The First Principles of Created Kinds


(Anjeanette AJ Roberts) #83

Leave the original thread alone and start another thread with a duplicated comment… people can then continue the original thread OR get dragged off topic and enter the tangential topic whenever they desire or have time.

This is extremely annoying, there is no evidence left of contributions I was trying to make to a previous dialogue. They’ve been transported out. This is like nailing jello to a wall… imo.

(Anjeanette AJ Roberts) #84

Some do say it’s at the phyla level. Some are more agnostic about where the levels are, and it is quite possibly not a simple Linnaeun designation across all groups that corresponds to proposed created “kinds”. I don’t particularly like the baggage that comes with “kinds” but it is a placeholder for what probably was called archetypes or body plans by pre-Darwinian scientists. It is possibly at the phyla level. The Cambrian explosion fossil record is a considerable data point. And not have resolution to tell one way or the other is possibly the best acknowledgement we can make.

(Anjeanette AJ Roberts) #85

It seems to me this is a very philosophical (or Greek) way to approach nature. Science ala the Renaissance and Bacon compel us to make observations and then build models. The OEC takes a non-literalistic view that Scripture gives us some data points, and observations and testing of hypotheses in nature give us additional ones. Observations of nature via scientific inquiry may mean reinterpretation of previous interpretations of Scripture.

This is all based in human reasoning from the data… not just what can we imagine… I think we need to lay out some first principles and I’m not trying to shirk that request. But what might the data look like if there is considerable adaptive capacities within created types (built into the genomes, a type of genomic plasticity, for the purpose of allowing diversification and thriving under changing environmental conditions)? And would there ever be cross-breeding between various organisms descended from different created types (would this possible? permissible?) How do common archetypes (molecular or phenotypic) reimplemented in different created types show up in the data? To what extent does horizontal gene transfer complicate or factor into various higher-order organisms’ genetics or multicellular organisms’ genetics?

How do we begin to examine large sets of complete genomes, across entire genomes and multiple species (types) trying to delineate what is inheritance? What is gene transfer? What is common archetypes reimplemented by design?


Our current understanding is that species are different from each other because the DNA sequence of their genomes is different. Phenotypic plasticity is a real thing, but it doesn’t explain the larger differences between species.

Therefore, I would expect a creation model to incorporate some sort of mechanism that guides mutations through time, be it through front loading or direct manipulation by God. This gets into some deep genetic waters with a whole host of implications. For example, what about all of the neutral mutations? Where do those come from? Should we see the same mutations in distantly related organisms in response to the same environmental challenges? What does the model predict in the way of specific mutation rates for transition and transversion mutations as well as CpG and non-CpG sites? Suffice it to say, I don’t see how this model could make any concrete predictions about the distribution of DNA sequences, much less predict a tree-like relationship between them.

Those are certainly good questions that would need answers. I think we can confidently say that horizontal gene transfer is extremely rare in complex eukaryotes, so that mechanism can be largely ignored for that group of organisms.

Shared bases are inherited from a common ancestor and differences are lineage specific mutations. That’s the simplified version of how the comparisons are done within the evolutionary model.

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #87

@AJRoberts and @Agauger, understood. @moderators will try this, especially with your threads, for a while to see if it solves the problem:


@AJRoberts has been very honest and forthcoming in this thread, and I will assume all mistakes or misunderstandings are honest ones until proven otherwise.

My outlook is that we probably have a fundamental disagreement, but it is worthwhile to sometimes say “Ok, let’s try it your way and see where it leads”. That’s the approach I am taking here.


I actually have access to some books by Hugh Ross that might contain a testable creationist model (I believe it is " More Than a Theory: Revealing a Testable Model for Creation"). I may not have it finished in a timely manner, but will definitely check it out.


Not terribly helpful in a number of apparent cases of horizontal transfer. Part of some ‘Kinds’ aren’t quite distinct.

(John Harshman) #91

Why do they say that? How would you tell?

(John Harshman) #92

You can’t say that unless you can define kinds, which so far nobody has attempted here. The closest is “some say it’s at the phyla level”, which is only a claim about what some unnamed people think.

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #93

Others say it is at the family level.

Other say at the genus level.

(T J Runyon) #94

Genus, Family, and Order are the most common levels I’ve seen in the baraminology and discontinuity systematics literature

(John Harshman) #95

And yet there’s never any justification even attempted for any of those choices.

(John Mercer) #96

Isn’t a model less than a theory?

(Timothy Horton) #97

This ^^^^. “Kind” seems to mean whatever any particular Creationist feels like it means at any given time based solely on intuition and /or “gut feel”. And I’ve also never seen any attempt by any Creationist, ever, to explain what prevents a “kind” from evolving outside of its undefined yet somehow preset limitations.

Why does RTB even bother with “kinds”? Is it some primal need to map every last thing in the Bible to physical reality no matter how much mental gymnastics are required?

(Jon Garvey) #98

The pattern of this thread is odd - @AJRoberts makes one statement, and twenty long posts describe why it is not a statement of anything. It seems rather like the class talking about the unpopular kid when she’s out of the room.

Maybe it’s because I don’t see any scientific significance in “created kinds,” so can’t get enthused to discuss it. I’d be the kid making paper aeroplanes in the corner.

But what strikes me is that the criticisms made of her words are worth reflecting on as applied to evolutionary concepts too. In principle variation, neutral evolution and adaptive selection are “free agents,” so that Argon’s horizontal transfers happily break down the neat (???) nested hierarchies as much as they break down the biblical kinds. And that’s not surprising.

Yet the debate since Linnaeus, about which biological categories of classification are “natural” and which merely “useful,” continues. There are phyla and classes, and the evidence is that they generally emerge in the record top down rather than by gradual divergence, and remain stable thereafter. Interbreeding between genera is rare enough to be the exception that proves the rule. What prevents those nested hierarchies simply jumping out of the nest for hundreds of millions of years? What in evolutionary theory prevents bats from developing feathers by convergence?

So it seems to me if the creationists need to show why there are exceptions to kinds, it’s equally a problem to say how there are natural categories in non-creationist biology at all, when (unlike creationsim) there is no theory of universals in nature.

(John Harshman) #99

Possibly two or three short posts, but hyperbole is a fine rhetorical tool. But consider one possibility: the complaints are valid.

Not true. They break down the nested hierarchy only slightly and in obvious and well understood ways. Nor is horizontal transer the main evidence against “kinds”.

Not true. Both are arbitrary ranks applied to selected points on a tree of descent.

Simple probability and contingency. Feathers are complex structures whose form arose over millions of years in a particular genetic and environmental context. The genetic context can’t be repeated, and the environmental context, if repeated, would probably act on that different context in a quite different way. That’s why mammals have hair and bats don’t have feathers.

That’s not what they need to show. They need to show that there actually are kinds, what they are, and how you would recognize them.

Not sure how universals enter into it. There aren’t natural categories, if by that you refer to taxonomic ranks. There are just taxa. And that’s because there’s speciation and extinction.

(Dan Eastwood) #100

This topic was my attempt to salvage an interesting question from an argument thread on The Back Porch. It didn’t work out. :-/

(Timothy Horton) #101

Looks like we’re never going to get those first principles of created kinds. :frowning_face:


At least in my view, you use a model to construct specific theories and specific hypotheses. Different branches of science and statisticians may treat these terms differently, but in this specific discussion I think model and theory can be used interchangeably.