Do all deer share a common ancestor?

Oh look, another one:

What is worse is that the things Bill wrote in response I refuted in all the stuff he ignored. Like talking to a damned wall. A wall less capable of conversation than the average wall.


Your problem Rum is you go into denial when data works against a troubled theory you are trying to support. You then make demands that amount to a burden shift.

If there is a theory that supports a single origin point for deer it has not been shared yet. You need a model that can explain the pattern yet even Behe’s toy model cannot explain the pattern.

Here is another Venn that shows gene comparison between two types of deer, cows and humans

You keep making the claim that the data works against “a troubled theory” and yet you can’t seem to find any evidence for that.

All you keep doing is appealing to Behe & Snoke 2004 and yet we have explained again and again why that isn’t relevant to Howe et al or chromosomal fusion events.

And we know you know this because when we ask you to show how you connect the two, you obfuscate and ignore basically all the contents of our posts.

Yes it has, it’s common descent. Common descent predicts a nested hierarchy in the data, we find this. When there are differences between species these should conform to a nested hierarchy, we find that. When these differences imply particular molecular events (such as events that would reduce the number of chromosomes, like telomere-telomere fusions and others) we find the tell-tale signs of those too: telomeres inside chromosomes in places where other deer have their telomeric ends of their chromosomes.

That model is simply common descent. Behe isn’t modeling common descent. He’s modeling a scenario he can’t find a single real-world example of.

Wow Bill you posted a figure with no attribution or explanation for it’s relevance or what point you are making with it, if you even know. But I guess to someone who is absolutely bonkers your post now looks more scientific and authoritative. It now has a bit more of that cargo-cult science quality. Colors, lines, numbers. It’s all there.


That’s a surface interpretation, but that’s not how the analogy is used. The actual point is that when we observe a situation after the fact and calculate the probability of it happening, we use the wrong statistical universe. The sharpshooter suggests that hitting particular places on the side of the barn is evidence of his skill. The fallacy is that the targets were designated a posteriori, and in fact any pattern of holes in the barn would have produced the same result. He’s implying the probability of making a particular pattern without skill, which is low, while the proper calculation would be the probability of making some pattern or other, which is high. Do you understand the analogy now? Behe draws a target, a posteriori, around a particular function in one gene that we happen to see, failing to consider all the other functions in other genes we might have seen. It’s not what’s the chance that we would see this particular thing that counts but the chance that we would see something. It’s not the probability of the particular new genes in the Howe diagram appearing but the probability that some new genes or other would evolve.

Not an argument, merely an observation. Your explanation of nested hierarchy shows that you don’t actually know what it is.

You have only to come up with another one, i.e. another process that generates such a hierarchy. So far you have not, nor has anyone else.

Have indeed. I was thinking of the house mouse example, one bit of which @Rumraket cited above. But there are plenty of other species with high-frequency chromosomal polymorphisms.

I think you’re conflating different meanings of various terms here. And isn’t it supposed to be modules that are dependent on other modules? The analogy is forced. Note that Ewert claims that modules ought to be functional assemblies, i.e. associated with echolocation or aquatic habits as in his hypothetical example, but he gives no evidence that any of the modules in his actual diagrams are in any way composed of functionally related gene families; they are assembled entirely from their similar distribution among species.

But of course it isn’t. Though reproduction is essential for evolution, reproduction alone doesn’t result in evolution. Differential reproduction could be considered an evolutionary mechanism, but I’d call it a combination of several mechanisms. Reproduction with inherited variation could be considered an evolutionary mechanism. But just “reproduction”? No. And what does this have to do with your original claim, which, I apparently have to remind you, was “The mechanism of reproduction is the process by which two species form new species.”?

I’d really like to see an answer to this question:


Why do you keep saying this? Winston said THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF WHAT YOU ARE CLAIMING!!!

Ewert clearly states that the observation of a nested hierarchy like that in deer supports common ancestry, not intelligent design. A nested hierarchy does NOT fit intelligent design. It fits common ancestry.

Why do you keep getting this SO wrong???

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@colewd doesn’t know. He only knows that his position is absurd and that pride prevents him from admitting it. Hence the Gish Gallop.

This is projection.

This is a lie.

This is denial.

This is an attempt at diversion.


The pattern is a nested hierarchy, and even Winston Ewert agrees that common ancestry explains this pattern.

Just as we would expect from common ancestry.


Note also that Ewert doesn’t even pretend to have a different explanation for anything other than the presence/absence of gene family “modules”. There’s no way, even if that explanation makes sense, to extend it to other sorts of changes. Not sequence data, and not chromosomal mutations.

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Ewert’s paper is an absolute mess. First, we have this:

According to Ewert, a module is a set of genes. So how does he follow up on that?

So let’s look at reference 26:

These are ORTHOLOGOUS genes found in all of the species surveyed. These are not genes that are present or absent across taxonomic groups. Also, he is hanging his hat on 200 convergent changes in amino acids across 805,00+ amino acids. Really? According to Ewert, this should be pervasive, but it obviously isn’t when he can only point to a signal in 0.02% of the data.

But the important bit here is that Ewert specifically states that his dependency graph can not explain a noisy but dominant signal of a nested hierarchy. The fact that @colewd can’t seem to understand this most basic of concepts says a lot.


Be fair; there a lot of even more basic concepts he can’t seem to understand.

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Behe does not draw any targets. He is making calculations around function we observe in living cells. The genes/proteins he observes are arranged to perform a function.

The analogy if you want to use a sharp shooter is to see bullet holes arranged in known shapes like stars. squares and circles. From these patterns we can infer intelligent purpose to the arrangement of the bullet holes.

This is simply and assertion as you simply deny alternative explanations.

How about different deer species such as a white-tail deer.

It is modules (gene families) that are shared between different programs (animals).

From the paper.

The dependency graph is essentially a tree with extra flexibility; the modules can explain genes shared between species thought to be only distantly related by common descent. A module is not restricted to reusing code from a single source, but can freely reuse from multiple sources. Compare this to com- mon descent where each species must almost exclusively draw from a single source: its ancestral species.

So we agree reproduction is an evolutionary mechanism?

Your second sentence refutes your first sentence. Behe draws the bulls eye around the functions we observe in living cells.

It is gene families that violate the expected taxonomic groupings that we would expect from common ancestry, which is a nested hierarchy. You are trying to claim that a dependency graph should be a nested hierarchy. Ewert says JUST THE OPPOSITE.

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I’m not sure you understand what “analogy” means. Behe explained the situation himself, and it’s been quoted at you several times. And then you go off on a tangent. This free-association is not conducive to rational discussion.

Name one and we’ll see.

How about them? How is that relevant?

How is that an on-topic response?

Please try reading. No, it is not.

In this particular case, he draws the bullseye around one particular function in one particular gene.

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The problem with the Texas sharpshooter analogy is that there is no functional pattern to the bullet holes.

Genes/proteins have a functional pattern.

It is clearly a mechanism I would agree there are other mechanisms.

Behe calculates the odds of the functions that appear instead of calculating the odds of any function appearing. That’s why it is the Sharpshooter fallacy.

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All analogies fail in some way or they would be identities. This, however, is not a failure of the analogy, just an irrelevant addition. I don’t think you understand: each bullet hole represents one function of one gene in the analogy. Of course, to be a better analogy, the sharpshooter would have had to have fired once only.

I reject your claim that reproduction is a mechanism of evolution. Is that clear enough after several repetitions?

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As @Rumraket pointed out, the chromosome count in Mus musculus domesticus, the ever humble house mouse, can range from 22 to 40.

As Rummie asks:

“So Bill, does this single species of mouse share a common ancestor? Were individuals of this species magically poofed into existence?”

Well, Bill? What’s the answer?


Same species, individuals can have significant differences in chromosome numbers.


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