I don't know if BibleStudent has quit the topic or not. On the chance that he hasn't, I will continue replying to his posts as I have time.
Also, macroevolution is NOT scientific simply because it is the best explanation we have for the diversity of life. Frankly, if that is what you believe then, with all due respect, I think that perhaps YOU have a distorted view of science. Macroevolution would be scientific if the scientific method could confirm the hypothesis that a biological process of some sort is capable of producing fingers, toes, brains, feathers, hair, blood, etc.….not because it offers what YOU feel to be the best explanation.
Look, do you even know how to tell if something is scientific or not? It truly seems to me that you've set the bar for whether something is scientific or not so high that even real, legitimate sciences couldn't meet it. And that doesn't accomplish anything, especially not when you make claims that people just 'feel' that it's scientific.
I'm going to take the criteria for "is it scientific" and apply them to macro-evolution, to demonstrate that it is.
1. Is it testable? Yes. It would take a long time in order to properly test it in a lab, but it is certainly testable. Not to mention that people have come up with various models of macro-evolution and tested them.
2. Does the basic theory change in response to evidence? Yes. This has happened numerous times since Darwin; a good example of this is the concept of punctuated equilibrium.
3. Does it avoid peer review/outside confirmation? No. Papers studying macro-evolution undergo the same peer review process as every other science.
4. Does it only look for evidence which confirms it? No. This is evidenced by the times that macro-evolution has changed in response to finding such evidence. For example, at one point scientists thought that evolution could only happen at a very slow rate, but that was ultimately discarded after punctuated equilibrium was shown to be valid.
5. Do claimants insist that it must be true because it has not been proven wrong? Generally, no. While I don't doubt that some people do in fact insist this, the people who actually study it know better. That does not mean they think it is going to be proven wrong, but it is unreasonable to assume that it will never be.
6. Does it defy what other established sciences have told us about the world? No. In fact, macro-evolution is supported by discoveries made in various other sciences.
7. Do claimants attempt to persuade using anecdotes? No. Such anecdotes would not be believable in any case, due to the time scales involved. Such changes are measured in generations, after all.
8. Do claimants use confusing/inappropriate scientific-sounding jargon to persuade? No. The 'jargon' involved is quite comprehensible to someone with a reasonable amount of science education.
9. Does it have limits? Yes. Macro-evolution has acknowledged limits; as the saying goes, it can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. The mouse, having undergone a million years of evolution, is still genetically linked to other rodents, and it will not start to resemble a reptile or a plant.
10. Is counter-evidence rejected because it is not holistic? No. The traditional definition of holistic (treating the whole person) doesn't really apply, of course, but it can be generalized to refer to situations like this.http://woofighters.org/2010/06/warning-signs-that-something-is-not-scientifi/
It is worth noting that both creationism and intelligent design fail most of these criteria, not to mention the criticism by their advocates against evolutionary theory, or portions thereof. For example, BibleStudent's repeated insistence on a complete and fully-detailed process to demonstrate macro-evolution is almost exactly what #10 is warning against.
This is VERY simple. As I mentioned just a moment ago, there is a hole in the theory. You can either fill it with science or you can continue to pour speculation down the sides of the hole. I realize that perhaps you feel there is more to it than that but there really isn’t. The process, if it exists (or existed) is/was a very intricate, complex process and, as of now, there is no evidence for it. You can’t just dig up a couple of fossils and go “hey, those like a lot alike but they’re not alike but they had to be so there is really no reason to dispute that macroevolution occurred.”
I posted a good example using the Hawaiian honeycreeper family of bird species to demonstrate that it isn't just digging up a couple of fossils and concluding that because of physical similarities, they must have evolved from each other (indeed, despite the physical similarities between the various honeycreeper species, scientists did not simply assume that they were related). Therefore, I must insist that you stop making this claim that macro-evolution is based on speculation and wishful thinking about fossils, as whether you intend it to be or not, it is a strawman and has been shown to be one.
If I said "hey, a friend of mine just experienced a miracle. He was just given a clean bill of health two months after he was diagnosed with a lethal form of cancer and told he would only live another 3-6 months," you would ask that I provide evidence that a miracle occurred. If I replied that the evidence lies in the fact that medical science cannot explain how this occurred and that the person and his family had prayed daily for a healing, would you accept that as evidence? Of course not. You would want evidence that miracles are possible and you would want to know "how" a miracle occurred, not just why I *think* it occurred.
Have you been reading Lukvance's posts? I'm not disputing what you say here - in fact, I've argued against his definition of miracles using very similar language as you give here.
You say that evolution occurred because the fossil evidence supports the theory but you have not told me "how" it occurred. Therefore, indicating that it did when you cannot describe "how" is begging the question because you cannot provide the scientific evidence that the "how" is even possible.
It isn't just because of fossil evidence, though. Evidence of common descentWiki
has been shown through many fields other than paleontology; comparative physiology and biochemistry, comparative anatomy, geographical distribution, observed natural selection, speciation, artificial selection, and even computer/mathematical iteration have all demonstrated that common descent is a reality, and common descent pretty much means macro-evolution when you're talking about the timescales involved. With all due respect, I do not understand how you can keep insisting that people 'believe' in macro-evolution because someone dug up a couple of fossils and saw similarities between them, and dreamed up macro-evolution as an explanation. I especially do not understand how you can think that something as unscientific as that could have persisted as science for well over a century.