Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Nature does not make jumps?


Cornelius Hunter’s post includes quotes from Niles Eldridge, George Gaylord Simpson, Joseph Le Conte and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin saying that “evolution” is a firmly established fact. The inclusion of these names caught my attention, because all have made rather clear and dramatic statements to the effect that the fossil record does not support the idea of gradual change; the first three are quoted in my new book In the Beginning and Other Essays on Intelligent Design . These, plus a similar quotation from Teilhard de Chardin, are reproduced here, for those of you who do not want to buy the book.

Since nearly everyone agrees that “Nature does not make jumps,” I see only two possibilities:

1) When these scientists use the word “evolution,” they do not necessarily exclude intelligent design as a cause.

2) These scientists believe that gradual change is certain, despite the fact that the only direct evidence does not support this claim.

The last paragraph in the New York Times New Service quote makes it clear that Niles Eldridge belongs to group 2, and it is likely, from their other statements, that the other three also belong there.

Or perhaps they believe that Nature can indeed make jumps: that new species (even new phyla) can arise through entirely natural causes, in single mutations?

warehuff, you did not answer the "5 long messages" at all you simply rationalized. Your position is clearly at a loss to explain how the evidence fits together. Do I care that you refuse to be fair with the evidence? No! bornagain77
BA77: So according to your twisted logic Gradualism being falsified is no problem for Darwinism. Well isn’t that special Nothing has falsified gradualism! Darwin said that, "If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down." But that's not what happens in punctuated equilibrium. The same step-by-step changes still take place, but when you have a small reproductively isolated group, the changes aren't dissipated into a large population so they build up much more quickly. You see teraforming, I see changes and life adapting to them. Wow, five long messages answered with one sentence! You don't have to answer this, but do you work? You seem to have an enormous amount of time to spend copying and pasting text and watching videos. warehuff
cont on warehuff: Interestingly, "simple" Jellyfish and Sponges appeared suddenly in the fossil record a few ten million years before the Cambrian Explosion, and have remained virtually unchanged since they first appeared in the fossil record. Moreover, contrary to evolutionary thinking, Jellyfish and Sponges appear to have essential purpose in preparing the ecosystem for the Cambrian Explosion that was to follow. Marine animals cause a stir - July 2009 Excerpt: Kakani Katija and John Dabiri used field measurements of jellyfish swimming in a remote island lake, combined with a new theoretical model, to demonstrate that the contribution of living organisms to ocean mixing via this mechanism is substantial — of the same order of magnitude as winds and tides. (Winds and tides, due to their prevention of stagnation, are known to be essential for life on earth.) http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v460/n7255/edsumm/e090730-08.html Sponges Determine Coral Reef's Nutrient Cycle Excerpt: Sponges, which have worldwide distribution in the oceans, filter water. They take up planktonic particles such as bacteria and excrete inorganic nutrients. In turn, these nutrients can facilitate the growth of marine plants and other organisms. Sponges filter water at a phenomenal rate: if the seawater were to remain stationary, the sponges would have completely pumped it away within five minutes,,,, these organisms play a key role in the marine nutrient cycle due to their incredible capacity to convert enormous quantities of organic plankton into inorganic material (nutrients). http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050917085649.htm Fossils of all types of sponges alive today have been found virtually unchanged in rocks dated from 580 to 523 million years ago. Sponges with photosynthesizing endosymbionts produce up to three times more oxygen than they consume, as well as more organic matter than they consume. (Wikipedia) Barrel and Chimney Sponges Filtering Water - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7E1rq7zHLc The mysterious Ediacara biota, which appeared abruptly, alongside the Sponges and Jellyfish, in the pre-Cambrian fossil record, and which defy classification as either plant or animal, much less classification of essential symbiotic purpose, largely disappeared from the fossil record a few million years before the Cambrian Explosion and thus are not seen to be viable as precursors to the Cambrian Explosion. The Avalon Explosion: Excerpt: Ediacara fossils [575 to 542 million years ago (Ma)] represent Earth's oldest known complex macroscopic life forms,,, A comprehensive quantitative analysis of these fossils indicates that the oldest Ediacara assemblage—the Avalon assemblage (575 to 565 Ma)—already encompassed the full range of Ediacara morphospace. (i.e. they appeared abruptly in the fossil record and retained their same basic shape and form throughout their tenure in the fossil record before they went extinct prior to the Cambrian explosion.) http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/319/5859/81 My guess is that, as with photosynthetic bacteria, sulfate reducing bacteria, sponges, and jellyfish, Ediacara biota will ultimately be found to have a essential biogeochemical role in preparing the earth for more advanced life to appear in the Cambrian explosion. This following paper, although evolutionary in its basis, offers a few tantalizing clues as to what that essential purpose for Ediacara biota might have been. The mysterious Ediacara biota: Excerpt: "many questions remain. In particular, we might consider why the earliest known Ediacarans thrived in a deep ocean setting, when the oxygen apparently so vital for their evolution had already been abundant in shallow marine environments for millions of years." http://www.nerc.ac.uk/publications/planetearth/2008/spring/spr08-animals.pdf The scant "track" evidence for worms in the pre-Cambrian has now been brought into question: Discovery Of Giant Roaming Deep Sea Protist Provides New Perspective On Animal Evolution: Excerpt: This is the first time a single-celled organism has been shown to make such animal-like traces. The finding is significant, because similar fossil grooves and furrows found from the Precambrian era, as early as 1.8 billion years ago, have always been attributed to early evolving multicellular animals. "If our giant protists were alive 600 million years ago and the track was fossilized, a paleontologist unearthing it today would without a shade of doubt attribute it to a kind of large, multicellular, bilaterally symmetrical animal," says Matz, an assistant professor of integrative biology. "We now have to rethink the fossil record." http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081120130531.htm The “real work” of the beginning of the Cambrian Explosion may in actuality be as short as a two to three million year time frame (Ross: Creation as Science 2006) which is well within what is termed the "geologic resolution time" i.e. The time frame for the main part of the Cambrian Explosion apparently can't be shortened any further due to limitations of our accurately dating this ancient time period more precisely. "The Cambrian Explosion was so short that it is below the resolution of the fossil record. It could have happened overnight. So we don't know the duration of the Cambrian Explosion. We just know that it was very, very, fast." Jonathan Wells - Darwin's Dilemma Quote bornagain77
cont. warehuff: Dr. Ross points out that extremely long amount of time it took to prepare a suitable place for humans to exist in this universe, for a relatively short period of time that we can exist on this planet, is actually a point of evidence that argues strongly for Theism: Anthropic Principle: A Precise Plan for Humanity By Hugh Ross Excerpt: Brandon Carter, the British mathematician who coined the term “anthropic principle” (1974), noted the strange inequity of a universe that spends about 15 billion years “preparing” for the existence of a creature that has the potential to survive no more than 10 million years (optimistically).,, Carter and (later) astrophysicists John Barrow and Frank Tipler demonstrated that the inequality exists for virtually any conceivable intelligent species under any conceivable life-support conditions. Roughly 15 billion years represents a minimum preparation time for advanced life: 11 billion toward formation of a stable planetary system, one with the right chemical and physical conditions for primitive life, and four billion more years toward preparation of a planet within that system, one richly layered with the biodeposits necessary for civilized intelligent life. Even this long time and convergence of “just right” conditions reflect miraculous efficiency. Moreover the physical and biological conditions necessary to support an intelligent civilized species do not last indefinitely. They are subject to continuous change: the Sun continues to brighten, Earth’s rotation period lengthens, Earth’s plate tectonic activity declines, and Earth’s atmospheric composition varies. In just 10 million years or less, Earth will lose its ability to sustain human life. In fact, this estimate of the human habitability time window may be grossly optimistic. In all likelihood, a nearby supernova eruption, a climatic perturbation, a social or environmental upheaval, or the genetic accumulation of negative mutations will doom the species to extinction sometime sooner than twenty thousand years from now. http://christiangodblog.blogspot.com/2006_12_01_archive.html Though it is impossible to reconstruct the DNA of these earliest bacteria fossils, scientists find in the fossil record, and compare them to their descendants of today, there are many ancient bacteria spores recovered and "revived" from salt crystals and amber crystals which have been compared to their living descendants of today. Some bacterium spores, in salt crystals, dating back as far as 250 million years have been revived, had their DNA sequenced, and compared to their offspring of today (Vreeland RH, 2000 Nature). To the disbelieving shock of many scientists, both ancient and modern bacteria were found to have the almost same exact DNA sequence. The Paradox of the "Ancient" Bacterium Which Contains "Modern" Protein-Coding Genes: “Almost without exception, bacteria isolated from ancient material have proven to closely resemble modern bacteria at both morphological and molecular levels.” Heather Maughan*, C. William Birky Jr., Wayne L. Nicholson, William D. Rosenzweig§ and Russell H. Vreeland ; http://mbe.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/19/9/1637 and this: Revival and identification of bacterial spores in 25- to 40-million-year-old Dominican amber Dr. Cano and his former graduate student Dr. Monica K. Borucki said that they had found slight but significant differences between the DNA of the ancient, 25-40 million year old amber-sealed Bacillus sphaericus and that of its modern counterpart,(thus ruling out that it is a modern contaminant, yet at the same time confounding materialists, since the change is not nearly as great as evolution's "genetic drift" theory requires.) http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/268/5213/1060 30-Million-Year Sleep: Germ Is Declared Alive http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=990CEFD61439F93AA25756C0A963958260&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=2 In reply to a personal e-mail from myself, Dr. Cano commented on the "Fitness Test" I had asked him about: Dr. Cano stated: "We performed such a test, a long time ago, using a panel of substrates (the old gram positive biolog panel) on B. sphaericus. From the results we surmised that the putative "ancient" B. sphaericus isolate was capable of utilizing a broader scope of substrates. Additionally, we looked at the fatty acid profile and here, again, the profiles were similar but more diverse in the amber isolate.": Fitness test which compared the 30 million year old ancient bacteria to its modern day descendants, RJ Cano and MK Borucki Thus, the most solid evidence available for the most ancient DNA scientists are able to find does not support evolution happening on the molecular level of bacteria. In fact, according to the fitness test of Dr. Cano, the change witnessed in bacteria conforms to the exact opposite, Genetic Entropy; a loss of functional information/complexity, since fewer substrates and fatty acids are utilized by the modern strains. Considering the intricate level of protein machinery it takes to utilize individual molecules within a substrate, we are talking an impressive loss of protein complexity, and thus loss of functional information, from the ancient amber sealed bacteria. Is Antibiotic Resistance evidence for evolution? - "Fitness Test" - video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/3995248 According to prevailing evolutionary dogma, there "HAS" to be “significant genetic/mutational drift” to the DNA of bacteria within 250 million years, even though the morphology (shape) of the bacteria can be expected to remain the same. In spite of their preconceived materialistic bias, scientists find there is no significant genetic drift from the ancient DNA. I find it interesting that the materialistic theory of evolution expects there to be a significant amount of mutational drift from the DNA of ancient bacteria to its modern descendants, while the morphology can be allowed to remain exactly the same with its descendants. Alas for the materialist once again, the hard evidence of ancient DNA has fell in line with the anthropic hypothesis. bornagain77
cont. on warehuff; Engineering and Science Magazine - Caltech - March 2010 Excerpt: “Without these microbes, the planet would run out of biologically available nitrogen in less than a month,” Realizations like this are stimulating a flourishing field of “geobiology” – the study of relationships between life and the earth. One member of the Caltech team commented, “If all bacteria and archaea just stopped functioning, life on Earth would come to an abrupt halt.” Microbes are key players in earth’s nutrient cycles. Dr. Orphan added, “...every fifth breath you take, thank a microbe.” http://www.creationsafaris.com/crev201003.htm#20100316a Planet's Nitrogen Cycle Overturned - Oct. 2009 Excerpt: "Ammonia is a waste product that can be toxic to animals.,,, archaea can scavenge nitrogen-containing ammonia in the most barren environments of the deep sea, solving a long-running mystery of how the microorganisms can survive in that environment. Archaea therefore not only play a role, but are central to the planetary nitrogen cycles on which all life depends.,,,the organism can survive on a mere whiff of ammonia – 10 nanomolar concentration, equivalent to a teaspoon of ammonia salt in 10 million gallons of water." http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090930132656.htm Moreover, the overall principle of long term balanced symbiosis, which is what we have with the overall chemical cycles of the earth, is a very anti-random chance fact which pervades the entire ecology of our planet: God's Creation - Symbiotic (Cooperative) Relationships - video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4023110 Since oxygen readily reacts and bonds with many of the solid elements making up the earth itself, and since the slow process of tectonic activity controls the turnover of the earth's crust, it took photosynthetic bacteria a few billion years before the earth’s crust was saturated with enough oxygen to allow a "sufficient level" of oxygen to be built up in the atmosphere, as evidenced by the red banded iron formations and other geological evidence. New Wrinkle In Ancient Ocean Chemistry - Oct. 2009 Excerpt: "Our data point to oxygen-producing photosynthesis long before concentrations of oxygen in the atmosphere were even a tiny fraction of what they are today, suggesting that oxygen-consuming chemical reactions were offsetting much of the production," http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091029141217.htm Once oxygenation of the earth's mantle and atmosphere was accomplished, higher life forms could finally be introduced on earth. Moreover, scientists find the rise in oxygen percentages in the geologic record to correspond exactly to the sudden appearance of large animals in the fossil record that depended on those particular percentages of oxygen. The geologic record shows a 10% oxygen level at the time of the Cambrian explosion of higher life-forms in the fossil record some 540 million years ago. The geologic record also shows a strange and very quick rise from the 17% oxygen level, of 50 million years ago, to a 23% oxygen level 40 million years ago (Falkowski 2005, 2008). This strange rise in oxygen levels corresponds exactly to the abrupt appearance of large mammals in the fossil record who depend on those high oxygen levels. Interestingly, for the last 10 million years the oxygen percentage has been holding steady around 21%. 21% happens to be a "very comfortable" percentage for humans to exist. If the oxygen level was only a few percentage lower, large mammals would become severely hampered in their ability to metabolize energy; if only a few percentage higher, there would be uncontrollable outbreaks of fire across the land (Denton; Nature's Destiny). The interplay of the biogeochemical (life and earth) processes that produce this balanced. life enabling, oxygen rich, atmosphere are very complex: The Life and Death of Oxygen - 2008 Excerpt: “The balance between burial of organic matter and its oxidation appears to have been tightly controlled over the past 500 million years.” “The presence of O2 in the atmosphere requires an imbalance between oxygenic photosynthesis and aerobic respiration on time scales of millions of years hence, to generate an oxidized atmosphere, more organic matter must be buried (by tectonic activity) than respired.” - Paul Falkowski http://www.creationsafaris.com/crev200810.htm#20081024a This following article and video clearly indicate that the life sustaining balanced symbiosis of the atmosphere is far more robust, as to maintaining the finely tuned balance of the atmosphere for the "expendable" higher life, than Global Warming alarmist would have us believe: Earth's Capacity To Absorb CO2 Much Greater Than Expected: Nov. 2009 Excerpt: New data show that the balance between the airborne and the absorbed fraction of carbon dioxide has stayed approximately constant since 1850, despite emissions of carbon dioxide having risen from about 2 billion tons a year in 1850 to 35 billion tons a year now. This suggests that terrestrial ecosystems and the oceans have a much greater capacity to absorb CO2 than had been previously expected. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091110141842.htm A Really Inconvenient Truth! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAd1b1s9ulg Global Warming Apocalypse? No! - video http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5206383248165214524# Because of this basic chemical requirement of complex photosynthetic bacterial life establishing and helping maintain the proper oxygen levels necessary for higher life forms on any earth-like planet, this gives us further reason to strongly believe the earth is extremely unique in its ability to support intelligent life in this universe. Remember, this balance for the atmosphere is maintained through complex symbiotic relationships with other bacteria, all of which are intertwined in a very complex biogeochemical process. All these preliminary studies of early life, and processes, on early earth fall in line with the anthropic hypothesis and have no rational explanation, from any materialistic theory based on blind chance, as to why all the first types of bacterial life found in the fossil record would suddenly, from the very start of their appearance on earth, start working in precise harmony with each other to prepare the earth for future life to appear. Nor can materialism explain why, once the bacteria had helped prepare the earth for higher life forms, they continue to work in precise harmony with each other to help maintain the proper balanced conditions that are of primary benefit for the complex life that is above them. Microbial life can easily live without us; we, however, cannot survive without the global catalysis and environmental transformations it provides. - Paul G. Falkowski - Professor Geological Sciences - Rutgers http://www.bioinf.uni-leipzig.de/~ilozada/SOMA_astrobiology/taller_astrobiologia/material_cds/pdfs_bibliografia/Biogeochemical_cycles_Delong_2008.pdf bornagain77
cont. on warehuff: Interestingly, while the photo-synthetic bacteria were reducing greenhouse gases and producing oxygen, and metal, and minerals, which would all be of benefit to modern man, "sulfate-reducing" bacteria were also producing their own natural resources which would be very useful to modern man. Sulfate-reducing bacteria helped prepare the earth for advanced life by detoxifying the primeval earth and oceans of poisonous levels of heavy metals while depositing them as relatively inert metal ores. Metal ores which are very useful for modern man, as well as fairly easy for man to extract today (mercury, cadmium, zinc, cobalt, arsenic, chromate, tellurium and copper to name a few). To this day, sulfate-reducing bacteria maintain an essential minimal level of these heavy metals in the ecosystem which are high enough so as to be available to the biological systems of the higher life forms that need them yet low enough so as not to be poisonous to those very same higher life forms. Bacterial Heavy Metal Detoxification and Resistance Systems: Excerpt: Bacterial plasmids contain genetic determinants for resistance systems for Hg2+ (and organomercurials), Cd2+, AsO2, AsO43-, CrO4 2-, TeO3 2-, Cu2+, Ag+, Co2+, Pb2+, and other metals of environmental concern. http://www.springerlink.com/content/u1t281704577v8t3/ http://www.int-res.com/articles/meps/26/m026p203.pdf The role of bacteria in hydrogeochemistry, metal cycling and ore deposit formation: Textures of sulfide minerals formed by SRB (sulfate-reducing bacteria) during bioremediation (most notably pyrite and sphalerite) have textures reminiscent of those in certain sediment-hosted ores, supporting the concept that SRB may have been directly involved in forming ore minerals. http://www.goldschmidt2009.org/abstracts/finalPDFs/A1161.pdf Transitional Metals And Cytochrome C oxidase - Michael Denton - Nature's Destiny http://books.google.com/books?id=CdYpDRY0Z6oC&pg=PA203&lpg As well, geological processes helped detoxify the earth of dangerous levels of metal: The Concentration of Metals for Humanity's Benefit: Excerpt: They demonstrated that hydrothermal fluid flow could enrich the concentration of metals like zinc, lead, and copper by at least a factor of a thousand. They also showed that ore deposits formed by hydrothermal fluid flows at or above these concentration levels exist throughout Earth's crust. The necessary just-right precipitation conditions needed to yield such high concentrations demand extraordinary fine-tuning. That such ore deposits are common in Earth's crust strongly suggests supernatural design. http://www.reasons.org/TheConcentrationofMetalsforHumanitysBenefit And on top of the fact that poisonous heavy metals on the primordial earth were brought into "life-enabling" balance by complex biogeochemical processes, there was also an explosion of minerals on earth which were a result of that first life, as well as being a result of each subsequent "Big Bang" of life there afterwards. The Creation of Minerals: Excerpt: Thanks to the way life was introduced on Earth, the early 250 mineral species have exploded to the present 4,300 known mineral species. And because of this abundance, humans possessed all the necessary mineral resources to easily launch and sustain global, high-technology civilization. http://www.reasons.org/The-Creation-of-Minerals To put it mildly, this minimization of poisonous elements, and "explosion" of useful minerals, is strong evidence for Intelligently Designed terra-forming of the earth that "just so happens" to be of great benefit to modern man. Man has only recently caught on to harnessing the ancient detoxification ability of bacteria to cleanup his accidental toxic spills, as well as his toxic waste, from industry: What is Bioremediation? - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSpjRPWYJPg Clearly many, if not all, of these metal ores and minerals laid down by these sulfate-reducing bacteria, as well as laid down by the biogeochemistry of more complex life, as well as laid down by finely-tuned geological conditions throughout the early history of the earth, have many unique properties which are crucial for technologically advanced life, and are thus indispensable to man’s rise above the stone age to the advanced "space-age" technology of modern civilization. bornagain77
Warehuff, So according to your twisted logic Gradualism being falsified is no problem for Darwinism. Well isn't that special: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmwqnqL3Hbg One would think the stunning lack of gradualism noted in the fossil record, by leading paleontologists no less, would falsify the evolutionary hypothesis, yet evolution has steadfastly resisted falsification by this method. The following article clearly points out how evolutionists are able to avoid falsification by the crushing lack of evidence for gradualism found in the fossil record: Seeing Ghosts in the Bushes (Part 2): How Is Common Descent Tested? - Paul Nelson - Feb. 2010 Excerpt: Fig. 6. Multiple possible ad hoc or auxiliary hypotheses are available to explain lack of congruence between the fossil record and cladistic predictions. These may be employed singly or in combination. Common descent (CD) is thus protected from observational challenge. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2010/02/seeing_ghosts_in_the_bushes_pa.html as well warehuff the pre-cambrian bacteria can be tied to terra-forming i.e. to purpose,,, From 3.8 to .6 billion years ago photosynthetic bacteria, and to a lesser degree sulfate-reducing reducing bacteria, dominated the geologic and fossil record (that’s over 80% of the entire time life has existed on earth). The geologic and fossil record also reveals, during this time, a large portion of these very first bacterial life-forms lived in complex symbiotic, mutually beneficial, colonies called Stromatolites. Stromatolites are rock like structures the photo-synthetic bacteria built up over many years, much like coral reefs are slowly built up over many years by the tiny creatures called corals. Although Stromatolites are not nearly as widespread as they once were, they are still around today in a few sparse places like Shark’s Bay Australia. Michael Denton - Stromatolites Are Extremely Ancient - Privileged Planet - video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4023098 Both the oldest Stromatolite fossils, and the oldest bacterium fossils, found on earth demonstrate an extreme conservation of morphology which, very contrary to evolutionary thought, simply means they look very similar to Stromatolites and bacteria of today. AMBER: THE LOOKING GLASS INTO THE PAST: Excerpt: These (fossilized bacteria) cells are actually very similar to present day cyanobacteria. This is not only true for an isolated case but many living genera of cyanobacteria can be linked to fossil cyanobacteria. The detail noted in the fossils of this group gives indication of extreme conservation of morphology, more extreme than in other organisms. http://bcb705.blogspot.com/2007/03/amber-looking-glass-into-past_23.html Contrary to what materialism would expect, these very first photosynthetic bacteria found in the geologic and fossil record are shown to have been preparing the earth for more advanced life to appear from the very start of their existence by producing the necessary oxygen for higher life-forms to exist, and by reducing the greenhouse gases of earth’s early atmosphere. Interestingly, the gradual removal of greenhouse gases corresponded to the gradual 15% increase of light and heat coming from the sun during that time (Ross; Creation as Science). This “lucky” correspondence of the slow increase of heat from the sun with the same perfectly timed slow removal of greenhouse gases from the earth’s atmosphere was necessary for the bacteria to continue to live to do their work of preparing the earth for more advanced life to appear. More interesting still, the byproducts of the complex biogeochemical processes involved in the oxygen production by these early bacteria are (red banded) iron formations, limestone, marble, gypsum, phosphates, sand, and to a lesser extent, coal, oil and natural gas (note; though some coal, oil and natural gas deposits are from this early era of bacterial life, most coal, oil and natural gas deposits originated on earth after the Cambrian explosion of higher life forms some 540 million years ago). The resources produced by these early photosynthetic bacteria are very useful, one could even say necessary, for the technologically advanced civilizations of today to exist. Banded Rocks Reveal Early Earth Conditions, Changes Excerpt: Called banded iron formations or BIFs, these ancient rocks formed between 3.8 and 1.7 billion years ago at what was then the bottom of the ocean. The stripes represent alternating layers of silica-rich chert and iron-rich minerals like hematite and magnetite. First mined as a major iron source for modern industrialization, BIFs are also a rich source of information about the geochemical conditions that existed on Earth when the rocks were made. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091011184428.htm Rich Ore Deposits Linked to Ancient Atmosphere - Nov. 2009 Excerpt: Much of our planet's mineral wealth was deposited billions of years ago when Earth's chemical cycles were different from today's. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091119193640.htm bornagain77
Success at last! Petrushka, another thing to remember is that although the massive amounts of data in "Origin of Species" convinced most scientists that evolution had actually happened, his theory that variation and natural selection accounted for evolution wasn't nearly as successful. I've read that not even Thomas Huxley, Darwin's Bulldog, believed it. It wasn't until the early twentieth century when the "modern synthesis" tied the newly re-discovered mendelian genetics to evolutionary theory that natural selection finally came into its own. Of course, by that time, poor Le Conte was dead, so it's not surprising that he rejected natural selection in his lifetime. warehuff
Ok, I'm going to try this again. This is in answer to bornagain77's video cite in msg 10: http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4154263 I don't think this clip says what you think it does, BA77. In fact, it looks to me like Wells is confirming the accuracy of Darwin's theory. Darwin didn't rely much on the fossil record in "Origin of Species" because so little was known about it in the 1850s. One thing that was known, however, was that before the "Cambrian" age, no fossils at all were known while they are abundant in the Cambrian and later strata. This sudden appearance of fossils is known as the "Cambrian Explosion". Darwin didn't know why the pre-Cambrian fossils were missing, but he did know that if his theory was true, there HAD to be ancestral life-forms to the Cambrian fossils. So he predicted, from his theory, that life did exist before the Cambrian and guessed that we didn't see the fossils because they had been melted and destroyed. Today we know that his theory's prediction that pre-Cambrian life existed was spot on, but his guess about why we didn't see fossils of this life was wrong. Surprisingly, Jonathan Wells confirms the accuracy of his prediction! We know today that the Cambrian marks the period where calcium teeth and shells first form. These fossilize much better than soft bodied animals, so we suddenly start seeing fossils. The reason teeth and shells (and later bones) form in the Cambrian is because photosynthesizing bacteria had been dumping oxygen into the ocean for billions of years. First, rising levels of oxygen in the oceans made multi-cellular organisms possible. Multi-cellularity doesn't work very well if you're anerobic. You need to burn food with oxygen to get enough energy to make multi-cellularity work. The second thing that rising oxygen levels did was to make oceanic oxygen levels finally get high enough so that calcium could precipitate from sea water. This meant that for the first time, teeth and shells could me manufactured from the newly available calcium. (And bones could be made a little later, too.) Of course, in a world of soft-bodied animals, the first predator to develop (calcium) teeth had a field day and very soon any soft bodied animals that didn't develop hard (calcium) shells were extinct. This opened up many new niches, both for new toothed predators and to replace the suddenly extinct soft bodied species. Now go to the 3 minute mark in your video. The narrator starts to confirm Darwin's prediction that there was life before the Cambrian by discussing single-celled bacteria in rocks more than 3 billion years old and multi-celled animals found in the Ediacrian hills of Australia. He then discusses Simon Conway Morris, who also confirm's Darwin's prediction: "So now there's no shortage of pre-Cambrian fossils. Not only do we have fossils of bacteria, but we also have many fossils of soft-bodied multi-cellular organisms." He further quotes Morris confirming Darwin's prediction: "In the Ediacran organisms, there is no evidence for any skeletal hard parts. Ediacaran fossils look as if they were effectively soft bodied." The same is true of many of the organisms fossilized in the Cambrian explosion. The Burgess shale, for example, includes many fossils of completely soft bodied animals." Then Wells seems to come to the point he's trying to make: "But Darwin's excuse for the absense of innumerable pre-Cambrian intermediates for the Cambrian phyla was that they had been too small or too delicate to survive heat and pressure. The discovery of microscopic and soft-bodied precambrian fossils makes Darwin's excuse sound hollow and the more such discoveries are made, the hollower it sounds." But the PREDICTION that Darwin made from his theory was that there were living creatures before the Cambrian. And Wells has just shown us that this prediction was right! The fact that Darwin guessed wrong on why they didn't show up is meaningless, it's the fact that the animals were actually there, just as his theory predicted, that counts. Now to see if this third-rewrite makes it past the sp^m filters. warehuff
#19 I was wondering how a statement of what we didn't know in 1901 could be relevant today. The one thing science does and has done for centuries is nibble away at the list of unexplained phenomena. Petrushka
Thanks for the advice, KF. I'm at my mother's for the weekend, but I'll try again when I get some spare time. warehuff
I don't consider Le Conte's making munitions for the Confederacy to be "dirt". I think it's interesting and an indication that his salad days were long, long ago. The fact that he died in 1901 is also significant. That was at least two decades before the modern synthesis wedded genetics to evolution and before most of the scientific world took natural selection seriously. This rather vitiates Le Conte's belief that natural selection couldn't make new organs. warehuff
Warehuff: The same Wikipedia article you went to to find dirt on Le Conte (he made explosives for the Confederacy was the best you could do??) also mentions that he was a member of the National Academy of Sciences and president of the Geological Society of America. By the way, Charles Darwin died in 1882. Granville Sewell
WH: Look out for trigger-words that the mod filter does not like. (This site has to fight off a daily avalanche of sp_m.] Words with double loaded meanings [like emb_d], words that suggest commercial sp_m [see how I dodged around a loaded word or two], etc. GEM of TKI kairosfocus
I re-wrote it anyway and it vanished again. I saved a copy in case it's truly lost. warehuff
I wrote a long response to bornagain77's message 10 before writing the response to Petrushka abaove and it vanished when I hit Submit Comment. If the moderators can't find it, I'll re-write it after the Mother's Day weekend. Short version: bornagain77's first citation solves Darwin's Dilemma. warehuff
Petrushka, yes, that's the Le Conte who died in 1901. According to Wikipedia, he helped the Confederacy make explosives in the Civil War, so he probably read "Origin of Species" while taking a break from that work. warehuff
Le Conte even goes so far as to acknowledge that natural selection cannot explain the appearence of new organs
Is that the Le Conte who died in 1901? Petrushka
Granville, Do you have any evidence you can share with us where an actual “jump” has been made in one generation?
Warehuf, No I don't, you're missing my point. Corneluis Hunter quoted from several evolutionists who made very strong statements about the certainty of evolution, for example, Le Conte says it is "more cetain" than gravity. I offered quotes from 4 of these same scientists, each admitting that the fossil record does not seem to support the idea of gradual change. Le Conte, for example, admits that "this looks much like...supernaturalism." My question is, how can they be absolutely certain that changes were gradual, while admitting that the fossil record does not seem to support this claim? Le Conte even goes so far as to acknowledge that natural selection cannot explain the appearence of new organs (irreducible complexity was obviously a problem for him). Yet he concludes, "in this sense it [evolution] is not only certain, it is axiomatic. The origins of new phenomena are obscure, even inexplicable, but we never think to doubt that they have a natural cause." Le Conte was at least more honest than many other evolutionary biologists. He admits that his certainty is based primarily on philosophical considerations, not the evidence...precisely the point that Cornelius has been making again and again. Granville Sewell
For anyone interested here are the graphs I used in the Wells clip: Origin of Phyla - Evolution vs. The Fossil Evidence - Timeline Graphs http://lutheranscience.org/images/GraphC2.gif http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0AYmaSrBPNEmGZGM4ejY3d3pfMzNobjlobjNncQ&hl=en bornagain77
Warehuff, this following clip should interest you; Deepening Darwin's Dilemma - Jonathan Wells - The Cambrian Explosion - video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4154263 Deepening Darwin's Dilemma - Jonathan Wells - Sept. 2009 Excerpt: "The truth is that (finding) “exceptionally preserved microbes” from the late Precambrian actually deepen Darwin’s dilemma, because they suggest that if there had been ancestors to the Cambrian phyla they would have been preserved." http://www.discovery.org/a/12471 Materialistic Basis of the Cambrian Explosion is Elusive: BioEssays Vol. 31 (7):736 - 747 - July 2009 Excerpt: "going from an essentially static system billions of years in existence to the one we find today, a dynamic and awesomely complex system whose origin seems to defy explanation. Part of the intrigue with the Cambrian explosion is that numerous animal phyla with very distinct body plans arrive on the scene in a geological blink of the eye, with little or no warning of what is to come in rocks that predate this interval of time." ---"Thus, elucidating the materialistic basis of the Cambrian explosion has become more elusive, not less, the more we know about the event itself, and cannot be explained away by coupling extinction of intermediates with long stretches of geologic time, despite the contrary claims of some modern neo-Darwinists." http://www.evolutionnews.org/2009/06/bioessays_article_admits_mater.html bornagain77
Granville, Do you have any evidence you can share with us where an actual "jump" has been made in one generation? Bornagain77 @ 6: “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.” How on earth would a new taxon be recognized before most of its definitive features had become present? If you find a fossil with only one or two new features, it's an intermediate. warehuff
All that is seen is results of diversity. A fossil record of dubious worth or deposition accuracy. Bursts or the slows it is all speculation of unwitnessed events. That evolutionism must correct itself withPE, also a miss, shows that it is not a science but rather like subjects in history. yes to accumulation of data and interpretation but no testing that is the core of any subject claiming to be scientific. In our time evolutionism will fall surely. Robert Byers
Dr Sewell, I agree, scientists were much more likely to use a word like 'certain' in 1888, or even 1965, than they are today. Have you, by quoting them, said anything about science as shared human enterprise? No. Nakashima
Dr. Sewell, The following article clearly points out how evolutionists are able to avoid falsification by the crushing lack of evidence NOT found in the fossil record: Seeing Ghosts in the Bushes (Part 2): How Is Common Descent Tested? - Paul Nelson - Feb. 2010 Excerpt: Fig. 6. Multiple possible ad hoc or auxiliary hypotheses are available to explain lack of congruence between the fossil record and cladistic predictions. These may be employed singly or in combination. Common descent (CD) is thus protected from observational challenge. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2010/02/seeing_ghosts_in_the_bushes_pa.html further notes: The Fossil Record - The Myth Of +99.9% Extinct Species - Dr. Arthur Jones - video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4028115 "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 Ancient Fossils That Have Not Changed For Millions Of Years - video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4113820 THE FOSSILS IN THE CREATION MUSEUM - 1000's of pictures of ancient "living" fossils that have not changed for millions of years: http://www.fossil-museum.com/fossils/?page=0&limit=30 Bones, molecules...or both? Excerpt: Evolutionary trees constructed by studying biological molecules often don't resemble those drawn up from morphology. Can the two ever be reconciled?,,, When biologists talk of the 'evolution wars', they usually mean the ongoing battle for supremacy in American schoolrooms between Darwinists and their creationist opponents. But the phrase could also be applied to a debate that is raging (between Darwinists) within systematics. http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v406/n6793/full/406230a0.html etc.. etc.. It seems that not only are the transitional bones missing but the transitional molecular pathways are missing also... bornagain77
Warehuff, Of course, your explanation (and Eldridge's) is possible ...but certain?? . Where else in science do we hear scientists say, the evidence points to A, but not A is absolutely certain ? Granville Sewell
From Granville's linked list of quotes: "Eldridge, along with Stephen Jay Gould, a Harvard University paleontologist, reiterated the hypothesis that new species arise not from gradual changes but in sudden bursts of evolution. As they see it, species remain largely stable for long periods and then suddenly change dramatically. The transition happens so fact, they suggest, that the chance of intermediate forms being fossilized and found is nil." This is twenty or thirty years old. Niles Eldridge and the late Stephen Jay Gould were the first modern paleontologists who realized that as long as a species remains in large freely interbreeding groups, any changes are "swamped out" by all the un-changed animals around them. (See "Haldane's Dilemma" to get the general ID, although Haldane's math was apparently wrong.) We commonly see evolution in action when a small group gets separated from the larger group by geography or other causes. In a small group, changes can quickly spread and become established and create a new platform for still more changes. Gould and Eldridge called this "Punctuated equilibrium" or punk-eek if you don't mind ugly English. In the geological record, these changes look almost instantaneous, but in real life they take many mutations over thousands or ten thousands of years. Evolution can thus "indeed make jumps: that new species (even new phyla) can arise through entirely natural causes" but not "in single mutations". The changes occur in "sudden bursts of evolution" as you say. It's ordinary Darwinian evolution at work. There's no need to attribute the changes to an intelligent designer. warehuff
Since the paragraph on Eldridge says he rejects "gradual changes" in favor of "sudden bursts of evolution", I should clarify that unless they are talking about single mutations (which they clearly are not), "too fast to be fossilized" is still gradual change, by my definition. Granville Sewell
This experiment reminds me of the one that Dr. Behe challenged neo-Darwinian evolutionists to perform years ago,,, Michael Behe on Falsifying Intelligent Design - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8jXXJN4o_A ,,, but, as far as I know, they never did. From the results of this experiment I can see why his "peers" were so reluctant to do so. This episode of "resisted experimentation", by the Darwinists, also highlights the importance of the BIO-Complexity journal in that relevant peer-reviewed experiments that actually deal with the questions being brought up in the progress of science can actually be dealt with instead of just having the issues ignored as they are now by neo-Darwinists who refuse to question the creative ability of purely material processes: bornagain77
Dr. Sewell, the concluding paragraph from this paper in BIO-Complexity confirms not only that nature does not make jumps but that nature CAN'T ever make jumps: Reductive Evolution Can Prevent Populations from Taking Simple Adaptive Paths to High Fitness - 2010 Excerpt: In experimental evolution, the best way to permit various evolutionary alternatives, and assess their relative likelihood, is to avoid conditions that rule them out. Our experiments, like others (e.g. [40]), used populations of cells growing slowly under limiting nutrient conditions, thereby allowing a number of paths to be taken to higher fitness. We engineered the cells to have a two-step adaptive path to high fitness, but they were not limited to that option. Cells could reduce expression of the non-functional trpAE49V,D60N allele in a variety of ways, or they could acquire a weakly functional tryptophan synthase ? subunit by a single site reversion to trpAD60N, bringing them within one step of full reversion (Figure 6). When all of these possibilities are left open by the experimental design, the populations consistently take paths that reduce expression of trpAE49V,D60N, making the path to new (restored) function virtually inaccessible. This demonstrates that the cost of expressing genes that provide weak new functions is a significant constraint on the emergence of new functions. In particular, populations with multiple adaptive paths open to them may be much less likely to take an adaptive path to high fitness if that path requires over-expression. http://bio-complexity.org/ojs/index.php/main/article/view/BIO-C.2010.2/BIO-C.2010.2 bornagain77

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