Author Topic: Unscientific Macroevolutionary Conclusions  (Read 1047 times)

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Offline BibleStudent

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Unscientific Macroevolutionary Conclusions
« on: February 28, 2014, 11:05:27 AM »
I am starting this thread in response to an article that was posted in another thread.

Here is the article:

http://www.csicop.org/specialarticles/show/can_science_support_creationism

Here is the thread:

http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,26310.0.html


In particular, I am interested in examining this section of the article:

For macroevolution, Intelligent Design and Evolution are quite different.

Evolution’s Hypothesis – Small, step-wise changes over great periods of time will result in the entirely of biological diversity, including the development of animals versus plants and the different, large grouping within each of these kingdoms. (And this also includes the fungi and other kingdoms of organisms on Earth.)

Prediction – In the fossil record, a continuum of organisms, including forms intermediate between large divisions of organisms may be found.

Intelligent Design’s Hypothesis – The large groups of organisms are differentiated by irreducibly complex structures and are thus completely distinct.

Predictions – No intermediate forms are possible in the fossil record.

To test either of these hypotheses, one need to dig (literally) into the fossil record.

What does the fossil record say? There are abundant transitional forms, including the transitional form between fish and amphibians. But there is yet argument (though not in the paleontological community) about whether these are truly transitional forms.



The author states that:  “to test either of these hypotheses, one need to dig (literally) into the fossil record.”


This got me thinking.........

I agree that digging into the fossil record will offer clues about the past, but where I see a problem is when a scientific claim is made that digging into the fossil record qualifies as factual evidence of evolution. In other words, what experimentation has been done to confirm that the conclusions drawn from examining  the  fossils are the result of evolution?


It is required that....

Once predictions are made, they can be sought by experiments. If the test results contradict the predictions, the hypotheses which entailed them are called into question and become less tenable.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method#Experiments

So, my question is: what experiments have been done to test the hypothesis that the changes in the fossil record are the result of an evolutionary mechanism?




« Last Edit: February 28, 2014, 11:09:18 AM by BibleStudent »

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Unscientific Macroevolutionary Conclusions
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2014, 11:24:22 AM »
Experiments are a subset of tests; indeed, the word experiment is defined as a scientific test.  So the real question is, what kind of testing do scientists do on fossilized remains to check whether they're the results of evolutionary changes.

One test is to determine roughly how old the remains are.  Another is to determine their taxonomy (characteristics shared between organisms).  A third is to test to see how similar their DNA is (and yes, even fossils have DNA; it's apparently possible to recover at least some DNA from fossils that are several million years old).  There are probably others as well, but I'm not as knowledgeable about them.

Here's some sources for evidence relating to common descent:
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/
http://evoled.dbs.umt.edu/lessons/evidence.htm
http://ncse.com/book/export/html/11771

Online median

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Re: Unscientific Macroevolutionary Conclusions
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2014, 11:27:27 AM »
"No intermediate forms are possible in the fossil record." is not a prediction. It is an assertion based on incredulity.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2014, 11:30:19 AM by median »
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan

Offline BibleStudent

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Re: Unscientific Macroevolutionary Conclusions
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2014, 11:59:57 AM »
Experiments are a subset of tests; indeed, the word experiment is defined as a scientific test.  So the real question is, what kind of testing do scientists do on fossilized remains to check whether they're the results of evolutionary changes.

One test is to determine roughly how old the remains are.  Another is to determine their taxonomy (characteristics shared between organisms).  A third is to test to see how similar their DNA is (and yes, even fossils have DNA; it's apparently possible to recover at least some DNA from fossils that are several million years old).  There are probably others as well, but I'm not as knowledgeable about them.

Let me clarify.

In order for a hypothesis to be valid, it must be testable. Experimentation is required to demonstrate that the hypothesized prediction is repeatable and can confirm or falsify the hypothesis. What experimentation has been done to demonstrate that observations made in the fossil record are the result of an evolutionary mechanism?

For example: there is a claim made that scientists know that snakes evolved from lizards. What experimentation can be done to confirm this?

Offline BibleStudent

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Re: Unscientific Macroevolutionary Conclusions
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2014, 12:11:14 PM »
"No intermediate forms are possible in the fossil record." is not a prediction. It is an assertion based on incredulity.

For the purposes of this discussion, I am making no such claim.

Offline screwtape

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Re: Unscientific Macroevolutionary Conclusions
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2014, 12:15:23 PM »
In order for a hypothesis to be valid, it must be testable.

yes.

Experimentation is required

yes, but no.

What experimentation has been done to demonstrate that observations made in the fossil record are the result of an evolutionary mechanism?

That's not how it works.  You have a hypothesis.  It should make predictions.  To test the hypothesis, you write down the predictions before looking at the test.  You have someone else collect the data.  Then you compare.  If the predictions match the data, your hypothesis works. 

With evolution, it makes many, many predictions.  One of them is this: as oganisms evolve, some will die out.  They will be present further down in the geological column, but not further up.  New organisms will not be present further down, but will be further up.  To test that - or to experiment - one looks at what fossils are found where.  Older, extinct species - like dinosaurs - are not present beyond a certain point.  Check. Newer species - like , people or modern rabbits - are not found mixed in with dinosaurs.  check.  Test (experiment) confirmed. 

There are other more extensive tests that can be done with genetics, if you look them up.
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Offline Dante

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Re: Unscientific Macroevolutionary Conclusions
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2014, 12:18:02 PM »
For example: there is a claim made that scientists know that snakes evolved from lizards. What experimentation can be done to confirm this?

DNA testing, for one, to find out how closely related they might be. And/or finding fossils of transitional species, i.e. a snake-like specimen with vestigal appendages, much like our own coccyx.

http://www.amnh.org/exhibitions/past-exhibitions/darwin/evolution-today/how-do-we-know-living-things-are-related/vestigial-organs

edit: added link
« Last Edit: February 28, 2014, 12:23:07 PM by Dante »
Actually it doesn't. One could conceivably be all-powerful but not exceptionally intelligent.

Offline BibleStudent

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Re: Unscientific Macroevolutionary Conclusions
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2014, 12:43:23 PM »
Experimentation is required

yes, but no.

Why "no,"


Quote
That's not how it works.  You have a hypothesis.  It should make predictions.  To test the hypothesis, you write down the predictions before looking at the test.  You have someone else collect the data.  Then you compare.  If the predictions match the data, your hypothesis works. 

With evolution, it makes many, many predictions.  One of them is this: as oganisms evolve, some will die out.  They will be present further down in the geological column, but not further up.  New organisms will not be present further down, but will be further up.  To test that - or to experiment - one looks at what fossils are found where.  Older, extinct species - like dinosaurs - are not present beyond a certain point.  Check. Newer species - like , people or modern rabbits - are not found mixed in with dinosaurs.  check.  Test (experiment) confirmed. 

There are other more extensive tests that can be done with genetics, if you look them up.

Your analogy leads to a mere assumption that microevolution produces macroevolution.

In order to claim that a snake evolved from a lizard based on the observations made in the fossil record, the scientific method requires that you produce experiments to demonstrate that an evolutionary mechanism is capable of doing what is claimed. Otherwise the claim that snakes evolved from lizards is an assumption. You need to be able to show that this transition is possible through experimentation so that it can repeated and either confirmed or falsified.

Offline BibleStudent

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Re: Unscientific Macroevolutionary Conclusions
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2014, 12:46:23 PM »
For example: there is a claim made that scientists know that snakes evolved from lizards. What experimentation can be done to confirm this?

DNA testing, for one, to find out how closely related they might be. And/or finding fossils of transitional species, i.e. a snake-like specimen with vestigal appendages, much like our own coccyx.

http://www.amnh.org/exhibitions/past-exhibitions/darwin/evolution-today/how-do-we-know-living-things-are-related/vestigial-organs

edit: added link

Similarities (including DNA similarities) between fossils can point to the possibility that snakes may have evolved from lizards, but experimentation is required in order to demonstrate that there is an evolutionary mechanism capable of producing  that result.

Offline Brad the Bold

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Re: Unscientific Macroevolutionary Conclusions
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2014, 01:05:41 PM »
So far the trap bait that this thread is trying to lay is that an "experiment" is the only way to test a hypothesis. And the only way to test the theory of evolution is to reproduce it's results in an "experiment".

So for per his example: You can't recreate the evolution of snakes from reptiles in a lab. Therefore the theory of evolution can't be tested. Therefore it is not valid.

This is riddled with logical fallacies. Demanding experimental evidence that completely reproduces millions of years of biology is in essence a Strawman argument. And the point of this argument is to also draw attention away from the inability to make predictions that support ID theory, thus shifting the burden of proof.


Offline Dante

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Re: Unscientific Macroevolutionary Conclusions
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2014, 01:06:54 PM »

Similarities (including DNA similarities) between fossils can point to the possibility extraordinarily high probability that snakes may have evolved from lizards, but experimentation is not required in order to demonstrate that there is an evolutionary mechanism capable of producing that result, because we know genetic mutations can do that.

Fixed it for you.
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Offline BibleStudent

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Re: Unscientific Macroevolutionary Conclusions
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2014, 01:18:54 PM »
So far the trap bait that this thread is trying to lay is that an "experiment" is the only way to test a hypothesis. And the only way to test the theory of evolution is to reproduce it's results in an "experiment".

So for per his example: You can't recreate the evolution of snakes from reptiles in a lab. Therefore the theory of evolution can't be tested. Therefore it is not valid.

This is riddled with logical fallacies. Demanding experimental evidence that completely reproduces millions of years of biology is in essence a Strawman argument. And the point of this argument is to also draw attention away from the inability to make predictions that support ID theory, thus shifting the burden of proof.

I am simply asking, per the scientific method, for someone to demonstrate how perceived similarities can be posited as evolution when there is no way to demonstrate that through experimentation.

Pulling fossils out of the ground and saying “hey, they’re similar, evolution did that” is using the observation as the evidence. You first need to demonstrate that evolutionary mechanisms are capable of producing the snakes-from-lizard transition before you can claim that evolution is responsible. If you are unable to do that, then you are just begging the question.

Quote
This is riddled with logical fallacies.

Name them, please.

Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: Unscientific Macroevolutionary Conclusions
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2014, 01:29:03 PM »
Several things to keep in mind.

First of all, we have enough DNA evidence to show evolution to be true, even if we didn't have a single fossil to look at.

The fossil record supports evolution, in that it is the only explanation that science can find that accounts for the diversity, the differences in fossils from different periods, the ability to predict which types of fossils will be found in what rocks, and too the fossil record is consistent with plate tectonics and the timeline offered by both.

The fossil record is consistent with biological discoveries (DNA, current speciation, evolution of characteristics in various animals), geology (and no, science does not do a circular reasoning thingy where they date the rocks by the fossils and then date the fossils by the rocks, as often claimed by fundamentalists), it is consistent with the many applicable varieties of radiometric dating, and the fossil record is consistent with the finding of chemistry, climatology, geography and oceanography. To name but a few.

We can track the evolution of dinosaurs along side the evolution of plants. Early plant eating dinosaurs could only eat soft plants, because their mouths had not yet evolved to eat harder materials. But that is about all there was. Soft plants. But as some plants evolved wood structures, so too evolved the plant eating dinosaurs, whose mouths became stronger and better able to eat harder plant foods. And the fossil recored has many an example of plants and animals evolving along side each other as they evolved. Of course, that is mostly animals evolving to eat new types of plants, but the evolved together, not out of sync. And all of this has been studied enough that we can say with confidence that newly discovered fossil beds will reveal a similarly consistent history.

Note that there are no big, meat eating dinosaur fossils in rocks from the Cambian period, where there nothing big and meaty to eat had evolved yet. There is a reason for that.

Gigantic new fossil beds were just discovered in Canada. People who doubt this story should run out there, dig up some stuff in the wrong place, and prove the whole theory wrong. Except they won't be able to, because none of the billions of fossils found have been in inexplicable locations. We can predict, based on the geology, exactly what kinds of fossils will be found, how old they are, and we can also say with certainty what sorts of fossils will not be found in those new formations. If we can do that, isn't is possible that maybe we're right about something?

Note that while DNA in fossils is rare, we can sample the DNA from bugs trapped in flowing sap from many millions of years ago, and what we find is consistent with evolution. Note that when we say we have fossils of insects from the Paleozoic Era, we can say with confidence that we will never find a bird in the same rock layers, because birds hadn't evolved yet. if ID'ers could go out and find just one fossilized bird in rocks identified by scientists as being from the Pennsylvanian period, you guys would win. Evolution would be disproved. Because the timeline revealed by the fossil record, DNA histories, geology, etc. would no longer be reliable.

And again these findings are consistent with other discoveries made across scientific disciplines.

In short, if one looks only at the evidence, there is no other conclusion that can be reached. There are of course squabbles about some of the details, but the general concept of evolution is so obvious now that to claim that it couldn't have happened requires a lot of blindness to the facts.

And note that though I just used the phrase "no other conclusion can be reached", science is still exploring, and it is not impossible that they could find something brand new that they didn't know about in science that indeed disproved evolution as we know it. And if they do, they'll mention it. Yes, it would be controversial for awhile, but if true, we'd eventually figure it out and have a new model of reality for you to diss. Unless your god showed up in the process.

And your question about microevolution/macroevolution. That is an invention of ID'ers, and not relevant to science. A whole bunch of little evolutionary changes will eventually add up to big ones. It is basic math. What reason to organisms have to never change? If DNA is what we use to pass traits on generation to generation, and the process is not foolproof, and if we have enough millions of years to play with, why would everything be the same over time scales that large.

And if things change enough, why would they still be able to mate with much different cousins? If some of the changes involved changes in diploid count or reproductive structures, then we have the definition of a new species.

There is plenty online for you to read about the snake/lizard thing. The question that science is trying to answer now is where that change took place, in the water or on land. There are arguments for both. But the questions isn't whether or not it happened. It is only where.

I know the whole thing sounds fantastic. But if that is where all the evidence takes us, then evolution appears to be true. It didn't happen because we could wrap our minds around it. It happened, and it is our job to decide when and how. Or to find another explanation for all the variety that we've found. And believing in a God create a world where, at present, over 99.9% of all the species that ever existed are extinct, would seem a bit futile. Given what would obviously be some sort of incompetence on his part.

If you are going to get all hung up on one thing again, in this case the proof that fossils demonstrate evolution that you are demanding, while you simultaneously assume it to not be true, this thread isn't going to work either. If you can present an alternative as to how there were, when your god made the place, close to 9 trillion species, but now there are less than .1% left, we'll listen. Until then, its looking like they all evolved here.

ID has the hard job here, not us. We've got too much evidence to back up the scientific POV. And none to back up yours. You should stop arguing with us and go find something that counters scientific claims.
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Offline BibleStudent

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Re: Unscientific Macroevolutionary Conclusions
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2014, 01:29:13 PM »

Similarities (including DNA similarities) between fossils can point to the possibility extraordinarily high probability that snakes may have evolved from lizards, but experimentation is not required in order to demonstrate that there is an evolutionary mechanism capable of producing that result, because we know genetic mutations can do that.

Fixed it for you.

Please show me an experiment that demonstrates there is an evolutionary mechanism capable of producing a snakes-from-lizards transition.

There is a difference between high probability and fact and if you are going to claim that the Theory of Evolution is a theory and a fact, then you need to adhere to the scientific method and demonstrate that there exists an evolutionary mechanism capable of producing those results..... and, in order to do that, you must perform experiments that are measurable and  repeatable so that the hypothesis can either be falsified or confirmed.

You cannot simply "assume" that  snakes evolved from lizards based on observations in the fossil record and similarities in DNA. That is not scientific. It must be demonstrated using the scientific method.

Offline Brad the Bold

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Re: Unscientific Macroevolutionary Conclusions
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2014, 01:37:30 PM »


Quote
This is riddled with logical fallacies.

Name them, please.

Read again, I did.

Strawman - misrepresenting the problem to make it easier to argue.

Shifting the Burden of Proof - propping up the strawman "snake evolution can't be repeated in a lab, therefore it is not testable, therefore it is not true" (paraphrased) does nothing to suggest that ID adequately explains the appearance of snakes in the fossil record 112 million years ago. Which is really the argument you need to be making.

So how does ID explain the appearance of snakes in the fossil record 112 million years ago? Or crocodilians 85 million years ago? Or turtles 220 million years ago? Or Reptiles themselves 340 million years ago?

What is the proposed mechanism for ID to cause this to happen? What predictions would you make based on this hypothesis?



Offline screwtape

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Re: Unscientific Macroevolutionary Conclusions
« Reply #15 on: February 28, 2014, 01:39:38 PM »
Why "no,"

I suspect what you mean by "experiment" is not what scientists mean.


Your analogy leads to a mere assumption that microevolution produces macroevolution.

It's not an analogy.  It is exactly how it works.  And it is not an assumption.  It is part of the hypothesis and it is testable, as explained. 

In order to claim that a snake evolved from a lizard...

That was not what the OP was and not what I was responding to.  Let's settle the original questions and claims before moving on, yes?


the scientific method requires ...

As I said, you seem to have something else in mind when you say "experiment".  Also, you seem to jettison prior points that have been addressed.  This makes answering your questions feel like a pointless waste of time and effort. 


Similarities (including DNA similarities) between fossils can point to the possibility that snakes may have evolved from lizards, but experimentation is required in order to demonstrate that there is an evolutionary mechanism capable of producing  that result.

Except that those remnants are predicted by evolutionary theory.  That they are there confirms a test - an experiment, if you rather - that affirms and does not falsify evolution.  This is the kind of transitional form you creationists have such a hard-on over.  Yet when we show them to you, you lose your shit and come up with 101 excuses as to why it doesn't count or counts against us.

You seem to save up all your skepticism for evolution.  How's about instead you spread a little onto the ridiculous claims of women being turned into salt, talking snakes and mules, and city walls being knocked down by some Bronze Age doofus tooting a horn?  How about you turn your skepticism toward that shit for a change?

As for your reply to Brad, if you don't up your game, I'm going to lock this thread.

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Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: Unscientific Macroevolutionary Conclusions
« Reply #16 on: February 28, 2014, 01:45:16 PM »

Similarities (including DNA similarities) between fossils can point to the possibility extraordinarily high probability that snakes may have evolved from lizards, but experimentation is not required in order to demonstrate that there is an evolutionary mechanism capable of producing that result, because we know genetic mutations can do that.

Fixed it for you.

Please show me an experiment that demonstrates there is an evolutionary mechanism capable of producing a snakes-from-lizards transition.

There is a difference between high probability and fact and if you are going to claim that the Theory of Evolution is a theory and a fact, then you need to adhere to the scientific method and demonstrate that there exists an evolutionary mechanism capable of producing those results..... and, in order to do that, you must perform experiments that are measurable and  repeatable so that the hypothesis can either be falsified or confirmed.

You cannot simply "assume" that  snakes evolved from lizards based on observations in the fossil record and similarities in DNA. That is not scientific. It must be demonstrated using the scientific method.

You are asking the wrong question. You seem to be insisting that we should be able to toss a couple of things in a test tube and show our results. Not all science is like that. We have no ability to compress time and create results that took millions of years in two weeks.

I started a thread yesterday in the Science section that talked about research into evolution using bacteria. Over 59,000 generations some of the bacteria evolved the ability to live off of another food source, one that the original bacteria could not eat. That took over 20 years. And no changes were encountered for the first 20,000 generations. But the change did take place. And while they have not yet confirmed that the new bacteria is a new species, common sense tells us that if bacteria 1 can only eat food A, and bacteria 2 and eat both food foods A and B, and then we run short on food A, that bacteria 2 will be more likely to survive eating plentiful supplies of food B, and more changes will happen in the next 59,000 iterations of that bacteria, and eventually bacteria's 1 and 2 will be too different to mate. And clearly be two species.

Snakes have had 59,000 generations too. In fact, since the earliest lizards, they have had over 32 billion generations to evolve without legs. Why would every species stay the same over 320 million years if every single one had DNA that could be altered every single generation?

Personally, I'd be more surprised if they didn't change. But like you, my opinion is irrelevant. But it appears they they have indeed changed over time.
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Offline Dante

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Re: Unscientific Macroevolutionary Conclusions
« Reply #17 on: February 28, 2014, 01:46:53 PM »

Similarities (including DNA similarities) between fossils can point to the possibility extraordinarily high probability that snakes may have evolved from lizards, but experimentation is not required in order to demonstrate that there is an evolutionary mechanism capable of producing that result, because we know genetic mutations can do that.

Fixed it for you.

Please show me an experiment that demonstrates there is an evolutionary mechanism capable of producing a snakes-from-lizards transition.

There is a difference between high probability and fact and if you are going to claim that the Theory of Evolution is a theory and a fact, then you need to adhere to the scientific method and demonstrate that there exists an evolutionary mechanism capable of producing those results..... and, in order to do that, you must perform experiments that are measurable and  repeatable so that the hypothesis can either be falsified or confirmed.

You cannot simply "assume" that  snakes evolved from lizards based on observations in the fossil record and similarities in DNA. That is not scientific. It must be demonstrated using the scientific method.

Look man, if you wish to remain incredulous and oblivious, that's your prerogative. I don't really care. But, you are so wrong about so many things here, including how science works, I don't think it a fruitful use of my time and energy to explain something so obvious and proven to one that will not accept it because it goes against his preconceived misconceptions about how the world works. Others have already tried, and obviously failed, to enlighten you from your burden of ignorance.

Enjoy your nescience.
Actually it doesn't. One could conceivably be all-powerful but not exceptionally intelligent.

Offline BibleStudent

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Re: Unscientific Macroevolutionary Conclusions
« Reply #18 on: February 28, 2014, 01:47:43 PM »
First of all, we have enough DNA evidence to show evolution to be true, even if we didn't have a single fossil to look at.

You can deduce that if you’d like but in order for it to be scientific, it needs to be demonstrated using the scientific method otherwise you are just making assumptions.


Quote
In short, if one looks only at the evidence, there is no other conclusion that can be reached. There are of course squabbles about some of the details, but the general concept of evolution is so obvious now that to claim that it couldn't have happened requires a lot of blindness to the facts.


Assumptions do not equal science. Unless you can support your conclusions with science, you are claiming that something is science when it is not. Where are the experiments to demonstrate that snakes CAN evolve from lizards?


Quote
And your question about microevolution/macroevolution. That is an invention of ID'ers, and not relevant to science.


The author of the article I referenced in the OP makes a distinction between macroevolution and microevolution in order to frame her analogy.


Quote
There is plenty online for you to read about the snake/lizard thing. The question that science is trying to answer now is where that change took place, in the water or on land. There are arguments for both. But the questions isn't whether or not it happened. It is only where.


Actually, it is more of a question of “how”, not where….and until there is scientific evidence to support an evolutionary mechanism capable of produce this transition, you are simply assuming that it happened.


While I appreciate you taking the time to spell out your thoughts on the OP, a wall of words is not making your argument very scientific.

Offline BibleStudent

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Re: Unscientific Macroevolutionary Conclusions
« Reply #19 on: February 28, 2014, 02:00:17 PM »
Read again, I did.

Strawman - misrepresenting the problem to make it easier to argue.


Simply claiming a strawman by asserting misrepresentation is no evidence of a strawman.. What is the misrepresentation?


Quote
Shifting the Burden of Proof - propping up the strawman "snake evolution can't be repeated in a lab, therefore it is not testable, therefore it is not true" (paraphrased) does nothing to suggest that ID adequately explains the appearance of snakes in the fossil record 112 million years ago. Which is really the argument you need to be making.

So how does ID explain the appearance of snakes in the fossil record 112 million years ago? Or crocodilians 85 million years ago? Or turtles 220 million years ago? Or Reptiles themselves 340 million years ago?

What is the proposed mechanism for ID to cause this to happen? What predictions would you make based on this hypothesis?


Your assessment of my argument is incorrect. I have not stated in this thread that snake evolution is not true. I have said that snake evolution is an assumption and unscientific because it cannot be confirmed or falsified using the scientific method.

This is NOT an argument for or against Intelligent Design and I have said nothing to suggest that it is…so, please don’t poison the well.

Offline BibleStudent

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Re: Unscientific Macroevolutionary Conclusions
« Reply #20 on: February 28, 2014, 02:06:33 PM »
You are asking the wrong question. You seem to be insisting that we should be able to toss a couple of things in a test tube and show our results.

No. I am simply asking that the evidence be based on the scientific evidence. Where is the scientific evidence (based on observable, repeatable, and falsifiable experiments) to demonstrate that an evolutionary mechanism can produce a snakes-from-lizards transition.

Quote
Not all science is like that. We have no ability to compress time and create results that took millions of years in two weeks.

Then, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but there is nothing empirical about your claim that snakes evolved from lizards. You are simply assuming that whatever similarities exist were caused by evolution but you cannot demonstrate that. That makes the claim unscientific.



Offline BibleStudent

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Re: Unscientific Macroevolutionary Conclusions
« Reply #21 on: February 28, 2014, 02:08:14 PM »
Look man, if you wish to remain incredulous and oblivious, that's your prerogative. I don't really care. But, you are so wrong about so many things here, including how science works, I don't think it a fruitful use of my time and energy to explain something so obvious and proven to one that will not accept it because it goes against his preconceived misconceptions about how the world works. Others have already tried, and obviously failed, to enlighten you from your burden of ignorance.

Enjoy your nescience.

I will take that as an admission that you are unable to demonstrate a snakes-from-lizards transition and that it is, therefore, unscientific to claim that it occurred.

Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: Unscientific Macroevolutionary Conclusions
« Reply #22 on: February 28, 2014, 02:13:43 PM »
This whole conversation would be a lot of easier if you would just admit, up front, that you don't want an answer.

We can manually manipulate genes and bring about changes in offspring using drysophila or other little critters.

Every single instance of reproduction has genetic variation. It is impossible for the DNA of the parents to be transmitted whole and completely intact to the offspring. DNA is not that accurate, And some of those changes will result in big enough changes in the child to give it a new advantage. Not always after after one change, but perhaps after several generations and several more positive changes.

But most changes will be detrimental. And oft times, the offspring won't even survive. However, those changes that make for a better critter, if passed on and further adjusted, will eventually create a new species.

I know you don't like it. I know you want proof that meets your desperate standards. I know you won't look in the right places. But at least I haven't stood around and just stared at the train wreck that is your thought process.



Not everyone is entitled to their own opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline BibleStudent

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Re: Unscientific Macroevolutionary Conclusions
« Reply #23 on: February 28, 2014, 02:18:53 PM »
This whole conversation would be a lot of easier if you would just admit, up front, that you don't want an answer.

We can manually manipulate genes and bring about changes in offspring using drysophila or other little critters.

Every single instance of reproduction has genetic variation. It is impossible for the DNA of the parents to be transmitted whole and completely intact to the offspring. DNA is not that accurate, And some of those changes will result in big enough changes in the child to give it a new advantage. Not always after after one change, but perhaps after several generations and several more positive changes.

But most changes will be detrimental. And oft times, the offspring won't even survive. However, those changes that make for a better critter, if passed on and further adjusted, will eventually create a new species.

I know you don't like it. I know you want proof that meets your desperate standards. I know you won't look in the right places. But at least I haven't stood around and just stared at the train wreck that is your thought process.

It really is not a matter of whether I like it or not. This is a very specific point about whether similarities in the fossil record can be scientifically shown to have resulted from a biological evolutionary pathway. Because, if it can’t, then you are merely making an assumption that evolution is responsible. You are, in effect, using  the observation as your evidence and that is not science.

Offline Ataraxia

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Re: Unscientific Macroevolutionary Conclusions
« Reply #24 on: February 28, 2014, 02:24:31 PM »
Macroevolution is an observable fact. Speciation happens:

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-speciation.html
"God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh." - Voltaire

Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: Unscientific Macroevolutionary Conclusions
« Reply #25 on: February 28, 2014, 02:33:32 PM »
This whole conversation would be a lot of easier if you would just admit, up front, that you don't want an answer.

We can manually manipulate genes and bring about changes in offspring using drysophila or other little critters.

Every single instance of reproduction has genetic variation. It is impossible for the DNA of the parents to be transmitted whole and completely intact to the offspring. DNA is not that accurate, And some of those changes will result in big enough changes in the child to give it a new advantage. Not always after after one change, but perhaps after several generations and several more positive changes.

But most changes will be detrimental. And oft times, the offspring won't even survive. However, those changes that make for a better critter, if passed on and further adjusted, will eventually create a new species.

I know you don't like it. I know you want proof that meets your desperate standards. I know you won't look in the right places. But at least I haven't stood around and just stared at the train wreck that is your thought process.

It really is not a matter of whether I like it or not. This is a very specific point about whether similarities in the fossil record can be scientifically shown to have resulted from a biological evolutionary pathway. Because, if it can’t, then you are merely making an assumption that evolution is responsible. You are, in effect, using  the observation as your evidence and that is not science.

No, observation is science. When combined with other data.

It is possible for DNA to change across generations. It is possible for physical changes to occur because of said change. It is possible for some of those changes to be advantageous. (Most of them are not, but the law of averages applies. Sometimes they will be.) We can observe DNA directly. We can see the differences between generations. We can tell what those differences do. We can find the mechanism for natural change in DNA, and we note that it at times causes changes in offspring.

All we have to go on is billions of pieces of evidence, all of which is consistent with the above.

But that's not enough for you. And if it is not, we can't help you. Your voluntary stay in the dark ages will just have to continue. We tried.

Because it is very much a matter of whether or not you like it. And you don't. And that is about all it takes for you to negate it. That plus haughty questions for which no answer will ever be good enough.

Which is a great combination. That you apparently evolved to value. At least appreciate that part.
Not everyone is entitled to their own opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline BibleStudent

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Re: Unscientific Macroevolutionary Conclusions
« Reply #26 on: February 28, 2014, 02:35:12 PM »
Macroevolution is an observable fact. Speciation happens:

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-speciation.html

- NOT ONE of the examples demonstrates the origin of large-scale biological change.
 
- The vast majority of the examples do NOT even show the production of new species, where 
  a "species" is defined according to the standard definition of a "reproductively isolated
  population." Only one single example shows the production of a new species of plants via
  hybridization and polyploidy, but this example does not entail significant biological change.
 
- Only one of the examples purports to document the production of a reproductively isolated
  population of animals--however this example is overturned by a later study not mentioned
  in the FAQ.

- Thus, not a single bona fide example of speciation in animals--e.g. the establishment of a
   completely reproductively isolated population--is given in the FAQ.
http://www.discovery.org/f/8411

Offline Brad the Bold

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Re: Unscientific Macroevolutionary Conclusions
« Reply #27 on: February 28, 2014, 02:37:37 PM »
Read again, I did.

Strawman - misrepresenting the problem to make it easier to argue.


Simply claiming a strawman by asserting misrepresentation is no evidence of a strawman.. What is the misrepresentation?



You are insisting that the only way to "test" the theory of evolution is to recreate it in lab experiment. That is a strawman.

Shifting the Burden of Proof - propping up the strawman "snake evolution can't be repeated in a lab, therefore it is not testable, therefore it is not true" (paraphrased) does nothing to suggest that ID adequately explains the appearance of snakes in the fossil record 112 million years ago. Which is really the argument you need to be making.

So how does ID explain the appearance of snakes in the fossil record 112 million years ago? Or crocodilians 85 million years ago? Or turtles 220 million years ago? Or Reptiles themselves 340 million years ago?

What is the proposed mechanism for ID to cause this to happen? What predictions would you make based on this hypothesis?


Your assessment of my argument is incorrect. I have not stated in this thread that snake evolution is not true. I have said that snake evolution is an assumption and unscientific because it cannot be confirmed or falsified using the scientific method.

This is NOT an argument for or against Intelligent Design and I have said nothing to suggest that it is…so, please don’t poison the well.

Snake evolution could most certainly can be falsified. Modern snake fossils in the Devonian would falsify our hypothesis that snakes evolved from reptilian ancestors. Minimal DNA similarities between snakes and other modern reptiles (supposed descendants from a common ancestor) would falsify it.

Science is not rendered "unscientific" by your biased reductive application of it's methods.

Snakes have evolved. For a billions of years there were no snakes on Earth. Then a 110 or so million years ago there were a few snakes. Then 60 million years ago there were lots of snakes of many different kinds. Now there are snakes on every continent except Antarctica, and the are not the same as the snakes 60, or 110 million years ago.

That's evolution.

So how did it happen? Snakes have DNA that can be changed. Modern snake DNA is very similar among other snakes, it is less similar to modern lizards and even less similar to modern turtles and crocdilians. It is even less similar to modern mammals.

DNA differences makes a species distinct.
DNA can change with each generation.
Species have changed over time.
DNA changes over time is a falsifiable hypothesis to explain the mechanism of species change over time. (Evolution of species)

Offline BibleStudent

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Re: Unscientific Macroevolutionary Conclusions
« Reply #28 on: February 28, 2014, 02:43:40 PM »
No, observation is science. When combined with other data.

It is possible for DNA to change across generations. It is possible for physical changes to occur because of said change. It is possible for some of those changes to be advantageous. (Most of them are not, but the law of averages applies. Sometimes they will be.) We can observe DNA directly. We can see the differences between generations. We can tell what those differences do. We can find the mechanism for natural change in DNA, and we note that it at times causes changes in offspring.

All we have to go on is billions of pieces of evidence, all of which is consistent with the above.

But that's not enough for you. And if it is not, we can't help you. Your voluntary stay in the dark ages will just have to continue. We tried.

Because it is very much a matter of whether or not you like it. And you don't. And that is about all it takes for you to negate it. That plus haughty questions for which no answer will ever be good enough.

Which is a great combination. That you apparently evolved to value. At least appreciate that part.

Yes, observation is science but observation alone is not science.

I appreciate that you have considered all of the fossil and DNA evidence that purports to make a valid claim for the Theory of Evolution being both a fact and a theory….but, again, and I cannot stress this enough….if your conclusion is not based on conclusions via the scientific method, the even as outrageous as it may seem to you, your conclusions are an assumption. You simply cannot demonstrate scientifically that what you believe to be true is, in reality, true. That’s the point. You have formed a conclusion but it is not a scientific one.