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Is this Darwin’s legacy?

A cartoon in an American paper, the New York Post, has brought fresh attention to the race problems in some sections of society. The cartoon shows a chimpanzee shot dead by police with a caption apparently referring to the new American President Obama – (edit: although later denied that Obama was the target).  Note from UD Admin:  As has been pointed out in the comments, the chimp in this cartoon was a pet chimp shot by police in Connecticut.  It was never intended to represent Obama or any other human.  The cartoonist was stunned over the uproar.

Where does the idea that human beings are related to apes come from? It comes straight from Darwinism. There is some irony that the left loves both Darwin and Obama, but Darwinism leads to racism and fascism where the African is considered less evolved and closer to apes than the Caucasian. It is time for the left to address honestly the dark side of Darwinism. See this article on the Telegraph.

http://science-and-values.blogspot.com/

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44 Responses to Is this Darwin’s legacy?

  1. Where does the idea that human beings are related to apes come from?

    the creationist Carolus Linnaeus, who classified Homo sapiens in the Order Primates.

  2. I thought it had nothing to do with race. Recently, there was a 200-lb pet chimpanzee that had to be shot by police because it was mauling a woman. Just as these political cartoons always have, it was making fun of a current event.

    I don’t think the ape was supposed to represent Barack Obama in anyway. They would have to be incredibly ignorant to have that much hate, and really, really dumb to put out something that obvious.

  3. @1
    Too right.
    It’s an indictment of the minds behind the stimulus bill.

    It’s also ugly and not funny. But that doesn’t make it racist.

  4. I can’t recall the exact cartoon, but I know I’ve seen Bush portrayed as a monkey. I don’t recall any outrage or racism complaints.
    There’s also this.
    http://www.bushorchimp.com/

  5. Khan:

    “the creationist Carolus Linnaeus, who classified Homo sapiens in the Order Primates.”

    You’re confusing classification of species with origin of species.

  6. Borne,
    true enough, but Linnaeus took it a step further and classified European man as Homo sapiens europaeus and African man as Homo sapiens afer. the former he said was “ruled by customs” while the latter was “ruled by caprice.” See GOuld’s “The Misemeasure of Man” for more details of Linnaeus’ scientific racism.

    ps this doesn’t make his brilliant system of taxonomy any less valid.

  7. They had to publicly “apologize” because that is what you have to do when Al Sharpton & Co. waste everyone’s time trying to be the Martin Luther King Jr.’s of the 21st century. King Jr. was/is a hero; Sharpton and others just waste people’s time. If they come after you about something, if you don’t apologize, then you are permanently labeled a racist plantation driver.

  8. That’s it? Period? End of story?

    Contrary to the evidence?

    Sounds pretty Darwinian to me.

  9. I do not believe we need this. It just distracts. I’d rather attack the Darwinian paradigm on science because it is pretty weak there on its main claims.

  10. Just a reminder, but Obama didn’t write the stimuls bill, Nancy Pelosi and her Democrat friends in the House did most of it. FWIW.

  11. Apologise for what? Asking questions and pointing out some home truths to liberals about the origin of racist ideas? OK in the interest of fairness I will amend one line to read. “The cartoon shows a chimpanzee shot dead by police with a caption apparently referring to the new American President Obama – although it was later denied that Obama was the target.”

  12. It had NOTHING to do with Obama…

    It was about how the Stimulus bill was created by so many individuals, and that when they voted on the bill no one person in all the world knew every word that was in it. The monkey represents the Senate and Congress.

    Obama didn’t even write a word of the bill.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I.....ey_theorem

  13. 14

    JackInhofe is no longer with us.

  14. “Obama didn’t even write a word of the bill.”

    Two things:

    1. That is an unbelievable indictment of Obama given that he signed the bill immediately and gave no credit to others by having others attend the signing.

    2. Presidents never write anything. They recommend legislation. Given that, Obama knew a lot of what was in it and will succeed or fail based on this legislation.

    A third point is that we should drop the subject and move on to relevant stuff.

  15. “Darwinism leads to racism and fascism where the African is considered less evolved and closer to apes than the Caucasia”

    I have only ever heard this idea from christians opposed to the idea of evolution. It is a fantasy dreamt up by people like Andrew to try and convince the ‘sheep’ in their communities that the theory is wrong.

  16. A different caption from the cop on the left would better illustrate Nazi sentiment toward those “less fit” during the Holocaust, which as we know, derived some of it’s rhetoric and propaganda from Darwinist concepts.

    Or how about a different caption, one reflecting the current strain of intolerance from the likes of some of the more vociferous dogmatic evolutionists?

    The caption would read “They’ll have to find someone else to talk openly about intelligent design”.

  17. George W. Bush was explicitely depicted as a chimpanzee quite frequently.

    http://images.google.com/image.....bush+chimp

    No racial overtones were ever imputed by it as far as I know by either the left or the right. But if Obama is satirized in exactly the same manner there’s apopletic outrage. It’s not unreasonable to assign the blame for the difference in perception generally to Darwin, if not the man himself then at least as an iconic figure in the idea that man and chimp once shared a common monkey-like ancestor and that some races of man are more like apes than other races.

  18. In response to Kahn (at 1) I found this website that may be of interest. http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/node/1852
    See also McCalla The Creationist Debate, Continuum

    The idea of a Great Chain of Being and Plenitude comes from neo-Platonist influence where God must fill space with all shapes. There can therefore be no ‘missing links’ within the ‘chain’ and nature must be entirely continuous. Michael Polanyi and Thomas Torrance asserted that science should accept that nature is discontinuous for the fruitful advance of science. Isn’t this the crux of the matter between ID and TE, the continuity of nature question?

  19. Where does the idea that human beings are related to apes come from? It comes straight from Darwinism. There is some irony that the left loves both Darwin and Obama, but Darwinism leads to racism and fascism where the African is considered less evolved and closer to apes than the Caucasian. It is time for the left to address honestly the dark side of Darwinism.

    Is this a serious claim that racism and fascism did not exist before Darwin published his theory? If it is, then it would surely be undermined by evidence of such attitudes pre-dating the publication of Origins. Does anyone here doubt that it is possible to find such evidence, much as it is possible to find documentary evidence of the Roman Catholic Church’s involvement in the slave trade over the centuries?

    More to the point, if there is evidence of racism and fascism prior to Darwin, then surely attempts to fasten the blame for such attitudes on him alone must be viewed as black propaganda or smear tactics rather than good philosophy or science. Do such arguments really belong on a blog committed to science?

  20. “Jonathan Wells and Paul Nelson note, designers often reuse part designs for different applications. If a designer wanted to generate a species similiar to humans, it naturally follows that the designer would redeploy many of the same genes.”

    Think of what we have learned from the Chimpanzee in the real of anatomy.

    This is from Intelligent Design 101 by Kregel Publications, H. Wayne House.

    http://books.google.ca/books?i.....N#PPA90,M1

  21. Perhaps Chimpanzees were intended to offer us a glimpse of ourselves. Not an exact one but something similiar.

    My comment doesn’t have anything to do with the racism stuff you guys are talking about. I’m more interested in the theory and utility aspects of ID theory.

  22. I’m new to ID, but I thought it claimed to be scientific. I’m a bit surprised to see straight-up creationism being espoused here, with little or no objection.

    I’m afraid that if you abandon common descent, in view of the massive supporting evidence, the Darwinists will eat you alive.

  23. madsen,

    There isn’t any evidence that supports universal common descent.

    It is all contrived speculation based on the assumption.

    Just take a look at the “evidence”. I did and that is why I can say what I do.

  24. But anyway,

    I would rather have a chimp write the stimulus package rather than Nancy Pelosi.

    At least a chimp would have at least a little clue…

  25. madsen,

    There isn’t any evidence that supports universal common descent.

    It is all contrived speculation based on the assumption.

    Which assumption? And if there isn’t any evidence supporting common descent, what is Michael Behe going on about then?

  26. Madsen, in your first post here on UD you question if ID is science, then in your seceond post you take (perhaps) a swipe at Behe, as if he is “going on” about something.

    The question you asked “is ID scince” is usually an ideological retort; made to push the inferences of design out of scientific discussions, and, to brand whoever talks about them as the most obvious enemy of reason. If that can be accomplished, then the strong inference to design can be more easily stepped around, as it if it weren’t real. People usually don’t step around things that aren’t there, or at least they try not to. Nevertheless it’s a fair question to the uninitiated – is ID science?

    The question usually ends in a long discussion about the definition of science. The definition is as debated as the definition of life, intelligence, and species – the big four. The debate itself is interesting for a round or two, and then quickly becomes stale. It’s a debate I’m not interested in, and is unnecessary in most regards.

    If science is a search for the most parsimonious natural explanations of the universe, that is fine with me. There is nothing in ID that suggests anything outside of natural law. It also fits rather well with other key observations, such as the fossil record (as opposed to being in direct conflict with it).

    Biological ID is based solely on molecular evidence. The primary distinction between inanimate material and living tissue is the existence of organization within the living tissue. Iron, sodium, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, etc., are the same either way. The central tenant of modern biology is that this organization is accomplished by a set of instructions digitally encoded into DNA by a linear sequence of four nucleotides (A, G, T and C). The code is conventional, meaning that there is no physical (natural, mechanical) need for it to exist as it does. It is therefore referred to as a “frozen accident”.

    The code is first transcribed from the DNA molecule into RNA, which then carries the information elsewhere to be translated and used for building the molecular machinery and regulatory networks that make living tissue function. The information contained in the sequence of nucleotides is used to arrange amino acids and fold them into the three-dimensional proteins that do the work of the cell. The level of functional information required to make all this possible has been universally stunning, as has been the information processing systems that employ it.

    The questions then turn to causes – what can cause such an organization to come into being by means of digitally-encoded information?

    Pierre Grasse put it this way: “Any living being possesses an enormous amount of ‘intelligence,’ very much more than is necessary to build the most magnificent of cathedrals. Today, this ‘intelligence’ is called ‘information,’ but it is still the same thing. It is not programmed as in a computer, but rather it is condensed on a molecular scale in the chromosomal DNA or in that of any other organelle in each cell. This ‘intelligence’ is the sine qua non of life. If absent, no living being is imaginable. Where does it come from?”

    The three answers we have to choose from are chance, law, or agency. The current paradigm says that only chance and law may be considered as an answer. Both have been thoroughly studied as causal mechanisms, and that qualitative data has been compared with what is actually observed in the sequencing of nucleotides in DNA. It could not be a greater mismatch.

    Chance brings about an independence of each result in the sequence. Any result at any given digit has nothing whatsoever to do with the next result, or the one before. Chance cannot coordinate function and cannot organize results. Law on the other hand brings about order; it is driven by mechanical law and has no independence of result. By comparison, the sequencing of nucleotides exhibits a pervasive level of interdependent organization and coordination; it is without order and each digit is made without coercion by any physical or mechanical need. In other words, it’s just the opposite of what chance and necessity are known to do. Yet, for non-scientific reasons, these are only explanations allowed. Any mention of agency is met with the hyper-criticism we readily associate with ideological challenges.

    On the other hand, agency is the only causal force known to man than can create the patterns observed in nucleotide sequencing. It is the only causal force that has ever been observed making these patterns, and never have these patterns been found that wasn’t caused by agency. This axiomatic truth is not unchallenged, but undefeated.

    And, this is just one inference to design, there are many others. Another comes from the observation of incredibly high-information-level molecular machinery, systems, and networks. Mike Behe PhD offers a description of chemical sight as such a system:

    “When light strikes the retina of the eye, a photon interacts with a molecule called 11-cis-retinal, which rearranges within picoseconds to form trans-retinal. The change in the shape of retinal forces a change in the shape of the protein, rhodopsin, to which the retinal is tightly bound. The protein’s metamorphosis alters its behavior, making it stick to another protein called transducin. Before interacting with activated rhodopsin, transducin had tightly bound a small molecule called GDP. But when transducin interacts with activated rhodopsin, the GDP falls off and a molecule called GTP binds to transducin. GTP-transducin-activated rhodopsin now binds to a protein called phosphodiesterase, located in the inner membrane of the cell. When attached to activated rhodopsin and its entourage, the phosphodiesterase acquires the ability to chemically cut a molecule called cGMP. Initially there are a lot of cGMP molecules in the cell, but the phosphodiesterase lowers its concentration, like a pulled plug lowers the water level in a bathtub. Another membrane protein that binds cGMP is called an ion channel. It acts as a gateway that regulates the number of sodium ions in the cell. Normally the ion channel allows sodium ions to flow into the cell, while a separate protein actively pumps them out again. The dual action of the ion channel and pump keeps the level of sodium ions in the cell within a narrow range. When the amount of cGMP is reduced because of cleavage by the phosphodiesterase, the ion channel closes, causing the cellular concentration of positively charged sodium ions to be reduced. This causes an imbalance of charge across the cell membrane which, finally, causes a current to be transmitted down the optic nerve to the brain. The result, when interpreted by the brain, is vision.

    In response to this it is said that a patch of light sensitive cells could have developed into a divoted structure, offering a valuable directional sense to the organism. This divot would then grow in depth and scale to include a pinhole eye, and eventually a lens and iris would form to complete the structure.

    Such explanations are woefully inadequate to actual observations, which is the point I believe Mr. Behe was making. So he then studies the number of mutations that are actually being recorded by science in long-term tests (Lenske’s 45,000 generations of e. coli for instance) in an attempt to qualify the “edge” of what is possible by the chance/necessity mechanism filtered by selection. He is labeled a religious liar for doing so.

    He believes in the 14.7 billion year old universe, and 4.5 billion year old earth, common descent of life forms and the well-documented (but more reserved version) of Darwin’s theory of evolution – but that doesn’t matter because he utters the D-word.

    In the end it does not matter; ID is about the evidence, not the scientist. So is ID science?

    (forgive me for the long post)

  27. Upright BiPed,

    Sorry if my meaning wasn’t clear—I actually am on Behe’s side here, on the matter of common descent particularly.

    In my first post, I was merely expressing surprise at the scorn leveled by Sibley at the notion of common descent of humans and apes. AFAIK, that notion has been confirmed beyond a reasonable doubt. It appears some people here agree with Sibley, while others don’t.

    My basic question is, if ID is to be scientific, how can it accommodate such radically diverse views? How far can the field develop before it must take a firm position on common descent?

  28. madsen,

    There isn’t any scientific data that would demonstrate that any amount of genetic change can change an ape-like mammal into a human.

    None, zero, nada, zilch, zip.

    We don’t even know what makes a human a human besides the first- humans give birth to humans.

    So my question would be “why do people accept universal common descent?”

    That is where my first comment comes in.

    The assumption is that universal common descent occurred.

    IOW the assumed conclusion leads to the speculation.

    My basic question is, if ID is to be scientific, how can it accommodate such radically diverse views?

    What does having diverse views have to do with being scientific?

    How far can the field develop before it must take a firm position on common descent?

    As far as the scientific data allows it to.

  29. Joseph,

    There isn’t any scientific data that would demonstrate that any amount of genetic change can change an ape-like mammal into a human.

    I’m not a geneticist (or a scientist for that matter) but one thing that has been accepted by many as strong evidence for common ancestry of apes and humans is our chromosome 2. This page gives more details.

    What does having diverse views have to do with being scientific?

    Well, as a layman, I would say that the question of common descent has been studied extensively, and that a near-consensus (among scientists) has been reached on the matter. It surprises me to see that several people here agree to disagree on such a fundamental issue. It’s as if astronomers were split into two camps, agreeing to disagree on the matter of heliocentrism vs. geocentrism. That analogy is a slight exaggeration, I concede.

    As I said earlier, I’m new to ID, just having read Behe’s DBB, which I found impressive. I’m still learning about other points of view in the ID community, obviously.

  30. madsen,

    Do you have any idea what it would take to get that fusion fixed in a population?

    Any idea at all?

    I ask because if you did then you would question it.

    We are talking about an extreme bottle-neck- possibly down to two individuals of the same family- yes incest.

    Also science is NOT done via consensus.

    And THAT is why many people disagree on the topic.

    If the ONLY supporting data is consensus then it ain’t science.

    BTW not ONE of the scientists in that consensus even knows what makes an organism what it is.

    NOT ONE!

    ID does NOT weigh in on universal common descent.

    About the only thing that can be taken from ID on UCD is that if it did occur it occurred by design with a few random hiccups thrown in.

  31. Joseph,

    First, do you therefore reject that chromosome 2 is a fusion of the two chromosomes found in apes? If so, what’s your explanation for what would then be an incredible coincidence?

    And why would incest be necessary for the fusion to spread throughout the population? Animals with different numbers of chromosomes can breed successfully (if that’s the issue you are concerned about—see Przewalski’s Wild Horse.

  32. First, do you therefore reject that chromosome 2 is a fusion of the two chromosomes found in apes? If so, what’s your explanation for what would then be an incredible coincidence?

    First off, I have it from a source studying the matter that the evidence for an extra set of telomeres may be weaker than we’ve grown fond of repeating; so we must keep that in mind before we make any conjectures on the topic. (I hope he will soon publish his work, so we can discuss it openly here.)

    But assuming for the time being that there is iron-clad evidence that humans have a fused chromosome, this only tells us that ancient humans had 48 chromosomes and so did ancient apes. It does not tell us that humans and apes evolved from a common ancestor. We could assume the prototypical Adam and Eve each had 48 chromosomes, then over time one of their children had a fusion event. Still all humans in that line.

    The similarity of ancient humans having 48 chromosomes and apes having 48 chromosomes is no more convincing evidence of common ancestry than humans having two arms and apes having two arms. Homology is not evidence for common ancestry, unless you can define it in a non-circular way. If you define it as “similarity due to common descent” then it isn’t independent evidence for common descent; you’re assuming what you want to prove.

    Atom

  33. Hi Atom,

    Please do post on the research concerning the telomeres as soon as it’s available. Can you tell us anything now about this source, without actually revealing his/her identity? Is it a scientist who has published in this area before, for example?

    Regarding your other point, my understanding is that the chromosome 2 evidence involves more than just numbers of chromosomes. Rather, it is claimed that chromosome 2 specifically is the one that is “fused”, and that even in comparisons of human and chimp chromosomes today, the two parts of our chromosome 2 match up very well with the still separate chromosomes in chimps.

    Now if this similarity isn’t convincing to you as evidence of common ancestry, can I ask what types of evidence you would find persuasive?

  34. madsen,

    I can’t reveal anything about the source yet, but like I said, if he makes his findings public, then we can discuss it. Until then, we’re assuming that the telomere evidence is iron-clad and that a real fusion occurred, for the starting point of our discussion.

    My point still stands, since no one claims that the fusion event occurred in a common ancestor between apes and humans (since it only exists in humans), so we are still left with the first protohumans Adam and Eve with 48 chromosomes, some of which are extremely similar to chromosomes in apes. Again, we’ve known for a long time that humans and apes share similarities, and known for less time that they share genetic similarities (and very real differences.) But this tells us nothing about common descent, unless we assume common descent to begin with.

    Take for example birds. They walk on two legs, so we can say that this proves that they share a common ancestor with humans and that this common ancestor walked on two legs. Or we can just say that it is a repeated Design Pattern, a good solution to a common design problem.

    So logically, it could be either option (preserved common ancestry or reused design pattern), which means it isn’t evidence for (or against) either. If common descent is true, then it is evidence for common descent. If it is not, then it is evidence for reused design. So it doesn’t help us either way, unless we want to assume common ancestry is true.

    You then ask what would serve as evidence for common descent? Shared mistakes would be the strongest evidence, even though a lot of this evidence has been overturned by the ENCODE findings (multi-layered, multi-funtion for most, if not all, of the genome) and further studies. While ID doesn’t have any beef with common descent in particular, I’d say many IDers have problems with the shoddy thinking and argumentation in its favor.

    If common descent is true, let’s at least come up with objective, logical and reasonable evidence for it. I think I speak for most IDers (even the YEC ones) when I say that is our honest sentiment.

    Atom

  35. First, do you therefore reject that chromosome 2 is a fusion of the two chromosomes found in apes?

    You have read Atom’s response and I can only offer another “alternative”:

    The fusion is real. It was DESIGNED into the population to achieve (and keep?) reproductive isolation.

    If so, what’s your explanation for what would then be an incredible coincidence?

    And another “explanation” is we just don’t understand what it is we are looking at.

    Michael Shermer calls it “patternicity” that is we see patterns where none exists just because we are presupposed to seeing patterns.

    He loves to apply thta to ID. Too bad his “skepticism” is one-sided.

    But anyway…

    And why would incest be necessary for the fusion to spread throughout the population? Animals with different numbers of chromosomes can breed successfully (if that’s the issue you are concerned about—see Przewalski’s Wild Horse.

    Przewalski’s Horse- 66 chromosomes- right?

    Domestic horse – 64 chromosomes right?

    The fertile offspring are ‘tweeners with 65 chromosomes.

    Say the fusion happens in one gamete.

    That gamete just happens to fertilize its opposite which would have one more chromosome.

    The offspring would then be 23.5 if we use YOUR example.

    But that .5 would just be counted as 1.

    Or should we expect to see a mixture 23/24?

    Is it just a coincidence that they have died-off?

    Now if this similarity isn’t convincing to you as evidence of common ancestry, can I ask what types of evidence you would find persuasive?

    Similarity can be explained by convergence and common design.

    To be any different universal common descent would need to explain the differences.

    Yet it cannot because guess what?

    No one knows…

  36. Atom,

    But this tells us nothing about common descent, unless we assume common descent to begin with.

    Here’s how I would characterize the situation: A prediction of the hypothesis of common descent of humans and apes would be some event (such as the fusion we are discussing) which would account for the different number of chromosomes we see today. That prediction has now been observed with modern tools of genetics. So this hypothesis makes a prediction which has been confirmed. That’s just the hypothetico-deductive method of science in action, and should count in favor of common descent, in my opinion.

    Now regarding shared mistakes as evidence, I certainly agree. What is your opinion on the vitamin C pseudogene? Here’s Behe on the matter:

    Both humans and chimps have a broken copy of a gene that in other mammals helps make vitamin C.

    It’s hard to imagine how there could be stronger evidence for common ancestry of chimps and humans.

    (from pages 71 and 72 of The Edge of Evolution).

  37. madsen,

    The original humans with 48 chromosomes having chromosome_2 similar to that of apes is what could possibly count as evidence for common descent; the fusion event is irrelevant, since if it did occur, it happened only in the human line and after any presumed common ancestor. How can something that happened only to humans possibly count as evidence for common descent?

    So your position degenerates to: “Human chromosome_2 parts are identical to ape chromosome_AB (if you put them together), so this is evidence of common ancestry.” Again, there is a lot of identical similarity in organisms that cannot be explained by common ancestry. So similarity cannot count as evidence for common ancestry, unless you already assume common ancestry. If similarity always counts as evidence for common ancestry, then bipedalism in birds means that birds and humans share a bipedal common ancestor. So obviously it doesn’t and my point remains.

    As for the GULO sequences, this is likely part of the overturned evidence I’m discussing. See: http://creationontheweb.com/im.....18-127.pdf for more details.

  38. Atom,

    Thanks for the link.

    How can something that happened only to humans possibly count as evidence for common descent?

    It counts because it’s a successful prediction of the hypothesis of common ancestry. Here’s the logic:

    1. Common ancestry of apes and humans is hypothesized > 150 years ago.

    2. It is found that apes have one more pair of chromosomes than humans.

    3. The common ancestry hypothesis predicts that one of our chromosomes should be a fusion of two ape chromosomes (perhaps there are some other possibilities as well—in any case, there must have been some event which resulted in differing chromosome numbers).

    4. This prediction is confirmed in 1991.

    If a hypothesis makes risky predictions that are then confirmed, that should count as evidence supporting the hypothesis.

  39. madsen,

    It doesn’t count because I can make the same “risky” prediction based on a design hypothesis:

    1) Humans and apes did not originate from a common ancestor, but were designed as separate classes by the same designer(s).

    2) Human designers (the only kind we have familiarity with) often use the same design pattern for similar problems. (confirmed)

    3) Humans and chimps are found to have similar ecological and morphological needs.

    4) Since genetics underly (at least partly) morphology, we expect genetic similarity between apes and humans, while also expecting differences, since the needs are not exact.

    5) We find similarities (chromosome_2) and differences (ORFans), therefore this prediction is confirmed by 2008.

    So the same evidence cannot be evidence for both common descent and common design; if it is, then it is really evidence for neither.

    Also, your point 3 is incorrect: Common Ancestry does not predict a fusion event, or even that the chromosome number be the same (or different) in the human line as in the modern ape line. This is obvious, since humans could have 48 chromosomes and still be a product of Common Descent. Or they could have 42. So the fusion event is not predicted or relevant.

    What about the fact that humans have many genes in common with gorilla that it doesn’t with a chimp? Does that count as evidence against a recent chimp/human split (relative to gorilla)? (Read the appendix for details) If neither differences nor similarities are incompatible with the common descent hypothesis, you can’t claim that either one supports it. A true prediction predicts not only what we should find, but excludes what we shouldn’t find. (Which is why I hold out a lack of shared common mistakes of a good example of a prediction non-common ancestry makes.)

    Of interest may be the appendix for the article I linked, which I mentioned: http://creationontheweb.com/im...../xgulo.pdf

    Atom

  40. Joseph,

    Regarding the horse example, I have read that while the first generation offpsring of a Przewalski’s horse with a normal domesticated horse has 65 chromosomes, further crosses of these offspring with domesticated horses have 64. I don’t know anything about their particular biology or behavior, but if a domesticated horse was introduced into a small population of Przewalski’s horses, isn’t it conceivable that after a number of generations, the entire population would have just 64 chromosomes?

    Clearly that’s just a hypothetical, and I guess there would have to be some inbreeding as you mentioned, but it’s not as if that has never happened. I don’t see any reason to assume the same thing couldn’t happen in humans.

  41. Atom,

    Also, your point 3 is incorrect: Common Ancestry does not predict a fusion event, or even that the chromosome number be the same (or different) in the human line as in the modern ape line. This is obvious, since humans could have 48 chromosomes and still be a product of Common Descent. Or they could have 42. So the fusion event is not predicted or relevant.

    What I’m saying is, given that humans and apes now have differing numbers of chromosomes, common descent then predicts a fusion or perhaps fission event to explain this discrepancy. You are correct that common descent does not predict that we would necessarily have a different number of chromosomes than apes.

    Regarding your predictions from design, they are not very specific—is there any reason to expect these similarities and differences would include chromosome fusion?

  42. madsen wrote:

    What I’m saying is, given that humans and apes now have differing numbers of chromosomes, common descent then predicts a fusion or perhaps fission event to explain this discrepancy.

    I’m sorry to be a pain madsen, but even this is false. Common Descent would be not be falsified one bit if it was found that the chromosomes had simply been reduced from the genetic information via a mutational/crossover/rearrangement event. Honestly, Darwinists would have no problem explaining that the difference was due to some random genome change and could even say that common descent would predict such changes in the genome to alter chromosome count (obviously chromosome counts have changed dramatically over time if CA is true.)

    So, in either case, Common Ancestry could claim a verified prediction. But as is obvious, such predictions are worthless. It is like predicting “It will rain tomorrow or it will not rain.” While my prediction will come true and I can claim the fulfillment as evidence of my psychic powers, the fact that I also could accommodate a contradictory finding means I didn’t predict anything.

    Such is the case with your “prediction” of a fusion event, since no fusion would work equally well with CA. (Ask yourself if CA would be damaged if they found that no fusion event had occurred…then ask yourself why ORFans don’t falsify CA in that case.)

    As for me, I wasn’t saying my off the cuff “prediction” wasn’t as useless. I did not give it as an example of a good prediction, just as an example on the same level as yours (both can accommodate contradictory findings, so both are not useful.)

    Atom

  43. Atom,

    Maybe there are more mechanisms that could account for the divergence in chromosome number, so the prediction made by common ancestry isn’t for just one event specifically. However, either fusion or fission seems to be the “simplest” hypotheses, and apparently fusion turns out to be correct.

    OTOH, special creation makes exactly zero predictions here—and leaves chromosome 2 completely unexplained. Even if you aren’t 100% convinced by this example, I don’t see how you can’t conclude that common ancestry has the edge here.

    I wasn’t aware of the ORFans issue until you raised it, so I’ll have to read more about it. Based on the little reading I’ve done however, it looks like an unsolved puzzle that is stimulating new research, which could end up changing scientists’ understanding of how evolution works. In principle, maybe it could be a challenge to common descent. However, I think it’s a bit risky to commit to the ORFan argument (at least Paul Nelson’s version of it). This paper shows how while the number of ORFans is increasing, their proportion is actually decreasing. (Fig 1 (b)). And it’s not surprising that some ORFans exist, after all, given that evolution does occur (nylonase, for example). I wouldn’t bet against this problem being solved without throwing out common descent.

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