Author Topic: Evolution: Predictive Power and Plausibility Are Not Enough!  (Read 468 times)

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Offline median

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The argument goes like this: "Nonsense theories" can have predictive power (like predicting that maggots will form from rotting meat or that the sun will rise in the morning and fall at night, showing the sun revolves around the earth). Therefore, in like manner evolution is just circumstantial and not science because it does not actually show a cause of how life evolved. Evolution only shows the outcomes (fossils, DNA, etc) but not the actual causes. Therefore, it can't be science.

So too, it is argued (by creationists) that the inference to greater probability/plausibility is not enough because one must have experience with outcomes (more experience means more statistical data). But we have not experienced "macro" evolution. Therefore, it's not science. It is argued, therefore, that is evolution is "just assumed". 


Your responses please...

« Last Edit: May 02, 2014, 03:12:29 PM by median »
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Offline Hatter23

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Re: Evolution: Predictive Power and Plausibility Are Not Enough!
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2014, 03:21:53 PM »
The argument goes like this: "Nonsense theories" can have predictive power (like predicting that maggots will form from rotting meat or that the sun will rise in the morning and fall at night, showing the sun revolves around the earth). Therefore, in like manner evolution is just circumstantial and not science because it does not actually show a cause of how life evolved. Evolution only shows the outcomes (fossils, DNA, etc) but not the actual causes. Therefore, it can't be science.

So too, it is argued (by creationists) that the inference to greater probability/plausibility is not enough because one must have experience with outcomes (more experience means more statistical data). But we have not experienced "macro" evolution. Therefore, it's not science. It is argued, therefore, that is evolution is "just assumed". 


Your responses please...

It is a hidden argument from ignorance, not to mention a strawman. Science is about theories that you accept until you find a better model. Evolution not only fits the bill, every bit of evidence from other disciplines matches up with it. Cartography is a science as well, and a map of the world from 1690, even though inaccurate, was the product of a scientific process of an attempt to be more accurate than previous iterations.
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Evolution: Predictive Power and Plausibility Are Not Enough!
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2014, 06:18:50 PM »
As skeptic demonstrated in his own thread, it's not about an honest effort to figure things out; it's about assuming that we can't figure things out and thus God is the explanation.  To the person who is insistent that there can be no answer but God to things we don't understand, the mindset of scientists is a major threat, because once we come up with a rational explanation for something, it weakens God; God can no longer be used as an explanation for it.  Therefore, their only recourse is to try to deny that the rational explanation is valid, so we see these fallacious arguments about evolution and whatnot which either try to either disallow it or make it into faith so they can go on believing that their God is the real explanation.

The fact remains that even with its flaws, evolution is still a far better explanation than "God did it", because "God did it" doesn't tell us a thing.  Even if evolution ended up being completely wrong, we would still have benefited from investigating it.  That's what skeptic and all those other creationists generally don't understand.

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Re: Evolution: Predictive Power and Plausibility Are Not Enough!
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2014, 07:10:56 PM »
I suspect that in a hundred years, they will be laughing at how simplistic our version of evolution was. We think everything is simple genetics, with inherited traits occasionally being modified by mutations that work. We don't put much emphasis on things like horizontal gene transfer, i.e., between species, nor do we give  other life forces much credit for the process.

In a hundred years, they'll know how the "Chameleon Vine", recently discovered in Chile, manages to change its own leaves when it grows on different species of trees. It changes its foliage to more or less match the leaves of the host tree so that it is less obvious. Genes alone can't explain it adequately. Nor can claiming that god did it explain why the guy would give a sh*t about just one plant.

Oh, here's a link. Very cool.
http://news.sciencemag.org/biology/2014/04/scienceshot-chameleon-vine-discovered-chile

We have much to learn, and the theists have much to ignore. In a hundred years, there will still be people claiming that the planet is only 6-10,000 years old and that all that science stuff is just a frickin' conspiracy, as always. Why? Because ignorance is also inherited. Sometimes via genes, always via religion.

Those believers, such as catholics, who are willing to meld reality into their beliefs enough that they don't have to deny things like evolution have one set of problems. Those that insist, despite all the evidence (that they claim doesn't exist so vehemently that we're not even allowed to present it), are, appropriately, doomed to die out because they can't adapt to their environment (the real one).
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Offline median

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Re: Evolution: Predictive Power and Plausibility Are Not Enough!
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2014, 01:52:48 AM »
The argument goes like this: "Nonsense theories" can have predictive power (like predicting that maggots will form from rotting meat or that the sun will rise in the morning and fall at night, showing the sun revolves around the earth). Therefore, in like manner evolution is just circumstantial and not science because it does not actually show a cause of how life evolved. Evolution only shows the outcomes (fossils, DNA, etc) but not the actual causes. Therefore, it can't be science.

So too, it is argued (by creationists) that the inference to greater probability/plausibility is not enough because one must have experience with outcomes (more experience means more statistical data). But we have not experienced "macro" evolution. Therefore, it's not science. It is argued, therefore, that is evolution is "just assumed". 


Your responses please...


Thanks you guys for your responses thus far. I'm going to pull a funny now and respond to my own OP of ridiculousness (i.e. - these bad arguments that creationists use to justify the continuation of inferring magic in place of ignorance).

1. It makes no difference that nonsense theories can have predictive power. Why? Because science is not hinged solely and completely upon the ability to make predictions and be correct once in a while. What is really demonstrated here is one of the most typical superstitionist tactics - to oversimplify a given issue in order to tear down a straw-man while feeling justified. Well, homie don't play dat. Science encompasses the proper use of logic and evidence, rational and critical thinking, testing, prediction, falsifiability, independent verifiability, inferences to the best possible explanation, adherence to weeding out confirmation bias whenever possible, and eliminating attempted explanations which make unnecessary assumptions (such as the above creationist examples show). It isn't just about making predictions. But of course, creationists don't like this response because what is means for them is that science is hard, and they don't like hard. They like easy pre-packaged nonsense from dusty old books written by dusty old chauvinist men.

2. It is simply false to say that we don't have experience with macroevolution. We do. It's just that creationists refuse to accept what macro-evolution IS and instead want to build it into an ape-man (like a strawman) and then crucify the ape-man. I shall herein call this the "ape-man fallacy". Speciation has in fact been observed and speciation IS macroevolution. Therefore, the claim is 100% refuted by the evidence. Now, an inference to the greater probably is completely fine in science (and particularly in evolutionary biology) since such explanations have been extremely powerful in other fields of empirical investigation and we have multiple lines of converging data which tell us (in a most fascinating, interesting, and beautiful way) that common ancestry is a fact - in as much as nearly any scientific theory can be known to be factual.

3. Christians and other superstitionists have built up a wall of insurmountable proportion (with a massive mote around it) which they will not allow to be scaled - except the wall has a secret door around the back where their particular version of theology is allowed in (along with all other scientific information), but none else. This wall keeps out any scientific data which conflicts which their secret superstitious assumptions which they allowed in prior to building the wall. So when you present them with facts about classification, speciation, genetic drift, divergence, convergence, chromosome duplication, or the record of historic fossils they will immediately pull up the draw bridge and claim (in hypocrisy) that "If you didn't see it. It didn't happen!"

The double standard of religious thinking continues...
« Last Edit: May 03, 2014, 01:56:59 AM by median »
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Online kcrady

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Re: Evolution: Predictive Power and Plausibility Are Not Enough!
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2014, 02:50:35 AM »
The argument goes like this: "Nonsense theories" can have predictive power (like predicting that maggots will form from rotting meat or that the sun will rise in the morning and fall at night, showing the sun revolves around the earth).

This argument is a complete misuse of the concept of predictive power.  If you're comparing two hypotheses or theories in order to figure out which is the more probable, and your set of predictions for both is the same, You Are Doing It Wrong.  The tool of predictive power is wielded by looking for different predictions for the rival models, and then performing observations and/or experiments to see which model predicts better.

Let's take the observation that "maggots emerge from rotting meat," and two hypotheses used to explain it: Spontaneous Generation (the maggots just form within the rotting meat) and Biological Origin (maggots are the offspring of adult flies).  If we just leave out a piece of meat and observe as it rots until maggots appear, then "the predictions are the same."  Ah, but what if we take two pieces of fresh meat, leave one out as before, but put the second one in a jar with the opening sealed over with cheesecloth held in place with a strap or rubber band?  Now we have a setup crafted to isolate one variable--access to the meat by adult flies--and make that differ, while keeping the other variables (temperature, moisture, access to air and sunlight, etc.) the same. 

With this new setup, we can now anticipate that if Spontaneous Generation is correct, maggots should still emerge from both pieces of meat, but if Biological Origin is correct, maggots should only emerge from the meat that adult flies can land on to lay their eggs.  So now we can compare the hypotheses by running the experiment and observing the results, repeating the experiment as necessary to prevent experimental error.

Predictive power works best when predictions of future experiments and/or observations can be made, which advocates of both (or all three, whatever) models can agree upon in advance as tests of their models.  For example, physicists were able to predict, decades before the Large Hadron Collider was constructed, what sort of energy levels etc. in a particle accelerator experiment would be required to reveal the presence of a Higgs boson, and what the results would look like if it did, or didn't, exist.  So, by the time the experiments were run on the LHC, there wasn't a lot of room for goalpost-moving by scientists whose models don't incorporate a Higgs boson.

In the case of evolution and Creationism, we're dealing mostly with the past and with sets of observations (the fossil record, etc.) both sides already have access to.  Goalpost-moving is easier under these circumstances, so apart from discoveries made after the rise of the creationist movement (e.g. Tiktaalik, the discovery of Noah's Ark, if that were to happen), we may need to multiply examples in order to make it easier to spot who's moving the goalposts.  As with the Spontaneous Generation vs. Biological Origin "debate," we should be looking for the areas where the anticipated consequences of each differ, not where they are the same. 

Since Creationism is really "the Book of Genesis is highly accurate," we can look for observations that do, or do not, match the BoG (while matching, or not matching, the predictions of evolutionary theory).  Here is the main area where creationists fail: In order to test a theory, you don't just look for evidence for it; you also look for evidence against it.  Richard Carrier explains this well here.  Creationists are religiously forbidden to honestly look for evidence against Creationism (that might lead them into the snares of the Devil), so they can't perform this crucial step toward making science work.

In order to look for evidence against Creationism, we have to clearly define its truth-claims, and minimize available room for goalpost-moving (likewise for evolution).  Since the BoG was written thousands of years ago, we can spell out its claims by applying the Creationist hermeneutic ("Genesis should be interpreted as primarily historical-literal in its intent; it was intended to tell us the actual origins of the Cosmos, life, humans, and the Hebrew nation") and interpreting it as we would if we did not have access to later scientific findings.  In other words, read it as its original audience (or, say, early Christians like Paul's disciple Timothy--call it the "Timothy test") would have read it, if they also employed the Creationist historical-literal hermeneutic.  This makes it possible to treat the discoveries of science as "future" findings, rather than trying to read them into the BoG (goalpost-moving).

So, if the BoG is both accurate, and written as a historical-literal treatise, we should anticipate that certain things will be true: rain comes through windows in a solid sky, all animals and land plants diverged from Asia Minor in the recent past, the size, location, and nature of the Sun, Moon, and stars should imply that their function is directly related to the Earth...

Quote
God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness.

--Genesis 1:16-18a, bold emphasis added.


...etc..  Creationism predicts that the Cosmos not be significantly older than a few thousand years.  Creationists can fudge this a little by applying the concept of "Apparent Age."  Since Yahweh created a fully-formed and functional world, at least some things would appear to be a bit older than they really were.  For example, Adam and Eve were biological adults or teenagers at the moment(s)[1] of their creation, the plants and animals were fully-grown, the rivers situated in river-beds, and so on.  However, this can only go so far if Yahweh is not deliberately faking the appearance of an older Cosmos.  There's no reason to assume, for example, that Adam and Eve had belly-buttons since they were never attached to umbilical cords.  "But maybe Yawheh gave them belly-buttons so they wouldn't have an oddity in relation to their kids/so they'd look like 'standard humans.'"  OK, but one thing we would not expect if we were able somehow to go back and give them full medical exams on the day of their creation, would be for, say, Eve to have scar tissue from what looked like a ten-year-old hamstring injury.  Right?

In like manner, we should anticipate that if Creationism is true, that any tree extant at the time of Creation would either have no rings prior to years of life, or if rings are necessary for the trees' survival, to have identical rings, or perhaps rings arranged in some aesthetic pattern.  What we should not see, if Yahweh is honest, is rings of varying thickness which indicate "good and bad tree-growth years" that never happened.  Likewise for things like layers in ice cores, craters on the Moon, planets, asteroids, etc., galactic collisions, supernova remnants, and so on.  The Cosmos should look young, and if light has a constant speed (hint: it does!), we should not be seeing light from objects more distant than a few thousand light-years (the distance light travels in a year) away.

Notice in the passage from Genesis above, how the stars are treated almost as an afterthought.  From this, we should anticipate that nothing about the stars would suggest they are in any way of equal or greater in importance relative to Earth.  There is no way Timothy could read that passage and guess that stars are gigantic, ancient spheres of gas, some of which could engulf our whole inner Solar System if they were put in the place of our Sun.  Nothing in the BoG would ever lead Timothy to expect that galaxies could exist.  From the Bible as a whole, we should anticipate that stars are relatively small objects that can fall to Earth.

Etc., etc., and so forth.

From this it becomes readily apparent that a "Timothy test" compliant Creationism rapidly gets demolished by bringing the discoveries of science to the table.  And that's before we even get to the fossil record, genetic relationships between species, synteny, ring species, homology, Darwin's finches, and the like.  On the other hand, the Cosmos looks exactly the way evolutionary scientists would expect it to--very, very old, with a history that is not in any sense "all about Earth," operating according to natural regularities, and so on.

Therefore, in like manner evolution is just circumstantial and not science because it does not actually show a cause of how life evolved. Evolution only shows the outcomes (fossils, DNA, etc) but not the actual causes. Therefore, it can't be science.

I'm not quite clear on what this argument is supposed to mean.  Evolutionary theory does explain the causal mechanisms involved: mutation, genetic variability within populations, and natural selection.  Or are they saying something like, "Well, you don't have video of the specific mutation that made Archaeopteryx diverge from its ancestors taking place, do you?  Therefore, HA-HA!  Evolution isn't science!"  If so, that's just ridiculous.  We do science with past events that we can't replicate all the time, e.g. archaeology and crime scene investigation.

So too, it is argued (by creationists) that the inference to greater probability/plausibility is not enough because one must have experience with outcomes (more experience means more statistical data). But we have not experienced "macro" evolution. Therefore, it's not science. It is argued, therefore, that is evolution is "just assumed".

We don't have any current experience with Yahweh writing books either.  Much less pillars of cloud and fire, bodies crawling out of graves and the like.  That all (supposedly) happened in the past.  Somehow though, Creationists don't seem to have a problem with trying to take their ancient books, use them as data, and attempt to support claims such as "Jesus fulfilled these Old Testament prophecies!"  Never mind that their claims can be refuted on the basis of the texts themselves (e.g., the "prophecies" read in context were not written as prophecies in the first place, or were prophecies for some other event, such as a child named "Emmanuel" being born and two of Judah's rival kingdoms ceasing to be a threat before he grew up), they're still deriving conclusions from "evidence" from the past.  Any Creationists have video of Jesus' resurrection handy?

Again, this Creationist premise is nonsense.  "Were you there?" applies to them and their theory as much as it does to scientists and evolution.  Even if it were so that Moses wrote the Book of Genesis (and there's plenty of good reason to think that he didn't), he wasn't there to see the Cosmos created.  At most, we have his claim to have received visionary revelation from a supernatural entity (Yahweh) who was there.  But how do we know that the alleged entity representing itself as Yahweh was really Yahweh, and that Yahweh was there at the creation of the Cosmos?  We can't.  We would have to take "Moses'" word for it, and that of the alleged entity representing itself as Yahweh.  It's hearsay at best. 

Also, Creationists have yet to demonstrate that there is there is an actual distinction between "micro" evolution and "macro" evolution that is any more relevant than the difference between a "micro" road trip ("Let's go to the store!") and a "macro" road trip ("Route 66, here we come!") to claims about the possibilities and limits of automotive travel.

And one more thing: Creationists are actually more "evolutionist" than evolutionary scientists.  One of their main "scientific" claims is that the present enormous variety of species diverged evolutionarily from a relative handful of "kinds," a number of types small enough to fit on Noah's boat.  Thus, the "cat kind"--house cats to tigers, the "elephant kind"--elephants, mastodons, mammoths, etc., all emerged in a rapid process of super-evolution from the two/seven of each "kind" on Noah's ark within a few thousand years, rather than the many millions of years scientific evolution would require for an equivalent amount of change.

Edit: Grammar fix.
 1. Genesis chapters 1 and 2 differ as to whether male and female humans were created on the same day (chapter 1) or if Eve was created some time after Adam had a chance to name all of the animals and determine that none of them was a fully suitable companion for him (chapter 2).  Sounds like it would take more than one day, no?
« Last Edit: May 03, 2014, 03:04:35 AM by kcrady »
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Offline skeptic54768

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Re: Evolution: Predictive Power and Plausibility Are Not Enough!
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2014, 01:32:22 PM »
Even when I was an atheist, I was skeptical of evolution. It just sounds so far fetched. It's part of the reason I went back to my faith.

There is no explanation for the Cambrian explosion. Apparently, organisms just appeared fully formed over a short period of time, which is contrary to how scientists say evolution works.

Then, there's the fact that the geologic column does not exist anywhere on the earth except for pictures in textbooks. There are no "ordered rock layers" because they can find dinosaur fossils right near the top layers of rocks! How can that be if dinosaurs should be buried deeper? We should always find nothing but humans on the top, which is not the case. We've found dinos at the top which suggests a global flood deposited them. There could be a dinosaur buried in my backyard for all I know right near the top. Does this mean the geologic column is in my backyard? This is all nonsense.

Then there's the fact that abiogenesis has never been observed, it's just been assumed that life happened without a creator. But, assumptions are not science.

There's the fact that they date the fossils by the rocks and the rocks by the fossils which is circular and makes no sense.

Even if you believe that cells (billions of years ago) can form on their own, then how did the cells become a different species while simultaneously remaining cells?

Only adaptation has ever been proven. It's time to abandon this "rocks to people" nonsense and get some real facts instead of mere speculation. Evolution certainly takes more faith than belief in God and that's just a fact.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2014, 01:34:45 PM by skeptic54768 »
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Offline skeptic54768

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Re: Evolution: Predictive Power and Plausibility Are Not Enough!
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2014, 01:38:09 PM »
Again, this Creationist premise is nonsense.  "Were you there?" applies to them and their theory as much as it does to scientists and evolution. 

Yes, but we admit our belief takes faith. Evolutionists can't admit their belief takes faith, which is dishonest. It takes more faith to believe in evolution than it does to believe in God. Why would anyone want to believe they are worthless and just a cosmic accident? What brings someone to that mindset?

At least believing in God gives us self-worth and infinite importance.
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Offline Don_Quixote

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Re: Evolution: Predictive Power and Plausibility Are Not Enough!
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2014, 10:27:30 AM »
Bad for you to know that Evolution isn't a faith. It's a fact :)

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Re: Evolution: Predictive Power and Plausibility Are Not Enough!
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2014, 10:43:47 AM »
It's time to abandon this "rocks to people" nonsense and get some real facts instead of mere speculation.

Absolutley. I await your presentation of real facts with baited breath.

Yes, but we admit our belief takes faith.

Wait...what?

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Re: Evolution: Predictive Power and Plausibility Are Not Enough!
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2014, 11:39:12 AM »
At least believing in God gives us self-worth and infinite importance.

Infinite importance?  Infinite?  Oh, the ego.
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Evolution: Predictive Power and Plausibility Are Not Enough!
« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2014, 12:49:47 PM »
Even when I was an atheist, I was skeptical of evolution. It just sounds so far fetched. It's part of the reason I went back to my faith.
Being skeptical of evolution is one thing.  Going to a faith-based belief which isn't based on any evidence because of it is another.  Besides from which, didn't you claim that you really went back to your faith because of bloody words on the wall or something?  It's a little late to act like evolution is responsible for you returning to the belief system you grew up in.

Quote from: skeptic54768
There is no explanation for the Cambrian explosion. Apparently, organisms just appeared fully formed over a short period of time, which is contrary to how scientists say evolution works.
If you aren't going to make sure your information is correct, you have no business making claims about the Cambrian explosion to begin with.  For one thing, the Cambrian explosion didn't produce fully-formed organisms over a short time, as you seem to think.  It still took millions of years for all this to happen.  If you were able to go back and watch, it would have been exceptionally boring and uneventful.  For another thing, animals didn't appear fully-formed as far as we know, and any claim to the contrary is based on ignorance, because the only source of information we have on the Cambrian period is fossils.  And fossils don't tell us much about how an organism lived; they just tell us how it died.  So there is no basis whatsoever for the claim that organisms appeared fully-formed during the Cambrian explosion.

Quote from: skeptic54768
Then, there's the fact that the geologic column does not exist anywhere on the earth except for pictures in textbooks. There are no "ordered rock layers" because they can find dinosaur fossils right near the top layers of rocks! How can that be if dinosaurs should be buried deeper? We should always find nothing but humans on the top, which is not the case. We've found dinos at the top which suggests a global flood deposited them. There could be a dinosaur buried in my backyard for all I know right near the top. Does this mean the geologic column is in my backyard? This is all nonsense.
All this shows is that you don't really understand how the geologic time scale works.  What it means is that when we find fossilized remains, we always find them in the same order.  We don't find fossils from the Precambrian above fossils from the Cambrian; we don't find dinosaur fossils buried above fossils from a hundred thousand years ago.  And while geological activity might cause rocks from deep underground to be thrust upwards, these by themselves don't discredit the geologic time scale, because the rocks and fossils we thus find are still in order.

Aside from that, your idea that a global flood could have deposited dinosaur remains is not at all believable.  One thing that is very certain is that all dinosaur remains we've ever found are far older than any global flood which could have impacted humanity.  So a global flood could not have deposited dinosaur remains on top of human remains, because they would have been long-buried before any such flood could possibly have happened.  Unless you're claiming that dinosaurs lived at the same time as humans, to which I say, "where's the evidence?"  If dinosaurs did live up until this flood, then we should have dinosaur bones which we can date using carbon dating.  Why haven't we ever found any, if what you believe is true?

Quote from: skeptic54768
Then there's the fact that abiogenesis has never been observed, it's just been assumed that life happened without a creator. But, assumptions are not science.
You mean like the assumption that life requires a creator?  We've never observed life being created.  And we have observed amino acids appearing in experiments designed to replicate the early conditions of Earth.

Quote from: skeptic54768
There's the fact that they date the fossils by the rocks and the rocks by the fossils which is circular and makes no sense.
No, they aren't.  Leaving aside relative dating methods, the age of fossils and rocks are generally determined by radiometric dating.  Where you're probably getting confused is the fact that different dating methods are used on different materials, and the results are compared to each other to see how well they match.  Since they use different methods, the results are not circular.

Quote from: skeptic54768
Even if you believe that cells (billions of years ago) can form on their own, then how did the cells become a different species while simultaneously remaining cells?
I assume you're asking how bacteria are categorized as different species.  Since bacteria reproduce via cell division, you can't sort them by "can they reproduce together", the way you can with most other species.  Instead, scientists use polyphasic taxonomy to measure phenotype and genetic differences between bacteria and categorize them that way.  That's how ancient cells would have evolved into different species, basically.

Quote from: skeptic54768
Only adaptation has ever been proven. It's time to abandon this "rocks to people" nonsense and get some real facts instead of mere speculation. Evolution certainly takes more faith than belief in God and that's just a fact.
Adaptation is what demonstrates evolution beyond any reasonable doubt.  There is no real distinction between adaptation within a species and the divergence of a species, because the divergence of a species (which is what creates new species) is just adaptation combined with separation.  If a species of animals is separated for long enough, the process of natural selection will eventually cause them to adapt in ways which make them unable to effectively reproduce with each other, and thus they would be different species.  However, this doesn't cause them to magically transform; they will still be closely related to each other.  Evolution can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, after all.  An elephant-sized rodent descendant would still be a member of the rodent family, even if it wasn't recognizable to us as a rodent; birds are still members of the reptile family even though they look nothing like reptiles, because their divergence point was such a long time ago.

----

Yes, but we admit our belief takes faith. Evolutionists can't admit their belief takes faith, which is dishonest. It takes more faith to believe in evolution than it does to believe in God.
Here you're making a false comparison.  Because you don't understand the evidence which supports evolution - which you've aptly demonstrated by now - you think it's a faith-based belief.  But this is your ignorance and lack of understanding talking.  Even though I'm a layman rather than a biologist, I've made an effort to study the actual evidence which supports evolution, and as such, I'm satisfied that it holds together.  It takes no more faith for me to believe in evolution than it takes to believe that the sun will rise in the east tomorrow.  Granted, someone could come up with facts and evidence to demonstrate otherwise, but that's what it would take.  No amount of unsupported claims by creationists who are seeking to keep their rigid religious faith from becoming irrelevant will change that.

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Why would anyone want to believe they are worthless and just a cosmic accident? What brings someone to that mindset?
So what?  Our worth is determined by what we do, not our origins.  It doesn't matter whether those origins are humble or grandiose, accidental or purposeful.  What matters is what we do afterward.  I don't need to believe I was specially created by some supreme being in order for my life to have meaning, worth, and value.  And as for accidental vs purposeful, peni.cillin[1] was discovered purely by accident.  Some of the greatest discoveries in history have happened due to accidents or mistakes.

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At least believing in God gives us self-worth and infinite importance.
I really feel sorry for you, that you require a belief in a god to give you self-worth and self-importance.  But don't assume that the same is true for me.
 1. forum software borked on it

Offline screwtape

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Re: Evolution: Predictive Power and Plausibility Are Not Enough!
« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2014, 01:44:50 PM »
For another thing, animals didn't appear fully-formed as far as we know,

I'm a little foggy as to what this means.  I do not think you intended it as it appears.  Are you saying that animals appeared less than fully formed?  Were half-formed animals appearing, staggering around, mating, and then dying because they only had half a heart?  I don't think you do.  So I think it would be helpful if you clarified.

I'm pretty sure fully formed plants and animals did appear.  But they were the offspring of prior, fully formed plants and animals. They were just a little bit different.

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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Evolution: Predictive Power and Plausibility Are Not Enough!
« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2014, 03:57:40 PM »
The operative word is 'appear'.  Animals don't appear, fully formed or otherwise.  An animal grows out of protoplasm, which is hardly 'formed' at all, in any case.  I was objecting to skeptic's statement in its entirety.

Everything comes from other things.  We see this all the time.  Skeptic's statement begs the question of where organisms come from, if they didn't evolve.

Offline Jag

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Re: Evolution: Predictive Power and Plausibility Are Not Enough!
« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2014, 04:39:39 PM »
Even when I was an atheist,

Pfft. Whatever. It's just so darn cute how you try to bond. Makes me just want to pinch your cheeks and tell you how adorable you are.

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I was skeptical of evolution.

No, you remained ignorant of evolution. It's not the same thing.

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It just sounds so far fetched.

It does, given the sources you apparently get your "information" from.

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It's part of the reason I went back to my faith.

That, and demons, and bloody messages on walls, and whatever else you want to add to your ongoing list.

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There is no explanation for the Cambrian explosion.

Again, your sources are your problem. Do yourself a favor and research the subject as explained by scientists, not creationists -  then you can at least come back and try your hand at refuting what the ToE actually claims.

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Apparently, organisms just appeared fully formed over a short period of time,

Care to define "short period of time" in this context? I advise a moment spent on Google before you attempt to answer this.

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which is contrary to how scientists say evolution works.

Everything YOU say is contrary to how scientists say evolution works. That's the fundamental problem with your posts - they're literally nonsense. Until you know what scientists say, you can't formulate a reasonable argument against what scientists say.

EDITED TO ADD: Whoops, just noticed skep's changed status - no point in replying under the circumstances.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2014, 04:51:41 PM by Jag »
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Offline Foxy Freedom

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Re: Evolution: Predictive Power and Plausibility Are Not Enough!
« Reply #15 on: May 06, 2014, 06:23:30 PM »
Even when I was an atheist, I was skeptical of evolution. It just sounds so far fetched. It's part of the reason I went back to my faith.

There is no explanation for the Cambrian explosion. Apparently, organisms just appeared fully formed over a short period of time, which is contrary to how scientists say evolution works.

Then, there's the fact that the geologic column does not exist anywhere on the earth except for pictures in textbooks. There are no "ordered rock layers" because they can find dinosaur fossils right near the top layers of rocks! How can that be if dinosaurs should be buried deeper? We should always find nothing but humans on the top, which is not the case. We've found dinos at the top which suggests a global flood deposited them. There could be a dinosaur buried in my backyard for all I know right near the top. Does this mean the geologic column is in my backyard? This is all nonsense.

There is an explanation for the Cambrian explosion: animals started growing shells to protect themselves and they had to develop into new areas, both because of increased competition among them. They become visible in the Cambrian because the shells can be preserved easily whereas previously there were no shells to be preserved.

Rocks get twisted as the earth's crust moves, so dinosaurs can be found on the surface. This a photo of a geological column taken from space. How big a geological column do you want?

In fact this photo shows the KT boundary when the asteroid killed the dinosaurs. On one side there are dinosaurs and on the other there are none. It is just the way the rocks in this area have been twisted.

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Offline median

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Re: Evolution: Predictive Power and Plausibility Are Not Enough!
« Reply #16 on: May 06, 2014, 06:37:43 PM »
Again, this Creationist premise is nonsense.  "Were you there?" applies to them and their theory as much as it does to scientists and evolution. 

Yes, but we admit our belief takes faith. Evolutionists can't admit their belief takes faith, which is dishonest. It takes more faith to believe in evolution than it does to believe in God. Why would anyone want to believe they are worthless and just a cosmic accident? What brings someone to that mindset?

At least believing in God gives us self-worth and infinite importance.


So believing in God, for you, is just utility then? It doesn't really matter what is true or not? You don't really care whether or not your beliefs are actually true or not? If you do care, then why not actually stop your double standard and equivocations on terms?

Numerous times others have demonstrated to you that your "faith" is not anywhere near the same thing as tentatively trusting the evidence. Your beliefs are not tentative. You are fixed to them, and you absolutely will not let them go regardless of circumstance (or even be consistently critical of them yourself). That is the big difference. Science is critical of itself. You are not (clearly). The way you practice "faith" is by believing no matter what (irrespective of whether your theology is clearly irrational). Science on the other hand readily admits when it doesn't know things, or when it does not have sufficient demonstrable evidence. Please stop pretending that these are the same approach to separating fact from fiction - because they are not.
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Offline Hatter23

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Re: Evolution: Predictive Power and Plausibility Are Not Enough!
« Reply #17 on: May 07, 2014, 07:41:18 AM »
When they resort to; "You have a belief without evidence, just like I do. That's faith" as their justification. I have a parable for just that situation.

Yes it is a kind of faith. It is that same kind of faith that I have that my shoes do not fly around my room when I am asleep and no recording devices are present. I'm sure you share that same faith, the faith of NoFlyingShoeswhlesleeping, how's that faith working out for you? Does it require a deep conviction of resolute solemnity, or do you have that faith because the proposition that your shoes fly around when you are asleep is in contradiction to everything observable about reality?


An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Evolution: Predictive Power and Plausibility Are Not Enough!
« Reply #18 on: May 07, 2014, 12:38:28 PM »
More to the point, Hatter, holding a scientific mindset means that if someone were able to show solid evidence that your shoes flew around the room while you were asleep, you would attempt to discover the reason for it rather than simply saying, "wow, my shoes fly around the room while I'm sleeping!"  Compare that to most religious believers, who when presented with something that they don't understand, fall on their faces to worship it (or if it seems threatening, try to kill it).

Science is fundamentally about understanding things so we can figure out how to do them ourselves.  Religion usually doesn't even try to because it might upset whatever force causes those things to happen.

Offline Hatter23

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Re: Evolution: Predictive Power and Plausibility Are Not Enough!
« Reply #19 on: May 08, 2014, 08:44:22 AM »
More to the point, Hatter, holding a scientific mindset means that if someone were able to show solid evidence that your shoes flew around the room while you were asleep, you would attempt to discover the reason for it rather than simply saying, "wow, my shoes fly around the room while I'm sleeping!"  Compare that to most religious believers, who when presented with something that they don't understand, fall on their faces to worship it (or if it seems threatening, try to kill it).

Science is fundamentally about understanding things so we can figure out how to do them ourselves.  Religion usually doesn't even try to because it might upset whatever force causes those things to happen.

Newton's Laws and their application to comets as opposed to how every mystical/religious tradition treated comets is a rather salient historical example of this. Sorry, just watched that episode of Cosmos last night.
An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.