Intelligent Design

No debate about macroevolution? Surely you’re joking, Professor Coyne!

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Professor Jerry Coyne’s credibility as a New Atheist is now in tatters, after the publication of yesterday’s devastating rebuttal by philosopher Edward Feser, on top of the one he wrote last week. Additionally, Coyne has undermined his scientific credibility by declaring that “it’s simply wrong to suggest that there’s any real scientific ‘debate’ about macroevolution.” (Coyne made this comment in a post which took a gratuitous swipe at a Canadian science text titled, Human Biology, Anatomy and Physiology for the Health Sciences by Wendi Roscoe, Professor in the Health Science department at Fanshawe College, London, Ontario. Professor Roscoe’s ratings are stellar and as far as I can ascertain, she is a convinced evolutionist. Roscoe’s “crime,” in Coyne’s eyes, was to write the following short sentence about macroevolution in her book, after stating that microevolution (“small changes within a species”) had been “confirmed with many different experiments”:

Macroevolution – the appearance of new species over thousands to millions of years – cannot be proven and therefore remains a “theory.”

Professor Roscoe then went on to add: “This portion of Darwin’s work remains highly debated today.” Despite admitting (in his post) to not having read her book, Coyne uncharitably assumed that by “theory,” Roscoe meant “theory” in its vernacular sense: a “guess or speculation,” or what scientists would call an “unsubstantiated hypothesis.” After reviewing the evidence for macroevolution (which turned out to be merely evidence for common descent) and scoffing at what he regarded as the absurd notion (contradicted by species transitions in the fossil record) that “there is some barrier beyond which small, incremental changes cannot add up to big ones” – Coyne triumphantly concluded:

Finally, it’s simply wrong to suggest that there’s any real scientific “debate” about macroevolution. What debate exists is only the denial of macroevolution by creationists.

Famous last words. Talk about leading with one’s chin.

(UPDATE: Right off the top of my head, I can think of three possible barriers to macroevolution. At the present time, we have no experimental evidence that microevolution can create orphan genes, or that it can give rise to viable and beneficial changes to the developmental regulatory networks which control an organism’s body plan. Finally, we have no evidence that microevolution can generate new developmental regulatory networks. END)

To compound his woes, the Talk Origins site which Professor Coyne recommends to his readers on the evidence for macroevolution actually contradicts him on this point: the FAQ article by philosopher of science John Wilkins on Macroevolution freely acknowledges that there is a lively debate on the subject:

The reductive relation between microevolution and macroevolution is hotly debated. There are those who, with Dobzhansky, say that macroevolution reduces to microevolution…

Nonreductionists will argue, however, that there are emergent processes and entities in macroevolution that cannot be captured ontologically…

Macroevolution is at least evolution at or above the level of speciation, but it remains an open debate among scientists whether or not it is solely the end product of microevolutionary processes or there is some other set of processes that causes higher level trends and patterns. It is this writer’s opinion that macroevolutionary processes are just the vector sum of microevolutionary processes in conjunction with large scale changes in geology and the environment, but this is only one of several opinions held by specialists.

Indeed, Talk Origins even features a closed debate between Professor Larry Moran and atheist science vlogger L. Aron Nelson in 2004, on the subject of macroevolution – specifically, whether macroevolutionary events can be explained as nothing more than repeated rounds of microevolution.

Leading evolutionary biologist Professor Francisco Ayala, co-editor (with Robert Arp) of a text titled, Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Biology (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010), is also quite up-front regarding the ongoing scientific debate on macroevolution:

So, there is no doubt or debate that these kinds of micro- or macroevolutionary events have occurred (and are continuing to occur). There is a debate, however, as to whether macroevolutionary changes are reducible to microevolutionary processes.

…So the debate still rages on and, in the words of Todd Grantham (2007), the question still remains: “Is macroevolution more than successive rounds of microevolution?” (Part V, Introduction, p. 166)

The scientific controversy over macroevolution continues to rage, even today. In their recent book, The Cambrian Explosion (Roberts and Company, 2013), paleontologists Douglas Erwin and James Valentine argue that microevolutionary processes cannot account for the evolution of new animal body plans which occurred during a relatively short period, between 530 and 520 million years ago:

The nature of appropriate explanations is particularly evident in the final theme of the book: the implications that the Cambrian explosion has for understanding evolution and, in particular, for the dichotomy between microevolution and macroevolution. If our theoretical notions do not explain the fossil patterns or are contradicted by them, the theory is either incorrect or is applicable only to special cases… One important concern has been whether the microevolutionary patterns commonly studied in modern organisms by evolutionary biologists are sufficient to understand and explain the events of the Cambrian or whether evolutionary theory needs to be expanded to include a more diverse set of macroevolutionary processes. We strongly hold to the latter position. (pp. 9-10)

The quotes listed above are just the tip of the iceberg. Two years ago, I wrote a post on Uncommon Descent titled, Macroevolution, microevolution and chemistry: the devil is in the details. In the Appendix to that post, which I reproduce without alteration below, I collected a list of quotes from famous biologists, attesting to the existence of a vigorous and ongoing controversy on the subject of macroevolution. I invite readers to judge for themselves whether there’s any real scientific “debate” about macroevolution.

APPENDIX: What scientists say about the relation between macroevolution and microevolution

(a) Scientific authorities who SUPPORT the view that macroevolution is just an extrapolation of microevolution, over long periods of time

“Along with the reductionist attitude that organisms are nothing more than vessels to carry their genes came the extrapolation that the tiny genetic and phenotypic changes observed in fruit flies and lab rats were sufficient to explain all of evolution. This defines all evolution as microevolution, the gradual and tiny changes that cause different wing veins in a fruit fly or a slightly longer tail in a rat. From this, Neo-Darwinism extrapolates all larger evolutionary changes (macroevolution) as just microevolution writ large. These central tenets – reductionism, panselectionism, extrapolationism, and gradualism – were central to the Neo-Darwinian orthodoxy of the 1940s and 1950s and are still followed by the majority of evolutionary biologists today.

– Prothero, Donald R. Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters. 2007. Cited by Mung here.

“Many who reject darwinism on religious grounds . . . argue that such small changes [as seen in selective breeding] cannot explain the evolution of new groups of plants and animals. This argument defies common sense. When, after a Christmas visit, we watch grandma leave on the train to Miami, we assume that the rest of her journey will be an extrapolation of that first quarter-mile. A creationist unwilling to extrapolate from micro- to macroevolution is as irrational as an observer who assumes that, after grandma’s train disappears around the bend, it is seized by divine forces and instantly transported to Florida.”

– Coyne, Jerry A. 2001 (Aug 19). Nature 412:587. Cited by Richard Peachey here.

“…we shouldn’t expect to see more than small changes in one or a few features of a species – what is known as microevolutionary change. Given the gradual pace of evolution, it’s unreasonable to expect to see selection transforming one “type” of plant or animal to another – so-called macroevolution – within a human lifetime. Though macroevolution is occurring today, we simply won’t be around long enough to see it. Remember that the issue is not whether macroevolutionary change happens – we already know from the fossil record that it does – but whether it was caused by natural selection, and whether natural selection can build complex features and organisms.”

– Coyne, Jerry A. Why Evolution Is True. 2009. Oxford University Press, p. 144. Cited by Mung here.

“So where are we? We know that a process very like natural selection – animal and plant breeding – has taken the genetic variation present in wild species and from it created huge “evolutionary” transformations. We know that these transformations can be much larger, and faster, than real evolutionary change that took place in the past. We’ve seen that selection operates in the laboratory, in microorganisms that cause disease, and in the wild. We know of no adaptations that absolutely could not have been molded by natural selection, and in many cases we can plausibly infer how selection did mold them. And mathematical models show that natural selection can produce complex features easily and quickly. The obvious conclusion: we can provisionally assume that natural selection is the cause of all adaptive evolution – though not of every feature of evolution, since genetic drift can also play a role.

“True, breeders haven’t turned a cat into a dog, and laboratory studies haven’t turned a bacterium into an amoeba (although, as we’ve seen, new bacterial species have arisen in the lab). But it is foolish to think that these are serious objections to natural selection. Big transformations take time – huge spans of it. To really see the power of selection, we must extrapolate the small changes that selection creates in our lifetime over the millions of years that it has really had to work in nature.”

– Coyne, Jerry A. Why Evolution Is True. 2009. Oxford University Press, p. 155.

The claim that microevolution can’t be extrapolated to macroevolution is ubiquitous among ID advocates and the creationists who preceded them…. it is nothing more than standard creation science terminology for the creationist claim that various groups of organisms were specially created by God, with specified limits on how far they could change over time.”

– Matzke, N. and Gross, P., 2006, here.

For biologists, then, the microevolution/macroevolution distinction is a matter of scale of analysis, and not some ill-defined level of evolutionary “newness.” Studies that examine evolution at a coarse scale of analysis are also macroevolutionary studies, because they are typically looking at multiple species – separate branches on the evolutionary tree. Evolution within a single twig on the tree, by contrast, is microevolution.”

– Matzke, N., and Gross, P. (2006). “Analyzing Critical Analysis: The Fallback Antievolutionist Strategy.” Chapter 2 of Not in Our Classrooms: Why Intelligent Design is Wrong for Our Schools. Scott, E., and Branch, G., eds., Beacon Press, pp. 49-50. Cited by Nick Matzke here.

“I was not prepared to find creationists . . . actually accepting the [peppered] moths as examples of small-scale evolution by natural selection! . . . That, to my mind, is tantamount to conceding the entire issue, for . . . there is utter continuity in evolutionary processes from the smallest scales (microevolution) up through the largest scales (macroevolution).”

– Eldredge, N. 2000. The Triumph of Evolution. New York: W.H. Freeman and Co. p. 119. (cf. pp. 62, 66, 76, 88). Cited by Richard Peachey here.

“… there is no justification for dismissing the selective and genetic mechanism responsible for the change from grey to black in [peppered] moths as incapable of producing new organs… there are no grounds for doubting that the mechanism of selection and mutation that has adaptively turned grey moths black in 100 years has been adequate to achieve evolutionary changes that have taken place during hundreds and thousands of millions of years.”

– De Beer, G. 1964. Atlas of Evolution. London: Nelson. pp. 93f. Cited by Richard Peachey here.

“Most sceptics about natural selection are prepared to accept that it can bring about minor changes like the dark coloration that has evolved in various species of moth since the industrial revolution. But, having accepted this, they then point out how small a change this is. … But… the moths only took a hundred years to make their change…. just think about the time involved.

– Dawkins, R. 1986. The Blind Watchmaker. New York: W.W. Norton & Co. p. 40. Cited by Richard Peachey here.

(b) Scientists who are UNDECIDED on whether macroevolution is explicable in terms of microevolution

One of the oldest problems in evolutionary biology remains largely unsolved; Historically, the neo-Darwinian synthesizers stressed the predominance of micromutations in evolution, whereas others noted the similarities between some dramatic mutations and evolutionary transitions to argue for macromutationism.”

– Stern, David L. Perspective: Evolutionary Developmental Biology and the Problem of Variation, Evolution, 2000, 54, 1079-1091. A contribution from the University of Cambridge.

A persistent debate in evolutionary biology is one over the continuity of microevolution and macroevolution – whether macroevolutionary trends are governed by the principles of microevolution.”

– Simons, Andrew M. The Continuity of Microevolution and Macroevolution Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 2002, 15, 688-701. A contribution from Carleton University.

“A long-standing issue in evolutionary biology is whether the processes observable in extant populations and species (microevolution) are sufficient to account for the larger-scale changes evident over longer periods of life’s history (macroevolution). Outsiders to this rich literature may be surprised that there is no consensus on this issue, and that strong viewpoints are held at both ends of the spectrum, with many undecided.”

– Carroll, Sean B. 2001 (Feb 8). Nature 409:669. Cited by Richard Peachey here.

“Most professional biologists today think of microevolution as evolution within species and of macroevolution as what happens over time to differentiate species or ‘higher’ groups of organisms (genera, families, etc.)….

“The reason I think creationists, and the public at large, are not well served by scientists in this case is because few evolutionary biologists talk to the public to begin with, and when they are confronted with the micro/macro question, they simply accuse creationists of making up such a distinction and move on. What they (we) should say is that there is indeed genuine disagreement among professional biologists about the meaningfulness of the concept, and even those who agree that there is something to it are still trying to figure out an explanation.

– Massimo Pigliucci, “Is There Such a Thing as Macroevolution?” Skeptical Inquirer 31(2):18,19, March/April, 2007. Pigliucci is a prominent professor of evolutionary biology and philosophy.
(Cited by Richard Peachey here.)

(c) Scientific authorities who REJECT the view that macroevolution is merely an extrapolation of microevolution

“PaV asked:

Do the “engines of variation” provide sufficient variation to move beyond microevolution to macroevolution.”

“This is indeed the central question. One of the central tenets of the “modern synthesis of evolutionary biology” as celebrated in 1959 was the idea that macroevolution and microevolution were essentially the same process. That is, macroevolution was simply microevolution extrapolated over deep evolutionary time, using the same mechanisms and with essentially the same effects.

A half century of research into macroevolution has shown that this is probably not the case. In particular, macroevolutionary events (such as the splitting of a single species into two or more, a process known as cladogenesis) do not necessarily take a long time at all. Indeed, in plants it can take as little as a single generation. We have observed the origin of new species of rose, primroses, trees, and all sorts of plants by genetic processes, such as allopolyploidy and autopolyploidy. Indeed, most of the cultivated roses so beloved of gardeners are new species of roses that originated spontaneously as the result of chromosomal rearrangements, which rose fanciers then exploited.

The real problem, therefore, is explaining cladogenesis in animals. As Lynn Margulis has repeatedly pointed out, animals have a unique mechanism of sexual reproduction and development, one that apparently makes the kinds of chromosomal events that are common in plants very difficult in animals.

“However, she has proposed an alternative mechanism for cladogenesis in animals, based on the acquisition and fusion of genomes. Research into such mechanisms has only just begun, but has already been shown to explain the origin of eukaryotes via the fusion of disparate lines of prokaryotes, plus the origin of several species of animals and plants as the result of genome acquisition. As Lynn has been extraordinarily successful in the past in proposing testable mechanisms for macroevolutionary changes, I look forward to many more discoveries in this field.”

– MacNeill, Allen. comment on “We is Junk” article by PaV at Uncommon Descent, 2006.

“In other words, microevolution (i.e. natural selection, genetic drift, and other processes that happen anagenetically at the population level) and macroevolution (i.e. extinction/adaptive radiation, genetic innovation, and symbiosis that happen cladogenetically at the species level and above) are in many ways fundamentally different processes with fundamentally different mechanisms. Furthermore, for reasons beyond the scope of this thread, macroevolution is probably not mathematically modelable in the way that microevolution has historically been.

– MacNeill, Allen. comment on “We is Junk” article by PaV at Uncommon Descent, 2006.

Abstract

“Arguments over macroevolution versus microevolution have waxed and waned through most of the twentieth century. Initially, paleontologists and other evolutionary biologists advanced a variety of non-Darwinian evolutionary processes as explanations for patterns found in the fossil record, emphasizing macroevolution as a source of morphologic novelty. Later, paleontologists, from Simpson to Gould, Stanley, and others, accepted the primacy of natural selection but argued that rapid speciation produced a discontinuity between micro- and macroevolution. This second phase emphasizes the sorting of innovations between species. Other discontinuities appear in the persistence of trends (differential success of species within clades), including species sorting, in the differential success between clades and in the origination and establishment of evolutionary novelties. These discontinuities impose a hierarchical structure to evolution and discredit any smooth extrapolation from allelic substitution to large-scale evolutionary patterns. Recent developments in comparative developmental biology suggest a need to reconsider the possibility that some macroevolutionary discontinuites may be associated with the origination of evolutionary innovation. The attractiveness of macroevolution reflects the exhaustive documentation of large-scale patterns which reveal a richness to evolution unexplained by microevolution. If the goal of evolutionary biology is to understand the history of life, rather than simply document experimental analysis of evolution, studies from paleontology, phylogenetics, developmental biology, and other fields demand the deeper view provided by macroevolution.

– Erwin, Douglas H. Macroevolution is more than repeated rounds of microevolution. Evolution and Development, 2000, Mar-Apr;2(2):78-84.

“… large-scale evolutionary phenomena cannot be understood solely on the basis of extrapolation from processes observed at the level of modern populations and species… The most conspicuous event in metazoan evolution was the dramatic origin of major new structures and body plans documented by the Cambrian explosion… The extreme speed of anatomical change and adaptive radiation during this brief time period requires explanations that go beyond those proposed for the evolution of species within the modern biota… This explosive evolution of phyla with diverse body plans is certainly not explicable by extrapolation from the processes and rates of evolution observed in modern species…”

– Carroll, Robert. 2000 (Jan). Trends in Ecology and Evolution 15(1):27f. Cited by Richard Peachey here.

“… biologists have documented a veritable glut of cases for rapid and eminently measurable evolution on timescales of years and decades… to be visible at all over so short a span, evolution must be far too rapid (and transient) to serve as the basis for major transformations in geological time. Hence, the ‘paradox of the visibly irrelevant’ – or, if you can see it at all, it’s too fast to matter in the long run… These shortest-term studies are elegant and important, but they cannot represent the general mode for building patterns in the history of life… Thus, if we can measure it at all (in a few years), it is too powerful to be the stuff of life’s history… [Widely publicized cases such as beak size changes in ‘Darwin’s finches’] represent transient and momentary blips and fillips that ‘flesh out’ the rich history of lineages in stasis, not the atoms of substantial and steadily accumulated evolutionary trends… One scale doesn’t translate into another.

– Gould, Stephen J. 1998 (Jan). Natural History 106(11):12, 14, 64. Cited by Richard Peachey here.

“If macroevolution is, as I believe, mainly a story of the differential success of certain kinds of species and, if most species change little in the phyletic mode during the course of their existence (Gould and Eldredge, 1977), then microevolutionary change within populations is not the stuff (by extrapolation) of major transformations.

– Gould, Stephen J., in Ernst Mayr and William B. Provine, The Evolutionary Synthesis: Perspectives on the Unification of Biology (Harvard University Press paperback, 1998; originally published in 1980), p. 170. Cited by Richard Peachey here.

“A wide spectrum of researchers – ranging from geologists and paleontologists, through ecologists and population geneticists, to embryologists and molecular biologists – gathered at Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History under the simple conference title: Macroevolution. Their task was to consider the mechanisms that underlie the origin of species and the evolutionary relationship between species… The central question of the Chicago conference was whether the mechanisms underlying microevolution can be extrapolated to explain the phenomena of macroevolution. At the risk of doing violence to the positions of some of the people at the meeting, the answer can be given as a clear, No.

– Lewin, R. 1980 (Nov 21). Science 210:883. Cited by Richard Peachey here.

“What you are trying to argue, in a very confused way, is that you have some kind of problem with the statement that macroevolution is “just” microevolution over large amounts of time. Well, lots of people have a problem with this claim, including me – it’s rather like saying microeconomics can be simply scaled up to produce macroeconomics. Or that the ecology of a single field experiment can be scaled up to explain the macroecology of the Amazonian rainforest.”

– Matzke, Nicholas J., here.

Has anyone else noticed that Matzke falls into camps (a) and (c)?

(End of the quotes listed in my Appendix.)

No debate about macroevolution? Surely you’re joking, Professor Coyne!

Comment is welcome.

89 Replies to “No debate about macroevolution? Surely you’re joking, Professor Coyne!

  1. 1
    Mung says:

    Macro-evolution happens. Even if goddidit it’s still macro-evolution. Therefore there is no debate.

    Maybe Coyne’s next book will be Why Macro-Evolution Is “True.”

  2. 2
    Mung says:

    I think we should assume that when Coyne says macro-evolution he means common descent. So he means that there is no debate over whether or not common descent is a fact. And if that’s the case, I would have to agree with him. Even the most ardent young earth creationist accepts common descent.

    I don’t know that I would feel comfortable arguing that he doesn’t think there is any debate over the mechanisms of macro-evolution without some rather pointed comments to refer to.

    I have a ton of respect for you VJT, but on this one you may be attacking a straw man. A view that Coyn doesn’t really hold.

  3. 3
    Blue_Savannah says:

    Circle the wagons Mr Coyne, someone is daring to tell the truth.

  4. 4
    vjtorley says:

    Hi Mung,

    Thank you very much for your comments, some of which were obviously tongue-in-cheek. 🙂

    In case anyone might want to say I’ve been a little unfair to Professor Coyne: he could have said, “There’s no scientific debate on whether macroevolution happened, but there is a debate on whether it’s reducible to repeated rounds of microevolution,” as Professor Francisco Ayala did. But Coyne didn’t say that. Instead, he asserted that there were no barriers to macroevolution, and then he added: “Finally, it’s simply wrong to suggest that there’s any real scientific ‘debate’ about macroevolution. What debate exists is only the denial of macroevolution by creationists.” Those are very sweeping words.

    Finally, what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. If Coyne deserves to be interpreted more charitably when he writes about macroevolution, then so does Professor Wendi Roscoe, whose book he attacked without even reading it to see what her words meant in context. Professor Roscoe nowhere denied or cast doubt on macroevolution; she just said it can’t be proven (which is perfectly correct) and that it remains highly debated today (which is, again, correct). I really think Professor Coyne should have been fairer to her.

  5. 5
    tjguy says:

    Additionally, Coyne has undermined his scientific credibility by declaring that “it’s simply wrong to suggest that there’s any real scientific ‘debate’ about macroevolution.”

    EXACTLY RIGHT!

    I don’t understand how these guys can make statements like that and think no one is going to challenge them. How can they expect to maintain people’s trust when making such comments?

    Just don’t get it!

  6. 6
    Larry Moran says:

    Vincent, you are correct to say that there’s a debate about the meaning of “macroevolution” and whether it can be fully explained by population genetics.

    However, as others have pointed out, there is no legitimate scientific debate over the fact of macroevolution and common descent.

    What is your view on this subject? Do you think that humans and chimps descend from a common ancestor over a period of millions of years? Do you think that mammals and fish shared a common ancestor several hundred million years ago?

    Somewhere between 99.9% and 100% of evolutionary biologists would say that these are facts. Do you disagree with them?

  7. 7
    Virgil Cain says:

    Larry Moran:

    However, as others have pointed out, there is no legitimate scientific debate over the fact of macroevolution and common descent.

    How are you defining those terms?

    Do you think that humans and chimps descend from a common ancestor over a period of millions of years?

    No one even knows if such a transformation is possible but I do know there is no way to scientifically test the claim.

    Do you think that mammals and fish shared a common ancestor several hundred million years ago?

    No one even knows if such a transformation is possible but I do know there is no way to scientifically test the claim.

    Somewhere between 99.9% and 100% of evolutionary biologists would say that these are facts. Do you disagree with them?

    I will once they find a way to test that claim.

    Is it the DNA that determines the final form? It doesn’t appear so:

    To understand the challenge to the “superwatch” model by the erosion of the gene-centric view of nature, it is necessary to recall August Weismann’s seminal insight more than a century ago regarding the need for genetic determinants to specify organic form. As Weismann saw so clearly, in order to account for the unerring transmission through time with precise reduplication, for each generation of “complex contingent assemblages of matter” (superwatches), it is necessary to propose the existence of stable abstract genetic blueprints or programs in the genes- he called them “determinants”- sequestered safely in the germ plasm, away from the ever varying and destabilizing influences of the extra-genetic environment.

    Such carefully isolated determinants would theoretically be capable of reliably transmitting contingent order through time and specifying it reliably each generation. Thus, the modern “gene-centric” view of life was born, and with it the heroic twentieth century effort to identify Weismann’s determinants, supposed to be capable of reliably specifying in precise detail all the contingent order of the phenotype. Weismann was correct in this: the contingent view of form and indeed the entire mechanistic conception of life- the superwatch model- is critically dependent on showing that all or at least the vast majority of organic form is specified in precise detail in the genes.

    Yet by the late 1980s it was becoming obvious to most genetic researchers, including myself, since my own main research interest in the ‘80s and ‘90s was human genetics, that the heroic effort to find information specifying life’s order in the genes had failed. There was no longer the slightest justification for believing there exists anything in the genome remotely resembling a program capable of specifying in detail all the complex order of the phenotype. The emerging picture made it increasingly difficult to see genes as Weismann’s “unambiguous bearers of information” or view them as the sole source of the durability and stability of organic form. It is true that genes influence every aspect of development, but influencing something is not the same as determining it. Only a small fraction of all known genes, such as the developmental fate switching genes, can be imputed to have any sort of directing or controlling influence on form generation. From being “isolated directors” of a one-way game of life, genes are now considered to be interactive players in a dynamic two-way dance of almost unfathomable complexity, as described by Keller in The Century of The Gene- Michael Denton “An Anti-Darwinian Intellectual Journey”, Uncommon Dissent (2004), pages 171-2

    If it isn’t the DNA that determines the final form then what do you have and how can universal common descent be tested?

  8. 8
    Virgil Cain says:

    “MACROEVOLUTION: ‘Major’ evolutionary change, usually thought of as large changes in body form or the evolution of one type of plant or animal from another type. The change from our primate ancestor to modern humans, or from early reptiles to birds, would be considered macroevolution.

    “MICROEVOLUTION: ‘Minor’ evolutionary change, such as the change in size or color of a species. One example is the evolution of different skin colors or hair types among human populations; another is the evolution of antibiotic resistance in bacteria.”
    – Coyne, Jerry A. Why Evolution Is True. 2009. Oxford University Press, Glossary, pp. 268-269.

  9. 9
    ppolish says:

    “shared a common ancestor” is such an unscientific cliché. A useless meme. An overused mantra. One of those “scientific facts” that will seem so silly a hundred or two years from now. Future historians will scratch their heads and wonder how people believed that crap.

    Tree of Life, Tangled Brush, Magic Bush. Yawn, Yawn, and Yawn.

  10. 10
    Box says:

    Larry Moran: Somewhere between 99.9% and 100% of evolutionary biologists would say that these [macroevolution and common descent] are facts.

    Which is remarkable phenomenon, since there is ZERO evidence in support of their view. So, how can we explain this irrationality?

  11. 11
    Mung says:

    It’s funny, seeing a Darwinist speaking of types, and even defining their terms by appeal to types.

  12. 12
    Mung says:

    Well VJT, after Dr. Moran weighed in I guess I have to give you as much the benefit of the doubt as I was willing to give Jerry Coyne. Macroevolution is not common descent and Coyne should know better than to say anything that could be construed as if they were.

  13. 13
    vjtorley says:

    Hi Professor Moran,

    Thank you for your comments. In reply to your questions: of course I believe humans and chimps had a common ancestor, and I believe humans and fish had a common ancestor, as well. For instance, I find the fact that human DNA contains genes for a host of structures found in other animals but not found in primates very difficult to explain, other than on a hypothesis of common descent. Also, a considerable portion of our DNA seems to be junk, and although I’d say 90% is a gross exaggeration, the fact that we have any at all is best explained by the hypothesis of common descent. Finally, there seems little doubt that Homo sapiens is descended from Homo erectus (or H. ergaster) – a fact difficult to square with the hypothesis of special creation.

    That said, it is another question entirely as to whether unguided natural processes are adequate to account for the transformation from a bacterium to a human being, over a period of 3.8 billion years. From what I have read, it seems to me that such a transformation would have required the emergence of a host of new proteins during that period, and the work of Dr. Douglas Axe (especially his paper, “The Case Against a Darwinian Origin of Protein Folds”) casts doubt on the ability of known natural processes to generate these proteins. I haven’t seen any reason to suppose that neutral evolutionary changes could have generated these proteins either. Until someone refutes Dr. Axe’s work, the hypothesis that best explains the evidence would seem to be that human beings (and other creatures) were engineered from a common ancestral stock.

    In short: I’d be happy enough to call common descent a scientific fact, but not macroevolution, since the latter is a hypothesis about mechanisms as well as descent.

  14. 14
    Robert Byers says:

    vjtorley and Professer Moran.
    Its not a fact to enough people, enough intelligent people, enough attentive intelligent people THAT apes and man and fish and bugs have by common descent a common ancertor.
    If it only mATTERS for certain people then say so?! why however offer the conversation to the public if so?
    by definition evolutionary biologists WOULD believe in biology from evolutionary processes.
    there is great debate on evolution and thats why these blogs exist. They represent the debate.Not just to say there is no debate.
    !!

    Yes biological change is very real. Its about mechanism .
    For a paradigm change there must first be common agreement in some subject.
    ID/YEC/others question a lot about mechanism. So its a debate amongst thinking people in still rather obscure subjects at such technical levels.
    Its not really biologists that discover evolution is true BUT really they never questioned, from school days, what is taught to them.
    They just go along like everyone in everything.
    The present OD/YEC movement is the agent of change to be critical about what was taught as fact in bio sci.

  15. 15
    Andre says:

    Prof Moran and Dr Torley

    I have repeatedly tried to get the following question answered and this was my last correspondence to the naked scientist, he has a show on our local radio, after 4 weeks he has still not answered me, hopefully the two of you can help me here;

    I’m posting my full letter and I’m eagerly awaiting a reply.

    I trust you are well and I hope that you can help me answer a question I’m struggling with.

    The break between homo sapiens and our nearest common ancestor are estimated to have happened about 6 000 000 ago, as we know Human and primate DNA sequencing shows there is a 99% similarity in our genetic code, to be generous we will ignore repeats and stay with the 1% difference as our benchmark, that still means a whopping 30 000 000 base pair difference.

    Here is my question? How is descent with modification possible for these 30 000 000 base pair differences in only 6 000 000 years?

    Consider the following.

    1. We know DNA has multiple integrity checks systems that are evolutionary conserved.
    2. We know DNA has multiple repair mechanisms which are also evolutionary conserved.
    3. We have multiple DNA apoptosis processes that are evolutionary conserved
    4. We have DNA self-destruct processes that are evolutionary conserved.

    How is it possible for 30 000 000 base pair differences to become fixed in only 6 000 000 years if there are all these check and balances? We have repair and destruction that works in opposition to natural selection acting on random variations. How does descent with modification overcome these odds?

    No matter how I try and work this out the math don’t add up. I have tons of research papers and they all say the same thing these 4 systems mentioned above are highly regulated and are all evolutionary conserved. It is driving me crazy I really want to know how this happened.

    Regards

    Andre

    *Edit updated wording from relative to common ancestor which is what I mean.

  16. 16
    Polanyi says:

    Dr Torley

    Here are 3 more quotes from leading evolutionists you could have added to the list of opposed:

    “contrary to classical evolution theory, the processes that drive the small changes observed as species diverge cannot be taken as models for the evolution of the body plans of animals. These are apples and oranges” (2006, 195)__Eric Davidson, evolutionary developmental biologist, Caltech

    “While it may be an adequate scenario for the refinement of some already-existing characters — the beaks of finches, color intensity of moths — the “microevolutionary” process envisioned by Darwin and his successors does not account in any plausible way for “macroevolutionary” patterns such as the differences between oysters and grasshoppers, fish and birds. ”
    ~ Stuart Newman, “Where do complex organisms come from.”

    “Although evolutionary theory provides a robust explanation for the appearance of minor variations in the size and shape of creatures and their component parts, it does not yet give as much guidance for understanding the emergence of entirely new structures, including digits, limbs, eyes and feathers.”
    (Richard O. Prum and Alan H. Brush, “Which came first, the feather or the bird?,”Scientific American (March, 2003):84-93.)

  17. 17
    bornagain77 says:

    “The central question of the Chicago conference was whether the mechanisms underlying microevolution can be extrapolated to explain the phenomena of macroevolution. At the risk of doing violence to the positions of some of the people at the meeting, the answer can be given as a clear, No.”
    Lewin, R. (1980)
    “Evolutionary Theory Under Fire”
    Science, vol. 210, 21 November, p. 883
    http://www.veritas-ucsb.org/li.....ution.html

  18. 18
    Virgil Cain says:

    vjtorley:

    In reply to your questions: of course I believe humans and chimps had a common ancestor, and I believe humans and fish had a common ancestor, as well.

    Why? What brings you to that believe that? What was changed in order to go from a fish to a human? Please be specific.

  19. 19
    vjtorley says:

    Hi Andre,

    Thank you for your post. You ask:

    1. We know DNA has multiple integrity check systems that are evolutionary conserved.
    2. We know DNA has multiple repair mechanisms which are also evolutionary conserved.
    3. We have multiple DNA apoptosis processes that are evolutionary conserved.
    4. We have DNA self-destruct processes that are evolutionary conserved.

    How is it possible for 30 000 000 base pair differences to become fixed in only 6 000 000 years if there are all these check and balances?

    Good question. The short answer is that those 30 000 000 base pair differences didn’t get fixed through natural selection, but through neutral changes becoming fixed in the population. The checks and balances that you mention didn’t weed them out, because they were neutral (or nearly neutral) rather than harmful. Professor Larry Moran has written a number of posts on this topic. Initially, I was highly skeptical that fixation could occur at such a rapid rate (100 mutations per generation), but after a series of exchanges with Professor Moran, I changed my mind. That doesn’t mean I don’t have questions of my own about the ability of the neutral theory to explain the origin of complex structures. But as far as fixation is concerned, that’s not a problem for the neutral theory.

  20. 20
    vjtorley says:

    Hi Virgil Cain,

    You ask why I believe humans and fish had a common ancestor. I’ll respond by quoting a question from Coyne’s post:

    “What else than ‘macroevolution’ can explain the fact that the human genome .. contains three genes for making egg yolk — genes that have been rendered inactive by mutation?”

    As for the changes that must have occurred in the transition from human to fish: the vast majority were non-designed neutral changes, a lesser proportion were non-designed changes produced by natural selection, and a very small but significant proportion consisted of the critical, intelligently designed changes which generated new complex structures that required the coordinated activity of many proteins acting in tandem. Examples would include the changes which gave rise to the mammalian ear, primate vision and the human brain. Even though these changes took place over millions of years, I’m still inclined to think they lie far beyond the reach of chance.

  21. 21
    vjtorley says:

    Hi Polanyi and bornagain77,

    Thanks very much for the valuable quotes you provided on macroevolution. I shall keep them for future reference.

  22. 22
    Virgil Cain says:

    Thank you vjtorely- It is because of the type of “evidence” you provided that I can say that universal common descent is not science. No one has any idea what changes could produce a mammalian middle ear from a reptile hearing system.

    Thank you for sharing tat your belief in common descent is just that- a belief. I used to believe also. Then I started looking at the evidence.

  23. 23
    bornagain77 says:

    Neutral Theory summation:

    “Hypothetical mutations which have absolutely no effect at all, and which natural selection had no part whatsoever in selecting, is why Darwinists now believe bacteria can turn into fish and monkeys can turn into men.”

    Or as William J Murray quipped, according to the current prevailing neo-Darwinian dogma, it is no longer ‘survival of the fittest’ but is now merely ‘survival of the happenstance’:

    (With the adoption of the ‘neutral theory’ of evolution by prominent Darwinists, and the casting aside of Natural Selection as a major player in evolution),,,
    “One wonders what would have become of evolution had Darwin originally claimed that it was simply the accumulation of random, neutral variations that generated all of the deeply complex, organized, interdependent structures we find in biology? Would we even know his name today?
    What exactly is Darwin really famous for now? Advancing a really popular, disproven idea (of Natural Selection), along the lines of Luminiferous Aether?
    Without the erroneous but powerful meme of “survival of the fittest” to act as an opiate for the Victorian intelligentsia and as a rationale for 20th century fascism, how might history have proceeded under the influence of the less vitriolic maxim, “Survival of the Happenstance”?”
    – William J Murray

    Or perhaps as Berlinski quipped:

    Majestic Ascent: Berlinski on Darwin on Trial – David Berlinski – November 2011
    Excerpt: The publication in 1983 of Motoo Kimura’s The Neutral Theory of Molecular Evolution consolidated ideas that Kimura had introduced in the late 1960s. On the molecular level, evolution is entirely stochastic, and if it proceeds at all, it proceeds by drift along a leaves-and-current model. Kimura’s theories left the emergence of complex biological structures an enigma, but they played an important role in the local economy of belief. They allowed biologists to affirm that they welcomed responsible criticism. “A critique of neo-Darwinism,” the Dutch biologist Gert Korthof boasted, “can be incorporated into neo-Darwinism if there is evidence and a good theory, which contributes to the progress of science.”
    By this standard, if the Archangel Gabriel were to accept personal responsibility for the Cambrian explosion, his views would be widely described as neo-Darwinian.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....53171.html

    To say neutral theory is a pie in the sky dream would be an insult to pie in the sky dreams.

    For a fuller critique of neutral theory, I suggest Sanford’s book, ‘Genetic Entropy and The Mystery of the Genome’, as well as his subsequent work, ‘Mendel’s Accountant’ & ‘Haldane’s Ratchet’

    Using Computer Simulation to Understand Mutation Accumulation Dynamics and Genetic Load:
    Excerpt: We apply a biologically realistic forward-time population genetics program to study human mutation accumulation under a wide-range of circumstances.,, Our numerical simulations consistently show that deleterious mutations accumulate linearly across a large portion of the relevant parameter space.
    http://bioinformatics.cau.edu......aproof.pdf

    Biological Information – Purifying Selection (Mendel’s Accountant) 12-20-2014 by Paul Giem
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGJZDsQG4kQ

    Using Numerical Simulation to Test the Validity of Neo-Darwinian Theory – 2008
    Abstract: Evolutionary genetic theory has a series of apparent “fatal flaws” which are well known to population geneticists, but which have not been effectively communicated to other scientists or the public. These fatal flaws have been recognized by leaders in the field for many decades—based upon logic and mathematical formulations. However population geneticists have generally been very reluctant to openly acknowledge these theoretical problems, and a cloud of confusion has come to surround each issue.
    Numerical simulation provides a definitive tool for empirically testing the reality of these fatal flaws and can resolve the confusion. The program Mendel’s Accountant (Mendel) was developed for this purpose, and it is the first biologically-realistic forward-time population genetics numerical simulation program. This new program is a powerful research and teaching tool. When any reasonable set of biological parameters are used, Mendel provides overwhelming empirical evidence that all of the “fatal flaws” inherent in evolutionary genetic theory are real. This leaves evolutionary genetic theory effectively falsified—with a degree of certainty which should satisfy any reasonable and open-minded person.
    http://www.icr.org/i/pdf/techn.....Theory.pdf

    The waiting time problem in a model hominin population – 2015 Sep 17
    John Sanford, Wesley Brewer, Franzine Smith, and John Baumgardner
    Excerpt: The program Mendel’s Accountant realistically simulates the mutation/selection process,,,
    Given optimal settings, what is the longest nucleotide string that can arise within a reasonable waiting time within a hominin population of 10,000? Arguably, the waiting time for the fixation of a “string-of-one” is by itself problematic (Table 2). Waiting a minimum of 1.5 million years (realistically, much longer), for a single point mutation is not timely adaptation in the face of any type of pressing evolutionary challenge. This is especially problematic when we consider that it is estimated that it only took six million years for the chimp and human genomes to diverge by over 5 % [1]. This represents at least 75 million nucleotide changes in the human lineage, many of which must encode new information.
    While fixing one point mutation is problematic, our simulations show that the fixation of two co-dependent mutations is extremely problematic – requiring at least 84 million years (Table 2). This is ten-fold longer than the estimated time required for ape-to-man evolution. In this light, we suggest that a string of two specific mutations is a reasonable upper limit, in terms of the longest string length that is likely to evolve within a hominin population (at least in a way that is either timely or meaningful). Certainly the creation and fixation of a string of three (requiring at least 380 million years) would be extremely untimely (and trivial in effect), in terms of the evolution of modern man.
    It is widely thought that a larger population size can eliminate the waiting time problem. If that were true, then the waiting time problem would only be meaningful within small populations. While our simulations show that larger populations do help reduce waiting time, we see that the benefit of larger population size produces rapidly diminishing returns (Table 4 and Fig. 4). When we increase the hominin population from 10,000 to 1 million (our current upper limit for these types of experiments), the waiting time for creating a string of five is only reduced from two billion to 482 million years.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm.....MC4573302/

    Calling all Darwinists, where is your best population genetics simulation? – September 12, 2013
    Excerpt: So Darwinists, what is your software, and what are your results? I’d think if evolutionary theory is so scientific, it shouldn’t be the creationists making these simulations, but evolutionary biologists! So what is your software, what are your figures, and what are your parameters(?) And please don’t cite Nunney, who claims to have solved Haldane’s dilemma but refuses to let his software and assumptions and procedures be scrutinized in the public domain. At least Hey was more forthright, but unfortunately Hey’s software affirmed the results of Mendel’s accountant.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....imulation/

    Using Numerical Simulation to Better Understand Fixation Rates, and Establishment of a New Principle – “Haldane’s Ratchet” – Christopher L. Rupe and John C. Sanford – 2013
    Excerpt: We then perform large-scale experiments to examine the feasibility of the ape-to-man scenario over a six million year period. We analyze neutral and beneficial fixations separately (realistic rates of deleterious mutations could not be studied in deep time due to extinction). Using realistic parameter settings we only observe a few hundred selection-induced beneficial fixations after 300,000 generations (6 million years). Even when using highly optimal parameter settings (i.e., favorable for fixation of beneficials), we only see a few thousand selection-induced fixations. This is significant because the ape-to-man scenario requires tens of millions of selective nucleotide substitutions in the human lineage.
    Our empirically-determined rates of beneficial fixation are in general agreement with the fixation rate estimates derived by Haldane and ReMine using their mathematical analyses. We have therefore independently demonstrated that the findings of Haldane and ReMine are for the most part correct, and that the fundamental evolutionary problem historically known as “Haldane’s Dilemma” is very real.
    Previous analyses have focused exclusively on beneficial mutations. When deleterious mutations were included in our simulations, using a realistic ratio of beneficial to deleterious mutation rate, deleterious fixations vastly outnumbered beneficial fixations. Because of this, the net effect of mutation fixation should clearly create a ratchet-type mechanism which should cause continuous loss of information and decline in the size of the functional genome. We name this phenomenon “Haldane’s Ratchet”.
    http://media.wix.com/ugd/a704d.....fa9c20.pdf

    Haldane’s Dilemma
    Excerpt: Haldane was the first to recognize there was a cost to selection which limited what it realistically could be expected to do. He did not fully realize that his thinking would create major problems for evolutionary theory. He calculated that in man it would take 6 million years to fix just 1,000 mutations (assuming 20 years per generation).,,, Man and chimp differ by at least 150 million nucleotides representing at least 40 million hypothetical mutations (Britten, 2002). So if man evolved from a chimp-like creature, then during that process there were at least 20 million mutations fixed within the human lineage (40 million divided by 2), yet natural selection could only have selected for 1,000 of those. All the rest would have had to been fixed by random drift – creating millions of nearly-neutral deleterious mutations. This would not just have made us inferior to our chimp-like ancestors – it surely would have killed us. Since Haldane’s dilemma there have been a number of efforts to sweep the problem under the rug, but the problem is still exactly the same. ReMine (1993, 2005) has extensively reviewed the problem, and has analyzed it using an entirely different mathematical formulation – but has obtained identical results.
    John Sanford PhD. – “Genetic Entropy and The Mystery of the Genome” – pg. 159-160

    Kimura’s Quandary
    Excerpt: Kimura realized that Haldane was correct,,, He developed his neutral theory in response to this overwhelming evolutionary problem. Paradoxically, his theory led him to believe that most mutations are unselectable, and therefore,,, most ‘evolution’ must be independent of selection! Because he was totally committed to the primary axiom (neo-Darwinism), Kimura apparently never considered his cost arguments could most rationally be used to argue against the Axiom’s (neo-Darwinism’s) very validity.
    John Sanford PhD. – “Genetic Entropy and The Mystery of the Genome” – pg. 161 – 162

    A graph featuring ‘Kimura’s Distribution’ is shown in the following video:

    Evolution vs Genetic Entropy – Andy McIntosh – video – 59:27 miute mark
    https://youtu.be/-GLJE4FbHnk?t=3567

  24. 24
    Andre says:

    Dr Torley

    I would really like to see evidence that the multiple integrity check systems “ignore” changes. Is there any evidence for this? I have to ask do you fully understand how integrity checks work?

    And then of course the question arises how did an unguided process? Create a guided process to prevent unguided processes from happening?

  25. 25
  26. 26
    Andre says:

    Like I said how does Neutral changes get past this?

    G2 Checkpoint

    This DNA structure checkpoint is encountered towards the end of the G2 phase. The G2 checkpoint is very critical in that it has the ‘responsible’ function of providing a quality assurance check before the cell enters mitosis.

    At the G2 checkpoint: monitoring takes place to ensure that there is no unreplicated DNA and that TWO identical sets of the genome are now present and intact. both sets of the genome are ‘proof-read’ with a high level of surveillance. A check is made for molecular damage within the DNA and this evidence will determine whether the genome will be retained, repaired or rejected. If repair of the damaged DNA is possible the cell cycle is arrested for as long as the repair takes. Cell cycles operate in ‘real time’ so delay can be accommodated within the system by QC delaying future events. Badly damaged DNA will be identified and the p53 gene products will trigger the programmed death (apoptosis) programme. ‘Quality control’ will check the overall competence of the cell to enter mitosis.

  27. 27
    Larry Moran says:

    Hi Vincent,

    First of all, I would like to sincerely thank you for the comments you have made to others in this thread. Correcting false impressions about evolution sounds much more convincing coming from you than from me. I also appreciate your attempt to separate yourself from Young Earth Creationists. The ID movement will never be credible as long as it continues to support YECs.

    As to the issue at hand, I think I see where we differ. You can accept common descent and the fact that modern species evolved from ancient ones over million of years but you aren’t sure whether evolutionary biologists have the correct explanation of this fact.

    You believe that the term “macroevolution” refers to a specific theory that explains common descent; namely, the idea that common descent can be fully explained by population genetics (microevolution).

    I agree with you that “microevolution” is important but not sufficient to explain common descent but I disagree with your definition of macroevolution. To me the word “macroevolution” describes a field of study. There are many aspects of evolutionary theory that explain macroevoloution just as there are aspects of evolutionary theory (mostly population genetics) that explain the fact of microevolution. (I don’t agree with your definition of microevolution, either.)

    Please re-read my essay on Macroevollution to see where we differ.

  28. 28
    Andre says:

    Prof Moran

    Macroevolution means evolution on the grand scale, and it is mainly studied in the fossil record. It is contrasted with microevolution, the study of evolution over short time periods., such as that of a human lifetime or less. Microevolution therefore refers to changes in gene frequency within a population …. Macroevolutionary events are more likely to take millions, probably tens of millions of years. Macroevolution refers to things like the trends in horse evolution described by Simpson, and occurring over tens of millions of years, or the origin of major groups, or mass extinctions, or the Cambrian explosion described by Conway Morris. Speciation is the traditional dividing line between micro- and macroevolution.

    Mark Ridley (1997) p. 227

    Except the fossil record does not display macro evolution as a fact, there is only assumptions of it.

    field that embraces the ecological theater, including the range of time scales of the ecologist, to the sweeping historical changes available only to paleontological study. It must include the peculiarities of history, which must have had singular effects on the directions that the composition of the world’s biota took (e.g., the splitting of continents, the establishment of land and oceanic isthmuses). It must take the entire network of phylogenetic relationships and impose a framework of genetic relationships and appearances of character changes. Then the nature of evolutionary directions and the qualitative transformation of ancestor to descendant over major taxonomic distances must be explained.

    Jeffrey S. Levinton (2001) p.6

    Except time and chance can’t do anything. Do think time and chance can build molecular machines Prof Moran?

    Indeed, the most profound problem in the study of evolution is to understand how poorly repeatable historical events (e.g., the trapping of an endemic radiation in a lake that dries up) can be distinguished from lawlike repeatable processes. A law that states ‘an endemic radiation will become extinct if its structural habitat disappears’ has no force because it maps to the singularity of a historical event.

    Jeffrey S. Levinton (2001) p.6-7

    Heh? Are you admitting your religious fundamentalism here and claiming the fact of miracles Prof Moran?

    f we could track a single lineage through time, say from a single-cell protist to Homo sapiens, then we would see a long series of mutations and fixations as each ancestral population evolved. It might look as though the entire history could be accounted for by microevolutionary processes. This is an illusion because the track of the single lineage ignores all of the branching and all of the other species that lived and died along the way. That track would not explain why Neanderthals became extinct and Cro-Magnon survived. It would not explain why modern humans arose in Africa. It would not tell us why placental mammals became more successful than the dinosaurs. It would not explain why humans don’t have wings and can’t breathe underwater. It doesn’t tell us whether replaying the tape of life will automatically lead to humans. All of those things are part of the domain of macroevolution and microevolution isn’t sufficient to help us understand them.

    And here is the meat of the issue, of course your version of evolution must first beat the integrity checks systems, the repair systems, the apoptosis and the Necrosis to happen…. How did that happen Prof Moran? You are a man of faith Prof Moran!

    If all these mechanisms are evolutionary conserved how did evolution make its magic? That is of course what you’ll hope us to accept, the magic of evolution!

  29. 29
    Virgil Cain says:

    Larry Moran:

    Correcting false impressions about evolution sounds much more convincing coming from you than from me.

    What false impressions? Why the vague accusation and why do you ignore all the corrections to your misconceptions?

    There are many aspects of evolutionary theory…

    What evolutionary theory? Please link to it so we can all read what it really says. Thank you

  30. 30
    Virgil Cain says:

    Macroevolution is a field of study that relies on imagination and not science. There aren’t any known microevolutionary events that can extrapolated into macroevolution. There is no way to test the claim that modifications to genomes can create the diversity of life observed.

  31. 31
    Box says:

    So, according to neutral theory, evolution proceeds by the fixation of “slightly deleterious” and “slightly beneficial” mutations.
    Slightly deleterious mutations outnumber slightly beneficial mutations by how many? Are there any estimations?
    Is it correct to state that the idea of neutral theory is that a series of “slightly deleterious” mutations (occasionally alternated by a slightly beneficial mutation) turn bacteria into men? And is that considered a “fact” these days?

  32. 32
    Andre says:

    Box

    Yeah like you I can’t help but wonder how do we test it? Sounds like a Rudyard Kipling just so story to me.

  33. 33
    johnnyb says:

    Larry Moran –

    I don’t see how one can be so certain that macroevolution is a fact if we do not know what the mechanism is nor have we observed the process. I agree that fossil succession is an identifiable fact of the fossil record, but the move from fossil succession to macroevolution is highly defendable, but by no means conclusive, lacking both observation and mechanism. By what means do you claim to know this as a foregone conclusion and not just merely a defendable hypothesis?

  34. 34
    bornagain77 says:

    Andre and Box, As briefly mentioned previously, Neutral theory was not derived from an empirical basis, but Neutral theory was forced upon neo-Darwinists because of theoretical mathematical concerns:

    Haldane’s Dilemma
    Excerpt: Haldane was the first to recognize there was a cost to selection which limited what it realistically could be expected to do. He did not fully realize that his thinking would create major problems for evolutionary theory. He calculated that in man it would take 6 million years to fix just 1,000 mutations (assuming 20 years per generation).,,, Man and chimp differ by at least 150 million nucleotides representing at least 40 million hypothetical mutations (Britten, 2002). So if man evolved from a chimp-like creature, then during that process there were at least 20 million mutations fixed within the human lineage (40 million divided by 2), yet natural selection could only have selected for 1,000 of those. All the rest would have had to been fixed by random drift – creating millions of nearly-neutral deleterious mutations. This would not just have made us inferior to our chimp-like ancestors – it surely would have killed us. Since Haldane’s dilemma there have been a number of efforts to sweep the problem under the rug, but the problem is still exactly the same. ReMine (1993, 2005) has extensively reviewed the problem, and has analyzed it using an entirely different mathematical formulation – but has obtained identical results.
    John Sanford PhD. – “Genetic Entropy and The Mystery of the Genome” – pg. 159-160

    Kimura’s Quandary
    Excerpt: Kimura realized that Haldane was correct,,, He developed his neutral theory in response to this overwhelming evolutionary problem. Paradoxically, his theory led him to believe that most mutations are unselectable, and therefore,,, most ‘evolution’ must be independent of selection! Because he was totally committed to the primary axiom (neo-Darwinism), Kimura apparently never considered his cost arguments could most rationally be used to argue against the Axiom’s (neo-Darwinism’s) very validity.
    John Sanford PhD. – “Genetic Entropy and The Mystery of the Genome” – pg. 161 – 162

    In fact, Neutral theory, which was forced on neo-Darwinists because of theoretical, not empirical, concerns is the reason many neo-Darwinists still dogmatically argue, in spite of robust empirical evidence to the contrary, (i.e. ENCODE), that most of the genome must be junk:

    Kimura (1968) developed the idea of “Neutral Evolution”. If “Haldane’s Dilemma” is correct, the majority of DNA must be non-functional.
    – Carter

    At the 2:45 minute mark of the following video, the mathematical roots of the junk DNA argument, that is still used by many Darwinists, can be traced through Haldane, Kimura, and Ohno’s work in the late 1950’s, 60’s through the early 70’s:

    What Is The Genome? It’s Not Junk! – Dr. Robert Carter – video – (Notes in video description)
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/8905583

    Carter: Why Evolutionists Need Junk DNA – Robert W. Carter – 2009
    Excerpt: Junk DNA is not just a label that was tacked on to some DNA that seemed to have no function, but it is something that is required by evolutionary theory. Mathematically, there is too much variation, too much DNA to mutate, and too few generations in which to get it all done. This was the essence of Haldane’s work. Without junk DNA, evolutionary theory cannot currently explain how everything works mathematically. Think about it; in the evolutionary model there have only been 3-6 million years since humans and chimps diverged. With average human generation times of 20-30 years, this gives them only 100,000 to 300,000 generations to fix the millions of mutations that separate humans and chimps. This includes at least 35 million single letter differences, over 90 million base pairs of non-shared DNA, nearly 700 extra genes in humans (about 6% not shared with chimpanzees), and tens of thousands of chromosomal rearrangements. Also, the chimp genome is about 13% larger than that of humans, but mostly due to the heterochromatin that caps the chromosome telomeres. All this has to happen in a very short amount of evolutionary time. They don’t have enough time, even after discounting the functionality of over 95% of the genome–but their position becomes grave if junk DNA turns out to be functional. Every new function found for junk DNA makes the evolutionists’ case that much more difficult.
    Robert W. Carter – biologist
    http://creation.com/junk-dna-slow-death

    Humorously, neutral theory, which again was forced upon neo-Darwinists because of theoretical concerns within mathematics and not derived because of any compelling empirical evidence, is the primary reason why many neo-Darwinists had a cow when the empirical results of ENCODE came out a few years ago (I believe Moran was among those who had a cow):

    ENCODE: Encyclopedia Of DNA Elements – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3V2thsJ1Wc

    Quote from preceding video:
    “It’s very hard to get over the density of information (in the genome),,, The data says it’s like a jungle of stuff out there. There are things we thought we understood and yet it is much, much, more complex. And then (there are) places of the genome we thought were completely silent and (yet) they’re (now found to be) teeming with life, teeming with things going on. We still really don’t understand that.”
    Ewan Birney – senior scientist – ENCODE

    Junk No More: ENCODE Project Nature Paper Finds “Biochemical Functions for 80% of the Genome” – Casey Luskin – September 5, 2012
    Excerpt: The Discover Magazine article further explains that the rest of the 20% of the genome is likely to have function as well:
    “And what’s in the remaining 20 percent? Possibly not junk either, according to Ewan Birney, the project’s Lead Analysis Coordinator and self-described “cat-herder-in-chief”. He explains that ENCODE only (!) looked at 147 types of cells, and the human body has a few thousand. A given part of the genome might control a gene in one cell type, but not others. If every cell is included, functions may emerge for the phantom proportion. “It’s likely that 80 percent will go to 100 percent,” says Birney. “We don’t really have any large chunks of redundant DNA. This metaphor of junk isn’t that useful.””
    We will have more to say about this blockbuster paper from ENCODE researchers in coming days, but for now, let’s simply observe that it provides a stunning vindication of the prediction of intelligent design that the genome will turn out to have mass functionality for so-called “junk” DNA. ENCODE researchers use words like “surprising” or “unprecedented.” They talk about of how “human DNA is a lot more active than we expected.” But under an intelligent design paradigm, none of this is surprising. In fact, it is exactly what ID predicted.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....64001.html

    Why Are Biologists Lashing Out Against Empirically Verified Research Results? – Casey Luskin July 13, 2015
    Excerpt: no publication shook this (ID vs Darwin) debate so much as a 2012 Nature paper that finally put junk DNA to rest–or so it seemed. This bombshell paper presented the results of the ENCODE (Encyclopedia of DNA Elements) Project, a years-long research consortium involving over 400 international scientists studying noncoding DNA in the human genome. Along with 30 other groundbreaking papers, the lead ENCODE article found that the “vast majority” of the human genome shows biochemical function: “These data enabled us to assign biochemical functions for 80 percent of the genome, in particular outside of the well-studied protein-coding regions.”3
    Ewan Birney, ENCODE’s lead analyst, explained in Discover Magazine that since ENCODE studied 147 types of cells, and the human body has a few thousand cell types, “it’s likely that 80 percent will go to 100 percent.”4 Another senior ENCODE researcher noted that “almost every nucleotide is associated with a function.”5 A headline in Science declared, “ENCODE project writes eulogy for junk DNA.”6,,,
    Evolutionists Strike Back
    Darwin defenders weren’t going to take ENCODE’s data sitting down.,,,
    How could they possibly oppose such empirically based conclusions? The same way they always defend their theory: by assuming an evolutionary viewpoint is correct and reinterpreting the data in light of their paradigm–and by personally attacking, (i.e. ad hominem), those who challenge their position.,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....97561.html

    Thus, as is usual with practically all the arguments from neo-Darwinists, they are arguing for the validity of neutral theory in spite of grave empirical concerns to the contrary, and are not arguing for neutral theory because of any compelling empirical warrant that it is true, or even feasible for that matter.

  35. 35
    Box says:

    Larry Moran, is there an explanation for e.g. the Cambrian animals forthcoming? If not, how can you claim that there is no “legitimate scientific debate over the fact of macroevolution and common descent”?

  36. 36
    Andre says:

    I often wonder why supposedly smart people like Prof Moran are such superstitious people that believe molecules to man is even worth their contemplation bit then they always assure me of their actual intentions when they pronounce anyone that differ from their view a creationist. Jerry Coyne was the worst kind every damn video and lecture I’ve ever watched of him always starts with an attack on creationists. Prof Moran macro evolution argument is exactly the same. What does it really mean? It means they don’t have a leg to stand on because their whole premise starts with an attack of someone else first.

  37. 37
    Andre says:

    Here is some of prof Moran’s gems in his article that “proves” macro evolution is a “fact”, well at least in his mind……

    The distinction between microevolution and macroevolution is often exaggerated, especially by the anti-science crowd. Creationists have gleefully exploited the distinction in order to legitimate their position in the light of clear and obvious examples of evolution that they can’t ignore. They claim they can accept microevolution, but they reject macroevolution.

    Huh? This is from an educator that makes it clear that if you differ from him you’re not only anti-science you are a creationist! I smite thee evil creationists! In the name of Darwin I’ll purge your anti-science!

    The Creationists would have us believe there is some magical barrier separating selection and drift within a species from the evolution of new species and new characteristics. Not only is this imagined barrier invisible to most scientists but, in addition, there is abundant evidence that no such barrier exists. We have numerous examples that show how diverse species are connected by a long series of genetic changes. This is why many scientists claim that macroevoluton is just lots of microevolution over a long period of time.

    Prof Moran the only people that believe in chicken voodoo magic are those that think those barriers don’t exist. If you give me a single example to substantiate your claim I’ll come wash the floors of your lecture hall everyday! You guys believe in magic not the creationists!

    This is my favorite!

    Both of these ideas about macroevolutionary change (saltation and orthogensis) had support from a number of evolutionary biologists.

    Really? support from other people that also believe in voodoo chicken magic? Where is the support from the actual facts? Just because 5 other people think something is possible does not make it so….. let me rephrase…..

    Both of these ideas about Bigfoot and Yeti’s had support from a number of Bigfoot specialists.

    Both of these ideas about UFO’s and aliens had support from a number of UFO specialists.

    Both these ideas of Zeus and Jupiter had support from priests.

    Is anyone of these less than true when other people’s opinions are involved?

    No because people are entitled to their opinions but they are not entitled to their own facts.

    Prof Moran has not a single word or proof of this only the support of those that believe like he does…..

  38. 38
    J-Mac says:

    Andre,

    Don’t waste your time and energy to try to get evidence for what Moran, Coyne and others believe without having any evidence.
    I’ve tried to get one, only one piece of evidence from both Moran and Coyne and others that convinced them that life originated by chance, and I never got even one answer. If they are so convinced that life originated on it’s own, they have to have at least ONE piece of evidence that convinced them to believe it or they are no different than Muslims or Christians…

    The answer is pretty simple to which once Moran has alluded. You see, they would never accept that so many scientists over the last 150+ years could have possibly be wrong… they can’t comprehend this idea because that would mean that they have spent most of their life teaching ideas that are…simply put false

    BTW: I’m not going to judge Torley for his comments that are obviously without any evidence as Andre and others have pointed out.

    I just hope that Torley didn’t sell himself to the Darwinian bullies to get the pat on the back as he did from Moran…

  39. 39
    mike1962 says:

    Moran: The Creationists would have us believe there is some magical barrier separating selection and drift within a species from the evolution of new species and new characteristics. Not only is this imagined barrier invisible to most scientists…

    Notice how Moran puts the onus on skeptics to prove that a “barrier” doesn’t exist. But the onus is on him and his fellow ideologues to demonstrate that Darwinian evolution can scale from what is empirically verified, to what is imagined and asserted by them. Just because a car can take you from Los Angeles to New York, it doesn’t mean it can take you to London. Maybe it’s true and maybe it isn’t that Darwinian evolution is responsible for the “macro” level morphological (and other) changes, but Moran and the Darbots have not demonstrated it to be so. Yet, they cry foul when we insist they do. Ho hum.

    Apparently, Moran doesn’t know what the word “scale” means, and how it matters.

  40. 40
    Virgil Cain says:

    Dr Denton tells us that although genes may influence every aspect of development they do not determine it.

    Dr Sermonti tells us that we do not know what makes a cat a cat other than the successful mating of a tom with a she cat.

    Rodent’s bizarre traits deepen mystery of genetics, evolution:

    The study focuses on 60 species within the vole genus Microtus, which has evolved in the last 500,000 to 2 million years. This means voles are evolving 60-100 times faster than the average vertebrate in terms of creating different species. Within the genus (the level of taxonomic classification above species), the number of chromosomes in voles ranges from 17-64. DeWoody said that this is an unusual finding, since species within a single genus often have the same chromosome number.

    Among the vole’s other bizarre genetic traits:

    •In one species, the X chromosome, one of the two sex-determining chromosomes (the other being the Y), contains about 20 percent of the entire genome. Sex chromosomes normally contain much less genetic information.

    •In another species, females possess large portions of the Y (male) chromosome.

    •In yet another species, males and females have different chromosome numbers, which is uncommon in animals.

    A final “counterintuitive oddity” is that despite genetic variation, all voles look alike, said DeWoody’s former graduate student and study co-author Deb Triant.

    “All voles look very similar, and many species are completely indistinguishable,” DeWoody said.

    In one particular instance, DeWoody was unable to differentiate between two species even after close examination and analysis of their cranial structure; only genetic tests could reveal the difference.

    Nevertheless, voles are perfectly adept at recognizing those of their own species.

    Yup after all this “evolution” a vole is still a vole. This study alone should cast a huge shadow over evolutionism.

    In “The Deniable Darwin” David Berlinski puts it this way:

    SWIMMING IN the soundless sea, the shark has survived for millions of years, sleek as a knife blade and twice as dull. The shark is an organism wonderfully adapted to its environment. Pause. And then the bright brittle voice of logical folly intrudes: after all, it has survived for millions of years.

    This exchange should be deeply embarrassing to evolutionary biologists. And yet, time and again, biologists do explain the survival of an organism by reference to its fitness and the fitness of an organism by reference to its survival, the friction between concepts kindling nothing more illuminating than the observation that some creatures have been around for a very long time. “Those individuals that have the most offspring,” writes Ernst Mayr, the distinguished zoologist, “are by definition . . . the fittest ones.” And in Evolution and the Myth of Creationism, Tim Berra states that “[f]itness in the Darwinian sense means reproductive fitness-leaving at least enough offspring to spread or sustain the species in nature.”

    This is not a parody of evolutionary thinking; it is evolutionary thinking.Que sera, sera.

    He sure has a way of putting it…

  41. 41
    vjtorley says:

    Hi Mung,

    You made an interesting observation when you wrote: “It’s funny, seeing a Darwinist speaking of types, and even defining their terms by appeal to types.”

    Yes, that is very odd. And I quite agree with you that Professor Coyne’s wording was very careless.

  42. 42
    ppolish says:

    “This is why many scientists claim that macroevoluton is just lots of microevolution over a long period of time.”

    Lots lol. How very scientific. Lots = 1/2(lots&lots). Good thing the good Dr.Moran is a biologist and not a cosmologist. “There are lots of stars”. Maybe better as a cosmetologist? “You have lots of pimples.”

    “long period of time” lol again.

  43. 43
    bornagain77 says:

    OT: podcast – “Dr. Michael Egnor on Debating Intelligent Design”
    http://intelligentdesign.podom.....6_26-07_00

  44. 44
    daveS says:

    Virgil Cain,

    He sure has a way of putting it…

    He sure does. This excerpt from an online review nails it:

    Berlinsky is infatuated with words. He’s never heard of a simple declarative sentence. One metaphor per sentence isn’t enough. Indeed, if there is a literary conceit he doesn’t indulge in to excess, I can’t think of it.

  45. 45
    vjtorley says:

    Hi Professor Moran,

    Thank you for your helpful and informative comments, and for the link to your 2006 essay, Macroevolution.

    I’d just like to clear up a misunderstanding at the outset. You seem to think that I believe that “macroevolution” refers to “a specific theory that explains common descent; namely, the idea that common descent can be fully explained by population genetics (microevolution).” Not so; indeed, in my post, I produced quotes from biologists who propound the idea that macroevolution can be explained as repeated rounds of microevolution, as well as biologists who reject this idea.

    What all these scientists have in common, however, is that however they explain macroevolution, they reject guided processes (such as orthogenesis and Intelligent Design) as an explanation for evolution above the species level, as well as freakishly large changes (such as Goldschmidt’s “hopeful monster” theory). All scientists who believe in macroevolution reject the notion of “some magical barrier” (as you put it) “separating selection and drift within a species from the evolution of new species and new characteristics.”

    Intelligent Design is a broad tent, and orthogenesis could certainly be classed as one version of Intelligent design. Intelligent Design is also open to the possibility of freakishly large changes, although it does not require them. What Intelligent Design asserts is that biological structures which have a highly specific function and which are astronomically improbable arose via a guided process.

    In your essay, you seem to be arguing that the distinction between macro- and microevolution is rather like that between macro- and microeconomics: the former deals with the “big picture,” while the latter focuses on the “underlying mechanisms.” You also add that there are “higher level processes” which apply to species, above and beyond the microevolutionary changes in the frequency of alleles within a population, and you cite Mayr’s distinction between phenotype and genotype as a helpful elucidation of those changes.

    Finally, you point out that macroevolution is a historical field of inquiry, in which contingency plays a large role, which is why microevolutionary processes can never explain “why placental mammals became more successful than the dinosaurs,” or tell us “whether replaying the tape of life will automatically lead to humans.”

    Fair enough. My impatience with macroevolution as a scientific explanation of the history of life is that it seems to resist mathematical treatment. Of course, I can see why one cannot calculate the odds of contingencies such as the K-T extinction that killed off the dinosaurs – unless one counts birds as dinosaurs. But macroevolution encompasses those processes which gave rise to birds in the first place. Could birds’ feathers have arisen from reptilian scales by unguided natural processes? To me, the case for birds having a reptilian ancestor looks very strong (one merely has to think of the 20 bones in the reptilian tail of Archaeopteryx), but the notion that scales could have given rise to feathers seems doubtful, and the claimed examples of feathers in dinosaurs also appear highly doubtful (see this creationist article here). Also, I haven’t seen any attempt to show that the mutations that gave rise to feathers would have been reasonably probable events, rather than astronomically improbable ones.

    An Intelligent Design hypothesis which accepts common descent but rejects the sufficiency of unguided processes may appear to you to be “neither fish nor fowl.” But for my part, I think it’s the best game in town. Until I see some mathematical arguments showing that the various kinds of proteins used by living creatures could have arisen via an unguided natural process, I shall continue to be skeptical of macroevolution.

  46. 46
    mike1962 says:

    daveS,

    the reviewer said this about himself:

    I am not a mathematician. I took calculus in college but never really understood it.

    What a shocker.

  47. 47
    Virgil Cain says:

    Hi daves- sounds like jealousy to me.

  48. 48
    bFast says:

    I am really enjoying the discussion between VJ Torley and Larry Moran.

    VJ, I really don’t understand your position that macroevolution comes preloaded with the premise that it is nothing more than a bunch of microevolutionary cycles. I would agree with Larry Moran that macroevolution is entitled to its own explanation.

    As such, my personal position is that common descent is consistent with the data (with a few possible exceptions such as the prokaryote / eukaryote divide, and the cambrian explosion. My view of the definition of macroevolution says that macroevolution happened, therefore requires an explanation.

    There remains a large question of where the line is between “micro” and “macro” evolution. I think that the line is not clear. Classically the line is at “species”. But even “species” is not clear. If we hold to the classic definition of species — “cannot mate producing viable offspring” — well this may be a sensible line between micro and macroevolution.

    I cannot see a simple extrapolation between microevolution and macroevolution. I do think that simple speciation can happen without guided forces — as a simple extrapolation between micro and macro. However, I think it far fetched that all of the other stuff, especially new organs and new gene families can happen in an unguided way.

    My position then: Common descent, yes. Macroevolution, yes. Extrapolation, sometimes.

    On the relationship between ID and YEC, one must understand that ID is not a “theory”, but a “metatheory”, as “naturalism” is. I am personally not YEC though I hang out with a lot of very adamant YECers. As both ID and YEC are seeking the same data for the “negative case” against naturalistic evolution, they are natural colleagues — the enemy of my enemy is my friend. That said, the naturalistic evolutionary community is trying REALLY HARD to paint ID with the YEC brush by incessantly attach the term “creationist” to ID, as in “ID creationist”. While I understand that the view that teleology exists can be construed as “creationism”, I am very convinced that the creationist label is attached to associate ID with YEC, as YEC is so easily refutable.

    The other canard “ID is just creationism in a cheap tuxedo” is a stronger attempt to bond the two. It is bolshevik.

  49. 49
    Robert Byers says:

    vutorley
    If you accept common descent for man/ape and everything and this from great mechanism THEN indeed why be shy of a wee bit more same mechanism making feathers out of scales etc etc?
    Do you jave evidence for evolution having created biology from previous biology by way of mutations? If your saying its by a intelligent being without natural evolution then what would a mechanism even look like to a investigating human being?
    There is no biological scientific evidence for macro evolution i say.
    This should be about scientific evidence.
    Results in biology could have other mechanisms with a ceiling of what it could do.
    Why do you think common descent is proved?
    Who says there are these divisions in nature called reptiles and mammals and dinosaurs.?
    Why not just traits that fit from a common blueprint?!
    not just yEC but everybody should be shown , well, why there is any chance of evolutionism being true.
    Don’t let evolutionists away with just imaginative speculation for how biology could arrange itself that easy.
    Make them work for it.

  50. 50
    Virgil Cain says:

    bFast:

    I am really enjoying the discussion between VJ Torley and Larry Moran.

    And yet Moran isn’t saying anything and he has yet to post any science.

    My position then: Common descent, yes. Macroevolution, yes.

    When you come up with a way to test those, scientifically, please be sure to let us know.

  51. 51
    Virgil Cain says:

    At least now we know, thanks to Larry Moran, that what evolutionists call a “fact” is something that cannot be tested nor verified. Facts to evolutionists are whatever they declare them to be and whatever no one else can test or verify.

  52. 52
    vjtorley says:

    Hi Robert Byers,

    Thank you for your comments. You ask: “If you accept common descent for man/ape and everything and this from great mechanism THEN indeed why be shy of a wee bit more same mechanism making feathers out of scales etc etc?”

    I would like to make it clear that although I believe humans and chimps had a common ancestor, I certainly do not believe that human beings evolved via unguided natural processes. The human brain is the most complex structure known in the universe, and the differences between the brains of humans and chimps are not merely quantitative but qualitative, as I have argued in previous posts. The idea that the human brain could have evolved from a chimp-like brain via an unguided process strikes me as preposterous. I remain convinced that the human brain and body were intelligently engineered, just as birds’ feathers were.

  53. 53
    Virgil Cain says:

    Thank you vjtorely- I agree that the only way that Common Descent could be possible is via some intelligent design process, ie guided/ directed evolution. However if Drs Denton and Sermonti are correct we still need something to modify to make the transformations and have them be heritable. Those geneticists say it isn’t the DNA that determines form.

  54. 54
    bornagain77 says:

    To echo Virgil Cain’s observation Dr. Torley, the ‘form’ of an organism is not reducible to DNA, or to any other material particulars for that matter. Thus both you, and neo-Darwinists, have a gargantuan gap in your hypothesis of common descent by gradual transformation of material particulars. They more so than you to be for sure, but it is still an unexplained gap in your preferred hypothesis of common descent via gradual transformation of material particulars. Which, by the way, I find to be a hypothesis which is grossly lacking in evidential support at the ‘species specific’ genetic level (and ‘punctuated’ fossil level) anyway (S. Meyer, R. Sternberg, C. Luskin).

    Then there is also the sudden appearance of the human mind to contend with: (I. Tattersall, J. Schwartz).

    A few notes to that effect:

    HOW BIOLOGISTS LOST SIGHT OF THE MEANING OF LIFE — AND ARE NOW STARING IT IN THE FACE – Stephen L. Talbott – May 2012
    Excerpt: The question is indeed, then, “How does the organism meaningfully dispose of all its molecules, getting them to the right places and into the right interactions?”
    The same sort of question can be asked of cells, for example in the growing embryo, where literal streams of cells are flowing to their appointed places, differentiating themselves into different types as they go, and adjusting themselves to all sorts of unpredictable perturbations — even to the degree of responding appropriately when a lab technician excises a clump of them from one location in a young embryo and puts them in another, where they may proceed to adapt themselves in an entirely different and proper way to the new environment. It is hard to quibble with the immediate impression that form (which is more idea-like than thing-like) is primary, and the material particulars subsidiary.
    http://www.netfuture.org/2012/May1012_184.html#2

    What Do Organisms Mean? Stephen L. Talbott – Winter 2011
    Excerpt: Harvard biologist Richard Lewontin once described how you can excise the developing limb bud from an amphibian embryo, shake the cells loose from each other, allow them to reaggregate into a random lump, and then replace the lump in the embryo. A normal leg develops. Somehow the form of the limb as a whole is the ruling factor, redefining the parts according to the larger pattern. Lewontin went on to remark: “Unlike a machine whose totality is created by the juxtaposition of bits and pieces with different functions and properties, the bits and pieces of a developing organism seem to come into existence as a consequence of their spatial position at critical moments in the embryo’s development. Such an object is less like a machine than it is like a language whose elements… take unique meaning from their context.[3]”,,,
    http://www.thenewatlantis.com/.....nisms-mean

    “Last year I had a fair chunk of my nose removed in skin cancer surgery (Mohs). The surgeon took flesh from a nearby area to fill in the large hole he’d made. The pictures of it were scary. But in the healing process the replanted cells somehow ‘knew’ how to take a different shape appropriate for the new location so that the nose now looks remarkably natural. The doctor said he could take only half the credit because the cells somehow know how to change form for a different location (though they presumably still follow the same DNA code) . — I’m getting the feeling that we’ve been nearly as reductionist in the 20-21st century as Darwin and his peers were when they viewed cells as little blobs of jelly.”
    leodp – UD blogger
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-563451

    Epigenetics and neuroplasticity: The case of the rewired ferrets – April 3, 2014
    Excerpt: Like inventive electricians rewiring a house, scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have reconfigured newborn ferret brains so that the animals’ eyes are hooked up to brain regions where hearing normally develops.
    The surprising result is that the ferrets develop fully functioning visual pathways in the auditory portions of their brains. In other words, they see the world with brain tissue that was only thought capable of hearing sounds.
    per UD

    If DNA really rules (morphology), why did THIS happen? – April 2014
    Excerpt: Researchers implanted human embryonic neuronal cells into a mouse embryo. Mouse and human neurons have distinct morphologies (shapes). Because the human neurons feature human DNA, they should be easy to identify.
    Which raises a question: Would the human neurons implanted in developing mouse brain have a mouse or a human morphology?
    Well, the answer is, the human neurons had a mouse morphology. They could be distinguished from the mouse ones only by their human genetic markers.
    If DNA really ruled, we would expect a human morphology.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....is-happen/

    DNA doesn’t even tell teeth what they should look like – April 3, 2014
    Excerpt: A friend writes to mention a mouse experiment where developing tooth buds were moved so that the incisors and the molars were switched. The tooth buds became the tooth appropriate to the switched location, not the original one, in direct contrast to what we would expect from a gene’centric view.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....look-like/

    Darwin’s mistake: explaining the discontinuity between human and nonhuman minds. – 2008
    Excerpt: Over the last quarter century, the dominant tendency in comparative cognitive psychology has been to emphasize the similarities between human and nonhuman minds and to downplay the differences as “one of degree and not of kind” (Darwin 1871).,,, To wit, there is a significant discontinuity in the degree to which human and nonhuman animals are able to approximate the higher-order, systematic, relational capabilities of a physical symbol system (PSS) (Newell 1980). We show that this symbolic-relational discontinuity pervades nearly every domain of cognition and runs much deeper than even the spectacular scaffolding provided by language or culture alone can explain,,,
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18479531

    Evolution of the Genus Homo – Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences – Ian Tattersall, Jeffrey H. Schwartz, May 2009
    Excerpt: “Unusual though Homo sapiens may be morphologically, it is undoubtedly our remarkable cognitive qualities that most strikingly demarcate us from all other extant species. They are certainly what give us our strong subjective sense of being qualitatively different. And they are all ultimately traceable to our symbolic capacity. Human beings alone, it seems, mentally dissect the world into a multitude of discrete symbols, and combine and recombine those symbols in their minds to produce hypotheses of alternative possibilities. When exactly Homo sapiens acquired this unusual ability is the subject of debate.”
    http://www.annualreviews.org/d.....208.100202

    Leading Evolutionary Scientists Admit We Have No Evolutionary Explanation of Human Language – December 19, 2014
    Excerpt: Understanding the evolution of language requires evidence regarding origins and processes that led to change. In the last 40 years, there has been an explosion of research on this problem as well as a sense that considerable progress has been made. We argue instead that the richness of ideas is accompanied by a poverty of evidence, with essentially no explanation of how and why our linguistic computations and representations evolved.,,,
    (Marc Hauser, Charles Yang, Robert Berwick, Ian Tattersall, Michael J. Ryan, Jeffrey Watumull, Noam Chomsky and Richard C. Lewontin, “The mystery of language evolution,” Frontiers in Psychology, Vol 5:401 (May 7, 2014).)
    It’s difficult to imagine much stronger words from a more prestigious collection of experts.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....92141.html

    Quote, Verse, and Music:

    “According to Genesis you do not get from the non-living to the living without the words ‘And God said,,’. According to Genesis you do not get from the animal to the human without the words ‘And God said,,,’
    – John Lennox

    Galatians 3:26
    So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith,

    Hillsong United – Lord of Lords – With Subtitles/Lyrics
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFkY5-Xp710

  55. 55
    Larry Moran says:

    Hi Vincent,

    We seem to be in substantial agreement that there’s a scientific debate over the meaning of the word “macroevolution.” There’s also debate about whether microevolution is sufficient to explain macroevolution as proposed in the Modern Synthesis. (These two debates are related.)

    We agree that Jerry Coyne could have done a better job of describing his views so they would not be misinterpreted.

    As for common descent, I understand your view that some of it had to be “guided” although I’m guessing that you won’t commit to how much and you won’t answer other important questions like when, how, and by whom it was guided.

    Some of your objections seem a little unreasonable like …

    Fair enough. My impatience with macroevolution as a scientific explanation of the history of life is that it seems to resist mathematical treatment.

    But macroevolution is a historical science. It describes, and tries to explain, the history of life. Are you also impatient with history because we don’t have a mathematical treatment to explain who won the Battle of Waterloo?

    You also said,

    Could birds’ feathers have arisen from reptilian scales by unguided natural processes? To me, the case for birds having a reptilian ancestor looks very strong (one merely has to think of the 20 bones in the reptilian tail of Archaeopteryx), but the notion that scales could have given rise to feathers seems doubtful,…

    I presume you’re aware of the evidence that feathers are modified scales (embryology and genetics) and I assume you’re aware of the genetics of fancy pigeons that have feathers instead of scales on their legs. I’m guessing that your objection is not that the genes for scales could be mutated to produce feathers but that this could happen without god intervening to direct certain mutations. Presumably the intelligent designer had a fondness for birds (or just feathers?) but couldn’t create them until three billion years after creating life. Am I correct?

  56. 56
    Andre says:

    Prof Moran

    Are you a retard?

    “Are you also impatient with history because we don’t have a mathematical treatment to explain who won the Battle of Waterloo?”

    Why would we need a mathematical treatment if we had observers that witnessed and documented who won the battle of Waterloo. I simply cannot believe a smart guy like you could ever compare them.

  57. 57
    Virgil Cain says:

    Larry Moran:

    Are you also impatient with history because we don’t have a mathematical treatment to explain who won the Battle of Waterloo?

    Science requires quantification, Larry. Perhaps macroevolution is best left to imaginary history class, then.

  58. 58
    Mung says:

    Let’s not be too hard on Prof. Moran. He’s sliding gently into ID is science. Let’s not inhibit him.

  59. 59
    J-Mac says:

    Virgil Cain,

    Thank you for a really good laugh… unfortunately Moran is teaching one of my daughter’s courses and my accomplishments are not as good as Larry’s who has never accomplished anything… unless he was piggyback riding on someone else’s shoulders….

  60. 60
    Virgil Cain says:

    J-Mac- Larry Moran understands biochemistry. If that is what your daughter is taking then she is in good hands there.

    If his politics enter his classroom then that is another issue.

    Good luck to her

  61. 61
    vjtorley says:

    Hi Professor Moran,

    Thank you for your response. You ask:

    Are you also impatient with history because we don’t have a mathematical treatment to explain who won the Battle of Waterloo?

    Virgil Cain’s response that science requires quantification hits the nail on the head. Birds are a monophyletic group, so the evolution of birds from theropod ancestors was a singular event, like the Battle of Waterloo. However, the genetic mutations that gave rise to feathers are events whose likelihood can be quantified. It should be possible for scientists to ascertain whether the sequence of changes involved was an astronomically unlikely one or not.

    You also write:

    I presume you’re aware of the evidence that feathers are modified scales (embryology and genetics) and I assume you’re aware of the genetics of fancy pigeons that have feathers instead of scales on their legs. I’m guessing that your objection is not that the genes for scales could be mutated to produce feathers but that this could happen without god intervening to direct certain mutations. Presumably the intelligent designer had a fondness for birds (or just feathers?) but couldn’t create them until three billion years after creating life. Am I correct?

    First, I wouldn’t be too dogmatic about feathers being modified scales – although it wouldn’t bother me if they were. Consider the following quote:

    We long presumed that feathers evolved from scales of some kind, centering the debate on what advantages promoted the evolution of feathers from scales. More likely, feathers evolved not as modified scales but as a novel epidermal structure.
    (Frank B. Gill, Ornithology, p. 39 (3rd. Ed., W.H. Freeman 2007).

    From what I’ve read, feathers and scales are made up of two distinct forms of keratin, but a 2006 study confirmed the presence of feather keratin in the early stages of development of American alligator scales, suggesting that crocodilian scales, avian feathers and scutes, dinosaur protofeathers and pterosaur pycnofibres could be homologous.

    Nevertheless, you are right in guessing that my main question is whether the genes for scales could have mutated to produce feathers without the need for any intelligently directed mutations.

    You ask why the Intelligent Designer “couldn’t create them until three billion years after creating life.” That’s not a scientific objection, but an objection relating to the Designer’s motive. If it turns out that the development of feathers was a fantastically improbable event, then intelligent design remains the only adequate cause, even if we know nothing about the Designer’s motives.

    Frankly, I don’t know why it took so long for birds to appear, but here’s my guess. The development of life on Earth proceeded step-by-step because more “advanced” organisms required a suitable environment to be prepared for them (right oxygen levels, etc.) Simpler life-forms played a key role on transforming the primordial Earth, according to an intelligently directed terra-forming process. At about 160 million years ago, the stage was set for the arrival of birds. Feathers did not appear before that date because other living creatures that were around at that time would not have benefited from them.

  62. 62
    Zachriel says:

    vjtorley: You ask why the Intelligent Designer “couldn’t create them until three billion years after creating life.” That’s not a scientific objection, but an objection relating to the Designer’s motive.

    If you posit a designer, then the characteristics of the designer, including motive, capabilities, means, etc., become subject to investigation. That IDers don’t even attempt such investigation is telling.

    vjtorley: Frankly, I don’t know why it took so long for birds to appear, but here’s my guess.

    Thought you accepted common descent. Birds couldn’t appear earlier because they had to be preceded by primitive chordates, vertebrates, gnathostomes, tetrapods, amniotes, theropods.

  63. 63
    Zachriel says:

    Z: Birds couldn’t appear earlier because they had to be preceded by primitive chordates, vertebrates, gnathostomes, tetrapods, amniotes, theropods.

    When we look more closely, it’s not a straight line though, as if it was a planned outcome. Rather, from the first appearance of each of these groups, we see a vast branching process, some branches yielding many other branching and those yielding still more branches before dying away, leaving only a few that survive.

  64. 64
    Virgil Cain says:

    Zachriel:

    If you posit a designer, then the characteristics of the designer, including motive, capabilities, means, etc., become subject to investigation.

    Only if the designer is subject to investigation. Archaeologists cannot do that with that with their alleged designers so it must not be a requirement.

    That IDers don’t even attempt such investigation is telling.

    ID is about the DESIGN and not the designer(s). ID posits an intelligent design. And ID posits the entailments of the design.

  65. 65
    Virgil Cain says:

    Zachriel:

    When we look more closely, it’s not a straight line though, as if it was a planned outcome.

    Actually when we look more closely we don’t see any evidence that birds could evolve from non-birds.

  66. 66
    bFast says:

    Zachriel, “If you posit a designer, then the characteristics of the designer, including motive, capabilities, means, etc., become subject to investigation. That IDers don’t even attempt such investigation is telling.”

    Zachriel, I very much agree with both of your points. As soon as we posit a designer(s), we learn something about him/her/it.

    Consider this piece of understanding:

    We posit that the designer(s) initiated the big bang. Now, we know from the fact that there was one big bang (in this universe) it must have had a single cause. If that cause is intelligence, then the cause must either be a single intelligence, or a group acting as one.

    Consider life on earth:

    From all evidence, all life originated with a single common ancestor. (I do understand that the LUCA may have had many of its own ancestors, but this particular one made it through the survival maze.) Further, Life in general has a single system. It certainly is conceivable that the DNA –> RNA –> Protein model could have been different than it is, but within life it is all the same. This unity of life calls for, you guessed it, either a single designer (some suggest no designers) or a group of designers working as one.

    So we are now left with two models: the (I think its stupid) “no designer” theory, I’ll call that theory 0, and the “one designer” theory, I’ll call that theory 1. All theories greater than 1 have been effectively falsified.

    Oh, I know, ‘sounds like what my religion teaches. It may, but it is what the evidence teaches as the only possibilities. In deference to what my religion teaches, however, life is driven by death. Conflict is evidenced before multicellularity. Obviously the designer must be comfortable with this fact, though it seems contrary to Biblical interpretation.

    Yes, as soon as you posit a designer, you discover that the designer must have certain characteristics. This list of characteristics should certainly grow — based on the evidence.

    “That IDers don’t even attempt such investigation is telling.” I think that though it is telling, it may be telling a different message than you are receiving. The biggest reason IDers avoid, even pretend the impossibility of, identifying the characteristics of the designer is that they are attempting to remain with the “scientific” frame. ‘Doesn’t matter, the evidence still leads to a designer with characteristics.

    However, I am personally quite pleased that the official ID position avoids identifying the characteristics of the designer, as doing so would see a lot of data shoehorned into preconceived religious perspectives.

  67. 67
    Zachriel says:

    bFast: All theories greater than 1 have been effectively falsified.

    Teams make things all the time. It could even be a bunch of designers, possibly with different motives. Cosmic Sam doesn’t like Cosmic Sally’s dinosaurs. Slam!
    http://i2.wp.com/www.lng.guru/...../dino2.jpg

    So we have a designer or we don’t have a designer. You’ve narrowed it down alright!

    bFast: The biggest reason IDers avoid, even pretend the impossibility of, identifying the characteristics of the designer is that they are attempting to remain with the “scientific” frame.

    The obvious avenue of scientific inquiry is investigating the designer. Absence of that evidence undermines the hypothesis. Pretending it doesn’t matter undermines credibility.

  68. 68
    bFast says:

    “Teams make things all the time.” Hmmm, what part of “a group acting as one” are you misunderstanding.

    “The obvious avenue of scientific inquiry is investigating the designer.” We’ve been investigating the designer for millennia. Investigating the way the designer interacts with biology is certainly worthy of study. I personally believe that the designer makes small changes, then lets them settle in. Is this the only way that he/she/it works? About these de novo genes, how functional are they when they first appear? Are they built up in the “junk”, then get implemented, or is the whole thing brought into existence — poof? Are there re-creation from a “common design” events? What evidence establishes this? Lots of interesting questions beg for answers once the roadblock of philosophical anathema is broken.

  69. 69
    Box says:

    Z: If you posit a designer, then the characteristics of the designer, including motive, capabilities, means, etc., become subject to investigation. That IDers don’t even attempt such investigation is telling.

    ID does not commit itself to the view that living beings are machines — unlike materialism.
    ID posits intelligent design as a cause. The source of intelligent design can be located external to the organism or be the organism itself or both.
    See this thread: Is ID about internal or external teleology?

  70. 70
    Virgil Cain says:

    Zachriel:

    The obvious avenue of scientific inquiry is investigating the designer.

    Obvious to who? And how do you suggest we do that?

    Absence of that evidence undermines the hypothesis.

    That’s your opinion and not an argument.

    Pretending it doesn’t matter undermines credibility.

    You are the last person to talk about credibility.

  71. 71
    Zachriel says:

    bFast: “Teams make things all the time.” Hmmm, what part of “a group acting as one” are you misunderstanding.

    So it could be one, none, or many. Glad you narrowed it down.

    bFast: I personally believe that the designer makes small changes, then lets them settle in.

    Personal opinions are dandy, but we were discussing scientific investigation.

    bFast: Lots of interesting questions beg for answers once the roadblock of philosophical anathema is broken.

    Sorry for your philosophical roadblocks. Once you work those out, then perhaps you can propose scientific hypotheses for empirical testing.

  72. 72
    Zachriel says:

    Box: ID posits intelligent design as a cause. The source of intelligent design can be located external to the organism or be the organism itself or both.

    If an external agent, then it is subject to investigation. If ‘intrinsic’, then it’s not clear you can scientifically distinguish your élan évolution from mere natural evolvability.

  73. 73
    Virgil Cain says:

    Zachriel:

    If an external agent, then it is subject to investigation.

    Not necessarily. Obviously you don’t know anything about investigations.

    If ‘intrinsic’, then it’s not clear you can scientifically distinguish your élan évolution from mere natural evolvability.

    You can’t but educated people can make such a distinction.

  74. 74
    Virgil Cain says:

    Zachriel:

    Personal opinions are dandy, but we were discussing scientific investigation.

    You are not qualified to have such a discussion.

  75. 75
    Box says:

    Z: If an external agent, then it is subject to investigation.

    Sure. Outside the domain of ID — design detection — likely candidates are being investigated by SETI, philosophy and religious studies.

    Z: If ‘intrinsic’, then it’s not clear you can scientifically distinguish your élan évolution from mere natural evolvability.

    Nope. Intrinsic intelligence — as opposed to blind physical processes — can be inferred. Shapiro might be a place to start.

  76. 76
    Zachriel says:

    Box: Outside the domain of ID — design detection — likely candidates are being investigated by SETI, philosophy and religious studies.

    Only SETI can arguably be considered science. And no, they are not searching for the designer of life on Earth.

    Box: Intrinsic intelligence — as opposed to blind physical processes — can be inferred. Shapiro might be a place to start.

    Evolution can be considered an intelligent process. Genomes can exhibit evolvability. If you can’t scientifically distinguish your élan évolution from plain old evolution, then it is as much an extraneous entity as élan vital.

  77. 77
    Virgil Cain says:

    Zachriel:

    Only SETI can arguably be considered science.

    ID has all of the hallmarks of science whereas evolutionism doesn’t have any.

    Evolution can be considered an intelligent process.

    Only DIRECTED evolution can be considered an intelligent process.

    If you can’t scientifically distinguish your élan évolution from plain old evolution, then it is as much an extraneous entity as élan vital.

    We can scientifically make that distinction- only directed evolution can be modeled.

  78. 78
    Box says:

    Z: Only SETI can arguably be considered science.

    Why is that?

  79. 79
    Zachriel says:

    Zachriel: Only SETI can arguably be considered science.

    Box: Why is that?

    Why are philosophy and religious studies not considered science? Because they don’t propose and test hypotheses subject to empirical testing. Philosophy is about ideas not empiricism, while religion generally depends on revelation.

  80. 80
    Virgil Cain says:

    Why is evolutionism not considered science? Because it doesn’t propose and test hypotheses subject to empirical testing.

  81. 81
    Box says:

    Zach, as an adherent of the evidence-free hypothesis of evolution, what is it with your obsession with empirical science?
    Consider e.g. mathematics and logic (part of philosophy), which are without doubt science, but not empirical. However they are considered much more reliable.

  82. 82
    bFast says:

    Zachriel (71), “Sorry for your philosophical roadblocks.” Your dishonesty is showing.

    “Personal opinions are dandy, but we were discussing scientific investigation.” “The designer makes small changes” is the best explanation for phenomena such as HAR1F.

  83. 83
    Zachriel says:

    bFast: “The designer makes small changes”

    That brings us back to the original point. The obvious avenue of scientific inquiry concerning “a designer makes small changes” is investigating the means, motives, actions, the who, what, when, where and why of the posited designer. Absence of that evidence undermines the hypothesis. Pretending it doesn’t matter undermines credibility.

  84. 84
    bFast says:

    Zachriel, the HAR1F is a phenomenon. It requires an explanation. The darwinian explanation doesn’t fit.

    Your “investigating the means, motives, actions, the who, what, when, where and why … ” sounds like the debate happening in the LENR (cold fusion) world. Y’all science types are saying “no way, doesn’t work”, the experimenters are saying, “but look at the data”. Data be damned! Cold fusion doesn’t work.

  85. 85
    Zachriel says:

    bFast: Data be damned! Cold fusion doesn’t work.

    Actually, it’s the data which indicates the cold fusion hasn’t been accomplished.

    bFast: Zachriel, the HAR1F is a phenomenon.

    Yes.

    bFast: It requires an explanation.

    Yes.

    bFast: The darwinian explanation doesn’t fit.

    Not sure why you say that, but even if so, that doesn’t support ID. That requires independent evidence, and as already pointed out, the obvious entailment is the designer.

  86. 86
    Evolve says:

    Vincent Torley,

    ///it seems to me that such a transformation would have required the emergence of a host of new proteins during that period, and the work of Dr. Douglas Axe (especially his paper, “The Case Against a Darwinian Origin of Protein Folds”) casts doubt on the ability of known natural processes to generate these proteins. I haven’t seen any reason to suppose that neutral evolutionary changes could have generated these proteins either. Until someone refutes Dr. Axe’s work, the hypothesis that best explains the evidence would seem to be that human beings (and other creatures) were engineered from a common ancestral stock.///

    Axe’s huge numbers have been soundly refuted years ago. See:
    http://www.pandasthumb.org/arc.....st-fa.html
    http://reports.ncse.com/index......ew/379/751

    His claims don’t hold water.
    What did you think? Biochemists and Molecular Biologists are foolish enough to have overlooked Axe’s exorbitant claims en masse?

    Also, the distinction you’re making between common descent and macroevolution is laughable. Macroevolution is a historical process inferred from the available evidence, of which common descent is one.
    Macroevolution is the most parsimonious explanation for the fact of common descent. You can always argue that a designer exactly mimicked the process. But in the absence of any evidence for a designer, his abilities and motives, that argument fails to make any impact at all. After all if the designer’s modus operandi is indistinguishable from natural processes, then the designer is totally useless as an explanation.

    Vincent, there’s a reason why the majority of scientists reject Intelligent Design. If you shed your biases, you can see why.

  87. 87
    Virgil Cain says:

    Evolve- The only reason anyone rejects ID is because of biases. Macroevolution and Common Descent are unscientific concepts. And no neither are parsimonious. Do you know how many just-so genetic accidents had to accumulate to do such a thing? Of course you don’t. You don’t even know if any amount of genetic change can do it.

  88. 88
    Evolve says:

    That’s flat out wrong.
    The only reason ID is being rejected is because it doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.
    Of course genetic accidents accumulated, but that happens all the time all around us. There’s no need to attribute genetic changes to an imaginary designer.
    How many accidents had to happen to produce you, Virgil Cain?
    Your parents had to meet by sheer chance, each of your grandparents had to meet, their parents and their parents…go back just a few generations and the fact that you exist becomes a vanishingly low proposition. Yet you exist by sheer chance.

  89. 89
    Virgil Cain says:

    Evolve:

    The only reason ID is being rejected is because it doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.

    How would you know? Evolutionism doesn’t stand up to anything.

    Of course genetic accidents accumulated, but that happens all the time all around us.

    Of course you have no way of supporting that claim.

    How many accidents had to happen to produce you, Virgil Cain?

    Accidents didn’t produce me, Evolve. But obviously they produced you.

    Tell us how to test evolutionism, Evolve. We have already said how to test ID- Hint- it involves eliminating evolutionism which was done with ease.

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