The Difficulty with Detecting Design

i dont see how is that tree is different from my tree:

(image from Home)

see here:

Then you truly are not mentally equipped for this discussion.

That paper does not support your claim. It just says tetrapods are more closely related to to lungfish than to coelacanths, cartilaginous fish, or ray-finned fish. Not surprising, really, is it?

Like I said, you are not prepared for this discussion. I’m done wasting my time.


i think that we can do that too. but first remember again that we dont have a full list of all these vehicles traits. so we cant make a perfect tree since we dont have all the data. but we can get a similar d ata by looking at the traits in general. lets start with the first step: do you agree that in general a mammal will group with other mammal because its more similar to other mammal than to say a reptile? on the same base we can check a car wheels. car wheels in general are more similar to each other than to a bicycle wheels. so they will group together by this trait. as we see in biology.

and isnt this means that a lungfish is more similar to human (tetrapod) than to other fishes?


This is a great illustration of @Rumraket’s point that “more closely related to (phylogenetically)” does not equate with “more similar to.”

But I know better than to try explain this to you.

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im talking about genetic similarity if it was not clear by now.

So you’re telling us that these two cars:
should be grouped together because they are closer to each other than either is to either of these two cars:
which are grouped together in a different subgroup?

For the record, they are respectively

  • a blue VW Passat diesel estate
  • a red Ford Ka diesel hatchback
  • a blue VW Passat petrol estate
  • a red Ford Ka petrol hatchback

I’ve used Volkswagens rather than Hondas, but it doesn’t really matter. You can’t fit these four cars into a nested hierarchy because the engine type (petrol vs diesel) and associated characteristics don’t nest with other characteristics such as colour, chassis and body type.

This is why whenever Sal is asked to do an actual cladistics analysis on automobile characteristics, he always ducks the challenge and reposts his meaningless cartoon. Sufficient details on these cars’ specifications are available on the internet that a cladistics analysis can be attempted, but neither Sal nor you will ever do one.


We do, you’re just too lazy, incompetent or scared to acquire it.


so why you dont do that if its so easy? also see my comment to rumraket. we can get a good estimation even without a full list of traits.

Because it’s you, not me, that’s claiming vehicles fall into a nested hierarchy. I’ve provided enough data to support my claim in the post above. You haven’t provided any data to support yours. Instead, you whine about not having enough details of vehicles even though anyone who’s ever bought a car knows that there are websites full of car specification data you could use to support your claim, if you had any interest in doing so.

You’ve been making this same claim for years without ever providing more than ridiculous cartoons in support of it, even though doing so should be trivial. I don’t see why I should waste my time collecting data for your claims when you can’t be bothered to.


And, once again, you reveal that you have no clue what we are talking about.

It is NOT easy. That’s the point. It is impossible, because cars are not related to one another thru descent from a common ancestor.


lets wait and see for rumraket comment. i will show you that we can do that.

Be careful.

It is easy - trivial even - to acquire technical details of vehicles that can be used as traits.

It is not easy - impossible even - to generate a nested hierarchy using those traits.

I wouldn’t put it past Sal to quote you as saying it was impossible to collect any data on vehicles.

So you can’t generate a cladistic tree, or even find technical data on vehicles to generate one from, without rumraket holding your hand.

no problem. i will ask you the same questions i asked rumraket: lets start with the first step: do you agree that in general a mammal will group with other mammal because its more similar to other mammal than to say a reptile? on the same base we can check a car wheels. car wheels in general are more similar to each other than to a bicycle wheels. so they will group together by this trait. as we see in biology.

Maybe we are assuming you know more about this subject than you actually do, and are going way over your head. Let’s start at basics:

Please explain what a “nested hierarchy” is, and why it is considered strong, even conclusive, evidence for common descent .


Mammals group with other mammals in cladistics analysis because they have many traits in common, both genetic and morphological, that are not shared with reptiles. This has been confirmed thousands of times by actual analyses. It is completely irrelevant to whether vehicle traits will form a nested hierarchy.

I don’t think you even know how to produce cladograms from trait data.


As @Rumraket has explained, there is a well-defined methodology behind creating phylogenetic trees, and this is usually done thru sophisticated computer programs.

If the creationist claim is that the nested hierarchy is just an artificial human construct, and not a reflection of the reality of common descent, then it should be easy for creationists to use these programs and construct a tree that includes all the pieces of technology produced by humans.

I wonder why they haven’t? It seems to me it would be a practical means of providing scientific evidence against the theory which they insist on denying.


What we would like to see is a phylogeny of cars based on their wheels. We would then like to see a tree based on engine type. Follow that with a phylogeny based on transmissions.

It is trivially easy to produce phylogenies based on a single trait. The problem for you is seeing if these different phylogenies agree with one another. If they don’t, then your example doesn’t work. As the TalkOrigins site puts it:


But was it fully designed by Venter? It would seem to me that Venter’s group used existing and naturally occurring genes, so did Venter et al. really design those genes? When you plant a garden, is it fair to say that you designed the actual plants because you placed them in a certain arrangement?

I think your argument hinges on one important detail: at what level are you claiming there is design? If we use the YEC model where nearly all species were separately created 10,000 years ago, then evidence of design should be plentiful and obvious. For example, we wouldn’t see nested hierarchies, patterns of sequence divergence, or fingerprints of random mutations seen in substitution bias. There are scores and scores of different types of evidence for evolution that have no reason for existing in the YEC model.

If our model is an intelligent designer putting the first simple cells on Earth from which all life evolves, then we probably wouldn’t be able to detect that design with the tools we have. The evidence we do have would help us understand how that life evolved from that first initial organism.

There is a large sliding scale in between those two positions. A lot of the debate is going to come down to the amount of evolution that an ID or creationist supporter can accept. Are they just fine with all eukaryotes, including humans, evolving from a common ancestor? What about humans evolving from ancestral apes? The first question we have to ask is where they think the designing was done.

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