JoeG's Case Against Common Descent


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #1

I’m inviting @JoeG to make his case on this thread instead of bringing it up off topic everywhere else. @moderators can merge in off topic comments by @JoeG on this into this thread, along with any responses.


(Intelligent Design Deist) #2

ID is NOT Creationism and the Courts do not get to make that decision. Unlike unguided evolution at least ID makes testable claims as science demands. ID has all of the hallmarks of science whereas unguided evolution doesn’t have any.

Common Descent is also untestable. I know people here will disagree but will they ever say how to test the concept and how they know it is a valid test? The world is still waiting for that


Should Scientists Dialogue With ID, YEC, and OEC?
(George) #3

@JoeG

You are way off center. The day I.D. gets into the public schools will mark the inevitablevday that Satanism will gets its time in the public schools too.


(George) #4

@JoeG,

I can’t even imagine how many times you have been given the answer… with you probably humming to your self.

Demonstrating that two populations (each a different species) share a common ancestral population is no different from a CSI tech determining whether a victim was father or son… and whether the perpetrator was a cousin or someone unrelated.


(Intelligent Design Deist) #5

You don’t have a clue. ID has the science. But then again you don’t seem to know what science entails. ID doesn’t have anything to do with theology. ID doesn’t say who to worship; how to worship; when to worship; why to worship; where to worship. ID doesn’t have any theological entailments.

It is dishonest and displays ignorance of ID, science and theology to say that ID that ID is theology.

And no, no one has said how to test the claims of Common Descent, ie the claim that all of life’s diversity owes its collective common ancestry to some unknown populations of prokaryotes.


(Intelligent Design Deist) #6

That is false as the test that shows I am related to my sister would show that neither of us is related to chimps. You lose


Does Common Descent Dehumanize Us?
(Intelligent Design Deist) #7

Kinesiology- that is why I reject Common Descent. You need to attach the muscles at specific points or you will get a defective organism. This comes into play in the origins of tetrapods and birds. That said, you still need a mechanism that can produce eukaryotes.

As for a scientific theory of evolution can someone please link to it as I have been unable to find it.


T.J_Runyons Evolution Rubrick
(George) #8

You aren’t making much sense at this point, @JoeG. The exact mechanics don’t change these things!

For there to be Common Descent , all we have to show is that multiple lines of evidence converge to show ancestry and descent from prior populations.

Joe, Are you Young Earth or Old Earth?


(Intelligent Design Deist) #9

The mechanisms dictate the patterns. And if there isn’t a mechanism capable then your multiple lines of evidence are just your personal bias.

The age of the earth depends on how it was formed. If I was a Creationist- Biblical- I would be a day-age Creationist in which each day of Creation was an epoch used to terraform the earth for us.


(Intelligent Design Deist) #10

Such as? What is a testable claim that chimps and humans share a common ancestor? How do you know it is a valid test?

Can anyone link to a scientific theory of evolution? Who was/ were the author(s)? When was it published? What journal was it published in? Does it make predictions based on its proposed mechanisms? If yes what are they?

I am being serious as I have asked others and all they can do is link to people talking about it- a scientific theory of evolution- but no one ever links to it. Some will mutter Darwin’s is a scientific theory but it doesn’t meet the criteria- testability.


(George) #11

So is the global flood part of your world view? Or was it regional? And most importantly, where do you place ut in the Earth’s timeline?


(George) #12

@JoeG,

Evolution is an aggregation of multiple theoretical predictions.

For example, Natural Selection, has been demonstrated several times in aquariums in labs around the world.

3 tanks filled with multiple generations of freely reproducing fish, with 3 kinds of Natural Selection applied to each tank.

Tank 1 has regular removals of the LARGEST individuals. Tank 2 has removals based on the smallest. And tank 3, the control Tank, randomized the size of individuals removed.

After a year, or two, or whatever time period was proposed, the gene pool of each tank has demonstrated that SELECTION significantly influences the ratio of alleles connected to individual size…non-selection as represented by the randomized control tank…does not have the same influence… except as sometimes happens due to drift factors based on the influence that sampling can sometimes make.

More dramatic lab demonstrations can also be pointed to. At Harvard Medical school, a giant Petri dish the size of a mattress shows in almost real time how antibiotics can put selection pressures on bacterial gene pools.

Do you have any questions, @JoeG? Or a month from now are going to repeat the senseless charge that nobody can prove the predictive power of Natural selection?


(Intelligent Design Deist) #13

That is your opinion but it is only an opinion. For it to be natural selection you have to demonstrate that the change was due solely to chance and you can’t.

Is there any evidence for a global flood?

Again- Can anyone link to a scientific theory of evolution? Who was/ were the author(s)? When was it published? What journal was it published in? Does it make predictions based on its proposed mechanisms? If yes what are they?


(George) #14

@JoeG

These are FACTS. This is why scientists learn statistics. When will you learn about how statistics WEED OUT the effects of chance?

So this is how you duck science?


(Intelligent Design Deist) #15

The main case against Common Descent, ie the concept that life’s diversity has a common ancestor, is that we do not know what determines form/ body plan. As Dr Denton said:

BlockquoteTo understand the challenge to the “superwatch” model by the erosion of the gene-centric view of nature, it is necessary to recall August Weismann’s seminal insight more than a century ago regarding the need for genetic determinants to specify organic form. As Weismann saw so clearly, in order to account for the unerring transmission through time with precise reduplication, for each generation of “complex contingent assemblages of matter” (superwatches), it is necessary to propose the existence of stable abstract genetic blueprints or programs in the genes- he called them “determinants”- sequestered safely in the germ plasm, away from the ever varying and destabilizing influences of the extra-genetic environment.
Such carefully isolated determinants would theoretically be capable of reliably transmitting contingent order through time and specifying it reliably each generation. Thus, the modern “gene-centric” view of life was born, and with it the heroic twentieth century effort to identify Weismann’s determinants, supposed to be capable of reliably specifying in precise detail all the contingent order of the phenotype. Weismann was correct in this: the contingent view of form and indeed the entire mechanistic conception of life- the superwatch model- is critically dependent on showing that all or at least the vast majority of organic form is specified in precise detail in the genes.
Yet by the late 1980s it was becoming obvious to most genetic researchers, including myself, since my own main research interest in the ‘80s and ‘90s was human genetics, that the heroic effort to find information specifying life’s order in the genes had failed. There was no longer the slightest justification for believing there exists anything in the genome remotely resembling a program capable of specifying in detail all the complex order of the phenotype. The emerging picture made it increasingly difficult to see genes as Weismann’s “unambiguous bearers of information” or view them as the sole source of the durability and stability of organic form. It is true that genes influence every aspect of development, but influencing something is not the same as determining it. Only a small fraction of all known genes, such as the developmental fate switching genes, can be imputed to have any sort of directing or controlling influence on form generation. From being “isolated directors” of a one-way game of life, genes are now considered to be interactive players in a dynamic two-way dance of almost unfathomable complexity, as described by Keller in The Century of The Gene- Michael Denton “An Anti-Darwinian Intellectual Journey”, Uncommon Dissent (2004), pages 171-2

Control and influence are a far cry from determining. And then there are those pesky tests science requires. How can we test the claim that chimps and humans share a common ancestor and how do you know it is a valid test?


(Joseph Akins) #16

“the gene pool of each tank has demonstrated that SELECTION significantly influences the ratio of alleles connected to individual size…non-selection as represented by the randomized control tank…does not have the same influence… except as sometimes happens due to drift factors based on the influence that sampling can sometimes make.”

gbrooks9,
You seem to emphasize natural (adaptive) selection as the main driver of evolution. Have you read anything by Michael Lynch? He is one of the most influential living evolutionary biologists. If you’re appealing to adaptive mechanisms to explain macroevolution you are appealing to an “invisible hand” just as much as JoeG. IMO your examples cannot explain the INFERRED convergence (common descent) in deep time. The “non-selection” tank is mostly what you have to explain evolution in deep time, otherwise you don’t have enough time. It seems to me this is basically what motivated Kimura to develop Neutral Theory.


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #17

That is a non-sequitor on several levels. Most important, even if we grant there is ignorance (not total ignorance) about the precise determinants of form, there is independent evidence for common descent untouched by this challenge. That evidence comes, at least in part, from neutral evolution.

That is why wise ID advocates are always careful to qualify that ID is not (and should not be) an argument against common descent.


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #18

For example, have you seen this thread? Common Descent: Humans and Chimps / Mice and Rats. The key formula to learn is D = TR, or distance equals the product of time and rate. That is what gives us the key predictions and validation of the theory.


(Intelligent Design Deist) #19

I reject Common Descent because it is an untestable concept devoid of a testable mechanism that can produce the transformations required. T.J. says that using the same genes differently is the mechanism but that dog has been around and still doesn’t hunt. Which genes were used differently?

The chimp’s head sits differently on its spine than ours does. To go from that to us would require changing of the bone structure and musculature. No one has shown that a change in gene regulation can allow for such a thing. Kinesiology also argues against the evolution of birds from non-birds. There just isn’t a mechanism that can produce all of the skeletal and muscular changes required. Muscles have to attach to the bones in the correct places or you get a deformity.

If your mechanism is God did it then you have left science and don’t have a case.


Does Common Descent Dehumanize Us?
(George) #20

@JoeG,

Your classifications of reality are out of joint. God does it all. But He has more than one way available to Him!

Does a Christian weather forecaster lose his or her case that God uses evaporation/condensation to make rain?

God can engage the cosmos using miraculous …OR NATURAL… processes… of which he is equally the origin and architect.

Joe, you are so allergic to evolution-ary concepts, you are willing to maim your perception of the Universe to avoid any!

When Christians incorporate God into our acceptance of the preponderance of evolutionary evidence … we are not defending science per se: we are defending God’s capacity to teach us about the evidence God left us, and His majesty to use it.

Non-Christian scientists may attempt to explain everything without God’s role… But Christians are not limited like this in our world view.