Stephen Meyer, Darwin’s Doubt and the Cambrian Explosion

Ask, and ye shall receive!

During recent discussions, it was suggested that Darwin’s Doubt raised unanswerable questions for the theory of evolution. Discuss.

324 thoughts on “Stephen Meyer, Darwin’s Doubt and the Cambrian Explosion

  1. petrushka:
    18th century geology was all about finding evidence for the biblical flood.

    Yes it was because , especially, Scottish researchers accepted the bible. more then Angligan. Many concluded they had it but others attacked those conclusions.
    They should of persevered with the bible. They made mistakes or rather lack of imaginiation.
    God is real. Jesus is god. and the bible is the unique word of god. no book in the world like the bible.
    To this very day.

  2. Robert Byers:
    Yes our little floods sort by particle size. yet the great flood from great pressure could in no way sort that way. Not just that it did it another way but impossible for such micro management.

    Yes, exactly. That’s why that graph I posted months ago showing fine-sorting of radioactive isotopes by depth is such a problem for your “theory”. You have no mechanism to explain it. Your “great flood” should have churned up these sediments resulting in a homogeneous distribution of carbon isotopes. But that’s not what is observed.

  3. Yes our little floods sort by particle size. yet the great flood from great pressure could in no way sort that way.

    It certainly would sort that way if the water were reasonably static. Alternatively, it would mix chaotically if it were turbulent. What it would not do in either case would be to bring together fine-grained sediments in neat, flat bands of consistent grain structure and rock origin, complete with sharp boundaries between the layers. Take your pick. Were the waters still or turbulent? Both make predictions which are not borne out by investigation.

    Not just that it did it another way but impossible for such micro management.
    This was macro sorting not witnessed by the modern processes.
    it was fantastic power in fantastic depths.

    So why do the top layers, above your assumed Flood upper boundary, show exactly the same pattern? ‘Fantastic power’ too? How does ‘fantastic power’ accord with classical mechanics? Does it allow continents to move with substantially less motive force than F=ma would insist?

    I think all sed rock layers show this power with variations due to dissipation of it here and there.

    The patterns displayed in sedimentary rock are remarkably uniform worldwide, and from bottom to top of the geological column. Your vague ‘here and there’ variations appear not to actually exist.

    Its a working model i think and I see the other side as very unlikely.

    And yet almost everyone with a clue about mechanics and hydrology disagrees.

    In fact its not happening today anywhere.

    Something must be happening today, because rivers are full of silt. It is not evaporating. It is being piled upon lower layers that show continuity and progressive lithification and C14 change with depth. Due to short half-life you have to change your isotope as you descend deeper, but very much the same pattern continues deep into the bowels of the earth. The K-T does not appear to be a boundary between processes – above and below it, the pattern is broadly the same, complete with the same lack of penetration of any given fossil fauna or flora from its distinctive bands of occurrence into lower or upper ones – just as if the lower were already solid rock, not turbulent sediment, when the animals died, and the upper did not yet exist, even as sediment.

  4. Robert Byers: no book in the world like the bible.

    My bowel movements are also unique, but uniqueness is not necessarily of worship.

    But looking at the ongoing invention of new religions, and the minimal intellectual content they provide, I’d bet that one could gather a congregation to worship BMs.

  5. socle: Yes, exactly.That’s why that graph I posted months ago showing fine-sorting of radioactive isotopes by depth is such a problem for your “theory”.You have no mechanism to explain it.Your “great flood” should have churned up these sediments resulting in a homogeneous distribution of carbon isotopes.But that’s not what is observed.

    I’m sure I didn’t get into that atomic stuff as its not my bag.
    However atomic relationships easily are affected by things other then practical mechanics in water movements.
    I’m sure there are lots of options to deal with such things.

  6. Allan Miller,

    I always loved the continuous sed rock layers that are found everywhere on earth.
    I saw it as exactly what one would see in a segregated glow events and as it slows down. so the top or areas around at the top would be sandstone etc . The weakest sedimentary rock.
    Particle size would reflect this also.
    segregated sed strata is just from segregated flow events and exactly to be desired to be found. In fact it could only be this way in such tremendous power waves.
    Great flops of sediment loads being deposited roughly and more on top soon after.
    Sorting in such a flood is meaningless by our present processes.

    The k-t line would be a boundary in intensity and not type.
    Above this line, this yEC, sees a later event some centuries after.

  7. Robert Byers: I’m sure I didn’t get into that atomic stuff as its not my bag.

    I’m reminded of your claim that you wanted to “rumble” and your boast that you could “kick PZ’s and Jerry Coyne’s asses” given the chance to debate them. Yet you are strangely reluctant to learn anything new when challenged with this very simple varve evidence.
    The amount of information you need to know about “atomic stuff” in order to understand the significance of the graph I posted is trivial. I am certainly no physicist myself. Seriously, spending a few minutes reading about isotopes and radioactive decay would be enough. This is much easier to grasp than the geology that you are discussing with Allan, IMO. It’s also way easier than anything you would be confronted with in a debate against PZ or Jerry Coyne.

    However atomic relationships easily are affected by things other then practical mechanics in water movements.
    I’m sure there are lots of options to deal with such things.

    That’s a strong statement given that earlier you said that your only understanding of the word “isotopes” was as the name of a baseball team on The Simpsons.

  8. Robert Byers,

    so the top or areas around at the top would be sandstone etc . The weakest sedimentary rock.

    Well, there’s one prediction not borne out by facts for ya. Sandstone occurs at the bottom of the succession, and in the middle, and at the top. I’d say chalk is weaker, though I’ve no idea why you think the weakness of the rock has any bearing on where in the succession one might find it.

    segregated sed strata is just from segregated flow events and exactly to be desired to be found. In fact it could only be this way in such tremendous power waves.

    You’re just stringing words together without really saying anything. ‘Power waves’, if the words ‘power’ and ‘wave’ have any relation whatever to conventional meaning, would cause turbulence, which would prevent neat stratification. Reality is the opposite of what your mechanism would predict.

    ‘Segregated flow events’? I don’t really know what that is supposed to mean either. If you’ve magicked up a mountain of sediment from God knows where, and water redistributes this sediment, what on earth ‘segregates’ it, clumping particle size, fossils, isotopes, magnetic constitution, volcanic ash and so on into neat beds?

    Let’s not forget that you would have this process put biology, and only biology, into limestone/chalk beds, but somehow delicate corals must be stacked a thousand metres high without breaking or inverting any of them. Your same mechanism must put sand, and only sand, into the sandstone that may lie both above and below such limestone.

    The k-t line would be a boundary in intensity and not type.

    You said that the k-t was the upper boundary of Noah’s Flood. Therefore all superior sediment was produced and lithified by some other process, lacking in particular the Diluvean ‘power waves’, ‘fantastic pressures’, ‘great segregated flow events’ and other oogly-boogly cargo-cult mechanisms you invoke below it. And yet one observes no transition – it is merely a band rich in Iridium. If it represents a ‘boundary in intensity’, one would expect some evidence of the differential forces you declare were operating. Otherwise, it sounds suspiciously like that favourite habit of yours, Making Stuff Up.

    Here‘s what real science looks like. When you examine the O18 changes in ocean sediment, and compare it to the changes in ice cores, you discover a very close correlation. Every time the sediment core wibbles, so does the ice data, tracking each other both in direction and intensity. The ice data is reasonably interpreted as precipitation, sampling the O18 concentration of the atmosphere at the moment of snowflake formation. In the absence of melting and evaporation, the ice gradually builds up into a succession. What accounts for the parallel variations in the sediment cores, if the process is not also one of gradual accumulation, again sampling atmospheric O18 concentrations at successive points?

  9. socle: I’m reminded of your claim that you wanted to “rumble” and your boast that you could “kick PZ’s and Jerry Coyne’s asses” given the chance to debate them.Yet you are strangely reluctant to learn anything new when challenged with this very simple varve evidence.
    The amount of information you need to know about “atomic stuff” in order to understand the significance of the graph I posted is trivial.I am certainly no physicist myself.Seriously, spending a few minutes reading about isotopes and radioactive decay would be enough.This is much easier to grasp than the geology that you are discussing with Allan, IMO.It’s also way easier than anything you would be confronted with in a debate against PZ or Jerry Coyne.

    That’s a strong statement given that earlier you said that your only understanding of the word “isotopes” was as the name of a baseball team on The Simpsons.

    I never said I could kick Myers/Coyne asses in a debate. I don’t say those things, I don’t know that at all. and I never would raise the stakes like that. Bad policy.
    NOPE. However I do think they would be intimidated by me and people like me in origin debates.
    They couldn’t take what people here deal with in dealing with tough creationists.
    They don’t let me on their blogs etc YEAH i think people get intimidated.

  10. Robert Byers: I never said I could kick Myers/Coyne asses in a debate.

    Here’s what you did say:

    I’m banned from the Meyers and Coyne web things for no good reason. Except i kick their ass and they probably know it.

    Maybe I misread you, but I don’t think I was too far off.

    However I do think they would be intimidated by me and people like me in origin debates.

    They couldn’t take what people here deal with in dealing with tough creationists.
    They don’t let me on their blogs etc YEAH i think people get intimidated.

    Hmm, I don’t think so. You’re a lot of things, Robert, but you’re not very intimidating.

    And say what you will about PZ, at least he’s willing to get off the La-Z-Boy, crack a book now and again (slight understatement there) and learn new things. That trait trumps “toughness” in these discussions.

  11. Allan Miller,

    i forgot there is sandstone in different parts of the strata. Thats fine. it still would just show a moment when there was less power in some flow event and possibly some sorting in a minor way.
    IT IS IMPORTANT about the weakness/strength of thev layers in the strata column.
    That shows to me it was a segregated flow and so having different options for strength/weakness relative to others above/below.
    It shows how chaotic the moving flood warers were but not turbulence as we know it. Instead great powerful flow regimens.
    The present gulf stream is a case of a segregated flow. Trivial but it maintains its intergrity for a long way. This would be happening constantly and collecting/depositing sediment loads.

  12. Robert,

    I do think they would be intimidated by me and people like me in origin debates.

    They couldn’t take what people here deal with in dealing with tough creationists.

    There is no such thing as a tough creationist argument. Your view boils down to a bumpersticker: “The bible says it, I believe it, that settles it.” You simply ignore or hand wave away any evidence that contradicts your holy book.

    Prove me wrong. Provide any objective, empirical evidence for a worldwide flood in the past five thousand years. Note that your bible does not count.

  13. socle: Here’s what you did say:

    Maybe I misread you, but I don’t think I was too far off.

    Hmm, I don’t think so.You’re a lot of things, Robert, but you’re not very intimidating.

    And say what you will about PZ, at least he’s willing to get off the La-Z-Boy, crack a book now and again (slight understatement there) and learn new things.That trait trumps “toughness” in these discussions.

    you misread me.
    A debate to me is a real thing. nOt just making points on the internet.
    Yes i kick their ass there.
    however , as I said, i would never say the other stuff for the reasons i listed.
    I do find evolutionists who create blogs/forums did so thinking they could advance their cause merely by a little discussion of facts.
    then when they meet creationists and get beat up, intellectually, they wimp out and start banning/censoring/rulesism and so on.
    the wrong side can’t take fair fight.

  14. Robert Byers: you misread me.
    A debate to me is a real thing. nOt just making points on the internet.
    Yes i kick their ass there.

    I don’t want to be mean, but maybe it’s time for a reality check. Has anyone, on your side or not, ever acknowledged that you have made a point on the internet? I know you’ve been at this since at least 2007.

    however , as I said, i would never say the other stuff for the reasons i listed.
    I do find evolutionists who create blogs/forums did so thinking they could advance their cause merely by a little discussion of facts.
    then when they meet creationists and get beat up, intellectually, they wimp out and start banning/censoring/rulesism and so on.
    the wrong side can’t take fair fight.

    If you’re going to accuse others of wimping out, I will ask: Did you read either of those wikipedia pages I linked to earlier? Do you have any response to the varve graph I posted, other than “I’m sure there are lots of options to deal with such things”?

  15. IT IS IMPORTANT about the weakness/strength of thev layers in the strata column.
    That shows to me it was a segregated flow and so having different options for strength/weakness relative to others above/below.

    Since the strata bear absolutely no pattern with respect to strength/weakness, I don’t see the relevance. You refer to a pattern that is not observed, and completely ignore the many that are.

    Are you talking the strength of the rock, or that of the unconsolidated sediment? Do you envisage solid rocks intercalating? It seems highly unlikely that such a process could occur and yet leave no evidence – intense lateral crumpling, shearing at the boundary, that kind of thing. Those corals wouldn’t last 10 seconds. Try intercalating chalk between sandstones. You can simulate the likely result by jabbing the Scarborough Bluffs with a teacher’s chalk.

    . It shows how chaotic the moving flood warers were but not turbulence as we know it. Instead great powerful flow regimens.

    Again, that’s just meaningless. Naturalistic phenomena that do not resemble actual naturalistic phenomena are essentially miracles. So why not just say “One Big Miracle”?

  16. Allan Miller: Since the strata bear absolutely no pattern with respect to strength/weakness, I don’t see the relevance. You refer to a pattern that is not observed, and completely ignore the many that are.

    Are you talking the strength of the rock, or that of the unconsolidated sediment? Do you envisage solid rocks intercalating? It seems highly unlikely that such a process could occur and yet leave no evidence – intense lateral crumpling, shearing at the boundary, that kind of thing. Those corals wouldn’t last 10 seconds. Try intercalating chalk between sandstones. You can simulate the likely result by jabbing the Scarborough Bluffs with a teacher’s chalk.

    Again, that’s just meaningless. Naturalistic phenomena that do not resemble actual naturalistic phenomena are essentially miracles. So why not just say “One Big Miracle”?

    All I mean is that there is sandstone and other types of sediment turned into weaker rock. Its just sand and so it shows it was in a quieter area that turned it into sandstone. How thick too. Not just the material but showing the differences in water pressure.
    A small point.

    My whot contention has been that the collected/deposited sediment loads, then tuned to stone, as a more likely option WERE done in segregated flow events within the months or weeks of a time in the flood year.
    The flood threw everything up and away but also in moving huigh chuncks of land etc, ground etc, it did lay them down intact and others on top and presto the pressure squeezed the lower into instant stone. In some areas biology was squeezed into oil/gas. It is as it looks.
    Not unlikely ideas of strange slow deposition slowly turning the lower into stone.
    never witnessed in nature today.
    I think the creationist model makes more sense and anyways is a good model.

  17. I think the creationist model makes more sense and anyways is a good model.

    Evidently that is the amount of cluelessness required to make every other participant on TSZ face palm so hard that they are unable to comment for days.

  18. unlikely ideas of strange slow deposition slowly turning the lower into stone.
    never witnessed in nature today.

    “Never witnessed in nature today”. I just don’t know what to think anymore.

  19. petrushka:
    I see no point in responding to Robert.

    Sounds like excuses for failure to make a good case.
    There was a long dust up here.
    absolute credit to allan Miller for a good fight.
    He is no intellectual coward. He endured, patient enough, a creationist who also endured.
    I get few good fights that me sweat a bit. Off the record. Most evolutionist posters wimp out or plain don’t do a good job and don’t do a good job of not noticing they don’t.
    We are striving to persuade and defend the great historic concluisions in mankind on origin matters.
    You won’t be home for Christmas. Its a long war.
    Creationism is invading and winning these days. sure we are. We think so.
    Petruska.
    Just start a juicy thread on TSZ.
    Include people and don’t ignore.
    Me or creationists are not that bad.

  20. Robert,

    Sounds like excuses for failure to make a good case.

    This will be my last reply to you. You may be posting in good faith, but faith is all you have. Every one of your arguments, and those of other creationists, has been answered so often and so thoroughly that there is no need to do so again. The refutations are at the talk.origins archive. If you can address any of those arguments with objective, empirical evidence and logic that does not assume the truth of your bible, please do so. I’m not holding my breath.

  21. socle,

    “Never witnessed in nature today”. I just don’t know what to think anymore.

    I know, right? 😀 There are no erosional or sedimentary processes in action today. None.

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