The continued rise of ignorance

| 70 Comments

On evolutionnews.org, lawyer Casey Luskin, ‘argues’ that Tiktaalik as an evolutionary icon is poor, in a retrospective confession of ignorance. Let’s see how he reached such a ‘conclusion’.

Casey Luskin Wrote:

The Rise and Fall of Tiktaalik? Darwinists Admit “Quality” of Evolutionary Icon is “Poor” in Retroactive Confession of Ignorance

How did Luskin reach this ‘conclusion’? Because he read an interview with the lead-researcher who made the following claim:

Boisvert Wrote:

Previous data from another ancient fish called Tiktaalik showed distal radials as well – although the quality of that specimen was poor. And the orientation of the radials did not seem to match the way modern fingers and toes radiate from a joint, parallel to each other.

A logical conclusion would be to accept the observation that the quality of the specimen was ‘poor’ regarding the details of ‘distal radials’, but instead Luskin decided to mine the statement to mean that the quality of Tiktaalik was poor.

Casey Luskin Wrote:

The “quality” of Tiktaalik as a fossil specimen was “poor”? When did we see Darwinists admit this previously? Never. They wouldn’t dare make such admissions until they thought they had something better.

But in fact, the ‘Darwinists’ had already admitted that the fossil specimen for Tiktaalik poorly resolved the distal radials.

Anyone interested in the issue would have done a search of Tiktaalik to determine the nature of the fossil and quickly come to realize that, contrary to Luskin’s statements, science already had admitted that the well preserved fossil did in fact poorly resolve the nature of distal radials while also preserving details of important features such as the neck, shoulder and front fins..

From the University of Chicago Tiktaalik website we learn for instance that “Tiktaalik’s head, shoulders, front fins and body are very well preserved for a 375 million year old body”

and from the article which described Tiktaalik we learn

Unfortunately, the distal region of the best-known pectoral fin of the elpistostegid Panderichthys is covered by lepidotrichia and the complete distal endoskeleton is unknown

Source: New technologies show Panderichthys and Tiktaalik on the way to living on land Non Discovery blog

In other words, Tiktaalik lacked complete distal radials and in case of Panderichthys, the fossil hard to separate from its surroundings

Using a CT scan, the authors, Boisvert et al, allowed a reinterpretation of the Panderichtys and the formation of digits. In fact, even though Tiktaalik lacked a complete set of distal radials, they already looked ‘digit like’.

Boisvert Wrote:

Our reinterpretation of the distal fin endoskeleton of Panderichthys removes the final piece of evidence supporting the formerly popular hypothesis that tetrapod digits are wholly new structures without homologues in [lobe-finned] fish fins. This hypothesis … has already been called into question by the discovery of digit-like radials in Tiktaalik and the fact that Hox gene expression patterns closely resembling those associated with digit formation in tetrapods occur in the distal fin skeletons of paddlefish & Australian lungfish.

Now I understand that Luskin has do deny any evolutionary role for Tiktaalik and more recent fossils, but the mental gymnastics that caused Luskin to reach his conclusions seem to me a bit pathetic

Yet, what else is an Intelligent Design proponent but to do than reject scientific knowledge, since his own position is one of ignorance.

In the mean time, science progresses to unravel these minor mysteries

“The disposition of distal radials in Panderichthys are much more tetrapod-like than in Tiktaalik,” Boisvert wrote. “Combined with fossil evidence from Tiktaalik and genetic evidence from sharks, paddlefish and the Australian lungfish, it is now completely proven that fingers have evolved from distal radials already present in fish that gave rise to the tetrapod.”

Now that is science for you. Ask yourself, what has ID done to contribute to our knowledge of science, other than to attempt to trivialize it?

Source(s):

Boisvert et al. The pectoral fin of Panderichthys and the origin of digits, Nature advance online publication 21 September 2008

Fig. 3.: Pectoral fins of: a, Eusthenopteron; b, Panderichthys; and c, Tiktaalik. d, Limb of Acanthostega. H, humerus; Int, intermedium; R, radius; U, ulna; Ure, ulnare. Scale bar, 1 cm. a is redrawn from ref. 17, c from ref. 4 and d from ref. 11.

Now ask yourself, is this the kind of ‘controversy’ you want your children to be exposed to in schools? As a father of two children, I am incredibly concerned about the lack of scientific content in “Intelligent Design”, as a Christian I am even more concerned about its flawed theology.

As such I have to agree with Philip “Godfather of Intelligent Design” Johnson who observed

Philip Johnson Wrote:

I also don’t think that there is really a theory of intelligent design at the present time to propose as a comparable alternative to the Darwinian theory, which is, whatever errors it might contain, a fully worked out scheme. There is no intelligent design theory that’s comparable. Working out a positive theory is the job of the scientific people that we have affiliated with the movement. Some of them are quite convinced that it’s doable, but that’s for them to prove…No product is ready for competition in the educational world.

Source: Michelangelo D’Agostino, In the matter of Berkeley v. Berkeley, Berkeley Science Reviews, (10), Spring 2006

But in addition to a lack of positive contributions, Intelligent Design also relies on maintaining a status of ignorance amongst its followers, since knowledge would undermine Intelligent Design.

Protect our children from such ignorance I say.


Postscript: Per Ahlberg describes in more detail his statement that “finger development took a step backward with Tiktaalik”

In Acanthostega (d below), which is a very primitive tetrapod, the radius is still longer than the ulna but all the other characteristics seem to be there.

Now, in Panderichthys, we find that the ulnare is much shorter than the ulna and really looks like a wrist bone. Furthermore, the ulnare is the last axial element, and beyond it the distal radials are arranged in something of a fan shape. But in Tiktaalik the ulna and ulnare are equal in size, there are two more axial elements beyond the ulnare, and the distal radials are arranged bipinnately (i.e. like the leaflets of a palm leaf) on either side of this distal axis. In all these respects Tiktaalik’s fin skeleton (c) is less limb-like than that of Panderichthys (b) and compares more closely with lobe-finned fishes (e.g. Eusthenopteron, a):

The interesting question is whether this means that:

The detailed similarities between Panderichthys and tetrapods are convergent, or -

The seemingly more primitive fin skeleton of Tiktaalik represents an evolutionary reversal, or -

The current phylogenetic hypothesis is wrong and Panderichthys is actually more closely related to tetrapods than Tiktaalik.

One of these three explanations must be correct, but it is not yet possible to tell which one.

Sadly, we don’t have any data at all on the limb structure of Ventastega. A reasonable guess is that they resembled those of Acanthostega, because the limb girdles are similar, but no limb bones have been found.

Others seem to point out yet another possibility

Michael Coates, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Chicago, called the new findings “intriguing” but is not convinced that the digit-like structures in Panderichthys’s fin are the equivalent of our fingers.

For one thing, they seem unusually flat for radial bones, Coates said.

“Radials are generally cylindrical. When you look at [a] cross-section [of the digit], they’re dumbbell-shaped.”

The structures are so peculiar, they might just be fragments of damaged bone, he added.

70 Comments

See also RBH’s exposure of much similar ignorance by AIG

PvM wrote:

Now ask yourself, is this the kind of ‘controversy’ you want your children to be exposed to in schools? As a father of two children, I am incredibly concerned about the lack of scientific content in “Intelligent Design”, as a Christian I am even more concerned about its flawed theology.

Two questions arise here: 1. How do you respond to those non-Christians, including hard-core atheists who support evolution, that Christianity itself is a flawed theology? 2. What are the theological flaws in Intelligent Design? Theism by definition presupposes that an Intelligent Designer created the universe and everything in it, does it not?

Simple, how does ID define ‘design’ versus how religion has come to accept the same concept.

Bait and switch my dear friend

Dale Husband said:

PvM wrote:

Now ask yourself, is this the kind of ‘controversy’ you want your children to be exposed to in schools? As a father of two children, I am incredibly concerned about the lack of scientific content in “Intelligent Design”, as a Christian I am even more concerned about its flawed theology.

Two questions arise here: 1. How do you respond to those non-Christians, including hard-core atheists who support evolution, that Christianity itself is a flawed theology? 2. What are the theological flaws in Intelligent Design? Theism by definition presupposes that an Intelligent Designer created the universe and everything in it, does it not?

But religion does not give any indication of how the universe and life was created, it just says it happened.….

Oh, I get it. ID is religion because it does the same thing, but with scientific and mathematical terminology. And that is theologically flawed because that’s LYING! Pseudoscience does not become scientific when it is disguised with false rhetoric!

Thanks.

PvM said:

Simple, how does ID define ‘design’ versus how religion has come to accept the same concept.

Bait and switch my dear friend

Dale Husband said:

PvM wrote:

Now ask yourself, is this the kind of ‘controversy’ you want your children to be exposed to in schools? As a father of two children, I am incredibly concerned about the lack of scientific content in “Intelligent Design”, as a Christian I am even more concerned about its flawed theology.

Two questions arise here: 1. How do you respond to those non-Christians, including hard-core atheists who support evolution, that Christianity itself is a flawed theology? 2. What are the theological flaws in Intelligent Design? Theism by definition presupposes that an Intelligent Designer created the universe and everything in it, does it not?

I did no t say that ID is religion, I stated that ID is theologically flawed. ID defines ‘design’ to be the “set theoretic complement of the disjunction regularity or chance” and then continues to conflate ‘design’ which is more aptly described as ‘ignorance’ with ‘Intelligent Design’. Since it now makes religion ‘falsifiable’ by making ‘design’ falsifiable, it may give religious people the impression that science has disproven religion, when all it has done is disproven our level of ignorance.

In this sense, ID is an atheist’s ‘wet dream’ as they can use the same flawed arguments to argue against ‘design’, but in both instances, design has little relevance to the larger concept of Intelligent Design, a concept which science is unlikely to resolve one way or another.

Dale Husband said:

But religion does not give any indication of how the universe and life was created, it just says it happened.….

Oh, I get it. ID is religion because it does the same thing, but with scientific and mathematical terminology. And that is theologically flawed because that’s LYING! Pseudoscience does not become scientific when it is disguised with false rhetoric!

Thanks.

Dale Husband said:

What are the theological flaws in Intelligent Design? Theism by definition presupposes that an Intelligent Designer created the universe and everything in it, does it not?

For one thing it can’t be reconciled with omnipotence. The statement that “X could not have evolved by natural processes” must always be synonymous with the statement “the creator of those natural processes could not have done it that way”

Speaking of theological flaws:

http://www.care2.com/c2c/groups/dis[…]p;pst=988928

I nearly died laughing when I read this today:

Evolution is a lie, correct? It’s an idea spawned by Satan to damn our souls. Okay, let’s think about that. Satan gets the souls of sinners, correct? If he wants souls, he has to make humans sin. What are the seven sins? There’s greed, lust, sloth, envy, gluttony, pride… and I can never remember the last one, but that’s okay because the important one here is pride. The Bible goes to great lengths to say that terrible things lie in store for the proud in the great hereafter. So which is an idea that contributes more to human pride: that we were specially created in the image of God to be the masters of all other creatures upon the Earth? Or that we are one species out of countless billions that has arisen according to simple and probably inevitable rules of chemistry and selection?

So Intelligent Design is actually an atheists’ plot to discredit religion? Maybe I am still confused, for then people like PZ Myers and Richard Dawkins would be ID promoters, not its critics. We already know that ID is what you get when all the specific Biblical references are removed from Creationism. What if the Creationists themselves are athiestic con artists and nothing more? Imagine how many people BECOME atheists when they realize that Young Earth Creationism is nothing but lies and nonsense!

If ID is disproven, religion is too? Not necessarily. Nothing about evolution denies the existence of a Creator.

PvM said:

I did not say that ID is religion, I stated that ID is theologically flawed. ID defines ‘design’ to be the “set theoretic complement of the disjunction regularity or chance” and then continues to conflate ‘design’ which is more aptly described as ‘ignorance’ with ‘Intelligent Design’. Since it now makes religion ‘falsifiable’ by making ‘design’ falsifiable, it may give religious people the impression that science has disproven religion, when all it has done is disproven our level of ignorance.

In this sense, ID is an atheist’s ‘wet dream’ as they can use the same flawed arguments to argue against ‘design’, but in both instances, design has little relevance to the larger concept of Intelligent Design, a concept which science is unlikely to resolve one way or another.

Dale Husband said:

So Intelligent Design is actually an atheists’ plot to discredit religion? Maybe I am still confused, for then people like PZ Myers and Richard Dawkins would be ID promoters, not its critics. We already know that ID is what you get when all the specific Biblical references are removed from Creationism. What if the Creationists themselves are atheistic con artists and nothing more?

I think you’re thinking too hard here, Dale. The Intelligent Design crowd have long ago demonstrated that they are all nothing more than either conniving fanatics or hired charlatans, especially what with what the Wedge Document, and various ID proponents’ confessions about their main purposes.

Imagine how many people BECOME atheists when they realize that Young Earth Creationism is nothing but lies and nonsense!

It’s always heartbreaking to watch a person’s belief system erode away and collapse.

If ID is disproven, religion is too? Not necessarily. Nothing about evolution denies the existence of a Creator.

Of course Evolutionary Biology does nothing to deny the existence of a Creator, unless one believes in an allegedly omnipotent Creator who could only have created the Universe and all of its inhabitants in the way suggested/stated according to a strictly literal interpretation of some specific holy book.

So Intelligent Design is actually an atheists’ plot to discredit religion? Maybe I am still confused, for then people like PZ Myers and Richard Dawkins would be ID promoters, not its critics.

Pim tends to get confusing right around this area quite often, Dale.

Don’t blame yourself.

If you want to see how PZ and Dawkins approach the idea that ID “disproves” anything religious, you probably should just look at their arguments directly.

hint:

they don’t.

All ID shows wrt to religion is the effort people will put into maintaining a certain level of compartmentalization, irrational as it might be.

Theism by definition presupposes that an Intelligent Designer created the universe and everything in it, does it not?

Absolutely correct, Dale. That’s honestly true.

(Ummm, you might have to remind your evolutionist comrades more than once about that particular point.)

FL

With reference to the Tiktaalik topic, Casey Luskin puts forth an irrefutable main point:

My main observation is this: if Panderichthys is dethroning Tiktaalik as the icon of the fish-to-tetrapod transition, what does that say about all the hype we’ve seen surrounding Tiktaalik?

It says that “poor” and “primitive” Tiktaalik was never all it was hyped up to be.

THAT, is unavoidably true. Way Too Much evolutionist and media hype, even to the point of declaring Tiktaalik to be a Missing Link ™.

And now? Now it’s done gone all to poo-poo.

But don’t just take Evolution News and Views word for it (although Casey Luskin does an excellent job of proving his main point.) Here’s some more goodies for you to think about. You gonna love it baby!

http://www.earthhistory.org.uk/tech[…]alik-roseae/

FL

Dale Husband said:

Theism by definition presupposes that an Intelligent Designer created the universe and everything in it, does it not?

No, it does not.

Theism is defined as “belief in the existence of a god or gods”. It is certainly possible to believe in a god who is not intelligent (Bacchus) and to believe in a god who did not create the universe (Zeus).

The Navajo origin story involves many gods and animals, but none of them created the universe – the universe was there at the start of the story, and the gods and animals just changed things.

Dan said:

Dale Husband said:

Theism by definition presupposes that an Intelligent Designer created the universe and everything in it, does it not?

No, it does not.

Theism is defined as “belief in the existence of a god or gods”. It is certainly possible to believe in a god who is not intelligent (Bacchus) and to believe in a god who did not create the universe (Zeus).

The Navajo origin story involves many gods and animals, but none of them created the universe – the universe was there at the start of the story, and the gods and animals just changed things.

Speaking as PT’s resident polytheist lurker, I would say that you got it almost right, and in the process identified a major problem with Fundamentalist Christians: they think that monotheism is the only religious game in town. The “almost” part is that I would say that Bacchus, although not the person you would want in an adminstrative position, is quite intelligent, in all senses of the word.

Many of those here will no doubt view polytheism as ridiculous, but we’re used to that. And at least we are pro-science, so we’re ahead of the Creationists on that.

Wait a minute, I thought we had a Global Darwinist Conspiracy™ so perfect that it has prevented the publication of any data in support of intelligent design or refuting evolution. Surely with this detective work by Luskin everything will come crashing down now, right? Perhaps they can submit their work in time for publication in 2008? ‘Cause the latest research paper on the DI web site is Voie’s data-free nonsensical hypothesis piece in a math journal from 2006. Let’s step it up, guys! Evolution is ahead around 200,000+ papers to zero!

PvM said: I did not say that ID is religion, I stated that ID is theologically flawed.

If intelligent design creationism (“ID”) is not religion (i.e., not theological) how can it be theologically flawed? Should theologians routinely criticize things that are free of theological content?

(Because I understand that ID is theological, I have long maintained that it is theologically flawed - in fact it is heretical, because it removes all mention of the Creator God of Genesis from the Creation mythos.)

FL may have missed this part

“The disposition of distal radials in Panderichthys are much more tetrapod-like than in Tiktaalik,” Boisvert wrote. “Combined with fossil evidence from Tiktaalik and genetic evidence from sharks, paddlefish and the Australian lungfish, it is now completely proven that fingers have evolved from distal radials already present in fish that gave rise to the tetrapod.”

And I doubt FL can present in his own words, the objections raised by others, which, as is so often the case with creationist sources, ignore the reality.

FL said:

With reference to the Tiktaalik topic, Casey Luskin puts forth an irrefutable main point:

My main observation is this: if Panderichthys is dethroning Tiktaalik as the icon of the fish-to-tetrapod transition, what does that say about all the hype we’ve seen surrounding Tiktaalik?

It says that “poor” and “primitive” Tiktaalik was never all it was hyped up to be.

THAT, is unavoidably true. Way Too Much evolutionist and media hype, even to the point of declaring Tiktaalik to be a Missing Link ™.

And now? Now it’s done gone all to poo-poo.

As I have already explained, there is a difference between how ID defines ‘design’ and how religious people define Intelligent Design. Let’s not conflate the two.

Further discussions about theology should be held at the bathroom wall or after the bar closes. I refuse to let this thread be disrupted.

FL said:

Theism by definition presupposes that an Intelligent Designer created the universe and everything in it, does it not?

Absolutely correct, Dale. That’s honestly true.

(Ummm, you might have to remind your evolutionist comrades more than once about that particular point.)

FL

Of course, we all must not forget the fact that Intelligent Design proponents have nothing to say about the fossils, themselves, beyond to make inane and debunked claims that Evolution/ism/Darwinism[sic] is somehow wrong.

I mean, when did anyone at the Discovery Center ever take the time to explain how Tiktaliik supports Intelligent Design?

Combined with fossil evidence from Tiktaalik.…

Well, we know for sure that the evolutionist and media hype concerning the “fossil evidence from Tiktaalik” did not match the reality—-it was “never all it was hyped up to be.”

Tiktaalk was even hyped as a Missing Link ™, and it failed to live up to that billing. What Luskin said as his “main observation” was and is correct, as shown by his article and the Earth History webpage.

FL

So, then, what does Intelligent Design say what Tiktaliik was, and why does Intelligent Design do a better job describing it than Evolutionary Biology, FL?

So you disagree with Luskin’s quote minining but still believe that he has a point.

Figures.

However as the evidence shows, the transitional fossils are starting to pile up here and ID has no explanations.

FL said:

Combined with fossil evidence from Tiktaalik.…

Well, we know for sure that the evolutionist and media hype concerning the “fossil evidence from Tiktaalik” did not match the reality—-it was “never all it was hyped up to be.”

Tiktaalk was even hyped as a Missing Link ™, and it failed to live up to that billing. What Luskin said as his “main observation” was and is correct, as shown by his article and the Earth History webpage.

FL

So FL, do you approve or disapprove of Luskin’s argument that the fossil was retroactively considered to be poor? When in fact, it seems to have referred to a small aspect of it and that the other parts fitted perfectly as a transitional fossil?

And explain in your own words why you consider the fossil to be lacking as a transitional.

PvM said:

However as the evidence shows, the transitional fossils are starting to pile up here and ID has no explanations.

Intelligent Design proponents not only have no explanations for the fossils (transitional or otherwise), but, have no desire to explain them beyond their stocks of “evolution wrong!” and “GODDESIGNERDIDIT”

You have to understand that tiktaalik, panderichthys, ichthyostega et al were all different kinds. The problem was that they were too aquatic to haul themselves onto the ark, but not aquatic enough to survive the flood.

Creationists attempt to discredit the work by pointing to homoplasies

Although the admit that the Tiktaalik matches the transitional nature

Although it was a fish, Tiktaalik had some features that were tetrapod-like, and one could (depending on one’s point of view) interpret the whole animal as transitional to tetrapods. These features include: a lengthened snout (measured from the eyes to the tip of the skull), a mobile neck, overlapping (‘imbricate’) ribs and a pectoral girdle that may have given it an ability to lift the front part of its body by its fins. On these grounds the animal is analysed as being intermediate between the lobe-finned Panderichthys and the four-limbed Acanthostega and Ichthyostega. That is, Tiktaalik went on to evolve in two separate directions, Acanthostega on one branch and Ichthyostega on the other.

they argue that because

Still, some caution is appropriate, even with these tetrapod-like features. Among sarcoptery- gians the mobile neck is not unique to Tiktaalik, being also found in Mandageria, a fish closely related to Eusthenopteron and not thought to have been an ancestor of any tetrapod. In evolutionist terms the feature must therefore be interpreted as ‘convergent’, i.e. it evolved in Mandageria, disappeared in Panderichthys, then re-appeared on another branch in Tiktaalik.

That is not necessarily the case, it could have evolved independently in Mandageria and never went anywhere since Mandageria went extinct.

and

The ventral vacuities in this tristichopterid were rearranged to create the functional equivalent of a flexible neck, although the structure bears no similarity to the tetrapod cervical apparatus.

And let me point out that phylogenies are not based on a single feature either.

As to ‘missing link’ versus ‘transitional’

In many news articles, Tiktaalik was billed as “the missing link” between fish and land vertebrates — but that description is a bit misleading. First, Tiktaalik is more accurately described as a transitional form than a missing link. Transitional forms help show the evolutionary steps leading from one lineage to another by displaying characteristics of both the ancestral and the new lineage. These character suites help us understand the order in which the traits of the new lineage evolved and what functions they served as they evolved. Tiktaalik, for example, had fins with thin ray bones, scales, and gills like most fish. However, it also had the sturdy wrist bones, neck, shoulders, and thick ribs of a four-legged vertebrate. Tiktaalik was specialized for life in shallow water, propping itself up on the bottom and snapping up prey. The adaptations it had for this lifestyle ended up providing the stepping stones for vertebrates to climb onto dry land — but of course, Tiktaalik was not “aiming” to evolve features for land-living. Tiktaalik was simply well-adapted for its own lifestyle and later on, many of these features ended up being co-opted for a new terrestrial lifestyle.

In other words, Tiktaalik remains a well established transitional fossil, for FL and others to focus on ‘missing link’ misses the arguments made in the actual papers in favor of a more popular description which may be somewhat inaccurate but not because of any recent findings.

As the lancelet observes

Again, like AiG’s response, the DI is simply responding to the media and not the original material itself.

In fact, the DI makes a good case for intermediates or transitionals. Perhaps, as with FL, they are confused that there can be more than one transitional. It’s the lovely series of transitionals which supports so well the evolutionary conclusions.

The DI is not doing science nor its followers any favours by poor science understanding.

Stanton said:

I mean, when did anyone at the Discovery Center ever take the time to explain how Tiktaliik supports Intelligent Design?

This is a good point, has an ID proponent ever been caught studying a fossil? I’ve never actually heard such fables myself! This also led me to wonder:

Without some method of speciation, all living things ever found both living today and in the fossil record would have to have existed initially when life began. This would be an incredible level of diversity, and would provide some rather interesting fossil results, especially if the earth is only 5 to 10 thousand years old. How does ID explain this?

Also, is there someplace that states what ID’s beliefs and assumptions are, and any predictions it may make (silly rabbit, predictions are for theories!)? Aside from ‘somedudedidit’ I know the latest incarnation of ID says ‘micro’ evolution exists, heh, but that’s about it.

For the record, I wasn’t trying to disrupt the thread, but to raise an issue that someone else might have (including FL), but in a less disruptive manner. Speaking of FL, someone needs to tell him that not all forms of Theism/Creationism also deny evolution. Maybe the one he believes in, of course, but we need not take his tunnel vision to be our own. I assume, PvM, that you are a Theistic Evolutionist and thus a Creationist of a kind FL would not recognize due to his dogmatic excesses, but I do.

PvM said:

As I have already explained, there is a difference between how ID defines ‘design’ and how religious people define Intelligent Design. Let’s not conflate the two.

Further discussions about theology should be held at the bathroom wall or after the bar closes. I refuse to let this thread be disrupted.

FL said:

Theism by definition presupposes that an Intelligent Designer created the universe and everything in it, does it not?

Absolutely correct, Dale. That’s honestly true.

(Ummm, you might have to remind your evolutionist comrades more than once about that particular point.)

FL

FL Wrote:

The problems remain; they honestly do exist. Otherwise it would NOT be possible to do posts like this one.

I think we can all agree that problems exist with labeling Tiktaalik as transitional. In fact, as mentioned earlier, you got an evolutionary biologist who still has doubts about Panderichthys, even.

Not doubts about its transitional nature but about particular details. You seem to be of the flawed opinion that disagreement in science is evidence that all should be rejected rather than the issue of disagreement, contention or lack of evidence.

Your claim of ‘problems’ fails to credit what is known, in favor of meaningless speculation, misrepresentation of fact (pelvic region) etc. That does not seem to be a honest disagreement. In fact, even earthsciences admits that Tiktaalik appears to be an example of transitional, although it then continues to argue, based on flawed concepts that it is not because of the existence of homoplasy in other fossils. Surely you understand the lack of logic here?

FL said:

I want to repeat Luskin’s main point:

My main observation is this: if Panderichthys is dethroning Tiktaalik as the icon of the fish-to-tetrapod transition, what does that say about all the hype we’ve seen surrounding Tiktaalik?

It says that “poor” and “primitive” Tiktaalik was never all it was hyped up to be.

This point remains unrefuted. We’ve all seen the media hype, the “Missing Link ™” announcement. This specific point by Luskin is what I started with and this is what I’m pointing to.

That Tiktaalik’s hype doesn’t quite match the reality is easily documented, but honestly, y’all still want to claim it’s “transitional” all the same.

In short, you still believe the hype, you don’t want to criticize the hype, and want to salvage it as much as possible especially now that Tik’s status has devolved to “poor” with the advent of Pander.

Yet, the problems with that label “transitional”, remain.

Hype is irrelevant. The point of Luskin was unrefuted because it was never a valid point to begin with. And the hype was indeed justified, Luskin’s false spin notwithstanding.

Have you any REAL objections to Tiktalik’s status as a transitional fossil? Something based on FACT?

FL said:

It is amazing that Casey (and FL) can look at figure 3 and conclude that, because we aren’t sure of the evolutionary relationship between (b) and ©, that they aren’t transitional between (a) and (d).

Hmmm. If there’s something wrong with “b” and “c”, if you can’t even be sure you got “b” and “c” correct, how can you be so certain of the entire “a” thru “d” claim of transitions, Eric? Do you just take it on faith?

No, you take it on your eyes. Look at them. Despite their defects they demonstrate finer bone structure at the ends and a shrinking of the intermedium and ulnare.

It is a very foolish and stupid argument to claim that in four samples A B C D, if you don’t know the exact relationship between B and C you can’t say anything about their relationship with A and D. Examples of situations where you CAN do this abound in math, in geneaology, in comparing objects of different sizes, in comparing objects of different ages, etc…

You’re also moving the goalposts. Your first “argument” was that Tiktaalik has been overhyped. Now you are claiming there’s “something wrong” with b and c. This is an entirely different claim. Its also completely unsupported by Luskins post. What’s wrong with the samples? Do you think they’re forgeries? Were they incorrectly dug out? Do you think they belong to some other beast?

In other words, homology is not haphazardly inferred. Why do creationists have such a hard time familiarizing themselves with the facts?

To be fair, biology is a really big field, and it’s hard for an outsider to know where to start, or what it takes to be considered “educated in biology.”

FL: of course there are biologists who don’t agree with such-and-such! No field of science has everyone agreeing on all the details, especially when it comes to new developments! Just look back at the homo floriensis “new species or not?” debate, or at the string theory wars.

FL said:

Eric said: It is amazing that Casey (and FL) can look at figure 3 and conclude that, because we aren’t sure of the evolutionary relationship between (b) and (c ), that they aren’t transitional between (a) and (d).

Hmmm. If there’s something wrong with “b” and “c”, if you can’t even be sure you got “b” and “c” correct, how can you be so certain of the entire “a” thru “d” claim of transitions, Eric? Do you just take it on faith?

I’d be willing to wager that Eric is not certain of the entire chain of transitions.

Science doesn’t produce certainty. In science, every observation can be elaborated upon, every measurement can be refined, every calculation can be improved, every generalization is tentative. In science, discovering that the old verities are wrong is a source of pride and prizes. (This doesn’t mean that the new verities are perfect! They will themselves be replaced as they are inspected, tried out in different circumstances, and tested in the harsh refining crucible of new observations.)

This is in contrast to faith, where anyone wishing to refine the old verities is a heretic.

And it is precisely because science knows that it doesn’t produce certainty, that the verities of science (while imperfect) are more reliable than the verities of faith.

Dale Husband said:

Hype is irrelevant. The point of Luskin was unrefuted because it was never a valid point to begin with. And the hype was indeed justified, Luskin’s false spin notwithstanding.

Have you any REAL objections to Tiktalik’s status as a transitional fossil? Something based on FACT?

FL does not have any fact-based objections, as, since FL is a Creationist and Intelligent Design proponent, he feels that he is under absolutely no obligations to study anything about fossils, or anything else biological in nature, in fact.

In fact, to hear FL talk, one would get the impression that he feels obligated to never study anything biological or paleontological.

In fact, to hear FL talk, one would get the impression that he feels obligated to never study anything biological or paleontological.

Or theological, as his dirt-poor understanding of the Bible indicates. We should remember that FL has admitted to being the kind of YEC who believes his God faked fossil evidence – on a planetary scale – for the purpose of deceiving humans. And since he believes in a God who lies, there’s no reason to trust him to tell the truth about anything.

Dan said: I’d be willing to wager that Eric is not certain of the entire chain of transitions.

You’d win that bet!

And it is precisely because science knows that it doesn’t produce certainty, that the verities of science (while imperfect) are more reliable than the verities of faith.

Oh, I tend to think technological reliability has a little something to do with science’s percieved verity. Maybe FL’s personal experience is different, but so far I have had many successful drives to work, yet no successful prayer-based teleportations. :)

We should remember that FL has admitted to being the kind of YEC who believes his God faked fossil evidence – on a planetary scale – for the purpose of deceiving humans.

Hey, it would be greatly appreciated if you avoided misrepresentations. That kind of crap only adds smoke, not light, to the debate.

So, this morning, I’m going to try out that new website, as was suggested by one of the posters, and ask their Tiktaalik expert a quick question.

FL

FL said:

We should remember that FL has admitted to being the kind of YEC who believes his God faked fossil evidence – on a planetary scale – for the purpose of deceiving humans.

Hey, it would be greatly appreciated if you avoided misrepresentations. That kind of crap only adds smoke, not light, to the debate.

So, this morning, I’m going to try out that new website, as was suggested by one of the posters, and ask their Tiktaalik expert a quick question.

FL

It’s hypocritical of you to suggest that we’re misrepresenting you, given as how you were defending Casey Luskin’s “criticisms,” even though we pointed out that the “criticisms” were nothing but quotemines and malicious misrepresentation.

That, and when you were asked about what Intelligent Design/Creationism interpreted Tiktaalik as, you wormed your way out of it, claiming that you weren’t obligated to propose alternative interpretations, despite the fact that scientific critics are obligated to propose alternative interpretations in order to correct and improve science if they want legitimacy.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by PvM published on October 5, 2008 3:38 PM.

Freshwater Hearing: Day 1 + DAY 2 Summary was the previous entry in this blog.

Geochelone sulcata is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Categories

Archives

Author Archives

Powered by Movable Type 4.381

Site Meter