The Method of Creationism (mike part 2)

creationismThe following is the last response, counter response from a gentleman by the name of Mike on the subject of Creationism vs. Evolution.   For the complete record of this discussion, please see the last post, and indeed the previous three posts before that.

mike said:

wow. i just spent 3 hours responding to your argument and, with a double tap to the backspace button, it´s gone. oh well. must´ve been too wordy (especially considering it seems you´re somewhat disgusted – “Please don’t bother with your explanation”(?!?!?) – by the conversation – which i´m sorry to sense).

i´ll try to limit myself to the essentials here.

a) birds of a feather not only flock together, they are burried and become fossilized together too. the deluge lasted 40 days and 40 nights, but it took the flood about a year to recede. therein took place the laying down of strata/fossil layers. weight and size play heavily in the grouping. also see my previous comments on localized catastrophe (mt. st. helen´s) and similar results. always tilting: chuck d. february 12, 1809 – april 19, 1882

b) only about .0125% of fossils are vertebrates, mostly fish. 95% of land vertebrates consist of less than one bone, and 95% of mammal fossils are from the ice age (after the flood). this accounts for the relatively rare occurance of dinosaurs fossilized with other mammals. but don´t forget about the mammal (repenomamus robustus) fossil with a dinosaur (psittacosaur) either in its stomache (or possibly just burried directly on top of it).

c) i´ve discussed the documented inaccuracy of the geologic dating methods before (MEASURABLE 14C IN FOSSILIZED ORGANIC MATERIALS: CONFIRMING THE YOUNG EARTH CREATION-FLOOD MODEL, by JOHN R. BAUMGARDNER, PH.D. LOS ALAMOS NATIONAL LABORATORY), wherein i also provide you with that peer-reviewed paper you have been asking for as well always tilting: chuck d. february 12, 1809 – april 19, 1882 (along with the reference to ahlberg and clack – Nature 440(7085):747–749 – who commented on the evolutionist emphasis on “unfounded notions of evolutionary ‘progress’ and with a mistaken emphasis on the single intermediate fossil as the key to understanding evolutionary transition.”)

i´m quite clear as to how science works. i´m also quite clear concerning the fact there is only one set of data (evidence – i.e. one earth/cosmos) and how that evidence is studied and applied to the model is all that is important. as you seem determined to rely on unreferenced youtube videos and wikipedia articles as the substance of your arguement, while demanding peer-reviewed publications (which i supplied nearly a month ago) from me, i feel i am justified in saying; you first! therefore, i turn your own demand on you:

“Show me one, single, peer reviewed, scientific paper from ANY reasonably reputable journal that has not been invalidated by later evidence that concludes that [evolutionism] provides better evidence for ANY even reasonably significant aspect of ANY of these sciences.”

respectfully (as well as continually open to the dialogue),

mike

Alphonsus replies:

I am very sorry that you lost 3 hours of work.  I know how frustrating that can be.  As for my “please don’t bother with your explanation,” it shows not disgust, but frustration in my realization from the very beginning that I am fighting an unwinnable battle in my hopes of getting you to concede to reason.

a) – So no horses, cattle, etc… got buried with with similar sized dinos? NONE? While I haven’t a scale, it seems to me that the velocoraptor(sp?) would have been about the same weight and size. If not, I’m quite sure that a paleontologist could find dinos of similar weights. And the baby dinos surely would have gone to the top of the layer, up there with the feather weight mastodons. This actually shouldn’t be too hard to test scientifically. One could create animals of various weights and distributions across a computer generated landscape, or even in a room sized diorama simulating the Biblically flat earth, and add flooding. Multiple kinds of flooding could be tested…falling from a hole in the firmament dome above the earth, escaping from the vast underground oceans known to exist beneath the earth’s crust, or a mixture of both. It would be interesting to see how the animals would fall. My hypothesis, however, would not be that they would fall anywhere nearly like the way you are suggesting.

While there might be an untestable, unverified hypothesis for explaining this, using Occam’s Razor, radiometric dating and the layering suggest strongly that layers are the result of time, not of a flood.

b) – What is it about mammals that cause them to fossilize during the young earth ice age as opposed to the flood? I would imagine that cows and dinos could swim about equally well.  I suppose the argument would be that mammals lived in colder climates to begin with.  Of course, there is zero evidence that the documented “mini ice-age” was anywhere near this large to support this supposition.  And it wouldn’t apply to the incredibly large number of mammals that live near the equator, anyway.

There is no real debate that early mammals and dinos were around at the same time. And repenomamus robustus was an apparently nasty opossum-sized mammal who may have eaten a small dino called psittacosaur…130 million years ago.

Again, Occam’s Razor suggests that the layering, combined with radiometric dating, against the no-evidence-for mammal / dino location differences and the different apparent death times mammals versus dinos gives far more balance to the evolution view than to the creationist

c) The article you mention (by John R. Baumgardner, Ph.D. Geophysics/Space Physics, Institute for Creation Research), has not been published or peer reviewed (I am not accusing you of saying that it did, I’m merely pointing this out). While it is true that Dr. Baumgardner has had over twenty peer reviewed papers, all of them relate to geophysics, this particular paper was not among them. Why did he not submit this paper to the same scientific scrutiny that he had done so many times before?  Perhaps because in this paper, Dr. Baumgardner refers to carbon 14 dating from coal samples. The very title of the paper is misleading, as fossilized materials (coal, in this case) by definition are not organic. 14C dating is not a good way of dating rocks, and 14C dating is not effective for dating materials over 60,000 years old. There are many other good ways that 14C could be found in coal or oil deposits (impure samples being among the chief). This is why coal is never used for dating via 14C.

And I’m not sure why you use the reviewed paper (Nature 440(7085):747-749 Palaeontology: A firm step from water to land) as meaning anything at all. The excerpt you used was a classic example of “quote mining”.  The Nature article refers to a review on the finding of a possible fossil of an intermediate “missing link” fossil between water and land animals and does absolutely nothing to bolster the creationist argument.  What it does instead is attempt to quell the penchant for people to read more into a discovery than may actually be there.  The article actually begins, “A project designed to discover fossils that illuminate the transition between fishes and land vertebrates has delivered the goods. At a stroke, our picture of that transition is greatly improved.”  It most certainly does NOT support the creationist viewpoint.

I am not a scientist. I’m a librarian. I apologize if my all of my evidence was not properly referenced.  Nevertheless, the Wikipedia articles are, without exception, well referenced. It is true that the YouTube videos are not (although references can sometimes be found by looking at the full information present in the rightmost column). So, as my evidence for intermediate species, I point you to Nature 440(7085):747-749.  Also, I point you to every peer reviewed article published in Nature or Scientific American, or dozens of other peer reviewed journals dealing with fossilization, paleontology, inter-speciation, genetics, biology, or biochemistry in the last 50 years.

99 percent of all known species are extinct (Past Mass Extinctions. About 99 percent of all species that existed on Earth are now extinct. (2000). The CQ Researcher. 10(31), 726.) I have to conclude from this data that God’s attempt to save the animals via the Ark was not terribly successful. While a good percentage of these extinctions are doubtlessly plants, one still has to wonder what happened to all the other fauna? The couldn’t have been killed during the flood…they were all on the ark. Creation only allows for one ice age, and that wouldn’t have affected Africa or the great rain forests of South America much at all.

Of course, all the flora on the earth would have died after being under water for a year. Some of it could have come back, no doubt, but not all of it. While I don’t have a citation, I’m willing to bet a fair amount of cash that many existing plants would become completely extinct after being underwater for a year.  And, if Noah had a lot of seeds aboard the ark in addition to the animals, he must have had a hell of a time getting around afterward to plant them all.  Funny that the Bible fails to mention Noah’s world-wide Johnny Appleseed trip.  It seems like a rather important detail to miss.  Of course, there could be a completely unscientifically supported supposition to explain this, as well.

And why in the heck did all the marsupials only go to Australia after the flood? What did they have against different areas with similar climates? Where are the dinos now? They are still around? That’s a heck of a lot of missing species that are hiding. Where is your evidence? Speculation based on unverified data, or indeed no data?

And you dare to call the creationist model to be more scientifically likely than evolution?  I see no science when I look at creationism whatsoever!  Unsupported theories.  Speculation.  No peer reviewed documents.  Quote mining.  Fraud.  Lies.  Isolated examples poking at evolutionary theories unknowns, and those themselves not even properly documented or even properly representing evolutionary arguments.

No. I am forced to use Occam’s Razor. There are way too many unsubstantiated, unprovable, unverifiable, and, quite frankly, ludicrous holes in the creationist account. As I said before, if Genesis did not exist, we would not be having this discussion. If creationism had legitimacy, keeping it out of academics would require a mass conspiracy of a proportion that we have not seen since the dark ages with the church disemboweling people who dared to question anything they interpreted as the literal interpretation of Bible. It is precisely because of this past ignorance, and the degree of violence still existing because of different religious belief today, that some of us are so opposed to giving any scientific legitimacy to religion at all.

Nevertheless, if there were any legitimacy, it WOULD be in the scientific journals. There is not, however. Most of the Christians in science have no problem accepting evolution and keeping their faith…they simply accept that the Bible is an imperfect work of men. The Pope himself accepts the evolutionary view. The United States is the laughing stock of other nations for still having such a large proportion of people sticking to this view. This is excusable among the ignorant…among those with a scientific education, there can be no excuse.

Richard Dawkins has said that Evolution is one of the most well documented of all sciences. To accept creationism and a young earth model we would have to accept that far, far, far too many scientific geniuses are easily duped (Dawkins, Einstein, Hawking, Sagan, and far to many others to mention).

Creationism has an aim of ignorance, pushing the Biblical view over the scientific. As such, it not only attempts to discredit science, it also in itself helps to discredit religion and all of its more reasonable followers. The debate between Mike and I demonstrates the incredible lengths that creationist dogma will go to bolster a claim that stands in the face of virtually every scientific discovery made in the last 150 years. Its proponents take on an airy confidence and make outrageously bold claims, having only pseudo-science and wishful thinking to back them up. They cannot get their ideas past the front door of legitimate scientific methods, so they cheat, trying to sneak textbooks into classrooms without undergoing scientific review.

Mike, I do not accuse you of deliberate deception.  I do accuse you of letting your Biblical inerrant misconceptions lead you down a path of self-delusion.

I will make no more posts with regard to creationism. Any such posts only serve to bolster the argument by creationists that there is a debate to be had. In the true scientific community, there IS no debate, and there hasn’t been for more than a century.  I will not debate the errancy of the Bible in other aspects.  Science has proven the first two chapters of Genesis to be errant beyond reasonable doubt.  I need go no further.

Creationism is dead. If it had just stayed back and let itself be a belief, it would still be alive today. Instead, it has tried to sneak around the outside of the bloody battleground of real science, and was still ripped to shreds by the claws of scientific debate before it could take two steps. It is dead–it has murdered itself–its followers just do not realize that they are falling to the floor yet.

Respectfully,

Alphonsus

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54 thoughts on “The Method of Creationism (mike part 2)

  1. “Any such posts only serve to bolster the argument by creationists that there is a debate to be had.” – this is precisely why you virtually never find a scientist arguing the point.

  2. ah, my apologies, it appears i did reference the wrong “paper”. the one subjected to peer-review was actually “The Enigma of the Ubiquity of 14C in Organic Samples Older Than 100 ka”. my mention of the “MEASURABLE 14C IN FOSSILIZED ORGANIC MATERIALS: CONFIRMING THE YOUNG EARTH CREATION-FLOOD MODEL” was a reference to dr. baumgardner´s chapter on the subject in the book “Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth, vol.I” which i was using as an example of the faultiness of the dating methods after you made a comment on carbon dating in our original dialogue over at my blog. i beg your pardon.

    concerning the quote from nature; i was absolutely not quote mining. i was simply being a bit lazy and quoting from my comment under your “part 1” post.

    “to say nothing of “tiktaalik” and the like, which, even according to ahlberg and clack (Nature 440(7085):747–749) are “unfounded notions of evolutionary ‘progress’ and with a mistaken emphasis on the single intermediate fossil as the key to understanding evolutionary transition.” all of which being a part of why i made reference of the extinction of the so-called geologic column.”

    one reason i referred to it again was simply to provide you another link to a peer-reviewed article wherein more skepticism than validation is shown by even evolutionist reviewers of another supposed missing-link discovery. and if you´ll note the grammar of the sentence you quoted, it is not a transitional fossil that is found, or even being searched for, but a fossil that “illuminate[s]” the pre-supposed and fantastically fabricated “picture of that transition” evolutionists attempt to force all physical data into developing. in this case, the “delivered…goods” was a fossil of a fish; with all the characteristics of…a fish.

    another reason i referred to it again was that i had already mentioned twice that i wasn´t going to allow you to turn the tables on me and start demanding documented and peer-reviewed references for what i deem to be proof for the creation model when a) that wasn´t my intent and b) you weren´t (and still haven´t) done the same to answer the original challenge that came from me. therefore, i simply made reference to an already existing article that, quite simply, does more harm than good to the evolutionist cause. so, if you really want to use that as your evidence, then provide me with an example from the study that you feel proves it to be a missing-link, when even the peers who reviewed the findings didn´t see it that way.

    i notice you completely ignore the information i provided on fossil statistics/percentages, as well as my point (made several times) on stratigraphic-range extension of said fossils. rather than accept an example of a larger mammal than evolutionists previously thought to exist in a layer they should never have found him fossilized in alongside a dinosaur of relatively equal size, you continue looking for horses and cattle. as well, the fossils (as there are more than one of the same creature) in question has been found to vary in size from that of an oppossum (or smaller) to that of a medium sized dog.

    your question, “What is it about mammals that cause them to fossilize during the young earth ice age as opposed to the flood?” is most likely answered by your own previous assertion that there would have been a lot of mixing and swirling in a storm of such magnitude. these are not necessarily the greatest conditions for fossilization. most of the creatures would have simply drown and immediately begun the process of decay, as well as become food for other creatures. this accounts quite well for the absense of a multitude of vertibrate and mammal fossils (but poses a clear problem for uniformitarian evolutionists and their multiple catastrophes hypotheses). Oh, and there is quite a bit of evidence for a rapid “mini-ice age.” ice core samples and airplanes, my friend.

    more fossil stats: basically 95% of the fossils in the fossil record are shallow marine organisms (corals, shellfish). of the 5% remaining fossils 95% are algae and plants. you can interpret that how you will. or make up a computer model; that would be great. But as for the other fauna. Nobody said the earth was completely covered with water for a year. Come on man, you seem like a pretty logical guy. if it rained for 40 days and 40 nights so there was a global flood, and afterwards the water began to subside, of course there would be areas that uncovered almost immediately, then more and more as time went by. there´s no reason to think all the plants would have just been submerged for the entire period of time. there´s also no need to think the earth had the same geography as it did at that time (but that´s another story).

    thanks for mentioning mass extinction, as that is another area that causes more problems for evolutionists to explain than it does creationists. for example the “cambrian explosion” is more a testament to catastrophic flooding than anything evolutionists have come up with to explain it.

    i won´t continue on here, as i can see you´ve become quite “frustrated”. there´s really not much more i can say anyway; as the last 10 of your 20 paragraphs contain absolutely no factual information (but for the possible exception of what richard dawkins may have said), and only seemingly inflamatory and unwarranted statements about the integrity of a system that calls into question your core beliefs by asking you to back them up with evidence, which you have yet to do.

    i hold no hard feelings, and am quite able to carry on the conversation in a respectable way at a later date if you care to. for now, i´ll respect your desire to let it drop. i´ll continue to frequent your blog, and i welcome you to frequent mine. i always look forward to your comments. please let me know if you´d prefer it if i did not comment further on your site. otherwise, i´ll continue to do so on the same infrequent basis as i have since i stumbled across your writings.

    cheers, my friend,

    mike

  3. “i notice you completely ignore the information i provided on fossil statistics/percentages, as well as my point (made several times) on stratigraphic-range extension of said fossils.”

    Because it’s all bunk.

  4. Lying mike says: “to say nothing of “tiktaalik” and the like, which, even according to ahlberg and clack (Nature 440(7085):747–749) are “unfounded notions of evolutionary ‘progress’ and with a mistaken emphasis on the single intermediate fossil as the key to understanding evolutionary transition.”

    Here are two paragraphs from that News and Views article by Ahlberg and Clack, which doesn’t seem to be saying what you say that it says. I.e. you are clipping certain phrases out of context and pretending that it says exactly the opposite of what it does. I.e. you are lying.

    “The concept of ‘missing links’ has a powerful grasp on the imagination: the rare transitional fossils that apparently capture the origins of major groups of organisms are uniquely evocative. But the concept has become freighted with unfounded notions of evolutionary ‘progress’ and with a mistaken emphasis on the single intermediate fossil as the key to understanding evolutionary transitions. Much of the importance of transitional fossils actually lies in how they resemble and differ from their nearest neighbours in the phylogenetic tree, and in the picture of change that emerges from this pattern.

    We raise these points because on pages 757 and 764 of this issue1, 2 are reports of just such an intermediate: Tiktaalik roseae, a link between fishes and land vertebrates that might in time become as much of an evolutionary icon as the proto-bird Archaeopteryx. Several specimens have been found in Late Devonian river sediments on Ellesmere Island in Nunavut, Arctic Canada. They show a flattened, superficially crocodile-like animal, with a skull some 20 centimetres in length. The body is covered in rhombic bony scales, and the pectoral fins are almost-but-not-quite forelimbs; these contain robust internal skeletons, but are fringed with fin rays rather than digits. Tiktaalik goes a long way — but not quite the whole way — towards filling a major gap in the picture of the vertebrate transition from water to land.”

    Lying mike says: in this case, the “delivered…goods” was a fossil of a fish; with all the characteristics of…a fish.

    Since when are pectorals fins which are “almost-but-not-quite forelimbs” and a neck separate from the body “all the characteristics of a fish”? And what of figure 1, which shows Tiktaalik in context with other fish-tetrapod transition fossils? Tiktallik looks more like a tetrapod than Panderichtys, but more like a fish than Acanthostega.

  5. this accounts for the relatively rare occurance of dinosaurs fossilized with other mammals. but don´t forget about the mammal (repenomamus robustus) fossil with a dinosaur (psittacosaur) either in its stomache (or possibly just buried directly on top of it).

    And? Modern science, based on evolutionary theory, says that modern mammals had ancestors. The existence of mammals in the cretaceous is entirely uncontroversial. But how is it that no modern mammal fossils have been found with dinosaurs? And how is it that isotope dating, stratigraphy, and accompanying plant and invertebrate material associated with modern mammal fossils and dinosaur fossils is entirely consistent with the standard scientific evolutionary explanation?

  6. “Show me one, single, peer reviewed, scientific paper from ANY reasonably reputable journal that has not been invalidated by later evidence that concludes that [evolutionism] provides better evidence for ANY even reasonably significant aspect of ANY of these sciences.”

    Biogeography, i.e. the geographical distribution of life, both extant life and from the fossil record. How is it that all almost all the marsupial ancestors high-tailed it from Eden to Australia, managed to hop back in time to get aboard the ark, then after the flood, hopped back to Australia? How is it that no marsupial species made it to North America until the period of time when the geophysical theory of plate tectonics tells us that South America, which had previously been connected with Australia and Antarctica, bumped into it?

  7. I recommend Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters by Donald R. Prothero (Columbia University Press, 2007, ISBN-13: 978-0231139625). Prothero collects the various lies Creationists make about the fossil record: no gradual transitions, no major taxonomic transitions, the Cambrian “explosion,” no pre-flight feathered fossils, no whale ancestor fossils, no pre-Homo sapiens human fossils, and overwhelms them with documented fossil evidence.

  8. Mike-

    You quote a lot of sources for your fossil statistics but give no reputable, peer reviewed references. Please reference your sources so that we may properly evaluate them. If not, you can’t expect to be taken seriously. You can expected to be taken as a creationist with zero scientific knowledge trying to criticize a body of work that you flat out do not understand.

  9. Alphonsus,
    I am a biologist/scientist. You are doing great.
    Good science is one of the valid methods to study God’s Creation. There are many valid methods, but the scientific method is the ONLY one that deals with measurable facts and the scientific method. The other valid methods are not science.
    Science is not technology, nor is it religion, philosophy, art, mythology or engineering. Also those things are not science. If you add them all together, you probably will know more about the Creation than if you try to take them one at a time and then defend your turf. If Mike believes himself to be defending God’s turf —
    I don’t think God needs that kind of help.

  10. nice to make your acquaintance reginald; lying mike here. i typically don´t respond to such unnecessarily antagonistic individuals, as the conversation is difficult enough to maintain when it starts off on a civil note, but, just a couple observations:

    tiktaalik – keep in mind, crossopterygians were thought to be the tetrapod missing link that died out 80 odd million years ago. until, that is, they found them swimming around in the indian ocean in 1938; and with not even a hint of “walking” behavior (oops). then, along came “tiky” with his small pelvic fins (opposite to a tetrapod), fin rays (not finger or toe bones), paired appendages and gills (wait, that sounds like a fish!). i´d say the key phrase in the paragraphs you quoted from ahlberg and clack´s article is, “not quite.”

    a psittacosaur found either in the stomach or burried along side the repenomamus robustus was “entirely uncontroversial?” first, to be clear, it was found in the LOWER cretaceous. second, mammals of that supposed time period were thought to have been much smaller, until this discovery.

    “almost all the marsupial ancestors” (?!?) – ALMOST???; discounting the fossil evidence found elsewhere, how many does it take to form a population? when do you take into account climactic factors and competition in the other locations? besides, fossilization isn´t inevitable, guy; it´s actually quite rare. where are the fossils of the lions we know to have existed in israel?

    LRA – “You quote a lot of sources for your fossil statistics but give no reputable, peer reviewed references.”

    as far as i know, i´m the only one in this entire conversation, here or on my own blog who has provided a single peer-reviewed source for anything i´ve said; and the challenge was initially mine for evolutionists to do that very thing. sadly, still nothing.

    mllamoreux – no, i don´t believe myself “to be defending God’s turf.” i´m simply pointing out the many short-comings of the evolutionist argumentation and the blanket assumptions they draw from the self-restricted bias under which they conduct their research. quite honestly, i don´t believe i have ever initiated or responded to and argument, here or elsewhere, concerning evolution vs. creation (unless specifically asked to) with a single reference to god or the bible.

    cheers folks,

    mike

  11. “as far as i know, i´m the only one in this entire conversation, here or on my own blog who has provided a single peer-reviewed source for anything i´ve said; and the challenge was initially mine for evolutionists to do that very thing. sadly, still nothing.”

    I still don’t see a reference here.

    But I’ll give one on why “intelligent” design isn’t science (from a peer reviewed, scholarly journal)

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19061485?ordinalpos=2&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

    Here is another:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17354991?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_Discovery_RA&linkpos=5&log$=relatedreviews&logdbfrom=pubmed

    And here is another on “irreducible complexity”

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18753783?ordinalpos=4&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

    I could go on and on and on quoting scientific, peer-reviewed journal on why evolution IS science and why ID ISN’T. Science is not a philosophy, nor does it deal with metaphysics (hello? the word meta-physics means beyond nature). Anything pertaining to the SUPER natural is META physical. Therefore ID has NO place in science. You simply CAN’T argue with that.

  12. i notice you completely ignore the information i provided on fossil statistics/percentages

    Maybe because they know that most fossils are microscopic sea critters such as radiolarians which make up the white cliffs of dover, other limestone deposits, and fossil corals in reefs. These deposits are huge, the number of individual fossils is enormous. Why not go with numbers instead of percentages?

    tiktaalik – keep in mind, crossopterygians were thought to be the tetrapod missing link that died out 80 odd million years ago. until, that is, they found them swimming around in the indian ocean in 1938; and with not even a hint of “walking” behavior (oops).

    Science progresses as new data is uncovered. Compare that to Biblical literalists who must still insist that insects have four legs because it says so in Leviticus.

    The 20th century re-discovery of living coelacanths is not at odds with evolutionary theory, so why do you mention that? And the two species re-discovered are not identical to the species which existed hundreds of millions of years ago. They’ve evolved.

    then, along came “tiky” with his small pelvic fins (opposite to a tetrapod), fin rays (not finger or toe bones), paired appendages and gills (wait, that sounds like a fish!). i´d say the key phrase in the paragraphs you quoted from ahlberg and clack´s article is, “not quite.”

    Yes it has “fishy” features. It also has tetrapod features. Pointing out the fishy features does not invalidate the tetrapod features which you conveniently choose to ignore.

    Even the mere discovery of Tiktaalik validates modern geology. They went looking for fossil-bearing sedimentary deposits of a certain age, from a certain environment. And they found transitional fossils appropriate to that age. I don’t see how that could happen if geology was totally bogus to the extent that you claim.

    “almost all the marsupial ancestors” (?!?) – ALMOST???;

    Yes. I assumed someone as on the ball as you would know that fossil marsupials have been found not just in Australia, but also in South America, and Asia (e.g. Sinodelphys szalayi). The findings are consistent with geological knowledge about when the various tectonic plates drifted from place to place.

    Australia’s Oldest Marsupial Fossils and their Biogeographical Implications
    Beck RMD, Godthelp H, Weisbecker V, Archer M, Hand SJ (2008)
    PLoS ONE 3(3): e1858. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0001858

    Fossil molar from a Madagascan marsupial

    The Natural History of Marsupials

    a psittacosaur found either in the stomach or burried along side the repenomamus robustus was “entirely uncontroversial?” first, to be clear, it was found in the LOWER cretaceous. second, mammals of that supposed time period were thought to have been much smaller, until this discovery.

    It’s exciting, it’s new. How does that translate to controversial? As you acknowledge, the standard scientific explanation is that ancestors of current mammals existed at the time. And it in no way challenges the scientific case for evolution.

  13. Your method for challenging evolution seems to be to pick small perceived inconstencies in the standard scientific explanation; some might be true but relative unimportant when weighed against positive evidence, other seem to be misperceptions or perhaps even willful distortions based on your prior commitments. But somehow you don’t seem to apply the same skepticism to Creationist arguments. Consider the RATE project which you have mentioned:

    Assessing the RATE Project
    Essay Review by Randy Isaac

    This paper, from Perspectives on Science & Christian Faith (June 2007, pp. 143-146) is part of a scientific examination of RATE and Radiometric Dating that includes a response from RATE and more.

    In 1997, the Institute of Creation Research (ICR) and the Creation Research Society initiated an eight-year research program to investigate the validity of radioisotope dating of rocks. The project was named RATE for Radioisotopes and the Age of The Earth. Preliminary investigations carried out in the first three years were summarized in volume I of this work, published in 2000. Volume II, published in 2005, represents the final report.

    The key points of the book can be summarized as follows:
    1. There is overwhelming evidence of more than 500 million years worth of radioactive decay.
    2. Biblical interpretation and some scientific studies indicate a young earth.
    3. Therefore, radioactive decay must have been accelerated by approximately a factor of one billion during the first three days of creation and during the Flood.
    4. The concept of accelerated decay leads to two unresolved scientific problems, the heat problem and the radiation problem, though there is confidence that these will be solved in the future.
    5. Therefore, the RATE project provides encouragement regarding the reliability of the Bible.

    4. Two Unsolved Problems: Heat and Radiation
    The authors report that faced with this evidence, a young-earth advocate must address at least two key scientific problems resulting from a one-year period of accelerated decay rates during the Flood. The first is the heat problem. Thermal energy from radioactive processes is a major source of heat in the earth. If those processes were accelerated by many orders of magnitude, the earth would have quickly evaporated from the heat had there not been an extraordinary mechanism of cooling. The authors state:
    The removal of heat was so rapid that it likely involved a process other than conduction, convection, or radiation … We believe it may be possible to discover how [God] did it (p. 763).

    Future research is suggested along the lines of Russell Humphreys’ idea of volumetric cooling based on relativistic principles even though this known phenomenon, the basis for red-shifting of starlight, does not apply to bound particles such as the earth. It is acknowledged that this approach, even if it were valid, has the difficulty of being uniform rather than selective as would be needed to cool only radioactive material and not, for example, the oceans. In other words, the authors acknowledge that accelerated decay requires a most unusual heat removal mechanism that is outside the known laws of thermodynamics. The second unresolved problem cited in the book is the radiation problem. How did Noah and his passengers survive a year in which radioactivity was one million times greater than it is today? No known solution exists, they state. Nevertheless, “The RATE group is confident that these issues will be solved.

    5. Current Optimism about Future Resolutions
    The leap to the conclusion is never made clear. Confidence in a future resolution of extraordinary scientific contradiction moves smoothly to a message “to Christians in general to encourage them regarding the reliability of the Bible” (p. 768). In other words, the expectation of a future solution to a major scientific impasse is being translated into conferences, books, and videos proclaiming the good news that the RATE project has demonstrated the scientific validity of a young earth. …”

  14. Note that last excerpt was from the American Scientific Affiliate (ASA), an organization of scientists who are also Christians. A completely secular evaluation of RATE would likely be even less charitable.

  15. Wow, a radioactive decay factor of 1 billion! The earth evaporating unless some unknown mechanism is found to explain the cooling. Not to mention that the cooling mechanism must provide a way for the fossils themselves to remain not only unvaporized but completely uncharred. I’m glad the RATE project people are so confident this question of cooling can be solved. I hope that they can also come up with a reason why the decay happened so quickly in the first place. Just because the decay happens for such completely meaningless reasons doesn’t mean a thing when God is involved.

    When this discovery is made, it will knock microwave ovens out of the marketplace completely. Imagine, super-heating a hot dog within milliseconds and then cooling it virtually instantaneously before it has the opportunity to set the neighborhood on fire. Not only that, but having the hot dog emerge completely un charred and still be delicious and juicy. It’s possible that the cooling mechanism alone would be enough to revolutionize the superconductor industry.

    I wasn’t aware that conclusions that requires a currently unknown and extraordinary mechanism to be true would constitute a successful scientific study. I guess I really don’t understand the process of science as well as I thought. Science moves in mysterious ways…

  16. Reginald –

    “Why not go with numbers instead of percentages?” yeah, ok, why not? now what?

    coelacanth – why do i mention the present day existance of a living, but supposedly long dead (found in fossil layers presumed to be 300+ million years old), lobe-finned “transitional” creature that evolutionists assumed disappeared from the fossil record because it “evolved”? i dunno, call me crazy. since, based on the fossils of the others, evolutionists presumed coelacanth could “walk” and the newer model can´t, doesn´t that signify they actually de-volved?

    “tiky” – who said he ever HAD a bony gill cover? lots of fish don´t; many also have large snouts. neither do a reduction in dermal bone, an increase in “similar” endochondral bones or the detached cleithrum prove that tiky’s fins supported its weight out of water, or, by any stretch of the imagination, that these fish evolved into tetrapods.

    “Your method for challenging evolution seems to be to pick small perceived inconstencies in the standard scientific explanation”

    i simply issued a general challenge. the rest is counter-argumentation based on the reply. i at no time “picked” on any (perceived or otherwise) particular inconsistency. at this point i´m only offering counterpoints to information you (or anyone else) provide. to the best of my knowledge, i am not willfully distorting anything. concerning RATE, i simply offered it as evidence that the geological timescale evolutionists swear by is by no means set in stone (ok, pun kind of intended). the RATE team also discounts the “gap” theory, which not all “bible literalists” do.

    just to be fair and give somewhat equal time:

    from “RATE Responds to the Isaac Essay Review” http://tinyurl.com/b4sqtx

    In response to Isaac’s specific technical criticisms of the RATE research, we encourage the reader to find the details in our reports and evaluate for themselves if we have presented evidences that are “… not based on any accepted scientific methodology” and “… are not reliable for dating” (p. 145). The methods in our report are widely used for dating of rocks and minerals. Our report carefully applies accepted geochronological practices, discovers new evidence for rapid nuclear decay, points out inconsistencies in conventional interpretations, and calculates alternative, young-earth dates. We address most of the criticisms which he raises in detail either in our book or in published research reports and show that they are invalid.

    review it, criticize it, say what you will, but you can´t discount the fact that these guys are doing valid research (and causing quite a stir) just because it goes against the accepted scientific dogma. i´d say, in a large part, science is all about questioning the accepted. therefore, i cheer their effort. as i cheer yours for this excellent continuation of the dialogue.

    i look forward to further conversations,

    mike

  17. coelacanth – why do i mention the present day existance of a living, but supposedly long dead (found in fossil layers presumed to be 300+ million years old)

    Please pay attention, you are repeating an error. The species of coelacanth found in modern times are not the same species, or even genus, as those found in the fossil record. Repeating a dishonest argument earns you points off. Please explain why failure to find more recent fossils of a creature that had moved to the deep sea, or the modern re-discovery of said creature, would in any way challenge the standard scientific explanation, which includes the Theory of Evolution.

    “tiky” – who said he ever HAD a bony gill cover?

    Not I, so I don’t know what you’re going on about. BTW, I recommend Your Inner Fish by Neil Shubin, one of the discoverers of Tiktaalik. It’s a fantastic book.

    lots of fish don´t; many also have large snouts.

    Do you mean modern teleost fish that have been evolving for over 350 million years since that time?

    to the best of my knowledge, i am not willfully distorting anything.

    That hideously distorted quote from Ahlberg and Clack led me to believe otherwise. If it quacks like a duck, etc.

    review it, criticize it, say what you will, but you can´t discount the fact that these guys are doing valid research (and causing quite a stir) just because it goes against the accepted scientific dogma.

    No, but I can say they are not doing valid research for other reasons. Doing a technique badly does not prove that the technique is not effective when used correctly.

    My Last Objection, Without AiG Participation
    Dr. Gary Hurd
    In the graphic below is a condensed version of how deep earth molten rock in moved up from the earth’s mantle forming the crustal rock where we live. So called “scientists” supporting YEC beliefs take geological samples that no competent scientist would use, and express surprise that their results are useless. For example, the YEC copyist’s claims that YEC scientists have “dated” recent lava flows to be millions of years old. In the attached illustration, you can see that molten rock (lava) flows through the entire depth of the crustal rock. This crustal rock ranges in age from ancient to relatively recent as we see that it flowed from the deeps to the surface. Volcanoes do not merely move material smoothly or cleanly to the surface- volcanic eruptions are the massive and violent movements of millions of tons of superheated, super pressurized mass. They shake whole continents, and can blow apart entire mountains. The rock they are blowing about is from many ages.

    The only volcanic material that can be competently dated by radiometric studies is one which is thoroughly equilibrated at the time it is deposited. For example, the potassium/argon dating method is suspect when used on a volcanic sample that has not completely melted under a neutral pressure. This effectively restricted its use without careful corretions to volcanic ash, or tephra, and a limited class of deposited carbonates. This is because this radiometric method uses the accumulated argon that has been generated by the decay of radioactive potassium to calculate an age of the mineral deposit. For those readers interested in the technical details of over 35 radiometric decay methods which all are in agreement, I recommend reading Alan P. Dickin, “Radiogenic Isotope Geology.”

    But, contrary to the false impression left behind like spoor by YE creationists, radiometric methods are not the only basis which we used to establish that the Earth is truly ancient. There are the well established multiple reversals of the earth’s magnetic field. These can be measured, and they are found to have been recorded in many transitions with in the geological record. Then, there at least seven additional dating methods regularly employed by archaeologists which make no reference to radioactive decay (see Taylor and Aitken). The AiG copyist also mentions that the Institute for Creation Research RATE effort claimed to have detected radioactive carbon 14 in coal and diamond. They made the weird and false claim that these creationist authors dated coal and diamond to mere thousands of years in age which is totally unconnected with the already dubious results. What they did not admit was their results all resulted from sloppy field work, and unavoidable minor laboratory contamination. This has been thoroughly exposed and debunked by Dr. Kirk Bertsche in “RATE’s Radiocarbon: Intrinsic or Contamination?”

    And I note that you have have done nothing whatsoever to address the Heat Problem or the Radiation Problem intrinsic in RATE’s forced conclusion.

    Available at Google books:
    The Age of the Earth
    by Brent Dalrymple

  18. RATE’s Radiocarbon: Intrinsic or Contamination?
    by Kirk Bertsche
    The ICR (Institute for Creation Research) recently spent eight years on a project known as RATE (Radioisotopes and the Age of The Earth). The RATE team claims the results have yielded convincing and irrefutable scientific evidence of a young earth.

    John Baumgardner, a geophysicist with expertise in tectonic modeling, presents experimental data claiming to show that all biological material contains intrinsic radiocarbon, no matter how old that material may be thought to be [1, 2]. He makes additional claims that even non-biological carbonaceous material contains intrinsic radiocarbon. He suggests that this radiocarbon is residual from the material’s creation. If true, his claims would have far-reaching implications for the ages of these materials.

    Modern radiocarbon dating by AMS is a complex process with numerous potential sources of contamination requiring characterization. A typical sample must first be cleaned mechanically and chemically, then converted to CO2 by combustion (for organic samples) or acid hydrolysis (for carbonates), then chemically reduced to graphite [9, 10]. For some samples, the process is even more complex, involving pre-separation of organic fractions from the more easily contaminated inorganic fractions (e.g., dating only cellulose from wood or only collagen from bone) [11]. Each step in this process may introduce a small amount of modern carbon contamination. More processing tends to introduce more contamination. Furthermore, the instrument itself always introduces a background, similar to most other high sensitivity analytical instruments [4]. A sample originally containing absolutely no radiocarbon will still give a nonzero measurement from such contributions.

    Baumgardner claims that instrument background “is routinely and reliably tested by running the system with no sample in the aluminum sample holder,” [6] but this technique underestimates the true instrument background contribution and provides only a lower limit. Specifically, this technique underestimates both the ion source memory and mass spectrometer backgrounds.

    Baumgardner fails to note that nearly all of these geological samples are actually of geological graphite, so did not undergo the sample chemistry required for the biological samples. (Geological graphite typically requires only a mechanical surface cleaning with no chemical processing.) This omission is crucial, because Baumgardner asserts evidence for increased intrinsic radiocarbon in the biological samples on the basis of these lower results from the geological samples.

    Baumgardner also omits two important geological graphite samples from his analysis, namely entries 21 and 40 in his Table 1 [1]. These samples were identical to two natural graphite samples, entries 62 and 79 respectively, but were combusted and re-graphitized in the laboratory using identical chemistry to biological samples.

    While this conclusion explains the higher values for the biological samples in general, it does not account for all the details. Some biological samples do have radiocarbon levels not explainable by sample chemistry. These samples are mostly coals and biological carbonates, both of which are prone to in situ contamination.

    Coal is notorious for contamination [22]. Uranium is often found in or near coal, releasing neutrons that generate radiocarbon in the coal from nitrogen. Mobile humic acids are almost always present and can transport more recent carbon to the coal. Microbial growth can incorporate modern carbon from groundwater while in situ and from air after sample collection. Coal can easily adsorb atmospheric CO2 after collection.

    Carbonates often exhibit anomalous radiocarbon values, potentially becoming contaminated by adsorption of atmospheric CO2 [23].

    Baumgardner also concludes that the geological samples show evidence of intrinsic radiocarbon with values above instrument background. But their radiocarbon content of 0.06 +/- 0.03 pMC is in good agreement with the instrument backgrounds characterized in many of Baumgardner’s references.

    Baumgardner claims that his coal results of 0.25 +/- 0.11 pMC “fall nicely within the range for similar analyses reported in the radiocarbon literature.” This claim is misleading. Baumgardner’s coal results already include background subtraction, whereas the literature results are generally raw values and are treated as the measurement backgrounds [1]. Unlike the literature values, Baumgardner’s coal samples do show significant radiocarbon above background, inviting explanation. The measurements also show relatively large variations, suggesting contamination.

    With extreme care and isotopic enrichment techniques, anthracite coal has been measured with an apparent age of more than 75,000 years (<0.01 pMC), below the detection limit of the procedure [27]. Thus coal exists that shows no evidence of intrinsic radiocarbon.

    The lower values for unprocessed diamond and the current-dependent behavior find no explanation in Baumgardner’s “intrinsic radiocarbon” model. But these results fit well with the Taylor and Southon evidence that instrument background (specifically ion source memory) is material-dependent, with diamond exhibiting significantly less ion source memory than graphite. The radiocarbon detected in natural, unprocessed diamond measurements seems to be nothing more than instrument background.

  19. dr. baumgardner´s response in part; see it in its entirety here (http://tinyurl.com/akvy2z)

    Although Bertsche styles himself as an “accelerator physicist, formerly at a leading radiocarbon AMS laboratory,” it is clear from his post that, as far as radiocarbon measurement procedures and issues are concerned, he is a novice. If he were truly an insider, he would be fully aware of the history I just outlined and that fossil material throughout the Phanerozoic record routinely displays 14C levels hundreds of times above the intrinsic AMS measurement threshold. This reality is what has generated the scores of papers over the past 25 years, mostly by researchers at the AMS facilities, seeking to understand this highly unexpected state of affairs. Samples truly more than 100,000 years old should have no detectable 14C. But in reality, biological specimens generally thought to be tens or hundreds of millions of years old consistently contain levels of 14C that at face value would indicate these organisms were alive only thousands of years ago, as I have just indicated.

    If Bertsche could understand the very papers to which he refers, he would immediately realize his that his first claim that laboratory contamination is responsible of the high 14C levels routinely measured in ‘old’ biological samples is unsustainable. To highlight the issues he is failing to grasp, I point to the paper by Brown and Southon [1997] who state

    “Several “14C-free” background materials were used in obtaining these data: 1) Coal (supplied by Beta Analytic), 2) Calcite (TIRI sample F: Icelandic doublespar), 3) QL4766 wood (> 56.6 ka BP), 4) QL1428 wood (>55 ka BP), and 5) Yale Anthracite (YA-13; no measurable 14C activity). The latter three samples, and their 14C contents, were supplied by the Quaternary Isotope Laboratory, University of Washington (Stuiver, pers. comm., 1996). In our measurements there were no significant differences between the results obtained for these background materials, and the data from all these materials were used.”

    Because of his shallow grasp of the issues, Bertsche throws out a number of ‘red-herrings’. He invokes the fact that over the years many AMS labs have established that their procedures routinely introduce tiny amounts of modern carbon (with today’s level of 14C), typically on the order of 1 g, into the samples they process. This level of contamination becomes serious for tiny sample sizes, say, 1 mg or less, especially if the sample is old. On the other hand, 1 g of contamination has negligible consequences when the sample size is on the order of 100 mg, as was the case for the samples we tested and reported. Bertsche fails to point out the very basic reality that AMS labs normally require a large enough sample such that this issue does not affect the precision of their measurement. For most of the 14C values reported in the peer-reviewed literature which I list in my chapter in the RATE book [Vardiman et al., 2005] the investigators had plenty of material available and so small sample size was just not an issue.

    Bertsche also makes a ‘red-herring’ of the choice of samples I selected from the peer-reviewed literature to include in the category of non-biological Precambrian. He complains that I excluded two graphite samples that had been oxidized to CO2 and then reduced to graphite again. I did this deliberately, since it was clear from the references that these samples had been reprocessed and I was seeking to compare apples with apples to get as clear a picture as possible what the 14C level in non-biological Precambrian carbon might be. Surprisingly, he displays a serious lack of familiarity with the terms used to describe the geological time scale. Instead of Pre-Cambrian or perhaps Proterozoic, he substitutes the incorrect term Paleozoic.

    Bertsche further reveals the shallowness of his understanding of AMS procedures and terminology by referring to the entire process of converting a sample to graphite as ‘graphitization’. Standard sample processing involves several steps, first an acid-base-acid sequence of washing to remove possible surface contamination, then conversion of the carbon in the sample to CO2, either by dissolving the sample in acid, if it is a carbonate, or by direct oxidation via combustion, and finally reduction of the resulting CO2 to graphite, usually as a graphite coating on iron or cobalt powder in the presence of hydrogen at about 600 C. Only the last step in this overall process is referred to by people in the radiocarbon community as ‘graphitization’. The paper by Kirner et al. [1995] to which Bertsche refers describes these sample processing steps in detail. Contamination can occur during any one of these steps, but the AMS labs have developed techniques for minimizing it and also for detecting when something has gone awry. None of the papers to which Bertsche refers identifies the final graphitization step as the main culprit as far as the overall sample processing contamination arising is concerned. Just why he uses the term ‘graphitization’ in the peculiar manner he does is a mystery.

    Moreover, Bertsche is simply in fantasy land when he then claims “the graphitization process typically add[s] from 0.1 to 0.7 pMC (highly dependent on sample size and procedure).” This is absurd. He cannot support such claim from any peer-reviewed source. It is certainly not to be found in any of his references. In fact, the papers to which he refers all clearly refute such a notion except for atypical sample sizes. Hence, Bertsche’s statement that “the differences [Baumgardner] sees between geological and biological samples is simply the contamination introduced by the graphitization process” is flatly unsupportable. Dozens of papers in the peer-reviewed literature irrefutably demonstrate this, as I point out in my chapter in the RATE book. If Bertsche disagrees, let him clearly show why all these AMS specialists are wrong!

    In summary, Bertsche fails to make his case that the radiocarbon in fossil organisms described so frequently in the peer-reviewed radiocarbon literature, as well as the radiocarbon we document in our own coal and diamond samples, is “nothing more than contamination.” In light of this discussion, I urge him to take a fresh new look at the issues involved, especially the rationale and techniques we used to reach our conclusions.

    but it´s better if you read the whole thing.

  20. Carbon 14 is created when cosmic rays hit the nitrogen in the upper atmosphere, and that carbon falls down, gets picked up by plants, which gets eaten by animals and so on. What happens to the carbon 14 that does not get picked up by plants? Can it not leach into the ground?

    Also, carbon 14 can be produced by having nitrogen exposed to normal radio-active decay of uranium, radon, or whatever that accumulates in the ground. In fact, as the attached link indicates, the coal with the higher than expected level of carbon 14 were in area where uranium deposit existed, coal found away from such deposits had virtually no carbon 14 at all.

    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/c14.html

  21. And you still have not addressed the rather significant problem of the 1 billion factor of radioactive decay and cooling. And let me take the time to thank Mr. Reginald Selkirk, who has leaped from the pages of Mark Twain to take the lead in the argument for rationality. I commend you, sir. 🙂

  22. almost forgot; why i still mention coelacanth –

    well, a) i am paying quite close attention, which is why i noticed an emphasis on “tiky” in one of the youtube vids a.p. linked to. therefore, as a side-note really, as i never even mentioned the particular fish – only that crossopterygians have been thought for years by evolutionists to be the tetrapod missing link.

    b) i´m not so sure i´m repeating an error. you´ll have to tell me more about your reasoning for why you believe J.L.B. Smith´s motivation for renaming the fish atimeria chalumnae (he should´ve stuck to his previous nickname “old fourlegs”) and pronouncing it an entirely new genus and species is valid. surely it wasn´t just a knee-jerk attempt to wipe the egg off the face of the evolutionist community.

    c) before evolutionists knew that living examples of this fish existed, they never hesitated in taking the observable physical features it exhibited and creating a completely inaccurate and totally fictional biography of its supposed evolutionary journey.

    dishonest argument on my part? hardly.

    ultimately, my point is there is still, after all these years of searching and striving and inventing most of the branches to make up a phylogenetic tree for lack of actual evidence, there´s still no intermediary fossil. that´s how it challenges the standard scientific explanation and, most importantly, the theory of evolution.

  23. alphonsus – i´m also quite happy to have mr. selkirk´s input here. he does seem to be an overall rational-type person. cheers to you both!

    as for the “Heat Problem or the Radiation Problem” – first, i don´t claim to have all the answers, never have. simply claimed that the evolution model has as much or more reason to be declared “pseudoscience” (if not a failed theory) than the creation model by a long shot.

    second, i did allude to (comment 17) an explanation of sorts (sorry you both missed it) by mentioning the fact that the RATE team (as well as basically all scientists who hold to a young earth creation model) does not believe in or account in any way for the “gap” theory. as it is an entirely different conversation, and one that i still don´t have all my ducks in a row on, i simply left it as an allusion. let me suffice it to say, if there is validity to some or even most of the dating methods it doesn´t necessarily indicate that because the earth is older than 6-10,000 odd years evolution is more likely to have taken place. it simply indicates that the inorganic material found on this earth is older than young earth creationists believe.

    irrationally,

    mike

  24. Cheers, Mike.

    there´s still no intermediary fossil
    It seems quite clear to me that your definition of an “intermediary fossil” does not jive with the traditional evolutionary biologist’s definition, as the fossil record is FULL of intermediary fossils. I dare suspect that NO fossil could possibly fulfill your definition.

    simply claimed that the evolution model has as much or more reason to be declared “pseudoscience” (if not a failed theory) than the creation model by a long shot.
    I simply claim that the scientific validity of the creation model has not been supported by your arguments — not by a long shot, and that your contention that evolution has ANY reason to be declared a pseudoscience has likewise not been supported by your arguments — not by a long shot.

    Rationally yours,

    Alphonsus

  25. well, my definition of an intermediary fossil would simply be one that clearly shows an actual intermediary species (at least one) that is incontrovertably recognizable as an altogether separate species, linking two other altogether separate species, that is the result of the addition of new genetic information. you know; an actual transitional creature. so far, that has yet to be seen and, therefore, relegates the evolutionary theory to the arena of speculation and supposition.

    since you claim the fossil record is “FULL of intermediary fossils”, why don´t you name a particular one and tell me what makes it fit the definition i just gave (which is the actual definition of a truly intermediate fossil)?

    also, the scientific validity of the creation model is a secondary challenge, subsequent to my own challenge, which, i might add, has not been met. if evolution is so well supported, why am i having such an easy time addressing the issues that are brought up in its defense? this has been by no means an unbalanced dialogue. as a matter of fact, i´m curious as to what you consider irrational on my side of the conversation (other than the fact you disagree with my point of view and naturally appreciate the outside help in your favor – but that hardly makes what i am saying or my defense or my style of argumentation or even the information i provide irrational). quite honestly, i don´t know exactly what it is that i´ve had to contend against that, even if i were to concede the point (which i haven´t), would, somehow, alone or in conjunction with the totality of the arguments you´ve presented or hosted here, show evolution to be anything more than what i´ve stated it to be; an unsubstantiated hypothesis. can you put together some kind of summary that would aptly explain that to me?

  26. Transitional fossils: A Faq is located here: http://www.toarchive.org/faqs/faq-transitional.html

    In this article, it states your definition of a transitional fossil as follows:
    “Species-to-species transition”:

    This is a set of numerous individual fossils that show a change between one species and another. It’s a very fine-grained sequence documenting the actual speciation event, usually covering less than a million years. These species-to-species transitions are unmistakable when they are found. Throughout successive strata you see the population averages of teeth, feet, vertebrae, etc., changing from what is typical of the first species to what is typical of the next species. Sometimes, these sequences occur only in a limited geographic area (the place where the speciation actually occurred), with analyses from any other area showing an apparently “sudden” change. Other times, though, the transition can be seen over a very wide geological area. Many “species-to-species transitions” are known, mostly for marine invertebrates and recent mammals (both those groups tend to have good fossil records), though they are not as abundant as the general lineages (see below for why this is so). Part 2 lists numerous species-to-species transitions from the mammals.

    In part 2, it states the following:
    Known species-species transitions in primates:

    Phillip Gingerich has done a lot of work on early primate transitions. Here are some of his major findings in plesiadapids, early lemurs, and early monkeys:

    * Plesiadapids: Gingerich (summarized in 1976, 1977) found smooth transitions in plesiadapid primates linking four genera together: Pronothodectes, Nannodectes, two lineages of Plesiadapis, and Platychoerops. In summary: Pronothodectes matthewi changed to become Pro. jepi, which split into Nannodectes intermedius and Plesiadapis praecursor. N. intermedius was the first member of a gradually changing lineage that passed through three different species stages (N. gazini, N. simpsoni, and N. gidleyi). Ples. praecursor was the first member of a separate, larger lineage that slowly grew larger (passing through three more species stages), with every studied character showing continuous gradual change. Gingerich (1976) noted “Loss of a tooth, a discrete jump from one state to another, in several instances proceeded continuously by continuous changes in the frequencies of dimorphism — the percentage of specimens retaining the tooth gradually being reduced until it was lost entirely from the population.” The Plesiadapis lineage then split into two more lineages, each with several species. One of these lineages shows a gradual transition from Plesiadapis to Platychoerops,”where the incisors were considerably reorganized morphologically and functionally in the space of only 2-3 million years.”
    * Early lemur-like primates: Gingerich (summarized in 1977) traced two distinct species of lemur-like primates, Pelycodus frugivorus and P. jarrovii, back in time, and found that they converged on the earlier Pelycodus abditus “in size, mesostyle development, and every other character available for study, and there can be little doubt that each was derived from that species.” Further work (Gingerich, 1980) in the same rich Wyoming fossil sites found species-to-species transitions for every step in the following lineage: Pelycodus ralstoni (54 Ma) to P. mckennai to P. trigonodus to P. abditus, which then forked into three branches. One became a new genus, Copelemur feretutus, and further changed into C. consortutus. The second branch became P. frugivorus. The third led to P. jarrovi, which changed into another new genus, Notharctus robinsoni, which itself split into at least two branches, N. tenebrosus, and N. pugnax (which then changed to N. robustior, 48 Ma), and possibly a third, Smilodectes mcgrewi (which then changed to S. gracilis). Note that this sequence covers at least three and possibly four genera, with a timespan of 6 million years.
    * Early monkey-like primates: Gingerich (1982, also discussed in Gingerich, 1983) also describes gradual species-species transitions in a lineage of early Eocene primate: Cantius ralstoni to C. mckennai to C. trigonodus.

    And here are some transitions found by other researchers:

    * Rose & Bown (1984) analyzed over 600 specimens of primates collected from a 700-meter-thick sequence representing approximately 4 million years of the Eocene. They found smooth transitions between Teilhardina americana and Tetonoides tenuiculus, and also beween Tetonius homunculus and Pseudotetonius ambiguus. “In both lines transitions occurred not only continuously (rather than by abrupt appearance of new morphologies followed by stasis), but also in mosaic fashion, with greater variation in certain characters preceding a shift to another character state.” The T. homunculus – P. ambiguus transition shows a dramatic change in dentition (loss of P2, dramatic shrinkage of P3 with loss of roots, shrinkage of C and I2, much enlarged I1) that occurs gradually and smoothly during the 4 million years. The authors conclude “…our data suggest that phyletic gradualism is not only more common than some would admit but also capable of producing significant adaptive modifications.”
    * Delson (discussed in Gingerich, 1985) has studied transitions in primates from the Miocene to the present. For instance, in a 1983 paper (see Chaline, 1983), he discussed a possible smooth transition from Theropithecus darti to T. oswaldi, and discusses transitions in hominids, concluding that Homo sapiens clearly shows gradual changes over the last 800,000 years.
    * Kurten (1968) reports a smooth transition linking Macaca florentina to M. sylvana

    The FAQ lists hundreds of other transitional fossils which are transitional by other definitions. Interspecies fossilization is a bit more uncommon (see the FAQ as to why), but still very well documented.

    The article lists the following as its references:

    References

    Ahlberg, P.E. 1991. Tetrapod or near-tetrapod fossils from the Upper Devonian of Scotland. Nature 354:298-301.

    Barnosky, A.D. 1987. Punctuated equilibrium and phyletic gradualism: some facts from the Quaternary mammalian record. Chapter 4, pp 109- 148, in: Current Mammalogy, volume 1, ed. H.H. Genowys. Plenum Press, New York.

    Benton, M.J. (ed.) 1988. The Phylogeny and Classification of the Tetrapods. Clarendon Press, Oxford. [collection of papers. Good intro to current thinking on many intermediate fossils from various groups.]

    Benton, M.J. 1989. Patterns of evolution and extinction in vertebrates. Pp 218-241 in: Evolution and the Fossil Record, eds. K. Allen & D. Briggs. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C.

    Benton, M.J. 1990. Vertebrate Palaeontology: biology and evolution. Unwin Hyman, London.

    Berta, A. 1994. What is a whale? Science 263:180-181. [commentary on discovery of Ambulocetus natans]

    Bolt, J.R., R.M. McKay, B.J. Witzke, & M.P. Adams. 1988. A new Lower Carboniferous tetrapod locality in Iowa. Nature 333:768-770

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    MAGAZINE ARTICLES by unknown authors:

    Science News 133:102. “Bird fossil reveals history of flight”.

    Science News 145(3):36. “Fossil Whale Feet: A Step in Evolution” [Ambulocetus natans & other recent whale discoveries]

    Science News 140:104-105. 1991. “The Lonely Bird.” [summary of the Protoavis controversy.]

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    Discover, February 1995, p. 22 “Wabbit or Wodent?” Brief description, with photo, of a probably rodent/lagomorph ancestor.

    As to your easy time addressing issues, it is quite simple to poke holes in any argument if one doesn’t bother to have good science to back you up. Creationists have an easy advantage in that they can say whatever they want, slap together some “scientific” experiments to “prove” what they say, and not have to have their articles go through peer review to support them. It is far easier to tear down then it is to build.

    And I never said you were irrational. YOU said you were irrational. (reply 24, in your departure)

    And I do intend to fully summarize this thread as soon as I can pull some time together.

    Alphonsus

  27. this is my whole point. there are holes to be poked, and they should´nt be discouraged from being poked. that is how improvements are made. but, whatever evolutionists (or those who blindly believe in evolution) dictate is “good science” is good science.

    it´s ludicrous to think that creationists have an easy advantage in this debate. they are outright rejected and basically banned from publishing unless they conform to the proper dogma. most, if not all, would love the opportunity for peer-review in the mainstream science journals, however, that is not possible; not because their science is bad, or even different, but because they dare to question or research or suggest alternatives outside of the parameters of the evolutionary model and are subsequently shunned.

    scientists who are also creationists go through the same education to get the same degrees as scientists who are evolutionists, yet, because they choose to pursue their research with an attempt to substantiate a hypothesis different than the evolutionary hypothesis they are treated as somehow inferior to those who just fall in line with the standard rhetoric and accept what others tell them about how to view the world and conduct their research. i´m sorry, my friend, but that is exactly why the evolutionists have warned about the dangers of “religion” (i.e. creationism in their case) for so many years. they´ve become the very beast they warned against. it´s blindness and hypocrisy, and it´s shameful.

    i find it interesting that you express your frustration at my persistence, but fail to realize there´s no difference between us. whatever information you present (or anyone who sides with you presents)is to be accepted as factual and rational and from the pure soul of science, without a hint of bias to be found within it. yet whatever i present is taken as disingenuous and unworthy of consideration simply because i view the evidence and the results through the lens of a different (irrational) model.

    sorry, i was a bit sarcastically responding to your inference in comment 22 when i made that salutation (and above statement).

    is there really any point in discussing these primate “splitters” your pasted article speaks of, and the creationist idea/hypothesis/theory of baraminology? what a stupid question; on a whim i quick checked the all-knowing and never mistaken, fully unbiased WIKIPEDIA and they´ve declared it psuedoscience. there ya have it. end of conversation. if wikipedia says it (sorry, long ago formed a distaste for the boys over there) and evolutionists don´t want to accept the fact there may be more to the world than they´ve figured out, well, why even attempt to study something from a different angle? never mind questioning whether a “smooth” or “sudden” transition are really even transitions at all or just either a variation within or an entirely different species (and don´t forget species is a man-made term) altogether (something which reginald has no problem doing with coelecanth, by the way; as long as it suits his argument).

    sorry for the overall tone, but i´m not in the best of moods. regardless, those are my thoughts.

  28. If the RATE experiment (critiqued in reply 14) is an example of what creationists consider to be “good science,” then can you doubt my skepticism over what other arguments creationists present? RATE effectively DISPROVES the possibility of rapid radioactive aging by concluding that it would require a completely baffling and unknown process to keep the earth from evaporating and the occupants of the ark from dying of radioactive poisoning. Actually, this likely WAS good science. But the conclusion they confidently reached did not in any way match the data they themselves had gathered. This is personal bias at its worst.

    And you are right. Based on what was presented in Wikipedia, I do completely discount the baraminology hypothesis.

    Cheers,

    Alphonsus

  29. Although Bertsche styles himself as an “accelerator physicist, formerly at a leading radiocarbon AMS laboratory,” it is clear from his post that, as far as radiocarbon measurement procedures and issues are concerned, he is a novice.

    Bwa ha ha! What experience do Baumgardner and his RATE colleagues have with isotope dating? You can’t claim a superior track record when you don’t have any track record at all. Creationists do not do real research. Here’s what happens when one does:

    Why I left Young-earth Creationism
    by Glenn R. Morton

    I’m not going to excerpt it because you should go read the whole thing.

  30. as i never even mentioned the particular fish – only that crossopterygians have been thought for years by evolutionists to be the tetrapod missing link.

    Mike, you should stop repeating discredited arguments.
    a) It gives the impression you don’t have any arguments which are not discredited.
    b) It leads people to other conclusions about your analytic ability and integrity.

    Now, explain to me once and for all why an improved theory based on better data in any way inflicts damage to the core of evolutionary theory. Or, if you can’t shut up about it.

  31. well, my definition of an intermediary fossil would simply be one that clearly shows an actual intermediary species (at least one) that is incontrovertably recognizable as an altogether separate species, linking two other altogether separate species, that is the result of the addition of new genetic information.

    Dude, they’re fossils. You want genetic information on fossils that are millions of years old? No reliable DNA sequencing has been done on any samples older than 100,000 years. (I think it’s more like 50,000, but I’m leaving a margin of error to account for my not keeping up on that field)

  32. i´m curious as to what you consider irrational on my side of the conversation

    Well let’s see, there was your bastardized quote from the Ahlberg & Clack article. I don not consider reading a piece that says A and concluding that it says not A to be rational.

    Then there’s your using – and repeating – arguments that simply do not bring evolution into doubt. For example: a new fossil species of mammal was discovered from the Cretaceous that apparently ate a small dinosaur. I’m sorry, but that simply does not bring any core principle of evolution into question, and Repo Mama is as dead as the dinosaurs, so it does not address the request for fossil data of dinosaurs and modern animals together.

    scientists who are also creationists go through the same education to get the same degrees as scientists who are evolutionists

    Mostly not. Saying so is irrational.

    Morris had a degree in hydraulic engineering. Kent “Dr. Dino” got his Ph.D from a diploma mill. Some actual scientists who are Creationists have degrees in fields not closely related to evolutionary science, e.g. Phil Skell, a chemist. Michael Behe, ID proponent, accepts an old earth, common descent, and evolution on all but a few properties he has cherry-picked, so he probably does not meet your definition of “Creationist.” (Besides, I have seen his publication record, and his output of actual science has dropped precipitously since he climbed in bed with the ID crowd)

    The number of people who are Creationists and have actual science degrees in fields relevant to evolutionary theory is pretty small. Kurt Wise would be one. But a) his practice of creationism deviates significantly and obviously from the science he was taught, ad b) his Creationism is due to a prior commitment to Fundamentalist Christianity; it is most certainly not a result of an objective analysis of the available data.

    If you are specifically talking about Young Earth Creationism, then there is an extra layer of stupid slathered on top, and it requires a denial of a wide variety of scientific fields, not just biology.

  33. We haven’t even got to the fact that phylogenetic trees drawn up from anatomical and fossil comparisons agree quite well with phylogenetic trees from genetic comparisons, even though these are completely separate fields with completely different techniques.

    We only slightly touched on island biogeography.

    We haven’t gone into embryology or evo-devo.

  34. it´s ludicrous to think that creationists have an easy advantage in this debate.

    Something we can agree on!

    they are outright rejected and basically banned from publishing unless they conform to the proper dogma.

    Where “proper dogma” means adherence to the scientific method, careful experimentation which is up to the standards of relevant fields, and acceptance of the conclusions to which the data lead.

    most, if not all, would love the opportunity for peer-review in the mainstream science journals, however, that is not possible; not because their science is bad, or even different, but because they dare to question or research or suggest alternatives outside of the parameters of the evolutionary model and are subsequently shunned.

    Yes, it’s because their science is bad. Creationists have shown themselves to admire the respectability that peer-review brings, and to mimic it with their own journals, which tend to have “statements of faith.” That is a concept which is anathema to science. They don’t want to do real science, they just want to mimic it and gain the respectability afforded to the real thing. I.e., they want to cheat.

    Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not all opinions have equal merit. That’s the whole point of science, deciding between different hypotheses by putting them to the test against reality. If someone persisted in the claim that DNA is not the stuff of which genes are made, even after the results of Avery and the Hershey-Chase experiments, they would deserve not to have their work published, and to be laughed at.

    The concepts of a young (<10,000 years old) Earth and a worldwide flood has been laughably wrong since the early 19th century, even before the theory of evolution and the development of radioactive isotope dating.

  35. alphonsus – i can´t help but think of a time when i was telling my dad (who is catholic, whereas i am absolutely not, but have studied it, albeit with no interest in becoming catholic) about something i was aware his religion teaches (what it is is not important). he swore that, as a life-long catholic, he had never heard of such a thing and was certain it was not taught, and, if it was, he couldn´t believe it. NEXT DAY he told me he had read it overnight in his catacysm and now believed it. don´t make wikipedia your catacysm.

    it´s great that mr. selkirk is disposed of all the same information that is available to us all and capable of bringing it out to suit his purposes, but you really shouldn´t just accept something as fact because it happens to agree with the way you desire to think. you should do your own research and comparisons.

    mr. selkirk –

    “bwa ha ha”?

    really? that tells me something. i simply followed suit and pasted the response to a post you pasted. the response contains no attempt at boasting a better track record. it does, however, soundly rebut bertsche´s criticism, but i see you choose to ignore that and redirect the conversation (as is clearly your custom). that, my friend, is a laughable debate style. did you, perhaps, take notes from the obama campaign? in most circles it´s referred to as dishonesty.

    “shut up”?

    a) i repeated no argument
    b) i´m wholely unconcerned with what conclusions you publicly attempt to sway others to draw about me in any regard.
    c) how ’bout you just answer my inquiry and quit with the obvious and disingenuous redirection?

    i repeat:

    you´ll have to tell me more about your reasoning for why you believe J.L.B. Smith´s motivation for renaming the fish atimeria chalumnae (he should´ve stuck to his previous nickname “old fourlegs”) and pronouncing it an entirely new genus and species is valid. surely it wasn´t just a knee-jerk attempt to wipe the egg off the face of the evolutionist community.

    no, dude, i don´t want genetic information. i want a FOSSIL. if evolution were true there would be BILLIONS; there would be no need to hypothesize about the supposed appearance of a particular transitional form. if the hypothetical evolutionary timescale concerning the development of life on this earth was correct there would be fossil representation of all the forms in between the forms existing today, as well as the forms that existed between the distinct forms we only know of through the fossil record. there would be a veritable cornucopia of transitional fossils. we probably wouldn´t even refer to them as transitional, there would be no need. as it is, however, evolutionists jump up and down when they find a fossil of a monkey with a different shaped molar, or a fish without gill covers. oooh, transitional. where are the 99,999,999,998 others? you know how many things must have died in the past 4 billion years? pretty amazing that something as factual and reliable as the evolutionary model left us with essentially ZILCH for evidence.

    why don´t you tell me, in your own words, what you feel to be the core principle(s) of evolution so i can bring it into question more clearly and personally for you?

    morris? i assume you mean henry(?). kent? i´m unaware of a kent, sorry. so, morris (dead) and kent, whoever he is, are your examples of scientists who believe the creation model? wow, you must really be current on all the latest research in the field.

    “The number of people who are Creationists and have actual science degrees in fields relevant to evolutionary theory is pretty small.”

    isn´t all science relevant to evolutionary theory? is there a separate doctorate degree offered to geologists and evolutionary geologists that i am unaware of? biologists and evolutionary biologists? chemists and evolutionary chemists? although i don´t doubt for a second evolutionary “scientists” would prefer it that way, i don´t think it´s quite come to that yet.

    how about, for example, i name dr. baumgardner, whom you attempt to ridicule and reduce to a scientist of no importance; that, without even commenting on his cogent reply to bertsche´s criticism. now, unless you hold a phd yourself in some area you deem suitable to be referred to as “evolutionary science,” i´d say, either way, baumgardner´s got you equalled or bettered with Ph.D., geophysics and space physics, university of california, los angeles, 1983; previously working as a staff scientist in the theoretical division at los alamos national laboratory, where he has continued his research in planetary mantle dynamics, including the potential for catastrophic mantle overturn. currently doing technical work at Los Alamos including the development of a new global ocean model for investigating climate change.

    yup, geophysics and space physics; pretty irrelevant stuff. yessiree. i´m sure all the phd´s awarded to scientists who believe the creation model have an addendum at the bottom that says “hesitantly rewarded “because their science is bad.”

    what was that about an “extra layer of stupid slathered on top?” talk about irrational!! so much for “That’s the whole point of science, deciding between different hypotheses by putting them to the test against reality.”

  36. Mike says, in post 10, “besides, fossilization isn´t inevitable, guy; it´s actually quite rare. where are the fossils of the lions we know to have existed in israel?”

    Mike says, in post 36, “if evolution were true there would be BILLIONS (of fossils); there would be no need to hypothesize about the supposed appearance of a particular transitional form.”

    Mike acknowledges that fossilization is rare, yet insists that for evolution to be true there would be billions of fossils. It seems to me that you are using the truth in one instance (fossilization is rare) when it supports your arguments, but deny the same truth when necessary to fight your opponents arguments.

    it´s great that mr. selkirk is disposed of all the same information that is available to us all and capable of bringing it out to suit his purposes, but you really shouldn´t just accept something as fact because it happens to agree with the way you desire to think. you should do your own research and comparisons.

    Huh? Are you saying that we shouldn’t accept anything as fact unless we conduct our own experiments? That NO ONE can quote the experimental or research results of someone else unless we ourselves do the research? That’s what peer reviewed scientific journals are for! Multiple people have already critiqued the research. Using this argument, we would be forced to say that nothing is true unless we ourselves have conducted the same scientific research. Do I really need to point out why this argument is asinine?

    you´ll have to tell me more about your reasoning for why you believe J.L.B. Smith´s motivation for renaming the fish atimeria chalumnae (he should´ve stuck to his previous nickname “old fourlegs”) and pronouncing it an entirely new genus and species is valid. surely it wasn´t just a knee-jerk attempt to wipe the egg off the face of the evolutionist community.

    And you’ll have to tell me why this single study out of thousands has to do with disproving evolutionary theory in the slightest. Papers are published. Results are refuted and re-investigated, and new hypotheses are suggested. This is called the scientific method. NOTHING about this paper in anyway suggests evidence for creationism. The fact that you keep bringing up this paper is really beyond my ability to understand.

    pretty amazing that something as factual and reliable as the evolutionary model left us with essentially ZILCH for evidence.

    I refer you back to my response 24, in which I refer to an article which points to hundreds of transitional fossils. I should likewise point out that the article I referred to was published in 1997. I have read elsewhere that there have been an amazing number of fossil finds in the last 20 years. If the same article were to be written today, it would likely be far more comprehensive. I also point you again to your own statement in response 10, where you acknowledge out that fossilization is quite rare. It is quite plain to me that there is far, far, far from ZILCH for evidence. There are merely hundreds and perhaps thousands of pieces of evidence that you refuse to acknowledge as evidence. Refusal to acknowledge the evidence that you are wearing no pants may be fine for you, but don’t expect that argument to work with the courts when the police arrest you for indecent exposure.

    how about, for example, i name dr. baumgardner, whom you attempt to ridicule and reduce to a scientist of no importance

    I’m sorry that Dr. Baumgardner suddenly started to use bad science…I suppose that kind of thing is inevitable. This video is extremely informative of creationist strategies and of the kinds of scientists that support creationism.

    List of Scientists Rejecting Evolution- Do they really?: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ty1Bo6GmPqM

    If nothing else, this video proves that the Discovery Institute has no qualms whatsoever about lying or presenting misleading claims when it comes to promoting their agenda.

    Mike, I have to say that there is growing evidence that your objectivity and, dare I say, your honesty, are seriously questionable. You might want to quit before you dig your hole any deeper. I assure you that I will NOT let you have the final word on this thread.

  37. Oh, and despite occasional slips from both Mr. Selkirk and myself, we have been exceptionally polite in this discussion. I refer you to a quote:

    “Ridicule is he only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them…”
    — Thomas Jefferson

  38. alphonsus – either you are learning this bad habit of redirection from reginald, or you´re resorting to it out of desperation.

    “Mike says, in post 10, “besides, fossilization isn´t inevitable, guy…”

    because mike is aware of the inadequacies of the fossil record in that they do not contain the necessary evidence compatible with the vast (and increasingly so) amounts of time presupposed (and required) for the evolutionist model, but that the very absence of the “transitional” fossils, that should be there if the evolutionist´s model were correct, falls directly in line with the creation model.

    “Mike says, in post 36, “if evolution were true there would be BILLIONS (of fossils)”

    silly guy; “if” is the operative word there. if X then… there´s no contradiction. come on man, we´re comparing two models here.

    “Are you saying that we shouldn’t accept anything as fact unless we conduct our own experiments? That NO ONE can quote the experimental or research results of someone else unless we ourselves do the research?”

    i´m saying, alphonsus, that you should not just accept that everything mr. selkirk or wikipedia or youtube happen to post is true and whatever i happen to post is false. just that. by do your own research, i mean just what i said before; don´t just accept something as true because it falls in line with what you want to believe; and vice versa. don´t be so reactionary (asinine?).

    “The fact that you keep bringing up this paper is really beyond my ability to understand.”

    possibly because it´s not a paper. it´s simply an inquiry, which, neither you nor reginald seem fit to respond to (as neither has), so, rather, continue with the redirection (as my original statement had to do with tiktaalik primarily), or, outright avoidance; which, by the way, is beyond MY ability to understand. just answer it, it should be very simple to state your own opinion.

    “I refer you back to my response 24, in which I refer to an article which points to hundreds of transitional fossils.”

    i assume you mean response 27, as 24 is mine. and, if so, they only state to have studied 600 specimens. there is no accounting for the percentage of those specimens that they suppose, due to some minor irregularities, go against the static patter of non-change in the fossil record and support the highly questionable (even amongst evolutionists) idea of phyletic gradualism. regardless, nowhere near the billions of easily recognizable fossils that should clearly be found, in like numbers as we find all the others today, all around the world, and easily delineate the progress of evolution; beyond that of a tooth here and a missing gill cover there. yet, alas, they elude us 😦

    as i´ve stated before, i´ve got no ties to or interest in the discovery institute. i´ve got absolutely no idea about what they do, good or bad. i´ll make no attempt to defend them. however, that was an interesting redirection away from my point on baumgardner for no apparent reason (other than an over-reliance on youtube?).

    i don´t believe i´ve ever strayed from my objective (to “poke holes” in a theory that already leaks like a siv); and, as far as my honesty goes, if it makes you happy, i´ll retract the quote i supplied (and explained the reason for twice now) from ahlberg and clack. however, there was no honesty intended and i question both of your reasons for implying (accusing more like) it was.

    look, have all the final words you want, it´s your blog. i´m not here to try to trick anyone. i´m just engaged in a conversation. one that, apparently, i can manage without the character slights and implications of dishonorable intentions, unlike…well, unlike others. i also make every effort to answer a question directed at me; which is more than i can say for…well, others.

  39. oops, no <b<dishonesty intended is what i obviously intended to write. please don´t psychoanalyse it, it would be too predictable; cute, but predictable.

    cheers

  40. well, reggie, alphons, i´ll give you guys some time to put together a game plan. in the meantime, and since this “thread” actually originated on my blog, i´m gonna bow out from the conversation here. don´t get me wrong; i´m not finished arguing. i´m just finished arguing here. alphonsus has been a generous host, but it seems i have worn out my welcome and that he would like to have the final say in the conversation. as i already stated, since i originated the challenge in the direction of the believer in the evolutionist model, and, since it seems you two are more interested in redirection anyway, i´m going to redirect you to my blog if you care to continue the conversation.

    always tilting: OPEN THREAD

    cheers,

    mike

  41. if evolution were true there would be BILLIONS (of fossils)

    I must apologize for my continued reliance on the words of other people, whose arguments seem very scientific to me and are backed up by references to valid scientific literature. As a librarian, I kinda thought that this was doing, “research.” I guess what they taught me in library school was false. Silly me.

    Still, I have little choice but to continue using this process, as my expertise in the creationist hypothesis falls far short of yours. I will continue to quote sources that I consider to be valid by the rules I’ve been taught. I’m sorry if this makes me a bad researcher.

    So, as to your billions of fossils quote, I refer a previously referred to website. It in turn refers to what I’ve been taught to be valid sources. The site is, alas, a tertiary source which refers to mere secondary sources…I don’t have the money or time to run around and investigate the primary sources to which this articles refer too. I must rely on the scientific integrity of the presenter, and the scientific integrity of her sources, and the fact that her arguments seem to support every other thing I’ve ever read about evolution, and the fact that, by my thinking, this fits absolutely into what I would dare to term as “common sense.” Forgive me.

    http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CC/CC200_1.html

    Quoted in whole:
    Response:

    1. Some important factors prevent the formation of fossils from being common:

    * Fossilization itself is not a particularly common event. It requires conditions that preserve the fossil before it becomes scavenged or decayed. Such conditions are common only in a very few habitats, such as river deltas, peat bogs, and tar pits. Organisms that do not live in or near these habitats will be preserved only rarely.

    * Many types of animals are fragile and do not preserve well.

    * Many species have small ranges. Their chance of fossilization will be proportionally small.

    * The evolution of new species probably is fairly rapid in geological terms, so the transitions between species will be uncommon.

    Passenger pigeons, once numbered in the billions, went extinct less than 200 years ago. How many passenger pigeon fossils can you find? If they are hard to find, why should we expect to find fossils that are likely from smaller populations and have been subject to millions of years of potential erosion?

    2. Other processes destroy fossils. Erosion (and/or lack of deposition in the first place) often destroys hundreds of millions of years or more of the geological record, so the geological record at any place usually has long gaps. Fossils can also be destroyed by heat or pressure when buried deep underground.

    3. As rare as fossils are, fossil discovery is still rarer. For the most part, we find only fossils that have been exposed by erosion, and only if the exposure is recent enough that the fossils themselves do not erode.

    As climates change, species will move, so we cannot expect a transition to occur all at one spot. Fossils often must be collected from all over a continent to find the transitions.

    Only Europe and North America have been well explored for fossils because that is where most of the paleontologists lived. Furthermore, regional politics interfere with collecting fossils. Some fabulous fossils have been found in China only recently because before then the politics prevented most paleontology there.

    4. The shortage is not just in fossils but in paleontologists and taxonomists. Preparing and analyzing the material for just one lineage can take a decade of work. There are likely hundreds of transitional fossils sitting in museum drawers, unknown because nobody knowledgeable has examined them.

    5. Description of fossils is often limited to professional literature and does not get popularized. This is especially true of marine microfossils, which have the best record.

    6. If fossilization were so prevalent and young-earth creationism were true, we should find indications in the fossil record of animals migrating from the Ark to other continents.

    Links:
    Hunt, Kathleen. 1997. Transitional vertebrate fossils FAQ, part 1A. http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-transitional/part1a.html#gaps
    Further Reading:
    Kidwell, S. M. and S. M. Holland. 2002. The quality of the fossil record: Implications for evolutionary analyses. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 33: 561-588. (technical)
    ***********

    Now, as to your statement about our redirection of the topic of the tiktaalik. I honestly thought I did address the topic when I effectively said that no matter what was said about the topic I consider it irrelevant to the main discussion at hand…i.e. the validity of creationism versus evolution. As to the topic of the poor tiktaalik itself, I can only speak for myself, but I must confess that I haven’t responded about it specifically because I, in complete honesty, don’t give two shits about it. Even if it does show a minor contradiction with evolutionary theory (which I by no means stipulate), I am frighteningly apathetic about it when I compare it to the incredible body of evidence that supports evolutionary theory. I’m sorry if this is misdirection. I really don’t intended as such.

    And as to my redirection about Dr. Baumgardner, I, again, honestly thought that I was stipulating that he was a legitimate scientist who was supporting creationist theory. I concede (as I believe Mr. Selkirk would also concede) that there are such people. Mr. Selkirk stated that they are rare…a contention that I agree with. My YouTube reference was intended to demonstrate that rarity while at the same time demonstrating the intellectual dishonesty of some of the supporters on your side of the fence. The video was honestly presented, and I have no reason to doubt the honesty of the person presenting the video, who is a scientist himself. Again, I thought I was doing something called “research”. I believe that a transcript of the video would be quite acceptable as a source in most college classes devoted to the subject at hand, as he makes sound assumptions, tests them, and supports his results. I’m sorry for my misunderstanding here. Surely it’s my desperation at supporting the scientifically unsupportable evolutionary nonsense that causes me to resort to such underhanded tactics.

    Oh, and I believe that when Mr. Selkirk mentioned “Kent” was referring to Mr. Kent Hovind. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kent_Hovind

    Please forgive me for referring you to Wikipedia, which most librarians have come to agree is a remarkably reliable source, although, we are still, admittedly, still a bit skeptical of it itself. So long as valid references to more reliable sources exist in the articles in question, we are quite comfortable with it. This particular entry only lists 168 sources, but it’s the best I could find.

    Anyway, I digress. Mr. Hovind was quite famous for his creation science seminars that aimed to convince listeners to reject modern theories of evolution, geophysics and cosmology in favor of biblical creation. He is, admittedly, not in the field anymore, as he was jailed in 2006 after being convicted of 58 federal counts, including twelve tax offenses, one count of obstructing federal agents and forty-five counts of structuring cash transactions. His videos are still used all over YouTube to support creationist arguments (which very much proves your contention that YouTube is not a reliable source). Really, between the Discovery Institute and people like Mr. Hovind, I really feel that creationists should work a bit harder to keep your science clean. These people are giving you a bad reputation.

    I’ve gone on enough here, alas. I apologize for any other arguments I’ve evaded, but I really have other work I must do. I’ll see if I can address them later.

    Cheers,

    Alphonsus

  42. Yes, I meant Kent Hovind. I see I left off his last name by mistake.

    you´ll have to tell me more about your reasoning for why you believe J.L.B. Smith´s motivation for renaming the fish atimeria chalumnae (he should´ve stuck to his previous nickname “old fourlegs”) and pronouncing it an entirely new genus and species is valid. surely it wasn´t just a knee-jerk attempt to wipe the egg off the face of the evolutionist community.

    I don’t know what you’re writing about. I could go look it up, but why should I bother? Tell me about the huge hole in evolutionary theory that would result if one scientist made one mistake. Compare that to the heat problem and the radioactivity problems of the RATE study.

    Fossils: certainly there are billions, kajillions even. We’ve already discussed the white cliffs of dover. There are plenty of fossils demonstrating all of the following:
    gradual transitions
    Transitions between major taxonomic groups
    Fish => amphibians
    amphibians => mammals, with an excellent series showing the development of the mammalian ear. Support for this in developental biology.
    dinosaurs => birds, lots of new fossils just in the last 20 years.
    land mammals => whales. ditto.
    precursors to Homo sapiens.
    All of this has been covered before, references have been provided.

    Numbers of fossils? Consider Archaeopteryx for example. Even though it is found only in one location (Solhnhofen, Germany), from one period in pre-history (approx 150 million year ago). About a dozen specimens have been found, some of them with sufficient detail to show the feathers. Recent fossils provide new detail on the dinosaurian feet.

    the response contains no attempt at boasting a better track record. it does, however, soundly rebut bertsche´s criticism

    “Although Bertsche styles himself as an “accelerator physicist, formerly at a leading radiocarbon AMS laboratory,” it is clear from his post that, as far as radiocarbon measurement procedures and issues are concerned, he is a novice.” – Baumgardner

    He’s not trying to convey the impression of superior experience? Mike, once again, it is hard to square what you write with the material you are writing about.

    isn´t all science relevant to evolutionary theory? is there a separate doctorate degree offered to geologists and evolutionary geologists that i am unaware of? biologists and evolutionary biologists? chemists and evolutionary chemists?

    No, not all science is directly relevant to evolutionary theory. Examples have already been provided. It’s like you’re not even paying attention. You might investigate the “Salem conjecture.”

    You mention one example, Baumgardner. He clearly falls into the category of people who have a prior strong belief in Creationism for religious reasons. The very reason he and the ICR did the study was to try to disprove isotope dating. Duh. His experience is in computer modeling. That does not necessarily prepare him to do careful hands-on laboratory work.

  43. Most Chiropractors Don’t Believe in Vaccines
    … Two Canadian chiropractors, Jason Busse and Stephen Injeyen, writing in the highly respected journal Pediatrics with microbiologist James Campbell, identified tactics used to oppose and confuse the public about immunization. The playbook sounds much like something used to fight climate change:

    1) Doubt the science
    2) Question the motives and integrity of the scientists (greed)
    3) Magnify the disagreements among scientists, and cite gadflies as authorities (doubt the consensus)
    4) Appeal to personal freedoms
    5) Claim action will cause more harm than good

    In his book The Making of the Fittest, biologist Sean B. Carroll notes that the same tactics are used by Creationists.

    Mike says he is trying to poke holes in evolution, which he claims ‘leaks like a sieve.’ First of all, this is a gap technique. Missing fossils and unknown facts simply will not undermine evolution. You would have to show how what is known does not fit. For example, if the Repo Mama fossil had been found in the precambrian rather than the cretaceous, that would have been a problem for evolution. But it wasn’t. Even if your argument was based on fact, it still wouldn’t leave a dent. It is an argument from ignorance.

    Mike thinks that by learning a few buzzwords, he can convey the impression that he is up on the science. But he doesn’t pay attention to what the science started saying about 200 years ago. He is not part of the scientific discussion. He is the forgotten old man in the corner who says “Bah humbug” to everything.

    And meanwhile, his young earth RATE study blows up like a nuclear bomb.

  44. An Evening with Rate
    Tuesday, April 24, 2007
    Blogged by Joseph Meert

    … Dr. Todd Feeley (U. Montana) attended a RATE (Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth) conference… Todd sent his report to me yesterday. Here it is unedited:

    Hi Joe,

    Thought I’d give you a update on the Bozeman, Montana, RATE conference held this past weekend. The ‘science’ talks by Russell Humphreys, Andrew Snelling, and John Baumgardner contained the standard RATE mantras on He diffusion, Po radiohaloes, and 14C. There was nothing new and which has not already been debunked in your numerous essays, TalkOrigins.com, etc. I did have an interesting conversation saturday morning with RATE coordinator, Larry Vardiman, who seems like a pretty decent guy. I asked why no recognized experts on radiometric dating were invited to participate in the conference, given that none of the speakers had any training or experience in experimental geochronology. He was candid enough to admit that they would have liked to included one on the team, but there are no young- earth geochronologists in the world. He also agreed that the mechanism for accelerating radioactivity by nearly a billion-fold during a single year (the flood year) was a major problem for the group that in the end will probably only be resolved by invoking a “cosmic-scale event” or miracle. He further conceded that at this point they have no physical evidence for this miracle. Apparently, dissipation of the heat produced during the event is, in the end, going to require yet an additional miracle.

    Perhaps the most interesting part of the conference (for myself) was saturday evening. Humphreys gave the same talk on He diffusion, nearly verbatim, that he did in the morning. Following, I asked the panel (Humphreys, Snelling, Baumgardner) a slight variation of the question you suggested: Why did John Baumgardner and the RATE group accept $2.5 million dollars in private donations to conduct young-earth research at the same time Baumgardner was publishing old-earth and old-moon papers in mainstream scientific journals? I thought this was a particularly relevant question because Baumgardner’s first slide in his morning talk read: “News Flash: paradigm overturned; textbooks need to be rewritten, earth is young, etc.” The crowd went wild. Of course, they had no idea Baumgardner was at the same time personally contributing to the mountain of evidence that the earth and moon are old. Baumgardner stumbled and bumbled with his response, saying things such as his coauthors input faulty assumptions into his Terra code and that the interpretations were therefore incorrect, but that the physics (his contribution) was correct. He then went into a ten minute soul-searching monologue about his faith in scripture, which is fine, but hardly seemed relevant. I pressed further and asked if he would write letters to Nature and JGR clarifying his position and the errors in the assumptions and interpretations made by his coauthors. He would not agree to do this and surprisingly revealed that at least one more old earth paper is coming out in the near future with his name on it.

    Well, after the Q & A session Humphreys called me “evil” for asking such a question (I thought it was a valid question, but Humphreys apparently didn’t and I don’t think he is a very nice man). I also told him that he had a problem because the core sample he showed in his talk from where his zircons were separated was clearly a gneiss and not a granodiorite (‘with schist veins through it’), as he claimed. I could see this from the back row, as could the undergraduate geology students in attendance. At this point he called me “dumb” and asked if I had the guts to tell Baumgardner (who selected the core) that the sample was a metamorphic rock and not an igneous rock. Sure, I’d tell him. As we walked over to speak with Baumgardner, a young woman who identified herself as a Christian, scolded Humphreys for being mean and not behaving in a Christian-like manner by calling me evil and dumb. She didn’t think he was a very nice man either. To get back to the point, Baumgardner conceded that the core sample was indeed a gneiss and not a granodiorite. To his credit, Humphreys did begrudgingly apologize. Personally, I didn’t care about the apology, which wasn’t sincere anyway. I was more concerned that this guy was conducting expensive research on the age of the earth, yet couldn’t even tell the difference between a metamorphic rock and an igneous rock. Oh yeah, I forgot, he’s a creationist physicist and not a geologist.

    The RATE conference is over now and the group has moved on to a different town. Let’s hope there are people in future audiences who do a bit of research and learn more about what these guys are really up to. People that take the time to do a background check just might come to realize that those who act as if they are holier than thou might not be as sincere as they claim or have the appropriate scientific backgrounds to conduct the research discussed.

    Best regards,

    Todd

    Interesting account. In my opinion, this ‘double life’ has to be embarrassing to the young earther’s and we should emphasize this every chance we get. By the way, Humphreys is not reluctant to invent data when needed.

    Bold added by me for emphasis.

  45. Thousands, Not Billions
    By Donald B. DeYoung, John Baumgardner, D. Russell Humphreys, Andrew Snelling, Steven A. Austin, Eugene F. Chaffin, Steven W. Boyd, Larry Vardiman
    New Leaf Publishing Group, 2005
    ISBN 0890514410, 9780890514412

    In which they explain granodiorite to the reader. Because I’m sure the reader would want to learn about rocks from folks who don’t know granodiorite from gneiss.

  46. Major Problems with John Baumgardner’s Runaway Subduction Model for the Biblical Flood

    The fact that TERRA is a computer model lends some defacto credibility for audiences that may not understand that such computer models can be made to do almost anything depending on the variables used. In order to get TERRA to produce rapid geological motions, Baumgardner uses variables that differ from physical values by many orders of magnitude! Essentially, this is equivalent to making a pig lighter than air in a computer model, then claiming that your model proves pigs really can fly.

    H Roberts

  47. 26. well, my definition of an intermediary fossil would simply be one that clearly shows an actual intermediary species (at least one) that is incontrovertably recognizable as an altogether separate species, linking two other altogether separate species, that is the result of the addition of new genetic information

    36. no, dude, i don´t want genetic information. i want a FOSSIL

    Go fight it out amongst yourself and decide what it is you want.

  48. WHO ARE THE CREATION “SCIENTISTS”?
    by Lenny Flank


    The creationist movement also does not like to talk about the scientists who leave after being given the opportunity to do real field research. In 1957, the Geoscience Research Institute was formed in order to search for evidence of Noah’s Flood in the geological record. The project fell apart when both of the creationists involved with the project, P. Edgar Hare and Richard Ritland, completed their field research with the conclusion that fossils were much older than allowed under the creationist assertions, and that no geological or paleontological evidence of any sort could be found to indicate the occurrence of a world-wide flood. (Numbers, 1992, pp 291-293) Hare concluded, “We have been taught for years that almost everything in the geological record is the result of the Flood. I’ve seen enough in the field to realize that quite substantial portions of the geologic record are not the direct result of the Flood. We have also been led to believe . . . that the evidence for the extreme age of the earth is extremely tenuous and really not worthy of any credence at all. I have tried to make a rather careful study of this evidence over the past several years, and I feel that the evidence is not ambiguous but that it is just as clear as the evidence that the earth is round.” (cited in Numbers, 1992, p. 294) Ritland, for his part, pointed out that Morris’s book The Genesis Flood contained “flagrant errors which the uninitiated person is scarcely able to detect”. (cited in Numbers, 1992, p. 294) Ritland concluded that further attempts to justify Flood geology would “only bring embarrassment and discredit to the cause of God”. (cited in Numbers, 1992, p. 293)

    A few years later, creationist biologists Carl Krekeler and William Bloom, who taught creationist biology at the Lutheran Church’s Valparaiso University in Indiana, left after concluding that a literal interpretation of Genesis was not supported by any of the available scientific evidence. Krekeler concluded, “The documentation, not only of changes within a lineage such as horses, but of transitions between the classes of vertebrates– particularly the details of the transition between reptiles and mammals–forced me to abandon thinking of evolution as occurring only within ‘kinds’. ” (cited in Numbers, 1992, p. 302) Krekeler also criticized the creationist movement for the “dozens of places where half-truths are spoken, where quotations supporting the authors’ views are taken from the context of books representing contrary views, and where there is misrepresentation.” (cited in Numbers, 1992, p. 303) The two became theistic evolutionists, and later wrote a biology textbook which accepted evolutionary theory.

    Perhaps as a result of these defections, the creationist movement no longer finances or carries out any field research of any sort. Its sole method of “scientific research” consists of combing through the published works of evolutionary mechanism theorists to look for quotations which can be pulled out of context and used to bolster creationist beliefs.

  49. Hello,

    I just thought I would step into this debate. I am a graduating senior with a minor in biology and a major in English Writing, but I have spent my life from an early age prowling books, TV, and the Internet for anything on paleo-life. I understand evolutionary theory pretty well, though I am not an expert, and generally I believe in it. However, I am also a Christian and I take offense when members of an atheistic “evolutionist” view call those who believe in something high than humanity irrational or stupid. I have loved biologic science (particularly paleontology) since six years old and I have never seen a reason why belief in God conflicts with evolution.

    I suppose I would not be considered a supporter of “creationism.” Whether carbon dating is right or wrong…I don’t much care. The fossils have a powerful argument. I can see transitions. So what that there were mammals with the dinosaurs? They weren’t modern. How is it that the whales are mammals? That I have the same number of fingers and toes that an iguana has? I see a great deal of biologic support for evolution, but what I don’t see is why it is used against belief in God, it is used as an attack to debase faith, to attack us for believing. Where is the evidence that evolution happened without direction? where is the evidence that life ignited on its own?

    I once saw an argument for God that mathematically the odds against life springing up were astronomical, billions to one. The response from the science was “That isn’t a valid argument.” Why not? And there are holes in evolutionary theory. For instance, is it really so logical that something as complex as echolocation in bats or whales would just appear by “random chance”? Mutations are rarely helpful. I’ve been educated in genetics and biology. I know how remarkable it is, how unbelievably complex both genes and individual body systems are. This happened by random chance?

    Imagine the ancestors of bats. Rodent-like, tree-dwelling. To echolocate is useful for navigating in near-darkness, but it’s a complex trait. The bat needs a brain to interpret the sounds, an apparatus to make them, specialized ears to pick them up. If one of these traits appears alone, which is feasible, it offers no help. It is only all of the traits working together that give the bat an advantage. Gaps like this are all over the place in the basic theory, but they don’t trouble me because I can see an answer that doesn’t involve random chance. The very example says that the development is nonrandom. It’s too complex. I have heard this theory debunked by atheistic evolutionists before, who insist that it IS random chance after all…and I am the irrational one for believing in a higher power?

    Why is it necessary for evolutionists to attack people like myself? I am educated, I am tolerant. I don’t even wander around preaching the Gospel, in fact I’m more interested in evolution than I am in scripture, but even I see these holes. Why do they have to conflict? Correct me if I’m wrong, but Darwin was a Christian himself.

    So i can’t say I am with this Mike guy as a creationist, but at a basic level of Belief, why are we attacking each other over evolution? An atheist can and they often do overlook the holes. Fine, I don’t care if they want to blind themselves to it, but I see what I feel is obviously nonrandom in the complexity of life everywhere around us. But when they attack me and claim that all believers are stupid, blind to evolutionary theory…I just bristle. The attack only shows their real agenda, stripping me of my belief, a right they do not have and can’t completely back up with the otherwise brilliant evolutionary theory.

    Mike is right. I have seen scientists who believe be ridiculed and persecuted for it. Scientists that believed in evolution and God together, not Creationism. Creationism I do feel is…well…whacked. But a directed evolution makes perfect sense to me. I have numerous other examples where I could argue this, but I would prefer to believe that I have already proven I have the right (and really, where on a fossil does it say I AM THE PRODUCT OF RANDOM CHANCE AND NOTHING ELSE…?) and evidence in evolution to back up my belief in God.

  50. Where is the evidence that evolution happened without direction? where is the evidence that life ignited on its own?

    Who bears the burden of proof? Perhaps you should go to Las Vegas and insist to the casinos that they advertise their wares as “games of apparent chance,” since they can’t prove that some invisible supernatural entity somewhere is turning the crank to determine outcomes that appear to be random.

    Lies, Damned Lies, Statistics, and Probability of Abiogenesis Calculations

    For instance, is it really so logical that something as complex as echolocation in bats or whales would just appear by “random chance”?

    No, it isn’t logical, and that is not the current scientific view. We believe there was selection involved as well. Selection is certainly not random.

    Imagine the ancestors of bats.

    Why imagine, when fossil evidence is available?
    Bats Flew Before They Could Echolocate

    Gaps like this are all over the place in the basic theory

    I’m pretty sure I already stated this to mike, but I’ll repeat it: gaps are not evidence against evolution. If you want to knock down evolution (and oddly, after your initial statement of acceptance of evolution, you seem to want to do that), you have to show how the evidence we have does not fit the theories. Show me the pre-Cambrian rabbit fossils.

    Why is it necessary for evolutionists to attack people like myself?

    Why would you consider a defense against Mike’s ridiculous Young Earth Creationism to be an attack on people like yourself?

    I am educated

    You could educate yourself more. Take the arguments about probability which you raise. This has been thoroughly treated many times, I could recommend a number of books on evolution which go into this. And yet somehow you haven’t read such books?

    I don’t even wander around preaching the Gospel, in fact I’m more interested in evolution than I am in scripture, but even I see these holes.

    You mean like the fossil bat which you didn’t know about? You didn’t seem to be aware that there are bats that do not hunt flying insects, and that do not echolocate. so some of the “holes” you see are merely gaps in your own knowledge.

    Why do they have to conflict? Correct me if I’m wrong, but Darwin was a Christian himself.

    You are wrong, Darwin is generally considered to have been an agnostic.

    RE Conflict: if you are talking only about the theory of evolution, it is not strictly in conflict with some religious belief. Obviously, it does conflict with Mike’s Young Earth Creationism, and anyone else who claims that the Earth is less than 10,000 years old, or that the diversity of life we see around us is due to special creation, not evolution.

    In broader terms, there is disagreement over whether religious belief is truly compatible with a scientific outlook. But that’s a whole nother discussion.

    Mike is right. I have seen scientists who believe be ridiculed and persecuted for it. Scientists that believed in evolution and God together, not Creationism.

    You mean like Francis Collins, who served as the head of the Human Genome Project, and who is an Evangelical Protestant? You call that persecution? Or Ken Miller, author of some of the most popular biology textbooks, and a practicing Catholic? You call that persecution? Sure, I and people like me feel free to make fun of them when they say stupid things about science and religion, but that doesn’t qualify as persecution. I do not question their professional qualifications and accomplishments within their sphere of competence.

    But when they attack me and claim that all believers are stupid, blind to evolutionary theory

    You’re not making much sense.

    (and really, where on a fossil does it say I AM THE PRODUCT OF RANDOM CHANCE AND NOTHING ELSE…?)

    See comments above about the burden of proof. See also the comments about how evolution is not random chance alone.

    I suggest an experiment for you:
    Start with 100 coins. Take the first coin. Flip it. If it’s heads, flip it again until it comes up tails. When it does, move on to the second coin. Do the same for the second coin. And so on. At the end, every coin you have will be showing tails, and yet the odds of a fair coin toss ending up tails is only 50%.

    …and evidence in evolution to back up my belief in God.

    If you have any evidence at all for the existence of God, you have failed to present it.

  51. is it really so logical that something as complex as echolocation in bats or whales would just appear by “random chance”?

    As established in the previous response, echolocation is not that complex. All you need to do it is a source of sound (possibly of your own making, possibly not, but I won’t get into passive sonar here), a method of detecting sound, and some means of directionality. You can get directionality either in the sound source, or in the detection apparatus. The basic idea of sonar is so simple that, as established in the previous post, even humans can do it.

    Well then, once the basics are there, you can get better at it by simple, gradual improvements. This is a perfect setup for natural selection. Improving your ability to detect sound, for example, could be more sensitive hearing apparatus, it could be better directionality due to large shaped ears, or isolating your inner ears from the skull to limit nondirectional interference. You could also improve the sound generation by increasing the frequency (higher frequency sound is better for establishing directionality), or improving the directionality in how the sound is emitted, or isolating the sound source from the hearing apparatus to reduce interference. You could also improve the neural circuitry for processing the echos.

    It’s not rocket science; all of these potential improvements can be made slowly and gradually, and they can be made indepenently of each other. I.e. several of them could be going on at once. And of course, if you reject Mike’s ridiculous Young Earth pseudo-science, you have millions of years to accomplish these things.

    Echolocation is a great example of how evolution can work, it is not a serious challenge to it.

  52. And you still have not addressed the rather significant problem of the 1 billion factor of radioactive decay and cooling. And let me take the time to thank Mr. Reginald Selkirk, who has leaped from the pages of Mark Twain to take the lead in the argument for rationality. I commend you, sir. 🙂

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