Beyond Reasonable Doubt? A Test for Common Ancestry

They imply that no useful (read: testable) predictive models have been proposed by ID, and I think that’s true. I’ve never seen any kind of rigerously defined seperate ancestry model that would make predictions about this kind of data from IDers or creationists.

I don’t think they really overstate their results. They make it clear that they’re comparing the evolutionary model to a non-evolutionary (seperate ancestry) model, and say:

This clearly does not ‘prove’ that yet unknown models are impossible, but the theory of evolution leads to extremely strong predictions, and so the onus is now on others to propose testable alternatives.

The question of how functional space interacts with the sequences to produce different shapes of explored sequence space is an interesting one, but it seems unlikely to me that it would produce the same results. That’s one testable alternative, so it would be great if someone could investigate that, but as I say, I won’t hold my breath that it’s a good alternative.

I think so too. ReMine’s model really wasn’t predictive. Baraminology (aka Kinds, Discontinuity systematics) models aren’t sufficiently well described to understand the biochemical similarities between Kinds/Baramins.

I’m not sure what sort of functional constraints one can assume with special creation. However, the ‘protein space’ accessible via common descent is very likely much smaller than one accessible to a creator. Denton’s model adds a constraint about physical laws ‘attracting’ toward particular sequences, but his also assumes common descent.

This might not be true. There was a recent paper published by Vattay,Kauffman and co that finds that many proteins exist at the “critical point of the metal-insulator transition” and this might be the hall marks of a universal mechanism of charge transport in living organisms. If this is true, then the protein space becomes much more smaller. I am atttching an article on this.

The more “fine tuned” a molecule/eco system is, the smaller the set of possible variants to choose from.

There is no indication that there is a single solution to most biological problems. Quite the opposite.

@argon actually seems exactly right on this.

We cant say that for certain… For example, in our experience DNA/RNA seems to be a single/limited solution to a problem. We don’t know if other solutions exist.Perhaps they do, perhaps they don’t… However we can say that the no: of solutions will be more limited as the functional requirements increase.

Depends on how you define accessible. Design involves constrains set by the purpose of the designer. For example, when designing a car, the designer has access to many kind of chasis. However, due to constraints of economy (availability of spares etc), this is reduced to a very small no: of options. In this case one constraint of economy could be to achieve maximum diversity which can be supported by one planet. Design of systems involves optimization to an environment
The only way to tell what is accessible to a creator is by knowing the constraints involved. We don’t even know all the biological constraints, forget constraints of purpose.
This is an example of “scientific arguments” addressing things beyond the scope of science.

What experience do you actually have here? We actually know this is totally and demonstrably false.

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No personal experience… only arguments for common design by scientists based on the universal genetic code (except fro a few exceptions which prove the law)… I dont see any reason to disbelieve them.
If this is false. i would like to know more.

Edit: Lie changed to false to avoid speculations on intention.

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@Ashwin_s

I wonder if you have modified your stance (as stated above) since you wrote it in August 2019?

I don’t think I saw this posting back then. If I had (and if I had the time to respond), I would have pointed out that your statement, like many others by you and people who struggle with Evolution like you do, suggests the implicit confusion about what exactly you are disputing.

Here at PeacefulScience.org, the default position is that God is the missing piece of the best understanding of Evolution. Repeating the theme that PeacefulScience is a theological stance regarding Scientific matters, the limited solution of DNA/RNA is fully and sufficiently augmented by accepting God’s role in Evolution.

Would you agree, Ashwin?

What exactly is God’s role in evolution?

Not on the larger question of universal common ancestry discussed in this thread.

Technically speaking, evolution doesn’t cover the origin of life.
And I have already told you how evolution is supposed to be an “unguided” process.

@John_Harshman,

You really want another “go” at this?

Let’s see if this time things go better.

  1. If we were to presume (and I don’t require this presumption of you … I just want to limit the universe of all possible objections by you)…

  2. That the following factors are involved in the current conventional view of Evolution:
    o Possible changes in genetic information of individuals or populations;
    Including, but not limited to:
    i. drift;
    ii. frequency of genetic replication errors;
    iii. frequency of post replication changes in genetic molecules;
    iv. Geographical or Psychological limiters on average exchange of genetic information
    with other members of the total population vs. the local sub-group.

    o Possible changes in the ecological niche of said individuals or populations;
    Including, but not limited to:
    i. average and range of temperatures;
    ii. supply of food;
    iii. inter- and intra-species competition for food;
    iv. inter- and intra-species competition for habitats;
    v. intra-species competition for mates.

Rather than God making all new species through the miraculous or super-natural creation of founding individuals and/or founding pairs (so-called de novo creation), God creates new “kinds” by engaging lawful natural processes to change one of the elements listed above (or any other conceivable natural factor that influences Evolution).

Instead of making a de novo set of hominid and lesser ape primates, He engages the natural universe to send an asteroid that wipes out the dominant dinosaur life forms on Earth;
He does this either through purely natural processes (designing from before the moment of creation the formation of the asteroid and its eventual trajectory), or by miraculously or supernaturally creating the asteroid (somewhere in deep space) that He then directs against Earth.

In this way, God’s intrinsic capacity to perform miracles is still respected (for the sake of various Christian sensibilities), but only in areas where science is not in a position to know or notice.

God designed for the extinction of the terror birds of South America. This was made possible by either joining the two American continents together, allowing new predators to compete for food (or to directly predate on terror birds), and/or by naturally or miraculously influencing the climate of South America to eventually extinguish all forms of terror birds.

@Ashwin_s, Origin of Life (OoL) is an entirely different matter. Lots of Evolutionists don’t even want to discuss it.

As for you [telling me] … how evolution is supposed to be an ‘unguided’ process, you better take that up with @swamidass.

This group was established by Joshua, not by you. English is designed to modify intended meaning by adding qualifiers:

That’s why we have Old Earth Creationists and Young Earth Creationists. Since “Creationists” came first, your kind of reasoning would prohibit Old Earth Creationists from adding the phrase “Old Earth”.

I don’t even want to imagine the problems the Baptists would have if we started using your rules about whether or not we can add qualifiers to make more specific distinctions! There is a “Southern Methodist Church”, but there is also a “Southern Congregational Methodist Church” … but if they are both Baptist, they are both run in the congregational (i.e., “independent” style). So someone is wrong there…

@Ashwin_s
Since the whole point of these qualifiers is to reduce confusion and improve clarity … you seem to be all kinds of wrong in all the most unusual ways.

But mostly, the fact you are still trying to intimidate Christian Evolutionists into not using the word Evolution, confirms for me that you are above average in hostility to the work of PeacefulScience.org.

But don’t worry, @Ashwin_s. I would never call for your expulsion. But I do look forward to the day when you are finally put in Trust Level Zero and I get to review all your postings for approval before they publish.

Your biology there is problematic, but you seem to be saying that God acts either by cosmic billiard shot or by causing mutations or by altering the environment. All those are miracles, either at the beginning (the first) or at some later times (the second and third).

And he makes sure to make his actions invisible to science. Why would he do that? Or are you merely stating a position you think might appeal to creationists?

Does each and every event in the universe fit into one of the two categories a) product of the initial conditions of the universe and b) miracle? If not, which events do or do not fit?

And why should God care to make terror birds extinct? Presumably he created them originally. Why do that only to destroy them later? Mysterious ways?

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He’s a bit of an artist and comedian, haven’t you heard? He made woodlice defecate little rectangular pieces of excrement for our entertainment. Get with the program please.

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Makes perfect sense. But what if he’d caused woodlice to go extinct? Then we’d never know about the rectangular excrement. Why is the artist constantly getting rid of his works?

The go-to here seems to be to just make up an answer and then believe it. Make up a piece of “art”, and then make up a reason for having made it. “I thought it would be fun” always works. Well, that or mysterious ways.

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@John_Harshman

Firstly, I tend to prefer the “front-loaded for the moment of creation”… which is how Behe sets up God’s Billiards Ball shot. But Genealogical Adam has to accommodate (as much as science allows) the preferences of various denominations or of individuals. So, some individuals or denominations are more inclined to see God as using miracles.

The distinction here is that rather than throwing millions of years of evidence out the windows, we keep whatever science tells us… we know a Dino-Killing Asteroid hit Earth. But we don’t know how far it traveled before it hit Earth. We know that moving continents contribute to changing climates on Earth. And we have a scientific understanding of why continents move.

What makes a process “Evolution” (rather than de novo Creation) is that certain factors are involved in contributing to adaptation, or contributing to speciation, or contributing to common descent from a common ancestral population.

To answer this question: “Does each and every event in the universe fit into one of the two categories a) product of the initial conditions of the universe and b) miracle? If not, which events do or do not fit?”
my preference is that there are hardly any miraculous or supernatural events (except when Free Will enters the Universe through the evolution of the Great Apes. But if a particular group chooses a heavier amount of the supernatural, that is legitimate (theologically speaking) as long as solid science doesn’t provide a reason otherwise.

Your last question about Terror Birds is rather beside the point. The fact the Terror Birds ARE gone tells Christians that God must have wanted them gone. If you ever saw the movie 10,000 BCE, you get a good idea of how these 2 legged predators could ruin most picnics!.. well, except for the picnics the Terror Birds are having for themselves!

You have a good objection: “… why should God care to make terror birds extincdt … only to destroy them later?” With a premise of Evolution, creatures that come and go without humans ever seeing them are nevertheless part of Earth’s evolutionary timeline. As Behe might say … God may well require the rise of one group so that the conditions are laid down that lead to the ultimate rise of an even more important group.

Your objection is actually perfect for those Anti-Evolution-Old-Earthers … who have no real explanation for why God would event a template for one kind (or species)… and then arrange for them to go extinct before creation another Template of a newer kind or species.

@Rumraket and @John_Harshman

God is forging a chain of life, one link at a time. In an unending chain of cause and effect, how do you get the chain to reach your goal with out several links being used?

But I don’t believe Old Earther’s have any good explanation at all!

I dislike “front-loaded” because Behe’s original meaning was the claim that all the genes for all the biota were originally present in the first created cell, waiting until the need for them evolved in various species. Also “the moment of creation” is ambiguous; I think you mean the big bang, but it’s also possible to interpret that as Creation Week.

I see much of your post as containing acknowledgment that you are reporting not your personal opinion but a view you think would be attractive to a wide variety of creationists. Your personal opinion remains not clearly stated. Is that true?

Quite meaningless unless you define “certain factors”; after all, separate creation of species could contribute to adaptation, and many creationists allow even for speciation “within kinds”. What makes a process “evolution” rather than de novo Creation is that miracles stop short of poofing of whole organisms and are limited to, at most, the causing of mutations in individual germ-line cells.

Hey, you’re the one who brought them up. And no, it doesn’t tell all Christians that, only the ones who insist that every little thing must have been planned by God from the beginning. I’m not clear on whether that belief is dominant in Christianity. I also hope you aren’t using movies as evidence of what ancient life was like; you should be aware that they’re fiction.

The history of life makes such a conclusion difficult. Synapsids dominated the Permian and the early Triassic, only to be largely eclipsed by archosaurs, only returning to dominance after the K/T extinction. What sort of necessity could you build out of that? God’s plan is wack.

In other words, whatever happened, that’s what needed to happen in order to get to now. There can of course be no evidence for this.

I would still like a few things confirmed. Is every single event in the universe (except human free will actions) caused by God, either directly through a miracle or indirectly through “cosmic front-loading”?

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