Sunday, November 6, 2016

Amazing insect with meshing gears, and other evidence of I.D.

A thread has been started at EvC forum on a remarkable insect that has actual meshing gears as part of its body design, used to synchronize the movements of its hind legs as it makes a high leap.  Of course this will be treated as a remarkable instance of what evolution can do, although of course it is really much better evidence for design than for evolution, design in this case by God, a really good instance of Intelligent Design.

Here's the source information

But they are so convinced of evolution all that thread is going to get is one rationalization after another for how evolution coulda brought it about:  the time-honored Coulda Argument.  They've convinced themselves that the complex human eye evolved simply because they can point to eye designs all over the range of living things that they are able to mentally arrange into a sequence of steps or stages of complexity, although most of them don't even occur in the same Linnaean lineage.  No matter, if you can mentally assemble utterly separate designs into some semblance of a sequence that's all they need to justify belief that the eye evolved and convince them no Designer is implied. 

There is another instance of a remarkable creature, the one used by Michael Behe in his argument for Intelligent Design, the bacterium with a rotating flagellum.  The way they argued that one was to find other creatures that could plausibly be said to have one or another of the parts of the complex rotating apparatus as part of their design, so that they could say that if any of those parts exist as a functioning unit in any other bacteria, then all of them could have been part of an evolutionary sequence to the final rotating mechanism.  But of course there isn't an iota of evidence that this occurred, again it's just a mental arranging of features of completely unrelated creatures into a sequence, a purely mental sequence:  the Coulda argument again, though in fact it really couldn't. 

So we can expect that for this amazing jumping bug with its amazing gear mechanism they'll try to put together some kind of sequence out of just as much fluff as in the other cases and declare it evidence for evolution.  If they can't find anything that resembles a stage on the way to the gear mechanism, they won't have any problem declaring it evolved anyway.

Sigh. 

While I'm at it, since I do not want to be tempted to post at EvC any more (and thankfully there have been very few temptations since I left), I'll answer something here:  Coyote who always says he misses me, which is nice except we never agree on anything, claimed that I place the Flood at the time of the "KT boundary," which is absolutely false.  I've so many times said that I place it where the Bible genealogies place it, about 4300 years ago, that I'm amazed anyone could misquote me. 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Some Ruminations on Natural Selection and Genetics off the film "Evolution's Achilles' Heels."

Watching the film again, Evolution's Achilles' Heels, have a couple of comments I might as well get said.  I've seen just the first two segments, the one on Natural Selection and the next one on Genetics.

Taking down Natural Selection is really pretty easy, although of course it's strongly resisted by believers in evolution.  Remember that Darwin's big discovery was Natural Selection as the supposed engine of evolution, the title of his book being The Origin of Species By Means of Natural Selection.  The obvious simple fact is that Natural Selection works by subtracting or eliminating, not by adding anything, while of course evolution to be true beyond variation within a Kind requires the addition of novel features.  In fact the way natural selection produces new variations is by eliminating other variations.  Natural Selection is one of the ways new variations occur, which are sometimes called "species" if they seem quite different from the parent organism, but the point is that the processes involved are subtractive, and my own observation is that you can only subtract to a certain point when there is no more change possible -- which is my own argument in a nutshell, Evolution Defeats Evolution.  But the film simply makes the point that selection subtracts and that in itself is contrary to what evolution needs in order to be true.

The film doesn't make a distinction between the phenotype or outward form of a creature and its genotype or genetic information, but the changes that are seen in the outward form that is brought about by natural selection occur by the elimination of other forms or phenotypes, and the corresponding elimination of the genetic information that codes for the different forms.   You can have part of the genome being eliminated in one population of a species to produce one new variation, while in a separate population another part of the genome may be eliminated to produce a completely different new variation.  Either way you've got your new variation as a result of subtracting genetic information, and that can never ever produce anything truly new, it can only bring out a new combination of traits already existing in the genome, which makes the whole idea of evolution of species from species impossible.

The next subject is genetics and they cover the amazingly complex workings of DNA replication within a single cell.   They point out that the different parts of the cell couldn't have evolved separately because of their interdependence, one part needing to exist in order to produce another part, that in turn needs to exist for the first part to operate.  They also point out the essential roles of information, communication and language, also interdependent and inseparable, another proof that evolution could not possibly have designed the cell.

Mutation is of course discussed as evolution's only hope of producing anything truly novel, but of course it usually does nothing but destroy things, destroy DNA itself, destroy genes, remove parts of an organism which under certain circumstances can be adaptive, such as wingless beetles on a windy island, sickle cell anemia as the cost of protection from malaria, the loss of the ability to ingest some things protecting against poisons and so on.  All subtractions and eliminations that are sometimes adaptive but not in any sense the Theory of Evolution requires.

They don't discuss the argument I've so frequently encountered, about mutation increasing genetic diversity, which would take too much discussion for this post.  The main answer is that the increase in diversity is usually an increase in disease of one sort or another, that is, ultimately a loss to the organism rather than anything beneficial, let alone of any value toward species evolution.

They present the idea that the term Junk DNA for or the 98% of the genome that does not code for protein, was based on the ideological commitment to the theory of evolution, the interpretation being that it represents former functions in the history of the organism back to the primordial soup, that are no longer of use as the creature has evolved.   Now it is claimed that these noncoding regions of the genome actually do have functions, and many were listed though none of them discussed, so I don't know what science supports them or why there are so many different functions involved. 

I still think that Junk DNA probably IS junk, though not for the evolutionist reasons.  My creationist interpretation is that it represents the result of the Fall, or in other words the operation of death on living things since that event, death not having been part of the original Creation.  Since the Flood wiped out all but eight human beings, and an even higher percentage of animals, a lot of genetic material would eventually have died out in each species as it went on reproducing after the Flood.  So many alleles for a great number of genes would have perished that eventually those genes would themselves die out in the population wherever they were already reduced among the survivors on the ark.  Of course the increase in the destructive effects of mutations in the genome, which the film pointed out are cumulative down the generations, would facilitate the death of genes by destroying alleles to the point that a given gene locus would have no functional alleles left.  What would that be but a "junk" or unfunctional or dead gene?  Thus whatever the junk DNA used to code for is lost to all living things, former functions that would once have supported the enormous longevity that existed before the Flood. 

I like this interpretation because it fits with the Biblical understanding of the Fall.  But again, the idea that noncoding DNA has other functions has to be considered.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Some Good Creationist Arguments Undermined by the Failure to Recognize the True Wolf in Sheep's Clothing, The Roman Catholic Papacy

Just saw a creationist film at Amazon that was made in 2014, Evolution's Achilles' Heels.  It's also in book form and DVD.  It's made by Creation Ministries International, based in Australia, and features interviews of fifteen scientists on aspects of the Creation-Evolution debate: 

Natural Selection,
Genetics and DNA,
The Origin of Life,
The Fossil Record,
The Geologic Column,
Radiometric Dating,
Cosmology and
Ethics,

showing how the scientific facts in each category support Creation and not Evolution.  In my opinion any one of the arguments should bring the theory of evolution crashing down, but since most of the support for evolution isn't science it remains a belief system that can keep justifying itself.

I'll have to watch it again to have anything more specific to say about the arguments.

Meanwhile I have to comment on something that is not about the debate as such.  In the segment on Ethics, in which it is shown that the idea of evolution promotes every kind of immorality including the Holocaust, I had to object to the imputation of the mass murders of the twentieth century to "atheists,"  in particular one remark by Jonathan Sarfati that answers accusations that "Christians" committed as many murders, by saying they were nothing compared to the atheist evolutionists.  What I object to is the idea that "Christians" committed the atrocities of the Inquisition, which of course is the ONLY  murderous campaign that could ever be imputed to Christians.  But there is also reason to object to the idea that the mass murders of the last century were simply due to atheist evolutionists.

The Inquisitions was NOT THE WORK OF CHRISTIANS.  It was Christians who SUFFERED FROM the Inquisition, estimated to something like 50 million victims, separate from the Jews, Muslims and other victims who added another 17 million over its 600-year reign.  How the murderous papacy manages to keep its status as "Christian" after the Reformation leaders showed it over and over again to be the Antichrist is a sad testimony to the lack of a historical perspective by "Protestants."   WAKE UP, CHURCH.  Good grief this is sickening.  We're in a historical period right now when the Inquisition is still going on in secret in some parts of the world, and very likely brewing behind the scenes of the One World Order that's shaping up, to be reinstated in all its horrific ugliness when the European Union finally gets its act together, while real Christians are a bunch of silly sheep who are ripe for the slaughter because they don't know history and keep calling the Roman Church "Christianity."   

And not only is the Inquisition not to be imputed to Christianity as against the murderous regimes of the twentieth century, in many cases it was the Roman Church that was behind those murderous regimes.  Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot all had Catholic upbringing or education;  the Rwanda massacre was fomented by a Catholic priest.  Hitler had the support of the Pope of his day, who was also responsible for the "Ratlines" after the war that relocated Nazi criminals to South American Catholic countries.  Hitler even said he modeled his Holocaust on the Inquisition. 

There was no evolutionary theory during the time of the Inquisition, but the Roman Church has been embracing it in stages over the last century, adding to their blasphemies against God and their arsenal of justifications for murder.  And the Communist philosophy that outwardly fueled so much of the mass murders of recent times, is a development of the idea of "Social Justice" which was invented by a Jesuit.

While of course Evolution needs to be brought down as a satanic stronghold that is only contributing to the demoralization of the whole human race, I couldn't help but find the idea that "Christianity" was the cause of the Inquisition to undo all the good the arguments on that video might have done.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Yes, the only reality is the stacks of rocks.

Apropos the previous post, the "stacks of rocks" mentioned came from the title of a thread I started at EvC:  The Geological Timescale is Fiction, Whose Only Reality is Stacks of Rocks.

The direction I took with that argument was to try to show the implications of the fact that the actual and only evidence we have on which the Geological Timescale is constructed, is the rock strata, usually called the Geologic Column, that the whole idea of time periods is based on that stack of rocks and on nothing else, but that in reality there is no physical way for the scenes imputed to the time periods to have become reduced to the actual layers of rock that represent them.

The scenes or landscapes I'm referring to are those fictional illustrations you may have seen here or there, depictions of whatever environment is supposed by standard Geology to have characterized a particular time period, a particular kind of landscape with particular plants and animals, as determined by the fossils found in the rock layer of formation of layers that represents that time period. 

Here's a typical example, this one of the Permian Period:



So I put together a cartoon to show the basic idea that there were never scenes or landscapes represented by the rocks, but only the rocks themselves, which would be huge flat featureless expanses of sediment. 



Even if there had been a landscape for a particular time period, since it all has to reduce down to the flat rock that is its only evidence, by the end of any "time period" there would be nothing left of the landscape but the flat sediment that will eventually become the rock.

Since the strata do not occur everywhere on earth, presumably there would also be areas of chaotic deposition as well, if the cause was the Flood, but there is no evidence of a normal landscape apart from the strata, although it must be assumed in the standard interpretive scheme, assumed but nothing more, because all the evidence of the time periods is contained in the layered rocks.  It is the strata that contain the fossils, it is the strata that are dated, all schematic representations of the Geological Timescale identify it in terms of the stratified rocks.

But again, the rocks are the ONLY evidence.  And what that means in terms of the historical situation is that if there was once upon a time a landscape in which creatures lived, in a particular slice of time, called Cambrian, or Devonian, or Permian, or Jurassic etc., at the very end of that period there had to be nothing but this expanse of sediment and no remains whatever of the supposed landscape,   And that must be the case because all there is now is an expanse of flat rock.  Before it was rock it had to be an expanse of flat sediment, no doubt wet sediment, and if we are to imagine a landscape that got reduced down to that flat wet sediment we have to imagine that everything that had lived in that landscape left no trace whatever, assuming anything specific lived in that hypothetical window of time.  

But we will be reminded that the surface of some of those rocks is marked by animal tracks, animal burrows and other signs of life, and raindrop impressions and ripple impressions, which are interpreted by the standard theory to be evidence that there did exist a landscape that represents the time period. 

Which led me to another part of the argument:  the observation that those tracks and burrows and raindrops and ripples were clearly formed on a huge flat featureless surface and not in any kind of normal landscape with plants and hills and valleys and so on.  This is apparent, after all, from the simple fact that they are embedded in the surface of a huge flat rock, or burrow into a huge flat rock.  All of such tracks that are found in the strata, all the burrows, all the raindrop impressions, all the ripples:  they all occur on these flat featureless expanses of sediment that are now rock in which they are preserved.  So these very phenomena that are taken for evidence of a time period with its own kinds of plants and animals, are really evidence against the idea.  At the moment they were impressed into the sediment there was no such landscape, only the vast expanse of sediment itself that became the vast flat featureless rock.  So either somehow the assumed landscape was transformed into the rock, or there never was a landscape at all, just the vast expanse of sediment.  Which is of course consistent with the Flood explanation and not the time period explanation.   The time periods are pure interpretation, pure theory, based entirely on qualities of the rock itself plus its fossil contents.  If it's limestone it must have been formed a shallow sea for instance, if it's sandstone with a certain angle of crossbedding it had to have been sanddunes on that very site, that somehow got compressed into rock with flat top and flat bottom.  And so it goes..

The arguments on that thread revolved around efforts to show me how the expected landscape that represents a time period could have been reduced to an expanse of rock, in fact a whole stack of such rocks that was once a whole stack of such landscapes. 

To be continued.

Evidence in the strata against the Geologic Timescale and for the Flood

Having quit posting at EvC again, I've so far resisted all temptations to return, really having no desire whatever to put myself through the inevitable frustrations and utter futility of it.  That's a topic in itself since I used to encounter temptations I couldn't resist and now I can resist them, finally being able to see ahead enough to realize that no matter how good I think my argument is, or a given post, nobody else is going to find anything good in it.  I used to be taken by surprise all the time by the incredibly ingenious ways they all have of managing to mangle a simple reasonable statement.  Well, somehow I did come to be able to anticipate that anything I say will be so mangled and once I could do that all desire to try again just evaporated. 

But nothing's perfect and this morning I found myself tempted to answer something.  I do know better now, I know I can't just get away with simply answering it, I'll be drawn into a round of escalating misrepresentsations that I feel obliged to deal with, having already given in to the initial temptation.  So the only solution seems to be to answer it here:

It's a very simple misrepresentation concerning the use of evidence that I should be able to answer very briefly:
About Earth's history Faith likes to call geological strata "stacks of rocks" as if they contain no evidence of time and process, ... "Evidence? What evidence?
Not exactly.  I find evidence in the rocks and have described it many times, even evidence of "time and process":  it is evidence of rapid deposition, seen in the tight straight lines between layers, lack of the sort of erosion that would be expected from millions of years of exposure, either marine or aerial; also seen in the different sediments that frequently characterize separate layers;  just to name a few.  It is also evidence of process:  rapid deposition by water:  that's the only process that could account for those tight straight lines and the clear demarcation between layers and different sediments.  I also find evidence in the many cross sections constructed of various stacks of rocks, that give away such things as that whole blocks of layers are all bent together in a particular direction which demonstrates that they were all malleable, still soft, which contradicts any idea that they were laid down and lithified into rock millions of years apart.  This is shown in places where the rocks curve as a unit, also in places where faults have displaced sections of strata.  Also the utter lack of the sort of erosion consistent with exposure as mentioned above.

There's plenty more and I may come back to add to the above.

So it's simply not so that I ignore evidence.  I'm sure that every thread I've started on the subject of the strata is aimed to demonstrate the interpretation of a particular bit of evidence in favor of rapid deposition and against the idea of millions of years of time per formation. 

Friday, September 23, 2016

The genetic limit to evolution plus the rapid deposition of strata reasserted for what it's worth

The two arguments I started out with remain the two I think are the best after some years of debating them:  the argument for the built-in limit to evolutionary processes, and the argument based on cross sections showing rapid deposition of the strata of the Geologic Column, against the interpretation of time periods and great ages.  The arguments have acquired some changes but not much, a lot of it terminological.  They are both observational and subject to testing, so if they could be established the claims that are conjectural and can't be tested would have to yield.  There are lots of solid creationist arguments, all I did was pick two I felt I could argue effectively, two that would definitively undo evolution if established.

All the dating methods used to support evolution and the Old Earth are conjectural and untestable despite being treated as if they were as solid as fact;  and so is the fossil order that is interpreted to support evolution.  It certainly exists, the fossils do occur in a predictable order, but the interpretation is pure conjecture, and showing that evolution has a natural limit, that it can't continue beyond the boundary of a "Kind," would prove the evolutionary interpretation of the fossil order to have been an illusion.  Showing that the actual evidence proves rapid deposition of the strata would likewise overthrow the Geological Timescale with its imaginary time periods.

To say this here and now is a bit of bluster I know, because I'm not up to making the arguments again right now, but then I've made them dozens, hundreds of times, over the last few years, here but also at EvC forum. 

I've pretty much abandoned my blogs and don't know if I'll get back to them.   Bluster or not I believe the two arguments to be true,  I even believe they have been proved, and I just want to say it again.  I'm tired, I've been tired of debating for some time so I hope I can quit now.  That may or may not mean I'm quitting blogging as well.   If my blogging days are over at least this restatement can be a sort of finale.  And if I get a second wind I'll be back to make the case again.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Let's Bring "Proof" Back to Reality

It's true that I lost track of the subject of the meaning of the words "prove" and "proof" in my last post as I went from Update to Update, which got noted at EvC in the most recent posts on the subject. They keep insisting on formal definitions, stating it all in the abstract, which loses track of what I meant in the first place which is really pretty simple. It's just another way of saying that when you are dealing with the prehistoric past you can never be sure of your hypotheses because they aren't testable, as you can be with those that are testable. This standard objection by creationists is strenuously opposed by evolutionists of course, and it has come up again at EvC here too.

This second link exhibits the tendency of anti-creationists to reduce Christian creationist arguments to Christian belief even when the creationists are sticking to the scientific questions. This is an annoying distraction at best. The argument about the difference between observational and historical/interpretive science is completely valid. You can nitpick about terminology, about the terms "observational" and "historical" and all the rest of it, just as you can about the terms "prove" and "evidence," but there is a legitimate argument here that is being evaded by all this abstract nitpicking.

In all the dithering about the meaning of "prove" the argument itself got lost so let me try to restate it. The main argument I've made along these lines is that both Old Earth Geology and Evolutionist Biology make assertions about what they believe occurred in the distant past that they couldn't possibly PROVE, by which I mean all they have is their conjectures and hypotheses which they have no way of confirming, although they treat their conjectures about these things as if they were solidly proven facts. I've given the explanation for this in terms of the lack of "witnesses" to that past, which I say are necessary to confirming such conjectures and are always present in the tests of the "hard" or laboratory sciences. The structure of DNA for instance has been "proved" in a way you could never prove the scenarios concocted about the distant past that are palmed off on the public as fact.

And I'm using the term "scenarios" here because I think that's where the problem lies. We can reconstruct a Stegosaurus from its bones, but when you go on to describe the supposed habitat of that animal, based on the other contents of the rock in which its bones were found, you are giving your hypothesis about those things. If you go on from there to talk about it as if it were known fact you are asserting theory as fact though it can't be verified; in a word you are committing fraud.

I did make a list of the kind of thing that is presented about the past that is often asserted dogmatically that is nothing but this sort of unverifiable or unprovable conjecture.

Looking for other kinds of examples of unprovables described in dogmatic terms I found the Wikipedia article on Stegosaurus where such unknowable/unprovables are asserted, such as when the creature lived:
They lived during the Late Jurassic period (Kimmeridgian to early Tithonian), some 155 to 150 million year s ago...
This is interpreted simply from the fact that it is found in a particular layer of sedimentary rock. That is the entirety of the evidence for the scenario. This rock with its contents becomes a time period because that's what the theory says it is.

The usual scenario based on fossil contents of the same strata is discussed in the section on Paleoecology:
The Morrison Formation is interpreted as a semiarid environment with distinct wet and dry seasons, and flat floodplains. Vegetation varied from river-lining forests of conifers, tree ferns, and ferns (gallery forests), to fern savannas with occasional trees such as the Araucaria-like conifer Brachyphyllum.The flora of the period has been revealed by fossils of green algae, fungi, mosses, horsetails, ferns, cycads, ginkgoes, and several families of conifers. Animal fossils discovered include bivalves, snails, ray-finned fishes, frogs, salamanders, turtles, sphenodonts, lizards, terrestrial and aquatic crocodylomorphans, several species of pterosaur, numerous dinosaur species, and early mammals such as docodonts, multituberculates, symmetrodonts, and triconodonts.[54]

Dinosaurs that lived alongside Stegosaurus included theropods Allosaurus, Saurophaganax, Torvosaurus, Ceratosaurus, Marshosaurus, Stokesosaurus and Ornitholestes. Sauropods dominated the region, and included Brachiosaurus, Apatosaurus, Diplodocus, Camarasaurus, and Barosaurus. Other ornithischians included Camptosaurus, Gargoyleosaurus,Dryosaurus, and Othnielosaurus.[55] Stegosaurus is commonly found at the same sites as Allosaurus, Apatosaurus, Camarasaurus, and Diplodocus.[56]
The Morrison Formation is a layer of rock. Here it is called an "environment." This is of course because the theory says each of the layers represents a time period. The whole rock "formation" represents a time period, its very own time period. The formations above and below represent different time periods. Slabs of rock interpreted as time periods. Time periods start and stop where the rock ends and another kind of rock begins.

Whatever has been found within that layer along with the bones of the Stegosaurus, goes to make up the interpretation of its "environment," the climate and the kind of vegetation that grew in that "time period."

I am of course emphasizing the rock=time period equation because it is so absurd, but that is a different subject here. I do have to admit that they are less assertive these days in such descriptions. The assertiveness will still be found on signs posted at various natural wonders, however, that inform you that such and such a marvelous phenomenon is so many millions of years old etc.

======================
I will probably come back and expand on this post.