Intelligent Reasoning

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

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Another reason why NH fails as evidence for Common Descent

Another reason why nested hierarchy fails as evidence for Common Descent is it fails to EXPLAIN the differences observed between alleged sister groups.

Similarities can be explained in a variety of ways. Any "theory" of Common Descent needs to explain the differences. And we can't even do that with Chimps & Humans (explore the differences).

Beating a dead horse- Nested Hierarchy

First so that when Zachriel misrepresents this post it will be obvious:

Common Descent refers to the premise that all of the extant living organisms owe their collective common ancestry to some unknown popuklation(s) of single-celled organisms.

common descent refers to the premise that I am directly related to my parents and my children. There are subsequent degrees of separation in both directions, each with varying degrees of genetic connectivity.

My only argument is using nested hieararchy as evidence for Capital C capital D, ie Common Descent. The scientific reasosn and references have been provided that demonstrate traits can be lost. And if the premise of Common Descent is true traits can also be gained. That fact alone says that a nested hierarchy is not an expected outcome of Common Descent.

However, The MAIN reason NH is NOT an expected outcome of common descent- NO ANCESTRAL OR TRANSITIONAL FORMS CAN BE PERMITTED TO SURVIVE (page 136 of "Evolution: A Theory in Crisis"). For if they do that would do away with the nice neat distinctive divisions as then the classes and traits would be blurred due to overlapping.

Confirmed by Darwin:

Extinction, as we have seen in the fourth chapter, has played an important part in defining and widening the intervals between the several groups in each class. We may thus account for the distinctness of whole classes from each other- for instance, of birds from all other vertebrate classes from each other- by the belief that many ancient forms of life have been utterly lost, through which the early progenitors of birds were formerly connected with the early progenitors of the other and at that time less differentiated vertebrate classes.

Zachriel's response- ignore that and instead falsely accuse me of not understanding nested hierarchy.

Then Zachriel trys deception by attempting a (false) analogy with a real tree. Everyone knows the alleged "tree of life" is just a methaphor, IOW a piece of imagination. And even on that imagined tree all we have to observe are the imagined twigs.


What we call branches expresses, in fact, a purely ideal connection between animals, the intellectual conception which unites them in creative thought. It seems to me the more we examine the true significance of this kind of group, the more we shall be convinced that they are not founded upon material relations.

With a real tree and its alleged nested hierarchy I could pull off 20 twigs from different branches and no one could even hope to place them back in the correct places.

I also provided the following as a reference:

Nested Hierarchy
Nested hierarchy" refers to the way taxonomic groups fit neatly and completely inside other taxonomic groups. For instance, all bats (order Chiroptera) are mammals. All mammals are vertebrates. Likewise, all whales (order Cetacea) are also mammals, and thus also vertebrates.

While it might seem that this arrangement is obvious and unavoidable, it is not. Taxonomic groups are defined by traits and it should be possible to mix traits from multiple defined groups. An example from classical mythology is the Pegasus, a creature with features defined as both mammal and bird (class Aves). Mammals and birds are both orders, so, if pegasus existed, it would be a violation of the nested hierarchy, a creature that belonged to two seperate groups.

Oops! Did someone say something about a creature with features defined as both mammal and bird?

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the platypus

Zachriel's next tactic? Use a nested hierarchy of common descent.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Of FOXP2, Human Chromosome 2 and Allen MacNeil

Over on Uncommon Descent Allen MacNeil is trying to demonstrate that humans and chimps shared a common ancestor. So far he has used FOXP2 and the alleged fusion that led to human chromosome 2 as the data that supports that premise. However far, very far, from demonstrating his point it actually demonstrates mine- that the alleged evidence is indeed circumstantial and relies heavily on one's predisposition.

FOXP2 @ Wikipedia- I post this because Wiki is a known to be pro-evolution. And if there wqas convincing data it would be there. However all we get from Wiki is implications and speculations. We also find out what led to those.

I will just say this- just because random mutations can damage a once nicely functioning system does NOT equate to random mutations putting that functioning system together in the first place.

And just to say it again- HOX genes (clusters) to me are a very good example of Common Design. Also as Denton tells us, although genes may influence every aspect of development they do not determine it.

Chromosome 2 fusion- Allen states the the alleged fusion would have caused some genetic isolation. If true that means that at least TWO, one male, one female, would have to have the same configuration or that config would not get passed on.

So I asked:
“Would this fusion event have to occur within at least two members- one male, one female- of the same population in order for it to have any chance of getting passed on?”

Allen responded with:
In a word, no. All that would need to happen to make this possible would be for two first-degree relatives carrying the translocation to mate and have offspring.

"In a word, no" but then he agrees with me!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


IDist- a person who understands and supports Intelligent Design

IDer- an Intelligent Designer

IDiot- a person who does not understand ID and chooses misrepresentation and lies in an attempt to refute it.

Monday, November 20, 2006

The Earth/ Moon system- Refuting a 4.5 billion year old Earth

Astrophysicist Dr Jason Lisle (a YEC) has a book out titled "Taking Back Astronomy". In it he states:

The moon moves about an inch and a half further away from the earth every year due to this tidal interaction. Thus, the moon would have been closer to the earth in the past. Six thousand years ago, the moon would have been about 800 feet (250 m) closer to the earth (which is not much of a change considering the moon is a quarter of a million miles, or 400,000 km, away). So this “spiraling away” of the moon is not a problem over the biblical timescale of six thousand years.

If, however, the earth and moon were over four billion years old (as big bang supporters teach), then we would have big problems. This is because the moon would have been so close, that it would actually have been touching the earth less than 1.5 billion years ago. This suggests that the moon can’t possibly be as old as secular astronomers claim.

(which can also be read HERE)

An explanation, along with his calculations can be read HERE

If all this holds water, the theory of evolution just suffered a major blow from which it cannot recover. (I say "If" only because all scientific data are tentative)

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Evolutionary "answers"

If the following doesn't demonstrate the absolute intellectual vacuuity of evolutionism, I am not sure what will:

1) How could we test the premise that the bacterial flagellum "evolved" via purely stochastic/ blind watchmaker-type processes?

2) How could we falsify that premise?

3) What is the evidence that demonstrates a population of bacteria can "evolve" into something other than a population of bacteria?

4) What is the evidence that demonstrates a population of single-celled organisms can "evolve" into something other than single-celled organisms?

Zachriel responded with the following:

Questions 1,2: The evolution of the flagellum is very ancient, and the evidence is tenuous, at best. There are a number of theories, and scientists have discovered homologous elements in microbiology that point to an evolutionary process.

See the entry Homology and Homoplasy for the reasons why this is bogus (hint- homology usually depends on first assuming Common Descent)

Question 3: Modern bacteria are highly evolved organisms with billions of years of prior history. The common ancestor of life on Earth today may or may not have resembled bacteria. The Theory of Common Descent may not properly apply to the origin of cellular life, where some sort of endosymbiosis may have been involved.

This totally fails to even address the question.

Question 4. The evidence for common descent of metazoan life is found in the nested hierarchy of descent. The common origin of eukaryotes can be found in predicted homologies.

Too bad nested hierarchy isn't evidence for Common Descent. And this "answer" also doesn't address the question.

That's it! Four non-answers which I am sure Zachriel thinks are valid. Freakin' sad but typical. And people wonder why I reject Common Descent...

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Homology and Homoplasy (from Uncommon Descent)

All credit for the following goes to Barry A- one author on the blog Uncommon Descent. I thought this topic required seeing that Zachriel is bringing up homology in reference to cetacean "hands":

Homology and Homoplasy

Here is the standard Neo-Darwinian explanation of homology and homoplasy:

Suppose two organisms have a similar feature. The features are “homologous” if they were inherited by the organisms from a similar feature in a common ancestor. In other words, the features are homologous if they result from a shared genetic ancestry. Bat wings and human arms are homologous because they are similar structures inherited from a shared mammalian ancestor.

On the other hand, the features are not homologous, but “homoplasious” if they were not inherited by the organisms from a similar feature in a common ancestor. In other words, the features are homoplasious if they did not result from a shared genetic ancestry. Homoplasious structures evolved independently more than once in a process known as convergent evolution. Bird wings and insect wings are homoplasious; they are similar and perform the same function, but they do not result from common genetic ancestry. Homoplasious features are also called “analogous features.”

The difficulty is determining whether similar structures are homologous or homoplasious, because similarity, does not necessarily imply common ancestry. As Gavin De Beer points out:

“Homologous structures need not be controlled by identical genes, and homology of phenotypes does not imply similarity of genotypes.” Gavin De Beer, Homology, an Unsolved Problem (London: Oxford University Press, 1971), 16.

Roger Lewin adds: “The key issue is the ability correctly to infer a genetic relationship between two species on the basis of a similarity in appearance, at gross and detailed levels of anatomy. Sometimes this approach . . . can be deceptive, partly because similarity does not necessarily imply an identical genetic heritage: a shark (which is a fish) and a porpoise (which is a mammal) look similar.” Roger Lewin, Bones of Contention: Controversies in the Search for Human Origins (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1987), 123.

Scientists attempt to determine homology through “outgroup comparisons.” An “outgroup” is a group of organisms (a taxon) that diverged from two other groups (taxa) before they diverged from one another. In other words, two of the taxa are more closely related to each other than they are to the third group, because they share a common ancestor with each other that they do not share with the outgroup. The more closely related groups are called the “ingroup.” Outgroup organisms are thus near relatives of ingroup organisms but not part of the ingroup.

Researchers use outgroup comparisons to determine the “polarity” (that is the direction) of evolution. Because the ingroup branched off from the common ancestor after the outgroup, scientists can assume that any character the ingroup shares with the outgroup must have been inherited from the ingroup’s common ancestor. In other words, a character state that is present in both the outgroup and the ingroup is ancestral, and a character state that is in the ingroup only is not ancestral but derived.

Now the problem with using homology to show common ancestry is that it is quite circular. Jonathan Wells points this out:

“Many biology textbooks define homology as similarity due to common ancestry, yet claim that it is evidence for common ancestry. For example, Starr and Taggart’s Biology: The Unity and Diversity of Life (8th Edition, 1998) states that the “pattern of macroevolution–that is, change from the form of a common ancestor–is called morphological divergence…. Homology [is] a similarity in one or more body parts in different organisms that share a common ancestor…. Homologous structures provide very strong evidence of morphological divergence.” (pp. 318-319) In a section on “The Evidence for Evolution” in the teacher’s edition of Johnson’s Biology: Visualizing Life (1998), students are told that “homologous structures are structures that share a common ancestor,” and an accompanying note tells the teacher that “such structures point to a common ancestry.” (p. 178) According to Campbell, Reece and Mitchell’s Biology (5th Edition, 1999), “similarity in characteristics resulting from common ancestry is known as homology, and such anatomical signs of evolution are called homologous structures. Comparative anatomy is consistent with all other evidence in testifying [to] evolution.” (p. 424) Raven and Johnson’s Biology (5th Edition, 1999), in a section titled “The evidence for macroevolution is extensive,” includes the following: “Homology: Many organisms exhibit organs that are similar in structure to those in a recent common ancestor. This is evidence of evolutionary relatedness.” A few pages later, the same textbook explicitly defines homologous structures as “structures with different appearances and functions that all derived from the same body part in a common ancestor.” (pp. 412, 416) Audesirk, Audesirk and Byers’s Life On Earth (2nd Edition, 2000) calls homology “evidence of relatedness” in a section titled “Comparative Anatomy Provides Structural Evidence of Evolution.” The textbook tells students: “Internally similar structures are called homologous structures, meaning that they have the same evolutionary origin despite possible differences in function. Studies of comparative anatomy have long been used to determine the relationships among organisms, on the grounds that the more similar the internal structures of two species, the more closely related the species must be, that is, the more recently they must have diverged from a common ancestor.” (p. 236)”


The original reason this was posted on UD was because of the Matzke et al. paper pertaining to homologs and the bacterial flagellum. This blog demonstrates that what may appear as a homolog may actually not be. Homologs are usually assumed. And homolgy of proteins that make up the bac flag does NOT explain the assembly instructions- what protein goes where and in what amount- nor does it explain the command and control center required to use it-> the bac flag can turn CW, CCW and at varying speeds. It can also stop turning or when it is turning in one direction, regardless of the speed, it can stop and change directions within a quarter of a turn! Evolutionitwits never address any of that.

Refuting nested hierarchy as evidence for Common Descent- AGAIN!

Zachriel continues to use nested hierarchy as evidence for common descent even though the scientific data says that such classification would not be expected under the current theory of evolution. That is beacuse structures and genetic sequences can be lost along the way. IOW the theory of evolution predicts both- nested hierarchy and no nested hierarchy- which in reality means it predicts neither.

It is also worth repeating that nested hierarchy was FIRST used as evidence for a common design and all evos did when they took over was to replace archetype with common ancestor:

One would expect a priori that such a complete change of the philosophical bias of classification would result in a radical change of classification, but this was by no means the case. There was hardly and change in method before and after Darwin, except that "archetype" was replaced by the common ancestor.-- Ernst Mayr

Simpson echoed those comments.

It appears that is what evos do- take ideas from Creationists and/ or IDists, bastardize them and then use them as if they were always theirs. Zachriel may be fooled by this tactic but people who deal with reality shouldn't be.

For further reading and the thorough refutation of the premise, please see chapter 6 "The System Naturae from Aristotle to Cladistics" in Evolution: A Theory in Crisis

Monday, November 06, 2006

Of Cetaceans, hands, feet and convergence

Zachriel has posted the claim that cetaceans have hands. I have questioned that claim, and for a very good reason. Not one of the alleged ancestors had hands!

However hands could (on a cetacean) develop via convergence. Ooops but that would be a point for me so we know Zachriel will deny it. So then he would have to deny that cetaceans have hands.

Then we have cetaceans with feet. I guess it they were hooved feet one would make the connection to its alleged land ancestors. And what is it that allowed everything else to get bigger, but the hindlimbs all but disappear?

As for the new dolphin find- dolphins do have information for fins. A mutation occurred that copied that existing information and placed those fins on another section of the body. We have seen this sort of thing with fruit flies- extra wings and legs out-of-place.

From living organisms we know, because we observe, that similarity in bone structure can in reality lead to very different forms once the rest of the structure is represented. Therefore any represenation of an organism in which only fossilized bone is present, which appears to go against that norm, should be taken for what it is- a biased opinion.

And to top it all off I again offer the following which I would say that convergnce is musch more common than Zachriel and his ilk will admit:

Unified physics theory explains animals' running, flying and swimming

The findings may have implications for understanding animal evolution, Marden said. One view of evolution holds that it is not a purely deterministic process; that history is full of chance and historical contingency. It is the idea purported by Steven Jay Gould and others that if you were to "rewind the tape" and run it again, evolution would proceed down a different path, Marden said.

"Our finding that animal locomotion adheres to constructal theory tells us that -- even though you couldn't predict exactly what animals would look like if you started evolution over on earth, or it happened on another planet -- with a given gravity and density of their tissues, the same basic patterns of their design would evolve again," Marden said.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Alternatives to Common Descent

First I want to make it clear that when I say Common Descent I am talking about all of today's diversity of living organisms owing their collective common ancestry to some unknown population(s) of single-celled organisms.

Next it should be pointed out that there is more than one flavour of Common Descent. There is at least CD via the blind watchmaker and CD by design.

And finally that evidence for Common Descent relies heavily, if not solely, one the similarities observed but says nothing about the differences, except to note they exist.

The evidence demonstrates a diversity of living organisms exists today, on this planet. The question is (if not by Common Descent) How did that diversity come to be?

For starters:

1) A separate and special Creation of differing populations with the built-in variation that would allow for adaptaion into environmental niches as they present themselves.

2) A separate designing of differing populations...

3) Colonization by an existing and perhaps dying civilization- including various modes of terra-forming

1 & 2 are very similar with perhaps only semantic quibbling being the difference.

3 may appear to push the "issue" back, but I say the "issue" is living organisms on this planet. IOW first deal with what we have in front of us.

Now some people may say that special Creation isn't science. However if science deals with reality and special Creation is that reality, it has to be science and everything/ anything else would be science-fiction at best.