reply to post by addygrace
I left it out because I supplied a link, and it's against the rules to quote too much off-site content.
Two five-line quotes that the user is providing their own commentary on is hardly against T&C. Try again.
Intentionally? This always happens from dogmatic atheists. They just attack the person.
Hardly a personal attack - I said "intentionally or unintentionally". You seem to feel guilty about it.
In a court of law? Wow. Is this serious? If it is, I have to ask, Is the judge the Peer Review we should be looking for in this
I don't think you understand what happens in a court. The debunking was done by Dr. Kenneth Miller, not the judge, as part of the evidence presented
in the Kitzmiller case. Unfortunately, as far as I know, no creationist has ever presented a case of "irreducible complexity" for peer-review. Can
you link an example of where one has? Every case of an "unevolvable structure" that has been presented to date, such as the bacterial flagellum or
the blood clotting cascade, has been shown to be reducible.
And now for some quote-mining! It's fun taking things out of context when it'll prove your point...
"The absence of fossil evidence for intermediary stages between major transitions in organic design, indeed our inability, even in our
imagination, to construct functional intermediates in many cases, has been a persistent and nagging problem for gradualistic accounts of evolution."
Stephen Jay Gould (Professor of Geology and Paleontology, Harvard University), 'Is a new and general theory of evolution emerging?' Paleobiology,
vol.6(1), January 1980,p. 127.
Here's the full quote, in context…
" 2. The saltational initiation of major transitions: The absence of fossil evidence for intermediary states between major transitions in organic
design, indeed our inability, even in our imagination, to construct functional intermediates in many cases, has been a persistent and nagging problem
for gradualistic accounts of evolution. St. George Mivart (1871), Darwin's most cogent critic, referred to it as the dilemma of "the incipient
stages of useful structures" -- of what possible benefit to a reptile is two percent of a wing? The dilemma has two potential solutions. The first,
preferred by Darwinians because it preserves both gradualism and adaptation, is the principle of preadaptation: the intermediate stages functioned in
another way but were, by good fortune in retrospect, pre-adapted to a new role they could play only after greater elaboration. Thus, if feathers first
functioned "for" insulation and later "for" the trapping of insect prey (Ostrom 1979) a proto-wing might be built without any reference to
I do not doubt the supreme importance of preadaptation, but the other alternative, treated with caution, reluctance, disdain or even fear by the
modern synthesis, now deserves a rehearing in the light of renewed interest in development: perhaps, in many cases, the intermediates never existed. I
do not refer to the saltational origin of entire new designs, complete in all their complex and integrated features -- a fantasy that would be truly
anti-Darwinian in denying any creativity to selection and relegating it to the role of eliminating new models. Instead, I envisage a potential
saltational origin for the essential features of key adaptations. Why may we not imagine that gill arch bones of an ancestral agnathan moved forward
in one step to surround the mouth and form proto-jaws? Such a change would scarcely establish the Bauplan of the gnathostomes. So much more must be
altered in the reconstruction of agnathan design -- the building of a true shoulder girdle with bony, paired appendages, to say the least. But the
discontinuous origin of a proto-jaw might set up new regimes of development and selection that would quickly lead to other, coordinated
modifications." (Gould, Stephen J., 'Is a new and general theory of evolution emerging?' Paleobiology, vol 6(1), January 1980, pp. 126-127)
Gould was arguing against gradualism in favor of punctuated equilibrium. He's not arguing against evolution, he's proposing a model that, in his
mind, better fit the data.
"All paleontologists know that the fossil record contains precious little in the way of intermediate forms; transitions between the major
groups are characteristically abrupt."
Stephen Jay Gould 'The return of hopeful monsters'. Natural History, vol. LXXXVI(6), June-July 1977, p. 24.
Here's the full quote, in context…
"All paleontologists know that the fossil record contains precious little in the way of intermediate forms; transitions between major groups are
characteristically abrupt. Gradualists usually extract themselves from this dilemma by invoking the extreme imperfection of the fossil record.
Although I reject this argument (for reasons discussed in ["The Episodic Nature of Evolutionary Change"]), let us grant the traditional escape and
ask a different question. Even though we have no direct evidence for smooth transitions, can we invent a reasonable sequence of intermediate forms --
that is, viable, functioning organisms -- between ancestors and descendants in major structural transitions? Of what possible use are the imperfect
incipient stages of useful structures? What good is half a jaw or half a wing? The concept of preadaptation provides the conventional answer by
permitting us to argue that incipient stages performed different functions. The half jaw worked perfectly well as a series of gill-supporting bones;
the half wing may have trapped prey or controlled body temperature. I regard preadaptation as an important, even an indispensable, concept. But a
plausible story is not necessarily true. I do not doubt that preadaptation can save gradualism in some cases, but does it permit us to invent a tale
of continuity in most or all cases? I submit, although it may only reflect my lack of imagination, that the answer is no, and I invoke two recently
supported cases of discontinuous change in my defense.
Again, not an argument against evolution or even against transitional species, but an argument for punctuated equilibrium in favor of gradualism. And
notice he doesn't say that there are no transitional fossils, just few of them. He actually goes on from here to ask:
If we must accept many cases of discontinuous transition in macroevolution, does Darwinism collapse to survive only as a theory of minor adaptive
change within species?
And then answers that question shortly after:
But all theories of discontinuous change are not anti-Darwinian, as Huxley pointed out nearly 120 years ago. Suppose that a discontinuous change
in adult form arises from a small genetic alteration. Problems of discordance with other members of the species do not arise, and the large, favorable
variant can spread through a population in Darwinian fashion. Suppose also that this large change does not produce a perfected form all at once, but
rather serves as a "key" adaptation to shift its possessor toward a new mode of life. Continued success in this new mode may require a large set of
collateral alterations, morphological and behavioral; these may arise by a more traditional, gradual route once the key adaptation forces a profound
shift in selective pressures.
Paleontologists have paid an exorbitant price for Darwin's argument. We fancy ourselves as the only true students of life's history, yet to
preserve our favored account of evolution by natural selection we view our data as so bad that we never see the very process we profess to study."
And on to your last quote-mine...
Stephen Jay Gould 'Evolution's erratic pace'. Natural History, vol. LXXXVI95), May 1977, p.14
Here's the full quote, in context…
Darwin's argument still persists as the favored escape of most paleontologists from the embarrassment of a record that seems to show so little of
evolution [directly]. In exposing its cultural and methodological roots, I wish in no way to impugn the potential validity of gradualism (for all
general views have similar roots). I only wish to point out that it is never "seen" in the rocks.
Paleontologists have paid an exorbitant price for Darwin's argument. We fancy ourselves as the only true students of life's history, yet to preserve
our favored account of evolution by natural selection we view our data as so bad that we never see the very process we profess to study.
For several years, Niles Eldredge of the American Museum of Natural History and I have been advocating a resolution to this uncomfortable paradox. We
believe that Huxley was right in his warning. The modern theory of evolution does not require gradual change. In fact, the operation of Darwinian
processes should yield exactly what we see in the fossil record. It is gradualism we should reject, not Darwinism.
I'll just repeat the last line to cut to the chase of what Gould was saying here: "It is gradualism we should reject, not Darwinism."
Tell you what, I'll ignore the intellectual dishonesty you've shown here by quote mining, and I'll take it a step further by doing a thought
experiment. Let's pretend that we simply have no fossil record that conclusions can be drawn on. Would the theory of evolution cease to be? Hardly.
There is still enough genetic evidence supporting the theory of evolution that fossil evidence isn't even needed.
Are you serious? Common Ancestry explains, genes and fuctional parts will be re-used in different unrelated organisms? How so? I was under the
impression that common ancestry says genes and functional parts will reflect those inherited through ancestry, and are only shared by related
And common ancestry states that all currently living organisms are related through the LUCA. In rebuttal, why would a designer use extraneous parts
that appear as atavistic or vestigial in species that don't appear to need them? It's easily accounted for by the theory of evolution, but when you
try to invoke a guiding intelligence it seems like an example of stupid design, not intelligent design.
It says functionless "junk" DNA. Many types of non-coding DNA sequences do have known biological functions.
Junk DNA was a misnomer previously applied to non-coding DNA. It's like saying you're going to Ceylon. Ceylon no longer exists, but people still
know where you're going. Or is your author redefining junk DNA on the fly?
Come to think of it, this isn't even really a prediction of creationism v2.0. This is a post hoc rationalization. If you can show me where the
creationists claimed that so called "junk DNA" would eventually be found to have a purpose before it was shown to have a purpose, then it could
accurately be called a prediction.
You do realize you just quoted the rest of the evidence, right?
You do realize that you don't seem to know the difference between "predictions" and "evidence", right?
Where did I say or infer, "it's too pretty to not have been created"? This is such a copout. "MAJOR complexity, that performs a specific
function", isn't inferring something to be pretty or , "look this is so cool God made it". It's simply stating; A random chance complexity
performing a specific function acted upon by a specific condition, is not a logical explanation. Specific functioning complexity has never been
observed to be random, so why would I conclude that it was random, unless I'm just trying to deny it was designed for dogmatic reasons.?
You just said it again. Here, I'll swap out the word "pretty" so you can understand: "it's too complex not to have been created". Arguments from
irreducible complexity have been shown to be wrong repeatedly. It boils down to an argument from personal incredulity.
A common tactic for people who believe the Theory of Evolutiont to be a fact, is to claim it's so set in stone it can't be refuted. It's the
ultimate truth. Yet they don't realize is, they are putting it on the same level as a Dogma.
Facts with 150 years of supporting evidence are hardly dogma.
This is a very odd statement for the National Academy of Science to make, because there are many scientists who question whether descent with
Go look up Project Steve: there are fewer scientists who would sign the Discovery Institute's anti-evolution statement than there are scientists
named Steve who support evolution. That's the opposite of "many".
And why would the USNAS make such a statement? It wouldn't possibly be because a bunch of fundies take such personal offense to a scientific theory,
one that is on par with the theory of gravity, germ theory, circuit theory, heliocentric theory, etc., that they repeatedly try to strip it from
science education? It wouldn't possibly be because a recent poll by the AAAS showed that most Americans believe that when the word "theory" is
applied to an area of science, it's a perjorative? No... couldn't possibly be that.
Since you seem so fond of quotes, here's one from the American Association for the Advancement of Science:
A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly
confirmed through observation and experiment. Such fact-supported theories are not "guesses" but reliable accounts of the real world. The theory of
biological evolution is more than "just a theory." It is as factual an explanation of the universe as the atomic theory of matter or the germ
theory of disease. Our understanding of gravity is still a work in progress. But the phenomenon of gravity, like evolution, is an accepted
In all reality, why would anybody, especially a scientist, stop questioning any theory unless we've learned all we can learn/ Stating it as
fact, discourages testing.
Ignorance of how science works on display here. Do you not understand that we use facts to develop further hypotheses to be tested? Facts don't stop
or discourage testing, facts can be built upon to continue testing new hypotheses.