Intelligent Design

Once More From the Top on the Fossil Record

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Barry:  “Are you suggesting that the fossil record now reveals the “finely graduated organic chain” that in Origin Charles Darwin predicted would be ultimately revealed as the fossil record was explored further?”

Alan Fox:  “As far as it reveals anything, yes.” 

Leading Darwinist authorities disagree:

No one has found any such in-between creatures. This was long chalked up to ‘gaps’ in the fossil records, gaps that proponents of gradualism confidently expected to fill in someday when rock strata of the proper antiquity were eventually located. But all the fossil evidence to date has failed to turn up any such missing links . . . There is a growing conviction among many scientists that these transitional forms never existed.

Niles Eldredge, quoted in George Alexander, “Alternate Theory of Evolution Considered,” Los Angeles Times, November 19, 1978.

Gradualism, the idea that all change must be smooth, slow, and steady, was never read from the rocks.

Stephen Jay Gould, “An Early Start,” Natural History 87, February 1978): 24.

Gradualism is a concept I believe in, not just because of Darwin’s authority, but because my understanding of genetics seems to demand it. Yet Gould and the American Museum people [i.e., Eldredge] are hard to contradict when they say there are no transitional fossils. As a paleontologist myself, I am much occupied with the philosophical problems of identifying ancestral forms in the fossil record. You say that I should at least ‘show a photo of the fossil from which each type of organism was derived.’ I will lay it on the line – there is not one such fossil for which one could make a watertight argument.

Colin Patteson to Luther Sunderland, April 10, 1979, quoted in quoted in Luther .D. Sunderland, Darwin’s Enigma: Fossils and Other Problems, 4th ed. (El Cajon, CA: Master Book Publishers, 1988), 89.

What is missing [in the record] are the many intermediate forms hypothesized by Darwin, and the continual divergence of major lineages into the morphospace between distinct adaptive types.

Robert L. Carroll, “Towards a New Evolutionary Synthesis,” Trends in Ecology and Evolution 15 (2000): 27, 27-32.

Species [in the strata of the Bighorn Basin of Wyoming] that were once thought to have turned into others have been found to overlap in time with these alleged descendants. In fact, the fossil record does not convincingly document a single transition from one species to another.

Steven M. Stanley, The New Evolutionary Timetable: Fossils, Genes, and the Origin of Species (New York: Basic Books, 1981), 95.

The fossil record itself provided no documentation of continuity – of gradual transition from one animal or plant to another of quite different form.

Steven M. Stanley, The New Evolutionary Timetable: Fossils, Genes, and the Origin of Species (New York: Basic Books, 1981), 40.

The lack of ancestral or intermediate forms between fossil species is not a bizarre peculiarity of early metazoan history. Gaps are general and prevalent throughout the fossil record.

R.A. Raff and T.C. Kaufman, Embryos, Genes, and Evolution: The Developmental-Genetic Basis of Evolutionary Change (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1991), 34.

Alan Fox: “The current record is certainly not incompatible with gradual evolution over vast periods of time.”

Again, leading Darwinists disagree:

Darwin’s prediction of rampant, albeit gradual, change affecting all lineages through time is refuted. The record is there, and the record speaks for tremendous anatomical conservatism. Change in the manner Darwin expected is just not found in the fossil record.

Niles Eldredge and Ian Tattersall, The Myth of Human Evolution (New York: Columbia University Press, 1982), 45-46.

Alan Fox: “It doesn’t fit with six days of creation. That’s for sure.”

That’s your argument?  The fossil record does not demonstrate that the all life forms were created in six days 6,000 years ago; therefore Darwin must have been right?  If I had to rely on an outrageous caricature of my opponents’ arguments in my efforts to refute them, it would bother me.  Does it not bother you?

115 Replies to “Once More From the Top on the Fossil Record

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    A few more quotes on the fossil record:

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

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

    “Evolution requires intermediate forms between species and paleontology does not provide them.”
    David Kitts – Paleontologist – D.B. Kitts, Paleontology and Evolutionary Theory (1974), p. 467.

    “Given the fact of evolution, one would expect the fossils to document a gradual steady change from ancestral forms to the descendants. But this is not what the paleontologist finds. Instead, he or she finds gaps in just about every phyletic series.” –
    Ernst Mayr-Professor Emeritus, Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University

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

    “The point emerges that if we examine the fossil record in detail, whether at the level of orders or of species, we find’ over and over again’ not gradual evolution, but the sudden explosion of one group at the expense of another.”
    Derek V. Ager – Paleontologist, (Department of Geology & Oceonography, University College, Swansea, UK)

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

    “Evolution requires intermediate forms between species and paleontology does not provide them.”
    David Kitts – Paleontologist – D.B. Kitts, Paleontology and Evolutionary Theory (1974), p. 467.

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

    “The sweep of anatomical diversity reached a maximum right after the initial diversification of multicellular animals. The later history of life proceeded by elimination not expansion.”
    Stephen J. Gould, Harvard, Wonderful Life, 1989, p.46

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

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

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

    “Every paleontologist knows that most new species, genera, and families, and that nearly all categories above the level of family appear in the record suddenly and are not led up to by known, gradual, completely continuous transitional sequences.”
    George Gaylord Simpson (evolutionist), The Major Features of Evolution, New York, Columbia University Press, 1953 p. 360.

    “No wonder paleontologists shied away from evolution for so long. It seems never to happen. Assiduous collecting up cliff faces yields zigzags, minor oscillations, and the very occasional slight accumulation of change over millions of years, at a rate too slow to really account for all the prodigious change that has occurred in evolutionary history. When we do see the introduction of evolutionary novelty, it usually shows up with a bang, and often with no firm evidence that the organisms did not evolve elsewhere! Evolution cannot forever be going on someplace else. Yet that’s how the fossil record has struck many a forlorn paleontologist looking to learn something about evolution.” –
    Niles Eldredge , “Reinventing Darwin: The Great Evolutionary Debate,” 1996, p.95

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

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

    Paleontologist Mark McMenamin on Darwin’s Doubt – David Klinghoffer June 17, 2013
    Excerpt: “It is hard for us paleontologists, steeped as we are in a tradition of Darwinian analysis, to admit that neo-Darwinian explanations for the Cambrian Explosion have failed miserably. New data acquired in recent years, instead of solving Darwin’s dilemma, have rather made it worse. Meyer describes the dimensions of the problem with clarity and precision. His book is a game changer for the study of evolution and evolutionary biology. Stephen Meyer points us in the right direction as we seek a new theory for the origin of Cambrian animal phyla.”
    – Mark McMenamin – paleontologist at Mt. Holyoke College
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....73361.html

  2. 2
    Alan Fox says:

    Nice selection from the Bumper Book of Quote-mines, Barry.

  3. 3
    Alan Fox says:

    Punctuated Equilibrium à la Eldredge and Gould is still gradual, Barry.

  4. 4
    Seqenenre says:

    I am holding the hand of my mother, who holds the hand of her mother, who holds the hand of her mother and so on until we have gone back in time 550 million years (a metaphore used every now and then by Richard Dawkins).
    Two things are certain: the last animal is this long line certainly is not human. And every daughter is of the same species as her mother.

  5. 5
    Alan Fox says:

    But as I said, as neither of us are other than laymen with respect to palaeontology, it’s hardly a sensible basis for examining the strength of evolutionary theory. Indeed, I come here out of curiosity to see what developments are happening in “Intelligent Design” theory.

    To date, all I see is carping about evolutionary theory. Where is the better theory? Where is the better explanation for the observed facts? Does ID present an alternative explanation? Apparently not.

  6. 6
    Seqenenre says:

    the last animal in this long line

  7. 7
    Mapou says:

    Barry Arrington, put some sugar in it, will you? LOL. I’m not sure Alan Fox and the rest of the Darwinist camp can tolerate these punishing blows.

  8. 8
    bornagain77 says:

    Mr. Fox, supposing that the fossil record really did support evolution, instead of claimed transitions being only in your imagination, that still does not alleviate the fact that neo-Darwinism, your beloved theory that you defended so dogmatically over the years, is now found to be completely inadequate as to being a coherent explanation for the creation of novel biological form in the Cambrian or subsequently thereafter:

    The Fate of Darwinism: Evolution After the Modern Synthesis – David J. Depew and Bruce H. Weber – 2011
    Excerpt: We trace the history of the Modern Evolutionary Synthesis, and of genetic Darwinism generally, with a view to showing why, even in its current versions, it can no longer serve as a general framework for evolutionary theory. The main reason is empirical. Genetical Darwinism cannot accommodate the role of development (and of genes in development) in many evolutionary processes.,,,
    http://www.springerlink.com/co.....03g3t7002/

    The next evolutionary synthesis: Jonathan BL Bard (2011)
    Excerpt: We now know that there are at least 50 possible functions that DNA sequences can fulfill [8], that the networks for traits require many proteins and that they allow for considerable redundancy [9]. The reality is that the evolutionary synthesis says nothing about any of this; for all its claim of being grounded in DNA and mutation, it is actually a theory based on phenotypic traits. This is not to say that the evolutionary synthesis is wrong, but that it is inadequate – it is really only half a theory!
    http://www.biosignaling.com/co.....X-9-30.pdf

    Physiology is rocking the foundations of evolutionary biology – Denis Noble – 17 MAY 2013
    Excerpt: The ‘Modern Synthesis’ (Neo-Darwinism) is a mid-20th century gene-centric view of evolution, based on random mutations accumulating to produce gradual change through natural selection.,,, We now know that genetic change is far from random and often not gradual.,,,
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com.....4/abstract

    Modern Synthesis Of Neo-Darwinism Is False – Denis Nobel – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/10395212

    ,, In the preceding video, Dr Nobel states that around 1900 there was the integration of Mendelian (discrete) inheritance with evolutionary theory, and about the same time Weismann established what was called the Weismann barrier, which is the idea that germ cells and their genetic materials are not in anyway influenced by the organism itself or by the environment. And then about 40 years later, circa 1940, a variety of people, Julian Huxley, R.A. Fisher, J.B.S. Haldane, and Sewell Wright, put things together to call it ‘The Modern Synthesis’. So what exactly is the ‘The Modern Synthesis’? It is sometimes called neo-Darwinism, and it was popularized in the book by Richard Dawkins, ‘The Selfish Gene’ in 1976. It’s main assumptions are, first of all, is that it is a gene centered view of natural selection. The process of evolution can therefore be characterized entirely by what is happening to the genome. It would be a process in which there would be accumulation of random mutations, followed by selection. (Now an important point to make here is that if that process is genuinely random, then there is nothing that physiology, or physiologists, can say about that process. That is a very important point.) The second aspect of neo-Darwinism was the impossibility of acquired characteristics (mis-called “Larmarckism”). And there is a very important distinction in Dawkins’ book ‘The Selfish Gene’ between the replicator, that is the genes, and the vehicle that carries the replicator, that is the organism or phenotype. And of course that idea was not only buttressed and supported by the Weissman barrier idea, but later on by the ‘Central Dogma’ of molecular biology. Then Dr. Nobel pauses to emphasize his point and states “All these rules have been broken!”.
    Professor Denis Noble is President of the International Union of Physiological Sciences.

    Stephen Meyer – Functional Proteins And Information For Body Plans – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4050681

    Dr. Stephen Meyer comments at the end of the preceding video,,,

    ‘Now one more problem as far as the generation of information. It turns out that you don’t only need information to build genes and proteins, it turns out to build Body-Plans you need higher levels of information; Higher order assembly instructions. DNA codes for the building of proteins, but proteins must be arranged into distinctive circuitry to form distinctive cell types. Cell types have to be arranged into tissues. Tissues have to be arranged into organs. Organs and tissues must be specifically arranged to generate whole new Body-Plans, distinctive arrangements of those body parts. We now know that DNA alone is not responsible for those higher orders of organization. DNA codes for proteins, but by itself it does not insure that proteins, cell types, tissues, organs, will all be arranged in the body. And what that means is that the Body-Plan morphogenesis, as it is called, depends upon information that is not encoded on DNA. Which means you can mutate DNA indefinitely. 80 million years, 100 million years, til the cows come home. It doesn’t matter, because in the best case you are just going to find a new protein some place out there in that vast combinatorial sequence space. You are not, by mutating DNA alone, going to generate higher order structures that are necessary to building a body plan. So what we can conclude from that is that the neo-Darwinian mechanism is grossly inadequate to explain the origin of information necessary to build new genes and proteins, and it is also grossly inadequate to explain the origination of novel biological form.’ –
    Stephen Meyer – (excerpt taken from Meyer/Sternberg vs. Shermer/Prothero debate – 2009)

  9. 9
    Alan Fox says:

    Truth will out, Mapou, truth will out. 😉

  10. 10
    Barry Arrington says:

    I will translate a couple of Alan’s comments from Darwinist-speak:

    Alan: “Nice selection from the Bumper Book of Quote-mines, Barry.”

    Translation: “If I were to quote another Darwinist, it would be irrefutable proof of the proposition for which I quoted him. If you quote another Darwinist (or even 14 Darwinists) it is a nefarious obfuscation.”

    Alan: “neither of us are other than laymen with respect to paleontology”

    Translation: “I’ve got nothing.”

    Alan, I agree that both of us are laymen with respect to paleontology. That is why over a dozen paleontologists are quoted above, all of whom agree with the proposition I was advancing. I will be waiting for you to adduce the authority upon which you rely.

  11. 11
    Barry Arrington says:

    Seqenenre, I am not sure of what point you are making. Please expand.

  12. 12
    Barry Arrington says:

    Mapou: “I’m not sure Alan Fox and the rest of the Darwinist camp can tolerate these punishing blows.”

    But that’s just it Mapou. Alan seems to have an inexhaustible capacity to make some outrageous comment or comments on these pages; get crushed by the response; and then the next day repeat the process with respect to some other topic. It is truly amazing, and it leads me constantly to speculate whether he is really a fundamentalist Christian shilling as a Darwinist in order to toss us so many softballs to knock out of the park.

  13. 13
    Seqenenre says:

    I am human, the last animal in the line is some pre Cambrian creature.
    There has been a lot of evolution
    Every daughter is of the same species as her mother.
    Evolution must be very, very gradual.

  14. 14
    Alan Fox says:

    Alan, I agree that both of us are laymen with respect to paleontology. That is why over a dozen paleontologists are quoted above, all of whom agree with the proposition I was advancing. I will be waiting for you to adduce the authority upon which you rely.

    As far as I can see, Barry, you have advanced no proposition related to the fossil record. It would be most helpful for you to state your proposition to enable me to evaluate it.

    Thanks in advance.

  15. 15
    Alan Fox says:

    Every daughter is of the same species as her mother.
    Evolution must be very, very gradual.

    Correct! 🙂

  16. 16
    Barry Arrington says:

    Seqenenre

    I am human, the last animal in the line is some pre Cambrian creature.
    There has been a lot of evolution
    Every daughter is of the same species as her mother.
    Evolution must be very, very gradual.

    Of course I agree that if Darwin’s theory were correct evolution must be very, very gradual. This is exactly what led Darwin to say this:

    But just in proportion as this process of extermination has acted on an enormous scale, so must the number of intermediate varieties, which have formerly existed, be truly enormous. Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and serious objection which can be urged against my theory. The explanation lies, as I believe, in the extreme imperfection of the geological record.

    But the enormous number of intermediates Darwin predicted have not been found after 154 years of looking. And that is what led Darwinists Eldredge and Tattersal to say:

    Darwin’s prediction of rampant, albeit gradual, change affecting all lineages through time is refuted. The record is there, and the record speaks for tremendous anatomical conservatism. Change in the manner Darwin expected is just not found in the fossil record.

    So, again, I am not sure what you are saying. Are you agreeing with Eldredge and Tattersal or disagreeing?

  17. 17
    Barry Arrington says:

    Alan Fox: “As far as I can see, Barry, you have advanced no proposition related to the fossil record.”

    Now you’re just being obstinate and stupid Alan. Stop it.

    I will ask you the same question I asked Seqenenre in 16.

  18. 18
    Alan Fox says:

    I don’t think my request is unreasonable, Barry. If you have already explicitly advanced some proposition related to fossils, how much trouble can it be to cut and paste?

  19. 19
    Alan Fox says:

    Or just link to it and I’ll copy and paste it.

  20. 20
    Alan Fox says:

    I will ask you the same question I asked Seqenenre in 16.

    Sneaky edit, Barry!

    Of course I agree with Eldredge.

  21. 21
    Alan Fox says:

    Though of course I mean Eldredge’s current views on evolutionary theory. The quote-mine lifted (and I bet not by Barry) from a book implies that Eldredge has a problem with evolutionary theory. I am in no doubt that evolution is not bound to proceed at a particular rate. It can be gradual, very gradual and so on.

  22. 22
    Mapou says:

    Alan Fox is just another elitist Darwinist in denial. This thread proves it.

  23. 23
    Alan Fox says:

    Louis, perhaps you can explain what it is I am supposed to be in denial about? All I have denied in this thread so far is that there is any alternative theory to evolutionary theory that explains any of the evidence or makes any predictions.

    Neil Shubin and his discovery of Tiktaalik after working out where to look is one spectacular example of the predictive power of evolutionary theory.

    What’s to deny?

  24. 24
    Alan Fox says:

    Perhaps Barry is going to propose an alternative scientific theory. We’ll see.

  25. 25
    Mapou says:

    Alan Fox:

    Louis, perhaps you can explain what it is I am supposed to be in denial about? All I have denied in this thread so far is that there is any alternative theory to evolutionary theory that explains any of the evidence or makes any predictions.

    Neil Shubin and his discovery of Tiktaalik after working out where to look is one spectacular example of the predictive power of evolutionary theory.

    What’s to deny?

    You are in denial regarding the fact that the fossil record does not show a gradual evolution. The fact that there are scattered transitional species (e.g., Tiktaalik) in the fossil record is not exclusive evidence for Darwinian evolution since we know from experience that design evolution over time produces the exact same kind of evidence.

    You are in denial regarding the fact that the Darwinian tree of life is not strictly nested as predicted by evolutionists and that it contains many instances (both genetic and morphological) of lateral inheritance across distant branches of the hierarchy. A non-nested tree of life (or even multiple trees) is what one would expect from design evolution. This is what is observed.

    You are in denial of the fact that the Darwinist community have for a long time predicted the existence of tons of junk DNA and vestigial organs, all of which have be falsified.

    Finally, you in denial or your state of denial and of your insufferable, smarter-than-thou elitism. It’s pathetic.

    There are many more examples of denial I could bring up but the ones I listed above should suffice for now.

  26. 26
    Alan Fox says:

    Can I just point out that Dr Liddle has posted at TSZ where Barry might find I bit more intellectual stimulation than I can provide.

  27. 27
    Mapou says:

    Fox:

    Perhaps Barry is going to propose an alternative scientific theory. We’ll see.

    And why should Barry do that, pray tell? Besides, there is a beautiful alternative theory: life on earth was designed by advanced designers who had an amazing and extravagant sense of beauty and humor.

  28. 28
    Seqenenre says:

    I agree nor diagree with Eldredge and Tattersall simply because my knowledge of the subject is to(o?) limited and I cannot oversee the consequenses of either position.

    I do believe though, that Eldredge agrees with the idea that every daughter is of the same species as her mother.

  29. 29
    Alan Fox says:

    Louis:

    You are in denial regarding the fact that the fossil record does not show a gradual evolution. The fact that there are scattered transitional species (e.g., Tiktaalik) in the fossil record is not exclusive evidence for Darwinian evolution since we know from experience that design evolution over time produces the exact same kind of evidence.

    “Design evolution”? What the heck is that? I can’t deny something I’ve never heard of. Evolutionary theory, if true, would produce a nested heirarchy of organisms, past and present. The prediction fits the evidence and only that evidence. Anomalous fossils would be a problem for evolutionary theory. What predictions does “Design evolution” make? Are there any published papers outlinign tis (to me) new theory?

    You are in denial regarding the fact that the Darwinian tree of life is not strictly nested as predicted by evolutionists and that it contains many instances (both genetic and morphological) of lateral inheritance across distant branches of the hierarchy. A non-nested tree of life (or even multiple trees) is what one would expect from design evolution. This is what is observed.

    Ah! This is meatier. Horizontal gene transfer is rife among prokaryotes. So the nested heirarchy or “tree” if you like has tangled roots – but certainly one tree. You assert that we observe separate trees? Whilst it sounds like wishful thinking, I’d like to hear you expand on the evidence for separate trees.

    You are in denial of the fact that the Darwinist community have for a long time predicted the existence of tons of junk DNA and vestigial organs, all of which have be falsified.

    No, I don’t think so. The “Junk DNA” saga is not relevant to fossils as DNA does not fossilize but the existence of junk DNA has been dealt with here by Larry Moran and I doubt I could add anything. Vestigial organs? What’s your problem with the concept of vestigial organs?

  30. 30
    KRock says:

    Great post Barry, keep up the good work! Allen Fox, you make me yawn, a lot..

  31. 31
    Alan Fox says:

    Sorry about that Krok. Too tired to spell my name right. You’re not the Rock that used to post at ARN and Feser’s blog by any chance?

  32. 32
    Alan Fox says:

    Oops KRock not Krok! Apologies.

  33. 33
    lifepsy says:

    Well done, Mr. Fox.

    A common bluff about the nature of the fossil record followed by the typical obfuscations and equivocations. Accusation of quote-mining, legalistic back-pedaling so your position on the fossil record is no longer defined. What is your position, anyways? Do you even know? Bonus points for shifting the burden to intelligent design so soon. Usually evolutionists wait until they’ve been thoroughly backed into a corner by the evidence.

  34. 34
    Alan Fox says:

    Hi Lifespy,

    My position is evolutionary theory, while incomplete, does a reasonable job of explaining the evidence for the diversity of Life on Earth. I am interested to hear of alternative explanations that do a better job than evolutionary theory. So far, Mapou has asserted that “Design evolution” does this. I’m waiting for more details, not having heard of this theory before. Do you have another theory?

  35. 35
    KRock says:

    Lol… See Alan, I wasn’t joking, your indefatigable attempts to post Neo Darwinism rhetoric here at UD, has simply worn me out. I can’t even spell your name right.. lol…

    No, not the same Rock, I’ve never posted on that blog…

  36. 36
    KRock says:

    @Fox..

    “Oops KRock not Krok! Apologies.”

    Lol… No worries..

  37. 37
    Barry Arrington says:

    Darwin’s prediction of rampant, albeit gradual, change affecting all lineages through time is refuted. The record is there, and the record speaks for tremendous anatomical conservatism. Change in the manner Darwin expected is just not found in the fossil record.

    Niles Eldredge and Ian Tattersall, The Myth of Human Evolution (New York: Columbia University Press, 1982), 45-46.

    Alan Fox: “Of course I agree with Eldredge. Though of course I mean Eldredge’s current views on evolutionary theory.”

    Alan, you are implying that Eldredge’s “current views” are different from those expressed in The Myth of Human Evolution. You are wrong. Eldredge has never said anything anywhere that repudiated the statement that I quoted from The Myth of Human Evolution.

    So I am not exactly clear about what your position is and I hope you will clarify for me.

    Do you agree with Eldredge’s statement from The Myth of Human Evolution? Or do you disagree with that statement and agree with your imaginary statement in which Eldredge repudiated what he said in The Myth of Human Evolution.

    BTW, yelling “quote mine”! until you are red in the face doesn’t really help your position.

  38. 38
    Moose Dr says:

    Alan Fox (9), “Truth will out, Mapou, truth will out. ;)”.
    Yes, Alan, that is exactly what we believe. Follow the data wherever it leads because truth will out. Will that truth be your view?

    Alan Fox (5), “To date, all I see is carping about evolutionary theory. Where is the better theory? Where is the better explanation for the observed facts?”

    As far as I am concerned, this is the lamest argument in the book. What law of science requires that falsification be performed by producing a replacement theory? If the current theory does not explain the data, it is wrong whether there is another theory to replace it or not.

  39. 39
    Mapou says:

    Fox:

    “Design evolution”? What the heck is that? I can’t deny something I’ve never heard of. Evolutionary theory, if true, would produce a nested heirarchy of organisms, past and present. The prediction fits the evidence and only that evidence. Anomalous fossils would be a problem for evolutionary theory. What predictions does “Design evolution” make? Are there any published papers outlinign tis (to me) new theory?

    You don’t know that intelligent design over time generates an evolution of designs and you pretend to have a position of superiority in this discussion? Software engineering is a prime example of design evolution. In fact, object-oriented software design requires it. Complex classes inherit the functionality of simpler parent classes. This stuff is elementary, man. What is wrong with you?

    Ah! This is meatier. Horizontal gene transfer is rife among prokaryotes. So the nested heirarchy or “tree” if you like has tangled roots – but certainly one tree. You assert that we observe separate trees? Whilst it sounds like wishful thinking, I’d like to hear you expand on the evidence for separate trees.

    We are beginning to see examples of genetic code sequence sharing between distant branches high above the roots of the hierarchy. The latest examples consists of complex code sequences for echolocation shared by both echolocating bats and whales. These two species got separated millions of years before echolocation appeared in both. There are many other examples of lateral inheritance that are obvious from the morphological perspective but will have to await further research to show that they are in fact caused genetic engineering and lateral sharing. Of course, the Darwinist prevaricators wasted no time to invent the just-so fairy tale of convergent evolution to explain the existence of the same exact sequences in distant species.

    The existence of multiple trees have been called a bush by none other than Stephen Jay Gould and Craig Venter. Look it up. I’m sure bornagain77 can fill you in with some relevant links.

    You are in denial of the fact that the Darwinist community have for a long time predicted the existence of tons of junk DNA and vestigial organs, all of which have be falsified.

    No, I don’t think so. The “Junk DNA” saga is not relevant to fossils as DNA does not fossilize but the existence of junk DNA has been dealt with here by Larry Moran and I doubt I could add anything. Vestigial organs? What’s your problem with the concept of vestigial organs?

    Nobody said anything about any relationship between junk DNA and fossils. Where did that come from? Evolutionists predicted tons of junk DNA and that prediction was soundly falsified. The latest salvo can be found in the ENCODE results. Blatantly rewriting history is a favorite pastime of denialists like you. It’s a shameful dishonest practice that has not deterred Darwinists in the least. They like it.

    Based on Darwinist thinking, several human organs such as the appendix were pronounced to be vestigial or superfluous leftovers from our evolutionary past. The appendix turned out to be a useful part of the immune system. These things have been discussed on UD before. Again, I’m sure bornagain77 can dig up relevant links.

  40. 40

    In his last work, the massive Structure of Evolutionary Theory, Gould argued that, rather than finding ubiquitous gradual evolution throughout the runs of all species, the fossil record exhibits a distribution of species, such that some exhibit the continuous and gradual evolution that Darwin predicted, others exhibit long periods of stasis with short signatures of rapid change, and others fall between. The empirical question that was interesting to him was the shape of that distribution and the variables that drove those differences.

    Among those species at the latter end of the distribution (long periods of status, short signature of change) the average component of the “life span” of such species that exhibits rapid change appears to be about 4%. Given that the average species has a run of about 4 million years, 4% of that run = 160,000 years. (IIRC)

    That is, the sudden, rapid transitions that typically followed eons of stasis for some species typically occurred in the geological blink of an eye – on the order of 1,600 centuries – nearly the duration of the entire run of modern humans, and ~80 times the duration of the common era.

    (I’m working from my recollection of the book, but will consult my copy when I have a moment.)

  41. 41

    Now I’ve pulled out the book. Here’s a passage that more accurately captures Gould:

    “Punctuations must, instead, be defined relative to the subsequent duration of the derived species in stasis – for punctuated equilibrium, as a theory of relative timing, holds that species develop their distinctive features effectively “at birth,” and then retain them in stasis for geologically long lifetimes…

    “I know no rigorous way to transcend the arbitrary in trying to define the permissible interval for punctuational origin. Since definitions must be theory-bound, and since the possibility of recognizing species as Darwinian individuals in macroevolution marks the major theoretical interest of punctuated equilibrium, an analogy between speciation and gestation of an organism may not be ill-conceived. As the gestation time of a human being represents 1-2 percent of an ordinary lifetime, perhaps we should permit the same general range for punctuational speciation relative to later duration in stasis. At an average species lifetime of 4 million years, a 1% criterion allows 40,000 years for speciation. We recognize that such a span of time would be viewed as gradualistic – and extremely slow-paced at that – by any conventional microevolutionary scaling in human time; and we also acknowledge that the same span represents the resolvable moment of a single bedding plane in a great majority of geological circumstances; then we can understand why the punctuations of punctuated equilibrium do not represent the de Vriesian saltations, but rather denote the proper scaling of ordinary speciation into geological time” (The Structure of Evolutionary Theory, p. 768).

    Such transitions occur in a veritable instant, requiring only 400 centuries. Don’t blink.

  42. 42
    bornagain77 says:

    Mr. Fox claims in post 5 that Intelligent Design is merely a negative argument against neo-Darwinian evolution,,,

    “To date, all I see is carping about evolutionary theory. Where is the better theory? Where is the better explanation for the observed facts? Does ID present an alternative explanation? Apparently not.”

    Yet apparently Mr. Fox, oblivious to his own hypocrisy, is unaware of the nature and history of the negative (and theological) form of argumentation that Darwin himself took against the design hypothesis which was widely accepted during his day.

    Charles Darwin, Theologian: Major New Article on Darwin’s Use of Theology in the Origin of Species – May 2011
    I have argued that, in the first edition of the Origin, Darwin drew upon at least the following positiva theological claims in his case for descent with modification (and against special creation):

    1. Human begins are not justified in believing that God creates in ways analogous to the intellectual powers of the human mind.
    2. A God who is free to create as He wishes would create new biological limbs de novo rather than from a common pattern.
    3. A respectable deity would create biological structures in accord with a human conception of the ‘simplest mode’ to accomplish the functions of these structures.
    4. God would only create the minimum structure required for a given part’s function.
    5. God does not provide false empirical information about the origins of organisms.
    6. God impressed the laws of nature on matter.
    7. God directly created the first ‘primordial’ life.
    8. God did not perform miracles within organic history subsequent to the creation of the first life.
    9. A ‘distant’ God is not morally culpable for natural pain and suffering.
    10. The God of special creation, who allegedly performed miracles in organic history, is not plausible given the presence of natural pain and suffering.
    – See more at: http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....ih6ho.dpuf
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....46391.html

    The Descent of Darwin – Pastor Joe Boot – (The Theodicy of Darwinism) – article
    http://www.ezrainstitute.ca/ez.....spring.pdf

    In fact the rampant use of theological argument as a negative argument against design is still with us today (i.e. God would not do such and such that way):

    Dr. Seuss Biology | Origins with Dr. Paul A. Nelson – 2013 video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVx42Izp1ek

    The role of theology in current evolutionary reasoning – Paul A. Nelson – Biology and Philosophy, 1996, Volume 11, Number 4, Pages 493-517

    It is important to note that both classical neo-Darwinism and modern neo-Darwinism (modern synthesis) hold that natural selection action on random genetic variations (and mutations) can produce not only new biological form and structure but also the appearance of design in living organisms (i.e. The “blind watchmaker” hypothesis) . This was and is clearly a negative argument against design. Darwin argued for this idea in ‘The Origin of Species’ as well as in his letters. The overwhelming opinion in the 19th century was life was designed. Thius Darwin sought to ‘explain away’ the appearance of Design. The late Ernst Mayr put it like this:

    “The real core of Darwinism,, is the theory of natural selection. This theory is so important for Darwinian because it permits the explanation of adaption, the ‘design’ of the natural theologian, by natural means.”

    Likewise Francisco Ayala stated:

    “design without a designer”

    and of course Dawkins:

    Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.
    Richard Dawkins – The Blind Watchmaker (1996) p.1

    and Crick:

    “Organisms appear as if they had been designed to perform in an astonishingly efficient way, and the human mind therefore finds it hard to accept that there need be no Designer to achieve this”
    Francis Crick – What Mad Pursuit – p. 30

    Lewontin and Simson

    living organisms “appear to have been carefully and artfully designed”
    Lewontin

    “The appearance of purposefulness is pervasive in nature.”
    George Gaylord Simpson

    i.e. The main purpose of Darwinian evolution, as it was in the beginning, and as it always has been, is to explain the overwhelming appearance of design in life! If that is not a negative argument then nothing is! If anyone doubts that life ‘appears’ to be designed, please take a look at this diagram of biochemical pathways:

    ExPASy – Biochemical Pathways – interactive schematic
    http://web.expasy.org/cgi-bin/.....mbnails.pl

    And bear in mind that Darwinists have yet to demonstrate the origin of even a single protein of that fantastically integrated complexity:

    Evolution vs. Functional Proteins – Doug Axe – Video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4018222

    Axe Diagram for finding a functional protein domain out of all sequence space:
    The y-axis can be seen as representing enzyme activity, and the x-axis represents all possible amino acid sequences. Enzymes sit at the peak of their fitness landscapes (Point A). There are extremely high levels of complex and specified information in proteins–informational sequences which point to intelligent design.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/axediagram.jpg

    Thus, although Mr. Fox claimed that design was merely a negative argument against Darwinism, the fact of the matter is that Darwinism itself started out as, and still is, (since Darwinism has no actual empirical evidence for its claims) primarily a negative argument against the ‘apparent design’ found pervasively throughout life.

    Verse and Music:

    Psalm 139:13-14
    I will give thanks unto thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: Wonderful are thy works; And that my soul knoweth right well.

    Little Drummer Boy – Pentatonix – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJ_MGWio-vc

    supplemental note: Since Darwinism has no rigid mathematical basis in which to falsify it, it is not really even ‘scientific’ in the first place

    Science and Pseudoscience – Imre Lakatos
    “nobody to date has yet found a demarcation criterion according to which Darwin can be described as scientific” – Imre Lakatos (November 9, 1922 – February 2, 1974) a philosopher of mathematics and science, , quote as stated in 1973 LSE Scientific Method Lecture

    “In discussions with biologists I met large difficulties when they apply the concept of ‘natural selection’ in a rather wide field, without being able to estimate the probability of the occurrence in a empirically given time of just those events, which have been important for the biological evolution. Treating the empirical time scale of the evolution theoretically as infinity they have then an easy game, apparently to avoid the concept of purposesiveness. While they pretend to stay in this way completely ‘scientific’ and ‘rational,’ they become actually very irrational, particularly because they use the word ‘chance’, not any longer combined with estimations of a mathematically defined probability, in its application to very rare single events more or less synonymous with the old word ‘miracle.’” Wolfgang Pauli (pp. 27-28) –

    Murray Eden, as reported in “Heresy in the Halls of Biology: Mathematicians Question Darwinism,” Scientific Research, November 1967, p. 64.
    “It is our contention that if ‘random’ is given a serious and crucial interpretation from a probabilistic point of view, the randomness postulate is highly implausible and that an adequate scientific theory of evolution must await the discovery and elucidation of new natural laws—physical, physico-chemical, and biological.”
    Murray Eden, “Inadequacies of Neo-Darwinian Evolution as a Scientific Theory,” Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution, editors Paul S. Moorhead and Martin M. Kaplan, June 1967, p. 109.

  43. 43
    sixthbook says:

    Some interesting quotes about paleontology and the fossil record from my notes:

    “As I said right at the beginning, what we think today depends very largely on what we thought yesterday. If the entire human fossil record were to be discovered tomorrow, and studied by experienced paleontologists who had developed their skills in the absence of preconceptions about human origins, I am pretty sure that (after the inevitable bout of intellectual indigestion) a range of interpretations would emerge that is very different from those on offer now.”
    Tattersall (1995) The Fossil Trail pages 226-227

    “When you’re out there selling such complicated narratives, normal scientific testability just isn’t an issue: how many of your colleagues or others buy your story depends principally on how convincing or forceful a storyteller you are–and on how willing your audience is to believe the kind of thing you are saying”
    Page 169 Tattersall

    “Humans and chimpanzees share a common ancestor which lived about 5-6 million years ago, but only fossils for the human lineage are known, providing many different hominid species. The virtual lack of any fossil chimpanzees is most likely because chimps have lived in habitats – humid forests – where fossilization is rare…
    Another problem is that the number of characters known for fossil species are often limited. Many extinct species are named from teeth, jaw fragments, or other small remnants. This poses problems in distinguishing one fossil species from another, and in trying to determine relationships using a limited number of characters. As a palaeontologist colleague of mine puts it, “fossils don’t come with labels.” They must first be identified before they become a useful part of the fossil record.”
    http://www.nature.com/nature/d.....sil_4.html

  44. 44
    bornagain77 says:

    Mapou and Mr. Fox, actually the junk DNA argument of Darwinists, besides being mathematically required for Darwinism to even be remotely plausible (and even with 90% of the genome considered junk it still did not work out mathematically for Darwinists),,,

    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 (and even with it), evolutionary theory cannot currently explain how everything works mathematically.
    Robert W. Carter – biologist
    http://creation.com/junk-dna-slow-death

    ,,besides that embarrassing fact, junk DNA also played directly off the theologically based (God would not have done it that way) argument of Darwinists:

    “The human genome is littered with pseudogenes, gene fragments, “orphaned” genes, “junk” DNA, and so many repeated copies of pointless DNA sequences that it cannot be attributed to anything that resembles intelligent design. . . . In fact, the genome resembles nothing so much as a hodgepodge of borrowed, copied, mutated, and discarded sequences and commands that has been cobbled together by millions of years of trial and error against the relentless test of survival. It works, and it works brilliantly; not because of intelligent design, but because of the great blind power of natural selection.”
    – Ken Miller

    “Perfect design would truly be the sign of a skilled and intelligent designer. Imperfect design is the mark of evolution … we expect to find, in the genomes of many species, silenced, or ‘dead,’ genes: genes that once were useful but are no longer intact or expressed … the evolutionary prediction that we’ll find pseudogenes has been fulfilled—amply … our genome—and that of other species—are truly well populated graveyards of dead genes”
    – Jerry Coyne

    “We have to wonder why the Intelligent Designer added to our genome junk DNA, repeated copies of useless DNA, orphan genes, gene fragments, tandem repeats, and pseudo¬genes, none of which are involved directly in the making of a human being. In fact, of the entire human genome, it appears that only a tiny percentage is actively involved in useful protein production. Rather than being intelligently designed, the human genome looks more and more like a mosaic of mutations, fragment copies, borrowed sequences, and discarded strings of DNA that were jerry-built over millions of years of evolution.”
    – Michael Shermer

    The same theologically based ‘bad design’ (God would not have done it that way) was behind the science stopping postulation of vestigial organs from Darwinists:

    “There are, according to Wiedersheim, no less than 180 vestigial structures in the human body, sufficient to make of a man a veritable walking museum of antiquities.”
    -evidence submitted to the Scopes trial

    “The thyroid gland, pituitary gland, thymus, pineal gland, and coccyx, … once considered useless by evolutionists, are now known to have important functions. The list of 180 “vestigial” structures is practically down to zero. Unfortunately, earlier Darwinists assumed that if they were ignorant of an organ’s function, then it had no function.”
    “Tornado in a Junkyard” – book – by former atheist James Perloff

    Vestigial Organs: Comparing ID and Darwinian Approaches – July 20, 2012
    Excerpt: A favorite criticisms of ID is that it is a science stopper. The opposite is true. The Live Science article shows that the “vestigial organs” argument has not changed for over a century, since Wiedersheim coined the term and listed over a hundred examples (in 1893). Evolutionary theory, in fact, has been worse than a science stopper: its predictions have been flat out wrong. Only a handful of alleged vestigial organs remains from Wiedersheim’s original list, and each of those is questionable.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....62281.html

    As to a bush of life instead of a tree, although much could be said, let’s just quote Venter:

    Dr. Craig Venter Denies Common Descent in front of Richard Dawkins! – video
    Quote: “I think the tree of life is an artifact of some early scientific studies that aren’t really holding up.,, So there is not a tree of life. In fact from our deep sequencing of organisms in the ocean, out of, now we have about 60 million different unique gene sets, we found 12 that look like a very, very deep branching—perhaps fourth domain of life. ”
    – Dr. Craig Venter, American Biologist involved in sequencing the human genome
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXrYhINutuI

  45. 45
    Mapou says:

    bornagain77 @44,

    Thanks.

  46. 46
    Querius says:

    Neo-Darwinism has actually abandoned the fossil “record,” and has switched to fossil “CDs” . . . Continual Denial of mounting evidence to the contrary.

    Gould describes a fantasy of punctuated equilibrium, a series of miracles, and he attributes the imagined result as the normal, expected behavior of evolution, which is apparently infinitely flexible, able to envelop any discovery with gooey rationalization, and leap the widest gap with the false promise of future discovery.

    This is not Science. It’s a real-life example of Monty Python’s Dead Parrot skit. At this point, Science needs to break free from a simplistic, antiquated, 19th century fad, and be permitted to go where the evidence leads!

    What’s exciting is the potential for finding natural mechanisms at work. For example, perhaps genetic diversity should not be viewed in terms of individual organisms, but more like a Genetic Network of Information and Feedback (!) that spans ecological niches. Perhaps bacteria and viruses play a far more important important role—we now have evidence of genetic transfer from dead organisms to living bacteria, maybe we’ll find that bacteria return the favor with living cells. There are many other possibilities.

    I say “Dump Darwinism” and start fresh with new ideas based on the evidence provided by new technology.

    -Q

  47. 47
    wd400 says:

    Evolutionists predicted tons of junk DNA and that prediction was soundly falsified.

    Where? What about the ENCODE results makes you think this is the case?

  48. 48
    Querius says:

    Nice quote from James Perloff, bornagain77:

    . . . earlier Darwinists assumed that if they were ignorant of an organ’s function, then it had no function.

    And Darwinists were repeatedly embarrassed by discoveries showing the contrary. Undaunted, modern Darwinists continue to make the same stupid assumptions today to the detriment of scientific progress.

    From a purely pragmatic viewpoint, that’s why the Intelligent Design paradigm is far superior to a paradigm of happy accidents from highly improbable chance and dubious necessity.

    -Q

  49. 49
    Querius says:

    wd400,

    From Dr. Susumu Ohno’s seminal 1972 paper, SO MUCH “JUNK” DNA IN OUR GENOME, he estimates the following:

    Even if an allowance is made for the existence in multiplicates of certain genes, it is still concluded that, at the most, only 6% of our DNA base sequences is utilized as genes (Kimura and Ohta, 1971).

    There’s the smoking gun assumption. Read it for yourself in context at http://www.junkdna.com/ohno.html.

    From a Science Daily article dated Nov. 5, 2008, we learned the following:

    In a paper published in Genome Research on Nov. 4, scientists at the Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS) report that what was previously believed to be “junk” DNA is one of the important ingredients distinguishing humans from other species.

    [snip]
    This research also shows that these repeats are anything but “junk DNA,” since they provide a great source of evolutionary variability and might hold the key to some of the important physical differences that distinguish humans from all other species.

    The estimate then was that 50% of the human genome was not junk after all. Then in September 2012, we learned

    Long stretches of DNA previously dismissed as “junk” are in fact crucial to the way our genome works… In total, Encode scientists say, about 80% of the DNA sequence can be assigned some sort of biochemical function.

    Are you beginning to see a pattern? 6% . . . 50% . . . 80% . . . or do you want to insist that the parrot isn’t dead.

    -Q

  50. 50
    wd400 says:

    How do the encode results prove the genome is 80% functional?

  51. 51
    wd400 says:

    Moreover, if you read the papers carefully you’ll see 94%, 50% and 80% are different things (non-conserved DNA, repetitive DNA and DNA subject to biochemical functions such as mRNA production).

    People here are always going on about the demise of junk DNA as if it was proved. I’m waiting for the proof.

  52. 52
    Barry Arrington says:

    wd400. Stamping your foot is not an argument. You should write that down.

  53. 53
    Mark Frank says:

    We should be clear about this – the alternative to gradual change is sudden change. Do Barry, Mapou etc really believe that there were times when the offspring was radically different from the parents and yet was viable?

  54. 54
    TSErik says:

    To date, all I see is carping about evolutionary theory. Where is the better theory? Where is the better explanation for the observed facts? Does ID present an alternative explanation? Apparently not.

    Not true, but irrelevant. Your assertions have been shown to be absurd. You then change your point to the strawman; The old saw of “ID is not a theory” comes out (further this topic has been addressed over and over). What does that have to do with your absurd statements?

    What does this statement have to do with the fossil record? Trying to take the focus off of how limited you are intellectually? Or are you simply sophomoric when it comes to intellectual discussion?

    Further, your engagement of the fallacy that since we are not paleontologists, surely we cannot comment on the topic is a tactic most leave behind in high school.

    And @wd400, you are moving the goalposts. It was the position of NDE that junk DNA was just that, junk. A useless relic left over from evolution’s past. Then, when it was shown that some of the “junk” wasn’t junk, you lot begin to shout, “well, nu-uh! Because there’s still a percentage that we assert IS junk.”

    That wasn’t the argument, was it? It was the position of NDE that it was ALL a relic. Useless. Vestigial. You were wrong.

  55. 55
    Alan Fox says:

    Returning to the thread topic and Barry’s quote mine of Eldredge:

    Darwin’s prediction of rampant, albeit gradual, change affecting all lineages through time is refuted. The record is there, and the record speaks for tremendous anatomical conservatism. Change in the manner Darwin expected is just not found in the fossil record.

    Having looked a little more at the context and other writing by Eldredge (and by Tattersall), I have no doubt they are not at all opponents of evolutionary theory. They are merely emphasizing the idea (proposed by Eldredge and Gould) of “punctuated equilibria” where the rate of evolutionary change is more rapid following a speciation event (especially allotropic) where the small population, finding itself in a new niche to which it is not well adapted will either approach the limit of rate of change or, surpassing it, goes extinct. Eldredge makes clear he does not think punctuated equilibria are a problem for evolutionary theory. On the contrary, he was surprised when his writings became controversial and regularly quote-mined.

    Unfortunately, Gould and Eldredge were unfairly accused of promoting saltation or “sudden emergence”, as proposed by Goldschmidt a quasi-creationist concept.

    Bottom line, as Seqenenre wrote:

    Eldredge agrees with the idea that every daughter is of the same species as her mother.

    Summing up, even at the extreme upper end of evolutionary change beyond which a species will become extinct, the change is still gradual enough for parent and offspring to be of one species.

  56. 56
    Alan Fox says:

    Do Barry, Mapou etc really believe that there were times when the offspring was radically different from the parents and yet was viable?

    The late Dr. John A. Davison was a great fan of Goldschmidt and saltation. He even used the handle “Salty” at ISCID. He and others like Mike “Gene” developed “front-loading” as a sort of theory. I think Mapou is persuaded by such ideas. With Barry, who can tell? The key fault of this theory is that one is left wondering how “sudden emergences” are synchronised with niche availability, whereas, in evolutionary theory, niche adaptation is central to the explanation. Two birds with one stone!

  57. 57
    Mark Frank says:

    #56 AF

    The problems with saltation go very deep. As you say there needs to be a niche for this radically different offspring. For example:

    If it sexual then it needs a mate.
    If it is a mammal it needs a mother’s milk.
    For many species it needs parents to protect and teach it and act as role models

    – and so on.

    (Never mind that we have never observed any reproduction remotely like this.)

  58. 58
    Alan Fox says:

    I take being called anti-Darwinian very personally. It has always hurt, for I have always thought of myself as more or less a knee-jerk neo-Darwinian, someone who thinks the basic mechanism underlying evolutionary change, including the origin, modi?cation, and maintenance of adaptations, resides squarely in the domain of natural selection. And I have always felt that, with one or two major exceptions, my version of how the evolutionary process works lines up very well with Darwin’s. Take natural selection, for example: I see natural selection just as Darwin originally did—as the statistical effect that relative success in the economic sphere (obtaining energy resources, warding off predators and disease, etc.) has on an organism’s success in reproducing.

    Niles Eldredge: Confessions of a Darwinist

  59. 59

    Originally, it’s: “Only ignorant creationists believe that there are is a problematic lack of transitionals; the fossil record is full of them”

    Now, it’s: “Well, you wouldn’t expect to find transitionals because the time frame from initial niche variance to optimized, long-term stasis would be very short in evolutionary terms”.

    Originally it’s: “If Darwinism is true, we would expect to find that most DNA is comprised of no-longer useful or active material, and we should also find no-longer useful body-parts.”

    Now, it’s: “We never said that, and even if some did, it’s not a valid extrapolation of Darwinism anyway.”

    There is no evidence that can sway a committed Darwinist, because Darwinism is not a scientific position depending on evidence and fact, it is an worldview that arranges and interprets evidence according to ideology.

  60. 60
    Alan Fox says:

    I commend Eldredge’s essay “Confessions of a Darwinist” linked above as a good read, though I warn the easily-shocked it ends with the sentence:

    I confess that I am a true Darwinist.

  61. 61
    Alan Fox says:

    Keep building those straw men, WJM! 😉

  62. 62
    Alan Fox says:

    But can WJM knock down even his own straw men with a better alternative theory?

  63. 63
    bornagain77 says:

    Mr Fox as to:

    ‘I confess that I am a true Darwinist.”

    And exactly what is a TRUE Darwinist? Is it an atheist that believes neo-Darwinism to be true no matter what the evidence says to the contrary?

    Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door. The eminent Kant scholar Lewis Beck used to say that anyone who could believe in God could believe in anything. To appeal to an omnipotent deity is to allow that at any moment the regularities of nature may be ruptured, that miracles may happen.
    – Lewontin

    Even if a ‘true’ Darwinist sees the evidence first hand?

    Phylogeny: Rewriting evolution – Tiny molecules called microRNAs are tearing apart traditional ideas about the animal family tree. – Elie Dolgin – 27 June 2012
    Excerpt: “I’ve looked at thousands of microRNA genes, and I can’t find a single example that would support the traditional tree,” he says. “…they give a totally different tree from what everyone else wants.” (Phylogeny: Rewriting evolution, Nature 486,460–462, 28 June 2012) (molecular palaeobiologist – Kevin Peterson)
    Mark Springer, (a molecular phylogeneticist working in DNA states),,, “There have to be other explanations,” he says.
    http://www.nature.com/news/phy.....on-1.10885

    If that is what a ‘true’ Darwinist really is, then, frankly, I call that blind faith not science!

    Living Fossils Interview with Dr. Carl Werner – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6LmWznY4Ys

    Fossils Without Evolution – June 2010
    Excerpt: New fossils continue to turn up around the world. Many of them have an amazing characteristic in common: they look almost exactly like their living counterparts, despite being millions of years old,,,
    http://www.creationsafaris.com.....#20100618a

    THE FOSSILS IN THE CREATION MUSEUM – 1000’s of pictures of ancient ‘living’ fossils that have not changed for millions of years:
    http://www.fossil-museum.com/f.....8;limit=30

    Supplemental note:

    DNA – Replication, Wrapping & Mitosis – video
    https://vimeo.com/33882804

    “I ain’t got enough faith to be an atheist!”
    Frank Turek

  64. 64
    lifepsy says:

    Alan,

    Having looked a little more at the context and other writing by Eldredge (and by Tattersall), I have no doubt they are not at all opponents of evolutionary theory.

    Really.. the “well they still believe in evolution” response?

    That’s the point. They are hostile witnesses admitting that the fossil record does not show what the neo-darwinists need it to show.

    They are merely emphasizing the idea (proposed by Eldredge and Gould) of “punctuated equilibria” where the rate of evolutionary change is more rapid following a speciation event (especially allotropic) where the small population, finding itself in a new niche to which it is not well adapted will either approach the limit of rate of change or, surpassing it, goes extinct.

    This is the definition of Ad Hoc. Developing an extraneous hypothesis to explain why the fossil data did not conform to your prior hypothesis. Do you not see that? It’s very simple. You can make the Ad Hoc hypothesis as refined and sophisticated as you want, but that doesn’t change its reason for being.

    There is no evidence whatsoever that ‘punctuated equilibrium’ has facilitated any major change in biodiversity in the past. The whole idea of environmental niches leading to evolutionary progression remains an imaginary mechanism.

    The processes we observe in the present, (usually changing environments epigenetically altering expression levels in individuals) certainly can not be compared with even the smallest capacity of change required of punk eek. If anything, the data shows that populations vary around a mean average of plasticity.

    Punctuated equilibrium is a completely ad-hoc apology for a monumentally failed prediction of evolution WRT the fossil record.

    Eldredge makes clear he does not think punctuated equilibria are a problem for evolutionary theory. On the contrary, he was surprised when his writings became controversial and regularly quote-mined.

    This is just a distraction. Authors who believe in Evolution obviously will be disturbed to know their own reports or statistics are being used as an argument against Evolution. This is how the whole “quote mine” myth gets started, and accusations that they’re being taken out of context when they’re not.

  65. 65

    “I take being called anti-Darwinian very personally. It has always hurt, for I have always thought of myself as more or less a knee-jerk neo-Darwinian, someone who thinks the basic mechanism underlying evolutionary change, including the origin, modi?cation, and maintenance of adaptations, resides squarely in the domain of natural selection. And I have always felt that, with one or two major exceptions, my version of how the evolutionary process works lines up very well with Darwin’s.

    Having been demonstrated to be utterly wrong about the the fossil record wrt “finely graduated organic chain” as Darwin predicted, Alan Fox attempts to divert attention by erecting a straw man. Mr. Arrington never claimed that Eldredge wasn’t a Darwinist, only that Eldredge agrees that there is no evidence of a “finely graduated organic chain” in the fossil record.

    AF simply cannot admit he is wrong about there being a “finely graduated organic chain” evidenced in the fossil record.

  66. 66

    I take being called anti-Darwinian very personally. It has always hurt,

    One can see the ideological commitment Eldredge admits to here by taking it “personally”; even though his own view is that one of Darwin’s major predictions (about what the fossil record would reveal) was wrong, he has no problem using an ad hoc “punctuated equillibrium” concept to defend his worldview and re-interpret the data to fit his ideology.

  67. 67
    Alan Fox says:

    WJM,you might benefit from reading Eldredge’s essay. It’s not that long.

  68. 68

    The Darwinist Lexicon:

    Quote Mining – using any quote by a Darwinist to support any argument against Darwinism.

    AF seems to think that it is relevant that Eldredge was a committed Darwinist when Mr. Arrington uses Eldridge’s quote about the lack of transitionals in the fossil record to support a claim that there is a lack of transitionals in the fossil record.

  69. 69
    vjtorley says:

    Hi Mark Frank,

    You asked:

    Do Barry, Mapou etc really believe that there were times when the offspring was radically different from the parents and yet was viable?

    Good question. Alan Fox also wondered “how ‘sudden emergences’ are synchronised with niche availability” in Intelligent Design theory. Personally, I see these questions as excellent opportunities to put some flesh on the bone of ID research.

    For example, ID critics often wonder why a Designer would generate so many fossil stages between an ancestral form and its modern-day descendants, and argue that only an unguided process (such as neo-Darwinian evolution) can explain these facts. But the points which you and Alan raised provide a perfect answer to the question of why the Designer didn’t go from fossil ancestor A to modern-day form Z overnight. Think whale evolution, where scientists have uncovered about half a dozen intermediate stages. The point you raise about viability of intermediate forms explains why no Designer worth their salt would go straight from Indohyus to the modern whale. Alan’s point about niche explains why the transition from archaeocetes to modern whales coincided with climatic and ocean circulation changes, at the Eocene-Oligocene boundary. At the same time, my own investigation of whale evolution led me to conclude that the “steps” in the transition from land creatures to whale were not smooth but discontinuous: for example, each “step” in the whale family tree seems to have involved about half a dozen synchronized changes in the ear alone, as I described here. (Of course, there may be more members of the tree whose remains we haven’t unearthed yet. But right now, it doesn’t look like a tree.)

    So here are the predictions I’d make, right off the top of my head. (1) Each step in an evolutionary sequence should be as large as it possibly can be, given the constraint that offspring cannot differ too greatly from their parents without ceasing to be viable. (2) The timing of these steps should either shortly precede or coincide with niche changes and/or major environmental transitions. Testing these predictions could be a fruitful area for future ID research.

  70. 70

    WJM,you might benefit from reading Eldredge’s essay. It’s not that long.

    AF, unless you can point us to where Eldredge refutes Barry’s point about the lack of transitionals in the fossil record, all you are doing is attempting to provide cover for the fact that you are simply wrong about the fossil record, and that Eldredge agrees that you are wrong about it.

    Nothing you have quoted from Eldredge in this thread changes that. You should apologize to Mr. Arrington for claiming he was “quote-mining”.

  71. 71
    EvilSnack says:

    An addendum to BA77 @ #42:

    If things can appear to be designed without really being designed, then other things can appear to be billions of years old when they’re really only a few thousand years old.

    Meaning: Either our ability to understand nature is reliable, or it is not. It cannot be a Rock of Gibraltar when it supports your theory and then quicksand when it opposes your theory.

  72. 72
    bornagain77 says:

    lifepsy as to

    “The whole idea of environmental niches leading to evolutionary progression remains an imaginary mechanism.”

    Correct you are, as even the ‘hostile witness’ Prothero admits:

    Donald Prothero: In evolution, stasis was general, gradualism rare, and that’s the consensus 40 years on – February 2012
    Excerpt: In four of the biggest climatic-vegetational events of the last 50 million years, the mammals and birds show no noticeable change in response to changing climates. No matter how many presentations I give where I show these data, no one (including myself) has a good explanation yet for such widespread stasis despite the obvious selective pressures of changing climate. Rather than answers, we have more questions—
    Donald Prothero – American paleontologist, geologist, and author who specializes in mammalian paleontology.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ars-later/

  73. 73
    Alan Fox says:

    AF simply cannot admit he is wrong about there being a “finely graduated organic chain” evidenced in the fossil record.

    I don’t believe I have made any definitive statement on the fossil record, other than it is a miracle (!) that so much fossil evidence has come to light, considering the very unlikelihood of organisms’ remains becoming fossilized and subsequently surviving to be found. On the other hand, for evolution to be true, there has to be an unbroken chain of descent between the universal common ancestor and all descendants. I certainly don’t ever expect to see complete evidence for this in the fossil record. So if evidence were ever to show fossils “out of sequence”, that would indeed be a problem for evolutionary theory. That day has not yet arrived.

  74. 74
    bornagain77 says:

    as to: “So if evidence were ever to show fossils “out of sequence”, that would indeed be a problem for evolutionary theory. That day has not yet arrived.”

    Yet contrary to what Mr. Fox imagines to be true, the fact is:

    “What Would Disprove Evolution?” – July 10, 2012
    Excerpt: Fossils are found in the “wrong place” all the time (either too early, or too late). Paleontological theory, however, allows for such devices as “ghost lineages” to repair the damage; see ENV’s coverage here and here. (links on the site)
    Again, discordance between molecular and anatomical phylogenies is commonplace in systematics; see here.(link on the site)
    But we expect Coyne is able to handle these anomalies via his shock-absorbing adjective “complete,” which allows an indefinitely large range of possibilities, short of “complete” discordance (whatever that means).
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....61891.html

    Seeing Ghosts in the Bushes (Part 2): How Is Common Descent Tested? – Paul Nelson – Feb. 2010
    Excerpt: Fig. 6. Multiple possible ad hoc or auxiliary hypotheses are available to explain lack of congruence between the fossil record and cladistic predictions. These may be employed singly or in combination. Common descent (CD) is thus protected from observational challenge.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....31061.html

    On September 29, 2009, Dr. Stephen Westrop, Sam Noble Museum of Natural History Curator of Invertebrate Paleontology, gave a free public lecture to pre-refute a scheduled lecture by Steve Meyer at the museum later that evening on the Cambrian Explosion. Westrop concluded by taking exception to J.B.S. Haldane’s claim that finding a fossil rabbit in the pre-Cambrian would prove Darwin’s theory wrong. If such a fossil were found, Westrop said, paleontologists would simply revise their reconstruction of the history of life. During the Q&A, one student asked him whether any fossil find could falsify Darwin’s theory, and Professor Westrop said “No,”
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....nd-sanity/

  75. 75
    Alan Fox says:

    Hi Vincent,

    You write:

    So here are the predictions I’d make, right off the top of my head. (1) Each step in an evolutionary sequence should be as large as it possibly can be, given the constraint that offspring cannot differ too greatly from their parents without ceasing to be viable. (2) The timing of these steps should either shortly precede or coincide with niche changes and/or major environmental transitions. Testing these predictions could be a fruitful area for future ID research.

    OK. It’s good that you want to explore and look at evidence. But how would you go about testing what you describe, which I think is already effectively what is observed and very much in line with current evolutionary theory, against a hypothesis, without having something contained in that hypothesis that would at least predict an observation? You’d need an explanation that at least matched evolutionary theory in predictive power. The criticism against ID as science is that there has never so far been any attempt at constructing a hypothesis that was specific enough to be falsified.

  76. 76

    Alan Fox: I don’t believe I have made any definitive statement on the fossil record …

    Barry: “Are you suggesting that the fossil record now reveals the “finely graduated organic chain” that in Origin Charles Darwin predicted would be ultimately revealed as the fossil record was explored further?”

    Alan Fox: “As far as it reveals anything, yes.”

    Eldredge and other prominent evolutionary theorists contradict you. Even Liz at TSZ has to offer up yet another ad hoc theory as to why there are virtually no transitional fossils. Punctuated Equillibrium was thought up in order to explain exactly the fact that there is no “finely graduated organic chain” in the fossil record.

    Your claim that “as much as it reaveals anything, it reveals a finely graduated organic chain” is demonstrated to be in error.

    Now you’re trying to weasel out of that commitment by saying:

    I certainly don’t ever expect to see complete evidence for this in the fossil record.

    and attempt to move the goal posts with:

    So if evidence were ever to show fossils “out of sequence”, that would indeed be a problem for evolutionary theory. That day has not yet arrived.

    Except that nobody said anything about “out of sequence” fossils; this is an argument about the apparently selective lack of transitionals in the fossil record.

    You owe Mr.Arrington an apology for claiming he was quote-mining when he was obviously not, and you should admit you were wrong about what the known fossil record actually reveals wrt the prediction made by Darwin.

  77. 77
    Mark Frank says:

    #69 VJ

    So here are the predictions I’d make, right off the top of my head. (1) Each step in an evolutionary sequence should be as large as it possibly can be, given the constraint that offspring cannot differ too greatly from their parents without ceasing to be viable. (2) The timing of these steps should either shortly precede or coincide with niche changes and/or major environmental transitions. Testing these predictions could be a fruitful area for future ID research.

    You seem to be making some assumptions about the constraints and motivations affecting the designer.

    1) He/she/it can only create organisms by descent from existing organisms and cannot change the environment.

    2) He/she/it wants to change life as quickly as possible.

    I am all for the ID community making some commitments about the designer but I thought that was off limits.

  78. 78
    bornagain77 says:

    Mr Fox claims:

    You’d need an explanation that at least matched evolutionary theory in predictive power.

    Yet neo-Darwinism is notorious for its spectacularly failed predictions that it has made:

    Naturalism/Materialism predicted it took a very long time for life to develop on earth. Theism predicted life to appear abruptly on earth after water appeared on earth (Genesis 1:10-11). Geo-chemical evidence from the oldest sedimentary rocks ever found on earth indicates that complex photo-synthetic life has existed on earth as long as water has been on the face of earth. –

    Naturalism/Materialism predicted the first life to be relatively simple.. Theism predicted that God is the source for all life on earth. The simplest life ever found on Earth is far more complex than any machine man has made through concerted effort. (Michael Denton PhD) –

    Naturalism/Materialism predicted the gradual unfolding of life would (someday) be self-evident in the fossil record. Theism predicted complex and diverse animal life to appear abruptly in the seas in God’s fifth day of creation. The Cambrian Explosion shows a sudden appearance of many different and completely unique fossils within a very short “geologic resolution time” in the Cambrian seas. –

    Naturalism/Materialism predicted there should be numerous transitional fossils found in the fossil record, Theism predicted sudden appearance and rapid diversity within different kinds found in the fossil record. Fossils are consistently characterized by sudden appearance of a group/kind in the fossil record(disparity), then rapid diversity within that group/kind, and then long term stability and even deterioration of variety within the overall group/kind, and within the specific species of the kind, over long periods of time. Of the few dozen or so fossils claimed as transitional, not one is uncontested as a true example of transition between major animal forms out of millions of collected fossils. –

    Naturalism/Materialism predicted animal speciation should happen on a somewhat constant basis on earth. Theism predicted man was the last species created on earth – Man (our genus homo) is the last generally accepted major fossil form to have suddenly appeared in the fossil record. –

    Naturalism/Materialism predicted much of the DNA code was junk. Theism predicted we are fearfully and wonderfully made – ENCODE research into the DNA has revealed a “biological jungle deeper, denser, and more difficult to penetrate than anyone imagined.”. –

    Naturalism/Materialism predicted a extremely beneficial and flexible mutation rate for DNA which was ultimately responsible for all the diversity and complexity of life we see on earth. Theism predicted only God created life on earth – The mutation rate to DNA is overwhelmingly detrimental. Detrimental to such a point that it is seriously questioned whether there are any truly beneficial, information building, mutations whatsoever. (M. Behe; JC Sanford) –

    ,,,for a far more detailed list of failed predictions of neo-Darwinism see Dr. Hunter’s site here:

    Darwin’s Predictions
    http://www.darwinspredictions.com/

    Mr. Fox also claims:

    The criticism against ID as science is that there has never so far been any attempt at constructing a hypothesis that was specific enough to be falsified.

    That is just plain false. The fact of the matter is that neo-Darwinism is the ‘scientific’ theory that is not specific enough to be falsified

    “nobody to date has yet found a demarcation criterion according to which Darwin can be described as scientific”
    – Imre Lakatos (November 9, 1922 – February 2, 1974) a philosopher of mathematics and science, quote as stated in 1973 LSE Scientific Method Lecture

    Oxford University Seeks Mathemagician — May 5th, 2011 by Douglas Axe
    Excerpt: Grand theories in physics are usually expressed in mathematics. Newton’s mechanics and Einstein’s theory of special relativity are essentially equations. Words are needed only to interpret the terms. Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection has obstinately remained in words since 1859. …
    http://biologicinstitute.org/2.....emagician/

    “On the other hand, I disagree that Darwin’s theory is as `solid as any explanation in science.; Disagree? I regard the claim as preposterous. Quantum electrodynamics is accurate to thirteen or so decimal places; so, too, general relativity. A leaf trembling in the wrong way would suffice to shatter either theory. What can Darwinian theory offer in comparison?”
    (Berlinski, D., “A Scientific Scandal?: David Berlinski & Critics,” Commentary, July 8, 2003)

    Macroevolution, microevolution and chemistry: the devil is in the details – Dr. V. J. Torley – February 27, 2013
    Excerpt: After all, mathematics, scientific laws and observed processes are supposed to form the basis of all scientific explanation. If none of these provides support for Darwinian macroevolution, then why on earth should we accept it? Indeed, why does macroevolution belong in the province of science at all, if its scientific basis cannot be demonstrated?
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....e-details/

    Whereas nobody can seem to come up with a rigid demarcation criteria for Darwinism, Intelligent Design (ID) does not suffer from such a lack of mathematical rigor:

    Evolutionary Informatics Lab – Main Publications
    http://evoinfo.org/publications/

    ,, the empirical falsification criteria of ID is much easier to understand than the math is, and is as such:

    The Law of Physicodynamic Insufficiency – Dr David L. Abel – November 2010
    Excerpt: “If decision-node programming selections are made randomly or by law rather than with purposeful intent, no non-trivial (sophisticated) function will spontaneously arise.”,,, After ten years of continual republication of the null hypothesis with appeals for falsification, no falsification has been provided. The time has come to extend this null hypothesis into a formal scientific prediction: “No non trivial algorithmic/computational utility (functional information) will ever arise from chance and/or necessity alone.”
    http://www-qa.scitopics.com/Th.....iency.html

    “Orr maintains that the theory of intelligent design is not falsifiable. He’s wrong. To falsify design theory a scientist need only experimentally demonstrate that a bacterial flagellum, or any other comparably complex system, could arise by natural selection. If that happened I would conclude that neither flagella nor any system of similar or lesser complexity had to have been designed. In short, biochemical design would be neatly disproved.”
    – Dr Behe in 1997

    Michael Behe on Falsifying Intelligent Design – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8jXXJN4o_A

    Well, do neo-Darwinists have evidence of even one molecular machine arising by Darwinian processes?,,, I have yet to see evidence of a single novel protein arising by purely neo-Darwinian processes much less a entire molecular machine! Without such a demonstration and still their dogmatic insistence that Darwinism is true, then as far as I can tell, the actual demarcation threshold for believing neo-Darwinism is true is this:

    Darwinism Not Proved Impossible Therefore Its True – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/10285716/

    How Darwinists React to Improbability Arguments – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9IgLueodZA

    ,, I hope neo-Darwinists, such as Mr. Fox, can help us to designate a more rigid threshold to falsify neo-Darwinism, since, as far as I can tell, without a rigid demarcation criteria, then neo-Darwinism is in actuality the pseudo-science that they accuse Intelligent Design of being!

    Verse and Music:

    Acts 3:15
    You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this.

    John Tesh • We Three Kings • Christmas in Positano, Italy
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJbfLcD9O9s

  79. 79
    Alan Fox says:

    WJM to A Fox

    You owe Mr.Arrington an apology for claiming he was quote-mining when he was obviously not, and you should admit you were wrong about what the known fossil record actually reveals wrt the prediction made by Darwin.

    I’d certainly do that if Barry can show the quote is not out of context by quoting the paragraph containing the quote, the paragraph preceding and that following in full.

  80. 80

    The only aspects of “evolutionary theory” ID challenges is the claim that chance mutations and natural selection are sufficient explanations for successful macroevolutionary features.

    What macroevolutionary features does the “chance and natural selection” perspective predict?

    Answer: The eventual breakdown of current features and extinction of any currently existing species as the environment changes.

    What macroevolutionary features does the ID perspective predict?

    Answer: A diversity of finely-tuned, well-developed, quickly-implemented features developed that exploit opportunities in the environment and meet the challenges of a changing environment or of different, as-yet unexploited environments.

    What we see is evidence of both; ID working against the natural course of chance and natural selection to quickly develop optimized features and coding to meet environmental opportunities and challenges towards a goal of greater complexity – not towards a goal of increased procreative survival, which life apparently had optimized to begin with.

    Under ID, you’d expect a successful diversity of life to begin with an optimized survival and procreative progenitor. Under the chance and NS perspective, you’d expect life to begin with organisms poorly suited to survival and procreation and head towards much more efficient, survivable, and procreative entities.

  81. 81

    I’d certainly do that if Barry can show the quote is not out of context by quoting the paragraph containing the quote, the paragraph preceding and that following in full.

    It’s not Barry’s job to prove his innocence; it’s your job to support your claim of quote mining or withdraw it and apologize. So far you have not supported your claim of quote mining.

  82. 82

    AF,

    Do you even know what “quote mining” means? It is to take a quote out of context and use it to imply that the author meant something other than what he/she actually meant, in support of your own position. IOW, it is to use a quote to misrepresent what the author meant.

    Mr.Arrington’s position is that Darwin’s prediction about what the fossil record would over time reveal is refuted by the evidence. He quoted Eldredge, implying that Eldredge was in agreement that the fossil record contradicts Darwin’s claim about it revealing a “finely graduated organic chain”.

    Eldredge admits in your own sources that this is one of the “major exceptions” to his agreement with Darwin’s theory and is why he supported “punctuated equillibrium” – to explain why the fossil record is not as Darwin predicted.

    Mr. Arrington did not use that quote to imply that Eldredge was not a Darwinist, your straw man diversion tactic notwithstanding. He used it only to support that which Eldredge explicitly stated and admitted was a “major exception” to his otherwise complete agreement with Darwinism; that the fossil record contradicts Darwin’s prediction of what it would show.

    You explicitly said that as much as the fossil record shows anything, it supports Darwins prediction; Eldredge disagrees with your position, and supports Mr. Arrington’s point.

  83. 83
    lifepsy says:

    BA77,

    Donald Prothero: In evolution, stasis was general, gradualism rare, and that’s the consensus 40 years on – February 2012
    Excerpt: In four of the biggest climatic-vegetational events of the last 50 million years, the mammals and birds show no noticeable change in response to changing climates. No matter how many presentations I give where I show these data, no one (including myself) has a good explanation yet for such widespread stasis despite the obvious selective pressures of changing climate. Rather than answers, we have more questions—

    Isn’t that interesting? Even when data shows no substantial morphological change occurred over extreme “environmental niche-ing”… evolutionists ignore it and faithfully double down in their niche-as-designer beliefs, and continue to bandy it around matter-of-factly. Have you ever seen a shred of evidence that punctuated equilibrium is an actual process? I haven’t.

    Imaginary evolutionary processes directly contradicted by data. That’s what we have.

  84. 84
    Axel says:

    Alan, do you know if there are any degree courses on nothing turning itself into everything? Do you see a future in youngsters majoring in it?

  85. 85
    TSErik says:

    AF,

    Do you even know what “quote mining” means? It is to take a quote out of context and use it to imply that the author meant something other than what he/she actually meant, in support of your own position. IOW, it is to use a quote to misrepresent what the author meant.

    Mr.Arrington’s position is that Darwin’s prediction about what the fossil record would over time reveal is refuted by the evidence. He quoted Eldredge, implying that Eldredge was in agreement that the fossil record contradicts Darwin’s claim about it revealing a “finely graduated organic chain”.

    Eldredge admits in your own sources that this is one of the “major exceptions” to his agreement with Darwin’s theory and is why he supported “punctuated equillibrium” – to explain why the fossil record is not as Darwin predicted.

    Mr. Arrington did not use that quote to imply that Eldredge was not a Darwinist, your straw man diversion tactic notwithstanding. He used it only to support that which Eldredge explicitly stated and admitted was a “major exception” to his otherwise complete agreement with Darwinism; that the fossil record contradicts Darwin’s prediction of what it would show.

    You explicitly said that as much as the fossil record shows anything, it supports Darwins prediction; Eldredge disagrees with your position, and supports Mr. Arrington’s point.

    And WJM with the counter-punch! It looks like Fox is down. the ref is counting: “1…2…3…”

  86. 86
    Mapou says:

    Fox:

    Do Barry, Mapou etc really believe that there were times when the offspring was radically different from the parents and yet was viable?

    The late Dr. John A. Davison was a great fan of Goldschmidt and saltation. He even used the handle “Salty” at ISCID. He and others like Mike “Gene” developed “front-loading” as a sort of theory. I think Mapou is persuaded by such ideas. With Barry, who can tell? The key fault of this theory is that one is left wondering how “sudden emergences” are synchronised with niche availability, whereas, in evolutionary theory, niche adaptation is central to the explanation. Two birds with one stone!

    Alan Fox, if you got any kind of gonads, you should reply to my comment @49 where I take you to task for not knowing that intelligent design over time generates an evolution of designs, something that is so obvious, it’s not even part of Intelligent Design 101. Don’t be a gutless poltron. Put on a sackcloth and ashes and then confess your ignorance. Nobody will laugh at you. OK, maybe a little. 😀

    As to the question of whether I believe that “there were times when the offspring was radically different from the parents and yet was viable”, my first reaction is this: what a loaded and stupid question. Bad faith is rampant among Darwinists, I swear. Do you people actually believe that a race of beings advanced enough to engineer life on earth are just a bunch of farm animal breeders? Amazing. Do you really think that the designers of life on earth need “parents” to incubate newly engineered “offsprings”? That’s a laugh. More than likely, the designers had a huge database of genes, code sequences, and full genomes that they could mix and match to design whatever new lifeforms they desired. Generating and incubating these lifeforms by the billions before dropping them in the oceans would be child’s play. And yes, they could design new lifeforms that were more complex than the previous ones. Why not? That’s the whole point of design, is it not?

    As to “how “sudden emergences” are synchronised with niche availability”, again, how naive can you be? Beings that are advanced enough to engineer life on earth would certainly understand ecology, don’t you think? It is easy to imagine that the whole ediacaran and cambrian eras were part of some initial terraforming process. Judging by the weirdness of the fossils, I suspect that the designers were also having a blast. It was like what designing robots is to us modern humans. It’s a lot of fun. And, if you’re immortal, a few million years is just a blink of an eye. Besides, I’m sure those immortal brainiacs have many other awesome projects to attend to elsewhere in the vast universe.

  87. 87
    Alan Fox says:

    [snip]

    UD Editors: Alan apologized but then added a smart-assed comment that made the apology clearly insincere. He will remain in moderation.

  88. 88
    JWTruthInLove says:

    What comment? I just see “[snip]”.

  89. 89
    Mapou says:

    Alright, in the spirit of reconciliation and fair play, I apologize to Alan Fox for impugning his courage and suggesting that he lacks gonads.

    So come back, Alan, write a proper apology to Barry and let’s start anew.

  90. 90
    wd400 says:

    wd400. Stamping your foot is not an argument. You should write that down.

    I’m making an argument for the junkiness of our genomes (though I could). I’m just trying to understand where this certainty that recent evidence has shown our genomes are mostly functional comes from. It don’t think it can be the results reported in the ENCODE papers, because there’s no evidence for that proposition there.

    I’ve asked this question quite a few times now, an never got an answer. I find that quite curious.

  91. 91
    Mapou says:

    ENCODE (emphasis added):

    On 5 September 2012, initial results of the project were released in a coordinated set of 30 papers published in the journals Nature (6 publications), Genome Biology (18 papers), and Genome Research (6 papers).[7][8] Their summary publication claimed to have assigned biochemical function for 80% of the human genome.[9][10] Much of this functional non-coding DNA is involved in the regulation of the expression of coding genes.[9] Furthermore the expression of each coding gene is controlled by multiple regulatory sites located both near and distant from the gene. These results demonstrate that gene regulation is far more complex than was previously believed.[11]
    […]
    The part of the DNA that has long been best understood is the exome, consisting of around 20,000 protein-coding genes. These genes, however, make up in total only around 1.5% of the DNA, and are separated from each other by long stretches of DNA that does not code for proteins. This remaining DNA includes the so-called regulome, which comprises a variety of DNA elements that in one way or another modulate the expression of protein-coding genes. It has not been clear, though, how much of the total DNA is comprised within the regulome. Until recently, the majority view has been that much of the DNA is “junk”—DNA that is never transcribed and has no biological function. The central goal of the ENCODE project is to map out the regulome, by determining which parts of the DNA belong to it and the mechanisms by which those parts influence gene transcription.

    At various times, Darwinists claimed that most of the genome consists of junk DNA. ENCODE proved them wrong. It pays to emphasize that these are initial results. My personal prediction is that, eventually, the entire genome will prove to functional.

  92. 92
    wd400 says:

    Do you think being transcribed in some tissue at some time makes DNA functional? If so, that means every base of every intron is functional – does that sound reasonable to you?

    If “the entire genome” is functional how do you explain differing genome sizes, or between-individual variation within humans? Or some of us missing functional genes?

  93. 93
    Mapou says:

    wd400:

    Do you think being transcribed in some tissue at some time makes DNA functional? If so, that means every base of every intron is functional – does that sound reasonable to you?

    Absolutely. Why not?

    If “the entire genome” is functional how do you explain differing genome sizes, or between-individual variation within humans? Or some of us missing functional genes?

    Since we are all different and we all look different, I don’t see why we should have identical genomes. Your objection amounts to complaining that Michelangelo’s David is missing something because it has no clothes, no shoes and no facial hair. Get real.

  94. 94
    jerry says:

    I haven’t read most of the comments. But I did a search for the term “valentine” and it came up empty. James Valentine is the premier researcher of the Cambrian fauna and he with a colleague published a book about a year ago on this topic, titled ‘The Cambrian Explosion: The Construction of Animal Biodiversity ‘

    http://www.amazon.com/The-Camb.....1936221039

    Valentine is on record in the past as saying Darwinian processes cannot explain the Cambrian Explosion. He postulates other processes. From what I understand there is nothing in Meyer’s book that is at odds with Valentine’s analysis of the data. Meyer’s explanation is different from Valentine’s speculation on the origins of the phyla but not on the data.

    Here is a quote from Valentine on a video he made about the Cambrian

    “Darwin had a lot of trouble with the fossil record because if you look at the record of phyla in the rocks as fossils why when they first appear we already see them all. The phyla are fully formed. It’s as if the phyla were created first and they were modified into classes and we see that the number of classes peak later than the number of phyla and the number of orders peak later than that. So it’s kind of a top down succession, you start with this basic body plans, the phyla, and you diversify them into classes, the major sub-divisions of the phyla, and these into orders and so on. So the fossil record is kind of backwards from what you would expect from in that sense from what you would expect from Darwin’s ideas. Although once we get into the fossil record where we got a complete fossil record we can see the gradual changes within lineages as Darwin predicted.”

    http://www.arn.org/arnproducts.....m.php?id=7

    Another Valentine quote.

    “If we were to expect to find ancestors to or intermediates between higher taxa, it would be the rocks of the late Precambrian to Ordivician times, when the bulk of the world’s higher animal taxa evolved. Yet traditional alliances are unknown or unconfirmed for any of the phyla or classes appearing then.” (Valentine, Development As An Evolutionary Process, p.84, 1987)

    A Stephen Gould quote

    “The Cambrian Explosion occurred in a geological moment, and we have reason to think that all major anatomical designs may have made their evolutionary appearance at that time. …not only the phylum Chordata itself, but also all its major divisions, arose within the Cambrian Explosion…. Contrary to Darwin’s expectation that new data would reveal gradualistic continuity with slow and steady expansion, all major discoveries of the past century have only heightened the massiveness and geological abruptness of this formative event…” (Gould, Nature, Vol.377, 26 10/95, p.682).

    A Michael Shermer quote.

    Almost all currently existing Metazoan phyla emerged during a relatively short Cambrian period around 510–550 million years ago (Cambrian Explosion) (reviewed in refs. 1 and 2). In previous periods paleontologists find diverse fauna of unicellular organisms and spongi. Shortly before Cambrian period some Cnidarian and Ediacaran fauna was found, but no other Metazoa. The appearance in evolution of the entire Metazoan fauna seems to have been very sudden. Interestingly, even in early Cambrian layers, in addition to primitive representatives of various phyla, more advanced forms, including relatively complex Crustaceae were discovered.3 Based on these data it was suggested that diversification of Metazoa started way before Cambrian period, however this suggestion appeals to existence of effectively unfossilizable forms, making these types of organism paleontologically “invisible”. This idea is supported by reports of putative trace fossils (e.g., tracks or burrows) dating to pre-Cambrian era. These claims, however, raise a question why fossilizable forms of various phyla appeared almost simultaneously, and were generally refuted, as discussed in recent review (ref. 2). Therefore, it appears that there was no sequential appearance of the major Metazoan taxons from simpler to more complex phyla, as would be predicted by the classical evolutionary model.

    Shermer, M. – Universal genome in the origin of metazoa: thoughts about evolution. Cell Cycle. 2007 Aug 1;6(15):1873-7

    I know one can not trust creationist and ID supporters such as Shermer, Valentine and Gould but take it for what it is worth.

  95. 95
    Mapou says:

    Jerry:

    I know one can not trust creationist and ID supporters such as Shermer, Valentine and Gould but take it for what it is worth.

    LOL. I assume you’re being sarcastic.

  96. 96
    Querius says:

    bornagain77 observed:

    And exactly what is a TRUE Darwinist? Is it an atheist that believes neo-Darwinism to be true no matter what the evidence says to the contrary?

    Precisely.

    It demonstrates that Eldredge has fallen in love with an ideology, and now has True Faith and Absolute Loyalty to Darwinism no matter what.

    It’s sad to see someone willingly tying themselves to the wooden mast of a worn-out, sinking, 19th century fantasy.

    However, it does cease to be Science at that level of commitment and stasis.

    -Q

  97. 97
    wd400 says:

    Do you think being transcribed in some tissue at some time makes DNA functional? If so, that means every base of every intron is functional – does that sound reasonable to you?

    Absolutely. Why not?

    Because you’d have to make an argument as to why being transcribed = having function. And the idea that every base of every intron serves a function is pretty bizarre – to you really think removing a parts of some introns would break a function? If that’s the case why does the presence or absence of intron sequences vary among individuals with no apparent effect?

  98. 98
    Mapou says:

    wd400:

    Because you’d have to make an argument as to why being transcribed = having function. And the idea that every base of every intron serves a function is pretty bizarre – to you really think removing a parts of some introns would break a function? If that’s the case why does the presence or absence of intron sequences vary among individuals with no apparent effect?

    You know, Darwinists are very clever at creating just-so stories to defend their mediocre fairy tale theory but when it comes down to the nitty-gritty of actual scientific evidence, they suddenly have room-temperature IQ, as if they de-evolved in a blink of an eye or something.

    The absence of a DNA sequence does not have to result in any apparent effect. It’s more than likely that the sequence has a function that is programmed to be triggered under the right environmental circumstances. For example, let’s say a human has a natural immunity against a specific contagious disease. If the genetic code that is responsible for the special immunity is removed, there will be no immediate apparent effect. That does not mean the code is not useful or does not have a function. Besides, the human genome is bound to have all sorts of bad code and/or code deletions/additions due to ancestral inbreeding and natural variability. So what?

  99. 99
    wd400 says:

    What’s bad code? Sounds like junk.

    In any case, your just so story won’t work. If a given sequence has a function only in some envrionment to which its carrier is never exposed then stabalising selection is not in effect, mutations will accrue and in relatively short orer that sequence will no longer function. That was (more or less) Ohno’s argument from the start. If you want to find future-function in the genome you’d need to find evidence some regions are shielded form mutation.

    So, can someone please explain to me how you get form “made into RNA” to “has a function”?

  100. 100
    Mapou says:

    What’s bad code? Sounds like junk.

    How does one translate “genetic defect” into “junk”?

    In any case, your just so story won’t work. If a given sequence has a function only in some envrionment to which its carrier is never exposed then stabalising selection is not in effect, mutations will accrue and in relatively short orer that sequence will no longer function. That was (more or less) Ohno’s argument from the start. If you want to find future-function in the genome you’d need to find evidence some regions are shielded form mutation.

    Whether or not it was Ohno’s argument makes no difference to me. I can think for myself, thank you very much. I think it’s a stupid argument. There are lots of features of the human genome that are not selected for (or stabilized as you say) by natural selection and yet they persist for millenia if not millions of years. The love of music and the arts and facial hair, for example, are not needed for survival. All of us would survive perfectly well with only four fingers or 20 teeth, no? The fact is that the genome has powerful mechanisms for DNA repair that are designed specifically to maintain stasis and prevent mutations which are almost always deleterious. We don’t need natural selection to retain our features over time.

    So, can someone please explain to me how you get form “made into RNA” to “has a function”?

    I haven’t read the ENCODE results but how do you know that this is the only criterion that they employed to determine functionality and how do you know that “made into RNA” is not all that is needed. Obviously something triggered RNA production for a reason.

  101. 101
    wd400 says:

    There are lots of features of the human genome that are not selected for (or stabilized as you say) by natural selection and yet they persist for millenia if not millions of years. The love of music and the arts and facial hair, for example, are not needed for survival. All of us would survive perfectly well with only four fingers or 20 teeth, no?

    What are the genes for love of arts? What mutations could make someone have 20 otherwise happily functional teeth? Or 4 fingers?

    I haven’t read the ENCODE results

    Then perhaps you should before you claim they prove our genome has almost no junk DNA? You might also want to learn some molecular biology, to understand how RNA transcription happens.

  102. 102
    Mapou says:

    What are the genes for love of arts?

    They don’t exist, in my opinion, but I’m sure Darwinists believe they must have been created by random mutations and selected by natural selection. Which would be stupid, of course. But how else can they explain the inordinate human infatuation with music and the arts?

    What mutations could make someone have 20 otherwise happily functional teeth? Or 4 fingers?

    Wow. Talk about deviousness. You’re the one who argued that if a DNA sequence is not stabilized by selection, they disappear eventually. Remember? So I’m asking you, how are facial hair (or even hair on the top of the head), all 32 teeth and all five fingers stabilized by natural selection? Functionality is selected by NS, no? The point is that we can function and survive perfectly well with just 20 teeth or less.

    I haven’t read the ENCODE results

    Then perhaps you should before you claim they prove our genome has almost no junk DNA?

    I did not claim this. The ENCODE researchers did. Why don’t you ask them? Why come on an ID forum to to ask for help? I was under the impression that you people think we’re all a bunch of idiots?

    You might also want to learn some molecular biology, to understand how RNA transcription happens.

    It’s not rocket science. You people are not nearly as smart as you think you are. And one does not have to be a Darwinist to study or do research in biology.

  103. 103
    wd400 says:

    Wow. Talk about deviousness. You’re the one who argued that if a DNA sequence is not stabilized by selection, they disappear eventually. Remember? So I’m asking you, how are facial hair (or even hair on the top of the head), all 32 teeth and all five fingers stabilized by natural selection?

    And I’m saying they are stablised because mutations that change, say, finger number also make sub-optimal hands. So, these traits are indeed maintained by natural selection.

  104. 104
    Mapou says:

    And I’m saying they are stablised because mutations that change, say, finger number also make sub-optimal hands. So, these traits are indeed maintained by natural selection.

    And I am saying that a four-finger hand could not possibly be selected by natural selection because having only four fingers would not prevent us from surviving and reproducing. I have seen robots with only three fingers that do pretty well at manipulating all sorts of objects. Heck, some animals have no hands at all and they survive very nicely, thank you very much.

  105. 105
    wd400 says:

    <blockquoteI did not claim this. The ENCODE researchers did

    Read the paper. They really didn’t (all some of the press releases were abject and did seem to make this claim).

  106. 106
    wd400 says:

    And I am saying that a four-finger hand could not possibly be selected by natural selection because having only four fingers would not prevent us from surviving and reproducing

    … but mutations making functional 4-finger hands don’t arise, so by maintaning functional hands natural selection effectively maintains 5-fingered-ness

  107. 107
    Querius says:

    I’m not sure where you get your information, but a friend of mine in college was born with five fingers (no thumbs) and had operations to make two of them opposable.

    On the other hand earlobes obviously did evolve, allowing people to socialize better by providing a place for social status symbols. Naturally, people lacking earlobes did not do as well, could not compete for mates, had fewer children, and suffered social ostracism as a result. They did not survive.

    Wow, this Darwinism bit is creative and kinda fun! 😉

    -Q

  108. 108
    Mapou says:

    wd400 @106, if you’re a scientist, it’s kind of scary because your reading comprehension and your logic are pathetic. But I suspect just plain dishonesty. If mutations are so prevalent in creating everything, there should be all sorts of hands that would be just as functional as the five-fingered hand.

    But that is not the point. The point is that you claimed that selection is needed to maintain stasis and that a non-functional sequence would be destroyed by mutations. I refuted your nonsense but you will not admit it because your are either a coward or dishonest. See ya.

  109. 109
    wd400 says:

    If you want to clarify your argument go ahead, but you seem to think the fact 5-fingered-ness is maintained is evidence things can be maintained without being selected for?

    Well, five-fingered-ness is maintained by natural selection. Not because it is necessarily better than four or six-fingered hands, but because the 4 and 6-fingered hands that actually arise by mutation are less functional (so, for instance Querius’ friend had to have an operation). Since mutations producing other than 5-fingered hands are kept out of the population and 5-fingered-ness is indeed maintained by the action of natural selection.

  110. 110
    Mapou says:

    Not because it is necessarily better than four or six-fingered hands, but because the 4 and 6-fingered hands that actually arise by mutation are less functional

    How does natural selection know if something is less functional unless it causes death before reproduction? A three or four-fingered hand with an opposable thumb would be just as viable and would not cause death before reproduction. Are you smoking something that impairs your judgement or something?

    PS. This is my last comment on this topic. I’ve said all I needed to say on this thread.

  111. 111
    wd400 says:

    I’m very happy leave this thread as a monument to your continued inability to grasp a simple point (or perhaps my own inability to explain myself).

    But if anyone else wants to tell me why they think most of the human genome is junk I’m very interested to know.

  112. 112
    wd400 says:

    … err, ‘not junk’, obviously

  113. 113
    Querius says:

    Natural selection also maintains the presence of earlobes. While we do not fully understand the selective advantage they convey, obviously they must do so or they would have disappeared long ago! 😉

    Actually, a scan of the Web reveals:

    – Earlobes have a large blood supply and may help to warm the ears and maintain balance.

    – Earlobes which are the fleshy pendulous part of the external human ear have a main function of funnelling sound in the ears better by directing it into the inner ear.

    – the lobule — the part hanging down — isn’t any help. In fact, some people are born lobeless because of recessive genes, and this doesn’t seem to affect their hearing.

    – Not every part of the human body is essential for our well being and not every obsolete feature of our anatomy is eliminated as soon as it becomes unnecessary.

    – It is unlikely that we evolved the earlobe for purposes of piercing. In reality, there is no known biological function associated with the earlobe in man. This small piece of flesh does have a prominent blood supply but it does not contain cartilage like the other parts of the external ear.

    – However, earlobes are not generally considered to have any major biological function. The earlobe contains many nerve endings, and for some people is an erogenous zone.

    – One (theory) is that earlobes developed when our distant ancestors walked on four legs to act as a buffer between the ear canal and the dust and dirt of the earth. Other scientists believe that earlobes have to do with sex appeal.

    – The anatomical function of this structure is not well understood; unlike the rest of the auricle, it does not appear to play a role in hearing and the direction of sound.

    – Did you know 98% of the populations earlobes line up directly with their nipples?

    – Professor Philip Lieberman of Brown University suggests that since “the external ear allows you to determine with more certainty whether sound is coming from in front of you or behind you,” the earlobe “might have a very slight effect on directionality.”

    – Suzanne Wyatt, executive director of the Education and Auditory Research (EAR) Foundation, adds, “It serves no purpose whatsoever. It’s just one of those medical mysteries.”

    – Professor Tony Wright, director of the University College London Ear Institute, notes that “when all is said and done, earlobes are very sensitive and tactile, and it is most people’s experience that a gently nibbled earlobe is a real treat. I do not think you need to cite evolution or the preservation of the species to give a reason for the presence of earlobes. They just are.”

    – As bizarre as this sounds it is true and actually works. If you get an annoying itch in your throat you can scratch it by massaging your earlobes. By massaging the earlobes it stimulates a nerve in the ear that will trigger a reflex in the throat. When the reflex in the throat occurs it will cause a small muscle in the throat to spasm which removes the itch.

    – Also apparently chimps have earlobes too so they must have developed before humans split from other great apes. (chickens, dogs, and some other animals also have earlobes)

    – Carrière (1922) and Hilden (1922) were among the first to study the genetics of earlobes, and they reached opposite conclusions.

    References
    Carrière, R. 1922. Über erbliche Orhformen, insbesondere das angewachsene Ohrläppchen. Zeitschrift für Induktive Abstammungs- und Vererbungslehre 28: 288-242.

    Dutta, P., and P. Ganguly. 1965. Further observations on ear lobe attachment. Acta Genetica 15: 77-86.

    El Kollali, R. 2009. Earlobe morphology: a simple classification of normal earlobes. Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery 62: 277-280.

    Hilden, K. 1922. Über die Form des Ohrläppchens beim Menschen und ihre Abhängigkeit von Erblanglagen. Hereditas 3: 351-357.

    Lai, L.Y.C., and R.J. Walsh. 1966. Observations on ear lobe types. Acta Genetica 16: 250-257.

    Mohanraju, C., and D.P. Mukherjee. 1973. Ear lobe attachment in an Andhra village and other parts of India. Human Heredity 23: 288-297.

    Mowlavi, A., D.G. Meldrum, and B.J. Wilhelmi. 2004. Earlobe morphology delineated by two components: the attached cephalic segment and the free caudal segment. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery 113: 1075-1076.[not seen yet]

    Powell, E.F., and D.D. Whitney. 1937. Ear lobe inheritance: an unusual three-generation photographic pedigree chart. Journal of Heredity 28: 184-186.

    Quelprud, T. 1934. Familienforschungen über Merkmale des äusseren Ohres. Zeitschrift fü Induktive Abstammungs- und Vererbungslehre 67: 296-299.

    Wiener, A.S. 1937. Complications in ear genetics. Journal of Heredity 28: 425-426.

  114. 114
    coldcoffee says:

    wd400,
    =>Forget fingers and junk etc, have you looked at a butterfly wing? and then a SEM image of that wing?How can ANYONE EVER think that the precise nano lattice structure of the scales on the wing,held precisely in body (like nano feathers)is possible by no-goal probability and random mutation?
    Just go ahead and search for ‘SEM of butterfly wings’.

  115. 115
    Axel says:

    You can just see the with their fingers in their ears, chanting, ‘happenstance! happenstance! happenstance!

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