Intelligent Design News speciation

Ants more closely related to most bees than to most wasps?

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So they say here:

“Despite great interest in the ecology and behavior of these insects, their evolutionary relationships have never been fully clarified. In particular, it has been uncertain how ants—the world’s most successful social insects—are related to bees and wasps,” Ward said. “We were able to resolve this question by employing next-generation sequencing technology and advances in bioinformatics. This phylogeny, or evolutionary tree, provides a new framework for understanding the evolution of nesting, feeding and social behavior in Hymenoptera.”

That suggest that “most” classifications are a mess. But why?

54 Replies to “Ants more closely related to most bees than to most wasps?

  1. 1
    wd400 says:

    To all bees than most “wasps”, wasps being paraphyletic.

    That suggest that “most” classifications are a mess. But why?

    Indeed, why do you think this result “suggests that “most” classifications are a mess”?

  2. 2
    jerry says:

    Is phylogeny dependent on who invites who to dinner?(the world’s most successful social insects)

    This really should be a topic (phylogeny) that is more investigated. Is there any book/text that is accessible to the non expert?

  3. 3
    wd400 says:

    Sometime UD commenter Joe Felsenstein (who more or less invented modern phylogenetics) wrote the best book. That requires considerable mathmatical background, if you don’t have that David Baum’s text is a good introduction to the importance of trees to understanding biology.

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    wd400, what in blue blazes has given you the absurd notion that bees (or even the humble fruit fly) ‘randomly’ evolved by Darwinian processes?

    Evolution vs. The Honey Bee – an Architectural Marvel – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4181791

    TEDx Video: Flight of the Fruit Fly – October 8, 2013
    Excerpt: “Dickinson is a very intense guy himself, and gives a remarkable discussion of what makes the engineering that goes into fruit fly flight so amazing.” (4:50 minute mark of video lists several fascinating high tech ‘accessories’ of the fruit fly; even a ‘gyroscope’!)
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....77641.html

    “The brain of a small fruit fly uses energy in the micro-watts for complex flight control and visual information processing to find and fly to food. I don’t think a supercomputer could yet simulate what the fruit fly brain does even while using megawatts of energy. The difference of over ten orders of magnitude and the level of energy used is an indication of just how incredible biological systems are.
    Professor Keiichi Namba, Osaka University

    Research Discovers Oldest Bee – Oct. 26, 2006
    Excerpt: Researchers at Oregon State University have discovered the oldest bee ever known, a 100 million year old specimen preserved in almost lifelike form in amber,,,
    The earliest angiosperms (flowering plants) didn’t really begin to spread rapidly until a little over 100 millions years ago, a time that appears to correspond with the (appearance) of bees,,.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....184944.htm

    50 million year old Fruit Fly fossil compared to modern Fruit Fly – picture
    http://en.harunyahya.net/fruit.....on-museum/

    How Bees Decide What to Be: Reversible ‘Epigenetic’ Marks Linked to Behavior Patterns, ScienceDaily, Sept. 16, 2012
    Excerpt: “…DNA methylation “tagging” has been linked to something at the behavioral level of a whole organism. On top of that, they say, the behavior in question, and its corresponding molecular changes, are reversible,…”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....160845.htm

    Look at This Incredible Insect Wing Design – Cornelius Hunter – May 17, 2013
    Excerpt: And so using this rational, mathematical, approach to biology the researchers were able to do something that consistently eludes evolutionists—produce a successful prediction:
    “An optimal cell size of a grid-like structure such as the wing can be predicted using the “critical crack length” of the membrane, which is determined by the material’s fracture toughness and the stress applied. … An “optimal” wing cell should have a diameter of around 1132 µm. Is this the case in locust wings? Our results show that the distribution of the wing cell size in locust wings corresponds very well to this prediction, with the most common wing-cell “class” being between 1000 and 1100 µm.”
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.co.....-wing.html

    Gene Regulatory Networks in Embryos Depend on Pre-existing Spatial Coordinates – Jonathan Wells – July 2011
    Excerpt: The development of metazoan embryos requires the precise spatial deployment of specific cellular functions. This deployment depends on gene regulatory networks (GRNs), which operate downstream of initial spatial inputs (E. H. Davidson, Nature 468 [2010]: 911). Those initial inputs depend, in turn, on pre-existing spatial coordinate systems. In Drosophila oocytes, for example, spatial localization of the earliest-acting elements of the maternal GRN depends on the prior establishment of an anteroposterior body axis by antecedent asymmetries in the ovary. Those asymmetries appear to depend on cytoskeletal and membrane patterns rather than on DNA sequences,,,
    http://www.discovery.org/scrip.....38;id=7751

    Development of a fly embryo in real time – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQ86d9sTeaQ

    Seeing the Natural World With a Physicist’s Lens – November 2010
    Excerpt: Scientists have identified and mathematically anatomized an array of cases where optimization has left its fastidious mark, among them;,, the precision response in a fruit fly embryo to contouring molecules that help distinguish tail from head;,,, In each instance, biophysicists have calculated, the system couldn’t get faster, more sensitive or more efficient without first relocating to an alternate universe with alternate physical constants.
    Per New York Times

    ‘No matter what we do to a fruit fly embryo there are only three possible outcomes, a normal fruit fly, a defective fruit fly, or a dead fruit fly. What we never see is primary speciation much less macro-evolution’ –
    Jonathan Wells

    Response to John Wise – October 2010
    Excerpt: A technique called “saturation mutagenesis”1,2 has been used to produce every possible developmental mutation in fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster),3,4,5 roundworms (Caenorhabditis elegans),6,7 and zebrafish (Danio rerio),8,9,10 and the same technique is now being applied to mice (Mus musculus).11,12 None of the evidence from these and numerous other studies of developmental mutations supports the neo-Darwinian dogma that DNA mutations can lead to new organs or body plans–because none of the observed developmental mutations benefit the organism.
    per Evolution News and Views

    Experimental Evolution in Fruit Flies (35 years of trying to force fruit flies to evolve in the laboratory fails, spectacularly) – October 2010
    Excerpt: “Despite decades of sustained selection in relatively small, sexually reproducing laboratory populations, selection did not lead to the fixation of newly arising unconditionally advantageous alleles.,,, “This research really upends the dominant paradigm about how species evolve,” said ecology and evolutionary biology professor Anthony Long, the primary investigator.
    http://www.arn.org/blogs/index.....ruit_flies

  5. 5
    jerry says:

    Indeed, why do you think this result “suggests that “most” classifications are a mess”?

    That is the impression I am getting or that a lot of life trees are arbitrary but I admit that I have not looked into this very much. How are relationships made, morphology, which part of the morphology, genes, which genes, all the genes, ORFsns, etc?

    When I was in grad school we used statistical similarity programs that would automatically group entities/people by how similar they were but we had to define the characteristics on which to do the similarity. For two organisms, what are these characteristics? How are they chosen?

    Trees of life are artificial things. They do not/never have actually existed but only theoretically help with understanding some process.

  6. 6
    jerry says:

    importance of trees to understanding biology

    On the topic of junk DNA, Barry pointed to Wells’book, The Myth of Junk DNA, of which I read about 15 pages so far. At the beginning which had nothing to do with junk DNA, Wells pointed out there is not one proven example of speciation ever recorded. In order to have a real tree one needs real speciation, not just wishful ones.

    I found that interesting. I also understand the current hypothesis says it takes a long time for such an event to happen and thus not able to be readily observed. But there must be/should be lots of examples of what should be speciation events and with such there should be just what changed genetically to cause the specific event. That might be more useful for pedagogical purposes to illustrate how the speciation actually occurred and how a tree of life could then be constructed.

    Without a rough understanding of the steps that happened genetically, trees of life may be just wishful thinking based on aprior assumptions. There should be examples of large changes as well as small changes. Then one could make an assessment as to what were the mechanisms responsible for these events.

    But then we do need an agreed upon definition of just what a species is and when a new one has arisen. For example, are Darwin Finches different species? The Grants do not think so even though they have minor genetic differences. Where would they fit on a bird tree?

  7. 7
    wd400 says:

    These are certainly all topics someone shuould try to understand before they attack evolutionary biology. There are many many papers detailing the sorts of evidence you are talking about, if you want to understand some biology I’d put Wells’ book down (it doesn’t tackle the best arguments for the presence of junk DNA at all) and read some of them.

  8. 8
    humbled says:

    “There are many many papers detailing the sorts of evidence you are talking about”‘ hardly.

    What we find however are opinion pieces, devoid of any actual evidence or facts, as well as science fiction, propaganda, rhetoric and philisophical views. We find secular fairytales, requiring vast amounts of faith and imaginaion. We find speculation, inference, guess work too.

    What we don’t get is a paper giving us evidence.

    -ex evolutionist

  9. 9
    bornagain77 says:

    wd400, you seem to have a very distorted view of how science works. You claim that Darwinian evolution is a fact. We don’t believe you. It is up to you to provide scientific evidence that Darwinian evolution can do what you claim of it! Even if genetic sequences were cooperative with Darwinian evolution, which they aren’t, but even if they were, this still does not prove that Darwinian processes created the sequences. To ‘scientifically’ prove that Darwinian processes can create a protein/gene (or a molecular machine) you would actually have to physically demonstrate that random mutation and natural selection can do what you claim of them. This simple demonstration has not been accomplished. In fact there is a null hypothesis in place saying that Darwinian processes can NEVER create any functional information:

    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, please feel free to cite the exact experiment which falsified the preceding null hypothesis so that we may see actual proof that Darwinian processes can do ANYTHING that you can for it! Otherwise, with no actual empirical basis to support your claim for Darwinism, you are in fact promoting pseudo-science instead of science!

    “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
    Excerpt: In its most recent issue The Quarterly Review of Biology has published a review by myself of laboratory evolution experiments of microbes going back four decades.,,, The gist of the paper is that so far the overwhelming number of adaptive (that is, helpful) mutations seen in laboratory evolution experiments are either loss or modification of function. Of course we had already known that the great majority of mutations that have a visible effect on an organism are deleterious. Now, surprisingly, it seems that even the great majority of helpful mutations degrade the genome to a greater or lesser extent.,,, I dub it “The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution”: Break or blunt any functional coded element whose loss would yield a net fitness gain.
    http://behe.uncommondescent.co.....evolution/

    Mutations : when benefits level off – June 2011 – (Lenski’s e-coli after 50,000 generations)
    Excerpt: After having identified the first five beneficial mutations combined successively and spontaneously in the bacterial population, the scientists generated, from the ancestral bacterial strain, 32 mutant strains exhibiting all of the possible combinations of each of these five mutations. They then noted that the benefit linked to the simultaneous presence of five mutations was less than the sum of the individual benefits conferred by each mutation individually.
    http://www2.cnrs.fr/en/1867.htm?theme1=7

    A review of The Edge of Evolution: The Search for the Limits of Darwinism
    The numbers of Plasmodium and HIV in the last 50 years greatly exceeds the total number of mammals since their supposed evolutionary origin (several hundred million years ago), yet little has been achieved by evolution. This suggests that mammals could have “invented” little in their time frame. Behe: ‘Our experience with HIV gives good reason to think that Darwinism doesn’t do much—even with billions of years and all the cells in that world at its disposal’ (p. 155).
    http://creation.com/review-mic.....-evolution

    “The immediate, most important implication is that complexes with more than two different binding sites-ones that require three or more proteins-are beyond the edge of evolution, past what is biologically reasonable to expect Darwinian evolution to have accomplished in all of life in all of the billion-year history of the world. The reasoning is straightforward. The odds of getting two independent things right are the multiple of the odds of getting each right by itself. So, other things being equal, the likelihood of developing two binding sites in a protein complex would be the square of the probability for getting one: a double CCC, 10^20 times 10^20, which is 10^40. There have likely been fewer than 10^40 cells in the world in the last 4 billion years, so the odds are against a single event of this variety in the history of life. It is biologically unreasonable.”
    – Michael Behe – The Edge of Evolution – page 146

    Michael Behe, The Edge of Evolution, pg. 162 Swine Flu, Viruses, and the Edge of Evolution
    “Indeed, the work on malaria and AIDS demonstrates that after all possible unintelligent processes in the cell–both ones we’ve discovered so far and ones we haven’t–at best extremely limited benefit, since no such process was able to do much of anything. It’s critical to notice that no artificial limitations were placed on the kinds of mutations or processes the microorganisms could undergo in nature. Nothing–neither point mutation, deletion, insertion, gene duplication, transposition, genome duplication, self-organization nor any other process yet undiscovered–was of much use.”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....20071.html

    Scant search for the Maker
    Excerpt: But where is the experimental evidence? None exists in the literature claiming that one species has been shown to evolve into another. Bacteria, the simplest form of independent life, are ideal for this kind of study, with generation times of 20 to 30 minutes, and populations achieved after 18 hours. But throughout 150 years of the science of bacteriology, there is no evidence that one species of bacteria has changed into another, in spite of the fact that populations have been exposed to potent chemical and physical mutagens and that, uniquely, bacteria possess extrachromosomal, transmissible plasmids. Since there is no evidence for species changes between the simplest forms of unicellular life, it is not surprising that there is no evidence for evolution from prokaryotic to eukaryotic cells, let alone throughout the whole array of higher multicellular organisms. –
    Alan H. Linton – emeritus professor of bacteriology, University of Bristol.
    http://www.timeshighereducatio.....ode=159282

  10. 10
    bornagain77 says:

    OT: Shroud of Turin: Hoax or Proof of Resurrection? (feat. Photographer of Los Alamos, Barrie Swortz) – video – Published on Sep 22, 2013
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lCyK2BzLy3Y

  11. 11
    bornagain77 says:

    correction: Barrie Schwortz

  12. 12
    jerry says:

    There are many many papers detailing the sorts of evidence you are talking about,

    Are there? How come they don’t make it into the books on evolution? I read most of Dawkins’ stuff and Coyne and Futuyama etc. The Grants didn’t present anything in a series of presentations honoring Darwin. They said all those famous finches are just one species. Nothing happened to them species wise in 3 million years.

    Wells cites someone who is a respected biologist saying there has never been a documented speciation event and uses a review of a book by Niles Eldredge to make his point.

    Should this be disregarded?

    And by the way I went on record about DNA a few days ago and I believe you cited me in your comments. Nothing has changed.

    From a review of a book by Niles Eldredge: The Triumph of Evolution and the Failure of Creationism

    Despite the conciliatory comments in the final chapter, the book’s title is essentially emotive and provocative. Since most theories, if proven to be false, are rejected by scientists, Eldredge claims that, after 150 years, science has failed to disprove the theory of evolution and, therefore, “evolution has triumphed”. In other words, the theory of evolution rests on the failure of science to show that it is false. Nevertheless, he believes the theory can be scientifically tested.

    But where is the experimental evidence? None exists in the literature claiming that one species has been shown to evolve into another. Bacteria, the simplest form of independent life, are ideal for this kind of study, with generation times of 20 to 30 minutes, and populations achieved after 18 hours. But throughout 150 years of the science of bacteriology, there is no evidence that one species of bacteria has changed into another, in spite of the fact that populations have been exposed to potent chemical and physical mutagens and that, uniquely, bacteria possess extrachromosomal, transmissible plasmids. Since there is no evidence for species changes between the simplest forms of unicellular life, it is not surprising that there is no evidence for evolution from prokaryotic to eukaryotic cells, let alone throughout the whole array of higher multicellular organisms.

    Reviewer: Alan H. Linton emeritus professor of bacteriology, University of Bristol.

    http://www.timeshighereducatio.....82.article

    How can one have a tree if there has never been one example of a new branch happening. A little troubling for UCD. And why does one need evolutionary biology to understand any other part of biology?

  13. 13
    jerry says:

    Shroud of Turin

    I saw it when it was displayed for the public in 1998. Possibly the most enigmatic object in the world. I never meant anyone that denies this somehow has an intelligent origin. But who is the designer? And how did the designer do it? Are these answers necessary before we can say that this object is the result of an intelligent agent?

    I am sure we have some die-hards here who would say it was not the result of an intelligent agent until they could put their fingers/hand….

    Here is the website of Barrie Schwortz

    http://www.shroud.com

  14. 14
    jerry says:

    Should be “I never met anyone”. Pardon the typo.

  15. 15
    wd400 says:

    [The grants] said all those famous finches are just one species

    I cannot imagine that to is the case, as there are 15. There book “How and Why Species Multiply” would be a good place to start for what we know about the origin of one group of species.

  16. 16
    Mapou says:

    Of course, there is a tree of life. The tree of life is not a new idea that started with Darwin though. It’s an old idea that historically began with the book of Genesis. It’s just not the strictly nested tree of life that evolutionists have predicted on the basis of their falsified common descent hypothesis. It is a non-nested tree of life, the kind one might expect to find from intelligent design and genetic engineering spread over millions of years.

  17. 17
    bornagain77 says:

    wd400,

    Wired Science: One Long Bluff – Refuting a recent finch speciation claim – Jonathan Wells – Nov. 2009
    Excerpt: According to the Grants, in 1981 they found an unusually large male medium ground finch (scientific name: G. fortis) on the island of Daphne Major that they labeled 5110. They inferred that it had probably immigrated from the nearby island of Santa Cruz–though they could not be certain. For 28 years, the Grants followed all known descendants of this presumed immigrant, and genetic analysis suggested that after 2002 the descendants of 5110 bred only with each other (and were thus “endogamous”). The inbred group had a distinctive song that may have contributed to its reproductive isolation from other medium ground finches that were in the same area (“sympatric”).
    But the Grants did not go so far as to label the inbred descendants a new species. “We treat the endogamous group as an incipient species because it has been reproductively isolated from sympatric G. fortis for three generations and possibly longer.” But an “incipient species” is not the same as a new species. In The Origin of Species, Darwin wrote: “According to my view, varieties are species in the process of formation, or are, as I have called them, incipient species.” 7 But how can we possibly know whether two varieties (or races) are in the process of becoming separate species? Saint Bernards and Chihuahuas are two varieties that cannot interbreed naturally. The Ainu people of northern Japan and the !Kung of southern Africa are separated not only geographically, linguistically, and culturally, but also (for all practical purposes) reproductively. Are dog breeds and human races therefore “incipient species?”
    There’s no way we can know, unless we observe varieties becoming separate species at a future date. Designating two reproductively isolated populations “incipient species” is nothing more than a prediction that speciation will eventually occur. It is a far cry from observing the origin of a new species.
    Indeed, in their scientific article the Grants acknowledge that “many episodes of incipient speciation probably fail for every one that succeeds.” In the present case, “it is too early to tell whether reproductive isolation is transitory or is likely to be enduring. The odds would seem to be against long-term persistence of the immigrant lineage as a reproductively isolated population.” Among other things, it could go extinct due to inbreeding or an environmental catastrophe. Or it “might disappear through interbreeding with other G. fortis.”
    Interbreeding among supposedly reproductively isolated species of Galápagos finches is nothing new. The Grants themselves reported widespread hybridization among those species in the 1990s.8 9 This is one reason why, according to a November 16 report in the journal Nature, “the Grants aren’t yet ready to call 5110’s lineage a new species.” Indeed, “the Grants think there is only a small chance that 5110’s descendants will remain isolated long enough to speciate.” 10
    So, will the inbred population described by the Grants become a new species? Maybe; maybe not. Does the Grants’ work explain how different species of finches descended with modification from a common ancestor? Maybe; maybe not. “Does the report in Wired Science mean that “biologists have witnessed that elusive moment when a single species (of Galapagos finch) splits in two?” Absolutely not.”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....bluff.html

    In fact,,

    “The closest science has come to observing and recording actual speciation in animals is the work of Theodosius Dobzhansky in Drosophilia paulistorium fruit flies. But even here, only reproductive isolation, not a new species, appeared.”
    from page 32 “Acquiring Genomes” Lynn Margulis.

    Moreover, new research shows that the Grants (i.e. the Darwinian) understanding for species formation is ‘extremely incomplete’ in that reproductive isolation is an ‘erroneous assumption’ for discerning whether speciation has actually occurred:

    Genetic Reproductive Barriers: Long-Held Assumption About Emergence of New Species Questioned – Sep. 2, 2013
    Excerpt: The rate at which genetic reproductive barriers arise does not predict the rate at which new species form in nature,” Rabosky said. “If these results are true more generally — which we would not yet claim but do suspect — it would imply that our understanding of species formation is extremely incomplete because we’ve spent so long studying the wrong things, due to this erroneous assumption that the main cause of species formation is the formation of barriers to reproduction.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....162536.htm

    One of the reasons why reproductive isolation is ‘extremely incomplete’ as a measure of speciation is because highly sophisticated, “in-built”, phenotype plasticity is what is found to generate variation in a species, not ‘randomly occurring’ variations as Darwinists have presupposed,,

    Phenotypic Plasticity – Lizard cecal valve (cyclical variation)- video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEtgOApmnTA

    The problem that the cyclical variation of Phenotypic Plasticity presents to simplistic Darwinian notions of speciation is best described by Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig:

    A. L. Hughes’s New Non-Darwinian Mechanism of Adaption Was Discovered and Published in Detail by an ID Geneticist 25 Years Ago – Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig – December 2011
    Excerpt: The original species had a greater genetic potential to adapt to all possible environments. In the course of time this broad capacity for adaptation has been steadily reduced in the respective habitats by the accumulation of slightly deleterious alleles (as well as total losses of genetic functions redundant for a habitat), with the exception, of course, of that part which was necessary for coping with a species’ particular environment….By mutative reduction of the genetic potential, modifications became “heritable”. — As strange as it may at first sound, however, this has nothing to do with the inheritance of acquired characteristics. For the characteristics were not acquired evolutionarily, but existed from the very beginning due to the greater adaptability. In many species only the genetic functions necessary for coping with the corresponding environment have been preserved from this adaptability potential. The “remainder” has been lost by mutations (accumulation of slightly disadvantageous alleles) — in the formation of secondary species.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....53881.html

    Basically, what is found over and over is this:

    “Whatever we may try to do within a given species, we soon reach limits which we cannot break through. A wall exists on every side of each species. That wall is the DNA coding, which permits wide variety within it (within the gene pool, or the genotype of a species)-but no exit through that wall. Darwin’s gradualism is bounded by internal constraints, beyond which selection is useless.”
    R. Milner, Encyclopedia of Evolution (1990)

    Of related note is this large scale study:

    The Mirage of “Evolution Before Our Eyes” – August 2011
    Excerpt:,,,the important implication of the massive study by Oregon State University zoologist Josef C. Uyeda and his colleagues. They write in PNAS: “Even though rapid, short-term evolution often occurs in intervals shorter than 1 [million years], the changes are constrained and do not accumulate over time.”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....49911.html

    Also of note, materialists never mention the fact that the variations found in nature (such as peppered moth color and finch beak size) which are often touted as solid proof of evolution are always found to be cyclical in nature. i.e. The variations are found to vary around a median position with never a continual deviation from the norm (See Jonathan Wells ‘Icons Of Evolution’). This blatant distortion/omission of evidence in textbooks led Phillip Johnson to comment in the Wall Street Journal:

    “When our leading scientists have to resort to the sort of distortion that would land a stock promoter in jail, you know they are in trouble.”

    Related notes:

    Natural Limits to Variation, or Reversion to the Mean: Is Evolution Just Extrapolation by Another Name? – Tom Bethell – April, 2012
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....58791.html

    Specious Speciation: The Myth of Observed Large-Scale Evolutionary Change – Casey Luskin – January 2012 – article
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....55281.html

  18. 18
    bornagain77 says:

    Myself, I’m rather mystified that Darwinists can so readily, and adamantly, accept finch beak variation as conclusive proof that the finches themselves arose by Darwinian processes. It is sort of like claiming that the variation in the weather cycle explains how weather arose in the first place. It simply does not follow in logic. It addresses the problem from the wrong level! Here is a small glimpse of what Darwinists must truly explain, besides the extremely sophisticated mechanisms that allow finch beaks to vary around a median position in the first place,,

    FLIGHT: The Genius of Birds – Skeletal system – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=11fZS_B6UW4

    Flight: The Genius of Birds – Embryonic Development – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ah-gT0hTto

    How Bird Wings Work (Compared to Airplane Wings) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jKokxPRtck

    Verse and Music:

    Matthew 10:31
    “So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.”

    Paul McCartney – Blackbird [Live Acoustic] – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_SrYqLrljU

  19. 19
    jerry says:

    I cannot imagine that to is the case, as there are 15.

    But they all can inner breed. They are what they call genetically compatible. Just like someone with a Roman nose and another with a pug nose can have offspring. I once knew a young lady who was beautiful but had a nose job as a teenager. He husband did not know this. Their children had big noses and he was taken aback by this.

    So too the Darwin finches. They can have all sorts of beaks and when they inner breed with each other they produce a variety of beak sizes. Which are probably called a new species.

    Their book “How and Why Species Multiply” would be a good place to start

    I prefer to go to the horse’s mouth. The Grants made a long presentation at Stanford in 2009 on their work. It is available for all to see on the internet. In it they give the game away. All the so called Darwin finches can inner breed. Doesn’t happen much but it does happen and they have viable offspring that reproduce. Here is the link:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMcVY__T3Ho

    Watch the whole thing. But I will save you some time. Start at about 109:00 and follow Rosemary for a few minutes till at least 112:00. Then go to 146:30 and listen to Peter. Before this is the inane prattle by two of Stanford’s finest who do not understand that the Grants are saying that the whole evolution thing is a crock.

  20. 20
    bornagain77 says:

    Thanks for the reference Jerry. You are a encyclopedia.

  21. 21
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Watch the whole thing. But I will save you some time. Start at about 109:00 and follow Rosemary for a few minutes till at least 112:00.

    I watched just that part and she does say that the species are “genetically compatible”. I hope wd400 will respond to that.

  22. 22
    jerry says:

    Thanks for the reference

    I would listen to all of the Grants but they don’t start for about 10 minutes and one can skip the two people from Stanford after the Grant’s presentation. The Grants then come back and discuss speciation. What they did is very interesting but in no way threatens ID or supports Darwinian ideas even though they constantly mention natural selection.

    They essentially say that after all this time where natural selection is working we have the same gene pool. Look for the 32 million year estimate for a new bird species to emerge. Rosemary discusses it in a couple places.

    Peter talks about genetic controls that are changing beak size and not the coding regions and it is not clear whether there are actually DNA changes happening or if it is epigentic. But he describes extremely complicated feedback loops.

    Were the changes to the finch beaks caused by DNA changes or epigentic changes? Apparently they do not know. Here is a discussion of epigentics and mentions the Darwin finches.

    http://www.cals.ncsu.edu/cours.....0Notes.pdf

    Also this exchange on Jerry Coyne’s site:

    http://whyevolutionistrue.word.....kerfuffle/

    I love the use of the expression “academic auto-censure”

    A.Way
    Posted November 4, 2010 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    So – darwinian finches – was this evolution or epigenetics? Sure sound like epigenetics…
    Reply

    Luc
    Posted October 6, 2013 at 3:09 am | Permalink

    I once read that a recent research on darwin’s finches have shown that the responsible factor has been already isolated and even tests on chickens eggs succesfully conducted, but I can find the reference, so if some is aware of it;
    the word epigenetic wasn’t used but is perhaps a kind of academic auto-censure
    Mike
    Reply
    Luc
    Posted October 6, 2013 at 3:15 am | Permalink

    I found it :
    Bmp4 and Morphological Variation of Beaks in Darwin’s Finches

    Arhat Abzhanov1,
    Meredith Protas1,
    B. Rosemary Grant2,
    Peter R. Grant2,
    Clifford J. Tabin1,*
    Reply
    A.Way
    Posted October 6, 2013 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    That article identified Bmp4 as associated with changed in beak morphology and change in expression of Bmp4 as maybe being the cause in change in beak shape. The change in expression can be an epigenetic effect. Examples are the Russian tame foxes and the Agouti mouse. You have changed in gene expression without a change in DNA base pairs. This article did not confirm a change in the genetic code.
    Reply
    Luc
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 2:38 am | Permalink

    for sure and this was my point, that evolution is mostly epigenetic, and that should perhaps explain the punctuated equilibrum stated by Gould
    Reply

    To be continued after further research. Maybe it already exists. So if anyone can add to it, let’s see where it stands now.

  23. 23
    wd400 says:

    The different species of Darwin’s finches can interbreed. But they are distinct species. Just like lions and tigers.

    This is, in fact, and example of what people like Wells don’t (or pretend not to) get about speciation. It’s a process. You can’t, except in vary rare circumstanes, see a new species arise in real-time. But when we look around the world we see populations in every stage of the process form initial divergence (be it spatial or ecological) to the selection agaisnt hybrids and establishment of complete isolation.

    The fact Darwin’s finches occasionally interbred doesn’t mean they aren’t species. Indeed, phylogeny helps us prove that. When you estimate a tree for these species you find two things (1) they are big genetic gaps between species (2) individuals of one species are more closeley related to each other than to other species. That wouldn’t happen if the finches were acting like one big population. In fact, absent selection even one “migrant” between diverging populations per generation is enough to prevent this happening.

    The fact the species maintain their distinctiveness in spite of the potential for gene flow to homegenise them tells us they represent distinct lineages. The interesting question then is what prevents them folding back in – and it turns out there are pre-mating (size-assortative mating, songs) and post-mating (ecological selection against hybrids) keeping the lineages distinct. So the Grant’s work tells us how speciation can work, even with species that can interbreed. Allopatric speciation, where populations never see each so just evolve away on their own, is much easier to understand.

    Evolutionary biology actually makes a couple of interesting predictions here. Since speciation is a process, and complete genetic isolation between species only occurs after a period then (a) species that diverged longer ago, according to molecular phylogenies, should produce fewer sucessful hybrids (the “speciation clock”) (b) in species with chromosomal sex determiniaton, hybrids the sex with different chromosomes (e.g. XY males in placental mammals, ZW females in birds) should be hit harder than their counterparts. (Haldane’s rule). These are both true, and teh first ones tells us the sort of ecological speciation going on in the finches might be quite widespread in nature.

    Finally, I’m sure I’ve already corrected you on this, but it doesn’t follow form the fact beak size is influenced difference in gene expression that it’s a genetic change. I don’t know of an evidence for transgenerational epigenetics in birds, and it’s much much more likely the changes are down to changes in teh genetic sequence of regulator elements. Even if it was a trans-generational epigenetic modification, the Grant’s showed the traits are heritable. Hertiable variation is subject to selection so, whether you like it not, changes in beak morhphology have a hertiable basis, are stably inherited and have been shown to be subject to selection. Sounds like evolution to me.

  24. 24
    jerry says:

    So the Grant’s work tells us how speciation can work, even with species that can interbreed.

    And after 3 million years they are all compatible genetically. Doesn’t sound like much is happening on the evolution front. Whatever evolution is. So to use it as an example is disingenuous. If it is used then it should be brought out that genetically they are all the same just as there are various groups of dogs, cats, humans etc.

    Wouldn’t make much of an example to put in a text book.

    Finally, I’m sure I’ve already corrected you on this, but it doesn’t follow form the fact beak size is influenced difference in gene expression that it’s a genetic change.

    I have no idea what you are trying to correct. My point was that they do not know what causes the changes in beak sizes but that it is not a coding change. The Grants just say it is a regulatory network which affects the amount of gene expression. I never said any different unless you want to correct the Grants since I am just using them as a source.

    Sounds like evolution to me.

    We can always start with definitions of things like evolution, species etc. Why don’t you offer up your definitions since you are using the terms.

    My point is that Darwinian processes lead to trivial changes and nothing more. No one has ever been able to show otherwise. I would love to see that statement which is true in the biology textbooks.

  25. 25
    wd400 says:

    If it is used then it should be brought out that genetically they are all the same just as there are various groups of dogs, cats, humans etc.

    Ha! That’s the best goalpost-shifting I’ve ever seen. “It’s not speciation! Ok, so it’s speciation, but it’s not macroevolution!”

  26. 26
    bornagain77 says:

    So, wd400, in your mind (excuse me) in your BRAIN you don’t actually have to prove Darwinian processes can create anything? All you have to do is prove that Darwinian processes can produce genetic isolation by destroying the original variability that was inherent in the parent kind? And you consider yourself to be rigorously honest in all this how? I don’t care how genetic variability can be lost (as is evident in reproductive isolation), I want to know where the extremely sophisticated functional information came from in the first place!

    A. L. Hughes’s New Non-Darwinian Mechanism of Adaption Was Discovered and Published in Detail by an ID Geneticist 25 Years Ago – Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig – December 2011
    Excerpt: The original species had a greater genetic potential to adapt to all possible environments. In the course of time this broad capacity for adaptation has been steadily reduced in the respective habitats by the accumulation of slightly deleterious alleles (as well as total losses of genetic functions redundant for a habitat), with the exception, of course, of that part which was necessary for coping with a species’ particular environment….By mutative reduction of the genetic potential, modifications became “heritable”. — As strange as it may at first sound, however, this has nothing to do with the inheritance of acquired characteristics. For the characteristics were not acquired evolutionarily, but existed from the very beginning due to the greater adaptability. In many species only the genetic functions necessary for coping with the corresponding environment have been preserved from this adaptability potential. The “remainder” has been lost by mutations (accumulation of slightly disadvantageous alleles) — in the formation of secondary species.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....53881.html

  27. 27
    Mung says:

    The different species of Darwin’s finches can interbreed. But they are distinct species. Just like lions and tigers.

    Just like blacks and whites.

  28. 28
    Mung says:

    wd400:

    The different species of Darwin’s finches can interbreed. But they are distinct species.

    And therefore, distinct phyla.

  29. 29
    TheisticEvolutionist says:

    What is your scientific replacement for common descent bornagain77?

  30. 30
    lifepsy says:

    wd400,

    The different species of Darwin’s finches can interbreed. But they are distinct species. Just like lions and tigers.

    All that shows is how arbitrary the definition of species is.

    But when we look around the world we see populations in every stage of the process form initial divergence (be it spatial or ecological) to the selection agaisnt hybrids and establishment of complete isolation.

    Nothing is “diverging” in any mystical neo-darwinian sense of the word, and they are only “isolated” in distinct levels of genetic expression epigenetically induced by different environmental pressures. There are no variants to select against because the whole population is affected in each given environment. (e.g. if a population finds themselves with primarily a seed diet, they will epigenetically begin to express bigger crushing beaks)

    The fact Darwin’s finches occasionally interbred doesn’t mean they aren’t species.

    And the fact that the finches occupy different environments and varying levels of phenotypic plasticity does not mean they are different species. Your definition is completely arbitrary. What is your criteria? That you just feel like calling them different species?

    When you estimate a tree for these species you find two things (1) they are big genetic gaps between species (2) individuals of one species are more closeley related to each other than to other species. That wouldn’t happen if the finches were acting like one big population.

    All this means is that the same species can exist in segregated populations for extended periods of time without “speciating” or any kind of expected evolutionary divergence event.

    And where’s your data on these “big” genetic gaps between finch populations?

    The fact the species maintain their distinctiveness in spite of the potential for gene flow to homegenise them tells us they represent distinct lineages.

    Their distinctiveness is directly induced by distinct environments. If they were homogenized then they wouldn’t be living in different environments, so your statement is tautological.

    The interesting question then is what prevents them folding back in

    Different environments. Take all the distinct finch populations and restrict them to the same environment and they will all look the same within several generations. That’s how phenotypic plasticity works. It is well documented in other species.

    Even if it was a trans-generational epigenetic modification, the Grant’s showed the traits are heritable. Hertiable variation is subject to selection so, whether you like it not, changes in beak morhphology have a hertiable basis, are stably inherited and have been shown to be subject to selection. Sounds like evolution to me.

    1)The morphology is not dictated by mutations, but expression of genetic function that was already present in the genome.

    2)Fixation of morphological traits was not facilitated by natural selection, (i.e. selected by culling individuals without fitness advantage) Instead, traits are induced in entire populations exposed to the same environment pressure over time.

    So, No. It has nothing to do with neo-Darwinian processes, or Evolution at all. If anything it just shows us how completely wrong that neo-Darwinists have been every time they bullhorn some example of observed “rapid evolution” of species introduced to new environments.

    (But maybe you’re one of the “evolution is change over time” people, in which case everything becomes evidence for evolution as a sort of religious experience.)

  31. 31
    bornagain77 says:

    as to: What is your scientific replacement for common descent bornagain77?

    Please do tell, what makes common descent ‘scientific’? This ought to be interesting!

  32. 32
    lifepsy says:

    Ha! That’s the best goalpost-shifting I’ve ever seen. “It’s not speciation! Ok, so it’s speciation, but it’s not macroevolution!”

    There is no need for a goalpost. You’re not even on the field. You don’t have a non-arbitrary definition for “speciation”. You don’t even know what it is.

    Oh they look different, which may or may not be due to genetic change, and they don’t interbreed, except when they do.

  33. 33
    wd400 says:

    Lifespy,

    Almost everything you’ve said here is dead wrong. The traits are heritable, not simply environmentally induced. Different species share the same habitat, so again, it’s not simpy plasticity. The changes in gene expression that make different beaks are almost certainly the result of mutations, and wether they are or (and again it’s almost impossibly to imagine this is the case) they are satbly inherited epigenetic modifications, that absolutely have been fixed by selection. The force of which has been measured in the wild.

    Unless you want to engage with what we actually know about these finches, I really don’t know why I’d waste my time on your assertions.

  34. 34
    bornagain77 says:

    wd400, you claim:

    The changes in gene expression that make different beaks are almost certainly the result of mutations

    and you are almost certainly dead wrong!

    Revisiting the Central Dogma in the 21st Century – James A. Shapiro – 2009
    Excerpt (Page 12): Underlying the central dogma and conventional views of genome evolution was the idea that the genome is a stable structure that changes rarely and accidentally by chemical fluctuations (106) or replication errors. This view has had to change with the realization that maintenance of genome stability is an active cellular function and the discovery of numerous dedicated biochemical systems for restructuring DNA molecules.(107–110) Genetic change is almost always the result of cellular action on the genome. These natural processes are analogous to human genetic engineering,,, (Page 14) Genome change arises as a consequence of natural genetic engineering, not from accidents. Replication errors and DNA damage are subject to cell surveillance and correction. When DNA damage correction does produce novel genetic structures, natural genetic engineering functions, such as mutator polymerases and nonhomologous end-joining complexes, are involved. Realizing that DNA change is a biochemical process means that it is subject to regulation like other cellular activities. Thus, we expect to see genome change occurring in response to different stimuli (Table 1) and operating nonrandomly throughout the genome, guided by various types of intermolecular contacts (Table 1 of Ref. 112).
    http://shapiro.bsd.uchicago.ed.....0Dogma.pdf

    Also of interest from the preceding paper, on page 22, is a simplified list of the ‘epigentic’ information flow in the cell that directly contradicts what was expected from the central dogma (Genetic Reductionism/modern synthesis model) of neo-Darwinism.

    James Shapiro on “dangerous oversimplifications” about the cell – August 6, 2013
    Excerpt: “Depending upon the energy source and other circumstances, these indescribably complex entities can reproduce themselves with great reliability at times as short as 10-20 minutes. Each reproductive cell cycle involves literally hundreds of millions of biochemical and biomechanical events. We must recognize that cells possess a cybernetic capacity beyond our ability to imitate. Therefore, it should not surprise us when we discover extremely dense and interconnected control architectures at all levels. Simplifying assumptions about cell informatics can be more misleading than helpful in understanding the basic principles of biological function.
    Two dangerous oversimplifications have been (i) to consider the genome as a mere physical carrier of hypothetical units called “genes” that determine particular cell or organismal traits, and (ii) to think of the genome as a digitally encoded Read-Only Turing tape that feeds instructions to the rest of the cell about individual characters [4].”
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....-the-cell/

    How life changes itself: The Read–Write (RW) genome – James A. Shapiro – 2013
    Excerpt: Research dating back to the 1930s has shown that genetic change is the result of cell-mediated processes, not simply accidents or damage to the DNA. This cell-active view of genome change applies to all scales of DNA sequence variation, from point mutations to large-scale genome rearrangements and whole genome duplications (WGDs).
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/s.....4513000869

    New Research Elucidates Directed Mutation Mechanisms – Cornelius Hunter – January 7, 2013
    Excerpt: mutations don’t occur randomly in the genome, but rather in the genes where they can help to address the challenge. But there is more. The gene’s single stranded DNA has certain coils and loops which expose only some of the gene’s nucleotides to mutation. So not only are certain genes targeted for mutation, but certain nucleotides within those genes are targeted in what is referred to as directed mutations.,,,
    These findings contradict evolution’s prediction that mutations are random with respect to need and sometimes just happen to occur in the right place at the right time.,,,
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.co.....ected.html

  35. 35
    lifepsy says:

    wd400

    The traits are heritable

    I didn’t say they weren’t heritable. They can be trans-generational epigenetic effects.

    Different species share the same habitat, so again, it’s not simpy plasticity.

    Some may share the same habitat but have become specialized to different lifestyles/diets within that habitat. If these choices become restricted then you will see a plastic response to one type of morphological expression.

    The changes in gene expression that make different beaks are almost certainly the result of mutations

    The rapid change in beak morphology is almost certainly *not* the result of the selection of mutations. What’s your evidence that it is?

    Rapid changes in morphological expression have been documented as plastic responses to changes in environment(terrain, diet) in other species, unrelated to mutations.

    [even if] they are satbly inherited epigenetic modifications, that absolutely have been fixed by selection. The force of which has been measured in the wild.

    Selection may be culling those slowest to adopt necessary expression levels, (perhaps fence-sitting individuals slowest to transition to singular diet types) but if the expression itself is driven by plasticity, (or directly induced by exposure to the environment) then it is a misrepresentation to claim the traits are “fixed by selection”

    Unless you want to engage with what we actually know about these finches, I really don’t know why I’d waste my time on your assertions.

    Oh you mean like “it’s evolution! evolution dunnit! sounds like evolution!

    Likewise, why am I wasting my time?

  36. 36
    Mung says:

    TheisticEvolutionist:

    What is your scientific replacement for common descent bornagain77?

    Godditit.

    He’s a theistic evolutionist, just like you. Unless you’re a theistic evolutionist in name only.

  37. 37
    lifepsy says:

    TheisticEvolutionist

    What is your scientific replacement for common descent?

    Separate ancestry.

  38. 38
    jerry says:

    From Wikipedia:

    In biology, a species (plural: species) is one of the basic units of biological classification and a taxonomic rank. A species is often defined as a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring. While in many cases this definition is adequate, the difficulty of defining species is known as the species problem.

    The species problem is a mixture of difficult, related questions that often come up when biologists define the word “species”. Definitions are usually based on how individual organisms reproduce, but biological reality means that a definition that works well for some organisms (e.g., birds) will be useless for others (e.g., bacteria).

    One common, but sometimes difficult, question is how best to decide which species an organism belongs to, because reproductively isolated groups may not be readily recognizable;

    From Biology-online

    An individual belonging to a group of organisms (or the entire group itself) having common characteristics and (usually) are capable of mating with one another to produce fertile offspring.

    In the Stanford presentation, Peter Grant makes an attempt to define the term “species.” He seems to lean toward the ability to inner breed producing viable fertile offspring. It seems to solve a lot of problems because it becomes much easier to identify a species. Where is becomes a problem is with those populations that have been traditionally thought to be separate species such as lions and tigers but can inner breed. So lions and tigers are not different species but we all since childhood have been led to believe they are very different so must be different species.

    This example was used here because it assumes that we do not know that they can inner breed and also because we assume they are separate species. Someone else used this as a last resort to try and trick a commenter a few weeks ago. So when someone uses this example, it is an attempt to change the subject when the argument is not going well for them.

    If we use the definition that the Grants prefer and most common definition of the term species, there is only one species of finches on the Galapagos. The group known as Darwin’s finches are all one species and remain so after arriving on the islands 3 million years ago.

    There never was a change of goal posts. This is the definition I have been using all along and which the Grants use.

    But this is all a side show because no one in the evolution debate cares if the finches are separate species or not. The main issue is on the journey of a single cell to man progression and how all the complex novelties have arisen over time. If one cannot show that a simple divergence of species based on inability to breed ever happened it is for sure no one is able to explain how these other complexities arose.

    As Will Provine said, belief in Darwinian evolution is all based on faith. However, the ID people use science to back their beliefs. Amazing but true.

  39. 39
    Mung says:

    Where it becomes a problem is with those populations that have been traditionally thought to be separate [races] such as [blacks] and [whites] but can inner breed.

  40. 40
    TheisticEvolutionist says:

    Please do tell, what makes common descent ‘scientific’? This ought to be interesting!

    It makes predictions!

    He’s a theistic evolutionist, just like you. Unless you’re a theistic evolutionist in name only.

    He’s not a theistic evolutionist, he rejects common descent.

    Separate ancestry.

    And what was the scientific mechanism for this?

  41. 41
    Box says:

    TheisticEvolutionist #29: What is your scientific replacement for common descent?

    Livespy #37: Separate ancestry.

    TheisticEvolutionist #40: And what was the scientific mechanism for this?

    In principle the same scientific mechanism which is responsible for the production of these sentences.

  42. 42
    Chesterton says:

    And what was the scientific mechanism for this?

    Life was seeded on earth.

  43. 43
    jerry says:

    And what was the scientific mechanism for this?

    Intelligent Design: Examples, Gottlieb Daimler and the automobile and the Wright Brothers and the airplane.

    The best answer for life and all its changes since the first cell is that most of it is a mystery. Anything else is at best wishful thinking or speculation. Certainly modern science hasn’t a clue.

  44. 44
    bornagain77 says:

    TheisticEvolutionist you hold that common ancestry is ‘scientific’ because:

    It makes predictions!

    Well, being able to make successful predictions is certainly an important part of a rigorous scientific theory, but I think you are a deeply misguided if you think ‘common ancestry’ has made only successful predictions and is not fraught with falsifying unsuccessful predictions. For instance at the very first step, there is no evidence of gradual transition. The protein machinery that replicates DNA is found to be vastly different in even the most ancient of different single celled organisms:

    Did DNA replication evolve twice independently? – Koonin
    Excerpt: However, several core components of the bacterial (DNA) replication machinery are unrelated or only distantly related to the functionally equivalent components of the archaeal/eukaryotic (DNA) replication apparatus.
    http://nar.oxfordjournals.org/.....27/17/3389

    Problems of the RNA World – Did DNA Evolve Twice? – Dr. Fazale Rana – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4564682

    There simply is no smooth ‘gradual transition’ to be found between these most ancient of life forms as this following articles clearly point out:

    Oops, Evolution Forgot About the Eukaryotes – February 14, 2013
    Excerpt: How about this 1998 paper in which the evolutionists admit that “One of the most important omissions in recent evolutionary theory concerns how eukaryotes could emerge and evolve.” Evolution omitted how eukaryotes could emerge and evolve? That would be like physics omitting gravity, politics omitting elections or baseball omitting homeruns. Yet this paper came more than a century after evolutionists began insisting that it is beyond all reasonable doubt that the species, and that would be all the species, arose spontaneously.
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.co.....yotes.html

    Was our oldest ancestor a proton-powered rock?
    Excerpt: In particular, the detailed mechanics of DNA replication would have been quite different. It looks as if DNA replication evolved independently in bacteria and archaea,… Even more baffling, says Martin, neither the cell membranes nor the cell walls have any details in common (between the bacteria and the archaea).
    http://www.newscientist.com/ar.....tml?page=1

    The next step, for ‘common ancestry’, also provides no evidence for a smooth gradual transition that would be expected if the thesis of common ancestry were true. There simply isn’t any evidence in the fossil record indicating that single cells ever formed anything other than ‘simple aggregates’:

    “We go from single cell protozoa. which would be ameoba and things like that. Then you get into some that are a little bit bigger, still single cell, and then you get aggregates, they’re still individual cells that aggregate together. They don’t seem to have much in the way of cooperation,,, but when you really talk about a functioning organism, that has more than just one type of cell, you are talking about a sponge and you can have hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of cells. So we don’t really have organisms that function with say two different types of cells, but there is only five total. We don’t have anything like that.”
    – Dr. Raymond G. Bohlin – quote taken from 31:00 minute mark of this following video
    Natural Limits to Biological Change 2/2 – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vo3OKSGeFRQ

    Challenging Fossil of a Little Fish
    Excerpt: “I think this is a major mystery in paleontology,” said Chen. “Before the Cambrian, we should see a number of steps: differentiation of cells, differentiation of tissue, of dorsal and ventral, right and left. But we don’t have strong evidence for any of these.” Taiwanese biologist Li was also direct: “No evolution theory can explain these kinds of phenomena.”
    http://www.fredheeren.com/boston.htm

    In fact the pattern that is found in the Cambrian explosion, of disparity preceding diversity, is the exact opposite pattern to what the thesis of common ancestry would predict:

    In Explaining the Cambrian Explosion, Has the TalkOrigins Archive Resolved Darwin’s Dilemma? – JonathanM – May 2012
    Excerpt: it is the pattern of morphological disparity preceding diversity that is fundamentally at odds with the neo-Darwinian scenario of gradualism. All of the major differences (i.e. the higher taxonomic categories such as phyla) appear first in the fossil record and then the lesser taxonomic categories such as classes, orders, families, genera and species appear later. On the Darwinian view, one would expect to see all of the major differences in body plan appear only after numerous small-scale speciation events. But this is not what we observe.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....59171.html

    Challenging Fossil of a Little Fish
    “In Chen’s view, his evidence supports a history of life that runs opposite to the standard evolutionary tree diagrams, a progression he calls top-down evolution.”
    Jun-Yuan Chen is professor at the Nanjing Institute of Paleontology and Geology
    http://www.fredheeren.com/boston.htm

    Moreover this pattern of disparity preceding diversity is not limited to only the Cambrian explosion but is also found following the Cambrian explosion:

    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.,,,
    ,,,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.,,,
    http://phys.org/news/2013-07-s.....ution.html

    supplemental notes of falsified predictions from the genetic evidence:

    You Won’t Believe This New Epicycle: Both Congruence & Incongruence are Powerful Phylogenetic Signals – October – 7, 2013
    Excerpt: Similar evolution trees are derived from completely different genes. Such congruence of independent data was predicted by evolution and evolutionists have consistently proclaimed it as a powerful confirmation of the fact of evolution. It is, as evolutionists like to say, a powerful phylogenetic signal. There’s only one problem: all of this is false. It is yet another example of evolution’s theory-laden science where the findings are dictated not by the data but by the doctrine. There is no powerful phylogenetic signal. That is a myth. For when evolutionists construct their phylogenies, they first filter out the anatomical comparisons that don’t cooperate. But that is not enough so after their first try they filter some more. As one evolutionist admitted, “We are trying to figure out the phylogenetic relationships of 1.8 million species and can’t even sort out 20 [types of] yeast.” And so it is good to see a new paper that admits that data are routinely filtered in order to satisfy stringent criteria so as to eliminate the possibility of incongruence.
    And what is the solution to this dilemma? As usual, a theoretical failure is converted into a success by adding yet more epicycles. Or as Lakatos might have put it, the core idea is protected by the addition of yet more auxiliary hypotheses. In this case, the incredible emerging view is that incongruence is now to be interpreted as a powerful phylogenetic signal that is desirable, as it often illuminates previously poorly understood evolutionary phenomena. Once again a prediction that was hailed as a powerful proof of evolution turns out to be false, and the story is simply flipped on its head, thus preserving the success of the theory. Where congruence was once claimed as a powerful phylogenetic signal, now incongruence takes its place as the powerful phylogenetic signal. You cannot make this stuff up.
    per Dr. Hunter’s blog

    Nature Article Finds MicroRNAs are “Tearing Apart Traditional Ideas about the Animal Family Tree”
    Casey Luskin June 29, 2012
    Excerpt: When Peterson started his work on the placental [mammal] phylogeny, he had originally intended to validate the traditional mammal tree, not chop it down. As he was experimenting with his growing microRNA library, he applied it to mammals because their tree was so well established that they seemed an ideal test. Alas, the data didn’t cooperate. If the traditional tree was correct, then an unprecedented number of microRNA genes would have to have been lost, and Peterson considers that highly unlikely. “The microRNAs are totally unambiguous,” he says, “but they give a totally different tree from what everyone else wants.”,,, Maybe the reason that different genes yield different evolutionary trees is because there isn’t a single unified tree of life to be found. In other words, perhaps universal common ancestry is simply wrong.
    per Evolution News and Views

    Thus TheisticEvolutionist, if making predictions is your main benchmark as to judging whether a theory is scientific or not, you should seriously consider the serious failings in predictive power that the thesis of common ancestry has generated for science and modify your beliefs accordingly!

  45. 45
    jerry says:

    What is your scientific replacement for common descent

    Common descent is an observed process. I am in the midst of a genealogy study with my cousins to find relatives and tie down our ancestors. Universal common descent is a hypothetical construct that has never been verified by any scientific process. In fact the best science says that it could not have happened. That is, it is probably impossible based on what we know today. Also, historical evidence says that it did not happen.

    This does not preclude that in the future, something may be discovered that would lend credence to it. But as of now it is pure speculation.

  46. 46
    jerry says:

    It makes predictions!

    Yes it does. But in case after case many of the predictions it makes are false. It is often common for some construct to make predictions that are verified but that does not make it true unless it is robust in its predictions.

    One place where it fails time and time again is in the fossil record. There doesn’t seem to be any coherent mechanism that could explain the fossil record.

    Nor is there any coherent mechanism that explains modern life. If there were a mechanism for producing new life forms, it seems to be absent in our current life forms. At least science has not yet identified it. People point to Darwinian processes but the only thing we can see that doing is getting us all the way to a new color for fur or something equivalent of that complexity.

    So, citing predictions is a non-starter for UCD.

  47. 47
    jerry says:

    Let me provide something which I have no idea of its truth but is in the comments from Jerry Coyne’s website. I assume these are not ID people but they could be.

    for sure and this was my point, that evolution is mostly epigenetic, and that should perhaps explain the punctuated equilibrum stated by Gould

    It might be possible that epigenetics caused sudden transitions in morphology in the fossil record. In other words the same genome is now morphologically different very suddenly because of environmental reasons causing different gene expression. That might appear quite suddenly especially in a fossil record of millions of years.

    Before anyone goes off and says this is what I believe. It is not and is just another example of speculation by someone. Does it have any truth? I have no idea and it certainly can not explain the arrival of complex novelties and the genomes of species are wildly different from others in the same phylum/class/order/family. But it should be investigated.

  48. 48
    Mung says:

    Unfortunately, epigenetics is not a mechanism.

  49. 49
    lifepsy says:

    Separate Ancestry

    theisticEvolutionist:

    And what was the scientific mechanism for this?

    Common descent with modification from separate original gene pools.

    Or are you asking where life came from originally? The Theory of Separate Ancestry does not concern itself with the origin of life.

  50. 50
    lifepsy says:

    Jerry

    It might be possible that epigenetics caused sudden transitions in morphology in the fossil record. In other words the same genome is now morphologically different very suddenly because of environmental reasons causing different gene expression. That might appear quite suddenly especially in a fossil record of millions of years.

    I would agree with this. There are probably many of the same fossilized species being classified as different ones because of varied morphology, though their morphological differences could simply be the result of epigenetic responses to extremely varied environments, and not driven by genetic changes. You certainly wouldn’t need millions of years, either.

  51. 51
    Box says:

    Mung #48 Unfortunately, epigenetics is not a mechanism.

    True. S.L.Talbott describing an aspect of the package which is called ‘epigenetics’:

    The first thing to realize is that chromosomes do not consist of DNA only. Their actual substance, an intricately woven structure of DNA, RNA, and protein, is referred to as “chromatin” . Histone proteins, several of which can bind together in the form of an extremely complex “spool”, are the single most prominent constituent of this chromatin. Every cell contains numerous such spools — there are some 30 million in a typical human cell — and the DNA double helix , after wrapping a couple of times around one of them, typically extends for a short stretch and then wraps around another one. The spool with its DNA is referred to as a “nucleosome” , and between 75 and 90 percent of our DNA is wrapped up in nucleosomes.
    But that’s just the first level of packing (…)
    The supercoiling has another direct, more localized role in gene expression . Think again of twisting a rope: depending on the direction of your twist, the two strands of the helix will either become more tightly wound around each other or will be loosened and unwound. (This is independent of the supercoiling, which occurs in either case.) And if, taking a double-stranded rope in hand, you insert a pencil between the strands and force it in one direction along the rope, you will find the strands winding ever more tightly ahead of the pencil’s motion and unwinding behind.
    Recall, then, that the enzyme responsible for transcribing DNA into RNA (the enzyme is RNA polymerase ) must separate the two strands as it moves along a gene sequence . This is much easier if the supercoiling of the chromatin has already loosened the strands — and harder if the strands are tightened. So in this way the variations in supercoiling along the length of a chromosome either encourage or discourage the transcription of particular genes. Moreover, by virtue of its own activity in moving along the DNA and separating the two strands, RNA polymerase (like the pencil) tends to unwind the strands in the chromosomal region behind it, rendering that region, too, more susceptible to gene expression. There are proteins that detect such changes in torsion propagating along chromatin , and they read the changes as “suggestions” about helping to activate nearby genes.

  52. 52
    Phinehas says:

    lifespy:

    Or are you asking where life came from originally? The Theory of Separate Ancestry does not concern itself with the origin of life.

    LOL! Nicely done. I’ll have to remember that one.

  53. 53
    Mung says:

    Charles Darwin:

    Analogy would lead me one step further, namely, to the belief that all animals and plants are descended from some one prototype. But analogy may be a deceitful guide. Nevertheless all living things have much in common, in their chemical composition, their cellular structure, their laws of growth, and their liability to injurious influences. We see this even in so trifling a fact as that the same poison often similarly affects plants and animals; or that the poison secreted by the gall-fly produces monstrous growths on the wild rose or oak-tree. With all organic beings, excepting perhaps some of the very lowest, sexual reproduction seems to be essentially similar. With all, as far as is at present known, the germinal vesicle is the same; so that all organisms start from a common origin. If we look even to the two main divisions—namely, to the animal and vegetable kingdoms—certain low forms are so far intermediate in character that naturalists have disputed to which kingdom they should be referred. As Professor Asa Gray has remarked, “the spores and other reproductive bodies of many of the lower algae may claim to have first a characteristically animal, and then an unequivocally vegetable existence.” Therefore, on the principle of natural selection with divergence of character, it does not seem incredible that, from some such low and intermediate form, both animals and plants may have been developed; and, if we admit this, we must likewise admit that all the organic beings which have ever lived on this earth may be descended from some one primordial form. But this inference is chiefly grounded on analogy, and it is immaterial whether or not it be accepted. No doubt it is possible, as Mr. G.H. Lewes has urged, that at the first commencement of life many different forms were evolved; but if so, we may conclude that only a very few have left modified descendants. For, as I have recently remarked in regard to the members of each great kingdom, such as the Vertebrata, Articulata, etc., we have distinct evidence in their embryological, homologous, and rudimentary structures, that within each kingdom all the members are descended from a single progenitor.

  54. 54
    Mung says:

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

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