The First Principles of Created Kinds


(Timothy Horton) #62

Do you think AJRoberts views this as just a fun thought experiment? I don’t know her or RTB well enough to guess.


Well, Superman is fastest while flying, and the Flash IS the fastest man alive, so I’m gonna have to say, yes, he could beat him. :joy:

But you don’t have to trust me, Arrowverse Elseworld crossover is coming soon, so we’re gonna see who’s gonna win soon enough.

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #64

For @AJRoberts, I’m sure it is more than a thought experiment. We are coming to the table with different starting points. We might still be able to agree about the evidence in the end.

(John Harshman) #65

How would you consider these options? What sort of evidence would be relevant and how would you come to a decision? So far, there really is nothing to discuss, and there won’t be until some creationist comes up with some kind of defensible methodology and then tries to apply it.

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #66

At this point, I am nearly as lost as you. They have to put on the table more clearly their proposal. They haven’t done so yet. So we are just guessing, and inviting them to filling the gaps (pun intended).

(Timothy Horton) #67

This whole “kinds” exercise is a classic example of how Creationists get their science 100% backwards. Instead of letting the evidence drive the conclusion Creationists start with their conclusion:

“kinds” as described in the Bible are a real entity

…and try to twist and squeeze and manipulate the empirical data to support that conclusion. To those in the actual scientific community it’s real head shake worthy goat-rope. Not that we shouldn’t let them try. Goat-ropes can be very entertaining to watch. :slightly_smiling_face:

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #68

It is legitimate to do hypothesis testing in this context. We can propose a hypothesis, and see if evidence discriminates between a this hypothesis and the common descent hypothesis. If we can’t discriminate, even in principle, it just means that the evidence doesn’t tell us one way or another.

Honestly, though, I don’t think the “kinds” hypothesis is helpful at all. It is based on a clear mistranslation of Scripture. There are other rationalizations that might be better grounded, and would not require any data twisting.

(Ann Gauger) #69

[quote=“Dan_Eastwood, post:45, topic:3249”]
Yup. That was me.]

This business of splitting threads really bugs me. I can’t trace it back to its origin, it’s history. It’s out of context.

Where did AJ enter the conversation? I have some interest in knowing.

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #70

In this totally unrelated thread where it would have been lost. This link will take you to where her post was:

In this case, things got a bit confused in the move. This (Roberts: The First Principles of Created Kinds), was actually her first post. The OP was not her first post. I can go back and fix this possibly, but it might be easier to restart the discussion with some choice quotes.

Should we close this thread and make a cleaner version that quotes the key parts of this one? @Agauger @AJRoberts

Instead of splitting threads, what would you prefer us to do when a high interest off topic point arises like this? The main reason this happens is because of off topic posts. If you have a better solution, I am all ears.

(Timothy Horton) #71

I’ll second this thought. Some threads have been split and re-split and re-re-split so they’re pretty much impossible to follow. The “braided stream” approach to internet discussion. :slightly_smiling_face:

I also know the splitting was done with good intentions but we all know what good intentions are used as road paving material for.

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #72

I think we can start trying to do this more:

Also, it is less of a problem when we immediately split when something off topic is posted. In general, it is better if people are just assertive and just start new threads with new ideas…


I don’t think RTB readers would be very satisfied by this option.


This is why I mentioned First Principles in earlier posts. If we start with the concepts of God being an omnipotent and omniscient creator who wants to create a functional living ecosystem, what distribution of characteristics would we expect to see in living populations and in the temporally arranged fossil species? What leads us to the proposed hypothesis of what we should see and shouldn’t see?

(The Honest Skeptic) #76

Hey Tim: Reasons to Believe is not a young earth organization. They do not believe (based upon both scripture and science) that Noah’s Flood was global nor do they believe that it eradicated all life on the planet only a few thousand years ago. They believe it was regional and that it eradicated the humans who were living in the area. They believe that the universe is 13.8 BYO and that the earth is 4.5 BYO. So their creationist concepts will not match with others with which you are familiar.

(John Harshman) #77

So what are their creationist concepts? Could somebody at or in agreement with RTB inject a little actual content into this thread, or perhaps a new one? This is less like nailing jello to the wall than like nailing vacuum to the wall.

(The Honest Skeptic) #78

Surely, from this page which is their “about” page:

Creation: We believe that the physical universe, the realm of nature, is the visible creation of God. It declares God’s existence and gives a trustworthy revelation of God’s character and purpose. In Scripture, God declares that through His creation all humanity recognizes His existence, power, glory, and wisdom. An honest study of nature - its physical, biological, and social aspects - can prove useful in a person’s search for truth. Properly understood, God’s Word (Scripture) and God’s world (nature), as two revelations (one verbal, one physical) from the same God, will never contradict each other.

Here, they have been working on a “testable creation model”, which I believe AJ will speak about here. Linked from this page are several articles that dig in to the Big Bang, the origin of life, evolution, hominids, and the historical Adam.


The concepts seem to be . . . interesting (trying to be constructive here).

The potential problems are numerous. First, they claim that birds and bats are not related, which needs some evidence to back it. Evolutionary theory proposes a common ancestor for all tetrapods, with birds and bats being tetrapods.

They also claim that God will give species the same adaptation for similar challenges, yet they also say that these convergent adaptations are fundamentally different. It seems they need to pick one. Are they the same adaptation or are they fundamentally different?

I have also skimmed some other articles and conflation seems to be a common theme. They often switch between DNA sequence and phenotype without realizing each has different implications. For example, in their article Repeatable Evolution or Repeated Creation? they fail to distinguish between convergent phenotype and divergent genotype.

More importantly, I am not seeing anything that relates directly to the question of nested hierarchies, at least not yet.

(The Honest Skeptic) #80

They attempt to be very open and honest and have adjusted their model many times as certain discoveries have presented challenges. I cannot assist with the content, because I don’t know enough to be able to do so, but I can vouch for the integrity of the individuals involved and their approach (which is to reconcile science and scripture, but not allow one to override the other.) I hope that AJ will be able to return often enough to keep the conversation alive.

(John Harshman) #81

Sorry, but that isn’t content. It doesn’t say anything. Looking for science here.

Closer. But perhaps some of that could be brought here directly so as to be open for discussion. And anyway, that page does not in fact present any information about their model, only the anti-scientific principles that any such model must fit their current understanding of Genesis.

(John Harshman) #82

Yes, that seems a fundamental flaw in their explanation. Why don’t bats have feathered wings, if the creator is providing the same solution to the same problem? And, more on point here, how does convergence relate to separate kinds, whatever separate kinds are? One hopes someone will present a real hypothesis, but I wonder if one even exists.