“Kinds”

Time for a discussion of “kinds”, i.e. “created kinds”, known to some as baramins. More specifically, holobaramins, an originally created (no ancestors, that is) population and all its descendants. But from now on I’ll just call them kinds, as long as we can agree on the intended meaning. There can be no kinds within kinds. Each one is a separate tree in a creationist’s phylogenetic orchard.

I don’t mean to go on long. This is really intended as a place for creationists to attempt to answer important questions of baraminology. Can a kind encompass more than one species? How can you know whether two species belong to the same or different kinds? Would we expect to see something obvious to differentiate them?

I’ve seen several criteria proposed, some of which work in only one direction. If two species hybridize, it’s claimed, they must be the same kind; but if they don’t, that doesn’t mean they’re different kinds. If a transition between two species is not “mechanically feasible”, they must be different kinds; but if it is, that doesn’t mean they’re the same kind. Other criteria I’ve seen are “discontinuity”, whatever that is, intuitive recognition (seriously, that’s an actual claim), and of course biblical exegesis. Can we agree to leave out the last?

Finally, can some creationist use those criteria, or any other, to designate at least a few entities that he is sure are kinds? Then we’ll have something concrete to argue about.

72 thoughts on ““Kinds”

  1. keiths,

    Yes, but you’d still need to know what ‘species’ meant to know they weren’t equivalent. Nothing to stop phoodoo looking it up, of course.

  2. Let’s not get sidetracked here:

    If a transition between two species is not “mechanically feasible”, they must be different kinds

    I think this is the core of the discussion and what needs to be addressed by our creationist friends. We all know species transition from one another in a continuum according to evolution as Allan pointed out already. Therefore, no evolutionary definition of species can be of any use for those claiming that such a continuum is mechanically unfeasible. It makes no sense for Baraminology to rely on evolutionary concepts so please phoodoo, stop deflecting.

    Sal claims there’s this mechanical barrier to certain transitions that delimits “kinds”. It’s a pretty simple question. What is it? How do you go about determining what belongs to each kind?

  3. Allan,

    I figured that phoodoo was going to try the “even biologists can’t agree on the definition” gambit.

    My point is that it doesn’t matter for the purposes of the present discussion. Any definition of “species” that enjoys wide acceptance among biologists automatically precludes the “kinds” = “species” idea, because of Ark limitations.

  4. dazz, to phoodoo:

    Sal claims there’s this mechanical barrier to certain transitions that delimits “kinds”. It’s a pretty simple question. What is it? How do you go about determining what belongs to each kind?

    And if the barrier is real, why is evidence for it completely lacking in the objective nested hierarchy?

    Why is the Creator so obsessed with making it look like the barrier isn’t there? Why is he such a fastidious evolution-mimic?

  5. dazz: Let’s not get sidetracked here

    Indeed but let’s not look as if we are avoiding the hugely interesting subject of the difficulty in stating a definition for species that works for all living organisms, prokaryotes, eukaryotes, plants, metazoa, asexual and sexually reproducing organisms etc. And the problem for extinct organisms? Another thread perhaps. This is “kinds” – why not a thread on “species”?

  6. Alan Fox: Indeed but let’s not look as if we are avoiding the hugely interesting subject of the difficulty in stating a definition for species that works for all living organisms, prokaryotes, eukaryotes, plants, metazoa, asexual and sexually reproducing organisms etc. And the problem for extinct organisms? Another thread perhaps. This is “kinds” – why not a thread on “species”?

    Agreed. John started this thread to address kinds specifically. A thread about species would definitely be awesome.
    The thing is that we shouldn’t let phoodoo play the same old game of shifting the burden of proof by making another self-refuting negative argument. Sal is at least trying to make a positive one by claiming there’s this mechanical barrier to variation that delimits kinds. Let’s learn more about that barrier and about kinds.

  7. keiths,

    I figured that phoodoo was going to try the “even biologists can’t agree on the definition” gambit.

    Yes, that was my reaction too. “See also “what is the theory of evolution?”. But still, defining the terms is reasonable.

    Where it becomes difficult is the point-blank refusal of the average Creationist to even accept a biological definition as a definition. If you have a view of species as discrete buckets, any definition that does not see species as discrete buckets is just ‘wrong’ – even if it is simply a definition. They might even jib that it is ‘circular’, if it has even a whiff of evolution about it …

    This ‘mechanical infeasibility of transition’ is the standard. All you need to do to create 2 biological species is lose all the interfertile individuals in a varied, divergent gene pool. But it has to be a ‘transition’, to some.

  8. keiths: If all of the requisite “kinds” could fit on the Ark, along with their food sources, then we already know that “kind” is not equivalent to “species”.

    I think you are overlooking the obvious explanation: Noah was a Time Lord. The Ark was bigger on the inside.

    Now, how to explain that to Ken Ham . . .

  9. Kantian Naturalist: I think you are overlooking the obvious explanation: Noah was a Time Lord. The Ark was bigger on the inside.

    Now, how to explain that to Ken Ham . . .

    I wonder if he understands the concept of infinity better than a certain UD denizen.

  10. ‘Kinds’ is curiously moribund. Meantime, over at ‘Species’, Circular Reasoning is continuing to do the rounds … never mind our concepts, let’s pummel species!

  11. Yes, this discussion is dead largely because not one of the local creationists is willing to take a firm position on any of the issues mentioned. I could speculate as to why that is. But I won’t.

  12. OMagain: Where does it say that in the bible?

    The bible says death came and that there was no death before. So nature now had to eat each other and avoid eating yet keep surviving and reproducing.
    Its very apparent the bible means this. It also gives the example of the snake changing to legless as being greater cursed. Yet all were cursed.

  13. From the OP:

    Can a kind encompass more than one species?

    What an odd question.

    Can a clade be paraphyletic?

    Can a clade encompass more than one species?

  14. Allan Miller: ‘Kinds’ is curiously moribund. Meantime, over at ‘Species’, Circular Reasoning is continuing to do the rounds … never mind our concepts, let’s pummel species!

    I’ve started pummeling our concepts. Hope that helps.

  15. Mung:
    What an odd question.

    Can a clade be paraphyletic?

    Can a clade encompass more than one species?

    No by definition and yes, respectively.

    I’m not clear on your position. Are you a creationist, meaning do you believe that there are “kinds”? If so, can a kind encompass more than one species? I assure you that some creationists say it can while others say it can’t. So that might be an odd question, but it’s a necessary clarification.

  16. It appears that any thread I start will die after having accumulated a fair number of responses, but none of the responses will deal seriously with the topic. Is there no way to attract any creationists back to the questions asked?

  17. John Harshman: Is there no way to attract any creationists back to the questions asked?

    Perhaps a guest post at UncommonDescent may allow those that will not post here for whatever reason to participate? Is there anyone willing and able to arrange that I wonder?

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