Kinds, Baramins, Whatever

This is an attempt to revive a discussion of “created kinds”, holobaramins, or whatever you want to call them. How do you define their boundaries? Can anyone name any specific holobaramins? Is there anyone who believes they exist and is willing to defend their existence?

87 thoughts on “Kinds, Baramins, Whatever

  1. GlenDavidson: The divergence of organisms via descent with variation.
    Glen Davidson

    Explain is the wrong word. Common descent predicts and requires a tree structure in genomes.

    ID just says some unknown entity having unknown powers did something or somethings ate unknown times and places, for unknown reasons.

    Of course ID explains the tree. There is nothing that cannot be explained by magic.

  2. petrushka: Explain is the wrong word. Common descent predicts and requires a tree structure in genomes.

    Darwin included such a tree for the sake of explanation in Origin of Species.

    Depends on what you mean by “explains,” which has a fair range of meanings.

    Glen Davidson

  3. I should add that when saying that it explains the “divergence of organisms” I’m thinking more of specific cladistic trees, which do show how known clades diverged, at least relative to each other.

    I think that others are considering “the tree” as just the fact that organisms are “naturally” organized via trees, which doesn’t really explain anything per se, rather, descent with variation explains it.

    “The tree” was rather ambiguous.

    Glen Davidson

  4. “Make clear” seems to be the first definition. “Be the cause of” seems to be a third definition.

    So you win, but I think IDist run an equivocation game on the word explain.

    To me, common descent is the cause of the tree structure and an explanation.

    The tree structure is consilient with common descent and an entailment. It is therefore contributing evidence of common descent.

  5. Perhaps Bill will tell us what he meant by his question. I take “explain” to mean the scientific usage, i.e. a hypothesis attempts to explain the data. In this case, a tree explains the hierarchical structure of the data, and common descent explains the existence of a tree. If there were a better explanation, we would adopt it.

  6. John Harshman,

    I’m afraid I don’t consider a newspaper article to be good evidence.

    It is referenced.

    Fortunately, we don’t need a time machine.

    You don’t have any science

    It’s what would result in a tree,

    That is your opinion but it isn’t science.

    We just don’t expect common design to form a consistent nested hierarchy.

    Of course we do. Linnaean classification is a nested hierarchy and based on a common design. Design is the only thing that can produce a nested hierarchy.

    Common descent is the only process that is expected to produce the pattern we see in the data.

    That is your opinion but you cannot validate it.

    “Common design”, on the other hand, is vacuous

    Perhaps to you, however in the real world we see it all of then time

    So far, “body plan” is too vague a concept to make your idea meaningful.

    And yet biologists use it all of the time.

    You will have to explain why that’s trouble for the tree.

    It would ruin a tree- especially one trying to show ancestor-descendant relationships based on shared characteristics.

  7. petrushka,

    Common descent predicts and requires a tree structure in genomes.

    Nonsense- just because you people can say something doesn’t make it true. Please provide the theory that supports your claim.

  8. The US Army command forms a tree- nothing to do with common descent and everything to do with DESIGN. Corporate command structures also form a tree and again it has nothing to do with common descent.

    AND Linnaean taxonomy forms a nested hierarchy and it is based on a common design.

  9. John Harshman,

    Since, as I explained, this is irrelevant to the question at hand, I don’t intend to discuss it.

    If you don’t have a mechanism capable of explaining the pattern then that is very relevant. And you don’t have a mechanism capable of explaining the pattern.

  10. Frankie:
    John Harshman,
    Of course we do. Linnaean classification is a nested hierarchy and based on a common design. Design is the only thing that can produce a nested hierarchy.

    That is your opinion but you cannot validate it.

    Perhaps to you, however in the real world we see it all of then time

    And yet biologists use it all of the time.

    I’m getting tired of your contentless one-liners. It should be obvious how characters evolved on a tree should show a nested hierarchy in the data at the tips. Do you need that explained? Changes happen here and there on various branches and are inherited by subsequent branches. Simple. Now, how does common design logically result in a nested hierarchy? Linnean classification isn’t based on common design; why would you think so? Biologists do use “body plan” or “bauplane”, but as I said usually in reference to phyla. I’m supposing you don’t think phyla are holobaramins, so you can’t appeal to scientific usage here. What do you mean by “body plan”?

    It would ruin a tree- especially one trying to show ancestor-descendant relationships based on shared characteristics.

    Trees don’t show ancestor-descendant relationships. They show cladistic relationships. How does evolutionary simplification ruin a tree?

    Frankie:
    If you don’t have a mechanism capable of explaining the pattern then that is very relevant. And you don’t have a mechanism capable of explaining the pattern.

    As I have explained several times, you confuse the explanation of a pattern with the explanation of the elements that make up the pattern. The nested hierarchy, for which common descent is the mechanism, is made up of character differences. The explanation of the origin of character differences is another matter. For phylogenetic purposes it doesn’t matter whether those differences arose by mutation and were fixed by selection or whether Jesus magically poofed a change into a whole generation of gametes. Why should it matter?

    Frankie:
    The US Army command forms a tree- nothing to do with common descent and everything to do with DESIGN. Corporate command structures also form a tree and again it has nothing to do with common descent.

    AND Linnaean taxonomy forms a nested hierarchy and it is based on a common design.

    We’ve been over this before. You can create a nested hierarchy from anything just by declaring it to be so, as the army organization. The sort of nested hierarchy we’re talking about here is different. It’s inherent in the elements (species, in this case) themselves. Designed nested hierarchies, like the army table of organization or the eons, eras, periods, and ages of deep time, can’t be reconstructed by looking at the things that make them up.

  11. Frankie: Nonsense- just because you people can say something doesn’t make it true. Please provide the theory that supports your claim.

    Do you and Mung collaborate, or do you claim all this as original work?

  12. colewd:
    Is descent with variation different then speciation?

    Are you asking this seriously? I’ll answer seriously: yes. Speciation is the evolution of reproductive isolation between two populations. Descent with variation is, well, descent with variation. Obviously speciation depends on descent with variation, but there is much descent with variation that isn’t speciation. Diversity (number of species) is explained by speciation. Disparity (divergence among species) is explained by speciation plus other descent with variation. This is quite separate from an explanation of the sources of that variation.

  13. John Harshman,

    During allopatric (from the ancient Greek allos, “other” + Greek patrā, “fatherland”) speciation, a population splits into two geographically isolated populations (for example, by habitat fragmentation due to geographical change such as mountain formation). The isolated populations then undergo genotypic and/or phenotypic divergence as: (a) they become subjected to dissimilar selective pressures; (b) they independently undergo genetic drift; (c) different mutations arise in the two populations. When the populations come back into contact, they have evolved such that they are reproductively isolated and are no longer capable of exchanging genes. Island genetics is the term associated with the tendency of small, isolated genetic pools to produce unusual traits.

    John…I pulled this from Wiki. Do you agree that speciation has occurred when the two isolated populations can no longer exchange genes?

  14. That would be speciation under the ‘biological species’ concept. So in that case yes. I think Harshman would agree.

  15. colewd:
    Is this where variation is occurring in the same population?

    Not sure what you mean, as is so often the case. Certainly, evolutionary change happens within a population. When change happens in different directions in different populations, that’s divergence.

  16. colewd:

    During allopatric (from the ancient Greek allos, “other” + Greek patrā, “fatherland”) speciation, a population splits into two geographically isolated populations (for example, by habitat fragmentation due to geographical change such as mountain formation). The isolated populations then undergo genotypic and/or phenotypic divergence as: (a) they become subjected to dissimilar selective pressures; (b) they independently undergo genetic drift; (c) different mutations arise in the two populations. When the populations come back into contact, they have evolved such that they are reproductively isolated and are no longer capable of exchanging genes. Island genetics is the term associated with the tendency of small, isolated genetic pools to produce unusual traits.

    John…I pulled this from Wiki. Do you agree that speciation has occurred when the two isolated populations can no longer exchange genes?

    Again your choice of words makes your question unclear. I agree with what the quoted passage says, though “no longer capable” seems too strong. I’d prefer “no longer exchange genes at a sufficient rate to prevent divergence”, which allows for a small amount of hybridization. Otherwise there’s only one species of duck.

    Are you sneaking up on some kind of point?

  17. John Harshman,

    Again your choice of words makes your question unclear.

    I was using the words I read in Wiki. The fact that their interpretation of speciation and yours don’t match up makes it hard to understand the hypothesis. I trust your understanding over theirs.

    Are you sneaking up on some kind of point?

    I don’t know how to make one until I understand the hypothesis. It seems the tree is doing nothing more than organizing data yet you see a working hypothesis.

    Is speciation a mechanism that supports the common descent hypothesis? Is there a name you use for what they call speciation or when an isolated population can no longer share genes?

  18. In a technical sense it isn’t required that populations are no longer capable of sharing genes, for the data to yield a tree, just that gene-flow doesn’t take place between them.
    In either case, time will lead to more and more divergence and you would see that as branching when you sequenced genes at later and later generations.

    In this sense, speciation is not a requirement to be able to infer common descent and a branching evolutionary pattern.

    All it requires is that genes have stopped flowing between populations, the reason for this doesn’t have to be some sort of physical barrier (like incompatible reproductive organs, or a mountain-range separating them).

  19. GlenDavidson,

    I think that others are considering “the tree” as just the fact that organisms are “naturally” organized via trees, which doesn’t really explain anything per se, rather, descent with variation explains it.

    Can you give me a clear definition of what descent with variation is?

  20. Rumraket,

    In this sense, speciation is not a requirement to be able to infer common descent and a branching evolutionary pattern.

    Can you give me an example of how you could infer common descent without speciation occurring?

  21. colewd:
    Rumraket,

    Can you give me an example of how you could infer common descent without speciation occurring?

    The same way I would do it WITH speciation occuring. I would test to see if there were nesting branching patterns in the molecular and morphological data.

  22. Rumraket,

    The same way I would do it WITH speciation occuring. I would test to see if there were nesting branching patterns in the molecular and morphological data.

    How is this tested?

  23. By observation. Make a prediction, then do observation.

    If there is gravity is in effect, this cannon ball should follow a ballistic curve.

    If there is common descent, there should be nesting branching patterns in the data.

  24. What is this, the fiftieth time this has been explained to you? Is getting it within your intellectual capacities or should I just go with the data I already have and conclude: no?

  25. Rumraket,

    If there is common descent, there should be nesting branching patterns in the data.

    Sorry I am not getting this. Can you give me a specific example of observed data and how nesting branching patterns were observed?

  26. colewd:
    Rumraket,

    Sorry I am not getting this.Can you give me a specific example of observed data and how nesting branching patterns were observed?

    If this is not already apparent to you, I can’t make it. Something has happened to you, in your head, that makes you incapable of seeing it. I don’t know how that works, I’ve never had this experience myself.

  27. colewd:
    Sorry I am not getting this.Can you give me a specific example of observed data and how nesting branching patterns were observed?

    Do you recall that I gave you one of my papers as an example of phylogenetic inference? It’s also a fine example of just what you’re asking for here (because they’re the same thing). Do you still have it?

  28. Speaking of disappearing, this thread has disappeared from the first page and is about to disappear from the list of recent posts, all without anyone ever seriously engaging the central question. So much for the “science” of baraminology.

  29. I would suppose that is because no one who understands evolution is interested in baraminology, and no one who believes in baraminology can make a decent case for it.

  30. petrushka,

    I take exception to that remark. I’m interested in baraminology, just as I am interested in creationism in general. Creationist interest in baraminology, unfortunately, seems limited only to pointing vaguely in its direction, never to examining it in detail.

  31. Hey, Bill. There are posts here awaiting your response. Are you still interested in the questions you raised? (Yes, I’m a bit obsessed with phylogenetics. It’s my thing.)

  32. I guess we have different penumbra regarding the word inrerested.

    If I were interested in baraminology or creationism, I would be doing what Sal is doing, or what JoeG is doing. Trying to figure out how to make the pices fit together in a coherent manner.

    But I am not interested in that.

    I am interested in challenges to evolution because they motivate me to understand the concepts involved and to learn some biology. It’s a hobby.

    I’ve seen arguments for baramins presented for the last 15 years. I found them interesting at first, but like FMM’s design detection game, there was never any there there. So I lost interest.

  33. petrushka,

    I suppose my main interest is in trying to get creationists to present and defend some amount of “there”. The presenting is certainly more common than the defending; they don’t seem very used to peer review. Johnnyb, during his brief appearance, did cite something interesting, which I may do a post on soon:

    Wood TC, Garner PA (eds.). 2009. Genesis Kinds: Creationism and the Origin of Species, Issues in Creation #5. Wipf & Stock, Eugene, OR.

    It contains a number of papers that try to put some meat on the bones of baraminology, though of course it’s all really just cargo cult science.

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