presumptions are true.

    “Indeed, the work on malaria and AIDS demonstrates that after all possible unintelligent processes in the cell–both ones we’ve discovered so far and ones we haven’t–at best extremely limited benefit, since no such process was able to do much of anything. It’s critical to notice that no artificial limitations were placed on the kinds of mutations or processes the microorganisms could undergo in nature. Nothing–neither point mutation, deletion, insertion, gene duplication, transposition, genome duplication, self-organization nor any other process yet undiscovered–was of much use.” Michael Behe, The Edge of Evolution, pg. 162 Swine Flu, Viruses, and the Edge of Evolution
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2....._edge.html

    Genetic Entropy and Malarial Parasite P. falciparum – Dave Scot
    Edge of Evolution I found to be amazing. It presented a case history of a eukaryote (P.falciparum) (Malaria) that has replicated billions of trillions of times within a span of a few decades. More importantly this is one of the most well studied organisms in biology due to its huge toll on human lives. In the last decade we’ve gone beyond phenotype analysis of the bug and have completely sequenced its genotype. This represents the largest test of evolution that we can hope to observe. The result of random mutation + natural selection being given billions of trillions of opportunities to generate significant novel biological complexity was essentially nil. Except for biochemically (but medically important) trivial changes in genotype the bug went exactly nowhere. It’s still the same old P.falciparum as its great grandparents billions of trillions of generations removed. It neither progressed nor regressed in an evolutionary sense.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....alciparum/

    Behe goes even further in addressing the Gene Duplication scenario in this following study:

    Simulating evolution by gene duplication of protein features that require multiple amino acid residues: Michael J. Behe and David W. Snoke
    excerpt of abstract: Gene duplication is thought to be a major source of evolutionary innovation because it allows one copy of a gene to mutate and explore genetic space while the other copy continues to fulfill the original function. (However), At smaller population sizes, the time to fixation varies linearly with 1/N and exceeds the inverse of the point mutation rate. We conclude that, in general, to be fixed in 10^8 generations, the production of novel protein features that require the participation of two or more amino acid residues simply by multiple point mutations in duplicated genes would entail population sizes of no less than 10^9.
    http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.g.....id=2286568

    Also see: Michael Behe’s Amazon Blog – Waiting Longer for Two Mutations, Parts 1-5
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/blog/A3DGRQ0IO7KYQ2

    The fate of competing beneficial mutations in an asexual population (Philip J. Gerrish & Richard E. Lenski)
    “As shown by Manning and Thompson (1984) and by Peck (1994), the fate of a beneficial mutation is determined as much by the selective disadvantage of any deleterious mutations with which it is linked as by its own selective advantage.”

    “I have seen estimates of the incidence of the ratio of deleterious-to-beneficial mutations which range from one in one thousand up to one in one million. The best estimates seem to be one in one million (Gerrish and Lenski, 1998). The actual rate of beneficial mutations is so extremely low as to thwart any actual measurement (Bataillon, 2000, Elena et al, 1998). Therefore, I cannot …accurately represent how rare such beneficial mutations really are.” (J.C. Sanford; Genetic Entropy page 24) – 2005

    Estimation of spontaneous genome-wide mutation rate parameters: whither beneficial mutations? (Thomas Bataillon)
    Abstract……It is argued that, although most if not all mutations detected in mutation accumulation experiments are deleterious, the question of the rate of favourable mutations (and their effects) is still a matter for debate.

    Distribution of fitness effects caused by random insertion mutations in Escherichia coli
    Excerpt: At least 80% of the mutations had a significant negative effect on fitness, whereas none of the mutations had a significant positive effect.

    High Frequency of Cryptic Deleterious Mutations in Caenorhabditis elegans ( Esther K. Davies, Andrew D. Peters, Peter D. Keightley)
    “In fitness assays, only about 4 percent of the deleterious mutations fixed in each line were detectable. The remaining 96 percent, though cryptic, are significant for mutation load…the presence of a large class of mildly deleterious mutations can never be ruled out. ”

    “Bergman (2004) has studied the topic of beneficial mutations. Among other things, he did a simple literature search via Biological Abstracts and Medline. He found 453,732 “mutation” hits, but among these only 186 mentioned the word “beneficial” (about 4 in 10,000). When those 186 references were reviewed, almost all the presumed “beneficial mutations” were only beneficial in a very narrow sense- but each mutation consistently involved loss of function changes-hence loss of information.” Sanford: Genetic Entropy

    Professional evolutionary biologists are hard-pressed to cite even one clear-cut example of evolution through a beneficial mutation to the DNA of humans that would violate the principle of genetic entropy. Although a materialist may try to claim the lactase persistence mutation as a lonely example of a “truly” beneficial mutation in humans, lactase persistence is actually a loss of a instruction in the genome to turn the lactase enzyme off, so the mutation clearly does not violate Genetic Entropy. Yet at the same time, the evidence for the detrimental nature of mutations in humans is overwhelming for doctors have already cited over 3500 mutational disorders (Dr. Gary Parker).

    “Mutations” by Dr. Gary Parker
    Excerpt: human beings are now subject to over 3500 mutational disorders…

    Dang real world evidence is not so nice to all that theoretical posturing you cited.

  51. 51

    Theoretical Population Biology:

    The name says it all:

    Heaven forbid cracking it open and actually reading it.

  52. 52

    Well Dave if they can’t back up all their fancy talk with actual evidence what is the paper worth save for the john?

  53. 53
    William J. Murray

    Dave quoted:
    Without constraints, organisms would evolve to
    become masters of all traits. As they do not, organisms must have a limited set of possible phenotypes
    (Maynard Smith, 1978). ”

    How is this not the same process of shoehorning a fact into a theory with a covenient story?

  54. 54

    bornagain77

    The result of random mutation + natural selection being given billions of trillions of opportunities to generate significant novel biological complexity was essentially nil.

    Yet the malaria parasite is and remains one of the most sucessfull organisms on the planet. Despite the best efforts of humanity it retains it’s ability to have “in 1 year more mutation/duplication/selection events than all mammal lineages would have had in the entire +100 million years they have been in the fossil record”.

    Not bad eh? Perhaps it does not need to generate new “novel biological complexity” because it’s doing just fine as it is? Ever considered that?
    Do you think novel biological complexity just develops on it’s own with no input from the enviroment? Why would an organism well adapted to the enviromental niche it finds itself in change at all?

    Dang real world evidence is not so nice to all that theoretical posturing you cited.

    And yet average lifespans increase every generation despite this so called “genetic entropy”. When will we see the effects then? At some ill defined point in the future perhaps?

  55. Why quote the peer reviewed literature when you can quote DaveScot from UD? :)

  56. 56

    bornagain77

    Well Dave if they can’t back up all their fancy talk with actual evidence what is the paper worth save for the john?

    Rather then wipe yourself with it, have you considered burning it? You could also add that stack of papers Behe dismissed without reading to the bonfire.

  57. 57

    lactase persistence is actually a loss of a instruction in the genome to turn the lactase enzyme off, so the mutation clearly does not violate Genetic Entropy.

    Bornagain77 – why would the designer design the genome so that the lactase enzyme was disabled when I think most would agree lactose tolerance enables access to an amazing resource?

    It would be like designing a car to run on very low octane fuel and very high octane fuel but then covering up the high octane fuel port with a thin piece of paper. Why create it in the first place then?

  58. 58

    Hi William,

    Dave quoted:
    Without constraints, organisms would evolve to
    become masters of all traits. As they do not, organisms must have a limited set of possible phenotypes
    (Maynard Smith, 1978). ”

    How is this not the same process of shoehorning a fact into a theory with a covenient story?

    Perhaps you can point out to me where the theory predicts no constraints?

  59. 59

    Levy defends malaria with:

    “Yet the malaria parasite is and remains one of the most sucessfull organisms on the planet.”

    And yet the fact that no change was observed is dismissed with a superficial rationalization and you think nothing of it!

    How about a little more evidence then or do you really even care what the actual evidence says?.

    Michael Denton – Stromatolites Are Extremely Ancient – Privileged Planet – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4lDkOsrbcU

    Both the oldest Stromatolite fossils, and the oldest bacterium fossils, found on earth demonstrate an extreme conservation of morphology which, very contrary to evolutionary thought, simply means they look very similar to Stromatolites and bacteria of today.

    AMBER: THE LOOKING GLASS INTO THE PAST:
    Excerpt: These (fossilized bacteria) cells are actually very similar to present day cyanobacteria. This is not only true for an isolated case but many living genera of cyanobacteria can be linked to fossil cyanobacteria. The detail noted in the fossils of this group gives indication of extreme conservation of morphology, more extreme than in other organisms.

    Though it is impossible to reconstruct the DNA of these earliest bacteria fossils, that scientists find in the fossil record, and compare them to their descendants of today, there are many ancient bacterium recovered and “revived” from salt crystals and amber crystals that have been compared to their living descendants of today. Some bacterium spores, in salt crystals, dating back as far as 250 million years have been revived, had their DNA sequenced, and compared to their offspring of today (Vreeland RH, 2000 Nature). To the disbelieving shock of many scientists, both ancient and modern bacteria were found to have the almost same exact DNA sequence.

    The Paradox of the “Ancient” Bacterium Which Contains “Modern” Protein-Coding Genes:
    “Almost without exception, bacteria isolated from ancient material have proven to closely resemble modern bacteria at both morphological and molecular levels.”
    Heather Maughan*, C. William Birky Jr., Wayne L. Nicholson, William D. Rosenzweig§ and Russell H. Vreeland ;
    http://mbe.oxfordjournals.org/...../19/9/1637

    and this:

    Revival and identification of bacterial spores in 25- to 40-million-year-old Dominican amber
    Dr. Cano and his former graduate student Dr. Monica K. Borucki said that they had found slight but significant differences between the DNA of the ancient, 25-40 million year old amber-sealed Bacillus sphaericus and that of its modern counterpart, (thus ruling out that it is a modern contaminant, yet at the same time confounding materialists, since the change is not nearly as great as evolution’s “genetic drift” theory requires.)
    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/...../5213/1060

    30-Million-Year Sleep: Germ Is Declared Alive
    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/f.....gewanted=2

    In reply to a personal e-mail from myself, Dr. Cano commented on the “Fitness Test” that I had asked him about:
    Dr. Cano stated: “We performed such a test, a long time ago, using a panel of substrates (the old gram positive biolog panel) on B. sphaericus. From the results we surmised that the putative “ancient” B. sphaericus isolate was capable of utilizing a broader scope of substrates. Additionally, we looked at the fatty acid profile and here, again, the profiles were similar but more diverse in the amber isolate.”:
    Fitness test which compared the 30 million year old ancient bacteria to its modern day descendants, RJ Cano and MK Borucki

    Thus, the most solid evidence available for the most ancient DNA scientists are able to find does not support evolution happening on the molecular level of bacteria. In fact, according to the fitness test of Dr. Cano, the change witnessed in bacteria conforms to the exact opposite, Genetic Entropy: a loss of functional information/complexity, since fewer substrates and fatty acids are utilized by the modern strains. Considering the intricate level of protein machinery it takes to utilize individual molecules within a substrate, we are talking an impressive loss of protein complexity, and thus functional information, from the ancient amber sealed bacteria.

    Is Antibiotic Resistance evidence for evolution? – “Fitness Test” – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BwWpRSYgOE

    Testing the Biological Fitness of Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria – 2008
    http://www.answersingenesis.or.....-drugstore

  60. 60

    levy is ad homenim attack on 56 and theological argument on 57

  61. 61

    bornagain77,

    And yet, as with Dr Lenski’s work, we see that in the right conditions new features can and do evolve.

    Your “fitness tests” of bacteria are flawed, flawed in a blindly obvious way. I’ll leave it as an excercise to the reader to determine how.

    As you appear to think that youtube and answersingenesis is a legitimate way of arguing I think I’ll leave it here with you.

  62. 62

    one last comment BA77 – do you have any actual response to comment 57 or is simply saying “theological argument” and presumably crossing your fingers behind your back it?

  63. 63
    William J. Murray

    Dave,

    The theory doesn’t predict anything. It doesn’t predict constraints, or no constraints. Junk DNA, or no Junk DNA. Evolutionists don’t see multi-maxed attributes in nature, so they tell a story about how variant, maximal attributes might be constrained by evolution. Proving it false doesn’t prove evolution false; it just means their story was wrong.

    It’s like telling a story about how the giraffe got a long neck. Or why humans have “vestigial” organs. It’s a story, not a prediction, the seeks to rationalize why we see what we see from the materialist perspective.

    Here’s the problem, Dave. When it comes to real science – numbers, physics, DNA mutations, watching decades worth of bacterial generations breed, we not only don’t see any macro-evolution; we don’t even see that it is reasonably possible. The only thing that claims macro-evolution is possible are Darwinian myths that “explain” .. from that perspective … away junk DNA, non-junk DNA, vestigial organs, non-vestigial organs, gradualism, punctuated equillibrium ….. and on and on.

  64. 64

    William,

    The theory doesn’t predict anything.

    So Trivers and Hare didn’t specifically predict the sex ratios of social insects, based purely on evolutionary theory? Pray tell, where is the evidence to contradict those? Surely you have them, since yoiu so confidently stated that the theory predicts NOTHING.

    Or maybe–just maybe— you don’t know what you are talking about?

  65. 65

    Or this:

    Mallat J & JY Chen (2003). Fossil sister group of craniates: predicted and found. J. Morph. 258 (1): 1-31

    Or this:

    Hall B (2001). Predicting Evolutionary Potential. I. Predicting the Evolution of a Lactose-PTS System in Escherichia coli . Mol. Biol. Evol. 18(7): 1389-1400

  66. 66

    And how about this?

    Grant PR and BR Grant (1995). Predicting microevolutionary responses to directional selection on heritable variation. Evolution 49(2): 241-251

  67. 67

    Levi, so arrogant with no evidence?:

    This following article refutes Lenski’s supposed evolution of the citrate ability for E-Coli:

    Multiple Mutations Needed for E. Coli – Michael Behe
    excerpt: Now, wild E. coli already has a number of enzymes that normally use citrate and can digest it (it’s not some exotic chemical the bacterium has never seen before). However, the wild bacterium lacks an enzyme called a “citrate permease” which can transport citrate from outside the cell through the cell’s membrane into its interior. So all the bacterium needed to do to use citrate was to find a way to get it into the cell. The rest of the machinery for its metabolism was already there. As Lenski put it, “The only known barrier to aerobic growth on citrate is its inability to transport citrate under oxic conditions.” (1)

    Other workers (cited by Lenski) in the past several decades have also identified mutant E. coli that could use citrate as a food source. In one instance the mutation wasn’t tracked down. (2) In another instance a protein coded by a gene called citT, which normally transports citrate in the absence of oxygen, was overexpressed. (3) The overexpressed protein allowed E. coli to grow on citrate in the presence of oxygen. It seems likely that Lenski’s mutant will turn out to be either this gene or another of the bacterium’s citrate-using genes, tweaked a bit to allow it to transport citrate in the presence of oxygen. (He hasn’t yet tracked down the mutation.)
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/blog/.....96N278Z93O

    Why are fitness test flawed? Just because evolution has never passed one? tell you what Levi since you are so smug about all this why don’t you tell everybody why evolution never occurs when we test for a sub-strain for fitness in the parent strains native environment. How come I have a feeling you will just offer a superficial rationalization as to why increased complexity cannot be tested against a parent strain. this is not science Levi and frankly having you impose your philosophical bias onto the evidence with such arrogance makes me sick.

    Regardless of how you feel about living in an imperfect world, the fact that an instruction was lost from the genome in furthering the lactase enzyme longevity conforms to the principle of genetic entropy, (all the while you ignore the 3500 documented cases of uncontested deterioration for the genome) Is this how you practice science Levi? I would fire you! If you want to gripe about why God would allow such imperfection, as I said before, that is a theological argument and leaves the realm of empirical science? Do you want to argue for the validity of evolution from a theological basis since you have no evidence to withstand scrutiny? I suggest you take the matter up with Dr. William Lane Craig.

    You mentioned something about the increasing age for humans being before death as proof for evolution. Is this your big gun? Excuse me for being underwhelmed.

    Although the fact that man even ages and dies in the first place is powerful evidence for the effects of entropy, you blow by all this and cite the fact that we have increased knowledge in combating diseases and thus have increased overall longevity before the inevitable death which shall visit every man. but how powerful is your evidence for evolution?

    Genesis 6:3 says that mans days shall be 120 years.

    CNN – World’s oldest person dies at 122 – August 4, 1997

    27-Nov-2008: Worlds Oldest Person Dies At Age 115

    World’s oldest person, Yone Minagawa, dies at 114 – Japan News Review

    and Psalm states:

    Psalm 90:10 says, “The days of our years are threescore years and ten [70 years]; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years [80 years],

    Seems to me Levi you are without merit once again in your evidence.

    But hey let’s look a little deeper at the supposed evolution of man:

    “We found an enormous amount of diversity within and between the African populations, and we found much less diversity in non-African populations,” Tishkoff told attendees today (Jan. 22) at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Anaheim. “Only a small subset of the diversity in Africa is found in Europe and the Middle East, and an even narrower set is found in American Indians.” Tishkoff; Andrew Clark, Penn State; Kenneth Kidd, Yale University; Giovanni Destro-Bisol, University “La Sapienza,” Rome, and Himla Soodyall and Trefor Jenkins, WITS University, South Africa, looked at three locations on DNA samples from 13 to 18 populations in Africa and 30 to 45 populations in the remainder of the world.-

    I wonder what Hitler would have thought of that study?

    As well the accumulation of slightly detrimental mutations in humans is revealed by this following fact:

    “When first cousins marry, their children have a reduction of life expectancy of nearly 10 years. Why is this? It is because inbreeding exposes the genetic mistakes within the genome (slightly detrimental recessive mutations) that have not yet had time to “come to the surface”. Inbreeding is like a sneak preview, or foreshadowing, of where we are going to be genetically as a whole as a species in the future. The reduced life expectancy of inbred children reflects the overall aging of the genome that has accumulated thus far, and reveals the hidden reservoir of genetic damage that have been accumulating in our genomes.”
    Sanford; Genetic Entropy; page 147

    This following study is interesting in that it shows the principle of Genetic Entropy being obeyed for the estimated 60,000 year old anatomically modern humans found in Australia:

    Ancient DNA and the origin of modern humans: John H. Relethford
    Excerpt: Adcock et al. (7) clearly demonstrate the actual extinction of an ancient mtDNA lineage belonging to an anatomically modern human, because this lineage is not found in living Australians. Although the fossil evidence provides evidence of the continuity of modern humans over the past 60,000 years,,,, http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.g.....rtid=33358

    The author of the preceding paper seemed to be mystified that there is this loss of genetic information. Yet, the result clearly falls within what we would expect from a Genetic Entropy perspective.

    Dang Levi, I guess you can be all smug as you want but I see nothing for you to crow about in what you have cited. It is very weak tea indeed. Maybe you really don’ care about the truth at all. Do you?

  68. 68

    Lest we foget, what about Darwin’s prediction of the pollinator for the Madagascar Star Orchid (confirmed 50 years later)?

  69. 69

    Lest we foget, what about Darwin’s prediction of the pollinator for the Madagascar Star Orchid? Is that it? The flower has got to be pollinated, and Darwin predicted a pollinator? So you say evolution predicted this? I’m sorry but anyone knowing flowers must be pollinated would arrive at the same conclusion!

    In nature we find stunning examples of Intelligent Design. There are many species of a certain flower, the orchid, that are designed to be pollinated by a single species of insect. Many people first became aware of the peculiarity of orchid fertilization upon hearing about Darwin’s orchid, (Angraecum Sesquipedale). Upon inspecting the flower with its foot-long nectar spur, Darwin hypothesized the existence of a moth with a foot-long proboscis (nose), to reach the tiny pool of nectar at the bottom of the spur. I don’t know how people can think this was conclusive proof for evolution. Excuse me for being under whelmed by his prediction. It is exceedingly simple minded to think that a few accidental mutations of DNA are to accomplish the exceedingly complex rearrangement of protein molecules, both the flower and the moth have needed for such specialized pollination. Such complex rearrangements are beyond the capacity of this universe to generate accidentally.

    Actually this argue strongly for ID! Many such oddities are found in orchids. First, when we examine a orchid bloom, we notice that the pollen is not a dustlike coating of grains on the male part of the flower as is common in flowers such as daises. Instead, orchid pollen is clumped together in pollinia. An insect visiting an orchid bloom removes the entire clump all at once and then deposits this mass on the female part of the bloom (stigma). Thus, orchid pollination is a one-time event, with each bloom capable of fertilizing only one other flower. Affixing the pollen on a pollinator is too important to trust to casual visitation. Some of the ways the orchid achieves pollination are weird. Some species of orchids are pollinated by flies or beetles attracted to the gross smells of rotting meat or dung these orchids give off. Other examples of orchid pollination can only be accomplished by a single species of insect. Some examples are found in such genera as Caledenia, Cryptostylis and Spiculaea. These orchids exude scents and have lips that resemble particular species of female wasps or bees. In the case of the genus Drakaea, which has a hinged lip, the male wasp is flung bodily against the orchids sexual parts as he tries to fly off with what he thinks is a female wasp. When he tries the same thing on another flower he is flung again, completing the pollination. Hopefully this repeated abuse doesn’t discourage him from trying to find a real mate. In the genus Catasetum, a scent is generated that attracts the male bee of the species Euglossine. The scent is like cologne for the bee, making him more attractive to female bees. As he is busy scratching around, picking this scent up, he sets off a trigger. This causes the pollinia to hit him with such force that it ejects him completely out of the flower with the pollinia glued to his head or back. These are but a few examples of Intelligent Design found in orchids. Many books could be written describing such integrated relationships found in nature.

  70. Echidna,
    You argue that it doesn’t matter that we see no morphological change with bacteria after many generations because there’s no environment necessity.

    Do you concede that morphological changes are much easier in a bacteria than in a mammal, from the genome’s perspective, thus making it much more likely to see changes in bacteria than in fish?

    Then there’s the matter which I you brought up, of increased life spans. Do you factor this in? How do we observe increased mutation and morphological change with longer and longer lifespans? Bacteria, no change. Huge organisms with vastly longer generations, huge change.

    The amount of beneficial mutations combining to form an eye or leg make it much harder on neodarwinism considering the established ratio of good to bad mutations, and the staying power of these good mutations in light of the constant barrage of bad ones interfering AND STAYING PUT. Do you understand there is no “clean sweep” of bad mutations because of the near neutral quality of most of them? Yet there’s a million or ten thousand to one ratio of bad to good. Shouldn’t we all be dead?

    This could all be answered by you stating that random mutations and natural selection account for all of life. Your only other option is to say that neodarwinism doesn’t work, this is a KEY KEY point.

    I think you’re missing what gene entropy implies about the genome. The genome is always tending towards chaos of it’s information (it’s delicate balance of code for complex life), or entropy. Genetic entropy predicts only small changes are allowed, because only slightly altering the existing setup is allowed. Whole new novel genes of a totally unique coding can never be made via neodarwinism, and they’ve NEVER been observed to be made, yet they’re abundant in the genome. So therefore only intelligence could have set up a genome in the first place. Neodarwin methods have no way of doing this.

    Yet you say we observe changes helping organisms. This is predicted by Gene entropy, the point is large changes aren’t allowed. Neodarwinists are freaking out about this. Gene entropy is backed up by the fossil record, there’s no fine gradation found on the level of point neucleotide mutations, which are the vast majority of mutations. The gradation predicted by darwin and all others since, is so fine as to not be detectable in phenotype. As if you took a picture of a child every second till adulthood. We right now see a picture of the child every ten years. The fossils MUST be there at least from calcification on. You MUST believe this to be a neodarwinist.

  71. When Behe gives reasons why direct paths are unlikely, many have answered that indirect paths can provide the solution; the scaffolding falls away, leaving the effect of a functioning system that appears ic; there are also the 50+ engines of variation; the process is extremely complex; this is why it is so difficult to actually demonstrate the pathways taken to get to a result; and now, with all these twists a turns, we’re to think that these same sets of steps, and accompanying necessary selective pressures occurred again in the same orders necessary to get the same result again.

    Berlinsky suggest 50K mutations from creature entering water to become whale;

    if we needed 20 mutations, each with 2 possibilities, don’t we get to 1 M possible pathways, 30, 1 billion, 40, 1 trillion;

    so, in this case, it seems numbers of mutations is very significant to say why convergent evo is likely or not;

  72. The extinct Australian Wolves are surely additional evidence that corroborate your point.

  73. Levy says:

    Yet the malaria parasite is and remains one of the most sucessfull organisms on the planet. Despite the best efforts of humanity it retains it’s ability to have “in 1 year more mutation/duplication/selection events than all mammal lineages would have had in the entire +100 million years they have been in the fossil record”.

    Not bad eh? Perhaps it does not need to generate new “novel biological complexity” because it’s doing just fine as it is? Ever considered that?
    Do you think novel biological complexity just develops on it’s own with no input from the enviroment? Why would an organism well adapted to the enviromental niche it finds itself in change at all?

    Is this a joke? This is precisely confirming what is being claimed in this thread, that one scenario and it’s opposite are both claimed as evidence supporting evolution. Heads I win, tails you lose. Gotta love those odds when you can get away with it.

  74. 74
    William J. Murray

    Dave,

    I’m sorry, you are correct. I should have said that the theory of evolution makes no significant predictions – meaning, non-trivial predictions that would falsify the theory as being the best description of the phenomena in question. ID makes non-trivial predictions; it can be falsified rather easily in any particular case.

    However, had those evolutionist predictions you mentioned failed, then scientists would not be looking for an alternative theory to explain the phenomena (alternative to evolution); they would invent another evolutionary story to explain it. Then, if that story was proven false by facts, they would invent another such story.

    Darwinism makes no non-trivial predictions; it comes up with a lot of speculative, trivial predictive stories that evolutionists can invent and discard at a moment’s notice.

  75. First we get “no predictions,” then we get “no significant predictions.” Darn, those goal posts seem to be moving by the second. ; )

  76. Sorry, 72 should read

    marsupial Austrlian wolf

    rather than

    Australian wolf

  77. 77
    William J. Murray

    Anthony,

    So you consider the difference between making no predictions, and making no non-trivial predictions, scientifically significant?

  78. 78

    I looked at the so called prediction papers and they are crap. First the prediction of a Cambrian fossil sister group craniates (your strongest paper) seems so wide open to interpretation of any evidence that came along that it seems very likely they were severely given to confirmation bias i.e. I truly believe all similarities were counted and all dissimilarities ignored to arrive at their preconceived solution…The prediction is also considered weak because it is confirmed by presupposing your necessary foundation of macro-evolution to be true in the first place, and need i remind you that evolutionists have not even empirically shown that micro-evolutionary events can generate the information for macro-evolutionary events in the first place (The Edge: Behe) (Biology’s Big Bang Koonin)! Then you guys quote an e-coli study of a very minor variation within kind…Excuse me for being severely underwhelmed withthis “prediction” but working under the proper Genetic entropy Framework the same exact predictions can be made and in fact more robust predictions can be made since Genetic entropy correctly surmises the limits to variation, and loss of robustness from parent strains, that we continually witness in all tests conducted thus far (as predicted by genetic entropy and ignored by Evolution)…Your predictions are actually “shoehorning” evidence without fairly giving the alternative hypothesis, Genetic Entropy, a fair shake in the process, thus you are guilty of placing your philosophical bias ahead of true science, and thus you have gone astray of the scientific method practiced in its true form. i.e. you have not sought truth above all else!

  79. William J. Murray, my point is that your claim is that there were no predictions, and when you were presented proof that there were predictions, you altered your requirement to “significant predictions,” with “significant,” of course, to be defined by you. It’s pretty clear that nothing will rise to the level of significant in your mind.

    Bornagain, it’s ironic to hear you mention confirmation bias.

  80. Bornagain,

    Can I just suggest, paragraphs might help.

  81. 81

    Well since I am a fallible human given to confirmation bias, as all humans are, i can hardly claim to be pure in such matters, but at the very least you have to give me some credit for examining the evidence of “the other side”, whereas the papers you guys cited gave absolutely no consideration to the competing, and very viable hypothesis of genetic entropy. Indeed i doubt very seriously many of the researchers have even heard of it.

    But to try to be fair to the scientific method let me dust off an old paper of mine and show it to you:

    “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
    William Shakespeare – Hamlet

    Scientific Materialism And The Question Of Origins – Dr. Thomas Kindell – video
    Part 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvXF47L447U
    Part 2http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCQYZkIG6GM

    The artificial imposition of the materialistic philosophy onto the scientific method has blinded many scientists to the inference of God as a rational explanation in these questions of origins. In fact, the scientific method itself makes absolutely no predictions as to what the best explanation will be prior to investigation in these question of origins. In the beginning of a investigation all answers are equally valid to the scientific method. Yet scientists have grown accustomed through the years to the artificial imposition of the materialistic philosophy onto the scientific method. That is to say that by limiting the answers that one may conclude to only materialistic ones, the scientific method has been very effective at solving many puzzles very quickly. This imposition of the materialistic philosophy onto the scientific method has indeed led to many breakthroughs of technology that would not have been possible had the phenomena been presumed to be solely the work of a miracle. This imposition of materialism onto the scientific method is usually called methodological naturalism, methodological materialism, or scientific materialism etc… Yet today, due to the impressive success of methodological naturalism in our everyday lives, many scientists are unable to separate this artificial imposition of the materialistic philosophy from the scientific method in this completely different question of origins.

    A Question for Barbara Forrest

    In fact, I have heard someone say that, “Science is materialism.” But Science clearly is not materialism. Materialism is a philosophy that makes the dogmatic assertion that only blind material processes generated everything around us, including ourselves. Materialism is thus in direct opposition to Theism which holds that God purposely created us in His image. Furthermore science, or more particularly the scientific method, in reality only cares to relentlessly pursue the truth and could care less if the answer is a materialistic one or not. This is especially true in these questions of origins, since we are indeed questioning the materialistic philosophy itself. i.e. We are asking the scientific method to answer this very specific question, “Did God create us or did blind material processes create us?” When we realize that this is the actual question we are seeking an answer to within the scientific method, then of course it is readily apparent we cannot impose strict materialistic answers onto the scientific method prior to investigation.
    In fact when looking at the evidence in this light we find out many interesting things that scientists, who have been blinded by the philosophy of materialism, miss. This is because the materialistic and Theistic philosophy make, and have made, several natural contradictory predictions about what evidence we will find. These predictions, and the evidence we have found, can be tested against one another within the scientific method.

    For a quick overview here are a few:

    1.Materialism predicted an eternal universe, Theism predicted a created universe. – Big Bang points to a creation event.-

    2. Materialism predicted time had an infinite past, Theism predicted time had a creation – Time was created in Big Bang. -

    3. Materialism predicted space has always existed, Theism predicted space had a creation (Psalm 89:12) – Space was created in the Big Bang. -

    4. Materialism predicted at the base of physical reality would be a solid indestructible material particle which rigidly obeyed the rules of time and space, Theism predicted the basis of this reality was created by a infinitely powerful and transcendent Being who is not limited by time and space – Quantum mechanics reveals a wave/particle duality for the basis of our reality that blatantly defies our concepts of time and space. -

    5. Materialism predicted the rate at which time passed was constant everywhere in the universe, Theism predicted God is eternal and is outside of time – Special Relativity has shown that time, as we understand it, comes to a complete stop at the speed of light. -

    6. Materialism predicted the universe did not have life in mind and life was ultimately an accident of time and chance. Theism predicted this universe was purposely created by God with man in mind – Every transcendent universal constant that scientists can measure is exquisitely fine-tuned for carbon-based life to exist in this universe. -

    7. Materialism predicted complex life in this universe should be fairly common. Theism predicted the earth is extremely unique in this universe – Statistical analysis of the hundreds of required parameters which enable complex life to be possible on earth gives strong indication the earth is extremely unique in this universe. -

    8. Materialism predicted much of the DNA code was junk. Theism predicted we are fearfully and wonderfully made – ENCODE research into the DNA has revealed a “biological jungle deeper, denser, and more difficult to penetrate than anyone imagined.”. -

    9. Materialism predicted a extremely beneficial and flexible mutation rate for DNA that was ultimately responsible for all the diversity and complexity of life we see on earth. Theism predicted only God created life on earth – The mutation rate to DNA is overwhelmingly detrimental. Detrimental to such a point that it is seriously questioned whether there are any truly beneficial mutations whatsoever. (M. Behe; JC Sanford) -

    10. Materialism predicted a very simple first life form which “accidentally came from a warm little pond”. Theism predicted God created life – The simplest life ever found on Earth is far more complex than any machine man has made through concerted effort. (Michael Denton PhD) -

    11. Materialism predicted it took a very long time for life to develop on earth. Theism predicted life to appear abruptly on earth after water appeared on earth (Genesis 1:10-11) – We find evidence for complex photo-synthetic life in the oldest sedimentary rocks ever found on earth -

    12. Materialism predicted the gradual unfolding of life to be self-evident in the fossil record. Theism predicted complex and diverse life to appear abruptly in the seas in God’s fifth day of creation. – The Cambrian Explosion shows a sudden appearance of many different and completely unique fossils within a very short “geologic resolution time” in the Cambrian seas -

    13. Materialism predicted there should be numerous transitional fossils found in the fossil record, Theism predicted sudden appearance and rapid diversity within different kinds found in the fossil record – Fossils are consistently characterized by sudden appearance of a group/kind in the fossil record, then rapid diversity within the group/kind, and then long term stability and even deterioration of variety within the overall group, and within the specific species of the group, over long periods of time. Of the few dozen or so fossils claimed as transitional, not one is uncontested as a true example of transition between major animal forms out of millions of collected fossils. -

    14. Materialism predicted animal speciation should happen on a somewhat constant basis on earth. Theism predicted man was the last species created on earth – Man himself is the last generally accepted major fossil form to have suddenly appeared in the fossil record. -

    As you can see when we remove the artificial imposition of the materialistic philosophy, from the scientific method, and look carefully at the predictions of both the materialistic philosophy and the Theistic philosophy, side by side, we find the scientific method is very good at pointing us in the direction of Theism as the most likely true explanation. -

  82. 82
    William J. Murray

    Anthony,

    If you are unable to provide an example of a non-trivial prediction of evolutionary theory, then by all means provide one, instead of imagining what my state of mind is.

    Please direct me to a specific scientific prediction of current evolutionary theory which, if falsified, would indicate that naturalistic (unguided) evolution could not have been responsible for the phenomena in question.

    In case you missed it, Anthony, this thread is about something, and my statements were made in that context. The context is that evolutionists can take both prediction A, or fact A, and prediction not-A, or fact not-A, and claim that each are evidence of, or explained by, evolution.

    Yes, those are technically “predictions”, but they are trivial predictions, because they do not rise to the level of falsifiability for the process claimed to produce the phenomena in question. This makes such predictions nothing more than ad hoc stories and myths that have no real significance other than to comfort believers.

    I await your significant evolutionary prediction.

  83. 83
    William J. Murray

    *If you are able, rather.

  84. 84

    Site Admins

    Aplogies – I lost my previous account due to a power cut and I can’t remember the random assortment of characters that is my password. So I have created this account.

    Brent

    Is this a joke? This is precisely confirming what is being claimed in this thread, that one scenario and it’s opposite are both claimed as evidence supporting evolution. Heads I win, tails you lose. Gotta love those odds when you can get away with it.

    If both scenarios don’t support evolution, could you tell me what each scenario supports, as far as you are concerned?

    And could you describe briefly each scenario as you see it? I’m not familar with your thoughts on these matters, I don’t recognize your name I’m afraid. But I await enlightenment!

  85. Born Again, that’s a good summary. ID science awaits mysticism’s response to information loss.

    Information loss MUST be false if darwinist mysticism is to hold true. It absolutely must be, yet that’s all that’s ever been observed. Genome’s MUST be able to create all the diversity, and all the genes coding for completely different regions of a large organisms. Otherwise the genome was ID’d, pre programmed in my opinion, to allow for change within brackets.

    For anyone with questions, google “genetic entropy and the mystery of the genome”. Then pull up the amazon link and see the 10 pages or so of reviews of the book below. All of the reviews must be read to get a clear picture. This is layman friendly and interesting.

    A separate point for anyone to answer. Has anyone ever calculated the amount of mutations needed for all the diversity in the ToL, and figured in the time? This concept has been brought up but I don’t see stats anywhere. Evolution in spurts could be ignored if the numbers don’t add up in any case.

  86. lamarck, Murray and BA77,

    Game and set, at least. I often wonder what those pathetic creatures must have been like before the “evolutionary arms race” forced them to the near perfection of design we see today. Too bad none of them qualified for the fossil record.

    Did you see the article for June at biologicinstitute.org?

  87. Regarding guided vs. unguided:

    Evolutionary theory has NEVER – even from its earliest inception – viewed the changes as “unguided”. The clue is in the phrase “natural selection” – by definition, “selection” is guided and in this case the selection is carried out by environmental factors (such as access to food or sexual selection).

    If environmental factors are guiding selection, what is guiding the environmental factors? Are the environmental factors not blind, purposeless, random, unguided, etc.?

    Of course evolutionary theory doesn’t consider the changes unguided. If they did, they wouldn’t be able to sneak design in the back door. How would they then come up with brilliant insights like: “Vestigial characters, if functional, perform relatively simple, minor, or inessential functions using structures that were clearly designed for other complex purposes?”

    They want to have their cake and eat it too, but when the blind is leading the blind, how can either be said to be guided?

  88. 88
    William J. Murray

    Phinehas,

    Exactly the same question I asked, which was left unanswered elsewhere; what has set “natural selection” to such a finely-tuned status so that life can exist at all, much less within the much finer parameters where such complex and slow-reproducing entities like humans, with illusionary self-referential minds that ask these questions, can come into existence?

  89. 89

    Hi William,

    I should have said that the theory of evolution makes no significant predictions – meaning, non-trivial predictions that would falsify the theory as being the best description of the phenomena in question.

    Hmm..like the prediction we will find transitional fossils, and the fact that they are indeed found?Not finding ANY would put a serious dent in evolutioinary theory, as we woulkd not able to identify trends over time.

    Of course, there are those who throw up the red herring about why we don’t see “billions and billions” of these transitionals. Well, sorry, but the theory does not predict these numbers, since all lines of evidence point to only a very small percentage of organims ever get fossilized, and then under specific circumstances. However, we do have examples of very fine-grained transitions, and those that indicate general trends showing greater change over time.

  90. 90
    William J. Murray

    Dave Whisker:

    Lack of transitionals could be chalked up to the very rarity of fossils you mentioned in your post. It would hardly falsify evolutionary theory.

  91. 91

    HI William,

    Lack of transitionals could be chalked up to the very rarity of fossils you mentioned in your post. It would hardly falsify evolutionary theory.

    Not so. We find fossil evidence of past life, and we know the process is rare, so we expect gaps.However, it’s not rare enough that no transitional sequences at all (no matter how gappy) could be reasonably expected.

    It should be obvious that if no sequences of any kind were found, then the fossil record could not be used to support the theory at all. Without it, the essential inference of common ancestry could not be made beyond extant organisms. A completely different theory would be needed to explain how the diversity of life came about.

  92. 92

    I don’t know which “predicted” fossil you are talking about but if it is this one you are deceiving yourself:

    Tiktaalik – besides the fact they looked in a known “swampy area” at the time for a “swampy creature” should clue you to the utter lack of predictive power they were truly exercising. Besides that they are not transitional:
    Excerpt: Indeed, Tiktaalik’s fin was not connected to the main skeleton, so could not have supported its weight on land. The discoverers claim that this could have helped to prop up the body as the fish moved along a water bottom,3 but evolutionists had similar high hopes for the coelacanth fin. However, when a living coelacanth (Latimeria chalumnae) was discovered in 1938, the fins turned out not to be used for walking but for deft manœuvering when swimming.
    http://creation.com/tiktaalik-.....ssing-link

    Here is the true state of the fossil record:

    In spite of the crushing evidence found in the Cambrian explosion and DNA analysis of different phyla most scientists, and thus a large portion of the public, continues to imagine that all life on earth descended from a common ancestor and continues to imagine missing links with every new fossil discovery making mainstream media headlines. Yet, the true story of life since the Cambrian explosion, that is actually told by the fossil record itself, tells a very different story than the imaginative tales found in mainstream media accounts. Where the story of life, since the Cambrian explosion, is extremely clear to read is in the sea creatures who fossilize quickly in ocean sediments. We find fossils in the fossil record that appear suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, fully-formed. They have no unambiguous evolutionary predecessor. They just appear abruptly in the fossil record unique and fully-formed. This is exactly what one would expect from an infinitely powerful and transcendent Creator continually, and abruptly, introducing new life-forms on earth. Even more problematic for the materialist is the fact once a fossil suddenly appears in the fossil record it remains surprisingly stable in its basic structure for as long as it is found in the fossil record. The fossil record can offer not even one clear example of continuous transition from one distinct type of fossil form to another distinct type of fossil form out of millions of collected fossils. In fact some sea creatures, such as certain sharks and starfish which are still alive today, have unchanging fossil records going back hundreds of millions of years to when they first suddenly appeared in the fossil record without a predecessor.

    Ancient Fossils That Evolutionists Don’t Want You To See – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLzqDLZoufQ

    “The point emerges that if we examine the fossil record in detail, whether at the level of orders or of species, we find’ over and over again’ not gradual evolution, but the sudden explosion of one group at the expense of another.”
    Paleontologist, Derek V. Ager

    “A major problem in proving the theory has been the fossil record; the imprints of vanished species preserved in the Earth’s geological formations. This record has never revealed traces of Darwin’s hypothetical intermediate variants – instead species appear and disappear abruptly, and this anomaly has fueled the creationist argument that each species was created by God.”
    Paleontologist, Mark Czarnecki

    “There is no need to apologize any longer for the poverty of the fossil record. In some ways, it has become almost unmanageably rich and discovery is outpacing integration. The fossil record nevertheless continues to be composed mainly of gaps.”
    Professor of paleontology – Glasgow University, T. Neville George

    “Now, after over 120 years of the most extensive and painstaking geological exploration of every continent and ocean bottom, the picture is infinitely more vivid and complete than it was in 1859. Formations have been discovered containing hundreds of billions of fossils and our museums now are filled with over 100 million fossils of 250,000 different species. The availability of this profusion of hard scientific data should permit objective investigators to determine if Darwin was on the right track. What is the picture which the fossils have given us? … The gaps between major groups of organisms have been growing even wider and more undeniable. They can no longer be ignored or rationalized away with appeals to imperfection of the fossil record.” Luther D. Sunderland, Darwin’s Enigma 1988, Fossils and Other Problems, 4th edition, Master Books, p. 9

    “The evidence we find in the geological record is not nearly as compatible with Darwinian natural selection as we would like it to be …. We now have a quarter of a million fossil species but the situation hasn’t changed much. The record of evolution is surprisingly jerky and, ironically, we have even fewer examples of evolutionary transition than in Darwin’s time … so Darwin’s problem has not been alleviated”.
    David Raup, Curator of Geology at Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History

    The Fossil Record – Don Patton – in their own words – video
    http://video.google.com/videop.....6900194790

    “In virtually all cases a new taxon appears for the first time in the fossil record with most definitive features already present, and practically no known stem-group forms.” Fossils and Evolution, TS Kemp – Curator of Zoological Collections, Oxford University, Oxford Uni Press, p246, 1999

    ” Every paleontologist knows that most new species, genera, and families, and that nearly all categories above the level of family appear in the record suddenly and are not led up to by known, gradual, completely continuous transitional sequences.”
    George Gaylord Simpson (evolutionist), The Major Features of Evolution, New York, Columbia University Press, 1953 p. 360.

    “No wonder paleontologists shied away from evolution for so long. It seems never to happen. Assiduous collecting up cliff faces yields zigzags, minor oscillations, and the very occasional slight accumulation of change over millions of years, at a rate too slow to really account for all the prodigious change that has occurred in evolutionary history. When we do see the introduction of evolutionary novelty, it usually shows up with a bang, and often with no firm evidence that the organisms did not evolve elsewhere! Evolution cannot forever be going on someplace else. Yet that’s how the fossil record has struck many a forlorn paleontologist looking to learn something about evolution.” -
    Niles Eldredge , “Reinventing Darwin: The Great Evolutionary Debate,” 1996, p.95

    Partial List Of Fossil Groups – without the artificially imposed dotted lines – Timeline illustration:
    http://www.estrellamountain.ed.....o_plfr.gif

    “The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology.”
    Stephen Jay Gould, Professor of Geology and Paleontology at Harvard University and the leading spokesman for evolutionary theory in America
    prior to his recent death.

    The Fossil Record – Fact And Fiction – Marc Surtees – video
    http://edinburghcreationgroup.org/fossils.xml

    “Why, if species have descended from other species by fine gradations, do we not everywhere see innumerable transitional forms? Why is not all nature in confusion, instead of the species being, as we see them, well defined? But, as by this theory innumerable transitional forms must have existed, why do we not find them embedded in countless numbers in the crust of the earth? But in the intermediate region, having intermediate conditions of life, why do we not now find closely-linking intermediate varieties?” Charles Darwin – Origin Of Species

  93. 93
    William J. Murray

    Dave:

    Could you tell me what the theory of punctuated equllibrium is, and why it was first hypothesized?

    Also, as bornagain77′s evidence indicates, there seems to be some disagreement or controversy in the scientific community over whether or not there are “enough” such “transitionals” to support the theory of gradualism as it pertains to evolution.

    You can see that my request above is connect to the evidence that bornagain77 has provided.

    Let us not lose sight that this exchange is in regard to your claim that a complete lack of “transitionals” would falsify the theory of common descent. I am agreeing that there is not a complete lack of “transitionals” (I have that word in quotations for a reason), but I wish to continue this debate after you have answered my question about “punctuated equillibrium” above.

    Bornagain77, I greatly appreciate your contribution!

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