Phylogenetic Systematics

Let’s have a serious discussion about phylogenetic systematics.

What are the assumptions, the methods, and the inferences that can be drawn from phylogenetic analysis.

For example, is there anything to the creationist claim that phylogenetic systematics assumes common ancestry and does it even matter?

I’ll be using a number of different references such as Molecular Evolution: A Phylogenetic Approach and Molecular Evolution and Phylogenetics.

This thread will not be password protected, but it will be protected by angels.

1,034 thoughts on “Phylogenetic Systematics

  1. fifthmonarchyman: now would be a good time for you to succinctly spell out your argument for common descent so as to illustrate my confusion

    What would be the point if he does not believe in God, nothing he could possible say could persuade you ?

  2. Kantian Naturalist: I urge that anyone exasperated with FMM just ignore him. There’s no hope of reasoning with him.

    I find it somewhat amusing that people are just now figuring out that fifth is asking us to say what we mean when we say something is objective. Wouldn’t that actually be the best place to start? Take for example Glen’s new thread, where people immediately want to know what the hell he means when he uses terms like “consciousness” and “information.”

    I’ve long wanted to see a thread here on objectivity but I would have just ended up sharing the opinions of others about it. 😉

  3. Flint,

    In theory, you can have common descent without nesting, but you could not have inheritance. Also in theory, you can have nesting without common descent, but it won’t be biological as we know it.

    If I look at the genetic difference between me and my parents it will be very small so there is nesting but it is nominal. The question in my mind is how much nesting can be the result of inheritance vs design? The nesting we see in biology is very dramatic as we compare birds and mammals.

    The nesting you discussed with the change in the 8086 architecture was also very dramatic. I used to test the 80286 on the equipment the company I worked for provided and the differences were due to process variation as some of a given lot were faster then others. A slight upgrade in test equipment allowed for 50% higher speed “bin splits”. The ” children” of this design had the same “genetics” but some sold for 3X the price of others.

    Why do you think that computers are following this path of heredity and cars are not?

    The 80386 was similar in architecture to the 80286. The big change was the pentium as I remember. Do you remember what caused this change from the 8086 architecture? Was it the number of addressable bits?

  4. Kantian Naturalist: but that’s only because of how he insists on defining his terms.

    If you want to use another definition of objectivity I’m perfectly cool with that. You will need to spell it out for us.

    I think for Neil objectivity means something like popular and and for Zac it means something like reproducible.

    We just need to agree on what we mean when we use the term

    Of course it’s not clear that God is necessary for popularity to exist.
    I’m not so sure about reproduceabilty thought I’d need to think about it

    Peace

  5. Mung: I find it somewhat amusing that people are just now figuring out that fifth is asking us to say what we mean when we say something is objective. Wouldn’t that actually be the best place to start? Take for example Glen’s new thread, where people immediately want to know what the hell he means when he uses terms like “consciousness” and “information.”

    Perhaps you should start us off, define objective.

  6. fifthmonarchyman: Of course it’s not clear that God is necessary for popularity to exist.
    I’m not so sure about reproduceabilty thought I’d need to think about it

    Did you show where God is necessary for objectivity and subjectivity to exist?

  7. keiths:

    I’m not making an argument from authority, fifth. That’s just your confusion.

    Go back and read my comment again.

    fifth:

    now would be a good time for you to succinctly spell out your argument for common descent so as to illustrate my confusion

    Now you’re confusing two different arguments. Please, please, try to focus, fifth. We can’t have a constructive discussion when you literally don’t know what we are talking about.

  8. Mung: So if I submit the same data to the same algorithm and get the same result, and then my co-worker submits the same data to the same algorithm and gets the same result, we can all agree that the result produced by the algorithm is objective?

    No, because the algorithm or other assumptions may be at fault. Hence the rest of our statement that the more independent methods by which a claim can be verified, the more confidence we have in the result.

    Science is a practical field, so objectivity is aspirational. However, in practice, can we reasonably say that crows objectively have feathers?

  9. newton:

    Like this part
    “ But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. 6 The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. 7 Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”

    Wonder how high you can construct a building using mud bricks with tar for mortar? Couple hundred feet?

    God was a bit of a hothead in those days

    And one of the dimmest bulbs in the theistic chandelier.

    The Israelites must have easily won the “my god is dumber than your god” contest.

  10. Mung: I find it somewhat amusing that people are just now figuring out that fifth is asking us to say what we mean when we say something is objective.

    That’s because fifthmonarchyman delved into discussions about how traits nest in a discussion about the objective nested hierarchy while apparently thinking that crows have feathers is not objective. That’s why we took the bent we did.

  11. Mung: I find it somewhat amusing that people are just now figuring out that fifth is asking us to say what we mean when we say something is objective. Wouldn’t that actually be the best place to start? Take for example Glen’s new thread, where people immediately want to know what the hell he means when he uses terms like “consciousness” and “information.”

    I’ve long wanted to see a thread here on objectivity but I would have just ended up sharing the opinions of others about it. 😉

    Why not start a threat on objectivity, if you want one? Be the change you wish to see in the world, etc. I’ve made my views known about objectivity on many occasions, with no uptake from anyone else here. So I’m not inclined to waste my time on that again.

  12. Zachriel: That’s because fifthmonarchyman delved into discussions about how traits nest in a discussion about the objective nested hierarchy while apparently thinking that crows have feathers is not objective. That’s why we took the bent we did.

    Everything must appear objective to you (plural). Or do the Zachriel’s dispute each other?

  13. fifthmonarchyman: If you want to use another definition of objectivity I’m perfectly cool with that. You will need to spell it out for us.

    If you read his post it does seem like objectivity is what he is referring to

  14. KN,

    FMM has always insisted that the concept of God and the concept of objectivity cannot be disentangled, but that’s only because of how he insists on defining his terms.

    It’s even worse than that. Earlier in the thread, he wrote:

    As I said before in my worldview an assessment’s objectivity is not determined by who is doing the reporting or the method that is used to validate it. It’s determined by whether the assessment is true (ie corresponds to objective reality.)

    Thus, by his own criterion, atheism is perfectly compatible with objectivity. His own statement undermines him.

    He’s constantly tripping over his untied intellectual shoelaces. It’s sad, except when it’s funny.

  15. Mung: Everything must appear objective to you

    Not even. There are many aspects of the human condition that can only be understood by considering subjectivity. While science and technology have reordered human society, most people are primarily motivated by forces within the heart and mind.

    You didn’t answer. In practice, can we reasonably say that crows objectively have feathers?

  16. keiths,

    Successive generations of X86 processors are backward compatible with the instruction sets of earlier generations, but that is emphatically not because they retain portions of the hardware of those earlier generations.

    How is this relevant to the argument that computers can form an objective nested hierarchy?

  17. Bill,

    Have you forgotten already? It was just yesterday that you wrote:

    Cars and computers are very different where computers build on ancestral layers of software and hardware constantly adding complexity. Dude you have no idea what you are talking about and your depth of thinking is not useful. Lets table this.

    There is no “ancestral layer” at the heart of a modern processor like the Core i7.

    To quote someone:

    Dude you have no idea what you are talking about and your depth of thinking is not useful.

  18. Zachriel: It turns out that fifthmonarchyman’s problem with the objective nested hierarchy isn’t to the hierarchy, it isn’t to the nesting, but his problem is with objectivity. We have reached a point where fifthmonarchy man won’t even agree that crows do, in fact, have feathers.

    He agrees but finds it strategically beneficial to steer the discussion to the merits of theism versus atheism where he has extensive expertise in the art of circular logic.

  19. keiths,

    There is no “ancestral layer” at the heart of a modern processor like the Core i7.

    Is there in the heart of the 80286?

    And keiths

    Successive generations of X86 processors are backward compatible with the instruction sets of earlier generations

    Looks like ancestry 🙂 Does not need to be hardware to be ancestry.

    BTW: Thanks for engaging beyond the fuck you I am smarter then you so therefor I am right position.

  20. newton: What would be the point if he does not believe in God, nothing he could possible say could persuade you?

    You don’t have to believe in God to present a convincing argument.

    Persuading me on common descent should be especially easy. I don’t have any objections to common descent.

    peace

  21. newton: Did you show where God is necessary for objectivity and subjectivity to exist?

    I showed where God is necessary for objectivity to exist.
    I’m not sure God is necessary for subjectivity to exist.
    I only pointed out that God is tripersonal so since he exists subjectivity exists

    peace

  22. newton: Perhaps you should start us off, define objective.

    It’s not Mung’s job
    He is not making an argument that depends on the term.

    peace

  23. Neil Rickert: No, that’s hopelessly wrong.

    Instead of declaring my error why not present your definition?

    If you disagreed with my characterization of your position you could have said so way back when I asked if you agreed with it.

    peace

  24. newton: He agrees but finds it strategically beneficial to steer the discussion to the merits of theism versus atheism where he has extensive expertise in the art of circular logic.

    It’s really just about getting clarification of the terms you are using in your argument. It’s not a strategy at all.

    As I repeatedly said I do not want this thread to get mired in a philosophical ditch.

    peace

  25. keiths: Now you’re confusing two different arguments.

    you are amazing keiths

    You can present two arguments at the same time while your opponent has yet to recognize even one

    😉

    peace

  26. Erik: From the given effects, how do you know that your claimed causes are the causes? If the analogies apply, then the effects do not tell you the causes. The ink marks on the manuscripts do not tell you how they came about. You know on totally independent grounds how ink marks come about. Causes are known, no probabilistic-statistical inference needed in this case.

    I think you’re confused about what causes we’re talking about here. The causes of the ink marks are not relevant. It’s the nested hierarchy of ink marks in different copies that counts, and that’s explained by imperfect copying of manuscripts from prior manuscripts. Similarly, in life, it’s not the causes of differences that counts, it’s the nested hierarchy of differences, and that’s explained by imperfect copying of populations (and individuals) from prior populations (and individuals).

    The other option is that the analogies actually do not apply, in which case you should detail where the analogy breaks down and how common descent really works, according to you.

    The analogy breaks down first in your misunderstanding of where the analogy lies, i.e. your misplaced focus on the causes of ink marks, and second in the different modes of replication between manuscripts and populations.

    Oh, so now you say you do not have to know the causes? What a scientist! Okay, this ends about here.

    I will assume that your confusion of what causes are relevant here is unfeigned. We know the causes of nested hierarchy. We know some of the causes of changes, but by no means all of them, but those aren’t relevant in explaining nested hierarchy. But Incidentally, if you flounce and then keep going, that detracts from the credibility of the flounce. Best save it for the end.

    And either way you don’t have to know the causes?

    Again, the ambiguity of “cause” is getting in your way. We don’t have to know the causes of differences. We can infer the causes of nested hierarchy.

    I suspect that living things replicate according to their species, displaying only minor variations.

    Do you have any rational reasons for this suspicion?

    The common descent claim is that modern species came from different species by means of ordinary self-reproduction, crossing the lines of phylums and kingdoms and what not. Pretty bold claim.

    Fortunately, there are rational reasons for believing it: nested hierarchy, fossil record, biogeographic patterns, etc. Mind you, this says nothing about the causes of mutation.

    But I got it: You don’t have to know the causes! Happy New Year!

    You don’t got it. I wish you better understanding in the new year.

  27. fifthmonarchyman: Instead of declaring my error why not present your definition?

    I don’t have an explicit definition. Most words don’t have explicit definitions.

    If you disagreed with my characterization of your position you could have said so way back when I asked if you agreed with it.

    Either I missed that post, or I decided that arguing with you is pointless.

  28. Neil Rickert: I don’t have an explicit definition. Most words don’t have explicit definitions.

    would you agree that if your argument depends on a term it’s definition should be explicit?

    Neil Rickert: Either I missed that post, or I decided that arguing with you is pointless.

    No worries It’s easy to miss stuff here. Especially when the board gets a little chippy.

    I would not want to argue with you either, you are too nice a guy. 😉

    I’d just like to make sure we have clarity. I asked if you agreed with my characterization of your position you could have just said no.

    peace

  29. keiths: No. That’s not how it works.

    Yes, that is indeed how it works. You should tread more carefully in territory outside your field.

    Successive generations of X86 processors are backward compatible with the instruction sets of earlier generations, but that is emphatically not because they retain portions of the hardware of those earlier generations.

    Maybe there’s an ambiguity here. A good deal of the decode circuitry was in fact retained in terms of logical gates and connections. There was no need for Intel to re-invent a perfectly correct wheel. Yes, they changed the masks, the substrates, the number of layers, the molecular structure of the internal traces, etc. But the underlying decode logic wasn’t modified in many cases. It was shrunk, and speeded up, and the heat generated was treated differently, but it was most definitely not reinvented. Expanded greatly, to be sure.

    You will not find residual pieces of the 8086 hardware buried in the Core i7.

    Yes, you will — unless you are defining the hardware as being the physical atoms, rather than the circuitry logic. But I doubt you would argue that you have no relationship to a chimpanzee on the grounds that you have no “common hardware”.

    I think the 8080 chip was designed tabula rasa with no forebears. But every single generation since has inherited heavily from its immediate ancestor. And there is therefore a good deal of nesting.

    My claim has been (perhaps along with yours) that such nesting isn’t inherent in the hardware, but rather lies in the sequential development process. But that process did NOT re-invent the wheel with each new iteration.

  30. colewd: If I look at the genetic difference between me and my parents it will be very small so there is nesting but it is nominal. The question in my mind is how much nesting can be the result of inheritance vs design? The nesting we see in biology is very dramatic as we compare birds and mammals.

    I don’t understand what you mean here. It’s not a matter of “dramatic”, it’s a matter of once a characteristic appears in a lineage, it stays within that same lineage. The comparison to a tree no accident. A twig may lie far from the trunk or from another twig on another branch, but branches ONLY split as the tree grows. No branches ever MERGE. Nor do they start poof in mid-air.

    The nesting you discussed with the change in the 8086 architecture was also very dramatic.

    I didn’t think so. The core was enhanced and extended, but these were basically incremental extensions of the base design.

    I used to test the 80286 on the equipment the company I worked for provided and the differences were due to process variation as some of a given lot were faster then others. A slight upgrade in test equipment allowed for 50% higher speed “bin splits”. The ” children” of this design had the same “genetics” but some sold for 3X the price of others.

    Uh, no, you have changed the subject somewhat. We’re talking about the inheritance between ancestor and descendent chips, NOT about quality variations among what are intended to be identical units.

    Why do you think that computers are following this path of heredity and cars are not?

    I don’t think that at all. Both cars and computers (and many other things) follow a path of incremental improvement. Which means, they take the existing model and find places where improvements can be made. My point is that, in theory, this pattern of incremental improvement need not be followed. But in practice, this is the fastest, most reliable, and least expensive way to proceed.

    The 80386 was similar in architecture to the 80286. The big change was the pentium as I remember.

    I certainly wouldn’t say that. The 386 was a HUGE leap forward – address space went from 16M to 32G, for one thing. The segmented architecture no longer NEEDED to be followed, and was kept for backward compatibility. The changes with each generation were significant.

    Do you remember what caused this change from the 8086 architecture? Was it the number of addressable bits?

    What do you intend by “caused”? I suppose you could say that a small army of very smart people was one key cause. Another was the target model represented by mainframes of the day.

  31. Neil Rickert: I suppose that depends on what’s being argued, and on how important the definition is to that.

    Tell me about it.

    Getting the folks presenting the argument to spell it out succinctly and explicitly has been like pulling teeth.

    Near as I can tell the idea that the purported nested hierarchy formed by the tree of life is somehow “objective” is pretty much the linchpin of the argument that will eventually be made.

    That seems to be it along with the idea that a particular type of common descent supposedly “suggests” an “objective” nested hierarchy for some unknown reason.

    Like i said none of it is very clear.

    Instead of explaining himself Keiths keeps pointing to some web article that is about Macroevolution instead of common descent and declaring that those who disagree are not smart enough to understand.

    go figure

    peace

  32. fifthmonarchyman: Near as I can tell the idea that the purported nested hierarchy formed by the tree of life is somehow “objective” is pretty much the linchpin of the argument that will eventually be made.

    I haven’t joined that argument. I don’t agree with the way “objective” has been used by some folk.

  33. Flint,

    I don’t understand what you mean here. It’s not a matter of “dramatic”, it’s a matter of once a characteristic appears in a lineage, it stays within that same lineage. The comparison to a tree no accident. A twig may lie far from the trunk or from another twig on another branch, but branches ONLY split as the tree grows. No branches ever MERGE. Nor do they start poof in mid-air.

    Dramatic means new characteristics appearing in a lineage. Also what we see from Sal’s flower genes can appear in early generations and disappear later. This was shown through 73 genes appearing in Zebra fish and Humans but not in Mice and chickens.

    I don’t think that at all. Both cars and computers (and many other things) follow a path of incremental improvement. Which means, they take the existing model and find places where improvements can be made. My point is that, in theory, this pattern of incremental improvement need not be followed. But in practice, this is the fastest, most reliable, and least expensive way to proceed.

    I agree with you here and those that lived through the kaizen movement (continuous improvement) would agree. There is something that is important to computers that is less of an issue for cars, and that is the importance of compatibility to prior generations especially with software. It was always a hard decision to break from compatibility and was only done when performance would suffer dramatically.

    I think the same issue exists in living organisms as compatibility allows all organisms to process cellular energy in the same way and from the same type of sources.

    I certainly wouldn’t say that. The 386 was a HUGE leap forward – address space went from 16M to 32G, for one thing. The segmented architecture no longer NEEDED to be followed, and was kept for backward compatibility. The changes with each generation were significant.

    Yep thats right. Here is where the change to a 32 bit bus occurred.

    What do you intend by “caused”? I suppose you could say that a small army of very smart people was one key cause. Another was the target model represented by mainframes of the day.

    Cause was a poor choice of words. What drove the change? Which I think you answered by the 386 moving to 32 bits which improved capability and performance.

    the 64-bit Itanium 2 (2002), Intel Core i9, and Xeon E3 and E5 series processors (2015). Concise technical data is given for each product.

    It looks like the first commercial 64 bit came out in 2002 but was not main stream until 2015 30 years after the move to 32 bits with the 386. Why do you think 30 years passed before this change? I guess 64 bits opens up a lot of memory addressability 🙂 How do you calculate the address space?
    Happy New Year

  34. fifthmonarchyman: Tell me about it.
    Near as I can tell the idea that the purported nested hierarchy formed by the tree of life is somehow “objective” is pretty much the linchpin of the argument that will eventually be made.

    This term has an actual meaning, it’s not just noise. It means there are lineages, and characteristics which show up within a lineage remain within it, and never “jump” to other lineages.

    That seems to be it along with the idea that a particular type of common descent supposedly “suggests” an “objective” nested hierarchy for some unknown reason.

    There is only one “type” of common descent, which is that any two living organisms at one point in the past had a common ancestor. The reason for this is not unknown, and it’s called inheritance. The basic idea is that an organism cannot inherit a characteristic from one which is NOT its ancestor.

    Let’s say that species A branches, resulting in species B and C. Now, B and C have A as a common ancestor, but there is at least one important difference between B and C, making them different species. Let’s say that B has characteristic Y, and C has characteristic Z. If objective nesting holds, then ALL species descending from B will have Y (and none of C’s descendants will have Y); and that ALL species descending from C will have Z (and none of B’s descendants will have Z).

    And 100 million years down the road, after many many branchings along both lineages, there may be an entire family of B’s descendants, and an entire family of C’s descendents — but all of one family will have Y, and all of the other will have Z.

  35. colewd:
    It looks like the first commercial 64 bit came out in 2002 but was not main stream until 2015 30 years after the move to 32 bits with the 386.Why do you think 30 years passed before this change?I guess 64 bits opens up a lot of memory addressability🙂How do you calculate the address space?
    Happy New Year

    Your question implies some things which I don’t think are the case. These bit counts might refer to multiple things – opcode size, register size, bus width, etc. Multiple processors have been designed with different widths for different purposes, and a single description (like “32 bit processor”) is misleading. The math coprocessor might have 80-bit registers for internal calculations.

    The address space is generally defined as the number of different memory locations that can be addressed directly. Generally, this is determined by the effective width of the memory bus (though again there might be different widths for L1, L2 and RAM). You calculate it by taking 2 to the power of that width. So if you have 32 bits of address, you can address 2^32 locations.

    Now, what’s a “location”? Most computers regard a location as containing a byte (an 8 bit bucket) at each location. But some (many microcontrollers) can address single bits directly. And some CPUs have modes which change the size of the addressable location. So: different architectures, different calculations.

  36. fifth:

    Instead of explaining himself Keiths keeps pointing to some web article that is about Macroevolution instead of common descent and declaring that those who disagree are not smart enough to understand.

    The title of Theobald’s article:

    29+ Evidences for Macroevolution: The Scientific Case for Common Descent

    Fifth couldn’t even manage to read the title for comprehension, much less the article itself. Both of which are clearly about common descent.

    You cannot make this stuff up. Now matter how low the bar is set, fifth will underperform.

    That’s a pretty spectacular failure, fifth. Now tell us how smart you are, and how you’ve been given a bum rap.

    (What’s even more hilarious is that Mung made the same mistake in this very thread.)

    These guys are mind-bogglingly incompetent.

  37. Flint:

    And hence my comment of “yes and no.” The i7 core really DID evolve, stepwise with modifications, from the 8086. It morphed through the 286, then 386, the Pentium, etc. SOME of the internal decoding mechanisms were retained, and some were changed, at each iteration.

    keiths:

    No. That’s not how it works.

    Successive generations of X86 processors are backward compatible with the instruction sets of earlier generations, but that is emphatically not because they retain portions of the hardware of those earlier generations. You will not find residual pieces of the 8086 hardware buried in the Core i7.

    Flint:

    Yes, that is indeed how it works. You should tread more carefully in territory outside your field.

    Have you considered taking your own advice?

    Would you care to guess what I did for the majority of my career?

    This is my field, Flint.

    But by all means, please inform me of how my colleagues and I designed and built X86 processors. It’s your field, after all, and you know it far better than those of us who did the actual work.

  38. keiths: The title of Theobald’s article:

    29+ Evidences for Macroevolution: The Scientific Case for Common Descent

    Are you really arguing that Macroevolution is common descent?

    Is there anyplace I can find evidence for common descent in isolation?

    Are you saying that things like transitional forms anatomical sub-optional function are part of the evidence for common descent?

    What exactly separates Darwinism from common descent or are they a irreducibly complex package deal IYO?

    peace

  39. Neil Rickert: I don’t agree with the way “objective” has been used by some folk.

    Me neither,
    So we are once again in agreement. 😉
    I told you I did not want to argue with you
    peace

  40. fifth,

    Given the supreme incompetence you just demonstrated, why are you giving any credence to your objections? Theobald is a smart guy. You are functioning so far below his level that you couldn’t even grasp the meaning of his title, much less the contents of the article itself.

    Lots of incompetent people will come up with lots of stupid objections to things that they don’t understand. You are one of those people. Don’t waste time on those stupid objections.

    Focus on the good stuff, which Theobald has graciously provided to you, instead of the objections of an incompetent and disorganized mind — yours.

    You are here to learn. You are not in a position to challenge, because you don’t even understand the material. Follow the example of brighter folks: learn first, and once you understand, then challenge if you think you have a case.

    You keep doing it backwards, and it wastes everyone’s time.

  41. keiths: why are you giving any credence to your objections?

    They are more questions than objections.

    I think it’s important that we are discussing the same thing, I’m interested in evidence for common descent that is why I’m posting in this thread.

    You seem to be pointing me to an article that has little to do with common descent from what Ive read.

    As I understand it, your position is that because the word common descent is the title then the article is about common descent .

    I just don’t think that is the case at least not entirely.

    I happen to have no problem with common descent but I do object to the ideas presented in the article like that there is sub-optimal anatomical function or molecular vestigial characters.

    Are you saying I need to concede these points in order to accept common descent?

    IOW Do you think that macroevolition is common descent?

    keiths: Focus on the good stuff, which Theobald has graciously provided to you,

    How much of the article is “the good stuff” about common descent in your opinion and how much is about macroevolution?

    When I looked I only found a section or so dealing with the nested hierarchy and it’s relationship to common descent the rest was about things like sub-optimal design

    Again over all do you think Theobald’s article is providing evidence for common descent or macroevolution or are you considering them to be the same thing?

    Zach has specifically said that common descent does not mean full blown Darwinism only descent with variation do you disagree?

    Do I need to accept full blown Darwinism to accept common descent?

    You can choose to not answer questions if you like but If you don’t I will assume that you think they are the same

    Thanks in advance.

    Peace

    .

  42. keiths:
    Flint:

    keiths:

    Flint:

    Have you considered taking your own advice?

    Would you care to guess what I did for the majority of my career?

    This is my field, Flint.

    But by all means, please inform me of how my colleagues and I designed and built X86 processors.It’s your field, after all, and you know it far better than those of us who did the actual work.

    Since this is the field we both have been in, probably for decades, I must presume that either your concept of underlying hardware differs from mine, or else your people engaged in NO re-use of any already developed circuits (which would certainly make you unique in my experience.)

    I think two things are happening here. One is your consistent overweening condescension toward anything that sounds like disagreement (a very Trumpian “why discuss when you can attack” philosophy), and the other is more technical. I’m not disputing that there is no 8086 anything hidden somewhere in an i7. Your claim is technically correct. I’m disputing that hereditary (and nesting) concepts do not apply to practical computer development.

    This, I think, is more nearly the topic of this thread. In a very real sense, the x86 clade has a common ancestor, incremental development, and species branching. So it’s not a terrible analogue to biology, but not a very good one if pushed too hard.

  43. Flint: In a very real sense, the x86 clade has a common ancestor, incremental development, and species branching. So it’s not a terrible analogue to biology, but not a very good one if pushed too hard.

    That is it
    you are my new favorite. 😉

    peace

  44. fifthmonarchyman: Again over all do you think Theobald’s article is providing evidence for common descent or macroevolution or are you considering them to be the same thing?

    Asking whether macroevolution and common descent are the same thing is like asking if it’s colder in the north or in the winter. Or whether a north pole is different from a magnet. It’s a question which implies a misunderstanding of key concepts.

    Macroevolution implies common descent, and vice versa. You’re not going to get one without the other. Again, consider the common tree. If you are focusing on the structure of the tree, you’d look at macroevolution. If you are focusing on the growth process of the tree, you’d look at common descent. But whichever is your focus, it’s the same tree.

  45. fifthmonarchyman: That is it
    you are my new favorite. 😉

    peace

    Provided you understand why it’s not a really good analogy. (Hint: it’s not a good analogy because computers do not breed.)

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