Creationism Darwinism

Platonic forms do not suggest we evolved from fish

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For the sake of argument, let us assume, as Michael Denton did, that there is universal common ancestry. The problem, both in terms of comparative anatomy and biochemistry, is that an unprejudiced view of the data suggests we didn’t evolve from fish. When I brought the topic up earlier in Taxonomic nested hierarchies don’t support Darwinism, in the course of my arguments in that thread, it became ever more apparent even at the molecular level, it was hard to justify the claim that we evolved from fish.

Linnaeus and other creationists perceived Platonic forms we know by names today such as: Vetebrates, Mammals, Primates, and Humans. These forms defy the story that we evolved from fish.

Again, let us suppose we all evolved from a common ancestor. Based on the data, who would be our ancestor? Would it be a fish, or some unspecified vertebrate? Let us, in an unprejudiced way simply lump the most similar organisms with each other based on similarity. What would the REAL groupings look like. Here is the grouping we would see using Bone Morphogenic proteins:

Click here for a larger image: Bone Morphogenic Proteins

bone morphogenic proteins

You’ll get a similar grouping with the protein cytochrome-c which agrees with the old creationist Linnaean classification based on comparison of characters:

linnaean taxonomy

Amusingly, those diagrams were assembled to prove evolution. Superficially the impression of common descent is there, but problematic is the groupings look like the old creationist system where fish aren’t ancestors of mammals but instead (at best) some unspecified vertebrate. As Denton pointed out, as overwhelming the impression is of common descent, overwhelming as well is the impression there can’t be transitionals (like say between fish and mammals), and therefore evolution is impossible even in principle.

The creationist reasoning would go like this:

Vertebrates descend from Vetebrates
Mammals descend from Mammals
Primates descend from Primates
Humans descend from Humans

Therefore: Humans descended from Humans

The Darwinist reasoning goes like this:

Vertebrates descend from Vetebrates
Mammals descend from Mammals
Primates descend from Primates
Humans descend from Humans

Therefore: Humans descended from Fish 😯

So why do Darwinists, in the view of this overwhelming evidence against fish being our ancestors, insist mammals are actually fish (via phylogeny)? I did a little more digging into phylogentics and lo and behold, the answer emerged. Those clever weasels figured out methods to project whatever evolutionary story they want onto the data with fancy sounding methods like: Maximum Likelihood Phylogenetics and Baysian Evolutionary Analysis.

See: Phylogenetics 101. Look at page 25 where it shows how you can build trees with a preconceived model of evolution, and how you can build trees without one. (btw, Joe Felsenstein of PandasThumb and SkepticalZone is featured on page 29). You’ll see that one can build trees anyway you want with these “advanced” methods. All you have to do is assume who the common ancestors are first, and you can force fit the data anyway you want to agree with your preconceived evolutionary story. As I told Nick Matzke many moons ago, with such loose parameters you can argue fish evolved from humans!

And from the Berkeley evolution site:
Phylogentics

Another cool thing about phylogenetic classification is that it means that dinosaurs are not entirely extinct. Birds are, in fact, dinosaurs (part of the clade Dinosauria).

And by such phylogenetic reasoning also, we aren’t mammals we are fish — a claim which is at variance with an unprejudiced grouping based on comparative anatomy and biochemistry. The data agree with the existence of Platonic forms, not the twisted Darwinian view that rejects Platonic forms in favor of saying we are fish.

Though Denton accepts common ancestry, the incongruity of the Darwinist reasoning cannot explain the appearance of Platonic forms which seem to transcend (if not defy) any possible evolutionary story.

After looking at the data in an unprejudiced way, it bothered me that evolutionists would insist we evolved from fish when the data told another story. Something smelled fishy (pun intended).

82 Replies to “Platonic forms do not suggest we evolved from fish

  1. 1
    scordova says:

    Here is the BLAST sequence I ran on cytochrome-c of TUNA. You’ll note, humans are nowhere near the fish in terms of similarity, hence, it is most definitely forced to say we descended from fish. If we descended from fish, humans would be up there with all the rest of the fish in the following list. We are not:

    Katsuwonus pelamis (Skipjack tuna) (Bonito) 100.0%
    Thunnus alalunga (Albacore) 98.0%
    Larimichthys crocea (Croceine croaker) (Pseudosciaena crocea) 94.0%
    Larimichthys crocea (Croceine croaker) (Pseudosciaena crocea) 93.0%
    Anoplopoma fimbria (Sablefish) 93.0%
    Takifugu rubripes (Japanese pufferfish) (Fugu rubripes) 92.0%
    Ictalurus punctatus (Channel catfish) 92.0%
    Danio rerio (Zebrafish) (Brachydanio rerio) 93.0%
    Tetraodon nigroviridis (Spotted green pufferfish) (Chelonodon nigroviridis) 90.0%
    Cyprinus carpio (Common carp) 92.0%
    Oncorhynchus mykiss (Rainbow trout) (Salmo gairdneri) 92.0%
    Ictalurus furcatus (blue catfish) 91.0%
    Esox lucius (Northern pike) 91.0%
    Salmo salar (Atlantic salmon) 91.0%
    Caligus rogercresseyi 91.0%
    Oncorhynchus mykiss (Rainbow trout) (Salmo gairdneri) 91.0%
    Esox lucius (Northern pike) 90.0%
    Osmerus mordax (Rainbow smelt) (Atherina mordax) 91.0%
    Oncorhynchus mykiss (Rainbow trout) (Salmo gairdneri) 89.0%
    Salmo salar (Atlantic salmon) 89.0%
    Salmo salar (Atlantic salmon) 88.0%
    Salmo salar (Atlantic salmon) 88.0%
    Oncorhynchus mykiss (Rainbow trout) (Salmo gairdneri) 88.0%
    Lithobates catesbeiana (American bullfrog) (Rana catesbeiana) 87.0%
    Lithobates catesbeiana (American bullfrog) (Rana catesbeiana) 86.0%
    Bos grunniens mutus 86.0%
    Ovis aries (Sheep) 86.0%
    Sus scrofa (Pig) 86.0%
    Bos taurus (Bovine) 86.0%
    Mus musculus (Mouse) 86.0%
    Rattus sp. 86.0%
    Otolemur garnettii (Small-eared galago) (Garnett’s greater bushbaby) 86.0%
    Mirza coquereli (Coquerel’s mouse lemur) (Microcebus coquereli) 86.0%
    Propithecus verreauxi (White sifaka) (Verreaux’s sifaka)86.0%
    Hapalemur griseus (Gray gentle lemur) (Eastern lesser bamboo lemur) 86.0%

    …..
    …..

    Gorilla gorilla (western gorilla) 81.0%
    Pan paniscus (Pygmy chimpanzee) (Bonobo) 81.0%
    Homo Sapiens (Human) 81.0%
    Pan troglodytes (Chimpanzee) 81.0%

  2. 2
    scordova says:

    Conversely, I took human cytochrome-c and ran BLAST. You’ll see fish are no where near primates, in fact fish didn’t even show up in the first few pages of the query since so many other creatures were closer to humans than fish. Again, this affirms the old creationist Linnaean classification, not the Darwinist classification that says we are fish:

    I gathered the following statistics just for you a few minutes ago from this website:
    http://www.uniprot.org/blast/u.....sort=score

    Look at the percent resemblance between the protein in humans (homo sapiens) and other creatures. I highlighted humans, chimps, mice, and rats:

    Gorilla gorilla gorilla (Lowland gorilla) 100.0%
    Pan troglodytes (Chimpanzee) 100.0%
    Hylobates lar (Common gibbon) (White-handed gibbon) 100.0%
    Hylobates agilis (Agile gibbon) 100.0%
    Pongo sp. 100.0%
    Gorilla gorilla (western gorilla) 100.0%
    Pan paniscus (Pygmy chimpanzee) (Bonobo) 100.0%
    Homo sapiens (Human) 100.0%
    Pongo abelii (Sumatran orangutan) (Pongo pygmaeus abelii) 100.0%
    Pan troglodytes (Chimpanzee) 100.0%
    Homo sapiens (Human) 100.0%
    Gorilla gorilla gorilla (Lowland gorilla) 100.0%
    Macaca fascicularis (Crab-eating macaque) (Cynomolgus monkey) 99.0%
    Macaca mulatta (Rhesus macaque) 99.0%
    Lophocebus aterrimus (Black crested mangabey) (Cercocebus aterrimus) 99.0%
    Cercocebus galeritus (Tana river mangabey) 99.0%
    Cercopithecus cephus (Moustached monkey) 99.0%
    Papio anubis (Olive baboon) 99.0%
    Theropithecus gelada (Gelada baboon) 99.0%
    Mandrillus leucophaeus (Drill) (Papio leucophaeus) 99.0%
    Macaca sylvanus (Barbary macaque) 99.0%
    Macaca arctoides (Stump-tailed macaque) 99.0%
    Macaca cyclopis (Taiwan macaque) 99.0%
    Macaca nemestrina (Pig-tailed macaque) 99.0%
    Chlorocebus aethiops (Green monkey) (Cercopithecus aethiops) 99.0%

    Chlorocebus aethiops (Green monkey) (Cercopithecus aethiops) 99.0%

    Nasalis larvatus (Proboscis monkey) 99.0%


    Macaca fascicularis (Crab-eating macaque) (Cynomolgus monkey) 98.0%

    Papio hamadryas (Hamadryas baboon) 97.0%

    Macaca mulatta (Rhesus macaque) 96.0%

    Trachypithecus cristatus (Silvered leaf-monkey) (Presbytis cristata) 97.0%
    Ateles sp. (Spider monkey) 95.0%
    Macaca mulatta (Rhesus macaque) 95.0%
    Macaca fascicularis (Crab-eating macaque) (Cynomolgus monkey) 94.0%
    Heterocephalus glaber (Naked mole rat) 92.0%
    Tupaia chinensis (Chinese tree shrew) 91.0%

    Pongo abelii (Sumatran orangutan) (Pongo pygmaeus abelii) 94.0%
    Pongo abelii (Sumatran orangutan) (Pongo pygmaeus abelii) 94.0%
    Saimiri sciureus (Common squirrel monkey) 92.0%
    Brachyteles arachnoides (Southern muriqui) (Woolly spider monkey) 92.0%
    Ateles paniscus (Black spider monkey) (Red-faced black spider monkey) 92.0%
    Saimiri sciureus (Common squirrel monkey) 92.0%
    Oryctolagus cuniculus (Rabbit) 91.0%
    Oryctolagus cuniculus (Rabbit) 91.0%
    Callithrix jacchus (White-tufted-ear marmoset) 91.0%
    Macropus giganteus (Eastern gray kangaroo) 90.0% 523 3.0×10-66 CYCS CYC
    Mus musculus (Mouse) 91.0%
    Otolemur garnettii (Small-eared galago) (Garnett’s greater bushbaby) 91.0%
    Mirza coquereli (Coquerel’s mouse lemur) (Microcebus coquereli) 91.0%
    Propithecus verreauxi (White sifaka) (Verreaux’s sifaka) 91.0%
    Hapalemur griseus (Gray gentle lemur) (Eastern lesser bamboo lemur) 91.0%
    Rattus norvegicus (Rat) 91.0%
    Mus musculus (Mouse) 91.0%
    Perodicticus potto (potto) 90.0%
    Daubentonia madagascariensis (Aye-aye) (Sciurus madagascariensis) 91.0%
    Lagothrix lagotricha (Brown woolly monkey) (Humboldt’s woolly monkey) 92.0%
    Ovis aries (Sheep) 90.0%
    Sus scrofa (Pig) 90.0%
    Bos taurus (Bovine) 90.0%

  3. 3
    wd400 says:

    You should probably try and learn the first thing about molecular phylogeny and modern systematics before you dismiss it.

    The models of evolutoin that slide is talking about are models of sequence evolution, which account for changes of state between DNA-bases and variation in those rates across a gene sequences. You can’t just chose a model that will give you a particular tree, and, in fact, in most cases the model is chosen from that data and it’s parameters are estimated from it.

    No one thinks all fish are as closely related to humans as other fish, any more than they think rats as closely related to whales as they are to other mammals. The point is us some fish are more closely related to tetrapods than they are to other fish.

  4. 4
    scordova says:

    You should probably try and learn the first thing about molecular phylogeny and modern systematics before you dismiss it.

    Fair enough, can you suggest a good textbook.

    But, doesn’t it bother you that molecular similarities group the way they do?

    So isn’t it true if you assume humans are the ancestor of all fish and birds (with some guessed at chronology), you can also build a phylogenetic tree using sequence substitution that says fish and birds descended from humans?

    All this to say, the phylogeny is based on an assumed chronology, and the chronology is based on the fossil record based on the geological column based on phylogeny. “The circle is now complete.”

    But maybe to humor your point a little more, let us say the ancestor of humans and fish were some unspecified vertebrate, wouldn’t you get a much nicer looking phylogeny? We’d have a lot fewer conflicting phylogenies as a result wouldn’t we?

    But the problem is, the evolutionary story says we had to evolve from fish. And even supposing that is true, how then did the groupings that look like platonic forms arise.

    So we don’t have to dismiss phylogeny at all, but let’s not force-fit fish as the ancestor of mammals since the molecular and anatomical data don’t agree with scenario. An unspecified vertebrate will do the trick a lot better.

  5. 5
    wd400 says:

    Joe’s book is the best.

    No, phylogenies don’t assume a chronology. In some cases you might use a particular fossil to constrain the age of a node in a tree, so you can estimate teh ages of others, but that doesn’t effect the shape of the tree.

    What you call “platonic forms” arise because evolution is a gap-forming process. The fact they break-down when you get deeper into the fossil record is also evidence there is nothing platonic about them.

  6. 6
    kairosfocus says:

    It would also help if the different molecular “trees” of alleged ancestry were consistent.

  7. 7
    wd400 says:

    You’ll be glad to know that, for animals at least, they mainly are, KF.

    We also understand why some tree-topologies are particularly difficult to recover and the scenarios under wicch species trees are not expected to match gene-trees.

  8. 8
    Joe says:

    Phylogenetics assume evolution occurred, it does not provide evidence for it.

  9. 9
    kairosfocus says:

    WD: Inconsistencies are a serious problem, period. This is just one of the problems that the usual models presented as all but certain fact, glide over neatly. And remember, this is nowhere near my main concerns [which start from the pivotal issue, OOL and FSCO/I, cf here . . . still open for discussion]. But just ask, on what basis do you distinguish common descent from common library with reuse, adaptation, mechanisms for manipulation and possibly front loading? KF

  10. 10
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Blind watchmaker common descent, not CD in any form.

  11. 11
    DonaldM says:

    WD400 in #5:

    Joe’s book is the best.

    No, phylogenies don’t assume a chronology. In some cases you might use a particular fossil to constrain the age of a node in a tree, so you can estimate teh ages of others, but that doesn’t effect the shape of the tree.

    What you call “platonic forms” arise because evolution is a gap-forming process. The fact they break-down when you get deeper into the fossil record is also evidence there is nothing platonic about them.

    WD refers to the book Inferring Phylogenies by Joseph Felsenstein, Professor of Genome Sciences and Biology, Univ. of Washington, School of Medicine. Until WD’s post, I had not heard of Felsenstein or his book. But, in looking at the link to the Amazon.com info on the book, I was able to read the intro and the table of contents to see what it deals with. It is interesting to note a couple of things. There appear to be no accepted or agreed upon methods for inferring any particular phylogeny. Indeed, the book seems to be a review of research, mostly from the last 40 years or so, and summary of where the research stands (or rather stood as of 2006 when it was published). From the table of contents, there appear to be many different phylogentic trees proposed, but no agreed upon method to determine which one is the actual one that represents what really happened in the development of life forms, nor any way to determine if there is an actual one at all. It appears to be a case of assuming the very thing it is supposed to be demonstrating or, at least, confirming – evolution.

    WD also says that phylogenies don’t assume chronology. I don’t see how they can’t. Phylogenetics is an attempt to reconstruct relational sequences. A sequence is, by definition, an order where A leads to B which leads to C and so on. How is that not a chronology? If WD means that phylogenies don’t assume any particular chronology (but just assume there is one), that is a different matter. Either way, a chronology is inferred. Just look at the first page or so of Chapter 1 of Inferring Phylogenies which is at the link WD kindly provided. So, I don’t know what WD means by “phylogenies don’t assume chronology”?
    Another point and question, I don’t know what WD means by “evolution is a gap forming process”? Is this a new definition of evolution? I haven’t run across this one before. I’ve always thought that evolution was a gap-closing processes, attempting to close the gaps of evolutionary history to arrive a complete picture of the history of life on planet earth. Perhaps some elaboration on this point would help.

    And finally, considering Inferring Phylogenies and WD’s post, it is difficult to see how any of the data referred to could not also be construed in the context of common design, as KF alluded to in #9. Does phylogenetics provide a principled scientific way to eliminate common design while preserving common ancestry? If so, I don’t see mention of that in the Table of Contents of Felsensteins book. Perhaps he simply overlooked it.

  12. 12
    scordova says:

    Joe’s book is the best.

    No, phylogenies don’t assume a chronology. In some cases you might use a particular fossil to constrain the age of a node in a tree, so you can estimate teh ages of others, but that doesn’t effect the shape of the tree.

    Thanks for the correction and thanks for the book recommendation.

    What you call “platonic forms” arise because evolution is a gap-forming process. The fact they break-down when you get deeper into the fossil record is also evidence there is nothing platonic about them.

    The forms looks very evident to me. The gaps are very evident between fish and man, and that’s what I’m complaining about, if we descended from fish we shouldn’t be clustering so far away from them. We’re very distinct morphologically, the diagnostic characters that distinguish mammals from fish seem pretty strong.

    You can’t apply the similarity argument in so ad hoc a way. If you insist mammals descended from mammals, that’s quite believable, but to say mammals descended from fish, no.

    Fish and mammals share diagnostic characters common to vertebrates, and thus logically you should invoke an unspecified vertebrate ancestor for both mammals and fish, but in that case, mammals did not descend from fish, maybe some unspecified vertebrate at best. That’s what the evidence shows morphologically and biochemically today.

  13. 13
    scordova says:

    In some cases you might use a particular fossil to constrain the age of a node in a tree,

    So you can take a bird as the common ancestor of all mammals and fish. That’s exactly the problem. Whereas, the unspecified vertebrate unifies the vertebrates in the most natural way.

    That’s why the transformed cladists got into hot water — they saw all the similarities, grouped them together (like I did above) and you get sister groups with no parent explicitly shown. It seems the “parent” was a common design from the mind of an intelligence, and the grouping actually preclude notions of a transitional. The fossil record doesn’t contain believable transitionals because the were none.

  14. 14
    DonaldM says:

    Sal “The fossil record doesn’t contain believable transitionals because the were none.”

    Even worse, there’s no clear definition of “transitional” even means. Just because some fossil F exhibits features found in an older fossil, F-1 and also, perhaps a younger fossil, F-3, doesn’t mean its somehow sequentially transitional fossil F-2, especially given the usually very long time gaps in between them. As Dembski once wrote it’s like saying we can walk from California to Japan because we discovered the Hawaiian Islands.

  15. 15
    scordova says:

    Even though evolutionary phylogenies have serious problems the old creationist platonic forms are brutally in evidence. The ease with which they can be constructed, relative to phylogenies is astonishing.

    Fish are vertebrates
    Mammals are vertebrates
    Birds are vertebrates

    By comparison, the phylogenists with all their “advanced” methods can’t seem to sort out what is so easily in evidence if they leave the ancestors as “unspecified” or worse just leave the ancestor as some conceptual construct from which all species descended, but the notion of a conceptual ancestor suggests an intelligence since a concept is something that exists only in minds.

    The phylogenists are having problems building believable trees because the platonic forms are at variance with phylogenies..

    The data resist anything except a conceptual platonic ancestor, and unfortunately for the Darwinists, if the conceptual ancestor results in the least conflicted phylogeny, then common design is a superior explanation for the data, not common descent.

    That conceptual phylogeny is brutally in evidence as shown above. The Darwinist phylogeny where mammals descend from fish is incongruous relative to the “phylogeny” where mammals and fish descend from a conceptual ancestor.

    It would be nice to run all those phylogeny programs where we leave the common ancestor as merely conceptual and see if we start getting substantially less conflicted phylogenies. 🙂

  16. 16
    lifepsy says:

    miRNA alone turns mammal phylogeny on its head.

    I have compared many random individual genes in Ensembl genome browser
    http://useast.ensembl.org/index.html

    It is typical to find, for example, gene of a mammal with more sequence similarity to a lizard or bird than some other mammals.

    Biologists are now admitting there is no accurate molecular clock with which to measure genetic transitions over time.

    And the funny thing is, that at the end of the day evolutionists act all vindicated that animals of similar phenotype have similar genetics. Yes, that is great evidence for evolution, providing you assume evolution can be the only explanation.

    Of course the people of this religious darwinian institution were convinced that fish shape-shifted into humans before genes were even discovered, so I don’t know why anyone is expecting them to be objective and scientific.

  17. 17
    scordova says:

    lifepsy,

    Do you think there is a natural grouping (such as that shown) above despite your findings?

    I think the grouping works well at the anatomical level, but as you point out, there are some shockers at the molecular level.

    Thanks.

    Sal

  18. 18
    Barb says:

    Wd400 writes,

    evolution is a gap-forming process.

    Interesting. I’d never heard evolution defined this way, but the gaps between the major divisions of animal life have been a problem for evolution since Darwin was alive. Evolutionary theory presumes that fish became amphibians, some amphibians became reptiles, from the reptiles came both mammals and birds, and eventually some mammals became men.

    Look at the differences between fish and amphibians: Backbones distinguish the fish from the invertebrates. This backbone would have had to undergo major modifications for the fish to become amphibian, that is, a creature that could live both in the water and on land. A pelvis had to be added, but no fossil fish are known that show how the pelvis of amphibians developed. In some amphibians, such as frogs and toads, the entire backbone would have had to change beyond recognition. Also, skull bones are different. In addition, in the forming of amphibians, evolution requires fish fins to become jointed limbs with wrists and toes, accompanied by major alterations in muscles and nerves. Gills must change to lungs. In fish, blood is pumped by a two-chambered heart, but in amphibians by a three-chambered heart.

    To bridge the gap between fish and amphibian, the sense of hearing would have had to undergo a radical change. In general, fish receive sound through their bodies, but most toads and frogs have eardrums. Tongues would also have to change. No fish has an extendable tongue, but amphibians such as toads do. Amphibian eyes have the added ability to blink, since they have a membrane they pass over their eyeballs, keeping them clean.

    And now the differences between amphibians and reptiles: Creatures prior to reptiles laid their soft, jellylike eggs in water, where the eggs were fertilized externally. Reptiles are land based and lay their eggs on land, but the developing embryos inside them must still be in a watery environment. The shelled egg was the answer. But it also required a major change in the process of fertilization: It called for internal fertilization, before the egg is surrounded by a shell. To accomplish this involved new sexual organs, new mating procedures and new instincts—all of which constitute a vast gulf between amphibian and reptile.

    And between reptiles and birds: Reptiles are cold-blooded animals, meaning that their internal temperature will either increase or decrease depending upon the outside temperature. Birds, on the other hand, are warm-blooded; their bodies maintain a relatively constant internal temperature regardless of the temperature outside. While it is true that both reptiles and birds lay eggs, only birds must incubate theirs.

    And these differences pale in comparison to a bird’s feathers, which present a problem for evolution to explain. Feathers are unique to birds. Supposedly, reptilian scales just happened to become these amazing structures. Out from the shaft of a feather are rows of barbs. Each barb has many barbules, and each barbule has hundreds of barbicels and hooklets. After a microscopic examination of one pigeon feather, it was revealed that it had “several hundred thousand barbules and millions of barbicels and hooklets.” These hooks hold all the parts of a feather together to make flat surfaces or vanes. Nothing excels the feather as an airfoil, and few substances equal it as an insulator. If the barbs of these feathers become separated, they are combed with the beak. The beak applies pressure as the barbs pass through it, and the hooks on the barbules link together like the teeth of a zipper. Most birds have an oil gland at the base of the tail from which they take oil to condition each feather. Some birds have no oil gland but instead have special feathers that fray at their tips to produce a fine talclike dust for conditioning their feathers. And feathers usually are renewed by molting once a year. Knowing all of this about the feather, consider this rather astonishing effort to explain its development: “How did this structural marvel evolve?

    The differences between reptiles and mammals: The very name “mammal” points up one big difference: the existence of mammary glands that give milk for the young, which are born alive. Theodosius Dobzhansky suggested that these milk glands “may be modified sweat glands.” But reptiles do not even have sweat glands. Moreover, sweat glands give off waste products, not food. And unlike baby reptiles, the mammalian young have both the instincts and the muscles to suck the milk from their mother. Mammalian mothers have highly complex placentas for the nourishment and development of their unborn young. Reptiles do not. There is no diaphragm in reptiles, but mammals have a diaphragm that separates the thorax from the abdomen. The organ of Corti in the ears of mammals is not found in reptilian ears. This tiny complex organ has 20,000 rods and 30,000 nerve endings. Mammals maintain a constant body temperature, whereas reptiles do not. Mammals also have three bones in their ears, while reptiles have only one.

    One last item: When the amphibian supposedly evolved into a reptile, the wastes eliminated were noted to have changed from urea to uric acid. But when the reptile became a mammal there was a reversal. Mammals went back to the amphibian way, eliminating wastes as urea. In effect, evolution went backward—something that theoretically it is not supposed to do.

  19. 19
    PeterJ says:

    The below article has just been aired on prime time news here in Britain.

    You can listen to a 6min interview, rather more than was said on the actual news itself. Worth a read and a listen.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/scie.....t-22770646

  20. 20
    JLAfan2001 says:

    “The below article has just been aired on prime time news here in Britain.

    You can listen to a 6min interview, rather more than was said on the actual news itself. Worth a read and a listen.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/scie…..t-22770646″

    The evidence just keeps piling up. I wonder how this squares with the Genesis account? Eventually, the fingers will have to come out of the ears.

    Another bad day, Another bad day for creationism/ID.

  21. 21
    scordova says:

    JLAfan2001,

    Your characterization is incorrect.

    The age of the geological column is suspect, and even if the column is old it doesn’t falsify ID. This is hardly a transitional and only reinforces the isolation of primates from fish. Exactly the opposite of what evolutionist want.

    This is hardly solving any of the problems laid out in the discussion at hand. Don’t make insulting remarks about what other people in this discussion. I’ve been cordial to you and this is how you pay me back? Shame on you…

    Just disagree, no need to throw insults at people here that have tried to dialogue with you.

  22. 22
    Barb says:

    I’m beginning to wonder about JLAfan2001; on the one hand, he seems to recognize the necessity of accepting both atheism and nihilism as a result of accepting evolutionary theory as fact but on the other hand, he refuses to acknowledge any evidence for ID contra evolution.

    As far as fingers coming out of ears, you might want to check yours first before telling anyone else to do anything.

  23. 23
    JLAfan2001 says:

    Sal and Barb

    I apologize for the insults but I’ve just reached a point in life where I just don’t care anymore. To me, evolution just keeps on proving my Nihilistic worldview.

    Where in the article doe it say that the geological column is suspect? I must have missed that part.

    Why do you not think it’s a transitional? The article states that it is the last common ancestor of primates. What else could it be?

    In terms of evidence contra evolution, if it was evidence against it would have presented as such but it was presented as evidence for. There really is no evolutionist conspiracy out there. Evolution is a fact because of the evidence. No other theory comes close. I know I keep saying that but I don’t see any other viable option. Can we rule out nature as a producing mechanism before we actually are able to know it wasn’t nature. You can’t look at something and say nature could never have evolved that because it’s too complex. We just don’t know. It is possible until proven impossible.

  24. 24
    Jon Garvey says:

    It is possible until proven impossible.

    Surely that isn’t science? To prefer one unproven option because it’s possible, when there are other equally unproven options?

    You don’t hang a guy because it’s possible he did the murder until proved impossible: you first have to prove at least why he’s more suspicious than the other possible suspects. Agnosticism is acceptable in those circumstances: conviction witrhout sufficient evidence is not.

  25. 25
    Upright BiPed says:

    JLA,

    The process of Darwinian evolution requires that physical effects be produced from information recorded in a medium. This process has strict material requirements, which evolution cannot produce (because it is dependent upon them).

    You can’t look at something and say nature could never have evolved that because it’s too complex.

    This claim depends on the extent to which you are willing to equivocate on the term “evolution”. If evolution is to mean the acknowledged process of change by heritable information being passed down from mother cell to daughter cell, then the claim can be demonstrated to be false.

    If on the other hand, “evolution” can mean whatever one might wish it to mean at any given time, then the claim is both trivially true and worthless at the same time.

    – – – – – –

    p.s. the wording “it’s too complex” is not useful, and is not a claim that ID generally makes.

  26. 26
    Barb says:

    JLAfan2001:

    Why do you not think it’s a transitional? The article states that it is the last common ancestor of primates. What else could it be?

    Did you read my post? Look at the differences between one kind and another. Add to this the fact that transitional fossils, if found, are often discarded as being nothing of the sort. Archaeopteryx was once viewed as the transitional stage between birds and reptiles; now, it’s not.

    In terms of evidence contra evolution, if it was evidence against it would have presented as such but it was presented as evidence for. There really is no evolutionist conspiracy out there.

    I don’t believe in an evolutionist conspiracy. I have posted before that I don’t believe it’s the evidence, but rather the interpretation of the evidence that’s questionable.

    Evolution is a fact because of the evidence. No other theory comes close. I know I keep saying that but I don’t see any other viable option.

    Are you even examining evidence that is contradictory? If not, then that’s your first step.

    Can we rule out nature as a producing mechanism before we actually are able to know it wasn’t nature. You can’t look at something and say nature could never have evolved that because it’s too complex. We just don’t know. It is possible until proven impossible.

    I think a better term is ‘probable.’ How probable is it that dinosaurs and birds are related somehow? How probable is it that the fine-tuning of the universe and Earth in particular is the product of randomness or chance?

  27. 27
    DonaldM says:

    JLAfan in #23: “I apologize for the insults but I’ve just reached a point in life where I just don’t care anymore. To me, evolution just keeps on proving my Nihilistic worldview.”

    Actually, I suspect its the other way round – your Nihilistic worldview is “proving” evolution. On such a worldview, evolution (or something very much like it) is the only game in town. Therefore, any data at all has to be evidence for evolution, because, well, there is no alternative. None. Nihilism is firmly rooted in atheism which is completely compatible with naturalism. If Nature is a completely closed system of undirected, natural causes (because there isn’t anything at all to provide direction)then evolution is it. How could there possibly be discomfirming evidence? If there was, and you saw it to be so, you’d have to begin to consider giving up the Nihilism – which, frankly, would be a very good thing for you, in the long run. I know you neither see nor accept that, but there it is.

  28. 28
    DonaldM says:

    Jon Garvey in #24: “It is possible until proven impossible.

    Surely that isn’t science? To prefer one unproven option because it’s possible, when there are other equally unproven options?”

    No, Jon, it isn’t science at all. It has the effect of making the hypothesis unfalsifiable. Darwin wrote in his famous tome that “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down. But I can find out no such case.” Its the words “could not possibly have…” that are the problem. It has the effect of saying, “it is possible until proven impossible”, which is an impossible standard to meet. It requires the critic or doubter to run through every possible permutation…a clearly impossible task. As long as there is a conceivable Darwinian pathway, demonstrated in the lab or field or not, then Darwinism stands. For Darwinism, mere conceivability is enough.

    ID doesn’t suffer this problem. Provide one case of CSI or an IC system that was the result of undirected natural causes, and ID is falsified. No such case exists. There have to date been NO scientific research studies that provide a detailed, testable (and potentially falsifiable) model of how undirected Darwinian mechanisms built an IC system or can account for CSI in biological systems. None. Zip zero nada. And anyone who says such studies exist, is bluffing.

    ID is falsifiable, and has resisted every attempt to falsify it so far. Evolution is unfalsifiable, because there is no way to falsify mere conceivability. It is completely anti-science!

  29. 29
    wd400 says:

    Wow, let’s take some of these points in turn.

    Scordova, your platonic thinking is what’s preventing you from seeing the real pattern here. Fish should cluster (or fall into clades) with fish, of course. Just as mammals will fall into clades with other mammals. One of the reasons we say some of the ancestors of mammals were fish is that some fish are more closely related to land-verterbrates than they are to other fish. This is not something evolutionary biologists wish to be true, and use as an assumption in their analyses. It’s the only conclusion the data allows us to draw.

    As I’ve previously said. Your platonic worldview has two major problems that explained by evolution. 1. Why do, say, lung-fish share traits with tetrapods? 2. Why is is much harder to place fossil species into the clear divisions of form that living ones?

    When I say evolution is a gap forming process I mean that as evolution goes on, and some lineages explore the space of possible forms independently of others and the rest go extinct, it’s inevtiable that the products of that evolution will have clear gaps between them. But if we look back on the fossil record and get closer to the origin of a group, the close-relatives which are now extinct will be in full effect. So, as I’ve asked you before. Where is the line between man and ape? Bird and dinosaur? Fish and tetrapod? Evolution predicts it will get blurrier as we get close to the orgin, what do we see in the fossil record?

    KF,

    The reason we can discard “common design” as an explanation for the power of phylogenetics is that you arrive at the same tree when you use junk DNA and silent sites that have any effect on the organisms phenotype.

    DonaldM,

    Inferring phylogenie is a statistical process, and not surprisingly many statistical methods have been applied to the problem. You description of the book sounds very much like you don’t understand how phylogenetics work (we aren’t actually trying to estimate the tree that relates the ~10 billion species on earth all in one go!). Perhaps you should read a little more widely.

  30. 30
    littlejohn says:

    IMO, the evolutionary line is blurred beginning to end.

    Is Neanderthal a human direct ancestor, sister, cousin, or none of these? Even with DNA, it seems the answer will always remain speculative, so how can we hope to establish relationships with assumed relatives such as chimps, or with fish more than 400 MYA?

    In addition, Lung Fish follow the same evolutionary pattern as every other vertebrate lineage- they exclusively reduce and simplify their skeletal systems over deep time, and in particular, appendages. No semi-terrestrial fish has ever demonstrated the ability to generate truly limb-like structures from fins.

    More than that, if fish could generate limb-like structures, we should find multitudes of semi-terrestrial fish with fully formed limbs scattered throughout the geologic column, but not even a hint of such a pre-adaptation.

    Based on the only direct evidence, the fossil record, there is only one reason to believe that tetrapods descended from fish- and that reason would be faith.

  31. 31
    DonaldM says:

    WD400 in #29

    DonaldM, Inferring phylogenie is a statistical process, and not surprisingly many statistical methods have been applied to the problem. You description of the book sounds very much like you don’t understand how phylogenetics work (we aren’t actually trying to estimate the tree that relates the ~10 billion species on earth all in one go!). Perhaps you should read a little more widely.

    I wasn’t suggesting that phylogentics is attempting estimate the ToL all in one go. That wasn’t my point. My point is the entire enterprise of Phylogentics assumes the very thing it is attempting to prove (or rather confirm) – which is evolution. There is nothing in the phylogentic analysis that precludes the possibility that what you’re examining is common design instead of common ancestry. If there is some scientific basis within phylogentics to preclude common design, I’d love to know what it is.

    By definition “In biology, phylogenetics /fa?l?d???n?t?ks/ is the study of evolutionary relationships among groups of organisms (e.g. species, populations), which are discovered through molecular sequencing data and morphological data matrices.” (Wikipedia)

    “Phylogenetic systematics is that field of biology that does deal with identifying and understanding the evolutionary relationships among the many different kinds of life on earth, both living (extant) and dead (extinct). Evolutionary theory states that similarity among individuals or species is attributable to common descent, or inheritance from a common ancestor. Thus, the relationships established by phylogenetic systematics often describe a species’ evolutionary history and, hence, its phylogeny, the historical relationships among lineages or organisms or their parts, such as their genes.” NCBI website

    “The study of evolutionary relatedness among various groups of organisms through molecular sequencing data and morphological data matrices.” Biology-online

    And this last one is my favorite: “What is phylogenetic systematics, you ask? It is the way that biologists reconstruct the pattern of events that have led to the distribution and diversity of life.

    There is an amazing diversity of life, both living and extinct. For biologists to communicate with each other about these many organisms, there must also be a classification of these organisms into groups. Ideally, the classification should be meaningful, and not arbitrary — it should be based on the evolutionary history of life, such that it predicts properties of newly discovered or poorly known organisms”. Phylogentic Systematics I like this one because it clearly states that it should be based on the evolutionary history of life.

    I could go on, but if there is one thing all evolutionary biologists agree on is that phylogentics is a systematic attempt to reconstruct the evolutionary history of life. In other words…evolution is just assumed. Not demonstrated, not confirmed…simply ASSUMED!

    What I’ve never seen is a scientific reason why phylogentics could not just as easily be showing the presence of common design! Notice, nothing I’ve said denies the that phylogentic relationships exist. What I am saying is that there is nothing in phylogentics (or anything else in evolutionary biology for that matter) to tell us why the relationships we observe could only be the result of common ancestry and not common design. That was my point. This defintions cleary show the presupposition of evolution built in. In Logic 101, we call that assuming the consequent. Here on the street, we call it begging the question. Either way, it is a logical fallacy.

  32. 32
    wd400 says:

    What I’ve never seen is a scientific reason why phylogentics could not just as easily be showing the presence of common design!

    Here’s one: phylogenies estimated from junk DNA and silent sites are the same as or congruent with those estimated from functional DNA. In fact, most of variants in phylogenetic studies will have very little to do with the function of an organism.

  33. 33
    kairosfocus says:

    WD: Under present circumstances I have little inclination to enter a long exchange, I will just say that on trends and direct as well as indirect evidence of function, junk DNA is headed for retirement as a major concept. KF

  34. 34
    wd400 says:

    KF, while I’ll be short in my reply: No, it’s not, and if you think it is you have a lot of biology to explain (like, how to Fugu and bladderworts, as two examples, get by so well with none of the junky sequences their relatives keep?)

  35. 35
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: I think we are seeing more of the presentation of Darwinist interpretation (unfortunately, loaded with circles of thought) as near indisputable fact.

    For instance, that a small member of our anatomical “tribe” should turn up and be given a date of was it 55 MYA, in a context where science itself is being redefined on making naturalistic explanations, will carry little weight save with true believers, certainly on matters such as: kindly explain on observed evidence, origin of cell based life by blind watchmaker mechanisms, especially the FSCO/I involved. Similarly, on origin of major body plans.

    Johnson’s challenge yet lingers unresolved:

    For scientific materialists the materialism comes first; the science comes thereafter. [[Emphasis original] We might more accurately term them “materialists employing science.” And if materialism is true, then some materialistic theory of evolution has to be true simply as a matter of logical deduction, regardless of the evidence. [emphasis added] That theory will necessarily be at least roughly like neo-Darwinism, in that it will have to involve some combination of random changes and law-like processes capable of producing complicated organisms that (in Dawkins’ words) “give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.”

    . . . . The debate about creation and evolution is not deadlocked . . . Biblical literalism is not the issue. The issue is whether materialism and rationality are the same thing. Darwinism is based on an a priori commitment to materialism, not on a philosophically neutral assessment of the evidence. Separate the philosophy from the science, and the proud tower collapses. [[Emphasis added.] [[The Unraveling of Scientific Materialism, First Things, 77 (Nov. 1997), pp. 22 – 25.]

    KF

  36. 36
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: On Junk DNA, cf here, collectively and places like here or here.

  37. 37
    Optimus says:

    For those interested in molecular phylogenies and common descent, here’s an oldie-but-goodie:
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....20141.html

    And for good measure:
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....67121.html

    The claim that molecular phylogenies provide a self-consistent picture of evolutionary lineages is manifestly untrue.

  38. 38
    PeterJ says:

    Seeing as how I am probably responsible for much of the discussion now taking place in this thread (having posted the link in #19), I would just like to add my 2p worth.

    In a previous post JLAfan2001 put forward aprox 8 points as to why he believes in ‘evolution’. I have to confess that up until 7 years ago, at the age of 38, those views would have mirrored my own. Being quite ignorant at that time of ‘creation’ or ‘intelligent design’, I would have whole heartedly agreed with him. However, my views on such matters radically changed, primarily as I became a Christian, but more so as I sought to find the truth about this rather controversial subject.

    Without going into the history of my study I would just like to say that from what I have learned so far, the fossil record is suffice for me to disprove Darwinian evolution. When discussing these things with non-believers/athiests in my home town/internet it is the one area of evolutionary theory that I believe is refuted by the evidence.

    You know, as was pointed out above ‘where are your fish with limbs? where are your reptiles with avian lungs? Where are your reptiles with mammary glands? etc.

    What made the news in the above article was mainly that it was the ‘oldest specimen to date in the line of primates, which may shed light on how primates evolved’

    Ok, so it’s thought to be 55my old with the common ancestor for it and humans being a little older, lets say 65my. This time scale is very reminiscent of some other supposed ‘evolutionary paths’ i.e. Ambulocetus – whale.

    What then of all the creatures that haven’t evolved in that period time, and longer? Is there not more evidence of stasis in the fossil record than of one creature evolving into another?

    I can no more believe in Darwinian evolution than I can in pink fairies living at the top of my chimney.

  39. 39
    wd400 says:

    This is too easy – Tiitalik is a fish with limbs (if those limbs are too fin-like go for Acanthostega). Some (non-avian) Dinosaurs had bird-like lungs. Plenty of modern mammals don’t have noticable mammary glands, so we wouldn’t expect to see a your “reptiles with mammary glands” in the fossil record any more that we’d see a croco-duck.

  40. 40
    Andre says:

    Why is our friend WD400 so confident about his assertions if the actual scientists studying it are not in the words of Craig Venter “so sanguine” as WD400 is?

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm.....MC3176480/

    The closing statement in the peer reviewed article… “The Tree of Life is coming increasingly within our reach, but we still must take care not to grasp automatically at the first solution that comes along.”

    You know what it says WD400? It says actually we know zip…. we think we do but we really don’t!

  41. 41
    PeterJ says:

    Thank you WD400 for your response.

    As I said in my previous post my views at one time would have been extremely reminiscent of yours. However, after having researched this matter for so long, and discovering what I have, I can honestly say that the Darwinian view of evolution has little merit.

    Of course I am very aware of Tiktaalik, and Acanthostiga, however I’m sure you are just as aware of the many problems surrounding them as being transitional, and perhaps non more so than the discovery of tetrapod tracks that pre-date Tiktallik by some 30my. If these dates are indeed correct then this would pre-date Acanthostiga by at least 50my, making them older than both. If this is evidence for the evolution of tetrapods then surely it needs explaining why four legged creatures were parading themselves around on the shoreline mid-way through the supposed transition between fish and Tiktaalik.

    I agree that the examples I put forward are not by any means concrete evidences as to why one would reject Darwinian evolution, but I do believe that when we look at the changes necessary to get a bird or mammal from a reptile for instance there are many more hurdles to overcome, and from what I have seen so far, the majority of these hurdles simply adds to the problem and falsifies the theory.

    Transitional fossils are something that the fossil record has yet to yield, that in my opinion, gives a clear example that Darwinian evolution has taken place in the history of life.

    Regards

    PeterJ

  42. 42
    bornagain77 says:

    wd400, why must you always point to highly contestable historical evidence for Darwinism and ‘let our imagination do the rest of the work’ as to the transitions in question instead of ever providing us with any real and actual empirical evidence for what you claim is possible for neo-Darwinian processes? i.e. Why do you not yourself demand a demonstration of the core claim of neo-Darwinism? You simply have ZERO demonstrable evidence that what are perceived to be purely material processes can generate ANY functional information:

    Where’s the substantiating evidence for neo-Darwinism?
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1q-PBeQELzT4pkgxB2ZOxGxwv6ynOixfzqzsFlCJ9jrw/edit

    “The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution”: Break or blunt any functional coded element whose loss would yield a net fitness gain – Michael Behe – December 2010
    http://behe.uncommondescent.co.....evolution/

    The Capabilities of Chaos and Complexity: David L. Abel – Null Hypothesis For Information Generation – 2009
    To focus the scientific community’s attention on its own tendencies toward overzealous metaphysical imagination bordering on “wish-fulfillment,” we propose the following readily falsifiable null hypothesis, and invite rigorous experimental attempts to falsify it: “Physicodynamics cannot spontaneously traverse The Cybernetic Cut: physicodynamics alone cannot organize itself into formally functional systems requiring algorithmic optimization, computational halting, and circuit integration.” A single exception of non trivial, unaided spontaneous optimization of formal function by truly natural process would falsify this null hypothesis.
    http://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/10/1/247/pdf
    Can We Falsify Any Of The Following Null Hypothesis (For Information Generation)
    1) Mathematical Logic
    2) Algorithmic Optimization
    3) Cybernetic Programming
    4) Computational Halting
    5) Integrated Circuits
    6) Organization (e.g. homeostatic optimization far from equilibrium)
    7) Material Symbol Systems (e.g. genetics)
    8) Any Goal Oriented bona fide system
    9) Language
    10) Formal function of any kind
    11) Utilitarian work
    http://mdpi.com/1422-0067/10/1/247/ag

    wd400, why do you yourself not demand a demonstration of neo-Darwinian processes? Why must you always rely on fuzzy historical evidence and imagination to do your dirty work? To me at the answer is obvious for why you refuse to be the least bit suspicious of Darwinian claims, you simply, for philosophical reasons, do not want neo-Darwinism to be false,,, Philosophically, I hold that you find the notion of a created universe and world, to use Eddington’s word, repugnant. But the implications of empirical science could care less about what a priori philosophical beliefs a person holds! And on that score your materialistic neo-Darwinian view of reality is found to be false. Laughably false at that! For one thing, advances in quantum mechanics reveal that we live in a Theistic universe, not a materialistic universe.

    the argument for God from consciousness can be framed like this:

    1. Consciousness either preceded all of material reality or is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality.
    2. If consciousness is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality then consciousness will be found to have no special position within material reality. Whereas conversely, if consciousness precedes material reality then consciousness will be found to have a special position within material reality.
    3. Consciousness is found to have a special, even central, position within material reality.
    4. Therefore, consciousness is found to precede material reality.

    Four intersecting lines of experimental evidence from quantum mechanics that shows that consciousness precedes material reality (Wigner’s Quantum Symmetries, Wheeler’s Delayed Choice, Leggett’s Inequalities, Quantum Zeno effect):
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1G_Fi50ljF5w_XyJHfmSIZsOcPFhgoAZ3PRc_ktY8cFo/edit

    Quantum Evidence for a Theistic Universe
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1agaJIWjPWHs5vtMx5SkpaMPbantoP471k0lNBUXg0Xo/edit

    Thus wd400, even if the highly contestable fuzzy historical evidence you rely on to try make your case for atheistic Darwinism were true, it does not matter in the least for God is now found, by empirical science, to be the true source and foundation of what is perceived to be material reality.,,, But why should you even fight, with such weak evidence, against this of reality in the first place? This is wonderful news wd400!, for now, according to our best science, we are not, as JLAfan2001 holds, hopelessly lost in a nihilistic pit of despair where life has no true value, meaning, or purpose.,, But we now have very, very, good reason to believe that our lives on this ‘pale blue dot’ truly do matter and that there really is a true purpose to our existence.,,, Considering the alternatives, I would think atheists would be far more welcoming of the news instead of reacting as they do, as if even the possibility of God is the worse news in the world.

    Verse and Music:

    John 5:40
    “,yet you refuse to come to me to have life.”

    Made To Love – Tobymac
    http://myktis.com/songs/made-to-love/

    supplemental note:

    “(Although atheists accuse Theists of making extraordinary claims) The truly extraordinary claim — indeed, the wildly and irresponsibly outrageous claim — is that a highly scalable, massively parallel system architecture incorporating a 4-bit digital coding system and a super-dense, information-rich, three-dimensional, multi-layered, multi-directional database structure with storage, retrieval and translation mechanisms, utilizing file allocation, concatenation and bit-parity algorithms, operating subject to software protocol hierarchies could all come about through a long series of accidental particle collisions. That is beyond extraordinary. It is preposterous. It is laughable.”
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....s-part-ii/

  43. 43

    JLAfan2001 does such a good job of accepting many of the philosophical ramifications of materialism (atheism, nihilism), but I wonder if he/she recognizes the fallacy of thought he/she is now committing as far as arguing evidence and logic in favor reaching pro-Darwinistic conclusions?

    IF what we think, believe and argue is nothing more than aggregation of happenstance (by physical law and chance) interactions of material phenomena, then what one refers to as “logic”, or “evidence”, is nothing more than what one’s material system happens to produce. Since billions of people have believed radically different things since the dawn of time, it is non-controversial to point out that such material interactions – if that is all “we” are – do not reliably produce valid or truthful beliefs or aguments.

    Under materialism, all JLAfan2001 can be is the product of the computation of interacting material. If such interacting material compels JLAfan2001 to bark like a dog and think that wisdom has been uttered, that is what JLAfan2001 will do, and believe.

    Under materialism, JLAfan2001 sees, interprets, understands, and reaches conclusions exactly the same way any creationist or any madman does: material forces compute it, JLAfan2001 believes it. Nothing more, nothing less.

    One would assume JLAfan2001 realizes this is the consequence of materialism. JLAfan2001 has no objective arbiter or locus of free will to refer to or use in evaluating any argument or evidence, interview or article. When interacting with any media or person, JLAfan2001 will understand of that interaction what his/her particular material computation orders, whether or not it has anything to do with what is actually there or not. JLAfan2001 will conclude and believe of that interaction whatever his/her particular mix of interacting materials commands, whether rationally sound or not. JLAfan2001 might eat a bit of pizza and listen to some music and wake up a devout Muslim the next day because of it, depending on the physical interactions that ensue from these events.

    So, why does JLAfan2001 argue as if JLAfan2001 has any comprehension of what the “evidence” is, or means, or as if how he/she processes information and comes to conclusions is any different from those in disagreement? JLAfan2001 and his opponents come to their “conclusions” in exactly the same manner, under materialism: they conclude whatever physics and biology commands them to conclude.

    JLAfan2001 “argument” here, under materialism, is nothing more than the rustling of leaves as the wind and physical properties commands it, making no more “sense” or headway into “truth” than that rustling can intrinsically provide.

  44. 44

    And so one wonders, if materialistic nihilism and atheism is true, why does JLAfan2001 bother coming here making arguments and reading them? Is he trying to convince one inevitable product of interacting matter to act and behave like another inevitable product of interacting matter?

    To change the opinion of others, under materialism, is like trying to convince an oak leaf to look more like a magnolia leaf. Why bother? Perhaps JLAfan2001 admits that the only reason to make such arguments is because, valid or not, rational or not, JLAfan2001’s particular physical computation commands that JLAfan2001 come here and argue with other material computations as if his/her material computation is “more true” than theirs.

    What does “truth” matter, under materialism? You believe, think, do and say as matter dictates, period, whether it is true or not. Under materialism, “you” is nothing but a euphemism for “physical computation”; you do not “control” it, or “check it for errors”; you are nothing but the computatation. What is rational, true or good is just whatever each computation dictates at the time – and is utterly self-referential, because there is nothing else to refer to, other than whatever the computation interprets, processes and outputs.

    Although JLAfan2001 says he/she has accepted the philosophical ramifications of materialism, and is tired of other materialists attempting to have their cake and eat it too by denying the obvious ramifications through compatibalism and other semantic tricks, here is JLAfan2001 doing exactly the same thing: being hypocritical.

    Appealing to “logic” and “evidence” as if JLAfan2001 can examine and evaluate such argument and evidence objectively and free of the material computation that will dictate how – under materialism – both JLAfan2001 and his/her opponents interpret the evidence and how they reach their conclusions.

    Material interactions force the computation known as JLAfan2001 to believe in Darwinistic evolution just as senselessly as it forces others to believe in creationism, which renders argument, evidence and debate nothing more, in essence, than monkeys flinging feces around in an attempt to “convince” a physical computation to conclude something other than what it does.

  45. 45
    Joe says:

    wd400:

    – Tiitalik is a fish with limbs (if those limbs are too fin-like go for Acanthostega).

    That doesn’t mean the blind watchmaker didit.

    Some (non-avian) Dinosaurs had bird-like lungs.

    That doesn’t mean the blind watchmaker didit.

    Plenty of modern mammals don’t have noticable mammary glands, so we wouldn’t expect to see a your “reptiles with mammary glands” in the fossil record any more that we’d see a croco-duck.

    Perhaps, however we should see a smooth/ gradual blending of traits which would ruin a nice, neat nested hierarchy based on traits.

  46. 46
    Joe says:

    wd400:

    The reason we can discard “common design” as an explanation for the power of phylogenetics is that you arrive at the same tree when you use junk DNA and silent sites that have any effect on the organisms phenotype.

    That doesn’t follow. Just because you think they are silent sites and junk DNA doesn’t make them so.

    And there isn’t any reason to assume that silent sites and junk DNA can be used as any markers.

  47. 47

    The moral of the story is: whether or not JLAfan2001 believes in such things, JLAfan2001 must think, act and argue as if JLAfan2001 has libertarian free will. All meaningful arguments are predicated on the assumption that both yourself and the person you are debating have independent, supervening command over these blind processes and are capable of objective, independent inspection of your ideas and introspection of their own. Such arguments presume (consciously or not) that logic is a universal, objective arbiter, not whatever last night’s meat loaf computes it to be.

    Precipitating such arguments is a deep assumption that such arguments matter, that truth is – for some reason – worth pursuing, and that we are capable of pursuing actual truth, not just whatever today’s concoction of material bits happens to vomit out in our particular case.

    So, what is JLAfan2001 really doing here, after accepting the nihilistic ramifications of materialism? What is he/she arguing for, or about, when his/her view must be accepted as just as much monkey-feces as those he/she argues against?

    Is JLAfan2001 trying to rob others of their comforting, meaningful, non-materialistic myths and superstitions? Does he/she want them to adopt his/her nihilistic perspective? Why? If none of it matters, why run around promulgating such a position, even if true?

    Or, is JLAfan2001 fishing around to be convinced otherwise?

  48. 48
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM: That inner tension is probably what is giving hope for JLA. let us respect it, and let us help him see that the problem is an incoherent ideology, one that happens to hold a lot of cultural and institutional prestige and influence today. KF

  49. 49
    scordova says:

    Scordova, your platonic thinking is what’s preventing you from seeing the real pattern here. Fish should cluster (or fall into clades) with fish, of course. Just as mammals will fall into clades with other mammals. One of the reasons we say some of the ancestors of mammals were fish is that some fish are more closely related to land-verterbrates than they are to other fish. This is not something evolutionary biologists wish to be true, and use as an assumption in their analyses. It’s the only conclusion the data allows us to draw.

    Here is a photo of a lungfish:
    lungfish

    Here is a photo of a tetrapod:
    tetrapod

    The data drives the platonic thinking, not the other way around.

    Lungfish do share some characteristics with tetrapods in that they are both vertebrates, and maybe a few more than other fish, but it hardly argues something like a lungfish is the ancestor of birds.

    The molecular data may suggest occasional closeness. For example the tuna cytochrome-c is 11% away from a coelacanth whereas the coelacanth is only 10% away from humans. But that is extremely marginal. The mean for fish is very distinct for the mean for mammals. Over emphasizing a few outliers in the tails of a distribution is not grounds to make a sound inference.

    So yes, you can find a few molecular exceptions, but in view of the vast and distinct anatomical differences, and other molecular data, the interpretation is forced.

    But no need to settle the issues in the space of this discussion. These questions could lead to an interesting research project. Rather than postulating a fish as the ancestor of birds, mammals, and amphibians, how about postulating a conceptual vertebrate ancestor of fish, birds, mammals, and amphibians.

    For molecular data, surely we can come up with some sort of mean for the vertebrates relative to invertebrates. I bet the conceptual ancestor will yield a substantially less conflicted phylogeny than the forced one using fish as the ancestor of tetrapods. If so, then common design will be a better “phylogeny” than common descent.

    The reason I say that is that it is evidence by the data above:
    1. Bone Morphogenic Proteins
    2. Anatomical Grouping (thanks also to Barb for highlighting)
    3. Cytochrome-c
    4. probably other molecular data

    The clustering is very natural and without any prejudice, it suggest a “phylogeny” but not one where one group is ancestral to another. But since evolutionism demands that similarity be explained primarily by common physical descent, the least conflicted “phylogeny” of common conceptual descent is off the table by philosophical fiat.

    And if I can further postulate, phylogenies that only insist on common physical descent rather than common conceptual descent will be doomed to serious conflict because the least conflicted “phylogeny” is always taken off the table.

    For example, the least conflicted “phylogeny” for vertebrates is that all vertebrates (fish, mammals, birds, amphibians) descended from the conceptual model of vertebrate. Everything works well with that model, but the philosophical implications are disagreeable to evolutionism, even though conceptual descent fits the data far better than physical descent.

    The phylogenies evolutionist come up with are doomed to be more conflicted than the “phylogeny” suggested by the platonic forms which is so easily seen by simple analysis of similarities.

    No need to settle the issue in the space of this discussion, future research will settle this, and ID proponents and creationists must surely be heartened by the existing conflicts in materialist phylogenetics. The conflicts might be solved if common conceptual descent is admitted. If materialism is removed from phylogentics, suddenly a lot of the conflicts of evolutionary history might disappear, because the real evolution was conceptual, not physical, and if real evolution was conceptual, it implies ID.

    In any case, thank you for taking the time to exchange your thoughts with us.

  50. 50
    DonaldM says:

    WD400 in #32:

    What I’ve never seen is a scientific reason why phylogentics could not just as easily be showing the presence of common design!

    Here’s one: phylogenies estimated from junk DNA and silent sites are the same as or congruent with those estimated from functional DNA. In fact, most of variants in phylogenetic studies will have very little to do with the function of an organism.

    Well, KF may have a point about junk DNA. From a Scientific American article:

    Should we be retiring the phrase “junk DNA” now?
    Yes, I really think this phrase does need to be totally expunged from the lexicon. It was a slightly throwaway phrase to describe very interesting phenomena that were discovered in the 1970s. I am now convinced that it’s just not a very useful way of describing what’s going on.

    I suppose it all depends on what is meant by “junk DNA”.

  51. 51
    JLAfan2001 says:

    WJM
    Yes, I’m writing what I’m writing because the neurons and synapses in my brain currently compel me to. I don’t have a choice because the current DNA code and genes wired my brain this way and I must do it. Whether, these writings change the neural pathways in your brain or not is irrelevant. If your brain does happen to change the paths to adapt to the new informative environment, so be it. If it doesn’t, I’m still compelled by my genetic make up to write. If you believe in truth then which truth do you believe in? Why is it truth? Why not someone else’s truth is truth? I mentioned before that there are three competing creation views among some of the posters. Which one is right? Jguy came back and said that the core of the Christian doctrine is the agreed upon truth from the three posters. Why is that and not the Quran or the book of mormom? The earliest gospel was written in 70 AD some 40 years after the death of Jesus. This would be 40 years of the telephone game and they were mostly likely not written by eyewitnesses. Would you find truth in such an event? I know that you believe but if you eliminate all the holy books, what evidence is there for God? We would just have scientific knowledge of evolution etc and be fine with it. I’ve mentioned before that Genesis is completely false. Multiple true worldviews is not logical and therefore the truth can’t be known and hence Nihilism. Please tell me what the absolute truthful and correct worldview is and my brain may rewire itself to accept it.

  52. 52
    CentralScrutinizer says:

    JLAfan2001: Whether, [my] writings change the neural pathways in your brain or not is irrelevant.

    Whew. Well, that’s a load off.

  53. 53
    scordova says:

    Here’s one: phylogenies estimated from junk DNA and silent sites are the same as or congruent with those estimated from functional DNA. In fact, most of variants in phylogenetic studies will have very little to do with the function of an organism.

    Actually, that’s a very good argument that selection doesn’t act on most of the genome, and if Junk DNA is found functional, then we have evidence of function that didn’t happen via selection.

    The platonic forms show more congruent and sensible “phylogenies” as can been seen even with the cursory look at the data above, and won’t likely be refuted even with more scrutiny.

    It’s understandable that the suggestion the ancestor of vertebrates was a concept (a concept in a MIND) rather than a physical ancestor is troubling, but that’s what the data suggests…

  54. 54
    Barb says:

    JLAfan2001 writes:

    If you believe in truth then which truth do you believe in? Why is it truth? Why not someone else’s truth is truth?

    “What is truth?” – Pontius Pilate. Truth is that which conforms to reality.

    I mentioned before that there are three competing creation views among some of the posters. Which one is right? Jguy came back and said that the core of the Christian doctrine is the agreed upon truth from the three posters.

    Which one do you think best conforms to reality? You have a brain. Try using it. Try thinking critically about what you have read about creation and evolution.

    Why is that and not the Quran or the book of mormom?

    Have you ever read the Quran or the Book of Mormon? Have you ever visited websites that explain the beliefs of Mormons or Muslims (like Beliefnet)?

    Do your own homework and stop whining about how you can’t find truth when it’s becoming obvious that you haven’t been looking for it in the first place.

    The earliest gospel was written in 70 AD some 40 years after the death of Jesus. This would be 40 years of the telephone game and they were mostly likely not written by eyewitnesses. Would you find truth in such an event?

    Yes, I would. Luke wrote the book of Acts while some of the eyewitnesses to the events he mentions were still alive; they would have noted if he’d made false statements or exaggerated. But they didn’t. There’s an interesting book you might want to look at: The Book of Acts in the Setting of Hellenistic History by Colin Hemer. In that book, Hemer shows how archaeology has confirmed hundreds of small details from the biblical account of the early church. He compiles a list of 84 details that Luke got right when writing this account.

    Hemer also gives more than a dozen reasons why Acts had to have been written before 62 AD, and earlier than that, Luke had written his own gospel. So you have a historian with impeccable credentials who has been proven right in hundreds of details (and never proven wrong), writing the history of Jesus and the early church. Why wouldn’t I find that truthful?

    I know that you believe but if you eliminate all the holy books, what evidence is there for God? We would just have scientific knowledge of evolution etc and be fine with it.

    You know, I’m really not sure what to make of your posts. Have you read anything contrary to what you believe, ever? Have you read any of the posts of those responding to you? You claim to have searched for knowledge, but it doesn’t look to me like you put much effort into it.

    I’ve mentioned before that Genesis is completely false.

    Did you even read my post where I answered your objections? Do that, and then get back to me. Otherwise, you’re simply trolling.

    Multiple true worldviews is not logical and therefore the truth can’t be known and hence Nihilism. Please tell me what the absolute truthful and correct worldview is and my brain may rewire itself to accept it.

    Oh, give me a break. You have a brain. USE IT and stop whining about how you can’t or won’t understand what truth is or where to find it.

  55. 55
    tjguy says:

    @JLAfan

    I apologize for the insults but I’ve just reached a point in life where I just don’t care anymore. To me, evolution just keeps on proving my Nihilistic worldview.

    Insightful post. It shows that you realize the dangers of Nihilism.

    And it shows that you realize there really is right and wrong.

    When confronted, you realized that you stepped over the line and apologized. I applaud you for your willingness to apologize.

    Certainly that was the right thing to do, but if Nihilism is true, there is no need to apologize for anything, right?

    And yet your heart tells you clearly that certain things are wrong and you need to apologize for them. It seems to me your heart may have a point there! Perhaps you really were made in the image of God with a conscience so you could understand right/wrong, and good/evil. Perhaps you do have a choice as to what words to use in your post. Perhaps you aren’t the robot you think you are.

    In reality, no one can really live their lives as if nihilism is true. If you can’t live by your worldview, if it doesn’t work in reality, then isn’t that a good indication that it might not be true?

  56. 56

    JLA:

    You accept that materialism is necessarily incoherent, self-referring and self-annihilating. It’s nihilistic. Thus, there’s no reason to believe it because if true, all reasoning, logic and evidence for it self-destructs as being of no more validity than monkeys throwing feces.

    So, that leaves only the fact that you feel compelled to believe it (and argue it), as you say, simply because that is how your neurons roll. If true, then you’ll stop believing it when/if some assortment of flapping butterfly wings and pizza makes your neurons fire differently.

    You ask for words of “truth” that will compel your neurons to fire differently; but even if I could offer such a string of words, that would only be evidence that materialism is true – that I could utter a string of words that would compel your neurons to fire differently. You are asking for a materialist way out of your materialist position.

    I was in that exact same place many years ago, and I realized that what I was asking for was self-contradicting – to be caused, by compelling argument or evidence, that I had free will and was not just thinking stuff because I was caused to do so. But, if someone could do that – compel me to believe that which I did not, by uttering a few words – that would in fact violate my own free will, if I were to actually have it.

    Claiming or reclaiming your free will, if it exists, would necessarily be a choice, not a compulsion of fact, argument or evidence as computed by material interactions. You either choose it, or you remain (self-perceived) the tool of physical computation. There’s nothing I or anyone else can do about it, except show you the door.

  57. 57
    NickMatzke_UD says:

    Sal writes,

    The clustering is very natural and without any prejudice, it suggest a “phylogeny” but not one where one group is ancestral to another.

    I guess phylogenetic structure is in the data after all. Game over.

  58. 58
    scordova says:

    I guess phylogenetic structure is in the data after all. Game over.

    Game over for fish-to-bird Darwinists, the similarity was seen since creationist Linnaeus if not earlier.

    Platonic forms might have been noticed since, err, Plato.

  59. 59
    Gordon Davisson says:

    If I may drag the discussion back closer to the original topic…

    But, doesn’t it bother you that molecular similarities group the way they do?

    I don’t see why it would; the BLAST results you posted are pretty much what I’d expect given the standard reconstruction of the evolutionary tree. Or rather, they’re what I’d expect from the standard tree plus the assumption that the rate of molecular evolution is constant, aka the molecular clock hypotheses. It’s now known that the MCH isn’t quite true — the rate of molecular evolution isn’t quite constant — but it doesn’t vary that much, so it’s still close enough for rough work.

    What I expect from evolution+MCH is that our closest cousins will have the most sequence similarity, with more and more distant cousins further and further down the list. Something like this:

    Humans, followed by
    non-human apes (chimps, orangs, etc), followed by
    non-ape primates (monkeys, lemurs, etc), followed by
    non-primate mammals (mice, cows, etc), followed by
    non-mammal tetrapods (reptiles, frogs, etc), followed by
    non-tetrapod fish (perch, lungfish, etc), followed by
    non-fish chordates (tunicates, lancets, etc), followed by
    non-chordate deuterostome (sea urchins, etc), followed by
    non-deuterostome animals (grasshoppers, squid, etc), …

    The BLAST results don’t match exactly, of course. For instance, all of the apes have 100% sequence identity, so they’re listed in arbitrary order. Later entries may also be slightly out of order because of limited resolution, as well as variations (both random & systematic) in the rate of fixed mutation. I’ve also simplified the list somewhat; for example, we’re a little more closely related to the lungfishes and lobe-finned fishes than we are to the ray-finned fishes, and more closely related to them than we are to the cartilaginous fishes (sharks and rays), but I’ve lumped these all together as “non-tetrapod fish”.

    So I’m not entirely sure why you think there’s a problem here. But that won’t stop me from speculating… I think you may be confusing three different meanings of the word “fish”:
     1; The common meaning of “fish” as rereferring to modern finned animals that live in the sea
     2: The Linnaean classification, which includes ancestral forms (i.e. the fish we’re descended from, which are quite different from modern fish)
     3:The cladistic classification, which includes everything descended from those ancestral forms, including us

    When someone says that humans are fish, they’re using meaning #3 (or else they’re very confused); but when you say “I took human cytochrome-c and ran BLAST. You’ll see fish are no where near primates, in fact fish didn’t even show up in the first few pages of the query…” you’re clearly using definition #1 (or possibly #2, but since the extinct ancestral fish isn’t available for sequencing it’s effectively #1). There’s a contradiction here, but it’s due to inconsistent terminology, not anything deeper. If you use meaning #3, primates are fish, and so are rats, mice, etc; in fact the first few pages of your query results are all fish (meaning #3), just as expected. To make this even more explicit, let me rewrite the expected similarity list I gave above:

    Humans (a type of fish), followed by
    very closely related fish (chimps, orangs, etc), followed by
    less closely related fish (monkeys, lemurs, etc), followed by
    even less closely related fish (mice, cows, etc), followed by
    distantly related fish (reptiles, frogs, etc), followed by
    more distantly related fish (perch, lungfish, etc), followed by
    non-fish chordates (tunicates, lancets, etc), …

  60. 60
    JLAfan2001 says:

    WJM

    What about tourette’s syndrome, OCD, alzheimers, schizophrenia, psychopaths, sociopaths,mental disability, severe brain damage. Do these people have free will? Are they not hijacked by the activities of the brain and forced to do things? Your brain is in working order and that’s why you have the illusion of free will. The illusion is much more evident when the brain is not working correctly. Are brains are shaped from our DNA which we get from the lower animals. All our sense of morality, mind, free will and consciousness is received from them. That’s why you can see these things in the animals to a certain degree or another. Our brain is much more complex so the illusion is much more “real”. Also, it’s not really a matter of finding a way out of materialist nihilism, that’s inescapable, It’s more trying to switch the neural pathways to accept the illusion of another worldview. Whatever the brain adapts to.

  61. 61
    Joe says:

    If and only if DNA is the magical form-creating molecule evos need it to be, is phylogenetic analysis a representation of any tree, trees, bush, bushes, web or webs of life.

    Is there any evidence that DNA is such a molecule?

  62. 62
    Barb says:

    JLAfan2001:

    hat about tourette’s syndrome, OCD, alzheimers, schizophrenia, psychopaths, sociopaths,mental disability, severe brain damage. Do these people have free will? Are they not hijacked by the activities of the brain and forced to do things?

    Sociopaths and psychopaths have free will and a conscience, which they deliberately suppress in order to do whatever they feel would bring them pleasure. See “The Sociopath Next Door” for further reading. They are most assuredly not the same as schizophrenics or people with OCD.

    Your brain is in working order and that’s why you have the illusion of free will. The illusion is much more evident when the brain is not working correctly. Are brains are shaped from our DNA which we get from the lower animals.

    Then why do the lower animals not contemplate abstract concepts like love, art, music, and the like? Only humans do. Why do the lower animals not have the same capacity for language that humans do?

    All our sense of morality, mind, free will and consciousness is received from them.

    Prove it.

    Do animals know when they’ve been wronged? Do they seek revenge for wrongs committed against them?

    That’s why you can see these things in the animals to a certain degree or another. Our brain is much more complex so the illusion is much more “real”.

    The human body and the human brain are of immeasurably greater complexity than those of lower animals. Human makeup is different physically, mentally, and spiritually. Man alone has the desire to worship, and even the most godless of governments has been unsuccessful in stamping out this trait. Man also has the capacity for morality, which lower animals do not possess. See my remarks above; people are rightly angered if they are cheated or lied to, animals are not. Animals do not have any concepts that can be compared to the human concept of justice.

    Also, it’s not really a matter of finding a way out of materialist nihilism, that’s inescapable, It’s more trying to switch the neural pathways to accept the illusion of another worldview. Whatever the brain adapts to.

    And I say it’s a matter of deciding what you believe and then determining why you believe it.

  63. 63
    wd400 says:

    Scordova

    What are you talking about. No one is “forcing” (ancient) fish to be ancestors of tetrapods. It’s not in anyones interest to make up that story then try an confirm. It’s a consculision, inferred from the data by people that actually understand how to estimate a phylogeny. (And know what a lobe finned fish is, there are none in either of the trees you present in this article).

  64. 64
    scordova says:

    I don’t see why it would; the BLAST results you posted are pretty much what I’d expect given the standard reconstruction of the evolutionary tree. Or rather, they’re what I’d expect from the standard tree plus the assumption that the rate of molecular evolution is constant, aka the molecular clock hypotheses. It’s now known that the MCH isn’t quite true — the rate of molecular evolution isn’t quite constant — but it doesn’t vary that much, so it’s still close enough for rough work.

    Thank you for raising the issue.

    If you put an unspecified vertebrate as the root for all vertebrates, you get a nice clocked result as well, even better.

    At issues isn’t just the clock hypothesis (which has problems of its own) it’s the clustering.

    Problematic with the standard interpretation is that why aren’t fish (like say a shark) as sharply divergent from all other fish as mammals are from fish? If the MCH were true, old fish lineages should be very divergent from each other.

    Now if use sequence divergence to affix the ancestry of fish, you’ve circularly reasoned the MCH as true by tautology for fish, and hence by fiat you’ll just prevent the problem of fish clustering so close to each other.

    The MCH runs into serious problems because every species has different regeneration rates, yet the clock seems beautifully synchronized. The only to get around the differing regeneration rates is via tautology (each species has a different clock rate/generation). Some fish have substantially faster regeneration cycles than humans. Why aren’t they more divergent from invertebrates then, or for that matter from each other? The MCH is broken.

    Thank you for your comment. That is a good objection.

  65. 65
    scordova says:

    Scordova

    What are you talking about. No one is “forcing” (ancient) fish to be ancestors of tetrapods. It’s not in anyones interest to make up that story then try an confirm. It’s a consculision, inferred from the data by people that actually understand how to estimate a phylogeny. (And know what a lobe finned fish is, there are none in either of the trees you present in this article).

    I mentioned the coelacanth, I even mentioned the outlier of Tuna-Coelacanth-human, but argued it was an exception. So let’s take this lobe finned fish and look at the cytochrome-c oxidase subunit 1 BLAST comparison. Tetrapods are nowhere to be seen without going through the ray-finned fishes first. If lobe-finned fishes were tetrapod ancestors, we ought to be seeing birds (or other tetrapods) before ray-finned fishes, or at least mixed in there with the ray-finned fishes. Sorry, the claim of fish-to-bird evolution (even assuming evolution is true) smells fishy.

    >tr|Q9PSF7|Q9PSF7_LATCH Cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 OS=Latimeria chalumnae PE=3 SV=1
    MITRWLFSTNHKDIGTLYMIFGAWAGMVGTALSLLIRAELSQPGALLGDDQIYNVVVTAH
    AFVMIFFMVMPIMIGGFGNWLIPLMIGAPDMAFPRMNNMSFWLLPPSLLLLLACSGVYAG
    AGTGWTVYPPLAGNLAHAGASVDLTIFSLHLAGVSSILGAINFITTVINIKPPTMTQYQT
    PLFIWSVLVTAVLLLLSLPVLAAGITMLLTDRNLNTTFFVPVGGGDPILYQHLFWFFGHL
    EVYILILPGFGMISHIVAYYSGKKEPFGYMGMVWAMMATGLLGFIVWAHHMFTVGMDVDT
    RVYFTSATMIIAIPTGVKVFSWLATLHGGVTKWDTPLLWALGFIFLFTVGGLTGIVLANS
    SLDIILHDTYYVVAHFHYVLSMGAVFAIMGGLVHWFPLMTGYTLHNTWTKIHFGVMFTGV
    NLTFFPQHFLGLAGMPRRYSDYPDAYTLWNTVSSIGSLISLIAVIMFMFILWEAFLAKRE
    VLIVEMTTTNVEWLHGCPPPHHTY

    Latimeria chalumnae (West Indian ocean coelacanth) 100.0%
    Latimeria chalumnae (West Indian ocean coelacanth) 98.0%
    Latimeria chalumnae (West Indian ocean coelacanth) 98.0%
    Latimeria menadoensis (Indonesian coelacanth) 98.0%
    Triacanthodes anomalus (red spikefish) 93.0%
    Megalops cyprinoides (Indo-Pacific tarpon) 93.0%
    Elops saurus (Ladyfish) 93.0%
    Carapus bermudensis 93.0%
    Pantodon buchholzi (Freshwater butterflyfish) 93.0%
    Capros aper (boarfish) 92.0%
    Elops hawaiensis (Hawaiian ladyfish) 93.0%
    Neoceratodus forsteri (Australian lungfish) (Ceratodus forsteri) 92.0%
    Gasterosteus wheatlandi (blackspotted stickleback) 92.0%
    Pungitius sinensis (Amur stickleback) 92.0%
    Megalops atlanticus (Tarpon) (Clupea gigantea) 92.0%
    Mola mola (ocean sunfish) 92.0%
    Masturus lanceolatus (sharptail mola) 92.0%
    Phractolaemus ansorgii (hingemouth) 92.0%
    Neoceratodus forsteri (Australian lungfish) (Ceratodus forsteri) 92.0%
    Rondeletia loricata (redmouth whalefish) 92.0%
    Psephurus gladius (Chinese swordfish) 93.0%
    Salmo salar (Atlantic salmon) 92.0%
    Sargocentron rubrum (redcoat) 92.0%
    Dactyloptena tiltoni 92.0%
    Esox lucius (Northern pike) 92.0%
    Retropinna retropinna (cucumberfish) 92.0%
    …..

  66. 66
    bornagain77 says:

    JLAfan2001,

    this following video may interest you because it directly refutes a claim you made the other day:

    Was Jesus a Myth? Part 1 – Dr. James White – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?f.....Yo#t=1951s

  67. 67
    wd400 says:

    You use random BLAST results to estimate phylogenies. Check out the tree from the whole genome sequences of the coelacanth

  68. 68
    Joe says:

    wd400:

    It’s a consculision, inferred from the data by people that actually understand how to estimate a phylogeny.

    It’s a conclusion based on an untestable assumption. And a conclusion absent of a mechanism.

  69. 69

    I’m not here to convince you of anything, JLAfan2001. If you are indeed a biological automaton, then anything I say doesn’t matter; if you are not, then no amount of convincing can penetrate what the will has decided to deny.

  70. 70
    scordova says:

    Oh,

    It just occurred to me, isolating single proteins isn’t as targeted as say entire architectures.

    Barb listed so many anatomical features, and those features imply regulatory features that distinguish fish from mammals. In that case, Coelacanth isn’t even in the ball park of a mammal.

    What distinguishes mammals from fish isn’t just the proteins but the assembly instructions. Further if the assembly instructions are convergent in outcome versus process, then the platonic form will even be more in evidence.

    No need to settle the issue today, the morphology is telling enough, the DNA data will come eventually. Such radically different and clustered anatomies imply radically different assembly instruction for fish and mammals.

  71. 71
    scordova says:

    Btw,

    Lungfish have a genome size of 100 billion gigabase pairs vs 3.5 for humans. Current methods are hard pressed to decode the lungfish DNA.

    How deep is the similarity between lungfish and other fish? Why the absence of literature showing the similarities between fish. Would it be too embarrassing to admit how isolated fish really are from tetrapods?

    The nature paper didn’t describe how close lungfish were to other fish (a sample of which I gave between coelacanth and other fishes). That would be a better benchmark of the quality of the supposed ancestor. Is it too embarrassing that an lungfish looks more like a fish than a tetrapod? If the nature paper wanted to give a fair rendering of the issue, how about reporting how close lungfish are to other fish, then reporting how close lungfish are to mammals.

    But we know that would leave an unprejudiced comparison which give the correct impression fish are fish, and mammals are mammals, amphibians are amphibians, and reptiles are reptiles.

  72. 72
    wd400 says:

    The nature paper didn’t describe how close lungfish were to other fish

    Yes it does, check out the tree. Lungfish are more closely related to tetrapods than they are to coelacanths or other fish.

    You really need to read a little more closley/widely if you want to make a meaningful argument about this.

  73. 73
    Joe says:

    wd400:

    Lungfish are more closely related to tetrapods than they are to coelacanths or other fish.

    Related how? By design or descent? And how can we tell?

    You really need to read a little more closley/widely if you want to make a meaningful argument about this.

    And YOU need some evidence that a fish can evolve into something other than a fish if YOU want to make a meaningful argument about this.

  74. 74
    PeterJ says:

    Speaking off phylogenetic trees, here’s an article in ENV that should be of some interest 🙂

    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....72951.html

  75. 75
    NickMatzke_UD says:

    Sal is breaking records for ignorance and misunderstanding in this thread. He’s basically repeating a confused and garbled version of Michael Denton’s already-confused “molecular equidistance” argument from “Evolution: A Theory in Crisis”. This argument was so bad it is one of the few bad arguments that the ID movement has abandoned. Even Michael Behe dismissed it as misunderstanding, when he was asked about it in the Kitzmiller case.

    The central flaw in the argument is that it confuses living representatives of groups with the extinct common ancestors. This has all been explained many times before in decades past, there’s no reason to re-type it again: http://www.don-lindsay-archive.....enton.html

  76. 76
    bornagain77 says:

    Mr Matzke, I thought of you when I read this following article:

    Phylogenetic Conflicts Turn Ant Genus into “Motley Assortment of Unrelated Species” – Casey Luskin June 7, 2013
    Excerpt: According to Myrmecos, when this diagram was shown at the ant conference, “the whole room broke into laughter.” Why is that? As can be seen in the diagram, the ant species that were once thought to belong to Pachycondyla group instead into different, distantly related groups, when one considers their DNA sequence data. Evolutionary biologists would not have expected these ants, once gathered together in a single genus, to be what Myrmecos called “a motley assortment of unrelated species.”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....72951.html

  77. 77
    Joe says:

    Nick is just upset because phylogenetics relies on untestable assumptions and doesn’t support any mechanism.

  78. 78
    Axel says:

    He’s a rotten God. If he was half decent, he wouldn’t keep pulling these kinds of stunts on evomalutionists.

    But alas, for them – to quote the gnomic founder of Schroeder Insurance, ‘Life is just one damn thing after another.’ Make that, ‘Research is just one damn thing after another.’

  79. 79
    Barb says:

    Axel @ 78: Maybe God is putting phylogenetics here on Earth to test the evomalutionists’ lack of faith.

  80. 80
    Axel says:

    That’s something I hadn’t thought of, Barb. You’ve got a mind like a corkscrew!

  81. 81
    Mung says:

    Nick Matzke:

    Sal is breaking records for ignorance and misunderstanding in this thread.

    So?

    You are well known for propagating ignorance and misunderstanding.

    Statements you make about others are immediately suspect.

  82. 82
    scordova says:

    The central flaw in the argument is that it confuses living representatives of groups with the extinct common ancestors. This has all been explained many times before in decades past, there’s no reason to re-type it again: http://www.don-lindsay-archive…..enton.html

    WRONG, MATZKE!

    The close distances between fish and other fishes are the problem, and if mammals are fish, they should be within the fish group not mammal group: Lindsay misrepresents the real problem Denton highlights, and on top of that, when larger sets of DNA plus morphological issues are considered, the gaps become wider and can’t be explained by molecular clocks.

    YOU’RE the one pathologically ignoring the data, and further you didn’t even address the morphological problems barb raised.

    You’re the one setting records for repeated mis-representation, which was well in evidence in your work to help generate falsehoods in the Dover trial…

    Thanks for visiting. You’re lack of credible responses, I’m sure will be noticed by the readers….

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