Fig 1: Somewhat similar? YES. Related by birth? NO. Proof is impossible.
- When Napoleon’s army invaded Egypt in 1798, a large number of animal mummies were brought back to France.
- These represented many species, including cats, jackals, dogs, crocodiles, snakes, sacred ibis, and other birds, as well as human mummies. George Cuvier analyzed the samples and concluded that no detectable anatomical changes had occurred over the time passed since those animals were mummified. This made him the first to test and disprove the idea of evolution. In opposition, Lamarck’s argument was that a passage of 3,000 years would have been insufficient to observe evolutionary processes because the environmental conditions in Egypt had not changed during this time. Couvier countered that longer timescales simply contain the sum of changes within shorter periods. In other words, he reasoned that since no changes had been observed over approximately 3,000 years, it was unreasonable to argue that any longer timescale would produce them. Is that debate still relevant? Who was right?
- Since many still insist that “evolution” is true, yet we cannot document any historic “evolution”, the debate is relevant to this day. To settle it, we note that environmental conditions change continuously, and that Lamarck could not have known – much less proved – that they did not, therefore his argument was invalid. But aren’t Darwin’s finches, the peppered moth, antibiotic resistance, the great lakes cichlids, etc. examples of ongoing “evolution”? They are certainly examples of adaptations. Yet “evolution”, if true, requires much more than temporary, reversible adaptations as most (all?) of those examples are. To confirm a trend, we must compare short versus intermediate versus long term trends. If we see no intermediate term trends (say 3000 years), then the short term trends are merely noise aka temporary, reversible, inconsequential adaptations. It also means that postulated long term trends – the sum of intermediate trends – are very much doubtful. The only way a long term change is compatible with intermediate term stasis is if nothing happens for a very long time, then everything happens suddenly – a scenario not considered by Couvier. Could it be?
- Punctuated equilibrium is a desperate and failed attempt to explain away the evidence against “evolution”. Belatedly catching up to Couvier, Eldredge and Gould proposed that the degree of gradualism commonly attributed to Darwin is virtually nonexistent (!) in the fossil record, and that stasis dominates the history of most fossil species… Before them, Mayr was concerned with explaining the morphological discontinuity (or “sudden jumps”) found in the fossil record. Lack of gradualism in the fossil record is clear evidence against “evolution” and should have prompted these people to discard the theory. However, their blind faith prompted them instead to propose the purely hypothetical scenario (removed from any historical or experimental facts) called “punctuated equilibrium”. Yet, if “sudden jumps” were real, somewhere, sometimes, in one of the many species out there, “evolution” would happen and be observed in real time. In addition, “sudden jumps” would have to be triggered by specific conditions replicable in a lab. Thus we would confirm “evolution” both in nature and in the laboratory. That this is not the case is proof that “evolution” in general and “punctuated equilibrium” in particular are just fantasy.
- “Transitional fossils” presuppose “evolution”, therefore cannot be an argument in its favor. The fossil record consists of more or less incomplete individual finds. No flesh, no colors and certainly no arrows linking one to the other. When fossils in different strata match, we infer stasis over that time interval. Not because we know one particular sample descends from the other, but because we know that any organism descends from matching organisms. This we can observe in the living and thus extrapolate to the extinct like the trilobites. But when a fossil looks like a mix between an earlier fossilized organism and a more recent one, we cannot infer that said organism is transitional between the older and the younger one. Unless we presuppose “evolution” true. That is because we witness no such transitions. The so called “transitional fossils” require “evolution” to be true to even make conceptual sense. Only then these “transitional fossils” may support “evolution” in a classical circular reasoning. So let us not presuppose “evolution” true. Then what is an Australopithecus to us humans? Epihippus to a horse, Pakicetus to a whale, etc.? Nothing! Just extinct organisms that came from nowhere and went nowhere.
- What exactly does “evolution” predict, and how does it stack up against the fossil record? The theory came after some fossils had been known and thus it had a chance to be reconciled with the fossil record. And yet, gradualism and divergence of character – two main predictions of the theory – are clearly disproved by the long term stasis we see everywhere in the fossil record. The trilobites stasis is estimated to have lasted 270 million years and cyanobacteria 3.5 billion. Actually, all organisms current or extinct have undergone stasis periods long enough to invalidate the “theory of evolution”. And when they do transition into or out of existence, said transition is always instantaneous with no intermediate steps as the “theory of evolution” would dictate. Other predictions of the theory are beneficial mutations (improvements), specific response to specific environmental condition changes, and directionless changes. However, the sudden appearance, long term stasis, and eventual demise of organism that disappeared, such as trilobites and dinosaurs, is inexplicable and in fact contrary to the theory of “evolution” as they were not better adapted and were not replaced by better adapted than them organisms. They could not have been poorly designed and yet last millions of years or even a few hundred generations. Furthermore, environmental changes explain nothing in their story, though it should according to the Darwinist theory. This is because homeostasis reduces organisms’ sensitivity to the environment. Vestigial organs and atavism refute the “evolution” story since, on one hand massive “evolution” changes, while on the other “persistence” of useless and even detrimental traits are claimed. Incidentally, these traits make perfect sense if organisms are designed for “manufacturability”, obsolescence, and optionality. Comparative similar progress of all branches (apes vs humans) should also be expected. Therefore, it is illogical that humans would have “evolved” so much when other apes were essentially static over the same period of time and geography. Absence of a precambrian rabbit is not an expectation since “evolution” is supposedly directionless and because of the “convergent evolution” claim. Unity of life is expected not just from “evolution”, but also from creation, panspermia and other theories.
- Organisms vary greatly and populations change all the time without “evolving”. If in the distant future one would find fossils of two contemporary dog breeds, they would likely classify those as two different “species”, just as Sapiens, Neanderthals and Denisovans are currently classified. Despite the genetic evidence that they mated with each other which, by the most lenient definition, means they were the same “species”. Other “ongoing evolution” examples (the finches, the moth, antibacterial resistance, etc.) are not “origin of species” transformative but mere reversible minor adaptations as noted.
- Ever increasing life complexity disproves “directionless evolution” and “beneficial mutations”. Current time progression models show ever increasing complexity of life. This is contrary to “undirected evolution”. As new organisms appeared, old ones continued as well, thus resulting in more diversity and increased complexity of life. For instance, when eukaryotes appeared, the prokaryote kingdom continued seemingly unperturbed. Life complexity increased and new life forms are demonstrably no better than the older ones since one did not replace the other. Cetaceans are different from the fish they share an environment with, and thus another example of complexity increased. If “evolution” were true and directionless as theorized, one would expect some intermediate organisms to have “evolved” from “primitive” organisms and other from more “advanced” ones. For instance, some amphibians would be expected to have “evolved” from fish and others from mammals, were “directionless evolution” true.
- “But transitional fossils fit so well, don’t they?” No. They only seem to fit due to the confirmation bias – the tendency to favor information that confirms one’s previously existing beliefs or biases. In this case, the prejudice in favor of “evolution” and against any other explanation. Thus the artist’s impression meant to convince us of the “excellent fit” draws little from the actual fragmentary fossil and much from the myth and theory of evolution. And let us not “affirm the consequent”. Is there anything unique to “evolution” but not to any other theory that would result in the fossil record we know? The answer is “no”. Even if newer organisms derived from older ones by descent – big unsupported if – that would still not validate “evolution” or any of its other associated claims including “natural selection”, undirected, unguided “process”, etc.
- Darwin was right, Kelvin was wrong? Kelvin opposed evolution on the account of the age of the earth. Darwin knew from his work with pigeons that even deliberately breeding for specific characteristics took a long time to produce them. But how much time was necessary? Darwin felt that it required at least hundreds of millions of years. By 1895 the consensus physics view was that the age of the planet lay in the range 20–40 million years. Natural selection appeared to be doomed. Whereas today the consensus is 4.5 billion years, so evolution is safe? Turns out, the consensus (that fellow again) is that there is no scientific basis for determining the speed of evolution. Does anyone wonder why? The story is often presented as “Darwin owning Kelvin or physics for that matter”. The real lesson is the absurdity of a theory entirely based on feelings and not one bit on anything measurable.
Apologies to sensitive readers. I know this OP is just a diatribe of ignorance but it’s not as if there is much else going on. Climate change, war in Ukraine, Covid… all pale into insignificance compared to Nonlin’s bombshell.
Which of the links provided contains all this material? I can’t seem to find it, though the links I followed strongly argue against nonlin’s delusions.
As I recall, Darwin is irrelevant here. Kelvin’s estimate of the age of the earth (20 million years or so) was off by over two orders of magnitude because Kelvin wasn’t aware of radioactive processes in earth’s interior. So he just assumed the earth started as a molten ball that has been cooling ever since. If his assumption had been correct, his estimate would have been close enough. The determination of the much greater age of the earth and moon and planets was never made using biology.
Thanks Nonlin. As always, I have thouroughly enjoyed reading your OP.
There was one burning question however. When you wrote:
what exactly did you mean by that?
I am pretty sure it has nothing to do with phenotypes or increased survival and reproduction compared to individuals that lack certain traits, right?
But it is true that Darwin was troubled by the need for more time.
Yes, but nonlin is saying that because Darwin was troubled, evolution is false! This is his last point – that because Darwin “felt” that more time was required, evolution is based on feelings rather than facts! The fact is, Darwin’s feelings had nothing to do with the age of the earth.
Today, physicists, geologists, and biologists all “feel” that there has been plenty of time for evolution. nonlin needs to update his argument.
It was more than feelings. Darwin did the math, as best he could, and arrived at a better number than the physics of the day.
You’re confused. This is the tsz. As in skeptical. Don’t gobble everything the garbage disposal aka TV throws at you.
Is this your only objection?
Darwin was distraught. The link to the story is provided. Read.
Is this the only thing you can comment on? Other than your [to be expected] general displeasure?
Not really. Did you read as far as:
“The real lesson is the absurdity of a theory entirely based on feelings and not one bit on anything measurable.”
He did? Do you have a link to that? Did Darwin know anything at all about math?
The essay you link is the opposite of your label. Sneaky are you.
Anyway, if you know as much as you claim, which of the human phenotypes will be most successful in 100 years and why?
Nothing else from this analysis is troubling you? Interesting…
What I said.
Whom are you trying to convince, Nonling?
Remember that the sceptics best evidence is the one we can’t see NOW. Why? Because if there is no living proof for their theory, that’s when their imagination kicks in…
I am guessing most of the ones that aren’t associated with health or fertility issues.
Nothing you write is troubling me, but I don’t think I received an answer to my question yet. When you wrote: “They are certainly examples of adaptations” what exactly did you mean by that?
[…] whereas we can witness that Intelligent Designer making new SARS-CoV-2 variants every single day.
What never varies is that critiques of the theory of evolution never actually address that theory – only a rather empty and absurd caricature. Gould also wrote that to fault the theory of evolution, one must address what the theory actually says, and why it says that. By extension, any valid criticism of any theory or position must be a criticism of the core, the strongest points, of what’s being criticized. Attacking something the theory does not say (often the attacks are against quite the opposite of what the theory says) is called a strawman argument.
The central arguments against the universal “goddidit” “theory” are that (1) there is no valid, testable evidence for that theory; (2) there is no possible test that could be made anyway; and (3) there actually ARE evidenced, testable, and well supported explanations for all the stuff attributed to magic (gods). In the last 300 years, most things solidly attributed to one god or another have been supplanted by explanations that actually work, to the point where current attestations of various gods are hopelessly vague.
What killed Gould’s non-overlapping magisteria position is that every religion worldwide makes reality-claims. And every time religions step over the line into the magisteria of science, they are shot down. Fortunately for such as nonlin, facts and reality have no chance of influencing True Belief.
Yet what continues to challenge science is explaining the origin of the universe and its basic make up including matter and living populations. Your “inherent claim” confirmed this. Science and religion are not in conflict.
Yes, the origin of the universe is a challenge to science, basically because no direct evidence exists, and what indications there are, are extremely indirect. So far, science lacks testable theories, the notion of inflation fits some proposals but is regarded by many as a kludge. There aren’t any theories at all about “dark matter” and “dark energy”, only that on very large and long scales, the universe doesn’t seem to behave as it would if our knowledge was complete.
Living populations seems to mean two things here: how the very first life got started, and how life has evolved and proliferated since. The second part is quite thoroughly explained and understood; solid progress is being made on the first part (including the possibility that multiple pathways are conceivable, and there will never be any way to determine which one was actually followed.
Nonsense. Science admits ignorance about things religion preaches with the confidence of absolute conviction, total lack of evidence being irrelevant to religion. If you simply cannot see any difference between “nobody knows” and “I know for a fact the Christian god did it”, then I can’t help you. It might be worth mentioning that nearly everything Christians “knew” their god did, has turned out not to be the case, and evidence-based explanations have supplanted blind ignorance.
So I’m amused that you find yourself limited to the origin of the universe, because science cannot explain it yet, so it’s still a gap your god can hide in.
As I said, your rant is a bit too incoherent for any meaningful response.
Have you heard the story of Br’er Rabbit and
the briar patchTar Baby?
To be fair, at the beginning of the recent plague, a lot of otherwise sciency people did not expect evolution.
Do you mean COVID-19 or nonlin’s OPs?
No one expects nonlin to evolve.
It’s explained but not understood. There is no model that reconciles the connection between species.
The scientistic community can make unreliable consensus claims. Universal common descent is an example of this. I do see evidence of this trying to be corrected at this point.
Religion has documentation that shows evidence of the nature and existence of the creator of the universe. This is what the study of theology is all about. Again science and religion are not in conflict.
Don’t judge others by your own example, Bill. Linnaeus understood there was a nested hierarchy of life that has turned out to be largely accurate. He had no explanation for the observed facts, but it didn’t stop him drawing his tree.
The fact that the relatively new field of molecular phylogenetics confirms comparative anatomy, taxonomy and fossil evidence is just icing on the cake.
Universal common descent is a claim that all life is connected by reproduction alone. You are dancing around the fact that the scientific consensus has been holding on to this deceptive claim for the last 60 years. Since the evolution conference in 2016 the attempt to correct this has at least started.
Your statement above is false. Phylogenetic’s do not confirm anything. The phylogenetic trees vary between genes and different species have different gene sets. You need to look at the data yourself vs being spun by the propaganda.
Of course there is. In exhaustive detail. Do not confuse your ignorance for that of others.
But interestingly, you do not link to this “evidence”. It’s a matter of the philosophy of science that ALL scientific consensus must necessarily be conditional (in your words, unreliable) because all scientific knowledge is hostage to tomorrow’s discoveries. Not so with religion, which makes no discoveries.
LOL! There is simply NO evidence of anybody’s imaginary gods. You god-bothering bozos just close your eyes, spin around until dizzy, point at random and say “right there is evidence of my god”. Works for you every time.
For interested beginners, you might read Faith vs. Fact by Jerry Coyne. For those whose minds were closed by the age of six, of course, nothing like that is worth reading at all. Too much reality.
And your point is…?
Interesting. So he didn’t use his “theory” for that. Like I said…
But look at the recent history. “Westerners” are both healthy and fertile yet they don’t reproduce. So phenotypes tell you nothing. What’s your phenotype trait for “save the planet” or “global climate change” psychosis?
I mean adaptation is not “evolution”. That’s straightforward.
Anyway, this analysis is mainly about the fossil record. You must be OK with that part then… If you choose to attack only tangential points.
Not these people for sure. I just want their best counterargument. Just in case I missed something.
Wait, do you think variants of the living (nonliving in this case, but who’s counting?) are supporting “evolution”? That is hilarious.
I wonder who those young people living in my house are then.
Nope. It’s all wrong. We might get to that point but for the moment I am enjoying seeing you squirm in response to a simple request to clarify a term. Let’s do it again, shall we?
And it’s not strawberry custard either. Very straightforward. But what did you mean with the word “adaptation” in the sentence “They are certainly examples of adaptations”.
Not only that, but science is based on religion. Without which it cannot exist. But that’s another story. Can we focus on the current topic? Thanks.
Don’t be a swindler. We were talking about populations, not one particular family. When will you agree I’m right as always?
Typical Corneel. Asking for “clarifications” to the n-th degree just to muddy the waters. State your point and move on.
Hahaha. Take a wild guess…
Yes, asking for clarification is the tried and true method to muddy the waters. ROFLMAO!
Now, could you please answer the question? I’d really like to know what was going on in your mind when you wrote that bit.
And if we examine what’s been happening in hilarious detail, we find that the covid virus is constantly mutating, that a very few of these mutations make the virus even more contagious, and that these more-contagious versions are the ones that persist and reproduce. Hilarious coincidence, that. Also hilarious that the mutations that don’t lead to superior transmission tend to fail. Someone not properly educated might suspect there’s a selection going on.
Even more contagious, meaning selected to bypass immunity.
non-lin gets a little touchy about Covid variants.
When, in June of 2020, I predicted that
^^^ how it started ^^^
vvv How it’s going vvv
Quite the GSW to the foot 😀
Not in the case of D614G; it was a straight up more contagious variant, that came to dominate before there was appreciable immunity to worry about. Do we have to rehash the stupidity that was Geert Vanden Bossche’s ‘vaccine escape variants’ theory?
Subsequent variants such as omicron have been (partial) immune escape variants. These are two different things.
Show compelling evidence God is imaginary. Let’s see if you pass the Bozo test.
Show the detail of how this pattern was formed. How did John Harshman try to explain this pattern? I think your understanding of evolutionary theory is based on old ideas.
I don’t know the specific theory, but immune resistance seems to be a fact.
That, or the head of CDC isn’t vaccinated.
You mean the bozo test, like demanding someone else prove a negative, because you have no support for a positive claim? THAT bozo test? You are well on the way to a PhD in bozo.
How would you know, since you have no clue what evolutionary theory actually says at all? I do appreciate your Venn diagram, though it does not say what you think it does. Hint: perhaps with careful thought, you might guess that it hints at common ancestry.
To save you reinventing the wheel, you might glance at this Peaceful Science thread. Bill has a bit of a reputation for forgetting previous discussions and repeating himself as if they had never taken place.
I am not interested in a fight. I post here to learn stuff. I haven’t seen anything to indicate omicron emerged because of vaccines, but my understanding is it became dominant because of vaccines. How it emerged remains an interesting question.
Have you seen this?
I thought the dominant origin hypothesis involved bats and pangolins, because they account for the novel genetic sequences. Unfortunately, there were no bats or pangolins in the Wuhan wet market.
The market might have been the epicenter of the pandemic, but that says nothing about the origin of the virus.
Check out Lawrence Livermore labs.
The department of energy and the FBI recently opined that a lab leak was most probable. You can infer anything you want from that, but it is not without serious proponents.
Well, in which case I encourage you to pay more attention to what other commenters write, and spend less time parroting debunked MAGA talking points.
But even after having been corrected about pangolins, you have repeated this erroneous claim FIVE times.
That’s not the behavior of someone looking to learn, it is the behavior of someone looking for a fight.
Your citation of the DOE and the FBI constitutes cherry-picking; you have a history of simply ignoring any data that does not align with your prejudices.
You have a PHD in the use of logical fallacies. I did not ask you to prove God does not exist. I simply asked you to support your claim with evidence that God is imaginary.
I asked you how John Harshman tried to explain this pattern. Do you understand his argument and can you defend it? Do you think population genetic models can explain this level of divergence?
I have not forgotten any of the discussions. Here is the famous 5000 comment thread on this discussion. Can you defend John Harshman’s argument? Let me parse it out for you.
I do not understand. If you accept that “evolution” can explain all changes from the beginning of life to the features seen in current species, then why would it be insufficient to explain divergence among vertebrates?