Evolution affirms the Consequent

  1. Affirming the Consequent is a logical fallacy that takes a known true statement [if P then Q] and invalidly concludes its converse [if Q then P]:
    1. If Bill Gates owns Fort Knox, then Bill Gates is rich. Bill Gates is rich. Therefore, Bill Gates owns Fort Knox. False!
    2. If an animal is a dog, then it has four legs. My cat has four legs. Therefore, my cat is a dog. False!
    3. If it’s raining, then the streets are wet. The streets are wet. Therefore it’s raining. False! It could be raining or it could be something else. The “therefore” claim is false.
  2. How does ‘Affirming the consequent’ apply to evolution? We have not observed “evolution”. No one has, and no one will, despite the effort (see LTEE). What was observed is Resemblance, the Birth Mechanism, Variability and Adaptability. Neither of these (even combined) can logically be extrapolated to “evolution”, namely the hypothesized transmutation of one type of organism into another. Proofs of “evolution” always take the form: If “evolution” is true, then XYZ is true. XYZ is true. Therefore “evolution” is true. This is a classical Affirming the Consequent logical fallacy.
  3. Let’s see some concrete examples of “proof of evolution” fallacies:
    • If “evolution” is true, some fossils are ancestors of and therefore resemble existing organisms. Fossils resemble one another and existing organisms. Therefore “evolution” is true. This argument fails because there will always be some resemblance between two or more entities (even chairs and cats have four legs in general). Also, a fossil can always be from an unrelated branch of the “tree of life” which circularly presupposes “evolution” anyway.
    • If “evolution” is true, organisms are genetically similar. Organisms are genetically similar. Therefore “evolution” is true. This argument is false because other hypotheses such as common design account for genetic similarities just as well.
    • If “evolution” is true, one might expect common embryology. Similar organisms have similar embryology. Therefore “evolution” is true. This fails because embryology is expected to match genetics and morphology, hence the previous counterargument applies.
    • If “evolution” is true, one might expect vestigial organs. What looks like vestigial organs can be observed. Therefore “evolution” is true. This fails because what if those organs are useful rather that “vestigial”? And why would “evolution” not do away with “vestigial” organs as soon as they become useless? In sum, why can’t these organs have another reason or origin than “evolution”?
    • If “evolution” is true, one expects adaptability such as antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic resistance is observed. Therefore “evolution” is true. This fails because adaptabilities such as antibiotic resistance are compatible with other hypotheses, not just “evolution”. In addition, antibiotic resistance is ubiquitous, limited, reversible, and never observed to result in organism transmutation aka “evolution”.
  4. How can “proofs of evolution” avoid the ‘Affirming the Consequent’ logical fallacy? Direct confirmation of “evolution” is unlikely as shown by the LTEE study. Alternatively, an observation that is true for “evolution” and only for “evolution” might also work. In other words, what’s missing from all the examples above is a true statement of the kind: “only if evolution is true, then XYZ”. Of course, excluding all alternatives to “evolution” is an impossible task therefore, given that Intelligent Design is the main rival, proponents of “evolution” need only add a true statement of the kind: “if Intelligent Design is true, then XYZ is not true” to turn their invalid arguments into valid ones. But even this lower bar cannot be met by “evolution” proponents, thus making all “proofs of evolution” invalid.
  5. Isn’t then all science ‘Affirming the Consequent’? For example, “if Newtonian physics is true, a ball thrown at angle Theta and speed V will land D meters away. The experiment is carried out, and we find that the ball landed distance D away. Therefor physics is true.” No! This is not a fallacy because it meets the “if and only if” requirement and is limited to “everything else equal” cases. Rockets do not disprove this claim because everything else is not equal between them and thrown inactive projectiles. In addition, no one claims a single experiment confirms all Newtonian Mechanics the way “proofs of evolution” are presented. In this case, multiple combinations of Angles and Speed result in the same Distance without violating Newtonian Mechanics because this experiment proves only portions of the theory.

Links:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affirming_the_consequent

https://www.amazon.com/Biblical-Wisdom-Literature-Joseph-Koterski/dp/1598035258

http://myxo.css.msu.edu/ecoli/

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820 thoughts on “Evolution affirms the Consequent

  1. Nonlin.org: walto: Bravo. Fight for the God-given right to know nothing about logic!!

    Yes. Seriously. You’re absolutely ignorant about logic. Nearly everything you’ve written here is completely wrong. It’s not suprising you don’t find that funny or only find it funny in a weird way. That’s what’s called a defense mechanism.

    I gave you a gentleman’s D. Please don’t make me sorry I did that and just make you take the course again.

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  2. Nonlin.org: Not when you don’t compare hypotheses side-by-side.

    What I suggest you put “side-by-side” is your nonsense in this OP and, well, really anything at all published anywhere about propositional logic or the scientific method.

    And when you do so, remember: shit floats.

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  3. Nonlin.org: It popped out of atheism. Atheistic religion first, “proof of evolution” fallacy after.

    Can you point to when in history that happened? As it seems to me the theists had things nailed down for, well, a few thousands years?

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  4. walto: You’re absolutely ignorant about logic.

    And science. Scientific inferences are almost never stated in the forms of properly structured syllogistic arguments, or as propositions. Arguments in the literature even while technical still take a more colloquial form, and many of the premises technically required to reach a specific conclusion are assumed or implicitly understood to have been made.

    Science also doesn’t deal with truth in the sense Nonlin wants the “truth” of evolution to be argued. Scientific conclusions are tentative conclusions derived from probabilistic reasoning about the fit and explanatory power of competing models explaining data.

    When scientists say “evolution is true”, they’re not saying it has been deductively proven to be true. They’re really just saying it’s a good, and among several competing ones, the best explanation for some set of facts.

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  5. Rumraket,

    Quite right. But….can non-lin learn anything? The inductive evidence is pretty overwhelming that NO is the answer to that question at this point.

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  6. The penny finally drops for nonlin:

    DNA_Jock

    If someone takes an example of the Affirming the Consequent fallacy, and negates both statements in the opening conditional, they now have an example of modus tollens, that is, a valid argument.

    So what? You’re not disputing anything in this OP and are not contributing anything by noticing the trivial: “replacing A with B we get B”.

    Cool beans. I am going to take that as a “Yes”.
    Yikes, that took longer than it should have.
    Now that we have gotten your failure to understand propositional logic out of the way, we can start to discuss arguments for evolution.
    You offered up the following strawman, which is an example of Affirming the Consequent:

    If “evolution” is true, organisms show patterns of similarities and differences. We observe patterns of similarities and differences. Therefore “evolution” is true.

    Now, pay attention. This is an example of the Affirming the Consequent fallacy. THEREFORE (as you finally admitted), if we negate both statements in the opening conditional, we create an example of Modus Tollens, a valid argument.
    Which is what I did back on page 4.

    If “evolution” is not true, organisms would not show consilient patterns of similarities and differences. We observe consilient patterns of similarities and differences
    … therefore…[unstated conclusion = Therefore “evolution” is true.]
    That’s the inverse of the converse, mate.

    Now phoodoo, in true phoodoo-incapable-of-conceptual-thought style, thinks that this syllogism is somehow incoherent.
    You, on the other hand, made the equally goofy but more easily refuted claim that

    Not how it works.
    It’s a fallacy only if someone makes that claim. Who do you know that makes that crazy claim?

    Which is wrong in multiple ways.
    1) It’s not a fallacy, its Modus Tollens.
    2) Whether it is a fallacy or not CANNOT depend on whether someone makes the claim
    3) I do know people who make that crazy claim. Here at TSZ, 5163 comments worth of it; during your sojourn here, even.
    You appear incoherent.

    You agreed with everything here and now you’re backtracking?

    I don’t think I have agreed with anything that you’ve written. I focused exclusively on the error in propositional logic, because it was the most egregious. With that resolved (finally!) we can move on the why your OP is rubbish.
    Keiths and Kantian Naturalist explained why on the first page of the comments here.
    As petrushka put it:

    In a rational world, that would be the end of the thread.

    Since then, we’ve merely been toying with you and phoodoo. It’s rather rude of us, but you haven’t been terribly polite either.
    Simply put, your thesis does not hold water. This is so obvious (since science does not use propositional logic, and even phoodoo can figure THAT out…) that we have not bothered to belabor the point. There’s been lots of other ways in which you have displayed mind-blowing ignorance that we have been exploring.
    ET fix links: Bill Gates is the devil
    ETA I did agree that your strawmen were fallacies.

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  7. oldie but goodie, me thinks

    Stephen Jay Gould:
    In science, ‘fact’ can only mean ‘confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent.’ I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms.

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  8. walto: Moving from Spinoza back to democracy

    So I guess this means that Templeton won’t be hearing from you, right?

    Spoiler alert: more book titles. Stop here if not wanted!

    This was the book a had in mind when I said mentioned a theme of democracy is not for humans. I am unclear if that (pseudo-?)concern is within the scope of your book

    https://www.amazon.com/Against-Democracy-Preface-Jason-Brennan/dp/0691178496/

    I’ve only heard a podcast interview with the author. If you want more books that made it to the podcast big leagues, go to New Books Network and search for “democracy”.
    https://newbooksnetwork.com/?s=democracy

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  9. phoodoo: What’s the negation of definitely?

    The negation of “definitely” is “not”:
    P: I will definitely go to the park today
    not-P: I will not go to the park today.
    It’s only when you get into modals like “might” that you leave the realm of propositional logic.
    You do have an uncanny ability to confuse yourself.
    For instance, when I wrote:

    Heavens, no, phoodoo. We agree with you that propositional logic, with its true or false, no third options allowed, statements is not how science works.

    You replied:

    If there are no third options allowed then an argument with more then two options is invalid, is that what you are telling me?

    which is wonderfully confused. The phrase ” true or false, no third options allowed” is modifying “statements”. Valid arguments can have lots of options, whether in propositional logic or elsewhere. [ If (A and B) or ((C and not-D) and E) , then …] However, if any of the statements cannot be reduced to True/False, then you have left the realm of propositional logic, with its Affirming the Consequent Fallacy (the subject of this OP).
    Everyone except nonlin (yourself included) realizes that science does not use propositional logic.
    Now will you be a dear and explain this to nonlin: he doesn’t seem to listen to us.

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  10. BruceS: So I guess this means that Templeton won’t be hearing from you, right?

    Spoiler alert:more book titles.Stop here ifnot wanted!

    This was the book a had in mind when I said mentioned a theme of democracy is not for humans. I am unclear if that (pseudo-?)concern is within the scope of your book

    https://www.amazon.com/Against-Democracy-Preface-Jason-Brennan/dp/0691178496/

    I’ve only heard a podcast interview with the author.If you want more books that made it to the podcast big leagues, go to New Books Network and search for “democracy”.
    https://newbooksnetwork.com/?s=democracy

    Most of my last chapter is devoted to Brennan’s book. I’ve read quite a bit of him. He’s like the Cass Sunstein of philosophy–12 books in 10 years. Big following of snarky, know-it-all libertarian nerds on FB. Non-lin would fit in nicely, except they’re all atheists. Dicks come in pretty much every variety. But wherever they’re found, they’re always sure they’re right about everything.

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  11. DNA_Jock: The negation of “definitely” is “not”:
    P: I will definitely go to the park today
    not-P: I will not go to the park today.

    No its not, its I might go to the park today. Remember? Hahaha.

    You continue to amuse.

    This is one of your most nonsensical posts in this thread so far, btw. I don’t think you have the faintest idea what you want to say, so you are just rambling.

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  12. phoodoo: No its not, its I might go to the park today.Remember?Hahaha.

    You continue to amuse.

    This is one of your most nonsensical posts in this thread so far, btw.I don’t think you have the faintest idea what you want to say, so you are just rambling.

    I agree that his post was bad. That’s because “definitely” is importantly ambiguous as I indicated above. The negation of

    Necessarily, I will go to the park

    is

    Possibly, I will not go to the park

    But, as I’ve said, you should not think of those as epistemic operators or you’ll make another mess.

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  13. Nonlin.org,

    It popped out of atheism. Atheistic religion first, “proof of evolution” fallacy after.

    Absolute steaming bollocks. If you’re just going to make stuff up …

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  14. Nonlin.org: Not when you don’t compare hypotheses side-by-side.

    OK, let’s compare hypotheses side-by-side. You have the Linnaean taxonomy, nested sets of relationship when grouped on character state. A branching process of descent with modification would give nested sets of relationships as a matter of course. A process of design would not, at least as a matter of course. You have to pretend that it would give the same as evolution gives for free. An ad hoc force fit of theory to fact. Design is the Inference to Best Explanation? Er, no.

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  15. What a Godsend the nested hierarchies proved to be for atheism, I must say… 😃

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  16. You’re just looking for an excuse to reject God, you heathen.

    Let the debauchery begin.

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  17. I could believe evolution is the Christian god’s plan and mechanism, except of course I would also have to believe that every god has the identical plan. That’s much more difficult to believe, since all these gods are so wildly different and the Christian god is one of both love and forgiveness, and of violence and vengeance.

    And if every god is diddling with heredity differently, I couldn’t explain how any organism exists. I suppose True Believers of all faiths solve this problem by simply denying the existence of everyone else’s gods. When the Mormon missionaries came to the door of my fervent Baptist neighbors, the rising smoke was pretty comical. About all they could agree on was the inherent inferiority of Negroes.

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  18. keiths:
    You’re just looking for an excuse to reject God, you heathen.

    It’s in every indel. Someone has gone to such an enormous amount of trouble to keep me a-disbelievin’, it would be rude not to go along with it.

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  19. It’s the divine equivalent of a Do Not Disturb sign.

    Unfortunately the incessant yammerers and supplicants can’t take a hint.

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  20. walto: Dicks come in pretty much every variety. But wherever they’re found, they’re always sure they’re right about everything

    Nicely played.

    It seems that your book is covering stuff that should make it an easy sale in the current climate of concern with democracy, populism, and the future of liberalism. If you have a chapter on China’s system, that would make it a lock for the NYT list.

    I look forward to meeting you on your book tour when you hit Toronto. Or at least, listening to you on Ezra Klein’s podcast as well as some Slate-network podcast.

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  21. The easy way to judge a political system is to ask if you would like to live in it, assuming the people currently in power have policies you find unacceptable.

    I say this because, in my reading of history, there are always periods in which the people in power are unacceptable to me.

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  22. walto: Nearly everything you’ve written here is completely wrong.

    Like what EXACTLY is wrong? When will you back your bullshit with some evidence?

    walto: What I suggest you put “side-by-side” is your nonsense in this OP

    WTF does that even mean?

    OMagain: Can you point to when in history that happened? As it seems to me the theists had things nailed down for, well, a few thousands years?

    What “happened”? What’s “nailed down” to you?

    Rumraket: When scientists say “evolution is true”, they’re not saying it has been deductively proven to be true. They’re really just saying it’s a good, and among several competing ones, the best explanation for some set of facts.

    This stupidity has been addressed repeatedly in this thread. You either can’t read, understand, or remember.

    walto: The inductive evidence is pretty overwhelming

    What “inductive evidence”? This OP is about something else.

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  23. Nonlin.org: Like what EXACTLY is wrong? When will you back your bullshit with some evidence?

    Like paragraph 1 and paragraph 5. Both utter bullshit. Neither the evolutionary theory nor the physics are deductive enterprises. Is that “exact” enough for you? (Also the ceteris parabis clause in one and not the other is funny.)

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  24. DNA_Jock: Cool beans. I am going to take that as a “Yes”.
    Yikes, that took longer than it should have.

    Take what as a “Yes”? Your own words that I merely cite? My [incomplete] comment was:

    “So what? You’re not disputing anything in this OP and are not contributing anything by noticing the trivial: “replacing A with B we get B”.

    What do you take as a “Yes” FROM THOSE?

    DNA_Jock: This is an example of the Affirming the Consequent fallacy. THEREFORE (as you finally admitted), if we negate both statements in the opening conditional, we create an example of Modus Tollens, a valid argument.
    Which is what I did back on page 4.

    You DO mistake your own words (which I merely cited) for mine. Oops. Desperate and embarrassing.

    DNA_Jock: I don’t think I have agreed with anything that you’ve written.

    DID YOU OR DID YOU NOT WRITE THIS:

    “DNA_Jock on July 1, 2019 at 9:41 pm said:
    nonlin here’s a deal.
    To answer your question:
    yes, your a1,b1 and c1 and a-e are all examples of affirming the consequent.
    I do not think anyone has ever claimed otherwise. I certainly have not.”?!?!?

    …to my comment on June 29, 2019 at 7:22?

    Then what’s your problem?
    Why do you go on and on and on with the nonsense:

    DNA_Jock: Simply put, your thesis does not hold water. This is so obvious (since science does not use propositional logic

    What “thesis”? What “science”? What “propositional logic”?
    Are you completely nuts?

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  25. Allan Miller: OK, let’s compare hypotheses side-by-side. You have the Linnaean taxonomy, nested sets of relationship when grouped on character state. A branching process of descent with modification would give nested sets of relationships as a matter of course. A process of design would not, at least as a matter of course. You have to pretend that it would give the same as evolution gives for free. An ad hoc force fit of theory to fact. Design is the Inference to Best Explanation? Er, no.

    So that’s a SCIENTIFIC side by side comparison?!? Some hasty gibberish? Pathetic.

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  26. Flint: When the Mormon missionaries came to the door of my fervent Baptist neighbors, the rising smoke was pretty comical. About all they could agree on was the inherent inferiority of Negroes.

    You rant has nothing to do with this OP. Will you stay on topic or stop polluting?

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  27. walto: Like paragraph 1 and paragraph 5. Both utter bullshit. Neither the evolutionary theory nor the physics are deductive enterprises.

    I asked for “EXACTLY” which for you apparently means “narrowing down”.
    Anyway, you think paragraph 1 is wrong?!? This:

    “Affirming the Consequent is a logical fallacy that takes a known true statement [if P then Q] and invalidly concludes its converse [if Q then P]

    ?!? Are you sure?!?

    …and paragraph 5?!? Did you even read it?!? Because it’s saying physics is NOT a fallacy because of the “if and only if” clause and limited scope. Which is not the case for “proofs of evolution” of course.

    But then again, you’re likely not capable and I’m just wasting time with you.

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  28. My apologies, Nonlin.org, if I gave you undue credit.
    Normally, if person A makes a statement X, say “Kelley O’Hara is the best player on the US team” and Person B responds “So what? She likes girls!”, the implication is that person B does not dispute the accuracy of X, merely its relevance.
    I had assumed that you were agreeing that

    If someone takes an example of the Affirming the Consequent fallacy, and negates both statements in the opening conditional, they now have an example of modus tollens, that is, a valid argument.

    If you are not agreeing with this statement, then you have some remedial work to do still.
    Sigh.
    Regarding “DID YOU OR DID YOU NOT WRITE THIS:”, you might want to read the ETA, which I made within minutes of the original comment, where I noted:

    ETA I did agree that your strawmen were fallacies.

    which was a direct reference to your a1,b1 and c1 and a-e

    Am I completely nuts, you ask? Potentially: both keiths and Kantian Naturalist explained, on the first page of comments, why your OP is rubbish, and yet here I am, still trying to help you out.

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  29. Nonlin.org: I asked for “EXACTLY” which for you apparently means “narrowing down”.
    Anyway, you think paragraph 1 is wrong?!? This:

    ?!? Are you sure?!?

    …and paragraph 5?!? Did you even read it?!? Because it’s saying physics is NOT a fallacy because of the “if and only if” clause and limited scope. Which is not the case for “proofs of evolution” of course.

    But then again, you’re likely not capable and I’m just wasting time with you.

    You are absolutely wasting everyone’s time. Yours, because you have no interest in learning anything and have ignored countless corrections. Everyone else’s because you are entirely full of shit. Head to toe, stem to stern and paragraphs 1 to 5.

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  30. Nonlin.org: You rant has nothing to do with this OP. Will you stay on topic or stop polluting?

    I was attempting to illustrate some of the problems with religious “thinking”, but I readily concede you are doing it far better than I ever could. You have a gift for comic relief, and I’m glad you’re not wasting it but instead removing all doubt.

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  31. Nonlin.org: So that’s a SCIENTIFIC side by side comparison?!? Some hasty gibberish? Pathetic.

    Why don’t you give it a shot, then? Explain why Design accounts for the taxonomic hierarchy better than Descent. Scientifically.

    This should be good.

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  32. DNA_Jock: Regarding “DID YOU OR DID YOU NOT WRITE THIS:”, you might want to read the ETA, which I made within minutes of the original comment, where I noted:

    ETA I did agree that your strawmen were fallacies.

    which was a direct reference to your a1,b1 and c1 and a-e

    WTF does this mean? Are you on drugs or something? Are those examples of fallacies that I call out and you agree with me? You seem to say “yes, but…”
    Yes, but WHAT? “Strawmen”?!? Those are direct quotations from third parties. Are you saying I made them up?!?

    And where do you see ONE (1!) “proof of evolution” that doesn’t fit that format?!? Why don’t you cite and link it?!?

    And don’t reply with “science… inference to the best explanation”. That’s bullshit first because “evolution” is not ‘science’ and second because “inference to the best explanation” is philosophy and not ‘science’ either: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abductive_reasoning

    Abductive conclusions are thus qualified as having a remnant of uncertainty or doubt, which is expressed in retreat terms such as “best available” or “most likely”.

    The scientific method is based on “if and only if”. If two hypotheses predict the same outcome, then it’s not scientific to label one of these two as “true” and the other as “false”.

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  33. Allan Miller: Why don’t you give it a shot, then? Explain why Design accounts for the taxonomic hierarchy better than Descent. Scientifically.

    First of all, you’re on the wrong thread.
    Second, there is no objective “taxonomic hierarchy” as discussed extensively http://theskepticalzone.com/wp/nested-hierarchies-tree-of-life/
    Third, “evolution” is not even a hypothesis as it is an ever-shifting story that has been proven illogical.
    Forth, “proofs of evolution” which are ALWAYS FALLACIES, extend well beyond “taxonomic hierarchy”.
    And fifth, even if “taxonomic hierarchies” were objective (they are not!), based on what do you conclude that Design is not compatible with them?

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  34. Nonlin.org: First of all, you’re on the wrong thread.

    Nope. If you wish to put all evolutionary hypotheses under the banner ‘evolution affirms the consequent’, common descent must surely be one them.

    Second, there is no objective “taxonomic hierarchy” as discussed extensively

    Linnaeus was able to classify organisms hierarchically according to shared features. You can take any clade arranged on those criteria and find that they share features not involved in the original classification. I could do it right now using public data on a genetic feature Linnaeus could not even see, and no-one else has ever used. This is exactly what one would expect if a branching process of descent were in operation. That’s the Descent hypothesis.

    Now, explain that pattern using the Design hypothesis. You seem coy about doing this, which doesn’t look good in light of the scorn you poured on my brief sketch.

    Third, “evolution” is not even a hypothesis as it is an ever-shifting story that has been proven illogical.
    Forth, “proofs of evolution” which are ALWAYS FALLACIES, extend well beyond “taxonomic hierarchy”.

    Irrelevant fluff. This is specifically on the Inference to Best Explanation of the data – the widespread fit of otherwise independent characters to the same classification scheme.

    And fifth, even if “taxonomic hierarchies” were objective (they are not!), based on what do you conclude that Design is not compatible with them?

    That’s not what Inference to Best Explanation is about. I feel you have more learning to do. It’s not about mere ‘compatibility’. A knocking sound in your engine is compatible with the hypothesis that there’s a midget in there tapping it with a hammer. But (appealing to ‘Reasonable People’ here rather than yourself) a mechanical explanation would be preferable … unless it still happens with the engine switched off, of course.

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  35. Allan Miller,

    I could do it right now using public data on a genetic feature Linnaeus could not even see, and no-one else has ever used. 

    So I thought I’d just go ahead and do it. I picked, more or less at random, the crab-eating macaque Macaca fascicularis, and the gene lactate dehydrogenase. I don’t know if this link to results will work, but here goes . If it doesn’t work, or has expired, it’s easy to start again. Just search for Uniprot and stick in the species and protein, and pick BLAST.

    Now, this kind of thing needs to be approached with a little caution. eg paralogs (gene duplicates in the same organism) can differ more from each other than orthologs (similar genes in separate lineages). Thus the macaque’s own duplicate appears in the list, seemingly ‘less related’ at 99.4% than the sequence in other genera within the family.

    Nonetheless, there remains a remarkable correlation between this ‘random-gene-in-a-random-organism’ and the Linnaean taxonomy. As we descend the list ordered by % match, we pass by members of other species, then genus, family, order … one might almost say, in a ‘gradual’ manner. That’s remarkable, and well explained by common descent. A Design reason for this pattern is unclear. One might insist that macaques are obliged to dehydrogenate their lactate in this manner, elephants in that, but there is no biochemical basis for this supposition. It is ad hoc.

    When we look at the alignments, a common difference is Valine for Isoleucine at position 121. All the Cercopithecines I looked at had V; just about everything else (us included) has I. These amino acids are readily substituted, having similar chemical properties. A reasonable inference here is that the substitution originated in the common ancestor of all Cercopithecines as a SNP, in one individual, fixed by drift in the population.

    Of course, I can then use this as a jumping-off point to inspect another region of the assumed tree. The Weddell Seal appears at 95.8% relative to our macaque. I’m willing to bet that picking this (or anything else) as a new start node will show the same pattern, descending identity correlating with the arrangement based on the features Linnaeus could see. Or, I could pick any other gene, given sufficient taxonomic coverage for the clade of interest.

    How can I be so confident?

    Give it a go, and then explain why Design explains this phenomenon better than Descent.

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  36. Last time I brought up nesting hiearchies and consilience of independent phylogenies, Nonlin started drooling and throwing his feces. He has nothing of value or consequence to offer here. He doesn’t even understand what he’s being asked to explain.

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  37. Rumraket:
    Last time I brought up nesting hiearchies and consilience of independent phylogenies, Nonlin started drooling and throwing his feces. He has nothing of value or consequence to offer here. He doesn’t even understand what he’s being asked to explain.

    I know, I know! I don’t post with any particular expectation; it’s just exercise – and I, like him, am a compulsive responder! 😃

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  38. Allan Miller: Nonlin: Second, there is no objective “taxonomic hierarchy” as discussed extensively

    Linnaeus was able to classify organisms hierarchically according to shared features. You can take any clade arranged on those criteria and find that they share features not involved in the original classification. I could do it right now using public data on a genetic feature Linnaeus could not even see, and no-one else has ever used.

    What part of “there is no objective “taxonomic hierarchy” as discussed extensively” don’t you understand?

    Furthermore, if there were, said “taxonomic hierarchy” would not change. But it does. All the time.

    Also a classic “affirming the consequent” fallacy.

    Allan Miller: That’s not what Inference to Best Explanation is about.

    “Inference to Best Explanation” is [bad] philosophy and NOT part of the scientific toolkit.

    Allan Miller: A Design reason for this pattern is unclear.

    Everything is unclear to Darwinistas. Hence the fallacies.

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  39. Nonlin.org: “Inference to Best Explanation” is [bad] philosophy and NOT part of the scientific toolkit.

    Ironically that would make Intelligent Design (ID) bad philosophy and NOT part of the scientific toolkit:
    https://evolutionnews.org/2012/10/design_inferenc/
    “Stephen Meyer has taken this approach to design reasoning, treating it as an inference to the best explanation in which the hypothesis of design gains credibility because of its power in explanation.”

    The problem is that you are of course completely wrong, and science does in fact use inference to the best explanation pretty much everywhere. In explaining the behaviors of subatomic particles, through inferring the existence of subatomic particles, to explaining the orbits of stellar objects(explained by inferring that there are bodies with mass). Nobody has ever seen a quark, or a lepton. Their existence is inferred by their measurable effects on their surroundings. How do you explain what you see in a cloud chamber if not by doing inference to the best explanation?

    What happens when your nose starts running, you get headaches, and have a fever? We infer you probably have a cold, and by that we mean you have likely contracted an infection by a certain class of rhinoviruses. That then become the explanation for your symptoms: Your immune system is fighting off the infection. That right there is an inference to the best explanation. It’s not bad philosophy, we do it everywhere even in our daily lives.

    Is there really no subject upon which your pontifications don’t reveal you as an scientific and philosophical ignoramus? There must be at least one.

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  40. Nonlin.org: What part of “there is no objective “taxonomic hierarchy” as discussed extensively” don’t you understand?

    I understand all of it, of course, but in this case it is simply your declaration, and untrue. That you choose to deliver it in that tiresomely familiar sophomoric internet whine “what part of … ” makes it no more true.

    Furthermore, if there were, said “taxonomic hierarchy” would not change. But it does. All the time.

    It is continually refined, as there is undoubtedly a bit of noise around the nodes. You are over egging matters to a ridiculous degree if you argue that this undisputed fact makes the correlation I note disappear though. What happened happened. I still – though you squeeze your eyes tight shut so as not to see it – picked a random gene in a random organism and, as I navigated down a table of percent identity, discovered that I was traversing Linnaeus’s taxonomic hierarchy, despite it not being based on that gene

    I could even change horses mid-stream – ie, I can at any node move ‘sideways’ in the genome and follow that new gene’s percent identity. Lo and behold, the same pattern emerges – the pattern you claim does not exist. If I follow % identity from pretty much any gene with sufficient taxonomic coverage, I recover the Linnaean hierarchy.

    Why?

    Also a classic “affirming the consequent” fallacy.

    Er, no. Inference to Best Explanation.

    “Inference to Best Explanation” is [bad] philosophy and NOT part of the scientific toolkit.

    More steaming bollocks.

    IBE is used in many fields, from medical diagnosis to program debugging to motorcycle maintenance. And absolutely is used throughout science. Verily, thou art without clue.

    Anyway, how do you explain the pattern I describe? I even give you the tools to repeat the experiment.

    If not genetic relationship, what?

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  41. Nonlin.org,

    Me: A Design reason for this pattern is unclear.

    nonlin: Everything is unclear to Darwinistas. Hence the fallacies.

    I don’t think “Darwinistas” can be entirely blamed for this lack of clarity in comprehension of the Design argument. Take that little bit of pissiness as a classic example. Where someone with a case to make and the means to make it might have inserted the Design reason for the pattern at that point, you chose instead to go for a pointless haymaker.

    I know that in your head you’re killing it – that’s what makes this funny.

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  42. phoodoo: Except for the times when it doesn’t-which we can ignore?

    Not at all. How did you find out there were anomalies, other than their being published? 🤣

    Such anomalies may appear to pop up out of nowhere. But once they have appeared in a clade, they too are shared by members of that clade. How curious – anomalies support the pattern too. Why is that?

    Note also that anomalies would not even show up as anomalies were it not for the existence of the overarching pattern. As ever, you wish to import things that were only capable of discovery due to the power of phylogenetic methods in order to cast doubt on the power of phylogenetic methods. It’s a nice little paradox.

    The phrase ‘the exception that proves the rule’ – almost universally misunderstood these days – is appropriate here.

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  43. phoodoo: Except for the times when it doesn’t-which we can ignore?

    To add to what Allan just said, there is also a question about the magnitude of disagreement. Nobody says disagreements don’t matter and can just be ignored, but you do have to consider the magnitude.

    If I have two super sensitive thermometers with an accuracy of ±0.003 °C and I use them to measure the temperature in a room to be 22.001 °C, and 22.003 °C respectively, is the disagreement between the two measurements a big issue?

    On the one hand the thermometers really do measure two different values. They disagree by 0.002 °C. On the other hand the difference between them is unbelievably tiny.

    Does that cast our reliance on the thermometers into serious doubt? Can we say nothing about the temperature in the room? Do we lose all confidence in the measurements?

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  44. Allan Miller,

    I think I have heard this story before.
    Sort of like, perfect design, see its evolution. Imperfect design, see, its evolution.

    Pattern=evolution. Broken pattern= evolution.

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