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Friday, August 17, 2012

Disproving Evolution

Elsewhere on the internet there's a discussion about whether evolution can be disproved by simply finding a fossil out of order.

Here's what I said on Facebook ...
The statement is untrue. If we discover that a given species is older than we thought then we will just revise our view of the history of life on Earth. It will not disprove the fact of evolution and it will have no effect on evolutionary theory. It is a mistake to link the truth of evolution to our current understanding of the history of life. That history can be easily changed without threatening evolution.


Bjørn Østman said...

I agree that a single observation would not be a problem for evolutionary theory as a whole, but a lot of observations like this would mean that we'd have to revisit parts of it. But evolution is both inferred and observed in so many independent instances and ways that "evolution could so easily be disproved..." is really not true.

Eamon Knight said...

Seems to me it depends on a) just how badly out-of-place the fossil is and b) what level of revision counts as "disproof". A well-authenticated pre-Cambrian rabbit would not erase the evidence from genetics and morphology, and it would be just one exception to the succession discernible in the geological record. But it would be one hell of a glaring exception and the cause of some major head-scratching -- it would indicate pretty clearly that something else was going on.

T Ryan Gregory said...

I started writing this post in Ottawa and finally decided to come back to it after seeing your comment on Facebook:

An example of why it is important to distinguish evolution as fact, theory, and path

Larry Moran said...

Here's what I said on Facebook ...

While it's true that discovery of a fossil rabbit in the Precambrian would be a difficult challenge, that's not what the quote says.

Timothy said...

"That history can be easily changed without threatening evolution."

Well it's all Bayesian reasoning, isn't it? The history can be easily changed if changing it doesn't destroy the pattern of evidence that has convinced us of ToE's truth in the first place. If the history of life were changed enough and in the right ways, it would start making evolution look less and less probable. Then we'd need a theory very different from the one we have.

Chris Caprette said...

One of my Facebook friends posted (shared) the picture you have up there. This is attributed to Dawkins. Did he really say that?

T Ryan Gregory said...

The Greatest Show on Earth, p.147.

Diogenes said...

No, I disagree with Larry's statement that out-of-order fossils can disprove evolution.

The order in which complex structures must appear is fixed by phylogenetic analysis of LIVING creatures, before we look at any extinct ones. The order for major structures is pretty fixed.

The appearance of complex structures in the fossil record can't deviate from that by much. In practice, it doesn't, with a few exceptions.

If we construct the "Tree of Life", starting out by looking ONLY at living species, and then consider just the human branch, going backward in time, a precis of the order would look like:

1. (big brain / bipedality);
2. apelike teeth;
3. primate tail;
4. (mammalian ear structure / teeth differentiation /limbs under body)
5. (weight-supporting pelvis and limbs / five-fingered hand / flexible neck)
6. Jawed fish
7. Backbone
8. Bilaterian body structure

And that's the order in the fossil record.

There have been studies done of the mathematical correlation between nodes in the Tree of Life and time of appearance in the fossil record. That overall correlation is very strong, of course.

But, if we found many seriously out-of-order fossils, that could reduce or destroy the correlation.

To consider a specific example, it was once believed that birds appeared before fossils of maniraptoran dinosaurs, from which they allegedly evolved. That was the "temporal paradox." Actually it has been known for a long time this is not true, there is no "temporal paradox", since all major groups of maniraptoran dinosaurs have fossils appearing in the fossil record before Archaeopteryx. So that bullet has been dodged.

But if there were many, many "temporal paradoxes", evolution would be screwed.

James F. McGrath said...

Thanks for your comments on my Facebook post! I am sharing a link to your post here, as well as a quote from you, on my blog, to try to spread better information on this topic!

Larry Moran said...

The quoted statement does not say "many, many fossils out of order." It says "a single fossil." Do you honestly believe that if we discovered a Homo sapiens fossil that pre-dated any known Homo habilis then evolution wold be disproved?

Larry Moran said...

Let's try a little thought experiment.

The oldest known monotreme fossil is Teinolophos trusleri from 123 million years ago.

The oldest known mammalian fossil is Eomaia from 125 million years ago.

Our current ideas on the history of life indicate that mammals evolved from monotreme ancestors.

Imagine that paleontologists announce tomorrow that a new species of mammal has been discovered and it dates to 150 million years ago.

Would the creationists be correct to announce that this disproves evolution? Would Richard Dawkins go on television to confess that evolution has now been disproved and he now believes in God?

Diogenes said...

No, of course not. But a rabbit in the pre-Cambrian? We'd be in trouble.

I agree Dawkins is full of it. His malapropisms are often an embarrassment to our side.

But it depends on how far out of order they are, in millions of years. We have reason to believe species can exist and leave no fossils for periods of twenty, forty million years.

But a rabbit in the pre-Cambrian is big trouble, because it isn't just the rabbit that's off, but all the rabbit's ancestral species would be off by ~500 million years. The gnathostomes, crossopterygians, tetrapods, amniotes, etc. etc. That's worse.

I mean how far off is it, in megayears? Flower pollen in the pre-Cambrian, in banded iron formations, and we'd be in big trouble.

Jud said...

Why would God be the alternative hypothesis? Make more statements like that and I'll start thinking Judge Jones from the Dover trial understands evolution better than you do.

steve oberski said...

I suspect that the fossil record is not informing current ideas on mammals having evolved from monotremes, especially since in your example the mammal fossil predates the monotreme fossil, although a 2 million year difference over 125 million years may be within the measurement error.

So a new single mammal fossil that predates the oldest montotreme fossil by an even longer interval may not be enough to discount evidence from other areas like bio-geography and cladistics.

Shawn said...

yes, surely the dawkins/god crack was hyperbole. One thing we can all appreciate (I imagine) is Dawkin's lead on questioning the god hypothesis - evolution aside.

steve oberski said...


Well, if evolution is going to be pushed under the bus, what other alternative hypothesis has been put forward ?

Certainly the local creotards/IDiots/vitalists/anti-materialists all hanker after an invisible sky daddy behind the curtain, although, to give him his due, only Denny is honest enough to unequivocally admit this.

Larry Moran said...

Steve Oberski says,

So a new single mammal fossil that predates the oldest montotreme fossil by an even longer interval may not be enough to discount evidence from other areas like bio-geography and cladistics.

Exactly. The Dawkins quotation is wrong.

SLC said...

Re Larry Moran

Do you honestly believe that if we discovered a Homo sapiens fossil that pre-dated any known Homo habilis then evolution wold be disproved?

How about a fossil Homo sapiens in the pre-Cambrian?

J Thomas said...

A single fossil could be some sort of aberration. Maybe somehow the dating was wrong. Maybe it was some kind of hoax.

But what if we got definitive proof that there were humans on earth 3 billion years ago, and humans at various points in between?

That would be strong evidence that humans did not evolve on earth in the last 3 billion years. We could have evolved somewhere else, before then. There's the question how we managed to go 3 billion years without so much drift that it didn't look like the same species at all....

A single mammal fossil out of place enough to say it probably didn't come from monotremes? That would say there's a possibility that mammals are much older than expected and evolved earlier. Kind of a big deal but not at all impossible.

A single mammal that's far too out of place? A mammal in the precambrian? That could be evidence for time travel.

Obviously most mammals are not involved in time travel. But if a few were, he animal we find could be an escaped lab bunny. My first thought is to say that time travel is unlikely so it's easier to believe that our ideas of how evolution happened on earth are fundamentally wrong. But I have nothing to use to estimate how likely time travel is. If there was proof of it then I hope I would accept reality and accept the proof.

heleen said...

Larry Moran is rather rough with the paleontology, but perhaps oddly enough this illustrates the point he seems to be wanting to make.

The oldest known mammalian fossil is Eomaia from 125 million years ago.

Eomaia is not the oldest know 'mammalian' fossil.
From 2002 to 2011 Eomaia was the oldest know Eutherian fossil; Eutheria being the name for the group to which the present placental mammals belong. Juramaia described in 2011 is now reckoned to be the oldest Eutherian mammal fossil. Juramaia is reckoned to be 160 million years old. This has not upset our ideas about the evolution of the mammals at all. The Metatheria (cooloquially marsupials) and Eutheria just split earlier.

Our current ideas on the history of life indicate that mammals evolved from monotreme ancestors.
Not really. Egg-laying perhaps, but not monotreme. See: Luo , 2007 (13 Dec 2007), Nature 450:1011-1019.
Depending upon how much of a cladist one wants to be, the oldest mammal or proto-mammal or mammaliaform seems to be Adelobasileus.

heleen said...

A rabbit in the precambrian would have prevented the history of life to be reconstructed as we now do, though.

Anonymous said...

While Larry's conclusion about falsification is correct, most of the cited facts are off. No paleontologist would say that monotremes are the ancestors of mammals. 1. Monotremes ARE mammals. 2. Monotremes are the sister group of all other living mammals (the therians, which include the metatherian branch [living marsupials and forerunners] and the eutherian branch [living placentals and forerunners]). Being a sister group means that monotremes share a common ancestry with the therians, but they are not our ancestors. Saying monotremes are therian ancestors would be like saying that chimpanzees are human ancestors.

The monotremes have more distant ancestors called basal australosphenidans (Ambondro, Asfaltomylos, etc.) that are more ancient than Teinolophos, going back to about 167 m.y.a.

Additionally, the oldest eutherian (and therian)is now Juramaia at about 161 m.y.a. Easy to read chart here:

But again, Larry is correct in that a tweak to the path doesn't alter the fact of evolution.

However, if we did find a genuine rabbit in genuine Precambrian rock, we would know:

A. There really is a god. B. She's a punk.


S Johnson said...

Of course Prof. Moran is correct.

If, that is, you do not accept the falsificationist mantra. Dawkins' statement is scientifically wrong, grossly disrespecting the factual content of science as it really is. But it is philosophically respectable, and particularly popular with those who want to adhere to a predictivist vision of science. It seems to me that this position is held by a majority of scientists whenever they talk about science outside their professional journals.

My best judgment is that this philosophical viewpoint is so popular because of its origins in Popper's anti-Communism, which is not a dead issue. It is also adaptable to attacks on supposedly liberal viewpoints in the social sciences, as in evolutionary psychology. Consult the works of Steven Pinker for the current leader in pop science philosophizing in the US.

The thing is, errors like Dawkins' are not a simple misunderstanding of science, but outcomes of a conservative world outlook. Isn't probable that you can't make progress in refuting such nonsense without demonstrating the bias that led to it?

Arek Wittbrodt said...

However, if we did find a genuine rabbit in genuine Precambrian rock, we would know:

A. There really is a god.


Anonymous said...

Being facetious. Discussing consequences of Precambrian rabbit finds is like going camping and fretting a Bigfoot attack.


J Thomas said...

However, if we did find a genuine rabbit in genuine Precambrian rock, we would know:

A. There really is a god. B. She's a punk.

Alternatively, there could be a god who allows time travel. Or a godless universe that allows time travel.

So OK, we can find fossils a little bit "out of place" and it only means we adjust the dates a little.

Or we find fossils that are more out of place and people get all excited and adjust things a lot.

Fossils that are so far out of place that they challenge the whole structure of thought are going to be very rare because if they were common we would already have found them. If there are only a very few of them we can suppose that there's something wrong with them. Mistakes do happen, after all.

And if they did appear to be real, it isn't certain ahead of time how to incorporate them. Once upon a time people found extremely similar terrestrial fossils from on distant continents. There was no doubt it happened. It was absurd that parallel evolution would produce them, and it was absurd that they could migrate so far across oceans. Creationists might have considered it an argument against evolution that there was no way to make sense of it. But we wound up deciding that the continents were together then and later they split up and moved apart. The fossil puzzle was a clue to a result in geology.

If we ever do find fossils that are impossible to interpret without time travel, that doesn't say that evolution is wrong. It might be an important clue toward a new result in physics.

Anonymous said...

"Our current ideas on the history of life indicate that mammals evolved from monotreme ancestors. "

Oh no it doesn't! The common ancestor of modern extant mammals was no more monotreme than it was a placental.


Unknown said...

How about an iPhone in the pre-Cambrian? Would that be evidence against evolution or for time travel?

Robert Byers said...

If fossils out of sequence in needed sequence doesn't disprove evolution then fossils in sequence is not proof for evolution.
In all cases its just data points of creatures caught in a moment.
Any connections made are unrelated to biological investigation of the fossils and ONLY geological presumptions of time and minor observation of the fossils could be a OPTION for evolutionary change to have occurred.
Biology can not be done on rocks.
Fossils are life turned to stone.
They tell only what they tell in what is there.
Evolutionary biology made a great flaw in logic in thinking fossils counted as biological evidence for a biological hypothesis.
It ain't.

Correction in fossils also is unrelated to any biological hypothesis.
Biology is about test tubes and getting your hands sticky.
It is not about pick axes and callouses.

J Thomas said...

If fossils out of sequence in needed sequence doesn't disprove evolution then fossils in sequence is not proof for evolution.

This is true. There is always more than one way to interpret things. If one of the ways seems overwhelmingly more likely than any of the others, then that says *something* -- but it isn't proof. Some idea nobody has thought of yet could look much better once it gets invented.

Evolutionary biology made a great flaw in logic in thinking fossils counted as biological evidence for a biological hypothesis.

No, that's silly. Everything is connected and you look at the connections however you can. God didn't divide the world up into physics over here and chemistry over there and history off in this corner with economics somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

Deluded Creationist,

Fossils are incorporated into rock; that does not mean that they are rock. Even those represented by casts & molds and replacements still provide evidence of biological form. But often original skeletal material is present.

Fossils are indeed another line of confirming evidence for evolution. As we explored the fossil record in more detail, for Darwin to be right about common descent, there had to be intermediates between related living groups, and there are.

See the list of Diogenes above for another important confirmation from the fossil record.

Fossils could indeed be damning evidence against evolution if all forms seen today formed within a geological instant 10,000 years ago and vast tomes of more ancient strata were lifeless.

Larry Moran said...

Thank-you helleen.

It looks like I should have been more careful with my thought experiment knowing that there people reading this blog who knew lot more about this than I did.

I do, of course, understand the main point; namely that the common ancestor of modern monotremes and Eutherians was neither a monotreme or a eutherian.

I hope that everyone understands the point of my thought experiment. Science readily accommodates anomalies and new discoveries that change our views. Although there may be some extraordinary examples that will be a severe challenge, it is simply not true that any single out-of-order fossil will disprove evolution.

That's not how science works.

Larry Moran said...

If fossils out of sequence in needed sequence doesn't disprove evolution then fossils in sequence is not proof for evolution.

This is correct. The fossils are data. They allow us to construct a timeline of changing life on Earth. Evolution is the explanation that makes sense of this data.

There is plenty of solid proof that evolution occurs but the fossil record is highly consistent with, but not necessarily proof of, modern ideas about evolution.

SLC said...

Booby Byers again demonstrates his total ignorance of science. In science, there is no such thing as proof. Proof is a concept in mathematics and symbolic logic. In science, there is only evidence that either supports a hypothesis/theory or falsifies it. Thus, in the current example, fossils being in the order predicted by evolution is not proof of evolution but evidence that supports it. Fossils being out of the order predicted is evidence of falsification, which must be explained. Such a finding would evidence that the hypothesis/theory is either wrong or incomplete, or something has happened to disturb the fossil order (e.g. overthrusts).

Diogenes said...

Excuse me, I haven't heard about a connection between falsificationism and Popper's anti-Communism, or how this relates to Pinker.

Arek Wittbrodt said...

Alternatively, there could be a god who allows time travel. Or a godless universe that allows time travel.

Or humanoid alien with time travel technology.

Just saying ;)

Diogenes said...

Do we have to pollute this blog with expressions like "Booby Byers", the way that Panda's Thumb is thus polluted? What next, puns on SteveP's name comparing him to bathroom functions?

Byers does not have a position of authority at any of the major creationist outlets and is not particularly obnoxious or egotistical. Can we just correct him and move on?

Diogenes said...

What about a rabbi in the pre-Cambrian? You know, fossilized yarmulke...

Robert Byers said...

My point about the fossils being rock is just to stress the snapshotness of any fossil being observed.
The evolution process or journey is not in fossil. Only data points that are then connected by a hypothesis aside from it all.

Fossils, therefore, are not biological evidence for a biological hypothesis.
They can be another species of evidence but can't claim to be biological.
I do see evolutionists presenting fossils as biological evidence for the biological hypothesis/theory of evolution.
The fossils only have something AFTER geological assumptions are accepted about their time and placement.
If the geology was wrong and the fossils were merely days/months separate the evolution would not be true.
Yet it would not be the fault of biology investigation but geology.
so fossils are not biological evidence for evolution.
even if it was true they were data points connecting creatures and this because of evolution.
A important point in evidence here has been historically wrong.
i never get good rebuttals of my claim here anywhere.

Robert Byers said...

Laurence A. Moran
If fossils are just data points then any connection or evolutionary claim between them could only be based on a timeline which is based on geological assumptions.
So if the timeline/geology was wrong then the biological conclusions of evolution would be wrong as there would not be enough time. Say they are representing days/months/years for when deposited.
yet if the biology was wrong it would not be the fault of biological investigation because there was nothing to investigate.
Just data points called fossils.
the fossils don't show evolution to have occured but only a geological assumption draws this conclusion.
Sp a creationist can confidently say fossils can not be used as BIOLOGICAL evidence for evolution.
For their evidence of claimed change only is true is the geology is true.
Rigt or wrong biology is not going on here.

This is a important point to YEC creationists as we see the strata as just flow events in a single event called Noahs flood below the k-t line( well for me this line).
The seeming change in fossils of whole departments is just showing a greater diversity back then and that segregated by place and different flows picked up and deposited one on top of another.

So I conclude its a important point for us that fossils are not biological evidence for evolutionary change.
They didn't one from the other over time. Just neighbours.
Biological conclusions are being drawn from non bioogical evidence but being claimed and believed to be biological evidence.

Robert Byers said...

Its fine to present fossils as evidence backing up evolutionary biology but they are not BIOLOGICAL evidence.
If they are not biological then biological evidence is still needed.
The fossils are only evidence after the geology is accepted and so they are separated in time and deposition and then they can support a hypothesis.
yet this not biology from biological skills and methods of investigation.
Creationists face evolutionary claims of evidence from biology and then fossils are high on the list.
Yet fossils have no relevance to biology discovery and contention.
They are just a picture in stone and as far from a living thing as can be.
there is a window here for error to have slipped in.
Without the fossils evolution has very little to back itself up.
Yet evolution being a biological theory/hypothesis can't back itself up with fossils unless clear they are not biological evidence. something else at best.

Anonymous said...

Without the fossils evolution has very little to back itself up.

Have you actually read On the Origin of Species? (read for free here). If you had, you would note that from the beginning of the theory, it was based on a lot more than fossils. Since then we have added genetics and molecular phylogenetics, etc, etc.

So this statement is demonstrably false.

Anonymous said...

Nothing that you have written supports your claim that information from fossils is non-biological. The most you can infer from your assumptions is that fossils show part of the evolutionary pattern, but are mum as to process. But even this is not correct, as growth lines and fossil populations yield data on ontogeny and allometry, the major engine of biological morphologic change. Fossils do typically lack DNA evidence, if that is what you mean by being non-biological, but no one other than a silly creationist would phrase it that way.

The great majority of fossils used in assessing macroevolutionary patterns are well constrained in terms of age, which is inference from facts rather than assumption. Further, the most important technique for revealing macroevolutionary information from fossil data is completely independent of time/stratigraphy.

The rebuttals you receive are fine, it is your assertions that are divorced from reality.

S Johnson said...

Karl Popper's The Open Society and its Enemies draws the connection between falsificationism and the repudiation of the possibility of social science fairly clearly I think. Falsification is conceived in terms of predictions. Social science is not predictive, ergo there is no social science. Evolutionary theory isn't predictive either in my opinion, which is why Popper (correctly by his lights) rejected evolutionary theory. Popper concentrates on Marxism and his version of its supposed predictions but it all applies to social science. Perhaps he revised his position in The Poverty of Historicism but I have never had that available to me.

My belief that Popper's philosophy is particularly popular because it is an erudite justification for anti-Communism is based on the role Popper's membership in the Mont Pelerin Society and friendships with the likes of Friedrich Hayek. I may be wrong, but if so, Popper's popularity is truly mystifying.

Pinker wrote a book specifically aimed at decades of anthropology, sociology and psychology called The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature. And it was specifically defending evolutionary basis of human nature. As to Pinker's anti-Communism, Pinker in his latest book, The Better Angels of Our Nature, somehow omitted to count US wars against Korea and Vietnam as wars by democracies. He even managed to blame the high casualties of the Vietnam war on the fanaticism of the Vietnamese! The man's a barbarian. But the only pop science writer on human nature whose popularity and cachet is comparable I think is Robert Wright. I think it's clear he comes a distant second.

Again, my best judgment.

Robert Byers said...

Read it and paid close attention to biological evidence for his hypothesis.
I couldn't find any relative to the great conclusions he made.
so i concentrate on the fossil matter.
He did not stress the fossils but did presume their existence and importance.
In fact he told the reader to drop his book unless the reader already accepted long ages as a fact.
AMEN. Without the geology the biology doesn't work.
isay this is not biological investigation based on pure biological data.

you demonstrate to me that you sincerely believe looking at data points of creatures in stone counts as doing biology or rather the processes of biology that lead to results in biology.
You make my case. i think much of evolutionary evidence is based on fossils. its what brings secret sureness.
Yet i insist fossils make no case for evolutionary processes (ToE) except after the geology is assumed.
If the geology was wrong and all fossils were deposited in short order, or shorter then that, then there could not of been evolution as taught.The creatures in fossil did not evolve from each other.
Therefore my logic tells me using fossils as evidence for conclusions on biology is unrelated to biological investigation.
Biological investigation is what they do in living creatures/medicine etc.
My logic tells me fossils don't succeed or fail as biological evidence for the origin of creatures etc.
There's no biology going on in looking at fossils. one is not looking at a process but only presuming its there and happened.
Its a grand flaw to have thought fossils was biological evidence for a biological theory.
They might be other kinds of evidence, might not, but examining them shows no evolutionary process or evidence to a critic.
Again if the geology was wrong and the conclusions wrong about evolution of creatures it would not be the fault of biological principals of investigation.
I don't see where i am wrong here.
The anatomy of error in human thinking has happened in these ideas.

Anonymous said...

@ Robert Byers,

You are obviously mis-reading (or willfully ignoring) the points, then. Here is some summary notes for the 1st three chapters to help you out, from another blog.

This isn't politics. Repeating the lie will not make it true.

Anonymous said...


Can you explain to me exactly why the evidence for evolution should be "purely" biological? This sounds, sorry but no other words come to mind, incredibly stupid.

As for the geology, it is not "assumed," it is demonstrated and demonstrable, and it has been so independently of any ideas in biology (the work was not done by evil "evolutionists").

Fossils are nice evidences (with the accompanying geology), because they show what people would like to see and know about the evolutionary history (the paths that Ryan Gregory talks about) of life on earth, and because we get to see what the ancestors to our species might have looked like. But I do not think that they are the most important evidence. Example, viral insertions demonstrate our common ancestry with the other apes (and beyond), unequivocally. That among other genetic analyses and experiments. So, even without fossils the case would be closed. But I am truly perplexed that you would think that it is important for all lines of evidence to be biological before they can be used. Why? Why exactly?

Michael M said...

I'm not sure how serious the consideration of time travel as an explanation for a vertbrate on the pre-Cambrian is, but I do wonder:

Would phenomena that contradicted evolution justify throwing out relativity?

Robert Byers said...

Evolution is a hypothesis/theory about biology.
Biological conclusions must be from biological investigation if its to be the high standard of science.
Yes evolutionary biology should be mostly or more based on biological evidence.

Notwithstanding My point was that fossils do not count as biological research for processes and development of evolutionism.
Fine to list the non biological evidences for evolution but evolutionists do stress fossils as being a part of biological investigation .
It is not true and has been a major flaw of logic.
Evolutionists have been persuading themselves of evolution as true based on fossils which are not related to biological investigation. Yet they thought it was.
Posters here show the same wrong idea.
without the geology there is no value to fossil sequence.
therefore the fossils are just data points of biology but not biologically showing any connections.

then a creationist can dismiss the geology also and BANG no fossil evidence, of any sort, for ToE.

Anonymous said...

Again, I do not see how something not biology would or should not be evidence, strong or weak, who cares, for evolution or for any other biological process. I do not see why everything developed in biology should strictly rule out whatever is not biology to be of "the high standard of science." This is still a non-sequitur. (The major flaw of logic seems to be all yours.)

Fossils count as research in biology. How could they not? They are the marks left by prior living things. But I do not care. Let us suppose they had no relation to biology. Who cares? Should I reject any insights given into biology by instruments whose principles of operation and such are not biological? Stop using microscopes? Stop using spectrophotometers? Should I ignore the true age of our planet in projecting the evolutionary paths followed by life on Earth? Should I stop thinking about where the different species live when projecting ecological interactions because that involves geography and geology too? Your argument is the most bizarrely insane I have seen in a long while.

As for creationists "simply" rejecting geology and thus "BANG no fossil evidence" that would put them into the incredibly stupid category of people. The evidence would still be there, and the geology would still be as strong no matter how much you wanted to reject the whole thing because "it is not biology." Do you think that holding to stupendous stupidity (however common that already is among YECs) is the way to go for you guys? I am trying hard not to be insulting, but these kinds of arguments, and your apparent incapacity to notice how nonsensical they are, truly puzzle me, and I have no option but to describe them for what they are.

If you still don't see how you are talking nonsense, I can do little more.

Anonymous said...

If time travel were a possibility a bunch of YECs would go back and put lots of rabbit skeletons into the cambrian.

Robert Byers said...

Not nonsense but a argument attempting to look closer at claims of evidence.
You say Fossils count as research!
The fossils are not what is being studied but the connection between the fossils in evolutionary biology!
The fossils are neutral in saying anything about process and so evolution in this case. Even if the fossil creatures had evolved from each other.
Therefore the fossils are not part of biological evidence for evolution.
only their geological position/sequence makes them evidence for the results of evolution.
Yet this is not biilogy but only geology talking here.
Evolutionists have made a historic flaw in believing fossils count as biological evidence of biological processes.
Change the geology and Poof goes the biology conclusions.
So this would be impossible if biological research had been done SO fossils are just special cases of biological data points being CONSTRUED into process evidence for evolution.
I don't see why I'm wrong here!?
Its up to you to prove they are evidence for evolution as a part of the scientific subject called biology.

Anonymous said...

An argument which starts with the most bizarrely wrong assumption, that every evidence in biology should be biological, whatever you might mean by that. That's my point on contention, the rest of the nonsense I haven't touch. Last try: why should the evidence be 100% biological? Don;t tell me about standards, give me the logic why should every evidence for whatever process be biological. I insist, microscopy comes from physics. Thus, a creationist might eject the physics and bang! there go microorganisms. Sounds stupid? Well, compare to what you are saying about fossils and geology as evidence for evolution. It's exactly as absurd.

1. Of course that fossils are what's been studied in the connection to evolutionary biology. Do you think that archaeologists just discover them and look and them and there, to the museum for display and forget about doing any other studies? No sir, fossils are studied carefully anatomically, situationally, and more. So they are studied for their own sake, and within the context of evolution.
2. Of course the fossils are part of the many evidences for evolution. If we didn't know the times, we would be unsatisfied, but just knowing that there were animals with characteristics that show the paths our own evolution could have followed counts as evidence.
3. Knowing the times make the evidence much more compelling. Who cares if it is geology talking there. A scientist, a biologist, would think, ok, I have the fossils, but that does not give me enough satisfaction. How do we learn about their timing? OK, let's talk to the geologists. That's the logical thing to do. Why should they stop? geology is the proper science for the question, so let's go geology.
4. There is no flaw in such thinking. A huge flaw in yours. I truly do not understand how you are incapable of noticing.
5. Change the geology? Sure, if the geology then contradicted the times, then the paths would be wrong. That's the point, yet, fossils still count as evidence. Suppose that the geology showed that all fossils occur in bizarre orders, and that the geological data were irrefutable. Would the fact that the geology is not biology stop you YECs from claiming that evolution is in trouble?
6. Construed? No sir, looking at the data together is good practice. Ignoring the geology would be a way of construing fossils as evidence for evolution. We don't do that. We gather as much data as possible before suggesting explanations. Arguing that geology is not biology is just, pure, 100% unadulterated, nonsense.
7. You don;t see why you are wrong? Really? I know you are a YEC, but if you can use a word such as construed, I do not think you should not have the mental capacity to notice why you are wrong here.
8. The only thing that's "up to us" is showing that the evidence shows what it shows. The names of the scientific disciplines involved are inconsequential to the power of the evidence. What about you ask a good friend to explain this to you. I doubt you read my comments carefully enough. Otherwise this conversation would have stopped after my first comment to you. You might have admitted that you were foolish and perhaps write some apology (yeah, right!) while feeling your face blush.

Robert Byers said...

I read your comments carefully.
Your saying fossils counts as evidence for biological conclusions on origins about the creatures fossilized.
Your also saying words connoting different subjects doesn't matter in drawing conclusions about evolution.
It does if everyone is told that a conclusion, evolution, is back up by biological investigation by biologists and in this case its fossils.
I say there is no biological investigation going on here regarding these fossils and conclusions thereto.

If the fossil data points were laid within days of each other then they did not evolve from each other by ToE.
So since its claimed they evolved from each other then what is the evidence for this.
Evolutionists using these fossils ONLY can and do say its the sequence that proves or hints they evolved from each other.
its only the geology investigation that gives evidence for evolution regarding these fossils .Its not biology in any way.
The biological investigation stopped at analysis of each fossil.
Yet each fossil showed no evidence of evolution but just what it is.
If these fossils did not evolve from each other it would not be the error of a biologist.
Only a biologist who thought they were doing biiology.

I'm demonstrating a historic error was and is made in using fossils as BIOLOGICAL evidence, repeat Evidence, for the conclusion that evolution is true.
It was a strange lapse in logic that YEC folks tap into even while evolutionists and iD folks still are slow to realize.
Its a start to demonstrating evolution has no evidence for it.
A start.
Also an example of the anatomy of error in human ideas.

Anonymous said...

I am saying that words connoting evidences across any named discipline do not undermine the evidence one bit. Your logic is of the most incredibly bizarre stupidity. But I know now that you are way far from understanding that discipline names don't matter. What matters is evidence. So, call it whatever you want, it is still evidence.

Also, it is false that YECs are tapping into this. Regardless of my low opinion about YECs, most are not that imbecilic (would be too obvious and thus deter from the YECs purpose of pretending intelligence while propagandizing against evolution).

We can draw conclusions about biology even if the facts came from quantum mechanics. It would be research at the frontiers of science (which would allow me to publish it in more important journals). We could still call it research in biology because the conclusions are important in biology, no matter where each piece of research came from, physics, astronomy, nuclear physics, geography, geology, whatever. Your incredible nonsensical mind notwithstanding.

Also, it is false completely that we rely on stuff being named biology or not. I am a scientist, and not once have I cared about the discipline giving me the tools and data towards my research. Not once. Not once have my colleagues demanded that I keep my tools and data within one scientific discipline. Granting agencies today go to the point of asking that projects should embrace multidisciplinary. So, I truly can't understand why you hold so strongly to your nonsense.

Let's try this truly for the last time. Concentrate on this point alone:
Suppose that geology showed that fossils appeared in such orders that evolution were in trouble. Suppose I told you that it does not matter because evolution is biology, and thus you can't use geology against it. Would you think that I am right? Would you stop at using geology against evolution just because geology is not biology?