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Whale Evolution? Darwinist ‘Trawlers’ Have Every Reason To Be Concerned

“Of all whale species, by far the noisiest, chattiest, most exuberant, and most imaginative is the humpback. It is the noisemaker and the Caruso of the deep, now grating like an old hinge, now as melodious as an operatic tenor” (1). These were the words of the late oceanographer Jacques Cousteau in his epic volume Whales, originally written in French under the more descriptive title La Planete Des Baleines. The male humpback in particular had been a source of fascination for Cousteau’s exploration team precisely because of its exquisite song-making capabilities. Star Trek aficionados will no doubt remember the long-range distress calls of these ocean-faring giants in the movie blockbuster The Voyage Home.

Humpbacks can be heard for hundreds or even thousands of kilometers creating discernible noise sequences or ‘themes’ that can last as long as 20-30 hours (1,2). The available repertoire of vocalizations requires that “bursts of air” be channeled up from the lungs and through the trachea (3). The frequency range of these vocalizations is formidable- 8-4000 Hz (compared to 80-1300 Hz for a singing human; (4)). While certain sounds might serve to maintain contact between distant herds (2) others are clearly used to attract mates in the shallow breeding grounds of the tropics (5).

The sperm whale’s characteristic clicking has likewise been intensely studied and marine biologists have in the last decade described this creature’s ‘pneumatic sound generator’ in great detail (6). Usual clicks serve for echo location while so-called ‘coda’ clicks are used for maintaining the “complex social structure in female groups” (6). Remarkably the amount of air used to make each click is so small that even at depths of 2000 m, where the air volume is significantly reduced, sperm whales can phonate successfully (6). The mechanism of sound generation is exquisitely selective for the two modes of communication: “the marked differences between coda clicks and usual clicks are caused by differential sound propagation in the nasal complex” (6).

Other whale species are known to ‘talk to each other’: blue whales, fin whales, rights and bowheads all display the use of what has tentatively been called a rudimentary language (7). Equally captivating is the auditory apparatus that picks up these sounds (8). Unlike terrestrial mammals, whales sport freely-vibrating ossicles in the middle ear for more sensitive distance hearing:

“The bones of the middle ear, although fused to each other, are not directly connected to the rest of the skull; they are suspended from it by means of ligaments. All around them is a complex network of cavities and sinuses filled with a foamy mucus that further insulates the ear from the skull and provides yet another means by which whales filter out all but the essential sounds.”(9)

What are we to make of the evolutionary origins of these key designs? In the summer of 2009 a seminal publication in the journal Mammalian Biology provided fodder for one popular idea (10). Using the aquatic escape behavior of Bornean mouse deer as primary evidence for their claims, researchers from Indonesia and the Australian National University in Canberra proposed that whales might have descended from ancient members of the ruminant family tragulidae which today includes cattle, sheep, goats and deer (11). Local villagers have observed tragulids submerging themselves in rivers and streams for over five minutes at a time as a way of eschewing would-be predators (10).

The Australian-Indonesian publication came hot on the heels of a cladistic study that claimed to have found a whale ‘sister group’ called Indohyus – “a middle Eocene raoellid artiodactyl from Kashmir, India” (10, 12). The overarching conclusion of this earlier work was nothing short of profound:

“Our analysis identifies raoellids as the sister group to cetaceans and bridges the morphological divide that separated early cetaceans from artiodacyls.” (12)

We might therefore reasonably expect that the hearing and vocalization of modern cetaceans could be drawn into a gradual evolutionary sequence, perhaps going as far back as the land-sea transitioning mammals from which they are supposed to have been derived. But like so many evolutionary just-so stories, the devil is in the details. Indeed Darwinists admit that significant differences in the morphology of sensory organs make cetaceans unique (12).

In 2004 a group headed by professor of anatomy Hans Thewissen published what appeared to be the definitive answer on the evolution of whale hearing (13). Their ‘integrated interpretation of evolving sound transmission mechanisms’ came as a result of fossils that were collected from 35-50 million year-old deposits (13). The base specimen of their cladistic interpretation, a 50 million year old fossil of a terrestrial mammal called pakicetus, benefited from bone conduction of sound through a loosely suspended tympanic bone (13). Later aquatic mammals such as remingtoncetus and protocetus possessed large so-called mandibular fat pads that further improved bone-mediated sound transmission (13). For all three phyletic groups a terrestrial auditory structure called the external meatus allowed efficient capture of airborne sounds (13). Thewissen’s final chronological group, the basilosauroids, sported yet one further innovation- air-filled sinuses that acoustically isolated the ear from the rest of the skull (13).

The most striking omission in the above sequence, and perhaps the most important of all, is the explanation for how a fleeting mouse deer somehow adapted to the acoustic rigors of underwater living. A five minute escapade in the shallows of a river is a far cry from the mate searches that would have been so vital for an aquatic lifestyle. Pakicetus was in fact a fast-running, land-dwelling long-necked quadruped (more like a dog than a deer) that lacked any sort of sub-aquatic anatomy (14, 15). Indeed one alternative interpretation of the data is that the pakicetus middle ear structure was more consistent with what one might expect for a subterranean habitat in which the head is in direct contact with the ground (14).

While Remingtoncetus was undoubtedly a four-legged semi-aquatic mammal that had a long slender snout, small eyes and ears and an overall size perhaps no bigger than a sea otter (16, 17), the above descriptive of the origins of its auditory innovations fits more in line with what one might expect for, say, a saltationist view of life than any sort of gradual evolutionary process. The same can be said of the supposed transition from protocetus to basilosauroids. In fact the fossil evidence reveals that in remingtoncetus the foundations of the modern whale underwater auditory mechanism had already been realized (13). Ironically the most convincing set of ear transitional forms in the whale evolutionist’s armory- that of the decrease in size of the semicircular canal system of the inner ear (involved in balance) – only shows evolution bringing about small changes to already existing functional innovations (15).

Hippopotamids are of course hot favorites for the title of the closest living terrestrial relatives of whales (18, 19). Like whales, modern hippos are furnished with bone-mediated hearing and exhibit effective underwater communication (18). Still, morphology-based phylogenies to-date have yielded conflicting results and the identification of intermediates that supposedly spanned the divide between hippos and the common ancestor is controversial (20). Different analyses show anywhere between 3 and 40 million years of unrecorded evolution depending on which sister groups one chooses to grab along the way (20).

Over a decade ago one high school biology textbook asserted that there were no clear transitional fossils linking land mammals to whales (21). Such a position has been upheld by the most recent peer-reviewed literature. In fact hypotheses on the evolution of sound generation in whales and delphinids hinge upon the selective “drivers” that purportedly brought about change (eg: hunting, increased sociality, predator avoidance) while leaving out the mechanistic details of how such change took place (22, 23, 24). In contrast, the co-integrated nature of whale sound transmission, both in its vocalization and capture, has led some to the inference that intelligent rather than mindless design is at play. As one review noted:

“The anatomical structure, biological function, and way of life of whales are so distinctly different from those of terrestrial mammals that they cannot possibly have evolved from the latter by small genetic changes; aquatics require the simultaneous presence of all their complex features to survive. Perfect acoustical and other constructions are required for their serenades and way of life in the vastness of the ocean; they could only exist from a detailed preliminary plan. Employing sounds to allure their mates has another interesting feature, considering the entirety of the animal kingdom. Although each species emits sound signals that resemble signals of other species, the animals never mistake the sounds for those of other species…Harmony between sounds and sound-receiving organs likewise presupposes the…requirement of simultaneous appearance, while excluding the possibility of gradual evolution.” (8)

In short, the latest evidence on whale communication cuts deep into the fishing nets of evolutionary dogma. Darwinist trawlers have every reason to be concerned.

Literature Cited
1.Jacques Cousteau and Yves Paccalet (1986) Whales, W.H. Allen & Co, London, pp. 236-38.

2.Eduardo Mercado III (1998) Humpback Whale BioAcoustics: From Form To Function, PhD thesis, University of Hawaii, http://www.acsu.buffalo.edu/~emiii/diss.pdf p.16.

3. Ibid p.25.

4. Ibid p.37.

5. Planet Earth Series: Shallow Seas, Narrated by David Attenborough, BBC Video, 2008.

6. P. T. Madsen, R. Payne, N. U. Kristiansen, M. Wahlberg, I. Kerr and B. Mohl (2002) Sperm whale sound production studied with ultrasound time/depth-recording tags, The Journal of Experimental Biology, Vol 205, 1899-1906.

7. Jacques Cousteau and Yves Paccalet (1986) Whales, W.H. Allen & Co, London, p.234.

8. Balazs Hornyanszky and Istvan Tasi (2009) Nature’s IQ: Extraordinary Animal Behaviors That Defy Evolution, Torchlight Publishing, Badger, CA, pp.102-104.

9. Jacques Cousteau and Yves Paccalet (1986) Whales, W.H. Allen & Co, London, p.161.

10. Erik Meijaarda, Umilaela, GehandeSilva Wijeyeratne (2009), Aquatic escape behaviour in mouse-deer provides insight into tragulid evolution, Mammalian Biology, doi:10.1016/j.mambio.2009.05.007

11. Matt Walker (2009) Aquatic Deer And Ancient Whales, BBC Earth News, 7th July, 2009, See http://news.bbc.co.uk/earth/hi/earth_news/newsid_8137000/8137922.stm

12. J. G. M. Thewissen, Lisa Noelle Cooper, Mark T. Clementz, Sunil Bajpai & B. N. Tiwari (2007) Whales originated from aquatic artiodactyls in the Eocene epoch of India, Nature, Vol 450, pp.1190-1194.

13. Sirpa Nummela, J. G. M. Thewissen, Sunil Bajpai, S. Taseer Hussain, Kishor Kumar (2004) Eocene evolution of whale hearing, Nature, Vol 430, pp.776-778.

14. J. G. M. Thewissen, E. M. Williams, L. J. Roe & S. T. Hussain (2001) Skeletons of terrestrial cetaceans and the relationship of whales to artiodactyls, Nature, Vol 413, pp.277-281.

15. F. Spoor, S. Bajpai, S. T. Hussain, K. Kumar & J. G. M. Thewissen (2001) Vestibular evidence for the evolution of aquatic behaviour in early cetaceans, Nature, Vol 417, pp.163-166.

16. Remingtoncetidiae, See http://www.neoucom.edu/DEPTS/ANAT/Remi.html

17. Sunil Bajpai and J. G. M. Thewissen (2000) A new, diminutive Eocene whale from Kachchh (Gujarat, India) and its implications for locomotor evolution of cetaceans, Current Science, Vol 79, pp.1478-1482, See http://tejas.serc.iisc.ernet.in/currsci/nov252000/1478.pdf

18. The Animal Communication Project, See http://acp.eugraph.com/elephetc/hippo.html

19. Whale and hippo ‘close cousins’ BBC News, Monday, 24 January, 2005, See http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4204021.stm

20. Jean-Renaud Boisserie, Fabrice Lihoreau, and Michel Brunet (2005) The position of Hippopotamidae within Cetartiodactyla, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci, Vol 102, pp.1537-1541.

21. Percival Davis, Dean H Kenyon, Charles Thaxton (1993) Of Pandas And People: The Central Question Of Biological Origins, Haughton Publishing Company, Richardson, Texas.

22. Laura J May-Collado, Ingi Agnarsson, Douglas Wartzok (2007) Phylogenetic review of tonal sound production in whales in relation to sociality, BMC Evolutionary Biology 2007, Vol 7, p.136, See http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/1471-2148-7-136.pdf

23. Migrating Squid Drove Evolution Of Sonar In Whales And Dolphins, Researchers Argue
http://migration.wordpress.com/2007/09/15/squid-migration-drives-whale-sonar-evolution/

24. Morisaka T, Connor RC (2007) Predation by killer whales (Orcinus orca) and the evolution of whistle loss and narrow-band high frequency clicks in odontocetes, Journal Of Evolutionary Biology, Volume 20, pp.1439-58.

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149 Responses to Whale Evolution? Darwinist ‘Trawlers’ Have Every Reason To Be Concerned

  1. Good stuff. Gradualism is far from being granted and cautiosness is always in place. I would say that another fact that doesn’t play in cards in this whale-transition process is the problem of “free niche” (another neodarwinian word so flexible that it is almost void).

    Ambulocetus – not mentioned in the article – is considered to be one of “links” in whale transition. This creature morphologicaly resembles the crocodile. But the crocodile survived the impact of a meteor 65 myr. years ago which should have eradicated fauna of that period and caused mammalian radiation.

    One wonders why crocodiles didn’t occupy freed niches – shallow waters – as it usually does, but had left them for ambulocetus. Surely less adaptation – if any at all – would have been needed.

    http://cadra.wordpress.com/

  2. As always, you have to start with the nested hierarchy of descent, a pattern which certainly encompasses all vertebrates. Whale evolution is then seen for what it is, a detail in the overall pattern.

    As for the specifics of whale evolution, Pakicetus has the distinctive skull of Cetaceans. Other fossils (e.g. Ambulocetus, Rodhocetus, Basilosaurus, Squalodon) show a progression of intermediate characteristics, including reduced hind limbs, and the later acquisition of echolocation. Genetic data also supports placing Cetaceans within Artiodactyls.

    (It’s rather humorous see a cite to Of Pandas and People as a scientific authority.)

    VMartin: One wonders why crocodiles didn’t occupy freed niches – shallow waters – as it usually does, but had left them for ambulocetus.

    Cetaceans are large-brained, warm-blooded mammals (as are beavers and otters).

  3. Zachriel: You’re dreaming in color… again. Get down to reality please and post again when you have something other than speculation and wishful thinking based on denial of the realities of the problems involved in transforming one mechanical structure into another without any guidance or purpose.

  4. Zachriel,

    You can also see similar progression of unique characteristics, diversification and fitting into niches in the evolution of automobiles. In fact, the fossil record is much more smooth from one species to another and can be divide neatly in taxological categories. We see more efficient, unique and adaptable species surviving and thriving while older, less efficient, and less complex forms dying out as they are replaced by more fit species. I think that the unescapable conclusion is that automobiles were not intelligently designed and were a product of chance and natural forces.

  5. Zachriel’s unintelligible argument:


    Cetaceans are large-brained, warm-blooded mammals (as are beavers and otters).

    Yet crocodiles do not care. They prey upon cold-blooded, warm-blooded whatever large-small brained animals in shallow waters. Don’t test it yourself please. Oddly enough they had left enough of their own “niche” for crocodiles-like ambulocetus and let them prey there side by side. Crocodiles must have been real gentlemens around Eocene.

  6. Zachriel: Cetaceans are large-brained, warm-blooded mammals (as are beavers and otters).

    VMartin: Yet crocodiles do not care.

    It was a clue.

    VMartin: They prey upon cold-blooded, warm-blooded whatever large-small brained animals in shallow waters.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfPB3pEipjg

  7. Collin: You can also see similar progression of unique characteristics, diversification and fitting into niches in the evolution of automobiles.

    Unlike vertebrates, automobiles do not form a singular nested hierarchy. Unlike vertebrates, they do not reproduce themselves.

    We can observe the mechanism by which automobiles are manufactured. And we can observe the mechanisms of evolution, including selection, variation and sources of novelty. In either case, we can propose and test theories of descent and modification.

  8. chriel:

    As always, you have to start with the nested hierarchy of descent

    There isn’t any such thing as a “nested hierarchy of descent”.

    It is very humorous seeing you trot out the refuted notion that descent leads to a nested hierarchy.

    It’s as if you don’t care about reality, which means you don’t care about science.

    a pattern which certainly encompasses all vertebrates.

    Only design, and certainly not descent, can explain a nested hierarchy.

    As for the alleged evolution of whales from land mammals- well there isn’t any scientific data which demonstrates that teh transformations required are even possible via any amount of mutational accumulation.

    It is an untestable premise.

    But anyways seeing that Zachriel doesn’t understand nested hierarchy there is little hope that he will understand any evidence.

  9. Joseph said:

    “But anyways seeing that Zachriel doesn’t understand nested hierarchy there is little hope that he will understand any evidence.”

    Not very gracious Joe.

  10. but what is the “intelligent design” of the assertion? the creator dipped in and tinkered with the ears of his sea-dogs? i prefer the version in Hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy.

  11. Sometimes the truth hurts.

    That is not my fault…

  12. Joseph,

    But it is in your best interest to be gracious as a debater. Because sometimes you will be wrong too. And you’d rather have a patient teacher than an insulting one.

  13. Collin,

    I tried that.

    Also there is a history between “Zachriel” and myself.

    The nested hierarchy nonsense was refuted by Denton in 1984 with the release of “Evolution: A Theory in Crisis”.

    Zachriel doesn’t even deal with the refutations. All he does is to keep on parroting his ignorance.

    So I will leave the “gracious” stuff to you.

    BTW I am not so sure I would rather have a patient teacher.

    Show me a patient drill sgt and I will show you future dead soldiers…

  14. Joseph said: Show me a patient drill sgt and I will show you future dead soldiers…

    You may have a point.

  15. Zachriel:

    Unlike vertebrates, automobiles do not form a singular nested hierarchy.

    It would all depend on the defining characteristics used.

    Also it is a given that decent with modification leads to a lineage which is not to be confused with a nested hierarchy.

    Not even a branching lineage would lead to a nested hierarchy.

    Ya see descent is not a defining characteristic.

    Neither is “who’s your daddy?”.

    In either case, we can propose and test theories of descent and modification.

    And we can propose and test theories of common design.

    What you cannot do with descent with modification is account for the physiological and anatomical differences observed.

  16. As always, you have to start with the nested hierarchy of descent, a pattern which certainly encompasses all vertebrates.

    Your supposed central tenet is questionable, even it may be receding back into the hypothetical goo that typifies “evolution,” whatever evolution may be. E.g.

    …it is clear that the Darwinian tree is no longer an adequate description of how evolution in general works. “If you don’t have a tree of life, what does it mean for evolutionary biology?” asks Bapteste. “At first it’s very scary… but in the past couple of years people have begun to free their minds.” Both he and Doolittle are at pains to stress that downgrading the tree of life doesn’t mean that the theory of evolution is wrong – just that evolution is not as tidy as we would like to believe. Some evolutionary relationships are tree-like; many others are not. “We should relax a bit on this,” says Doolittle. “We understand evolution pretty well – it’s just that it is more complex than Darwin imagined. The tree isn’t the only pattern.”Why Darwin Was Wrong About the Tree of Life, New Scientist

    (It’s rather humorous see a cite to Of Pandas and People as a scientific authority.)

    Not as humorous as it is to see you supposedly speaking for knowledge and science based on brains created by blind and ignorant Darwinian processes. You almost break from Darwinian ignorance and imbecility to admit the glaringly obvious here: We can observe the mechanism by which automobiles are manufactured. And we can observe the mechanisms of evolution, including selection, variation and sources of novelty. In either case, we can propose and test theories of descent and modification.

    Are you admitting that Homo sapiens are capable of bringing about design based on their intelligence and knowledge or is it actually only the illusion of design brought about by blind and ignorant biological processes? If you can imagine that it is all brought about by blind mechanisms, then wouldn’t that indicate that it is? That’s what you seem to be doing in the case of other organisms in the name of science and knowledge, so why not imagine things your knowledge to be created by ignorant processes as well?

    At any rate, a reasonable and intelligent reader can easily admit that the intelligence and knowledge typical to organisms has an impact on the physical world based on observation and experience.

  17. Zachriel: Unlike vertebrates, automobiles do not form a singular nested hierarchy.

    Joseph: It would all depend on the defining characteristics used.

    That’s exactly right. With automobiles, depending on the traits chosen, there are many ways to categorize them. But there is only a single consistent way to arrange vertebrates by traits. And that’s why we can make reliable predictions in biology based on incomplete information. A jaw bone and a few teeth can often place an organism within a narrow range of taxa. The molecular data, and each newly discovered organism, extinct or extant, supports this arrangement derived from morphological data.

  18. mynym,

    Even if the alleged tree of life were solid it still would not produce a nested hierarchy.

    Again I refer you to “Evolution: A Theory in Crisis” in which Dr Denton thoroughly refutes the notion that evolution predicts a nested hierarchy/ NH is evidence for common descent.

  19. mynym: Are you admitting that Homo sapiens are capable of bringing about design based on their intelligence and knowledge …

    Of course humans are capable of design based on their intelligence and knowledge.

  20. Mr Deyes,

    Ironically the most convincing set of ear transitional forms in the whale evolutionist’s armory- that of the decrease in size of the semicircular canal system of the inner ear (involved in balance) – only shows evolution bringing about small changes to already existing functional innovations (15)

    I’m not sure why this is ironic, it is all evolution ever claimed to do. What percent per year (or generation) did any of these morphologies have to change per generation to acheive the transitions claimed for them? I think Dr Meyer’s debating partner worked it out for their debate with Shermer and Provine. I think the answer is a pretty small number.

    Happy New Year to all!

  21. As always, you have to start with the nested hierarchy of descent, a pattern which certainly encompasses all vertebrates. Whale evolution is then seen for what it is, a detail in the overall pattern.

    So your claim is, that once a character has been gained, it can never be lost. And this is required for the nesting pattern, isn’t it?

    Yet we have no reason to think it’s true.

  22. Zachriel:

    But there is only a single consistent way to arrange vertebrates by traits.

    If descent with modification were true then that “single consistent way” would be a sequence/ lineage.

    We should not be able to see distinct boudaries that nested hierarchy requires.

    We should see a gradual blend indicative of a Venn diagram with descent with modification.

    And neither a sequence, lineage nor a Venn diagram should be confused for a nested hierarchy.

    As I have told you before nested hierarchies demand/ require immutable and additive defining characteristics.

    Evolution/ descent with modification doesn’t follow such rules.

    Again Dr Denton spells it all out for anyone who chooses knowledge over ignorance.

    It is up to you…

  23. The nested hierarchy allows specific predictions.

    If you say you have an organism with mammary glands, we can predict it will have a complex eukaryote cell structure with organelles such as mitochondria, that it ingests other organisms for nourishment, has bilateral symmetry, an alimentary canal, a bony head at one end with an array of sense organs, vertebrae protecting a nerve cord, integument, jaw, ribs, four limbs during at least at some stage of life, neck, neocortex, endothermic, internal fertilization, four-chambered heart, lungs with alveoli and a muscular diaphragm, two eyes, three ear bones in each of two ears, hair or at least hair follicles at some stage of life, sebaceous glands, most probably will have heterodont dentition.

    These are not trivial correlations, but among the most fundamental relationships in biology.

  24. Joseph: We should not be able to see distinct boudaries that nested hierarchy requires.

    From previous discussions, you had difficulty with basic set theory, so such a discussion may not be fruitful, but we’ll try.

    If we posit a common ancestor and uncrosssed divergence, it will form a typical rooted tree structure. Note that any node can have many descendents, but only one ancestor. If we cut any branch, it will separate the branch and all its stems from the root.

    If we further assume heredity of characteristics with some variation, even if that variation is random, then we will be able to reconstruct the lines of descent from the twigs.

    Here is a result (seventh generation) of divergence with random variation from the common ancestor,
    : : : : : :

    R : : : E :
    V : : : E :
    S H C A : :
    S H C A K :
    : H X : : :
    : H X M : :
    : K X : : :
    T K X : : :
    : M X V : :
    : H X V : :

    The results are clearly non-random, and even from these short snippets, it’s not difficult to reconstruct much of the phylogeny. With much longer sequences, we can have very high statistical confidence in our reconstruction.

  25. Borne,

    Zachriel: You’re dreaming in color… again. Get down to reality please and post again when you have something other than speculation and wishful thinking based on denial of the realities of the problems involved in transforming one mechanical structure into another without any guidance or purpose.

    I find it interesting to note that while Zachriel address specific issues, you just shrug it all off without any argument at all.

    You say

    “transforming one mechanical structure into another(without any guidance or purpose.)”

    All right, to me, that looks like total denial of the entire theory of evolution. Guidance and purpose is incompatible with evolution.

    Evolution is about mutations in DNA, selection, differential reproduction and many other aspects that adds up to descent with modification.

    I think it is fair to ask what are the sources of guidance and purpose? How do they work, where and when?

  26. Zachriel:

    The nested hierarchy allows specific predictions.

    Descent with modification does nit predict nor expect a nested hierarchy.

    We should not be able to see distinct boudaries that nested hierarchy requires.

    Zachriel:

    From previous discussions, you had difficulty with basic set theory, so such a discussion may not be fruitful, but we’ll try.

    What a jerk.

    All of our previous discussions have demonstrated that you don’t know what you are talking about.

    You still have not addressed any one refutation of your ignorance-driven claims.

    Why is that?

    If we posit a common ancestor and uncrosssed divergence, it will form a typical rooted tree structure.

    There isn’t anything in the ToE which says anything about uncrossed divergence.

    Also it is a given that a tree structure does not form a nested hierarchy.

    A tree in set theory is partially ordered:

    tree set theory:
    In set theory, a tree is a partially ordered set

    Again- nested hierarchies are constructed via defining characteristics.

    Those characteristics MUST BE immutable and additive.

    If they are not immuatble then you can lose containment.

    If they are not additive you are stuck on one level.

    Evolution is NOT like that.

  27. From “Evolution: A Theory in Crisis”:

    Whenever classification schemes are drawn up for phenomena which fall into a continuous or obviously sequential pattern—such as climatic zones from the artic to the tropics, subspecies in a circumpolar overlap, the properties of atoms in the periodic table, series of fossil horses, or wind strengths from breeze to hurricane—class boundaries are bound to be relatively arbitrary and indistinct. Most of the classes defined in such schemes are inevitably partially inclusive of other classes, or, in other words, fundamentally intermediate in character with respect to adjacent classes in the scheme. Consequently, when such schemes are depicted in terms of Venn diagrams, most of the classes overlap and the schemes overall have a disorderly appearance.

    A quite different type of classification system is termed hierarchic. In which there are no overlapping or partially inclusive classes, but only classes inclusive or exclusive of other classes. Such schemes exhibit, therefore, an orderly “groups within groups” arrangement in which class boundaries are distinct and the divisions in the system increase in a systematic manner as the hierarchy is ascended. The absence of any overlapping classes implies the absence of any sort of natural sequential relationships among the objects grouped by such a scheme.

    Page 131:

    “While hierarchic schemes correspond beautifully with the typological model of nature, the relationship between evolution and hierarchical systems is curiously ambiguous. Ever since 1859 it has been traditional for evolutionary biologists to claim that the hierarchic pattern of nature provides support for the idea of organics evolution. Yet, direct evidence for evolution only resides in the existence of unambiguous sequential arrangements, and these are never present in ordered hierarchic schemes.”

    “Of course evolutionary biologists do not look for the direct evidence in the hierarchy itself but rather argue, as Darwin did, that the hierarchic pattern is readily explained in terms of an evolutionary tree.”

    Only if diagnostic character traits remain essentially immutable in all members of the group they define is it possible to conceive of a hierarchic pattern emerging as the result of an evolutionary process.—Michael Denton “Evolution: A Theory in Crisis” page 135.

    Again transitional forms, by their very nature, would violate the distinct boundary requirement of nested hierarchy.

    Zachriel always ignores that and every refutation put forth and keeps babbling incoherently in the face of those refutations.

    So here is what I can do-

    I challenge Zachriel to a debate- we each put up $10,000 USD- we get a panel of referees (the loser also pays for the refs and the venue) and have it out.

  28. From the The International Society for the Systems Sciences:

    nested hierarchies involve levels which consist of, and contain, lower levels.

    That means that the defining characteristics must be immutable and additive for the reasons I have already provided.

    Also Darwin did not say that descent with modification led to the nested hierarchy observed- which BTW is not constructed by descent but by CHARACTERISTICS.

    Darwin used well placed (timed) extinction events to explain the distinct boundaries observed. Boundaries that shouldn’t exist otherwise.

  29. Mr Joseph,

    If they are not immuatble then you can lose containment.

    A reason to use hundreds and thousands of traits.

  30. Nakashima-san,

    Are you saying that each organism is classified by using hundreds and thousands of traits?

    When classifying animals there is only a handful of traits used.

    IOW what is determined to be an animal is decided by a handful of defining traits, not hundrfeds nor thousands.

    But anyways what is your point?

  31. There isn’t anything in the ToE which says anything about uncrossed divergence.

    Darwin proposed a process of uncrossed divergence as can be seen in this diagram from Origin of Species.

  32. Watch Zachriel squirm and bloviate:

    Zachriel,

    1- Do nested hierarchies demand/ require that defining characteristics be immutable?

    2- Do nested hierarchies demand/ require that defining characteristics be additive?

    Those are simple “yes/ no” questions for someone who understands nested hierarchies.

    Now the clincher:

    Does evolution demand/ require such a direction, or can characteristics be lost if that is what is selected?

  33. Joseph: Again transitional forms, by their very nature, would violate the distinct boundary requirement of nested hierarchy.

    Don’t let terminology confuse you.

    Most everyone is aware of the topology of the typical tree. Any point in a tree can have a number of descendents, but one-and-only-one ancestor. We can cut the tree at any point, and the branch with all its stems will be separated from the rest of the tree as a clearly defined set.

  34. Zachriel:

    Darwin proposed a process of uncrossed divergence as can be seen in this diagram from Origin of Species.

    So what part of the theory of evolution prevents crossing?

    Please be specific.

    Again transitional forms, by their very nature, would violate the distinct boundary requirement of nested hierarchy.

    Don’t let terminology confuse you.

    You are the only confusion here.

    Most everyone is aware of the topology of the typical tree.

    Except that there isn’t any such thing as a typical tree.

    I basically live in the woods and I can show you a variety of different trees, different shapes, different topologies, all within 100 feet of my house.

    But anyway this tree talk does not address the issue of nested hierarchies.

    Watch Zachriel squirm and bloviate:

    Zachriel,

    1- Do nested hierarchies demand/ require that defining characteristics be immutable?

    2- Do nested hierarchies demand/ require that defining characteristics be additive?

    Those are simple “yes/ no” questions for someone who understands nested hierarchies.

    Now the clincher:

    Does evolution demand/ require such a direction, or can characteristics be lost if that is what is selected?

    I should have added “or ignore”…

  35. Mr Joseph,

    My point was that when you say ‘can’ lose containment, it is not the same as saying ‘do’ lose containment. You’ve just converted the argument to a probabilistic one based on the evidence. Using a large number of traits makes the probability of identifying the nested hierarchy quite high even if some traits are not immutable.

    Thank you for the Denton quotes. I would dispute his placement of the atoms in the periodic table with the force of winds, since atoms do vary in discrete ways. That paragraph seems to me to be talkng about continuous variations, though using the unfortunate choice of words ‘sequential’.

  36. Joseph There isn’t anything in the ToE which says anything about uncrossed divergence.

    Zachriel: Darwin proposed a process of uncrossed divergence as can be seen in this diagram from Origin of Species.

    Joseph: So what part of the theory of evolution prevents crossing?

    Darwin proposed uncrossed divergence as the basis of his Theory of Common Descent. Please correct the record.

  37. As for the nested hierarchy, we can make very specific and clear predictions, such as mammary glands correlating with having three ear bones. There’s a very real pattern involved, and this doesn’t change no matter how you wave you hands.

    To answer your question, we observe that distantly related organisms don’t cross. Darwin *hypothesized* uncrossed lines of descent to explain the observed nested hierarchy.

    Joseph: Except that there isn’t any such thing as a typical tree.

    I basically live in the woods and I can show you a variety of different trees, different shapes, different topologies, all within 100 feet of my house.

    Virtually every tree shares certain characteristics, e.g. each branch can have a number of children, but only one parent.

    Joseph: But anyway this tree talk does not address the issue of nested hierarchies.

    Your flawed understanding of the nested hierarchy is irrelevant. What matters are the actual patterns that are observed. If we categorize organisms by character traits, it turns out that for the vast majority of traits, they fall into the same groupings (#24). This is true even if the variations are completely random (#25).

  38. Nakashima-san:

    My point was that when you say ‘can’ lose containment, it is not the same as saying ‘do’ lose containment.

    If the defining traits can be lost then you will lose containment when that happens.

    As for the Denton quotes perhaps you should read the book and then actually address the arguments made.

  39. Joseph: If the defining traits can be lost then you will lose containment when that happens.

    Consider a simple case. Cetaceans are aquatic and do not have hind limbs. Should they be grouped with mammals or fish? Or does it make more sense to consider a large number of traits and find the best fit?

  40. Mr Joseph,

    I think your first version of the sentence was better. If some of the defining characteristics were lost, constructing the correct hierarchy is relatively more difficult than if none were lost. You may have two or more hierarchies that seem equally probable.

    All the more reason to use as many characters as possible. As the game ’20 Questions’ shows, you can distinguish milions of species with a small number of characters, but more will avoid the loss of characters as an issue.

  41. Mr Joseph,

    Again transitional forms, by their very nature, would violate the distinct boundary requirement of nested hierarchy.

    This is sort of like arguing that because streets have edges, they can’t merge together. Or that if a street has a crumbly edge, it fails the distinct boundary requirement of streethood and is no longer a street. In the words of the prophet, not even wrong.

  42. Again transitional forms, by their very nature, would violate the distinct boundary requirement of nested hierarchy.

    Nakashima-san:

    This is sort of like arguing that because streets have edges, they can’t merge together.

    This is a joke, right?

    Do you understand tat nested hierarchies require distinct boundaries?

    Do you understand that without distinct boundaries that one population can belong to more than one set, as with a Venn diagram?

    And yes use as many characteristics as possible.

    The fact remains that they can be lost. And once lost the containment is broken.

    Again Denton goes over this.

    So why do you argue from ignorance as opposed to actually addressing the refutations?

    Those refutations have been published for 25 years and ignoring them is not going to make them go away.

    Ignoring you teeth will make them go away but ignoring arguments is not any way to debate.

  43. Nakashima-san,

    1- Do nested hierarchies demand/ require that defining characteristics be immutable?

    2- Do nested hierarchies demand/ require that defining characteristics be additive?

    Those are simple “yes/ no” questions for someone who understands nested hierarchies.

    Now the clincher:

    Does evolution demand/ require such a direction, or can characteristics be lost if that is what is selected?

  44. Just in case anyone was really wondering:

    Does evolution demand/ require such a direction, or can characteristics be lost if that is what is selected?

    Can evolution make things less complicated?-

    Scientists suggest cell origins involved a forward-and-backward process

    “We do think there is a tendency to look at evolution as progressive,” he said. “We prefer to think of evolution as backwards, sideways, and occasionally forward.”

    It looks like the pattern expected should be a confused asterisk.

  45. The nested hierarchy is a fundamental pattern in biology and underlies the Theory of Common Descent. In order to understand the evidence for whale evolution (the thread topic), it is necessary to understand the Theory of Common Descent. If anyone else wishes to discuss the topic, please do.

    As for Joseph, let’s try a very simple example of biological classification. Do whales group best with mice or fish?

  46. Mr Joseph,

    ‘No’ to all three questions.

  47. 1- Do nested hierarchies demand/ require that defining characteristics be immutable?

    2- Do nested hierarchies demand/ require that defining characteristics be additive?

    Those are simple “yes/ no” questions for someone who understands nested hierarchies.

    Now the clincher:

    Does evolution demand/ require such a direction, or can characteristics be lost if that is what is selected?

    Nakashima-san:

    ‘No’ to all three questions.

    Thank you for demonstrating that you do not understand nested hierarchies.

    Ya see because “nested hierarchies involve levels which consist of, and contain, lower levels” that means, as Dr Denton said, that defining characteristics must be immutable.

    And as I said if you do not have additive charactetristics then you are stuck on one level which means you cannot construct a nested hierarchy.

  48. So what part of the theory of evolution prevents crossing?

    Zachriel:

    Darwin proposed uncrossed divergence as the basis of his Theory of Common Descent.

    That does not answer the question Zach.

    Why are you avoiding answering the question?

  49. ZAchriel:

    If we categorize organisms by character traits, it turns out that for the vast majority of traits, they fall into the same groupings (#24).

    You are a loser.

    Ya see if we catergorize organisms by characteristics- as I have been telling you for years- then we are NOT catergorizing them by descent.

    YOUR claim is that the nested hierarchy arose from descent.

    You have failed to support that claim.

    The nested hierarchy is a fundamental pattern in biology and underlies the Theory of Common Descent.

    Darwin did not say that.

    As a matter of fact Darwin used well timed extiction events to expolain the distinct categories.

    And YOU have failed to demonstrate that descent leads to a nested hierarchy.

    Why is that Zachriel?

    Now you say that nested hierarchies are built on characteristics- something I have been telling you for years.

    Guess what? Descent is NOT a characteristic.

    “Who’s your daddy?” is not a characteristic.

    And why do you keep ignoring all the refutations I have presented?

    Do you think that your ignorance is meaningful discourse?

  50. Again transitional forms, by their very nature, would violate the distinct boundary requirement of nested hierarchy.

    Zachriel always ignores that and every refutation put forth and keeps babbling incoherently in the face of those refutations.

    So here is what I can do-

    I challenge Zachriel to a debate- we each put up $10,000 USD- we get a panel of referees (the loser also pays for the refs and the venue) and have it out.

    Zachriel the intellectual coward will not put up.

    What does that say about his position?

  51. Zachriel: As for Joseph, let’s try a very simple example of biological classification. Do whales group best with mice or fish?

    Joseph said that the Theory of Evolution doesn’t consider uncrossed lines of descent. When presented evidence from Darwin’s Origin of Species that this is incorrect, he refuses to correct his claim.

    Joseph wants to discuss taxonomy and the nested hierarchy, but can’t even tell us whether he would classify a whale with a mouse or a fish. As everything depends on how we classify organisms, attempting to discuss the overall pattern with Joseph would be fruitless.

    Suffice it to say, as previously mentioned, that the correlations between a wide number of trait characters is striking. You can look at a jaw bone and a few teeth and know the organism gave birth to its young live, nursed them from special glands, and looked after them until they could look after themselves. All from a few teeth.

    As the evolution of whales depends on understanding the Theory of Common Descent, and as no one wishes to follow the argument concerning the Theory of Common Descent, we take that to mean the original objections are no longer worth supporting.

  52. There is another stringent condition which must be satisfied if a hierarchic pattern is to result as an end product of an evolutionary process: no ancestral or transitional forms can be permitted to survive.
    This can be seen by examining the tree diagram on page 135. If any of the ancestors X, Y and Z, or if any of teh hypothetical transitional connecting species stationed on the main branches of the tree, had survived and had therefore to be included in the classification scheme, the distinctness of the divisions would be blurred by intermediate or partially inclusive classes and what remained of the hierarchic pattern would be highly disordered.

    Charles Darwn:

    Extinction, as we have seen in the fourth chapter, has played an important part in defining and widening the intervals between the several groups in each class. We may thus account for the distinctness of whole classes from each other- for instance, of birds from all other vertebvrate animals- by the belief that many ancient forms of life have been utterly lost, through which early progenitors of birds were formerly connected with the early progenitors of the other and at that time less differentiated vertebrate class. page 432 “Origins of Species…”

    IOW extinction NOT descent is the cause of the observed distinct categories.

    If Zachriel were correct then descent alone would produce a nested hierarchy.

    But Zachriel is too much of a coward to even address the refutations.

    Your parents must be very proud of you Zach…

  53. Zachriel:

    As for Joseph, let’s try a very simple example of biological classification. Do whales group best with mice or fish?

    What is the relevance Zach”

    A whale is a whale because it has the defining characteristics of a whale.

    Mice are mice because they have the defining characteristics of mice.

    And fish have the defining characteristics of fish.

    IOW just as I have been telling you for years classification is done via characteristics.

    Yet according to you descent alone is sufficient for classification.

    IOW Zachriel you appear to have changed your mind/ moved your goalposts.

    Why did you do that?

    Did you think that no one would notice?

  54. Zachriel and others continue to spout off that descent with modification will lead to a nested hierarchy.

    I have already provided enough reasons to refute that premise but here is one more:

    Nested hierarchies have a direction-

    For example in the nested hierarchy of living organisms we have the animal kingdom.

    To be placed in the animal kingdom an organism must have all of the criteria of an animal.

    For example:

    All members of the Animalia are multicellular (eukaryotes), and all are heterotrophs (that is, they rely directly or indirectly on other organisms for their nourishment). Most ingest food and digest it in an internal cavity.

    Animal cells lack the rigid cell walls that characterize plant cells. The bodies of most animals (all except sponges) are made up of cells organized into tissues, each tissue specialized to some degree to perform specific functions.

    The next level (after kingdom) is the phyla. Phyla have all the characteristics of the kingdom PLUS other criteria.

    For example one phylum under the Kingdom Animalia, is Chordata.

    Chordates have all the characteristics of the Kingdom PLUS the following:

    Chordates are defined as organisms that possess a structure called a notochord, at least during some part of their development. The notochord is a rod that extends most of the length of the body when it is fully developed. Lying dorsal to the gut but ventral to the central nervous system, it stiffens the body and acts as support during locomotion. Other characteristics shared by chordates include the following (from Hickman and Roberts, 1994):

    bilateral symmetry
    segmented body, including segmented muscles
    three germ layers and a well-developed coelom.
    single, dorsal, hollow nerve cord, usually with an enlarged anterior end (brain)
    tail projecting beyond (posterior to) the anus at some stage of development
    pharyngeal pouches present at some stage of development
    ventral heart, with dorsal and ventral blood vessels and a closed blood system
    complete digestive system
    bony or cartilaginous endoskeleton usually present.

    The next level is the class. All classes have the criteria of the kingdom, plus all the criteria of its phylum PLUS the criteria of its class.

    This is important because it shows there is a direction- one of additive characteristics.

    Yet evolution does NOT have a direction. Characteristics can be lost as well as gained. And characteristics can remain stable.

    All of that means we should not expect a nested hierarchy with descent with modification.

  55. Zachriel:

    The nested hierarchy is a fundamental pattern in biology and underlies the Theory of Common Descent.

    Yet said theory does not predict such a pattern for the many reasons provided.

    In order to understand the evidence for whale evolution (the thread topic), it is necessary to understand the Theory of Common Descent.

    And those who understand said theory understand that nested hierarchy is not an expected result.

  56. Do nested hierarchies demand/require that defining characteristics be immutable?

    Yes.

    Do nested hierarchies demand/require that defining characteristics be additive?

    Yes.

    Does evolution demand/require such a direction

    No.

    …can characteristics be lost if that is what is selected?

    Yes.

    But we can toss out any “defining characteristics” as needed in order to maintain the illusion.

  57. Mr Joseph,

    Ya see because “nested hierarchies involve levels which consist of, and contain, lower levels” that means, as Dr Denton said, that defining characteristics must be immutable.

    As with your reliance on Dr Wells, you seem to have an affinity for authorities whose definitions don’t align with the real world very well. We’ve just exchanged several comments based on the possibility that characters can be lost, but that a nested hierarchy can be constructed with high reliability anyway by using multiple characters. Why retreat to absolutist definitions by authors no one agrees with?

  58. Nakashima-san:

    As with your reliance on Dr Wells, you seem to have an affinity for authorities whose definitions don’t align with the real world very well.

    Last I remember you bastardized Dr Well’s position si if I were you I wouldn’t bring that up.

    Also you don’t seem to know what the real world is.

    But anyway:

    We’ve just exchanged several comments based on the possibility that characters can be lost, but that a nested hierarchy can be constructed with high reliability anyway by using multiple characters.

    Look if you lose a characteristic(s) then you lose containment.

    If you lose containment you lose the nested hierarchy.

    BTW “nested hierarchies involve levels which consist of, and contain, lower levels” is from the ISSS, meaning it is the real world.

    So why don’t you just admit that you don’t know what you are talking about or perhaps you can try to address the refutations already presented.

    Did you read and understand comment 54?

  59. ISSS on nested hierarchies

    nested hierarchies involve levels which consist of, and contain, lower levels

    And the ONLY way that is possible is via immutable and additive characteristics.

    And that is because if you lose a characteristic you lose “consist of and contain” and if you don’t have additive characteristics you are stuck with one level.

    Animal Kingdom- set of defining characteristics

    Phylum Chordata- all of the defining characteristics of “animal” PLUS all defining characteristics of a basic chordate.

    What part of that don’t you understand Nakashima-san?

  60. Mr Joseph,

    nested hierarchies involve levels which consist of, and contain, lower levels

    And the ONLY way that is possible is via immutable and additive characteristics.

    Strange, I don’t see that requirement on the ISSS page, or a citation of Dr Denton as an authority on classifcation theory in general.

    And that is because if you lose a characteristic you lose “consist of and contain” and if you don’t have additive characteristics you are stuck with one level.

    If all you had was a single defining character, but since there are multiple defining characters, this loss is not total. You’ve lost absolute certainty and accepted statistical probability instead. That is all you ever have with science.

    Phylum Chordata- all of the defining characteristics of “animal” PLUS all defining characteristics of a basic chordate.

    What part of that don’t you understand Nakashima-san?

    I understand it all quite well. That is why I started participating in this discussion by noting that hundreds and thousands of characters are at hand to create the hierarchy, not a handful.

    Since you give it as an example, do you accept that all chordates are animals, and that the first chordate was descended from an earlier animal? Within chordates, do whales group more closely with mice or fish?

  61. nested hierarchies involve levels which consist of, and contain, lower levels

    And the ONLY way that is possible is via immutable and additive characteristics.

    Nakashima-san:

    Strange, I don’t see that requirement on the ISSS page, or a citation of Dr Denton as an authority on classifcation theory in general.

    Dude, that, immutable and additive characteristics, is the only way to involve levels which consist of, and contain, lower levels.

    What is wrong with you?

    I even explained it for you.

    And that is because if you lose a characteristic you lose “consist of and contain” and if you don’t have additive characteristics you are stuck with one level.

    If all you had was a single defining character, but since there are multiple defining characters, this loss is not total.

    Wrong again.

    ALL of the characteristics have to be retained throughout the levels- that is once any characteristic is “locked in” it has to remain in all lower levels, just as is demonstrated by the Linnean classifivation system I referenced.

    That is why I started participating in this discussion by noting that hundreds and thousands of characters are at hand to create the hierarchy, not a handful.

    We went over this already also.

    So did Denton, in some detail.

    But anyway as I have said and supported an “animal” is defined by a handful of characteristics.

    Then as you procede down towards “species” each level maintains all the charcteristics of its upper levels, PLUS all that is new which differentiates that set from all other sets on its level.

    Since you give it as an example, do you accept that all chordates are animals,…

    Seeing that they have ALL the characteristics that define an “animal” PLUS the characteristics that define chordtaes, yes.

    … and that the first chordate was descended from an earlier animal?

    Or designed by by an earlier intelligent designer.

    But anyways, yes in Common Descent the first chordate may have “evolved” from some organism which only had the handful of characteristics that define an animal but none of the characteristics that define chordates.

    However the theory does not predict that.

    One or more “animal defining characteristics” can also be lost, as opposed to “evolving” into chordates, they slipped back into fungi or whatever.

    OR those handful of animal defining characteristics could have just as well stayed right there, at that level, just sort of swaying between varying degrees of each characteristic. Neither progressing nor regressing, just a wobbling stability.

    The point being is that the theory of evolution would be OK with any of those outcomes- progression, regression and wobbling stability.

    But even all that misses the issue of transitional forms which must have had to exist.

    And that is why Darwin did not use descent to explain the observed nested hierarchy. He had to resort to well-timed extinction events to explain this observation.

  62. Nakashima-san:

    Within chordates, do whales group more closely with mice or fish?

    Let’s examine this-

    With Common Descent fish came before mice and whales.

    In order for there to be a nested hierarchy based on descent then mice and whales should ahve all the characteristics of fish PLUS the characteristics which define them.

    Fish have gills.

    Neither mice nor whales have gills.

    Fish are clod-blooded.

    Neither mice nor whales are cold-blooded.

    With the observed nested hierarchy fish are just as evolved as mammals.

    And that is to be expected with a scheme based on characteristics, not descent.

  63. Joseph:”Fish have gills.

    Neither mice nor whales have gills.”

    Some fish have lungs and some will even drown if held under water their gills being pretty much usless for gas exchange. Mice and Elephants also have lungs and will drown if held under water.

    Joseph: “Fish are clod-blooded.

    Neither mice nor whales are cold-blooded.”

    All fish are not cold-blooded and facing this fact cold-bloodedness doesn’t seem to be an all-inclusive trait for definining what a fish actually ‘is’. Mice and whales are also warm-blooded (like some fish).

    Are there any other characteristics we should consider since gills, lungs, warm-blooded, and cold-bloodedness don’t seem to work in your example.

  64. Mr Joseph,

    Neither mice nor whales have gills.

    Would you like to rethink that answer? Perhaps meditate on your inner fish…

  65. Nakashima-san,

    What is there to re-think?

    Neither mice nor whales have gills- that is a fact.

    And neither mice nor whales are cold-blooded.

    Now if you have any evidence to the contrary now would be the time to present it.

    As for my inner fish- Yes I have read the Shubin book and found it very uncompelling.

  66. Mr Joseph,

    You might consider their embryology, there is still time to change your answer…

  67. Joseph,

    I think Nak is referring to “gill slits”

    Vivid

  68. Vividbleau gets it in one! …and the crowd goes wild…

    In order for there to be a nested hierarchy based on descent then mice and whales should ahve all the characteristics of fish PLUS the characteristics which define them.

    Thank you, Mr Joseph, for proving the descent of mice and whales from fish through their sharing of characters in a hierarchy. Very evo-devo of you.

  69. #66

    I would not celebrate yet Nak :)

    Vivid

  70. Mr Vividbleau,

    Too late, the celebration of the Year of the Tiger is already in full swing here at Chateau Nakashima! ;)

  71. #68

    You have me chuckling. My sincere hope that your year goes well for you and yours.

    Vivd

  72. Nakashima-san,

    I am waiting for the evidence that whales and mice have gills.

    “Gill slits” in embryos are no such thing.

    They are folds:

    gill slits:

    The skin folds in mammals, birds, and reptiles are sometimes called “gill slits”, but the true gill slits in embryonic fish develop into gills, whereas the “gill slits” in other vertebrates develop into the throat area and the bones in the ear.

    That refutes Nak’s position rather nicely.

    Also it is very telling that Nak ignored the part about cold-blooded vs warm-blooded.

    And those are just two characteristics off the top of my head.

  73. Talk Origins chimes in:

    1.The pharyngeal pouches that appear in embryos technically are not gill slits, but that is irrelevant.

    Nakashima-san- did you pay for your evolutionary “education”? Can you get a refund?

  74. vividbleau,

    Thank you.

    I wanted Nakashima-san to come out and say it because thinking that whales and mice embryos had actual gill slits proves he does not understand the evidence.

  75. #72

    Joseph I was rather surprised that Nak would come up with that example as well. Thus the warning that it was to early to start celebrating.

    BTW Your welcome :)

    Vivid

  76. Zachriel: Do whales group best with mice or fish?

    Joseph: Fish have gills.
    Neither mice nor whales have gills.
    Fish are clod-blooded.
    Neither mice nor whales are cold-blooded.

    With the observed nested hierarchy fish are just as evolved as mammals.

    You didn’t seem to answer the question. This has nothing to do with the nested hierarchy.

    Whales and fish are both aquatic. Based on the panoply of trait characters, do whales group best with mice or fish?

  77. Perhaps a better argument for Nak is to replace “gill slits” with “pharyngeal pouches”?

    Vivid

  78. Mr Joseph,

    That refutes Nak’s position rather nicely.

    Also it is very telling that Nak ignored the part about cold-blooded vs warm-blooded.

    My position that we mammals are descended from fish rather than are fish? Au contraire!

    Not very telling in re cold bloodedness, considering that is not a defining characteristic of fish. You should have tried scales.

  79. Nakashima-san,

    It refutes your position that whales and mice have gills.

    Neither mice nor whales have gills.

  80. Acipenser:

    Some fish have lungs and some will even drown if held under water their gills being pretty much usless for gas exchange.

    The fish with lungs did they just come that way or did they allegedly “evolve” from fish with gills?

  81. Zachriel:

    Joseph said that the Theory of Evolution doesn’t consider uncrossed lines of descent. When presented evidence from Darwin’s Origin of Species that this is incorrect, he refuses to correct his claim.

    What is wrong with you?

    I asked for the data which demonstrates taht lines cannot be crossed.

    Joseph wants to discuss taxonomy and the nested hierarchy, but can’t even tell us whether he would classify a whale with a mouse or a fish.

    I don’t want to discuss taxonomy.

    I want to discuss your ignorance pertaining to nested hierarchies.

    You seem to think that descent will lead to a nested hierarchy yet when faced withn refutation after refutation you prattle on as if the refutations don’t exist.

    As the evolution of whales depends on understanding the Theory of Common Descent, and as no one wishes to follow the argument concerning the Theory of Common Descent, we take that to mean the original objections are no longer worth supporting.

    You must be really impressed with your empty bloviations.

    If whale evolution depends on the assumption they evolved then you are not doing science.

    Also if you think that descent with modification leads to a nested hierarchy then you aren’t in any position to assess the evidence.

    Zachriel:

    You didn’t seem to answer the question. This has nothing to do with the nested hierarchy.

    You seemed to have avoided all my questions Zach. Why is that?

    Ya see Zach if you are going to classify organisms via traits then you have agreed with me and have abandoned your nonsense that descent leads to a nested hierarchy.

    However until you come out and admit it no one wants to discuss this with you as you will never admit it when you are wrong.

  82. Acipenser,

    Some fish have temperature control mecahnsims but that does not make them warm-blooded.

  83. One of the many questions Zachriel is ignoring in this thread:

    So what part of the theory of evolution prevents crossing?

  84. Zachriel: Joseph said that the Theory of Evolution doesn’t consider uncrossed lines of descent. When presented evidence from Darwin’s Origin of Species that this is incorrect, he refuses to correct his claim.

    Joseph: What is wrong with you?

    What’s wrong is that you misrepresented the Theory of Evolution. When provided evidence that you were wrong, you refused to correct yourself. Whether or not you agree with the Theory of Evolution, it is not appropriate to misrepresent it in order to strike down a strawman.

    Joseph: I don’t want to discuss taxonomy.

    If you don’t want to talk about whales and their traits, no one can make you. This thread is about whale evolution. The Theory of Evolution asserts Common Descent, and taxonomy is crucial evidence in support of this theory.

  85. Joseph: So what part of the theory of evolution prevents crossing?

    It’s an *observation* that some organisms don’t cross. There’s an entire chapter concerning hybridization and degrees of reproductive isolation in Darwin’s Origin of Species.

  86. Joseph: “The fish with lungs did they just come that way or did they allegedly “evolve” from fish with gills?”

    I’m not sure what you are getting at since fish with lungs also have rudimentary gills to varying degrees. Some are obligate air breathers and others are not. I would say that evolution had a lot to do with it.

    Another interesting thing about these fish with lungs is that they have ciliated eggs (like amphibians) while no other fish eggs (to my knowledge) have ciliated eggs.

    Joseph: “Some fish have temperature control mecahnsims but that does not make them warm-blooded.”

    That isn’t true at all. These fish are certainly warm-blooded and have the ability to regulate their internal temperature over 20 degrees (F) above ambient temperature. Recent work on a species of Lamnid shark demonstrates that red muscle contraction is diminished to 25% of capacity at ambient water temperatures and that red muscle damage would occur in these fish if they did not regulate their internal body temperature above ambient water temperatures.

    They are warm-blooded by any definition that I am aware of unless there is an alternate definition available that applies. Is this the case?

    That is better thermal regulation than mole rats (as one example)are able to achieve and they are mammals.

  87. in #85 that should be ciliated epidermis in the larval fish analgous to the ciliated larvae of amphibians. Not eggs. mea culpa.

  88. Joseph

    I don’t want to discuss taxonomy.

    Why not? We can learn quite something from Taxonomy. E.g., when Thylacine is being discussed as a menber of Canidae.

  89. Acipenser:

    I’m not sure what you are getting at since fish with lungs also have rudimentary gills to varying degrees.

    As far as I can tell gills are a defining characteristic of a fish.

    If you have data to the contrary please present it.

    (Mice and whales do not have gills- ever)

    Temperature control in cold-blooded animals:

    Scientific understanding of thermal regulation regimes has advanced greatly since the original distinction was made between warm- and cold-blooded animals, and the issue has been studied much more extensively.

    Many cold-blooded animals use behavioral means to adjust their internal temperatures:

    lizards and snakes bask in the sun in the early morning and late evening, and seek shelter around noon.
    many species of bees and moths flap their wings vigorously to raise the temperature of their flight muscles before taking off.
    bees in large hives will cool the hive in hot periods by going to its entrances and using their wings as fans to draw cooling air through the hive. They will warm the hive in cool periods by gathering in the middle and shivering to produce heat.
    termite mounds are usually oriented in a north-south direction so that they absorb as much heat as possible around dawn and dusk and minimise heat absorption around noon.
    Some other cold-blooded creatures use internal mechanisms to maintain body temperatures significantly above the ambient level:

    Tuna and Swordfish. Fish have long been thought to be cold blooded. Tuna and swordfish dive deep into the ocean where the water is very cold. Swordfish are able to raise the temperature of their brains and eyes, which allows faster eye movements when hunting. Tuna are able to warm their entire bodies through a heat exchange mechanism called the rete mirabile, which helps keep heat inside the body, and minimizes the loss of heat through the gills. They also have their swimming muscles near the center of their bodies instead of near the surface, which minimises heat loss.
    “Warm-blooded” sharks (e.g. mako and white sharks), to minimize heat loss through their gills, pass their blood through rete mirabile heat exchangers before it enters into the gills and after it exits from them: Veins are right next to arteries and thus extract heat from the arteries and carry it back into the body.
    Large sea turtles exhibit inertial homeothermy (Gigantothermy) – their low ratio of surface area to volume minimises heat loss.

  90. But anyway Acipenser are you with Zachriel in saying that descent with modification leads to a nested hierarchy?

    The point being is that Zachriel has said time and again that nested hierarchy is evidence for Common Descent even though it has been explained to him in detail why this is not the case.

  91. Something more easily understandable ;)

    Warm-blooded fish?

  92. Joseph:”As far as I can tell gills are a defining characteristic of a fish.”

    Many other creatures also have gills so I don’t think we can use gills as a single indicator/characteristic of what makes a fish a fish.

    Likewise given the number of fish that are endothermic cold-bloodedness is also a poor defining characteristic for determining what makes a fish a fish.

    Tunas and Lamnid sharks are well equipped to regulate their internal body temperature to a near constant temperature that is much higher than the environment in which they live. Perhaps one of the best examples is the salmon shark which must keep it’s internal body temperature much higher than the environment to prevent muscle damage and promote adequate muscle contractability for movement.

    Endothermy does not equal cold-bloodedness.

    The embryos of mice, whales, and fish (as well as all vertebrate embryos)possess pharyngeal pouches a trait no other group of animals share.

    I thought you mentioned earlier that you didn’t want to discuss taxononmy so I wonder what the change in heart was to motivate you to return to the issue of nested hierarchies.

  93. Acipenser:

    Many other creatures also have gills so I don’t think we can use gills as a single indicator/characteristic of what makes a fish a fish.

    All fish have gills.

    I never said anything abouyt a “single indicator”.

    As for cold-bloodedness- nice of you to ignore my references.

    Is that how you “argue” too?

    Ignore what your opponent posts and trudge on anyway?

    The embryos of mice, whales, and fish (as well as all vertebrate embryos)possess pharyngeal pouches a trait no other group of animals share.

    So what?

    I thought you mentioned earlier that you didn’t want to discuss taxononmy so I wonder what the change in heart was to motivate you to return to the issue of nested hierarchies.

    Please try to follow along-

    Zachriel is saying that descent with modification- ie Common Descent- leads to a nested hierarchy.

    That is the pattern of nested hierarchy is evidence for Common Descent.

    Taxonomy is based on defined characteristics.

    The observed nested hierarchy is based on characteristics.

    Descent is not a characteristic. Neither is “who’s your daddy?”.

  94. Joseph:”As for cold-bloodedness- nice of you to ignore my references.”

    I didn’t ignore your reference but did note that it is very superficial in addressing the endothermic mechanisms used by fish to elelevate their body temperature above ambient temperatures. What did you find particulary striking about your reference?

    If endothermy does not consitute warm-bloodedness what does? In otherwords how many degrees must an animal actively (versus passive sun-bathing or generalized large mass) maintain their internal body temperature above the environment they inhabit in order to be classified as being warm-blooded versus cold-blooded.

    Joseph:”All fish have gills.”

    and not all fish use gills for respiration and as I pointed out earlier some can even drown if held underwater.

    Jospeh:”The observed nested hierarchy is based on characteristics”

    True, and are these characteristics not defined?

    In otherwords what is the differnece between a ‘characteristic’ and a ‘defined characteristic’?

    I also have not seen anyone (outside of you/Joseph) claiming that ‘descent’ is a defining characteristic used for taxonomic classification of any species.

    Joseph:”So what?”

    I suppose it could be simply a coincidence but that would be what would be expected and predicted based on common descent.

    Jospeh:”Please try to follow along-”

    Is this how you argue/debate?

  95. Acipenser,

    If descent is not a defining characteristic then it is obvious that descent with modification does not predict a nested hierarchy.

    Also this:

    The embryos of mice, whales, and fish (as well as all vertebrate embryos)possess pharyngeal pouches a trait no other group of animals share.

    can be used as evidence for a common design.

    All fish have gills and gills are a defining characteristic of fish.

    Neither mice nor whales have gills thereby breaking the containment requirement for nested hierarchies.

    And about the references to cold-bloodedness and fish- it shows that they use tricks to raise their body temp.

  96. Joseph:”If descent is not a defining characteristic then it is obvious that descent with modification does not predict a nested hierarchy.”

    In order for me to respond appropriately I would need to know and understand your definition of “characteristic” versus the one you use for “defined characteristic”. Could you explain the difference to me as I previously requested?

    I don’t think you can use descent as a taxinomic criteria. You could infer descent given a collection of characteristics, however.

    Joseph:”And about the references to cold-bloodedness and fish- it shows that they use tricks to raise their body temp.”

    Tricks? Seems like a lot of animals (you and I included)all use tricks to regulate their internal body temperature greater than their environment. It certainly is an advantageous trick for all species that use these tricks.

    Joseph:”Also this:

    The embryos of mice, whales, and fish (as well as all vertebrate embryos)possess pharyngeal pouches a trait no other group of animals share.

    can be used as evidence for a common design.”

    You could try that but you would need to provide an explanation of the how this design mechanism cropped up in this group of creatures and is not present in other sets of creatures. Of course the explanation would have some specificity to it otherwise we would need to resort to Occam’s razor and resort to the simplest explanation that explains the presence of these structures.

  97. Mr Joseph,

    Mice and whales have structures at the same spot, using the same genes as fish, that preserve a function of gills in fish. Of course these are not the gills of modern fish, and no one is arguing that mice and whales are descended from modern fish. However, your position that these structures which they do have are not related to gills is absurd, and not one you can support from the scientific literature.

    I also found your “I was just testing you” comment quite amusing, I haven’t seen it used by someone that wanted to be taken seriously in some time.

  98. Nakashima-san:

    Mice and whales have structures at the same spot, using the same genes as fish, that preserve a function of gills in fish.

    Common design can explain that.

    Of course these are not the gills of modern fish, and no one is arguing that mice and whales are descended from modern fish.

    If you want to argue that mice and whales descended from any type of fish you need something that demonstrates the transformations required are even possible.

    However, your position that these structures which they do have are not related to gills is absurd, and not one you can support from the scientific literature.

    Your position that these structures are gill slits has been refuted.

    Stop acting like a baby and take it like a man.

    And if you want to be taken seriously you shouldn’t use refuted arguments.

    Perhaps someone should take the genes you think are the same, modify them and see if we canb get a mouse or a whale with gills.

  99. Acipenser

    In order for me to respond appropriately I would need to know and understand your definition of “characteristic” versus the one you use for “defined characteristic”.

    Skin color is a characteristic. However it is not a defining characteristic for humans.

    I don’t think you can use descent as a taxinomic criteria. You could infer descent given a collection of characteristics, however.

    Seeing that descent does nit say that characteristics will collect why would anyone make such an inference?

    As I said before with evolution characteristics can be lost. Nothing prevents that from happening.

    You could try that but you would need to provide an explanation of the how this design mechanism cropped up in this group of creatures and is not present in other sets of creatures.

    Design is that explanation.

    If you want to say “descent” then you have to demonstrate that the transformations required are even possible.

    Of course the explanation would have some specificity to it otherwise we would need to resort to Occam’s razor and resort to the simplest explanation that explains the presence of these structures.

    Design is a much simpler explanation that an accumulation of magical mystery mutations.

  100. Mr Joseph,

    Your position that these structures are gill slits has been refuted.

    Wilful misunderstanding is not refutation. The question of defining characters cannot be decided simply on the basis of the adult body.

    You posited gills and cold bloodedness as two characters that would define a hierarchy. Since amphibians have gills and are cold blooded, do you agree that it is legitimate to posit a hierarchy that places amphibians and modern fish under some common ancestor? Or is the tadpole related to fish but the frog not related?

  101. Mr Joseph,

    Design is a much simpler explanation that an accumulation of magical mystery mutations.

    Indeed, knockout experiments are much more complicated than poof. Occam’s Razor has slit the throat of methodological naturalism. You shall be remembered as the Sweeney Todd of science.

  102. Nakashima-san:

    Wilful misunderstanding is not refutation. The question of defining characters cannot be decided simply on the basis of the adult body.

    The willfull misunderstanding is all yours.

    Neither whales nor micehave gills during any stage of development nor life.

    You posited gills and cold bloodedness as two characters that would define a hierarchy.

    That define fish.

    And I am not the one who said it.

    You can look it up if you want.

    Since amphibians have gills and are cold blooded, do you agree that it is legitimate to posit a hierarchy that places amphibians and modern fish under some common ancestor?

    A hierachy is different than a nested hierarchy.

    And there still isn’t any data which demonstrates that such a transformation is even possible.

  103. Design is a much simpler explanation that an accumulation of magical mystery mutations.

    Nakashima-san:

    Indeed, knockout experiments are much more complicated than poof.

    What knock-out experiments demonstrate the transformations required are even possible?

    What knock-out experiments show that an accumulation of genetic accidents can build useful complex protein macinery and change body plans?

  104. The claim is that whales could not have evolved by small genetic changes. This is a direct reference to the Theory of Evolution. Hence, it is entirely appropriate to consider that theory in detail. To do so requires establishing Common Descent. To do that we must first establish a suitable taxonomy.

    Zachriel: Do whales group best with mice or fish?

    Joseph: I don’t want to discuss taxonomy.

    Hence not wanting to discuss the evidence for the Theory of Evolution. By the way, Linnaeus placed whales with mammals a century before Origin of Species.

    Linnaeus, Systema Naturae. Volume 1. 10th edition, Laurentii Salvii, Holmiae, 1758.

  105. Mr Joseph,

    What knock-out experiments demonstrate the transformations required are even possible?

    Every knockout experiment proves it is possible. Possible means the mechanism exists. Darwin posited variable and heritable traits, and Mendel proved they exist. Duplicate sets of Hox genes and you can build more complicated body plans.

    By continuing to ask “are they even possible” you are singing a few bars behind the choir. When Drs. Dembski and Meyer ask the question about probabilistic resources, they are already admitting that, yes, they are possible.

  106. Mr Joseph,

    in re gills and cold bloodedness:
    That define fish.

    And I am not the one who said it.

    You can look it up if you want.

    (Onlookers, you knew I would, with that kind of a straight line…)

    From the fount of all knowledge, Wikipedia:

    A fish is any aquatic vertebrate animal that is covered with scales, and equipped with two sets of paired fins and several unpaired fins.

    (BTW, here the Bible agrees that fins and scales are the determining characters of fish.)

    The next time you are wondering what to write and your Magic 8 Ball says “Make it up!”, give it another shake until “Use your internet connection” floats to the top. It really works!

  107. Zachriel,

    Linneaus was a Creationist searching foir the Created Kinds.

    Taxonomy- the observed nested hierarchy- was first was as evidence for a Common Design.

    The claim is that whales could not have evolved by small genetic changes.

    And you don’t have any evidence that the transformations required are even possible.

    Also sexual reproduction pretty much squashes Common Descent.

  108. Nakashima:

    Duplicate sets of Hox genes and you can build more complicated body plans.

    So you say yet there isn’t any evidence to support your claim.

  109. BTW Zachriel,

    If you think that descent with modification leads to a nested hierarchy then you are not in any position to assess any evidence.

    IOW we need to clear that hurdle before we can move forward.

  110. From the fount of all knowledge, Wikipedia:

    Temperature control in cold-blooded animals:

    Some other cold-blooded creatures use internal mechanisms to maintain body temperatures significantly above the ambient level:

    Tuna and Swordfish. Fish have long been thought to be cold blooded. Tuna and swordfish dive deep into the ocean where the water is very cold. Swordfish are able to raise the temperature of their brains and eyes, which allows faster eye movements when hunting. Tuna are able to warm their entire bodies through a heat exchange mechanism called the rete mirabile, which helps keep heat inside the body, and minimizes the loss of heat through the gills. They also have their swimming muscles near the center of their bodies instead of near the surface, which minimises heat loss.
    “Warm-blooded” sharks (e.g. mako and white sharks), to minimize heat loss through their gills, pass their blood through rete mirabile heat exchangers before it enters into the gills and after it exits from them: Veins are right next to arteries and thus extract heat from the arteries and carry it back into the body.

    Or is wikipedia only OK when you think that it supports you?

  111. Zachriel sez:

    What’s wrong is that you misrepresented the Theory of Evolution. When provided evidence that you were wrong, you refused to correct yourself. Whether or not you agree with the Theory of Evolution, it is not appropriate to misrepresent it in order to strike down a strawman.

    Let’s see- you cannot provide any evidence to support your claim so therefor I misrepresenting the theory of evolution?

    So that we are clear:

    You have not presented any evidence that evolution/ descent with modification prevents crossing.

    If you don’t want to talk about whales and their traits, no one can make you. This thread is about whale evolution. The Theory of Evolution asserts Common Descent, and taxonomy is crucial evidence in support of this theory.

    More empty bloviation.

    Yes this thread is about whale evolution.

    Taxonomy doesn’t have anything to do with whale evolution.

    Taxonomy is based on CHARACTERISTICS.

    You are trying to argue descent with modification, which we all know does not lead to a nested hierarchy.

    IOW the observed nested hierarchy should be evidence against your position.

    That you refuse to understand taht proves that you arten’t in any position to discuss the evidence.

  112. So what part of the theory of evolution prevents crossing?

    Zachriel:

    It’s an *observation* that some organisms don’t cross.

    So there isn’t anything in the theory that prevents it.

    Got it.

    Also the Creation model states that there won’t be any crossing.

    There’s an entire chapter concerning hybridization and degrees of reproductive isolation in Darwin’s Origin of Species.

    The theory starts with reproducing organsism so really doesn’t have much to say about it.

    If organisms could readily inter-breed the theory would be OK with that.

    You guys would just say “See- we are all related!”

  113. I don’t want to discuss taxonomy.

    osteonectin:

    Why not? We can learn quite something from Taxonomy. E.g., when Thylacine is being discussed as a menber of Canidae

    Taxonomy doesn’t have anything to do with descent with modification.

  114. Mr Joseph,

    So you say yet there isn’t any evidence to support your claim.

    Don’t tell the folks who wrote Gene duplications and the origins of vertebrate development or Hox genes and chordate evolution.

  115. Joseph:”Some other cold-blooded creatures use internal mechanisms to maintain body temperatures significantly above the ambient level”

    Do not all wamr-blooded creatures use internal mechanisms to maintain body temperatures significantly above ambient levels?

    Joseph:(your reference states the following)“Warm-blooded” sharks (e.g. mako and white sharks), to minimize heat loss through their gills, pass their blood through rete mirabile heat exchangers before it enters into the gills and after it exits from them: Veins are right next to arteries and thus extract heat from the arteries and carry it back into the body.”

    There is a fatal error in that passage that hopefully you are aware of and recognize that you should, perhaps, consult an accurate reference to cite.

    Jospeh:”Taxonomy is based on CHARACTERISTICS.”

    Are you saying that nested hierarchy construction is not based on characteristics?

    Seems to me that that is not the case at all. Perhaps I have misunderstood you and hopefully you can explain how it works that taxonomy uses characteristics and nested hierarchy does not use characteristics.

  116. Nakashima,

    Did you read the papers?

    Both are speculation based on the assumption.

    Neither one demonstrates anything.

    IOW no one took an embryo of one animal, added HOX genes and got a different body plan as a result.

  117. Acipenser:

    Are you saying that nested hierarchy construction is not based on characteristics?

    Nested hierarchies are built on characteristics.

    That is what I have been saying for decades.

    Zachriel, OTOH, is saying that descent with modification leads to a nested hierarchy.

    It does not for all the reasons provided.

    And as for wikipedia, I cite it because it seems to be a favorite reference of evolutionists.

    If it is wrong then edit it.

  118. Joseph:”If it is wrong then edit it.

    You are unsure if it is wrong? It is your reference I just assumed that a vetting of the accuracy of the information one posts would be in order. To each their own I suppose!

    Joseph:”Nested hierarchies are built on characteristics.”

    If taxonomy is based on characteristics and nested hierarchies are based on characteristics if seems to follow that a discussion of taxonomy is reasonable when speaking about whale evolution and nested hierarchy. Which gets back to the question of where whales, mice, and fish fit into the nested hierarchy and what chracteristics are used for that placement.

  119. Mr Joseph,

    Also sexual reproduction pretty much squashes Common Descent.

    Yes, all those racehorse breeders can keep track of the lineage of the horse only because horses reproduce asexually.

    What? Horses reproduce sexually?

    Curses, foaled again!

  120. IOW no one took an embryo of one animal, added HOX genes and got a different body plan as a result.

    I am not certain what you’re trying to say, is it that what science says about hox genes is rubbish, hogwash?

    So the function of hox genes in body development is just another evolution fairytale? Embryological studies are useless, their interpretation imaginary?

    Just to got this clear, have you done in-depth studies into the subject, i.e. do you know what you are talking about?

  121. Nakashima-san,

    A horse “evolving” into a horse does not help your position.

    And as a matter of fact supports my claim.

    I also have the word of a geneticist:

    Chapter IV of prominent geneticist Giuseppe Sermonti’s book Why is a Fly Not a Horse? is titled “Wobbling Stability”. In that chapter he discusses what I have been talking about in other threads- that populations oscillate. The following is what he has to say which is based on thorough scientific investigation:

    Sexuality has brought joy to the world, to the world of the wild beasts, and to the world of flowers, but it has brought an end to evolution. In the lineages of living beings, whenever absent-minded Venus has taken the upper hand, forms have forgotten to make progress. It is only the husbandman that has improved strains, and he has done so by bullying, enslaving, and segregating. All these methods, of course, have made for sad, alienated animals, but they have not resulted in new species. Left to themselves, domesticated breeds would either die out or revert to the wild state—scarcely a commendable model for nature’s progress.

    (snip a few paragraphs on peppered moths)

    Natural Selection, which indeed occurs in nature (as Bishop Wilberforce, too, was perfectly aware), mainly has the effect of maintaining equilibrium and stability. It eliminates all those that dare depart from the type—the eccentrics and the adventurers and the marginal sort. It is ever adjusting populations, but it does so in each case by bringing them back to the norm. We read in the textbooks that, when environmental conditions change, the selection process may produce a shift in a population’s mean values, by a process known as adaptation. If the climate turns very cold, the cold-adapted beings are favored relative to others.; if it becomes windy, the wind blows away those that are most exposed; if an illness breaks out, those in questionable health will be lost. But all these artful guiles serve their purpose only until the clouds blow away. The species, in fact, is an organic entity, a typical form, which may deviate only to return to the furrow of its destiny; it may wander from the band only to find its proper place by returning to the gang.

    Everything that disassembles, upsets proportions or becomes distorted in any way is sooner or later brought back to the type. There has been a tendency to confuse fleeting adjustments with grand destinies, minor shrewdness with signs of the times.

    It is true that species may lose something on the way—the mole its eyes, say, and the succulent plant its leaves, never to recover them again. But here we are dealing with unhappy, mutilated species, at the margins of their area of distribution—the extreme and the specialized. These are species with no future; they are not pioneers, but prisoners in nature’s penitentiary.

    The point being, that IF it were left to direct scientific observations, evolutionism fails miserably and all that is left is wishful thinking supported by speculation.

  122. Acipenser:

    If taxonomy is based on characteristics and nested hierarchies are based on characteristics if seems to follow that a discussion of taxonomy is reasonable when speaking about whale evolution and nested hierarchy.

    Not when discussing evidence for Common Descent.

    Ya see as I have been telling you- and you seem to be ignoring- Common Descent does not expect (predict) a nested hierarchy for all the reasons provided.

  123. Cabal:

    I am not certain what you’re trying to say, is it that what science says about hox genes is rubbish, hogwash.

    Science didn’t say it.

    Biased scientists did without justification.

    So the function of hox genes in body development is just another evolution fairytale?

    That does not have anything to do with what I posted.

    Also it is questionable/ doubtful that HOX genes “evolved” via an accumulation of genetic accidents.

    Embryological studies are useless, their interpretation imaginary?

    If they imagine new body plans arising then yes it is imaginary as it does not have any support.

    Just to got this clear, have you done in-depth studies into the subject, i.e. do you know what you are talking about?

    If you don’t like what I am saying then find some data to refute it.

  124. Acipenser,

    I explained why I used wikipedia as a reference.

    Did you not understand what I posted?

    Also this thread is about the alleged whale evolution from a land mammal.

    Yet not one evolutionist has put forth any data that supports their claim.

    Why is that?

  125. If you don’t like what I am saying then find some data to refute it.

    it’s not that I don’t like what you are saying, it’s just that I am not certain that I can be certain that the words you use for refutational purposes are equivalent with or have the explanatory power of refutational data.

  126. It is also worth repeating that nested hierarchy was FIRST used as evidence for a common design and all evos did when they took over was to replace archetype with common ancestor:

    One would expect a priori that such a complete change of the philosophical bias of classification would result in a radical change of classification, but this was by no means the case. There was hardly and change in method before and after Darwin, except that “archetype” was replaced by the common ancestor.– Ernst Mayr

    Simpson echoed those comments:

    From their classifications alone, it is practically impossible to tell whether zoologists of the middle decades of the nineteenth century were evolutionists or not. The common ancestor was at first, and in most cases, just as hypothetical as the archetype, and the methods of inference were much the same for both, so that classification continued to develop with no immediate evidence of the revolution in principles….the hierarchy looked the same as before even if it meant something totally different.

    IOW nested hierarchy was and is used as evidence for Common Design.

  127. Are Cold-Blooded Animals Really ‘Cold Blooded’?Variable temperature is more precise

    The great white shark and its relatives (like mako sharks) have a “rete mirabile” (“wonderful net” in Latin), a close web-like structure of veins and arteries, located along each lateral side of the shark, that keep heat by warming the cooler arterial blood with the venous blood that has been warmed by the working muscles. This way, these sharks have temperatures of 14?C above the water, while the heart and gills remain at sea-temperature, enabling them to hunt such rapid and agile prey like marine mammals.

  128. Cabal:

    it’s not that I don’t like what you are saying, it’s just that I am not certain that I can be certain that the words you use for refutational purposes are equivalent with or have the explanatory power of refutational data.

    IOW you don’t have any data and just wanted to stick your nose into the discussuion.

    Got it.

  129. Mr Joseph,

    Sermonti is a geneticist therefore he can twaddle evidence free? The asymmetry between what you demand of your sources and your opponents is vast.

    In the lineages of living beings, whenever absent-minded Venus has taken the upper hand, forms have forgotten to make progress.

    Let’s start with the idea that evolution equals progress. Whether this is Sermonti’s own belief or one he ascribes to his opponents, it is wrong. The rest is suggestive that sexual selection is similar to artificial selection. Sermonti is not aruging that sex itself has any effect on descent or speciation, though it is pretty clear that he accepts the idea of common descent when he speaks of the lineage of living things.

    The next quote has two ideas, both wrong. Sermonti grudginly admits that species traits track changes in their niche, but denies that these changes in niche are never permanent.

    But all these artful guiles serve their purpose only until the clouds blow away.

    Giuseppe, wake up and smell the plate tectonics.

    Then there is the assertion that species are real objects.

    The species, in fact, is an organic entity, a typical form, which may deviate only to return to the furrow of its destiny;

    Besides the unsupported Platonism, Sermonti is claiming both “progress” and typical form, both stability and “destiny”. It slits its own throat.

    And none of it is a prooftext to your position.

    Which wouldn’t help you anyway.

    Ya see, prooftexts don’t win arguments in science, evidence does. So try finding some.

  130. Nakashima-san,

    What Sermonti said is based on ALL of the evidence.

    As for the word “progress” you are taking it out of context.

    He is talking about progressing to the next form- as YOUR position requires.

    But anyways you don’t appear to know very much about biology.

    Ya see with sexual reproduction only 1/2 of each parent’s genome gets passed on.

    That means there isn’t any guarantee that even the most beneficial mutation will make it to the next generation.

    And if you are dealing with a slowly reproducing population such as whales that is a big deal.

    So what we have is your misrepresenting what Sermonti is saying because you are ignorant in biology.

    It is also very telling that you can’t produce any data that refutes what he said.

  131. BTW there is a huge difference between common descent- humans giving rise to humans, horses giving rise to horses, and Common Descent- the premise that all living organisms can trace back to some population(s) of common ancestor(s).

  132. As for slitting throats you slit your own throat when you triued to say that mice and whales have gills.

    You slit it again when you said that horses giving rise to horses actually helps your position.

    And you keep slitting it every time you post without supporting your position.

  133. I responded to this

    OW no one took an embryo of one animal, added HOX genes and got a different body plan as a result.

    and couldn’t help wondering “What is that supposed to mean? A refutation of what is known about the function of hox genes? AFAIK, hox genes have been extensively researched and have provided exquisite insight in how body plans are determined by hox genes.

    All you have to do to prove what i perceive as the point you want to make is to show how genetic changes – HOX or not – are not the result of natural processes.

    We know that genes do change, who can say he knows that genetic changes are irrelevant? Experiments have been and are being performed all the time, who can say the experiments are worthless?
    What about references to an ID experiment?

  134. JHospeh:”I explained why I used wikipedia as a reference.”

    My question wasn’t one of why you cited wikipedia but rather if you recognized the glaring error, and fatal, error in that citation.

    Joseph:”Did you not understand what I posted?”

    Yes, and I was wondering if you understood what you posted as well. Which is why I asked if you about the error in your citation.

    If you aren’t going to use characteristics (those used for taxonomy and construction of nested hierarchies) to define common descent what would you suggest be used?

  135. Joseph,

    Have you ever said whether whales better group with mice or fish? It’s not that difficult a question.

    Here’s a simpler case. Based on character traits, do sparrows group better with eagles or toads?

  136. Mr Joseph,

    Ya see with sexual reproduction only 1/2 of each parent’s genome gets passed on.

    That means there isn’t any guarantee that even the most beneficial mutation will make it to the next generation.

    And that Chinese law limiting whales to only one offspring really is a problem, because if they had more than one offspring during their reproductive life, the possibility that the best parts of both parents genomes would combine would be much higher.

    What’s that you say, Bunkie? Your whale doesn’t speak Chinese? It’s allergic to MSG? Look on the bright side – it won’t steal the leftover lo mein out of the refrigerator.

    BTW there is a huge difference between common descent- humans giving rise to humans, horses giving rise to horses, and Common Descent- the premise that all living organisms can trace back to some population(s) of common ancestor(s).

    Thanks for clearing that up. It makes it much clearer why sexual reproduction poses a problem for Common Descent. The Nefilim.

  137. Zachriel,

    You have avoided all my questions.

    YOU think that Common Descent leads to a nestedc hierarchy.

    IOW Zach you are not in any position to discuss evidence.

  138. Cabal,

    It means that no one knows whether or not duplicating or changing HOX genes produces a new body plan.

    We know genes change.

    We also know that the vast majority of genes to not affect body plans as they are used for every-day maintenance and sustainability- metabolism, etc.

  139. Acipenser and Nakashima,

    This thread is about whale evolution from a land mammal.

    If you have any evidence that supports the claim now would be a good time to present it.

    Your continued distractions tell me you cannot support the claim.

  140. And Nakashima-san,

    I understand that you don’t like what Sermonti said even though it is based on observations, experiences and experimentation.

    However all you have to do is provide the data which refutes him.

    If you can’t do that then all you have is whining.

  141. Acipenser:

    If you aren’t going to use characteristics (those used for taxonomy and construction of nested hierarchies) to define common descent what would you suggest be used?

    That’s your problem, not mine.

    As I said and evidence supports- characteristics can be lost as well as gained.

    But anyway as I said above an asterisk would be a pattern that could be produced via descent with modification (given traits can be lost or gained).

  142. Zachriel: Have you ever said whether whales better group with mice or fish?

    Joseph: This thread is about whale evolution from a land mammal. If you have any evidence that supports the claim now would be a good time to present it.

    But when someone tries to lead you through what the vast majority of biologist consider to be important evidence, you cover your eyes and start saying “nannynah.” From Darwin on, evidence of Common Descent has been found in taxonomy. We can’t possibly discuss the overall pattern when you refuse to admit that we can group organisms by traits.

    Indeed, there is only one consistent way to classify organisms, and it leads to a very specific pattern, a pattern that has empirical consequences.

    One of George Cuvier’s students dressed as the Devil with horns on his head and hoof-shaped shoes burst into Cuvier’s bedroom when he was asleep and said, “I am the Devil. I have come to devour you!” Cuvier woke up and replied, “I doubt whether you can. You have horns and hooves. You eat only plants.”

  143. Mr Joseph,

    I understand that you don’t like what Sermonti said even though it is based on observations, experiences and experimentation.

    Well then, all we need is the references to those observations, experiences and experimentation. The burden of proof is on Sermonti to support his flowery prose. That is going to be difficult to come by I guess. If he can make precise what he means by ‘Venus’ (sexual selection?) stopping ‘progress’ and get it published in a peer reviewed journal, I’d be happy to engage in a discussion about it.

    It remains that Sermonti’s material does not support your claim about sex and Common Descent.

  144. Nakashima-san,

    The burden is on you to support your position.

    You have failed to do so.

    And Sermonti’s material supports what I said.

    Perhaps you should read it.

    Sermonti’s prose is proven with every observation and experiment.

    That you refuse to accept that fact does not refute it.

    And if you are limiting the discussion to peer-review then your position doesn’t have anything to discuss!

  145. Joseph: YOU think that Common Descent leads to a nestedc hierarchy.

    Just to reiterate, so that it is very clear to our readers; if we can’t objectively group organisms by their character traits, then we won’t be able to identify any objective pattern, nested hierarchy or otherwise.

    But everyone knows that we *can* objectively group organisms, and it’s obvious you just won’t make the attempt. For everyone else, when we examine the pattern of these groupings, it leads to strong correlations between seemingly unrelated traits, such as having horns and hooves implying a rumen.

  146. Mr Joseph,

    Now you are just blowing smoke. Sermonti is making an assertion. There is no footnote next to it that says ‘supported by published research X’. His assertion, his burden of proof.

    Everyone else since Darwin invented the idea of sexual selection is saying sexual selection is a driver of evolution, not something that stops evolution. If the peacock’s feathers are a result of sexual selection, have peacock feathers existed since tetrapods climbed out of the water? Get real.

  147. Joseph,

    It means that no one knows whether or not duplicating or changing HOX genes produces a new body plan.
    We know genes change.
    We also know that the vast majority of genes to not affect body plans as they are used for every-day maintenance and sustainability- metabolism, etc.

    I beg to differ; there is a rich literature describing exactly how HOX genes determine body plans.

    As far as I know, lots of the changes responsible for differences in body plans have been identified and I’d be surprised if not a great deal more have been discovered since Carroll (2005) or Shubin (2008). I suppose there must be lots of people working full time on such research. How much progress has ID done since, say, 1995?

    At page 109 of Your Inner Fish are some beautiful diagrams showing the correlation between HOX genes as they are located in DNA and the body plans of flies – or people. There’s lots more relevant stuff about HOX genes in Endless Forms Most Beautiful.

  148. Joseph,

    Wow. How you persevere in the presence of such obstinacy is to be commended.

    Stop. Take a breath. Review everything the “critics” have said.

    Is it consistent?

    Is it factual?

    Is it relevant?

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