The Case for Macroevolution

295 posts / 0 new
Last post
Greensnake's picture
Scott242,

Scott242,

["Life was not created by God, but rather, by evolutionary processes."

"Automobiles were not created by people, but rather, by manufacturing processes." --Scott242]

Automobiles over the years is not a good analogy for evolution. Automobiles don't improve without human intervention. Contrast that to the fact that natural principles are sufficient for evolution. There is no particular slot where a miraculous input is needed. Of course, you can play the role of the theistic evolutionist and put God somewhere back at the beginning, perhaps setting up the first replicating cell. For the moment that is beyond scientific refutation. However, it is an extra layer of unneeded fat, the very thing that Occam's Razor is designed to cut out.

Sheldon's picture
"Sheldon, please note that

"Sheldon, please note that merely making accusations of logical fallacies does not constitute a logical argument."

Please note that I did not merely make the accusation, I explicitly explained why your creationist lie was a fallacy.
---------------------------------------------------
"However, it is you who are making the false dichotomy by suggesting that evolution and creation are mutually exclusive concepts:"

Since I never claimed this you have now moved to a straw man fallacy. Evolution is a scientific fact, creationism is superstitious myth for which no one can demonstrate any objective evidence, and this includes you thus far.
-----------------------------------------------
"levels of causation:

"Life was not created by God, but rather, by evolutionary processes.""

Another straw man fallacy since no one has claimed this.

1) Evolution didn't "create life" you don't even understand what evolution is if you think this.
2) No one needs to deny creationism since no one can demonstrate any objective evidence for this superstitious myth, Hitchens's razor applies here.
3) Atheism is just the lack or absence of belief in a deity, it has nothing to do with evolution, or vice versa. This is a creationist lie, one of many. Like the absurd "atheist conspiracy" excuse when their superstitious creation myth can't get any purchase in the scientific world. Again there are many theists who have expertise in this field,, and know that species evolution can't reasonably be denied, see Francis Collins, head of the human genome project and an evangelical christian. You ignored his testimony, unsurprisingly.

The scientific theory of evolution explains the origins of species *NOT the origins of life.
----------------------------------------------

I couldn't be bothered to plough through your endless and tediously condescending analogies, as they have zero relevance.

Species evolution is a scientific fact, creationism is a superstitious myth.

However by all means demonstrate some objective evidence for either a deity or your creationist superstition?

You do know what objective evidence is don't you? It's what science has amassed year on year for almost 160 years to support Darwin's already validated scientific theory of species evolution. What have you got that's remotely comparable to that beyond rhetoric and cringeworthy analogies?

Sheldon's picture
"This includes atheistic

"This includes atheistic biologists such as Richard Dawkins, who writes in his book The Blind Watchmaker: “Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.”

You do see the word appearance in that quote you've taken out of context don't you? Hilarious, is there anyone more dishonest than a creationist, they are the mother and father of all liars. I seriously doubt you've read the blind Watchmaker in it's entirety as well, and you certainly haven't understood it if you think Dawkins is arguing that nature is designed. He has spent his entire life arguing the opposite.

Scott242's picture
Sheldon,

Sheldon,

Yes Dawkins does use the word "appearance." But I did not take this citation out of context, and I commit no dishonesty. Dawkins very clearly does believe in the possibility of a designer. It is just that the designer which he believe in is ALIENS FROM OUTER SPACE, rather than God.

Please watch the following video clip in which Dawkins endorses the aliens-brought-life-to-earth-in-their-spaceship hypothesis (known as "directed panspermia") in an interview:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BoncJBrrdQ8&t=1s

Here are Dawkins’ words from the above video:

“It could be that at some earlier time somewhere in the universe a civilization evolved by probably some Darwinian means to a very very high level of technology and designed a form of life that they seeded onto perhaps this planet. Now that is a possibility, and an intriguing possibility…and I suppose its possible that you might find evidence for that if you look at the details of biochemistry and molecular biology. You might find a signature of some sort of designer….”

And it is very ironic that atheists try to use evolution as evidence for evolution when you consider that even Charles Darwin did not believe that evolution was evidence for atheism. In his autobiography, which he wrote towards the end of his life, Darwin endorsed theism:

“Another source of conviction in the existence of God, connected with the reason and not with the feelings, impresses me as having much more weight. This follows from the extreme difficulty or rather impossibility of conceiving this immense and wonderful universe, including man with his capacity of looking far backwards and far into futurity, as the result of blind chance or necessity. When thus reflecting I feel compelled to look to a First Cause having an intelligent mind in some degree analogous to that of man; and I deserve to be called a Theist.”

In order to use evolution as evidence for atheism, you need to cite some evidence that evolution is the result of random and unintelligent processes. I cite evidence that evolution is the result of NON RANDOM processes. Please respond to my argument, rather than trying to create a smoke screen. Some copied and pasted evidence from a previous comment:

First of all, as Perry Marshall points out in his book Evolution 2.0, it is possible to prove that a pattern is non-random, but there is no mathematical procedure for proving that a pattern is random. Atheists can only assume that genes mutate randomly…because their worldview demands it. But the random mutation hypothesis can never be verified, and therefore it stands in opposition to the scientific method itself.

Marshall cites the renowned mathematician Gregory Chaitin from his paper Randomness and Mathematical Proof:

“Although randomness can be precisely defined and can even be measured, a given number cannot be proved to be random. This enigma establishes a limit to what is possible in mathematics.”

Evolution is directed, not random…but atheists leaves this out.

But the fundamentally unscientific nature of the random mutation evolutionary hypothesis is only its first problem. Marshall continues by calling attention to the research which has proven that evolution is clearly NOT random. Scientists such as the famous evolutionary biologist and geneticist Theodosius Dobzhansky conducted six decades of research in which fruit flies were exposed to radiation in order to induce the mutation of genes, with the intent of accelerating evolution. But after 60 years of research, and despite the fact that a new generation of fruit flies occurs every 11 days, no new species emerged, or even a new enzyme. Rather, the only results are what amount to frankenflies, including mutant fruit flies with legs growing out of their heads where their antennae belong.

So, if it is not random, how does change over time (the definition of evolution stripped of its atheistic philosophical add-ons) really happen?

Marshall answers:

“Remember the fruit fly experiments? [Nobel Prize-winning biologist Barbara] McClintock’s experiments were similar. She too used organisms damaged by radiation. She discovered that radiation broke chromosomes and triggered editing systems in real time. Cells would reconstruct the damaged chromosome with another section of radiation-broken genetic material.”

“…Barbara McClintock had discovered that plants possess the ability to recognize that data has been corrupted. Then they repair it with newly activated genome elements, and in the process of repairing the data, the plants can develop new features!”

Random mutation and natural selection is not what drives evolution (as Darwinism insists). Rather, directed processes drive evolution. The directed process mentioned above is known as transposition, and amounts to a cut/copy/paste of genetic information within a cell. The discovery of transposition won Barbara McClintock the Nobel Prize in biology, and her face on a U.S. postage stamp.

And despite the fact that no legitimate biologist denies transposition, Marshall notes, it is noticeably absent from popular presentations of evolution, such as in books by atheistic evolution promoters Richard Dawkins and Jerry Coyne. Scientists with an atheistic agenda do not wish to call attention to directed evolutionary processes such as transposition.

Physicist Amit Goswami echoes Marshall’s point about the directed (as opposed to random and mindless) nature of evolution in his book Creative Evolution: A Physicist’s Resolution Between Darwinism and Intelligent Design. Atheistic scientists argue in favor of upward causation, in which elementary particles make atoms, which make molecules, which make living cells, which make the brain, which produces consciousness. According to the upward causation model, then, everything begins with elementary particles, and winds up with consciousness (in human brains), as the result of mindless and random processes working over millions of years. But, as Goswami points out, downward causation (in which a consciousness comes first) is the actual state of affairs:

“The new evidence suggests that certain bacteria, when threatened with mass starvation, accelerate their own mutation rate to evolve to a new species that can survive on the available food (Cairns, Overbaugh, and Miller 1988). This behavior is called directed mutation. Critics of directed mutation point out that under starvation perhaps the mutation rate of all the genes is enhanced, not just the one needed for survival. But even so, the question remains: What enhances the mutation rates? The correct explanation is to see this phenomenon as direct evidence in favor of downward causation (Goswami and Todd 1997) and the causal efficacy of organisms, as also propounded by organismic biologists.”

Mind comes first, matter comes from mind

So what (or rather who) is responsible for this downward causation? Goswami responds that the only answer can be God, in part because an immaterial conscious mind is required to explain the famous “observer effect” in physics. The “observer effect” refers to the conclusion of modern physics that, prior to observation by a conscious observer, particles exist only in an immaterial form known as a possibility wave (or probability wave). It is only after an observation is made by a conscious observer that these possibilities “collapse into actuality,” thereby taking on material form. Readers who find this bizarre or difficult to understand are in good company. Even the world’s most elite physicists are amazed and puzzled by the observer effect. However, it has been repeatedly scientifically verified.

Please watch the following video about the observer effect of modern physics, as demonstrated in the famous "double slit" experiment:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfPeprQ7oGc&t=152s

Goswami writes:

“If the idea of downward causation were an isolated idea invented to solve the special problems of fast-tempo evolution and purposiveness of life, if it were needed nowhere else in science, then it could not be called a scientific idea, end of story. But the intriguing situation is this: The idea of a God as an agent of downward causation has emerged in quantum physics (Goswami 1989, 1991, 1993, 2000, 2002; Stapp 1993; Blood 1993, 2001) as the only legitimate explanation of the famous observer effect.” (Readers skeptical about this statement should see these original references, especially Goswami 2002.)

Downward causation (in which a conscious agent comes first) is no doubt a bizarre (even mind-bending) concept for persons raised in a culture which has deeply entrenched assumptions supporting the upward causation model. But, far from being a fringe concept, downward causation is a virtually undeniable conclusion of modern physics, as Goswami notes.

Physicist Richard Conn Henry from Johns Hopkins University agrees with Goswami that downward causation by God is the only reasonable conclusion one can draw from modern physics:

“Why do people cling with such ferocity to belief in a mind-independent reality? It is surely because if there is no such reality, then ultimately (as far as we can know) mind alone exists. And if mind is not a product of real matter, but rather is the creator of the illusion of material reality (which has, in fact, despite the materialists, been known to be the case since the discovery of quantum mechanics in 1925), then a theistic view of our existence becomes the only rational alternative to solipsism.” [“Solipsism” is defined as “the view or theory that the self is all that can be known to exist.”]

Indeed, the founder of quantum physics himself, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist Max Planck, was referring to downward causation, in which a conscious mind (read: God) comes first, and produces matter, when he wrote:

“I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.”

Planck also wrote:

“As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as a result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter.”

Similar to Planck, the Nobel Prize-winning, Harvard University biologist George Wald discusses how his science led him to embrace the downward causation model, in his address to the Quantum Biology Symposium titled Life and Mind in the Universe:

“It has occurred to me lately—I must confess with some shock at first to my scientific sensibilities—that both questions [the origin of mind and the origin of life from nonliving matter] might be brought into some degree of congruence. This is with the assumption that mind, rather than emerging as a late outgrowth in the evolution of life, has existed always as the matrix, the source and condition of physical reality—the stuff of which physical reality is composed is mind-stuff. It is mind that has composed a physical universe that breeds life and so eventually evolves creatures that know and create: science-, art-, and technology-making animals.”

Sheldon's picture
"Yes Dawkins does use the

"Yes Dawkins does use the word "appearance." But I did not take this citation out of context, and I commit no dishonesty. Dawkins very clearly does believe in the possibility of a designer. It is just that the designer which he believe in is ALIENS FROM OUTER SPACE, rather than God."

Nope, and if you're not being dishonest then your grasp of English makes any further discourse rather pointless. And no he doesn't claim life is designed, and it's hard to believe your grasp of English is this poor. However it's possible you are simply parroting creationist lies and haven't objectively checked this claim.

He was asked a direct question about the possibility of alien life in an interview, and candidly explained he couldn't rule something out. Religious apologists have leapt on it ever since, and distorted it to try and make hay.

Again and as simply as I can put this for you "It could be" is not an endorsement or a claim, it's an admission you can't entirely rule something out, and it was made in the context of the conversation, it was not as you and other theists keep trying to claim a personal view he was airing.

Sheldon's picture
"And it is very ironic that

"And it is very ironic that atheists try to use evolution as evidence for evolution when you consider that even Charles Darwin did not believe that evolution was evidence for atheism."

No they don't, Hitchens's razor applied. Evolution is a scientific fact, and only you have claimed here it is evidence for atheism, not amount of repetition of this lie will make it true.

ONE MORE TIME as you keep lying here, I am an atheist and will remain an atheist until someone can demonstrate objective evidence for a deity or deities. In the enormously unlikely event species evolution were falsified tomorrow I would remain an atheist, to be clear as you are stubbornly ignoring this fact, evolution plays no part in my atheism, and though I accept is as I do all properly validated scientific facts, my atheism is in no way dependant on it.

The fact it destroys creationist myths is your problem, not mine. A far larger problem as far as I and my atheism is concerned, is that there is no objective evidence for any creationist myths.

Greensnake's picture
Scott242,

Scott242,

Atheists can only assume that genes mutate randomly…because their worldview demands it. But the random mutation hypothesis can never be verified, and therefore it stands in opposition to the scientific method itself. --Scott242

This is bullshit! Many of the known sources of mutations, such as cosmic rays, X-rays, and certain chemicals obviously have a high degree of randomness associated with them. You insult us as well! Need I remind you that the largely random nature of mutations is considered a fact by both atheist and Christian scientists? None of the mechanisms suggest a purpose to evolution. If you want to be a theistic evolutionist that's fine with me. But it does add an extra layer of fat (God) to the explanation that is not needed, the very thing that Occam's Razor was designed to eliminate.

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
"Suggesting that evidence for

"Suggesting that evidence for macroevolution supports atheism is a complete non-sequitur.

I disagree. Many people think that evolution isn't concerned with origins, and though that might be the case with microevolution and even speciation, it isn't the case for macroevolution. The concept of macroevolution hinges heavily on the low-resolution image produced by the fossil record, as well as the idea of a common ancestor of all our genetic diversity.

Clearly, macroevolution needs abiogenesis to be possible. It needs life to have originated at a very specific time, and to have produced every living organism today in order to make sense of fossil distribution.

Abiogenesis is atheistic in nature.

Sheldon's picture
Atheism has nothing to do

Atheism has nothing to do with either abiogenesis or evolution, the simple fact is no one can demonstrate any objective evidence for any deity. Species evolution and natural selection are not dependant on us knowing how life originated, they are scientifically valid independently of that. This is a creationist cliche using the tired god of the gaps arguments, you're just doing what you always do and trying to reverse the burden of proof.

"Abiogenesis is atheistic in nature."

Most ideas that aren't based on a deity using magic are.

Greensnake's picture
John 61X Breezy,

John 61X Breezy,

You seem to be confused on this point. Biological evolution begins with an ancestral species, a primitive single-celled organism. How that species got there is the topic of abiogenesis. Evolution explains the diversity of life arising from that root species.

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
Then obviously it does matter

Then obviously it does matter, because without it macroevolution as it is interpreted from the fossil record becomes nothing more than the act of seeing patterns in the stars. You need abiogenesis to be true for your theory to work. So far, abiogenesis is more the product of evolution, than evolution the product of abiogenesis.

Sheldon's picture
You claimed you'd still deny

You claimed you'd still deny evolution if you were an atheist, so what's your point here John?

Organic life exists, the material universe exists, species evolution through natural selection is a scientific fact.

Where's your evidence for a deity using magic? Not that this is your motive for denying only evolution of course, as that would expose your pseudoscientific lies completely.

Oh what a tangled web we weave...

Greensnake's picture
John 61X Breezy,

John 61X Breezy,

You are creating a straw man or maybe you are just confused. The fossil record is very real as is DNA evidence. Cladistics is based on real data. Add genetics and you clearly have a progression of inherited life, the descent with modification that is macroevolution. Macroevolution explains the diversity of life, not its origin.

Are you trying to say that there is no origin for life on earth? If you accept that life originated on earth (or arrived in some primitive form), then you have accepted the thing that is the starting point for macroevolution! The formal theory of evolution assumes a primitive starting point. It's validity is found in the fossil record, in comparative DNA, and in numerous other data (see Dr. Theobald's list). No discovery in abiogenesis can possibly change the data that validates evolution, meaning that macroevolution is independent of abiogenesis. So, stop confusing the two!

[Edited]

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
Macroevolution makes a very

Macroevolution needs a very specific scenario on the origins of life to be true. Suppose that for whatever reason, tomorrow scientists wake up, run some experiments and create life for the first time. But in the act of doing so they learned a lot of new information. Based on that information, they conclude that life couldn't have originated 3 to 4 billion years ago; the now believe the only time in earth's history that life could have possibly originated was 100 million years ago.

What would happen to macroevolution then?

CyberLN's picture
Suppose a scientist woke up

Suppose a scientist woke up tomorrow and got something to fall up...

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
If you think what I said is

If you think what I said is equivalent to something falling up, then you prove my point.

Sheldon's picture
"If you think what I said is

"If you think what I said is equivalent to something falling up, then you prove my point."

Why, because a scientific consensus says things can't fall up? You claimed a scientific consensus is worthless? Why can't things fall up? Evidence perhaps? No that won't work as a scientific consensus reflects the evidence. It appears Breezy is such a brilliant scientist he's negated the entire method and science actually knows nothing at all, all bets are off. Except for faith based bronze age superstitious beliefs in creation myths of course, they're Teflon coated solid, untouchable.

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
Scientific "consensus" doesn

Scientific "consensus" doesn't adequately reflect truth, it reflects the political and ideological beliefs of the scientist, it reflects the interpretations with which evidence is infused and it reflects whatever other biases and variables produce an interaction effect within the scientist.

Sheldon's picture
"Scientific "consensus" doesn

"Scientific "consensus" doesn't adequately reflect truth, it reflects the political and ideological beliefs of the scientist, "

As opposed to the open minded objectivity of faith based religious beliefs you mean? This absurd claim sounds dangerously close to the creationist cliche of claiming a scientific conspiracy on evolution to me. However a scientific consensus is important precisely because it removes the subjective ideologies and beliefs of individual scientists.

So if as you claim a scientific consensus that cites overwhelming evidence is meaningless, then no scientific facts are valid in your opinion then? Science as a method is meaningless? Why are you bothering with science then, to try and lend gravitas to your creation myth?
----------------------------------
You ignored my question again....

Breezy "If you think what I said is equivalent to something falling up, then you prove my point."

Why, because a scientific consensus says things can't fall up? You claimed a scientific consensus is worthless? Why can't things fall up? After all a scientific consensus reflects the preponderance of evidence, or are they all lying?

Greensnake's picture
John 61X Breezy,

John 61X Breezy,

Your hypothetical scenario is useless here. The fossil record plainly pushes life back before 3 billion years ago. The fossil record and other data IS the basis for macroevolution. That's a signed deal that's not going to change regardless of what abiogenesis discovers.

Sheldon's picture
"Clearly, macroevolution

"Clearly, macroevolution needs abiogenesis to be possible."

Are you saying life hasn't occurred on this planet? Even for you this is an idiotic argument from ignorance. We know life exists John, look around. We know natural processes exist, and we know the physical universe exists, and we have well evidenced explanations for natural phenomena that explain how and why it behaves as it does.

So demonstrate something comparable to all that objective evidence for any deity?

Scott242's picture
No, the fossil record

No, the fossil record evidence for macroevolution is nil. The late, great Harvard University paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould writes in a 1977 issue of Natural History:

“The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology…Paleontologists have paid an exorbitant price for Darwin’s argument. We fancy ourselves as the only true students of life’s history, yet to preserve our favored account of evolution by natural selection we view our data as so bad that we never see the very process we profess to study.”

Gould also wrote,

“The absence of fossil evidence for intermediary stages between major transitions in organic design, indeed our inability, even in our imagination, to construct functional intermediates in many cases, has been a persistent and nagging problem for gradualistic accounts of evolution.”

Ernst Mayr (one of the leading evolutionary biologists of the last 50 years) writes:

“Paleontologists had long been aware of a seeming contradiction between Darwin’s postulate of gradualism … and the actual findings of paleontology. Following phyletic lines through time seemed to reveal only minimal gradual changes but no clear evidence for any change of a species into a different genus or for the gradual origin of an evolutionary novelty. Anything truly novel always seemed to appear quite abruptly in the fossil record.”

Evolutionary biologist and paleontologist Henry Gee (senior editor of the science journal Nature) said it best (in 1999):

“No fossil is buried with its birth certificate. That, and the scarcity of fossils, means that it is effectively impossible to link fossils into chains of cause and effect in any valid way…To take a line of fossils and claim that they represent a lineage is not a scientific hypothesis that can be tested, but an assertion that carries the same validity as a bedtime story—amusing, perhaps even instructive, but not scientific.”

The Curator of the invertebrates department at the American Museum of Natural History, Niles Eldredge, who was also the adjunct professor at the City University of New York, is a vigorous supporter of evolution. But Dr. Eldredge openly admits that the traditional evolutionary view is not supported by the fossil record. He says,

“No wonder paleontologists shied away from evolution for so long,” as he writes, “It seems never to happen. Fastidious collecting of fossils, from the bottom upward, up sheer cliff faces, zigzags, minor oscillations…all showing the same results. That life forms all appear, fully formed, complete in body parts, at their first discovery. When we do see the introduction of evolutionary novelty, it usually shows up with a bang, and often with no firm evidence that the organisms did not evolve elsewhere! Evolution cannot forever be going on someplace else. Yet that’s how the fossil record has struck many a forlorn paleontologist looking to learn something about evolution.“

In The Altenberg 16: An Expose of the Evolution Industry, Oxford University and University of Massachusetts-Amherst Professor of Biology Lynn Margulis (winner of the U.S. Presidential Medal for Science) discusses the persistence of neo-Darwinian theory, despite its deteriorating scientific basis, with journalist Susan Mazur:

Margulis: “If enough favorable mutations occur, was the erroneous extrapolation, a change from one species to another would concurrently occur.”

Mazur: “So a certain dishonesty set in?”

Margulis: “No. It was not dishonesty. I think it was wish-fulfillment and social momentum. Assumptions, made but not verified, were taught as fact.”

Mazur: “But a whole industry grew up.”

Margulis: “Yes, but people are always more loyal to their tribal group than to any abstract notion of ‘truth’ – scientists especially. If not they are unemployable. It is professional suicide to continually contradict one’s teachers or social leaders.”

Sheldon's picture
Mendacious quote mining. Are

Mendacious quote mining. Are you really trying to claim SJG didn't accept the fact of species evolution? First you make the moronic lie that Professor Richard Dawkins claimed life was designed, now this equally moronic misrepresentation.

Since you've lied about atheists, let's see what a prominent Christian Francis Collins has to say.

"The evidence supporting the idea that all living things are descended from a common ancestor is truly overwhelming. I would not necessarily wish that to be so, as a Bible-believing Christian. But it is so. It does not serve faith well to try to deny that."

Ahem...

Scott242's picture
Sheldon,

Sheldon,

No, I am not trying to claim that Stephen Jay Gould didn't accept species evolution. The lack of evidence for gradualistic evolution is what necessitated Gould and Eldridge formulating their theory known as punctuated equilibrium.

My point is that people like Gould and Eldridge believe in unintelligent and unguided evolution, despite the fact that they cannot deny the lack of evidence in the fossil record. This means that their belief in unintelligent and unguided evolution is extra-scientific (read: philosophical / religious) in nature.

I've lied about atheists? Do I get to know what I lied about? Or did I lie about nothing in particular? I linked to a video in which Dawkins very clearly and unequivocally states that he believes in the possibility of "some sort of designer," which turns out to be space aliens.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BoncJBrrdQ8&t=1s

Here are Dawkins’ words from the above video:

“It could be that at some earlier time somewhere in the universe a civilization evolved by probably some Darwinian means to a very very high level of technology and designed a form of life that they seeded onto perhaps this planet. Now that is a possibility, and an intriguing possibility…and I suppose its possible that you might find evidence for that if you look at the details of biochemistry and molecular biology. You might find a signature of some sort of designer….”

The idea that a common ancestor proves unintelligent evolution is a complete non-sequitur. All modern cars evolved from the common ancestor of the Ford Model-T. But does is logically follow that this evolution was unintelligent and unguided? No, it does not. Non-sequitur.

Sheldon's picture
"The lack of evidence for

"The lack of evidence for gradualistic evolution"

160 years of s scientific research and every single validated piece of scientific evidence supports species evolution. What on earth are you talking about?
--------------
"My point is that people like Gould and Eldridge believe in unintelligent and unguided evolution,"

Rubbish, it's not belief at all. There simply is no evidence that supports the religious belief that evolution is guided. The mechanisms that drive evolution are evidenced beyond any reasonable doubt.

"This means that their belief in unintelligent and unguided evolution is extra-scientific"

Bullshit, seriously you're parroting creationist propaganda. Turn on any news channel and you'll see that the scientific fact of species evolution remains a fact.

Stop with the fucking car analogies as well. I know what species evolution is and it's not in any way analogous to man made objects.

Dawkins doesn't believe organic life is designed, thats risible nonsense, again he's spent his entire life arguing the opposite. So no amount of quote mining him out of context will change that.
I'm afraid you've swallowed the creationist propaganda lies that are so prevalent in the US.

The video has quite clearly been edited you clown. Ffs pathetic take a look at the way his lips suddenly go out of sync, then the camera suddenly shows the back of his head so that they can overdub the ending....Hilarious...

Greensnake's picture
Scott242,

Scott242,

The problem with non-experts collecting quotes, especially if a dogma is being served, is that they miss all the real meaning which is often subtle. First of all, there are a lot of intermediates. Noted geologist Dr. Donald Prothero wrote a whole book about them! ("Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters"). Are you aware that the boundary line between mammal-like reptiles and mammals is so smooth the the dividing line is somewhat arbitrary? Are you aware that at the boundary line between amphibians and reptiles fossils are so similar that they can't be told apart unless egg fossils are present? Are you aware that there are now an excellent series of transitional forms linking whales with four-legged river animals? Maybe that's why some whales still have rudimentary legs protruding out their hind sides!

Dr. Gould does talk about statistical gaps of a certain kind. It poses no threat to evolution (Gould remained an evolutionist) but it is relevant to his theory of punctuated equilibrium. Keep in mind that even those gaps are statistical--not absolute. Nor are they a huge mystery since there is a whole slew of various reasons why we should expect such gaps. Study Dr. Gould's punctuated equilibrium for the details.

[Edited] Final note: Punctuated equilibrium is a refinement of the classical Darwinian gradualism. Gradualism is still the best explanation for some data, especially invertebrate fossils, I believe, whereas punctuated equilibrium often works well with higher animals. That's my impression anyway. Both are theories of macroevolution.

Scott242's picture
Greensnake,

Greensnake,

If there is a "real meaning" which is "subtle," then you need to call out what you feel this real meaning is. If you feel that I took these quotes out of context, then you need to provide what you feel is the missing context. Citing an undisclosed "real meaning" is an obfuscation, and detracts from rational discourse.

For example, somebody can make a statement in the context of a joke. In such case, they did not really mean for their statement to be taken at face value. What context did I leave out? Please specify.

The citations which I provide were written in the context of the support for gradualistic accounts of evolution provided by the fossil record. These citations are unequivocal in nature and, therefore, it is difficult to see what context could be missing. But please feel free to cite the context which I left out. Mere citing undisclosed "subtleties" and "real meaning" is an attempt to create a smoke screen to conceal the truth.

Yes, Gould remained an evolutionist, and you are correct that the gaps in the fossil record do not pose a threat to evolution. But my point is that "evolution" really just means "change over time" when stripped of the atheistic philosophical add-ons of randomness and purposelessness. Virtually nobody of any religious or philosophical tradition denies that life has changed over time.

Gould continued to believe in unintelligent and unguided evolution despite the fact that he could clearly see the lack of fossil record support for gradualistic evolution. But my point is that he did so for apparently extra-scientific (read: philosophical / religious) reasons, and NOT for scientific reasons.

Sheldon's picture
" If you feel that I took

" If you feel that I took these quotes out of context, then you need to provide what you feel is the missing context. "

That's easy, the entire scientific world doesn't share your conclusions.

Greensnake's picture
Scott242,

Scott242,

If there is a "real meaning" which is "subtle," then you need to call out what you feel this real meaning is. If you feel that I took these quotes out of context, then you need to provide what you feel is the missing context. Citing an undisclosed "real meaning" is an obfuscation, and detracts from rational discourse. --Scott242

People who don't understand the science can easily read things into quotations even when they try to include some of the surrounding context. Sometimes, when speaking informally, scientists exasperate the situation. I believe that your roundup of quotes on fossil gaps falls into this category. While your request is logical, I don't really have the time to instruct you in how scientists view the statistical gaps, a review that would take us substantially into Gould's punctuated equilibrium theory. Moreover, I would have to research each of the quotes to factor in the particular details of the occasion. I recommend that you read some of Stephen Jay Gould's wonderfully written paperback books. It's possible that he might have even addressed this topic.

Note that Gould's punctuated equilibrium theory addresses the problem he sees with gradualism. Thus, his continued belief in unintelligent and unguided evolution was wholly scientific.

The randomness and purposelessness are not philosophical add-ons if interpreted correctly. They simply reflect the fact that the mechanisms for evolution also involve randomness. Evolution is purposeless in the sense that it has no means for planning ahead. Adaptation is to the present environment, not with an eye to some future goal.

Sheldon's picture
***Well your use of

***Well your use of creationist propaganda is well debunked as it happens.

"Creationists' demand for fossils that represent "missing links" reveals a deep misunderstanding of science"

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-fossil-fallacy/

"The fossil record provides snapshots of the past that, when assembled, illustrate a panorama of evolutionary change over the past four billion years. The picture may be smudged in places and may have bits missing, but fossil evidence clearly shows that life is old and has changed over time."

https://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/lines_02
-----------------------------------------------

***Here is a creationist making the claim you're parroting...ironically this famous creationists who's often championed by creationists is an engineer, with no qualifications in the fields he's denying of biology, or archaeology. It's from the Talkorigins website, which debuks a massive list of creationist propaganda claims:

"Claim CC200:
There are no transitional fossils. Evolution predicts a continuum between each fossil organism and its ancestors. Instead, we see systematic gaps in the fossil record.
Source:
Morris, Henry M. 1985. Scientific Creationism. Green Forest, AR: Master Books, pp. 78-90.
Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. 1985. Life--How Did It Get Here? Brooklyn, NY, pp. 57-59.
Response:
There are many transitional fossils. The only way that the claim of their absence may be remotely justified, aside from ignoring the evidence completely, is to redefine "transitional" as referring to a fossil that is a direct ancestor of one organism and a direct descendant of another. However, direct lineages are not required; they could not be verified even if found. What a transitional fossil is, in keeping with what the theory of evolution predicts, is a fossil that shows a mosaic of features from an older and more recent organism.

Transitional fossils may coexist with gaps. We do not expect to find finely detailed sequences of fossils lasting for millions of years. Nevertheless, we do find several fine gradations of fossils between species and genera, and we find many other sequences between higher taxa that are still very well filled out.

The following are fossil transitions between species and genera: "

http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CC/CC200.html

Pages

Donating = Loving

Heart Icon

Bringing you atheist articles and building active godless communities takes hundreds of hours and resources each month. If you find any joy or stimulation at Atheist Republic, please consider becoming a Supporting Member with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of tea and a good dinner.

Or make a one-time donation in any amount.