How many different kinds of birds are there?

Once again I make an attempt to open the question of created kinds, or baramins, or whatever you want to call them: groups within which there is common descent but between which there is not. This is an opportunity for the creationists who frequent TSZ to school me on the subject.

I ask one simple question to begin the discussion: how many different kinds of birds are there? (It should be obvious why I chose birds, but the choice was, from a scientific standpoint, arbitrary.) As a followup, how can you tell? If there are indeed separately created kinds, I would think the divisions would be obvious. Would you agree, and why or why not? In any case, I’m not asking for precision; an answer within an order of magnitude will do.

Here’s my answer: 1; all birds belong to the same kind. In fact they form an infinitesimal fraction of a kind, since all life on earth is related. We have discussed the evidence many times here: nested hierarchy, etc. There are no joints at which kinds can easily be carved. How about you?

460 Replies to “How many different kinds of birds are there?”

  1. Corneel Corneel
    Ignored
    says:

    fifthmonarchyman: If you grant potential interbreeding between kinds and also that individuals within the same baramin might not be able to interbreed. Then there is no reason to expect that baraminology would not be subject to the same limitations that other forms of classifications are.

    But John’s definition allows that kinds potentially interbreed or that types within kinds cannot interbreed. It simply specifies that members of separate baramins do not descend from a common ancestor, which is correct. That is precisely the way that creationist understand the term, unless I am gravely mistaken. It is your definition that doesn’t seem familiar to me. Do your YEC friends share your notion of kinds?

    fifthmonarchyman: If you are only looking to discuss with YECs who deny common decent I would suggest this is perhaps not the best place for you.

    You haven’t been following this thread very closely, have you?

  2. fifthmonarchyman
    Ignored
    says:

    John Harshman: How does your creationism differ from that of a theistic evolutionist?

    Theistic evolutionists hold that religious teachings about God are compatible with mainstream scientific understanding about biological evolution.

    I think that mainstream understanding is incomplete and inadequate to explain what we see in nature. I also think the god of the Theistic evolutionist is Deist at best.

    peace

  3. John Harshman John Harshman
    Ignored
    says:

    fifthmonarchyman: Theistic evolutionists hold that religious teachings about God are compatible with mainstream scientific understanding about biological evolution.

    I think that mainstream understanding is incomplete and inadequate to explain what we see in nature. I also think the god of the Theistic evolutionist is Deist at best.

    Actually, there are different flavors of theistic evolutionist. You still might fit. If you think that god intervenes in common descent to tweak the mutations or drive their fixation, I’d still call that theistic evolution, as long as there’s no fiat creation of species de novo, ex nihilis.

  4. fifthmonarchyman
    Ignored
    says:

    John Harshman: I’d still call that theistic evolution, as long as there’s no fiat creation of species de novo, ex nihilis.

    1) Exactly what qualifications do you have to define terms and characterize people?

    2) Does molding out of clay count as de novo, ex nihilis?

    John Harshman: If you think that god intervenes in common descent to tweak the mutations or drive their fixation, I’d still call that theistic evolution

    Why is that?

    Purposeful intervention is pretty much the opposite of random mutation.

    Perhaps by evolution you only mean something like “change over time” but in that case even YECs are theistic evolutionists.

    I think common descent is a silly place to draw the “creationism line” as it’s indistinguishable from common design as far as I can tell. If there in nothing about an idea that distinguishes it from it’s alternative it seems to be superfluous.

    I can literally take it or leave it

    peace

  5. John Harshman John Harshman
    Ignored
    says:

    fifthmonarchyman: 1) Exactly what qualifications do you have to define terms and characterize people?

    Same as anyone, I reckon. I have observed people who call themselves theistic evolutionists too. Some of them are more or less deistic, as you say. But others talk about actual intervention in evolution, especially as we approach H. sapiens.

    2) Does molding out of clay count as de novo, ex nihilis?

    De novo, yes. Ex nihilis, no, but close enough for my purposes. How about if we modify the meaning? Add “or non-living materials” after “ex nihilis”.

    Why is that?

    Because common descent is evolution, regardless of the source of mutation. Selective breeding is evolution too. You don’t think so?

    Purposeful intervention is pretty much the opposite of random mutation.

    Agreed. But evolution doesn’t require random mutation.

    Perhaps by evolution you only mean something like “change over time” but in that case even YECs are theistic evolutionists.

    No, I think that theistic evolution requires that there be at most one fiat creation of life, such that all life is related by descent. YECs often allow for some evolution within “kinds”, but the notion of separate created kinds is not compatible with theistic evolution.

    I think common descent is a silly place to draw the “creationism line” as it’s indistinguishable from common design as far as I can tell. If there in nothing about an idea that distinguishes it from it’s alternative it seems to be superfluous.

    Common descent is easily distinguishable from common design, if by common design you mean design in lieu of descent. There have been many posts on how you might distinguish the two. You may remember the term “nested hierarchy”. So “as far as [FMM] can tell” is too low a bar.

    I can literally take it or leave it

    Then you can have nothing to say about created kinds. Why are you in this thread?

  6. fifthmonarchyman
    Ignored
    says:

    John Harshman: Then you can have nothing to say about created kinds. Why are you in this thread?

    Once again I think your definition of created kinds (and creationism) is whacked. I came to this thread to share that information with you and perhaps discuss what kinds actually are.

    but I can take the hint

    peace

  7. John Harshman John Harshman
    Ignored
    says:

    fifthmonarchyman: Once again I think your definition of created kinds (and creationism) is whacked. I came to this thread to share that information with you and perhaps discuss what kinds actually are.

    but I can take the hint

    Eventually. Generally, attempts to change the subject radically are not looked on with favor by the OP.

  8. fifthmonarchyman
    Ignored
    says:

    John Harshman: attempts to change the subject radically are not looked on with favor by the OP.

    I guess one man’s “attempt at engagement” is another man’s “attempt to change the subject radically”.

    Oh well.

    Good luck looking for someone to share your premises and yet come to another conclusion

    Have a good day.

    peace

  9. John Harshman John Harshman
    Ignored
    says:

    fifthmonarchyman: I guess one man’s “attempt at engagement” is another man’s “attempt to change the subject radically”.

    Hey, I thought you could take a hint. What happened?

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