Alternatives to Modern Evolutionary Theory


(Retired Professor & Minister.) #61

Well… yes… but that sentence risks coming close to implying a false dichotomy. It is not The Appeal to Authority Logic Fallacy when someone cites the peer-reviewed academic literature or accurate summaries of same.

If you think someone on this thread is guilty of that logic fallacy, I hope you will identify the specific offending examples. Meanwhile, I suppose we could ask the same of you: that you not use appeals to authority logic fallacies. (Indeed, in these types of discussions, some people depend upon Michael Behe as their appeal to authority logic fallacy.)

(Retired Professor & Minister.) #62

Are you saying that you were taught a version of evolution which claimed that natural selection was the only evolutionary process behind Common Descent? If so, I would be very interested in learning where you studied and the type of textbook required for the course(s). Was this in a private parochial school environment? Or perhaps homeschooling?

(Bill Cole) #63

Thats great. When John Mercer makes that claim that I don’t understand the theory without support thats an appeal to authority and I consider that reflects a weakness in his position. I have seen lots of “they just don’t understand the theory” comments over the years and frankly it just increases my skepticism.

(Bill Cole) #64

Allen I am about your age so what I am talking about is details that I remember. Natural selection was named as the driving mechanism behind evolution. The design argument mostly argues against this mechanism.

(Retired Professor & Minister.) #65

I am baffled as to how you consider that an appeal to authority. John Mercer didn’t mention any authority in that post. Indeed, he specifically cited by quotation (an excerpt from your prior post) where you had posted a very odd statement about what you were taught in school about evolution. So he identified the evidence upon which he based his conclusion—and no authority was mentioned.

(Bill Cole) #66

When you make the simple claim that the person you are talking to does not understand the theory without pointing out why his claim is wrong; this is the appeal to authority fallacy. You have made an assertion claiming yourself as the authority. You personally have not committed this fallacy and in fact have consciously steered clear of it.

The evolutionist fail to understand in my opinion that people become skeptical based on the method of argument especially commitment of logical fallacies.

(John Mercer) #67

It’s not just opinion, Bill. You provide evidence supporting it in nearly every comment you make.

(Retired Professor & Minister.) #68

While I’m certainly aware that some use the design argument against natural selection as a driving mechanism behind changes in allele frequencies in populations over time, it is worth mentioning that ID advocates don’t necessarily argue against the role of natural selection in Common Descent. Indeed, lots of ID and non-ID theists consider natural selection itself to be something the Creator designed.

No. That is not the Appeal to Authority logic fallacy. Please consult any logic textbook or any Internet summary, such as:

(Bill Cole) #69

Very true but it is not considered the explanation of life’s diversity by the design guys and many of the non darwinian evolutionists. The question in my mind is if the other mechanisms that have surfaced like genetic drift and horizontal gene transfer really solve the mystery. The enormous number of ways to arrange DNA leaves me skeptical.

Thanks for the citation. I will concede for arguments sake that this is not the appeal to authority logical fallacy. I personally find it a meaningless attack when someone tells me I don’t understand without any support including an argument.

(John Harshman) #70

Actually looking at the facts (for a change) might help you there. Maybe not.

(John Harshman) #71

You are wrong about @scd’s objection. He objects because humans are specially created with no relationship to monkeys, or so he imagines.

(Mikkel R.) #72

What? Have you ever looked really closely at the “bare skin” on your body? Unless you have a rare genetic disorder, it’s still hairy. Even in your face. The underside of your arms. You’re hairy all over, everywhere. Your beard doesn’t stop where you think it does. Look more closely.

(Mikkel R.) #73

That’s like saying I can’t claim common descent between myself and my siblings if I can’t show you my parents.

How is this not essentially an argument from ignorance?. You give a list of things you want to have explained, and presumably if we can’t, you think we can’t claim common descent.

(Bill Cole) #74

You don’t need to jump to “we can’t claim common descent”. I am just trying to sort out the strength and weaknesses of the claim. The more you can explain the stronger the claim. If you go back to the original post I am asking for strengths and weaknesses of the claim.

(John Harshman) #75

As is very common with creationists for reasons I can’t figure out, Bill confuses common descent (and the evidence for common descent) with the origin of novelty (and its evidence). He’s completely incapable of seeing that they are entirely separate matters.

Is anyone else here unable to see that?

(Bill Cole) #76

From a prior comment I made.

(Retired Professor & Minister.) #77

And that is why I gave you several links to get you started on understanding the massive evidence for evolution. Your list of “explain the emergence of” phenomena is the wrong place to start. Moreover, as I already explained, the “Without genetic and morphological evidence of the common ancestor” statement from that post is invalid. You are approaching the topic from the wrong direction.

(John Mercer) #78

But Bill didn’t bother to engage with the evidence. I see a pattern here…

(John Harshman) #79

As is so often the case, what you write is so unclear that nobody can tell what you meant to say.

(Paul A Nelson) #80

Two questions:

  1. What would happen to the structure of a cladogram if one eliminated all the apomorphic characters?

  2. What are synapomorphies, if one considers them (as characters) from the next (or deeper) most inclusive node in a cladogram? E.g., from the perspective of Eukarya, what is Ophistokonta? From the perspective of Ophistokonta, what characterizes the Metazoa? Why even diagnose a group such as “Metazoa” if the next most inclusive taxon will do for systematic purposes?

The nested hierarchy is defined by the appearance, or origin, of novelties. Common descent as theory of relationships makes no sense (at all) if one excludes taxon-defining characters, which by definition represent novelties.