What Are Your Favorite Arguments For Evolution?

The frequency of transition, transversion, and CpG mutations is also a great piece of evidence that is similar to the evidence you describe. There are two great blog posts on the subject by @glipsnort and @evograd respectively :

I also discuss this evidence in this thread:


I don’t think the frequency of transition, transversion, and CpG mutations such as described by Stephen Schaffner in his blog post « Testing Common Ancestry: It’s All About the Mutations » is a great argument for CD. This is because it makes the fallacy of affirming the consequent. Here is an example of such fallacy:
If it rains, then the lawn will be wet
The lawn is wet
Then it has rained
(The argument is false because many other reasons can be given in order to explain the wet lawn)

IOW, this fallacy takes the following form:
If A, then B.
Then A.

In his blog post, Schaffner makes the same error. He says that if humans and chimpanzees shared a common ancestor, then we should see a specific pattern of mutations between the 2 species. And because we observe said pattern, Schaffner concludes that humans and chimpanzees share a common ancestor. This conclusion is not warranted because other scenarios can explain the observed pattern of mutations. For example, imagine the case of special creation of humans and Chimpanzee like creatures. Imagine also that chimpanzee like creatures were created long before humans. And imagine that at the time of their creation, both species were endowed by their creator with very similar genes. In that case, both species will have accumulated mutations in such a way as to exhibit the same pattern that we observe today, won’t they?

Your are misrepresenting the article. The scenario of comparing genomes is put forward as a test of the hypothesis on common ancestry between chimps and humans. That hypothesis predicts patterns of shared genes. Then the patterns of similarities found is strong supporting evidence for the hypothesis. The “God was a common designer” hypothesis is not supported because there’s no way to predict what God would or would not do in Special Creation.

So there’s no logical fallacy, just your misunderstanding.


Funny. I guess you will have go to bed without supper tonight for being so bad and accusing @Giltil falsely. Because here is his exact quote about the very predictions and patterns you require:

Wrong because Gil’s “God did it” hypothesis doesn’t make any predictions. There is literally nothing an omnipotent God couldn’t do so no observation can possibly falsify the idea.


You both begin with the genetic evidence and work backwards to the god of your own choosing. You, to the god of a common ancestor; he, to the true and Living God of Heaven (whom by the way, you should learn to fear).

Still funny. And still, no supper.

No. We’re predicting the genetic evidence, something you appear to be afraid to do with your hypothesis.


No. Science started with a hypothesis, then the genetic evidence prediction was tested and found to be supporting. ID-Creationism did it backwards, starting with the genetic data and force-fitting it into a Design scenario.

Another reason why ID-Creationism isn’t science.


Humans have come up with something like 20,000 different gods. Which one are you talking about?


What in the world are you rambling about? Your string of non-sequiturs has nothing at all to do with the OP topic or with what I was discussing.


No. The humans would have accumulated considerably fewer mutations than the chimps. And why are we assuming a starting point of “similar” (by which you really mean identical) sequences? Further, this pattern extends not just to humans vs. chimps but to all primates. What you’re talking about here is extensive, simulated common ancestry. Your alternative explanation makes no sense.


First, that is completely false. [edit: the evidence would be exactly the same and I think you know it]

Fine, we will just have @Giltil add all primates to his argument of special creation. @Giltil, how about it?

Just two responses: 1. That doesn’t appear to be an argument at all, just you trying to score some unintelligible snarky point. 2. No, I don’t know anything of the sort, because he didn’t.

No, you said that chimps were created considerably before humans. If they started from the same point, the chimps would have accumulated considerably more mutations in the longer time of their existence.

You are not helping yourself by showing that you don’t understand the arguments. Best to stop.


What in tarnation? I thought you said you weren’t hanging around here long.


Young Earth Creationists believe that all humans are descended from Adam. Does that mean that they worship Adam as “the god of a common ancestor”?

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Where did I say this? I think I know what @Giltil is suggesting - namely, the same as I did - that the supposed 4.5 bya branching of humans and chimps per evolutionary ideas is the very point at which God’s special creation of Man and incidental creation of the chimpanzee took place. Neither he nor I are suggesting any history further in reverse of that moment. I will let @Giltil speak, however.

Your arguments are based on your fictional Tree of Life.

But there really is something that all of you need to answer and creationists already know you cannot do. And actually, it falsifies your entire paradigm. That we and the remainder of society even let you continue to argue your point is concessionary on our part.

You cannot answer the Cambrian level of life in the fossil column. You cannot demonstrate links, ancestry, a beginning point at a single life organism. This actually fails your and Darwin’s entire paradigm of gradualism.

Yes. But so what? I don’t see how this goes against my hypothesis of special creation for humans and chimp like creatures since what we are trying to explain here is the pattern of genetic differences we observe today BETWEEN both species, not the number of mutations that occurred WITHIN each species since their creation. And I argue that special creation explains the observed pattern of genetic differences between the 2 species as well as CD. Note that doesn’t mean that I necessarily believe that special creation explains all observation as well as CD.

Not necessarily identical, since the creator would likely have fine tuned the genes according to the physiological needs of the organism.

You didn’t. @Giltil did, as he agrees below. But it’s OK, he doesn’t care about that discrepancy.

I presume you mean “4.5 mya”. But what’s “supposed” about it? The fact of branching or the age. Are you arguing for separate creation millions of years ago or thousands? If thousands, how could you get so many mutations in that time?

Why is creation of chimps incidental? You’re saying it’s some kind of unavoidable byproduct? And why should simultaneous creation start with identical DNA in the two species? How would it, for that matter? Aren’t the differences between humans and chimps caused by different DNA sequences?

Then how do you account for the fact that the differences between the human/chimp common ancestor (or common template, if you prefer) and gorillas also follow the expected mutation frequencies?

No, you have it backwards. My arguments support a tree of life. The data are compatible with a tree, but they aren’t compatible with separate creation unless God is attempting a careful simulation of common descent.

And here comes the Gish gallop:

The Cambrian explosion, which you seem to be referring to, is preceded by a fairly long history, though poorly preserved, of gradual increase in diversity and complexity of fossils. I suggest reading Erwin & Valentine’s The Cambrian Explosion: The Reconstruction of Animal Biodiversity, probably available at some nearby library.

Actually, I can, though of course the Cambrian explosion doesn’t begin with a single organism or even a single species. The Cambrian is not the origin of life or even the origin of animals. We can trace evolution back, independently of fossils, by examining the morphology and molecules of extant species. You are not just related to chimps. You are also related to lampreys, tunicates, and starfish.


What do you mean “not necessarily”? How could creation of separate species with identical genomes even be possible? What causes the differences, if not different genomes? And why does this supposed fine-tuning fit into the same distribution of differences as predicted from the distribution of mutations?