Human evolution Intelligent Design

But “Lucy” herself is mostly an artifact

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Gil Dodgen offers below a comparison between Mozart and “Lucy”, noting “I can’t think of anything in my wildest imagination that could be more absurd or preposterous.”

Good point. My question is, how much is “Lucy”* an artifact of the imagination?

With Mozart (1756-1791), we are looking at a portrait of a young man about whom we know a good deal, in historical time – the word of contemporaries and the documentary records, as well as his corpus of work and the well-documented circumstances of his time (18th century Vienna).

The worst we can say of the portrait painter of old is that he tended to flatter. If that painting didn’t look like Mozart at all, he wouldn’t get paid.

With Lucy, we are looking at an artist’s rendering of a reconstruction of a few bones, with details about Lucy’s life that are, beyond the most obvious (eat, sleep, etc.), almost entirely a work of someone’s imagination. The more letters that person can put after their name and the greater the number of years “in the field” and shazzam!! Imagination converts to fact, via the assured results of modern science: “Shed’ve … done this.”

For now. Until someone else comes along, with the same or more attributes, makes bigger shazzam!! and behold: “Shed’ve … done that!”

And as for the rest of us: Shut up, you morons, and believe.

Then, faced with this stuff, we have Templeton dweeb Rod Dreher asking, in all seriousness (?): “Why don’t people believe?”

Tell you what, Rod: Because Lucy is far more like a character in The Magic Flute than she is like Mozart. A work of the imagination. That’s why.

* “Lucy”: That, of course, is the name assigned to the fossil by the archaeologists, somewhat like the more recent “Ida” (remember her when she was still with Bloomberg?) By contrast, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart had a name his parents gave him.

46 Replies to “But “Lucy” herself is mostly an artifact

  1. 1
    GilDodgen says:

    Why don’t they believe? The question I would ask is, Why don’t they (people like Templeton dweeb Rod Dreher) understand why people don’t believe? Here at UD we discuss the phenomenal intricacies and sophisticated technology found in the cell, but it is not necessary to understand all the high-tech stuff to figure out that the Darwinian fairytale makes no sense. When presented with the speculation (presented as hard fact) that Mozart = Lucy Reprogrammed By Random Mistakes, perfectly reasonable people are likely to respond: “Yeah, right.”

    People in our culture could not have been more thoroughly indoctrinated with Darwinian orthodoxy through the public school system and all the popular media, on a constant basis. Yet, so many refuse to “believe.” This should be a clue to the dweebs that their story doesn’t sell because it’s transparently ridiculous.

  2. 2
    Barb says:

    The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists noted in 1982 that “people wanted to believe in evolution, human evolution, and this affected the results of their work.” (by Sherwood Washburn, May 1982, pages 37, 41).

    People don’t believe in human evolution because humans have all the earmarks of being designed and remain separate and distinct from any animal. Any apelike creatures that lived in the past were just that–apes and/or monkeys, not precursors to humans. Any fossils that differ slightly from humans today show variety, not evolution. Today there is a variety of humans from pygmies who stand less than 5 feet tall to humans who grow 7 feet tall.

  3. 3
    KL says:

    “People in our culture could not have been more thoroughly indoctrinated with Darwinian orthodoxy through the public school system and all the popular media, on a constant basis.”

    If that were true, the American public would know more about evolution. Sadly, it is avoided in the public schools; comments from posters whenever there is an article about evolution in the media show extreme ignorance of evolution, geology and biology. Few people educate themselves enough to be able to discern what’s real and what’s fantasy, in spite of lots of websites and popular books on the subject.

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    KL, on the contrary, public schools, TV, magazines, Newspapers, etc.. are literally saturated with non-critical pieces on evolution (propaganda), whereas if any ID pieces are brought up it is usually to ridicule it,,, Frankly I give the majority of the American public a good amount of credit for seeing when a game has been rigged and being smart enough to call it as such!

  5. 5
    KL says:

    Actually, Mr. 77: Most people have almost no knowledge of evolution, geology, biology or any other related science. The comments that they make (on websites, in public forums) show extreme lack of education in these areas. The most lacking seems to be geology, which is taught in very few American schools (except for earth science at the 8th grade level) Our politicians, when these subjects come up, show equal ignorance. As an educator, I find this shocking. How can we choose our leaders, make decisions about our health and environment, or understand our technology, especially when applied to public health, agriculture, and nutrition when we clearly don’t understand the basics?

    In my state, evolution is in the state standards, yet 20 % of biology teachers admit to teaching biblical creation. No wonder science education in the US ranks close to the bottom, with that kind of misconception spreading from generation to generation.

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    KL, do you actually believe evolution to be true? If so we may be here a while 🙂 , for I can assure the commentators here on UD are far from hicks on this matter 🙂 So if you believe in evolution please present your one knock down piece of evidence that you think seals the deal. And then we’ll take that apart and then show you why Darwinian evolution is impossible from first principles of science!

    OT: This is a cool song that just came out:

    Listen to The sound – Building 429
    http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=FB902JNU

  7. 7
    bornagain77 says:

    correction; for I can assure YOU THAT the commentators here on UD are far from hicks on this matter

  8. 8
    KL says:

    I certainly don’t consider you hicks. However, my spouse and associates are primate researchers, physical anthropologists, geologists and archeologists. It’s strange to come here and see their work dismissed as a just so story. Some of them have been in the field extensively and have published many, many papers. Are you guys saying that somehow all these people are simply mistaken?

    Take your example here: Lucy.
    The primate fossil record, including early lemur like ancestors, apes from the Eocene era, hominids like Lucy etc, carry features common to both modern apes and humans. The fossils are described and compared by people who have a lot of mileage looking at and measuring features skeletal material both modern and ancient. These are not “just apes” or “just humans”.

    If not evolution, what other theory explains the location, age, distribution and chronology of these finds? Those have to square with all the other related science, including paleobotany, geology, radioisotopes, etc. Curious that you would think there was another explanation; certainly all the paleo-anthropologists and other scientists that I know would be surprised to find out there were other paradigms that explained this (and all other evidence) better than evolution. Some of them have been in the business for 40 years or more. A conspiracy to hide the “truth” seems a little far-fetched, doesn’t it?

  9. 9
    KL says:

    Here’s how it’s explained to me:

    Anthropologists use biometrics, a general term for measuring and comparing body features, including features in skeletons. I went with my spouse into the field to dart and process monkeys; not only were tissue samples and smears taken, but every monkey had many, many measurements taken, limb and digit lengths, mass, etc. This has been done with lots of modern animals as well has humans for many years. These differences used to be used with other data for classification; most taxonomy is done using DNA now.

    The physical anthropologists I know, and I am sure most others, have many many “bodies” under their belt, both modern and fossil. The shape of the bones and teeth and the ratio’s between measurements for apes, humans and other animals are well established. They are also familiar with the fossil record, made up of hundreds of finds (teeth are more often preserved than other body parts, and they vary greatly in mammals). Therefore, to dismiss their conclusions about what constitutes “ape” features, or “human” features seems, well, presumptuous. Do they all agree on the taxonomy and chronology of the fossil record? No. But they all agree on the evolutionary paradigm, because there is no other paradigm even remotely able to explain the existence of the fossils, let alone their features, ages and distribution.

    This took a long time to write, while asking my spouse questions, so I apologize in advance if a post crosses this one in cyberspace.

  10. 10
    bornagain77 says:

    So KL you think that the fossil record for human evolution is your strongest piece of evidence??? Well I just commented on the extreme bias of that particular line of evidence yesterday:

    You may see that here;
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-375831

    But to get two of your specific example, Lucy and Ida;

    as they say on TV HEREEEEE”S LUCY

    The following sources show unequivocally that ‘Lucy’, the supposed superstar of human evolution, was an ape:

    “these australopith specimens (Lucy) can be accommodated with the range of intraspecific variation of African apes”
    Nature 443 (9/2006), p.296

    “The australopithecines (Lucy) known over the last several decades from Olduvai and Sterkfontein, Kromdraai and Makapansgat, are now irrevocably removed from a place in a group any closer to humans than to African apes and certainly from any place in a direct human lineage.”
    Charles Oxnard, former professor of anatomy at the University of Southern California Medical School, who subjected australopithecine fossils to extensive computer analysis; http://creationwiki.org/Australopithecines

    Israeli Researchers: ‘Lucy’ is not direct ancestor of humans”; Apr 16, 2007
    The Mandibular ramus morphology (lower jaw bone) on a recently discovered specimen of Australopithecus afarensis closely matches that of gorillas. This finding was unexpected given that chimpanzees are the closest living relatives of humans.,,,its absence in modern humans cast doubt on the role of Au. afarensis as a modern human ancestor.
    http://www.arn.org/blogs/index.....cestral_li

    “The australopithecine (Lucy) skull is in fact so overwhelmingly simian (ape-like) as opposed to human that the contrary proposition could be equated to an assertion that black is white.”
    Lord Solly Zuckerman – Chief scientific advisor to British government and leading zoologist

    New study suggests big bang theory of human evolution – U of M Press Release
    Excerpt: “The earliest H. sapiens (Human-like) remains differ significantly from australopithecines (ape-like) in both size and anatomical details. Insofar as we can tell, these changes were sudden and not gradual.”
    University of Michigan anthropologist Milford Wolpoff
    http://www.ns.umich.edu/Releas.....1000b.html

    Lucy – The Powersaw Incident – a humorous video showing how biased evolutionists can be with the evidence
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4032597

    Lucy – She’s No Lady – lecture video
    http://video.google.com/videop.....5726140350

    My Pilgrimage to Lucy’s Holy Relics Fails to Inspire Faith in Darwinism
    Excerpt: —“We were sent a cast of the Lucy skeleton, and I was asked to assemble it for display,” remembers Peter Schmid, a paleontologist at the Anthropological Institute in Zurich.,,, “When I started to put [Lucy’s] skeleton together, I expected it to look human,” Schmid continues “Everyone had talked about Lucy as being very modern, very human, so I was surprised by what I saw.”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2......html#more

    New study suggests big bang theory of human evolution – U of M Press Release
    Excerpt: “The earliest H. sapiens remains differ significantly from australopithecines in both size and anatomical details. Insofar as we can tell, these changes were sudden and not gradual.”
    University of Michigan anthropologist Milford Wolpoff
    http://www.ns.umich.edu/Releas.....1000b.html

    “If pressed about man’s ancestry, I would have to unequivocally say that all we have is a huge question mark. To date, there has been nothing found to truthfully purport as a transitional species to man, including Lucy, since 1470 was as old and probably older. If further pressed, I would have to state that there is more evidence to suggest an abrupt arrival of man rather than a gradual process of evolving”.
    Richard Leakey, world’s foremost paleo-anthropologist, in a PBS documentary, 1990.
    http://www.wasdarwinright.com/earlyman.htm

  11. 11
    bornagain77 says:

    HEREEEE”S IDA;

    Another so called missing link in human evolution to recently make mainstream media headlines, in May 2009, is “Ida” the 47 million year old lemur-type primate. Ida is touted as ‘The Eighth Wonder Of The World’ by a few publicity seeking paleontologists who are involved in examining her. Yet Ida has failed to inspire such frenzied faith from other paleontologists in the field as is noted in this following article:

    Amid Media Circus, Scientists Doubt ‘Ida’ Is Your Ancestor – May 2009
    Excerpts: “They claim these animals have something to do with the direct line of human ancestry and living monkeys and apes. This claim is buttressed with almost no evidence,” paleontologist Richard Kay of Duke University. – “It’s not a missing link, it’s not even a terribly close relative to monkeys, apes and humans, which is the point they’re trying to make,”
    Chris Beard curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh.
    http://www.livescience.com/ani.....tions.html

    ‘Missing link’ primate isn’t a link after all:
    Excerpt: “In fact, Ida is as far removed from the monkey-ape-human ancestry as a primate could be”
    Erik Seiffert of Stony Brook University in New York.
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33.....e-science/

    Ida’s Critics Demolish Claims That Fossil Is Human Evolutionary Link – March 2010
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....ims_t.html

    The same lack of faith among paleontologists can be found for the recent media sensation of ‘Ardi’ of Oct. 2009:

    Artificially Reconstructed “Ardi” Overturns Prevailing Evolutionary Hypotheses of Human Evolution – Oct. 2009
    Excerpt: The missing link presently being touted in the media, Ardipithecus ramidus, has had more reconstructive surgery than Michael Jackson.,,,One problem is that some portions of Ardi’s skeleton were found crushed nearly to smithereens and needed extensive digital reconstruction. “Tim [White] showed me pictures of the pelvis in the ground, and it looked like an Irish stew,” says Walker. Indeed, looking at the evidence, different paleoanthropologists may have different interpretations of how Ardi moved,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....d_ard.html

    The propaganda machine goes into overdrive:
    Excerpt: But Ardi’s foot is fairly well preserved… and it is very obviously a flat-footed ape’s foot – complete with curved toe bones, best suited for grasping branches:,,, Even some evolutionists, like Jungers, point this out: “Divergent big toes are associated with grasping, and this has one of the most divergent big toes you can imagine.” “Why would an animal fully adapted to support its weight on its forelimbs in the trees elect to walk bipedally on the ground?” Ian Juby – Newsletter

    Ardi Party Is Over – Nov. 2009
    Excerpt: In an article by Katherine Harmon in the pro-evolutionary magazine Scientific American, “So many doubts are evident that laymen should seriously question whether this fossil suggests anything about human origins.”
    http://creationsafaris.com/cre.....#20091125a

    Ardi: The Human Ancestor Who Wasn’t? – May 2010
    Excerpt: “[White] showed no evidence that Ardi is on the human lineage,” Sarmiento says. “Those characters that he posited as relating exclusively to humans also exist in apes and ape fossils that we consider not to be in the human lineage.”
    http://www.time.com/time/healt.....15,00.html

    Sensation of the Month: “Ardi” – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNqtp-SymEM

    Icon Of Evolution – Ape To Man – The Ultimate Deception – Jonathan Wells – video
    http://vimeo.com/19080087

  12. 12
    GilDodgen says:

    Gil: People in our culture could not have been more thoroughly indoctrinated with Darwinian orthodoxy through the public school system and all the popular media, on a constant basis.

    KL: If that were true, the American public would know more about evolution.

    They know a lot more than you think, and it makes no sense to them. This is what elitists in public education don’t understand.

    Every time I hear about “knowing about evolution” I want to tear my hair out in frustration. What does “evolution” mean?

    1) Living things have changed over time? Okay.
    2) Living things have many similarities, genetic and otherwise? Marvelous.
    3) Bacteria acquire antibiotic resistance through random mutation and natural selection? Fine.
    4) 1, 2, and 3 can be extrapolated to explain how Lucy turned into Mozart? A completely unjustified extrapolation and utter nonsense of the highest order. Reasonable people recognize this.

    As far as “knowing about evolution” goes, my two daughters were thoroughly indoctrinated with Darwinism in the public schools (as I was*) in both junior and senior high school. When I pointed out the absurdity of the extrapolation mentioned above, they immediately understood.

    I earn my living as a software engineer in aerospace R&D. You are right about one thing: The public schools should be teaching more about “evolution,” especially its mathematical and probabilistic implications. Anyone with a trivial education in probability theory should be able to figure out that the probabilistic resources could not possibly have existed to convert Lucy into Mozart through the Darwinian mechanism of random errors filtered by natural selection.

    Education in the hard sciences and mathematics — as opposed to Darwinian speculation which claims to be in the same category as rigorous science, but which is actually mostly transparently ridiculous storytelling with no empirical backing — will decimate Darwinism.

    * Oh, by the way, I was once a Richard Dawkins clone. Once I began to discover the evidence and think logically, I asked myself, “How could you have been so stupid? How could you have bought such an obvious, ridiculous, destructive lie?”

  13. 13
    bornagain77 says:

    KL, this particular piece may clue you to the extreme bias of researchers in reconstructing their evidence for ‘human evolution’:

    “Dr. Leakey produced a biased reconstruction (of 1470/ Homo Rudolfensis) based on erroneous preconceived expectations of early human appearance that violated principles of craniofacial development,” Dr. Timothy Bromage
    http://www.geneticarchaeology......lieved.asp

    The bias in this video is pathetically funny!

    Lucy – The Powersaw Incident – a humorous video showing how biased evolutionists can be with the evidence
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4032597

  14. 14
    KL says:

    I’m still not seeing another paradigm, nor am I seeing a refutation of the one in place. I used primates because that’s the one I have the most familiarity with. I think three questions arise:

    First, what is another paradigm that explains this better than evolution?
    Second, Lucy and Ida are only two in many fossils. How does their place being debated still change the paradigm?
    Third, (as I asked before),is the community of physical and paleo-anthropologists, and by extension those who work with related geology, paleobotany, radiodating, etc.(including my spouse) are lying, deluded, or part of a grand conspiracy? It would help me see that if another paradigm is offered that explains this work better than evolution.

  15. 15
    KL says:

    oops-take out the word “are” before lying. Sorry

  16. 16
    KL says:

    BTW, several of your links are just adjustments disagreements with Ida’s place in the fossil record (some people were quick to place the fossil in direct line to humans, which is kind of silly-there were many many lines that lead to dead ends) No one, however, is suggesting that Ida was a modern primate or that it lives recently.

  17. 17
    KL says:

    Man, I wish I had an edit button; this cold medicine is making me loopy and I keep making typos and not correcting them. Sorry.

  18. 18
    bornagain77 says:

    KL, they are sincerely deceived.

    The fossil record is anything but a smooth gradual transition.

    “Fossil evidence of human evolutionary history is fragmentary and open to various interpretations. Fossil evidence of chimpanzee evolution is absent altogether”. Evolutionist Henry Gee, Nature 2001

    New study suggests big bang theory of human evolution – U of M Press Release
    Excerpt: “The earliest H. sapiens remains differ significantly from australopithecines in both size and anatomical details. Insofar as we can tell, these changes were sudden and not gradual.”
    University of Michigan anthropologist Milford Wolpoff

    The changing face of genus Homo – Wood; Collard
    Excerpt: the current criteria for identifying species of Homo are difficult, if not impossible, to operate using paleoanthropological evidence. We discuss alternative, verifiable, criteria, and show that when these new criteria are applied to Homo, two species, Homo habilis and Homo rudolfensis, fail to meet them.

    Evolution of the Genus Homo – Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences – Tattersall, Schwartz, May 2009
    Excerpt: “Definition of the genus Homo is almost as fraught as the definition of Homo sapiens. We look at the evidence for “early Homo,” finding little morphological basis for extending our genus to any of the 2.5–1.6-myr-old fossil forms assigned to “early Homo” or Homo habilis/rudolfensis.”

    etc.. etc…

    But KL to help you get a grip on the fact that you and your close ones have been deceived (severely), let’s look at the pattern of the rest of the fossil record to give you a better feel for the ‘real’ pattern you are actually arguing against;

    Here are some quotes by leading paleontologists on the true state of the fossil record:

    “The point emerges that if we examine the fossil record in detail, whether at the level of orders or of species, we find’ over and over again’ not gradual evolution, but the sudden explosion of one group at the expense of another.”

    Paleontologist, Derek V. Ager

    “A major problem in proving the theory has been the fossil record; the imprints of vanished species preserved in the Earth’s geological formations. This record has never revealed traces of Darwin’s hypothetical intermediate variants – instead species appear and disappear abruptly, and this anomaly has fueled the creationist argument that each species was created by God.”

    Paleontologist, Mark Czarnecki

    “There is no need to apologize any longer for the poverty of the fossil record. In some ways, it has become almost unmanageably rich and discovery is outpacing integration. The fossil record nevertheless continues to be composed mainly of gaps.”

    Professor of paleontology – Glasgow University, T. Neville George

    “Evolution requires intermediate forms between species and paleontology does not provide them.”

    David Kitts – Paleontologist

    “The long-term stasis, following a geologically abrupt origin, of most fossil morphospecies, has always been recognized by professional paleontologists” – Stephen Jay Gould – Harvard

    “Now, after over 120 years of the most extensive and painstaking geological exploration of every continent and ocean bottom, the picture is infinitely more vivid and complete than it was in 1859. Formations have been discovered containing hundreds of billions of fossils and our museums now are filled with over 100 million fossils of 250,000 different species. The availability of this profusion of hard scientific data should permit objective investigators to determine if Darwin was on the right track. What is the picture which the fossils have given us? … The gaps between major groups of organisms have been growing even wider and more undeniable. They can no longer be ignored or rationalized away with appeals to imperfection of the fossil record.” Luther D. Sunderland, Darwin’s Enigma 1988, Fossils and Other Problems, 4th edition, Master Books, p. 9

    “The evidence we find in the geological record is not nearly as compatible with Darwinian natural selection as we would like it to be …. We now have a quarter of a million fossil species but the situation hasn’t changed much. The record of evolution is surprisingly jerky and, ironically, we have even fewer examples of evolutionary transition than in Darwin’s time … so Darwin’s problem has not been alleviated”.

    David Raup, Curator of Geology at Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History

    “In virtually all cases a new taxon appears for the first time in the fossil record with most definitive features already present, and practically no known stem-group forms.” Fossils and Evolution, TS Kemp – Curator of Zoological Collections, Oxford University, Oxford Uni Press, p246, 1999

    “Every paleontologist knows that most new species, genera, and families, and that nearly all categories above the level of family appear in the record suddenly and are not led up to by known, gradual, completely continuous transitional sequences.”

    George Gaylord Simpson (evolutionist), The Major Features of Evolution, New York, Columbia University Press, 1953 p. 360.

    “No wonder paleontologists shied away from evolution for so long. It seems never to happen. Assiduous collecting up cliff faces yields zigzags, minor oscillations, and the very occasional slight accumulation of change over millions of years, at a rate too slow to really account for all the prodigious change that has occurred in evolutionary history. When we do see the introduction of evolutionary novelty, it usually shows up with a bang, and often with no firm evidence that the organisms did not evolve elsewhere! Evolution cannot forever be going on someplace else. Yet that’s how the fossil record has struck many a forlorn paleontologist looking to learn something about evolution.” –

    Niles Eldredge , “Reinventing Darwin: The Great Evolutionary Debate,” 1996, p.95

    “Enthusiastic paleontologists in several countries have claimed pieces of this missing record, but the claims have all been disputed and in any case do not provide real connections. That brings me to the second most surprising feature of the fossil record…the abruptness of some of the major changes in the history of life.” Ager, D. – Author of “The Nature of the Stratigraphical Record”-1981

    “The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology.”

    Stephen Jay Gould

    “Why, if species have descended from other species by fine gradations, do we not everywhere see innumerable transitional forms? Why is not all nature in confusion, instead of the species being, as we see them, well defined? But, as by this theory innumerable transitional forms must have existed, why do we not find them embedded in countless numbers in the crust of the earth? But in the intermediate region, having intermediate conditions of life, why do we not now find closely-linking intermediate varieties?”

    Charles Darwin – Origin Of Species

    “The history of most fossil species includes two features inconsistent with gradualism:. Statis. Most species exhibit no directional change during their tenure on earth. They appear in the fossil record looking much the same as when they disappear…. Sudden Appearance. In any local area, a species does not arise gradually by the steady transformation of its ancestors; it appears all at once and ‘fully formed’. The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches; the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the evidence of fossils.”

    Stephen Jay Gould, – Evolution’s Erratic Pace – 1977

    “Many species remain virtually unchanged for millions of years, then suddenly disappear to be replaced by a quite different, but related, form. Moreover, most major groups of animals appear abruptly in the fossil record, fully formed, and with no fossils yet discovered that form a transition from their parent group.”

    (C.P. Hickman, L.S. Roberts, and F.M. Hickman, Integrated Principles of Zoology, p. 866 (1988, 8th ed.).
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....39831.html

  19. 19
    bornagain77 says:

    KL, we could argue about this and that til the cows come home, but I assure you that you do not have any evidence whatsoever to withstand scrutiny! But to cut to the chase and completely dismantle your materialistic neo-Darwinian argument,,,

    ,,,there is a mysterious ‘higher dimensional’ component to life:

    The predominance of quarter-power (4-D) scaling in biology
    Excerpt: Many fundamental characteristics of organisms scale
    with body size as power laws of the form:

    Y = Yo M^b,

    where Y is some characteristic such as metabolic rate, stride length or life span, Yo is a normalization constant, M is body mass and b is the allometric scaling exponent.
    A longstanding puzzle in biology is why the exponent b is usually some simple multiple of 1/4 (4-Dimensional scaling) rather than a multiple of 1/3, as would be expected from Euclidean (3-Dimensional) scaling.
    http://www.nceas.ucsb.edu/~dre.....18_257.pdf

    “Although living things occupy a three-dimensional space, their internal physiology and anatomy operate as if they were four-dimensional. Quarter-power scaling laws are perhaps as universal and as uniquely biological as the biochemical pathways of metabolism, the structure and function of the genetic code and the process of natural selection.,,, The conclusion here is inescapable, that the driving force for these invariant scaling laws cannot have been natural selection.” Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piatelli-Palmarini, What Darwin Got Wrong (London: Profile Books, 2010), p. 78-79
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-369806

    4-Dimensional Quarter Power Scaling In Biology – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/5964041/

    Though Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piatelli-Palmarini rightly find it inexplicable for ‘random’ Natural Selection to be the rational explanation for the scaling of the physiology, and anatomy, of living things to four-dimensional parameters, they do not seem to fully realize the implications this ‘four dimensional scaling’ of living things presents. This 4-D scaling is something we should rightly expect from a Intelligent Design perspective. This is because Intelligent Design holds that ‘higher dimensional transcendent information’ is more foundational to life, and even to the universe itself, than either matter or energy are. This higher dimensional ‘expectation’ for life, from a Intelligent Design perspective, is directly opposed to the expectation of the Darwinian framework, which holds that information, and indeed even the essence of life itself, is merely an ’emergent’ property of the 3-D material realm.

    Earth’s crammed with heaven,
    And every common bush afire with God;
    But only he who sees, takes off his shoes,
    The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.
    – Elizabeth Barrett Browning

    Information and entropy – top-down or bottom-up development in living systems? A.C. McINTOSH
    Excerpt: It is proposed in conclusion that it is the non-material information (transcendent to the matter and energy) that is actually itself constraining the local thermodynamics to be in ordered disequilibrium and with specified raised free energy levels necessary for the molecular and cellular machinery to operate.
    http://journals.witpress.com/journals.asp?iid=47

    Quantum entanglement holds together life’s blueprint – 2010
    Excerpt: “If you didn’t have entanglement, then DNA would have a simple flat structure, and you would never get the twist that seems to be important to the functioning of DNA,” says team member Vlatko Vedral of the University of Oxford.
    http://neshealthblog.wordpress.....blueprint/

    Quantum Information/Entanglement In DNA & Protein Folding – short video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5936605/

    Further evidence that quantum entanglement/information is found throughout entire protein structures:
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-374898

    It is very interesting to note that quantum entanglement, which conclusively demonstrates that ‘information’ in its pure ‘quantum form’ is completely transcendent of any time and space constraints, should be found in molecular biology, for how can the quantum entanglement effect in biology possibly be explained by a material (matter/energy) cause when the quantum entanglement effect falsified material particles as its own causation in the first place? (A. Aspect) Appealing to the probability of various configurations of material particles, as Darwinism does, simply will not help since a timeless/spaceless cause must be supplied which is beyond the capacity of the material particles themselves to supply! To give a coherent explanation for an effect that is shown to be completely independent of any time and space constraints one is forced to appeal to a cause that is itself not limited to time and space! i.e. Put more simply, you cannot explain a effect by a cause that has been falsified by the very same effect you are seeking to explain! Improbability arguments of various ‘special’ configurations of material particles, which have been a staple of the arguments against neo-Darwinism, simply do not apply since the cause is not within the material particles in the first place! Yet it is also very interesting to note, in Darwinism’s inability to explain this ‘transcendent quantum effect’ adequately, that Theism has always postulated a transcendent component to man that is not constrained by time and space. i.e. Theism has always postulated a ‘eternal soul’ for man that lives past the death of the body.

    Further notes:

    The ‘Fourth Dimension’ Of Living Systems
    https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1Gs_qvlM8-7bFwl9rZUB9vS6SZgLH17eOZdT4UbPoy0Y

    Quantum no-hiding theorem experimentally confirmed for first time – March 2011
    Excerpt: In the classical world, information can be copied and deleted at will. In the quantum world, however, the conservation of quantum information means that information cannot be created nor destroyed.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....tally.html

    Does the fact that (cannot be created nor destroyed) quantum information is found in molecular biology, at such a foundational level, provide conclusive proof for the eternal soul of man??? Well maybe not ‘conclusive’, but it certainly makes the, ‘Does man have a eternal soul? question’, A WHOLE LOT more interesting, besides completely falsifying the materialistic foundation of neo-Darwinism!

  20. 20
    KL says:

    I am not trying to argue in an area I am not familiar. However, no one in my circle claims smooth transitions or a complete record of fossils. Most of the quotes you gave also don’t refute evolution, unless of course another paradigm explains the record better. Even Leakey’s quote (which by the way, is getting old. A lot has happened since 1990. In addition, there is nothing in Leakey’s work that suggests that he rejects evolution. See the family foundation website: http://leakeyfoundation.org/about-us/foundation/) does not fit with any of his later work and may have been misinterpreted.

    You did answer one question, and I find it pretty unbelievable (and rather insulting) that you would sincerely think that the eminent anthropologists that I know (some personally) are collectively deluded. However, in your answers I don’t see a paradigm that takes evolution’s place and explains the existence, age, features and distribution of the fossils that have been found. Here is a link of the list, which can be searched by current taxonomy (that’s a moving target) geography or age. Could you use some examples in your paradigm explanation?

    https://www.msu.edu/~heslipst/contents/ANP440/

  21. 21
    KL says:

    BTW, I don’t consider questions of “soul” to be scientific.

  22. 22
    GilDodgen says:

    KL: First, what is another paradigm that explains this better than evolution?

    DESIGN! By what means and mechanical implementation I have no idea, but design in living systems should be obvious to anyone who can recognize design in a computer program, since living systems are obviously based on the most sophisticated computer program ever devised.

    KL, What in the hell do you mean by “evolution”? You need to tell us what this term means. Yes, living things have changed over time and have therefore evolved. They have genetic similarities. Random mutation and natural selection can do some stuff. I accept all of this.

    But I presume that when you use the term “evolution” you are advocating that random mutations filtered by natural selection turned Lucy into Mozart. If that is your thesis and claim, state it in those explicit terms and we can debate the logic and evidence.

    Otherwise, don’t waste our time at UD. We’ve seen it all before, over and over again, and it’s REALLY BORING.

  23. 23
    KL says:

    Mr. Dodgen said:
    “I earn my living as a software engineer in aerospace R&D.”

    I’m not sure how that makes you better qualified in physical anthropology than my spouse’s associates. I’m sure they don’t consider themselves experts in aerospace software.

  24. 24
    KL says:

    Evolution does not claim that Lucy can turn into Mozart. How silly is that?

    Wait, do you agree that the earth is 4.6 billion years old? I think your paradigm would work in a younger earth, but evolution explains best in the context of millions of years. The definition I understand is: the change in organisms through mutation or other genetic changes combined with natural selection forced by environment and environmental changes in populations that through many (more or less if the environment is changing at different rates) generations results in new species. How does “design” explain the evidence better than that? Can you give examples from that list of fossils I linked?

  25. 25
    KL says:

    How could this be “boring”? You haven’t had a chance to explain yet. I find the fossils really interesting, and there are so many of them, just in the hominids. (I like reading about cetacean fossils too-a lot have been found in the last 10-15 years)

  26. 26
    KL says:

    Maybe there is an anthropologist there at this site that could help me with this? They might know the fossils better. Of course, if I have difficulty with the explanations my spouse can help.

  27. 27
    kairosfocus says:

    KL:

    Late to the party.

    In addition to issues raised above, you have to address this one:

    _____________

    >> To Sagan, as to all but a few other scientists, it is self-evident that the practices of science provide the surest method of putting us in contact with physical reality, and that, in contrast, the demon-haunted world rests on a set of beliefs and behaviors that fail every reasonable test . . . .

    It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.

    [[From: “Billions and Billions of Demons,” NYRB, January 9, 1997. Bold emphasis added.] >>
    _____________

    Worldview level question begging that censors science, in short.

    I suggest you begin here and look at the challenge there to the apparent definition of science you are thinking above.

    Until scientific facts are allowed to speak in their own voice without a priori materialist censorship, origins science findings as announced are fatally undermined by the bias Lewontin revealed above.

    Furthermore, in 5 you said:

    How can we choose our leaders, make decisions about our health and environment, or understand our technology, especially when applied to public health, agriculture, and nutrition when we clearly don’t understand the basics?

    The attempted reconstruction of the remote, unobserved, unobservable past per inference to best current explanation, is utterly different from the day to day operations of the world as a going concern which are directly checkable against empirical observation.

    And, it is better to acknowledge ignorance and limitations of our models than to pretend that you have answers, when in fact you have no coherent and empirically well substantiated evolutionary materialist explanation of the origin of a cosmos fine tuned for C-chemistry life, for origin of life, that of body plans, and that of the knowing mind.

    GEM of TKI

  28. 28
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: KL, did it cross your mind that the protein synthesis process is closely related to the expertise of one who understands and works with sophisticated digital, flexible program systems?

  29. 29
    KL says:

    I’m not looking to redefine science, Mr. Focus. I am just addressing the statements made here about Lucy and Ida, and why folks here think that anthropologists are incorrect in their description of the age and morphology of these fossils. Bear in mind that the taxonomy and chronology of these fossils shift with more evidence, the egos of the scientists involved, etc. However, none of that is inconsistent with evolution. But to call Lucy anything but an early primate ancestor is not really correct. Maybe in line to modern humans but maybe not. However, the age of the find fits with the overall evolutionary model, even if the details are not set down. Same with Ida (of course, Ida is older and unlikely in direct line with humans) These fossils being a wealth of information to science about earlier forms of primates, and that is reflected by fossils for other taxonomic groups. All of this is consistent with evolution. I guess, if some folks are so sure that the collective experience of many scientists I know somehow doesn’t count, then I think it’s fair that I ask that another paradigm be proposed to explain this work. Remember that this represents years and years of fieldwork, biometrics, and other related fields so I am not going to dismiss it based on conjecture. These are people I know personally and have great respect for. Although I am not myself an anthropologist, I am certainly have more than a passing familiarity in their work.

    If you think my questions unfair, then say so and say why. Or, perhaps there is someone familiar enough with the fossil record that can answer.

    BTW, Mr 77: Bad language is not really necessary. I’ve answered your questions I think. If you ask a really specific one about these fossils I’ll have to get a little help from this end so it might take a little more time.

  30. 30
    KL says:

    Mr. Focus said:
    “PS: KL, did it cross your mind that the protein synthesis process is closely related to the expertise of one who understands and works with sophisticated digital, flexible program systems?”

    Perhaps so, but I am not well educated in molecular biology, and neither is any member of my household, so I can’t really comment on this. Are you a molecular biologist? Can you explain it to me in laypeople’s terms?

  31. 31
    KL says:

    Also, there may be some common these between protein synthesis and computer programs, and it seems that since one is biochemical and one is electronic (or what do they call it? silicon chip based? maybe that’s too outdated) so therefore I think if one is talking molecular biology it should be someone working in the field. Is there someone there who does?

  32. 32
    KL says:

    oops-themes not these
    sorry (sniff, hack)

  33. 33
    GilDodgen says:

    KL: I’m not sure how that makes you better qualified in physical anthropology than my spouse’s associates.

    I made no such claim. It is a mystery to me how you came up with this bizarre challenge, which is based on nothing I have said.

    I have simply challenged physical anthropologists to come up with a reasonable defense of the thesis that the Darwinian mechanism of random mutation and natural selection can turn Lucy into Mozart with the available probabilistic resources, and to give a detailed account of what random mutations would be required required to perform the job, and their likelinood of odccuring.

    My qualifications in software engineering do allow me to comment on the Darwinian thesis that random errors introduced into the base-four digital code in the DNA molecule — with all of the highly sophisticated information-processing systems, including error detection and repair algorithms —

  34. 34
    KL says:

    “I have simply challenged physical anthropologists to come up with a reasonable defense of the thesis that the Darwinian mechanism of random mutation and natural selection can turn Lucy into Mozart with the available probabilistic resources, and to give a detailed account of what random mutations would be required required to perform the job, and their likelinood of odccuring.”

    Mr. Dodgen, the subject of this original post was the fossil record. The physical anthropologists that I know (and I am sure that this is true of most of them) although know the basics of molecular biology, many don’t necessarily focus their research there. The claim is about the fossil record, that the fossils are misinterpreted and do not support evolution. Now, I think that as a software engineer you might have a better grasp of the mathematics behind such things as DNA sequences, but I imagine that if you are not a molecular biologist, you can’t really pass judgment on the work of other molecular biologists. I certainly wouldn’t feel qualified arguing against those who work in any field that I didn’t.

    Now, back to the hominid fossils. I still am not understanding how my spouse and associates are incorrect in explaining the fossil record using the evolutionary paradigm. I think that if, as Mr. 77 says, they are misguided, it’s appropriate that he gives an alternate explanation. Their explanation is pretty detailed, because in involves the features of each and every specimen. An explanation from another paradigm should be able to do the same.

  35. 35
    bornagain77 says:

    KL, I’m sorry if that upsets you that I find your associates severely deluded, but I am telling you the absolute truth the evidence for neo-Darwinian evolution is completely ‘imaginary’. I say this with no reservations, Neo-Darwinian evolution is absolutely the dumbest idea ever to be taken seriously by science.,,, Don’t get pissed at me, get pissed at the fact you have been deceived!!! ,,,. Though to digress from the fossil and genetic evidence for a bit more, you stated;

    ‘BTW, I don’t consider questions of “soul” to be scientific.’

    Really??? And exactly why would you consider that particular ‘soul’ question off limits to science? It would seem that that particular question should be very important to you since if you do in fact have a soul that lives eternally (forever and ever; ‘somehwere??) then that should be very important to you. Do you presuppose that it is not possible to deduce if we have a soul ‘scientifically’ though it you hold it to be possible for science to deduce practically all else??? Well if you do, besides the transcendent ‘4-Dimensional quantum entanglement’ evidence I showed earlier, that is in molecular biology on a massive scale, which cannot possible be reduced to a materialistic/atheistic basis, I have some other ‘soul’ evidence;

    Quantum mind–body problem
    Parallels between quantum mechanics and mind/body dualism were first drawn by the founders of quantum mechanics including Erwin Schrödinger, Werner Heisenberg, Wolfgang Pauli, Niels Bohr, and Eugene Wigner
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Q.....dy_problem

    “It was not possible to formulate the laws (of quantum theory) in a fully consistent way without reference to consciousness.” Eugene Wigner (1902 -1995) from his collection of essays “Symmetries and Reflections – Scientific Essays”; Eugene Wigner laid the foundation for the theory of symmetries in quantum mechanics, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1963.

    Alain Aspect and Anton Zeilinger by Richard Conn Henry – Physics Professor – John Hopkins University
    Excerpt: Why do people cling with such ferocity to belief in a mind-independent reality? It is surely because if there is no such reality, then ultimately (as far as we can know) mind alone exists. And if mind is not a product of real matter, but rather is the creator of the “illusion” of material reality (which has, in fact, despite the materialists, been known to be the case, since the discovery of quantum mechanics in 1925), then a theistic view of our existence becomes the only rational alternative to solipsism (solipsism is the philosophical idea that only one’s own mind is sure to exist). (Dr. Henry’s referenced experiment and paper – “An experimental test of non-local realism” by S. Gröblacher et. al., Nature 446, 871, April 2007 – “To be or not to be local” by Alain Aspect, Nature 446, 866, April 2007 (personally I feel the word “illusion” was a bit too strong from Dr. Henry to describe material reality and would myself have opted for his saying something a little more subtle like; “material reality is a “secondary reality” that is dependent on the primary reality of God’s mind” to exist. Then again I’m not a professor of physics at a major university as Dr. Henry is.)
    http://henry.pha.jhu.edu/aspect.html

    “As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as a result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter.”
    Max Planck – The Father Of Quantum Mechanics – Das Wesen der Materie [The Nature of Matter], speech at Florence, Italy (1944)(Of Note: Max Planck was a devout Christian, which is not surprising when you realize practically every, if not every, founder of each major branch of modern science also ‘just so happened’ to have a deep Christian connection.)
    http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Max_Planck

    These following studies and videos confirm this ‘superior quality’ of existence for our souls/minds:

    Miracle Of Mind-Brain Recovery Following Hemispherectomies – Dr. Ben Carson – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/3994585/

    Removing Half of Brain Improves Young Epileptics’ Lives:
    Excerpt: “We are awed by the apparent retention of memory and by the retention of the child’s personality and sense of humor,” Dr. Eileen P. G. Vining; In further comment from the neuro-surgeons in the John Hopkins study: “Despite removal of one hemisphere, the intellect of all but one of the children seems either unchanged or improved. Intellect was only affected in the one child who had remained in a coma, vigil-like state, attributable to peri-operative complications.”
    http://www.nytimes.com/1997/08.....lives.html

    The Day I Died – Part 4 of 6 – The Extremely ‘Monitored’ Near Death Experience of Pam Reynolds – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4045560

    The Scientific Evidence for Near Death Experiences – Dr Jeffery Long – Melvin Morse M.D. – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4454627

    Blind Woman Can See During Near Death Experience (NDE) – Pim von Lommel – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/3994599/

    Kenneth Ring and Sharon Cooper (1997) conducted a study of 31 blind people, many of who reported vision during their Near Death Experiences (NDEs). 21 of these people had had an NDE while the remaining 10 had had an out-of-body experience (OBE), but no NDE. It was found that in the NDE sample, about half had been blind from birth. (of note: This ‘anomaly’ is also found for deaf people who can hear sound during their Near Death Experiences(NDEs).)
    http://findarticles.com/p/arti....._65076875/

    etc.. etc..

    I don’t know KL, that seems pretty scientific to me, especially since most of these ‘soul’ experiments are in ‘real time (in the present) with direct corroboration, whereas you are basing what you consider science on evidence that is millions of years old not to mention evidence that is subject to second hand interpretation!

  36. 36
    KL says:

    Can we get back to the fossils and the new paradigm? I think that your statement that my spouse and associates are deluded is a pretty strong one, which deserves thorough backing. Please explain your reason for saying so.

  37. 37
    GilDodgen says:

    KL: I’m not sure how that makes you better qualified in physical anthropology than my spouse’s associates.

    I made no such claim. It is a mystery to me how you came up with this bizarre challenge, which is based on nothing I have said.

    I have simply challenged physical anthropologists to come up with a reasonable defense of the thesis that the Darwinian mechanism of random mutation and natural selection can turn Lucy into Mozart with the available probabilistic resources, and to give a detailed account of what random mutations would be required to perform the job, and their likelihood of occurring.

    My qualifications in software engineering do allow me to comment on the Darwinian thesis that random errors introduced into the base-four digital code in the DNA molecule — with all of the highly sophisticated information-processing systems, including error detection and repair algorithms – is not a plausible explanation for anything but the utterly trivial in the history of life.

  38. 38
    KL says:

    “My qualifications in software engineering do allow me to comment on the Darwinian thesis that random errors introduced into the base-four digital code in the DNA molecule — with all of the highly sophisticated information-processing systems, including error detection and repair algorithms – is not a plausible explanation for anything but the utterly trivial in the history of life.”

    I think I’d like to have this verified by a molecular biologist, no offense. BTW the comment about paleontology was directed at Mr. 77, not you, as you never made any statement about the fossil record. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

  39. 39
    KL says:

    If it’s okay with you, I’d like to come back tomorrow, as I feel lousy and need to crash. That will give more time for Mr. 77 to formulate an answer regarding the fossils. I’m sorry to quit while the discussion is still ongoing, but maybe I’ll make fewer typos tomorrow. Thanks for the posts so far, though. Have a good night.

  40. 40
    kairosfocus says:

    KL:

    Pardon, but it is clear from the above that you have not thought through the implications of trying to “scientifically” reconstruct the remote, unobserved, unobservable past on inference to best explanation — in a context where as Lewontin pointed out, Sagan’s a priori evolutionary materialism prejudices what is perceived as an acceptable explanation, censoring the conclusions.

    Second, you seem to be caught up in a classic trap, of authority by credentialism.

    FYI, there are three main sources of persuasive power in argument, pathos [~ emotions], ethos [~ perceived credibility of an authority], logos [~ weight of the facts and logic]. Emotions are no better than the underlying perceptions, no authority is better than his or her facts, assumptions and reasoning, and it is only when the material true facts are duly entertained and reasoned upon correctly, that conclusions are well warranted.

    So, the proper focus is not who has what credentials, but what is the relevant degree of warrant; on scientific matters, amounting to well (albeit provisionally) warranted, credibly true belief; i.e. what we could cal soft form, revisable knowledge.

    In this context, Both Mr Dodgen and I hold relevant experience and knowledge of information systems and the likelihood of a random walk feeding into trial and error encountering what has come to be termed islands of specific function in a large configuration space.

    Cutting to the chase, on this, if the information storage capacity of such a system exceeds about 1,000 bits, the resources of the observed cosmos, working at the fastest reasonable physical rate, across its thermodynamic lifespan, could not sample as much as 1 in 10^150th of the at least 1.07*10^301 possible states. And yet, 125 bytes [= 1,000 bits] is a very small quantity of functional information, as anyone who has had to program a serious system will tell you.

    Especially, in the context where the relevant entity is a metabolising system with an integrated von Neumann self replicator, where the observable evidence is that the digital data store used in such systems starts out beyond 100,000 bits.

    That is, we have here direct evidence of the living cell, that the required information to build a cell is not credibly the product of a random walk of chemicals configuring themselves spontaneously in a still little pond, managing to invent data structures, algorithms and a digital information code along the way.

    We have literally billions of test cases that such FSCI and its manifestation as organised, complex functional entities, especially those embedding digital information processing, is reliably and routinely, the product of intelligence. In addition (as is suggested by the discussion on configuration spaces) the infinite monkeys type analysis that is foundational to the statistical approach to thermodynamics, tells us that the empirical observation is so for a very good reason, of want of search resources on the gamut of the observed cosmos. The ONLY observed cosmos.

    In that context, we have excellent reason to infer provisionally on best explanation of the evidence, that the origin of life and of major body plans, is a consequence of intentional, intelligent design.

    That once one is in an island of function, random walks and hill-climbing environmental forces may lead to adaptation of a body plan to meet niches in the environment, is of general agreement.

    Indeed, modern young earth creationists would agree to what I have just said. For, there is some evidence of such adaptability of life forms, albeit in many cases, the suggestion is that adaptation may be filtering out of the wide range of possibilities [multiple genes and regulatory networks contributing to traits gives a wide range of possible variation], augmented by small mutational changes well within the 1,000 bit limits.

    So, the issue is not over whether “evolution” is an explanatory factor in the origin of the varieties of life forms, but the extent, and the capability/ limitations. In the end, those limitations are driven by the information-generation by blind chance and necessity challenges just outlined, and the verdict is that blind watchmaker thesis evolution — many clever talking points, museum displays, artistic renderings and sculptures, computer simulations and pronouncements of august bodies duly clothed in the holy lab coat notwithstanding — does not adequately explain the origin of life or that of major body plans. But, intelligence is a known cause of the sort of levels of informational novelty that we are discussing. (For that matter, the attempt to account for mind on evolutionary materialistic premises ends in self-referential incoherence.)

    Therefore, on complex functional information as an empirically reliable and analytically credible sign of design, design is the best current explanation for the origin of life and that of major body plans.

    This does not rule out the usual geological/cosmological timescale [though due caution on certain inherent limitations and circularities in the model timeline, would be wise]. It does not preclude common descent of life forms by a process of descent with modification, up to and including universal common descent. It does, however, point to design as a key, neglect3ed or even censored out explanatory factor that should have its proper place at the table when one is inferring to best explanation across competing possibilities.

    But, as Lewontin summarised, that censorship is exactly what is happening.

    That is the reason why a major paradigm shift is in process in origins science. This, with the most advanced case being cosmological origins, for the weight of evidence points strongly to an exquisitely fine-tuned balance of a great many factors, laws, and circumstances of the observed cosmos that enables it to support C-chemistry, cell based, intelligent life such as we enjoy.

    But also, on the merits, design is a strong contender for explanation of origin of life and of major body plans including our own.

    Indeed, once it is not censored out, and once the scope of genetic and body plan development regulatory changes as well as generation spans are openly on the table, it is not credible that an ancestral primate could have by blind watchmaker processes been transformed to account for the difference between say a Chimpanzee and a human, in 6 – 10 [or even 100 or 1,000] million years.

    Even if we accept the commonly heard [but highly misleading] 2% difference estimate. To see why, 2% of 3 bn base pairs, is 60 mn bases, at 2 bits storage capacity per base. Then, think about the changes involved to explain the differences between the chimp and us, and how long it takes to fix a change in a population due to mutation rather than selective breeding and founder effects, allowing it to dominate a niche.

    In short, the evidence of measurement of bodily proportions and the like you described above, is better explained on common design for creatures that work in fairly similar ways, than common, blind watchmaker descent.

    As far as specific mechanisms to effect a design go, there is more than one way to skin a cat-fish. That, credibly, tweredun, is also prior to how tweredun. For the latter, we already have the evidence of a Craig Venter and others, that genetic engineering is a feasible mechanism.

    We know that front-loaded genetic information with many genes and regulatory networks contributing to the range of phenotype features of life forms that interact with the environment can fairly rapidly fix varieties in different niches. We know that small mutations can fit into that pattern, e.g. the origin of red hair and blond hair or blue eyes among humans. The many varieties of that variant form of the European wolf known as the domestic dog, also tell us the same message.

    So, Philip Johnson has put his finger on the heart of the issue, in his response to Lewontin and Sagan:

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

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

    G’day

    GEM of TKI

  41. 41
    KL says:

    Good morning.
    “Second, you seem to be caught up in a classic trap, of authority by credentialism.

    FYI, there are three main sources of persuasive power in argument, pathos [~ emotions], ethos [~ perceived credibility of an authority], logos [~ weight of the facts and logic]. Emotions are no better than the underlying perceptions, no authority is better than his or her facts, assumptions and reasoning, and it is only when the material true facts are duly entertained and reasoned upon correctly, that conclusions are well warranted.”

    These people are not authorities because of their credentials. They are authorities because of the experience, mileage and hard work they have done in this area. But I don’t want to argue credentials. Nor is my question about “information”. It is about the fossils themselves. Could you please demonstrate how anthropologists are incorrect about fossils, including Lucy, by applying your paradigm directly to the fossils themselves? You are claiming, either outright or by agreement that these anthropologists’ entire careers are misguided and wrong. Since they represent some of the biggest names in the field; not the most famous-I don’t know Richard Leavey or Johansson or White, but these are still represent decades and decades of work, undergoing contentious peer review. (there is no area more contentious) Now, any ideas that they have about the fossils is scrutinized to the upteenth degree, and the only ideas retained are those that the evidence supports. They must in their explanations include the ages, features, chonology and geographical distribution of these fossils. The link I gave you above has this information; more detail on the features is available.

    So, if what you claim is correct, that these guys are deluded and incorrect, working entirely out of their imagination (to quote the person who started this thread) then your paradigm should be used to make a better explanation of the fossils. I am not educated enough to deal with molecular biology or computer programming so let’s stay with the fossils, shall we? The original post does not mention molecular biology or computers. If it had I would not have entered this conversation.

  42. 42
    StephenB says:

    KL, In order to fully understand this debate, you must separate two critical questions:

    [A] How much evolution has occurred?

    ID takes no position on this matter. Some ID proponents agree that all life forms emerged from a single cell, others don’t. Put another way, some believe in universal common descent, expressed as “macro-evolution,” others don’t. All ID proponents believe in micro evolution [changes at the lower taxonomic levels] and some believe in macro evolution [changes at all taxonomic levels]. ID can grant macro evolution for the sake of argument.

    [B] What drives the process?

    ID does take a position on this matter. Neo-Darwinists claim, as an incontestable fact, that (1) macro evolution occurred [there is evidence for and against this claim] AND (2) that an undirected, naturalistic, and physical process such as random variation + natural selection drove the entire process [there is no evidence at all for this claim]. ID, as science, addresses and challenges only (2) on the grounds that {i} some features in nature exhibit evidence for design and {ii} Neo-Darwinists cannot support their claim that the observed design is an “illusion.”

    Darwinists typically respond to this challenge by presenting the evidence for (A) as if that would address the problems presented at (B). Insofar as they do this, they make it clear that they understand neither their own argument or the one they are trying to argue against.

  43. 43
    KL says:

    Forgive me if I appear rude, but this does not answer the question. Since it was claimed on this website that anthropologists are totally imagining things about fossils when they explain their features, ages and distribution from an evolutionary paradigm. Further comments say that these anthropologists are “deluding themselves”, insinuating that their work has no validity. I would like for your paradigm (“not evolution”) to be used to explain this evidence. I don’t think I am asking an unreasonable question, given the profound claims made here.

    I am not able to converse on either computer programming or molecular biology, as I said before. Please let’s limit this to the fossils, as the original claim was made regarding only the fossils.

  44. 44
    kairosfocus says:

    KL:

    I gather you are out of mod.

    Above, you repeated the same problem of improper appeal to authority. You cited credentials and not actual warrant on facts and correct reasoning.

    The problem with origins science, as I pointed out from Richard Lewontinn’s apt summary on Carl Sagan and many others, is that a metaphysical presumption is biasing the conclusions before the facts can speak, namely a priori evolutionary materialism.

    Had you looked seriously on the material point I raised, you would have seen the pivotal issue: the source of funcitonally specific, complex organisaiton and associated information, starting with origin of life and moving on to origin of body plans; in light of both observation of the routine source of codes, algorithms, wiring diagram based organisation, and associated functionally specific, complex information; multiplied by the infinite monkeys analysis that undergirds the closely related statistical form of the second law of thermodynamics.

    Until that issue is resolved, we are simply looking at schools of thought thinking in circles. Sorry if that is offensive to the sense of dignity, credentials, status and turf, but that is all besides the key point.

    Further to all of this, you will see that I have pointed out the issue that to move from an ape-like body plan to the human one, we are going well beyond the FSCI threshold, where the search resources of the observed cosmos are grossly inadequate to move to the diverse island of function on chance plus necessity only. Similarity of structure, whether gross anatomy or molecular biology, points to common design, not chance variation plus differential reproductive success of small populations.

    So, the issue of the empirically warranted source of functional organisation, codes, algorithms, and related information, is pivotal.

    G’night

    GEM of TKI

  45. 45
    KL says:

    Sorry, Mr. Focus, but once again you haven’t addressed the question (of course, you hadn’t made the original claim) but I think it’s a fair question given the original topic of this post. If anthropologists are wrong to explain the ages, distribution and features of primate fossils from an evolution paradigm, then asking those on this thread that make the claim to explain those same fossils using a different paradigm is essential. Without that the claim is empty, and I will have to accept the explanation from evolution.

  46. 46
    jimdman says:

    From bornagain77 in comment 10:

    The following sources show unequivocally that ‘Lucy’, the supposed superstar of human evolution, was an ape:

    “these australopith specimens (Lucy) can be accommodated with the range of intraspecific variation of African apes”
    Nature 443 (9/2006), p.296

    No, this quote has been taken out of context in a way which completely changes its meaning. If you read the original paper, which is about the juvenile australopith skeleton from Dikika nicknamed Selam, it is clear that they are not saying that the apiths are anatomically within the range of any modern ape species. What they are saying is that the amount of anatomical variation found in the apiths under discussion is comparable to that found within modern apes species.

    Here’s what the original quote says:

    “…, as all the variation subsumed by these australopith specimens can be accommodated with the range of intraspecific variation of African apes”

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