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REPLY #29e TO
"EVOLUTION VS. CREATIONISM"



Boldfaced statements are parts of the original essay (or a subsequent reply) to which the respondent has directed his comments.

Italicized/emphasized comments
prefaced by (R) are those of the respondent and are presented unedited.

My replies appear under the respondent's comments in blue text and are prefaced by my initials (MB).
This is the last of a five-part reply.

This has already been addressed. How about reading another paper?
[The Beginnings of Life on Earth]

(R) Back to talk.origins - your informational Bible.
(MB) This is great! Here we have absolute proof that you don't even bother to read these papers. The link above is *not* to any page on the Talk.Origins site -- which you would have easily seen had you actually gone there and read the paper.
    Now, to address your attempted put-down. Is there a problem with Talk.Origins? Is this site to be denigrated because of the wealth of information which is available there?


(R) Do talk.origins have a ministry outreach to Creationists? Will you provide me with a witnessing tract from them?
(MB) Science does not engage in "ministries". The Talk.Origins web site goes along with the alt.talk.origins newsgroup where you can converse with subject matter experts the world over. Have you tried taking some of your objections to that newsgroup to see how far they would fly? If not, why not?

ANSWER(S) REMAINING UNQUESTIONED
  • RE: I thought macro-evolution takes a great deal of time?
    Only when it involves large, multicellular creatures which will require a great many changes before speciation can take place. Speciation can be (and has been) easily observed in unicells in the lab and the fossil record provides direct evidence of it in larger creatures over long periods of time."
  • "You asked for examples of one species evolving into another. I provided a link to a page which details such examples. No response from you. I assume that this point will no longer be challenged."
QUESTION(S) REMAINING UNANSWERED
  • "Who is the author of that work [Evolution vol.2]? How did you come upon the examples that you presented? Were those the only ones listed?"
  • "Which encyclopedia and under which article(s)? What were the circumstances under which you came to read about them?"
  • "Actually, the coelacanth was thought to have been extinct for around 70 *million* years since no later record of them nor any live specimen had ever been found prior to the discovery you mentioned. Why do you think that this means it must be a transitional form?"
  • "What makes you say that it [Australopithecus afarensis] is a "missing link"? It is one of several transitional species between Homo sapiens and the common ancestor of Ape and Man."
This is blatantly ignorant nonsense. Please refer to this link for the truth. [link deleted]
(R) Oh it is? How does a bunch of comic book illustrations prove that the artifact's skull is not made mostly of plaster?
(MB) I think that what you're doing here is extrapolating and exaggerating a forensic restoration technique used on a single skull into a full-fledged fabrication of an entire collection of fossil evidence.

ANSWER(S) REMAINING UNQUESTIONED
  • "OK, so what's your problem with the concept? If we have an ancestral species A and its evolutionary descendant species D, then species B and C would be considered "transitional". If species E evolves from D at some point in the future, species D will become a transitional form in the evolution of E. Nobody who understands even the minutest amount of logic can argue with that, so your problem must be with "speciation" and not with transitional forms."
Given that you seem to agree about what a transitional form is, how can you dispute that any exist in the fossil record?
(R) Thats the point! I do understand these issues and I reject them.
(MB) Needless to say, you reject them without being able to provide so much as one detailed argument or objection against them. If you actually understood them, you wouldn't have to resort to that.
    Perhaps this is yet another problem with insufficient understanding of a specific term. To clear things up, why don't you give me your definition of "transitional form" and then explain exactly why they can't or don't exist.


(R) You seem to have this notion that unless one agrees with you, they somehow are not understanding the issue.
(MB) No, I have the notion that one doesn't understand the issues if he just categorically rejects things without demonstrating the smallest scrap of knowledge about them. Whether one agrees with me or not is irrelevant.

I thought you said that your library was full of support for Creationism?
(R) I never said that. I said that I have a whole library of books that support the Creation model.
(MB) As I've already asked you, what's the difference?

(R) Many of these books that support the Creation model are ones that are written in opposition to it, yet, there arguments are so transparent that the Creation model is supported inadvertantly.
(MB) So far, you've only been able to copy misquotes from Creationist publications to back up that claim. Needless to say, that's not much to hang your intellectual hat on. Also, it is illogical to say that the failure of any particular argument gives support to any other competing argument. For example, if one person says that the Moon is made of green cheese, the failure of this argument will not support another person's argument that the Moon is actually made of yogurt. The competing argument must be supported on its own strengths. This is why I keep asking for you to provide support for the competing belief that you put up against evolution. It must also stand or fall on its own merits (or lack of them).

ANSWER(S) REMAINING UNQUESTIONED
  • "You've skipped a few descendants. Hyracotherium (also known as Eohippus) diverged into Pachynolophus and Orohippus. Orohippus diverged into Epihippus and Mesohippus."
Now, I know you're not understanding what you're copying. The names Eohippus and Mesohippus *are* genus names, so they are obviously not the same genus
(R) First, I wasn't copying anything.
(MB) Oh? Then, where did the argument come from? If you just invented it, that's even worse.

(R) Second, the contention was that they *were* the same genus. This was a deliberate point I made, not a misunderstanding.
(MB) On what basis do you support a claim that the genus Eohippus and the genus Mesohippus are actually one and the same? If they actually *were* the same, they wouldn't be taxonomically classified as they are. You cut out the last sentence in my previous response which shows an important difference between the two (i.e., Mesohippus had three toes on all feet while Eohippus had four toes on its front feet.).

QUESTION(S) REMAINING UNANSWERED
  • "What "other interpretations" are these [that Merychippus is not a different species from Equus]? Certainly, they are not from any knowledgeable source.
ANSWER(S) REMAINING UNQUESTIONED
  • "Again, since Merychippus and Equus are genus names, saying that they "are different species" is taxanomically ignorant."
  • "This [Merychippus and modern horse fossils found in the same rock layer in China] would be rather interesting since Merychippus lived during the Miocene and Equus evolved millions of years later during the Pleistocene. I suspect that this story is in the same category of hoax as the one which claims that dinosaur and human bones have been found in the same strata."
QUESTION(S) REMAINING UNANSWERED
  • RE: pepper moths and Raeroe Islands mice
    Take the time. Go into them and explain why they are problems.
And, I have shown why your critique of the evolutionary history of the horse is incorrect.
(R) No you haven't.
(MB) Well, that's certainly a conclusive rebuttal. Would you mind providing a few details either to prove your point or to refute mine?

QUESTION(S) REMAINING UNANSWERED
  • "Do you have any additional problems with it [the evolutionary history of the horse] or will you just continue to believe that it's wrong despite the facts to the contrary?"
  • "Given the knowledge of what "transitional" means, how can you dispute that the evolutionary lineage of Equus contain such forms?"
  • RE: Abiogenesis page on Talk.Origins
    Excellent page! Too bad you didn't read any more of it than the brief mention of the 747 analogy. Did you even notice that the analogy was roundly criticized in that article?"
ANSWER(S) REMAINING UNQUESTIONED
  • At this point, you produced several misquotes of Charles Darwin and tried to use them to claim that he disputed his own theory. I demonstrated conclusively how you could not have actually read Origin of Species if you offered up those misquotes as being genuine. In one case, I showed where your misquote wasn't from Origin of Species at all! You were totally unable to respond to my corrections and clarifications with so much as one single word in your own defense. I guess we've now successfully put *that* nonsense to rest, as well, and we won't have to listen to any further bastardizations of Darwin (or anybody else, for that matter).
        Then, when I presented a long quote from Darwin, you just blew the whole thing off with a one-liner comment about it being "hypothetical" without being able to make any direct comments about anything contained within it.
Translation: "Yikes! I can't defeat that argument. I'd better just blow it off and hope nobody notices. But, of course, I won't acknowledge that I was wrong and will probably use the same misquotes in the next argument I get into about evolution."
(R) You'd like that to be true wouldn't you?
(MB) Whether I would like it or not is immaterial. It *is* true and that's demonstrated by the simplistic one-liner brushoff you offered in lieu of any detailed attempts at refutation.

(R) Unfortunately, your theoretical rhetoric was so empty that it could be refuted in one simple sentence.
(MB) Such a refutation is impossible in any number of sentences if there are no detailed arguments presented. Simply saying something is hypothetical doesn't make it so. To defend your "simple sentence", you will need to address the individual points contained within the quote and show how any or all of them are erroneous.

(R) Why don't you reread your paragraph and locate where you used the words "all these causes conjointly" and see if you can figure out my point?
(MB) The translation I gave a couple of paragraphs earlier figures out what your "point" amounts to. If you wish to present a true refutation, you will need to detail exactly how any individual cause is invalid or how any combination of those causes is impossible. Simply brushing everything off as "hypothetical" is little more than a blatant avoidance of the issue.
    BTW, the phrase "all these causes conjointly" is Darwin's -- not mine -- as is the entirety of the rest of the quote. To dispute it, you will need to show (in detail) how the sequence of events could not possibly have taken place.


QUESTION(S) REMAINING UNANSWERED
  • "Why would scientists make arguments against evolution in a book entitled "Scientists Confront Creationism"?"
"Often"? You said that you used it while looking up info on the 747 analogy. That must have been your only concern since it's pitifully obvious that you didn't read the rest of the page on which that analogy was mentioned. If you had actually read the page, you would already have had the answers to the questions you are asking concerning abiogenesis.
(R) Yes I do frequent it often. I use its sources all the time to keep up on the issues.
(MB) If so, then why do you object whenever I refer you to any of the information on that site? If you don't like the site or what it supports, why would you frequent it? What "issues" do you use that site to keep up with?

(R) I did read the whole page on abiogenesis and upon reading it, I formulated my question. Why don't you read it and tell me where it answers my question?
(MB) You said that you referenced that page for information on the 747 analogy. That means you stumbled onto it via a search engine and didn't go there specifically looking to read about abiogenesis. If you've actually read the page, you will see that it refutes many Creationist objections to abiogenesis that are primarily based upon the supposed "improbability" of it occurring at all along with detailing the sequence of events necessary to produce a living thing from base elements and structures -- which shows that Creationist objections in that area normally rely upon leaving out critical steps. What questions does this page not answer for you? Please be specific and I'll be better able to fill in the blanks.

QUESTION(S) REMAINING UNANSWERED
  • "Perhaps you could relate an example of this "ignorant idiocy" [regarding my comments about religion] and show why it should be labeled as such?"
Yet another dubious claim for the contents of your library.
(R) Actually its true.
(MB) Actually, it's still dubious. Why would your library consist primarily of books written by evolutionists if you don't (or won't) believe in evolution? Since all the quotes you've presented to date are exactly the same as those given in Creationist materials (to include the exact same omissions, distortions, modifications, and out-of-context interpretations), it is *far* more likely that you are simply copying from the works of other Creationists rather than quoting directly from the original sources as a result of your own reading and research. The demonstrated problems with your attempts to distort Darwin are very strong evidence of this -- especially considering that you couldn't offer so much as a single word in defense of those attempts after I had set the record straight for you.

(R) The problem lies in your assumption that "in order for a book to support the Creation model, it must be written by Creationists."
(MB) I'm still awaiting a refutation of that claim (as described earlier).

Let's see here...you've claimed that you own a library full of support for Creationism, that you own no Creationist works, and now that you only own two such books. Forgive me for being a little confused. You may be interested to read the following: [Criticism of Denton's book] [Criticism of Behe's book]
(R) I was not aware that Denton or Behe were "Creationists."
(MB) Add one more thing to the ever-growing list of things of which you are not aware. Have you nothing to say in refutation of the criticisms of their books?

(R) I could not find any place in their books where any such references were made.
(MB) Is that necessary? Duane Gish doesn't call himself a Creationist in his books, either. Steven Austin doesn't even mention his membership in the Institute for Creation Research, but has no problem trumpeting his doctorate. Creationists tend to avoid the term as a self-description in much the same way that Democrats tend to avoid describing themselves as "liberal". It's really very simple -- if you support Creationism, you are a Creationist.

RE: So are you saying that Equus przewalskii does not come from the classic 14 step lineage that allegedly started with Eohippus? "14 step lineage"? Could you list those 14 steps, please? I think you may be including species that are included in other divergent lines of descent that did not end up at Equus.
(R) Your telling me you are not familiar with the classic 14 step example of the Horse? Now who's the ignorant one?
(MB) I already know the lineage of Equus. Why can't you just answer the question and list what you think are the 14 steps? If you can do that, wouldn't that do more to prove that I'm ignorant than just blustering about it? I submit that you either can't do it or that your list will contain several errors. After all, you've already shown that you can't correctly differentiate between a species and a sub-species of Equus. Can you show me to be wrong or will you demonstrate that you've just blindly copied another argument?

ANSWER(S) REMAINING UNQUESTIONED
  • BTW, "przewalskii" is a subspecies of Equus caballus -- the common horse -- that lives in Mongolia and currently exists only in captivity.
QUESTION(S) REMAINING UNANSWERED
  • RE: The fossil record *as a whole* shows stasis.
    Please explain how you arrive at this interpretation.
The actual number would be every fossil which represents any species that falls in the middle of any lineage which descends from an initial ancestral species and terminates in either a current living species or with a species that has gone extinct.
(R) That whole statement rests upon the assumption of evolutionary relationships between the forms.
(MB) Nope. That whole statement derives from basic logic and all available evidence. Since we've been talking about the evolution of horses, why not refute the statement by providing evidence that shows that there is no evolutionary relationship in the lineage from Eohippus to Equus? This will also require an explanation that accounts for every intermediate genus and for a claim that the chronological progression of the horse fossil record is something other than evolutionary in nature.

ANSWER(S) REMAINING UNQUESTIONED
  • His [Duane Gish] routine has been so thoroughly decimated over the years that it brings a smile to an evolutionist's face whenever somebody unknowingly attempts to resurrect it as if it was something new and serious. To hear somebody advancing his arguments is to know for certain that one is listening to an unwitting dupe.
  • At this point (near the end of Reply #28e) came a discussion of whether or not I had made six "false" statements in an earlier paragraph. I listed all six statements individually with supporting arguments and asked why each of them was false. You were unable to offer up one word in response. So, it would appear that you disagreed primarily to be disagreeable and bailed out of the discussion when nailed on each point.
QUESTION(S) REMAINING UNANSWERED
  • "If you disagree, please detail an alternative theory to evolution that is not based upon religion."
ANSWER(S) REMAINING UNQUESTIONED
  • At this point, I provided a link to a page detailing Creationist misquotes of Pierre Grasse. You obviously didn't bother to read it. How do I know this? Because, earlier in this response, you offered -- you guessed it -- misquotes of Pierre Grasse! Is there any more proof required that you really have no idea what you're arguing about?
QUESTION(S) REMAINING UNANSWERED
  • RE: I am a fundamentalist and I do take the statement "religion without science is blind" to heart.
    How does that work? Fundamentalists only accept science when it agrees with what their religion teaches. Therefore, their religion and its teachings would remain unchanged whether or not science was included. This means that it is still blind. How can you be proud of that?
FINAL WORDS
Your next response (should you reply to this at all) should be rather enlightening. There's no way you can continue to evade the uncomfortable questions and answers and refuse to provide any details for your arguments and objections and have any hope of anybody taking you seriously. It just proves, once again, that the best arguments against Creationism are the Creationists themselves.



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