Robert Byers’s views on evolution

Canadian YEC Robert will be familiar to many from various evolution/anti-evolution blogs. He showed up in my ‘macro/microevolution’ thread, and I am creating this as a thread for Robert to air his views and for those who choose to engage with him to do so. I am moving certain posts here from macro/micro, as they are off-topic for that thread.

102 thoughts on “Robert Byers’s views on evolution

  1. Robert: They presume its big ones mating with big ones and so reproductive choice/isolation is the origin of type or species here.
    Did they see this happen? or presume it?

    This right here is the key to your errors. The researchers did in fact see the change. I don’t know how they could make their analysis any more clear, and yet you are completely denying the fact. You’re blind to truth and reality Robert. Why then would anyone take your claims god as having any value?

  2. Yes, I read that “essay”. Quite incredible, and should have a much wider circulation. It’s a remarkable demonstration of a certain quality of scholarship.

    By the way, Master Byers – what are your thoughts on the fact that whales have vestigial hind limbs? Would whales ever need back legs?

  3. Mr. Byers,

    I’m afraid you misunderstood the reason behind my questions. You self-identify as a young Earth creationist. More explicitly, here you claim that the Earth is 6000 years old. I would like to know what objective, empirical evidence has convinced you of that.

    My reasons for asking are two-fold. First, I would like to understand how you arrived at your conclusion. If you are simply taking the Christian bible literally and applying Ussher’s arithmetic, then I suspect that there is no evidence that would convince you otherwise. That would direct our future conversation in a different direction than if you have non-biblical sources for your position.

    The second, related, reason is to understand what you, personally, accept as evidence. That will also allow us to have a more fruitful discussion.

    So, please support your claim that the Earth is approximately 6,000 years old rather than the scientific consensus of 4.55 billion years.

  4. One path used by evolution is chromosomal speciation, which has been witnessed by humans and documented by science in the blind subterranean mole rats in the East Mediterranean. Since you don’t want links to sources, you’ll just have to take my word for it, or do the research yourself. I would suggest looking up Eviatar Nevo and the Institute of Evolution at the University of Haifa, Israel.

  5. Patrick.
    This is a discussion with plain objectives.
    Its about whether evolution has BIOLOGICAL SCIENTIFIC evidence behind its claims to be a scientific theory.
    Its not about geology and age of the earth. nothing to do with that.
    You ask me this thing about earth’s age and want me to justify my YEC stance. I only said YEC to be polite.
    You said you could provide biological scientific evidence.
    It seems you are realizing you must be able to use a non biological subject to do the biology.
    Your making my case.
    If geology must be invoked then evolution is NOT a biological science after all.
    I don’t think you can provide biological evidence but please do try.
    However no age or geology need apply.
    This is about science and biology.

  6. damitall2
    Thanks for the read.
    Its not well written at all but I’m about ideas and hypothesis.
    I’m sure I’m right. Its not just the marsupials but they are a sample of a bigger theme that the classification of creatures has been wrong and all can be squeezed into smaller types and eventually kinds.
    There is on YOUTUBE several excellent, short, moving pictures of the last marsupial wolf.
    Its clearly a wolf and not a malformed koala.
    It sits, scratches, moves like any dog.
    Marsupials are just placentals with minor adaptations for the new area they moved into soon after the flood.

  7. Marsupials are just placentals with minor adaptations for the new area they moved into soon after the flood.

    kangaroos, koalas, wombats, marsupial moles …. minor adaptations? Are you saying there were various off-ark placentals that all independently lost the placenta and gained a pouch, but only in Australia, or do you claim all derive from an original ark-species? Where does the genetic and fossil evidence fit into all this?

  8. Robin
    It was presented as fast adaptation and without mutation.
    It was just , they said, selection of bigger ones with bigger ones etc.
    Anyways i’m just being very careful about their investigation conclusions.
    i and creationists have no problem with trivial selection on fish.
    Any prisoner of war camp always leaves the stronger ones to survive to the end.
    I don’t think selection is very important in the world and I do think innate triggers happen even at small levels of creatures.
    Nevertheless the thread was about micro evidence equals macro truth.
    You presented a micro evolution case ONLY.
    Yet evolution (which means the glory of the theory) evidence was NOT presented YET by you based on biological scientific evidence.
    This is the rub and contention.
    The fish are just accepted examples along with bacteria etc of micro changes from natural selection. I’m very wary of this too but its okay as long as it doesn’t produce new species. people differences being the rule of thumb.
    If this is your only case then your NOT making a case for evolutionary biology being sustained by scientific biological evidence.
    You did the work for a micro evolution evidence but whats too stop you doing it for macro evolution evidence?

  9. Allan Miller
    They were all the same pairs on the ark.
    As they migrated around the world these became modified or adapted to the new areas.
    Upon entering the farthest areas the creatures all adapted new traits.
    I see marsupialism as simply a reproductive change to increase production for creatures who had to go the farthest from the ark. Timetable issues.
    So likewise creatures in S outh America adapted marsupial traits but not because of contact with Australian marsupials.
    All this from innate triggers already in everyone’s biology.
    Thats mechanism issues.
    Yet the morphology of the marsupials is the fantastic evidence they are just the same creatures as placentals with minor changes in reproduction or things here and there.
    The genetics simply is a language for these new changes. genetics is about parts and not about trails of biological heritage.

    Likewise this happened with creatures who today are extinct.
    They didn’t become marsupials but instead had shared traits doe to the area they live in.
    Sure enough people classified them by these minor traits and not the great traits of looking identical to creatures elsewhere on the planet.
    These orders I document.
    Thery invoke convergent evolution to explain the great sameness.
    I invoke they are the same creatures with minor adaptions from innate biological mechanisms.
    So the marsupial concentration/exclusivity anomaly is explained for australia in line with biblical boundaries.
    Can’t see why I’m wrong.!

  10. I have to congratulate you on presenting the most intelligent and carefully thought out version of the YEC position.

  11. So if I go to Australia my descendants will develop pouches due to innate triggers and ‘timetable issues’? Hmmm.

    Can’t see why I’m wrong.!


  12. Well, I note that you are “sure” of this and that; that you “think” that and this, but you seem to have no evidence of any sort whatsoever to to back up your certainties – just some rather ill-formed thoughts about the way things are named in common everyday speech which you place above scientific nomenclature.

    Apparently, you don’t realise that species are given scientific names for good and defensible reasons.

    You’re way behind the curve, sunshine.
    And why, in your opinion do whales have vestigial hind limbs? It seems to be a question you’re running away from – as indeed do all creationists. Since you ask, it is indeed one of my “favourite” items of evidence for evolution – and it is one you can have no sensible answer to.

  13. Mr. Byers,

    I haven’t made any claims as of yet in this conversation. Before I do, I am trying to understand why you hold your views and what, if any, evidence would convince you to change your mind.

    I’m not trying to lead you down the primrose path. I do not wish to waste your time or mine. Accordingly, I would like to know if your claim that the Earth is 6000 years old is based on objective, empirical evidence or solely on scripture. If the latter, I will choose to discontinue the discussion since, after all, “You cannot reason a man out of a position he did not reason himself into in the first place.”

    So, please explain your basis for claiming the Earth is 6000 years old rather than the 4.55 billion years supported by the scientific consensus.

  14. I would like to present an alternate version of this question.

    Assuming, for the sake of argument, that scripture does not exist, or that you come from a culture that hasn’t seen any scripture, what evidence do you have that would lead you to believe in a young earth?

  15. patrick.
    I assure sincerely that its all about the evidence of nature in this particular discussion.
    Remember i was the one asking for Scientific biological evidence for the theory of evolution.
    In fact I really mean evidence that the methodology behind the claims of evidence is/is not based on biological scientific investigation.
    In this case its got nothing to do with the bible.
    Its all about the legitimacy of claims of evidence from the natural world.
    There’s no evidence in nature about a old earth either but thats beside the point.
    I’m not interested in YEC stuff about a young earth right now. Another time, another place.
    There is a chance here for evolutionists to prove a point.
    THAT evolution is a scientific theory!
    Prove it with a favourite proof!!

  16. Petrushka
    Its not about geology but about biology.
    Evolution is about biological origins.
    I say they ain’t done any scientific investigation.
    Agree or if not why not?

  17. damitall2
    I present my evidence based on morphological observation. Nothing to do with names. In fact evolutionists invoke convergent evolution to explain the sameness.
    Its unrelated to names for sure.

    This YEC creationist does insist marine mammals are from land creatures first. THey are descended from some kinds off the ark and finding a empty sea filled niches therein.
    Yet its unrelated to evolution but I see rather innate triggers working within the biology to create and eliminate parts as needed.
    Quick adaptions. No intermediates but only varieties living in niches.
    There is no scientific biological evidence for evolution processes in whales or descent evidence.
    If so demonstrate Mr and Mrs evolutiondom.

  18. I’m not sure what your response is in reference to, but I am serious when I say your position is the best and most intelligent among YEC advocates.

  19. Allan miller.
    No it was back in the day when creatures had to refill a empty earth and quick.
    Reproduction is the issue and these creatures developed a faster production under some innate trigger impulse.
    Its mechanism however its the clear morphological evidence they are the same creatures as placentals. Then biblical boundaries fill in the details.
    Not in operation today.
    The great other case is simply human beings.
    Our differences in looks also came from sudden changes.
    Explain people, both sides, and you explained everything.

  20. Its mechanism however its the clear morphological evidence they are the same creatures as placentals.

    Apart from – for example – the absence of a placenta. This is not just some minor detail, it is a fundamental developmental matter. Marsupials did not come from placentals. Genetic and morphological analysis clearly groups marsupials together, and all placentals together, in separate clades with overarching common ancestry. It does not show close relationship between any marsupial and the placental it superficially most resembles.

    You are trying to make the world fit a couple of paragraphs in a book. It doesn’t, but you aren’t remotely interested in why, despite your demands for our ‘favourite’ evidence. I don’t know why you play this game, since you already know The Truth. Perhaps you see it as a penance. Whatever; your religious position appears to rob you of the ability to think or discuss matters rationally, and there really is no point in continuing.

  21. Mr. Byers,

    Your repeated refusal to answer a very simple question can only be characterized as squirming at this point. I would like to engage with you in this discussion, but I’m not going to waste my time if your only reason for holding your beliefs is adherence to Christian scripture.

    Please demonstrate that you are interested in conversing in good faith by answering: What is your basis for concluding that the Earth is only 6000 years old?

  22. So “land creature” to whale is not macroevolution? Over how many generations did this rather massive change happen? Did not god create whales that survived the flood along with all the fish? Why not? And if there were antediluvian whales, why do their descendants have vestigial hind limbs? If we point at any example of macroevolution, are you simply going to drivel about “innate triggers” without citing any evidence whatsoever?
    I think you’re just making it up as you go along. You are, I believe, unique amongst YECs in asserting that modern whales evolved from land creatures that were on the ark. Most YECS would find that degree of macroevolution too much to believe.
    How about seals, walruses, manatees, dugongs – did they all evolve like lightning from land creatures that were on the ark?

  23. Assuming, for the sake of argument, that scripture does not exist, or that you come from a culture that hasn’t seen any scripture, what evidence do you have that would lead you to believe in a young earth?

    Not to pile on, but Robert, that is such a succinct summary of the difficulty some of us have with your view of the world. Imagine, I arrive on Earth like David Bowie, an innocent curious alien, and am presented with the concept of religion. Which one should I choose? What is it about an anthology of various writings of various origins, edited over the years that is so special? And why shouldn’t I listen to my daughter, who espouses the benefits that would accrue should I embrace Buddhism?

  24. I squirmith not. No squirmology going on here.
    I insist the biology issue here is unrelated to geology.
    Nopthingh to do with scripture but to DO with evolutions claims of scientific biological; evidence.
    Hmmm. Maybe squirming is going on from those pointing fingers.
    I say lets stick to the evidence of the natural world.
    No bible verses are right now relevant.

  25. All marine mammals are only post flood adaptations from creatures/kinds saved on the ark. The seas before the flood were filled with very diffirent types but destroyed by the flood as on land.
    So after the flood the seas were open for niche occupation.
    These land creatures morphed into creatures close to the water, in the water part time or full time.
    Thats what happened.
    Its not repeatable and so proving it it is be inference.
    however the evolutionists can’t prove their point either.

  26. Allan Miller.
    its morphology that is the evidence of classification.
    its been a error to classify creatures by pouches. They just don’t have imigination to realize a mechanism for a obvious conclusion.
    Genetics proves nothing and fits fine with creatures changing in a area being likewise getting the same DNA change.
    Yes i’m correcting something and it doesn’t matter what was said before.
    creationists always correct errors.

  27. Besides the point here about scientific claims for evidence of evolution.
    however if one is comparing faiths accounts of the beginning of everything then the bible would trump everyone.
    it hits all the important points. Why we die, how we divided ourselves, why this, why that .
    nothing else even comes close and if its about a God then it would be that a God would give a basic outline of the beginning.
    Off thread here.
    do you have any biological scientific evidence for justifying evolution as a theory??

  28. And fish? Were all fish killed in the flood? If so, where did modern fish come from? If not, why did they survive, but not aquatic mammals?
    Face it, Byers – your story is full of holes and inconsistencies, and completely unsupportable.

    It is, in fact, Very Silly

  29. Mr. Byers,

    “I squirmith not. No squirmology going on here.”

    And yet you fail to answer a simple question. Squirming.

    I don’t know how to be more direct. Based on your comments here and at the Panda’s Thumb, and on my previous experience with young Earth creationists, I strongly suspect that presenting you with the scientific evidence for evolution is a waste of time. I’m asking you to answer one simple question in order to determine if there is any hope of a reasonable discussion with you: What is your basis for concluding that the Earth is only 6000 years old?

    I believe, although I’m willing to be convinced otherwise, that you believe in a young Earth, an historical Adam and Eve, and a global flood solely on the basis of your preferred scripture. If this is the case, no evidence is going to get you to change your mind so any discussion is going to be an exercise in frustration.

    If you are open to learning and capable of understanding objective, empirical evidence, please prove it.

  30. They don’t just classify by pouches! Every last detail of marsupial morphology and genetics groups them together, and not with some superficially similar placental. What’s the placental kangaroo look like?

    Genetics proves nothing

    Genetics proves something in a court of law – common descent of forensic DNA samples, or paternity, for example. What stops those same tests from indicating common descent amongst species as well as within? The ‘fact’ that species can’t change? Says who? You’d have them change far faster than any evolutionist to get them off the ark (What did they eat on the way to Oz, by the way … ?). It is a gibberingly hollow, inconsistent position you peddle, sir.

  31. Patrick
    Its not a waste of your time if you have scientific biological evidence.
    In fact this go and back is wasting more time!
    There is no need for ideas about geology in this matter.
    I said in all integrity that this is about just the facts of nature. No verses or presumptions from verses.
    Just give your favorite scientific biological fact for evolution.
    Why are you persuaded by evolutionism?

  32. damitall2
    It works fine.
    God preserved in pairs etc all the creatures of the seas. however after it was over there was a rush for dominance and survival as there was on the land.
    Marine mammals found a empty ses relative to what it was before.

  33. Allan MIller.
    in fact there are just a few details of the skeleton that marsupials share, largely, in common. These likewise adaptations mutually upon migration to these farthest areas.
    They really do group on a few traits. It just overwhelmed them back in the day seeing pouches everywhere.
    yet it was premature. They didn’t see “marsupial’ fauna in its glory as it had gone extinct. Marsupial lions were perfect lions. The marsupial wolf can be seen on youtube moving around.
    The rest had counterpoints in the rest of the world but went extinct in the rest of the world.
    your point about genetics makes a good point for creationists.
    Its just a special case i’m related to my dad by close inspection of the genes. it could only be this way.
    yet its only a line of reasoning to expand this out of our kind.
    Even if true it would still not be genetic scientific evidence.
    As you said its just a process of extrapolation.
    Yet its not science on genetics.
    If gOd created man separate from primates but gave us that type of body because its the best one on earth for a thinking being THEN it also would be that we have like DNA.
    Yet unrelated to biological descent.
    This is a common logical error of evolutionists to say there is scientific genetic evidence for us being related to apes.
    Even if true it still wouldn’t be scientific evidence based on genetics.
    Just a line of reasoning.

  34. Just a line of reasoning. [repeat and rinse, ad nauseam]

    There is no reason to suppose that an entire genome should accord with a descent relationship, unless the explanation actually IS a descent relationship. Common descent is shown not only in essential genes, but in swathes of the genome that can be excised without the slightest impact on the organism. If a primate body is the best one for a thinking being, it does not need to have the same errors in the same places that occur in other primates – the best body is one with an identically-broken Vitamin C gene? Sure it is. But hey, that old devil called reasoning. Why use reason when you can just stick your fingers in your ears and chant?

    They really do group on a few traits.

    They really don’t. They group on everything, apart from a vague ‘wolfiness’, discernible on a Youtube video.

    You invoke some wholly unsupported guff about genetic commonalities appearing by some magic ‘regional genome-shaping’, but mix this with ‘of course like organisms are made from like DNA’. The two conflict.

    Marsupial wolves share little genetic commonality with placental wolves. So here, it’s ‘regional shaping’ compelling the genomes to be like other marsupials, and like organisms DON’T have to be made from like DNA. But where it suits, you switch horses – “of course people are genetically like primates, because you can’t make a primate without it being genetically like other primates”. So is a marsupial wolf genetically like wolves, or marsupials? Have a guess. Australian bat genomes, meanwhile, show no regional affiliation with marsupials, but instead with … well, bats. So here, it’s ‘like DNA comes from regional shaping’, there, it’s ‘like DNA comes from like morphology’. Whatever invention suits today’s version of the argument. Of course, bats may have flown in after the inner-triggers-environmental-cues plasticity settled down … but how did the marsupials beat them to Oz? Easy to explain if you avoid ‘lines of reasoning’, of course. The bats were detained by customs. They don’t see too well, and got lost. They went the long way round, spending time as Polar Bats.

    Your ignorance of genetics – and the rest of biology – is a severe block to your actually comprehending the ‘best evidence for Darwinism’ that someone may (if they feel like talking to a brick) adduce. We already know what your response will be. “It (regardless what ‘it’ is) is just a line of reasoning”. “It (regardless what ‘it’ is) proves nothing”.

  35. Where is it said that sea-creatures were preserved in pairs? No mention of aquaria on the ark!
    This is something else you have just made up!

    And if you actually do believe that modern whales descended from land creatures that were on the ark, then you have just given a very good example of macroevolution.

    All you have wrong is the timescale. (And your ludicrous belief in a global flood – a thing for which there is absolutely no evidence)

    But keep the laughs coming!

  36. Mr. Byers,

    It is a waste of my time if there is no evidence that you will ever accept because you consider your particular interpretation of your preferred “holy” books to be inerrant and unquestionable. The fact that you refuse to explain how you reached your conclusions strongly suggests that you did so on the basis of religion, not science.

    Given that, I can no longer abide by Lizzie’s rule that we assume our interlocutors here are arguing in good faith. I will therefore stop responding to you after this.

    If you consider your faith more important than reason and evidence, that’s your business. I would suggest, however, that you stop pretending to understand or want to discuss the science you reject. That’s disingenuous, and I believe your scriptures address the topic of bearing false witness. As I recall, they are against it.

  37. damitall2
    Its not macro evolution by mutations plus time.
    Its the same mechanism as used to change people into all sorts of body types.
    Its just clear that biology did and can change. The bible never said it couldn’t.
    It just made boundaries in nature and time.

    Marine mammals are a very special casew of important change.
    They are amongst the very few creatures with vestigial features showing a previious anatomical body plan.
    In fact their vestigial features are a great case againmst evolution.
    If all creatures changed from this to that constantly then they would all be crawling with bits and pieces of the remnants of change of body parts.
    In fact there are almost none.
    They never evolved.
    marine mammals make a better case for creationism even though many creationists do not believe they came from the land.

  38. Allan Miller
    If evolution is a science it must be done on scientific methodology.
    yes drawing conclusions by extrapolation or lines of reasoning is not scientific methodology on a particular subject.
    Its just speculation. Even if it was accurate.
    I would hold evolutions evidences to this standard of methodology.
    Genetics as a clue to origins must be done on genetic evidence .
    JUST saying our having like genes with apes is not evidence we are biologically related.
    its just like genes.
    It would be that way also from a creator who created everything 6000 years ago.

    My point is only that MY line of reasoning works as wekll as yours.
    YET it can not be mere lines of reasoning.
    Thats not science.
    Science is a higher standard of investigation and must prove/test its thoughts/hypothesis/lines of reasoning.

    The thing about like errors in ape/human dna easily would be alike because of like reactions to sudden change.
    anyways its still just speculation.
    Its just connecting the dots. tHers no science here that both parties are related from a original vit c error etc.
    It would be that way anyways.

    The marsupial thing is about morphological examination with a biblical boundary also leading the way.
    There is no evidence marsupials are related together but only a hunch and using a few traits to define creatures.
    they were wrong.

    Where can we go from here!
    I think its up to you to demonstrate that genetics is evidence for descent but using scientific methodology and not just deduction from presumptions about like genetics equals like descent.
    Even if true its just a hunch.

  39. yes drawing conclusions by extrapolation or lines of reasoning is not scientific methodology on a particular subject.

    UD theory is predicated on exactly such methodology (according to its proponents) — so it’s not a “fault” specific to Evolutionary theory.

    Do me a favor, and run your argument by the UD crowd — especially when KF gets to talking about science vis-a-vis lighting matches and causality — and let me know so I can watch the fireworks. I’ll bring the popcorn.

  40. If your admitting evolutionists don’t use scientific methodology your admitting a lot.
    Everyone has the same problem.
    Its hard to investigate past events and processes.
    However evolutionary biology makes the claim its conclusions are based on science and so its a theory of science.
    Yet as this thread has shown no one can defend this and its not because they ain’t smart enough.

  41. No, you’re still just making stuff up, just as creationists have always done. Not even “a line of reasoning”, just bald assertion.

    Good luck with that. The days of such rubbish being accepted, even by creationists, is long gone

  42. Yet as this thread has shown no one can defend this and its not because they ain’t smart enough.

    All this thread has shown is that no-one is smart enough to educate you. No-one but you can improve your own understanding, or first, persuade you that it needs improving. It really does.

  43. Allan Miller,

    noboby ,save one poster, tried to make a claim for biological scientific evidence for justifying evolutionary biology as a theory of science.

  44. Honestly Robert, if you seriously think that (for example) it is only a ‘hunch’ that people think marsupials are related, people are really going to struggle to present a version of evolutionary theory that you can comprehend. The evidence for the relationship is embedded in every nook and cranny of the genome.

    You appear to have 3 different explanations for the same phenomenon – genetic commonality:

    1) Relationship (within species and within ‘kinds’).
    2) Like morphological demands forcing like genetic ‘design’.
    3) Environmental/innate ‘triggers’ forcing some species but not others to adopt some commonalities but not others.

    There is not a shred of evidence for any of it, except an unbounded version of 1) for which there is an absolute mountain of data. So what’s the honest evolutionist to conclude? Why should anyone adopt your version of events, based as it is upon no evidence whatsoever?

  45. Allan Miller,

    Allan Miller
    there is no genome evidence for evolution. Its just demonstrating a creatures DNA. Connections to other creatures based on like dNA is speculation and not science.

    marsupials and placentals being classified as unrelated is based on minor differences between the two groups.
    they do it and so do i tghe opposite.
    That the great sameness of looks determines creatires classification and minor things should be seen as traits from local common needs or influences.
    Convergent evolution is a myth anf very unlikely in light of such great sameness.
    Moprphology should be the guide.

  46. petrushka:
    Robert, do you accept DNA evidence for parernity in court cases?

    Here as the other thread.
    You make my case.
    You are saying because my DNA is like my dads then by this LINE OF REASONING apes are proven to be related to us.
    yet its just a line of reasoning and devoid of any scientific genetic investigation.
    Your saying its intuitive and so true.
    Yet thats just reasoning and not SCIENCE.
    Another line of reasoning cancells out your sCIENCE.
    Primates simply have like dNA with us because we look alike.
    Yet this only because god gave us the best body for life on earth.
    in any case its not scientific genetic evidence for biological descent from a common primate with present apes.
    Even if true it wouldn’t be science.
    your saying really JUST WHY NOT!
    Thats not science.
    All people are from ADam/eve and so genetically related.
    but being related to another type of being, apes, is not scientifically proven by merely having likeness with apes from DNA/morphology.

    i’m stressing here about the scientific standard of evidence before one considers the evidence.

  47. Richardthughes:
    Robert just got Expelled! from Uncommon Descent.

    I’ll hate myself in the morning for indulging in gossip — but do tell: why? where?

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