Home » Intelligent Design » Scientific American quietly disowns Ida “missing link” fossil

Scientific American quietly disowns Ida “missing link” fossil

Michael Bloomberg, check your messages. In “Weak Link: Fossil Darwinius Has Its 15 Minutes: Skepticism about a fossil cast as a missing link in human ancestry” (Scientific American, July 21, 2009), Kate Wong observes,

And in an elaborate public-relations campaign, in which the release of a Web site, a book and a documentary on the History Channel were timed to coincide with the publication of the scientific paper describing her in PLoS ONE, Ida’s significance was described in no uncertain terms as the missing link between us humans and our primate kin. In news reports, team members called her “the eighth wonder of the world,” “the Holy Grail,” and “a Rosetta Stone.”

The orchestration paid off, as Ida graced the front page of countless newspapers and made appearances on the morning (and evening) news programs. Gossip outlets, such as People and Gawker, took note of her, too. And Google incorporated her image into its logo on the main search page for a day.

And then it all just melted away, with SciAm being only the latest source to say, “Hey, wait a minute. Shut off the canned wonder track for a minute, will you?”

I will certainly propose for this overall story as a down-list item for the ten top Darwin and Design stories of the year (here is 2008′s list). It’s rare indeed that popular media actually revolt against a proposition in “evolution,” even one as patently foolish as this one – but evidently it happens. And who knows? – raindrops seldom fall solo. More Wong:

Critics concur that Ida is an adapiform, but they dispute the alleged ties to anthropoids. Robert Martin of the Field Museum in Chicago charges that some of the traits used to align Ida with the anthropoids do not in fact support such a relationship. Fusion of the lower jaw, for instance, is not present in the earliest unequivocal anthropoids, suggesting that it was not an ancestral feature of this group. Moreover, the trait has arisen independently in several lineages of mammals—including some lemurs—through convergent evolution. Martin further notes that Ida also lacks a defining feature of the anthropoids: a bony wall at the back of the eye socket. “I am utterly convinced that Darwinius has nothing whatsoever to do with the origin of higher primates,” he declares.

The real story here is the desperate need for a secular materialist establishment to find icons of evolution to venerate, Bloomberg-style – and it won’t be their fault if they don’t get a bunch more bogus relics.

My instinct about what went wrong is this: Popular media consider themselves gatekeepers when it comes to creating a craze, and they resent scientists, like the Ida team, who usurp their time-honoured right. Hence their swift revenge.

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108 Responses to Scientific American quietly disowns Ida “missing link” fossil

  1. Wow, the evos are backpedaling again. What a surprise. Ken Ham had the Piltdown Lemur story right back in May when this whole circus started:

    Our paleontological conclusion now is the same as our conclusion then, which in turn was the same we had posited in last week’s News to Note: “it was a small, tailed, probably tree-climbing, and now extinct primate—from a kind created on Day 6 of Creation Week.” Perhaps not a lemur per se, but clearly from the same created kind of Genesis 1.

  2. Wow, the evos are backpedaling again. What a surprise. Ken Ham had the Piltdown Lemur story right back in May when this whole circus started:

    The real story here is the desperate need for a secular materialist establishment to find icons of evolution to venerate, Bloomberg-style – and it won’t be their fault if they don’t get a bunch more bogus relics.

    Here goes ID advocates again misrepresenting facts. In fact a large number of evolutionists from the start did not believe that this was in the evolutionary ancestry of the anthropoids.

    Despite this, this fossil still validates macroevolution. This is a fine early specimen in the primate family.

  3. Sorry, the first two paragraphs above should have been quoted

  4. See, this is where I get confused as to what Denyse thinks are the facts here.

    I keep hearing on this blog that evolution and common descent isn’t in doubt, just the mechanism.

    Can I get a simple clarification?

    Does Denyse believe humans are evolved from other primates or not?

  5. BGOG,

    I keep hearing on this blog that evolution and common descent isn’t in doubt, just the mechanism.

    I can’t speak for Denyse, but where did you hear that common descent isn’t in doubt?? Haven’t you been following any of Cornelius Hunter’s recent threads? What about Dr D himself??

  6. Thanks for that, Herb.

    You must admit, it gets a bit confusing sometimes! :)

  7. What about Dr D himself??

    Unfortunately, Dr. Dembski doesn’t take part in the discussion as much as he did when he and DaveScot were running UD. His contributions would help to clarify some issue like the use of FCSI by KairosFocus.

  8. BGOG,

    Thanks for that, Herb.

    You must admit, it gets a bit confusing sometimes! :)

    No problemo. ID itself is silent on common descent, so there is a fair amount of diversity here (except on the issue of front-loading, naturally).

  9. BGOG: “You must admit, it gets a bit confusing sometimes!”

    I agree, it is confusing. Dembski doesn’t support common descent, Behe does, others say it isn’t even “in scope”. Sometimes it feels that ID is so narrowly scoped that if you blink you might miss it….

    I think the challenge is that much of the tone of this web site is focused on dismantling evolution – but without any sense of what would replace it – or worse, even how we would go about establishing a research program to replace it. I’m guessing that if you are a person of faith maybe that this isn’t so much of an issue.

  10. hdx,

    In fact a large number of evolutionists from the start did not believe that this was in the evolutionary ancestry of the anthropoids.

    No kidding. Yet the media circus happened anyway. That is the whole point.

    Despite this, this fossil still validates macroevolution. This is a fine early specimen in the primate family.

    Dream on. It validates nothing or the sort.

  11. JTaylor

    I think the challenge is that much of the tone of this web site is focused on dismantling evolution – but without any sense of what would replace it – or worse, even how we would go about establishing a research program to replace it. I’m guessing that if you are a person of faith maybe that this isn’t so much of an issue.

    It shouldn’t be an issue for anybody. Subscribing to a weak theory simply because it is the best theory is absurd. When you don’t know, just admit it.

  12. 12

    Jehu

    When you don’t know, just admit it.

    What is the question being asked that you believe should be answered with “I don’t know”?

  13. 13

    Jehu

    Dream on. It validates nothing or the sort.

    What does this fossil show? Anything at all other then “this fossil exists”?

  14. Re common descent: I don’t object to it, and think it convenient. But real information is so much in danger of submergence in the Bloomberg-type cult that centred around this bogus “transitional” relic “Ida” that I have decided to put off making a decision.

    Centuries ago, this sort of thing centred around relics of the True Cross, about which one waggish king quipped that there were enough pieces circulating in Europe to float a navy …

    That’s how I feel about these modern materialist pieties. The best course is believe nobody and nothing about this type of material until some really convincing evidence shows up.

    And NO evidence is made more convincing because it is more widely circulated. That just means it is more widely believed.

  15. 15

    O’Leary

    Re common descent: I don’t object to it, and think it convenient.

    But do you think it is true or not?

    I have decided to put off making a decision.

    A decision about what? If common descent is true or not?

    The best course is believe nobody and nothing about this type of material until some really convincing evidence shows up.

    Some really convincing evidence has shown up. Would you like links to just a small fraction of it? I understood you to be a science journalist? Then you must have met hundreds, if not thousands of people who all think common descent is a fact. What do you know that they don’t?

  16. Denyse,

    The best course is believe nobody and nothing about this type of material until some really convincing evidence shows up.

    Exactly. In my view, it’s useless for us here at UD to even try discussing the “evidence” until the scientists in fields relevant to common descent own up to their own religious dogmas.

  17. As some unguided evolutionist supporters say on here quite often, “this is how science is done.”

    Maybe it is time for some of the smarmy lecturers and critics of IDist on this blog to look in the mirror. They have enough problems with their own House of Cards tumbling down around them daily to attend before marching into UD and directing us on “how science is done.”

    As Denyse points out…
    “The eal story here is the desperate need for a secular materialist establishment to find icons of evolution to venerate, Bloomberg-style – and it won’t be their fault if they don’t get a bunch more bogus relics.”

    Bingo, Shoddy science for the blind, unuguided god they worship and their high priest Darwin is flailing for evidence. So presto chango Dawinio, they produce “evidence” of yet another failed “missing link” to marvel over, and “venerate” to their hearts content with big media splashes. This time dragging in a highly recognized name like Bloomberg. And it “won’t be there fault.”

    This is nothing new. It has happened since the days Darwin’s Bulldog and his followers, always rabid to be “fulfilled atheist” or agnostics and reject God.

    Thats fine, reject God, reject Christ, religion in general, but do not pretend what you’re doing is “real science” or this is “how real science works.” Or, do not lecture anyone else on “how real science works” when shams like this appear through history by Darwinist.

    What a joke. What a shame. What hypocrisy of a scam and a sham.

    From the fraud of Piltdown man to the pig tooth fraud of Nebraska man, we have unscrupulus players in the Evolutionary sciences who will stop at nothing to make a big slpash for themselves and their names, their myriad fictional stories of Unguided Macro Evolution tales and for their high priest Darwin.

    It is a Neverending Story of fairy tales, outright lies at times, and deception from Zealots for Darwin.

    I am a firm skeptic now about anything splashed across the screen and frontpage with the “next” big “evolutionary” find.

    We can no longer trust Discovery Channel, BBC or most large media outlets on many important issues as they’ve turned into nothing but Papers of Ideology and Media of Deception or Media of fools who accept naively such bogus stories.

    Until there is a balance of skepticism brought back in to media and university instituions, almost anything they say on the subject is tinged with Darwinian dogma and atheistic influences. Which leads to a zealotry of Darwinism. An a priori unskeptical mass of back-slapping homo sapiens who worship the unguided theory of being.

    It is very unfortunate that Mayor Bloomberg’s good name is caught up in this Piltdown-like conspiracy. He is indeed a smart man of finance and business. Yet even the smartest get taken in by such tactics put on by hucksters looking to make money and fame. The Darwinian profiteers of this madness were down 1 million to start and needed big money.

    Someone should have warned him and kept him from such embarrasment.

    There are several good lessons here for all.

    1) Stop trusting Darwinian Zealots, be skeptical of any so-called big finds like “missing links”
    2) Be skeptical of Darwinian Media Zealots as much as of Politicians
    3) This is not “how real science is done”
    4) Read a wide variety of different view points on both sides because despit what some say, there are great minds on all sides with expertise in the fields
    5) IDer’s, YECs, OECs are not stupid, evil or wrong for questioning the current Darwinian Dogma. In fact they’ve been right on many issues like JunkDNA, Darwin’s TOL, RM&NS not being enough for macro evolution, Dino-Bird theory, etc.
    6) The current crisis in unguided evolution to account for all the diversity we see is NOT going away.
    7) Its OK to say we do not know all the answers yet and there may be a better answer than Darwin or Modern Synthesis. Even though in its infancy, Design Detection(ID) is a good heuristic for scientific progress, especially in reverse engineering of micro and nano life materials which has nothing at all to do with unguided processes.

  18. 18

    DATCG

    They have enough problems with their own House of Cards tumbling down around them daily to attend

    Can you give me what today’s example is of evolution’s house of cards collapsing is? If it’s daily, you won’t have a problem giving me today’s example.

    be skeptical of any so-called big finds like “missing links”

    Do you put “missings links” in quotation marks for any particular reason?

    Do you believe in common descent?

  19. @10

    No kidding. Yet the media circus happened anyway. That is the whole point.

    No O’leary and Herb tried to extend the blame to all evolutionists and to all the material securalist establishment and this is clearly false.

    Dream on. It validates nothing or the sort.

    The dating of the fossil and the features present in the fossil are consistent with what is believed to be true about primate evolution.

  20. “Some really convincing evidence has shown up.”

    Tiktaalik? The Australian dwarf? Lucy?

    “Would you like links to just a small fraction of it?”

    Sure, give us your links. I’m sure I’ve seen them, but maybe you have new information.

    You say, “small fraction?” Do you have ample evidence of more? If so, please link the Motherlode. And a “small fraction” of what?

    How many transitional fossils should be found according to Darwinian theory of Gradualism? Can you give us a number?

    There should be many more transition fossils found according to the theory of Gradualism than of the fully formed fossils we have today. Yet I’ve seen scant evidence of this, a small fraction of a small fraction, of a small fraction.

    How many transition fossils should we find? 1, 2, 3… 10… 100… 1000… 10,000?

    “I understood you to be a science journalist? Then you must have met hundreds, if not thousands of people who all think common descent is a fact. What do you know that they don’t?”

    Appealing to consensus after being warned not to? There are hundreds and thousands who are not convinced of Darwin’s Unguided theory of Macro-evolution. Please note my words carefully, “unguided” and “macro.”

    Your comment makes it seem as if transition fossils are abundant all around us. Please show the evidence you have.

    I personally do not know what to think about Common Descent. I remain unconvinced at this time. Consider my views agnostic as there is not enough evidence for me to discern if current scientific consensus is correct.

    Lucy after the fanfare died down and other scientist got to look at the fossil, the area where the evidence was found, etc., ended up being more like any other chimp and less a missing link.

    I’ve even been willing to give Tiktaalik a pass, but where are all the other fossils between?

    It’ll be interesting to see if you have an abundance of evidence.

  21. hdx

    No O’leary and Herb tried to extend the blame to all evolutionists and to all the material securalist establishment and this is clearly false.

    No they didn’t. Evolutionists who new that Ida was all hype and no substance have quoted from the beginning on this and other blogs. You are just trying to cover up for you pathetic and unfounded accusation.

    The dating of the fossil and the features present in the fossil are consistent with what is believed to be true about primate evolution.

    That is long ways from validation of macro evolution.

  22. 22

    DATCG

    Tiktaalik? The Australian dwarf? Lucy?

    Handbook of Paleoanthropology: Vol I:Principles, Methods and Approaches Vol II:Primate Evolution and Human Origins Vol III:Phylogeny of Hominids
    http://www.amazon.com/Handbook.....038;sr=1-5

    Sure, give us your links. I’m sure I’ve seen them, but maybe you have new information.

    I suspect those volumes will keep you busy for some time.

    How many transitional fossils should be found according to Darwinian theory of Gradualism? Can you give us a number?

    Generally, all of them.

    There should be many more transition fossils found according to the theory of Gradualism than of the fully formed fossils we have today.

    Care to name the ones you agree are transitional? How many are there that you agree are transitional? To be honest, 1 transitional fossil probably invalidates many peoples idea of what ID is all about. Under ID there is no need (nor, in fact is it possible) to have *any* transitional fossils.

    There are hundreds and thousands who are not convinced of Darwin’s Unguided theory of Macro-evolution.

    When those people get round to publishing in the peer reviewed journal network let me know.

    Your comment makes it seem as if transition fossils are abundant all around us.

    They are. They all are. And in any case, you only really need a single one to prove evolution happens. And you’ve admitted there is at least one already. Therefore you have already lost this point!

    I personally do not know what to think about Common Descent. I remain unconvinced at this time. Consider my views agnostic as there is not enough evidence for me to discern if current scientific consensus is correct.

    Then there will probably never be sufficient evidence for you then. Do you believe that the earth orbits the sun or are you agnostic on that consensus also?

    Tell me, what’s the alternative you are holding out for?

    I’ve even been willing to give Tiktaalik a pass, but where are all the other fossils between?

    Between what and what?

  23. Mr Charrington,

    LOL…

    Todays evidence is the falling of Ida. If not good enough, try this article from yesterday:
    Genomic JunkDNA not so Junky afterall

    Why so literal Mr. Charrington? Were you this skeptical of Ida? Of Lucy? Of Tiktaalik? Or, of Gradualism? Of Darwin’s TOL? Now you want to be a literalist here? LOL… this is to funny.

    I put in JunkDNA for a reason. Everyday, literally Mr. Charrington research is being done which overturns JunkDNA predictions by Darwinist.

    As top CD, I comment above. I’m agnostic and do not believe enough sound, scientific evidence exist for it. I remain unconvinced and skeptical especially with HGT as a valid mechanism, but am not against CD if good, sound, evidence is produced. I personally do not consider Tiktaalik or Lucy good enough evidence.

    I think that the failure of JunkDNA prediction will have more ramifications for common descent as well.

    Afterall, someone correct me if I’m wrong, but in comparison to Chimps/Man, didn’t they only compare the Coded Regions? At firts it was 98% same, then 96, 95… it keeps going down and I wonder if anyone has compared the Non-Coded Regions? Plus we now have different genes in blood and tissue just discovered and added to the mixture.

    Now that I think about this, my statement wasn’t to far over the top. Thanks.

    Or do you still think JunkDNA is real?

    Do you still think the Darwinian TOL is real? Maybe you should read latest research in the areas of HGT and papers by Doolittle and Baptiste.

    What we have are many “mechanisms” now. RM&NS was admitted to not be enough for macro-evolution – the creating of novel information. HGT being a new driver for a faster evolution also confuses the information trail. It fogs up the trail where scientist admit they may never know the beginning or be able to map common lines of descent.

    Honestly, this is not new.

    It is a good start and admission. I rather like it. Its honest.

  24. Mr Charrington,

    Do not quote book titles. Give live links to those fossils you think represent transitions.

    Intellectual bluffing is really not a good way to win an argument.

    Produce some links with the information that everyone can see.

    Certainly you have links?

    Why do you think Lucy is good enough? Or Tiktaalik for that matter?

    As to between what and what – between Fish and Tiktaalic.

    Are you telling me you expect no more transitions? So you believe in punctuated evoution?

    Frankly, I need to understand your beliefs as much as you need to understand mine.

  25. Mr Char

    They are. They all are. And in any case, you only really need a single one [Transitional fossil] to prove evolution happens.

    That is patently false for a number of reasons. But to focus on just one, similar or even identical morphology does not necessarily indicate a direct relationship. Therefore, you can never prove homology from a fossil.

  26. Mr. Charrington,

    “Would you like links to just a small fraction of it?”

    You said links. You should have said, “links to books on Amazon.com” if you want to be a literalist here.

    I do not need a book on palenontology. I asked for links to transition fossils we can all look at online. It can be articles from magazines, news, scientific blogs, etc.

    I’ll even accept Tiktaalik and Lucy, hows that?

    That gives you TWO Transtion fossils.

    Now, how many more transtion fossils are there in the record? Thousands?

    Can you answer this simple question? And how many more should there be?

    I’m very confused now that you would ask between what and what on Tiktaalik. It is obvious on both sides either from Fish to Tiktaalik or Tiktaalik to Mamal.

    Unless you accept Gould’s version of Evolution? Maybe you do.

    I have to prepare for meeting this evening I must attend. I’ll check back in later tonight.

  27. 27

    DATCG

    Everyday, literally Mr. Charrington research is being done which overturns JunkDNA predictions by Darwinist.

    Who is doing that research? Intelligent design proponents?

    but am not against CD if good, sound, evidence is produced.

    What form would that evidence have to take to convince you?

    Do not quote book titles. Give live links to those fossils you think represent transitions.

    Why? You have already admitted such things exist.

    I do not need a book on palenontology. I asked for links to transition fossils we can all look at online.

    You can “Look inside” the book at that link. Try it.

    Now, how many more transtion fossils are there in the record? Thousands?

    They all are. Or rather, the ones that have descendents are. The ones that go extinct are after all not transitioning to anything.

  28. 28

    Jehu

    That is patently false for a number of reasons. But to focus on just one, similar or even identical morphology does not necessarily indicate a direct relationship. Therefore, you can never prove homology from a fossil.

    What conclusions have you come to from your study of the available evidence in the fossil record?

    You can never “prove” anything except in maths. You can however come to a reasonably well supported conclusion. And the rest of the world has already mostly done so and accepted common descent as well supported and the best explanation for the available evidence.

  29. 29

    Man is indeed as unique, as different from all other animals, as had been traditionally claimed by theologians and philosophers.
    Evolutionist Ernst Mayr

    Most materialists are adamant Darwinian evolution is proven true when we look at the supposed 98.8% genetic similarity between chimps and man. Though suggestive, the gene similarity, even if true, is not nearly good enough to be considered conclusive scientific proof. Primarily this “lack of conclusiveness” is due to concerns with the second law of thermodynamics and with the Law of Conservation of Information. But of more pressing concern, body plans are not even encoded in the DNA code in the first place. This inability of body plans to be reduced directly to the DNA code is clearly shown by Cortical Inheritance.

    Cortical Inheritance: The Crushing Critique Against Genetic Reductionism – Arthur Jones – video
    Part 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JzQ8ingdNY
    Part 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1bAX93zQ5o

    This inability for the DNA code to account for body plans is also clearly shown by extensive mutation studies to the DNA of different organisms which show “exceedingly rare” major morphological effects from mutations to the DNA code.

    Hopeful monsters,’ transposons, and the Metazoan radiation:
    Excerpt: Viable mutations with major morphological or physiological effects are exceedingly rare and usually infertile; the chance of two identical rare mutant individuals arising in sufficient propinquity to produce offspring seems too small to consider as a significant evolutionary event. These problems of viable “hopeful monsters” render these explanations untenable.
    Paleobiologists Douglas Erwin and James Valentine

    This includes the highly touted four-winged fruit fly mutations.

    …Advantageous anatomical mutations are never observed. The four-winged fruit fly is a case in point: The second set of wings lacks flight muscles, so the useless appendages interfere with flying and mating, and the mutant fly cannot survive long outside the laboratory. Similar mutations in other genes also produce various anatomical deformations, but they are harmful, too. In 1963, Harvard evolutionary biologist Ernst Mayr wrote that the resulting mutants “are such evident freaks that these monsters can be designated only as ‘hopeless.’ They are so utterly unbalanced that they would not have the slightest chance of escaping elimination through natural selection.” – Jonathan Wells

    Darwin’s Theory – Fruit Flies and Morphology – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZJTIwRY0bs

    If all that wasn’t enough, the Human Genome Project really put the last nail in the coffin for “Genetic Reductionism”:

    DNA: The Alphabet of Life – David Klinghoffer
    Excerpt: But all this is trivial compared to the largely unheralded insight gained from the Human Genome Project, completed in 2003. The insight is disturbing. It is that while DNA codes for the cell’s building blocks, the information needed to build the rest of the creature is seemingly, in large measure, absent. ,,,The physically encoded information to form that mouse, as opposed to that fly, isn’t there. Instead, “It is as if the ‘idea’ of the fly (or any other organism) must somehow permeate the genome that gives rise to it.”

    Thus the 98.8% similarity derived from the DNA code, to the body plans of chimps and man, is purely imaginary, since it is clearly shown that the overriding “architectural plan” of the body is not even encoded in the DNA in the first place. Of more clarity though, this “98.8% similarity evidence” is derived by materialists from a very biased methodology of presuming that the 1.5% of the genome, which directly codes for proteins, has complete precedence of consideration over the other remaining 98.5% of the genome which does not directly code for proteins. Yet even when considering just this 1.5% of the genome that codes for proteins, we find that the proteins, which are directly coded by that 1.5% of the genome, are shown to differ by a huge 80% difference between chimps and man.

    Chimps are not like humans – May 2004
    Excerpt: the International Chimpanzee Chromosome 22 Consortium reports that 83% of chimpanzee chromosome 22 proteins are different from their human counterparts,,, The results reported this week showed that “83% of the genes have changed between the human and the chimpanzee—only 17% are identical—so that means that the impression that comes from the 1.2% [sequence] difference is [misleading]. In the case of protein structures, it has a big effect,” Sakaki said.

    Eighty percent of proteins are different between humans and chimpanzees; Gene; Volume 346, 14 February 2005:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15716009

    On top of that huge 80% difference in proteins, the oft quoted 98.8% DNA similarity is not even rigorously true in the first place. Just considering this 1.5% of the genome, other recent comparisons of the protein coding genes, between chimps and man, have yielded a similarity of only 96%. Whereas, the December 2006 issue of PLoS ONE reported that human and chimpanzee gene copy numbers differ by 6.4%, which gives a similarity of only 93.6% (Hahn). Even more realistically, to how we actually should be looking at the genomes from a investigative starting point, Dr. Hugh Ross states the similarity is closer to 85% to 90% when taking into account the chimp genome is about 12% larger than the human genome. A recent, more accurate, human/chimp genome comparison study, by Richard Buggs in 2008, has found when he rigorously compared the recently completed sequences in the genomes of chimpanzees to the genomes of humans side by side, the true genome similarity between chimps and man fell to slightly below 70%! Why is this study ignored since the ENCODE study has now implicated 100% high level functionality across the entire human genome? Finding compelling evidence that implicates 100% high level functionality across the entire genome clearly shows the similarity is not to be limited to the very biased “only 1.5% of the genome” studies of materialists.

    Chimpanzee?
    10-10-2008 – Dr Richard Buggs – research geneticist at the University of Florida
    …Therefore the total similarity of the genomes could be below 70%.
    http://www.refdag.nl/artikel/1.....anzee.html

    If you noticed, the chimpanzee is found to have a 12% larger genome than humans. Thus, at first glance it would seem the chimpanzee is more evolved than us, but this discrepancy is no anomaly of just chimps/humans. This disparity of genome sizes is found throughout life. There is no logical “evolutionary” progression to be found for the amount of DNA in less complex animals to the DNA found in more complex animals. In fact the genome sizes are known to vary widely between Kinds/Species and this mystery is known as the c-value enigma:

    C-value enigma
    Excerpt: “it was soon found that C-values (genome sizes) vary enormously among species and that this bears no relationship to the presumed number of genes (as reflected by the complexity of the organism). For example, the cells of some salamanders may contain 40 times more DNA than those of humans. Given that C-values were assumed to be constant because DNA is the stuff of genes, and yet bore no relationship to presumed gene number, this was understandably considered paradoxical;”

    This following paper reiterates the biased methodology of establishing 98.8% similarity, between chimps and man, used by materialists:

    “The Unbearable Lightness of Chimp-Human Genome Similarity
    excerpt: One can seriously call into question the statement that human and chimp genomes are 99% identical. For one thing, it has been noted in the literature that the exact degree of identity between the two genomes is as yet unknown (Cohen, J., 2007. “Relative differences: The myth of 1%,” Science 316: 1836.). Part of the reason for this is if one decides to take into account the plethora of species-specific DNA insertions and deletions (“indels”) that are present along any segment compared between chimp and human, the percentage of identity drops. Another reason is that duplications, inversions, translocations, and transpositions at all scales uniquely characterize the two genome sequences — these have to be untangled before aligning the sequences in order to measure their similarity. Also, the 99% identity figure is often derived from protein-coding regions that only comprise about 1.5% of the two genomes. Many mammalian protein-coding regions are highly conserved, however. We also have to consider that a detailed comparison of certain “heterochromatic” chromosome regions between chimps and humans has yet to be made. In short, the figure of identity that one wants to use is dependent on various methodological factors.”

    As well, there are at least 50 to 100 genes which are completely unique to humans:

    Among the approximately 23,000 genes found in human DNA there may be,, 50 to 100 that have no counterparts in other species.

    In Barrow and Tippler’s book The Anthropic Cosmological Principle, they list ten steps necessary in the course of human evolution, each of which, is so improbable that if left to happen by chance alone, the sun would have ceased to be a main sequence star and would have incinerated the earth. They estimate that the odds of the evolution (by chance) of the human genome is somewhere between 4 to the negative 180th power, to the 110,000th power, and 4 to the negative 360th power, to the 110,000th power. Therefore, if evolution did occur, it literally would have been a miracle and evidence for the existence of God. William Lane Craig

  30. 30

    Mr Charrington,
    Just a snide comment? No defense of genetic similarity? Why do you not defend the proposition we came from some chimp like ancestor? Surely you want to pull out your fossils? OH but of course you now have no foundation in which to claim it was random processes that did the change. Plus of course you have no sequence of fossils to stand up to scrutiny…But don’t let that bother you. Do you want to now argue for Theistic Evolution as others have once confronted with evidence, or are you just going to hide behind shallow rhetoric?

  31. Mr Charrington,
    re. 30
    I’m not sure what I think about common descent; having read a little bit on this subject, I should think the jury is still out.Your passive-aggressive remark in this particular post, however, is bothersome.

    Why not try http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/ – you might feel much more at home.

  32. Mr. Char:

    You can never “prove” anything except in maths.

    Then why did you claim that you could prove evolution from a single fossil?

    You can however come to a reasonably well supported conclusion. And the rest of the world has already mostly done so and accepted common descent as well supported and the best explanation for the available evidence.

    I doubt that most of the world’s population accepts common descent. Even the most learned Darwinists now reject it. There is no common descent.

  33. 33
  34. 34

    Jehu

    Even the most learned Darwinists now reject it.

    Name 5. I challenge you.

  35. 35

    toc

    having read a little bit on this subject, I should think the jury is still out

    Care to share? What leads you to think that the jury is out on common descent? What have you read?

  36. Mr. C.

    Name 5. I challenge you.

    Carl Woese, W. Ford Doolittle, E. Bapteste, E.V. Koonin, M. DiGiulio,

  37. 37

    Mr Charrington,
    Horse evolution?

    The smallest horses are not older than the bigger horses (as evolution would require). But they are arranged in textbooks in such a way that you would believe they were.

    Evolutionists believe that the smaller horses evolved into the bigger ones. But the dating method they use ( strata layer based on the geologic column ) contradicts their own beliefs. Not only this, but Peter Hastie claims that sometimes 2 of the alleged progressive forms were buried together. Meaning that they lived at the same time, and could not be ancestral to the other (they should be separated by millions of years)

    “If it were true, you would expect to find the earliest horse fossils in the lowest rock strata. But you don’t. In fact, bones of the supposed “earliest” horses have been found at or near the surface. Sometimes they are found right next to modern horse fossils!”
    (quote from: “What’s Happened to the Horse?” by Peter Hastie First published in: Creation 17(4):14-16 Sept.-Nov. 1995)
    http://www.angelfire.com/mi/dinosaurs/horse.html

    Whale evolution?

    Whales – Designed or Evolved? – Marc Surtees – video
    http://edinburghcreationgroup.org/whales.xml

    The evidence is plain laughable Mr Charrington. Hope that doesn’t hurt your feelings, but the plain fact is no matter which fossil sequence you bring up it will fall apart upon scrutiny.

    Tiktaalik- Out Of Order

    Excerpt: One of the problems with an evolutionary interpretation of the fishapods is that these creatures appear to be out of order. For example, Ventastega, an animal that lived about 365 million years ago, is thought to occupy a halfway point between Tiktaalik and amphibians. (Tiktaalik is thought to occupy the midpoint between lobe-finned fish and amphibians) Its skeletal features indicate that it’s out of sequence. Older fishapods actually exhibit more advanced features than those of Ventastega. Another fishapod, Panderichthys, causes the same problem. This creature existed about 385 million years ago and is considered to be much closer to a lobe-finned fish than an amphibian. Yet, it has digits at the end of its fins, whereas Tiktaalik, considered to be more advanced, doesn’t. Again, the fossils are out of sequence.
    http://www.reasons.org/OutofOrder

    “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

    “Fossil evidence of human evolutionary history is fragmentary and open to various interpretations. Fossil evidence of chimpanzee evolution is absent altogether”. Evolutionist Henry Gee, Nature 2001
    http://www.nature.com/nature/j.....131a0.html

    etc… etc… etc.. Mr. Charrington, yet this is all beside the point as far as science is concerned for you must establish that non-teleological processes are generating functional information which has never been shown.

  38. BA77, great stuff @29 and thanks for all the hard work you put into it.

    You and folks like Kairosfocus, Joseph, Jerry, DATGG, et al do a great service to science and public education.

    It’s a great pleasure to read all these informative posts and watch the speedy development of ID in real time.

  39. Mr. Charrington at 15:

    I think you have completely missed the significance of popular Darwinism.

    How do I know what evidence to believe?

    Michael Bloomberg (supposedly way smarter than me) made an hearse of himself over Ida, the supposed transitional fossil. I’m glad the POTUS didn’t join in; busy, doubtless, and well that.

    What about Piltdown Man – a fraud that went on for decades that any smart high school student could have detected?

    Am I right in thinking that “Lucy” is no longer our MOTHER but just an ape somewhere?

    See, I think common ancestry makes a lot of sense. But there are just too many cults going on around it right now to know what to believe.

    If evolutionary biologists ever get around to cleaning the area up, I will find it easier to look at seriously.

    For now, I will treat it all as a subset of “Darwinism and popular culture.”

  40. Mr Charrington,

    You asked (36) me what I have read:

    Charles Darwin: The Origin of the Species, The Descent of Man-
    Daniel Dennett, Breaking the Spell-
    Michael Behe: Darwin’s Black Box, Edge of Evolution-
    Mike Gene: The Design Matrix-
    Francis Collins: The Language of God-
    David Berlinski: The Devil’s Delusion -
    Antony Flew: There is a God -
    Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker, The God Delusion-
    William Dembski, The Design Revolution, Uncommon Descent, No Free Lunch,
    Marcel Beauregard/Denise O’Leary: The Spiritual Brain,
    Jeffery Schwartz: The Mind and the Brain,
    Victor Stenger; God, The Failed Hypothesis,
    Fazalle Rana: Origins of Life,
    Hugh Ross: More than a Theory,
    and quite a few more; John Polkinghorne, Owen Gingrich, Alister McGrath, John Lennox, and some others.

    I am an orthodox Christian. I hold no qualified expertise in the life sciences, but I try my best to hold informed opinions. Each of these writers is fully schooled in their respective disciplines and each hold both common and disparate views on the subject of common descent. None of them agree on everything.

    What is interesting to me however, is the tone of the discussion; Most, but by no means all, on the theistic side of this argment seem argue within an agreed commitment to civil discourse. The non-theists seem to argue with platitudes and contempt for those with whom they disagree. Personally, I find this offensive.

    I read this blog regularly because it is generally civil and open to opposing views. I believe you may have some interesting things to contribute. As a regular reader however, all I would ask is that you contribute respectfully – even to those with whom you wholeheartedly disagree.

  41. O’Leary @ 40

    I think you have completely missed the significance of popular Darwinism.

    Opinion polls show that evolution is overwhelmingly rejected by the American public. In what sense can “Darwinism” be said to be popular?

    How do I know what evidence to believe?

    The usual way is to ask recognized experts in the field. You should consult biologists rather than lawyers or mathematicians or surgeons or computer scientists. No one is questioning the competence of these people in their own fields but if you wanted an authoritative answer to a question about the law would you ask a biologist?

    What about Piltdown Man – a fraud that went on for decades that any smart high school student could have detected?

    Except that it was not exposed by a smart high school student or creationists or Intelligent Design proponents, it was exposed by scientists. And there were scientists who were suspicious of it almost from the beginning.

    Am I right in thinking that “Lucy” is no longer our MOTHER but just an ape somewhere?

    Was Lucy ever thought to be our “MOTHER”?

    See, I think common ancestry makes a lot of sense. But there are just too many cults going on around it right now to know what to believe.

    If evolutionary biologists ever get around to cleaning the area up, I will find it easier to look at seriously.

    For now, I will treat it all as a subset of “Darwinism and popular culture.”

    Experience has taught me that, while there a few dedicated science journalists who are worthy of respect, the vast majority of science coverage in the tabloid press is unreliable to say the least. It is, therefore, unlikely that evolutionary biology will be any more discommoded by the skepticism of a journalist than it would be by mine.

  42. BTW, Ms O’Leary, do you agree with KF’s FCSI/FSCI views? And do you know Dr. Dembski’s position on FCSI/FSCI?

  43. 43
    CannuckianYankee

    I found the following quote from Wikipedia interesting:

    “The authors of the paper describing Darwinius classified it as a member of the primate family Notharctidae, subfamily Cercamoniinae,[2] suggesting that it has the status of a significant transitional form (a “link”) between the prosimian and simian (“anthropoid”) primate lineages.[5] Others have disagreed with this.

    Concerns have been raised about the claims made about the fossil’s relative importance, and the publicising of the fossil before adequate information was available for scrutiny by the academic community.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ida_(fossil)

    Yet, check out what’s at the top of the page on their human evolutionary transitions:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L.....on_fossils

    If there really was no controversy on the matter, then they could rightfully show this, but….

  44. 44
    CannuckianYankee

    Re: 43 – Sorry, that first link doesn’t work. The quote comes from Wikipedia’s “Ida fossil” article.

  45. Mr. Charrington,

    Maybe it is your enormous head that the earth, and we, plus the planets all orbit around? Your ego certainly is big enough to require a head the size of the sun. Yet there is no real attraction to you. Maybe it is you orbiting by yourself Mr. Charrington on a blind vision of self-inflated importance.

    Do you truly want to venture into personal insults Mr. Charrington?

    Now that I’ve had time to review your reponses, there is little left to be said.

    You did not provide a single transitional fossil. You did not provide a number of transitions. Instead, you ducked, stepped sideways and insulted.

    You are no better than PZ Meyers with exception of holding your tongue and keeping descent words.

    If every fossil is transitional, including humans(surprise to many) then there is no such thing as a missing link. Your assertions are baseless and illogical.

    Why the big search for missing links? Why the big fanfare for Ida? Lucy? Tiktaalik? And the same for every other so-called “missing link”?

    Again, provide a transitional fossil besides Tiktaalik or Lucy. Certainly you can provide 10 of them at least?

    Between fish and mamal?

    Is this to specific for you? Or will you dodge the question with another insult? I gave you Tiktaalic, thats one, the other 9 should be easy. You can give examples on either side of Tiktaalik if you like, that is if its to hard between Tiktaalik and Quadrapeds even.

    Insults are easy, a real honest discussion of facts however evidently not so easy for you.

    The reason I laugh so much at the current mess that is Darwin logic is precisely because of people like you Mr. Charrington. You throw out insults and have little facts.

    You make it much worse for good people in the sciences on either side to discuss the issues.

    I’m honest and say I do not know and remain unconvinced of Common Descent. You insult me as a result. You might at well be a chimp flinging your waste around at the zoo at onlookers here with such childish attempts.

    Maybe indeed you are a transition Mr. Charrington, not yet fully evolved? But then, that would destroy the theory that earth and all inhabitants revovle around you.

  46. 46
    Vladimir Krondan

    Mr. Charrinton says;

    You can never “prove” anything except in maths.

    Why do evolutionists always say this? Is it because they believe that elves may have planted all those monkey fossils in the ground just to mess with their heads?

  47. Another non-answer, sideways attempt at insults from Charrington…

    “DATCG
    Everyday, literally Mr. Charrington research is being done which overturns JunkDNA predictions by Darwinist.”

    “Who is doing that research? Intelligent design proponents?”

    Besides ignoring the valid point I made, this question has little relevance. Just admit I was right that daily research is being done that overturns Darwinist predictions about JunkDNA.

    There might be ID proponents doing actual research on non-coded genes. I certainly would not list them for fear of their losing jobs and/or harrassment from peers.

    I do not own a research lab, yet I can read and discern what is happening in published journals. Are you saying I should shut up because I do not have a lab Charrington?

    What about you? Do you have a research lab Charrington?

    So, in that case, since Richard Dawkins is no longer a practicing scientist, then he should keep his mouth shut on such discussions?

  48. Vladimir,

    LOL… or they slipped on a banana?

    Seriously, on a historical point, they cannot prove it, it is and always will be a theory of inference re: macro evolution.
    Though many say it is fact.

    But Design Theory is by Inference as well. Can we ever prove it? No, not unless the designer shows up. But, we can do Design detection based upon sound engineering principles, forensics and language modeling, computer science models and engineering design principles.

    I do not see either side having won, only the Darwin side having been in vogue longer, in fashion of the intellectual crowd and with more obvious money power for research.

    What is interesting after the ENCODE project is multiple layers of information are now being found, just like JunkDNA is critically being turned over, so to is the DNA-Centric Gene model. This may end up being a huge blunder focusing to much effort and research time on a limited small 3-5% of expressed Genes.

    My guess is, the labs and researchers breaking out into the Non-Coded regions will make even bigger discoveries of regulatory control mechanisms and pathways that hinder or release different developmental morphology.

    Any well designed computer system, not in any specific order is…

    1) Modular and callable
    2) Redundant/Mirrored
    3) Error-Corrective
    4) Compressible
    5) Duplicatable
    6) Adaptable
    7) Top-Down Structured or Guided
    8) Defensible
    9) Networkable, Communicative and can be Self-Replicating

    Life DNA, Genomes, viruses, bacteria completes all of these crucial elements by leaps and bounds above our best Computer Scientist and Engineers do today.

    Worrying about a transitional fossil is like fretting over a bug collection in comparison to what is ahead in genomic research of our cellular architecture. They can look back in history and make claims all they like. The real future ahead is Design architecture classes of life.

    I was being kind giving Charrington Tiktaalik for his evidence. But in reality, I read people who disagree in the field and are skeptical about it being a transitional fossil or “missing link.”

    Truth is, they cannot prove it and they know this. It is conjecture and a theory. They can argue some points about the fossil all they like, but without direct observation, Tiktaalik might be just another glorified Coelacanth.

    Many scientist admit we may never know now about our past origins due to such mechanims as HGT. I can accept that. Why Charrington cannot, I do not know.

  49. 49
    Vladimir Krondan

    DATCG writes:

    Seriously, on a historical point, they cannot prove it, it is and always will be a theory of inference re: macro evolution.
    Though many say it is fact… Truth is, they cannot prove it and they know this. It is conjecture and a theory.

    Yes, they cannot prove what they say, and because of this, they project the inability to prove anything on everyone else. So, they say, you can’t prove anything at all because elves may be messing with your head. This maxim of atheist science has to be believed, despite the fact that it’s easy for me to prove there is no $1000 bill in my wallet, or that there is a turnip in my cupboard. I just have to look. Ah, they will say, elves may be messing with my head though.

    But if that’s the case then why single out mathematics? Nothing can be proved except in mathematics, they say. But I am sure you can see, that elves may be messing with your head while you are working on that mathematical proof too. So really, nobody can prove anything at all, according to them, and to say otherwise is ignorant and unscientific.

    Why didn’t we hear about this before, when we were in school? It could have saved us some trouble. In response to the supervisor’s nagging demands for proof, you could have told him “look mate, real scientists don’t ask for proof because nothing can be proved” and hand in blank sheets of paper instead.

    Many scientist admit we may never know now about our past origins due to such mechanims

    “I don’t know” seems to be a much more rational answer than “dead monkeys in the ground accidentally turned into people.”

  50. 50

    Jehu,

    Carl Woese, W. Ford Doolittle, E. Bapteste, E.V. Koonin, M. DiGiulio,

    The joke is that all of those people are arguing that the standard “Tree of Life” view is inadequate.

    Specifically each of those people claim that the notion of gene transfer early on in the history of life on this planet (from Origin of Life to eukaryotes to prokaryote, archaea, etc. ) makes the standard “tree” image misleading and inadequate.

    They are arguing for a more “weblike” tree, rather then the “standard” tree.

    None of those people completely reject common descent.

    Picking a name at random we find W.F. Doolittle is at the Dept. of Biochem and Mol. Bio at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. You can look his contact details up, or I can supply them if required (he’s in the book).

    In his work he includes disclaimers like

    “And it should not be an essential element in our struggle against those who doubt the validity of evolutionary theory, who can take comfort from this challenge to the TOL only by a willful misunderstanding of its import. “

    Are you willfully misunderstanding his work? I think so.

    In short, one can look up all the other names Jehu listed to confirm they ALL follow this pattern of still accepting common descent in the broad sense, while rejecting a simplistic view of the early stages in the development of life.

    They all think that any claims to a LUCA (Last Universal Common Ancestor) being “discoverable” by genetic analysis of existing organisms is impossible.

    Jehu, you said

    I doubt that most of the world’s population accepts common descent. Even the most learned Darwinists now reject it. There is no common descent.

    Now, do you care to provide evidence that the people you named actually do reject “common descent” or not?

    Sandwalk has a post that’s relevant

    http://sandwalk.blogspot.com/2.....-life.html

    Doolittle maintains that lateral gene transfer (LGT) is so common that it’s impossible to construct a reliable bifurcating tree to represent the actual history of life. In other words, a Tree of Life is not only technically difficult but impossible in theory as well. This problem extends to all branches of the prokaryotic tree including the major divisions. Even the existence of two prokaryotic domains is questionable. Rooting the tree of life is out of the question.

    Anybody see any rejection of common descent there? No, me neither.

    Try again Jehu.

  51. 51

    BA^77

    The smallest horses are not older than the bigger horses (as evolution would require).

    Why does evolution require that? Please support your statement.

  52. 52

    DATCG

    Again, provide a transitional fossil besides Tiktaalik or Lucy. Certainly you can provide 10 of them at least?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIijwkaqKzY

    but without direct observation, Tiktaalik might be just another glorified Coelacanth.

    What, you mean like a time machine and a video camera?

    Whatever….

    Any well designed computer system, not in any specific order is

    9) Networkable, Communicative and can be Self-Replicating

    Have many problems with your computer breeding do you? Still, at least you don’t have to worry about it breaking, just breed another PC!

  53. 53

    Mr Charrington,
    Besides you blatantly ignoring the dating of fossils, The main point I am trying to make, and that you have ignored, is that fossils prove nothing. You claim that these “shoehorned fossils” are absolute proof of common ancestry but alas you were not there and cannot say for sure that non-teleological processes generated the functional information within the genomes even if you had a smooth sequence of fossils to point too which you don’t. You believe with all your heart that they evolved from one another by natural processes but alas this is outside of empirical science. To stay within empirical science you must demonstrate non-teleological processes are responsible for generating the massive amounts of functional information in the genomes. This has never been demonstrated by evolutionists. All adaptations stay within a principle called Genetic Entropy. If you want to prove evolution true, whilst staying within empirical science, I suggest you falsify this principle.

  54. All adaptations stay within a principle called Genetic Entropy. If you want to prove evolution true, whilst staying within empirical science, I suggest you falsify this principle.

    Plenty of things falsify genetic entropy: Fossil record, gene duplications, gene transfers, various studies on evolving bacteria.

  55. hdx,
    To point out the blatantly obvious, How in the world are you going to falsify genetic entropy with the fossil record? It is a historical science for crying out loud! Are you going to travel back in time?

    Gene Duplications?

    Sometimes a materialist will say, “gene duplication is the real engine of evolution” which generates the new functional information in molecular biology. Due to the level of complexity being dealt with in molecular biology, they were able to, somewhat, hide behind this smokescreen for a while. Yet now that real evidence is coming in, they are brutally betrayed by the evidence once again. The malaria parasite, due to its comparatively enormous population size, has in 1 year more mutation/duplication/selection events than all mammal lineages have had in the entire +100 million years they have been in the fossil record. Moreover, since single cell organisms and viruses replicate, and mutate/duplicate, 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 mammals with far smaller population sizes.

    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

    Simulating evolution by gene duplication of protein features that require multiple amino acid residues: Michael J. Behe and David W. Snoke
    Excerpt: 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.

    Another line of evidence, Genetic Entropy is being rigorously obeyed, is found in the fact the “Fitness Test” against a parent species of bacteria has never been violated by any sub-species bacteria of a parent bacteria.

    For a broad outline of the “Fitness test”, required to be passed to show a violation of the principle of Genetic Entropy, please see this following video and article:

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

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

    Though I am surely no expert on the math of LCI, and may be in error as to how strict the limit for conserved information now is, it seems readily apparent to me, even with Dembski’s and Mark’s strict definition of LCI in place, to conclusively demonstrate God has moved within nature, in a teleological manner to provide the sub-species with additional functional information over the “optimal” genome of the parent species, the “fitness test” must still be passed by the sub-species against the parent species. If the fitness test is shown to be passed, then the new molecular function, which provides the more robust survivability for the sub-species, must be calculated to its additional Functional Information Bits (Fits) it gained in the beneficial adaptation, and then be found to be greater than 140 Fits of functional information. 140 Fits is what has now been generously set by Kirk Durston as the maximum limit of Functional Information which can reasonably be expected to be generated by totally natural processes over the entire age of the universe. This fitness test, and calculation, must be done to rigorously establish materialistic processes did not generate the functional information (Fits), and to rigorously establish teleological processes were indeed involved in the increase of Functional Complexity of the beneficially adapted sub-species. The second and final phase of Genetic Entropy, outlined by John Sanford in his book Genetic Entropy & the Mystery of the Genome, is when “slightly detrimental” mutations, which are far below the power of natural selection to remove from a genome, slowly build up in a species/kind over long periods of time and lead to Genetic Meltdown.

    —————

    Though it is impossible to reconstruct the DNA of the earliest bacteria fossils, 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 which 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.)

    In reply to a personal e-mail from myself, Dr. Cano commented on the “Fitness Test” 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 loss of functional information, from the ancient amber sealed bacteria.

  56. 57

    BA^77

    Besides you blatantly ignoring the dating of fossils

    Fossil dating is settled science, despite what you may claim or the RATE group pretends. Therefore the rest of your “argument” is debunked.

  57. 58

    Mr Charrington,
    I am not a Young Earth Creationists. And probably have more papers on the subject than you do. As for you only accepting evidence that fits your preconceived philosophical bias, even though the evidence I cited was from those given to the materialistic philosophy as you are, there is nothing I can do to help you be more open and honest. I have seen literally hundreds of people like you who refuse to consider the evidence and thus I know how fruitless it will be to convince you otherwise.

  58. Mr Charrington,

    BA^77

    The smallest horses are not older than the bigger horses (as evolution would require).

    Why does evolution require that? Please support your statement.

    I think BA^77 is saying that evolution requires them to be older, not that evolution requires them to be smaller! :)

  59. 60

    BA^77
    Could you clarify? You said

    The smallest horses are not older than the bigger horses (as evolution would require).

    And I asked you to support that statement. You do not appear to have done so.

    Please do, as it appears foundational to your whole “argument”.

  60. 61

    BA^77

    I have seen literally hundreds of people like you who refuse to consider the evidence

    Make that millions of people and you are on the right track.

    Your “evidence” has been considered already in the only place it matters and been found wanting.

  61. 62

    If you feel the fossil record is your strongest piece of evidence for falsifying genetic entropy, you are severely misguided in what it takes to falsify genetic entropy, since the fossil record is clearly a historical science and outside the bounds of empirical science. i.e. you cannot ascertain whether natural processes generated the massive amounts of functional information or not from something that happened in the past, you can only extrapolate from what we know to be reasonable now as to what the most reasonable explanation is for what happened in the past. Be that as it may, you reliance on “clean” sequences to try to make your case from the fossil record is severely lacking, as is readily admitted by leading paleontologists in the field:

    “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

    “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.

    Flowering Plant Big Bang:
    “Flowering plants today comprise around 400,000 species,“To think that the burst that gave rise to almost all of these plants occurred in less than 5 million years is pretty amazing – especially when you consider that flowering plants as a group have been around for at least 130 million years.”
    Pam Soltis, curator at the Florida Museum of Natural History.

    “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

    “Enthusiastic paleontologists in several countries have claimed pieces of this missing record, but the claims have all been disputed and in any case do not provide real connections. That brings me to the second most surprising feature of the fossil record…the abruptness of some of the major changes in the history of life.” Ager, D. – Author of “The Nature of the Stratigraphical Record”-1981

    Tiktaalik- Out Of Order

    Excerpt: One of the problems with an evolutionary interpretation of the fishapods is that these creatures appear to be out of order. For example, Ventastega, an animal that lived about 365 million years ago, is thought to occupy a halfway point between Tiktaalik and amphibians. (Tiktaalik is thought to occupy the midpoint between lobe-finned fish and amphibians) Its skeletal features indicate that it’s out of sequence. Older fishapods actually exhibit more advanced features than those of Ventastega. Another fishapod, Panderichthys, causes the same problem. This creature existed about 385 million years ago and is considered to be much closer to a lobe-finned fish than an amphibian. Yet, it has digits at the end of its fins, whereas Tiktaalik, considered to be more advanced, doesn’t. Again, the fossils are out of sequence.

    “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 construction of the whole Cenozoic family tree of the horse is therefore a very artificial one, since it is put together from non-equivalent parts, and cannot therefore be a continuous transformation series”.
    Dr. Heribert Nilsson – Evolutionist – Former Director of the Swedish Botanical Institute.

    Discovery Raises New Doubts About Dinosaur-bird Links – June 2009
    Excerpt: “one of the primary reasons many scientists kept pointing to birds as having descended from dinosaurs was similarities in their lungs,“ Ruben said. “However, theropod dinosaurs had a moving femur and therefore could not have had a lung that worked like that in birds. Their abdominal air sac, if they had one, would have collapsed. That undercuts a critical piece of supporting evidence for the dinosaur-bird link,,, “The findings add to a growing body of evidence in the past two decades that challenge some of the most widely-held beliefs about animal evolution.” —-”For one thing, birds are found (many millions of years) earlier in the fossil record than the dinosaurs they are supposed to have descended from,” Ruben said. “That’s a pretty serious problem,”…

    “The australopithecine (Lucy) skull is in fact so overwhelmingly simian as opposed to human that the contrary proposition could be equated to an assertion that black is white.” Lord Solly Zuckerman – Chief scientific advisor to British government and leading zoologist

    A 2004 book by leading evolutionary biologist Ernst Mayr stated that “The earliest fossils of Homo, Homo rudolfensis and Homo erectus, are separated from Australopithecus (Lucy) by a large, unbridged gap. How can we explain this seeming saltation? Not having any fossils that can serve as missing links, we have to fall back on the time-honored method of historical science, the construction of a historical narrative.”
    Misrepresentations of the Evidence for Human Evolutionary Origins:
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2......html#more

    Hominids, Homonyms, and Homo sapiens – 05/27/2009 – Creation Safaris:
    Excerpt: Homo erectus is particularly controversial, because it is such a broad classification. Tattersall and Schwartz find no clear connection between the Asian, European and African specimens lumped into this class. “In his 1950 review, Ernst Mayr placed all of these forms firmly within the species Homo erectus,” they explained. “Subsequently, Homo erectus became the standard-issue ‘hominid in the middle,’ expanding to include not only the fossils just mentioned, but others of the same general period….”. They discussed the arbitrariness of this classification: “Put together, all these fossils (which span almost 2 myr) make a very heterogeneous assortment indeed; and placing them all together in the same species only makes any conceivable sense in the context of the ecumenical view of Homo erectus as the middle stage of the single hypervariable hominid lineage envisioned by Mayr (on the basis of a much slenderer record). Viewed from the morphological angle, however, the practice of cramming all of this material into a single Old World-wide species is highly questionable. Indeed, the stuffing process has only been rendered possible by a sort of ratchet effect, in which fossils allocated to Homo erectus almost regardless of their morphology have subsequently been cited as proof of just how variable the species can be.” By “ratchet effect,” they appear to mean something like a self-fulfilling prophecy: i.e., “Let’s put everything from this 2-million-year period into one class that we will call Homo erectus.” Someone complains, “But this fossil from Singapore is very different from the others.” The first responds, “That just shows how variable the species Homo erectus can be.”

    Psalm 104: 29-30
    You hide Your face, they are dismayed; You take away their spirit, they expire And return to their dust. You send forth Your Spirit, they are created; And You renew the face of the ground.

  62. 63

    As well<
    You might want to check your reliance on “consensus science”:

    Well, a reader sent me an excerpt from a Michael Crichton lecture, and I found it quite powerful:

    I want to pause here and talk about this notion of consensus, and the rise of what has been called consensus science. I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you’re being had.

    Let’s be clear: The work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus.

    http://exploded.wordpress.com/.....s-science/

  63. Mr Bornagain77,

    in re genetic entropy, you might want to look at the discussion of Mendel’s Accountant and Gregor’s Bookkeeper taking place on the Evolutionary Computation thread of AtBC and elsewhere. Dr Sanford’s MA has been touted as giving direct computational proof of genetic entropy in a population genetics simulation. There has been very high quality discussion with Sanford et al.

  64. 65

    Mr Charrington,

    ——”Incorrect. If you repeat that claim, well, there is a specific word for that….

    Yeah, it’s called “correct.”

    ——”And, if a certain book is to be believed, a place too.”

    And where would that be? And how is this relevant to the discussion?

  65. 66

    Clive

    Yeah, it’s called “correct.”

    So you are happy for Jehu to attribute to somebody a postion they explicitly deny, and have clearly said as much?

    Happy for Jehu to do that and not only happy, but will call that “correct”?

    And how is this relevant to the discussion?

    It’s relevant because if there is indeed an objective morality and a designer then lying is a sin.

    And that’s bad, right? I’m only trying to protect Jehu from himself.

    And it’s my postion that if Jehu again claims that W. Ford Doolittle rejects common descent then he’s lying.

    But now he knows better, I doubt it’ll come to that.

  66. Clive, I’m confused by your comment at 66.

    You appear to be claiming that if a person makes and then repeats a claim about another persons position on an issue, one which that person has explicitly denied holding, then the claim is true. Assuming this is correct it would appear that in this particular instance you are accusing W.F. Doolittle of lying.

    Is this true?

  67. Mr. Charrington:

    W.F. Doolittle has been asked about his position and the person who asked him says this of his reply

    he is aware of this kind of thing, and unequivocally denies that he is a supporter of ID and denies that he denies either common descent or descent with modification.

    That is pathetic. That is the best you can do? Some hearsay on some obscure blog. Why not just look at some of Doolittle’s own publications? Of course Doolittle does not support ID, he is a Darwinist. W. Ford Doolittle denies that there ever was such a thing as the last universal common ancestor or that there is a single tree of life. Do the math. No universal common ancestor, no common descent.

  68. 69

    So come on Jehu.

    Are you or are you not saying that W. Ford Doolittle denies common descent or not?

    Don’t imply it. Don’t put the two things in two seperate sentences and let the reader make the implied connection.

    Just man up and say it one way or the other. You were happy enougth up thread to make the claim.

    Either your original claim was wrong, or it was right. Either W. Ford Doolittle denies common descent or he does not.

    Which is it?

  69. Mr. Charrington,

    Read it and weep.

  70. 71

    Mr Charrington,

    “To be clear, Jehu you said:

    Even the most learned Darwinists now reject it.

    Incorrect. If you repeat that claim, well, there is a specific word for that….”

    And what would that word be? I call it correct, because Jehu is right. What do you call it?

    And if there is no objective morality or a Law Giver, you could be lying through your teeth with all the atheistic blessings of a clean conscience, and would have no obligation to yourself or your fellow man otherwise. Therefore, your intention and adherence to common civil discourse is questionable at best. Thirdly, if you say that your behavior is civil, you’re comparing it to a standard, otherwise, if it’s all relative, then I say that you’re not civil, and there can be no recourse to determine it or standard of reference in deciding the issue between us. Besides, you’re bringing in irrelevancies to the discussion, which I can only guess is an attempt at mockery or obfuscation.

  71. Mr. Charrington,

    I can’t put it any clearer than I did in post 69. Also, unlike you with your link to some hearsay in some discussion forum, I have given you a link to an article that Doolittle actually wrote.

  72. Looks like Jehu already posted the relevant link, but I’ll just add the following statement by Casey Luskin. After pointing out that “Darwin’s tree of life—the notion that all living organisms share a universal common ancestor—has faced increasing difficulties in the past few decades.”, he quotes Doolittle:

    Doolittle, a Darwinian biologist, elsewhere writes that “ … there would never have been a single cell that could be called the last universal common ancestor.

    As Woese has written, “The ancestor
    cannot have been a particular organism,
    a single organismal lineage. It was
    communal, a loosely knit, diverse conglomeration of primitive cells that evolved as a unit, and it eventually developed to a stage where it broke into several distinct communities, which in their turn become the three primary
    lines of descent [bacteria, archaea and eukaryotes].”

    Link:

    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....sli_8.html

    Looks pretty clear to me Doolittle denies the existence of a LUCA.

  73. Correction regarding my post #73: The paragraph beginning “As Woese has written … ” is from the original Sci Am article, and is not included in Luskin’s piece. My bad.

  74. 75

    I took the time to read through the article that Jehu linked to and it appears to confirm Mr. Charrington’s account: namely, that the mechanisms by which primitive organisms evolved makes determining the phylogeny difficult, but the traditional view of the evolution of animals, plants, and other multicelluar organisms is correct. That’s why he makes clarifying statements like:

    “[The] REVISED “TREE” OF LIFE retains a treelike structure at the top of the eukaryotic domain”

    and

    “At the top, treelike branching would still be apt [see illustration on opposite page] for multicellular animals, plants and fungi.”

    The original question was whether Doolittle accepts common descent with regards to eukaryotic organisms. By his own words, as Jehu wants to emphasize, he agrees with the traditional view of common descent.

  75. DATCG: “I’ll even accept Tiktaalik and Lucy, hows that? That gives you TWO Transtion fossils.”

    Actually, you have only one. Lucy is not part of the evolutionary history of mankind.

    http://www.chron.com/disp/stor.....89726.html

  76. I’d like to make a point of clarification regarding common descent.

    As I understand it, the new “paradigm” espoused by Doolittle and other authors is that the term “common descent” properly applies to genes, not organisms. In other words, it is fruitless to ask when my ancestors diverged from those of E. coli, as the answer depends on which gene we’re talking about.

    The revised paradigm does not mean that we no longer share a common ancestry with other organisms. Rather, it means that instead of sharing one ancestor with them, we share a multitude of ancestors, as we have a large number of genes in common.

    Thus, instead of weakening the ties that bind us, the new paradigm actually makes them stronger – but at the same time, a LOT messier.

  77. creeky belly,

    The original question was whether Doolittle accepts common descent with regards to eukaryotic organisms. By his own words, as Jehu wants to emphasize, he agrees with the traditional view of common descent.

    Uh, no and no. To begin with, the original question was not specific to eukaryotic organisms. It was to all organisms. Secondly, common descent requires a single common ancestor (hence the word “common”), which Doolittle does not believe existed.

    Doolittle may give lip service to the phrase “common descent” for political reasons but what he and Woese and others believe is that all life did not descend from a common ancestor. I guess you could call it uncommon descent.

    Furthermore, I identified Doolittle as a Darwinist before I even cited his name, so to try to claim that I ever suggested he didn’t believe in Darwinism or that he supported ID is just stupid.

  78. Clive @ 71:
    And if there is no objective morality or a Law Giver, you could be lying through your teeth with all the atheistic blessings of a clean conscience, and would have no obligation to yourself or your fellow man otherwise. Therefore, your intention and adherence to common civil discourse is questionable at best. Thirdly, if you say that your behavior is civil, you’re comparing it to a standard, otherwise, if it’s all relative, then I say that you’re not civil, and there can be no recourse to determine it or standard of reference in deciding the issue between us. Besides, you’re bringing in irrelevancies to the discussion, which I can only guess is an attempt at mockery or obfuscation.

    That cuts both ways. If there is no objective morality or a Law Giver, then you could be giving your fallible mistake-prone human opinion with all the theistic blessings and clean conscience of a man who erroneously thinks he’s doing God’s will and the lack of obligation to yourself or any other mere mortal that goes with that mistaken opinion.

    Secondly, there IS a standard for civil behavior: “adhering to the norms of polite social intercourse; not deficient in common courtesy: After their disagreement, their relations were civil though not cordial.”(Dictionary.com) We have no more trouble determining civil behavior than any other normal human activity. Mr. Charrington’s messages are entirely civil.

    Thirdly, comparing Jehu’s opinion of W. Ford Doolittle’s stance on common descent to Dr. Doolittle’s actual stance is hardly an attempt at obfuscation.

  79. 80

    Jehu
    Uh, no and no. To begin with, the original question was not specific to eukaryotic organisms. It was to all organisms. Secondly, common descent requires a single common ancestor (hence the word “common”), which Doolittle does not believe existed.

    Doolittle doesn’t believe a universal common ancestor or universal common descent (hence the word “universal”). He even explains where he thinks the tree starts:

    “Only in later, multicellular eukaryotes do we know of definite restrictions on horizontal gene exchange, such as the advent of separated (and protected) germ cells.”

    It’s this advent that, according to Doolittle, starts the traditional tree of life. With common descent.

    Doolittle may give lip service to the phrase “common descent” for political reasons but what he and Woese and others believe is that all life did not descend from a common ancestor. I guess you could call it uncommon descent.

    Universal. You could always email him, it sounds like he responds quickly. That wasn’t meant to be snide, but I don’t see why you can’t get around the insinuations and just ask the man a couple of clarifying questions.

    Furthermore, I identified Doolittle as a Darwinist before I even cited his name, so to try to claim that I ever suggested he didn’t believe in Darwinism or that he supported ID is just stupid.

    Did I make that claim?

  80. 81

    Jehu

    Doolittle may give lip service to the phrase “common descent” for political reasons but what he and Woese and others believe is that all life did not descend from a common ancestor.

    Yet he believes in common descent all the same.

    I guess you could call it uncommon descent.

    That’s not an accurate representation of Doolittle’s opinion.
    he believes in common descent

    Furthermore, I identified Doolittle as a Darwinist before I even cited his name, so to try to claim that I ever suggested he didn’t believe in Darwinism or that he supported ID is just stupid.

    The topic at hand is if Doolitle believes in common descent or not.

    To remind you, you said

    I doubt that most of the world’s population accepts common descent. Even the most learned Darwinists now reject it. There is no common descent.

    Then I asked you to name 5 learned Darwinists who reject common descent.

    You named W. Ford Doolittle.

    Yet when he is asked (you can do it too , do you need his email address?) he explicitly says that he believes in common descent.

    Perhaps the distinction he is making is too subtle for you.

  81. O’Leary: “The real story here is the desperate need for a secular materialist establishment to find icons of evolution to venerate, Bloomberg-style …”

    It looks to me like the “materialist establishment” spit this one out almost instantly. Must not be such a desperate need after all.

  82. 83

    djmullen,

    ——”Thirdly, comparing Jehu’s opinion of W. Ford Doolittle’s stance on common descent to Dr. Doolittle’s actual stance is hardly an attempt at obfuscation.”

    Most of my time in these comments is correcting misunderstandings. I was referring to Mr Charrington’s rabbit trail of “there being a place for Jehu if there is an objective moral standard” which is an irrelevancy to the discussion, and an obfuscation and/or mockery. Don’t you folks read the comments for goodness sakes? And of course there is a standard of what is right, including civil behavior, I just happen to recognize where it is grounded. But you can’t have it both ways, that there is an objective standard, and that there isn’t (which was Mr Charrinton’s point).

    Mr Charrington,

    Do you hold all beliefs provisionally?

  83. creeky belly

    Doolittle doesn’t believe a universal common ancestor or universal common descent (hence the word “universal”).

    Thank you. That is what I am talking about. “Common descent” is always inferred to refer to “universal common descent” except in those contexts where the author specifies that they area only referencing a particular clade.

  84. Here is quote from Carl Woese in a 2002 PNAS publication regarding the topic we have been discussing. Notice the underlined bit at the end of the quoted section.

    The Doctrine of Common Descent

    [P]robably all of the organic beings which have ever lived on this earth have descended from some one primordial form …?.
    This, Darwin’s Doctrine of Common Descent (35), is the primary evolutionary assertion and a cornerstone of modern biology, and it epitomizes classical biological thinking. The Doctrine implies two questions, what was the nature of the primordial form and why was that form unique. Through genomics these can now be approached. However, we are about to find that the two separate questions the Doctrine seems to pose are not separate but part and parcel of one another. The difficulty with the classical Darwinian outlook, as Alfred North Whitehead (36) long ago pointed out, is that it sees evolution as a “procession of forms,” when the focus should instead be on the process that produces them—on the gem, not the reflections from its facets.

    The reality of HGT is forcing us to the Whitheadian point of view, making us think more about the process and less about the detailed forms it generates. From this perspective we will see that there was not one particular primordial form, but rather a process that generated many of them, because only in this way can cellular organization evolve. The Doctrine of Common Descent (and classical evolutionary thinking in general) rests on the tacit assumption that the dynamic of the evolutionary process remains unchanged as it gives rise to increasingly complex, specific, etc. cellular forms. Yet the forms in essence are the process. Therefore, fundamental changes in their nature can only mean changes in the underlying evolutionary dynamic. The time has come for Biology to go beyond the Doctrine of Common Descent. Neither it nor any variation of it (invoking, say, several primordial forms) can capture the tenor, the dynamic, the essence of the evolutionary process that spawned cellular organization.

  85. Well the underline didn’t come out in the above quote when it posted, so here it is for emphasis

    The time has come for Biology to go beyond the Doctrine of Common Descent. Neither it nor any variation of it (invoking, say, several primordial forms) can capture the tenor, the dynamic, the essence of the evolutionary process that spawned cellular organization.

    Think about it guys.

  86. Jehu,

    that quotation is referring to the initial evolution of cells. he is arguing that the process of evolution might have been fundamentally different during that stage of life’s history, involving massive, anarchic horizontal gene flow. however, he later argues that this process left us with three “universal common ancestors.” despite what you say, common descent does not rely on having a single common ancestor. Darwin himself said this in the 5th edition of OoS:

    No doubt it is possible, as Mr G. H. Lewes has urged, that at the first commencement of life many different forms were evolved; but if so, we may conclude that only a very few have left modified descendants’

    think about it guy.

  87. ps Jehu, I guess now you can either remove Woese from your list of common descent-deniers or add Darwin.

  88. 89

    Jehu

    Thank you. That is what I am talking about. “Common descent” is always inferred to refer to “universal common descent” except in those contexts where the author specifies that they area only referencing a particular clade.

    In that case, you would most certainly find that Doolittle and Woese would disagree with the sentiment being expressed in comments 17, 20, 23, 24, and 26, which dealt not with universal common descent, but descent within clades. I think that’s what Mr. Charrington was objecting to; namely, that the goalposts and terminology have been shifted from the common descent of say, tetrapods and hominids, to the common descent of ALL organisms.

  89. Khan,

    Here is another quote from Darwin,

    [P]robably all of the organic beings which have ever lived on this earth have descended from some one primordial form …?.

    That is the quote that Woese cites from On the Origin of Species. However, since Darwin was ignorant of DNA and since he is before the modern synthesis he is really irrelevant. The fact is, at least since the modern synthesis, and probably before, common descent has been understood to mean universal common descent from a common ancestor. Many Darwinists still have polemics defending the notion. Here is one:

    Common descent is the theory that all living organisms on Earth descended from a common ancestor. Biologists have evidence that all life developed from a common ancestor that lived just under 4 billion years ago, and the concept is accepted by virtually all scientists working in the field.

  90. creeky belly,

    In that case, you would most certainly find that Doolittle and Woese would disagree with the sentiment being expressed in comments 17, 20, 23, 24, and 26, which dealt not with universal common descent, but descent within clades.

    And did I write or respond to any of those posts? I don’t think so.

    I think that’s what Mr. Charrington was objecting to; namely, that the goalposts and terminology have been shifted from the common descent of say, tetrapods and hominids, to the common descent of ALL organisms.

    First, I never used the term “common descent” in any other context than the standard general meaning of universal common descent. Second, it is patently obvious that neither you nor Khan nor Mr. Charrington had any idea of the work Doolittle or Woese and therefore assumed I meant something I did not.

    The fact is, these men attempted to identify LUCA and construct a tree of life amongst the single cell organisms and failed. It doesn’t get much better amongst more complex life forms either. But that is a debate for a different day.

  91. Khan,

    If Woese is so cool withe idea common descent, why did he say, “The time has come for Biology to go beyond the Doctrine of Common Descent. Neither it nor any variation of it (invoking, say, several primordial forms) can capture the tenor, the dynamic, the essence of the evolutionary process that spawned cellular organization.”

    Hmm?

  92. Jehu,

    the quotation you cited was the one that Darwin was referring to in the quotation I provided from the 5th edition. in the earlier editions he talked about one primordial form, but then later added that it could be several.

    Here’s another, perhaps you’re already familiar with it:

    There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.

    so Darwin is irrelevant to evolutionary biology? I’ll make a note of that, thanks.

    and if you want to trade wikipedia quotations:

    In modern biology, it is generally accepted that all living organisms on Earth are descended from a common ancestor or ancestral gene pool

    both darwin and woese agree that the number of ancestors is irrelevant. for that matter, so do the authors of the intro biology textbook from Prentice and Hall:

    Descent with modification also implies that all living organisms are related to one another. Look back in time, and you will find common ancestors shared by tigers, panthers, and cheetahs. Look farther back, and you will find ancestors that these felines share with horses, dogs, and bats. Farther back still are the common ancestors of mammals, birds, alligators, and fishes. If we look far enough back, the logic concludes, we could find the common ancestors of all living things. This is the principle known as common descent

  93. Jehu (92),

    I have already explained this. read beyond the first sentence. see those final words “..cellular organization”? that means he is talking about the initial evolution of cells. he thinks that during this period there was massive HGT that different from the evolutionary processes that followed. read the final 2 paragraphs in the paper where he talks about all organisms descending from those 3 types. this is common descent, from 3 cell types.

  94. ps when I say

    both darwin and woese agree that the number of ancestors is irrelevant

    I mean irrelevant to the definition of common descent, and irrelevant is probably too strong a word because if it turned out that there were a thousand we might have to rethink things..

  95. khan,

    I understand what Woese and Doolittle are trying to say. I have been familiar with them for years. I introduced you and Mr. Charrington to their work. However, if the conclusions you are drawing were true there would be no reason for Woese to write “we need to go beyond the Doctrine of Common Descent.” But Woese did write that because what they have discovered is not as trivial as you make it out to be.

  96. 97

    Jehu

    And did I write or respond to any of those posts? I don’t think so.

    Did I say that you never responded to those posts? I merely suggested from the context to which you were responding, universal common descent was not being discussed, rather the common descent of various animals.

    First, I never used the term “common descent” in any other context than the standard general meaning of universal common descent. Second, it is patently obvious that neither you nor Khan nor Mr. Charrington had any idea of the work Doolittle or Woese and therefore assumed I meant something I did not.

    The fact is, these men attempted to identify LUCA and construct a tree of life amongst the single cell organisms and failed. It doesn’t get much better amongst more complex life forms either. But that is a debate for a different day.

    Perhaps you could reference the comment you made it clear that you were referring to universal common descent, and not the common descent of clades.

    #17, 20, 23, 24, and 26: Arguments on the common descent of various animals.

    #32: You assert the most learned scientists reject common descent.

    #36: You claim five scientists reject common descent.

    #**ERASED** Doolittle clarifies his position on common descent through email.

    #70: You post your river card on universal common descent supporting the email to which Mr. Charrington referred.

    #84: You assert “common descent” is actually always referring to universal common descent, except when it’s not.

    #91 You assert, without evidence, that common descent of complex lifeforms is as poorly supported as universal common descent. I was also, according to your statement, at fault for not understanding this in the context of #84.

  97. Jehu,
    so now you’re down to one out-of-context sentence from Woese to back up your point. If you truly believe you’re right, why don’t you email him and find out. I bet he will respond very quickly.

  98. 99

    Clive

    Mr Charrington,

    Do you hold all beliefs provisionally?

    If I’m worth having a conversation with then why would you want to have me on modereration?

    Remove the moderation and perhaps we can have that conversation.

  99. Khan and creeky belly.

    Glad to introduce you guys the work of Woese and Doolittle and contrary to your posturings, while these scientists are hard core Darwinists that believe in descent with modification, they do not believe in the common descent (and yes creeky belly I mean universal common descent) nor do they believe that Darwin’s tree of life exists – at least not at the level of single cell life that they do their phylogenetic research.

  100. Jehu,
    repeating your original point with nothing to back it up is not an argument. like i said, email woese and ask him if he denies universal common descent.
    ps I have published several peer-reviewed papers that cite Woese, so don’t delude yourself about introducing me to anything.

  101. 102

    Testing Testing

    Jehu

    do not believe in the common descent (and yes creeky belly I mean universal common descent) nor do they believe that Darwin’s tree of life exists

    And this has what exactly to do with Intelligent Design?
    Even if that were true so what? They have already said they don’t believe in intelligent design. Explicitly. Clearly. Sometimes even in advance of what happened on this thread. They knew it would.

    So even if they do not believe in the common descent how does that help you? You might as well be making an argument about the color of a button on Woese’s shirt for all the difference it will make to Intelligent Design Theory. Disproof of one thing does not automatically prove another. That’s not how it’s done.

    So, even if I believed what you were saying, why does it matter so much for you that they disbelieve in the common descent? They probably disbelieve alot of other things you’d have a problem with. What aid does it give you that, according to you (despite at least one recent explicit statement to the contrary), they disbelieve in the common descent?

    The fact is, these men attempted to identify LUCA and construct a tree of life amongst the single cell organisms and failed. It doesn’t get much better amongst more complex life forms either.

    You are your own worst enemy. If you say it’s possible to look back and have a serious attempt to identify a LUCA, sufficently serious enougth for you to use it in a argument then what does it say that no signs of Intelligent Design have been detected? You would have thought that something would have been noticed?

    And along the way to looking back they no doubt found lots of interesting things. None of which were at odds with “evolution”.

    I find it very odd in light of Woose himself, and I’m sure you’ve already read this as you “introduce” him to others so readily.

    The archaea are unique organisms. While prokaryotes in the cytological sense, they are actually more closely related to eukaryotes than to the bacteria. They are of particular interest for this reason alone-they are simple organisms whose study should provide insights into the nature and evolution of the eukaryotic cell. Their study is also central to an understanding of the nature of the ancestor common to all life.

    So, nope Woese sure does not believe in an ancestor common to all life. Nope. No Sir.
    http://mcb.illinois.edu/faculty/profile/1204
    His email is on that page. Why not ask him for yourself Jehu?

  102. 103

    Jehu

    Glad to introduce you guys the work of Woese and Doolittle

    And I’m glad to introduce you to the concept of equivocation.

    Cheers.

  103. Khan,

    If you are willing to go up to a thousand different ancestors, and still call it universal common descent, then what can I say? Except, that you have completely tortured the meaning of the term so as to make it meaningless.

  104. Jehu,
    wow, you got me. you score one gotcha point. now, how about backing up your claims with anything other than one out of context sentence from a Woese paper?

    why don’t you start by explaining exactly how you interpret that quotation?

    better yet, just email Woese and ask him. do you want me to?

  105. Jehu,
    and you can also explain how this quotation from the same paper supports your position:

    Individual lineages, species as we know them, emerged from this common ancestral chaos only when cellular organization achieved a certain degree of complexity and connectedness… I have called the stage at which this new, more complex, integrated organization arises the Darwinian Threshold, the first occurrence of which corresponds to the emergence of a modern type of cellular organization and is conventionally perceived as the root of the universal tree.;
    7.,
    Extant life on Earth is descended not from one, but from three distinctly different cell types. However, the designs of the three have developed and matured, in a communal fashion, along with those of many other designs that along the way became extinct.

  106. 107

    “It looks to me like the “materialist establishment” spit this one out almost instantly. Must not be such a desperate need after all.”

    This is one of very few cases where that has (kinda sorta) happened.

    For the record, I accept common descent, but I am glad some people have the motivation to hunt down the truth that all too often no one else would care to publicize in order to set things straight.

    To me this represents not a doubt about common descent, but an overselling of the modern synthesis of evolution full of shoddy research and bogus claims without even really understanding the criticisms.

  107. Jehu,
    I emailed Woese and, as predicted, he responded right away. He said I was “absoutely correct” when I said:

    As I understand it, your position is that all extant life evolved from three cell types that emerged from an ancestral gene pool in which rampant, anarchic HGT evolved cell complexity and function in a non-Darwinian fashion. Thus, I think that you only dispute UCD in the context of the evolution of these original cell types, not in the evolution that followed.

    so there you go. I agree with you that he doesn’t think there was a single last common ancestor. but no one (including him) but you thinks that this means he disputes universal common descent.

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