lundi 7 septembre 2015

Sandwalk blogger does not get what "observed" means?

Hint, it does not mean "deduced". It does not even mean "deduced beyond reasonable doubt". It does not even mean "deduced with mathematical certainty amounting to that of 2+2=4".

Other hint: observed means seen, heard, smelled, tasted, felt-by-touch.

Now, let us go to the relevant quote. A creationist has, as usual, claimed that "macroevolution has not been observed". Here is his quote from creationist and his answer:

Kirk Durston
The definition of macroevolution is surprisingly non-precise for a scientific discipline. Macroevolution can be defined as evolution above the species level, or evolution on a "grand scale," or microevolution + 3.8 billion years. It has never been observed, but a theoretical example is the evolution from a chordate eel-like creature to a human being. Many people who embrace Darwinian evolution confidently state that evolution is a proven fact. They say this on the basis of thousands of papers discussing microevolution. Herein lies the second mistake ... the assumption that because variation/microevolution is such an overwhelmingly proven fact that, therefore, macroevolution must be as well.

Larry Moran/Sandwalk
I have my own explanation of Macroevolution but Durston's description is good enough for now.

A good example of macroevolution is the evolution of modern humans and chimpanzees from a common ancestor that lived about five million years ago. This example has been well established by multiple lines of evidence including fossils, comparative morphology, and molecular data. It is a fact. It is as much of a fact as most things in science.

We do not assume that chimps and human share a common ancestor just because microevolution is a fact. We have evidence. It is foolish to deny the overwhelming scientific evidence that humans and chimpanzees evolved from a common ancestor.

I think, after all, he does know what "observed" means.

Because he totally avoids the issue about macroevolution not having been observed. Kirk gave him sth else to answer and he answered that instead.

Kirk did also say of macroevolution "overwhelmingly proven", which Larry does answer. But here the "overwhelmingly proven" is not same kind of "overwhelmingly", and his answer about man and chimp evolving from a common ancestor being "overwhelmingly proven" (in a much less strict sense) is an allegation which does not get into what these "overwhelming proofs" are.

Microevolution has been observed over connected generations of observers. Cauliflower and brussel sprouts have a common ancestor. Breeders and plant growers have been preserving new varieties as they come up and even directed the criteria from which they come up.

Even in cases where not all of the process is available as observations, any more, certain deductions make more sense than others. Collies descending from wolves or from some common ancestor with wolves does make more sense than man and chimp descending from same ancestor - due to problem of when the soul with its rational faculties came in, as well as human feet shape. But wolves and collies having had a common ancestor in Eden or on the Ark is a deduction, not an observation. So is chimps and man descending from ramapithecus (8 mill. years ago? 20 mill. years ago? - unreliable K-Ar dating either way).

Now, supposing for a little moment Larry Moran were right. It would at least kill the "genetical clock" since chimps are so much closer to ramapithecus than men are. For this to work, mutations would have needed to go faster on human side than on chimp side, and that means "genetic clock" is useless, there is no set pace of genetic change.

But either way, first of all man and chimp descending from ramapithecus is not observed, and second, for its being overwhelmingly proven, we only have Larry's word and none of the overwhelming proof.

I don't call that "debating" - at least not "debating well".

And before he gets to answer "every stage of the development was observed by ramapitheci, by chimps, by human ancestors and by early men", that would of course be true if the deduction were a valid one, but these observations are none of them, if they even happened, observations of the process as a whole and also each step was on this view pretty soon lost from tradition. It is not as if we had the gardeners' version of the brussel sprout coming from the green cawl brassica.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Nanterre UL
Vigil of the Birthday
of the Blessed Virgin Mary

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