Intelligent Reasoning

Promoting, advancing and defending Intelligent Design via data, logic and Intelligent Reasoning and exposing the theory of evolution as the nonsense it is. I also educate evotards about ID and the theory of evolution one tard at a time and sometimes in groups

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Nested Hierarchy and Universal Common Descent- Shattering the Myth

For some time Zachriel has been trying to convince me that universal common descent (with modifification) leads to a nested hierarchy. And all the time he was trying to convince me I have been telling him why it does no such thing.

Seeing that there was no end to this discussion I went out and did some research.

I found it strange that if UCD led to nested hierarchy it wasn't presented in any biology textbooks. So I dug a little deeper to find out why that is.

It seems the only "source" for this is Talk Origins:
As seen from the phylogeny in Figure 1, the predicted pattern of organisms at any given point in time can be described as "groups within groups", otherwise known as a nested hierarchy.-Douglas Theobald


Two things wrong with that statement:

1) A nested hierarchy is more than merely “groups within groups”.
2) The pattern represents “groups under groups” (Darwin's words). And as Darwin pointed out each horizontal line is equal to a thousand generations or more.


Figure 1

I request the reader to turn to the diagram illustrating the action, as formerly explained, of these several principles; and he will see that the inevitable result is, that the modified descendants proceeding from one progenitor become broken up into groups subordinate to groups.-Charles Darwin (bold added)


But with organic beings the case is different, and the view above given accords with their natural arrangement in group under group; and no other explanation has ever been attempted.-Charles Darwin (bold added)


Not “groups within groups”, as the talk-origins article states it.

So I went and re-read "On the Origins of Species". And just as I have been saying UCD does not predict a nested hierarchy:

The intervals between the horizontal lines in the diagram, may represent each a thousand or more generations.-Charles Darwin chapter 4


In chapter 14:

If, however, we suppose any descendant of A or of I to have become so much modified as to have lost all traces of its parentage in this case, its place in the natural system will be lost, as seems to have occurred with some few existing organisms.-Charles Darwin chapter 14


Extinction has only defined the groups: it has by no means made them; for if every form which has ever lived on this earth were suddenly to reappear, though it would be quite impossible to give definitions by which each group could be distinguished, still a natural classification, or at least a natural arrangement, would be possible.- Charles Darwin chapter 14


There you have it- Darwin's words refute the notion that UCD predicts a nested hierarchy and for the very reasons I have been telling Zachriel since he started spewing his nonsense.

18 Comments:

  • At 6:51 PM, Blogger Zachriel said…

    Darwin: Extinction has only defined the groups: it has by no means made them; for if every form which has ever lived on this earth were suddenly to reappear, though it would be quite impossible to give definitions by which each group could be distinguished, still a natural classification, or at least a natural arrangement, would be possible.

    Joe G: There you have it- Darwin's words refute the notion that UCD predicts a nested hierarchy and for the very reasons I have been telling Zachriel since he started spewing his nonsense.

    Most of your posts are self-refuting. And this is no exception.

    You completely misread Darwin. First, by "Extinction has only defined the groups", he is using the word "defined" to mean "to make distinct". That's clear from context despite what you seem to be making of it. But if there were any doubt, in later editions, Darwin rephrases it more clearly as "Extinction has only separated groups".

    Darwin is saying that even if every extinct form were to reappear, a "natural arrangement" would still be possible, meaning the nested hierarchy. In other words, he is saying exactly the opposite of what you think he is saying.

     
  • At 6:54 PM, Blogger blipey said…

    Hey dickwad,

    Have you somehow forgotten the trillion or so comments that have been made saying that UCD is not the best model for the history of life on Earth?

    Also while you were out with the hooker, you must have missed the point that you need to understand NH in order to progress to the net step of the discussion. This has been pointed out to you many times.

    It's like trying to direct a play without ever having been to the theatre--a disaster.

     
  • At 8:07 AM, Blogger Joe G said…

    Most of your posts are self-refuting. And this is no exception.

    You say that but you never substantiate your claim.

    You completely misread Darwin.

    No I didn't.

    First, by "Extinction has only defined the groups", he is using the word "defined" to mean "to make distinct".

    Yes, I know.

    Darwin is saying that even if every extinct form were to reappear, a "natural arrangement" would still be possible, meaning the nested hierarchy.

    The "natural arrangement" does NOT mean a nested hierarchy.

    I challenge you to provide a valid reference to support your claim.

    Then there is also this:

    "If, however, we suppose any descendant of A or of I to have become so much modified as to have lost all traces of its parentage in this case, its place in the natural system will be lost, as seems to have occurred with some few existing organisms."-Charles Darwin chapter 14

    IOW UCD can explain NH or the lack of NH. And that means it explains nothing.

     
  • At 8:11 AM, Blogger Joe G said…

    Have you somehow forgotten the trillion or so comments that have been made saying that UCD is not the best model for the history of life on Earth?

    Talk origins and Dr Theobald disagree with that. Take it up with them.

    As a matter of fact most evos say that UCD is the best model. Can you point out one that does not think that UCD is the best explanation?

    Also while you were out with the hooker, you must have missed the point that you need to understand NH in order to progress to the net step of the discussion. This has been pointed out to you many times.

    I understand NH. Neither you nor Zachriel does. THAT has been pointed out to both of you many times.

    I'm the one that has the expert agreeing with me...

     
  • At 8:23 AM, Blogger Zachriel said…

    Darwin: If, however, we suppose any descendant of A or of I to have become so much modified as to have lost all traces of its parentage in this case, its place in the natural system will be lost, as seems to have occurred with some few existing organisms.

    Darwin is correct. If the rate of evolution is very rapid, then a population may no longer resemble it's ancestors sufficiently to reconstruct the nested hierarchy.

    Joe G: The "natural arrangement" does NOT mean a nested hierarchy.

    As we don't agree on what constitutes a nested hierarchy, there is no way to have that discussion. We'll just have to agree to disagree.

     
  • At 9:04 AM, Blogger blipey said…

    So what does Darwin mean by "natural arrangement"?

    Please be specific. You know, clear and precise--a definition that might be useful.

    Try real hard.

     
  • At 4:45 PM, Blogger Joe G said…

    The quote I provided was from the sixth edition, which is generally considered to be the last, ie the latest.

    Furthermore a Nested Hierarchy REQUIRES specific definitions by which each group could be distinguished.

    THAT is what makes the nested hierarchy- a clear boundary for each grouping.

    And even in your link to Darwin he still uses "group under group", which you confuse with "groups within groups".

     
  • At 4:48 PM, Blogger Joe G said…

    BTW Zachriel,

    If a family tree does not provide us with a nested hierarchy then the tree of life, which IS a family tree, should not provide one either.

     
  • At 6:27 PM, Blogger rishy said…

    So, Darwin is your authority on these matters? Do you also use the publications of alchemists to refute science? Darwin was young, and not aware of many things we now take for granted. Why do you use Darwin's words, many of which have been refuted, to refute that which you see as truth? Oh, because you are a moron!

     
  • At 8:03 AM, Blogger Joe G said…

    I challenged Zachriel for a reference to support his claim and so far he has refused to provide any.

    It is a FACT that a Nested Hierarchy REQUIRES specific definitions by which each group could be distinguished.

    And in the scenario in which all transitionals and intermediates were still alive we would NOT be able "to give definitions by which each group could be distinguished".

    What part of that don't you understand?

     
  • At 11:55 AM, Blogger rishy said…

    When prominent ID proponent William Dembski was asked about his research, and why “you don’t do those tests?” he responded, “I myself would prefer to spend time in what I would consider to be more fruitful endeavors.” If even proponents of ID do not think it is a fruitful enterprise, why should the scientific community take any interest in it?

    Says it all, no?

     
  • At 4:47 PM, Blogger rishy said…

    From the mouth of Dawkins (http://preview.tinyurl.com/59kofn):

    "This technique of arguing against a theory by setting up its most plausible version and dismissing it is commonly used in science and philosophy. The late, great evolutionist John Maynard Smith used it in his 1964 attack on the then-popular theory of "group selection." He set himself the task of devising the best possible argument for group selection. The details don't matter; he called it the Haystack Model. He then proceeded to show that the assumptions that the Haystack Model needed to make were highly unrealistic.

    Everybody understood that this was an argument against group selection. Nobody twisted it to trumpet to the world, "See? Maynard Smith believes in Group Selection after all, and he thinks it happens in Haystacks, ho ho ho!" Creationists, by contrast, never miss a trick. When I have raised the science-fiction olive branch to try to argue against them, they have twisted it -- most recently in a movie scheduled to open this week -- in order to proclaim loudly, "Dawkins believes in intelligent design after all." Or "Dawkins believes in little green men in flying saucers." Or "Dawkins is a Raelian." It's called "lying for Jesus," and they are completely shameless."


    When you log into blogger, there is a button you can use to delete your blog. I suggest you use it.

     
  • At 8:47 PM, Blogger tft (The Frustrated Teacher) said…

    You alive? Just because we disagree (to say the least) doesn't mean I don't worry! I am Jewish, for god's sake!

     
  • At 1:09 PM, Blogger JohnADavison said…

    There is absolutly nothing in the Darwinian paradigm that ever had anything to do either with speciation or the formation of any of the higher categories. All creative evolution (phylogeny) was instantaneous, without gradual transformations and chance had nothing to do with any of it any more than it has to do with ontogeny. Speaking about both ontogeny and phylogeny -

    "Neither in the one nor in the other is there room for chance."
    Leo Berg, Nomogenesis page 134.



    "A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable."

     
  • At 9:31 AM, Blogger Joe G said…

    rishy:
    So, Darwin is your authority on these matters?

    Only when my opponent(s) use him for their arguments.

    But thank you for once again proving that yopu cannot follow along.

    Ya see moron Darwin was used by Theobald in his Talk Origins essay claiming that nested hierarchy is expected. Too bad Darwin didn't say any such thing.

     
  • At 9:34 AM, Blogger Joe G said…

    blipey:
    So what does Darwin mean by "natural arrangement"?

    He could mean a lineage, sequence, spiral, back-and-forth (ie oscillations in gene frequency)- IOW there are many natural arrangements that can be made.

    But thanks for once again proving that you are very limited in your thinking process.

     
  • At 10:18 AM, Blogger Joe G said…

    Zachriel:
    Darwin is correct. If the rate of evolution is very rapid, then a population may no longer resemble it's ancestors sufficiently to reconstruct the nested hierarchy.

    Thank you for finally admitting to what I have been telling you for months!

    However Darwin never says anything about a nested hierarchy. He says "groups UNDER groups", not "groups withing groups" as a NH requires.

    As for agreeing what is and isn't a NH, you can't even differentiate between a paternal family tree and a patrilineage. IOW it is obvious that you are totally clueless, lost the debate abd you are afarid to admit it.

     
  • At 6:04 PM, Blogger Joe G said…

    rishy provides a non-referenced quote:

    When prominent ID proponent William Dembski was asked about his research, and why “you don’t do those tests?” he responded, “I myself would prefer to spend time in what I would consider to be more fruitful endeavors.” If even proponents of ID do not think it is a fruitful enterprise, why should the scientific community take any interest in it?

    then comments:

    Says it all, no?

    It doesn't say anything without the proper context. Also I will note that not one evolutionary biologist has provided any experimental support for their position- IOW there aren't any experiments that demonstrate that a flagellum can evolve from a population that never had one.

    That says it all, yes.

     

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