Darwinism Evolution

Paleontologist Gunter Bechly live tonight on what the fossil record really tells us about common ancestry

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Jonathan McLatchie announces a live interactive webinar today, Saturday, at 8pm British time, featuring pro-ID paleontologist Dr. Gunter Bechly, who will be exploring the implications of the fossil record for common ancestry.

(Time zones.)

Gunter Bechly is a distinguished paleontologist, specializing in fossil dragonflies, exquisitely preserved in amber for tens of millions of years. After revealing his support for the theory of intelligent design, he was pushed out as a curator at the State Museum of Natural History in Stuttgart, Germany. He subsequently joined Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture as a Senior Fellow.

He was also erased from Wikipedia due to his change of mind.

Philip Cunningham has made a playlist of Gunter Bechly here:

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See also: Does intelligent design oppose common descent? Not in principle, according to Ann Gauger of the Biologic Institute.

and

Gunter Bechly: Decline of science? Imaged in a single paragraph

6 Replies to “Paleontologist Gunter Bechly live tonight on what the fossil record really tells us about common ancestry

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    Latemarch says:

    Good presentation.
    As I’ve said elsewhere…the fossil record does not support UCA.

    Thanks for the link BA77

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    Tom Robbins says:

    I just mentioned the same thing, from the cambrian all the way to US, the fossil record, certainly does not even suggest a common ancestor – In the Cambrian, not only is there nothing of significance before, but NOTHING IN BETWEEN – meaning no transitionals in between Phyla – Why would a designing intelligence be restricted from working from a single ancestor – several vertical stalks with tons of horizontal connections, does not support common ancestry, it supports multiple ancestors, if we still follow evidence based science. I mean Stephen J. Gould proposed an almost creation like sudden appearance model, due to the evidence as he saw it – back them he came under attack by Darwinists, before they, as they always do, folded him to their family of variations on their”non-falsifiable” jumble of a thoery, based almost completly on conjecture, and assumptions that fall one by one as we uncover new evidence.

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    bornagain77 says:

    As Dr. Bechly touched upon in the video, the fossil record, especially in the Cambrian Explosion, displays a ‘top down’, disparity preceding diversity, pattern which is the complete opposite pattern that one would expect from the ‘bottom up’ prediction of Darwinian evolution.

    Here are a few notes to go along with Dr. Bechly’s ‘top down’ claim for the fossil record:

    (Nov. 2018) The ‘top down’ case against ‘bottom up’ Universal Common Descent
    https://uncommondescent.com/evolution/does-intelligent-design-oppose-common-descent/#comment-667409

    I would like to reiterate a point I made in the preceding link.

    Moreover, this ‘top down’ vs. ‘bottom up’ dichotomy noted in the fossil record between what UCD (Universal Common Descent) predicts and what ID predicts cannot be stressed enough.

    As George Ellis notes in the following article, this ‘top down’ feature is a defining characteristic that notes the presence of immaterial information within a system as well as providing evidence for the prior work of a immaterial mind in bringing that system into existence.

    Recognising Top-Down Causation – George Ellis
    Excerpt:
    Causal Efficacy of Non Physical entities:
    Both the program and the data are non-physical entities, indeed so is all software. A program is not a physical thing you can point to, but by Definition 2 it certainly exists. You can point to a CD or flashdrive where it is stored, but that is not the thing in itself: it is a medium in which it is stored.
    The program itself is an abstract entity, shaped by abstract logic. Is the software “nothing but” its realisation through a specific set of stored electronic states in the computer memory banks? No it is not because it is the precise pattern in those states that matters: a higher level relation that is not apparent at the scale of the electrons themselves. It’s a relational thing (and if you get the relations between the symbols wrong, so you have a syntax error, it will all come to a grinding halt). This abstract nature of software is realised in the concept of virtual machines, which occur at every level in the computer hierarchy except the bottom one [17]. But this tower of virtual machines causes physical effects in the real world, for example when a computer controls a robot in an assembly line to create physical artefacts.
    Excerpt page 7: The assumption that causation is bottom up only is wrong in biology, in computers, and even in many cases in physics, for example state vector preparation, where top-down constraints allow non-unitary behaviour at the lower levels. It may well play a key role in the quantum measurement problem (the dual of state vector preparation) [5]. One can bear in mind here that wherever equivalence classes of entities play a key role, such as in Crutchfield’s computational mechanics [29], this is an indication that top-down causation is at play.,,,
    Life and the brain: living systems are highly structured modular hierarchical systems, and there are many similarities to the digital computer case, even though they are not digital computers. The lower level interactions are constrained by network connections, thereby creating possibilities of truly complex behaviour. Top-down causation is prevalent at all levels in the brain: for example it is crucial to vision [24,25] as well as the relation of the individual brain to society [2]. The hardware (the brain) can do nothing without the excitations that animate it: indeed this is the difference between life and death. The mind is not a physical entity, but it certainly is causally effective: proof is the existence of the computer on which you are reading this text. It could not exist if it had not been designed and manufactured according to someone’s plans, thereby proving the causal efficacy of thoughts, which like computer programs and data are not physical entities.
    http://fqxi.org/data/essay-con.....s_2012.pdf

    How Does The World Work: Top-Down or Bottom-Up? – September 29, 2013
    Excerpt: To get an handle on how top-down causation works, Ellis focuses on what’s in front of all us so much of the time: the computer. Computers are structured systems. They are built as a hierarchy of layers, extending from the wires in the transistors all the way up to the fully assembled machine, gleaming metal case and all.
    Because of this layering, what happens at the uppermost levels — like you hitting the escape key — flows downward. This action determines the behavior of the lowest levels — like the flow of electrons through the wires — in ways that simply could not be predicted by just knowing the laws of electrons. As Ellis puts it:
    “Structured systems such as a computer constrain lower level interactions, and thereby paradoxically create new possibilities of complex behavior.”
    Ellis likes to emphasize how the hierarchy of structure — from fully assembled machine through logic gates, down to transistors — changes everything for the lowly electrons. In particular, it “breaks the symmetry” of their possible behavior since their movements in the computer hardware are very different from what would occur if they were just floating around in a plasma blob in space.
    But the hardware, of course, is just one piece of the puzzle. This is where things get interesting. As Ellis explains:
    “Hardware is only causally effective because of the software which animates it: by itself hardware can do nothing. Both hardware and software are hierarchically structured with the higher level logic driving the lower level events.”
    In other words, it’s software at the top level of structure that determines how the electrons at the bottom level flow. Hitting escape while running Word moves the electrons in the wires in different ways than hitting escape does when running Photoshop. This is causation flowing from top to bottom.
    For Ellis, anything producing causes is real in the most basic sense of the word. Thus the software, which is not physical like the electrons, is just as real as those electrons. As Ellis puts it:
    “Hence, although they are the ultimate in algorithmic causation as characterized so precisely by Turing, digital computers embody and demonstrate the causal efficacy of non-physical entities. The physics allows this; it does not control what takes place. Computers exemplify the emergence of new kinds of causation out of the underlying physics, not implied by physics but rather by the logic of higher-level possibilities. … A combination of bottom-up causation and contextual affects (top-down influences) enables their complex functioning.”
    The consequences of this perspective for our view of the mind are straightforward and radical:
    “The mind is not a physical entity, but it certainly is causally effective: proof is the existence of the computer on which you are reading this text. It could not exist if it had not been designed and manufactured according to someone’s plans, thereby proving the causal efficacy of thoughts, which like computer programs and data are not physical entities.”
    http://www.npr.org/sections/13.....-bottom-up

    Moreover, the entire concept of a distinct kind of species is a abstract, (i.e. universal), concept that can find no basis within the ‘bottom up’ reductive materialistic framework of UCD but can only be grounded within the immaterial world of mind and information. i.e. Can only be grounded within the framework of Intelligent Design.

    Here is an excellent article that gets this point across:

    Darwin, Design & Thomas Aquinas
    The Mythical Conflict Between Thomism & Intelligent Design by Logan Paul Gage
    Excerpt: First, the problem of essences. G. K. Chesterton once quipped that “evolution . . . does not especially deny the existence of God; what it does deny is the existence of man.” It might appear shocking, but in this one remark the ever-perspicacious Chesterton summarized a serious conflict between classical Christian philosophy and Darwinism.
    In Aristotelian and Thomistic thought, each particular organism belongs to a certain universal class of things. Each individual shares a particular nature—or essence—and acts according to its nature. Squirrels act squirrelly and cats catty. We know with certainty that a squirrel is a squirrel because a crucial feature of human reason is its ability to abstract the universal nature from our sense experience of particular organisms.
    Think about it: How is it that we are able to recognize different organisms as belonging to the same group? The Aristotelian provides a good answer: It is because species really exist—not as an abstraction in the sky, but they exist nonetheless. We recognize the squirrel’s form, which it shares with other members of its species, even though the particular matter of each squirrel differs. So each organism, each unified whole, consists of a material and immaterial part (form).,,,
    One way to see this form-matter dichotomy is as Aristotle’s solution to the ancient tension between change and permanence debated so vigorously in the pre-Socratic era. Heraclitus argued that reality is change. Everything constantly changes—like fire, which never stays the same from moment to moment. Philosophers like Parmenides (and Zeno of “Zeno’s paradoxes” fame) argued exactly the opposite; there is no change. Despite appearances, reality is permanent. How else could we have knowledge? If reality constantly changes, how can we know it? What is to be known?
    Aristotle solved this dilemma by postulating that while matter is constantly in flux—even now some somatic cells are leaving my body while others arrive—an organism’s form is stable. It is a fixed reality, and for this reason is a steady object of our knowledge. Organisms have an essence that can be grasped intellectually.

    Denial of True Species
    Enter Darwinism. Recall that Darwin sought to explain the origin of “species.” Yet as he pondered his theory, he realized that it destroyed species as a reality altogether. For Darwinism suggests that any matter can potentially morph into any other arrangement of matter without the aid of an organizing principle. He thought cells were like simple blobs of Jell-O, easily re-arrangeable. For Darwin, there is no immaterial, immutable form. In The Origin of Species he writes:
    “I look at the term species as one arbitrarily given, for the sake of convenience, to a set of individuals closely resembling each other, and that it does not essentially differ from the term variety, which is given to less distinct and more fluctuating forms. The term variety, again, in comparison with mere individual differences, is also applied arbitrarily, for convenience’s sake.”
    Statements like this should make card-carrying Thomists shudder.,,,
    The first conflict between Darwinism and Thomism, then, is the denial of true species or essences. For the Thomist, this denial is a grave error, because the essence of the individual (the species in the Aristotelian sense) is the true object of our knowledge. As philosopher Benjamin Wiker observes in Moral Darwinism, Darwin reduced species to “mere epiphenomena of matter in motion.” What we call a “dog,” in other words, is really just an arbitrary snapshot of the way things look at present. If we take the Darwinian view, Wiker suggests, there is no species “dog” but only a collection of individuals, connected in a long chain of changing shapes, which happen to resemble each other today but will not tomorrow.

    What About Man?
    Now we see Chesterton’s point. Man, the universal, does not really exist. According to the late Stanley Jaki, Chesterton detested Darwinism because “it abolishes forms and all that goes with them, including that deepest kind of ontological form which is the immortal human soul.” And if one does not believe in universals, there can be, by extension, no human nature—only a collection of somewhat similar individuals.,,,
    Implications for Bioethics
    This is not a mere abstract point. This dilemma is playing itself out in contemporary debates in bioethics. With whom are bioethicists like Leon Kass (neo-Aristotelian and former chairman of the President’s Council on Bioethics) sparring today if not with thoroughgoing Darwinians like Princeton’s Peter Singer, who denies that humans, qua humans, have intrinsic dignity? Singer even calls those who prefer humans to other animals “speciesist,” which in his warped vocabulary is akin to racism.,,,
    If one must choose between saving an intelligent, fully developed pig or a Down syndrome baby, Singer thinks we should opt for the pig.,,,
    https://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=23-06-037-f

    Thus, the entire concept of species, like personhood and mathematics,,,

    What Does It Mean to Say That Science & Religion Conflict? – M. Anthony Mills – April 16, 2018
    Excerpt: In fact, more problematic for the materialist than the non-existence of persons is the existence of mathematics. Why? Although a committed materialist might be perfectly willing to accept that you do not really exist, he will have a harder time accepting that numbers do not exist. The trouble is that numbers — along with other mathematical entities such as classes, sets, and functions — are indispensable for modern science. And yet — here’s the rub — these “abstract objects” are not material. Thus, one cannot take science as the only sure guide to reality and at the same time discount disbelief in all immaterial realities.
    https://www.realclearreligion.org/articles/2018/04/16/what_does_it_mean_to_say_that_science_and_religion_conflict.html

    Thus, the entire concept of species, like the concepts of personhood and mathematics, is a non-material, ‘abstract’, concept that we are absolutely certain exists but, “— here’s the rub —”, the reductive materialistic foundation of Darwinian evolution cannot possibly account for what we know to be certain about the distinctiveness of species.

    Of one final note, ‘immaterial’ abstract thought, which Darwinian evolution, via materialism, cannot possibly account for, is what especially makes humans ‘more different from apes than apes are from viruses’.

    The Fundamental Difference Between Humans and Nonhuman Animals – Michael Egnor – November 5, 2015
    Excerpt: Human beings have mental powers that include the material mental powers of animals but in addition entail a profoundly different kind of thinking. Human beings think abstractly, and nonhuman animals do not. Human beings have the power to contemplate universals, which are concepts that have no material instantiation. Human beings think about mathematics, literature, art, language, justice, mercy, and an endless library of abstract concepts. Human beings are rational animals.
    Human rationality is not merely a highly evolved kind of animal perception. Human rationality is qualitatively different — ontologically different — from animal perception. Human rationality is different because it is immaterial. Contemplation of universals cannot have material instantiation, because universals themselves are not material and cannot be instantiated in matter.,,,
    We are more different from apes than apes are from viruses.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2015/11/the_fundamental_2/

    Verse:

    Genesis 1:26
    And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

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    FourFaces says:

    Dr. Gunter Bechly is correct, of course, and his presentation was superb. But there is a commonality between the species: DNA. The intelligent designer(s) reused it everywhere.

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    jrefwycliff says:

    Good, debugged, modular code is re-used over and over.
    So it is with many optimized genetic codes.
    Living things for their size are incredible, astonishing and wonderful!

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