Skip to comments.Donald Prothero’s Imaginary Evidence for Evolution (yet another evo hoax!)
Posted on 12/01/2009 6:39:06 PM PST by GodGunsGuts
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You know, there’s lots of theories and explanations out there about this whole creation thing. There’s the evolutionist no God needed explanation, the God needed, ID, you earth Christian, old earth Christian, Gap Theory people, and probably some I missed.
Seems like everyone has an opinion and everyone is sure that there’s is right. And yet with most of them, even the ones with the strongest arguments to support them, there are complications. There are interpretations of the evidence which fit better with some positions and weaken others.
The YEC for 6,000 just doesn’t leave enough time for recorded history from the time of the Flood. So some make it 6,000 to 10,000 years, but if you’re going to reject the 6,000 year age which many have used the Bible to support, then 10,000 isn’t any better. It might as well be 10 billion.
The old earth people have the complication of *days* in Genesis being distinguished with *there was evening and there was morning, day ___*, indicating that it was 24 hour days.
The Gap Theory, that I’d heard a LONG time ago, that there is a gap between verse 1 and 2 in Genesis 1 is rejected by most parties. It fits OK to some extent, but does not have a lot of Scriptural support.
The IDers just have a lot of unanswered questions, although the basic premise of their position is just that “certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection.” (definition from wikipedia, for convenience sake). Both sides have a field day with that one.
The evolutionists, who claim that God used evolution, are forced into a position of denying the plain meaning of a lot of Scripture.
The no God needed people have the weakest argument. They scoff at the idea that *Goddidit* and then expect us to believe that it just happened with NO impetus. More unreasonable that *Godiddit* and I doubt many people are solidly in that camp.
The explanation that I find that fits the best, which is rejected pretty much uniformly amongst the different groups, is this one.....
The Age of the Universe
It seems to corroborate the evidence with Scripture the best, but the young earthers don’t like it and most of the comments by the evolutionists are not complimentary.
All that said, God tried to explain something extremely complex and intricate, in as concise a way as possible. Even if He had gone into great detail in the Bible, the Bible would still be considered wrong by many if it didn’t line up with the current, but still very limited, state of knowledge about our world and universe.
The long and short of it is that I essentially don’t think that ANYONE is completely right, and we won’t find out until we see God face to face, if it’s even a priority anymore after meeting Him.
To me, the age of the earth is completely irrelevant in terms of the practical working out of my day to day living. Whether the earth is 6,000 years old or 6 billion, since I’ve been around only a few decades, it doesn’t really matter.
The thing to remember for all college professors and scientists is that they really believe that they’re right and teach it as fact, but it’s just their interpretation of what happened. It doesn’t mean that it really did happen that way. They can’t be sure because nobody was there to see it, and honestly, some of the presumptions that anthropologists and archaeologists make are, umm, quite a stretch.
Keeping that in mind helps.
How many of these can explain why do we not find mammals in the Cambrian strata?
Probably a couple.
Which ones and what is the explanation?
Thanks for providing that link.
Don't they burn him every year?
It would clearly depend on the presumptions that you’re starting with.
From the worldview of the scientist and what has been decided about how the earth was formed,etc, their explanation does fit their paradigm. But that depends on whether the scenarios put forth by scientists are correct.
For the others, since fossilization is currently not well understood, from everything I’ve read, it gets back to the adage of, in the field, lack of evidence is not evidence of lack. Since not everything was fossilized, there’s simply no way to determine what may have existed that wasn’t.
FWIW, lack of an explanation does not invalidate the other views. Sometimes lack of information can be the cause. I’m not going to be writing them off because of an anomaly.
There is plenty of other issues with the ToE that weaken it, though.
Like I said, they all have their strong and weak points and none are a completely satisfactory explanation. Evolution presumes too much without good reason. The level of order and complexity and information defies probability for it to be unguided.
Did you ever read Schroeder’s work on the age of the universe?
Also good job at avoiding the question, lots of words but no answer,so lets try this different way and this time give straight answer.
So how do you explain the fact that we never find any trilobites above the Permian strata, and why we never find dinosaurs above the cretaceous strata?
Which is really a matter of opinion...
Length of time notwithstanding, probability is against the level of complexity arising spontaneously that scientists claim. There's the mentality that since we're here, it must have happened, but that's just rationalizing it away.
None of the *scientific* explanations for origins are anywhere near adequate. There's simply not enough known about early earth history to justify their pronouncements about how life began. And before you go off on how origins are not part of the ToE, without origins, there could be no ToE.
So, variation within species and natural selection aside, which can and does explain a lot, life itself originating unaided is just not feasible.
THAT's the big weakness of the no-God scientific worldview.
So how do you explain the fact that we never find any trilobites above the Permian strata, and why we never find dinosaurs above the cretaceous strata?
I know of no mechanism that could separate out fossils into distinct categories like that. That's what I consider one of the complications of the young earth Flood scenario.
The evolutionary theory offers a very simple explanation for that.
Also youre argument from personal incredulity fails. The fact is that the evolutionary theory does not address the origins of life, no matter how many times up set that straw man up it does not change the facts.
Darwin was not trying to explain the origins of life
It is no valid objection that science as yet throws no light on the far higher problem of the essence or origin of life (Darwin, Charles. The Origin of Species. 6th edition, 1882. p. 421
Science does not allow you to change to facts to fit your inability to accept what the evidence clearly shows.
That is more that a complication it is one of the many facts that falsifies the young earth flood scenario.
Without origins, there is no life.
Science may be able to explain variation within species and natural selection, Even creationist websites don’t deny those aspects of the ToE (if you’d ever bothered to read some of the articles, you’d have found that out) but there is NO reasonable explanation for origins.
I know what evos keep saying about them being separate, but it is unreasonable. The distinction is simply a break in the continuum from the initial formation of simple chemicals to the most complex to the point of what we define as life, that is just for the convenience of giving some sort of credibility to the ToE. Since spontaneous generation has been disproved, that complication has to, and had to, be removed from the ToE.
You can’t logically and honestly keep saying that you look at how life evolved from one common ancestor and then just stop cold when you get to the first one and pretend that it’s irrelevant as to where that came from. If it’s relevant where everything else came from, it’s reasonable to ask where the first came from.
What were the common ancestors of the bacteria and algae? From what did they evolve?
The long and short of it is, that there is simply no reasonable explanation that science can give for the formation of life at all, whatever they think that they can explain about what may or may not have happened after that.
Plus, origins not being part of the ToE is not a universally held view outside of FR, and that has been rehashed many times already.
Well, why didn’t you answer my question in the previous post?
I’ll repost it here.
“Why didnt he just go ahead and use a REAL example from REAL life, instead of making something up? Wouldnt that be more effective? Wouldnt that have given him more credibility?”
You can have another chance.
Why didn’t he use a real life example? Aren’t there any he could have used?
You are still presenting an argument from personal incredulity and it still fails.
Your straw man still does not change the fact that Darwin was not trying to explain the origins of life. Just because it is too difficult for you to understand does not prove that God did it.
Stating that we do not understand the origin of life does not invalidate the evolutionary theory there are mountains of evidence much of which you accept showing how life has changed since its inception.
While the origins of life are a question of interest to evolutionary biologist and frequently studied in conjunction with researchers from other fields such as geochemistry and organic chemistry, the core of evolutionary theory itself does not rest on a foundation that requires any knowledge about the origins of life on earth. It is primarily concerned with the change and diversification of life after the origins of the earliest living things
Here is a useful link on your question about the bacteria and algae
Huh??? Why would I explain why it "doesn't"? Of course it does.
Mutations are random with respect to fitness. That is, mutations just occur, by various mechanisms, and it's only later, in the nonrandom process of selection (the effect of differential rates of survival and reproduction) that nature "decides" what constitutes success or failure.
Incidentally... Strictly speaking the mutations themselves are neither successes or failures. It is the variant forms the mutations sometimes produce (and sometimes mutations are neutral or "silent," and not associated with variations in outward form or behavior) that will succeed or fail relative to other variant forms.
Lets say mutation A is a viable mutation and is represented by heads.
Mutation B is a non-viable mutation and is represented by tails.
Is it then your contention that evolution always comes up heads?
Yes, of course that is my contention.
The entire process of evolution -- including both mutation and selection -- always comes up heads. ("Always," at least assuming parameters are not wildly askew; i.e. mutation rates are not abnormally high, population sizes are not abnormally low, etc.)
Especially in respect to the stark contrast you posit, of "viable" versus "non-viable" mutations. (Actually, many mutants are only slightly more or less viable than other forms.) You do know what "viable" means, don't you?
1 : capable of living; especially : having attained such form and development as to be normally capable of surviving outside the mother's womb
2 : capable of growing or developing
3 a : capable of working, functioning, or developing adequately b : capable of existence and development as an independent unit c (1) : having a reasonable chance of succeeding (2) : financially sustainable
Certainly any variant that is literally "non-viable" must be rapidly eliminated from a population.
Where are the fossils of the failures? Produce one.
You continue with this bizarre notion -- and I'm not sure exactly what your thinking is here, or if even you are clear about your thinking -- that failures should produce fossils, even abundant fossils. Why do you think this? If failure means a failure at surviving or reproducing, then how do populations of failures ever become large enough to leave fossils?
How about this. Why don't YOU produce one. Let's take polydactyly (the congenital production of extra fingers or toes) for instance.
This condition occurs in about 1 in 500 live births. That means there are MILLIONS of humans alive right now who have this condition (or had it surgically fixed after birth).
But -- so far as I know -- there is not one single human fossil with extra fingers of toes.
This is a complete absence of fossil "failures" not for something hypothetical, but for a condition that we KNOW exists, and reoccurs regularly in every generation.
It is just that it is relatively rare, and rare forms generally aren't preserved as fossils, just due to the laws of chance. Fossils themselves are rare (with exceptions, e.g. diatoms and such, but certainly few exceptions for complex animals like mammals, reptiles or birds) so a particular form must be numerous in the first place to even leave fossils, and even then fossils will tend to be of the most "typical" forms for a given species.
I never said I expected anything to survive. In fact, I said the opposite.
Actually you said (if evolution were true) you would expect literally "impossible" creatures to be common found as fossils. Which is to say they would exist in large enough numbers to leave enough fossils that would be commonly found. Which is, in effect, to say that non-viable creatures be viable. Which is quite nonsensical.
But feel free to believe in your miraculous unknown force that never fails, only succeeds.
That would be the "force" that says viable creatures are more viable than non-viable creatures. Now, how is that "miraculous"?!?
Where do you get the bizarre notion that random means always succeeding?
Nowhere, because obviously I don't have such a notion. Again, the entire process of evolution -- variation WITH variants experience differing rates of survival and reproductive success based on their fitness, i.e. mutation AND selection -- is NOT random. It's not, of course, deterministic either, but it's NOT random.
What's random about evolution is the PARTS of evolution that are random, namely the mutations that produce variation. IOW, variation occurs in all organically and genetically possible directions. A mutant is, in the general case, as apt to be a bit smaller as it is to be a bit larger than the non-mutant form.
THEN there's the NON-random part of evolution -- selection -- where it gets decided, based on all the interacting factors of the environment and the organism's relation to that environment, whether it's better to be a bit smaller, better to be a bit bigger, or best to remain about the same.
That selection factor determines whether the randomly occurring variation will non-randomly move the population in the direction of getting smaller, of getting larger, or of (despite the presence of variation in each generation) staying about the same.
The whole process is therefore NON-random. Selection NON-randomly tends to eliminate either larger variants and preserve smaller ones, or eliminate smaller and preserve larger, or eliminate both larger and smaller and preserve average.
How did evolution discover, mathematically, the concept and application of a straight line? How about a parabolic curve? How many times did evolution cause a plant to grow in a completely erratic fashion, because it hadnt yet discovered the engineering concept of a straight line? Oh, a straight line is nothing, you say? Then lets see you produce one...from nothing, with no knowledge.
First, plant branches generally are not straight. It's why we invented this thing called "lumber," and why we cut branches to make it.
But what is the, relatively, straightest part of a plant? The trunk, right? What do a need to "know" as a plant to grow a straight trunk? I need to know the direction called "up". If I grow consistently "up," my trunk will be generally straight. How do I know "up" from down? Well, it's this little thing called "gravity".
In fact if you start a plant normally, but then turn it sideways, the branch or shoot will NOT grow straight. It will bend in order to keep growing "up" wrt gravity.
Thanks for the ping!
That is not quite true.
It will bend to keep growing towards the maximum source of sunlight.
I answered your question...I'll do it yet again. He DID provide "real" examples of exactly what he was talking about...Hox genes and how a few mutations in a Hox gene will have dramatic effects on phylogeny, presumably providing a method by which major changes could happen in one or a few generations.......like changing from 4-winged insects to 2-winged insects with haltares. He provided the specific Hox gene, explained what it did, explained what happens with very few mutations to the specific gene, and had an illustration of what can happen with only a few minor changes in the specific gene. The illustration was not of an actual living 18-winged dragon fly. It was an illustration of what changes to the specific Hox have the capability of doing....forming wings on each thoracic segment.
Then YOU ran around harping about 18-winged dragonflies never existing in nature (strawman)....when the man NEVER MADE THE CLAIM THAT THEY DID EXIST.
Now, you want "real examples in nature" of actual living insects that have a mutation in that specific gene and the effect on the phylogeny that he's talking about....look to EVERY species that has haltares instead of 2 pairs of wings.
Here's one to get you started:
Before you wrote your latest, it occurred to me the time element was the key, had worked it out some but not nearly to the extent it is explained at the link.
The earliest writer(s) had to express with the language as it had developed by that time as to vocabulary, doubt they had a word such as millenia, etc., or a numbering system into the billions when that was written.
It gets pretty deep, but the link is such that I can comprehend it but couldn't have possibly come up with it myself.
What I’m impressed with is the genius of Nachmanides. The conclusions he arrived at from the reading of Genesis are pretty impressive.
Kind of throws a wet blanket on those who claim that the Bible is not relevant, or is not accurate scientifically, or can’t be used as a science text.
The evos have been strangely silent on that whole article. I can’t find one who seems to have read it through and given it careful consideration, or is willing to discuss the ramifications.
I think it answers a lot of questions and ties a lot together that otherwise is left hanging.
I don't think that's correct. My understanding, at least, is that the gravity cue is far stronger than the light cue, such that a plant will turn away from sunlight to follow gravity. If you think about it, this almost has to be the case, as there are many instances when a plant has to grow without any direct sunlight, e.g. when shaded in the understory, or before the new shoots break ground.
I recall learning that geotropism exerts the stronger influence that phototropism.
I’d put my money on geotropism first.
Plants can detect “up” by sensory cilia at the “bottom” of a cell getting disturbed by pellets that settle out of the cytoplasm.
Geotropism is essential for the young spout to grow UP out of the soil.
Once up out of the soil, a plant uses heliotropism to turn its leaves towards the Sun. It doesn't grow towards the sun, as much as it turns towards the sun; because where the sun is changes during the day. Heliotropism is accomplished by swelling tissues with water, while evacuating other tissue of water- causing the stem to twist, turning the leaves towards the sun; facing East in the morning and west in the evening.
I have watched over a period of months, a set of vines take off horizontally, then up a hill, then directly to an abandoned car bumper, and wrap themselves around it.
Is it because the car bumper is an extreme source of gravity?
I understand what you are saying, however I think it odd the way you say it.
“It doesn’t grow towards the sun, as much as it turns towards the sun; because where the sun is changes during the day.”
That is like saying that if I am trying to get my sailboat back to port, and I have to tack to keep on course, I’m not really heading to port.
Thanks for the example. When shaded in the understory, many plants and trees will grow horizontally to get out from under a larger plant. Or, out from under a ledge.
A question. Why do you think it is important that certain seeds be planted at certain depths?
(Hint: It has nothing to do with gravity)
Sorry to be bothersome, but another question rears it’s head.
Why do roots grow downward? Is this caused by gravity as well?
Heliotropism isn't the plant growing towards the Sun (which direction is towards the Sun?); it is the plant turning its leaves towards the Sun.
Even if the plant isn't growing, they will still display heliotropism; facing East in the morning and West in the evening.
As far as a vine growing over a car, that is what vines do. They grow over things and “rob” them of their sunlight; luckily for the car it doesn't need sunlight.
A seed must be planted at a depth where it can successfully take root, but not so deep that it will exhaust the energy of its endosperm before starting to gain energy through photosynthesis.
Generally I take the advice of the farmers almanac or the seed pack when planting. I am an experimental scientist but I have little interest in conducting an experiment on proper seed planting depth. I just want good produce and follow the advice of those who have done it before and hopefully received good results.
What factors do YOU see influencing how deep to plant a seed?
And yet, in reality, a plant will ignore gravity, to follow the sunlight.
You can do this test yourself, at home.
Set up a plant so that the only source of light comes from below the level of the planter.
So, if I am driving down the street, and I turn the steering wheel, which turns the front tires in that direction, you are telling me that I won't actually turn left, but my tires will be facing it as I go by?
I apparently didn't communicate well. The vines grew straight towards the car bumper, from 40 feet away, and wrapped themselves around the bumper. They followed the top of the ground, until they got a few feet away, then started growing at an approaching angle, until they get exactly to the bumper. They did not go any further. They simply spiraled themselves around that bumper.
Is it towards the Sun at morning, evening or midday?
What direction is “towards the Sun”?
Heliotropism is the turning of the leaves, like little solar panels, so that they are perpendicular to the incoming sunlight. This is caused by hydraulic pressure in the stems.
A sunflower faces east in the morning and west in the evening; which direction is it growing?
Heliotropism is the diurnal motion of plant parts (flowers or leaves) in response to the direction of the sun.
Heliotropism was first described by Leonardo da Vinci (along with gravitropism) in his botanical studies. The term “heliotropism,” though, was introduced in the early 1800s by A. P. de Candolle, for the growth of the stem tip towards light, which is now called phototropism. The term heliotropism is now used only for solar tracking.
Assuming you meant, learned it in school, in your younger years, let me ask you this:
Were they correct? You were also told that the Universe was infinite (I assume), then you were told it was Finite (after discovery of the big bang wave). Which is true?
We are arguing that scientists of the past may have been misinformed ( like, say, Darwin) and yet you stick to a teaching that may be just as untrue.
Matter of fact, if you look at nature around you, you will see that the Sun is the main force of growth, and that gravity more likely plays only a tiny little part in a plant 'figuring' out which way to grow.
What I'm saying is that if one wants to imply that plants 'understand' and 'use' gravity, (pretty intelligent thing, I'd say), then OK. But, they also know if they don't follow, or grow towards the Sun, they will die.
Towards nutrients, including water. They are actually darn good at finding water. They will break through metal pipes just to get to water.
I would say you don't need to look it up, as it is fairly obvious. You understand it completely.
The problem I had with your response earlier is that you don't see turning towards the Sun the same as growing towards the Sun.
What causes a seed to actually sprout?
(Hint: again, it's not gravity)
If you go back to my original comment, you will see I said:
“It will bend to keep growing towards the maximum source of sunlight.”
That is, in a shorter form, exactly what you keep stating to me, and yet you say I am wrong.
If you put a source of sunlight (or artificial light) say, to the side of a plant, it will turn and grow in that direction.
Is this not true?
If you win , nothing. I get the prize in the form of learning something new.
If you lose, however, you win the prize.
I don't recall saying you were wrong, other than pointing out that “towards the Sun” isn't a constant direction; it is variable. And heliotropism isn't keeping the entire plant moving in one direction, it is twisting the leaves so that they face east in the AM and west in the PM.
And yes, if you put a grow light to the left of a plant, it will display Phototropism and grow (its stems) towards the light and to the left.
If you track the light from one side to the other over the course of a 12 hour period, the stems will still be growing towards the left due to its initial Phototropism; but its leaves will track the light as it moves because its (leftward growing) stems will twist to keep the leaves facing the light; this is Heliotropism.
If you move the light from the left of the plant to the right, its stems will start growing in the other direction and it will look like one confused plant!
Phototropism will point the plant stem/wood structure in the direction where it is getting the most sunlight; and Heliotropism will point the leaves towards the sun by causing the stems to twist through hydraulic pressure.
So I guess Phototropism is the long term strategy of growing the entire plant structure towards the sunlight; while Heliotropism is the day to day tactic of facing your leaves to the sunlight.
I imagine temperature and water might do the trick via chemical signals that activate transcription factors that transcribe genes to produce the proper protein signaling molecules to start the ball rolling; but I just say that as a former farmer and current molecular biologist who took botany a LOOOOONG time ago. ;)
When the seed planted underground sprouts, it responds to gravity before it can respond to light, because it hasn’t been exposed to light yet.
What I’ve seen is that plants bend towards the light but you can make some interesting shaped plants if you lay them on their side, or like with this new way of growing tomato plants, hang them upside down.
What I’ve noticed is that plants respond more strongly to gravity, wanting to grow up, than they do towards sunlight.
I.E. Plants and trees grow towards the maximum source of sunlight (following it by maintaining an average position with respect to it’s daily movement).
If the source of light is rigid, they grow straight for it.
The plant’s ability to use (or need to use) is likely miniscule, and may only be used in a very brief period when it is underground.
A seed sprouts due to moisture and temperature (change). The temperature change is a direct result of sunlight. The sprouting seed pursues the source of that warmth to reach the surface. In that case it may be following infra-red rather than visible solar.
The use of ‘gravity’ to determine direction of growth is an unproven theory, and seems to have very little effect compared to the source of heat and light.
If you can point me to a documented source which can prove that seeds use ‘gravity’ to determine direction, I would be glad to read it.
As discussed in our previous Update (Chen et al., 1999), different cells are specialized to carry out these successive phases of gravitropism in monocots and dicots. For instance, in roots, gravity is perceived mainly by the columella cells of the root cap, whereas the differential growth response associated with gravistimulation occurs in the elongation zone (EZ; Figs. 1A and 2). In shoots, cells located in specialized tissues at the periphery of the vasculature, including the endodermis of hypocotyls (Fig. 1B), and the bundle sheath parenchyma in inflorescence stems and cereal pulvini perceive gravity and generate a signal that is transported laterally to the more peripheral tissues.
Thank you for the detailed info and pictures.
These starch statoliths may assist the roots in determining which direction is ‘down’, but does that mean they also tell the ‘sprout’ which direction is ‘up’? Could it be that the ‘sprout’ goes by infra-red radiation coming from ‘above’?
It uses those starch statoliths to determine which direction it is going to send up its cotyledons. IIRC they did some trick with the starch statoliths to confuse the plant, and it sent shoots the wrong way. This gravotropism is also why NASA scientists were interested in sprouting seeds in zero gravity.
If you have a hypothesis about infra-red detection, we need an experiment, and data to support that; then find your mechanism and the signaling pathways. Or if the work has already been done you need a good reference to it.
Gravotropism has the hypothesis, the experiment, the data that supports it, as well as a known mechanism. I am unaware of the exact signaling pathways, but no doubt some sort of cascade of phosphorylations or some such modifying proteins, transcribing different genes, etc. Plant cells are often interconnected via cytoplasm, so signals are regional and often need no specific inter-cellular mechanism.