Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Debate Part 4

This is the fourth part of the debate between myself and Dave Lone Ranger. Many of the things he states in his rebuttal are self refuting(like saying ID is not religious, watch the NOVA episode for the answer to that one!) so I have chosen to just take his best points and destroy them. By the way, here is the forum thread that contains his argument.

Clay has actually proven harmful in origin of life experiments - the amino acids, phosphate and DNA cling to the clay particles and don't assemble properly

These experiments were carried out in small "pools". In an ocean, there would be much more water and much less amino acids (The primordial soup would have been very diluted).

What you're saying here is "of course it's not a problem, because we see it." The fact is, eons-long stasis in species defies evolutionary predictions.


No. In large populations, mutations can be diluted, therefore making it harder for organisms to change. Of course, there are examples of gradualism (S.J. Gould discussed this in his book on Punc Equ, which talked about the gradual dwarfing of Miniochoerus).

Where could you possibly conclude that species "don't like to change" when change is the cornerstone of survival, according to evolutionary theory?


Stasis is in the fossil record, so I have concluded that large populations are somewhat resistant to change (although not completely, it is just that without a high survival advantage of a particular mutation, they are bound to get "drowned out" in the vast population).

Catastrophic change within a short amount of time was a step toward creationism.


Wrong again. Where would you get that idea?

Punc-Eq or gradualism, Ryan, which is it?


Gradualism and Punc Equ are not mutually exclusive. Read "The Blind Watchmaker" and Dawkins will explain it to you perfectly. I really think you should read 3-4 books about evolution from the evolutionist's point of view. If you are going to argue against something, you should be educated about it.

Simply drawing a line between two dots does not make it so, and I illustrated a fraction of the vast numbers of scientific challenges/impossibilities associated with the supposed chains of evidence.


No, you illustrated NOTHING. The only way that new species have ever been observed to come into existance is through evolution. The simplest explanation is most probably correct, therefore, new species evolved from old ones. A better argument against this would be atavisms, which are ancestral traits that show up in modern organisms, indicating that we are descended from more ancient species (Horses today sometimes have 3,4, or 5 toes, indicating that the genes for these were passed down from their five toed ancestors)

(The print in bold is a question I asked Dave): Why doesn’t mitochondrial DNA show that our population dwindled down to a few people several thousand years ago?

Again, you're arguing from what has not been found, which makes it easy for me to be very simple and say "they haven't found it yet.


No, the results are in, and bottlenecks in the human population were found, but many, many thousands of years ago. We haven't seen a recent bottleneck. If you make the claim, you provide the proof.

how come scientists think the genetic father of the human race lived thousands of years after the mitochrondiral eve?


"The more recent age of the Y-mrca compared to the mt-mrca corresponds to a larger statistical dispersion of the probability distribution for a Paleolithic man to have living descendants compared to that of a Paleolithic woman. While fertile women had more or less equally distributed chances of giving birth to a certain number of fertile descendants, chances for fertile men varied more widely, with some fathering no children and others fathering many, with multiple women."

That is from Wikipedia, which is not always the most reliable source, but I think the logic used is self evidently true.

It is hypocritical of you to insist on being allowed to cite Talk.Origins, and various other "reputable" pro-evolution websites, and refuse to accept creationist links in return. I've run up against the same thing when arguing with others. This is a sweeping argumentum ad hominem, attacking of the source, and a circular one at that.

I don't accept creationist sources because they are known to be inaccurate, as I have demonstrated OVER and OVER on this blog!

To request "peer-reviewed" criticism of Talk.Origins is, I'm sorry, ridiculous.


This comment was a gross and highly unintelligent misunderstanding of what I meant. I did not mean for you to search through the journals to find an article debunking T.O.; I meant for you to refute the claims that they make by using information you would find in peer reviewed journals. For instance, if TO claims that there are lots of reptile-mammal transitionals, and you find a peer reviewed article stating that none exist, you could use that article to debunk T.O. I have debunked AiG time and again using University web sites and peer reviewed articles, which is self evident (just take a look at this blog!)

Egyptian Chronology Argument:
Dave tries to refute my argument about the Egyptians, again using AiG. I looked at AiG's ideas about Egyptian Chronology, and I believe the best they had to offer was Josephus' passage about the Jews building the pyramids. Well, sorry, but Jo did not live at the time. He lived between 37-100 A.D. He was also a Jew, and would have most likely been writing down what he had heard about the Jews in Egypt. There is no evidence to my knowledge that ANY of the Bible was written before 300 B.C. (The dead sea scrolls date to around 200 B.C., but obviously these were not the originals, so I tacked on an extra hundred years. Either way, you could refute me by simply finding some Canonical Hebrew Scripture that carbon dates to an older age.)

6 comments:

Dave said...

Ryan, I'm not at all impressed. You failed to address most of the substantive arguments, and handpicked the ones you thought you could best handle. I used to use the strategy a few years ago when I was not as experienced in creation/evolution debates, so believe me, I recognize it in others. That is why I like to refute every single argument someone makes, piecewise. There is a lot missing that you didn't address.

Your quotes will be in italics.

These experiments were carried out in small "pools". In an ocean, there would be much more water and much less amino acids (The primordial soup would have been very diluted).

You can object to the methodology all you want, but your quarrel isn't with me, it is with the researchers. You're more than welcome to contact USCS's emeritus professor of chemistry and question his methodology, but you must not blame me for citing his research, as I think his research should be more highly ranked than your speculation.

In large populations, mutations can be diluted, therefore making it harder for organisms to change.

Again, more "how it could have happened." You have no knowledge of population size for organisms that survive as living fossils. This is where bias and presuppositions come in...introducing the "can-be's," "maybe's" and the "might-have-been's" to explain away what you don't know. You have no evidence to back up this claim.

(Dave) Where could you possibly conclude that species "don't like to change" when change is the cornerstone of survival, according to evolutionary theory?

(Ryan) Stasis is in the fossil record, so I have concluded that large populations are somewhat resistant to change

Circular reasoning. Why is stasis in the fossil record? Because species don't like change. Why don't they like change? Because we observe stasis in the fossil record, of course. But you must admit the whole principle undergirding all of evolution is change, sometimes rapid change (as you find necessary to incorporate in defending the fossil record and its dismal support for evolution), and according to evolution, our whole history is nothing more than change.

Wrong again. Where would you get that idea [that catastrophic change within a short amount of time is a step toward creationism]?

Maybe you don't understand the creationist models as well as you thought you did? Evolution assumes vast amounts of time to bring about change. When we find it doesn't take much time at all in many cases (Darwin's finches, culix pipiens, and the white-footed mouse for example) it works against old-earth gradualism.

I really think you should read 3-4 books about evolution from the evolutionist's point of view. If you are going to argue against something, you should be educated about it.

Nice backhanded insult, but I'm confused. I sat through a year of college biology, and you can't deny I don't have a relatively good grasp of scientific journal materials (60+ scientific references provided during the debate) or haven't been exposed to evolutionary beliefs. You're only one of dozens I've debated on the subject, many of them more highly educated than yourself. And I agreed to debate you too. What is this claim that I haven't been exposed to enough evolutionary beliefs?

The only way that new species have ever been observed to come into existance [sic] is through evolution.

Let's be careful about the dividing line between speciation. I never said speciation didn't exist. But scientists have never documented an incident where information was added to the genome of animal and causing it to become another animal via natural selection and mutation.

No, the results are in, and bottlenecks in the human population were found, but many, many thousands of years ago. We haven't seen a recent bottleneck. If you make the claim, you provide the proof.

Did you think I wouldn't notice? You completely dodged my references to the flaws of the mtDNA methods and the molecular clock (see also the above link about the white rat, where they mention the completely random alterations in the clock) to tell me the propose ages of the last genetic bottleneck are outside of creationist dates...which I already told you!

Quark2005 said...

Wow - in the same reply, DaveLoneRanger says

"Maybe you don't understand the creationist models as well as you thought you did? Evolution assumes vast amounts of time to bring about change. When we find it doesn't take much time at all in many cases (Darwin's finches, culix pipiens, and the white-footed mouse for example) it works against old-earth gradualism."

and also says

"But scientists have never documented an incident where information was added to the genome of animal and causing it to become another animal via natural selection and mutation."

So on one hand, evolution is wrong because it works too quickly to be consistent with cases stasis in the fossil record, but on the other, species can't change past a certain limit, which should lead to creatures always remaining the same? Does this guy even read what he posts? Does he realize that solid arguments have to be self-consistent?

Sounds like someone in this 'debate' is trying so hard to defend a position blindly that he doesn't even care whether it's right or not, only whether he can pull out the right "talking point" to cover it. Science ain't politics or talk radio. It doesn't defend its ideas through "talking points".

The cognitive dissonance required to defend creationism is mind-blowing.

AIGBusted said...

Hi Quark!

I'm glad you've picked up on some of the creationist debate tactics. Creationists in general are hypocritical. They also want everything to be observed, deduction based on present information isn't enough. (Even though they argue exactly the same way: A design must have a designer).

Dave said...

Hello, Quark, my old friend.

So on one hand, evolution is wrong because it works too quickly to be consistent with cases stasis in the fossil record, but on the other, species can't change past a certain limit, which should lead to creatures always remaining the same?

You are quite right to recognize an inconsistency, but I'm pointing out that the inconsistency lies with evolution, not me. The facts point towards creation. As usual, you're confusing observed change within a species (IE, beak variation) and saying built-in adaptation within a species (going on existing information) is the same thing as the preposterous chain of ancestral evolutionary transition.

Dave said...

They also want everything to be observed, deduction based on present information isn't enough.

Nonsense. Evidence can most certainly be inferred. But with inference comes interpretation, bias, preexisting beliefs, all that sort of thing. In some areas, bias doesn't play a big role. But in something as heavy as origins? Oh yeah.

AIGBusted said...

Ha Ha Ha!!

Look at this, Quark:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJJWmHpcb98

Click 'More' over in the description. I very clearly punked the snot out of him there on the 'information' argument. I also have a link on the main page of this blog that goes into the information question:
http://aigbusted.blogspot.com/2007/08/evolution-cant-produce-new-information.html

The bottom line is, these folks are thick skulled. They can be refuted over and over again, but they'll just keep coming back with the same lame arguments. Their purpose is evangelism, not truth.