No, but not for the reasons you suppose. One can’t reject special creation because given special creation any data would be possible. If God wanted to create each species separately but in a way that perfectly mimicked common descent, we would have no way to tell. At best we can reject any form of special creation that doesn’t simulate common descent. If we suppose, for example, that separate creation is unlikely to generate a nested hierarchy (and in fact we have no known reason for such a hierarchy other than descent or deliberate simulation), then the presence of a nested hierarchy is evidence against separate creation and for common descent.
I have heard this argument before. However I don’t see how anyone can make such an argument. No one knows what patterns special creation would bring about. Perhaps it’s the other way around. A set of data is being looked at and it fits best with common descent, because the only other option is separate descent thorough natural processes (which is even more impossible). Wouldn’t how the data is interpreted depend a lot on what the null hypothesis is? Wouldn’t it be more honest to say that science is silent on special creation because no one has done any work on it.
Why should your intuition on what special creation should like be valid? Life is counter intuitive isn’t it? As @swamidass often says.
Since no scientist has really worked on any such models… and no one really knows how to go about it… how can you make any substantial claim about it?
No, and no. How would you propose to differentiate special creation from common descent? I would try to consider the predictions of each. Now, if you can think of a reason why separate creation would predict a nested hierarchy, I’d have to agree that there would be no way to test it. Then again, there are excellent and obvious reasons to expect a nested hierarchy to result from common descent. Do we have to throw that out?
Frankly, I don’t see why special creation should not lead to a nested heirarchy. Especially if the purpose is to explore diversity. For example, compare it to the work of an artist. He might decide to draw a portrait of the same person in different moods… and he could also express his art by drawing a range of very different things.
One scenario is where God creates a quintessential “cat” and then creates a mechanism through mutations where all the various modes of being a cat can be explored, while ensuring the limits of this journey of exploration.
As to common descent explaining nested heirarchy. It also is capable of explaining deviations from the nested heirarchy. It’s not like CD will be falsified if the pattern of nested heirarchies fail… perhaps some phylogenetic trees would have to be shuffled.
In fact, there is no reason why common descent cannot create a continuous spectrum of organisms without any clear cut clustering in seperarate heirarchies.
Edit: and perhaps that’s the pattern that common descent created… and what we observe is an illusion created by extinction events + no fossils being preserved!
Why would an omnipotent all-knowing Deity need to explore?
Perhaps explore is the wrong word as it connotes finding unknown stuff. I was thinking more in lines of creating a programme and allowing it to do the work for us.
Artistic expression is one reason. Perhaps he is like those people who like making patterns by playing with dominoes.
Why would a smart human being spend hours setting up dominoes so that they would fall into interesting shapes? (Which he has designed beforehand).
Do you mean such as creating a variety of evolutionary processes which leads to amazing diversity in the earth’s biosphere? Is that the kind of programme (evolutionary algorithms) you are talking about?
Yes… and it would be interesting to establish how much diversity these processes can create…
For example Behe and many ID folks think there is a limit to what these processes can achieve.
Even many theistic evolutionists acknowledge that without God’s guidance, evolution could not create the bio diversity we see in life.
Edit: the entire discussion started in @Michael_Callen thread… I don’t know how it ended up here. I haven’t read the discussion above.
Do you acknowledge that common descent can lead to patterns other than nested heirarchies such as a continuous spectrum?
If common descent lead to nested heirarchies… the “leaps” from one cluster to another in the tree would have to be explained. How do you explain that?
Again why would an omnipotent all-knowing Deity want or need to do such a thing? Make a program with an output which looks exactly like evolution through common descent over almost 4 billion years? You are making completely unwarranted assumptions about how God would do things.
Humans aren’t omnipotent. They’re curious and fallible. God is supposed to be perfect, right?
No. One of the hallmarks of CD is it leaves a very distinct branching nested hierarchical pattern. A Designer on the other hand has literally trillions upon trillions of different ways he could mix and match species. But when we examine both the fossil and genetic records we see the virtually identical very distinct branching nested hierarchical pattern. By far the most parsimonious explanation is CD.
Please provide evidence of “leaps” of species moving from one clade to another. HGT can add noise to the branching nested phylogeneic signal but it doesn’t erase the distinct CD signature.
You are looking at things the wrong way around. The best scientific explanation for biodiversity is evolution through common descent. Why should God care about the best explanation Scientists can come up with considering natural processes alone?(if a God who acts in nature exists. Then this assumption is wrong and all conclusions made based on this wrong assumption are moot)It’s possible to give many ultimately erroneous explanations for data based on incomplete knowledge/wrong assumptions. Why would God be responsible for scientists getting it wrong?
Come on… people set up dominoes knowing very well what pattern it will form when it falls. They are having fun … somehow it satisfies us. This example has nothing to do with omnipotence.
You need to explain why God would try to deceive us by producing a whole planet full of evidence clearly indicating life evolved through common descent over 4 billion years. Is your God into trickery and deceit? Mine isn’t.
I don’t see why CD cannot lead to a continuous spectrum of organisms as opposed to nested heirarchies.
I wasn’t talking about HGTs… I was talking about the gap between various nested heirarchies… Stephen J Gould also pointed to this problem.
I wasn’t challenging the timeline of 4 billion years by the way. (Just to clarify).
My point is that the deception is self inflicted. Due to wrong assumptions . Besides, did God give a guarantee that human beings can find reliable answers to all questions through the scientific method? Why would you call it a deception?
If a process produced a continuous spectrum of organisms it wouldn’t be common descent. You might wish to look up the definition of common descent.
All you have to do now is provide your evidence all the assumptions science has used in the last 300 years are wrong. Just making the unsubstantiated claim they may be all wrong won’t cut the muster.
And you would have to prove that scientific consensus is Always right and the only way for it to be wrong would be if God knowingly decieved Scientists…
Being confident of your conclusions is fine… claiming infallibility except for purposeful deception by God is ridiculous.
Besides, I don’t think science has engaged special creation or even wanted to … (that’s why creationists Scientists are stuck outside the camp … for not doing “Science”).
What do you mean by gaps? Of course once a branching takes place each branch will evolve independent of the other (not counting a short time of potential interbreeding while the species on different branches are still interfertile).
I never claimed scientific consensus is infallible. Don’t put words in my mouth, it’s unsanitary. You’re the one who is hypothesizing our current consensus on evolution is wrong, your burden to provide the evidence it is wrong.