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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13463 Posts

Posted - 10/24/2009 :  14:41:26  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message
The Fact of Evolution: To the Editor

This is a couple of letters to the editor, one by Daniel Dennett and another by Philip Kitcher regarding the book review in the New York Times for The Greatest Show On Earth: The Evidence for Evolution By Richard Dawkins.

The review starts its run off the rails with this paragraph:
There is one point on which I believe Dawkins gets tripped up by his zeal. To refute the creationists, who like to dismiss evolution as “just a theory,” he keeps insisting that evolution is an undeniable fact. A moment’s reflection reveals the problem: We don’t speak of Darwin’s fact of evolution. So is evolution a fact or a theory? On this question Dawkins, to use an English expression, gets his knickers in a twist.

And continues along in the same direction from there, pretty much.



Dennet opens:

Nicholas Wade chides Richard Dawkins in his review of “The Greatest Show on Earth” (Oct. 11) for getting “his knickers in a twist” over contemporary creationism, a worldwide campaign of disinformation on which millions of dollars are being spent annually. What would it take to get Nicholas Wade’s knickers in a twist? The claim that condoms don’t prevent the spread of HIV? Or does religious faith excuse any evil deed? If geologists had to confront a similar propaganda campaign against plate tectonics, they would get a little testy too, I imagine, and physicists might grow impatient if they had to devote half their professional time and energy to fending off claims that quantum mechanics is the work of the devil.


And from there it just gets better.

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

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marfknox
SFN Die Hard

USA
3739 Posts

Posted - 10/24/2009 :  15:41:08   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit marfknox's Homepage  Send marfknox an AOL message Send marfknox a Private Message
Kitcher's criticism of Dawkins when read in full is that he thinks Dawkins has caved into the "just a theory" rhetoric of Creationists which confuses scientific theories with theories in common usage. He's compromised the language of science in a frustrated attempt to counter those who reject evolution based on blind faith.

Dennett's letter is great for calling the NY Times on its past giving of a forum to Creationists and ID proponents such as Behe, but his objection to Kitcher's book review doesn't really address Kitcher's criticisms of Dawkins's book. Kitcher isn't chiding Dawkins for being deeply frustrated (getting his knickers in a twist) with Creationists. He's chiding Dawkins for compromising the language of science, presumably because of his frustrations. Kitcher in no way panders to Creationists and he's clearly convinced by and champions the overwhelming strength of the theory of evolution:
The best way, in my view, is to distinguish between evolution as history and evolution as science. Evolution is indeed a historical fact. Every living thing and every fossil-bearing rock bears evidence that evolution occurred. But evolution is not a scientific fact as philosophers of science see it. In science it plays a far grander role: it is the theory without which nothing in biology makes sense.
I tend to think this is probably what Dawkins means when he calls evolution a fact. But he was writing a book for the general public, not a scientific journal, so maybe he was just trying to keep things as clear and direct as possible. I don't think that he means to be "dogmatic" about the "fact" of evolution, but I can see how he could be interpreted that way.

"Too much certainty and clarity could lead to cruel intolerance" -Karen Armstrong

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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13463 Posts

Posted - 10/24/2009 :  15:56:18   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message
Originally posted by marfknox

Kitcher's criticism of Dawkins when read in full is that he thinks Dawkins has caved into the "just a theory" rhetoric of Creationists which confuses scientific theories with theories in common usage. He's compromised the language of science in a frustrated attempt to counter those who reject evolution based on blind faith.

Dennett's letter is great for calling the NY Times on its past giving of a forum to Creationists and ID proponents such as Behe, but his objection to Kitcher's book review doesn't really address Kitcher's criticisms of Dawkins's book. Kitcher isn't chiding Dawkins for being deeply frustrated (getting his knickers in a twist) with Creationists. He's chiding Dawkins for compromising the language of science, presumably because of his frustrations. Kitcher in no way panders to Creationists and he's clearly convinced by and champions the overwhelming strength of the theory of evolution:
The best way, in my view, is to distinguish between evolution as history and evolution as science. Evolution is indeed a historical fact. Every living thing and every fossil-bearing rock bears evidence that evolution occurred. But evolution is not a scientific fact as philosophers of science see it. In science it plays a far grander role: it is the theory without which nothing in biology makes sense.
I tend to think this is probably what Dawkins means when he calls evolution a fact. But he was writing a book for the general public, not a scientific journal, so maybe he was just trying to keep things as clear and direct as possible. I don't think that he means to be "dogmatic" about the "fact" of evolution, but I can see how he could be interpreted that way.


It was Nicholas Wade who wrote the review, not Kitcher. Kitcher wrote a letter in defense of Dawkins.

And evolution is a fact and a theory. What Wade managed to do was to confuse the reader by claiming that evolution is not a "scientific" fact, and accuse Dawkins of being over zealous by claiming that evolution is a fact. It is Wade who is wrong about that, and in his own zeal to show how much he knows about science, he gives comfort to the enemy.

And yes, Dennet does address the "knickers" thing by defending Dawkins right to be outraged that the fact of evolution is even in question.

Edited to add:

Wade says:
Philosophers of science, who are the arbiters of such issues, say science consists largely of facts, laws and theories. The facts are the facts, the laws summarize the regularities in the facts, and the theories explain the laws. Evolution can fall into only one of these categories, and it’s a theory.


Wrong. The mechanisms of evolution are the theories. That evolution occurs is a demonstrable fact. Gravity is a fact and a theory too. Unfortunately for his readers, Wade doesn't get it.

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

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marfknox
SFN Die Hard

USA
3739 Posts

Posted - 10/24/2009 :  17:27:24   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit marfknox's Homepage  Send marfknox an AOL message Send marfknox a Private Message
Kil wrote:
It was Nicholas Wade who wrote the review, not Kitcher. Kitcher wrote a letter in defense of Dawkins.
Oops! I only read the Dennet letter to the editor. I just read the Kitcher letter now. I liked it better than Dennet's letter since it stayed completely on the topic of the book review.

And evolution is a fact and a theory. What Wade managed to do was to confuse the reader by claiming that evolution is not a "scientific" fact, and accuse Dawkins of being over zealous by claiming that evolution is a fact. It is Wade who is wrong about that, and in his own zeal to show how much he knows about science, he gives comfort to the enemy.
Wade did seem to be showing off how much he knows about science. But if he gave any comfort the enemy, then the enemy is really stupid and not understanding what Wade wrote since Wade says absolutely nothing flattering about Creationism, and he also says that evolution is a fact - he just classifies it as a historical fact.

And yes, Dennet does address the "knickers" thing by defending Dawkins right to be outraged that the fact of evolution is even in question.
Again, I don't think Wade was objecting to Dawkins's outrage in-of-itself. He seemed to think his outrage hurt the quality of the book's message.

Wrong. The mechanisms of evolution are the theories. That evolution occurs is a demonstrable fact. Gravity is a fact and a theory too. Unfortunately for his readers, Wade doesn't get it.
See, I took it like this: Gravity is a theory, but it is based on observed facts such as the fact that apples consistently fall from trees, etc. So an example of a fact that supports evolution would be that the flu virus mutates every season - which is observable evolution.

You've convinced me that Wade simplifies things too much and he does Dawkins a disservice. But the idea that he's given anything to Creationists is silly.

"Too much certainty and clarity could lead to cruel intolerance" -Karen Armstrong

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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13463 Posts

Posted - 10/24/2009 :  17:38:48   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message
Marf:
But the idea that he's given anything to Creationists is silly.

The moment you take the fact of evolution out of the equation, as something that can be observed and is therefor undeniable, you have given comfort to those who refuse to understand what a theory is, or those who think that a theory allows them the wiggle room to deny the fact. Whatever Wade thinks himself doesn't matter. He screwed up.

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26009 Posts

Posted - 10/24/2009 :  20:16:28   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
Originally posted by marfknox

But the idea that he's given anything to Creationists is silly.
Creationists have been saying "evolution is a theory, not a fact" for decades, marf. Anyone who argues against evolution being a fact and a theory in a notable public place, even if he/she winds up getting the correct points eventually, will be quote mined by the creationists, so it definitely gives them something: ammunition.

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matt36
New Member

Australia
49 Posts

Posted - 11/27/2009 :  23:59:46   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit matt36's Homepage Send matt36 a Private Message
I just stumbled upon this page and as a skeptics site i find it weird that nobody is sceptical of evolution.
Many posters here show ignorance about creationists view points including the statement made that creationists "reject evolution on blind faith".
Proponents of evolution need to stop trotting out dogma's evangelized by Dawkins against creationists without first checking their facts.
Creationists, like any opponent to any subject oppose for a reason, not blind faith. Evolution is not a fact, if it was there would be overwhelmingly obvious proof of it for any child to see let alone a scientist with a preconceived ideal about origins.
However evolutionists think that because Christianity "contains" FAITH that we oppose evolution on no basis other than the fact that GOD says he created the world. Not true. Faith in Christianity refers to other elements of christianity, not creation.
There is no science around that is proven fact and is testable, repeatable that conflicts with a creation theory. Which is a theory because it cannot be proven, just like evolution. Evolution however flies in the face of significant amounts of known exact sciences including laws of the universe such as the first and second law of thermo dynamics. There is not one fossil anywhere in the world proving a transitional step between a species. Darwin himself said this would be the case or he is wrong. DNA science we are told prove evolution. Not so, if anything, DNA suggests a designer and anyone looking into it would agree unless they subscribe "blindly" to evolution. Scientists no longer believe that lightning strikes are responsible for producing amino acids as the first life building blocks as once thought. They now conclude this theory as an impossible one. Therefore, evolution does not know how life started. We do know that the most simplest life forms are not so simple after all and a cell cannot exist or replicate unless all "components of that cell are present right from the word go. Thus, creation is a lot easier to believe because it requires a creator, where the evolutionary theory says that it is unexplained. (Dawkins says it may have been designed by evolved aliens from another planet)
It is a fact that scientists are very aware of how far away the moon moves from the earth each year. It is a fact that at the given rate of removal the moon could not be older than about 1 million years old. Sorry, but this is a fact, a fact is a fact because it has been proven not by theory but by repeatable, testable, observable science. Same goes for the Sun. It also moves away from the earth. This and many many more exact science prove evolution to be impossible as it cannot happen in such a short time frame. Carbon dating is not an exact science as it rely on "SOME" assumption. Exact science should prevail over presumptuous science but doesn't when billions of billions of dollars are at stake from government grants to silly men in white coats.
If your going to be a skeptic, have a reason to be skeptical based on some substance, not Dawkins style cloned ignorance.
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matt36
New Member

Australia
49 Posts

Posted - 11/28/2009 :  00:16:21   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit matt36's Homepage Send matt36 a Private Message
MarfKnox, said,
See, I took it like this: Gravity is a theory, but it is based on observed facts such as the fact that apples consistently fall from trees, etc. So an example of a fact that supports evolution would be that the flu virus mutates every season - which is observable evolution.

Virus's have always evolved. they have been designed this way. This is not Darwinian evolution as there is no transition of species even after long periods. Creationists do not deny micro evolution. Macro evolution is an entirely different concept altogether and has never been observed or recorded to the record of fossils.
There is NO proof of evolution whatso ever and if it was true the fossil record would have BILLIONS of examples of it. All life found in the oldest layers of the earth appear exactly the same as their modern example in younger strata. No transitions appear. Transitions paraded as transitions have been proven as fraudulent, neanderthals have shown to be no different in DNA to modern man. Any other non fraudulent one are proof of nothing as it easily possible that they are extinct species. Vestigial organs of humans were once thought of by evolutionists as left over organs from the evolutionary process. Modern medical doctors have now proven this as a wannabe theory. They have now proven to have use, all of them.

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matt36
New Member

Australia
49 Posts

Posted - 11/28/2009 :  00:22:14   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit matt36's Homepage Send matt36 a Private Message
In regards, to the statement that evolution is a fact despite being called a theory. Theory according to the dictionary can mean "fact". This is what Dawkins refers to. But, theory refers to theory as an idea as well and it was this that Darwin referred to.
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26009 Posts

Posted - 11/28/2009 :  01:09:32   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
Originally posted by matt36

I just stumbled upon this page and as a skeptics site i find it weird that nobody is sceptical of evolution.
Says who? I demand evidence from evolutionary biologists just like I demand evolution from creationists. The difference is that the biologists can supply evidence, while the creationists point to the Bible, mistakes in logic and/or really bad "science" for support of their conclusions.
Many posters here show ignorance about creationists view points including the statement made that creationists "reject evolution on blind faith".
Your own blindness appears below...
Proponents of evolution need to stop trotting out dogma's evangelized by Dawkins against creationists without first checking their facts.
The hypocrisy is thick in this sentence.
Creationists, like any opponent to any subject oppose for a reason, not blind faith.
Anybody can come up with "a reason" for anything. Whether it's a good reason is what's important.
Evolution is not a fact...
Yes, it is.
...if it was there would be overwhelmingly obvious proof of it for any child to see...
Children can see it. It is obvious. The fact that you don't see it is a symptom of your blindness, not a problem with evolutionary science.
...let alone a scientist with a preconceived ideal about origins.
Nevermind the creationists with preconceived notions about origins.
However evolutionists think that because Christianity "contains" FAITH that we oppose evolution on no basis other than the fact that GOD says he created the world.
Well, for what good reasons do you oppose evolution?
Not true. Faith in Christianity refers to other elements of christianity, not creation.
What good reasons do you have for accepting the Biblical creation story?
There is no science around that is proven fact and is testable, repeatable that conflicts with a creation theory.
"A" creation theory? Which one are you speaking of? Islamic creation?
Which is a theory because it cannot be proven, just like evolution.
See, right there you're showing your blindness, too. Things are not theories because they cannot be proven. They are theories because they are explanations of phenomena we can see, with mountains of supporting evidence.
Evolution however flies in the face of significant amounts of known exact sciences including laws of the universe such as the first and second law of thermo dynamics.
Show your math. The first and second laws of thermodynamics are mathematical laws related to the transfer of heat, so you'll have to show the math that demonstrates that evolution violates either one. You'll be the first to do so, if you can. Every other creationist has just spouted non-mathematical nonsense about "order" and "chaos," and thus demonstrated nothing but their own ignorance of what the laws of thermodynamics actually mean.
There is not one fossil anywhere in the world proving a transitional step between a species.
Of course not. There are millions of them.
Darwin himself said this would be the case or he is wrong.
Yes, he did say that, and he was right, mostly.
DNA science we are told prove evolution. Not so, if anything, DNA suggests a designer and anyone looking into it would agree unless they subscribe "blindly" to evolution.
"Suggests a designer" is an utterly unscientific thing to say, and suggests that you don't understand what you're talking about. What is it about DNA that suggests that "a designer" is a better explanation for the diversity of life on this planet than evolutionary theory?
Scientists no longer believe that lightning strikes are responsible for producing amino acids as the first life building blocks as once thought. They now conclude this theory as an impossible one.
You need to catch up on the news. Miller's experiments were re-performed last year, and even more organic molecules were found (including 22 amino acids) than Miller found (largely due to better measuring devices). Far from no longer believing it, the evidence is stonger than ever before that electrical activity can create the building blocks of life.
Therefore, evolution does not know how life started.
Wow, what a horrible way to word that thought.
We do know that the most simplest life forms are not so simple after all and a cell cannot exist or replicate unless all "components of that cell are present right from the word go.
Sure, as soon as you demand "life forms," things are complex. But the precursors to life were necessarily not life, and were simpler. Evolution doesn't require "life." But more specifically, which parts of the current abiogenesis hypotheses fail to meet your approval?
Thus, creation is a lot easier to believe because it requires a creator, where the evolutionary theory says that it is unexplained.
Actually, "we don't know" is a lot easier to believe than "Goddidit." There are lots of things we don't know, so it's real easy to believe that we don't know some particular thing. However, the lack of evidence for any gods requires one to take a gigantic leap of faith to go from "we don't know" to "Goddidit."
(Dawkins says it may have been designed by evolved aliens from another planet)
Yes, he did. When asked by Ben Stein for the creationist propaganda film, Expelled. Can you explain why Dawkins said what he said? If not, then you're just blindly following the movie, aren't you?
It is a fact that scientists are very aware of how far away the moon moves from the earth each year. It is a fact that at the given rate of removal the moon could not be older than about 1 million years old. Sorry, but this is a fact, a fact is a fact because it has been proven not by theory but by repeatable, testable, observable science.
Sorry, but the fact is that the Moon is receeding at 3.8 cm/year, and is 3.85x1010 cm away from Earth, and so simply dividing would indicate that the Moon is over 10 billion years old. It's not that old because of other factors which make a simple division an utterly naive, unscientific and false method of learning the age of the Earth.
Same goes for the Sun. It also moves away from the earth.
How fast? Again, show your math.
This and many many more exact science prove evolution to be impossible as it cannot happen in such a short time frame.
Except it's not so short, you're blindly relying upon the lies that have been fed to you.
Carbon dating is not an exact science as it rely on "SOME" assumption.
Name the assumptions that carbon dating relies on. If you can, I'll agree that you understand the problems. But there's one very big problem with what you've implied regarding carbon dating that I don't think you'll be able to name. Go ahead and try.
Exact science should prevail over presumptuous science but doesn't when billions of billions of dollars are at stake from government grants to silly men in white coats.
Is it only the money that's important to you?

Name one thing about "science" which doesn't rest upon some assumption. Name one thing about your alleged creation theory which doesn't rest upon any assumptions at all (which is the only way it could be an "exact" science, if I understand your meaning).

Here's an easy test: tell me how to measure the distance between the Earth and the Moon without making any assumptions whatsoever. If you can't do that, then even if you were right about how fast the Moon is receding (which you're not), you still wouldn't be using an "exact" science to do so. Please, show your work.
If your going to be a skeptic, have a reason to be skeptical based on some substance, not Dawkins style cloned ignorance.
If you're going to berate skeptics, you'd better have something less false than bad interpretations of the laws of thermodynamics, lies about the Moon's recession speed or the absolutely bizarre idea that theories are theories only because they're not proven. Those things are just Ken Ham style cloned willful ignorance of science.

What would Jesus say about hypocrisy?

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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26009 Posts

Posted - 11/28/2009 :  01:18:08   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
Originally posted by matt36

Virus's have always evolved. they have been designed this way. This is not Darwinian evolution as there is no transition of species even after long periods.
Why are you arguing against 150-year-old notions of evolution? Is it because you can't argue against current evolutionary theory?
Creationists do not deny micro evolution. Macro evolution is an entirely different concept altogether and has never been observed or recorded to the record of fossils.
At what point (be specific) does "micro" become "macro?"
There is NO proof of evolution whatso ever...
So you claim, but all you've spouted is nonsense, so far.
...and if it was true the fossil record would have BILLIONS of examples of it.
It does.
All life found in the oldest layers of the earth appear exactly the same as their modern example in younger strata.
Wow. Some of that old life doesn't exist anymore at all.
No transitions appear. Transitions paraded as transitions have been proven as fraudulent...
Name three.
...neanderthals have shown to be no different in DNA to modern man.
Where is the evidence for that claim?
Any other non fraudulent one are proof of nothing as it easily possible that they are extinct species.
Of course most transitional fossils are of extinct species. Why would you think things would be otherwise?
Vestigial organs of humans were once thought of by evolutionists as left over organs from the evolutionary process. Modern medical doctors have now proven this as a wannabe theory. They have now proven to have use, all of them.
If you can find a single evolutionary scientist ever claiming that vestigial organs have no function, I'll send you ten bucks. In other words, you're making up a meaning for the word "vestigial" which no scientist uses. In still other words, you're just blindly following along with what your creationist preachers tell you.

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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26009 Posts

Posted - 11/28/2009 :  01:21:28   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
Originally posted by matt36

In regards, to the statement that evolution is a fact despite being called a theory. Theory according to the dictionary can mean "fact". This is what Dawkins refers to. But, theory refers to theory as an idea as well and it was this that Darwin referred to.
Quote the relevant parts of Darwin's work which demonstrate that when he said "theory," he meant "idea," and not "an explanation of observed phenomena well supported by evidence and/or experimentation?"

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@tomic
Administrator

USA
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Posted - 11/28/2009 :  02:53:51   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit @tomic's Homepage Send @tomic a Private Message
There is NO proof of evolution whatso ever...

I suggest taking a basic biology class. You might complete the class and still disagree but you would able to make an argument that makes sense. Maybe.

@

Gravity, not just a good idea...it's the law!

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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9677 Posts

Posted - 11/28/2009 :  03:32:46   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message
Hello matt36, and welcome to Skeptic Friends Network.

I feel very ambivalent about your post.
On one hand, there are many points I'd like to explore with you, if you're truly interesting in finding common ground.
On the other hand, there are a few things I feel needs to be pointed out.

Originally posted by matt36
Many posters here show ignorance about creationists view points including the statement made that creationists "reject evolution on blind faith".

Then you write:


Evolution however flies in the face of significant amounts of known exact sciences including laws of the universe such as the first and second law of thermo dynamics... <snip> ...no longer believe that lightning strikes are responsible for producing amino acids as the first life building blocks as once thought. They now conclude this theory as an impossible one. Therefore, evolution does not know how life started. We do know that the most simplest life forms are not so simple after all and a cell cannot exist or replicate unless all "components of that cell are present right from the word go.

First you shind us for being ignorant about what creationists believe, then you go showing off by spouting just as much nonsense and ignorance.
You're the pot calling the kettle black.


However, this discussion may still be salvaged. If you're willing to educate us further in the areas you consider us ignorant. But we will likewise require you to consider that you have gaps in your knowledge where we might educate you.

Are you willing to participate in such a discussion?

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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 11/28/2009 :  05:10:19   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
Hi Matt36 and welcome.

I'm not going to deal with all of your claims -- others are already doing that -- except to say that you need to study the ToE a bit more; at least as much as I/we have studied Creationism. Here follows an excellent link that covers those claims. I tend to be lazy and it will save me a lot of writing. It is worthy of note that Creationists loath Talk Origins to the point of irrationality, and for good reason.

You cannot simply wave your hands and put forth an unsupported claim. That is a logical fallacy bordering on dishonesty. You must either support your claim with empirical evidence or label it as hypothetical, or even speculative. This you have not done.

But no matter; let's briefly talk fossils. The oldest fossils known are dated at some 3.5 billion years old and are of cyanobacteria found, notably, in stromatolites in Australia. These are the first complex life known. Since then, although fossilization is quite rare and scientists studying them also in short supply, there have been found and identified myriad of transitionals. I quote:

"Claim CC202:

Sequences of transitional fossils do not show direct ancestry. For example, with the fossil whale transition, which evolutionists consider as good a series of transitional fossils as one could hope to find, the fossils show extinct side lineages at best. Even if we had a fossil of every individual in the lineage, we could not verify direct ancestry. Fossils cannot show evidence of descent with modification even in principle.

Source:
Wells, Jonathan, 2006. The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design. Washington DC: Regnery, 18-23.

Response:

1.Perfect knowledge is not necessary to verify a pattern. One does not need to watch Jupiter constantly for twelve years, without blinking, to verify that it orbits the sun. Common descent implies a pattern of gradual change and diversification through time. The hundreds of thousands of fossils which have been discovered are consistent with this pattern, and they are not consistent with any other pattern that has been proposed. (In particular, they rule out the possibility that all present life forms existed in essentially the same form throughout the history of life.) It is conceivable that fossils which have not been found might differ wildly from this pattern, just at it is conceivable that Jupiter might zigzag across the Solar System while we blinked, but there is no reason to think so.

A transitional fossil is simply a fossil which shows traits intermediate between two other fossils. Transitional fossils show likely relationships clearly, and they sometimes show details of how particular features arose. For example, the transitional fossils from reptiles to mammals show how the inner ear bones developed. Such patterns are shown whether the fossils are connected by direct ancestry or by another close relationship. And since we expect extinct side lineages to be common, we would have evidence against evolution if most transitional fossils were not from extinct side lineages.


2.Knowledge advances by subjecting hypotheses to tests that effectively distinguish one hypothesis from another. Fossil evidence, along with other lines of evidence, does this. Since every hypothesis would fail Wells's requirement for having perfect knowledge before accepting it, his is not an effective test. It can serve only to reinforce one's own preconceptions. Wells himself promotes other propositions on much less evidence, to put it mildly."


This is typical. In spite of holding a Doctorate in Biology, Wells is a notorious hand-waver. He, as might be expected,is associated with the hilariously named Discovery Institute. Anyhow, there you have the definition of transitional fossils. Very simple and understandable.

Creationists seem to get their bowels in an especial uproar over abiogenesis; the hypothesis that life formed from a chemical reaction way back before the cyanobacteria began floating around. So I must ask: is that more unlikely than some Great Mojo taking a notion to create the entirety of existence during his week off? I rather think not; the one is being subjected to rigorous scientific studies as we speak; the other cannot be studied except as a religious philosophy, which has little to do with science.

But that does not even slow the Creationists down. Many and wonderful are the sets of apologetics spewing from such places as Answers in Genesis, they of the fallacious Creation "Museum." I visit their site often and sometimes comment (in here. I wrote them a couple of times but received no reply, not even a go-to-hell) on their articles.

Creationists have little beyond faith to back up their claims. Faith alone won't cut it in the field or the lab, but must be compared to the results of the studies. I hate to accuse Creationists of lying (no I don't) but they do a lot of it, as the claims list I linked shows. Check it out.

Anyhow, again welcome to SFN!




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

Edited by - filthy on 11/28/2009 05:26:13
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matt36
New Member

Australia
49 Posts

Posted - 11/28/2009 :  06:29:52   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit matt36's Homepage Send matt36 a Private Message
Wow, touchy subject hey? Well ive been riding my dirt bike and watching tv and this page was left on my PC. I refreshed it and all your posts turned up. Its 12:22 am here so im off to bed but ill be back to explain and reply. None of you documented any proof of evolution and all of you ignored my exact science disproving your theory. Before i come back, when i have time, how about you guys show some substance for your beliefs instead of opinion and conjecture. Scientific proof of the "EXACT" kind is what will determine the outcome of this debate. Any takers? Good, get your facts followed by scientific "EXACT, REPEATABLE, OBSERVABLE" science. Not mumbo jumbo pseudo science that make claims without scientific support. Be warned, not all science is science, some is portrayed as science under the guise of scientists appearing as science. Unless your science is provable, repeatable, known, observable then it is not science nor fact nor proven and ill show you up as a believer in such. Do not let me embarrass you. Think before you write. Oh, and as skeptics, thats a bit of a joke isnt it. What are you actually skeptical about? God yes. Science, no! Science has been proven wrong many times. The bible has never been proven wrong. Not from a geological, historical, scientific or any other medium. Time to be skeptical of the most unreliable. Tomorrow ill be riding my 450r all day long in the mountains so ill get back to you guys as soon as i can. Sorry for this. I do relish your discussions and points of view. Ps. Can someone tell me how to post with your comments on the square box as some of you have. Im not sure on how to do this and it would be beneficial.Regards, Matt36
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