Reading through the Bible: day 3

Genesis 8-11; 1 Chronicles 1:5-27

That’s a whole lot of water

The whole world covered in water? All the mountains? Even if you’re a Young Earther, you need to admit this is a pretty spectacular claim.

Again, more evolution creation stuff, I’d recommend doing lots of research into flood geology to find out what YECs with degrees think. There are some basics: The cretacious layer is made from chalk, and is universal over land masses. If the entire world was covered with water a chalk layer like this would be expected, since chalk forms under water. Strata show a distribution of soil types in layers, which is what happens when different soil types are put into water and allowed to settle. Likewise, in flood situations, certain creatures float and some don’t, so sorting via buoyancy, and habitat (stuff that lives on river beds tends to be buried in a hurry in flood conditions) occurs, which is what we see in the fossil record (this is the claim, but it is the subject of debate). There is much more to it, and it would take more than one post based entirely on the flood, while I’m more interested here in helping you get through the Bible.

Don’t babble man

The tower of Babel and the languages of the world, it sounds rather odd, since we’d expect that the evolution of language is relatively simple, it is, but there’s not much to support it. Languages arrive in history already formed, in a number of different forms, that seem to bear no likely evolutionary link. Languages are always complex, and evolution has only made modern language simpler than their complex ancestors. Afrikaans is a relatively new language, which is simpler than every one of its ancestors. Following this trend, the original language/s would have to be way more complex, and thus evidence supports language just coming into existence, not evolving from grunts and gestures.

Again I’ve included the genealogies from 1Chronicles, check they’re correct.

What have I missed? Any comments?

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20 thoughts on “Reading through the Bible: day 3”

  1. There are some basics: The cretacious layer is made from chalk, and is universal over land masses.
    I don’t think this is the case. granted, from wikipedia, but
    “and named for the extensive beds of chalk (calcium carbonate deposited by the shells of marine invertebrates, principally coccoliths), found in the upper Cretaceous of western Europe”
    That implies it is a feature of Western Europe.

    If the entire world was covered with water a chalk layer like this would be expected, since chalk forms under water.
    This is not necessarily the case.
    Chalk apparently forms from lime mud, which needs specific conditions to form. I very much doubt that the turbulent conditions that would have resulted from a global flood would have limited this formation (any lime mud or bodies of shelled organisms would have been mixed up with the rest of the debris, and wouldn’t have formed a single layer).

    Likewise, in flood situations, certain creatures float and some don’t, so sorting via buoyancy, and habitat (stuff that lives on river beds tends to be buried in a hurry in flood conditions) occurs, which is what we see in the fossil record (this is the claim, but it is the subject of debate).
    The claim is false, and it is only a subject of debate to creationists. The fossils we see are not hydrologically sorted (neither are the rock strata). If the flood occurred, we’d see elephants and T-rex fossils in the same strata. We don’t.

    Following this trend, the original language/s would have to be way more complex, and thus evidence supports language just coming into existence, not evolving from grunts and gestures.
    I’m not sure the trend is from complex to simple.
    For instance, modern English is, as far as I understand it, more complex than ancient English. There are more foreign loan words, more special cases of pronunciation and grammar, making the language more complex.

    The change of languages over time is indeed quite complex, and made difficult because we can only go as far back as written languages (and there we don’t know how they were used in speech), so it is not surprising that we find written languages “fully formed” – if the language wasn’t being spoken, it wouldn’t be being written down.

    1. From Discovering Fossils

      “Chalk is formed from lime mud, which accumulates on the sea floor in the right conditions.” (Empahsis added)

      Accumulating on the sea floor certainly implies under water.

      “Most chalks formed during the Cretaceous period, between 100 and 60 million years ago, and chalks of this age can be found around the world. The Cretaceous chalks record a period when global temperatures and sea levels were exceptionally high.” (Emphasis added)

      So yes, the global water temperatures were very high over a particular period (fifteen cubits ain’t much, so the flood would not have to have covered areas by a lot).

      “The claim is false, and it is only a subject of debate to creationists.”

      Yes, that’s what I meant, creationsists debate it with non-creationists, niether side sees it as an issue of debate, they both think they are right.

      “The fossils we see are not hydrologically sorted (neither are the rock strata). If the flood occurred, we’d see elephants and T-rex fossils in the same strata. We don’t.”

      The claim I made was merely a basic of flood geology, it wasn’t a this is how it is claim. Creatures are sorted, that’s obvious, what may not be obvious is hydrological sorting, but I did add that habitat would play a role too. I very much doubt anyone can make a claim about what would be the case as you have done, but only what you may expect to be the case. Mammals and birds have a tendency to bloat and float, which isn’t found as commonly among reptiles, or that seems to be the case. There was also the case of erosion, which you would probably expect to be the case if the strata were exposed for millions of years. Let’s just add that the Grand Canyon’s V shape is the same as you find in areas of rapid erosion due to flooding, not the undercut variety we find in areas of slow erosion, this is also a standard claim by flood geologists, be they right or wrong, but you could test that in a controlled environment if you like.

      “For instance, modern English is, as far as I understand it, more complex than ancient English. There are more foreign loan words, more special cases of pronunciation and grammar, making the language more complex.”

      I’m not sure what you mean here, English has dropped a lot of the gutteral sounds found in it’s germanic ancestors and has less rhotics than earlier indo-european languages. This said, the sound used in a language don’t speak to complexity. Likewise, borrowed words are generally anglicised, and thus don’t carry much of the original languages complexity in them. Vocabulary also has little to do with complexity, and more to do with knowledge development (discovery of new things to name).

      Grammar is interesting, the complex grammar of 12th century Anglo-Saxon has evolved into the simple subject-verb-object sentence structure of modern English, the only exception being the passive voice, which is less common in English now than it used to be. Anglo-Saxon had a variety of available sentence structures when compared to English. Subject verb agreement is found in very limited cases in modern English than it is in more ancient languages. Germanic Languages for instance show gender, English is Germanic, but has lost this mechanism making it less complex.

      The example I used, Afrikaans is influenced, like Flemmish, by it’s Germanic roots, French and other Romance Languages, it also has extra influences like the Malay-Portuguese pidgin language of the sailors and the Khoi-San group of Southern Africa, as well as the isiXhosa language of the Bantu group. It is less than 200 years old and is simpler than just about every ancient language we know (put it this way, I can’t think of one simpler ancient language), and intermediate language we know, especially its influences. The Bantu group has 23 noun classes, far more than anything found in Europe (latin has eight, that’s considered complex), yet Afrikaans inherited none of this, or the gender system of it’s immediate Germanic roots (German and Dutch). Flemmish bears a huge resemblance to Afrikaans and is likewise simpler than the older languages it is geographically associated with. There is a trend toward more simplicity in language.

      “The change of languages over time is indeed quite complex, and made difficult because we can only go as far back as written languages (and there we don’t know how they were used in speech), so it is not surprising that we find written languages “fully formed” – if the language wasn’t being spoken, it wouldn’t be being written down.”

      Agreed, we can’t know what languages were like before they were written down, but we can follow the trend we do have, which doesn’t support a simple to complex hypothesis. When I was studying linguistics, the evolution of language was an area of major contention, of course back then I never actually questioned whether they did evolve, I simply saw it as a question of how. The problem is, the trends we have just don’t support a simple to complex hypothesis, and this seems to be a requirement.

  2. Accumulating on the sea floor certainly implies under water.
    You missed the “right conditions”, turbulent flood conditions most probably not being amenable to the formation of chalk.

    Yes, that’s what I meant, creationsists debate it with non-creationists, niether side sees it as an issue of debate, they both think they are right.
    The problem is, there is NO scientific controversy. Creationists tend to distort the evidence, engage in fallacious reasoning and special pleading and generally engage in dishonest behaviour, while the scientists just get on with studying nature 🙂

    I very much doubt anyone can make a claim about what would be the case as you have done, but only what you may expect to be the case.
    We find fossilised creatures of similar sizes in VASTLY different layers, in the same location, and so what we would expect on hydrological sorting is not what we see.

    Let’s just add that the Grand Canyon’s V shape is the same as you find in areas of rapid erosion due to flooding, not the undercut variety we find in areas of slow erosion, this is also a standard claim by flood geologists, be they right or wrong, but you could test that in a controlled environment if you like.
    Actually, the grand canyon has a U shape, rather than a V shape, and a U shape is what we can expect due to gradual erosion. The testing has been done by actual geologists, and flood geology just doesn’t cut it.

    Regarding linguistics – you’ve studied it, and I’m not really in a position to gainsay your claims. What I meant regarding English was that it contains far more corner cases and ambiguity than, say French, German or Japanese, as I understand things.

    The problem is, the trends we have just don’t support a simple to complex hypothesis, and this seems to be a requirement.
    I’m not sure about it being a requirement, and I’m not entirely convinced that you’re correct that languages have gotten simpler (and that there is no reasonable explanation for it).
    I’m also not confident in asserting any real position on this matter, as I simply don’t know enough to say (and don’t know what the general consensus of archeo-linguistics, if such a field exists, is) 🙂
    I guess I’m happy to say I don’t know 🙂

    1. Sorry, looks like I forgot to close a “bold” tag 😦

      Also, I’ve found a few references around the web that hint that languages have not gotten simpler over all, over time. An example given was (again) English which had gotten simpler morphologically, but more complex syntactically.

      Also, if, as creationists assert, language is God given, why would it have started out so complex? Surely the language God gave to Adam would have had to be perfect, and hence as simple as a language could be (unless they claim the Tower of Babel incident caused the initially perfect and pure language God gave us to become a jumble of complicated languages, which have since then been becoming simpler – not sure about that).

    2. How is it that people always managed to miss the long period of calm after the initial “turbulent flood conditions” go and read it, so, no, I didn’t miss under the right condition.

      Creationists distort data, and “scientists” don’t (like somehow you can’t be both, like Sandford and Hartnett, both incredibly well respected scientists)? That’s a rather interesting claim, check Piltdown man, or say, Ernst Haeckel, theses were hoaxes by evolutionary biologists. In fact, in both cases, data wasn’t distorted, it was invented. As for fallacious reasoning, any appeal to similarity of any kind is affirming the consequent, this is fallacious reasoning, and seems to be central to a large amount of evolutionary “evidence.” Talk.origins uses genetic algorithms as analogies for evolution, which is interesting, genetic algorithms have a purpose (they’re required to solve a problem), but the claim is evolution doesn’t, the analogy is thus fallacious. Dawkins (yes, he’s a scientist) uses the WEASLE program, which he has to tell what sentence to form, so who told evolution to make a person? Again, people program these algorithms, and the WEASLE program, so to use them is fallacious reasoning from your scientists.

      I just checked out pictures of the Grand Canyon, and rather unremarkably, the sides run up at an angle from closer to the inside, to further from the inside, that’s V shaped, I really don’t think you need a degree to see that.

      As for geology, everyone has a problem there, it doesn’t perfectly support evolutionary claims (like millions of years with little to no erosion), or creationist claims, but we hear all about the problems with creationist claims and the problems with evolution are confined to journals until a response is found, and even then the public never hears about it. Sure the textbook type you learn at school does, but it also still teaches an older version of Darwinian evolution than is the generally accepted version, in fact creationists have been criticised for arguing against what is taught at school rather than what scientists believe.

      As for not knowing, that’s the problem most of us have with evolutionary claims in general, it’s to big a subject. I doubt that this lack of understanding should mean that we must only accept claims by scientists who support the theory, and not by ones who don’t. It is possible that evolution and the various forms of creation are all wrong, but it would seem that to question evolution makes you a useless scientist immediately, without question. The comments I’ve heard about John Sanford not understanding scientific method or evolution (I mean seriously?) from people who themselves don’t have anything near the scientific knowledge or background he has actually proves this. Dawkins shows a clear bias, which Sanford never showed, he was happy to believe in theistic evolution, for years, as soon as he looked at actual data and questioned evolution, then people had problems with him. Dawkins can make claims like theism must have been caused by some evolutionary mechanism, and no one thinks he’s showing a bias, people don’t say, “why? Maybe someone just made the idea of God up, why should we just assume it was evolution.” When people start making evolution the answer to every question, it actually does start looking like a religion.

      On the issue of Language, I can’t really answer comments about some websites when links aren’t provided. I have provided pretty good evidence that new languages that “evolve” from older ones show a trend toward simplicity. I also explained why I felt English had, in fact, become more simple as time moved on.

  3. How is it that people always managed to miss the long period of calm after the initial “turbulent flood conditions” go and read it, so, no, I didn’t miss under the right condition.
    “long period of calm” meaning how long exactly?
    And is that long enough for the sea floor to have settled, and currents to be gentle, etc, after such a violent act as the worldwide flood depicted in the bible would have to have been?
    Excuse me if I remain skeptical of these sorts of claims 🙂

    Creationists distort data, and “scientists” don’t (like somehow you can’t be both, like Sandford and Hartnett, both incredibly well respected scientists)?
    Some scientists do, but other scientists tend to call them out on it.
    Creationists seem to engage in dishonest behaviour as a matter of course. I’m sure there’s some creationists who approach things more honestly (people like biologist Todd Wood, and geologist Kurt Wise come to mind here, who admit that the empirical evidence supports evolution/an ancient earth, but believe otherwise because the bible to them says differently).

    That’s a rather interesting claim, check Piltdown man, or say, Ernst Haeckel, theses were hoaxes by evolutionary biologists.
    Piltdown man was uncovered by scientists doing science. Ernst Haeckel’s drawings were pretty good for the day, though I believe he glossed over some details. These were discovered by scientists doing science.

    As for fallacious reasoning, any appeal to similarity of any kind is affirming the consequent, this is fallacious reasoning, and seems to be central to a large amount of evolutionary “evidence.”
    As you demonstrated on Chris Hallquists post on Aquinas’ possible creationism, you don’t actually understand the arguments, and you claims that they invariably affirm the consequent can be dismissed.

    Talk.origins uses genetic algorithms as analogies for evolution, which is interesting, genetic algorithms have a purpose (they’re required to solve a problem), but the claim is evolution doesn’t, the analogy is thus fallacious.
    It would only be fallacious if they were claimed to be analogous in all ways. They’re not. What genetic algorithms show is that random change plus a selection process can lead to novel functions. Selective breeding also shows this to be the case.

    so who told evolution to make a person?
    Why do you think that’s a relevant question to ask?

    Again, people program these algorithms, and the WEASLE program, so to use them is fallacious reasoning from your scientists.
    Actually it’s not. It would be fallacious if we were to claim anything more than these algorithms, which use analogous processes to those found in nature, showed anything more than the processes found in nature can generate novel functions. The fallacious reasoning comes in when creationists/ID proponents claim that because the computer algorithms were programmed by people, therefore the processes found in nature must have been “programmed” by a person/people.

    I just checked out pictures of the Grand Canyon, and rather unremarkably, the sides run up at an angle from closer to the inside, to further from the inside, that’s V shaped, I really don’t think you need a degree to see that.
    I may have been hasty in assigning various shapes of channel to various conditions.
    I bit of further research cleared things up a little. This page at Talk.Origins on the Grand Canyon argues that a massive flood causes:
    – a wide, relatively shallow bed, not a deep, sinuous river channel.
    – anastamosing channels (i.e., a braided river system), not a single, well-developed channel.
    – coarse-grained sediments, including boulders and gravel, on the floor of the canyon.
    – streamlined relict islands.

    It references the known remnants of such a flood to support this claim. The Grand Canyon is missing these features.

    As for geology, everyone has a problem there, it doesn’t perfectly support evolutionary claims (like millions of years with little to no erosion)
    Huh?
    For billions of years we don’t need any fancy biology of geology. We just need atomic theory, which boils down to quantum physics. Radioactive isotopes have known decay rates, and such decay rates indicate the earth is very old. Creationist claims that rates were quicker in the past are producing an ad-hoc explanation without any evidential support purely as a means of explaining a single feature, with no independant evidence to support. The quicker decay rate creationists insist upon would also have released the energy as heat so quickly, that the earth’s surface would likely sill be molten, and would be uninhabitable for the complex life we find abounds.

    but it also still teaches an older version of Darwinian evolution than is the generally accepted version
    Textbooks also teach an older version of the theory of gravity than is the generally accepted version (Newtonian Mechanics rather than Einstein’s Relativity).
    Newtonian mechanics is a useful tool to understand gravity, as is the simplified variant of evolution that is presented.
    Perhaps you would like children to learn the current bleeding edge of scientific research?

    in fact creationists have been criticised for arguing against what is taught at school rather than what scientists believe.
    That’s because creationists often both fail to understand what is taught in schools, as well as treating what is taught in schools as if it were current research. Creationists often seem to think there is some kind of conspiracy due to high schools teaching simplified evolutionary theory, when it is the only way to actually introduce the topic in such a setting.

    I doubt that this lack of understanding should mean that we must only accept claims by scientists who support the theory, and not by ones who don’t.
    Perhaps not, but is rational to accept a valid consensus of experts in lieu of any expert knowledge ourselves. If you’re not willing to accept such a consensus (as exists in biology and geology), then it behooves you to learn and actually understand what the consensus agrees about and why, before claiming they’re wrong. Creationists usually skip this step, presenting misunderstandings at basically every step of the way.

    It is possible that evolution and the various forms of creation are all wrong,
    Of course it is possible that evolutionary theory is completely mistaken. But given the large amount of rigorous testing and refinement it has undergone for over a century, this is very unlikely – whatever ended up replacing modern evolutionary theory basically has to resemble it to a very large degree.
    Creationist claims, on the other hand, is usually either unfalsifiable or falsified.

    but it would seem that to question evolution makes you a useless scientist immediately, without question.
    Not at all. Scientists question evolutionary theory all the time. Proponents of neutral drift didn’t accept the almost exclusive role given to natural selection. Lynn Marguilis made claims which seemed to fly in the face of some tenants of evolution.
    Unlike creationists, however, these groups didn’t simply assert that they were right and everyone else was wrong. They did the hard work. They demonstrated their ideas, and now we find neutral drift and horizontal gene transfer being largely accepted due to the evidence.
    Most creationists don’t seem to be willing to do this work, nor to accept any negative results and falsification of their claims (when their claims are formulated so as to be falsifiable and testable).

    Dawkins shows a clear bias, which Sanford never showed, he was happy to believe in theistic evolution, for years,
    Theistic evolution is an obvious bias, since there is no real evidence to support any sort of goals, directness or foresight to the evolutionary processes.
    Scientific evolution is undirected, and so accepting theistic evolution is not accepting evolution.

    as soon as he looked at actual data and questioned evolution, then people had problems with him.
    Perhaps I’m not entirely familiar with Sanford’s “problems” with evolution and an ancient earth and universe, but perhaps it was his arguments rather than simply that he questioned evolutionary theory, which led to these problems?

    Dawkins can make claims like theism must have been caused by some evolutionary mechanism, and no one thinks he’s showing a bias,
    Really?
    Dawkins is routinely accused of being biased. Of being strident and militant. And all because he questions the evidence for and value of religions.

    Maybe someone just made the idea of God up, why should we just assume it was evolution.”
    We shouldn’t just assume it was evolution, but we shouldn’t just assume that people didn’t make Yahweh|Jesus up, especially in light of the overwhelming majority of “made up” gods humans have worshipped. The odds certainly have to be stacked against Christianity in this regard.

    When people start making evolution the answer to every question, it actually does start looking like a religion.
    Evolutionary Theory answers questions about biology. It doesn’t answer every question, and those who try to apply it outside of this field had better do the work to show that the concepts hold.
    As far as the evolutionary basis of religious belief and belief in a god or gods, there is actually a decent amount of research on the matter which shows this is likely to be the case – for instance, humans tend to see agency everywhere, even when there is none. This doesn’t mean that Christianity is false, but it does mean that Christianity (nor any other religion) cannot simply assume it’s own truth – Christians need to show why their particular set of beliefs are not (or could not) be the result of this sort of thing.

    I also explained why I felt English had, in fact, become more simple as time moved on.
    Would you agree that it has become morphologically simpler, while becoming semantically more complex (and, I think, in vocabulary)?
    At the least, would you agree that there are a number of dimensions of language complexity, and that it isn’t quite as simple as saying language X had feature Y in the past, therefore langauge X is simpler now?

    1. I don’t know if it was long enough, and neither do you.

      Haeckel acknowledged his data was fraudulent, once he was caught, and lost his job for his efforts. Piltdown man was discovered by the guy who planted fragments of skulls, so are you saying that this is how science is done? There a lot of scientists out there who would find the statement that Piltdown man was just people doing science somewhat offensive.

      I guess you mean Hallquist’s post on Augustine. Actually, no one there demonstrated why my reasoning was wrong, they just claimed that it was. You on the other hand began your first reply off with an ad hominum argument. Here’s the problem, with a common designer, you’d expect to see similarity, like with lego stuff. With different instances of abiogenesis, you’d expect to see similarity due to common rules of chemistry. This is why affirming the consequent isn’t good evidence, it’s simply assuming that because we see something that we’d expect to be the case it is the case.

      WEASLE algorithms and analogies. The whole point to an analogy is actually to completely mirror what you’re talking about, or it is a faulty analogy. But these analogies face a bigger problem, they’re using purposeful randomness, to argue for purposeless randomness, and purpose is critical to the whole argument, thus it is definitely fallacious reasoning. And the question was facetious, based on the use of a programmed analogy, I was asking about a programmer.

      So the Grand Canyon seems to display more than one shape, so it would need to be examined more closely, which is beyond the scope of this post. The whole point of saying people should look flood geology up, was to give them an insight into what YECs believe. If evolution is as self evident as it’s proponents make out, this should provide no threat.

      You made my point for me, Dawkins is biased, and he’s a respected evolutionary microbiologist. The whole point of me sasking when evolution became the answer to every question was to point out that is what Dawkins was doing by stating that evolution must provide an explanation for theism. As you pointed out, evolution is a biological idea, and doesn’t actually need to answer what is primarily a sociological and psychological issue. For Dawkins though, he wants to be able to claim a win for evolution, where there likely is none. My point stands, as far as evolution goes, impartiality isn’t important.

      Sanford was an atheist before converting so learnt and accepted evolution without the theism. The point of making the statement about theistic evolution was to point out that his rejection of evolution wasn’t a result of his conversion. That said, if algorithms are valid, then theistic evolution makes more sense than undirected evolution.

      “Made up gods” a Christian certainly don’t need to agree here, they could argue that most “gods” where supernatural entities posing as gods, you certainly can’t prove the “made up” bit.

      I’m not really sure what you’re talking about with regard to language here. Newer languages are simpler than their ancestors, that is demonstrable, so the trend does show older being simpler.

      1. I don’t know if it was long enough, and neither do you.
        But we can speculate. Since the lime mud which chalk derives, is a result of the deposition of Coccoliths, and Coccoliths, given their small size and weight, would require quite calm conditions and some time to settle, and require massive numbers of Coccolithophores to create just a small thickness of deposition, I think we would be justified in thinking that the turbulent nature of the flood, which would have stirred up a massive amount of dirt, and would have had currents running strongly under the surface for a long time, even if the surface itself appeared calm, would not have been amenable to the creation of such a massive amount of lime mud.

        Haeckel acknowledged his data was fraudulent, once he was caught, and lost his job for his efforts.
        A brief look at wikipedia doesn’t agree with your assessment:
        “While it has been widely claimed that Haeckel was charged with fraud by five professors and convicted by a university court at Jena, there does not appear to be an independently verifiable source for this claim. Recent analyses have found that some of the criticisms of Haeckel’s embryo drawings were legitimate, but others were unfounded. There were multiple versions of the embryo drawings, and Haeckel rejected the claims of fraud. It was later said that “there is evidence of sleight of hand” on both sides of the feud between Haeckel and Wilhelm His. Robert J. Richards, in a paper published in 2008, defends the case for Haeckel, shedding doubt against the fraud accusations with base on the material used for comparison and what Haeckel could access at the time.”
        I’d want to check the references myself before saying you’re completely mistaken, of course, but from what I do know, the case against Haeckel that creationists present is overblown in it’s criticisms.

        Piltdown man was discovered by the guy who planted fragments of skulls,
        Again, a quick look at wikipedia shows disagreement
        From the outset, some scientists expressed skepticism about the Piltdown find (see above). G.S. Miller, for example, observed in 1915 that “deliberate malice could hardly have been more successful than the hazards of deposition in so breaking the fossils as to give free scope to individual judgment in fitting the parts together.” In the decades prior to its exposure as a forgery in 1953, scientists increasingly regarded Piltdown as an enigmatic aberration inconsistent with the path of hominid evolution as demonstrated by fossils found elsewhere. Skeptical scientists only increased in number as more fossils were found.”
        So there was suspicion from the outset, this suspicion grew over time, and some 40 years after the hoax was planted, scientists (not the person who planted the skull) demonstrated the fraudulent nature of the find.

        so are you saying that this is how science is done? There a lot of scientists out there who would find the statement that Piltdown man was just people doing science somewhat offensive.
        The planting of the hoax is not how science is done, but initial skepticism and the subsequent investionation and demonstration of the forgery certainly are.
        As for Haeckel, we no longer use his illustrations as we have access to better images. Also, it seems that they were for the most part quite reasonable for their time. As the innacuracies (and it you must, fraudulent aspects) were shown as being such, the illustrations have been updated.
        Should science work some other way?

        Here’s the problem, with a common designer, you’d expect to see similarity, like with lego stuff.
        As was pointed out to you on that comment thread, there is no reason for this expectation without assuming some things about the designer. As I pointed out, an unlimited designer, as god is supposed to be, would design for optimality, and so reuse would not be an expectation.
        Your expectation of similarities would be more indicative of a limited designer(s), like ourselves.
        Also, we ought to have independant evidence external to the thing being explained, to support the likely existence and capabilities of the putative designer. To postulate a designer with just the capabilities required to explain some particular feature is ad-hoc. To postulate a designer with capabilities infinitely greater than those required to explain a feature is not just ad-hoc, but to go well beyond what the evidecence to be explained will support.

        This is why affirming the consequent isn’t good evidence, it’s simply assuming that because we see something that we’d expect to be the case it is the case.
        And affirming the consequent is only a problem in a deductive argument. In an abductive argument it’s a valid means of reasoning, and in bayesian terms there is no problem.

        The whole point to an analogy is actually to completely mirror what you’re talking about, or it is a faulty analogy.
        This is not correct. An analogy is used to highlight a particular feature of something by reference to a similar feature in another system. All analogies break down if you follow them too closely, as you’re advocating we do.
        The point about genetic algorithms is that they demonstrate that random changes plus selection/filtering, result in increases of information, novel functionality, etc, all without generating the information/novel functions directly.
        The observation that genetic algorithms tend to have a goal, while evolution is directionless (as far as we’ve been able to ascertain) is not the feature of evolution that is being compared in the analogy.

        So the Grand Canyon seems to display more than one shape, so it would need to be examined more closely, which is beyond the scope of this post.
        It has been, by geologists (many of whom are Christians, btw), and found to be the product of gradual erosion, rather than a catastrophic flood event. As I understand it, geology as a field began to validate the biblical account, invluding the flood. but it moved on when the evidence indicated otherwise.

        Dawkins is biased, and he’s a respected evolutionary microbiologist
        His statements concerning evolutionary theory, at least as far as saying it is directionless, well supported by the evidence, and the like, aren’t due to his bias, however.

        what Dawkins was doing by stating that evolution must provide an explanation for theism.
        I think what Dawkins probably meant was that there needs to be an explanation for belief in the supernatura, gods, god, that fits into the general evolutionary framework for human evolution that we have. This could take a number of forms, and doesn’t need to be based entirely upon evolutionary biology – there doesn’t need to be a gene for theism (building on hyperactive agency detection and similar cognitive faculties, and then explaining how religions progress and spread socially would about do it)

        The point of making the statement about theistic evolution was to point out that his rejection of evolution wasn’t a result of his conversion.
        And what about the numerous people who have moved the other way, going from YEC to OEC, to TE, to accepting the scientific understanding of evolution?
        Or those who honestly admit that evolution is a solidly atested theory (Todd Wood), or that modern geology is solidly attested (Kurt Wise), but they believe otherwise because the bible tells them so?
        It’s the arguments that matter, and though as I said Im not familiar with the specific arguments Sandford makes, I suspect they have serious flaws.

        That said, if algorithms are valid, then theistic evolution makes more sense than undirected evolution.
        This isn’t correct. To make this claim you need to show that evolution is directed – that natural selection has foresight in which mutations to select for and against.

        “Made up gods” a Christian certainly don’t need to agree here, they could argue that most “gods” where supernatural entities posing as gods, you certainly can’t prove the “made up” bit.
        In reference to the stories, we certainly can. religions are generally mutually exclusive with each other. Each one can usually make the same move in order to explain the existence of the others (work of the devil, gods acting against other gods, etc), and so there is no reason to treat Christianity specially in this regard.

      2. Go have a look at talk origins, both even PZ Myers refers to Heackel’s drawings as fraud. Sure, he amended the drawings, after admitting they were inaccurate, in an attempt to defend them he dragged science through the mud, by saying all diagrams are inaccurate. Talk origins also talks about Piltdown Man as a fraud. You point out that there was some initial scepticism, which was never mentioned in museum displays or textbooks, so it’s not a surprise that it took so long to finally be admitted it was a fraud, which is what it was, it was not scientists doing science, many not involved in the fraud supported it because it supported their beliefs. Three of the guys were knighted for their efforts, but hey, the scepticism was there all along, just not in the public arena. So yes, the discovery and acceptance of piltdown man was not how science is done, it was ad hoc.

        Somehow you classify “optimal” as rigid and non-adaptive, but that would only be optimal in an unchanging environment, so actually, co-option, even if I was entirely happy with what evolutionists say about it, would be optimal. Furthermore, the said comments thread tried to make out that an omnipotent designer would not use common building blocks, but gave no real reason. Omnipotence doesn’t mean wasteful, so it’s likely that an omniscientt being would be aware enough of the different possibilities of the building blocks, and despite omnipotence, may choose to work with that, because it works. In fact, such a versatile set of building blocks, speaks to omnipotence.

        We also do have independent evidence, no origin for life is where evidence point, since all life comes from other life. So we need a being that pre-existed the universe to grant life to beings within this universe. 😉

        The problem pointed to here with affirming the consequent is actually a problem for bayesian reasoning, since p[E|H] = p[E|~H], so the evidence isn’t very useful, to alter you prior probability.

        Firstly, disanaology is recognised as a method for debunking analogies, and used by Hume to argue against teleology. This is done by focusing on important differences. Talk.origins, and Dawkins are both arguing that indirected randomness can lead to meaningful well structured things. GAs are not indirected, they are given a purpose. If you were a theistic evolutionist, you’d argue that there is more correlation to theism than atheism and thus it is a better analogy for theistic rather than naturalistic evolution. This is the problem, it actually doesn’t fulfil its requirements for what Dawkins and talk.origins are arguing, and even if it did, it doesn’t answer the criticism, which is that evolution couldn’t work with no goal, and all the algorithms have a goal, so it’s still weak.

        I’m afraid you haven’t given me anything to go on with regard to these claims about geology, so perhaps some references.

        Actually, the “fact” that evolution is directionless is a claim, not an evidential given. This claim is driven by Dawkins’ bias.

        Dawkins may have been getting at that, but then let’s explore him being correct. The earliest writings were by theists, thus we can rule out pre theists by absence of evidence (this pretty much debunks the absence of evidence argument for atheism). If atheists are right, atheism leads to extinction, and it doesn’t lead to literate societies, thus it isn’t an idea worth supporting. I mean it’s all good saying that atheism drives knowledge, when it’s piggy backing off thousands of years of trial and error by theists. In the race to literacy, atheism doesn’t even feature, so it can’t be that much of an advancing quality. 😉

        Again, the point made about Sanford wasn’t to prove, or provide evidence, it was to undercut the possible rebuttal that he came with a bias. Yes, people swing both ways, but take Dawkins who became a biologist after accepting evolutions, and Sanford who is a pioneer in a field that talk.origins claims wouldn’t be where it was without evolution, coming to an educated finding that genetic mutation and natural selection leads to a type of entropy, because beneficial mutations can’t keep up with the rate of natural selection. I’ve simplified drastically, what I would suggest is that you read Sanford’s side of the story before just assuming that his reasoning is flawed, or that there are valid explanations. Btw, talk.origins was suggested to me many times in Hallquist’s comment thread, I’ve been there, long ago, and I found some of the most ridiculous statements, they misrepresent Ark apologetics, which you’d think they wouldn’t need to do; they claim that the success of selective breeding was made possible by understanding evolution (really?! People who believed in sacrificing virgins to the sun were able to successfully produce better crops and cattle), and of course, that a Algorithm with purpose is good evidence that randomness without purpose can accomplish, and I’m afraid that is ridiculous reasoning.

        No, read above, theistic evolution is more analogous to GAs, and I could just say that you need to prove evolution is undirected.

        Your last paragraph is fine, since it proves my point, the idea of made up gods is just a hypothesis that atheists can’t support. Of course you’ll say that you don’t need to, I must provide evidence, in which case ask for evidence for an origin of the concept of deity. So we know absence of evidence is a rubbish argument, that has actually been empirically proved to be rubbish. Consider that from before Hume to Hubble the absence of evidence for an origin of the universe was enough to rule out an origin. Prior to redshift Einstien was willing to say his theory of relativity was wrong just because it provided mathematical evidence for and origin. So really, show me evolution is not directed.

  4. As for fallacious reasoning, any appeal to similarity of any kind is affirming the consequent, this is fallacious reasoning, and seems to be central to a large amount of evolutionary “evidence.”
    I’ve been trying to understand why you’ve been making this charge, and whether it is correct or not, and why I’d not stumbled across these claims before (and, more importantly, why did it seem absurd, but difficult to point directly to the problem).

    It seems you’re right, but it isn’t true of evolutionary claims specifically. It seems it is true of all scientific claims (when put into simple terms).
    Simply put, scientific reasoning seems to follow the following basic logical forms:

    P1) If hypothesis X were true, we would expect to observe empirical evidence Y
    P2) Empirical evidence Y is observed.
    C3) Therefore empirical observation Y is evidence supporting hypothesis X

    P4) If hypothesis X were true, we would not expect to observe empirical evidence Y
    P5) Empirical evidence Y is not observed
    C6) Therefore empirical observation of not-Y is evidence supporting hypothesis X

    Both of these take the consequent as providing affirmation of the antecedant, which as you point out is a (deductive) logical fallacy.
    Both can, however, be recast as valid examples of abductive reasoning, or put in Bayesian terms, and in fact that appears to be what is actually done in science (since scientific explanations are never conclusively proven, and are underdetermined by the evidence).

    1. If chemical processes could lead to live happening once, then you’d expect similar processes to lead to similar life forms. If there was a designer (I’m not arguing omnipotence here) you would expect things to be built from common building blocks, like say DNA. I’ve offered two alternative ideas here, both would lead to the same prediction as evolution, so if evolution is the hypothesis, and similarity the evidence then p[E|H] = p[E|~H]. DNA; microbiology; vestiges; recapitulation, and the fossil record, hinge on similarity, so take it away, and see what you have.

      1. This is actually the problem with intelligent design.
        For the most part, intelligent design accepts everything about biological evolution – common descent, adaptation, speciation. What intelligent design claims above the theory of evolution is that certain things are beyond the scope of natural evolutionary processes.
        Typical examples are the bacterial flagellum, the human blood clotting cascade, and the Cambrian Explosion.

        So, setting aside the fact that the examples fail, we have ID explaining every empirical observation that evolutionary theory does, in the same way (ID simply appeal to evolutionary theory). So we cannot differentiate them empirically, which I think is the points your making – when 2 (or more) hypothesis explain the same empirical observation, then that observation is not evidence supporting any of them over any of the others.

        What we need do is look at the totality of the evidence, not just this single observation. We also have other factors to take into account
        – how parsimonious is the hypothesis with regard to existing solidly attested empirical knowledge
        – how ad-hoc is the hypothesis in question
        – which hypothesis makes the most, and most speculative ancillary assumptions

        So, thus far we are unable to differentiate between standard evolutionary theory and intelligent design, since they expect basically identical empirical observations.
        Well, ID is generally ad-hoc in nature – it postulates a designer to explain a gap in our knowledge. ID also makes a speculative ancillary assumption – that of the existence of the designer.

        So, adding this new information to our reasoning, we will find that standard evolutionary theory is better supported by the totality of empirical observations and philosophical concerns.

        If ID produced independant evidence of the existence of a designer or designers with the capability and desire to actually do what they claim the designer did (meddle with genomes, etc), at the time and place this actions are claimed to have taken place, then the weight of evidence would then swing in favour of ID.

        At present, however, ID proponents seem to avoid postulating any specific desires, capabilities, properties or traits of the putative designer(s). They do this mostly, it seems, to try to give a veneer of scientific respectability to their endeavour, since to most of the ID proponents, the designer is the god of Christianity (it pays to understand the history of the ID movement as having grown out of the creationist movement, after being defeated for trying to introduce religion into school curriculum under the label of science).

        If we were to compare evolutionary theory with young earth creationism’s special creation, evolution would end up looking more favourable, since YEC makes so many other assumptions, tends to require unevidenced “hyper-evolution” post flood, requires denial of other solidly attested empirical observations (cosmology and atomic theory for dating the universe and earth, for example).

        So, since scientific arguments involve affirming the consequent (if viewed deductively) regardless of the argument being made (whether evolution, gravvity, or what have you), and this includes intelligent design and young earth creationist arguments, are you saying we should simply scrap the scientific endevour?

      2. “What we need do is look at the totality of the evidence, not just this single observation. We also have other factors to take into account
        – how parsimonious is the hypothesis with regard to existing solidly attested empirical knowledge
        – how ad-hoc is the hypothesis in question
        – which hypothesis makes the most, and most speculative ancillary assumptions”

        Ok, as far as point 3, the fact that before we can really even ask about design; evolution and so on, we need living stuff. Right, living stuff comes from living stuff, comes from living stuff ad infinitum, obviously I don’t need an infinite loop though, since time began somewhere. Apart from infinite time being logically incompatible with me being her today, time is a product of physical laws that didn’t pre-exist the universe, considering that a singularity is beyond physical laws. So here I have my origin for life, something that can live beyond the physical laws of the universe. This actually makes the least assumptions as far as the origin of life goes, it looks at the evidence and notes that it doesn’t support an origin. So already, before we reach evolution and design, we have a supernatural life giver as the explanation that makes the least unnecessary assumptions. Now atheism is an assumption that is counter to the evidence. This hypothesis is obviously more parsimonious to the evidence than producing amino acids in designed environments as evidence for an undesigned origin for life. If we then use Dawkins reasoning, he has cranes, he doesn’t need a skyhook, I have a skyhook (or hooks) I don’t need his cranes (of course he’s got a crane, which only explains a small portion of what he is required to to get rid of design as an argument). So already I don’t need evolution.

        Then ad hoc: filling gaps with gods (or something else) and propping up theories with hypotheses designed just for the purpose. So, we didn’t know what the thyroid and a bunch of other stuff, call them vestiges, and voila, you’ve turned a gap in your knowledge into evidence. Sure, so we grew up and realised the body isn’t full of things that don’t do stuff. Funny, I still hear vestiges being taught, most commonly the tonsils; appendix and coccyx. We’ll, we know that the tonsils are probably part of the immune system. We can probably say the same about the appendix. The coccyx has muscles attached to it, and these muscles need to be attached to something, and of course the spine has to end somewhere. Evolution’s gaps with regard to vestiges have slowly diminished. In fact, we probably don’t need evolution to explain vestiges at all, take male nipples, men didn’t evolve from women, and it doesn’t seem as though they are evolving that way either. Male nipples can quite easily be explained without appealing to us having evolved away from them.

        The problem is, you would expect vestigial organs if evolution happens, and even evolving new organs. We’re rapidly finding that most vesitigial organs aren’t that, and those that are vestigial organs don’t require, or don’t even call for an evolutionary explanation. So while evolution needs vestiges, vestiges don’t need evolution. There also just aren’t enough to prop the theory up as well as it was when we were calling useful parts of our immune system vestiges because we didn’t know what they did, and need to fill our gap in knowledge with evolution.

        Using your own criteria, evolution seems to fail. It makes unnecessary assumptions, and uses ad hoc reasoning. The data doesn’t always fit. Sure, perhaps I picked on certain things, you could say that there’s so much more, but this is what evolutionists do. I was taught my tonsils; appendix and coccyx are vestigial, I was never taught that this just meant, stuff we don’t know what it does. Here is a problem, is evolution education guilty of a certain level of indoctrination.

      3. “What we need do is look at the totality of the evidence, not just this single observation. We also have other factors to take into account
        – how parsimonious is the hypothesis with regard to existing solidly attested empirical knowledge
        – how ad-hoc is the hypothesis in question
        – which hypothesis makes the most, and most speculative ancillary assumptions”

        Ok, as far as point 3, the fact that before we can really even ask about design; evolution and so on, we need living stuff. Right, living stuff comes from living stuff, comes from living stuff ad infinitum, obviously I don’t need an infinite loop though, since time began somewhere. Apart from infinite time being logically incompatible with me being her today, time is a product of physical laws that didn’t pre-exist the universe, considering that a singularity is beyond physical laws. So here I have my origin for life, something that can live beyond the physical laws of the universe. This actually makes the least assumptions as far as the origin of life goes, it looks at the evidence and notes that it doesn’t support an origin. So already, before we reach evolution and design, we have a supernatural life giver as the explanation that makes the least unnecessary assumptions. Now atheism is an assumption that is counter to the evidence. This hypothesis is obviously more parsimonious to the evidence than producing amino acids in designed environments as evidence for an undesigned origin for life. If we then use Dawkins reasoning, he has cranes, he doesn’t need a skyhook, I have a skyhook (or hooks) I don’t need his cranes (of course he’s got a crane, which only explains a small portion of what he is required to to get rid of design as an argument). So already I don’t need evolution, skyhook present.

        Then ad hoc: filling gaps with gods (or something else) and propping up theories with hypotheses designed just for the purpose. So, we didn’t know what the thyroid and a bunch of other stuff, call them vestiges, and voila, you’ve turned a gap in your knowledge into evidence. Sure, so we grew up and realised the body isn’t full of things that don’t do stuff. Funny, I still hear vestiges being taught, most commonly the tonsils; appendix and coccyx. We’ll, we know that the tonsils are probably part of the immune system. We can probably say the same about the appendix. The coccyx has muscles attached to it, and these muscles need to be attached to something, and of course the spine has to end somewhere. Evolution’s gaps with regard to vestiges have slowly diminished. In fact, we probably don’t need evolution to explain vestiges at all, take male nipples, men didn’t evolve from women, and it doesn’t seem as though they are evolving that way either. Male nipples can quite easily be explained without appealing to us having evolved away from them.

        The problem is, you would expect vestigial organs if evolution happens, and even evolving new organs. We’re rapidly finding that most vesitigial organs aren’t that, and those that are vestigial organs don’t require, or don’t even call for an evolutionary explanation. So while evolution needs vestiges, vestiges don’t need evolution. There also just aren’t enough to prop the theory up as well as it was when we were calling useful parts of our immune system vestiges because we didn’t know what they did, and need to fill our gap in knowledge with evolution.

        Using your own criteria, evolution seems to fail. It makes unnecessary assumptions, and uses ad hoc reasoning. The data doesn’t always fit. Sure, perhaps I picked on certain things, you could say that there’s so much more, but this is what evolutionists do, they focus on the stuff that shows evolution to be obvious, and talk about the problems among themselves, a good example is the huge focus in the seventies, and since that we’re within 2% genetically similar to Chimpanzees. What wasn’t a huge focus was John Cohen’s article in sciencemag that gave the figures and probably in excess of 5, back in 2007 (do you think they’ve changed the textbooks). On an interesting note, I was ad hominumed in the other thread for sucking Cohen’s figures from my bum or something like that, which is largely why I left that discussion, the same bbloke strawmanned my arguments twice, and another guy strawmanned my arguments. The argument quickly left what I asked for, show me this great irrefutable evidence for evolution, to trying to disprove the young earth view, I guess there’s not that much great evidence for evolution if you need to use fallacious reasoning (if the earth is old, it doesn’t provide much in the way of an argument and refuting a young earth does not provide any evidence for evolution. Back to the genetic issue, the guy who strawmanned me gave a link to a 2009 study that pushed the genetic difference to possibly as much as 10 times the original figure, which is like 12%, which isn’t a surprise since the Chimp genome is like 15% larger than ours. The funny thing is, this didn’t get much media coverage, biologists (like professors and master students) in South Africa haven’t even heard about this stuff. You don’t need a conspiracy, just self interest. Still no one can give me the answer to the simplest question, if genetics are a good test, how great would the difference have to be to prove evolution didn’t happen? Really, without an empirically verifiable figure it’s not a test. If we go with the data we have, it still makes a more compelling argument against evolution.

  5. Right, living stuff comes from living stuff, comes from living stuff ad infinitum,
    Living stuff is just complex organic chemistry, so you’re saying complex organic chemistry comes from complex organic chemistry.
    But it could also come from (slightly) simpler organic chemistry, back until you have organic chemistry simple enough that it’s not life.
    Which would be abiogenesis.

    obviously I don’t need an infinite loop though, since time began somewhere.
    That’s far from extablished.

    Apart from infinite time being logically incompatible with me being her today,
    Not at all. The arguments concerning this tend to be a little mathematically confused.

    time is a product of physical laws that didn’t pre-exist the universe, considering that a singularity is beyond physical laws.
    Well, since a singularity only results when use relativity and ignore quantum effects, and quantum effects are going to be important when the visible universe is very small and dense, and relativity and quantum mechanics are incompatible, I think we can say the singularity likely results from a break down of our theories, rather than being a “real” thing.

    So here I have my origin for life, something that can live beyond the physical laws of the universe.
    Well, apart from the problems I’ve pointed out above, you’d need to establish that there is something outside of the universe, rather than simply assuming it.

    This actually makes the least assumptions as far as the origin of life goes,
    This looks to be very mistaken.
    We look around and see the material universe. You think the simpler explanation is to posit an entirely different, unevidenced substance, that operates in unknown/unknowable ways, and you want to claim that this is somehow simpler?
    It’s far simpler to posit a naturalistic monism than the dualism you seem to be claiming here.

    it looks at the evidence and notes that it doesn’t support an origin.
    Except you are mistaken about that, as I noted above.

    So already, before we reach evolution and design, we have a supernatural life giver as the explanation that makes the least unnecessary assumptions.
    As I poitned out, we don’t. We have a massive assertion of dualism, with little to no supporting evidence.

    Now atheism is an assumption that is counter to the evidence.
    given the problems with your evidential claims, this appears to be false.

    This hypothesis is obviously more parsimonious to the evidence than producing amino acids in designed environments as evidence for an undesigned origin for life.
    Since abiogenesis seeks to replicate conditions on the early earth, to see what sorts of interesting reactions can take place, without intervention, this too seems false.
    If the only way to produce amino acids was some highly contrived, artificial environment, then you might have a point, but in reality that is simply not the case.

    I have a skyhook (or hooks) I don’t need his cranes
    You’ve asserted a skyhook, but you haven’t shown that it is real.

    (of course he’s got a crane, which only explains a small portion of what he is required to to get rid of design as an argument).
    Well, since there is currently no evidence which shows natural, unguided evolutionary processes could not have gotten from very simple self replicating (or mutually self replicating) molecules to the diversity of organisms we find today, and that currently there is no alternative hypothesis which has any sort of detail, or involves any empirical predictions (or has made empirical prediction that have been born out under investigation), the crane is all we have to work with at present.
    Perhaps there is a skyhook, but currently there’s no reason to think there is, and no need to invoke one, when the cranes appear to get us all that we need.

    So already I don’t need evolution, skyhook present.
    Dawkins’ crane is an empirical fact, while your skyhook is merely an assertion.
    How would you begin to test your claims?
    How would you know if you were mistaken?

  6. Funny, I still hear vestiges being taught, most commonly the tonsils; appendix and coccyx.
    You don’t seem to understand what is meant by “vestigal”. It doesn’t mean without function, it means that it’s a similar structure but has a modified function.
    Our tail bones no longer support tails, and our appendix no longer helps digest cellulose.

    Evolution’s gaps with regard to vestiges have slowly diminished.
    And none of the knowledge has been shown to actually be a problem for a naturalistic evolutionary theory.

    Male nipples can quite easily be explained without appealing to us having evolved away from them.
    Since males and females in mammals are basically the same, with slight genetic differences (due to sex chromasomes) and different gene regulatory because of that, it isn’t surprising that men have nipples. They’re not vestigal as I understand how the term is used in biology.

    The problem is, you would expect vestigial organs if evolution happens, and even evolving new organs.
    No, you would expect exactly what we see – structures being coopted for new purposes.

  7. It makes unnecessary assumptions, and uses ad hoc reasoning.
    Please point out where this occurs?
    As I pointed out, the design argument is ad-hoc, since it posits something as an explanation, whose only evidence is what it is being used to explain. The design argument makes unnecessary assumptions, since a supernatural designer (or even an advanced alien designer) have lack an independant reason to think they exist.

    What wasn’t a huge focus was John Cohen’s article in sciencemag that gave the figures and probably in excess of 5, back in 2007 (do you think they’ve changed the textbooks).
    Do you understand there are a number of ways of measuring DNA similarity?

    to trying to disprove the young earth view,
    Well, the evidence for evolution is a little more difficult to grasp than the evidence in favour of a young earth, and someone who believes in a young earth, in spite of the evidence, is not going to accept evolution.
    And you did open yourself up when you admitted to a denial of atomic theory and quantum mechanics by stating you are a YEC 🙂

    Still no one can give me the answer to the simplest question, if genetics are a good test, how great would the difference have to be to prove evolution didn’t happen? Really, without an empirically verifiable figure it’s not a test. If we go with the data we have, it still makes a more compelling argument against evolution.
    If DNA analysis didn’t come up with basically the same nested heirarchy as is found by doing other analysis of organisms, then that would be a problem. But the DNA evidence agree’s with the other methods of analysis, and are very strong evidence in favour of common descent (since there is no other detailed hypothesis which has empirical content, which actually stands up to testing).

  8. Seems I missed this comment:

    Somehow you classify “optimal” as rigid and non-adaptive, but that would only be optimal in an unchanging environment, so actually, co-option, even if I was entirely happy with what evolutionists say about it, would be optimal.

    This is only true if the omnipotent omniscient being has no interest or desire to further interfere, which does not seem to be the case with your god.
    Such a being as your god could ensure that a population of organisms were always optimal, regardless of a changing environment.
    What we see is not what would be expected were an omnipotent, omniscient, interventionist deity interested in us.

    Furthermore, the said comments thread tried to make out that an omnipotent designer would not use common building blocks, but gave no real reason.

    There’s no reason given for an omnipotent being to use common building blocks, especially not the sort of “reuse” we see, which results in ALL organisms fitting into a nested hierarchy corresponding to common ancestry.
    Perhaps the omnipotent designer wanted to give that appearance, but that is not something we would expect of the Christian god, and therefore is no comfort to your beliefs (and again, we’d need to have a reason why this putative being desired such an outcome).

    Omnipotence doesn’t mean wasteful,

    No, but it does mean unlimited. What we see around us is certainly wasteful, with 99+% of species going extinct, etc, and so that surely counts as evidence against your position, correct?

    so it’s likely that an omniscientt being would be aware enough of the different possibilities of the building blocks, and despite omnipotence, may choose to work with that, because it works.

    An omnipotent, omniscient being would also have options like Idealism, or creating the “kinds” as actually seperate orders of life, and various other methods.

    In fact, such a versatile set of building blocks, speaks to omnipotence.

    What you’re doing here is showing just how unfalsifiable your position is.
    Versatile common building blocks = evidence of omnipotence to you, but I’m sure, if we found that, for example, there was a biological gap between humans and other animals, you’d also cite that as evidence of omnipotence.

    The fact that your position leads to you having it both ways indicates that your position is useless as an explanation.

    We also do have independent evidence, no origin for life is where evidence point, since all life comes from other life. So we need a being that pre-existed the universe to grant life to beings within this universe.

    All life that we know about relies upon organic chemistry, and so your position entails that we need organic chemistry that pre-existed the universe.
    If not, you’ll need to explain how you can make the massive leap you are from “life we know about requires organic chemistry, and comes from other life which requires organic chemistry” to “the pre-existing life does not rely on organic chemistry”.
    Until you succeed in doing that, your argument for life pre-dating the universe fails miserably.

    Talk.origins, and Dawkins are both arguing that indirected randomness can lead to meaningful well structured things. GAs are not indirected, they are given a purpose.

    You don’t understand GA’s or the analogy with evolutionary theory, and this demonstrates that fact.
    GA’s and evolutionary theory both involve undirected randomness.
    GA’s and evolutionary theory both have non-random selection processes/filters.
    The selection process for a GA is directed towards a goal, while the selection process of evolutionary theory does not appear to be – that is where the analogy breaks down.
    But what the analogy does show is that undirected randomness coupled with a selection process CAN and DOES result in novel functions and solution, increases in “information”, etc.
    Your critique of the analogy fails.

    If you were a theistic evolutionist, you’d argue that there is more correlation to theism than atheism and thus it is a better analogy for theistic rather than naturalistic evolution.

    Yes, I probably would argue that,but I’d be wrong, and for the same reasons you are – there is no evidence that the selection process(es) involved in evolutionary theory have any “foresight”, and they operate purely in the here and now. Regardless of whether a trait would be useful in the future, if it is not useful now, it will tend to be selected against.
    Hence, the claim that evolution is guided is not scientific and is actually disconfirmed by the evidence we have.

    This is the problem, it actually doesn’t fulfil its requirements for what Dawkins and talk.origins are arguing, and even if it
    did, it doesn’t answer the criticism, which is that evolution couldn’t work with no goal, and all the algorithms have a goal, so it’s still weak.

    As I pointed out above, there is no problem with the analogy between GA’s and the theory of evolution. The problem appears to be your understanding of GA’s, evolution,and what the analogy is intended to demonstrate.

    Actually, the “fact” that evolution is directionless is a claim, not an evidential given. This claim is driven by Dawkins’ bias

    This is another false claim.
    That the selection processes of evolution are directionless is indeed supported by the evidence.
    If evolution were directed towards some goal, then the selection process would favour traits which lead towards that goal, rather than simply those traits which were useful to the organism right now. Evolution shows no such planning or foresight, hence the claim that it is directed is unsupported, and the claim that it is undirected is supported.

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