Conservation of Information Intelligent Design stasis

Access Research Network’s new Question of the Month

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Win a $50 VISA gift card for the deemed best answer to this question:

Given the pervasive pattern of “sudden appearance” and “stasis” in the fossil record, does science need a Theory of Stasis or Theory of Conservation to better explain how nature actually functions. Explain. How would such a theory help to strengthen an inference to intelligent design?

Feel free to hash out ideas here. For possible hints go to:

Stasis: Life goes on but evolution does not happen


Law Of Conservation Of Information vs Darwinism

Last month’s question was

How would you would respond to someone when they claim that Intelligent Design is merely an appeal to a “god-of-the-gaps”?

Entry 6 was selected.

3 Replies to “Access Research Network’s new Question of the Month

  1. 1
    Seversky says:

    How about this:

    This extraordinary abundance of some fossils illustrates something important about the history of life. Evolution is a theory about change through time — “descent with modification,” in Darwin’s words. Yet when fossils are most abundant during substantial stretches of time, well-represented species are usually stable throughout their temporal range or alter so little and in such superficial ways (usually in size alone) that an extrapolation of observed change into longer periods of geological time could not possibly yield the extensive modifications that mark general pathways of evolution in larger groups. Most of the time, when the evidence is best, nothing much happens to most species.

    Niles Eldredge and I have tried to resolve this paradox with our theory of punctuated equilibrium. We hold that most evolution is concentrated in events of speciation, the separation and splitting off of an isolated population from a persisting ancestral stock. These events of splitting are glacially slow when measured on the scale of a human life — usually thousands of years. But slow in our terms can be instantaneous in geological perspective. A thousand years is one-tenth of one percent of a million years, and a million years is a good deal less than average for the duration of most fossil species. Thus, if species tend to arise in a few thousand years and then persist unchanged for more than a million, we will rarely find evidence for their momentary origin, and our fossil record will tap only the long periods of prosperity and stability. Since fossil deposits of overwhelming abundance record such periods of success for widespread species living in stasis, we can resolve the apparent paradox that when fossils are most common, evolution is most rarely observed.

    — See Gould, Stephen Jay 1993. “Ten Thousand Acts of Kindness,” in Eight Little Piggies, Reflections in Natural History. New York: W.W.Norton & Company, pp. 275 – 278

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    A few notes in regards to Gould’s fallacious ‘punk-eek of the gaps”:

    “What I saw about the fossil record again,, was that Gould and Eldridge were experts in the area where the animal fossil record is most complete. That is marine invertebrates.,, And the reason for this is that when,, a bird, or a human, or an ape, or a wolf, or whatever, dies,, normally it does not get fossilized. It decays in the open, or is eaten by scavengers. Things get fossilized when they get covered over quickly with sediments so that they are protected from this natural destructive process. So if you want to be a fossil, the way to go about it is to live in the shallow seas, where you get covered over by sediments when you die,,. Most of the animal fossils are of that kind and it is in that area where the fossil record is most complete. That there is a consistent pattern.,, I mean there is evolution in the sense of variation, just like the peppered moth example. Things do vary, but they vary within the type. The new types appear suddenly, fully formed, without an evolutionary history and then they stay fundamentally stable with (cyclical) variation after their sudden appearance, and stasis (according) to the empirical observations made by Gould and Eldridge. Well now you see, I was aware of a number of examples of where evolutionary intermediates were cited. This was brought up as soon as people began to make the connection and question the (Darwinian) profession about their theory in light of the controversy. But the examples of claimed evolutionary transitionals, oddly enough, come from the area of the fossil record where fossilization is rarest. Where it is least likely to happen.,,,
    One of things that amused me is that there are so many fossil candidates for human ancestorship, and so very few fossils that are candidates for the great apes.,, There should be just as many. But why not? Any economist can give you the answer to that. Human ancestors have a great American value and so they are produced at a much greater rate.,,
    These also were grounds to be suspicious of what was going on,,,
    ,,,if the problem is the greatest where the fossil record is most complete and if the confirming examples are found where fossils are rarest, that doesn’t sound like it could be the explanation.”
    – Phillip Johnson – April 2012 – audio/video 15:05 minute mark to 19:15 minute mark

    video – Darwin’s Doubt – recorded March 7, 2017 – In this webinar, Dr. Stephen Meyer will tell the story of the mystery surrounding this (Cambrian) explosion of animal life – a mystery that has intensified, not only because the expected ancestors of these animals have not been found, but because scientists have learned more about what it takes to construct an animal. During the last half century, biologists have come to appreciate the central importance of biological information – stored in DNA and elsewhere in cells – to building animal forms. Meyer will show that the origin of this information, as well as other mysterious features of the Cambrian event, are best explained by intelligent design, rather than purely undirected evolutionary processes.

    Paleontologist Günter Bechly video: Fossil Discontinuities: A Refutation of Darwinism and Confirmation of Intelligent Design – 2018
    The fossil record is dominated by abrupt appearances of new body plans and new groups of organisms. This conflicts with the gradualistic prediction of Darwinian Evolution. Here 18 explosive origins in the history of life are described, demonstrating that the famous Cambrian Explosion is far from being the exception to the rule. Also the fossil record establishes only very brief windows of time for the origin of complex new features, which creates an ubiquitous waiting time problem for the origin and fixation of the required coordinated mutations. This refutes the viability of the Neo-Darwinian evolutionary process as the single conceivable naturalistic or mechanistic explanation for biological origins, and thus confirms Intelligent Design as the only reasonable alternative.

    “Darwin had a lot of trouble with the fossil record because if you look at the record of phyla in the rocks as fossils why when they first appear we already see them all. The phyla are fully formed. It’s as if the phyla were created first and they were modified into classes and we see that the number of classes peak later than the number of phyla and the number of orders peak later than that. So it’s kind of a top down succession, you start with this basic body plans, the phyla, and you diversify them into classes, the major sub-divisions of the phyla, and these into orders and so on. So the fossil record is kind of backwards from what you would expect from in that sense from what you would expect from Darwin’s ideas.”
    James W. Valentine – as quoted from “On the Origin of Phyla: Interviews with James W. Valentine” – (as stated at 1:16:36 mark of video)

    “The facts of greatest general importance are the following. When a new phylum, class, or order appears, there follows a quick, explosive (in terms of geological time) diversification so that practically all orders or families known appear suddenly and without any apparent transitions. Afterwards, a slow evolution follows; this frequently has the appearance of a gradual change, step by step, though down to the generic level abrupt major steps without transitions occur. At the end of such a series, a kind of evolutionary running-wild frequently is observed. Giant forms appear, and odd or pathological types of different kinds precede the extinction of such a line.”
    Richard B. Goldschmidt, “Evolution, as Viewed by One Geneticist,” American Scientist 40 (January 1952), 97.

    As Roger Lewin (1988) explains in Science,
    “Several possible patterns exist for the establishment of higher taxa, the two most obvious of which are the bottom-up and the top-down approaches. In the first, evolutionary novelties emerge, bit by bit. The Cambrian explosion appears to conform to the second pattern, the top-down effect.”

    Erwin et al. (1987), in their study of marine invertebrates, similarly conclude that,
    “The fossil record suggests that the major pulse of diversification of phyla occurs before that of classes, classes before that of orders, orders before that of families. The higher taxa do not seem to have diverged through an accumulation of lower taxa.”
    Indeed, the existence of numerous small and soft-bodied animals in the Precambrian strata undermines one of the most popular responses that these missing transitions can be accounted for by them being too small and too-soft bodied to be preserved.

    Scientific study turns understanding about evolution on its head – July 30, 2013
    Excerpt: evolutionary biologists,,, looked at nearly one hundred fossil groups to test the notion that it takes groups of animals many millions of years to reach their maximum diversity of form.
    Contrary to popular belief, not all animal groups continued to evolve fundamentally new morphologies through time. The majority actually achieved their greatest diversity of form (disparity) relatively early in their histories.
    ,,,Dr Matthew Wills said: “This pattern, known as ‘early high disparity’, turns the traditional V-shaped cone model of evolution on its head. What is equally surprising in our findings is that groups of animals are likely to show early-high disparity regardless of when they originated over the last half a billion years. This isn’t a phenomenon particularly associated with the first radiation of animals (in the Cambrian Explosion), or periods in the immediate wake of mass extinctions.”,,,
    Author Martin Hughes, continued: “Our work implies that there must be constraints on the range of forms within animal groups, and that these limits are often hit relatively early on.
    Co-author Dr Sylvain Gerber, added: “A key question now is what prevents groups from generating fundamentally new forms later on in their evolution.,,,

    Problem 5: Abrupt Appearance of Species in the Fossil Record Does Not Support Darwinian Evolution – Casey Luskin January 29, 2015
    Excerpt: Rather than showing gradual Darwinian evolution, the history of life shows a pattern of explosions where new fossil forms come into existence without clear evolutionary precursors. Evolutionary anthropologist Jeffrey Schwartz summarizes the problem:
    “We are still in the dark about the origin of most major groups of organisms. They appear in the fossil record as Athena did from the head of Zeus — full-blown and raring to go, in contradiction to Darwin’s depiction of evolution as resulting from the gradual accumulation of countless infinitesimally minute variations. . .”98

    “With the benefit of hindsight, it is amazing that paleontologists could have accepted gradual evolution as a universal pattern on the basis of a handful of supposedly well-documented lineages (e.g. Gryphaea, Micraster, Zaphrentis) none of which actually withstands close scrutiny.”
    Christopher R.C. Paul, “Patterns of Evolution and Extinction in Invertebrates,” K.C. Allen and D.E.G. Briggs, eds., Evolution and the Fossil Record (Washington, D.C., Smithsonian Institution Press, 1989), 105.

    “It must be significant that nearly all the evolutionary stories I learned as a student from Trueman’s Ostrea/Gryphaea to Carruthers’ Zaphrentis delanouei, have now been ‘debunked’. Similarly, my own experience of more than twenty years looking for evolutionary lineages among the Mesozoic Brachiopoda has proved them equally elusive.’
    Dr. Derek V. Ager (Department of Geology & Oceonography, University College, Swansea, UK), ‘The nature of the fossil record’. Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association, vol.87(2), 1976,p.132.

    “It is a feature of the known fossil record that most taxa appear abruptly. They are not, as a rule, led up to by a sequence of almost imperceptibly changing forerunners such as Darwin believed should be usual in evolution…This phenomenon becomes more universal and more intense as the hierarchy of categories is ascended. Gaps among known species are sporadic and often small. Gaps among known orders, classes and phyla are systematic and almost always large.”
    G.G.Simpson – one of the most influential American Paleontologist of the 20th century

  3. 3
    ET says:

    Seversky- You have to submit it to the email address for ARN

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