The Case for Macroevolution

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Greensnake's picture
I think he is connected with

I think he is connected with NASA. Had the opportunity to meet him via a relative. A tremendously energetic and likable fellow! Volcanology is certainly a hot field! (I'm just a spectator.)

arakish's picture
Greensnake: Volcanology is

Greensnake: Volcanology is certainly a hot field! (I'm just a spectator.)


Love it.

My mom still thinks I am completely wonko. She always asks me why I willingly walk to the fires of hell. LOL


Sushisnake 's picture


Re: " My mom still thinks I am completely wonko. She always asks me why I willingly walk to the fires of hell. LOL"

My son gets it. He seriously wanted to be volcanologist- the thing that stopped him is the employment prospects.

CyberLN's picture
Hmmm....not answering these

Hmmm....not answering these questions? Perhaps, John, we should listen to what you’re not saying.

Sheldon's picture
CyberLN "Hmmm....not

CyberLN "Hmmm....not answering these questions? Perhaps, John, we should listen to what you’re not saying."

It has always been a god indicator in all discussions thus far, where John's evasion, dismissal, and deflection underpinned his ludicrous claims that he has scientifically valid objections to scientific facts like species evolution through natural selection. His dishonesty is also typical of all creationists apologetics as well.

He can type lol all he wants, but all anyone has to do is turn on any news channel to see that evolution hasn't been falsified.

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
I have questions of my own,

I have questions of my own, you see. Theres been three recent threads on evolution, two of which were started by atheists. In all three threads, the majority of commentators have likewise been atheist. Yet, you have a tendency to go only to theists, to complain about this forum not having biologists, and ask them why they don't take their comments to one.

Sheldon's picture
How many of those atheists

How many of those atheists were disagreeing with all the experts and denying accepted scientific facts? As you are doing of course.

arakish's picture
From what I have read from

From what I have read from his posts, Mr. Breezy is just like me when it comes to Astrophysics, Celestial Mechanics, Orbital Mechanics, and Rocketry; he is only a life-long hobbyist with no formal education. Well, I should not say that, I do have some formal education into Astrophysics, Celestial Mechanics, and Orbital Mechanics, they just were not the focus of my actual degrees (geology, volcanology, global climatology, geography).

Soo... Yeah, he is just stuck here.

The Breezy Challenge: Argue your position on evolution with real, true, actual evolutionary biologists. In fact, have a debate with Richard Dawkins himself. Then link us to where you are having this debate so we can watch...


Qu@si's picture
"The Breezy Challenge"

"The Breezy Challenge"

that's one good suggestion arakish..yeah, why not. right john? try a little bit easy to take down. "not dawkins"..john said.

lets say john calls "the atheist experience"? would that be ok to you??

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
Hobbyist is the wrong term.

Hobbyist is the wrong term. Most of my arguments and objections are based on my formal education; they are ideas extended from that knowledge. You'll hardly ever see me quoting Wikipedia, or Dawkins, or some anti-creationist site. I tend to stick with what I've read in a textbook.

So, I'm a student of science, not a hobbyist.

Sheldon's picture
" Most of my arguments and

" Most of my arguments and objections are based on my formal education; they are ideas extended from that knowledge. "

They are also in direct denial of scientific facts validated by the entire scientific world. What does that say about the standard of your "formal education" and your "knowledge"? People have pointed out repeatedly to you that your claims are being made in an atheist chatroom, that is not how scientific facts are falsified, it's risible to think otherwise.

arakish's picture
His education comes from an

His education comes from an Absolutist based school. And everyone knows they ain't got any science at those kind of schools.

I remember something Thomas Jefferson wrote in a letter and I fully agree (paraphrased): "I see no reason why religion, excepting from a historical perspective, should qualify as a field of study. In fact, I see no reason why any theological based school should be accredited."


Greensnake's picture
John 61X Breezy,

John 61X Breezy,

Many of the posts on Wikipedia are highly readable, well illustrated, and comprehensive works by knowledgeable experts in the field. It's not unusual to find such posts on university websites and by experts whose individual webpages express an interest in educating people like yourself.

arakish's picture
So, I'm a student of science,

So, I'm a student of science, not a hobbyist.

And I challenge this by saying: No you are not.


Nyarlathotep's picture
Just in case there is anyone

Just in case there is anyone left who hasn't realized Breezy doesn't have a clue:

Oregon State Bio 317 - In science, we would call such a guess a hypothesis...

Penn State Stat 502 - Using the scientific method, before any statistical analysis can be conducted, a researcher must generate a guess, or hypothesis about what is going on.

Arizon State - Hypotheses are single tentative guesses, good hunches –assumed for use in devising theory or planning experiments intended to be given a direct experimental test when possible”. (Eric Rogers, 1966)

Arizon State - Making the educated guess-the hypothesis!

Chapel Hill Psychology dept. - State the Hypothesis: We state a hypothesis (guess) about a population.

Illinois State Psychology dept. - your hypothesis is an educated guess/prediction about the effect of particular events/treatments/factors...

U of Miami Biology dept. - [The Hypothesis is] an "educated guess" about what you expect to happen.

Northridge U - Make an educated guess (hypothesis) about the answer.

Northridge U - In science facts observed by knowledgeable observers lead to the formation of a hypothesis (educated guess).

U of Kansas Physics 116 - Make a hypothesis (an educated guess) about the shape of the graph for distance traveled...

Southeastern Physics(lab) 194 - The hypothesis is your best educated guess of what you expect the results of your experiment will be based on what you already know.


Breezy -
Hypotheses are not guesses...
...we don't take guesses in science.

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
Oh this will be fun. I

Oh this will be fun. I applaud your google research abilities, but allow me demonstrate how scientific research is done, not by googling the word “guess,” but by opening up scientific journals for you so you can observe first hand how its done.

1. Format. First, since you don’t have research training, let me break down the format of a research paper. The introduction is not there for decoration, it is there to introduce the theoretical or empirical foundations of your study. It introduces the importance of the problem, the preceding research in the area, what the hypotheses are, and what the implications of the results will be. The APA publication manual makes it very clear: The introduction “involves stating your hypotheses or specific question and describing how these were derived from theory or are logically connected to previous data and argumentation. Clearly develop the rationale for each.” (p.28).

2. Birth of a theory. I’m sure you’ve heard of David Hume. He argued that “morality is determined by sentiment” (1960 p. 129). Based on philosophical foundations such as this, Jonathan Haidt (2001) construction an alternative theory to the rationalist model which viewed morality as the product of reason. Under Haidt’s Social Intuitionist Model, he explains moral judgments as the product of moral intuitions (emotions).

3. The theory-driven hypotheses. Based on deductions made from Haidt’s model, along with information on the role of disgust when it comes to disease avoidance, a group of researchers formulated their hypotheses: “We predicted that the preexisting feelings of disgust would be experienced... as an affectively laden intuition of the kind that the Social Intuitionist Model hypothesizes to be the basis of moral judgment” (Schnall et al., 2008). So they had participants make moral judgments in different disgusting situations, such as exposure to foul smells, and results found a positive effect between disgust and harsher moral judgments; their hypothesis was thus supported, and by extension so was the Social Intuitionist Model.

4. The data-driven hypotheses. Based on inductions from the results of the disgust study, a new group of researchers hypothesized that if feelings of cleanliness were induced, the opposite would occur: less harsh moral judgments would appear. They literally walk you through their inductive reasoning in their introduction: “Recent studies have demonstrated that experimentally induced feelings of disgust can attach themselves to moral judgments, leading the person to conclude that a particular moral action is quite wrong… On the flip side of disgust, the association between physical and moral purity in Western cultures was recently demonstrated… Because the sense of purity from the priming should be misattributed to the moral judgments, it was expected that priming with cleanliness words would reduce the severity of moral judgments more so than would priming with neutral control words” (Harvey, 2008).

Results validated their hypotheses. That Nyar, is how research is conducted, how hypotheses are formulated, and how science is done. Nobody in the trenches is guessing anything, they are formulating predictions based on deductive and inductive reasoning. Funny how you would of known that had you stopped to read your own references, rather than tunnel-visioning on the word guess:

U of Miami Biology dept. - "In studies of complex, multi-factor systems (e.g., ecology and evolution), a hypothetico-deductive approach is often taken. On other areas, such as cellular and molecular biology, developmental biology, and other areas, hypotheses may be reached inductively, and a set of competing hypotheses potentially able to explain a given observed phenomenon may be tested and systematically eliminated until only the most likely explanations remain. To better understand each method, we should first review the differences between inductive and deductive reasoning."

- - -

References (Hopefully you have access to a database:

-American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

-Harvey, S., Benston, J., & Schnall, S., (2008). With a clean conscience: Cleanliness reduces the severity of moral judgments. Psychological Science, 19, 1219-1222.

-Haidt, J. (2001). The emotional dog and its rational tail: A social intuitionist approach to moral judgment. Psychological Review, 108, 814-834.

-Hume, D. (1960). An enquiry concerning the principles of morals. La Salle, IL: Open Court. (Original work published 1777)

-Schnall, S., Haidt, J., Clore, G.L., & Jordan, A. H. (2008). Disgust as embodied moral judgment. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34, 1096-1109.

Greensnake's picture
John 61X Breezy,

John 61X Breezy,

You're toast, John! Man up and admit it! Nyarlathotep has smoked your gills!

He's not talking about how research papers are written up. He's talking about how scientists first formulate their ideas about how nature works. Quotes from all those university sources certainly make it clear that a guess is the starting point! That guess, of course, is an educated guess that is mindful of existing knowledge. Why are you having so much trouble with that?

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
Hypotheses are unquestionably

Hypotheses are unquestionably the most important aspect of scientific research. If you are formulating guesses you've detached your study from reality, are wrongly executing experimentation, and are reaching a useless and possibly detrimental conclusions.

You don't start research with a guess, you start with a research question followed by a literature review. Pretend you're a researcher, and even though its nonsense, you somehow guessed the brain is involved in romantic love. How are you going to test it? Hopefully not by guessing what experiment to use too.

Let's pretend instead that you are truly "mindful of existing knowledge" (whatever that means). This includes knowledge of a cross-cultural study in which the experience of romantic love is reported in over 147 separate societies (Jankowiak & Fischer, 1992); an argument that suggest that because romantic love produces feelings of euphoria and focused attention, that the reward and motivation systems of the brain are involved (Liebowits, 1983); and last but not least you are “mindful” that the feeling of euphoria in love is comparable to cocaine, and that fMRI studies show activation of the Ventral Tegmental Area (VTA) of the brain, when cocaine is used (Fischer, 1988; Breiter et al., 1997).

So far this sounds like the steps of a data-driven hypotheses and not guesswork, but let’s pretend that being “mindful” of this knowledge allows you to assume a relationship between romantic love and the VTA, but nothing more. In fact, the literature review makes it very clear you’re supposed to hypothesize a greater activation of the VTA in people feeling romantic love, but lets pretend you somehow didn’t notice that, and are now going to guess the relationship. What would your guess be?

Since the only way to test your “guess” is with statistical analysis, you have three guess options: a one-tailed hypotheses in the direction of greater activation, a one-tailed hypotheses in the direction of less activation, or a two-tailed hypotheses in either direction. Well right there you have a problem, because deciding between a one-tail vs two-tail hypotheses influence your significance cutoff point. Two-tailed hypotheses are more conservative, so if you use it the cut-off is more strict and you risk concluding the results are not significant when they are. But if you guess a one-tail in the wrong direction, you risk ignoring important results, and concluding there results are not significant when they are. Don't forget (assuming you knew in the first pace) that negative and non-significant results are just as informative as positive results. If you planed to keep making guesses and testing different directions until you get positive results, you just became a fraudulent researcher.

This isn’t a make-belief example; this is a real study in which a group of researchers, formulated a one-tailed hypotheses in the specific direction of activation in the VTA (Aron et al., 2005). With your guess you would of overlooked important information, ran into Type I or Type II errors, or completely wasted the results of the study.


-Aron, A., Fisher, H. E., Mashek, D. J., Strong, S., Li, H.-F., & Brown, L. L. (2005). Reward, motivation and emotion systems associated with early-stage intense romantic love. Journal of Neurophysiology, 94, 327–337

-Jankowiak, W.R., & Fiscer, E.F. (1992). A cross-cultural perspective on romantic love. Ethnology, 31, 149-155.

-Liebowitz, M. (1983). The Chemistry of Love. Boston: Little Brown and Co.

-Breiter, H., Gollub, R., Weisskoff, R., Kennedy, D., Makris, N. (1992). Accute effects of cocain on human brain activity and emotion. Neuron, 19, 591-611.

-Fisher, H. (1998). Lust, attraction, and attachment in mammalian reproduction. Human Nature, 9, 23-52

Greensnake's picture
John 61X Breezy,

John 61X Breezy,

Save it, John! The university sources quoted by Nyarlathotep, should you trouble yourself to take a look, speak volumes more than your confused use of citations. What's with this fixation of yours on minor, little nothings? I can't think of anyone else, including creationists, who would raise a stink over the fact that scientists start with an educated guess as to how the evidence might be explained.

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
I do agree his sources speak

I do agree his sources speak volume, but only about how Nyar's brain works.

Nyar gave nine sources (two were repetitions). Three of them are class syllabi; one is a power-point presentation; one is an instruction for a class assignment; another one, his most legit source from PennState, looks like a formal online class; and the rest look like websites pulled straight out of the 1990’s.

These are not primary, or even secondary, sources. They are informal teaching aids and materials. Even his Feynman reference comes from lectures designed to have an informal, laid-back tone, intended to bring excitement to upcoming freshmen, not teach the next generation of scientists proper research methods and procedures: "The special problem we tried to get at with these lectures was to maintain the interest of the very enthusiastic and rather smart students coming out of the high schools and into Caltech [..] The lectures here are not in any way meant to be a survey course, but are very serious. " -Feynman.

In contrast I gave primary sources. These included the work of actual research scientists, and their methods of formulating hypotheses; as well as the APA publication manual, which dictates the rules of engagements for scientists in my field.

Nyarlathotep's picture
What would you accept as a

Since you rejected post graduate course material as a source, could you tell me explicitly what you would accept as a source?

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
Because of your tendency to

Because of your tendency to tunnel-vision, I actually don't trust you with sources. Ideally I would accept primary sources as valid (the way you're taught in research course), but you have a tendency to leave your brain at the door and mount exhaustive searches for specific words (i.e. guess).

I would prefer to have you explain in your own words the logic and reasoning behind taking guesses. Walk me through a scientific (not mathematical) research situation based on such guesses. And after, if you wish, find me an example in the literature of a scientist doing what you said.

I want to make sure there is a thinking brain behind that computer, not just someone good at searching words and copy/pasting them.

Nyarlathotep's picture
Breezy - I would prefer to

Breezy - I would prefer to have you explain in your own words the logic and reasoning behind taking guesses.

You either have a model that works or you don't. If you don't, you have to guess (hopefully an educated guess to save time), then test it to see if it works. It is just that simple.

Einstein guessed in his formulation special relativity. Feynman guessed in his work on super-fluid helium. Newton guessed at the rate at which gravity varies with distance. Born guessed at what is now called the Born rule. Pauling guessed (incorrectly) that DNA was a triple helix; while Watson and Crick's guess panned out that it was a double helix. All hypotheses are guesses, although some are more radical than others (Einstein's and Born's were the most radical in that list, imo).

If you think that one type of therapy is better than another in the field of Psychotherapy, that is a guess/hypothesis. You can then (hopefully) test that by preforming experiments.

There is an infinite number of functions that can relate variables in empirical data. History has shown that the best guess is to try the simplest one; which is related to Occam's razor. If that fails, then you need to add more bells and whistles to your guess.

You might think it is degrading to call these things guesses; because they are typically based on considerable prior knowledge; but that isn't my problem. If they weren't guesses they wouldn't need to be tested with experiment.

Greensnake's picture
John 61X Breezy,

John 61X Breezy,

Nasty little prick, aren't you? As usual you dig into meaningless details in order to derail the point! Nothing you said invalidates any of the sources Nyarlathotep used. Maybe you should take note of some of those class instructions. You might actually learn something. Surprise! They do teach accepted knowledge in university classrooms. Your material on Feynman is just freakin irrelevant. Do you know what "survey course" means? The fact that Feynman was laid back doesn't in any way detract from his use of "guess" with respect to hypothesis. Truths can be expressed informally, Mr. Breezy.

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
Truths that are informally

Truths that are informally expressed, ought to be informally interpreted. I'm not against using the word guess as a watered-down informal way of explaining what a hypotheses is. If I had to teach a child what hypotheses are, theres no better way to do it than to use the word guess.

But we are adults, and we ought to know better. We are not taking guesses when we formulate hypotheses in science, and the fact that I'm being called wrong lets me know something about the people saying so.

Nyarlathotep's picture
Breezy - We are not taking

Breezy - We are not taking guesses when we formulate hypotheses in science...

If you aren't guessing, it means you already know. And I don't think it comes as a shock to many people here for us to learn that you think you already know. Meanwhile the rest of us are stuck guessing about reality, then testing those guesses to see how we did.

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
Exactly, we aren't guessing,

Exactly, we aren't guessing, we're assuming to already know the outcome based on deductions and inductions. If we run the test and it turns out to be wrong, we have a problem on our hands. Either there was an error in the experiment, or there is something wrong with the theoretical and empirical foundations of our hypotheses.

If you're going to guess, why guess at all? Just save your time, run the test, and accept your results.

Nyarlathotep's picture
Breezy - Either there was an

Breezy - Either there was an error in the experiment, or there is something wrong with the theoretical and empirical foundations of our hypotheses.

Right, it means your hypothesis was wrong, it means you guessed wrong. So you start over with a new guess and test that. It is how science is done.

Nyarlathotep's picture
Breezy - ...we're assuming to

Breezy - ...we're assuming to already know the outcome based on deductions and inductions.

Right, when you assume something, you are guessing; hopefully an educated guess.

It is basically what I do all day long. We guess that if we change something, something else will change in a manner that we want. Then we try it. Sometimes it works, sometimes it don't. We learn (hopefully) and move to the next task.

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
"We guess that if we change

"We guess that if we change something, something else will change in a manner that we want.

That sounds like the type of research the applied sciences, like technology companies, pharmaceutical companies, ad company, or even the medical field might do. These people have a desired outcome, such as curing cancer or getting people to shop more at Amazon, so they manipulate any and all possible variables until they get what they want.

If I manipulate variables to get the outcome that I want, my study becomes biased, unfalsifiable, and unscientific.

You can bet that any study funded by a company that has something to gain from positive results, like the sugar industry, has had researchers test guesses and manipulate variables until their goal was reached.

Drug companies are infamous for abusing the notion of control groups. They always present studies which show their drugs are better than nothing. It's not in their best interest to test drugs against the effects of competing drugs, since that will a less significant effect.


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