# 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.

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. phoodoo: 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.

No. It’s really just what he said. Some measurements only look out of place because you can clearly see a trend of measurements being in place. Only against this background of data that fits the pattern are we able to see data that doesn’t.

I’m going to say that there’s a clear upwards trend (the blue line) in this example plot A below, and only against the overwhelming trend exhibited by the black dots in A can we say that the red dots seem out of place.

Yet we could have been in a situation like situation B with little to no discernable pattern at all, with the dots being scattered seemingly randomly and all over the place. When it comes to the nesting hiearchy of genetic and morphological data, we are in a situation much more like case A than case B.

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2. Perhaps phoodoo could come up with an actual example of an anomaly which we should be concerned about, discovered by phylogenetic methods yet paradoxically casting doubt on those very methods..

Without the clear signal, you would have no basis for noting anomaly.

My favourite analogy is the ‘blink comparator’ by which Pluto was discovered. Two pictures of the same bit of sky; nothing but random points of light. But place each such that the fields align in the eye of an observer, who then blinks alternately, and one of them moves. It’s only the ground of static stars that renders a planet anomalous. If everything was shifting, you couldn’t spot it.

Another favourite illustration is the retroviral insert shared only by some apes, and some cats. It’s an anomaly in that sense, but within the clades that have it, it accords entirely with common descent. It changes in the same manner I noted for lactate dehydrogenase above: increasingly by species then genus then family. But – being derived from a virus – you can do phylogenetic analysis of the insert itself. You can type it, and construct its evolutionary history, separate to those of hosts.

It’s pretty clear that the sequence jumped by infection from clade to clade – local ‘broken pattern’ in a sea of pattern – but has been shared by descendants ever since – it becomes part of ‘pattern’ .

So yeah, pattern and non-pattern are informative, and evolution is the Inference to Best Explanation. Unless a Design enthusiast would care to take a punt at an alternative explanation for the pattern?

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3. nonlin,
In this comment you quote your five “proofs of evolution” as examples a-e of Affirming the Consequent (quoting section 3 of the OP verbatim).
I agree that these are examples of the Affirming the Consequent fallacy, but I refer to them as your strawmen.
This appears to upset you, and you reply:

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?!?

Yes, I am saying that you made them up. I am saying that they represent your misquoting of more nuanced arguments. You are claiming that section 3 of the OP represents direct quotations from third parties. Please provide links to the originals.
You go on

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

I did. I’ll add “The Making of the Fittest” by Sean Carroll.

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4. Yes, I too am skeptical that these are direct quotes. I’d love to see the original context; they seem constructed in oddly similar ways, as if by one author with a weak grasp of the subject matter…

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5. Rumraket: 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?

Save yourself the embarrassment (if capable) and do a search before ranting:

“Inference to be best explanation” is an illegitimate epistemology. Abduction, sometimes called “inference to the best explanation“, is appropriate as a tool within science for identifying and submitting hypotheses for testing and potential falsification, but it is falls far short of the rigor required for epistemic integrity.

See? Not [quite] science.

Rumraket: 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.

And you provide a good example of “hypothesis is not quite science”… and “bad philosophy”.

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6. Allan Miller: 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

This has been debunked extensively elsewhere. Go there: http://theskepticalzone.com/wp/nested-hierarchies-tree-of-life/

Allan Miller: IBE is used in many fields, from medical diagnosis to program debugging to motorcycle maintenance. And absolutely is used throughout science.

An useful tool no doubt. That doesn’t make it [hard] science. You too should do a search first before ranting.

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

Misidentifying and misinterpreting patterns is a well known human trait. Especially when you look for specific patterns to confirm your bias.

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7. Nonlin.org: Misidentifying and misinterpreting patterns is a well known human trait. Especially when you look for specific patterns to confirm your bias.

Especially when you declare that anything that doesn’t fit the pattern you are looking for to be an anomaly thus you discard it.

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8. DNA_Jock: Yes, I am saying that you made them up. I am saying that they represent your misquoting of more nuanced arguments.

Here are a few. Explain how these are “more nuanced arguments” and why they’re not ‘affirming the consequent’ :
http://evolutionfaq.com/articles/five-proofs-evolution
https://justrichest.com/proof-evolution/
https://www.buzzfeed.com/tomchivers/things-that-show-evolution-is-an-actual-fact

DNA_Jock: I did. I’ll add “The Making of the Fittest” by Sean Carroll.

Also cite Sean B. Carroll’s (not same as Sean Carroll) relevant example if any. Also explain how it doesn’t fit the ‘affirming the consequent’ format.

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9. Nonlin.org: Save yourself the embarrassment (if capable) and do a search before ranting:

“Inference to be best explanation” is an illegitimate epistemology. Abduction, sometimes called “inference to the best explanation“, is appropriate as a tool within science for identifying and submitting hypotheses for testing and potential falsification, but it is falls far short of the rigor required for epistemic integrity.

See? Not [quite] science.

Rofl you found that shit one some random internet blog. You literally googled the phrase “inference to the best explanation” and then copy-pasted the first thing you found that was critical of the concept.

Hahahahah, what a clown show.

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10. Nonlin.org: [“Inference to be best explanation” is] an useful tool no doubt. That doesn’t make it [hard] science. You too should do a search first before ranting.

To state more clearly, you’re confusing:
1) TRUE science aka HARD science (that which meets the “if and only if” clause and does not include preliminary hypotheses, unverifiable “explanations”, and most “interpretations”)
2) SOFT science like psychology, sociology, economics that are HARDLY sciences (often proven wrong and always doubted because not testable & “correlation not causation”) and
3) PSEUDO science like “evolution” that is clearly illogical, impossible and based on ZERO evidence.

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11. phoodoo: Especially when you declare that anything that doesn’t fit the pattern you are looking for to be an anomaly

By definition, if there is a pattern(the central trend in graph A above) in the data or you have some expectation, then if there a is data point that don’t fit the pattern, it is an anomaly.

That’s just what it means to be an anomaly, something that deviates from a pattern or an expectation. That doesn’t mean it’s wrong, or doesn’t exist, or irrelevant and can be ignored.

Look at the graph A again above. It is only because the pattern exhibited by all the other measurements is so strong that the anomalies can be detected as anomalies. Which is just a name for things that lie outside the pattern or expectation. Another word for it is an outlier. Which is in the name, it lies outside some expected measurement. Calling them that is not to dismiss or ignore them, it’s just a label for them.

Nobody discards it. Literally the other way around, the anomalies are so unusual they are always published and their meaning and causes analyzed and sought to be understood.

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12. Nonlin.org: To state more clearly, you’re confusing:
1) TRUE science aka HARD science (that which meets the “if and only if” clause and does not include preliminary hypotheses, unverifiable “explanations”, and most “interpretations”)
2) SOFT science like psychology, sociology, economics that are HARDLY sciences (often proven wrong and always doubted because not testable & “correlation not causation”) and
3) PSEUDO science like “evolution” that is clearly illogical, impossible and based on ZERO evidence.

Yes yes why don’t you go google and copy-paste me some more gibberish from some random internet blog? ROFL

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13. Rumraket: You literally googled the phrase “inference to the best explanation” and then copy-pasted the first thing you found that was critical of the concept.

1. Then searching the net is a sin when you dislike the findings? How do you find out about a topic? Just go straight to the pre-approved source? ROLF indeed.
2. Not just the first thing critical, but the first thing period. This makes a difference.
3. Also, do your own search on “Inference to be best explanation” & “science” and you will come across ‘philosophy’ but not ‘science’ sites.
4. Go ahead and argue cogently against:

“Inference to be best explanation” is an illegitimate epistemology. Abduction, sometimes called “inference to the best explanation“, is appropriate as a tool within science for identifying and submitting hypotheses for testing and potential falsification, but it is falls far short of the rigor required for epistemic integrity.

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14. Nonlin.org: This has been debunked extensively elsewhere. Go there: http://theskepticalzone.com/wp/nested-hierarchies-tree-of-life/

Your standard response: “read a thread”. Tell me where in that thread the lactate dehydrogenase pattern is debunked. I picked a random(ish) gene in a random organism, remember. Want me to do it again with a different one?

An useful tool no doubt. That doesn’t make it [hard] science. You too should do a search first before ranting.

Christ, you’re not even trying. “Read a thread”. “Do a search”. The quality of your argumentation is staggering. And not in a good way.

Misidentifying and misinterpreting patterns is a well known human trait. Especially when you look for specific patterns to confirm your bias.

I picked a gene and organism at random. Percent identities and taxonomic correlation are simply there in public data, they aren’t a pattern I looked for, though I had a pretty good idea I’d find it. How could I be so confident?

I just sorted the table in descending percentage. It followed the Linnaean hierarchy. Why?

Tell you what, you pick the organism and the gene and we’ll see to what extent the pattern holds, if I’m cherry picking..

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15. phoodoo: Especially when you declare that anything that doesn’t fit the pattern you are looking for to be an anomaly thus you discard it.

No, you don’t discard it. This was addressed above. How far did you get before the Cymbal Monkey started clattering?

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16. I will repeat my request for phoodoo to come up with a concrete example of a phylogenetic anomaly that has been ‘discarded’.

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17. Right, or if it’s like an eye and then you find out actually it evolved separately like twenty times, then you just say well, it’s convergent evolution, what’s so strange about that, Ho Ho Ho!

If that isn’t the most ridiculous thing I ever heard I don’t know what is. How do evolutionists say that without bursting into laughter is beyond me.

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18. So, I picked Caspicum annuum, the pepper (first thing I saw in my fridge!). I jabbed at chromosome 5 or 6 (forget which) then jabbed again at one of the genes on it (I could only see a code at that point). Turns out it’s ATP-dependent 6-phosphofructokinase, which may be familliar to students of biochemistry as a step in glycolysis. A0A1U8GLB3 in the database Another metabolic enzyme, but hey ho.

I run BLASTp and … well, blow me down. The same pattern emerges. Closest match is C. chinense, ie same genus. Then we get Nicotiana tabacum, separate genus in the same family, Solanaceae. Then a couple of Solanum spp, same family again.

Oh no! Then we get an anomaly! We go back to Nicotiana! Then another gene, a paralog, in C. annuum. Clearly, this single-gene method gives an imperfect correlation. Still, as we go down the list there remains a strong progression through taxonomic ranks. That’s from another 5 minutes with Uniprot.

I may be merely confirming my prejudices, but it is remarkable how readily they are confirmed, innit? Wanna see it again?

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19. So it will be a simple matter for you to come up with an anomalous gene, then. We aren’t talking about morphology here.

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20. dazz: It’s much worse than that. By the looks of it, Nonlin the clown didn’t even bother reading it.

https://philstilwell.wordpress.com/2016/11/09/inference-to-the-best-explanation/

The author argues that IBE is a valid tool within science, but not the way Christians, of all people, use it.

He does say it’s not good enough, because (a common criticism) just because some explanation X is the best current explanation, that doesn’t make it a good explanation.

But nobody says you should believe the best explanation just because it is the best one among available explanations if they’re all bad explanations. Doing inference to the best explanation does not entail you have to believe any explanation you can come up with especially if you can only come up with bad explanations.

The author, like Nonlin, is just confused.

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21. It’s that familiar dichotomous thinking again. There is a common belief that ‘legitimate epistemology’ should be something that can be applied algorithmically to reach a ‘true/false’ conclusion. Whereas in practice, it’s a more nuanced matter of ‘better/worse’ support. There is inevitably something of a subjective nature to that assessment. In a world where people support moon landing conspiracies and flat-earthism, it’s clear not everyone has a similar standard of what is reasonable. But when multiple lines of evidence support the same conclusion, denial becomes more and more obtuse.

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22. vintage nonlin:

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?!?

Yes, I am saying that you made them up. I am saying that they represent your misquoting of more nuanced arguments. You are claiming that section 3 of the OP represents direct quotations from third parties. Please provide links to the originals.

None of these links contain any text matching section 3 of the OP, thus confirming that nonlin’s claim about “direct quotations from third parties” was FALSE. Hilariously, two of the three links actually point to more nuanced arguments. I would be happy to explain (to anyone but nonlin) how this is the case, or how this OP is rubbish. I reluctantly concede that he, however, is ineducable.

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23. I don’t think this is entirely a matter of ineducability. What you have pointed out are simply lies that he has told here. His posts and comments are full of that kind of intentionally misleading material, as well as of avoidance, weaseling and, of course, idiotic insults.

It’s overly charitable to chalk that kind of behavior up to an inability to learn.

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24. Allan Miller: I just sorted the table in descending percentage. It followed the Linnaean hierarchy. Why?

Why not? Morphology matching genetics is EXPECTED, not a surprise. And again, not this thread. Go there.

Rumraket: He does say it’s not good enough, because (a common criticism) just because some explanation X is the best current explanation, that doesn’t make it a good explanation.

You don’t even have a consistent, logical ‘explanation’, let alone a ‘good’ one. And anyway, remember this is about “evolution affirms the consequent”. Go pollute some other thread.

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25. Allan Miller: There is a common belief that ‘legitimate epistemology’ should be something that can be applied algorithmically to reach a ‘true/false’ conclusion. Whereas in practice, it’s a more nuanced matter of ‘better/worse’ support. There is inevitably something of a subjective nature to that assessment.

Not in science… if you even pretend to be science. True science (hard science) is about (must meet all):
1. ‘if and only if’,
2. 100% repeat-ability, and
3. predictability.

Now back to the story: “proofs of evolution” are clear logical fallacies. End of story.

DNA_Jock: None of these links contain any text matching section 3 of the OP, thus confirming that nonlin’s claim about “direct quotations from third parties” was FALSE.

What are you some sort of robot… on drugs? They match very well the fallacy. They even call those “proofs of evolution”.

DNA_Jock: Hilariously, two of the three links actually point to more nuanced arguments.

Why even bother to state something without proof?

At least you gave up “fixing” them “proofs of evolution”. A lot of time you wasted on that futile attempt.

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26. Nonlin.org: You don’t even have a consistent, logical ‘explanation’, let alone a ‘good’ one. And anyway, remember this is about “evolution affirms the consequent”. Go pollute some other thread.

But I do have a consistent, logical explanation. And evolution doesn’t affirm the consequent. Some people may have mistakenly defended the science of evolutionary biology with badly stated arguments, but that is no fault of the science itself.

It would be trivial to make a valid argument for common descent for example. Here’s one:
P1. If there was common descent then we have a good reason to expect statistically significant levels of consilience between independent phylogenies.
P2. If there was no common descent, we don’t have a good reason to expect statistically significant levels of consilience between independent phylogenies.
P3. There is statistically significant levels of consilience between independent phylogenies.
C1. Therefore there was common descent.

This argument basically takes the form:
If A, then B.
If not A, then not B.
B.
Therefore A.

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27. Rumraket: P2. If there was no common descent, we don’t have a good reason to expect statistically significant levels of consilience between independent phylogenies.

Yes, this is not a logical fallacy. Finally, someone is [partially] taking the advice in paragraph 5.

Of course, none of those statements is true as discussed extensively: http://theskepticalzone.com/wp/nested-hierarchies-tree-of-life/. But at least it’s not a logical fallacy.

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28. Nonlin.org: Of course, none of those statements is true as discussed extensively:

So why would you expect statistically significant levels of consilience between independent phylogenies on anything but common descent?

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29. Rumraket: So why would you expect statistically significant levels of consilience between independent phylogenies on anything but common descent?

Why not go to the thread for that discussion? Over there, your “question” has been answered too many times. All you have to do is read.

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30. Nonlin.org: Why not go to the thread for that discussion? Over there, your “question” has been answered too many times. All you have to do is read.

It has not. At all.

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31. Yeah, I can’t recall it either. Maybe a link to one time? Too much to ask? The ‘read-a-thread’ gambit. I can point to a number of times nonlin has pulled that particular stunt – indeed, with that particular thread. Almost like it’s a bluff.

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32. Nonlin.org: Why not? Morphology matching genetics is EXPECTED, not a surprise. And again, not this thread. Go there.

Oh, dear. When I pick a random gene and run BLAST, I am not looking at morphology at all. Lactate dehydrogenase isn’t involved in the morphological distinctions between species in a genus, genera in a family, family in order etc. Likewise phosphofructokinase, or any one of a host of genes I could pick. Some could be, but they can’t ALL be. Would peas and lupins need to charge phenylalanyl-tRNA in a subtly different manner from beans? Would both need to do it slightly more differently from poplar? Perhaps you need to learn some biochemistry. And some genetics.

You don’t even have a consistent, logical ‘explanation’, let alone a ‘good’ one. And anyway, remember this is about “evolution affirms the consequent”. Go pollute some other thread.

Don’t be silly. If ‘evolution affirms the consequent’, then common descent is one of the predictions of evolution. ‘If “evolution” were true, yadda yadda yadda’ … remember?

You only don’t want it here because you evidently don’t have a flaming clue about it! 😀

Tell you what, let’s try a blind test. My fridge-freezer has 9 shelves. We’ll divide each shelf into 3 segments Left-Centre-Right, and 3 more Front-Middle-Back. That’s 81 sectors.

Give me a random sector – shelf, LCR, FMB. I’ll go and fumble in that location and pull out an organism.

Now give me a number between 1 and 100. I’ll normalise that depending on chromosone count to give a chromosome number.

Now give me a number between 1 and 10000. I’ll normalise that to to give a gene number on that chromosome.

It won’t work every time, but I am confident that most of the time, when I do a BLAST on this random gene, I will recover the Linnaean hierarchy. Now, what are the chances that this random gene is responsible for the morphological differences between organisms in the hierarchy?

You game? We can use your fridge if you think I’d cheat.

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33. Not in science… if you even pretend to be science. True science (hard science) is about (must meet all):
1. ‘if and only if’,
2. 100% repeat-ability, and
3. predictability.

Utter nonsense. The whole of biology and medicine dismissed with an airy wave of a chubby hand.

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34. Allan Miller: It won’t work every time, but I am confident that most of the time, when I do a BLAST on this random gene, I will recover the Linnaean hierarchy. Now, what are the chances that this random gene is responsible for the morphological differences between organisms in the hierarchy?

Cool!

(Cold, even.)

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35. Utter nonsense. The whole of biology and medicine dismissed with an airy wave of a chubby hand.

Not to forget the Earth Sciences.

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36. Indeed. I thought about including ‘Geology’, then immediately pictured Sheldon Cooper!

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37. Allan Miller: When I pick a random gene and run BLAST, I am not looking at morphology at all. Lactate dehydrogenase isn’t involved in the morphological distinctions between species in a genus, genera in a family, family in order etc.

Only as far as you know. And it doesn’t matter. You are not PROVING independence. this was discussed at length with Falsenstein that also doesn’t understand that ‘independence’ MUST be demonstrated, not just assumed.

Allan Miller: Nonlin.org,

Not in science… if you even pretend to be science. True science (hard science) is about (must meet all):
1. ‘if and only if’,
2. 100% repeat-ability, and
3. predictability.

Utter nonsense. The whole of biology and medicine dismissed with an airy wave of a chubby hand.

Fact: biology has very few areas that fall under science but most of it has been captured by the Darwinist pseudoscience.
Fact: whatever is scientific in medicine (sadly not enough) also meets those strict requirements. How stupid must one be to not know how limited and inadequate medicine is?

faded_Glory: Not to forget the Earth Sciences.

Yep. A mixed bag of true science as required and a lot of pseudoscience. Let’s just cite “global worming”, sorry, “climate change”, sorry “soylent green is people!”

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38. Rumraket: It has not. At all.

Of course it has.

And anyway…

Rumraket: So why would you expect statistically significant levels of consilience between independent phylogenies on anything but common descent?

…it’s for you to SHOW “if and only if”. For a short while you seemed to employ a brain. My bad.

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39. Nonlin.org: Yep. A mixed bag of true science as required and a lot of pseudoscience. Let’s just cite “global worming”, sorry, “climate change”, sorry “soylent green is people!”

I figured we had another Trumpster here. No doubt Patrick will welcome you.

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40. Nonlin.org: Only as far as you know. And it doesn’t matter. You are not PROVING independence. this was discussed at length with Falsenstein that also doesn’t understand that ‘independence’ MUST be demonstrated, not just assumed.

What reason – unless one was a gibbering clueless numbskull, that is – would one have for thinking that, if one has not PROVEN that not every single gene is involved in morphology, then every single gene IS involved in morphology? I mean, have you PROVEN that assumption?

It’s a stretch, I can tell you.

How do we account for the fact that polymorphisms can only rarely be detected by morphological investigation? Huh?

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41. walto: I figured we had another Trumpster here. No doubt Patrick will welcome you.

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42. Allan Miller,
I even drafted a comment asking him about how broken olfactory receptor genes are dependent on morphology, but then I figured “What’s the point?”
I think that, at this point, the status of the arguments is abundantly clear.
I did enjoy nonlin claiming credit for the switch from P1 + P3 => C1 (the fallacy of affirming the consequent) to P2 + P3 => C1 (modus tollens).

Finally, someone is [partially] taking the advice in paragraph 5.

That really took longer than it should have.

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43. So, since nonlin wouldn’t take up the ‘fridge-o-matic’ challenge, I thought I’d do it anyway. In honour of the recently departed, I picked the Mung Bean (non-randomly). The random protein was called ‘switch 2’. No idea what it does, but lo, the Linnaean taxonomy is revealed again. Interestingly, this is despite the ‘islands of function’ notion peddled by IDIsts. They insist that proteins have no near neighbours. Yet every time I do this analysis, I find near neighbours, the nearest being those in the genus, more distant at family level, etc.

And (says nonlin) every single protein I pick, at random, has differences vital not only for primary function but for the morphological distinctions at each taxonomic level, and is not in any way to be considered due to Common Descent. Remarkable.

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44. Another aspect to consider here is synteny – the order of genes on chromosomes. It’s vital for morphology, according to The Nonlin View, that whole chunks of chromosome in the rat be translocated in the mouse, and even more scrambled in the bat. Yet oddly when you start at a bat, you find gene order quite closely conserved in closer relatives, less so as one moves out.

That is, synteny is precisely as one would expect for Common Descent, given a mechanism of translocation, while there is no apparent morphological basis for the pattern.

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