Monday, October 11, 2010

Q & A on the Young Earth Model of Creation

Instead of accepting Dr. Betech’s challenge to defend his evolutionary model of Creation, Rabbi Slifkin chooses to ignore his request and rather challenges Dr. Betech with ten questions on his yet undefined "model". This is patently inequitable. Dr. Betech is certainly not to be blamed if he chooses to ignore Rabbi Slifkin’s request. However, since the purpose of this blog is to assess Rabbi Slifkin’s opinions on his Rationalist Blog, we will respond to all of his questions. In addtion, we will append ten of our own on Rabbi Slifkin’s model. Assuming Dr. Betech agrees with some or all of our responses, he can respond on Rabbi Slifkin’s blog by referring readers to this blog entry. Rabbi Slifkin’s questions are copied here followed by the response. His original blog entry may be found here.

Before responding to the questions below, a short introduction is in order. For purposes of clarity, let’s refer to Rabbi Slifkin’s model as the Evolutionary Model (EM) and Dr. Betech’s model as the Creation Model (CM). There is a fundamental distinction between these two models. The point of departure for the EM is Evolution. Any apparent contradictions between Torah and Evolution must ultimately be resolved in a way which accords with the current academic view of Evolution. Consequently, the EM is frequently attended by questionable practices such as the reinterpretation of biblical verses or the unilateral rejection of its unanimous and long-standing massoretic interpretations.

On the other hand, the point of departure for the CM is the Creation Event as depicted in the Torah and the non-homiletic, historical based interpretations of the mesorah. These interpretations span 3000 years and are unanimous, as can be seen here and here. In this case, the goal of one who adheres to the CM is twofold. The primary goal is to attempt to resolve contradictions between Evolution and Torah by analyzing Evolutionary theory and determining whether it indeed constitutes a contradiction to the CM. If it turns out that evolution is nothing more than an unproved and unprovable hypothesis, possessing no real evidence, then evolution no longer constitutes a threat to the CM and the primary goal has been achieved. An ancillary goal is to attempt to demonstrate that scientific evidence actually supports the Torah’s descriptions of Creation as understood by our mesorah. As it turns out, the scientific evidence does indeed support the Torah, as will be demonstrated shortly.

Keeping this in mind, we are now prepared to address Rabbi Slifkin’s questions.

1. What is your evidence that the universe is 5771 years old, and not five thousand, fifty thousand, or five hundred thousand years old?

Answer: If the term "evidence" here refers to direct physical evidence of a world not even one year older or one year younger than the traditional date, there isn’t any. But anyone can see that such a question is disingenuous. However, if Rabbi Slifkin wants evidence for 5771 versus 50,000, that’s easy. One line of evidence is the fact that written historical records basically coincide with a young-earth scenario. Historical records do not go back further than 5-6000 years which coincides well with the CM model.

Question to Rabbi Slifkin: Evolution claims that mankind broke away from chimps about 6-7 million years ago and slowly advanced in intelligence. Ultimately they reached the level of the modern human with his attendant level of intelligence and technological advancement. My question is the following. Based on the current level of human advancement and projecting backwards over 7 million years, we should expect to see written historical records of mankind for at least 100,000 years. After all, this amounts to not much more than 1 percent of mankind’s entire evolution. Surely after almost 99% of mankind’s evolution already behind it, it should be advanced enough to keep records, a feat far less complicated than most of its other technological advancements, such as advanced architecture.

2. Scientific hypotheses make testable predictions and are thus falsifiable. For example, evolution predicts that all animals descend from a common ancestor and thus fit into a family tree, and thus Rashi's description of a mermaid - a creature that is half human and half fish - will never be discovered and cannot exist. What testable predictions does your model make, and how could it be theoretically proven false?

Answer: The CM model is not in the business of making testable predictions. However, theoretically speaking there are many testable predictions associated with it. I suppose the most obvious one would be that when the geological record would be investigated, it would yield the sudden appearance of species in the record as opposed to a gradual unfolding of the species from one form to the next. Obviously the falsification of this prediction would be the appearance of slow, gradual transformations from one species to the next.

Another obvious prediction would be that the species would all fall into a fixed number of unique categories. (See RSRH’s commentary on parshas Bereishis, especially as pertains to the term l’mino). Obviously the falsification of this prediction would occur if a study of Zoology would reveal the presence of a continuous spectrum of barely distinguishable intermediate species.

Question to Rabbi Slifkin: You write,

"Scientific hypotheses make testable predictions and are thus falsifiable. For example, evolution predicts that all animals descend from a common ancestor and thus fit into a family tree "

Precisely! And this prediction has been falsified! A study of geology and paleontology does not reveal the picture of a family tree the way Evolution envisions it. In fact, phenomena like the Cambrian Explosion turn this tree quite literally upside down. The truth is this clearly seems to support the CM of Dr. Betech while falsifying yours.

Furthermore, the criterion I just supplied as predictions for the CM would seem to falsify the EM too. How does the EM account for the sudden appearance of species in the geological record as opposed to a gradual unfolding? And wasn’t this precisely Darwin’s criteria for falsifiability? Wasn’t it he who stated that if his theory was true the geological record should demonstrate a gradual transitional state rather than the sudden appearance of well-defined species?

Also, what about my other prediction? According to the EM, a study of Zoology should yield a continuous spectrum of intermediate species? You know who asked that? Darwin! And if you think Darwin’s kushya is no longer a kushya, here’s a quote from a well-known evolutionist asking the same kushya.

"Although an almost incomprehensible number of species inhabit Earth today, they do not form a continuous spectrum of barely distinguishable intermediates. Instead, nearly all species can be recognized as belonging to a relatively limited number of clearly distinct major groups, with very few illustrating intermediate structures or ways of life. (Robert L. Carroll, Patterns and Processes of Vertebrate Evolution, Cambridge University Press, 1997, p. 9)"

So to sum up, a study of life on earth falsifies Evolution on three fronts.

1) The lack of a family tree

2) The lack of transitional forms in the geological record

3) Species fitting into clearly distinct major groups rather than forming a continuous spectrum of intermediate forms.

3. What experiments have been done/ are being done to test the validity of your model?

Answer: The CM is not in the business of performing experiments to test its validity. As I mentioned in the introduction, CM’s point of departure is the Bible. However, as it happens, evolutionists have conducted a variety of experiments in this field with the results all pointing to a CM model. Let’s take one example for now.

Evolutionary researchers have been mutating fruit flies for over sixty years. Fruit flies reproduce very rapidly producing a new generation every eleven days which yields a couple thousand generations of fruit flies! They tried everything. They subjected these flies to heat and to cold. They subjected them to light and dark. They even subjected them to artificial treatments such as chemicals and radiation! Yet not once have they been able to produce a beneficial mutation! All the mutations were either trivial or harmful.

So there’s your lab experimentation for the CM and there are the results. They support the model.

Question to Rabbi Slifkin: Why is it that the experiments conducted by scientists to support an evolutionary model consistently fail?

4. Rambam, Sefer HaChinnuch and Malbim state that no types of animals ever become extinct. Do you agree with this - does your model include extinction, and what are the causes?

Answer: I don’t see the relevancy of this question to our topic. Nonetheless, I will respond. First of all, it depends what the Rambam et al mean, don’t you think? If by "types" they mean something like, say, vertebrates and invertebrates, then yes, I could accept what they are saying without any reservation. Why not?

As far as the CM including extinction, yes, of course it does! Why shouldn’t it? We see extinction happening right now as we speak. It is estimated that approximately 800 species went into extinction just in the past 500 years. That’s a rate of almost two species a year.

As far as causes for extinction, there are many. Some are environmental such as habitat degradation, some by natural selection such as predation and competition for available resources, some relate to natural phenomena like disease, and some relate to anthropogenic causes such as hunting and deforestation.

Like I said, I don’t see what any of this has to do with our topic but I responded honestly as a masiach lefi tumo.

Question to Rabbi Slifkin: I’m just curious. How do you view extinction within the parmeters of the EM? In what way is this common occurrence in any way related to either supporting or disproving either one of the models in question?

5. From when to when did Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous dinosaurs, respectively, live?

Answer: They lived contemporaneously from either day five or day six of Creation. See here for a discussion on this topic. Their date of extinction is currently unknown.

Question for Rabbi Slifkin: Every textbook of evolution asserts that reptiles evolved from amphibians somewhere in the Triassic period. There are innumerable problems with this but here’s a big one. One of the major distinguishing features between them is the reptilian amniotic egg which supposedly came about gradually as a result of a successive accumulation of small changes. But the amniotic egg of the reptile is entirely different than that of an amphibian. Amphibians lay their eggs in water. They are jelly-like and possess a transparent and permeable membrane, an ideal structure for development in water. Reptiles, on the other hand, lay their eggs on land and are meant to survive there, not in the water. The hard shell of the reptile egg (amniotic), allows air in, but is impermeable to water. In this way, the water needed by the developing animal is kept inside the egg. If amphibian eggs were laid on land, they would immediately dehydrate thus killing the embryo. Therefore if dinosaurs evolved from amphibians, the amphibian egg must have changed into an amniotic one within the lifespan of a single generation. How could such a process have occurred?

6. Did the original process of creation, via which dirt transformed into mammals, function according to some sort of scientific laws, or was it entirely supernatural? Does it still continue after the end of the six days - in other words, can dirt still transform into mammals? If yes, is the much smaller process of one type of mammal turning into another type of mammal also possible - and if not, why not?

Answer: The original process of Creation was entirely meta-natural. As far as whether it continues after the six days, the answer is no. However, the Ramban in his commentary regarding the plague of lice seems to maintain that sometimes Hashem might re-activate the Creation process, under rare and extreme circumstances. But as far as I know this happened only once, during Yetzias Mitzrayim.

Can dirt still transform into mammals? I’ve never seen such a thing. In the olden days they used to think that if you put some dirt and rags into a box, eventually mice will appear. Today we know that from a scientific standpoint this is nonsense. There is nothing in the CM which maintains the belief in the post-Creation process of dirt to mammals.

Question to Rabbi Slifkin: The story of Creation is the Torah does discuss miraculous events such as dirt to mammals and yet you reject this because evolutionists claim that "common ancestry" is the most plausible scenario for the unfolding of the universe. So what about the flood? Or better yet, what about the miracles of mitzrayim? Science today claims that spontaneous generation is not only implausible, it’s impossible. Do you believe in the miracles of yetziyas mitzrayim? And if so, what principled distinction can you make between this belief and your disbelief of the miracles of maaseh bereishis?

7. (The precise formulation of the following question depends very much on the exact nature of Dr. Betech's mysterious approach.) Various mineral companies, oil companies, etc., find geologists to be essential. How are they at all effective, if the processes by which various substances and layers in the earth appear are not at all those which are described by geology?

Answer: With all due respect, this is a silly question. The field of geology is vast and cuts across many disciplines. Evolution is only one of them and the most useless one at that. The geologists employed by chemical and mineral companies could care less about the evolutionary models of evolution. Commercial geology is an entirely different field. Geotechnical engineering uses principles of soil mechanics and rock mechanics to investigate subsurface conditions and materials; determine the relevant physical/mechanical and chemical properties of these materials; evaluate stability of natural slopes and man-made soil deposits; assess risks posed by site conditions; design earthworks and structure foundations; and monitor site conditions, earthwork and foundation construction (Wikipedia). Oil and Mineral companies use geologists for mineral and hydrocarbon exploration. None of this has anything to do with evolution.

Question for Rabbi Slifkin: If , according to the EM, the universe unfolded via evolutionary possesses as depicted in the stratigraphic column, from Cambrian and Ordovician right up through the Permian and Triassic, and ending in the Tretiary and Quaternary, then why is it that these roughly ten layers, representing the past 550-575 million years of biological evolution, do not appear in the proper order practically anywhere on planet earth? Even if the Law of Superpostion made any sense, which it doesn’t, how can it possibly be responsible for the strata of the entire surface of the earth being in the "wrong" order?

8. Why are all living marsupials (with the exception of possums) found in Australia, and no placental mammals are found there apart from bats?

Answer: I don’t know. But this type of phenomenon is not unique. There are many habitats around the world which possess certain indigenous life-forms. Presumably these habitats are more conducive to the survival of these life-forms. Actually, there have been many fossil finds of marsupials in China and apparently they migrated to Australia from there. After the mabul, the Torah indicates that life "spread out". I suppose Marsupials spread to Australia (although I have no idea how they managed to get there). By the way, there are several species of marsupials outside of Australia too, not just opossums.

Question for Rabbi Slifkin: The North American wolf and the Tasmanian wolf have an almost identical skeletal structure making them perfectly homologous. Yet the former belongs to the placental class whilst the latter to the marsupials. This, according to Evolutionists, means that these two different species have completely separate evolutionary histories. Hmm… an evolutionary conundrum. How do you explain this?

9. Why do animals fit into a nested hierarchal system of classification, rather than there being all kinds of chimeras - e.g. whales are fully mammals, and have no homologous analogies with fish? This is especially intriguing in light of the fact that this hierarchy is different from the classification system in the Torah - e.g., bats are mammals, not birds.

Answer: Why do animals fit into a nested hierarchal system of classification, rather than there being all kinds of chimeras? Simple. Because a nested hierarchy is the most logical way for anyone to design anything! It fits perfectly with the Torah’s description.

Question to Rabi Slifkin: Why do animals fit into a nested hierarchal system of classification, rather than there being all kinds of chimeras? After all, if all species descended from other species gradually, the species today should represent a conglomeration of intermediate species not easily able to be classified. I already quoted this to you above. Here it is again from Robert Carroll.

"Although an almost incomprehensible number of species inhabit Earth today, they do not form a continuous spectrum of barely distinguishable intermediates. Instead, nearly all species can be recognized as belonging to a relatively limited number of clearly distinct major groups, with very few illustrating intermediate structures or ways of life. (Robert L. Carroll, Patterns and Processes of Vertebrate Evolution, Cambridge University Press, 1997, p. 9)"

This includes any form of classification, including a nested one. The species should simply eschew any formal attempt at classification. I know Niles Eldridge claims that a Nested Hierarchy is proof positive of common ancestry. Perhaps you could explain precisely how he envisions such a thing.

10. How do you account for the fact that the overwhelming majority of scientists - including many who believe in the Torah - rejected your model? In fact, the first scientists to reject the young-earth model of creation were themselves devout Christians. Why is it that today only those who believe in the Torah/ Bible - and not even all of them - subscribe to it?

Answer: There is nothing to account for. The CM is concerned with one thing: evidence. If there is no evidence for evolution, then adherents of the CM could care less about the consensus of scientific opinion. Everyone knows that scientists are biased and need to come up with a material explanation for things. They don’t even give Intelligent Design a fighting chance in the first place. You know who said this? You! In your book The Science of Torah, you wrote: (my emphasis)

"Scientists consider evidence for common ancestry to be very strong indeed. Futuyma even rates common ancestry as fact, relative to explanations of evolutionary mechanisms, which he terms theory. Actually, scientists are often being presumptuous when they give such a status to the evidence for common ancestry, as they generally are not giving serious consideration to explanations for it in light of other possibilities (such as Divine creation, panspermia, or some other unknowable process)."

So who cares about scientists if they have no evidence? Just because they are a majority? Because they are a large crowd? Because they are a "global community"? All this is meaningless to the CM.

Question to Rabbi Slifkin: Since apparently one of the reasons you feel obliged to subscribe to the EM is due to the fact that their are an "overwhelming" majority of scientists which reject the CM model, why do you subscribe to your model of theology, i.e. Judaism? After all, the overwhelming consensus amongst theologians today, Christian, Moslem, and others, is that the imperatives of your religeon are false. That's quite an impressive majority, is it not?

85 comments:

  1. Thank you Rabbi Coffer for engaging in this debate / dialogue

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  2. R. Slifkin's challenges are interesting as are the responses and counter-challenges issued here. I posted a comment on R. Slifkin's blog asking for his responses, but my comment has not appeared.

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  3. Since apparently one of the reasons you feel obliged to subscribe to the EM is due to the fact that their are an "overwhelming" majority of scientists which reject the CM model, why do you subscribe to your model of theology, i.e. Judaism?

    We cannot bundle theology and religion into one package, but rather each must be given its own space. The scientific community has mechanisms in place to validate its findings and theories that work well enough in its own sphere, but are not relevant to theology.

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  4. Everyone knows that scientists are biased and need to come up with a material explanation for things.

    I suggest that all thinking human beings have biases, otherwise known as working assumptions or premises, and this would include Rabbi Coffer. To increase your credibility, I suggest that you make clear disclosure on them.

    Also, please elaborate on what the scientists' biases are and how they came to be if you could. It seems quite curious to me that a group encompassing millions of diverse people carry uniform unfounded biases.

    Perhaps you are referring to the premise about physical laws extending backwards in history indefinitely? If so, then it is also a premise to assume that physical laws were suddenly changed or created 6k years ago.

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  5. The post title states that the Q&A is about challenging the Young-earth model of creation, but you have dodged every question which raises the young earth issue and have focused almost exclusively on the evolution issue.
    Why is that?

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  6. SC asked me to jump to question #2, but unfortunately I like to do things slowly.

    This is patently inequitable. Dr. Betech is certainly not to be blamed if he chooses to ignore Rabbi Slifkin’s request.

    Um, isn't this the blog that continuously rips on R' Slifkin for not agreeing to debate evolution?

    One line of evidence is the fact that written historical records basically coincide with a young-earth scenario.

    A key word there is "basically." Many anthropologists credit the earliest known forms of writing to the Neolithic age in China, about 8,000 years ago. (I realize you would dispute the dating methods—but then were did you get "6000" from?)

    You also say "one line of evidence." Do you have others? Because EM has many for an ancient Earth.

    Regarding your main point, kol hatchalot kashot. If you look at the progress of human knowledge in the past 20,000 years, you'll find exponential growth.

    Surely after almost 99% of mankind’s evolution already behind it, it should be advanced enough to keep records, a feat far less complicated than most of its other technological advancements, such as advanced architecture.

    I'm not sure what advanced architecture you're referring to from prehistory, but you also find all sorts of architecture throughout the animal kingdom: bees, birds, beavers, etc, sometimes amazingly complex. Writing, on the other hand, was invented only a few times in just a few places, and after that it spread through teaching. And even today, there are hundreds of millions of illiterate people.

    In any event, I disagree with the premise that written history reflects world history. I also don't think you answered Rav Slifkin's question. How does CM know that there were 168 hours of prehistory before man learned to write instead of 13.7 billion years?

    Glad to be posting! ;-)

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  7. B"H
    Rafi
    If you are following the commentary threads on rationalist judaism, you will see that I accepted to debate on all the subjects proposed.
    If you want a copy of my summary letter with the dates of all my relevant posts you can email me.
    isaacb@tovnet.com
    Isaac Betech

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  8. Dr. Betech, I am very pleased that you and Dr. Ostroff and Rabbi Coffer have opened this forum. Could I please encourage you to use this valuable opportunity to address the substantive issues? For our purposes here, we can all concede that Rabbi Slifkin is in the wrong for abdicating from the debate. Frankly, I find the tit-for-tat tiring.

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  9. FKM - who is your question directed to?

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  10. SC,
    For claritys sake I will repost my answers here. Please note that I may not have access to a computer for the next couple of days so I may not reply to your reply right away. I look foward to an exciting discussion with you!

    Below are answers that I think take care of some of your questions. Let me know what you think!

    "Evolution claims that mankind broke away from chimps about 6-7 million years ago and slowly advanced in intelligence. Ultimately they reached the level of the modern human with his attendant level of intelligence and technological advancement. My question is the following. Based on the current level of human advancement and projecting backwards over 7 million years, we should expect to see written historical records of mankind for at least 100,000 years. After all, this amounts to not much more than 1 percent of mankind’s entire evolution. Surely after almost 99% of mankind’s evolution already behind it, it should be advanced enough to keep records, a feat far less complicated than most of its other technological advancements, such as advanced architecture."

    Answer

    This is not a question. Humanity has advanced more in the couple of hundred years since the industrial revolution to now then they did in the thousands of years between the agricultural revolution to the industrial revolution. Advancement does not grow at an even and trackable rate.

    "Why is it that the experiments conducted by scientists to support an evolutionary model consistently fail?"

    They don't. I suggest you read some of the experiments mentioned in the "Greatest show on earth" by Richard Dawkins or just research it online.

    "Every textbook of evolution asserts that reptiles evolved from amphibians somewhere in the Triassic period. There are innumerable problems with this but here’s a big one. One of the major distinguishing features between them is the reptilian amniotic egg which supposedly came about gradually as a result of a successive accumulation of small changes. But the amniotic egg of the reptile is entirely different than that of an amphibian. Amphibians lay their eggs in water. They are jelly-like and possess a transparent and permeable membrane, an ideal structure for development in water. Reptiles, on the other hand, lay their eggs on land and are meant to survive there, not in the water. The hard shell of the reptile egg (amniotic), allows air in, but is impermeable to water. In this way, the water needed by the developing animal is kept inside the egg. If amphibian eggs were laid on land, they would immediately dehydrate thus killing the embryo. Therefore if dinosaurs evolved from amphibians, the amphibian egg must have changed into an amniotic one within the lifespan of a single generation. How could such a process have occurred?"

    Answer:

    No it would not have to have happened in one generation. There is the possibility of it developing gradualy. The eggs of the Mud Skipper are a good example of an egg that spends some time underwater and some time in the air. It could devolop given enough time if the survival and reproductive rate of those more able to live in both air and water longer was higher.(EDIT-) By the same note it could have started with any amphibian eggs laid in an area were the water flowed and ebbed (with the amphibians who laid eggs that survived being exposed to air for a little longer's eggs surviving more and therefore reproducing more.)

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  11. "The North American wolf and the Tasmanian wolf have an almost identical skeletal structure making them perfectly homologous. Yet the former belongs to the placental class whilst the latter to the marsupials. This, according to Evolutionists, means that these two different species have completely separate evolutionary histories. Hmm… an evolutionary conundrum. How do you explain this?"

    Not completley diffrent. They all came from the same ancestor. The pressures on the Australian species made them marsupials while the North American one developed as a placental. Why should the fact the pressures on two descendents of the same ancestor were similar enough to produce a similar species in two diffrent areas of the world be a problem for Evolution?

    "Why do animals fit into a nested hierarchal system of classification, rather than there being all kinds of chimeras? After all, if all species descended from other species gradually, the species today should represent a conglomeration of intermediate species not easily able to be classified. I already quoted this to you above."

    Answer:

    Classifications are made by humans for humans. in reality there is a spectrum: there Amphibios fish, Marine mammals, Animals that have flaps that are almost wings but just allow them to glide, Animals with "eyes" that just detect light and nothing more to eyes that see alot better then ours. It goes on and on.

    The point is as people we make classifications were it is most convienient for us. The fact that there are classes for evreything does not mean that there are no species that could technicly be called "intermediate".

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  12. Dr. Betech, I agree with Yitz, why are you obsessing about formal debates? Just tell us what you think already! You've been very mysterious, and frankly I find your comments on Rav Slifkin's blog hard to follow. They jump between threads, involve a lot of unnecessary copy-and-pasting, and rarely say anything new. I'm not so interested in your summary, sorry. But thank you for starting this wave of interesting discussion!

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  13. FKM,

    You said,

    "CM has no difficulty recognizing that selective pressures causes change on the micro-level. "

    Why do you believe that these "Micro" GENETIC changes would stop at the point we Humans have decided to call a "Species"? In other words why should they not continue given enough time to change the animal until the animal is no longer recognizable as a member of the same "Species"

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  14. You asked,

    "Precisely! And this prediction has been falsified! A study of geology and paleontology does not reveal the picture of a family tree the way Evolution envisions it. In fact, phenomena like the Cambrian Explosion turn this tree quite literally upside down. The truth is this clearly seems to support the CM of Dr. Betech while falsifying yours."

    Answer

    This is simply untrue. For example you don't find mammals in precambrian rocks EVER if you did this would disprove the EM. The Cambrian "explosion" (which incidently took place over about a 30 million year period!) dosn't pose a problem for the EM either and there are many explanations purposed for this "sudden" explosion of life like one given by Richard Dawkins that it might be that many of the animals in the precambrian had only soft parts to their bodies: no shells or bones to fossilize.

    You asked

    "Furthermore, the criterion I just supplied as predictions for the CM would seem to falsify the EM too. How does the EM account for the sudden appearance of species in the geological record as opposed to a gradual unfolding? And wasn’t this precisely Darwin’s criteria for falsifiability? Wasn’t it he who stated that if his theory was true the geological record should demonstrate a gradual transitional state rather than the sudden appearance of well-defined species?"

    Answer,

    The fossil record is of course not near complete and fossilisation is a rare event. However there are hundreds of transitional fossils you can see at any Museum of Natrual History. You can also see lists of such fossils online.

    You asked,

    "Also, what about my other prediction? According to the EM, a study of Zoology should yield a continuous spectrum of intermediate species? You know who asked that? Darwin! And if you think Darwin’s kushya is no longer a kushya, here’s a quote from a well-known evolutionist asking the same kushya"

    Answer,

    You are not understanding what the EM predicts at all. According to the EM any species alive today can be a transitional species: If selection pressures keep making Micro changes to the offspring of any species alive today for enough years eventualy the offspring will become unrecognizable as a member of the same species as its ancestor.

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  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  16. B"H
    Rafi wrote:
    Dr. Betech, I agree with Yitz, why are you obsessing about formal debates?

    I answer:
    Because I saw how the flow of information was manipulated in rationalistjudaism.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Because I saw how the flow of information was manipulated in rationalistjudaism

    Great - you have your own venue here and are free to present the information in the clearest manner, under your own editorship.

    Rabbi Coffer has picked up the ball in this regard, so you could just delegate the CM position to him. This will be the outcome by default if you remain silent.

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  18. A technical comment for our honored blog participants...

    As a suggestion, I find it much easier to follow dialogue if the quoted text is italicized. Just sandwich the text between <i> and </i>.

    This is italicized text, so the reader easily sees that it is a quotation from an earlier post

    Here the blogger is responding to the text quoted above. Isn't this much easier on the eyes than searching for beginning and ending quotation marks?

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  19. Response to Rafi October 13, 2010 10:46 PM

    Um, isn't this the blog that continuously rips on R' Slifkin for not agreeing to debate evolution?

    Precisely. Which is why when Rabbi Slifkin announced his unmitigated resolve to not debate Dr. Betech on evolution, under any circumstances, I wrote that Dr. Betech was in his rights to decline Rabbi Slifkin's request to publicly debate Dr. Betech's personal model of Creation. What's the problem?

    A key word there is "basically." Many anthropologists credit the earliest known forms of writing to the Neolithic age in China, about 8,000 years ago. (I realize you would dispute the dating methods—but then were did you get "6000" from?)

    Where did you get 8000 years from? The standard academic timeline for the appearance of writing is the Bronze Age, in the fourth millenium B.C. If you don't beleive me, just Google it. This timeline basically corresponds to our traditional dating systyem of the first appearance of mankind.

    Regarding your main point, kol hatchalot kashot. If you look at the progress of human knowledge in the past 20,000 years, you'll find exponential growth.

    This amounts to circular reasoning. The topic of debate here is the very notion that mankind is any older than our traditional dating system.

    I'm not sure what advanced architecture you're referring to from prehistory...

    Not prehistory. Recorded history. Which basically began 5-6000 years ago with the advent of writing in the Bronze age. The fact that historical records do not go back further than about 5000 years is unanimously accepted by historians and archeologists alike. I think you need to do some research Rafi.

    As far as the architectural feats of old, I was refering to famous edifices like the Great Pyramid of Giza and the massive Ziggurat step pyramids which appeared all over the middle east subsequent to the Biblical flood (and was obviously connected with the Biblical story of the Tower of Babel).

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  20. Response to Ari October 14, 2010 1:57 PM

    I wrote: "Evolution claims that mankind broke away from chimps about 6-7 million years ago and slowly advanced in intelligence... projecting backwards over 7 million years, we should expect to see written historical records... Surely after almost 99% of mankind’s evolution already behind it, it should be advanced enough to keep records, a feat far less complicated than most of its other technological advancements, such as advanced architecture.

    To which Ari responded:

    This is not a question. Humanity has advanced more in the couple of hundred years since the industrial revolution to now then they did in the thousands of years between the agricultural revolution to the industrial revolution. Advancement does not grow at an even and trackable rate.

    This is not an answer. The industrial revolution was a one time event in the history of mankind and is not at all indicative of the standard pace of human technological advancement in recorded history.

    I wrote:

    "Why is it that the experiments conducted by scientists to support an evolutionary model consistently fail?"

    To which Ari responded:

    They don't. I suggest you read some of the experiments mentioned in the "Greatest show on earth" by Richard Dawkins or just research it online.

    Suggestion rejected. I am familiar with Dawkins' books. If you have an example you'd like to quote in detail, I'm all ears. But don't send me on wild goose chases. I've already supplied you with the sixty+ year failed experiment relating to the species Drosophila melanogaster (fruit flies in English). But this is only one species. Evolutionists have been conducting similar experiments on a variety of different species. If you're looking for another example of a failed evolutionary experiment, the Miller-Urey experiment comes to mind. If you're looking for yet another, "industrial melanism" failed to prove evolution.

    There isn't even a single example of an experiment that came close to proving macro-evolutionary processess, not one. But if you beleive I am wrong, you're going to have to do better than point me in the direction of Google.

    I wrote:

    "Every textbook of evolution asserts that reptiles evolved from amphibians... But the amniotic egg of the reptile is entirely different than that of an amphibian... Therefore if dinosaurs evolved from amphibians, the amphibian egg must have changed into an amniotic one within the lifespan of a single generation. How could such a process have occurred?"

    To which Ari responded:

    No it would not have to have happened in one generation. There is the possibility of it developing gradualy. The eggs of the Mud Skipper are a good example of an egg that spends some time underwater and some time in the air.

    Nice response. But inadequate. Mudskipper happens to possess a tough gelatinous skin which can withstand a certain degree of desiccation. But this doesn't account for the evolutionary transition from essentially amphibian to amniotic. Furthermore, the transition from Mudskipper egg to amniotic egg is almost as fantastic as fully amphibian to amniotic. The amniotic egg is vastly more complex than the amphibian egg and the fact is reptiles simply could not survive without the amniotic mechanism fully in place. In order to envision such a thing, either you have to say that it transitioned overnight or you have to say that millions and millions of years produced insensibly fine gradations which ultimately culminated in the full transition but if so, where’s the transitional fossils? One or two mosaic species don’t cut the mustard.

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  21. This timeline basically corresponds to our traditional dating system of the first appearance of mankind.

    Why do you keep using the word "basically"? Why don't you say "the timeline absolutely supports CM"? I'm willing to say that dendrochronology, ice cores and starlight absolutely contradict CM.

    Where did you get 8000 years from?

    I was referring to this. I admit the status of these signs as writing is controversial, though their dates are not. But yes, historical records began about 6,000 years ago, I never meant to dispute that.

    This amounts to circular reasoning.

    Your argument is that it is surprising that 7 million years went by before man invented writing. I'm saying it's not nearly surprising enough to be considered evidence against evolution.

    As far as the architectural feats of old...

    OK, I misunderstood that part of your argument. But architecture and writing are very different skills.

    And for those who believe that God put a soul into evolved apes 5771 years ago, none of your counter-evidence here is any contradiction whatsoever.

    I also ask you again to elaborate if you have other lines of evidence, which you suggested by starting with "one line of evidence..."

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  22. SC,

    Gut Voch!

    I wrote

    "This is not a question. Humanity has advanced more in the couple of hundred years since the industrial revolution to now then they did in the thousands of years between the agricultural revolution to the industrial revolution. Advancement does not grow at an even and trackable rate."

    To which you responded,

    "This is not an answer. The industrial revolution was a one time event in the history of mankind and is not at all indicative of the standard pace of human technological advancement in recorded history."

    My point is if you look throughout history you see a series "revolutions" not a steady predictable rate. However even if you didn't there are too many variables involved in human advancement too prove or disprove something from the fact that it took society so long to come up with an idea.

    I wrote,
    "They don't. I suggest you read some of the experiments mentioned in the "Greatest show on earth" by Richard Dawkins or just research it online."

    To which you responded,

    Suggestion rejected. I am familiar with Dawkins' books. If you have an example you'd like to quote in detail, I'm all ears. But don't send me on wild goose chases. I've already supplied you with the sixty+ year failed experiment relating to the species Drosophila melanogaster (fruit flies in English). But this is only one species. Evolutionists have been conducting similar experiments on a variety of different species. If you're looking for another example of a failed evolutionary experiment, the Miller-Urey experiment comes to mind. If you're looking for yet another, "industrial melanism" failed to prove evolution.

    There isn't even a single example of an experiment that came close to proving macro-evolutionary processess, not one. But if you beleive I am wrong, you're going to have to do better than point me in the direction of Google.
    "

    Check out Richard Lenski's experiment with Viruses also if you could answer the question I posed to FKM above which was "Why do you believe that "Micro" GENETIC changes would stop at the point we Humans have decided to call a "Species"? In other words why should they not continue given enough time to change the animal until the animal is no longer recognizable as a member of the same "Species"?" That may be helpful here.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I wrote

    "No it would not have to have happened in one generation. There is the possibility of it developing gradualy. The eggs of the Mud Skipper are a good example of an egg that spends some time underwater and some time in the air."

    To which you responded,

    "Nice response. But inadequate. Mudskipper happens to possess a tough gelatinous skin which can withstand a certain degree of desiccation. But this doesn't account for the evolutionary transition from essentially amphibian to amniotic. Furthermore, the transition from Mudskipper egg to amniotic egg is almost as fantastic as fully amphibian to amniotic. The amniotic egg is vastly more complex than the amphibian egg and the fact is reptiles simply could not survive without the amniotic mechanism fully in place. In order to envision such a thing, either you have to say that it transitioned overnight or you have to say that millions and millions of years produced insensibly fine gradations which ultimately culminated in the full transition but if so, where’s the transitional fossils? One or two mosaic species don’t cut the mustard."

    So your question is "were are the Transitional Fossils". Again the fossil record is incomplete and fossilization is a relatively rare occurrence: There are more species alive today then the amount of fossils we have collected anywhere since they began being collected. (We have fossils for about 250,000 species there are at least 1.4 million species known to science alive today. Does this prove to you that 1.15 million species never existed until today!?)

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  24. CORRECTION:

    On October 16 at 9:40pm I wrote

    "Check out Richard Lenski's experiment with Viruses"

    I meant to write

    "Check out Richard Lenski's experiment with BACTERIA"

    ReplyDelete
  25. Rafi -

    Why do you keep using the word "basically"? Why don't you say "the timeline absolutely supports CM"?

    Becasue I don't want to be taken to task for not providing direct evidence for exactly 5771 yers, a feat I am actually unable to accomplish. When I say evidence, I am referring to evidence which is consistent with our messorah and inconsistent with an ancient universe. Thast's why I keep using the word basic.

    Your argument is that it is surprising that 7 million years went by before man invented writing. I'm saying it's not nearly surprising enough to be considered evidence against evolution.

    I'm not trying to disprove evolution! Evolution doesn't need to be disproven; it doesn't possess any evidence. What I am doing is offering "evidence" which is consistent with our messorah and inconsistent with an ancient universe, as Rabbi Slifkin requested R' Isaac (Dr. Betech) to do (i.e. provide positive evidence for his CM).

    And for those who believe that God put a soul into evolved apes 5771 years ago, none of your counter-evidence here is any contradiction whatsoever.

    Not true. According to this "shita", mankind was fully developed via purely evolutionary processess when G-d finally decided to "ensoul" one of the pre-existing men, or perhaps a whole bunch of pre-existing men. See R' Aryeh Kaplan's essay entitled Immortality, Resurrection and the Age of the Universe

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  26. I'm not trying to disprove evolution!

    Then what exactly was the point of the argument I was responding too?

    According to this "shita", mankind was fully developed...

    I was primarily referring to the approach of Gerald Schroeder in Science of God, who uses your exact argument to support his version of evolution. In general I tend to disagree with him, but his view on this particular issue could be assumed by any believer in theistic evolution.



    Some new questions on prehistory and written history:

    1) What do you do with the evidence of Neolithic cultures around the world? Prehistoric cave paintings and etchings, primitive writing forms, burial sites, figurines, etc.? I know you dispute the dating methods, but it seems clear even without them that there were primitive cultures before recorded history began.

    This is a sharper version of my "other lines of evidence" question, which you have not responded to:

    2) Do you have any physical evidence at all that prehistory was very short? EM, for example, claims to have multiple fields of evidence that indicate eons of prehistory.

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  27. Ari - October 16, 2010 9:45 PM

    Ari, you have a slew of prior comments I haven't managed to get to. Between you and Rafi, I'm not getting any sleep. I'm responding to your latest comment and I hope to work my way backwards. (My colleagues tell me it is not neccessary to respond to every comment on a Blog but so far I am tryig...)

    My point is if you look throughout history you see a series "revolutions" not a steady predictable rate. However even if you didn't there are too many variables involved in human advancement too prove or disprove something from the fact that it took society so long to come up with an idea.

    Unfortunately, you haven't demonstrated that idea and in fact a study of recorded history belies your assertion. The Torah mentions the technologies prevalent at the begining of the world, such as metalurgy and music, which is entirely consistent with Bronze age findings. Shortly after that we find more advanced technology and as mankind advances new discoveries are constantly being made. It seems inconceivable to me that mankind was around for millions of years, and modern man for a 100,000 years or more, and didn't make any significant advancements until the last few thousand years.

    Check out Richard Lenski's experiment with Viruses

    Well, I'll say this for you Ari; you certainly seem to be up on the latest developments. You mean E-coli's ability to grow on citric acid.

    I discussed this with YSO a year or two ago and I can't remeber what the maskana was. If I recall correctly, and I haven't read Lenski's findings in Nature, I am given to understand that the "beneficial" mutations claimed by Lenski are actually degradative mutations which compromise its normal ability to repair its DNA. In point of fact, the ID people claim Lenski's findings as a victory for their theory as no substantial changes have occured over a period of 50,000 generations.

    Notwithstanding my rebuttal, I wish to temporarily reserve judgment regarding this experiment.

    Nice response...

    if you could answer the question I posed to FKM above which was "Why do you believe that "Micro" GENETIC changes would stop at the point we Humans have decided to call a "Species"? In other words why should they not continue given enough time to change the animal until the animal is no longer recognizable as a member of the same "Species"?" That may be helpful here.

    Yes. Certainly. In fact, it's fundamental.

    I can't respond to this request al regel achas and I fear it will exceed the alloted space for a comment. Bl'n I will respond in my next comment to you.

    In your next post, you wrote:

    So your question is "were are the Transitional Fossils".

    No, it's not. I wrote in haste. It was erev Shabbos and I was trying to get off the computer. I retract that question. My question is the first one i.e. The amniotic egg is vastly more complex than the amphibian egg and the fact is reptiles simply could not survive without the amniotic mechanism fully in place. In order to envision such a thing, you have to say that it transitioned overnight...

    But since you brought up the topic, your standard evolutionary response rings hollow. There are, as you say, 250,000 species recorded in the rocks. That's a lot of fossils! Millions! Perhaps Billions! Since evolution is an ongoing process, we should expect to see it refelcted whenever fossilization does manage to occur. Why has Geology consistently captured non-transitional type forms? This kushya is by far the most damaging piece of evidence against evolution and the most solid peice of evidence for the standard depiction of the Torah i.e. rapid specialized apparance of the species.

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  28. Ari - Re: Microevolution

    I wrote: "I can't respond to this request al regel achas and I fear it will exceed the alloted space for a comment. Bl'n I will respond in my next comment to you."

    I changed my mind. Here's a "regel achas" response. If you try and refute it, I will then have to post something longer.

    Variation (i.e. genetic change) is one of the two fundamental mechanisms of evolution but variation can mean different things. Scientists have only observed one type of variation; micro-evolutionary (ME). ME refers to a genetic process which results in the individuals or groups of a certain type or species possessing different (i.e. “varying”) characteristics. For example, all humans possess basically the same genetic information, yet some are tall, some are short, some have slanted eyes, some round, and some have long noses (Jews :-). All this depends on the extent of potential variation which already exists in the genetic information of the species.

    Micro-evolutionary variation can not constitute evidence for evolution because it is merely the outcome of different combinations of pre-existing information in the gene-pool.

    In order for Evolution to account for speciation (Macro-evolution), it needs to explain how new information arose. Every case of known mutation (let's forget Lenski for a minute) results in deleterious results for the organism, understandably so. Like my Rebbe says, suppose you opened the hood of a car and yanked out a wire. What would be the chances that the functionality of the car would improve?

    In order for even one new piece of beneficial information to arise in one organism, the odds are huge. But you need millions and millions of beneficial mutations in order for, say, a reptile to transform into a bird. There isn't enough time in 13.7 billion years for even one functional protein to have reasonably developed, much less the huge macro-evolutionary changes necessary to account for the transformation of a reptile's physiology to that of an avian creature.

    That's the short answer. If you have issues, let me know and I will write up a full paper, bl'n (big bl'n) addressing the issue.

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  29. Ari -

    Not completley diffrent. They all came from the same ancestor. The pressures on the Australian species made them marsupials while the North American one developed as a placental. Why should the fact the pressures on two descendents of the same ancestor were similar enough to produce a similar species in two diffrent areas of the world be a problem for Evolution?

    No. This is wrong. There are three distinct (accidental!) mammalian Classes which, according to evolutionary theory, arose in the Triassic period and branched out in uniquely different patterns over millions of years. Their "common ancestor" precedes the wolves in question by 100's of millions of years! Your assumption that the "pressures" of Australia versus the pressures of other geographical locations is somehow able to account for fundamental changes in a Class is absurd! It's almost as if you have no idea whatsoever the vast biological differences between the two classes and the sheer volume of genetic information it would take to account for differences between them. Environmental pressures does not even BEGIN to account for these differences. No professional scientist would even dream of claiming such a thing!

    Classifications are made by humans for humans. in reality there is a spectrum: there Amphibios fish, Marine mammals, Animals that have flaps that are almost wings but just allow them to glide, Animals with "eyes" that just detect light and nothing more to eyes that see alot better then ours. It goes on and on.

    The point is as people we make classifications were it is most convienient for us. The fact that there are classes for evreything does not mean that there are no species that could technicly be called "intermediate".


    [Ari - Please note: In view of your last two comments, I suspect that as this communication continues, my angst will rise. Please excuse my strong language. It is not meant personally]


    Under normal circumstances, I would entirely ignore this comment. I can't even believe you made it! It smacks of desperation…

    In one fell swoop you have eliminated the Linnaean form of classification currently in use by the vast majority of biologists, evolutionary and non-evolutionary alike. Linnaean classification is the foundation of evolutionary theory! The nested hierarchy described by Linnaeus, from Species and Genus up to Phylum and Kingdom is the very language of evolution and was developed before evolution based on empirical observation! The primary function of evolutionary theory is to describe the connections between these various categories. The fact that there might be a mudskipper here and there or some marine mammals (maybe 2% of all mammals in total) which differ in morphology from the norm is entirely irrelevant. The general system of classification remains in place and needs to be addressed by evolutionary theory. If the theory fails to account for the transitions between the major classifications, you can’t just come along and say that the system of classification is just humans making classifications for humans and that in reality there is a spectrum. Especially since out of 1.4 million species (I’m using your numbers) you provide a scant 4 examples and then conveniently end with the words “on and on”. Do you actually expect me to accept that your examples demonstrate a transitional model of biology rather than Linnaeus’ model of well defined species?

    I’m still shaking my head in wonderment…

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  30. Ari -

    This is simply untrue... The Cambrian "explosion" (which incidently took place over about a 30 million year period!) dosn't pose a problem for the EM either and there are many explanations purposed for this "sudden" explosion of life like one given by Richard Dawkins that it might be that many of the animals in the precambrian had only soft parts to their bodies: no shells or bones to fossilize.

    Okey dokey. I see which way this is going. I think we're going to have to make some rules. From now on, no assertions re evolution, neither by you or me, without supporting evidence from the published scientific literature or from books written by well-known accepted scientists. And I mean chapter and verse. Book name and page number. A verifiable quote. And when I say "scientists" I mean experts in the fields in question, such as geologists, paleontologists, zoologists, biologists, biochemists, etc. Furthermore, I hereby commit to quote only evolutionary scientists! I'm sure you won't have a problem with that...

    In keeping with our new-found rules, here's a quote from your very own Richard Dawkins about the problem the Cambrian explosion poses for evolution. Incidentally, it also puts your response re soft-bodied pre-Cambrian fossils in proper perspective. (my emphases)

    Eldredge and Gould certainly would agree that some very important gaps really are due to imperfections in the fossil record. Very big gaps, too. For example the Cambrian strata of rocks, vintage about 600 million years, are the oldest ones in which we find most of the major invertebrate groups. And we find many of them already in an advanced state of evolution, the very first time they appear. It is as though they were just planted there, without any evolutionary history. Needless to say, this appearance of sudden planting has delighted creationists. Evolutionists of all stripes believe, however, that this really does represent a very large gap in the fossil record, a gap that is simply due to the fact that, for some reason, very few fossils have lasted from periods before about 600 million years ago. One good reason might be that many of these animals had only soft parts to their bodies: no shells or bones to fossilize. If you are a creationist you may think that this is special pleading. My point here is that, when we are talking about gaps of this magnitude, there is no difference whatever in the interpretations of 'punctuationists' and 'gradualists'. Both schools of thought despise so-called scientific creationists equally, and both agree that the major gaps are real, that they are true imperfections in the fossil record. Both schools of thought agree that the only alternative explanation of the sudden appearance of so many complex animal types in the Cambrian era is divine creation, and both would reject this alternative." (Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker, 1986, pg 229-30.

    Well, there you go. Dawkins concedes that the CE is indeed problematic for any version of evolution (mainstream and punctuated) and the only way to possibly explain it is by special pleading ("one good reason might be...")

    His response is no good anyway because we do find soft-bodied fossils in the pre-Cambrian. Furthermore, Trilobites have an easily fossilized exoskeleton and they appear suddenly in the Cambrian record. What happened to their antecedents? Surely their skeleton didn't just evolve overnight...

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  31. The Dawkins quote And we find many of them already in an advanced state of evolution, the very first time they appear. It is as though they were just planted there, without any evolutionary history which of course is and admission that this evidence stands against evolution and for creation --- by one of the most well-known biologists -- is most important.

    Note that despite the scientific evidence undermining evolution, Dawkins and all his colleagues despise creationists. Why should he and his colleagues despise them if in this case the empirical evidence supports the creation model while knocking holes in the evolution model? What happened to the search for truth? Or is the modern Academy more interested in propagandizing for scientific atheism than rational debate?

    This blog suggests that it is appropriate to examine, to test, and to analyze the "scientific consensus", especially when it comes to the origin sciences (as opposed to the operational sciences which are actually based on critical experiments and more solid empirical evidence).

    The Origin Sciences include implausible naturalistic accounts using chance and naturalistic explanations such as Big Bang Cosmology, the Chemical Origin of Life, and Biological Evolution. Origin Sciences are speculative and often suspect because they are based on untested foundational assumptions, vast extrapolations to an open-ended and unobservable past, and the need to postulate unobserved hypothetical entities (e.g supposed sequences of transitional fossils) to save the theories from disconfirmation from stubborn anomalies in the data (see toriah.com for more).

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  32. SC,

    Sorry it took so long for me to respond.

    I wrote,

    "My point is if you look throughout history you see a series "revolutions" not a steady predictable rate. However even if you didn't there are too many variables involved in human advancement too prove or disprove something from the fact that it took society so long to come up with an idea."

    To which you responded,

    "Unfortunately, you haven't demonstrated that idea and in fact a study of recorded history belies your assertion. The Torah mentions the technologies prevalent at the begining of the world, such as metalurgy and music, which is entirely consistent with Bronze age findings. Shortly after that we find more advanced technology and as mankind advances new discoveries are constantly being made. It seems inconceivable to me that mankind was around for millions of years, and modern man for a 100,000 years or more, and didn't make any significant advancements until the last few thousand years."

    I disagree that a study of history belies my assertion. However lets not get distracted, the second part of response answers your question-there are too many variables involved in human advancement too prove or disprove something from the fact that it took society so long to come up with an idea.

    I wrote, ( on your question about the evolution of the amniotic egg),

    "So your question is "were are the Transitional Fossils".

    To which you responded,

    "No, it's not. I wrote in haste. It was erev Shabbos and I was trying to get off the computer. I retract that question. My question is the first one i.e. The amniotic egg is vastly more complex than the amphibian egg and the fact is reptiles simply could not survive without the amniotic mechanism fully in place. In order to envision such a thing, you have to say that it transitioned overnight..."

    Again, why are you saying it could not have happened in small increments over enough time?
    (I even gave you a scenario in my answer above as well as an example of an egg that could spend time in both air and water!)

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  33. SC,

    You wrote,

    "But since you brought up the topic, your standard evolutionary response rings hollow. There are, as you say, 250,000 species recorded in the rocks. That's a lot of fossils! Millions! Perhaps Billions! Since evolution is an ongoing process, we should expect to see it refelcted whenever fossilization does manage to occur. Why has Geology consistently captured non-transitional type forms? This kushya is by far the most damaging piece of evidence against evolution and the most solid peice of evidence for the standard depiction of the Torah i.e. rapid specialized apparance of the species."

    Again the point here is, that we dont have a fossil record for the vast majority of species alive on earth today!- Most species presently alive on earth appear TODAY in an advanced state of evolution, the very first time they appear. It is as though they were just planted there, without any evolutionary history.

    The only diffrence is that the first time we see them is not in the fossil record, but living somwere on earth now. Does this prove to you that they have no history on earth before today?

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  34. I wrote

    "Not completley diffrent. They all came from the same ancestor. The pressures on the Australian species made them marsupials while the North American one developed as a placental. Why should the fact the pressures on two descendents of the same ancestor were similar enough to produce a similar species in two diffrent areas of the world be a problem for Evolution?"

    To which you responded,

    "No. This is wrong. There are three distinct (accidental!) mammalian Classes which, according to evolutionary theory, arose in the Triassic period and branched out in uniquely different patterns over millions of years. Their "common ancestor" precedes the wolves in question by 100's of millions of years! Your assumption that the "pressures" of Australia versus the pressures of other geographical locations is somehow able to account for fundamental changes in a Class is absurd! It's almost as if you have no idea whatsoever the vast biological differences between the two classes and the sheer volume of genetic information it would take to account for differences between them. Environmental pressures does not even BEGIN to account for these differences. No professional scientist would even dream of claiming such a thing!"

    First of all my choice of words was wrong. I should have wrote "circumstances" instead of "pressures" and I didnt say or mean enviromental pressures alone.

    What diffrence does it make for the purposes of this conversation how far back the common ancestor was? and I ask again, why should the fact that the fact the pressures on two descendents of the same ancestor were similar enough to produce a similar species in two diffrent areas of the world be a problem for Evolution?

    ReplyDelete
  35. I wrote,

    "Classifications are made by humans for humans. in reality there is a spectrum: there Amphibios fish, Marine mammals, Animals that have flaps that are almost wings but just allow them to glide, Animals with "eyes" that just detect light and nothing more to eyes that see alot better then ours. It goes on and on.

    The point is as people we make classifications were it is most convienient for us. The fact that there are classes for evreything does not mean that there are no species that could technicly be called "intermediate"."

    To which you responded,

    "Under normal circumstances, I would entirely ignore this comment. I can't even believe you made it! It smacks of desperation…

    In one fell swoop you have eliminated the Linnaean form of classification currently in use by the vast majority of biologists, evolutionary and non-evolutionary alike. Linnaean classification is the foundation of evolutionary theory! The nested hierarchy described by Linnaeus, from Species and Genus up to Phylum and Kingdom is the very language of evolution and was developed before evolution based on empirical observation! The primary function of evolutionary theory is to describe the connections between these various categories. The fact that there might be a mudskipper here and there or some marine mammals (maybe 2% of all mammals in total) which differ in morphology from the norm is entirely irrelevant. The general system of classification remains in place and needs to be addressed by evolutionary theory. If the theory fails to account for the transitions between the major classifications, you can’t just come along and say that the system of classification is just humans making classifications for humans and that in reality there is a spectrum. Especially since out of 1.4 million species (I’m using your numbers) you provide a scant 4 examples and then conveniently end with the words “on and on”. Do you actually expect me to accept that your examples demonstrate a transitional model of biology rather than Linnaeus’ model of well defined species?"

    I really dont understand what your problem with my response is. Classification systems are made by people for people and at diffrent times we have used diffrent systems to classify animals ( the Torahs system is quite diffrent then linneus' system!) The fact that modern biologists use a modified version of linneus' classification dosn't make it any diffrent.

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  37. RE Micro vs Macro Evolution

    Before I respond can you explain what you mean when you write "In order for Evolution to account for speciation (Macro-evolution), it needs to explain how new information arose"-

    How do you define "New Information"?

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  41. Ari -

    You apologize to me for the lateness of your response meanwhile I'm the one who hasn't responded to most of your issues. Just letting you know I haven't forgotten you and will bl'n get to your comments. They are very important becasue someone from the "chareidi" side has to respond to scietific issues relating to evolution and the age of the universe. I fully intend on responding b'hekdem ha'efshari, hopefully tonight sometime.

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  42. Ari - October 14, 2010 2:02 PM

    I am responding al harishon rishon for now and will get to your most recent replies to me when I'm done with the original comments. Unfortunately, it seems that the more I respond the more you write but I hope to catch up one day... :-)

    You wrote: The fossil record is of course not near complete and fossilisation is a rare event. However there are hundreds of transitional fossils you can see at any Museum of Natrual History. You can also see lists of such fossils online.

    No good. First of all fossilization is not a rare event. Paleontologists have unearthed hundreds of millions of fossils and have catalogued 250,000 species. Perhaps what you mean to say is that fossilization has only managed to capture 15-20% of all known species but fossilization, as an occurence, is certaily not rare.

    Second of all, you write that there are hundreds of transitional fossils yet you make no reference to the published scietific literature. Here are some proper quotes regarding the real status of transitional fossils.

    I am holding in my hand my favorite book on evolution. It is called Tempo and Mode in Evolution (1984) and was written by by world-renowned professor of paleontology at Harvard University, George Gaylord Simpson, arguably the
    most prominent Neo-Darwinist of the 20th century.

    Quote #1
    "On still higher levels, those of what is here called “mega-evolution” [a term which refers to fundamental changes in an organism, such as the appearance of a brand new limb, which would be looked upon as an example of speciation], the inferences [he is referring to previous statements] might still apply, but caution is enjoined because here essentially continuous transitional sequences are not merely rare, but they are virtually absent… their absence is so nearly universal that it cannot, offhand, be imputed entirely to chance and does require some attempt at special explanation as has been felt by most paleontologists" (George Gaylord Simpson, Tempo and Mode in Evolution, Columbia University Press, 1984, p. 105)

    Quote #2
    "This is true of all the thirty-two orders of mammals, and in most cases the break in the record is still more striking than the case of the perissodactyls… The earliest and most primitive known members of every order already have the basic ordinal characters [just like the Torah implies], and in no case is an approximately continuous sequence from one order to another known (ibid. p. 106)

    Quote #3
    "In most cases, the break is so sharp and the gap so large that the origin of the order is speculative and much disputed…there is little doubt, for instance, that the highly diverse ungulates [hoofed animals] did have a common ancestry; but the line making an actual connection with such an ancestry is not known in even one instance (ibid)

    And here’s one more from another textbook he wrote:

    Quote #4
    "…it remains true, as every paleontologist knows, that most new species, genera, and families, and that nearly all categories above the level of families, appear in the record suddenly and are not led up to by known, gradual, completely continuous transitional sequences (George Gaylord Simpson, The Major Features of Evolution, Columbia University Press, 1969 p. 360)

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  43. Ari - October 14, 2010 2:02 PM

    You wrote: You are not understanding what the EM predicts at all. According to the EM any species alive today can be a transitional species: If selection pressures keep making Micro changes to the offspring of any species alive today for enough years eventualy the offspring will become unrecognizable as a member of the same species as its ancestor.

    Well, I guess Darwin didn't understand evolution either. And 150 years later Robert Caroll didn't understand evolution either. Only Ari of no fixed last name :-) understands it!

    Look Ari, I supplied you with Robert Carroll’s quote. Here's Darwin's quote:

    " Why, if species have descended from other species by insensibly fine gradations, do we not everywhere see innumerable transitional forms?
    Why is not all nature in confusion instead of the species, being as we see them, well defined?"
    (Charles Darwin On the Origin of the Species Chapter 13)

    Your comment is irrelevant. Even if micro-evolutionary processes functioned the way you described them such that the original species changed over huge periods of time to another species, evolution is an ongoing process so there should be other life-forms which are extremely close in kind to the original species, then another species which is extremely close in kind to that species etc. etc. and all species on earth should basically evince this type of situation. All life-forms on earth should be insensibly different than their close species, 100’s of evolutionary steps at least, such that a rigid, well defined form of biological classification should be very difficult to formulate. Instead, we see the opposite. The huge number of species on earth fall into a tiny number of well-defined classifications and are radically different from each other.

    Now, if you don't understand this kushya, it is you that does not understand what the EM predicts, not I.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Rafi - October 17, 2010 1:04 AM

    Hi Rafi,

    I am up to your comment next in chronological order however I may very well have missed a prior comment that you made on this thread. If I did, please let me know and I will suspend my response to others and address your previous comment. I'm sorry it is taking me so long to respond and I appreciate your kindness and patience in this matter.

    You wrote: Then what exactly was the point of the argument I was responding too?

    I explained that in the very next sentence! Here it is again, cut and pasted. "What I am doing is offering "evidence" which is consistent with our mesorah and inconsistent with an ancient universe, as Rabbi Slifkin requested R' Isaac (Dr. Betech) to do (i.e. provide positive evidence for his CM)."

    So, if the theory of evolution would be proven, then I would have to concede to your argument that "the 7 million years that went by before man invented writing is not nearly surprising enough to be considered evidence against evolution" (paraphrased). But since evolution is not proven, we now have the CM claim of a young universe and the EM claim of an old universe, that's all. That's where my historical evidence comes in and tips the scales in my favor.

    You wrote:I was primarily referring to the approach of Gerald Schroeder in Science of God, who uses your exact argument to support his version of evolution. In general I tend to disagree with him, but his view on this particular issue could be assumed by any believer in theistic evolution.

    I'm sorry but you'll have to outline Schroeder's assertion here in this venue if you want me to consider it. If it is really the way I think you are describing it, it is even more ridiculous than R' Kaplan's model!

    You wrote: 1) What do you do with the evidence of Neolithic cultures around the world? Prehistoric cave paintings and etchings, primitive writing forms, burial sites, figurines, etc.? I know you dispute the dating methods, but it seems clear even without them that there were primitive cultures before recorded history began.

    You answered your own question. There is no evidence that these things are any older than the Torah timeline. Since there is no evidence, it seems clear to me that they did not exist before historical times because there is no reason to doubt the Torah's timeline. I'm not sure why it would seem "clear" to you otherwise.

    You wrote: 2) Do you have any physical evidence at all that prehistory was very short? EM, for example, claims to have multiple fields of evidence that indicate eons of prehistory.

    I can also make claims Rafi. But they don't have any evidence so who cares what they claim.

    As far as "physical" evidence for a young universe, the only thing that comes to mind right now is Robert Gentry's polonium halos which is actually hotly contested, especially since the time he became a creationist! But to be honest, I never put my mind to it because the verses of the Torah along with our mesorah is enough for me. In fact, I'm not even convinced that physical evidence proving that something is young is a reasonable request to make in the first place. But there are other forms of evidence for a young universe such as the historical type I supplied you with but please don't ask me what they are, at least not for now. I have my reasons for avoiding this line of dialogue for now...

    ReplyDelete
  45. Sc,

    Hi I only have time to respond to one of your posts now i will answer the other as soon as I have time I"YH

    I wrote,

    "The fossil record is of course not near complete and fossilisation is a rare event. However there are hundreds of transitional fossils you can see at any Museum of Natrual History. You can also see lists of such fossils online."

    You Responded,


    You responded,

    "No good. First of all fossilization is not a rare event. Paleontologists have unearthed hundreds of millions of fossils and have catalogued 250,000 species. Perhaps what you mean to say is that fossilization has only managed to capture 15-20% of all known species but fossilization, as an occurrence, is certainly not rare."

    First of all there has to be billions and billions of individual living creatures on earth alive today. Over the course of history, even if you believe the earth is less then 6000 years old there must have been an unbelievably large number (probably up there in the upper hundreds of billions) of individual living creatures on earth (there are about 6 billion Humans alone alive today). A couple hundred million individuals is an unbelievably small percentage of the creatures that have ever lived on earth. So yes, fossilization is a very rare occurrence.

    Also were did you get your 15-20 percent from?

    ReplyDelete
  46. You wrote,

    "Second of all, you write that there are hundreds of transitional fossils yet you make no reference to the published scietific literature. Here are some proper quotes regarding the real status of transitional fossils.

    I am holding in my hand my favorite book on evolution. It is called Tempo and Mode in Evolution (1984) and was written by by world-renowned professor of paleontology at Harvard University, George Gaylord Simpson, arguably the
    most prominent Neo-Darwinist of the 20th century.

    Quote #1
    "On still higher levels, those of what is here called “mega-evolution” [a term which refers to fundamental changes in an organism, such as the appearance of a brand new limb, which would be looked upon as an example of speciation], the inferences [he is referring to previous statements] might still apply, but caution is enjoined because here essentially continuous transitional sequences are not merely rare, but they are virtually absent… their absence is so nearly universal that it cannot, offhand, be imputed entirely to chance and does require some attempt at special explanation as has been felt by most paleontologists" (George Gaylord Simpson, Tempo and Mode in Evolution, Columbia University Press, 1984, p. 105)

    Quote #2
    "This is true of all the thirty-two orders of mammals, and in most cases the break in the record is still more striking than the case of the perissodactyls… The earliest and most primitive known members of every order already have the basic ordinal characters [just like the Torah implies], and in no case is an approximately continuous sequence from one order to another known (ibid. p. 106)

    Quote #3
    "In most cases, the break is so sharp and the gap so large that the origin of the order is speculative and much disputed…there is little doubt, for instance, that the highly diverse ungulates [hoofed animals] did have a common ancestry; but the line making an actual connection with such an ancestry is not known in even one instance (ibid)

    And here’s one more from another textbook he wrote:

    Quote #4
    "…it remains true, as every paleontologist knows, that most new species, genera, and families, and that nearly all categories above the level of families, appear in the record suddenly and are not led up to by known, gradual, completely continuous transitional sequences (George Gaylord Simpson, The Major Features of Evolution, Columbia University Press, 1969 p. 360)"



    O.K. here is a list of 30 some transitional fossils if you want me to post more let me know


    17 Transistional human fossils,

    Sahelanthropus tchadensis
    Orrorin tugenensis
    Ardipithecus ramidus
    Australopithecus anamensis
    Australopithecus afarensis
    . Kenyanthropus platyops
    Australopithecus africanus
    Australopithecus garhi
    Australopithecus sediba
    Australopithecus aethiopicus
    Australopithecus robustus
    Australopithecus boisei (was Zinjanthropus boisei) .
    Australopithecus aethiopicus
    Homo georgicus
    Homo erectus
    Homo antecessor
    Homo sapiens (archaic) (also Homo heidelbergensis)

    8 Transitional Fossils of bears from their common ancestor with dogs,

    Cynodictis
    Hesperocyon
    Ursavus elmensis
    Ursus minimus
    Ursus etruscus
    Ursus savini
    U. spelaeus
    U. arctos .

    7 Transistional fossils of whales from Terrestrial animals,

    Pakicetus .
    Ambulocetus natans
    Rodhocetus
    Basilosaurus isis,
    Protocetes
    Prozeuglodon
    Dorudon intermedius

    ReplyDelete
  47. Your quotes are simply out of context. Below find a quote from Simpson,

    "The chances that the remains of an organism will be buried, fossilized, preserved in the rock to our day, then exposed on the surface of dry land and found by a paleontologist before they disintegrate are extremely small, practically infinitesimal. The discovery of a fossil of a particular species, out of the thousands of millions that have inhabited the earth, seems almost like a miracle even to a paleontologist who has spent a good part of his life performing the miracle. Certainly paleontologists have found samples of an extremely small fraction, only, of the earth's extinct species, and even for groups that are most readily preserved and found as fossils they can never expect to find more than a fraction.

    "In view of these facts, the record already acquired is amazingly good. It provides us with many detailed examples of a great variety of evolutionary phenomena on lower and intermediate levels and with rather abundant data that can be used either by controlled extrapolation or on a statistical sampling basis for inferences as to phenomena on all levels up to the highest. Among the examples are many in which, beyond the slightest doubt, a species or genus has been gradually transformed into another. Such gradual transformation is also fairly well exemplified for subfamilies and occasionally for families, as the groups are commonly ranked. Splitting and subsequent gradual divergence of species is also exemplified, although not as richly as phyletic transformation of species (no doubt because splitting of species usually involves spatial separation and paleontological samples are rarely adequate in spatial distribution).

    Splitting and gradual divergence of genera is exemplified very well and in a large variety of organisms. Complete examples for subfamilies and families are also known, but are less common.-(George Gaylord Simpson, The Major Features of Evolution, 1953, p. 360) .

    ReplyDelete
  48. Ari -

    Ari -

    Again, why are you saying it could not have happened in small increments over enough time?
    (I even gave you a scenario in my answer above as well as an example of an egg that could spend time in both air and water!)


    I already explained Ari but let me try again. An amniotic egg is vastly more complicated than an amphibian egg. There are all kinds of features in a reptilian egg that do not exist in an amphibian one. A reptile would not be able to gestate in an amphibian egg, even a mudskipper one. The external shell of the reptile's egg keeps in all the liquid versus the amphibian egg which does not. Also the amphibian egg is not as suited to allow air in as the reptilian egg. But this is just child's play. There are an enormous amount of differences between them and it is just inconceivable that a reptile would be able to survive without all of them in place and thus they couldn't evolve one at a time over millions of years. The reptilian egg possesses features which effectively make it irreducibly complex.

    The truth of the matter is, this argument is ubiquitous, meaning it can be applied to practically all of the endless features of life. I happen to choose an egg but I could easily have chosen another thousand examples. For instance, the metamorphosis of a reptile to an avian creature. Forget about the actual limbs of the reptile having to transform to wings which is a vast morphological change. Or forget about other fundamental physiological differences in morphology such as the difference between terrestrial type lungs and avian lungs which work entirely different. Even without this, just the idea that the scales of the reptile were somehow "shed" and were replaced by feathers is absurd beyond description. Anyone who feels this scenario is rational is a victim of evolutionary dogma. Feathers are an extremely complex phenomenon and are perfectly suited for avian flight. To imagine that they "accidently" formed from the scales of a reptile via random chance mutations beggars the imagination!

    Furthermore, it is impossible to imagine what type of creature could be transitional between a scaly reptilian creature perfectly suited for terrestrial life and a feathery creature perfectly suited for avian life. Any transitional creature would obviously not possess a better chance of existing than the original reptile and the ultimate bird because the original scales where being "shed" making it inferior to the reptile whereas the ultimate feathers were not fully developed yet making it inferior to a bird. So based on Darwinian Survival of the Fittest, these transitional creatures should not have survived!

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  49. Ari -

    Again the point here is, that we dont have a fossil record for the vast majority of species alive on earth today!- Most species presently alive on earth appear TODAY in an advanced state of evolution, the very first time they appear. It is as though they were just planted there, without any evolutionary history.

    The only diffrence is that the first time we see them is not in the fossil record, but living somwere on earth now. Does this prove to you that they have no history on earth before today?


    No, of course not. But you've already explained that! Only a small percentage of the fossil record is captured by the rocks. I concede to that. But the question is, why is it that when it does capture a species, and it's done so 250,000 times(!) by your own admission, does it not capture transitional type fossils? This is the essentially paleontological question which bothered Darwin in 1859 and still bothers paleontologists today, 150 years later! In fact, it bothered S. J. Gould so much he developed a whole new theory of evolution to get around it!

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  50. Ari -

    First of all my choice of words was wrong. I should have wrote "circumstances" instead of "pressures" and I didnt say or mean enviromental pressures alone.

    There's no real difference between "pressures" and "circumstances". Environment does not play a major role in macro-evolutionary possesses. By that I mean that it is not considered a primary mechanism of evolution. It plays a secondary role, sometimes allowing certain mutations to be "beneficial" or preserving certain mutations which "turn out" beneficial in the future, that's it.

    What diffrence does it make for the purposes of this conversation how far back the common ancestor was?

    All the difference in the world! Does Darwin's Tree of Life mean anything to you? Or Linnaean classification? Mammals supposedly evolved from reptiles beginning about 250m years ago (mid-Permian) and the transitional period lasted about 70m years (into the Triassic). But during that time, three distinct lines of mammals branched off in their own directions. From a taxonomic standpoint, they are considered three distinct lines. They are: Monotremes (egg laying - very few species), Marsupials and Placentals. They are all subclasses which then branch out to their own orders, which than branch out to their own families, which then branch out to their own genus, which finally branch out to their own species.

    If you find a species which is morphologically identical to another other than the fact that one gives birth to a fully developed offspring and the other happens to possess an extra pouch lying around which it uses to carry around it's offspring in early infancy until it is sufficiently developed, this poses a serious contradiction for evolutionists. I assume you understand why...

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  51. Ari -

    I have to go to a vort now. Then Maariv. I'd like to get to bed sometime tonight. I have a chavrusa at 6 in the morning. Can I ask you to do me a favor? Please stop responding for 24 hours. Give me a chance to catch up please! I also have other people I need to respond to. You can start again tomorrow night...

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  52. Ari -

    RE Micro vs Macro Evolution

    Before I respond can you explain what you mean when you write "In order for Evolution to account for speciation (Macro-evolution), it needs to explain how new information arose"-


    New information = gentic information which did not exist originally in the gene-pool of a speciifc species and via random mutations aquired new gentic code allowing for radical transformations in physiology to the species.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Ari -

    First of all there has to be billions and billions of individual living creatures on earth alive today. Over the course of history, even if you believe the earth is less then 6000 years old there must have been an unbelievably large number (probably up there in the upper hundreds of billions) of individual living creatures on earth (there are about 6 billion Humans alone alive today). A couple hundred million individuals is an unbelievably small percentage of the creatures that have ever lived on earth. So yes, fossilization is a very rare occurrence.

    Ok. If that's what you meant by rare, I'll accept that. But I wish we had some proper numbers as to how many individual fossils paleontologists have actually found. If it is in the billions then I would'nt conside that rare. But whatever the case, it's not worth bickering over.

    Also were did you get your 15-20 percent from?

    From your numbers. Scientists have classified a total of 1.4m species, 250,000 of them of which appear in the rocks. That's 15-20%, no?

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  54. Ari -

    O.K. here is a list of 30 some transitional fossils if you want me to post more let me know

    I never requested this list. I don't need you to go onto Talk Origins or Wikipedia and copy and paste a list of supposed transitional fossils. And I'm certainly not going to write a whole megilla on each one explaining why it is not transitional. What I said is that I want you to quote the published scientific literature chapter and verse. If you want to pick one of those fossils and research it, by all means, go ahead. You might want to start with Ardipithecus ramidus. It was just highlighted in Science magazine last year. I went through the whole article with my 10 year old daughter and explained to her the problems with their reasoning. (Incidentally they had a picture of about 50 different scientists involved in the experiments. After perusing the picture my daughter commented that they looked like goof-balls...I'm thinking perhaps her tatty's attitude might be rubbing off on her... :-)

    In any case, pick one fossil and run with it. And don't forget; sources Ari, verifiable sources!

    ReplyDelete
  55. SC,
    Hi! How are you? I hope all is well.
    You wrote,
    "You wrote: You are not understanding what the EM predicts at all. According to the EM any species alive today can be a transitional species: If selection pressures keep making Micro changes to the offspring of any species alive today for enough years eventualy the offspring will become unrecognizable as a member of the same species as its ancestor.
    Well, I guess Darwin didn't understand evolution either. And 150 years later Robert Caroll didn't understand evolution either. Only Ari of no fixed last name :-) understands it!
    Look Ari, I supplied you with Robert Carroll’s quote. Here's Darwin's quote:
    " Why, if species have descended from other species by insensibly fine gradations, do we not everywhere see innumerable transitional forms?
    Why is not all nature in confusion instead of the species, being as we see them, well defined?"
    (Charles Darwin On the Origin of the Species Chapter 13)
    Your comment is irrelevant. Even if micro-evolutionary processes functioned the way you described them such that the original species changed over huge periods of time to another species, evolution is an ongoing process so there should be other life-forms which are extremely close in kind to the original species, then another species which is extremely close in kind to that species etc. etc. and all species on earth should basically evince this type of situation. All life-forms on earth should be insensibly different than their close species, 100’s of evolutionary steps at least, such that a rigid, well defined form of biological classification should be very difficult to formulate. Instead, we see the opposite. The huge number of species on earth fall into a tiny number of well-defined classifications and are radically different from each other.
    Now, if you don't understand this kushya, it is you that does not understand what the EM predicts, not I. "
    (continue in next post, Sorry!)

    ReplyDelete
  56. Darwin himself answers that kushya. Here is a couple of quotes (I apologize for the length of this post however please take the time to read it as I think it answers you question well):

    "This subject will be more fully discussed in our chapter on Geology; but it must be here alluded to from being intimately connected with natural selection. Natural selection acts solely through the preservation of variations in some way advantageous, which consequently endure. But as from the high geometrical powers of increase of all organic beings, each area is already fully stocked with inhabitants, it follows that as each selected and favoured form increases in number, so will the less favoured forms decrease and become rare. Rarity, as geology tells us, is the precursor to extinction. We can, also, see that any form represented by few individuals will, during fluctuations in the seasons or in the number of its enemies, run a good chance of utter extinction. But we may go further than this; for as new forms are continually and slowly being produced, unless we believe that the number of specific forms goes on perpetually and almost indefinitely increasing, numbers inevitably must become extinct." (-Charles Darin origin chapter 4)

    "Extinction, as we have seen in the fourth chapter, has played an important part in defining and widening the intervals between the several groups in each class. We may thus account even for the distinctness of whole classes from each other for instance, of birds from all other vertebrate animals by the belief that many ancient forms of life have been utterly lost, through which the early progenitors of birds were formerly connected with the early progenitors of the other vertebrate classes. There has been less entire extinction of the forms of life which once connected fishes with batrachians. There has been still less in some other classes, as in that of the Crustacea, for here the most wonderfully diverse forms are still tied together by a long, but broken, chain of affinities. Extinction has only separated groups: it has by no means made them; for if every form which has ever lived on this earth were suddenly to reappear, though it would be quite impossible to give definitions by which each group could be distinguished from other groups, as all would blend together by steps as fine as those between the finest existing varieties, nevertheless a natural classification, or at least a natural arrangement, would be possible."(-Charles Darwin origin chapter 13)

    To summarize: The E.M. predicts that the vast majority of the animals that would be hard to classify will go extinct. It would actually be a question on the EM if they all exsisted: You would be able to ask if the reason the species blend is because new species keep coming into existence and aren't static why doesn't the earth run out of resources?

    ReplyDelete
  57. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  58. I wrote,

    Again, why are you saying it could not have happened in small increments over enough time?
    (I even gave you a scenario in my answer above as well as an example of an egg that could spend time in both air and water!)


    You Responded,

    "I already explained Ari but let me try again. An amniotic egg is vastly more complicated than an amphibian egg. There are all kinds of features in a reptilian egg that do not exist in an amphibian one. A reptile would not be able to gestate in an amphibian egg, even a mudskipper one. The external shell of the reptile's egg keeps in all the liquid versus the amphibian egg which does not. Also the amphibian egg is not as suited to allow air in as the reptilian egg. But this is just child's play. There are an enormous amount of differences between them and it is just inconceivable that a reptile would be able to survive without all of them in place and thus they couldn't evolve one at a time over millions of years. The reptilian egg possesses features which effectively make it irreducibly complex."

    Of course a modern reptile couldn't survive without all them in place! However nobody is saying that a modern Reptile one day hatched out of an Amphibian egg. What they are saying is that the eggs (and animals) slowly became more Reptile like then their ancestors, over millions upon millions of years by extremely small changes that gave them a slight reproductive advantage over their other amphibian brethren.

    You wrote

    "The truth of the matter is, this argument is ubiquitous, meaning it can be applied to practically all of the endless features of life. I happen to choose an egg but I could easily have chosen another thousand examples. For instance, the metamorphosis of a reptile to an avian creature. Forget about the actual limbs of the reptile having to transform to wings which is a vast morphological change. Or forget about other fundamental physiological differences in morphology such as the difference between terrestrial type lungs and avian lungs which work entirely different. Even without this, just the idea that the scales of the reptile were somehow "shed" and were replaced by feathers is absurd beyond description. Anyone who feels this scenario is rational is a victim of evolutionary dogma. Feathers are an extremely complex phenomenon and are perfectly suited for avian flight. To imagine that they "accidently" formed from the scales of a reptile via random chance mutations beggars the imagination! Furthermore, it is impossible to imagine what type of creature could be transitional between a scaly reptilian creature perfectly suited for terrestrial life and a feathery creature perfectly suited for avian life. Any transitional creature would obviously not possess a better chance of existing than the original reptile and the ultimate bird because the original scales where being "shed" making it inferior to the reptile whereas the ultimate feathers were not fully developed yet making it inferior to a bird. So based on Darwinian Survival of the Fittest, these transitional creatures should not have survived!"

    Again, you are making the same mistake as you made by the amniotic egg! No one is saying that one day a scaled Reptile gave birth to a feathered one! All they are saying is that for whatever reason those reptiles that had a more "feather like" scale covering their skin had a reproductive advantage over those that didn't. Its the same with flying: Those who could jump or glide a little (very little!) further with the help of their arms or feathers had a (very small in most cases! but there nevertheless) reproductive advantage over those that couldn't and they therefore became dominant.

    ReplyDelete
  59. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  60. I Wrote,

    "Also were did you get your 15-20 percent from?"

    To which you responded

    From your numbers. Scientists have classified a total of 1.4m species, 250,000 of them of which appear in the rocks. That's 15-20%, no?

    No you misunderstood. Many (perhaps even the majority- I don't know) of the species found in the fossil record are now extinct. The 1.4 psecies I mentioned are those alive today.

    ReplyDelete
  61. I wrote,
    "O.K. here is a list of 30 some transitional fossils if you want me to post more let me know"

    To which you responded,

    I never requested this list. I don't need you to go onto Talk Origins or Wikipedia and copy and paste a list of supposed transitional fossils. And I'm certainly not going to write a whole megilla on each one explaining why it is not transitional. What I said is that I want you to quote the published scientific literature chapter and verse. If you want to pick one of those fossils and research it, by all means, go ahead. You might want to start with Ardipithecus ramidus. It was just highlighted in Science magazine last year. I went through the whole article with my 10 year old daughter and explained to her the problems with their reasoning. (Incidentally they had a picture of about 50 different scientists involved in the experiments. After perusing the picture my daughter commented that they looked like goof-balls...I'm thinking perhaps her tatty's attitude might be rubbing off on her... :-)

    In any case, pick one fossil and run with it. And don't forget; sources Ari, verifiable sources!"


    O.K. O.K. here is a couple of qoutes

    But paleontologists have discovered several superb examples of intermediary forms and sequences, more than enough to convince any fair-minded skeptic about the reality of life's physical genealogy." - Stephen Jay Gould, Natural History, May 1994

    "The prehistoric record in Africa is now extensive, no longer the quip about fewer fossils than would cover
    a dining room table. By my count there are fossilized fragments of about a thousand human individuals
    from the early part of our evolution, and I wouldn't even try to count the number of stone tools.(Leakey R. &
    Lewin R., "Origins Reconsidered: In Search of What Makes Us Human," [1992], Abacus: London, 1993,
    reprint, pp.80-81)"

    ReplyDelete
  62. Ari -

    Your quotes are simply out of context.

    Really? So that's it. I supply you with four perfectly lucid, clear unambiguous quotes from a great evolutionist and all you have to say is that they are "clearly' out of context without even bothering to attempt to support your assertion? Why are they out of context? Do you own the book? Have you read it? Did you look up the quotes? What gives you the right to accuse me of quoting things out of context?

    I never quote out of context. If you have no response to my quotes, you have two choices; concede or remain silent. False accusations is not an option. I challenge you to demonstrate how these quotes were out of context.

    ReplyDelete
  63. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Also here is another qoute about the Fossil Record,

    "In view of these facts, the record already acquired is amazingly good. It provides us with many detailed examples of a great variety of evolutionary phenomena on lower and intermediate levels and with rather abundant data that can be used either by controlled extrapolation or on a statistical sampling basis for inferences as to phenomena on all levels up to the highest. Among the examples are many in which, beyond the slightest doubt, a species or genus has been gradually transformed into another. Such gradual transformation is also fairly well exemplified for subfamilies and occasionally for families, as the groups are commonly ranked. Splitting and subsequent gradual divergence of species is also exemplified, although not as richly as phyletic transformation of species (no doubt because splitting of species usually involves spatial separation and paleontological samples are rarely adequate in spatial distribution).

    Splitting and gradual divergence of genera is exemplified very well and in a large variety of organisms. Complete examples for subfamilies and families are also known, but are less common.-(George Gaylord Simpson, The Major Features of Evolution, 1953, p. 360) . "

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  65. Ari -

    You wrote:

    Below find a quote from Simpson,...Certainly paleontologists have found samples of an extremely small fraction, only, of the earth's extinct species,..."In view of these facts, the record already acquired is amazingly good. It provides us with many detailed examples of a great variety of evolutionary phenomena on lower and intermediate levels and with rather abundant data that can be used either by controlled extrapolation or on a statistical sampling basis for inferences as to phenomena on all levels up to the highest...Splitting and gradual divergence of genera is exemplified very well and in a large variety of organisms. Complete examples for subfamilies and families are also known, but are less common.-(George Gaylord Simpson, The Major Features of Evolution, 1953, p. 360).

    Wow. Talk about quoting something out of context!

    The very next paragraph, which you conveniently neglect to quote, reads like this.

    "In spite of these examples, it remains true, as every paleontologist knows, that most new species, genera, and families, and that nearly all categories above the level of families, appear in the record suddenly and are not led up to by known, gradual, completely continuous transitional sequences."

    Now, for those interested, yes, Simpson does believe that are some transitional sequences. But something crucial must be understood here. In the jargon of evolutionism, transitional simply means a creature that possesses a mosaic of characteristics some of which are shared with species A some with species B. The species in question is fully functional and uses all of the features in question but in the mind of the evolutionist, since he would like to believe that species A evolved into species B, this mosaic species is identified as a transitional species between A and B. But they have no evidence that this is in fact so. Just because you find one link, doesn't mean there was ever a chain. A supposedly mosaic creature is just as consistent with rapid Divine creation as it is with evolution.

    Now, one may ask, if so, how can evolution ever be proved? The answer is simple. If we would find a chain between, say, the reptile and the mammal, which stretched for thousands of links and showed the slow transformation over 70 million years from one insensibly fine gradation to the next beginning with class reptilian and commencing with class mammalia, this would constitute strong evidence for evolutionary theory. But we do not even begin to have anything like this for any of the countless classes, orders, families, genus or species. Yes, there are a few transitional forms but these do not constitute evidence for evolution whatsoever.

    If you are midyek in the paragraph you quoted from Simpson, you will notice that he does not appeal to fossil sequences as evidence for evolution. Here's what he writes. "In view of these facts, the record (meaning the vey discovery of fossils in the first place, not transitional sequences) already acquired is amazingly good. It provides us with many detailed examples of a great variety of evolutionary phenomena on lower and intermediate levels and with rather abundant data that can be used either by controlled extrapolation or on a statistical sampling basis for inferences as to phenomena on all levels up to the highest"

    Extrapolation and inferences is what he is talking about, not evidence. The inferences can be made because evolution is already in the mind of evolutionists so they infer what they want to infer, that's all it is! They then talk about evolution as if it is a fait accompli and use all kinds of fancy jargon to confuse the public. But once you strip away the veil, evolution is revealed as one big empty hypotheses with no basis in scientific fact or methodology at all. It resembles religion a lot more than it resembles science.

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  66. Ari -

    I noticed that as I was posting you were posting too and in fact had fired off several posts before me. I am enjoying myself immensely. I never get a chance to discuss the academic element of evolution with anyone but for tonight I need to sign off and tomorrow I need to peruse the other threads and see what comments I need to respond to. Also, I was thinking of putting up a Blog entry on the akeida. So I think I will give this thread a break for 24 hours. I'll be back soon to respond to your stuff. Be well...SC

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  67. I wrote,

    "What diffrence does it make for the purposes of this conversation how far back the common ancestor was?"

    You responded,

    All the difference in the world! Does Darwin's Tree of Life mean anything to you? Or Linnaean classification? Mammals supposedly evolved from reptiles beginning about 250m years ago (mid-Permian) and the transitional period lasted about 70m years (into the Triassic). But during that time, three distinct lines of mammals branched off in their own directions. From a taxonomic standpoint, they are considered three distinct lines. They are: Monotremes (egg laying - very few species), Marsupials and Placentals. They are all subclasses which then branch out to their own orders, which than branch out to their own families, which then branch out to their own genus, which finally branch out to their own species.

    If you find a species which is morphologically identical to another other than the fact that one gives birth to a fully developed offspring and the other happens to possess an extra pouch lying around which it uses to carry around it's offspring in early infancy until it is sufficiently developed, this poses a serious contradiction for evolutionists. I assume you understand why...


    I'm sorry..but i don't understand what the problem is here!

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  68. Re qoutes out of context,

    The Reason I said that, was because it seemed to me that you were bringing those qoutes to support what I thought was your position on transitional fossils-That there arn't any. When all he was saying was that the AMOUNT of transitionl fossils make more sense according to his way of explaining them. If I misunderstood your position I apologize and retract.

    I am greatly enjoying this conversation as well and really appreciate you taking the time to respond to me.

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  69. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  70. Re- micro vs macro evolution

    First of all you wouldn't have to necceserily add information to radicly change the species

    Second of all,

    The kind of mutation called a 'gene duplication' when coupled with another kind of mutation (of any kind) that changes the properties of one of the copies, will increase the amount of information in the genome. The second kind of mutation can occur at the same time as the gene duplication ie .a duplication that does not result in two identical copies of the original gene, but two slightly different copies.
    Or the second mutation can occur much later (even millions of years later) on any of the two duplicates. Either way, you now have two genes that code for different proteins, where once there was one. That is new information.

    (please note we are not talking here about duplication of an entire genome which will almost always be detrimental. we are only talking about the duplication of one gene.)

    Is this what you were looking for?

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  71. Ari - October 20, 2010 7:55 PM

    Dear Ari,

    Gut voch! Did I tell you how much I am enjoying this conversation? Maybe I did. I just wanted to make sure you didn't forget... :-)

    You wrote: Darwin himself answers that kushya. Here is a couple of quotes (I apologize for the length of this post however please take the time to read it as I think it answers you question well):

    I read it twice. Very good response! See my comments below...

    BTY, I don't know if you noticed, but I read all your stuff very carefully.

    You quoted Darwin: "This subject will be more fully discussed in our chapter on Geology; but it must be here alluded to from being intimately connected with natural selection. Natural selection acts solely through the preservation of variations in some way advantageous, which consequently endure... "Extinction, as we have seen in the fourth chapter, has played an important part in defining and widening the intervals between the several groups in each class... by the belief that many ancient forms of life have been utterly lost, through which the early progenitors of birds were formerly connected with the early progenitors of the other vertebrate classes... for if every form which has ever lived on this earth were suddenly to reappear, though it would be quite impossible to give definitions by which each group could be distinguished from other groups, as all would blend together by steps as fine as those between the finest existing varieties, nevertheless a natural classification, or at least a natural arrangement, would be possible."(-Charles Darwin origin chapter 13)

    Very nice. But it doesn't really answer the question. True, the weaker less advantageous species would have gone extinct a lot faster. It is understandable that they are not represented in the fossil record. There simply wasn't enough time to capture them in the rocks. But the strong species did survive. They did flourish. So the question is, from the 250,000 "strong, long-lasting" species that were captured, why is it that they all fall into a tiny, well-defined system of classification? Why didn't the "strong" transitional forms get captured? Why is it that whole classes, indeed, even phyla, appear suddenly in the record with no known "strong" transitional precursors?

    This is Darwin's basic question in Chapter Nine and essentially he hasn't really answered it in Chapter 13. That's precisely why Robert Carroll (and many others) re-state the question 150 years later.

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  72. Ari - October 20, 2010 7:57 PM

    Of course a modern reptile couldn't survive without all them in place! However nobody is saying that a modern Reptile one day hatched out of an Amphibian egg. What they are saying is that the eggs (and animals) slowly became more Reptile like then their ancestors, over millions upon millions of years by extremely small changes that gave them a slight reproductive advantage over their other amphibian brethren.

    Yes. You're right. No one is saying that an amphibian gave birth to a reptile. What I am trying to show is that the physiological differences between amphibian and reptile are vast thus making the transition highly unlikely. To demonstrate my point, I supplied you with one tiny example, the amphibian egg. But at this point, I think I am going to retract my argument. Not that it is not a good argument against evolution per se. It most certainly is. But within the context of this specific conversation, I think your counter-response is adequate so I hereby back down.

    (Not bad Ari... I can't remember the last time someone got me to back down from an anti-evolutionary argument... kudos to you...)

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  73. Ari -

    Re my last comment: As I explained, my essential argument was that evolution doesn't make any sense. But I'd like to re-state my argument in a modified and enhanced form such that it doesn't suffer from arbitrary restrictions.

    You wrote: Again, you are making the same mistake as you made by the amniotic egg! No one is saying that one day a scaled Reptile gave birth to a feathered one! All they are saying is that for whatever reason those reptiles that had a more "feather like" scale covering their skin had a reproductive advantage over those that didn't. Its the same with flying: Those who could jump or glide a little (very little!) further with the help of their arms or feathers had a (very small in most cases! but there nevertheless) reproductive advantage over those that couldn't and they therefore became dominant.

    I think this (accurate) evolutionary description of the unfolding of life is absurd for many reasons, not least of which is the fundamental physiological variations in the species which evolutionary theory necessitates and which are attributed purely to chance (random mutation). This was my basic argument and we could debate its merits (and probably will) 'till the cows come home. But essentially it is really irrelevant. Why?

    Special Design has been, and continues to be, the most intuitive, least convoluted, most easily understood explanation (Occam's Razor) for the presence of highly complex, specialized, purposeful life. Our universal experience informs us that intelligence is always implicated in the design of highly complex, specialized phenomena. Automobiles implicate engineers. Paintings implicate artists. The list is endless. Biological systems are no different. They too are highly complex, specialized entities, indeed, endlessly more complex than man made things. Concordantly, Special Design is the most logical explanation for their existence. As Richard Dawkins famously wrote: "Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose." (TBW page 1.)

    My point is, in order to posit an alternate theory which countermands our universal experience, one must provide evidence. Otherwise, not only does the theory possess no scientific basis, it is also philosophically untenable. In fact, it is downright irrational. Notwithstanding all my "questions" on the EM, evidence is really all I care about. So far I haven't seen any evidence. Only convenient excuses as to why there isn't any.

    Of course, I intend to continue responding to all your comments. But before we get lost in a sea of argumentation, I wanted to surface for air long enough to state, officially, my upmost concern with evolutionary theory.

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  74. Ari -

    O.K. O.K. here is a couple of qoutes

    But paleontologists have discovered several superb examples of intermediary forms and sequences, more than enough to convince any fair-minded skeptic about the reality of life's physical genealogy." - Stephen Jay Gould, Natural History, May 1994

    "The prehistoric record in Africa is now extensive, no longer the quip about fewer fossils than would cover a dining room table. By my count there are fossilized fragments of about a thousand human individuals from the early part of our evolution, and I wouldn't even try to count the number of stone tools.(Leakey R. & Lewin R., "Origins Reconsidered: In Search of What Makes Us Human," [1992], Abacus: London, 1993, reprint, pp.80-81)"


    Regarding your quote from Gould, I am sure you are aware that I can bring you a plethora of quotes from Gould as to the paucity of fossil evidence. Since you obviously know a thing or two about evolution, you are aware that Gould restructured evolution specifically to accommodate the dearth of fossil evidence. The fact that here and there Gould claims that "fair-minded" individuals should accept the tiny amount of intermediate fossil sequences evolutionists claim to possess as proof of evolution is just silly. This is not a scientific statement. It is a philosophical one. Gould is an evolutionist. He believes in evolution and will grasp at straws to support it. On the other hand, his statements in peer-reviewed paleontological journals belie his cocky assertions to the unsuspecting public. I dare you to challenge me to supply you with counter-quotes...

    As far as your quote from Leakey, he mentioned nothing about transitional fossils.

    Incidentally, you quoting the Leakey's amounts to me quoting a freaked out evangelist. The Leakey's were a bunch of fakers. They fancied themselves as Indiana Jones “fossil hunters” and did everything they could to perpetuate this image. Unfortunately, their data was found to be wrong over and over again.

    Once again, I dare you to challenge me to support my assertion…

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  75. Ari -

    Re qoutes out of context,

    The Reason I said that, was because it seemed to me that you were bringing those qoutes to support what I thought was your position on transitional fossils-That there arn't any. When all he was saying was that the AMOUNT of transitionl fossils make more sense according to his way of explaining them. If I misunderstood your position I apologize and retract.


    I don't understand what you are saying. Kindly re-phrase.

    For the record, I delineated those quotes in order to demonstrate that one of the greatest evolutionists of all time (perhaps the greatest) concedes that there is a marked dearth of fossil evidence demonstrating evolutionary connections between the species.

    As I mentioned in previous comments, that's all I really care about. I'd like to believe in the mesorah but I am troubled by evolutionary claims. If upon inspection it turns out that these claims do not have substantial evidence to back them, the issue is resolved and my troubles disappear. It's as simple as that.

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  76. Ari - October 21, 2010 7:55 AM

    I'm sorry..but i don't understand what the problem is here!

    Last ditch effort.

    1) All mammals fall under one of three basic categories: monotremes, placentals, and marsupials. From an evolutionary standpoint, each one of these groups arose randomly and developed its own distinct evolutionary history, entirely independent of each other.

    2) The North American wolf and the Tasmanian wolf are morphologically identical (almost) and yet the former belongs to the placental subclass the latter to the marsupial.

    Problem (a): According to #1, these two creatures evolved from entirely different lines of descent and yet, as per #2, they are, by chance(!), morphologically identical! That’s some coincidence, wouldn’t you say?

    Problem (b): Evolutionists claim that morphological similarities demonstrate common ancestry among the species. This line of reasoning suggests a direct evolutionary link between these two wolves. Yet one is classified as placental, one as marsupial, clearly demonstrating that these two species do not possess a direct evolutionary link. (Yes Ari, ultimately they possess a link somewhere in the phylogenic hierarchy but this is irrelevant to my argument. According to evolutionists, mammals branched out, randomly, to three distinct lines of descent which took 70 million years to develop via untold numbers of random gene mutations).

    If you still don’t get it, I give up…

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  77. Ari -

    Re- micro vs macro evolution

    First of all you wouldn't have to necceserily add information to radicly change the species


    Not sure what you mean. The genetic code of a reptile is radically different than the genetic code of a bird. One possesses instructions for scales and terrestrial limbs, the other for feathers and avian limbs. What are you saying?

    Second of all,

    The kind of mutation called a 'gene duplication'... Or the second mutation can occur much later (even millions of years later) on any of the two duplicates. Either way, you now have two genes that code for different proteins, where once there was one. That is new information...Is this what you were looking for?


    I'm not sure. I didn't know I was looking for something. I thought you asked me to explain what I meant by an increase in information and I thought I did.

    Did I lose track here?

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  78. Dear Ari,

    Where do we stand here? Did I manage to convince you of anything? More specifically, did I manage to illustrate to you that the supposed lines of evidence supporting evolution are not as solid as evolutionists would like the public to believe? If not, what do you do with the quotes I supplied to you from Simpson? Don’t these quotes indicate that fossil evidence is far from conclusive?

    I await your response.

    Simcha

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  79. Hi! How are you,

    Sorry about my delay in answering you. I was busy over the weekend and unfortunatley am really busy now as well. I am enjoying this conversation and will continue posting, I just may be a little slow for the next couple of days!

    This is the only post I can do now but I will post more as soon as I get a chance.

    Thanks for understanding.

    You wrote (on my post with the darwin qoutes),

    Very nice. But it doesn't really answer the question. True, the weaker less advantageous species would have gone extinct a lot faster. It is understandable that they are not represented in the fossil record. There simply wasn't enough time to capture them in the rocks. But the strong species did survive. They did flourish. So the question is, from the 250,000 "strong, long-lasting" species that were captured, why is it that they all fall into a tiny, well-defined system of classification? Why didn't the "strong" transitional forms get captured? Why is it that whole classes, indeed, even phyla, appear suddenly in the record with no known "strong" transitional precursors?
    This is Darwin's basic question in Chapter Nine and essentially he hasn't really answered it in Chapter 13. That's precisely why Robert Carroll (and many others) re-state the question 150 years later.


    I was primarily answering your question of "Why do animals fit into a nested hierarchal system of classification, rather than there being all kinds of chimeras? After all, if all species descended from other species gradually, the species today should represent a conglomeration of intermediate species not easily able to be classified. I already quoted this to you above?"

    However as far as the fossil record there are transitional fossils between land mammals and whales, dinos and birds, fish and tetrapods land mammals to manatees and more.

    There arn't many sequences but that is too be expected because fossilization is a rare event-the chances of a particular sequence being perserved is just too small however there are plenty of single transitional fossils.

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  80. Sc,

    Hi!

    I'm not sure if you are seeing my posts anymore as a couple of mine from a few days ago havn't posted.

    My point about your qoutes on the fossil record was, The evolutionists you were qouting weren't disscussing if the fossil record contradicts evolution or not, at all. They were discussing if it fits better with the classical darwinian gradualist approach to the theory or not. All of them however beleived very firmly that the fossil record does support evolution and common ancestry and that there are enough transitional fossils to support it.

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  81. you said

    "Not sure what you mean. The genetic code of a reptile is radically different than the genetic code of a bird. One possesses instructions for scales and terrestrial limbs, the other for feathers and avian limbs. What are you saying?"



    What I mean is simple. You don't have to add new information to changes somthing into somthing very diffrent then it is now. You can do that by slowly changing around (via small mutations) the genetic information that you have.

    As far as adding new info I explained how that can happen in the second part of my post

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  82. HELLLLLOOOO

    Why didnt any of my responses post?

    Ari

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  83. Ari -

    Hi!!! I was giving up on you! I'm sorry your comments didn't post. We are in the process of reviewing our policy on the Blog re time limitations on comments. I'm in the middle of something but I will respond to you shortly. I'm so glad you're back!

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  84. Ari - October 25, 2010 12:11 PM

    However as far as the fossil record there are transitional fossils between land mammals and whales, dinos and birds, fish and tetrapods land mammals to manatees and more.

    There arn't many sequences but that is too be expected because fossilization is a rare event-the chances of a particular sequence being perserved is just too small however there are plenty of single transitional fossils.


    If there aren't any sequences, how do you know that these "single" fossils are transitional? Here's the point Ari. Scientists have very few fossils linking the millions of known species together. If it weren't for the theory, we wouldn't say that these fossil forms were transitional. We would say that they are individual, well defined, isolated species. It is only because evolutionists need transitions that these fossils are identified as such. In order for fossils to constitute positive evidence for evolution, you need to find a sequence of fossils, and a long one! Thousands of links. After all, you don’t imagine that a creature with a dinosaur’s physiology could have morphed into a creature with a bird’s physiology in merely fifty stages, right?

    So, the fact that you find, say, a fully avian creature, with feathers and all the internal and external limbs required to support avian existence, and this creature happens to possess a few features – such as claws on its wings, teeth in its beak, and a bony tail – which happens to match the features of the class of animal you want it to evolve from, doesn’t mean that it actually represents evidence for a transition from dino to bird.

    Not to mention the fact that if Archaeopteryx is transitional, how about currently living species of birds, such as Hoatzin and Turaco? They also have claws on their wings and they are fully classified as birds, not some “transitional form” between birds and reptiles.

    As you know, I believe that the fossil record actually disconfirms Darwin’s predictions and any subsequent theory, such as Gould’s and Eldredge’s PE is merely an apologetic for the paucity of fossils. But I am not ready to force the issue with you quite yet. Right now what I’d like to see is a concession that the fossil record does not constitute positive evidence for evolution. I think I am making a reasonable request. What sayeth thee?

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  85. Ari -

    Are we done? Just when we were getting into the thick of things...

    Best wishes...

    Simcha

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