Is There Visible Proof of God?

Theology

#308

No one is arguing that. All you are doing is putting words in peoples’ mouths.


(Mikkel R.) #309

No, that really would be a problem. The issue is one of magnitude. If we have an overwhelming preponderance of evidence corroborating a particular chronology of evolution, and just a single “out of place” data point, then chances are there is a good explanation for this “out of place” data point that doesn’t cast doubt on the entire rest of the evidence.

Consider an analogy that you are measuring the temperature in a standard living room over time and you make thousands of measurements over decades. Your data shows that over 30 years, the temperature in that room has fluctuated between 12 and 35 degrees C. Then one day you measure 689 degrees C. Was the room really 689 degrees C? Probably not. Chances are some sort of fluke has occurred. Your digital thermometer could be malfunctioning.

In the same way there could be a perfectly sensible explanation for why you could in principle find an “out of place” fossil, and it doesn’t even have to involve any absurd shenanigans like time-travel. It is at least within the physically possible that some geological event, like a big earthquake took place, and a small piece of a much younger strata was tossed loose a few million years ago, fell down some ravine, and eventually became sandwiched between some much older layers, and then geologists came along and found it millions of years later. The fact that such a thing is at least conceivable means you can’t immediately conclude that all the rest of the data you have collected must be thrown out.

But suppose you start finding such “out of place” fossils all the time. Dusins, later hundreds, and eventually thousands or even millions of such fossils are found. Now the pattern you used to think you had is contradicted by a data set of a much greater size. But that is what would need to happen for “out of place” fossils to falsify the commonly accepted chronology of life on Earth. In a sense, it would have to be shown that the already collected fossils are the “anomaly”, and that in fact a much more inclusive view of all the fossils would show a random pattern of distribution.

Needless to say, that isn’t the situation we are actually in. While ever so slightly out of place fossils do occur, they are still within a perfectly uncontroversial and reasonable margin of error.
Going back to the thermometer analogy, after decades of measurement, the most “deviant” temperature could be a 40 degree C reading. That’s certainly an unusual temperature for a room that has stably measured between 12 and 35 degrees for decades. But not out of the realm of rare but plausible temperatures. That is the same sense in which some fossils are occasionally a bit out of chronological order, which is then explained by the inherently spotty nature of the fossil record.


#310

so again: your source is wrong when it says that a single out of place fossil will falsify evolution.


#311

but even if we will find many mammals for instance that are date for about 400 my ago- evolution can explain it by predating mammals eovlution or by convergent evolution or by an unknown geological process.


(Herculean Skeptic) #312

Do you have a point that you’d like to close with or should I just close this topic? It seems that all has been asked and answered.


#313

i think that i rest my case.


(Herculean Skeptic) closed #314