Intelligent Design

Zachriel Goes Into Insane Denial Mode

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Zachriel says that “Darwin held that evolution would be frequently characterized by stasis.”  In support of this piece of blithering idiocy he quotes the following from Origin (4th ed):

the periods during which species have undergone modification, though long as measured in years, have probably been short in comparison with the periods during which they retain the same form.

I responded by placing Zach’s quote in context.  This is what Darwin actually said:

On this doctrine of the extermination of an infinitude of connecting links, between the living and extinct inhabitants of the world, and at each successive period between the extinct and still older species, why is not every geological formation charged with such links? Why does not every collection of fossil remains afford plain evidence of the gradation and mutation of the forms of life?  Although geological research has undoubtedly revealed the former existence of many links, bringing numerous forms of life much closer together, it does not yield the infinitely many fine gradations between past and present species required on the theory, and this is the most obvious of the many objections which may be urged against it. Why, again, do whole groups of allied species appear, though this appearance is often false, to have come in suddenly on the successive geological stages? I can answer these questions and objections only on the supposition that the geological record is far more imperfect than most geologists believe. The number of specimens in all our museums is absolutely as nothing compared with the countless generations of countless species which have certainly existed . . .Many species when once formed never undergo any further change but become extinct without leaving modified descendants; and the periods during which species have undergone modification, though long as measured by years, have probably been short in comparison with the periods during which they retained the same form

We can summarize what Darwin said in 3 steps:

Step 1:  What Darwin’s Theory Predicts

Darwin says that if his theory is correct there would have been an “extermination of an infinitude of connecting links, between the living and extinct inhabitants of the world, and at each successive period between the extinct and still older species.”

Further down he says his theory REQUIRES “infinitely many fine gradations between past and present species.”

In summary, Darwin predicted “rampant, albeit gradual, change affecting all lineages through time” just as Eldredge and Tatterall later said. See Niles Eldredge, Ian Tattersall, The Myths of Human Evolution

Earth to Zach.  Darwin held that evolution would be characterized generally by an “infinitude of connecting links,” and “infinitely many fine gradations.”  He most certainly did not say that the evolution would be characterized by stasis.  He said just exactly the opposite.  FAIL.

Step 2:  Darwin’s Problem.

Darwin candidly admitted that the fossil record does not reveal that “infinitude of connecting links” his theory predicts:

Why does not every collection of fossil remains afford plain evidence of the gradation and mutation of the forms of life? . . .it does not yield the infinitely many fine gradations between past and present species required on the theory, and this is the most obvious of the many objections which may be urged against it

Step 3:  Darwin Tries to Explain His Problem Away

After admitting his problem with the fossil record, Darwin immediately went on to try to explain the problem away.  And Zach’s little snippet comes from one of the arguments he makes about why the fossil record is incomplete at best and sometimes even deceptive, because it does not reveal what his theory – his word – “requires.”  With respect to bit clipped by Zach, Darwin says that the record might give a false impression of general stasis, not that his theory actually predicts general stasis.  This false impression is created, Darwin says, because some species that happened to leave fossils behind became extinct without leaving descendants.  Why does this leave a false impression?  Because an individual species that is not representative of the process of evolution as a whole as predicted by Darwin, by the sheer happenstance, became the one that left a fossil record.

In summary, Zach has used Darwin’s claim that certain fossils leave a FALSE impression of stasis to support Zach’s claim that Darwin actually predicted stasis generally.  FAIL

Zach is wrong and you don’t have to be an ID advocate to know it.  Eminent, world famous DARWINISTS disagree with Zach:

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, Ian Tattersall, The Myths of Human Evolution

You might think that would settle the matter.  But it did not.  After I laid all of this out Zach responded:

No. Darwin explains why the fossil record won’t encapsulate every transition. First, because fossilization is necessarily incomplete; second, because stasis is more typical than change, so change will be less likely to be preserved; and third, because new species will often form in small, isolated populations, and are therefore unlikely to leave fossils . . . Gould and Eldredge were often criticized for overstatement.

Good grief Zach do you have no shame?  Do you seriously believe you can get away with saying that Darwin believed stasis is more typical than change and not his own words when he wrote “infinitely many fine gradations between past and present species [are] required on the theory.”

You have descended into insane denial.

Which brings up an age old question.  If the evidence for modern evolutionary theory is so overwhelming, why do its advocates continue to lie and lie and lie when they argue for it?  If the truth were on their side one would think they would stick to it.  Or maybe the truth isn’t on their side and that is why Zach feels like he has to tell whoppers.  The problem is that while Zach is certainly a liar, he is not a very good one, because his lies, like this one, are so easily exposed.*

“What inclines me now to think you may be right in regarding it [evolution] as the central and radical lie in the whole web of falsehood that now governs our lives is not so much your arguments against it as the fanatical and twisted attitudes of its defenders.”  Lewis, C.S., Private letter (1951) to Captain Bernard Acworth

___________

*Maybe Zach is really a YEC fundamentalist agent provocateur shilling as a Darwinist?  If that is the case Zach, dial it back.  You are laying it on too thick, to the point where your act is no longer believable.

222 Replies to “Zachriel Goes Into Insane Denial Mode

  1. 1
    Zachriel says:

    Barry Arrington: In summary, Darwin predicted “rampant, albeit gradual, change affecting all lineages through time” just as Eldredge and Tatterall later said.

    Those aren’t Darwin’s words, of course. His words are that “the periods during which species have undergone modification, though long as measured by years, have probably been short in comparison with the periods during which they retained the same form.”

    Barry Arrington: Darwin held that evolution would be characterized generally by an “infinitude of connecting links,” and “infinitely many fine gradations.”

    That is correct, however, Darwin did explain why the fossil record wouldn’t encapsulate “infinitely many fine gradations”:

    1. exploration will always be incomplete;
    2. many classes of organism rarely fossilize
    3. fossilization is rare;
    4. stasis is more typical than change, so change will be less likely to be preserved;
    5. new species will often form in small, isolated populations, and are therefore unlikely to leave fossils.

    Barry Arrington: He most certainly did not say that the evolution would be characterized by stasis.

    That’s clearly what he said. Here’s the context.
    http://darwin-online.org.uk/Va.....-1872.html

    Another way to make that determination is to compare different editions.

    Darwin, Origin of Species 1859: Yet, as we have reason to believe that some species have retained the same specific form for very long periods, enormously long as measured by years, too much stress ought not to be laid on the occasional wide diffusion of the same species; for during very long periods of time there will always be a good chance for wide migration by many means.

    Keep in mind that Darwin coined the term “living fossil”, so he was clearly aware of stasis in evolution.

  2. 2
    Barry Arrington says:

    Zach,

    You are confused about what Darwin is said about the fossil record and what he said about his theory. Of course, Darwin was aware that the fossil record showed stasis. And that is exactly what he had to explain away, because his theory predicted exactly the opposite. Eldredge again:

    For that was Darwin’s problem: to establish the plausibility of the very idea of evolution, Darwin felt that he had to undermine the older (and ultimately biblically based) doctrine of species fixity. Stasis, to Darwin, was an ugly inconvenience.

  3. 3
    Zachriel says:

    Barry Arrington: Of course, Darwin was aware that the fossil record showed stasis.

    Not just the fossil record, but the actual history of organisms.

    Darwin, Origin of Species 1859: Yet, as we have reason to believe that some species have retained the same specific form for very long periods, enormously long as measured by years

  4. 4
    Barry Arrington says:

    Zach, for someone who comments on evolution a lot, you are astonishingly ignorant regarding fundamental facts. My God, man, you are arguing that Darwin supported the theory of species fixity, the very thing he wrote his book to refute. Wake up.

  5. 5
    Barry Arrington says:

    Zach @ 3, you can go on snipping half-sentences out of context. Or you can wake up. All this proves to me is that you have not actually read Origin cover to cover, because no one who has would make the argument you are making.

    A call to all materialist evolutionists: One of your own has gone off the rails. Do you have enough integrity to come onto these pages and repudiate him? I doubt that you do. Prove me wrong.

  6. 6
    Zachriel says:

    Barry Arrington: you are arguing that Darwin supported the theory of species fixity

    No. Darwin supported evolution by natural selection from common ancestors. That doesn’t mean he didn’t understand that “some species have retained the same specific form for very long periods”.

  7. 7
    Barry Arrington says:

    Zach can’t keep things straight even in a single post.

    See 1 above:

    Barry:

    Darwin held that evolution would be characterized generally by an “infinitude of connecting links,” and “infinitely many fine gradations.”

    Zach:

    That is correct, however, Darwin did explain why the fossil record wouldn’t encapsulate “infinitely many fine gradations”: . . .

    4. stasis is more typical than change, so change will be less likely to be preserved; . . .

    You can’t have it both ways Zach. You’ve made the following two statements: (1) It is correct that Darwin held that evolution would be characterized generally by an “infinitude of connecting links,” and “infinitely many fine gradations.” And (2) Darwin believed “stasis is more typical than change.”

    Both of those statements cannot be true. You have affirmed mutually exclusive truth claims.

  8. 8
    Barry Arrington says:

    Zach

    Darwin supported evolution by natural selection from common ancestors. That doesn’t mean he didn’t understand that “some species have retained the same specific form for very long periods.”

    In context, just as I wrote in the OP, when he wrote that he was explaining away the fossil record. He was not saying that was the general prediction of this theory. How do I know? Because, again as I’ve explained, in that very same passage he says that is NOT the general predication of his theory. The general predication of his theory is, as we know from Eldgred and Tatterson, “rampant, albeit gradual, change affecting all lineages through time”

  9. 9
    Zachriel says:

    Barry Arrington: (1) It is correct that Darwin held that evolution would be characterized generally by an “infinitude of connecting links,” and “infinitely many fine gradations.” And (2) Darwin believed “stasis is more typical than change.”

    A straight line has as many fine gradations as a curvy line.

    During the transition posited by punctuated equilibrium, cladogenesis occurs over thousands of generations, but this only represents a small percentage of the usual lifespan of the species. If we randomly sample the life of the species, we will probably not capture the details of the cladogenesis, even though the process of cladogenesis is finely graded.

    Darwin, Origin of Species: On this doctrine of the extermination of an infinitude of connecting links, between the living and extinct inhabitants of the world, and at each successive period between the extinct and still older species, why is not every geological formation charged with such links?

  10. 10
    Barry Arrington says:

    IOW, Zach, Darwin believed that the fact that the fossil record was showing stasis meant only that with respect to that particular species change was happening very gradually. His point was that this very gradual change regarding a particular species recorded in the fossil record did not falsify his general prediction of rampant change.

    It is literally insane to say that Darwin predicted stasis generally.

  11. 11
    Barry Arrington says:

    Zach

    During the transition posited by punctuated equilibrium . . .

    I will take that as an admission of defeat. We are talking about what Darwin believed. PE came a century later. He had no notion of it.

    And the very reason Gould and Eldredge came up with PE, was because the rampant change Darwin predicted does not appear in the fossil record and never will.

    I also think it is amusing that you dismiss Eldredge when it suits you and then you lean on his theory the moment it suits you. You like to have it both ways. You can’t.

  12. 12
    Zachriel says:

    Barry Arrington: His point was that this very gradual change regarding a particular species recorded in the fossil record did not falsify his general prediction of rampant change.

    You seem to have modified your position somewhat. Darwin recognized stasis, and was a very careful observer. He had spent years studying the evolution of barnacles, which gave him a very good understanding of the process. Darwin thought stasis was prevalent inferred from the fossil record.

    After Darwin, especially with the Modern Synthesis, phyletic gradualism became orthodoxy. However, Darwin’s view was more nuanced.

  13. 13
    asauber says:

    Poor Zachy is going through the typical unraveling of a cherished illusion.

    Andrew

  14. 14
    Zachriel says:

    Barry Arrington: PE came a century later. He had no notion of it.

    That is incorrect. Darwin stated the fundamentals of punctuated equilibrium in 1866.

    Darwin, Origin of Species 1866: It is the dominant and widely ranging species which vary most frequently and vary most, and varieties are often at first local—both causes rendering the discovery of intermediate links in any one formation less likely. Local varieties will not spread into other and distant regions until they are considerably modified and improved; and when they have spread, and are discovered in a geological formation, they appear as if suddenly created there, and will be simply classed as new species.

    Think barnacles.

  15. 15
    Barry Arrington says:

    Zach

    Darwin recognized stasis

    Duh, everyone who has ever looked at the fossil record from before Darwin to this day recognized that it shows stasis. Darwin knew this better than anyone.

    And he also knew this was something he would need to explain away or else his theory would fall, because it does not predict stasis.

    Zach, think man, think. Why would Darwin say that the stasis revealed in the fossil record “is the most obvious of the many objections which may be urged against” this theory IF HIS THEORY PREDICTED THAT VERY STASIS?

  16. 16
    Barry Arrington says:

    Zach

    Darwin stated the fundamentals of punctuated equilibrium

    And no one noticed it until the 1970s? *sigh*

  17. 17
    Barry Arrington says:

    Zach

    You seem to have modified your position somewhat. Darwin recognized stasis . . .

    Nonsense. I have not changed my position. You are still confused by the stasis that Darwin recognized in the fossil record, and the prediction of his theory (not stasis).

  18. 18
    Zachriel says:

    Barry Arrington: And he also knew this was something he would need to explain away or else his theory would fall, because it does not predict stasis.

    Darwin, Origin of Species 1859: Yet, as we have reason to believe that some species have retained the same specific form for very long periods, enormously long as measured by years

    Darwin is referring to not just the apparent stasis in the fossil record, but to actual stasis in the morphological evolution of organisms.

    Barry Arrington: And no one noticed it until the 1970s?

    Evolution is a complex subject, and there were a number of more important issues to resolve, from human ancestry to the nature of genetics. The Modern Synthesis was a crucial step in this development, and it wasn’t until later that a fully developed theory of punctuated equilibrium was proposed.

    Also, not everyone is a Darwin. He was one of the most exceptional scientists of the age.

  19. 19
    Zachriel says:

    Barry Arrington: And he also knew this was something he would need to explain away or else his theory would fall, because it does not predict stasis.

    As Darwin was aware living fossils, having actually coined the term, and as he talked about them in Origin of Species, it’s clear that he incorporated stasis into his theory.

  20. 20
    Barry Arrington says:

    Since you’ve flopped back to admiring Eldredge and his punk eek theory, we will let him have the last word (since all you are doing now is repeating yourself over and over):

    At the core of punctuated equilibria lies an empirical observation: once evolved, species tend to remain remarkably stable, recognizable entities for millions of years. The observation is by no means new, nearly every paleontologist who reviewed Darwin’s Origin of Species pointed to his evasion of this salient feature of the fossil record. But stasis was conveniently dropped as a feature of life’s history to be reckoned with in evolutionary biology. And stasis had continued to be ignored until Gould and I showed that such stability is a real aspect of life’s history which must be confronted – and that, in fact, it posed no fundamental threat to the basic notion of evolution itself. For that was Darwin’s problem: to establish the plausibility of the very idea of evolution, Darwin felt that he had to undermine the older (and ultimately biblically based) doctrine of species fixity. Stasis, to Darwin, was an ugly inconvenience.

    Niles Eldredge, Time Frames: The Rethinking of Darwinian Evolution and the Theory of Punctuated Equilibria (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1985), 188-89.

  21. 21
    goodusername says:

    This is what Darwin actually said:

    This is a famous quote from Darwin and this is the first time I’ve seen anyone trying to interpret it in this way. I’m pretty certain it’ll also be the last.

    Earth to Zach. Darwin held that evolution would be characterized generally by an “infinitude of connecting links,” and “infinitely many fine gradations.” He most certainly did not say that the evolution would be characterized by stasis. He said just exactly the opposite. FAIL.

    What on earth has the claim that species spend more time in stasis than in change got to do with whether there will be an “infinitude of connecting links,” and “infinitely many fine gradations”?
    Nothing of course.

    After admitting his problem with the fossil record, Darwin immediately went on to try to explain the problem away.

    You’re right of course that Darwin tries to explain his problem away. One way he does that is to claim that “the periods during which species have undergone modification, though long as measured by years, have probably been short in comparison with the periods during which they retained the same form.”

    How would that help Darwin? Because the odds of catching evolution in the act and finding intermediates is reduced. If lineages were always changing it would be much easier to find intermediates. But Darwin claims that that’s not the case, that they are usually in stasis.

    It’s astonishing to me that you still think that Darwin is claiming that the stasis is a false impression. It’s the other way around: Darwin is claiming that stasis is causing a false impression.

    Quoting 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.

    You do realize you’re talking about one of the most criticized claims of Gould and Eldredge, right? The criticism is precisely because most of their colleagues don’t believe that that’s what Darwin believed, nor what the proponents of the modern synthesis believed, and is engaging in historical revisionism.

    Gould actually responded to those using this quote from Darwin to dispute their claims as to what Darwin was claiming. You can see it discussed here in the Blind Watchmaker, and plenty of other places.

    Notice that Gould doesn’t disagree that – in this instance – that Darwin is indeed stating that stasis is the norm in the history of a species! (After all, how could he?) His answer seems to suggest though that, taken as a whole, that Darwin’s claims are more consistent with stasis being relatively rare.
    Perhaps he believed that in other passages that Darwin said otherwise regarding stasis, and that this particular quote is just an anomaly. I’ve read everything by Gould, and off the top of my head I can’t recall him offering counter-examples from Darwin. They may exist – perhaps Darwin elsewhere contradicts himself, or perhaps he changes his mind (although that quote is in every edition of Origin starting with the fourth). If anyone can find anything from Darwin suggesting that stasis is rare, I’m all ears.

    And the very reason Gould and Eldredge came up with PE, was because the rampant change Darwin predicted does not appear in the fossil record and never will.

    Ugh. Punk Eek is more of an observation of the fossil record than it is a theory. The mechanism behind Punk Eek is plain ol’ Mayr’s allopatry, which had been mainstream for about 20 years.

    “The model . . . is based on the allopatric model of speciation. The essence of this model is simply that most morphological change is effected (via normal selection processes) through geographic variation within a species, and that most morphological differences between sister species arose either prior to, during, or right after (e.g., character displacement during initial sympatry) the onset of full genetic isolation. The model does not assert that “large” morphological changes occur in jumps—most morphological parameters are perceived as continuous variables and evolutionary modification of such variables will necessarily be gradual-but rather that evolutionary change takes place more rapidly at certain times during the history of a species than at others.” – Eldredge, 1974

    And no, Mayr didn’t come up with allopatry because of the fossil record, it was the result of research in the field of population dynamics and “laboratory population studies.”

    In fact, paleontology was pretty much ignored by theorists because it was generally believed that the fossil record couldn’t really tell us much about the specifics of how evolution occurred – that honor was given to the field of population dynamics.

    Gould and Eldredge believed otherwise. They noted that the fossil record shows that intermediates are rare among the “main column” or “local area” (i.e. the main population of a species) of a species (i.e. a “punctuated equilibrium”) but rather are usually found among the satellite populations of a species. Of course, that sounds familiar, and they argued that paleontology has evidence that something like allopatry is correct.
    That is why after Punk Eek was proposed that John Maynard Smith famously said welcome to the “high table”.

    Notice that there’s a lot of criticism of Punk Eek from evolutionists out there (e.g. Dawkins) – but rarely do they actually disagree with it! The criticism is more that it’s not that new or different and that Gould and Eldredge engage in a lot of historical revisionism to make it seem more revolutionary. (I’m a fan of Gould, but IMO some of that criticism is warranted.)

  22. 22
    Jack Jones says:

    “Punk Eek is more of an observation of the fossil record than it is a theory.”

    No, it is an ad hoc explanation for what is observed with the fossil record, not a restatement of what is observed.

  23. 23
    Zachriel says:

    Barry Arrington: Since you’ve flopped back to admiring Eldredge and his punk eek theory

    Eldredge did some good work on the subject, and brought that and related matters to the fore of paleontology. Punctuated equilibrium is an important mode of cladogenesis.

    goodusername: The criticism is more that it’s not that new or different and that Gould and Eldredge engage in a lot of historical revisionism to make it seem more revolutionary.

    Everyone wants to be the next Einstein Darwin.

  24. 24
    goodusername says:

    No, it is an ad hoc explanation for what is observed with the fossil record, not a restatement of what is observed.

    It can’t really be an ad hoc explanation for what is observed in the fossil record since all they did is take what had been the mainstream view of how evolution occurs and applied it to the fossil record:
    “The theory asserts no novel claim about modes or mechanisms of speciation; punctuated equilibrium merely takes a standard microevolutionary model and elucidates its expected expression when properly scaled into geological time.”

    And Mayr’s allopatric model was made independent of anything observed in the fossil record.

    Gould and Eldredge recognized that paleontologists were out of touch with the latest models. They were looking for intermediate fossils in the main body of a species rather than in the satellite populations.

  25. 25
    Box says:

    My vote is for Barry. And this is how I read Darwin:

    Darwin:

    Many species [that we find fossilized] when once formed never undergo any further change but become extinct without leaving modified descendants; and the periods during which species have undergone modification [during the period before their extinction there was modification; not stasis(!)], though long as measured by years, have probably been short in comparison with the periods during which they retained the same form [the period before their extinction was probably short compared to the period after their extinction during which they (obviously) retained the same form]

    [Translation]

    In other words, when Darwin speaks of “retaining the same form” he does not speak about stasis of living species but “stasis” of extinct fossilized species.
    Zachriel got it all wrong.

  26. 26
    Jack Jones says:

    “It can’t really be an ad hoc explanation for what is observed in the fossil record”

    What is observed is stasis, punctuated equilibrium is used to explain it away, it is not a restatement of the stasis.

    “since all they did is take what had been the mainstream view of how evolution occurs and applied it to the fossil record”

    Gradualism was the mainstream view, Gould and Eldredge brought out their paper of their hypothesis back in 72 as an alternative.

  27. 27
    Zachriel says:

    Box: [the period before their extinction was probably short compared to the period after their extinction during which they (obviously) retained the same form]

    If a species went extinct, then there will be no more fossils above that stratum. That means it won’t look like stasis, but extinction.

    Darwin: Origin of Species 1859: Yet, as we have reason to believe that some species have retained the same specific form for very long periods, enormously long as measured by years

  28. 28
    goodusername says:

    To add to #27:
    I also highly doubt that Darwin would feel the need to point out that extinct species don’t change and have “stasis”.
    As you note – it’s obvious – too obvious.

    Points for cleverness though. 🙂

  29. 29
    Box says:

    Zach,

    I stick by my interpretation of that piece of text. The quote you provide in #27 is different. It seems to me that in that quote (#27) Darwin acknowledges that the fossil record points to stasis.

  30. 30
    Jack Jones says:

    macroevolution.net

    “Eldredge (1995: 68) asserts paleontologists have hesitated to emphasize the observed pattern of stasis in the fossil record because it is inconsistent with neo-Darwinian theory:”

    “For the most part it has been paleontological reluctance to cross swords with Darwinian tradition that accounts for the failure to inject the empirical reality of stasis into the evolutionary picture.”

  31. 31
    Box says:

    Goodusername: I also highly doubt that Darwin would feel the need to point out that extinct species don’t change and have “stasis”.

    I hold that Darwin points out that extinction in the distant past looks like stasis. It makes sense to do so, as it is part of his attempt to explain the “appearance” of stasis in the fossil record.

  32. 32
    Mung says:

    Well Barry, this just serves to emphasize that you don’t understand Darwinism. 😉

  33. 33
    Mapou says:

    Every fervent religionist wants his religion to be the one true religion and Zachriel is no different. The problem is, Zachriel is the most dishonest and dumb Darwinist I’ve ever had the displeasure of knowing. The man is a sociopath who lies continually out of habit. I seriously doubt that he has ever converted anybody to anything.

    Soon, the hammer comes down, Zachriel. Very soon.

  34. 34
    Mung says:

    Zachriel:

    Darwin did explain why the fossil record wouldn’t encapsulate “infinitely many fine gradations”

    No doubt it is a prediction [or retrodiction] of the theory.

    Next we’ll be hearing that Darwin invented neutral evolution and random genetic drift, or even if he didn’t, they [along with junk DNA] are predicted by the theory.

    now if he [Darwin] would only rise from the dead.

  35. 35
    Mung says:

    Zachriel:

    That doesn’t mean he didn’t understand that “some species have retained the same specific form for very long periods”.

    Har. The very idea is anathema. It is contrary to the fundamental thesis of the theory. Malthus.

    Far more members of every species is born than can possibly survive. constant. never ceasing. competition. struggle for survival. adapt or perish.

  36. 36
    goodusername says:

    Box,

    I hold that Darwin points out that extinction in the distant past looks like stasis. It makes sense to do so, as it is part of his attempt to explain the “appearance” of stasis in the fossil record.

    Where do you see anywhere where Darwin says or implies that the the appearance of stasis is false?

    The only place “appearance” appears in the above quote is where he talks about the false appearance of species suddenly appearing. In other words, the false appearance of sudden jumps – the opposite of stasis.

  37. 37
    Mung says:

    goodusername:

    What on earth has the claim that species spend more time in stasis than in change got to do with whether there will be an “infinitude of connecting links,” and “infinitely many fine gradations”?

    Gee. All we’re missing is an infinitude of stasis and the circle is complete.

  38. 38
    brian douglas says:

    Every fervent religionist wants his religion to be the one true religion and Zachriel is no different. The problem is, Zachriel is the most dishonest and dumb Darwinist I’ve ever had the displeasure of knowing. The man is a sociopath who lies continually out of habit. I seriously doubt that he has ever converted anybody to anything.”

    This comment speaks volumes. Very telling.

  39. 39
    Mung says:

    Evolution = infinitude of connecting links + infinitude of stasis + infinitely many fine gradations.

    Amazing thing, evolution.

  40. 40
    Jack Jones says:

    “Evolution = infinitude of connecting links + infinitude of stasis + infinitely many fine gradations.

    Amazing thing, evolution.”

    Nice one Mung 🙂

  41. 41
    Jack Jones says:

    The history of most fossil species include two features particularly inconsistent with gradualism:

    1) Stasis – most species exhibit no directional change during their tenure on earth. They appear in the fossil record looking much the same as when they disappear; morphological change is usually limited and directionless;

    2) Sudden appearance – in any local area, a species does not arise gradually by the steady transformation of its ancestors; it appears all at once and ‘fully formed’.

    Gould, S.J. (1977)
    “Evolution’s Erratic Pace”
    Natural History, vol. 86, May

  42. 42
    Box says:

    Once more:

    Darwin: Many species when once formed never undergo any further change but become extinct without leaving modified descendants; (…)

    Here Darwin points out that extinct species without modified offspring “never undergo any further change”. In other words these species “retained the same form”, which expression he uses in the next sentence.
    Darwin wants to make a point with this.

    Darwin: (…)
    and the periods during which species have undergone modification, though long as measured by years, have probably been short in comparison with the periods during which they retained the same form

  43. 43
    Jack Jones says:

    Mr Arrington said “Since you’ve flopped back to admiring Eldredge and his punk eek theory, we will let him have the last word (since all you are doing now is repeating yourself over and over):”

    He did that against Born, he did that against mike and he did that against me and now with you, When he cannot defend his position then zach starts repeating the same stuff over and over and over, ad nauseum and doesn’t deal with what is being discussed.

    It is a debate tactic that he uses when he finds himself out of his depth. He is very dishonest.

  44. 44
    goodusername says:

    Jack Jones,

    The history of most fossil species include two features particularly inconsistent with gradualism:

    1) Stasis – most species exhibit no directional change during their tenure on earth. They appear in the fossil record looking much the same as when they disappear; morphological change is usually limited and directionless;

    2) Sudden appearance – in any local area, a species does not arise gradually by the steady transformation of its ancestors; it appears all at once and ‘fully formed’.

    Yes, phyletic gradualism has slow change within the main body (local area) of a species. The proponents of the modern synthesis, which believed that speciation usually occurred via phyletic gradualism, probably did underestimate the importance of stasis, although I think Gould exaggerates their belief in constant change.

    Theorists and those working in the field of population dynamics had known that evolution usually occurs via allopatric speciation since the 1950s, but it was largely ignored in Gould’s field of paleontology, something Gould and Eldredge deserve credit for fixing.

    Allopatric evolution has most evolution occurring among the peripheral isolates rather than the local area. So if you are digging where the “local area” of a species was, you will see sudden jumps, as new species form in the periphery and spread to cover the local area.

  45. 45
    Jack Jones says:

    @44

    Lynn Marguilis “There is no gradualism in the fossil record… ‘Punctuated equilibrium’ was invented to describe the discontinuity.”…

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....-magazine/

  46. 46
    goodusername says:

    Jack Jones,

    Lynn Marguilis “There is no gradualism in the fossil record… ‘Punctuated equilibrium’ was invented to describe the discontinuity.”…

    True. That’s literally what it is: A description of the discontinuity. A “restatement” if you will. 🙂

  47. 47
    Mapou says:

    douglas bogart:

    “Every fervent religionist wants his religion to be the one true religion and Zachriel is no different. The problem is, Zachriel is the most dishonest and dumb Darwinist I’ve ever had the displeasure of knowing. The man is a sociopath who lies continually out of habit. I seriously doubt that he has ever converted anybody to anything.”

    This comment speaks volumes. Very telling.

    Glad you like it. You are two of a kind. You’re both sociopaths with big chips on your shoulders. You both want to destroy religions, especially Christianity, while not realizing that your little dirt-worshipping religion is the most superstitious, chicken feather voodoo religion of them all.

    ahahaha…AHAHAHA…ahahaha…

  48. 48
    Jack Jones says:

    @46

    “A description of the discontinuity. A “restatement” if you will.”

    No, the explanation to explain away the stasis is not a restatement of what is observed, stasis is observed and punctuated equilibrium was the excuse for it.

    If I was an evolutionist then the discontinuity in nature is not what I would expect.

    Unfortunately that is the pattern and evolutionists were in deep denial for a long time but Eldredge and Gould came up with P.E to explain away the discontinuous non evolutionary pattern of the fossil record.

    There is no agreement over P.E being true, there is hardly anything that evolutionists agree on, they agree with each other evolution happened, but not much else.

  49. 49
    Mung says:

    goodusername:

    The only place “appearance” appears in the above quote is where he talks about the false appearance of species suddenly appearing. In other words, the false appearance of sudden jumps – the opposite of stasis.

    Let me see if I understand the argument.

    Stasis is the false appearance of species suddenly appearing, the false appearance of sudden jumps, because those are the opposite of stasis?

  50. 50
    goodusername says:

    Jack Jones,

    No, the explanation to explain away the stasis is not a restatement of what is observed, stasis is observed and punctuated equilibrium was the excuse for it.

    Punk Eek is not an explanation, nor an excuse. It’s a description.

    The explanation for the punctuated equilibrium is allopatric speciation.

    If I was an evolutionist then the discontinuity in nature is not what I would expect.

    If evolution occurs via allopatry, than it is what you’d expect within the local area.

    Unfortunately that is the pattern and evolutionists were in deep denial for a long time but Eldredge and Gould came up with P.E to explain away the discontinuous non evolutionary pattern of the fossil record.

    Considering that Gould and Eldredge claim that the mechanism for Punk Eek is Mayr’s allopatric speciation, what is it that you think Gould and Eldredge “came up with” precisely?

  51. 51
    Jack Jones says:

    “Punk Eek is not an explanation, nor an excuse. It’s a description.”

    No, the observation of the fossil pattern can be described as being one of stasis and discontinuity.

    Punctuated equilibrium was brought out to explain away the stasis and discontinuity.

    There is no agreement among evolutionists for P.E being true.

    Coyne for example calls it “bunk”

  52. 52
    goodusername says:

    Mung,

    Let me see if I understand the argument.

    Stasis is the false appearance of species suddenly appearing, the false appearance of sudden jumps, because those are the opposite of stasis?

    The first sentence of mine that you quote makes my head hurt too.

    Darwin claimed that the sudden appearance of species was a false appearance (or, as he puts it, “Why, again, do whole groups of allied species appear, though this appearance is often false…”). The cause of this impression is that species are usually in stasis rather than change, and so it’s unlikely for us to find fossils from the time they are changing, and most fossils are going to be from when they’re in stasis. In other words the fossil record is going to be gappy.

  53. 53
    Mung says:

    goodusername:

    The first sentence of mine that you quote makes my head hurt too.

    🙂

    Foundational to the concept of Darwinian evolution is the existence of constant change, without which Darwinian evolution would not be possible.

    Darwin was engaged in begging the question.

    The idea that species are usually in stasis is in direct contradiction to the theory.

  54. 54
    Mung says:

    Let’s see if we can simplify.

    Darwinism: Species are in constant flux.

    Darwinism: Species are not in constant flux.

    Darwinian theory: Incoherent.

    Darwinian theory: Ad hoc.

  55. 55
    goodusername says:

    Mung,

    Foundational to the concept of Darwinian evolution is the existence of constant change, without which Darwinian evolution would not be possible.

    I’m sure Darwin would say that natural selection is always in action (“daily and hourly scrutinizing…” etc). But does that mechanism always have to be an agent for change?

    Darwin believed that evolution was mostly about adaptation – changing to keep up with changing environments, to fill an open niche, etc. But what about when the environment a species is in isn’t changing and the species is already well adapted? There may be many times – perhaps it’s even the norm – that any variation is harmful, or at least incredibly rare. In that case, natural selection is a mechanism for non-change.

    Darwin’s explanation may be ad hoc, but I wouldn’t say it’s a contradiction to the theory.

  56. 56
    goodusername says:

    Jack Jones,

    No, the observation of the fossil pattern can be described as being one of stasis and discontinuity.

    Umm, what do you think the words “punctuation” and “equilibria” mean?

    Punctuated equilibrium was brought out to explain away the stasis and discontinuity.

    How does it do that?

  57. 57
    vjtorley says:

    For what it’s worth, I think what Darwin was trying to say was that evolution has two speeds: dead slow (infinitely many gradations) and stop (stasis). For Darwin, there are periods during which a species will evolve very gradually, and there are even longer periods when it won’t evolve at all (possibly because the environment is very stable). Or as Darwin wrote, “the periods during which species have undergone modification, though long as measured by years, have probably been short in comparison with the periods during which they retained the same form.”

    Darwin would have rejected the notion of punctuated equilibrium: he held that “Nature does not make leaps” – a point on which Huxley disagreed with him:

    http://scienceblogs.com/evolvi.....-no-leaps/

  58. 58
    goodusername says:

    For Darwin, there are periods during which a species will evolve very gradually, and there are even longer periods when it won’t evolve at all (possibly because the environment is very stable).

    Thanks Vjtorley!

    Darwin would have rejected the notion of punctuated equilibrium: he held that “Nature does not make leaps” – a point on which Huxley disagreed with him

    Hmm, I’m inclined to agree that Darwin wouldn’t have agreed with punk eek, although I disagree with you on the reason why. IIRC Darwin favored large populations for evolution, and thus would have disagreed with Mayr’s allopatric speciation which Gould and Eldredge claimed as the mechanism for punk eek. But even with allopatry evolution is gradual within the small peripheral population.

  59. 59
    Mapou says:

    Who cares what Darwin was conjuring up out of his nether regions? It was a pile of worthless conjectures. There was never any science in any of it. He never proposed a falsification experiment and he could not possibly imagine a molecular mechanism by which those changes might operate.

    Now that modern biology is uncovering the mechanism of life, we find that life not only requires a code (symbol-based information) which calls for a coder-designer, but it is so complex that the combinatorial explosion immediately kills the stupid theory before it was even born.

    So who cares about Darwin’s cockamamie ideas about stasis? We might as well be talking about angels dancing on the head of a pin.

  60. 60
    Box says:

    VJTorley: For what it’s worth, I think what Darwin was trying to say was that evolution has two speeds: dead slow (infinitely many gradations) and stop (stasis).

    If this is your interpretation of Darwin’s specific sentence, then I hold you are mistaken.
    The stasis [ “never undergo any further change” or “retained the same form” ] Darwin speaks of here is a description of the result that occurs when species go extinct without leaving modified descendants:

    Darwin: Many species when once formed never undergo any further change but become extinct without leaving modified descendants; (…)

    It’s clear that Darwin speaks of “stasis” in the fossil record. He simply points out that there are species which are evolutionary dead-ends.

    Next he points out that the period before these species went extinct [ “period during which species have undergone modification” ] is probably much longer than the period after extinction, during which they (obviously) “retained the same form”.

    Darwin: (…) the periods during which species have undergone modification, though long as measured by years, have probably been short in comparison with the periods during which they retained the same form.

  61. 61
    Andre says:

    Mapou

    He never proposed a falsification experiment

    This not true Darwin said;

    “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down. But I can find out no such case”.

    The bacteria’s flagellum of course refutes Darwin and effectively falsifies his theory.

  62. 62
    Andre says:

    Maybe this paper will help everyone?

    http://phys.org/news/2010-11-d.....gical.html

  63. 63
    Virgil Cain says:

    Zachriel:

    Darwin supported evolution by natural selection from common ancestors.

    The evidence doesn’t support it. darwin loses.

  64. 64
    Virgil Cain says:

    Zachriel:

    Also, not everyone is a Darwin. He was one of the most exceptional scientists of the age.

    And yet he argued against a strawman, plagiarized ideas and never produced a way to quantify his rendition of natural selection. Doesn’t even appear as if he was a scientist.

  65. 65
    Andre says:

    Zachriel

    I have to agree with Virgil Darwin was a plagiarist.

  66. 66
    Jack Jones says:

    @56

    It doesn’t to those that reject it, it is an argument from silence.

  67. 67
    Barry Arrington says:

    GUN and Zach,

    Neither of you have have answered this question that I posed above. Are you ever going to?

    “Why would Darwin say that the stasis revealed in the fossil record “is the most obvious of the many objections which may be urged against” this theory IF HIS THEORY PREDICTED THAT VERY STASIS?”

  68. 68
    peteFun says:

    Barry,

    Neither of you have have answered this question that I posed above. Are you ever going to?

    It’s hard to believe you read the chapter where this quote is found. If you had done so, it would be clear to you that Darwin is anticipating possible objections to his theory, and then clarifying why the objection is invalid. So, two things:

    1) This is what scientists do – they think about possible objections, state them clearly, then describe why they aren’t valid or need to be addressed by future work. You might try it one day.

    2) Since even a cursory reading of that chapter would have made this clear, I have to wonder – did you read that chapter at all? Or did you just find that quote somewhere and post it without… you know… thinking about it?

    UDEditors: It is hard to believe that you read the OP, because that is exactly what I said he was doing.

  69. 69
    Jack Jones says:

    This is what Jerry Coyne who is an advocate for Neo Darwinism says and he can because Punk eek is not part of Neo Darwinism but was created because the fossil record was not consistent with the uniform gradualistic teaching in Neo Darwinism aka the Modern Synthesis.

    “I had a lot of respect for Gould, but over the years it waned. He became enamoured of his theory of punctuated equilibrium which I thought was really wrong. I still do. He and I had several exchanges in the literature about that theory, with me saying it was bunk and him saying it wasn’t. His intransigence in the face of the facts made me lose some respect for him”

    http://fivebooks.com/interview.....evolution/

  70. 70
    Zachriel says:

    Darwin, Origin of Species 1866: It is a more important consideration, clearly leading to the same result, as lately insisted on by Dr. Falconer, namely, that the periods during which species have been undergoing modification, though very long as measured by years, have probably been short in comparison with the periods during which these same species remained without undergoing any change. We may infer that this has been the case, from there being no inherent tendency in organic beings to become modified or to progress in structure, and from all modifications depending, firstly on long-continued variability, and secondly on changes in the physical conditions of life, or on changes in the habits and structure of competing species, or on the immigration of new forms; and such contingencies will supervene in most cases only after long intervals of time and at a slow rate. These changes, moreover, in the organic and inorganic conditions of life will affect only a limited number of the inhabitants of any one area or country.
    http://darwin-online.org.uk/Va.....-1866.html

    That should settle that.

  71. 71
    Zachriel says:

    Box: I hold that Darwin points out that extinction in the distant past looks like stasis.

    That makes no sense. Extinction looks like extinction, as in, no more.

    Mung: Next we’ll be hearing that Darwin invented neutral evolution and random genetic drift, or even if he didn’t, they [along with junk DNA] are predicted by the theory.

    Darwin was aware of vestigial structures, and that they would tend to become more variable (neutral evolution) absent natural selection. However, he also thought vestigial structures would eventually either adopt some new use, or eventually degrade. Darwin had no working theory of genetics, or of population genetics, which are required to understand how vestigial DNA can actually accumulate.

    Mung: It is contrary to the fundamental thesis of the theory. Malthus.

    Darwin was aware of “living fossils”, having coined the term. To then claim he wasn’t aware of stasis is just not supportable.

    Jack Jones: 2) Sudden appearance – in any local area, a species does not arise gradually by the steady transformation of its ancestors; it appears all at once and ‘fully formed’.

    As is clear from the context, the sudden appearance refers to the fossil record.

    vjtorley: Darwin would have rejected the notion of punctuated equilibrium: he held that “Nature does not make leaps” – a point on which Huxley disagreed with him

    Punctuated equilibrium does not posit evolutionary leaps, but that new species are formed in small, isolated populations that then overtake the parent population, leaving a granularity in the fossil record. The actual transition, which is not likely to be captured in the fossil record, still takes place over thousands of generations.

    Andre: Darwin was a plagiarist.

    Darwin, like any good scientist, marshaled evidence from many areas of research, frequently citing his colleagues. Not that it matters, but do you have evidence of plagiarism?

    Barry Arrington: “Why would Darwin say that the stasis revealed in the fossil record “is the most obvious of the many objections which may be urged against” this theory IF HIS THEORY PREDICTED THAT VERY STASIS?”

    The objection is the lack of fine gradations in the fossil record. Darwin explained why the fossil record wouldn’t encapsulate “infinitely many fine gradations”:

    1. exploration will always be incomplete;
    2. many classes of organism rarely fossilize
    3. fossilization is rare;
    4. stasis is more typical than change, so change will be less likely to be preserved;
    5. new species will often form in small, isolated populations, and are therefore unlikely to leave fossils.

  72. 72
    Andre says:

    Zachriel

    Do you have a brain? Has it ever been used? Punk Eek contradicts Darwin’s theory which is….
    Drumroll…… small incremental changes caused by natural selection and random variations over time. It is not stasis.

  73. 73
    Andre says:

    If Darwin’s theory covers both then it’s truly a just so story because it explains everything and that means it explains nothing.

  74. 74
    goodusername says:

    Barry,

    “Why would Darwin say that the stasis revealed in the fossil record “is the most obvious of the many objections which may be urged against” this theory IF HIS THEORY PREDICTED THAT VERY STASIS?”

    As I keep saying: He doesn’t. He doesn’t bring up stasis as a problem. He brings it up as one possible answer to a problem.

    it does not yield the infinitely many fine gradations between past and present species required on the theory, and this is the most obvious of the many objections which may be urged against it.

    The “fine gradations between past and present species” is a long way of saying “intermediate fossils”. It’s the lack of intermediate fossils that’s the most obvious objection. In the next sentence he also describes sudden jumps.

    He then goes on to describe a whole host of possible explanations for the lack of intermediate fossils, such as: Most of the earth hasn’t been explored for fossils. Fossilization is rare. Species sometimes go extinct without leaving descendants (In those cases, no intermediate fossils would be expected as there’s nothing to link them too). The period in which species change is short compared to the period of stasis, making intermediate fossils more rare. Etc etc.

  75. 75
    Jack Jones says:

    macroevolution.net

    “Eldredge (1995: 68) asserts paleontologists have hesitated to emphasize the observed pattern of stasis in the fossil record because it is inconsistent with neo-Darwinian theory:”

    “For the most part it has been paleontological reluctance to cross swords with Darwinian tradition that accounts for the failure to inject the empirical reality of stasis into the evolutionary picture. “

  76. 76
    Zachriel says:

    Andre: small incremental changes caused by natural selection and random variations over time.

    Punctuated equilibrium posits that cladogenesis occurs over thousands of generations.

    Lieberman & Eldredge: Punctuated equilibria actually comprises several different and related observations….

    6. speciation typically takes on the order of 5,000 to 50,000 years to occur – far shorter than the average duration of species in the fossil record.
    http://www.scholarpedia.org/ar.....equilibria

  77. 77
    Andre says:

    Zachriel And that means punk eek is not Darwin’s theory sheesh…

  78. 78
    Andre says:

    As drivel pour out of Zachriel and goodusername tomorrow they will argue that Darwin also predicted ID…. It is common for these Darwin disciples to distort truth but what is going on here is taking it to another level.

  79. 79
    Mapou says:

    Andre:

    Mapou

    He never proposed a falsification experiment

    This not true Darwin said;

    “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down. But I can find out no such case”.

    The bacteria’s flagellum of course refutes Darwin and effectively falsifies his theory.

    Actually, this suggestion by Darwin was not a falsification experiment. It’s a wild goose chase. It’s like trying to prove that unicorns never existed by looking for unicorn fossils. It was a pseudoscientific idea from a mediocre mind.

    The flagellum discovery was just modern luck that happens to falsify his theory but it could not have been anticipated by him or suggested by anyone.

  80. 80
    Barry Arrington says:

    GUN

    It’s the lack of intermediate fossils that’s the most obvious objection.

    Wrong. It is the inference to which the lack of intermediate fossils leads that is the most obvious objection.

    This is elementary stuff guys. Look at this passage from Origins, which is the essence of Darwin’s thesis:

    It may be said that natural selection is daily and hourly scrutinizing, throughout the world, every variation, even the slightest; rejecting that which is bad, preserving and adding up all that is good; silently and insensibly working, wherever and whenever opportunity offers, at the improvement of each organic being in relation to its organic and inorganic conditions of life.

    When Darwin is dealing with the fossil record he recognizes that if this is true we would predict that the fossil record would show an “infinitude” of intermediate species that would allow us to track the progression of evolution in exquisite detail. Darwin, like everyone else who has ever studied the fossil record, knew that this is exactly the opposite of what the record reveals, which is sudden appearance and stasis.

    So he set about not explaining the fossil record but trying to explain it away.

    None of what I have said so far is the least bit controversial. It is widely acknowledged from YECs to Richard Dawkins.

    The inference that one would naturally draw from the fossil record is that it straightforwardly reveals what actually happened – i.e., that species tend to leap on the scene suddenly and then stay the same (i.e., stasis).

    In the passages we have been discussing (not limited to the snippets Zach wants to clip out of context), Darwin is saying that is the exact wrong inference to draw. He is saying we should not take the fossil record at face value, and he gives several reasons why he thinks that should be so.

    And why does he do that? To show that we should not conclude that sudden appearance and stasis is what actually happened. Because if we conclude that his theory is dead in the water, as he himself acknowledges.

    Again, Darwin did not predict that evolution was generally characterized by sudden appearance or stasis. His theory predicts that evolution is generally characterized by constant (albeit slow) change.

    For Zach to come in here and say that Darwin predicated that evolution is characterized generally by stasis is nothing short of idiotic.

  81. 81
    Zachriel says:

    Barry Arrington, Box, asauber, Jack Jones, Mung,

    Keep in mind that this thread is about the claim that “Darwin held that evolution would be frequently characterized by stasis.” Please see @70. Darwin not only states that stasis should occur, but explains, given his theory, why stasis should occur, while also touching on allopatric speciation.

  82. 82
    peteFun says:

    Ah. The speaker in the ceiling has spoken!

    I’m sorry, I did read the OP, and it only serves to illustrate Barry’s continuing confusion. Let’s take an example:

    Darwin held that evolution would be characterized generally by an “infinitude of connecting links,” and “infinitely many fine gradations.” He most certainly did not say that the evolution would be characterized by stasis.
    These two statements are not contradictory; it is possible for a continuous function (e.g., changing morphology) to have regions where it’s derivative is near-zero (approximate stasis). Perhaps this is the source of your confusion?

    “Why would Darwin say that the stasis revealed in the fossil record “is the most obvious of the many objections which may be urged against” this theory IF HIS THEORY PREDICTED THAT VERY STASIS?”

    Because a naive understanding of Darwin’s theory might suggest changing morphology with a constant rate through the geological time frame, but as Darwin notes, this is due to a naive understanding of his theory.

    Barry, you might have read the chapter (and in fact, the evidence suggests you have read it, mea culpa), but you have not understood it. Again, Mea Culpa.

  83. 83
    Barry Arrington says:

    Zach,

    Look at 80. You remain confused about the difference between (1) what might be happening at any given time with respect to a particular species, and (2) what Darwin’s theory predicts will be happening generally with respect to all species.

    Yes, Darwin understands that at any given time a species might be in stasis. No one disputes that. But to extrapolate from that to the conclusion that Darwin predicated that stasis would predominate is astonishingly wrong-headed. Indeed, you may be the only person in history who has ever said that.

    Which leads me this question: I have quoted three world-renowned eminent experts to support my assertion that Darwin did not expect stasis to be the rule.

    Can you quote a single expert to support your assertion that Darwin expected stasis to be the rule.

  84. 84
    Zachriel says:

    Andre: “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down. But I can find out no such case.

    Negative falsifications, such as this, are very weak forms of argument. It may say as much about our own ignorance as the underlying biological facts. Something which may appear impossible to evolve may have a simple pathway once that pathway is revealed. If this was Darwin’s only argument, then we wouldn’t still be discussing him 150 years later.

  85. 85
    Zachriel says:

    Barry Arrington: Darwin understands that at any given time a species might be in stasis.

    Darwin explains not only that stasis occurs, but that it is the expected background pattern as “there being no inherent tendency in organic beings to become modified or to progress in structure”. It’s only when there are “changes in the physical conditions of life” that organisms undergo adaptation.

    Barry Arrington: Can you quote a single expert to support your assertion that Darwin expected {} stasis to be the rule.

    Yes @70.

  86. 86
    Jack Jones says:

    @zachriel

    He is disputing with you that Darwin argued for stasis, he is arguing for you to show some expert who does not go by the name of Charles Darwin, to support your assertion about what Darwin expected.

    Both Mr Arrington and I have given quotes of experts that said the fossil record is not consistent with Darwin’s expectations.

    macroevolution.net

    “Eldredge (1995: 68) asserts paleontologists have hesitated to emphasize the observed pattern of stasis in the fossil record because it is inconsistent with neo-Darwinian theory:”

    “For the most part it has been paleontological reluctance to cross swords with Darwinian tradition that accounts for the failure to inject the empirical reality of stasis into the evolutionary picture.”

    Where is your expert that says Darwin expected Stasis?

  87. 87
    Zachriel says:

    Jack Jones: He is disputing with you that Darwin argued for stasis, he is arguing for you to show some expert who does not go by the name of Charles Darwin, to support your assertion about what Darwin expected.

    Darwin’s published theory would be the primary source for determining the content of Darwin’s published theory.

  88. 88
    Virgil Cain says:

    Because a naive understanding of Darwin’s theory

    What theory? Things change or stay the same isn’t a theory.

  89. 89
    Virgil Cain says:

    Darwin’s published theory

    Darwin didn’t have a theory published. Not a scientific theory anyway. Science requires quantification and darwin never provided that.

  90. 90
    LarTanner says:

    [Aggressively substance-less attack on UD host deleted]

  91. 91
    Jack Jones says:

    @82″Darwin’s published theory would be the primary source for determining the content of Darwin’s published theory.”

    We are debating what was published in the origin of species.

    However it is not being resolved. So we need to include experts outside of Darwin to see who is correct in their understanding of Darwin’s words.

    Furthermore, If your interpretation is correct and everyone else is wrong then why can you not find the experts who are not Darwin, to back up your interpretation of Darwin expecting stasis?

    Darwin rejected evolutionary leaps in the origin of species, I showed you the words of Stephanie Keep who was Gould’s assistant saying that punctuated equilibrium was a model about evolution happening in leaps.

    You can’t hold to Darwin who rejected leaps and hold to punctuated equilibrium which proposes leaps.

    You are holding contradictory ideas at the same time.

  92. 92
    Barry Arrington says:

    Barry:

    Can you quote a single expert to support your assertion that Darwin expected stasis to be the rule.

    Zach:

    Yes, Darwin himself.

    I will take that as an admission that you cannot. The next time you cannot back up your claims, a simple “I cannot back up my claims” will suffice.

  93. 93
    Barry Arrington says:

    Zach,

    That last little bit of over-the-top idiocy (i.e., Origin of Species is the best source for interpretations of Origin of Species) demonstrates something I have noticed about you many times: You are often wrong, but you are never in doubt.

  94. 94
    Zachriel says:

    Barry Arrington: I will take that as an admission that you cannot.

    Are you really claiming that Darwin is not an authority on Darwin’s theory? Or that his published theory is not the best source for determining the content of his published theory?

  95. 95
    LarTanner says:

    [deleted]

  96. 96
    peteFun says:

    Only at UD are Darwin’s own words on a subject not counted as evidence regarding his beliefs on that subject. Truly amazing what passes for ‘evidence’ here.

    UDEditors: Just so we are straight here pete, we were asking for expert interpretation of a text. Are you really so stupid that you believe, as Zach apparently believes, that the text in question constitutes expert interpretation of itself? God help us. They walk among us people.

    http://ncse.com/cej/7/1/origin.....equilibria

    The above excerpts describe almost all the elements of the punctuated equilibria hypothesis and even speculate about species selection, a related hypothesis. The only element missing is the explicit identification of the short periods of modification with the periods of speciation or phyletic branching! These excerpts, taken from Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species (Modern Library Edition, pp. 89 and 357, respectively), are amazingly parallel to the passages from Gould and Eldredge quoted previously.

    -Frank J. Sonleitner

    http://theobald.brandeis.edu/pe.html

    Darwin did not believe speciation to be even (tenet #2 of PG), since he describes natural selection as “intermittent” and “irregular,” and since he emphasizes that the evolutionary history of a species is characterized by stasis punctuated by change. Evolution does not “[go] on continuously,” since each species remains for long periods unaltered.” Neither did he think that speciation involves the entire population (tenet #3 of PG) over a large geographic range (tenet #4 of PG), as he says “only on a few of the inhabitants of the same region.” These are not isolated or exceptional quotes from Darwin; they are characteristic of his views on evolution (see the additional quotes given below). Thus, Darwin is not the originator of PG. In fact, as I will further prove below, Darwin’s views were in direct opposition to PG, as he did not believe the last two consequences of phyletic gradualism listed by Eldredge and Gould.

    -Douglas Theobald.

    Two experts. Or… let me guess – not “expert enough”?

    I hope we all don’t start engaging in insane denial now.

  97. 97
    bFast says:

    Zachriel (85) It’s only when there are “changes in the physical conditions of life” that organisms undergo adaptation.

    This sounds right to me. This sounds like the natural expectation/prediction of the theory. Is this really what we see, however? Fine enough that we see organism stasis in stable environments. It seems, however, that the opposite, changing environments, should consistently produce changes in the organisms in those environments. Is that what we see?

    Zachriel says, “of course that’s what we see”, but I bet BA has a long list of documentation saying otherwise.

  98. 98
    Andre says:

    So Zachriel, goodusername,LarTanner and PeteFun argue this;

    Darwin’s theory actually state that organisms change over time unless they don’t.

    Can Prof Moran perhaps clarify if this is true?

  99. 99
    Barry Arrington says:

    Zach @ 94.

    Are you really claiming that Darwin is not an authority on Darwin’s theory? Or that his published theory is not the best source for determining the content of his published theory?

    I asked you about interpretations of Origins. And in response you quoted Origins. Zach, newsflash, a text does not interpret itself. It beggars belief that you do not understand that.

  100. 100
    peteFun says:

    UDEditors: Just so we are straight here pete, we were asking for expert interpretation of a text. Are you really so stupid that you believe, as Zach apparently believes, that the text in question constitutes expert interpretation of itself? God help us. They walk among us people.

    Forgive me, I thought the readers of this blog could read words, and understand things like:

    and the periods during which species have undergone modification, though long as measured by years, have probably been short in comparison with the periods during which they retained the same form

    UDEditors: Excuse us Pete. We thought you understood that this entire thread has been about whether Zach (and you) take those words out of context and misinterpret them. We are sorry for giving you that much credit. We will try to avoid that error in the future.

    It appears that you do not have the same faith in your readers, though. Again, mea culpa. However, in general, when wondering what someone actually said, it is preferable to refer to what they actually said. Of course, you know this, but since what Darwin actually said, and what you claimed he said are so clearly at odds you cannot admit that in this instance.

    Also, since primary sources were not sufficient for you, I presented two Ph.D’s in biology who have come to the same conclusion as Zachriel. Namely that Darwin thought that stasis punctuated by relatively short periods of change were likely. This should suffice for your “present one expert who agrees” criteria. Of course, you are free to move the goalposts at this point.

    At this point in a discussion, someone like you might say something like: “Ah, it appears that at least some experts believe that Darwin thought that stasis might be common in the fossil record, and for good reason. In fact, Darwin’s own words seem to agree with them. Perhaps this subject is subtle and requires additional thought”.

    Or, someone like you might say: “My enemies are engaging in insane denial! They are monsters, and… Nazis!”

    I am more than willing to wager which response is more likely.

    God help us.

    Indeed.

  101. 101
    Zachriel says:

    bFast: This sounds like the natural expectation/prediction of the theory. Is this really what we see, however?

    We now know that neutral evolution continues in the absence of selection.

    Jack Jones: We are debating what Darwin published in the origin of species.

    Yes. Turns out he wrote it down in a book. Darwin Online has scans of many of the original publications.
    http://darwin-online.org.uk/Va.....-1866.html

    Barry Arrington: I asked you about interpretations of Origins.

    This was your question:

    Barry Arrington: Can you quote a single expert to support your assertion that Darwin expected stasis to be the rule.

    Darwin wrote in English, so anyone can read it for themselves @70. It doesn’t require interpretation. In any case, peteFun provided a couple of examples @96. Here’s a few more:

    Ernst Mayr, Speciational Evolution or Punctuated Equilibria 1992: Even Darwin, for reasons that relate to his struggle against creationism, stressed the transformational aspect of evolution. He was, however, fully aware of highly different rates of evolution, from complete stasis to rates of change so fast that intermediates could not be discovered in the fossil record.

    Schopf et al., Sulfur-cycling fossil bacteria from the 1.8-Ga Duck Creek Formation provide promising evidence of evolution’s null hypothesis, PNAS 2015: “Although the apparent 2-billion-year-long stasis of such sulfur-cycling ecosystems is consistent with the null hypothesis required of Darwinian evolution—if there is no change in the physical-biological environment of a well-adapted ecosystem, its biotic components should similarly remain unchanged”

    PBS Library: Charles Darwin understood that evolution was a slow and gradual process. By gradual, Darwin did not mean “perfectly smooth,” but rather, “stepwise,” with a species evolving and accumulating small variations over long periods of time until a new species was born. He did not assume that the pace of change was constant, however, and recognized that many species retained the same form for long periods.


    Z @81: while also touching on allopatric speciation.

    On second reading that section seems more like sympatric speciation. Close, but no cigar for Charles.

  102. 102
    Andre says:

    PeteFun

    Help me out here. Do you agree then that Darwin’s theory goes like this;

    Organisms change in small gradual steps over time unless they don’t.

    Am I correct in my assessment?

  103. 103
    bFast says:

    Andre (98), “Darwin’s theory actually state that organisms change over time unless they don’t.”

    Zachriel at 85 seems to be saying that if environment is constant, then stasis should dominate. (I think that the theory would say that time would require for everything to balance out, but once optimization is achieved, stasis should occur.) Therefore, environmental change should reduce/remove stasis.

    I think, however, that the data shows otherwise. I think that there is a significant record of organism stasis even in environments of significant environmental change. This is not the prediction of the theory as I understand it.

  104. 104
    Andre says:

    Bfast

    I agree with your post.

  105. 105
    Jack Jones says:

    I posted this on the other thread by mistake.

    Darwin’s idea of “Evolution by natural selection” which was shown to be an empty idea with the peppered moth discussion as (the death of the light moths does not explain how moths came to be and provides no means for the black moths to evolve towards something that is no longer a moth over time). rejected change by leaps, Punctuated equilibrium which is a model about evolution in leaps is thus incompatible with Darwin.

    “As natural selection acts solely by accumulating slight, successive, favourable variations, it can produce no great or sudden modification; it can act only by very short and slow steps. Hence the canon of `Natura non facit saltum,’ which every fresh addition to our knowledge tends to make more strictly correct, is on this theory simply intelligible.” Charles Darwin, origin of species chapter 14.”

    Darwin rejected change in leaps. Punctuated Equilibrium is about change in leaps.

    Thus the two are incompatible ideas.

  106. 106
    Zachriel says:

    Jack Jones: Darwin rejected change in leaps. Punctuated Equilibrium is about change in leaps.

    That is incorrect, as already explained @71. Punctuated equilibrium does not posit evolutionary leaps, but that new species are formed in small, isolated populations that then overtake the parent population, leaving a granularity in the fossil record. The actual transition, which is not likely to be captured in the fossil record, still takes place over thousands of generations.

    Lieberman & Eldredge: “speciation typically takes on the order of 5,000 to 50,000 years to occur – far shorter than the average duration of species in the fossil record.”
    http://www.scholarpedia.org/ar.....equilibria

  107. 107
    Barry Arrington says:

    Andre, bfast, JJ, etc.

    Zach and his friends are playing the age-old game that Darwinists have been playing all the way back to, well, Darwin.

    “Our theory predicts X.”
    The opposite of X is observed.
    “Our theory predicted not-X all along.”

    Here:

    “Our theory predicts an infinitude (Darwin’s word, not mine) of intermediate species.”

    No infinitude of intermediate species is found in the fossil record after 156 years.

    “Of course no infinitude of intermediate species has been found. That is perfectly consistent with our theory, because it predicted stasis all along. Never mind that the whole purpose of the theory was to undermine the creationist view of the fixity of species (i.e., stasis).”

  108. 108
    Zachriel says:

    Barry Arrington: “Our theory predicts an infinitude (Darwin’s word, not mine) of intermediate species.”

    Granting the proper use of quote marks, “an infinitude of connecting links”, that is correct; however, Darwin offered an explanation as to why the fossil record wouldn’t encapsulate “infinitely many fine gradations”:

    1. exploration will always be incomplete;
    2. many classes of organism rarely fossilize
    3. fossilization is rare;
    4. stasis is more typical than change, so change will be less likely to be preserved;
    5. new species will often form in small, isolated populations, and are therefore unlikely to leave fossils.

    The question on this thread concerns what Darwin argued, not whether he was correct in part or in whole.

  109. 109
    Box says:

    So it seems that Darwin, pressed by the findings of paleontology, sort of came up with the idea of punk eek — for some species.
    However punk eek is now dead. Yes it is consistent with the fossil record, but no biologist today holds that “rapid punctuation” can happen biologically. They are all perfectly aware of the fact that e.g. new proteins are not produced overnight.

    The quiet passing of punk eek is described by Stephen Meyer in chapter 7 of ‘Darwin’s Doubt.’

  110. 110
    Jack Jones says:

    “That is incorrect, as already explained ”

    That is incorrect as already explained @148 on the other thread.

    “Gould began studying land snails for his doctoral research at Columbia University in the 1960s. His careful documentation of their structure over space and time helped to form the basis of the punctuated equilibrium model, which he developed with colleague Niles Eldredge in 1972. The model suggested that evolution HAPPENS IN LEAPS of change separated by long stretches of very little change, which they called stasis”

    Gould’s former assistant, Stephanie Keep ncse.

    What we actually see is that snails remain snails but still Gould was enthused about the fairy tale that he would later promote as an alternative to the failure of gradualism.

  111. 111
    Barry Arrington says:

    And Zach @ 108 demonstrates yet another hoary and venerated Darwinist tradition: Explaining away (as opposed to explaining) the fossil record.

  112. 112
    Zachriel says:

    Box: no biologist today holds that “rapid punctuation” can happen biologically.

    Jack Jones: That is incorrect as already explained @148 on the other thread.

    The “leaps” are the kind of leaps that take thousands of generations, per Eldredge.

    Lieberman & Eldredge: “speciation typically takes on the order of 5,000 to 50,000 years to occur – far shorter than the average duration of species in the fossil record.”
    http://www.scholarpedia.org/ar.....equilibria

  113. 113
    bFast says:

    Zachriel (101)

    bFast: This sounds like the natural expectation/prediction of the theory. Is this really what we see, however?

    We now know that neutral evolution continues in the absence of selection.

    Zachriel, this is a slippery answer. This kind of answer on your part just makes me weary. I have to rehearse time and again that I have a reasonable grasp of the theory so that I can engage in the discussion of challenge to the theory.

    The fossil record frequently shows stasis. Now, what is happening in the DNA is is a different question, but nothing substantial is changing in the appearance of the organism to the resolution that the fossil record renders. Yes, neutral theory says that the DNA is still changing. So what. The phenotype is not substantially changing in the organisms in question.

    Now, if the environment is not changing, and if the organism is optimized to suit that environment, one would expect that the organism would not change — stasis. Please tell me I am correct so far.

  114. 114
    Zachriel says:

    bFast: I have to rehearse time and again that I have a reasonable grasp of the theory so that I can engage in the discussion of challenge to the theory.

    The thread is about Darwin’s original theory. As Darwin was aware of “living fossils”, having coined the term, it’s clear he was aware of stasis. The question you raised concerned actual observations.

    bFast: The fossil record frequently shows stasis.

    That’s right. And on the species level, there is a granularity.

    bFast: The phenotype is not substantially changing in the organisms in question.

    That is generally the case; however, in a natural population, there is typically a significant amount of phenotypic variation. Much of it selectively neutral or nearly so. A lot of neutral changes can become fixed, especially in a small, isolated population.

    bFast: Now, if the environment is not changing, and if the organism is optimized to suit that environment, one would expect that the organism would not change — stasis.

    That is generally the case, and that is the first-order darwinian expectation; however, optimization may not be a sharp peak, in which case, there could be a lot of neutral or near-neutral phenotypic variation around that peak.

  115. 115
    Jack Jones says:

    Punctuated Equilibria: The Tempo and Mode of Evolution Reconsidered
    Stephen Jay Gould and Niles Eldredge
    Paleobiology
    Vol. 3, No. 2 (Spring, 1977), pp. 115-15

    Published by: Paleontological Society

    “Phyletic gradualism was an a priori assertion from the start-it was never “seen” in the rocks; it expressed the cultural and political biases of 19th century liberalism. HUXLEY ADVISED DARWIN TO ESCHEW IT AS AN UNNECESSARY DIFFICULTY .” We think that it has now become an empirical fallacy. A punctuational view of change may have wide validity at all levels of evolutionary processes. At the very least, it deserves consideration as an alternate way of interpreting the history of life.”

    “The only objections that have occurred to me are 1st that you have loaded yourself with an unnecessary difficulty in adopting ‘Natura non facit saltum’ so unreservedly” Huxley to Darwin, Nov.23, 1859, the day before publication of the origin.

    Gould and Eldredge point out in their paper that Darwin adopting ‘Natura non facit saltum’ – that evolution does not happen in leaps, That Darwin was accepting Gradualism. As you can see they quote a letter from Huxley to Darwin telling him that he has given himself unnecessary difficulty by adopting “Natura non facit saltum’ so unreservedly”

    Clearly Gould and Eldredge were perfectly happy that punctuated equilibrium was about evolution happening in leaps and that is why Gould’s former assistant Stephanie Keep was on safe ground when she Pointed out that Punctuated Equilibrium was a model of evolution happening in leaps.

    Now zach can dance and deny and I am sure people on UD are becoming aware of his fallacy of arguing ad infinitum instead of being able to refute what is posted.

    But anybody looking objectively can see, You cannot hold to punctuated equilibrium, that evolution happens in leaps and hold to non facit non saltum like Darwin said without holding contradictory views.

    Gould and Eldredge are perfectly happy to accept evolution occurred in leaps in their paper about P.E, Darwin wasn’t.

    Gould and Eldredge show that they accepted evolution in leaps and rejected gradualism .

    Zach is most welcome to hold his contradictory view if it makes him happy.

  116. 116
    Zachriel says:

    Jack Jones: Gould and Eldredge were perfectly happy that punctuated equilibrium was about evolution happening in leaps

    To Eldredge, a leap meant speciation happening over thousands of years. As long as you are clear on that point, then we are in agreement.

    Lieberman & Eldredge: “speciation typically takes on the order of 5,000 to 50,000 years to occur – far shorter than the average duration of species in the fossil record.”
    http://www.scholarpedia.org/ar.....equilibria

  117. 117
    Barry Arrington says:

    Zach,

    As long as you are clear on that point, then we are in agreement.

    Translation: As long as you are clear that you were right all along and I was wrong, then we are in agreement.

  118. 118
    bFast says:

    Zachriel (114)

    bFast: Now, if the environment is not changing, and if the organism is optimized to suit that environment, one would expect that the organism would not change — stasis.

    That is generally the case

    Whew. That was a lot of work.

    Now, if I understand Darwin, and the theory correctly, we should find that in a changing environment we should rarely see apparent stasis. Is that correct? Does the theory predict that stasis will generally not persist when the environment changes?

  119. 119
    Zachriel says:

    bFast: Now, if I understand Darwin, and the theory correctly, we should find that in a changing environment we should rarely see apparent stasis. Is that correct? Does the theory predict that stasis will generally not persist when the environment changes?

    Per Darwin:

    Darwin, Origin of Species 1866: It is a more important consideration, clearly leading to the same result, as lately insisted on by Dr. Falconer, namely, that the periods during which species have been undergoing modification, though very long as measured by years, have probably been short in comparison with the periods during which these same species remained without undergoing any change. We may infer that this has been the case, from there being no inherent tendency in organic beings to become modified or to progress in structure, and from all modifications depending, firstly on long-continued variability, and secondly on changes in the physical conditions of life, or on changes in the habits and structure of competing species, or on the immigration of new forms; and such contingencies will supervene in most cases only after long intervals of time and at a slow rate. These changes, moreover, in the organic and inorganic conditions of life will affect only a limited number of the inhabitants of any one area or country.
    http://darwin-online.org.uk/Va.....-1866.html

    According to Darwin, there is no inherent tendency to change absent selection, and even then adaptive change will typically only occur over time in small, localized populations.

  120. 120
    Zachriel says:

    Zachriel: According to Darwin, there is no inherent tendency to change absent selection, and even then adaptive change will typically only occur over time in small, localized populations.

    Now, it’s thought that neutral evolution continues in the absence of selection, and in geographically separated populations is sufficient to lead to speciation. A small, otherwise neutral change, such as the particular shape of a beetle’s penis, or the song of a songbird, can bring about reproductive isolation.

  121. 121
    Daniel King says:

    Barry:

    As long as you are clear that you were right all along and I was wrong, then we are in agreement.

    If you’re never wrong, you can’t learn anything.

  122. 122
    Barry Arrington says:

    DK: “If you’re never wrong, you can’t learn anything.”

    I don’t disagree with that DK.

  123. 123
    Virgil Cain says:

    If you’re never wrong, you can’t learn anything.

    If you know everything then there isn’t anything to learn.

    Just sayin’…

  124. 124
    Mung says:

    A theory that both predicts stasis and lack of stasis is a theory to be admired.

  125. 125
    Andre says:

    Mung

    That is the point I’m pondering on too. What Zachriel is arguing here is that Darwin predicted gradual change unless it did not change. Either way Darwin was right.

  126. 126
    peteFun says:

    UDEditors: Excuse us Pete. We thought you understood that this entire thread has been about whether Zach (and you) take those words out of context and misinterpret them.

    And the evidence suggests Zach did not. Here’s a quick recap from my reading:

    Claim 1: (Zach) Actually, contrary to popular belief, Darwin knew and predicted the fossil record would show stasis, since stasis is quite common. As evidence, consider a direct quote from Darwin showing exactly this thought.

    UD: Writes this post. “Insande denial” “look at the context” Misunderstands several claims in Darwin’s writing. Believes that “Zach has used Darwin’s claim that certain fossils leave a FALSE impression of stasis to support Zach’s claim that Darwin actually predicted stasis generally. FAIL” This clearly indicates that the author hasn’t understood what Darwin wrote. The provided context clearly shows that this is not Darwin arguing that the fossil record leaves a false impression of stasis – it’s a direct acknowledgement that stasis may be quite common. More common (temporally) than periods of morphological evolutionary change.

    Reasonable people: So… in context, yes, Zach is correct – that’s exactly what Darwin wrote and said. He is anticipating concerns about his theory. In fact, what he wrote is a great example of Darwin foreseeing what eventually became known as Punc Eq. Darwin wasn’t correct about everything, but he actually got this one pretty much spot on. Here’s the direct quote, again:

    and the periods during which species have undergone modification, though long as measured by years, have probably been short in comparison with the periods during which they retained the same form

    It’s hard to imagine how someone could read this and come the the conclusion that Darwin thought the fossil record illustration of predominant stasis at the species level is due to the a “false impression”.

    UD: Insane Denialism! Show me ONE, just ONE person who agrees with you.

    Zach and peteFun: Here are several.

    Is that about where we’re at? Or do you want to keep going?

    Look – it’s going to be hard to admit when you’re wrong when you accuse someone of “insane denialism”. I know you can’t possibly backtrack now. It would indicate that what you call “insane denialism” is actually a reasonable alternative interpretation you failed to foresee, so you really have no “out”. But whatever gets page views, I guess.

  127. 127
    Andre says:

    PeteFun

    Help a brother out here…. So are you affirming that Darwinian evolution is Small incremental changes over time unless there aren’t?

  128. 128
    Andre says:

    Zachriel

    So is evolution change or stasis?

    What does the word evolution mean?

    Evolution

    ev·o·lu·tion
    ?ev??lo?oSH(?)n/
    noun
    noun: evolution; plural noun: evolutions

    1.
    the process by which different kinds of living organisms are thought to have developed and diversified from earlier forms during the history of the earth.
    synonyms: Darwinism, natural selection
    “his interest in evolution”
    2.
    the gradual development of something, especially from a simple to a more complex form.
    “the forms of written languages undergo constant evolution”

  129. 129
    Andre says:

    I’m really trying my best to find Stasis included as part of the evolutionary change mechanisms as Zachriel et al is selling here, surely the literature should be chock and block full of this but in the end nothing……

    I did find a good site though, I think all proponents should read through, I certainly enjoyed the lesson.

    http://nectunt.bifi.es/to-lear.....ry-change/

    I also think, and Prof Moran can correct me here, this gives a good account of what he means by evolution.

  130. 130
    Barry Arrington says:

    peteFun @ 126.

    You still don’t understand why Darwin thought the fossil record was a problem for his theory and freely acknowledged it. Until you do, you will continue to blither.

    But anyone who believes that Darwin thought that stasis was the general course of life though time is staggeringly ignorant. Can’t help you there. You can only help yourself.

  131. 131
    Tim says:

    Wow Zach! Thank you so much for settling things @70. I’d like everybody to go back to 70 and read Darwin and take him at his word. There, Darwin basically admits that his theory doesn’t work!

    My paraphrase of Darwin:
    “The times during which organisms change is long, but shorter than the times that they remain unchanged. This is true because there is no “inherent” reason for things to change. Oh, and when they “change”, it is because of “long-continued variability” (which I, Darwin, have just said there is no inherent reason for). Or, maybe it is because of changes . . . in other species like how they compete or immigrate (changes which I have just said there is no inherent reason for). Anyway, these changes will be limited in scope.”

    Now, everybody knows that Darwinism is predicated on gradual change (ignore discussion of how smooth it is or isn’t for a moment; let us not get sidetracked). Darwin’s claim in the above is that, in general, those changes are accomplished across time-scales that are so much shorter than the observed fixedness of species (call it stasis if you like) that they are not even observed like the fixed species are.

    Consider this: All of those numerous changes (and whatever that number is, it must fantastically large) in organisms are “outlasted” or “outlived” by what we (and Darwin) observe. Therefore, exactly what Darwin requires to be hidden away in the cracks of time become tucked away. I find that to be awfully convenient and explained by Darwin by this rather trite admission:

    We may infer that this has been the case, from there being no inherent tendency in organic beings to become modified or to progress in structure

    “Well, they really don’t have any reason to change. . . except when, for example, organisms around them change (even though these had no reason to change, but I digress . . .)”

    I guess I just never realized how early Darwin’s flip-flopping began.

    Darwin doubled down, such a curious fellow–
    (But, as if you were eating a flaming marshmallow,
    Sensations erratic,
    Both changing and static —
    Like the proverbial wall that’s been paneled in Jello,

    Arrived in small snippets in his dubious tome.)
    (I know its not normal to bridge this type of poem.)
    But what’s even more awful
    Is Darwin’s great waffle
    Sans both the order or rigor of a cheap plastic comb.

  132. 132
    Zachriel says:

    Mung: A theory that both predicts stasis and lack of stasis is a theory to be admired.

    Meteorology, a theory that both predicts hot and cold, wet and dry.

    Andre: I’m really trying my best to find Stasis included as part of the evolutionary change mechanisms as Zachriel et al is selling here, surely the literature should be chock and block full of this but in the end nothing

    You could start with Darwin @70. Also, check out “living fossils”, a term coined by Darwin.

    Tim: There, Darwin basically admits that his theory doesn’t work!

    The question of the thread is whether Darwin acknowledged evolutionary stasis, not whether his theory worked or not.

    Tim: Oh, and when they “change”, it is because of “long-continued variability” (which I, Darwin, have just said there is no inherent reason for).

    Variability refers to natural variation.

    Tim: We may infer that this has been the case, from there being no inherent tendency in organic beings to become modified or to progress in structure

    In Darwin’s theory, organisms don’t change unless under selection. We now know this isn’t quite correct, but is a good first-order approximation.

  133. 133
    Andre says:

    So Zachriel

    Does this mean Darwin’s theory is about change in organisms unless they don’t?

  134. 134
    bornagain says:

    zany
    3. one who acts the buffoon to amuse others

    Zany Zach claims:

    Meteorology, a theory that both predicts hot and cold, wet and dry.

    As to a much more appropriate comparison of the atmosphere and Darwinian evolution than Zach’s zany humor, I refer to Kurt Gödel

    Conservation of information, evolution, etc – Sept. 30, 2014
    Excerpt: Kurt Gödel’s logical objection to Darwinian evolution:
    “The formation in geological time of the human body by the laws of physics (or any other laws of similar nature), starting from a random distribution of elementary particles and the field is as unlikely as the separation of the atmosphere into its components. The complexity of the living things has to be present within the material [from which they are derived] or in the laws [governing their formation].”
    Gödel – As quoted in H. Wang. “On `computabilism’ and physicalism: Some Problems.” in Nature’s Imagination, J. Cornwall, Ed, pp.161-189, Oxford University Press (1995).
    Gödel’s argument is that if evolution is unfolding from an initial state by mathematical laws of physics, it cannot generate any information not inherent from the start – and in his view, neither the primaeval environment nor the laws are information-rich enough.,,,
    More recently this led him (Dembski) to postulate a Law of Conservation of Information, or actually to consolidate the idea, first put forward by Nobel-prizewinner Peter Medawar in the 1980s. Medawar had shown, as others before him, that in mathematical and computational operations, no new information can be created, but new findings are always implicit in the original starting points – laws and axioms.
    http://potiphar.jongarvey.co.u.....ution-etc/

    Evolutionary Computing: The Invisible Hand of Intelligence – June 17, 2015
    Excerpt: William Dembski and Robert Marks have shown that no evolutionary algorithm is superior to blind search — unless information is added from an intelligent cause, which means it is not, in the Darwinian sense, an evolutionary algorithm after all. This mathematically proven law, based on the accepted No Free Lunch Theorems, seems to be lost on the champions of evolutionary computing. Researchers keep confusing an evolutionary algorithm (a form of artificial selection) with “natural evolution.” ,,,
    Marks and Dembski account for the invisible hand required in evolutionary computing. The Lab’s website states, “The principal theme of the lab’s research is teasing apart the respective roles of internally generated and externally applied information in the performance of evolutionary systems.” So yes, systems can evolve, but when they appear to solve a problem (such as generating complex specified information or reaching a sufficiently narrow predefined target), intelligence can be shown to be active. Any internally generated information is conserved or degraded by the law of Conservation of Information.,,,
    What Marks and Dembski prove is as scientifically valid and relevant as Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem in mathematics. You can’t prove a system of mathematics from within the system, and you can’t derive an information-rich pattern from within the pattern.,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....96931.html

  135. 135
    Zachriel says:

    Andre: Does this mean Darwin’s theory is about change in organisms unless they don’t?

    Does this mean that meteorological theory says it will be hot unless it will be cold?

  136. 136
    bornagain says:

    Zany Zach can clown around, but can he dance?

    66 (Old) Movie Dance Scenes Mashup (Mark Ronson-Uptown Funk ft.Bruno Mars)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1F0lBnsnkE

  137. 137
    Jack Jones says:

    @126 Pete

    “In fact, what he wrote is a great example of Darwin foreseeing what eventually became known as Punc Eq.”

    Incorrect. Where Gould And Eldredge in a paper accepted that their idea of punctuated equilibrium was evolution in leaps, they point out that Darwin rejected evolution in leaps and by doing so was sticking to gradualism.

    Darwin’s theory of evolution by “natural selection” (which is shown to be impotent with the peppered moth example) was about gradualism.

    Darwin said “Natura non facit saltum”

    “As natural selection acts solely by accumulating slight, successive, favorable variations, it can produce no great or sudden modification; it can act only by very short and slow steps. Hence the canon of “Natura non facit saltum,” which every fresh addition to our knowledge tends to make more strictly correct, is on this theory simply intelligible. (chap. XIV)”

    Whereas Punctuated Equilibrium proposes evolution in leaps, it was brought out to explain the fact that Darwin’s idea of gradualism was not cogent with the fossil record.

    Discontinuity between different types of living organisms is not expected in evolution, Evolutionists merely accommodated it.

  138. 138
    asauber says:

    Meteorology, a theory that…

    Meteorology isn’t a theory. It’s an area of study.

    Andrew

  139. 139
    peteFun says:

    Jack Jones

    Whereas Punctuated Equilibrium proposes evolution in leaps, it was brought out to explain the fact that Darwin’s idea of gradualism was not cogent with the fossil record.

    Of course, all this hinges on what one counts as “leaps” and “gradual”.

    A common misinterpretation of Punc Eq is that the “leaps” therein are not commensurate with the accumulation of novel traits through slight modifications to existing structures (and part of this is due to Gould and Eldredge often stressing how different and novel their approach was – I suppose you can’t fault a professor for tooting their own horn).

    Punc Eq does stand in contrast to classical gradualism (or at least what Gould and Eldredge claimed was ‘classical’) – which assume that the net rate of evolutionary change (in morphology per unit time, for example) is constant.

    Punc Eq assumes that while novel traits are still due to successive slight modifications, the rate at which these modifications accumulate varies, and is often near zero, and often “steep” in geological terms. This is in contrast to “saltationism” or other instantaneous theories of evolution, which have been discarded.

    Darwin’s idea of gradualism was not cogent with the fossil record.
    However, as the quote provided shows, Darwin was not a gradualist in the classical sense – he was quite cognizant that the rate of evolutionary change was variable.

  140. 140
    EugeneS says:

    “As Darwin was aware living fossils, having actually coined the term, and as he talked about them in Origin of Species, it’s clear that he incorporated stasis into his theory.”

    Actually, when you think of this, the conclusion does not necessarily follow from the premise. It simply does not. One may talk a lot without providing explanations to something you acknowledge as a problem.

    But, to his credit, Darwin did not lie. He candidly admitted what he thought was problematic to his theory.

  141. 141
    brian douglas says:

    <Barry: But anyone who believes that Darwin thought that stasis was the general course of life though time is staggeringly ignorant. Can’t help you there. You can only help yourself.

    Translation: Anybody who disagrees with me is staggeringly ignorant. Can’t help you there. You can only hope to be more like me.

    Not only did Darwin think that stasis was very common, he stated that. The man studied fossils, probably even more than you have, and he believed in geologic gradualism, so are you seriously suggesting that he was not well aware of stasis? I agree that he considered stasis an obstacle for understanding his theory, but not for the theory itself. If you have read his work you will notice that he was very honest and upfront about possible problems with his theory. Considering that he had no idea about genetics, I think that he did a remarkable job.

  142. 142
    Virgil Cain says:

    Our resident evos do not know what a scientific theory is nor what it entails.

    Darwin never had a scientific theory of evolution and no one has ever proposed one.

  143. 143
    Virgil Cain says:

    Zachriel:

    Meteorology, a theory that both predicts hot and cold, wet and dry.

    That is incorrect and exposes your ignorance, but we know that you don’t care as you don’t have a conscience. Meteorology makes specific claims- quantified claims. Evolutionism does not.

  144. 144
    Jack Jones says:

    Pete “However, as the quote provided shows, Darwin was not a gradualist in the classical sense – he was quite cognizant that the rate of evolutionary change was variable.”

    Biology Learning Center, University of Arizona

    “Gradualism
    (uniformity of rate), embraced by Darwin;
    later a
    key assumption
    of the Modern Synthesis.

    Discovering Evolution:
    II. Before Darwin ”

    Punctuated Equilibrium on the other hand denies uniformity of rate.

  145. 145
    Andre says:

    Well the lesson out of this is that Darwinists are good old fashioned liars. Darwinian evolution is very specific and is also known as gradualism but not according to the liars that post here. Gradualism to these nimcompoops also mean punk eek.

    I’d laugh if it was not so utterly pathetic.

  146. 146
    Barry Arrington says:

    Brian,

    Not only did Darwin think that stasis was very common . . .

    Of course he did Brian. How could he not? That is what the fossil record shows. Can you people not read? And that was a problem for him because it was the opposite of what his theory — his word — “required.”

    “. . . [The geological record] does not yield the infinitely many fine gradations between past and present species required on the theory.”

    What about “infinitely many” or “required” do you not understand?

    It’s OK, though, Brian. We ID types stand always ready to teach you the basics of your own theory, which apparently you do not understand.

  147. 147
    wd400 says:

    “. . . [The geological record] does not yield the infinitely many fine gradations between past and present species required on the theory.”

    How do you get from here to the idea that evolution (or at least Darwin’s version of it) can’t deal with stasis? There has to be a (near) continuum between between ancient and modern organisms, there is no requirement that it be uniformally distributed in time.

  148. 148
    Box says:

    Zach: Darwin explains why the fossil record won’t encapsulate every transition. First, because fossilization is necessarily incomplete; second, (…) ; and third, because new species will often form in small, isolated populations, and are therefore unlikely to leave fossils . . .

    It looks like that Darwin is all over the place, continually contradicting himself. Stephen Meyer, in ‘Darwin’s Doubt’, praises Darwin for pointing out that large populations offer better chances for new variations to arise than small ones:

    Darwin recognized in On the Origin of Species that evolution is a numbers game: larger population sizes and more generations offer more opportunities for favorable new variations to arise. As he explained: “Forms existing in larger numbers will always have a better chance . . . of presenting further favourable variations for natural selection to seize on, than will the rarer forms which exist in lesser numbers.”

    [Stephen Meyer, ch.7, ‘Darwin’s Doubt’]

  149. 149
    brian douglas says:

    Barry:It’s OK, though, Brian. We ID types stand always ready to teach you the basics of your own theory, which apparently you do not understand.”

    Thank you for making me laugh, Barry. You will never know how much your humour is appreciated.

  150. 150
    Jack Jones says:

    @149 “Thank you for making me laugh, Barry.”

    What a fool named brian douglas who posts on uncommon descent cannot understand, he laughs at.

  151. 151
    Barry Arrington says:

    wd400

    How do you get from here to the idea that evolution (or at least Darwin’s version of it) can’t deal with stasis?

    *palm forehead*

    For the 50th time in this thread, I never said that Darwin believed he could not “deal” with stasis. I said that Darwin said his theory REQUIRED “infinitely many fine gradations between past and present species,” and he admitted the fossil record does not show this.

    Darwin, like everyone else, admitted that the fossil record shows sudden appearance and stasis, not “infinitely many fine gradations between past and present species.”

    And he set about explaining the fossil record away. And to your point, wd400, one of the techniques that he used was to point to the fact that stasis often occurs and gets captured by the record.

    My point is very simple and very narrow. While he admitted that stasis sometimes occurs, it is blindingly obvious that he did not believe the general course of life through time consisted of stasis.

    There has to be a (near) continuum between between ancient and modern organisms, there is no requirement that it be uniformally distributed in time.

    That is exactly what Darwin said. And that is what I’ve been saying he said. Now go teach your fellow evolutionists.

    Gah!

  152. 152
    wd400 says:

    In your OP the near-continuum between species is “just exactly the opposite” of saying evolutionary would be characterized by stasis. Now seem to have changed your tune, if not your tone.

  153. 153
    LarTanner says:

    While he admitted that stasis sometimes occurs, it is blindingly obvious that he did not believe the general course of life through time consisted of stasis.

    Darwin acknowledged stasis but undervalued it in Barry’s learned and not-at-all agenda-driven estimation.

    Ergo…?

  154. 154
    Barry Arrington says:

    wd400

    In your OP the near-continuum between species is “just exactly the opposite” of saying evolutionary would be characterized by stasis.

    Darwin:

    It may be said that natural selection is daily and hourly scrutinizing, throughout the world, every variation, even the slightest; rejecting that which is bad, preserving and adding up all that is good; silently and insensibly working, wherever and whenever opportunity offers, at the improvement of each organic being in relation to its organic and inorganic conditions of life.

    Darwin again:

    On this doctrine of the extermination of an infinitude of connecting links, between the living and extinct inhabitants of the world, and at each successive period between the extinct and still older species,

    Constant action resulting in an infinitude of links is indeed exactly the opposite of stasis, even if stasis often occurs and gets captured in the record. Why is that so hard to understand WD?

    This is elementary stuff. You are a biologist. Surely I am not saying anything you do not already know and, as your last post implies, agree with.

  155. 155
    Barry Arrington says:

    Lar

    Darwin acknowledged stasis but undervalued it in Barry’s learned and not-at-all agenda-driven estimation.

    Where did I say Darwin undervalued stasis Lar?

  156. 156
    wd400 says:

    Constant action resulting in an infinitude of links is indeed exactly the opposite of stasis

    No, the ground-state of evolution is change so in fact stasis requires constant action.

    More to the point, the “simple and narrow” point you make above seems quite different than the ones you are making in the OP.

  157. 157
    peteFun says:

    Barry,

    Constant action resulting in an infinitude of links is indeed exactly the opposite of stasis, even if stasis often occurs and gets captured in the record. Why is that so hard to understand WD?

    The phrase “an infinitude of links” appears to be causing some confusion, so let’s consider a continuous function on the domain [0 10], with range [0 1]. One such function is y = x/10. Another is y = 0 for 0<x<5, y = (x-5) for 5<x6, and y=1 for 6<x<10.

    Note that *both* functions have an infinite number of points between any two y-values. But think about what happens when we randomly sample {x,y} pairs from the first, and from the second. In the first case, a clear, gradual, constant rate change will be observed (you can fit a line to the data!). In the second, it is likely that we will see a discrete "jump" in our samples right around x = 5.5 or so. There is no line, and due to random sampling, it looks like the species "jumped" from 0 to 1!

    So, first off, do we agree that in both cases there are an infinitude of points between every y-value?

    (Also, note that Darwin is using somewhat flowery language here – there's no way there's an INFINITY of points between two creatures in the evolutionary history of the world. But he gets the point across. )

    EDIT: Fixed math

  158. 158
    Barry Arrington says:

    WD:

    This is the thesis I set out and defended from the beginning:

    I believe Eldredge and Tattersal were not just correct but plainly, glaringly, obviously correct when they said Darwin predicted “rampant, albeit gradual, change affecting all lineages through time.” Darwin admitted that the fossil record does not show this and that fact is a problem for his theory. And so he set about explaining the unsatisfactory (to his theory) fossil record away.

    Darwin never said that under his theory we should expect the fossil record to be generally characterized by stasis. He said exactly the opposite. That is why he acknowledges it is a problem for him. His theory does not predict that stasis is generally predicted (though at any given time a particular species might be in stasis).

    None of this is controversial.

  159. 159
    Barry Arrington says:

    Pete, your example misses the point I’ve been making completely. Yes, Darwin tried to explain away the fossil record in just the way you are describing. I have never disputed that. That you think that is the crux of the issue demonstrates that you do not understand my argument.

  160. 160
    Barry Arrington says:

    WD

    . . .stasis requires constant action

    And standing still requires constant movement.

  161. 161
    peteFun says:

    Barry,

    That you think that is the crux of the issue demonstrates that you do not understand my argument.

    Perhaps you could clarify? Because previously you wrote:

    Good grief Zach do you have no shame? Do you seriously believe you can get away with saying that Darwin believed stasis is more typical than change and not his own words when he wrote “infinitely many fine gradations between past and present species [are] required on the theory.”

    Because it appears that we now agree that there are many functions (e.g., of morphology vs. time) for which random sampling would illustrate long periods of stasis, despite having infinitely many fine gradations between past and present species. So… I don’t understand how the phrase “infinitely many fine gradations” contrasts with periods of stasis.

  162. 162
    Barry Arrington says:

    Pete,

    Because it appears that we now agree that there are many functions (e.g., of morphology vs. time) for which random sampling would illustrate long periods of stasis, despite having infinitely many fine gradations between past and present species. So… I don’t understand how the phrase “infinitely many fine gradations” contrasts with periods of stasis.

    First, when I say “we agree” I mean that “we agree about what Darwin predicted.” My personal views have never been an issue.

    The issue has never been about what “random sampling would illustrate.” Everyone agrees that random sampling of the fossil record indicates sudden appearance and stasis.

    There are two possibilities: (1) Sudden appearance and stasis is in fact what Darwin believed his own theory predicts GENERALLY* happens; or (2) Sudden appearance and stasis is not what Darwin believed his own theory predicts generally happens, and therefore the appearance of such in the fossil record is an artifact of the record, not what in fact generally happens.

    Zach says Darwin believed (1). He is wrong. There can be little doubt that Darwin believed (2), and in fact explaining why the appearance of sudden appearance and stasis is an artifact of the record rather than what generally happens, is the whole point of the passage we are discussing.

    Again, none of this is the least bit controversial. I simply cannot understand why you people are pushing back so hard (except for Zach; he is a stupid ideologue, which leads him to say insane things all the time).

    ___________
    *Everyone agrees that Darwin knew that with respect to a given species, stasis may be observed. The issue is not whether Darwin denied stasis altogether. Of course he didn’t. The issue is whether he predicted that stasis is the general story of the history of life.

  163. 163
    peteFun says:

    Barry,

    Good grief Zach do you have no shame? Do you seriously believe you can get away with saying that Darwin believed stasis is more typical than change and not his own words when he wrote “infinitely many fine gradations between past and present species [are] required on the theory.”

    So… According to your most recent post, NOTHING is incompatible between these two claims? It isn’t the case that “infinitely many fine gradations” is incompatible with long periods of stasis? This is extremely befuddling, since the above sentence certainly gives the impression that you believe those two claims are incoherent. Perhaps if no one understands your argument, you should try phrasing your claims more carefully.

    Zach says Darwin believed (1). He is wrong. There can be little doubt that Darwin believed (2), and in fact explaining why the appearance of sudden appearance and stasis is an artifact of the record rather than what generally happens, is the whole point of the passage we are discussing.

    I can find absolutely no evidence in anything quoted in the OP that suggests that Darwin thought “apparent stasis” is an artifact of the record. In fact, he clearly states

    and the periods during which species have undergone modification, though long as measured by years, have probably been short in comparison with the periods during which they retained the same form

    This is so clearly, emphatically not a statement about the fossil record, but about actual real-living species, that I can’t imagine how it could be read any other way.

    – Forgive my absence for the remainder of the weekend. Sick kid.

  164. 164
    wd400 says:

    And standing still requires constant movement.

    H’uh? Did you even read the comment? I’m not sure I could have made it clearer.

  165. 165
    Barry Arrington says:

    Perhaps if no one understands your argument, you should try phrasing your claims more carefully.

    Look in the mirror Pete. Perhaps if you had read me charitably you would not have been confused. Instead, you assumed that one of those “intelligent design creationists” cannot possibly be right about anything and finding the error is the only possible response. And when you found no error you invented one I did not make.

    I can find absolutely no evidence in anything quoted in the OP that suggests that Darwin thought “apparent stasis” is an artifact of the record

    Good grief. Read the lengthy passage I quoted from Origins again and tell me which part of “though this appearance is often false,” you do not understand.

    This is so clearly, emphatically not a statement about the fossil record, but about actual real-living species, that I can’t imagine how it could be read any other way.

    Again, for the 5,687th time, Darwin understood that stasis occurs with respect to individual species. And what he is saying here is that – with respect to any given species – when it is caught in the fossil record it is very likely it will be caught at a time when the species is in stasis. And therefore his “prediction of rampant, albeit gradual, change affecting all lineages through time” is not falsified when that happens.

    IOW, Darwin is saying that capturing a given species in stasis does not falsify his prediction that *generally* everything is changing all the time.

    Again, this is not the least bit controversial. The reading I am advancing has been the standard reading for 157 years. Pete, you’ve succumbed to the same error that Zach succumbed to. Try to read the whole passage and see if you can come back with an interpretation that synthesizes it.

    Avoid the temptation to pull out snippets and rest your conclusion on them.

  166. 166
    Barry Arrington says:

    WD,

    Get a dictionary:

    Stasis: ” a state or condition in which there is no action.”

    Substitute the definition for the word in what you wrote and you get:

    “a state or condition in which there is no action requires constant action.”

    And then you act surprised when I point out the contradiction.

  167. 167
    wd400 says:

    That may be the definition used in literature, but it’s not what is mean by evolutionary stasis — it means periods of time in which lineages don’t change much. Mutation and finite population sizes mean the default setting for any lineage is change. Evolutionary stasis can only be achieved through the action of natural selection.

  168. 168
    Box says:

    WD400, what is your point with this? Is this your way of arguing that Barry is wrong and that Darwin’s theory predicts stasis to be the rule?

  169. 169
    Jack Jones says:

    Will have to add emphasis because of the denialism of those arguing against Mr Arrington, Me and others.

    “Gradualism
    (UNIFORMITY OF RATE), EMBRACED BY DARWIN;
    later a
    key assumption
    of the Modern Synthesis.”

    Discovering Evolution:
    II. Before Darwin

    Biology Learning Center, University Of Arizona

    _____________________________________________________

    “PUNCTUATED EQUILIBRIUM– QUESTIONS EVOLUTIONARY UNIFORMITY OF RATE. ”

    Darwinism and Wallace Lecture – 3

    Biology Learning Center, University Of Arizona

  170. 170
    Andre says:

    Barry

    To the onlooker it’s clear what these Darwin dudes are doing we are right back to the contention about the meaning of things… stasis in evolutionary terms don’t really means stasis. We have been here before. The only take home you can get from this is that WD400 is a liar. Not so much to you but to himself. That is the worst kind of liar you can get.

    Gradualism aka Darwinism is NOT stasis….

  171. 171
    Mung says:

    Zachriel: Meteorology, a theory that both predicts hot and cold, wet and dry.

    Off as usual Zachriel. But I’m not here to feed the trolls.

  172. 172
    Jack Jones says:

    “evolutionary stasis”

    Put evolutionary before stasis and then the stasis is meant to become evidence for their faith.

    Orwellian indeed, Like claiming “War is Peace”

  173. 173
    Daniel King says:

    Mung:

    Off as usual Zachriel. But I’m not here to feed the trolls.

    Why are you here?

  174. 174
    Mung says:

    Daniel King:

    Why are you here?

    A number of reasons. A few, in no particular order:

    1. I like exposing anti-ID “critics” who claim to have science and reason on their side for the self-deluded frauds they are.

    2. I like to see what others are doing to develop arguments for intelligent design or to defend against the so-called critics.

    3. I want to be there in case someone ever manages to address the issues raised by the supporters of ID.

  175. 175
    peteFun says:

    Perhaps if you had read me charitably

    This is getting bizzarre. You wrote:

    Good grief Zach do you have no shame? Do you seriously believe you can get away with saying that Darwin believed stasis is more typical than change and not his own words when he wrote “infinitely many fine gradations between past and present species [are] required on the theory.”

    So here’s two straightforward questions – 1) Are the claims of stasis and infinitely many fine gradations mutually incompatible? and 2) what other charitable reading of what you wrote is possible? I’m genuinely curious. Because it’s not like that’s the only time you’ve harped on this point:

    Further down he says his theory REQUIRES “infinitely many fine gradations between past and present species.”

    Earth to Zach. Darwin held that evolution would be characterized generally by an “infinitude of connecting links,” and “infinitely many fine gradations.” He most certainly did not say that the evolution would be characterized by stasis. He said just exactly the opposite. FAIL.

    (1) It is correct that Darwin held that evolution would be characterized generally by an “infinitude of connecting links,” and “infinitely many fine gradations.” And (2) Darwin believed “stasis is more typical than change.”

    When Darwin is dealing with the fossil record he recognizes that if this is true we would predict that the fossil record would show an “infinitude” of intermediate species that would allow us to track the progression of evolution in exquisite detail. Darwin, like everyone else who has ever studied the fossil record, knew that this is exactly the opposite of what the record reveals, which is sudden appearance and stasis.

    But as Zach pointed out in post 9(!) and I pointed out in 82 and 157, a curvy line has as many gradations as a straight line. Which you admit in 159. Nothing about the language you are quoting indicates that Darwin thought morphological change occurred at a constant rate, though you seem intent on insisting it does.

    Read the lengthy passage I quoted from Origins again and tell me which part of “though this appearance is often false,” you do not understand.

    I believe Darwin is referring to the fact that in actuality many gradations have occured, but they occur quickly in geological time-frames, as the rest of the paragraph makes clear. Which: A) makes sense given the remainder of the passage, and B) is clearly what he meant. What do you think he meant? And is my interpretation of the passage INSANE DENIALISM? Does it make me a NAZI? Or, you know, could you possibly admit that alternative readings (to your tortured, frankly bizarre reading) are possible?

    IOW, Darwin is saying that capturing a given species in stasis does not falsify his prediction that *generally* everything is changing all the time.

    No, Darwin is saying that across all species, stasis may be much more common, since the rate of morphological change may be highly variable. If that is the case, random sampling (fossilization) will certainly show long periods of stasis. For the same reason that if I drive at a constant velocity across the country for 6 days, random sampling of my position will indicate a continuous line, but if I hang out at one end for 3 days then fly to the other end, random sampling over those 6 days will shos two distinct clusters. That is clearly the intent of the passage. A simple google search for that particular passage will turn up many experts who agree with that interpretation. Though you seem to have dropped that part of your interrogation.

    you would not have been confused. Instead, you assumed that one of those “intelligent design creationists” cannot possibly be right about anything and finding the error is the only possible response. And when you found no error you invented one I did not make.

    It’s certainly possible that I prejudged you. Perhaps that fits into a nice narrative that you tell yourself? It must go something like “Those evil lying insane denialist Darwinist Nazi’s are so… BIASED AGAINST ME!” Alternatively it could be that you are mistaken, and lack the self-awareness to understand that. I leave it up to your readers to decide.

  176. 176
    peteFun says:

    Jack Jones

    “Gradualism
    (UNIFORMITY OF RATE), EMBRACED BY DARWIN;
    later a key assumption of the Modern Synthesis.”
    Discovering Evolution:
    II. Before Darwin
    Biology Learning Center, University Of Arizona

    Whether Darwin was an evolutionary gradualist (in the sense of constant rate) is exactly what is up for debate. Gould and Eldredge seem to think so (and whatever site you’ve found agrees with them; I personally think they were incorrect and trying to put distance between Punc Eq and ‘classical thought’) but Darwin’s own words make it clear that he was not:

    Species of different genera and classes have not changed at the same rate, or in the same degree.

    and the periods during which species have undergone modification, though long as measured by years, have probably been short in comparison with the periods during which they retained the same form

    But who are you going to believe about what Darwin thought? The UoA? Or… Darwin?

  177. 177
    peteFun says:

    It may be said that natural selection is daily and hourly scrutinizing, throughout the world, every variation, even the slightest; rejecting that which is bad, preserving and adding up all that is good; silently and insensibly working, wherever and whenever opportunity offers, at the improvement of each organic being in relation to its organic and inorganic conditions of life.

    When Darwin is dealing with the fossil record he recognizes that if this is true we would predict that the fossil record would show an “infinitude”

    Not if the rate of morphological change is highly varying. Consider the force a river exerts on a dam – the force is always present, but the rate of movement of the fluid changes drastically when the dam breaks.

    Do you think that the infinitude of gradations Darwin is talking about in the passage under consideration is in the fossils? It is not. Darwin’s theory predicts that intermediate forms existed, but not that they were all fossilized, and one reason they may not be fossilized is if the rate of morphological change is highly variable. Is that why you are failing to comprehend this passage?

    Edit: Clarified post. Sorry

  178. 178
    Jack Jones says:

    Pete “But who are you going to believe about what Darwin thought? The UoA? Or… Darwin?”

    Why do you think there is a dichotomy?

    I accept that Mr Arrington’s interpretation of what Darwin said was right in the words he quoted.

    I have quoted Darwin’s words myself and shown that he did not believe in saltation.

    I quoted the paper of Gould and Eldredge where they showed that they accepted evolution by leaps and Darwin adopting Natura non facit saltum that he was rejecting evolution by leaps.

    I believe that Mr Arrington’s interpretation of what Darwin said was right.

    I only quoted others to show that Mr Arrington was correct in his interpretation of what Darwin said.

    Darwin got his idea of uniformity of rate of change (gradualism) from the geologist Lyell and he applied it to biology .

    If you look at everything that Darwin said and then look at what has been taught for what Darwin believed then it is not controversial what Mr Arrington is saying.

    If Darwin had believed in creatures in stasis for millions of years was part of his hypothesis then he would have to have believed that evolution happened in leaps, but he rejected saltationism.

    Furthermore he got his idea of uniformity of rate(gradualism) from the geologist Lyell and applied that idea to Biology.

    For some reason, some want to revise the past.

  179. 179
    Zachriel says:

    asauber: Meteorology isn’t a theory.

    True. Substitute modern meteorological theory, that weather patterns are due to physical forces, such as pressure differentials, which predicts hot and cold, wet and dry.

    EugeneS: One may talk a lot without providing explanations to something you acknowledge as a problem.

    But he did provide an explanation for stasis. It also answers the claim in the original thread about whether Darwin said that “evolution would be frequently characterized by stasis”.

    Zachriel: Darwin explains why the fossil record won’t encapsulate every transition. First, because fossilization is necessarily incomplete; second, (…) ; and third, because new species will often form in small, isolated populations, and are therefore unlikely to leave fossils . . .

    Box: It looks like that Darwin is all over the place, continually contradicting himself.

    There’s no contradiction. It refers to large populations which have heterogeneous subpopulations.

    Barry Arrington: For the 50th time in this thread, I never said that Darwin believed he could not “deal” with stasis.

    What you claimed was that “Darwin held that evolution would be frequently characterized by stasis” was wrong. However, it’s clear that Darwin thought that evolution would often result in stasis.

  180. 180
    Jack Jones says:

    “PROBLEMS OF EVOLUTION”: 10. FOSSIL RECORD
    1. Not Darwinian
    1. Not gradualistic
    The fossil record fails to reflect the gradual change one would expect if Darwinian evolution was true (Mayr,
    2001, p.14). Two features of the fossil record that are particularly inconsistent with gradualism are sudden
    appearance fully formed, and stasis (Gould, 1977a, p.14). Yet for over a century and a half paleontologists had
    been “brain-washed, by the gradualistic uniformitarianism of Charles Lyell.” (Ager, 1993, p.xi). Darwin himself
    had been greatly influenced by Lyell’s gradualistic uniformitarianism (Davidheiser, 1969, pp.60-61) and based his
    theory of evolution by the “accumulation of successive slight favourable variations” on it (Ager, 1993, p.129).
    This caused paleontologists to publicly claim that the fossil record supports the Darwinian interpretation of the
    fossil record, while privately knowing all along that it does not (Eldredge, 1985, p.144)!”

    http://members.iinet.net.au/~s.....0fsrc.html

  181. 181
    Zachriel says:

    Not that it matters to most Intelligent Design advocates, but Darwin clearly posited that evolution included stasis. Paleontologists after Darwin had a lot of work to do, with many intermediate fossils to be found. Natural selection was difficult to observe, and phyletic gradualism became the predominant view. It was only after having filled in the big gaps that paleontologists started to look at smaller and smaller gaps. Some people forgot that Darwin had said that evolution would be characterized by stasis, and the fossil record would show granularity, and were therefore surprised by its rediscovery.

    Science doesn’t progress in a straight line. There’s a lot that Darwin didn’t understand, and a lot has been discovered since, but the fundamentals of his theory still form the foundation of modern biology.

  182. 182
    Barry Arrington says:

    Pete:

    This is getting bizarre.

    Yes, it is. It really is a simple concept, but you don’t seem to be able to get your head around it. I will try one more time.

    Do you understand that we are not talking about whether Darwin believed stasis occurred? Of course he did. The passage you and Zach keep quoting establishes that.

    We are talking about what he believed was GENERALLY occurring most of the time with respect to living things in general.

    Zach (and apparently you) are saying that Darwin believed that stasis is the prevailing condition among all living creatures generally. That is absurd. He most certainly did not, as I demonstrated above.

    You quote me:

    Do you seriously believe you can get away with saying that Darwin believed stasis is more typical than change and not his own words when he wrote “infinitely many fine gradations between past and present species [are] required on the theory.”

    And you ask:

    (1) Are the claims of stasis and infinitely many fine gradations mutually incompatible?

    No. The issue, as any charitable reader would have picked up on immediately, is what is “more typical.” This is not hard to see, and it proves beyond the slightest doubt that your anti-ID bigotry forces you to read into the statement a contradiction that plainly is not there.

    (2) what other charitable reading of what you wrote is possible?

    The one of pointed out like 50 times.

  183. 183
    Barry Arrington says:

    Darwin:

    On this doctrine of the extermination of an infinitude of connecting links, between the living and extinct inhabitants of the world, and at each successive period between the extinct and still older species, why is not every geological formation charged with such links? Why does not every collection of fossil remains afford plain evidence of the gradation and mutation of the forms of life? . . . geological research . . . does not yield the infinitely many fine gradations between past and present species required on the theory, and this is the most obvious of the many objections which may be urged against it.

    Pete

    No, Darwin is saying that across all species, stasis may be much more common, since the rate of morphological change may be highly variable. If that is the case, random sampling (fossilization) will certainly show long periods of stasis.

    Darwin:
    Sampling of the geological record does not show infinitely many fine gradations between past and present species REQUIRED on the theory. The fossil record is an OBVIOUS objection to my theory, because instead of showing the infinite fine gradations it shows sudden appearance and stasis.

    Pete:
    Darwin is saying that the fossil record shows exactly what his theory predicts it would show, sudden appearance and stasis.

    Pete, it is clear to me that simple evidence and logic cannot compete with your fundamentalist faith that your prophet (peace be upon him) must have been right about everything.

  184. 184
    Zachriel says:

    Barry Arrington: Do you understand that we are not talking about whether Darwin believed stasis occurred? Of course he did.

    You vehemently objected to the statement “Darwin held that evolution would be frequently characterized by stasis.” He clearly stated that it would @70.

    Your argument was that his theory required “infinitely many fine gradations between past and present species.” He explained the transitions wouldn’t show in the fossil record because stasis was longer than periods of change, resulting in granularity. If stasis only rarely occurred, then there would be little or no visible anomaly to explain.

  185. 185
    peteFun says:

    (1) Are the claims of stasis and infinitely many fine gradations mutually incompatible?

    Barry:

    No.

    Ah. Progress.

    The issue, as any charitable reader would have picked up on immediately, is what is “more typical.”

    And as we have clarified many, many times, nothing in this or any other quoted passage has anything to do with what will be more typical in the fossil record, since as Darwin supposed, the rate of morphological change can be highly variable. If I have to get from NJ to CA, I have to get there in gradual and fine steps (an infinitude one might say) since there’s no other way we know of to travel. But the speed at which I actually travel can drastically alter how that trip is perceived.

    This is not hard to see, and it proves beyond the slightest doubt that your anti-ID bigotry

    That’s certainly one interpretation. The only reason an atheist lying Nazi mass-murdering insane denialists would disagree with me is because they are bigots!

    UDEditors: Edit, snipped cheap shot.

  186. 186
    Barry Arrington says:

    Zach @ 184:

    I have never stated that Darwin believed stasis never occurred. I objected to your claim that Darwin believed that stasis was prevalent. He plainly did not.

  187. 187
    Barry Arrington says:

    Pete,

    Ah. Progress.

    Yes, progress in your finally coming to understand what I’ve been saying all along. I had a feeling that if I worked with you long enough you would finally come around.

  188. 188
    Zachriel says:

    Barry Arrington: Darwin
    Sampling of the geological record does not show infinitely many fine gradations between past and present species REQUIRED on the theory. The fossil record is an OBVIOUS objection to my theory, because instead of showing the infinite fine gradations it shows sudden appearance and stasis.

    Darwin:
    A simplistic, Barry Arrington-level view of my theory would indicate that species morphology should change continuously over time at a fairly constant rate. However, my theory actually presupposes that species tend to stay much the same for long periods time, and that speciation actually occurs in small sub-populations on geographic peripheries, which then overtake the parent population. The fossil record will, therefore, show granularity at the species level.

  189. 189
    Barry Arrington says:

    Pete

    And as we have clarified many, many times, nothing in this or any other quoted passage has anything to do with what will be more typical in the fossil record

    No, no, no. Not more typical in the fossil record. For the millionth time, everyone agrees that stasis is more typical in the fossil record. I’ve said that over and over. Can you not understand that the whole point of the passage is that Darwin is arguing that what is more typical in the fossil record is NOT a reflection of what is more typical with regard to the history of life. Sheesh.

  190. 190
    Zachriel says:

    Barry Arrington: I objected to your claim that Darwin believed that stasis was prevalent. He plainly did not.

    If stasis only rarely occurred, then there would be little or no visible anomaly in the fossil record to explain.

  191. 191
    peteFun says:

    Barry,

    Sampling of the geological record does not show infinitely many fine gradations between past and present species REQUIRED on the theory.

    What Darwin understood was that it was required that these species existed, not that they existed for a long time, or that they were fossilized.

    The fossil record is an OBVIOUS objection to my theory,

    If one assumes a uniform rate of morphological change.

    because instead of showing the infinite fine gradations it shows sudden appearance and stasis.

    Because the rate of morphological change is not constant.

    Pete, it is clear to me that simple evidence and logic

    Look, it’s possible that you’re correct – that Darwin did not think that the fossil record should indicate stasis (although I have no idea why you think that, since, you know… he clearly said it would if the rate of evolutionary change was variable), but – and this is important – none of the quotes from Darwin that you have provided support that claim in the least! You are consistently mis-reading this passage!

    Edit: Snipped cheap shot

  192. 192
    Jack Jones says:

    ” but Darwin clearly posited that evolution included stasis.”

    Nope, Darwin tried to pass the pattern off as that of an imperfect fossil record.

    “Paleontologists after Darwin had a lot of work to do, with many intermediate fossils to be found. Natural selection was difficult to observe, and phyletic gradualism became the predominant view. It was only after having filled in the big gaps that paleontologists started to look at smaller and smaller gaps. Some people forgot that Darwin had said that evolution would be characterized by stasis, and the fossil record would show granularity, and were therefore surprised by its rediscovery.”

    Nope. Paleontologists were aware of what Darwin’s view of what the fossil record should be and they didn’t want to admit stasis because it contradicted Darwin’s view.

    macroevolution.net
    “Eldredge (1995: 68) asserts paleontologists have hesitated to emphasize the observed pattern of stasis in the fossil record because it is inconsistent with neo-Darwinian theory:”

    “For the most part it has been paleontological reluctance to cross swords with Darwinian tradition that accounts for the failure to inject the empirical reality of stasis into the evolutionary picture.”

  193. 193
    peteFun says:

    Barry,

    Can you not understand that the whole point of the passage is that Darwin is arguing that what is more typical in the fossil record is NOT a reflection of what is more typical with regard to the history of life.

    False. Re-read the passage with your thinking cap on, and when you get to this part:

    and the periods during which species have undergone modification, though long as measured by years, have probably been short in comparison with the periods during which they retained the same form

    think to yourself “What if I am mis-interpreting this?”

  194. 194
    Zachriel says:

    Darwin, Origin of Species 1866: It is a more important consideration, clearly leading to the same result, as lately insisted on by Dr. Falconer, namely, that the periods during which species have been undergoing modification, though very long as measured by years, have probably been short in comparison with the periods during which these same species remained without undergoing any change.

    As Darwin’s statement was strengthened in later editions due to the palaeontological work of Hugh Falconer, and was consistent with his own studies showing granularity in the evolution of barnacles, it’s clear that Darwin thought stasis occurred frequently.

    Jack Jones: Paleontologists were aware of what Darwin’s view of what the fossil record should be and they didn’t want to admit stasis because it contradicted Darwin’s view.

    That’s clearly not consistent with @70, wherein Darwin invokes Falconer who made significant discoveries concerning stasis in the vertebrate fossil record.

  195. 195
    Jack Jones says:

    PROBLEMS OF EVOLUTION”: 10. FOSSIL RECORD
    1. Not Darwinian
    1. Not gradualistic
    The fossil record fails to reflect the gradual change one would expect if Darwinian evolution was true (Mayr,
    2001, p.14). Two features of the fossil record that are particularly inconsistent with gradualism are sudden
    appearance fully formed, and stasis (Gould, 1977a, p.14). Yet for over a century and a half paleontologists had
    been “brain-washed, by the gradualistic uniformitarianism of Charles Lyell.” (Ager, 1993, p.xi). Darwin himself
    had been greatly influenced by Lyell’s gradualistic uniformitarianism (Davidheiser, 1969, pp.60-61) and based his
    theory of evolution by the “accumulation of successive slight favourable variations” on it (Ager, 1993, p.129).
    This caused paleontologists to publicly claim that the fossil record supports the Darwinian interpretation of the
    fossil record, while privately knowing all along that it does not (Eldredge, 1985, p.144)!”

    http://members.iinet.net.au/~s…..0fsrc.html

  196. 196
    Box says:

    Zach: Darwin explains why the fossil record won’t encapsulate every transition (…) because new species will OFTEN form in SMALL, ISOLATED populations, and (…).

    Stephen Meyer: Darwin recognized in On the Origin of Species that evolution is a numbers game: LARGER population sizes and more generations offer MORE opportunities for favorable new variations to arise. As he explained: “Forms existing in LARGER numbers will always have a BETTER chance . . . of presenting further favourable variations for natural selection to seize on, than will the rarer forms which exist in lesser numbers.”

    If both statements about Darwin’s position are true, one has to conclude, as I did: “It looks like that Darwin is all over the place, continually contradicting himself.”
    Enter Zach:

    Zach: There’s no contradiction. It refers to large populations which have heterogeneous subpopulations.

    Sigh ….

  197. 197
    Zachriel says:

    Jack Jones (quote mine): The fossil record fails to reflect the gradual change one would expect if Darwinian evolution was true (Mayr, 2001, p.14).

    Ernst Mayr, Speciational Evolution or Punctuated Equilibria 1992: Even Darwin, for reasons that relate to his struggle against creationism, stressed the transformational aspect of evolution. He was, however, fully aware of highly different rates of evolution, from complete stasis to rates of change so fast that intermediates could not be discovered in the fossil record.

  198. 198
    Barry Arrington says:

    Barry says Darwin says:

    The fossil record is an OBVIOUS objection to my theory,

    Pete adds

    If one assumes a uniform rate of morphological change.

    Pete, you don’t get to add text that is not there to suit your argument. Darwin said that the fossil record is an obvious objection to his theory period full stop. That you feel compelled to add text he did not write to support your views is a sign of desperation.

  199. 199
    Zachriel says:

    Box: Sigh ….

    Instead of sighing, why not explain why our response is not sufficient. Or should we just repeat our explanation?

    To Darwin, large populations gave more opportunities because there was more diversity, and that diversity would be most expressed in sub-populations on the geographic periphery. This is where Darwin thought adaptation would occur.

    Darwin, Origin of Species 1866: It is the dominant and widely ranging species which vary most frequently and vary most, and varieties are often at first local—both causes rendering the discovery of intermediate links in any one formation less likely. Local varieties will not spread into other and distant regions until they are considerably modified and improved; and when they have spread, and are discovered in a geological formation, they appear as if suddenly created there, and will be simply classed as new species.

  200. 200
    Barry Arrington says:

    Darwin:

    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 the theory. The explanation lies, as I believe, in the extreme imperfection of the geological record.

    Take a close look at that last sentence: “The explanation lies, as I believe, in the extreme imperfection of the geological record.” If Pete and Zach were right he would have said “The explanation lies, I believe, in the fact that the rate of morphological change is not uniform” or something to that effect. He did not

    Just as I have said all along, Darwin believed that the fossil record does NOT show what actually happened. That is why he says it is extremely imperfect. This is staggeringly obvious and has been the standard reading for 157 years. Pete and Zach’ revisionism to the contrary notwithstanding.

  201. 201
    Zachriel says:

    DELETED: Zach, you’ve posted your list five times now. Posting the same list over and over again does not advance the discussion. The ability to copy and paste is the same as the ability to make a cogent argument. If you have something to add, by all means do so.

  202. 202
    Zachriel says:

    @70, @71

  203. 203
    Jack Jones says:

    @197 “quote mine”

    Quote Mine-Code for-Any quote that destroys an evotard.

    Let’s see what followed what Stephen E Jones referred to in his reference of Mayr Instead of what Zach the quote whiner posted.

    “All of his life Darwin insisted that this is simply due to the unimaginable incompleteness of the fossil record.”

    Darwin put down the lack of transitions to the incompleteness of the fossil record.

    Trust zach not to quote what followed from what Stephen E Jones was referring to, he is very dishonest to quote something else in order to impugn what Stephen E Jones said when the next phrase coming up from Mayr just confirms that Darwin fobbed off the lack of transitionals as an imperfect fossil record.

    Zach only has his sophomoric evotard phrase and fallacy of arguing ad infinitum instead of dealing with what people like Mike and Me and others are asking, Now he is not even quoting from what followed from what Stephen E Jones said. It shows that he is not cut out for mature and honest debate.

  204. 204
    peteFun says:

    Barry,

    Pete, you don’t get to add text that is not there to suit your argument.

    That is the only way the whole passage makes sense. Sometimes you need to comprehend the whole passage to understand the implicit reference.

    Darwin said that the fossil record is an obvious objection to his theory period full stop.

    Then he explained why that obvious objection is invalid if the rate of morphological change is not constant. This is not complex. This is how scientific writing works. See my post @ 68.

    200:

    The explanation lies, as I believe, in the extreme imperfection of the geological record.

    Yes – the fossil record is imperfect since it can’t show us everything that happened in history. In particular if morphological change is sometimes quite fast, the fossil record will fail to record it. This doesn’t mean the fossil record is “false” or lying – it means it is imperfect. Like my facebook wall is an imperfect history of my life. For years and years I didn’t have a beard. Then one day I did! With no intermediates! (I’m not sure how far to take this anaology…)

    If Pete and Zach were right he would have said “The explanation lies, I believe, in the fact that the rate of morphological change is not uniform” or something to that effect. He did not

    Well, he did. That’s what this:

    and the periods during which species have undergone modification, though long as measured by years, have probably been short in comparison with the periods during which they retained the same form

    means.

    Edit: Kid awake. I’m out. Enjoy.

  205. 205
    bornagain says:

    Zany Zach really can’t help himself if he posts stuff over and over.
    Over on the other thread he is now arguing that he does not really exist but is merely a deterministic robot governed by law and chance
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-589288

    So when Zach keeps repeating himself on a thread, he is simply doing what law and chance have commanded him to do. i.e. There really is no person named ‘Zach’ to say otherwise.

  206. 206
    Jack Jones says:

    @Born

    That’s what zach does, argue ad infinitum, He did that dishonestly against me and mike about things we were not asking about. He cannot argue honestly, he has now fallen back on the desperate village evolutionist phrase of “quote mine” to Impugn what Stephen E Jones quoted of Mayr and then he quotes some passage that did not follow from the page from what Stephen E Jones was referring to.

    This is what followed In Mayr’s book from what Stephen E Jones referred to.

    “All of his life Darwin insisted that this is simply due to the unimaginable incompleteness of the fossil record.”

    Funny how zachy dishonestly ignored that and quoted something else because it backed up that Darwin passed off the lack of transitionals as being the result of an incomplete fossil record.

    Zach is a very dishonest, he likes to go round in circles like a dog chasing its tail to deflect instead of dealing with what is being asked, he did that to Mike and Me on the other thread, He has fallen back on the evo propaganda phrase “quote mine” and he has quoted a different passage than what Stephen E Jones was referring to because it does not support his case and he has ignored what other referenced experts said that were quoted.

    Shows what a failure he is.

  207. 207
    Barry Arrington says:

    Pete:

    Yes – the fossil record is imperfect since it can’t show us everything that happened in history.

    More progress. That is exactly what I have been saying Darwin said. Ask yourself why Darwin said the fossil record was imperfect it it showed exactly what his theory predicted it would show, he certainly would not have called it imperfect.

    No, he called it imperfect because it did not show what his theory predicted it would show, and he set about trying to explain this anomaly. In fact, he wagered his entire project on his ability to explain away the fossil record:

    He who rejects these views on the nature of the geological record, will rightly reject my whole theory. For he may ask in vain where are the numberless transitional links which must formerly have connected the closely allied or representative species, found in the several stages of the same great formation.

    Summary from Darwin’s perspective:

    1. My theory predicts that natural selection is working everywhere all the time to effect tiny morphological changes that accumulate over time and result in new species appearing.

    2. The result is an extremely gradual process in which new species over eons of time though slow practically imperceptible changes arise from prior species.

    3. If that is what happened, there must have existed infinitely many fine gradations between past and present species. IOW “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.”

    4. My theory predicts that “infinitely many fine gradations” (i.e., a “truly enormous” number of intermediate varieties). IOW, the record of life is one of rampant gradual morphological change affecting the vast majority of species the vast majority of the time. The record of life is NOT one of sudden appearance and stasis. Yes, stasis can sometimes happen with respect to an individual species, but stasis is not the rule. Indeed, my entire project is aimed at undermining the creationist notion of the fixity of species. How could I do that if I were to say that stasis is the rule among life forms generally?

    5. The fossil record most assuredly does not reveal “infinitely many fine gradations” (i.e., a “truly enormous” number of intermediate varieties) as the rule.

    6. Instead, the fossil record reveals sudden appearance and stasis as the rule.

    7. Thus, the fossil record would seem to falsify my theory, because it does not reveal what my theory predicts it should reveal.

    8. And that is a serious problem for me, the “most obvious of the many objections which may be urged against” my theory.

    9. The answer lies not in my theory but in the fossil record. My theory is perfect; the history of life is exactly as I said was, full of an infinite number of transitions. The fossil record is imperfect, because it fails to capture that.

    10. Here is why I believe the fossil record is imperfect: blah, blah, blah.

    11. If I am wrong about why the fossil record is imperfect, my theory comes falling down around me.

  208. 208
    Jack Jones says:

    @207
    “Ask yourself why Darwin said the fossil record was imperfect it it showed exactly what his theory predicted it would show, he certainly would not have called it imperfect.

    No, he called it imperfect because it did not show what his theory predicted it would show, and he set about trying to explain this anomaly. In fact, he wagered his entire project on his ability to explain away the fossil record:”

    Exactly Mr Arrington, This is clear and irrefutable logic but those that want to worship Darwin do not want to admit their idol was wrong.

  209. 209
    Jack Jones says:

    Zach “(quote mine)”

    Quote whining with the evo propaganda Phrase “quote mine” does not refute what was posted

    You post this.

    “Ernst Mayr, Speciational Evolution or Punctuated Equilibria 1992: Even Darwin, for reasons that relate to his struggle against creationism, stressed the transformational aspect of evolution.”

    That is not following up from what Stephen E Jones quoted, you have quoted a different source and not the page or book that he was referring to.

    Let’s see what you have quoted though.

    “Even Darwin, for reasons that relate to his struggle against creationism, stressed the transformational aspect of evolution.”

    How would that help you, That would be saying that the fossil record to be cogent as an argument against creationism would need to be transformational, That only strengthens the case of Darwin arguing against a lack of transitionals being consistent with his hypothesis.

    We go on.

    “He was, however, fully aware of highly different rates of evolution, from complete stasis to rates of change so fast that intermediates could not be discovered in the fossil record.”

    That doesn’t support you at all, In fact it shows Mayr trying to justify that Darwin really knew about the stasis but didn’t make it something that should be expected on his hypothesis because he was arguing against Creationists.

    Based on what you have quoted then What Mayr is saying is that Darwin didn’t emphasize the stasis because he was arguing against Creationism but he knew about it really.

    How does that help you, If he knew about it but didn’t argue for it as being expected on his hypothesis then that is a problem for Darwin. Special Pleading from Mayr doesn’t help you, It emphasizes that it is not consistent with what Darwin argued for.

    This is what Mayr argued in his later book, what evolution is.

    Stephen E Jones referencing Pg 14 of his book.

    “The fossil record fails to reflect the gradual change one would expect if Darwinian evolution was true (Mayr,)

    What did Mayr say in the follow up which you ignored and went to an earlier source which does not even support you but refutes you.

    This was the very next sentence

    “All of his life Darwin insisted that this is simply due to the unimaginable incompleteness of the fossil record.”

    So not only did you not quote the next line from the same page or even same book that Jones was referring to which shows Mayr saying that Darwin insisted the reason for the lack of transitionals was the incompleteness of the fossil record.

    But your earlier source shows Mayr special pleading that Darwin knew about it but didn’t want to argue for it because he was arguing against creationism.

    So that does not help you.

    Even if that quote had of supported you instead of refuting you,then it would have been trumped by Mayr’s later words in 2002 where he admitted Darwin put down the lack of transitions to an incomplete fossil record.

    But not just the earlier quote that you quoted but Mayr’s later words refute you also.

    You really are terrible Zach.

    You must do better.

  210. 210
    Zachriel says:

    Jack Jones: “All of his life Darwin insisted that this is simply due to the unimaginable incompleteness of the fossil record.”

    Darwin was right, of course.

    Barry Arrington: Ask yourself why Darwin said the fossil record was imperfect

    Darwin told us why the fossil record would be incomplete @108.

  211. 211
    Jack Jones says:

    Ignoring a post that destroys you, will not make it go away.

    Zach “(quote mine)”

    Quote whining with the evo propaganda Phrase “quote mine” does not refute what was posted

    You post this.

    “Ernst Mayr, Speciational Evolution or Punctuated Equilibria 1992: Even Darwin, for reasons that relate to his struggle against creationism, stressed the transformational aspect of evolution.”

    That is not following up from what Stephen E Jones quoted, you have quoted a different source and not the page or book that he was referring to.

    Let’s see what you have quoted though.

    “Even Darwin, for reasons that relate to his struggle against creationism, stressed the transformational aspect of evolution.”

    How would that help you, That would be saying that the fossil record to be cogent as an argument against creationism would need to be transformational, That only strengthens the case of Darwin arguing against a lack of transitionals being consistent with his hypothesis.

    We go on.

    “He was, however, fully aware of highly different rates of evolution, from complete stasis to rates of change so fast that intermediates could not be discovered in the fossil record.”

    That doesn’t support you at all, In fact it shows Mayr trying to justify that Darwin really knew about the stasis but didn’t make it something that should be expected on his hypothesis because he was arguing against Creationists.

    Based on what you have quoted then What Mayr is saying is that Darwin didn’t emphasize the stasis because he was arguing against Creationism but he knew about it really.

    How does that help you, If he knew about it but didn’t argue for it as being expected on his hypothesis then that is a problem for Darwin. Special Pleading from Mayr doesn’t help you, It emphasizes that it is not consistent with what Darwin argued for.

    This is what Mayr argued in his later book, what evolution is.

    Stephen E Jones referencing Pg 14 of his book.

    “The fossil record fails to reflect the gradual change one would expect if Darwinian evolution was true (Mayr,)

    What did Mayr say in the follow up which you ignored and went to an earlier source which does not even support you but refutes you.

    This was the very next sentence

    “All of his life Darwin insisted that this is simply due to the unimaginable incompleteness of the fossil record.”

    So not only did you not quote the next line from the same page or even same book that Jones was referring to which shows Mayr saying that Darwin insisted the reason for the lack of transitionals was the incompleteness of the fossil record.

    But your earlier source shows Mayr special pleading that Darwin knew about it but didn’t want to argue for it because he was arguing against creationism.

    So that does not help you.

    Even if that quote had of supported you instead of refuting you,then it would have been trumped by Mayr’s later words in 2002 where he admitted Darwin put down the lack of transitions to an incomplete fossil record.

    But not just the earlier quote that you quoted but Mayr’s later words refute you also.

    You really are terrible Zach.

    You must do better.

  212. 212
    Zachriel says:

    Jack Jones: That is not following up from what Stephen E Jones quoted

    It provides a better description of Mayr’s view than the quote-mine you provided.

    Jack Jones: Based on what you have quoted then What Mayr is saying is that Darwin didn’t emphasize the stasis because he was arguing against Creationism but he knew about it really.

    That’s correct. Darwin not only knew about stasis, but considered it an important consideration in explaining the fossil record. However, the primary argument at the time concerned adaptation. Paleontologists had plenty to work to do in terms of outlining the broad history of evolution. Only when they started to fill in more of the details did they return to the concept of what we now call punctuated equilibrium as described by, first Falconer, then Darwin.

  213. 213
    Jack Jones says:

    @212

    “It provides a better description of Mayr’s view than the quote-mine you provided.”

    Quote whining with the phrase quote mine yet again just shows you can’t refute what was being posted.

    It shows desperation, You wouldn’t get away with that hand waving phrase in a court of law.

    The view your quote provides is that Mayr was making apologies for darwin, he is in essence admitting that stasis is not part of Darwin’s hypothesis.

    This is backed up later on by the fact that Mayr in “what evolution is” admits that the lack of transitionals was put down to an incomplete fossil record, The idea of darwin expecting a pattern of stasis did not come into it.

    It is further shown by the fact that you cannot show anything wrong in what was quoted by Stephen E Jones and that is why you ignore it and fall back on quote whining with the phrase “quote mine” A phrase that evolutionists fall back on when they are destroyed in debate and cannot refute a quote that has been posted.

    It’s no good revisionists saying that well Darwin believed it really. We are talking about what he put forth in his hypothesis and stasis was not expected from his hypothesis.

    “they return to the concept of what we now call punctuated equilibrium as described by, first Falconer, then Darwin”

    Darwin rejected evolution in leaps as you have already been educated on.

    You’re a failure zach.

  214. 214
    Zachriel says:

    Jack Jones: Quote whining with the phrase quote mine yet again just shows you can’t refute what was being posted.

    The citation gives a misimpression of Mayr’s views.

    Jack Jones (quote mine): The fossil record fails to reflect the gradual change one would expect if Darwinian evolution was true (Mayr, 2001, p.14).

    It’s not a quote from Mayr, and nothing on the page supports the claim. Rather, Mayr says that Darwin claimed that the fossil record was incomplete, which is clearly true. Furthermore, on the very same page, Mayr points out some excellent transitions represented in the fossil record, such as from therapsid to mammals.

  215. 215
    Jack Jones says:

    “The citation gives a misimpression of Mayr’s views. ”

    Incorrect, It supports it, that is why you ignored it and went desperately searching for another quote because the follow on did not support you. Your quote failed to support you either.

    Zach (quote whine) “(quote mine)”

    You fell back on quote whining because you could not support your case.

    It is an admission of your surrender.

    “Mayr says that Darwin claimed that the fossil record was incomplete, which is clearly true”

    That was his explanation for the lack of transitionals and nothing to do with because Darwin expected stasis

    It did not support you so you ignored it and resorted to your quote whine instead.

    You must do better, your quote whining is not a valid rebuttal but an admission of your surrender.

  216. 216
    Zachriel says:

    Jack Jones: That was his explanation for the lack of transitionals and nothing to do with because Darwin expected stasis.

    Darwin claimed the fossil record was imperfect for a variety of explicitly stated reasons.

  217. 217
    Jack Jones says:

    Fact is that you ignored the next sentence in the book Because it refuted you, You resorted to your quote whine and then posted an earlier phrase from a different source of Mayr that also refuted you but you were deluded to think it helped you.

    If the next sentence had supported you then you wouldn’t have ignored it and ended up with your quote whines to hand wave it away.

    Your quote whines aren’t a valid rebuttal and posting an earlier quote which destroys your own position is not very good either.

    You must do better.

  218. 218
    Zachriel says:

    Jack Jones: Fact is that you ignored the next sentence in the book Because ….

    Because the very first sentence misrepresented the contents of the book being cited.

  219. 219
    Jack Jones says:

    “Because the very first sentence misrepresented the contents of the book being cited.”

    Nothing in what Stephen E Jones quoted misrepresented anything, if it did then you could have pointed it out but You didn’t, you ignored the next sentence because it refuted you, If it did misrepresent then you would have quoted the next sentence to point it out.

    That’s why you quote whined because you couldn’t refute the quote.

    You then went on to quote an earlier quote which even if it had supported you would have been trumped by the later quote but even your own quote was an argument against your own position.

    You got to do better.

  220. 220
    Jack Jones says:

    BTW….I am now posting on Mr Arrington’s new post so won’t be replying to anything more here.

  221. 221
    Zachriel says:

    Jack Jones: Nothing in what Stephen E Jones quoted misrepresented anything

    The paraphrase does not represent the contents of the page. The only place Mayr refers to Darwin is when he says “All of his life Darwin insisted that this is simply due to the unimaginable incompleteness of the fossil record.” Darwin was correct about the incompleteness of the fossil record, and explictly provided the reasons for its incompleteness.

    Furthermore, we know that Mayr was aware of this.

    Ernst Mayr, Speciational Evolution or Punctuated Equilibria 1992: Even Darwin, for reasons that relate to his struggle against creationism, stressed the transformational aspect of evolution. He was, however, fully aware of highly different rates of evolution, from complete stasis to rates of change so fast that intermediates could not be discovered in the fossil record.

  222. 222
    Jack Jones says:

    Damn you are stupid, I told to you to carry on the other thread, I will post a reply to you there.

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