More Excuses for Cambrian Non-Evolution

I always took that as literary allusion.

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Which is why you have no problem with evolution.

Paul’s Adam is the linchpin of Creationist rejection.


I completely agree. A good analogy might be a crime scene. We may not know every step and every movement a criminal makes, but we can still gather fingerprint and DNA evidence that can clearly indicate guilt.

Your use of the word “interpolation” is also important. We have the end products of evolution with us right now. Their genomes are a record of their ancestry imperfectly kept which allows us to fill in the gaps between the known points with great confidence, but always tentatively as @swamidass always encourages me to highlight.

I’m not a fan of Dawkins, but he did write something of interest. I think it does a great job of describing the outlines of the arguments we see here on a regular basis. In the essay he describes how a butler is on trial for murder, and the evidence is stacked heavily against them. The prosecution then discovers a video tape which he enters into evidence:


So the book is clearly and unequivocally adaptationist. That’s what I said and you confirmed it. Thank you.

I have no idea how science would detect either the presence of God’s activity or the absence of God’s activity. As far as I am aware it lacks the requisite tools and methods to do so.


I believe I am still waiting for you to explain how historians know that Napoleon invaded Russia without having any details of his having done so.

They have evidence of the large brush strokes of history. They have material written during the period on both sides of the struggle. With biology, we have the same type of evidence. We have more than enough evidence to conclude evolution occurred without needing to know the fine details.


I see you have abandoned “pan-adaptationist” in favor of “adaptationist”. But no, not even that. I’m pretty sure that nobody would disagree with the idea that some changes are adaptive and result from selection. Perhaps even you wouldn’t disagree with that. An adaptationist view, and this was the essence of the argument between adaptationists and neutralists, would be that all changes are adaptive. Losos says nothing of the sort. Give it up.

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No I didn’t know. I guess that’s a benefit of posting here. :slight_smile:

I have Darwin’s Black Box and The Edge of Evolution by Behe, and Undeniable by Axe. Can you point me to some specific instances?

Yet you admit that in his book the only explanations he has to offer are in fact adaptationist. So I don’t think it’s unfair to call the book pan-adaptationist. If you can point to where he offers a non-adaptationist explanation in his book I’d be happy to change my mind about it. And all this is clearly missing the point anyways, which is that the book is blatantly Darwinian. Where does he present any non-Darwinian explanation for any of the cases of evolution that he presents?

So Darwinism still exists in science, at least as presented in popular science writing. Contra Joshua.

This should come as no surprise to him, given that he has already commented on the state of popular science writing over at UD.

Your fist sentence makes no sense to me. Your second sentence concedes that the reason we know about the invasion of Russia by Napoleon is because we have details about it. Which is precisely what I was arguing. So thank you for that.

Your claim that we have the same type of evidence when it comes to evolution needs something to back it up.

As for as your last sentence, I’ve not argued that evolution has not taken place.

Historians don’t claim that they know history happened, therefore they don’t need the details to be known in order to know that Napoleaon invaded Russia. The claim that Napoleon invaded Russia is based on historical details, and the broad brush of history is constructed from collections of such historical details.

Evolution, on the other hand, has it backwards from the way that history actually works. It’s not built up from the details to give the broad brush, like history is. Evolutionists claims that the details are not required, because, you know, we know evolution happened.

From Behe at the Dover Trial, under oath:

Q. And I’m correct when I asked you, you would need to see a step-by-step description of how the immune system, vertebrate immune system developed?

A. Not only would I need a step-by-step, mutation by mutation analysis, I would also want to see relevant information such as what is the population size of the organism in which these mutations are occurring, what is the selective value for the mutation, are there any detrimental effects of the mutation, and many other such questions.
Kitzmiller v. Dover: Day 12, PM: Michael Behe

More importantly, identifying the full step-by-step mutational pathway is what Behe says is critical to establish if a pathway is irreducibly complex or not.

So, if we don’t know the steps, it is IC. If we do know the steps it is IC too, because Behe incorrectly thinks all the steps must be selectable.

So, yes one of the most famous ID proponents there is does demand a mutation-by-mutation step-by-step pathway.

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The question he was answering was about an IC system.

The allegation made above in this thread was that “ID supporters demand a mutation by mutation pathway for millions of years of evolution before they will accept the evidence for evolution.”

I’m pretty sure that you are aware that Behe accepts common descent, so laying this charge on Behe has to be a real stretch. Behe obviously accepts evidence for evolution. And he obviously does not demand a mutation by mutation pathway for millions of years of evolution before he will accept the evidence for evolution.

Not precisely.

Yes, Behe does affirm common descent. He also rejects a large amount of evolutionary science simply because there is no positively selected path at every step known yet. He does accept part of evolutionary science, but rejects a lot of the rest, because he cannot be given a mutation-by-mutation pathway.

Seems like @T_aquaticus did make a good analogy. Perhaps all he shoudl revised it to:

Yes. ID supporters demand a mutation by mutation pathway for millions of years of evolution before they will accept evolutionary science.

Let’s suppose you were a big fan of walnuts, and you wrote a book about walnuts, showing many examples of your favorite walnuts. Should I call you a pan-walnuttist and complain that you hadn’t included any pecans in your book? Losos talks about adaptation and considers experiments in which adaptation happens. He talks about convergence, and when it does or does not happen. Adaptation is the bulk of the explanation for these sorts of phenomena.

He doesn’t, because what he presents are all cases of adaptation through selection. When you’re talking about walnuts, there’s no need to bring pecans into it.

That just shows that you don’t know what Joshua meant. Perhaps he will enlighten you.


I agree with @John_Harshman and don’t know how possibly to make myself more clear on this point. Why do people insist on tilting against the imaginary darwinist windmill?

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@swamidass, have you read Jonathan Losos’s book? Are you familiar with his work? If not, I recommend it.

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Yes, I know. I read the book. And that’s what I got from it too.

Then why are you claiming that Losos is a panadaptationist?

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That wasn’t my claim, John. My claim wasn’t about Losos.

You wrote: Incidentally, that’s a great book. Lots of interesting experimental evolutionary biology, though it isn’t clear what Mung sees in it.

I responded: I see pan-adaptationism

It is clear that my comment was about the book, not about Losos.

Misrepresenting what others actually write. Is that how you want to be known?