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Top Vatican official says Catholic scientists should “come out”

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From John L. Allen, Jr., at Crux Now:

Most basically, Consolmagno said, it’s important to maintain the proper distinction between what science can prove, and what faith can add.
“God is not something we arrive at the end of our science, it’s what we assume at the beginning,” he said, adding emphatically: “I am afraid of a God who can be proved by science, because I know my science well enough to not trust it!”

More.

Excuse us. Faith can add nothing to what cannot be demonstrated. Many popular theories such as the multiverse, Darwinism, alt right eugenics, cannot be demonstrated at all.

So, translation from Consolmagno: Not to worry, we really are theistic naturalists: Nature is all there is. But we do still have a right to holler fer Gawd in our spare time. Don’t we?

Yes, so long as we ignore the fact that naturalism is rotting science.

See also: Pope Francis and science

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101 Replies to “Top Vatican official says Catholic scientists should “come out”

  1. 1
    rvb8 says:

    News for o’Leary, or O’Leary for News,

    Darwinism does have physical evidence, they’re called fossils.

    Eugenics also has testable facts, and is actually correct in its theory; it is also inhuman, and I will always fight it.

    Alt-right racism, is silly as humanity is one species, so there is no provable advantage to being one specific race.

    The multiverse? You are correct hard to prove; maybe in the future.

    O’Leary for News, or News for O’Leary,
    what’s your point? That Catholicism is weird? We already new that. That it’s out of date?

    Really!? Why Catholicism, why not Islam, Protestantism, Judaeism, Hinduism? Why the Pope, and his hangers on?

  2. 2
    Bob O'H says:

    Excuse us. Faith can add nothing to what cannot be demonstrated.

    Well done, you’ve just told us that your faith in God doesn’t add anything.

    The reason you need faith is that it is in something that cannot be demonstrated (this may not be the same thing as saying that there’s no evidence for it, of course), otherwise you hardly need faith in it: you have solid evidence.

  3. 3
    Dionisio says:

    Faith

    Hebrews 11:1-3,6; 12:1-2 (ESV)

    “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.”

    And without faith it is impossible to please God, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him.

    Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

    Reformation Study Bible provided by Ligonier Ministries:

    This famous discourse on faithful men and women of the Old Testament begins and ends with commentary that alerts the reader to the specific aspect of Old Testament faith highlighted here—the certainty of receiving what God has promised but not yet given (vv. 1, 2, 39, 40).

    Although no human witnessed the creation, we know from Scripture that God brought the world into being through His Word (Ps. 33:6, 9). We discern that “what is seen” is not ultimate, self-existent reality. [John 1:1]

    Faith is an absolute necessity, whether to perceive the things for which we should hope (v. 1), to understand that God is the Creator of all (v. 3), or to offer acceptable worship (v. 4). See “Pleasing God” at 1 Thess. 2:4.

    things hoped for . . . things not seen.
    For the time being, only faith can see the future, as it receives the promises of God.

    received their commendation.
    God declared that they were righteous by faith (v. 4 note), as is explicitly stated regarding Abel and Enoch (vv. 4, 5; cf. v. 39).

    did not receive what was promised.
    Although some Old Testament promises were fulfilled, their true hope (the promise of the coming Messiah) was yet to come (v. 33 and note). This verse summarizes the message of vv. 13–16 and applies it to the second half of the chapter.

    something better . . . apart from us.
    This verse asserts both the redemptive-historical difference between the Old Testament and New Testament periods, and the unity of the people of God in both eras. Though the Old Testament believers lived by faith (10:38), they were not privileged to witness on earth the fulfillment of the great promise of God. Nevertheless, they too participate in the benefits of Christ’s high-priestly work, and, along with new covenant saints, they are “made perfect.” Those of the old and new eras together await the perfection that will appear only at the Second Coming (12:26; 13:14; Rom. 8:18; Eph. 1:9, 10).

    cloud of witnesses.
    The readers are in effect running a race before a great crowd of people who have already finished the race with honors. Their example encourages the readers, and admonishes them if they should stumble.

    every weight, and sin which clings so closely.
    Among the burdens to be thrown off are fear that shrinks back in the face of suffering (10:38, 39), bitter discouragement that defiles others through doubt (v. 15), and sensuality that seeks immediate gratification (v. 16).

    run . . . the race.
    The athletic competitions of the Greeks provided a common New Testament analogy for the Christian life (1 Cor. 9:24–27; Phil. 2:16; 2 Tim. 2:5; 4:7, 8). Like a runner, the Christian must be in constant motion toward the goal despite opposition. This demands strenuous effort and endurance, which is learned from constant discipline.

  4. 4
    Florabama says:

    “Darwinism does have physical evidence, they’re called fossils.” Hahahaha! Maybe you missed this in all your research, rvb8:

    “In other words, when the assumed evolutionary processes did not match the pattern of fossils that they were supposed to have generated, the pattern was judged to be ‘wrong.’ A circular argument arises: interpret the fossil record in terms of a particular theory of evolution, inspect the interpretation, and note that it confirms the theory. Well, it would, wouldn’t it? …As is now well known, most fossil species appear instantaneously in the record, persist for some millions of years virtually unchanged, only to disappear abruptly – the ‘punctuated equilibrium’ pattern of Eldredge and Gould.” (Kemp, Tom S., “A Fresh Look at the Fossil Record,” New Scientist, vol. 108, 1985, pp. 66-67.)

    Or this:

    “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.” (Prothero, Donald E., “Darwin’s Legacy,” eSkeptic Magazine, skeptic.com/eskeptic/12-02-15/)

    Or this:

    “Stasis is a common (I would say the dominant) pattern of anatomical (non)change in the evolutionary history of species; …And, of course, given a concatenation of many separate ‘punctuated equilibria’ events all happening more or less at the same time, Darwin, armed with his particular conception of evolution through natural selection, must have felt totally helpless in the face of such a monstrous pattern. He could blame stasis on a poor geological record, but faced with paleontologists talking up Cuvierian patterns, Darwin simply cut and ran.” (Eldredge, Niles, “Confessions of a Darwinist,” http://www.vqronline.org/vqr-p.....-darwinist Spring 2006.)

    Or this:

    “A localized population…suddenly appear(s) on the scene and then continue(s) essentially unchanged until [they] become(s) extinct.” (Mayr, Ernst, What Evolution Is, Basic Books, 2001 p. 63.)

    Or this:

    “Eldredge and Gould proposed that the degree of gradualism commonly attributed to Charles Darwin is virtually nonexistent in the fossil record, and that stasis dominates the history of most fossil species.” Wikipedia, Punctuated equilibrium

    You are right the fossil record is filled with evidence — you just have it bassackwards. The fossil record is one of the greatest evidences for a Designer.

  5. 5
    Dionisio says:

    Florabama @4,

    Please be nicer to the politely dissenting interlocutors. 🙂

    They seem to lack what is required in order to have serious discussions. Also their situation seems to be between a rock and a hard place. The future doesn’t look encouraging to them. Many new biology-related discoveries seem to make the complex complexity even more complex, thus shrinking their “Darwinism-of-the-gaps” which is the foundation of their beliefs.

    Let’s show compassion to them.
    Let’s be magnanimous in victory.
    Let’s invite them to joint us in the rejoicing! They might change their mind. Miracles happen! I’m a testimony of that.

    I don’t think there’s another area of modern science more fascinating than biology these days.
    We ain’t seen nothing’ yet. The best discoveries are still ahead.
    Let’s fasten our seatbelts. The ride is just starting.
    This long and winding road through biology research leads to the doubtless confirmation of the amazing design of the biological systems.
    Work in progress… stay tuned.
    Have a good week!

  6. 6
    Bob O'H says:

    Florabama – when you quote this

    “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.” (Prothero, Donald E., “Darwin’s Legacy,” eSkeptic Magazine, skeptic.com/eskeptic/12-02-15/)

    and then write this

    You are right the fossil record is filled with evidence — you just have it bassackwards. The fossil record is one of the greatest evidences for a Designer.

    I trust you are suggesting that invoking a Designer is part of an explanation for the pattern Prothero observes. Is this so, and if so what is the explanation?

  7. 7
    Florabama says:

    “I trust you are suggesting that invoking a Designer is part of an explanation for the pattern Prothero observes. Is this so, and if so what is the explanation?”

    Not sure I understand your question. Prothero would certainly not invoke a designer for the explanation of the lack of demonstrable evolution in the fossil record (just as Crick did not invoke God but aliens for the fact that abiogenesis was impossible). Of course, neither did Eldredge and Gould invoke a designer which was the whole point of Punk Eek — to explain the lack of evidence in the fossil record for gradual evolution. None of that changes the fact that their admission is in line with what creationists have said all along, and by any objective criteria, the fact that the fossil record is a testament to stasis, supports a creationist/I.D. interpretation of the evidence and not that of Darwinism.

  8. 8
    rvb8 says:

    Dionisio,

    @3 you quote extensively from the Bible, I’ll assume KJV, my favourite.

    @5 you then assume a patronising voice that doesn’t sit well with your chosen historic reading sources.

    Florabama, mocks my point that fossils prove evolution, and you back him up.

    But fossils do prove evolution, we see that in the way they are found in strata of descending age, with older fossils always (not sometimes, or often) found in the deeper strata.

    It is imperfect, but filling out nicely. Even a cursory glance at an imperfect source, Wikipedia, shows a huge bank of fossils, all in agreement with one another.

    Fossils are a superb evidence for evolution. So much so that they allow paleontologists to guess where the next fossils may be found.

    That is what happened with Tiktaalik, when evolutionary biologist Neill Shubin predicted the location, rock age, and likely ancient environment, this transitional animal would be in.

    ID makes no such predictions as it is all philosophy, theology, the law, public opinion, and school districts.

  9. 9
    Bob O'H says:

    Ah, I see, Florabama. the fossil record doesn’t provide any evidence for a Designer. You are just claiming that it doesn’t provide any evidence for evolution.

  10. 10
    Marfin says:

    RVB8- Science is not just opinion it is testing, experimentation,re-testing, etc, so once again I asked how do you test fossils.I can bring you a bag of nuts, bolts, screws,rivets,nails, etc and ask you to make a family tree of said item based on when they were first invented and you could make a nice tree , but how would you test that your tree is correct and not just the pattern you feel is correct. So a specific fossil how do you know it really is the ancestor to something else .If you check the news this morning you will see , the earliest fossil on mans lineage , is now believed to be European and not Africian,
    So give those guys a call RVB8 tell them you know how to test this fossil so they can verify their claims, or tell them the truth which is you kick over a stone find a new fossil and hey presto mans lineage is re written , AGAIN.

  11. 11
    Bob O'H says:

    Marfin – isn’t that fossil a test in itself? Not a hr
    rd and fast one one its own, but still a test.

    Let’s see if the suggestion that humans evolved in Europe pans out – I would imagine that there will be a lot of discussion about the validity of this claim, and what exactly it really is.

  12. 12
    Marfin says:

    Bob O`H – Honest question Bob how specifically is a fossil a test?.As I have said before Colin Patterson late Head of the NHM London stated ” Is Archaeopteryx the anccestor to modern birds perhaps yes perhaps no , as there is no way of putting it to the test”.
    So how do you test if fossils are ancestral to any other fossils, how do you know if any given fossil left any offspring at all.
    So once again how is a fossil a test.

  13. 13
    Bob O'H says:

    Marfin – simple. The hypothesis is that human ancestors evolved in Africa. if we find fossils that correspond to our ancestors(*) outside of Africa, then it suggests that our ancestors evolved elsewhere.

    (*) of course we cannot be sure that the fossils are from a species ancestral to us – they could also be a close relative. We would probably also need some evidence that there were no sister species in Africa at the time, who could be our ancestors.

  14. 14
    Marfin says:

    BOB o H – Bob thats not a test thats an opinion based on a hypothesis, how do you test to see if your opinion based on your hypothesis has any validity.
    If I Richard Leaky finds a fossil and says its our ancestor and Donald Johanson and Stephen J Gould says no its not , tell me what test can you do to see who is right and who is wrong.
    Once again test please.

  15. 15
    Bob O'H says:

    Marfin – I’ve already indicated that it’s almost certainly not an ancestor. Please read what I wrote (all of it!).

    it may be that you can work this out (at least to a first approximation) yourself from what I wrote. But even if not, I think it will help if you refine your question.

  16. 16
    Marfin says:

    BOB o H- In my last post I was not speaking about a specific fossil but fossils in general , if Colin Patterson admits you cannot test fossils for ancestry , prove him wrong cite a test.
    Why do you think the whole human ancestor thing is so fluid with fossils moving in and out of mans lineage, its because
    THERE IS NO WAY OF PUTTING FOSSILS TO A TEST .
    once again if I am wrong cite the test.

  17. 17
    Dionisio says:

    Marfin @10:

    They may have all the fossils they want, including the “missing links” (whatever that means). The real problem the evo-devo folks have to resolve is briefly described in the comment posted @1090 in this thread: https://uncommondescent.com/evolution/a-third-way-of-evolution/#comment-621816

  18. 18
    Dionisio says:

    Marfin,
    You may ask your politely-dissenting interlocutors to read the comment posted @1090 in this thread: https://uncommondescent.com/evolution/a-third-way-of-evolution/#comment-621816
    and see if they understand the described problem. If they do, you may ask them if they agree.

  19. 19
    LocalMinimum says:

    rvb8:

    That is what happened with Tiktaalik, when evolutionary biologist Neill Shubin predicted the location, rock age, and likely ancient environment, this transitional animal would be in.

    So, what is the significance of this find in light of the fact that it’s likely Tiktaalik is preceded by tetrapods rather than their origin, as seemed to be the big idea?

    https://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v463/n7277/full/nature08623.html

    Once it becomes “just another fossil”, it only serves to show that “walking fish” have been around at least as long as our current earliest discovery of tetrapods minus 20 million years; right? May still have been an excellent geo/ecological prediction, but I fail to see how that serves your purpose.

    Funny enough, if we never found those tracks, the actual factual truth would remain the same, but our expectations based on the fossil record would be different. Interesting hypothetical divergence, no?

  20. 20
    Bob O'H says:

    Marin @ 16 – one cannot test ancestry specifically, as one would have to be able to demonstrate a direct line of descent from a fossil. I don’t know that any palaeontologists seriously suggest direct ancestry nowadays. if they do, then they’re being careless.

  21. 21
    Dionisio says:

    LocalMinimum @19:

    As it’s written @17 & 18, your politely-dissenting interlocutors may have all the fossils they want, including the “missing links” (whatever that means). The real problem the evo-devo folks have to resolve is briefly described in the comment posted @1090 in this thread: https://uncommondescent.com/evolution/a-third-way-of-evolution/#comment-621816

    You may ask your politely-dissenting interlocutors to read the comment posted @1090 in this thread: https://uncommondescent.com/evolution/a-third-way-of-evolution/#comment-621816
    and see if they understand the described problem. If they do, you may ask them if they agree.

  22. 22
    PaV says:

    rvb8:

    Darwinism does have physical evidence, they’re called fossils.

    In the Origin of Species, I believe it’s the fourth chapter that is titled, “On Difficulties on the Theory,” Darwin mentions that the fossil record does NOT support his theory, and gives reasons why this may be so. He ends with the hope that further exploration of the fossil record might fill in what is “missing.”

    The Cambrian Explosion nullifies Darwin’s expectations, and his theory. You can read all about it in Steve Meyer’s Darwin’s Doubt.

    So, try again.

  23. 23
    rhampton7 says:

    What Consolmagno actually believes:

    Consolmagno said that Lemaitre (Monsignor George Lemaitre, a Jesuit cosmologist) shows the church and science need not be at odds, but complement each other. God created the world, and ‘our science tells us how he did it’, he said.

    Though some scientists may not believe in God, ‘The search for truth is what unites us’.

    He added: ‘Lemaitre himself was very careful to remind people — including Pope Pius XII — that the creative act of God is not something that happened 13.8 billion years ago. It’s something that happens continually.’

    He emphasised that in Christian thought God is not a distant deity who merely causes the Big Bang, since otherwise ‘you’ve reduced God to a nature god, like Jupiter throwing lightning bolts. That’s not the God that we as Christians believe in’.

    In 2014 Pope Francis said that Christian theology was compatible with the theories of evolution and the Big Bang. He rejected creationist theories, saying that God is ‘not a magician with a magic wand’.

  24. 24
    rvb8 says:

    PaV,

    please, please, please, attempt to varify your thinking before thinking.

    “In the ‘Origins of Species’, I believe it is the fourth chapter that is titled, ‘On Difficulties on the Theory’.”

    No! In my copy it’s chapter six entittled, ‘Difficulties on Theory.’

    PaV, I suggest you don’t read this chapter as it is everything you don’t want to know.

    A better title for this chapter would be, ‘Difficulties on Theory, Asked and Answered.’

    But like I said don’t read it, it makes brilliant sense. The man’s ability to for see problems to his theory, and then explain simple, easy to understand solutions, predictions (vindicated by modern science), and brilliant guesses, is amazing.

    You put up Steven Meyer’s, ‘Darwin’s Doubt’, as a robust rebuttal?

    Perhaps, but more than forty people must read said rebuttal before it is taken seriously. And of course the title is a flat out lie; Darwin had no doubt of the voracity of his theory, just concerns it would upset the Christian apple cart; he was completely right there too!

  25. 25
    Marfin says:

    Bob O`H- Bob you say you cannot test specific ancestry please show how you test general ancestry, please cite any fossils and show how you test that those fossils are the ancestor of any other fossils.

  26. 26
    Bob O'H says:

    Marfin – I have no idea what you mean by “general ancestry”, I’m afraid.

  27. 27
    Marfin says:

    Bob O`H -How do you know or test that Archaeopterxy is ancestral to modern birds and not just a creature that looks like it might be.

  28. 28
    Florabama says:

    Bob O’H @ 9 “Ah, I see, Florabama. the fossil record doesn’t provide any evidence for a Designer. You are just claiming that it doesn’t provide any evidence for evolution.”

    Wrong!…and right… sort of. The fossil record DOES NOT provide any actual evidence for Darwinian evolution. Stasis is NON-EVOLUTION, correct? And stasis is the only thing that can be determined SCIENTIFICALLY from the fossil record and stasis is the dominant feature — in fact the only feature of the fossil record that can be measured. Why? Because it is the only thing that can be measured objectively from the fossil record by comparing EXTANT organisms to their fossils. Making statements about evolutionary linage is purely, unadulterated speculation and should be banned as a field of science as it is nothing more than story telling — AS MANY EVOLUTIONISTS ADMIT. As Jonathan Wells makes clear, if we dug up the skeletons of two dead humans in a field, we couldn’t even determine if they were related to each other unless we had DNA. To make evolutionary claims from bones is the height of speculation and imagination. You might as well call in the local witch doctor and let him spit on the dirt and cast the bones and tell the future.

    Recently I gave a presentation to my Friday morning study group. I said that if I could hold up a picture of a 50 million year old fossil, and ask you what it is, and you would all unequivocally say, “shrimp!” “Spider, Crab,” etc etc. And I could give hundreds of other such examples — all hundreds of millions of years old and unchanged as far as can be determined from their fossils.

    To ignore this fact is not even willful obtuseness — it reveals a level of brainwashing and inability to reason that is revelatory about the pitiful condition of mankind. rvb8 and others just repeat the mindless mantra without so much as a passing thought that the actual facts are the complete opposite of their unquestioned dogma.

    And to say that the fact that the dominant pattern of the fossil record — which is sudden appearance followed by non-evolution — is not only anti-Darwinian, but also supporting evidence for a creation narrative, is mind bogglingly dumb. I hope that helps.

  29. 29
    cmow says:

    regarding post 24 —
    I took the risk, rvb8; I saw your suggestion to PaV, and I was worried that it might rock my world to open up my copy of Origin of Species, but I took the risk anyway, and read through a couple chapters.

    Good grief. Darwin had no answer for the fact that the fossil record doesn’t support his theory, other than to offer the excuse that the fossil record is incomplete. He compared the fossil record to a multi-volume history book written in a changing dialect, for which we only have a few pages.
    This is a more-than-tacit admission that a) the geological record doesn’t support his theory, and b) even subject to future discovery, it might not ever do so.

    His rebuttal to the lack of fossil evidence (see chapter X and XV of Origin of Species — these chapters more directly deal with the difficulties of the geological record) is just an attempt to push the issue aside and is neither brilliant, nor particularly scientific.

  30. 30
    Heartlander says:

    cmow @29 ”He [Darwin] compared the fossil record to a multi-volume history book written in a changing dialect, for which we only have a few pages.”

    On the Derivation of Ulysses from Don Quixote

    IMAGINE THIS story being told to me by Jorge Luis Borges one evening in a Buenos Aires cafe.

    His voice dry and infinitely ironic, the aging, nearly blind literary master observes that “the Ulysses,” mistakenly attributed to the Irishman James Joyce, is in fact derived from “the Quixote.”

    I raise my eyebrows.

    Borges pauses to sip discreetly at the bitter coffee our waiter has placed in front of him, guiding his hands to the saucer.

    “The details of the remarkable series of events in question may be found at the University of Leiden,” he says. “They were conveyed to me by the Freemason Alejandro Ferri in Montevideo.”

    Borges wipes his thin lips with a linen handkerchief that he has withdrawn from his breast pocket.

    “As you know,” he continues, “the original handwritten text of the Quixote was given to an order of French Cistercians in the autumn of 1576.”

    I hold up my hand to signify to our waiter that no further service is needed.

    “Curiously enough, for none of the brothers could read Spanish, the Order was charged by the Papal Nuncio, Hoyo dos Monterrey (a man of great refinement and implacable will), with the responsibility for copying the Quixote, the printing press having then gained no currency in the wilderness of what is now known as the department of Auvergne. Unable to speak or read Spanish, a language they not unreasonably detested, the brothers copied the Quixote over and over again, re-creating the text but, of course, compromising it as well, and so inadvertently discovering the true nature of authorship. Thus they created Fernando Lor’s Los Hombres d’Estado in 1585 by means of a singular series of copying errors, and then in 1654 Juan Luis Samorza’s remarkable epistolary novel Por Favor by the same means, and then in 1685, the errors having accumulated sufficiently to change Spanish into French, Moliere’s Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme, their copying continuous and indefatigable, the work handed down from generation to generation as a sacred but secret trust, so that in time the brothers of the monastery, known only to members of the Bourbon house and, rumor has it, the Englishman and psychic Conan Doyle, copied into creation Stendhal’s The Red and the Black and Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, and then as a result of a particularly significant series of errors, in which French changed into Russian, Tolstoy’s The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Anna Karenina. Late in the last decade of the 19th century there suddenly emerged, in English, Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, and then the brothers, their numbers reduced by an infectious disease of mysterious origin, finally copied the Ulysses into creation in 1902, the manuscript lying neglected for almost thirteen years and then mysteriously making its way to Paris in 1915, just months before the British attack on the Somme, a circumstance whose significance remains to be determined.”

    I sit there, amazed at what Borges has recounted. “Is it your understanding, then,” I ask, “that every novel in the West was created in this way?”

    “Of course,” replies Borges imperturbably. Then he adds: “Although every novel is derived directly from another novel, there is really only one novel, the Quixote.”
    David Berlinski

  31. 31
    Dionisio says:

    Heartlander @30:

    Thank you for that excellent quote that confirms the creative power of random mutations + natural selection through time.

  32. 32
    LocalMinimum says:

    Dionisio @ 21:

    As it’s written @17 & 18, your politely-dissenting interlocutors may have all the fossils they want, including the “missing links” (whatever that means). The real problem the evo-devo folks have to resolve is briefly described in the comment posted @1090 in this thread: https://uncommondescent.com/evolution/a-third-way-of-evolution/#comment-621816

    Nicely stated. Definitely what should be sought over naked…errr, naive Bayes in the current form of cladistics; though, sadly, that’s the state of the industry and the market continues to bear it. For now.

    But, how am I going to sell our politely-dissenting interlocutors on the the promise of finer analytical literature when there are those among them who still swear by Darwin’s original pulp philosophy, without even recognizing the primacy of nostalgia in their tastes?

  33. 33
    Dionisio says:

    cmow @29:

    “[…] neither brilliant, nor particularly scientific.”

    What’s scientific about a concoction of afterthoughts that grossly extrapolate what is known as microevolution* in order to try explaining macroevolution?

    (*) robustly built-in adaptation framework underlying the biological systems.

  34. 34
    Dionisio says:

    LocalMinimum @32:

    But, how am I going to sell our politely-dissenting interlocutors on the the promise of finer analytical literature when there are those among them who still swear by Darwin’s original pulp philosophy, without even recognizing the primacy of nostalgia in their tastes?

    Interesting question.
    Maybe somebody here can answer it?

  35. 35
    cmow says:

    Dionisio @33

    Agreed. Should have written “neither brilliant and not at all scientific.”

  36. 36
    Dionisio says:

    cmow @35:
    Bingo! Exactly!

  37. 37
    Bob O'H says:

    Marfin @ 27 – I don’t think you’re reading what I’m writing. We don’t think Archaeopteryx is the ancestor to birds, and I don’t think that can be tested.

  38. 38
    Bob O'H says:

    Florabama @ 28 – are you saying that we never see change in the fossil record?

  39. 39
    wd400 says:

    Bob,

    It’s quite a long way away from what marfin is asking, but there are phylogenetic frameworks that include the idea that one of your samples (a fossil, aDNA or a virus sampled in historical times) is an ancestor of another. So-called “sampled ancestor trees” http://journals.plos.org/plosc.....bi.1003919. Persumably you at least could use the posterior distribution of trees to get the probability that a given sample was an ancestor. Not that relevant to the question, I jut think it is a cool method!

    Marfin,

    As Bob says, you are failing to grasp the fact palentologists do not claim that Archaeopteryx is an ancestor of modern birds, just a close cousin. They key point is that a fossil needn’t be a direct ancestor to be transitional.

  40. 40
    Dionisio says:

    All the fossils mean nothing if nobody can resolve the fundamental evo-devo problem described in the comment posted @1090 in this thread: https://uncommondescent.com/evolution/a-third-way-of-evolution/#comment-621816
    Y’all may continue to discuss all you want for as long as you wish, but the whole discussion is a waste.
    Y’all may want to get serious and look at what really matters.

  41. 41
    rvb8 says:

    cmow,

    yeah you took the risk and found Darwin wanting; the scientific community is aghast!

    Ch 1, 2, & 3; Darwin sets up the argument. Variation Under Domestication, Variation Under Nature, and Struggle for Existance.

    He holds your hand and gently bombards you with example, after example of man selecting desirable traits, and then nature doing the same.

    Ch 4, Natural Selection, where again in natural example after example he convinces the clear thinking of the robustness of his argument; Oh yeah, he introduces his other novel idea, Sexual Selection. Ch 5, Laws of Variation; as the title suggests.

    Ch 6, he begins to anticipate arguments; Difficulties on Theory.

    Here cmow says, ‘Darwin has no answer for the fact the fossil record doesn’t support his theory.’

    Eh!?

    1) The earth is big we have just started looking.
    2) Only a few ideal spots for fossils to form.
    3) Gaps are and will continue to be filled.
    4) Critics have no conception of time, prefering to dwell on their Biblical time scales.

    These four oservations and others I don’t note have largely been proven as the fossil record grows, and rather irratatingly for creationists refuses to stop growing; kind of like the planets we keep inconveniently discovering.

    cmow,

    don’t read the chaptes on biodiversity, Ch 11, 12, called, Geogrpahical Distribution. He asks why would an intelligent designer put no hot weather cacti in Africa, only in the Americas? When man transferred these plants to Africa they thrived. The designer saw fit to create two different types of hot weather plant for two near identical dry environments.

    One last thing, I’m not sure about your ‘Origins’, but mine has no Ch 15, it only goes to 14. Lucky you, you have publishing gold, keep it, it will make you a fortune.

    Also, Ch 10 is On The Geologic Succession of Organic Beings. I think you mean Ch 9, On The Imperfection of the Geologic Record.

    Ch 15!? Perhaps you could write it. Probably do better than Meyer’s travesty. As Hitchens notes, ‘unlikely to warrent a mention in the history of piffle.’

  42. 42
    cmow says:

    rvb8,
    I am referring to a copy of the 6th edition (1872). I suspect you are referring to the first edition. The 6th edition includes a new chapter 7, so that every subsequent chapter after that is renumbered plus one. So my references and chapter titles are correct given my source. Sadly, I will not make a fortune.

    Regardless, we are reading Darwin’s same words, I think, and you see his answers to the objections as the brilliant foresight of a genius; I see his answers as non-scientific, non-inductive, Darwin-of-the-gaps, storytelling. We may have to agree to disagree on that.

    You say in comment @24 that Darwin had no doubt in the veracity of his theory. Maybe we define ‘doubt’ differently, but clearly he had misgivings about the fossil record. I think chapters 10 and 15 (9 and 14 for you?) are riddled with examples of this.

    For example, from chapter 10:

    The abrupt manner in which whole groups of species suddenly appear in certain formations, has been urged by several palæontologists, for instance, by Agassiz, Pictet, and by none more forcibly than by Professor Sedgwick, as a fatal objection to the belief in the transmutation of species. If numerous species, belonging to the same genera or families, have really started into life all at once, the fact would be fatal to the theory of descent with slow modification through natural selection.

    Now it is true that Darwin confessed ignorance on this — how could he not, given that there really was much exploration to be done? From chapter 15:

    But it deserves especial notice that the more important objections relate to questions on which we are confessedly ignorant; nor do we know how ignorant we are. We do not know all the possible transitional gradations between the simplest and the most perfect organs; it cannot be pretended that we know all the varied means of Distribution during the long lapse of years, or that we know how imperfect is the Geological Record.

    Nevertheless, Darwin stuck faithfully to his theory, despite the lack of evidence on this point, trusting that the fossil record would eventually redeem him. (As Hebrews 11 says, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”)

    But, how have the fossil finds of the last 150 years answered this fatal objection? The fossils of the Cambrian stratum (or the lack of pre-Cambrian fossils) do not support Darwin’s theory. Evolutionary biologists aren’t even arguing this anymore; instead they are constructing wishful thinking theories and excuses as to why the Cambrian explosion doesn’t support Darwinism — e.g., oxygen levels spiked, and so on.

    Fwiw, I haven’t read Darwin’s Doubt, but from what I know, Meyer has the right of it.

  43. 43
    Dionisio says:

    Wow!
    cmow seems to know more about Darwin’s book than his politely dissenting interlocutor, right?
    Anyway, the challenge presented @40 remains in place.

  44. 44
    Marfin says:

    Bob and WD400- How do you know and how do you test a fossil is transitional.

  45. 45
    LocalMinimum says:

    wd400 @ 39:

    They key point is that a fossil needn’t be a direct ancestor to be transitional.

    Sounds to me like a surrender of the objective evidentiary purpose of a “transitional form”, much like the watered-down, non-predictive, a priori current definition of “vestigial organs”.

    All I need is some combination of traits to exist in some creature at some time, call “STASIS!”, and then; “Hey, look: Darwin was right after all!” Which is, of course, absurd.

    I don’t even need a good combination, as the “cousin” status covers many discrepancies.

  46. 46
    asauber says:

    transitional

    If there is such a thing as Evolution then everything is transitional and subject to morphing into something else.

    Andrew

  47. 47
    wd400 says:

    Bob and WD400- How do you know and how do you test a fossil is transitional.

    You estimate a phylogeny based on measurable characters, then see which traits are primitive (like the shared ancestor), derived (unique to the fossil and different from an ancestral form) and shared-derived (different from the ancestor by shared by multiple descendants). Transitional fossils are those that contain a mixture of primitive traits that have been lost by all members of some group (for Archy that’s stuff like having teeth) and the shared-derrived traits that unite that group (eg. feathers).

  48. 48
    wd400 says:

    Asauber,

    If there is such a thing as Evolution then everything is transitional and subject to morphing into something else.

    Sure. There are almost certainly transitional species alive today. We just can’t yet know which ones and what transitions they mark!

  49. 49
    Dionisio says:

    Which is transition, the short or large beak finch?
    🙂

  50. 50
    rvb8 says:

    cmow, Dionisio,

    in this 6th edition of (1872) what is this new Chapter 7 called, and what is its subject matter?

    No Dionisio, cmow has been caught in an embarassing mystake, and is now attempting to lie and invent book chapters that don’t exist to cover his ineptitude.

    Please cmow, inform the world of this new and mysterious Chapter 7. Of course searching online is ID’s chosen method of ‘in depth’ research, which subsequently explains your profound lack of knowledge of a founding document of evolution.

  51. 51
    Dionisio says:

    cmow,
    Did your politely dissenting interlocutor’s comment @50 also refer to my comment @43?
    But (s)he didn’t comment on the last sentence @43, did (s)he?
    Was the comment @50 selective?
    Or perhaps (s)he implicitly agreed with the last sentence @43?
    🙂
    BTW, I don’t care much about a concoction of pseudoscientific afterthoughts compiled into an old paper. Have never read it and don’t plan to read it either.

  52. 52
    asauber says:

    wd400,

    If everything is transitional, there’s no subset of transitional, and you are just confused.

    Andrew

  53. 53
    wd400 says:

    Asauber,

    I am fairly confident that if you were to look at, say, crocodiles and finches you could note some differences? Transitional fossils are those that help us understand the order in which the differences between related lineages (crocodiles and alligators are the closest living relative of birds) evolved. As a simple example, Archy lets us know feathers predate the toothless bill that all modern birds have.

  54. 54
    Dionisio says:

    Is alligator transition to crocodile or crocodile transition to alligator?
    🙂

  55. 55
    wd400 says:

    Is alligator transition to crocodile or crocodile transition to alligator?

    No.

  56. 56
    rvb8 says:

    cmow,

    I am here to publish a full retraction and apology to you. The 6th edition does indeed have a new chapter 7, entitled Miscellaineous Objections to the Theory of Natural Selection. It appears to be an extension of chapter 6, Difficulties of the theory; I’m deeply sorry if I impungned your character; sorry.

  57. 57
    asauber says:

    wd400,

    Which fossils are transitional between crocs and finches, since you brought them up for comparison purposes?

    Andrew

  58. 58
    Dionisio says:

    asauber,

    Can they resolve the evo-devo problem referenced @40 at least for the case of the common ancestor to the crocs/gators and birds?

    Are you aware of any serious case they have got at least close to resolve?

    BTW, what’s the common ancestor to the short and long beak finches? 🙂

  59. 59
    wd400 says:

    asauber,

    Well, Archaeopteryx is one…

  60. 60
    Dionisio says:

    Is the short beak finch transition to the long beak finch or the other way around?
    🙂

  61. 61
    wd400 says:

    Dionisio,

    I think you are a little confused. Modern species are not transitional with respect to each other, so the broad-beaked finch species are not transitional to the other finches (nor the other way around). For what it is worth, the broad and blunt-beaked characters are derived, which is to say these traits evolved from more typical beaks.

  62. 62
    Dionisio says:

    wd400 @61:

    What’s the last universal common ancestor (LUCA) to crocs/gators and birds?
    Can you resolve the problem referenced @40 for this case?

    Probably it would be easier to do it for d1= the first transition on the branch to crocs/gators and d2 = the first transition on the branch to birds.
    Agree?

  63. 63
    wd400 says:

    The common ancestor of crocodillians and birds lived around 250 million years ago. It’s a long way from my specialist area, but I understand it might have looked quite crocodile-like (something like a phytosaur).

    I am not about to click on link 1009 of one of threads you’ve built as a monument to folly. If you have a simple question I can try to answer it.

  64. 64
    Dionisio says:

    wd400 @63:

    Watch your reading comprehension. The number was 1090.

    Let’s call ‘CA’ the last universal common ancestor of crocs/gators and birds.
    Let’s call ‘D1’ the first descendant from CA on the crocs/gators branch.
    Let’s call ‘D2’ the first descendant from CA on the birds branch.
    Let’s call Dev(x) the developmental process of the biological system ‘x’
    Let’s call Delta(x) the spatiotemporally combined changes applied to the Dev(ca) of the immediate ancestor ‘ca’ of a biological system ‘x’ in order to get Dev(x)
    Then we could write the fundamental evo-devo problem as:
    Dev(D1) = Dev(CA) + Delta(D1)
    Dev(D2) = Dev(CA) + Delta(D2)
    Do you believe this has been resolved for the crocs/gators – birds case?
    Please, note that Dev(x) and Delta(x) include regulatory networks, signaling pathways, epigenetic markers, morphogenetic mechanisms, asymmetric segregation of intrinsic cell fate determinants, and any kind of molecular or cellular mechanisms associated with the developmental processes.

    Do you believe this has been satisfactorily resolved for any similar case?
    Can you name a case where this problem has been satisfactorily resolved?
    Any questions so far?
    Do you need assistance to understand the formulation of this problem?
    I’m sure other folks here can give you a hand with this.

  65. 65
    wd400 says:

    D1 and D2 needn’t be any different than the common ancestor.

    If you are getting around to asking do we know every change in every development system that brought about a particular evolutionary transition then the answer is of course not. Our level of understanding of development is not so detailed as to allow that.

  66. 66
    cmow says:

    rvb8,
    No worries. Thanks and apology accepted.

  67. 67
    Dionisio says:

    wd400 @65:
    Let me repeat my questions @63:
    Do you believe this has been satisfactorily resolved for any similar case?
    Can you name a case where this problem has been satisfactorily resolved?
    Please, answer simply yes or no.
    No need to elaborate on your answer.
    Thank you.
    Now, based on what you wrote @65, can we agree that your answers to both questions are NO? Did I get that right?

  68. 68
    Dionisio says:

    cmow @66:
    Well done! Let’s be magnanimous in victory.
    Let’s show compassion to those who don’t see clear.
    Let’s be forgiving. God loves us all on any side of the arguments.
    But redemption is only available through faith in the Savior.

  69. 69
    rvb8 says:

    Hmmm,

    back to the science I see Dionisio. From this brief insert, magnanimity is not your forte.

    You do understand my faiure was in checking sources, not a fundamental failure in argument?

    And I’m happy you’ve found redemption in the Lord; I truly want no part of it;)

  70. 70
    Bob O'H says:

    wd400 –

    asauber,

    Well, Archaeopteryx is one…

    I think we need a real palaeontologists here. I thought crocs (i.e. crocodilians, the order rather than the family. Or the footware) were a sister taxon to birds. I guess the relevant question is whether we would call the LCA a croc.

  71. 71
    Marfin says:

    Bob o`H At last you got it , well almost you said we need a real palaeontologist to answer the question re Archaeopteryx , but that would be of no benefit as unless the palaeontologist has some way to test and verify his conclusions ,what he says is just his/her opinion.
    That is what I have been saying all along unless you have some way to test and verify what is being claimed you cannot be sure any palaeontologist is correct in their assertions.
    So is there any way to be sure , as WD 400 at 47 used words such as primitive,ancestor,measurable characters,descendants
    ,all are based on opinion not tests.
    Show me some test that lets me know that something is ancestral to something else that some fossil is ancestral to another fossil and that they are not all just different species , who lived died and were fossilised .
    If Archaeopteryx is transitional because it has bird and lizard type body parts, then the duck billed platypus must be the holy grail of transitional forms.

  72. 72
    wd400 says:

    Bob,

    Sure, I just took Asauber to mean transition between the common ancestor of all archosaurs and modern birds. But you are right, there are no transitional between modern crocs and modern birds, since the one did not evolve into the other.

    Marfin,

    I can only suggest you read some introductory texts on phylogenetics. There quite a few tests for the degree to which characters are tree-like (e.g. consistency index), reconstructions of ancestral states and support for one tree shape or another (using whichever modern statistical school you prefer). You have also been told about seven times that paleontologists do not claim every transitional fossil is an ancestor, I don’t know why you keep asking proof of something no one claims.

  73. 73
    Marfin says:

    wd400-I have never said every ,I said any, show me any fossil you can test and be sure .
    These trees you speak of are human constructs based on assumption and opinion , they do not necessarily have any basis in fact.You are just not getting this , why do you think supposed hominid fossils move in and out of our family tree, its because they cannot be tested,THEY CANNOT BE TESTED,they are put in our lineage in the first place based on assumption, world view, opinion,supposed age,etc but if it cannot be tested you can never be sure.
    You can make a family tree of almost anything does not mean it is right.

  74. 74
    asauber says:

    There are almost certainly transitional species alive today. We just can’t yet know which ones and what transitions they mark!

    wd400,

    I’d say evolutionary science isn’t very robust, then. All the information about any living creature is here for you to discover, and there is nothing about it that identifies it as transitional. ‘Transitional’ appears to be after the fact story telling.

    Andrew

  75. 75
    Dionisio says:

    wd400 @65:
    Did you miss my questions @67?

    Also you wrote:

    If you are getting around to asking do we know every change in every development system that brought about a particular evolutionary transition then the answer is of course not. Our level of understanding of development is not so detailed as to allow that.

    Let’s assume we have a biological system A and a different biological system B. They share some similarities.
    Now, saying that somehow A evolved into B without a solid, comprehensive, reasonably evidence-based proof could be considered speculation*. Presenting and even imposing a theory without knowing how to explain it in a comprehensive way is not science. Copernic and Newton knew how to explain their theories in sufficient details to make them very persuasive and convincing. That’s not the case with the concoction of “just-so” afterthoughts blended in an ever-changing Darwinian theory –based on a gross extrapolation of a robustly built-in adaptation framework– that keeps adding ideas as science makes new discoveries. That’s either archaic pseudoscientific hogwash or low grade bovine excreta.
    Do you agree or disagree?

    Please, note that this is not about explaining how things happened or might have happened. No. The presented problem is much easier and simpler in the formulation Dev(x)=f(Dev(ca),delta(x)). Just find where someone explains how it could be done theoretically, but coherently and comprehensively. That’s all folks.
    Much has been written about this and perhaps much more will be written in the future. Because it’s an important area of discussion. But science should be more concerned about figuring out how the biological systems –specially the human physiology– work and function so that new treatments and preventive methods could be conceived.
    OOL should not attract resources that could be used in more useful research for the benefit of all. Evolutionary speculation should be left out to philosophical discussions outside the wet and dry labs. Time is precious and resources are limited. Let’s use them efficiently.

    (*) BTW, the concept ‘speculation’ is relatively frequent in biology-related research literature these days.

  76. 76
    Dionisio says:

    rvb8 @69:

    You do understand my faiure was in checking sources, not a fundamental failure in argument?

    Well, let’s see:

    rvb8 @50:

    cmow, Dionisio,

    in this 6th edition of (1872) what is this new Chapter 7 called, and what is its subject matter?

    No Dionisio, cmow has been caught in an embarassing mystake, and is now attempting to lie and invent book chapters that don’t exist to cover his ineptitude.

    Please cmow, inform the world of this new and mysterious Chapter 7. Of course searching online is ID’s chosen method of ‘in depth’ research, which subsequently explains your profound lack of knowledge of a founding document of evolution.

    Based on what you wrote @50, you have the audacity to say that it was just a failure “in checking sources”?

    Wasn’t your highly accusatory (perhaps even offensive) text indicative of a bigger failure, to which even you yourself alluded @56 saying

    I’m deeply sorry if I impungned your character

    Did you attack cmow’s character?

    cmow responded @66 very graciously, with forgiveness. I commended him/her for that. It’s a lesson for the rest of us to keep in mind and learn from.

    We were made to be good, that’s what IMAGO DEI also implies. But sadly we chose not to.
    Had we remained in Eden, none of this would have been an issue. Too late now.

  77. 77
    Dionisio says:

    wd400 @72:

    Marfin, I can only suggest you read some introductory texts on phylogenetics.

    While you suggest Marfin reads some particular text, I suggest you try to answer my questions @67 & @75.

  78. 78
    Dionisio says:

    rvb8 @50:

    cmow, Dionisio,

    in this 6th edition of (1872) what is this new Chapter 7 called, and what is its subject matter?

    No Dionisio, cmow has been caught in an embarassing mystake, and is now attempting to lie and invent book chapters that don’t exist to cover his ineptitude.

    Please cmow, inform the world of this new and mysterious Chapter 7. Of course searching online is ID’s chosen method of ‘in depth’ research, which subsequently explains your profound lack of knowledge of a founding document of evolution.

    rvb8 @56:

    cmow,

    I am here to publish a full retraction and apology to you. The 6th edition does indeed have a new chapter 7, entitled Miscellaineous Objections to the Theory of Natural Selection. It appears to be an extension of chapter 6, Difficulties of the theory; I’m deeply sorry if I impungned your character; sorry.

    rvb8 @69:

    You do understand my faiure was in checking sources, not a fundamental failure in argument?

    We could fail to check sources and still refrain from attacking someone else personally.

    What was the real main failure in your discussion with cmow?

    [emphasis mine]

  79. 79
    Bob O'H says:

    Marfin @ 73 –

    why do you think supposed hominid fossils move in and out of our family tree, its because they cannot be tested,

    This is a strange claim – the reason they mode around is because the claims about where they are on the family tree are tested. As new data accumulates, the tests are updated, and sometimes the best tree changes.

    You can make a family tree of almost anything does not mean it is right.

    You are, of course, right. But it also of course it doesn’t mean it’s wrong either, and as we accumulate data, the trees should become less wrong. It’s why, for example, in the original Jurassic Park the theory that birds were dinosaurs was suggested as something that was slightly wacky, but nowadays it’s mainstream and accepted by almost everyone in biology.

  80. 80
    asauber says:

    the trees should become less wrong

    This is very exciting news. Science that may become less wrong in the future. Stop the presses. This needs to go viral.

    Andrew

  81. 81
    Marfin says:

    Bob O`H. So fossil A is in the tree fossil B comes along so Fossil A gets kicked out Fossil C comes along and fossil B gets Kicked out then Fossil D comes along and fossil C gets kicked out and Fossil A is brought back in.
    I hope you are getting the picture here how can you trust any fossil is transitional and belongs in the tree if you find another one and kick the old one out.
    The tree exists because of a world view, fossils exist and these are the facts, trees exist only in the heads of people not in nature, they are the interpretation of the fossils found not the actual evidence.If there is no test it is outside empirical science.

  82. 82
    Bob O'H says:

    Marfin – no, it doesn’t get “kicked out”, it moves to another part of the tree. Or it stays in the same part of the tree, but another branch is added.

    Yes, there are tests, e.g. “we will fond this sort of fossil here” (see Tiktaalik). Or that fossils with feathers will have other bird/dinosaur-like features.

  83. 83
    wd400 says:

    Dionisio,

    I answered your question. If you want this absurd level of detail you will be disappointed by biology.

  84. 84
    Dionisio says:

    wd400 @83:
    1. Do you agree with my comments @75?
    2. What level of detail should be acceptable for biology?

  85. 85
    wd400 says:

    Dionisio,

    1. I do not.
    2. There is obvious no single level of “acceptable” detail for any field, biology is no different.

  86. 86
    asauber says:

    There is obvious no single level of “acceptable” detail for any field

    I note with some amusement that wd400’s defense of Evolution has De-Evolved in to something like “Anything Goes, Therefore…”

    Very Convincing. Where do I sign up for Atheism?

    Andrew

  87. 87
    Dionisio says:

    wd400 @83:

    If you want this absurd level of detail you will be disappointed by biology.

    What do you call “absurd level of detail”? Why?

  88. 88
    Dionisio says:

    wd400 @85:
    1. Can you explain why you don’t agree? Thank you.

  89. 89
    Dionisio says:

    wd400 @83:

    If you want this absurd level of detail you will be disappointed by biology.

    1. What do you call “absurd level of detail”? Why?

    2.a Would it be better or worse for biology if more details are known?
    2.b Should biology research stop once it reaches certain level of detail?
    2.c Is there a level of detail where biology research should stop?
    2.d Is there a level of detail beyond which biology researchers shouldn’t look further?

    Please, note that I’ve asked the question #2 in various formats (a,b,c,d) in order to increase the probability of finding one format that makes the question more clear for you.
    You may answer the format you feel more comfortable with. However, you’re free to answer them all if you will. 🙂
    Thank you.

    PS. Apparently the term ‘absurd level of detail’ was referring to my comment @75.

  90. 90
    Dionisio says:

    asauber @86:

    That was a funny comment. I like it. Thank you.

    However, I wouldn’t go as far as calling it “very convincing” but maybe “kind of persuasive”?
    🙂

    BTW, can you post the link to the ‘sign up’ webpage after you find it? 🙂

    PS. Perhaps at some point wd400 might regret that (s)he wrote the comment @83 or at least that (s)he used the word ‘absurd’. 🙂
    In any case I’ll forgive him/her because (s)he doesn’t know what (s)he’s doing.
    Wisdom comes only from one source.

  91. 91
    Dionisio says:

    @78:

    What was rvb8’s main failure in his discussion with cmow?
    Attacking cmow’s character or checking sources?
    Carefully reading @78 should help to answer that question.

  92. 92
    asauber says:

    Thanks, Dionisio @ #90.

    you will be disappointed by biology

    If wd400 and Bob O’H and rvb8 represent biology then yes, I am consumed with absolute metaphysical disappointment in biology.

    Andrew

  93. 93
    Bob O'H says:

    I’m sure Biology is devastated.

  94. 94
    Dionisio says:

    asauber @92:

    If wd400 and Bob O’H and rvb8 represent biology then yes, I am consumed with absolute metaphysical disappointment in biology.

    If your politely dissenting interlocutors had anything to do with biology then it wouldn’t be a science, but a bad joke.

    Fortunately that’s not the case.

    Biology is the most fascinating and dynamic science these days, precisely because many serious scientists are doing intensive research and making very interesting discoveries that are increasingly shedding light on the elaborate cellular and molecular choreographies orchestrated within the biological systems.

    Sadly your politely dissenting interlocutors don’t see that, hence they can’t enjoy it as we do. Maybe that’s why they seem so frustrated, always whining and complaining. Poor things. Let’s show compassion to them.

    May y’all have a good weekend.

  95. 95
    wd400 says:

    Dinosio,

    There is nothing unclear about your questions, indeed your whole style is nakedly clear. To clarify my response.

    The absurd level of detail if what you asked for, the sum of changes to “regulatory networks, signaling pathways, epigenetic markers, morphogenetic mechanisms, asymmetric segregation of intrinsic cell fate determinants, and any kind of molecular or cellular mechanisms associated with the developmental processes” that occurred in two lineages over the course of 250 million years from an ancestor that we have no access to.

    This is like asking someone what created the grand canyon and not being satisfied with “erosion” as an answer until you are given a complete history of every grain of sand in the Colorado river. Absurd.

    Obviously, biological researchers continue to uncover more and more detail about they ways genes are regulated (I am one fo those researchers, btw). But no one with a good understanding of modern biological research imagines we could produce the sort minutely detailed response you want anytime soon.

  96. 96
    Dionisio says:

    wd400 @95:

    The absurd level of detail if what you asked for, the sum of changes to “regulatory networks, signaling pathways, epigenetic markers, morphogenetic mechanisms, asymmetric segregation of intrinsic cell fate determinants, and any kind of molecular or cellular mechanisms associated with the developmental processes” that occurred in two lineages over the course of 250 million years from an ancestor that we have no access to.

    This is like asking someone what created the grand canyon and not being satisfied with “erosion” as an answer until you are given a complete history of every grain of sand in the Colorado river. Absurd.

    Your “Grand Canyon” example is indeed absurd.

    However, it seems like you missed, skipped, or misunderstood an entire paragraph in my comment @75, which apparently triggered your “absurd level of detail” comment.

    Did you notice this paragraph?

    Please, note that this is not about explaining how things happened or might have happened. No. The presented problem is much easier and simpler in the formulation Dev(x)=f(Dev(ca),delta(x)). Just find where someone explains how it could be done theoretically, but coherently and comprehensively. That’s all folks.

    Did your “absurd level of detail” comment consider the latter quoted paragraph too?

    Do you understand what that paragraph is trying to say?
    Do you see how that paragraph practically invalidates your “Grand Canyon” comparison?
    If you don’t see it, I could try to rewrite it.
    Maybe other readers of this thread could pitch in some suggestions on how to clarify this?

    Note that there are certain conditions and/or processes that have to be explained in order to make an argument seriously valid. Otherwise, the arguments become “just so” stories, like Cinderella’s pumpkin turned carriage, mice turned horses and grasshopper turned “cochero”.

    No need to guess how things happened. All it is required is to demonstrate with rigorous scientific methods how it could have happened. A hypothetical path, though it could have occurred differently.

    But details are needed. The more, the better. We’re talking about serious science, not paparazzi’s pics of celebrities at the beach. That goes into gossiping magazines.

    Please, note that what I wrote @75 is in line with what the evo-devo folks are trying to do. I did not invent the whole thing. It’s not my idea. I got it from reading relatively recent evo-devo literature.

    BTW, are we having reading comprehension issues here? 🙂

  97. 97
    Dionisio says:

    #96 addendum

    wd400,

    your example of the “Grand Canyon” is much simpler than the biological examples we’re discussing. Completely different categories. No comparison possible. In fact, comparing them leads to the reductionist approaches that have hindered and dragged down so much research through years. Let’s stay away from that kind of oversimplification.
    Biology is so fascinating because it’s functionally complex.

    If you do some experiment that demonstrate how water and wind erosion occurs on different types of soil and rocks, just scale the results up and bingo! No need to track down every grain of sand. That’s absurd, as you well stated.

    But that’s not the case in Biology, where they have to show how the different kinds of developmental processes –partially mentioned @75– could have appeared without guidance. But no need to track down every process. Just the different kinds within differing scenarios. Then scale up the results. That’s all. Obviously that’s still quite a bit compared with your “Grand Canyon” failed analogy. But it’s doable.

    Perhaps theoretically we could eventually recreate most biological systems, just by looking at them and trying to see how to assemble them in a logical spatiotemporal way that leads to the pursued result. Obviously that would take a long time. We’re far from there. However, even if it’s done, that would imply purpose, goal, design.

    But could we create the developmental process? Maybe?

    Dunno.

  98. 98
    wd400 says:

    Please, note that this is not about explaining how things happened or might have happened. No. The presented problem is much easier and simpler in the formulation Dev(x)=f(Dev(ca),delta(x)). Just find where someone explains how it could be done theoretically, but coherently and comprehensively. That’s all folks.

    You are going to have explain the difference between “might have happened” and “could be done theoretically” and “a hypothetical path,”

    If you just meant what sorts changes that will have happened, then, of course, you hve mutation and recombination creating changes in the regulation of genes (through means as diverse and epigenetic modifications, the packing of DNA into fibres, cis and trans regulatory factors, RNA interference…) and the generation of entirely new genes.

    All of these ways of changing developmental programs have been studied. But if you are asking for a detailed account of how these types of alterations could act in two lineages over 250 million years to modify an unknown ancestral developmental network into modern forms then the answer is that we do not have enough knowledge about development to answer that question.

  99. 99
    Dionisio says:

    wd400,

    By now we already have enough knowledge to say that the functional complexity observed within the developmental programs can only be the result of intelligent design.

    There’s no other explanation, specially considering that most new discoveries make the complexity more complex.

  100. 100
    wd400 says:

    OK. I look forward to the proof of this claim.

  101. 101
    Dionisio says:

    wd400
    Just keep an eye on the future biology research. It’ll make the case for intelligent design stronger with every new discovery.
    As far as I’m concerned, I don’t have to proof anything.
    The ID proponents stop at the design inference, because they arrive at it through the scientific analysis of the available evidences.
    To me the ID concept is a logical conclusion derived from the belief that the ultimate reality is defined by the first few verses of the first chapter of the Gospel according to the Apostle John.
    Have a good week.

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