In a recent comment, Robert Byers said:
Yes lines of reasoning as opposed to scientific evidence is a criticism I strongly make!!
I’m not quite sure what is going on in Robert’s way of thinking. I am not sure what he means by “scientific evidence”. Here I want to explore what Robert appears to be arguing.
Let’s take crossword puzzle solving as an illustration. The puzzle has a grid where one can enter words. And then there are the clues. There is a list of “Across” clues and a list of “Down” clues.
Without those clues, I would not be able to proceed at all. However, when looking at an individual clue, I can at best guess. The clue is often cryptic and ambiguous, so my guess might be wrong. There is no way that I can use logic to decide a particular word.
Usually, I look at both “Across” clues and “Down” clues. I try to find words that seem to answer the clues, and yet work for both across and down.
According to Robert, what I am doing is simply following a line of reasoning. I agree that there is no logic to it. So I guess Robert wants us to give up, and just ask the author of the crossword puzzle. Or perhaps don’t even try crossword puzzles.
For myself, I happen to think (following my line of reasoning), that if the Across answers and Down answers match up well, that there are no conflicts, that everything fits, then it is very likely that I have the correct solution or something very close to the correct solution.
When it comes to evolution, we have the clues from morphology (the form of organisms), the clues from behavior (how the organisms act/react), the clues from geology (the fossils), the clues from DNA. And, most important of all, we see from observing live, that there is descent with modification, that new organisms are similar but a bit different from their parents. The match up is very persuasive. The match up here is a lot stronger than the match up that we see in crossword puzzle solving.
If we find the match up to be persuasive in crossword solving, why is it not even more persuasive for evolution?