Intelligent Design News speciation

Peter and Rosemary Grant (of Darwin’s finches’ fame) reply to their critics.

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Readers may remember the Darwinian icon of the Galapagos finches that were supposed to be turning into new species but then just drifted back and forth.

One would think the finches didn’t give a hoot about Science.

From Evolution News & Views:

In a new Perspective piece in Science Magazine, “Watching Speciation in Action,” they show that they are not the only ones who have witnessed the origin of species. Beginning with the Darwin quote about “grandeur in this view of life” that evolves, they describe a number of studies like theirs that illustrate organisms that have varied and diversified from parent stock. Let’s begin by listing the examples and what is known about them, both genetically and phenotypically. These can be considered their finest “icons of evolution” for 2017.

The list includes

11. High-altitude humans. They say that Tibetans may have obtained adaptation to high altitude via interbreeding with Denisovans.

12. Sunflowers. Members of Helianthus colonized salt marshes via “transgressive segregation,” a form of hybridization whereby individuals can “colonize novel habitats where neither parental lineage can survive.” – More.

It doesn’t amount to much and the Grants admit that, to their credit. The problem is, there doesn’t seem to be any reliable science-based way of determining even what a new species is. So one is always hearing these legends instead. But, probably, Darwinism benefits from indefinitely putting off addressing the problem.

See also: Redefining species: Nuclear vs. mitochondrial genes in birds

and

Nothing says “Darwin snob” like indifference to the mess that the entire concept of speciation is in

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10 Replies to “Peter and Rosemary Grant (of Darwin’s finches’ fame) reply to their critics.

  1. 1
    Dionisio says:

    Darwinism benefits from indefinitely putting off addressing the problems

    Bingo!

    🙂

  2. 2
    Armand Jacks says:

    The problem is, there doesn’t seem to be any reliable science-based way of determining even what a new species is.

    That is not a problem for evolution because evolution does not predict any clear distinctions where one species has become another species. In fact, any example of this actually happening would be a nail in the coffin of evolution.

    Let me try to explain.

    Let’s, for the sake of argument, assume that our current understanding of evolution is how things really work. Now, pick any animal alive today, and assume that we could bring to life every single one of its ancestors, all the way back to its great grandfather/mother 10^nth generations ago when it was a Precambrian worm like thing. If you take any individual along this continuum, it would be able to breed with any compatible member for many generations on either side along this continuum. If this was not the case, evolution would have a lot of s’plain’n to do.

  3. 3
    Dionisio says:

    bacteria remains bacteria
    birds remain birds
    fish remain fish

  4. 4
    Eric Anderson says:

    Armand @2:

    That is not a problem for evolution because evolution does not predict any clear distinctions where one species has become another species. In fact, any example of this actually happening would be a nail in the coffin of evolution.

    One might be forgiven for viewing this complete lack of predictive capability as a weakness, rather than a strength, of evolutionary theory.

    You are quite right, though, that evolution doesn’t predict clear distinctions. Indeed, under Darwin’s view, which is still the prevailing paradigm, there must be an “innumerable” succession of organisms, with “slight, successive” almost imperceptible changes from one to the next.

    Unfortunately, this is exactly what the fossil record does not show, as acknowledged by eminent paleontologists Gould and Eldridge.

    Thus, they proposed, evolution must always be going on in quick bursts or distant locales or behind the scenes where we can’t observe it — punctuated equilibrium being a novel approach in science based on the lack of observational evidence.

    Quite a convenient storyline . . .

  5. 5
    Eric Anderson says:

    Armand @2:

    Also this:

    Let’s, for the sake of argument, assume that our current understanding of evolution is how things really work. Now, pick any animal alive today, and assume that we could bring to life every single one of its ancestors, all the way back to its great grandfather/mother 10^nth generations ago when it was a Precambrian worm like thing. If you take any individual along this continuum, it would be able to breed with any compatible member for many generations on either side along this continuum. If this was not the case, evolution would have a lot of s’plain’n to do.

    Yes, we know what the theory is: plenty of ancestors, an unbroken continuum, tiny do-able changes at each point, happy breeding at each step of the way.

    We can’t just reiterate the theory and think we have evidence for it. The problem is that the theory isn’t supported by the observation evidence, by the math, or by logical considerations of what would be required.

    Yes, there is plenty of s’plain’n to do. There has been ever since Darwin wrote his masterpiece.

    Unfortunately, the “explanations” of 150+ years later are just as poor as were his: vague assertions, just-so stories, complaints about the poor fossil record, pleas for more time and offers of promissory notes that someday the evidence will be found . . .

  6. 6
    rvb8 says:

    For any one interested, (and being ID folk that is a stretch), Peter and Rosemary are at the absolute apex of research. This is because thier methodology, professionalism, findings, predictions and just plain guts are the exact antithesis of ‘ID research’. Heh:)

    EA,

    Here is a partial list of some recognition of their undeniable hard work in proving evolution to be fact:

    Honorary Degrees; McGill University, University of San Francisco, University of Zurich,Uppsala University.

    Members of; Royal Society of London, Royal Society of Canada, American Philosophical Society, American Academy of Arts and Science, (President 1999-) American Society of Naturalists, American Academy of Sciences, Linnean Society of London, Charles Darwin Foundation…The list goes on!

    Honorary Citizens of the Galapagos.

    etc, etc, etc. The above is a parsed down partial list.

    This couple, since 1973, have spent six months of every year in painstaking measurements. They have proved beyond doubt that a species’ environment is the selector of inherited random mutations. Denyse scoffs, and says they merely prove that the beaks evolve and then return to their original shape.

    Yes! Correct! The environment moulds the creature. In this limited environment that swings between droubt and plenty, evolution does not require radical modification. In a huge environment, a continent say, or rainforrest, the selective pressure is huge, and so are the modifications.

    The Grants have proved the mechanism for evolution RM+NS, is a fact. What has Dembski et al, proved, ever?

  7. 7
    Eric Anderson says:

    rvb8:

    Your gushing enthusiasm seems to be masking any willingness to logically examine the conclusions that can be drawn from their work.

    I am happy to grant (pun intended) that Grants’ work has been painstaking, their efforts admirable, their sincerity unimpeachable, their gathered data beyond reproach. I have never suggested otherwise.

    Now we must ask: What do we make of the data? How is it to be understood and interpreted? What does it tell us about the broader claims of evolution?

    They have proved beyond doubt that a species’ environment is the selector of inherited random mutations.

    What do you mean by this? Do you mean that the environment is making a decision? Presumably not. Therefore, all you can possibly mean is that some creatures tend to survive better in a given environment than others.

    Great. We all agree on this. Nothing particularly controversial.

    And . . . pay attention carefully:

    It doesn’t tell us anything about the grander claims of evolution. It proves absolutely nothing about where finches came from, where they are going or whether any change will ever happen to the finches more significant than a few minor phenotypic changes here and there.

    Grants’ work with finches is a great example — supported, as you correctly say, by their painstaking work — of a species undergoing temporary, cyclical change, all the while ultimately avoiding larger scale change.

    That is what the data shows. That is the extent of the conclusion that can be supported by the evidence.

    Now we could imagine that we are witnessing the faint hints of some grand creative process that we think must be taking place across the ages. But that grand creative result has never been observed and there are excellent reasons to question whether it ever will. So far, from 1859 until today, that grand creative process has existed and been observed only in the minds of evolutionists.

    —–

    In a huge environment, a continent say, or rainforrest, the selective pressure is huge, and so are the modifications.

    Yes, that is the theory. But repeating the theory doesn’t constitute evidence.

    If what you are saying is that huge modifications are required for a different environment (say, a land dwelling mammal turning into a whale), then sure. I wholeheartedly agree. But assuming that RM+NS is up to the task is a naive assumption of the highest order. Behe has shown that it is far beyond the edge of evolution.

    And, yes, to your last snide remark, that is research by an ID proponent that bears directly on the question at hand. A question that every intellectually-serious person should be asking, but, it seems, the evolutionists rarely bother to ask — instead just blithely and naively assuming that RM+NS has all this unproven, never observed, highly questionable creative power.

  8. 8
    rvb8 says:

    Finches came from their raptor ancestors. You can see how the feathers evolved from the modified scales of the raptors in many beautifully preserved fossils from China; fillaments for camoflage or/and warmth, gradually to feathers for flying, swimming, whatever the environment selected for.

    Of course the environment doesn’t select. But if the mutation is advantageous for a given environment it is favourd; quite simple.

    Whales are the ones with pointless hipbones, and bones for non-existant digits in their flippers right? Love to here IDs take on why these bones exist at all?

  9. 9
    Eric Anderson says:

    Finches came from their raptor ancestors. You can see how the feathers evolved from the modified scales of the raptors in many beautifully preserved fossils from China; fillaments for camoflage or/and warmth, gradually to feathers for flying, swimming, whatever the environment selected for.

    Again, just so you understand, we are looking for evidence, not made up stories.

  10. 10
    Marfin says:

    RVB8- You really don`t understand how evolution is supposed to work. Enviroment does not select the fittest by what you would think the fittest is, but if you do a bit of research it selects merely by those who leave the most offspring ,you may be the biggest baddest lion in the pride but if you leave no off offspring then hey presto your so called fittest traits die with you , so its all about offspring.
    Also fossils in China gimme a break, Colin Patterson the late head of the natural history museum in London said,is Archeoptryx the ancestor to all birds perhaps yes perhaps no ,as there is no way of putting this to the test.
    So RVB8 what scientific test can you cite which back up your wild claim re Dino – bird evolution.

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