Creation and Evolution Blog

This blog has been superceded, and is only here for archive purposes. The latest blog posts, depending on topic, can be found at one of the blogs at the new location!

Discusses creation and evolution, mostly from a creation perspective.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Overselling Universal Common Ancestry

When talking about evolution, one of the main sticking points with creationists is the idea of Universal Common Ancestry. Biblically, the Bible speaks of creating things according to their kinds, giving the idea of multiple, distinct lines of ancestry.

Evolution, on the other hand, says that all organisms evolved from a single organism, or, at most, a set of unicellular organisms. However, this assumption is entirely based on materialist presuppositions and not on evidence.

Evolutionists almost always say that the origin of life (abiogenesis) has absolutely nothing to do with the theory of evolution. The problem is that other than assumptions about how life came about in the first place, there is no reason whatsoever to assume that there was a single starting point.

The evidence is that there are discontinuous groups of organisms. This has been studied quite a bit by both creationists (called baraminology) and process structuralists. The study of discontinuity in living organisms is actually quite fascinating. These studies show both extreme continuities and discontinuities. For example, the dog family is extremely continuous within itself, but extremely discontinuous outside of the family.

Now, many people, despite the current observed discontinuities, believe that homology and fossil succession show clear evidence of historic vertebrate continuity. I have commented on homology before and will not do so again here. However, even then, the Cambrian explosion gives absolutely no evidence whatsoever of continuity between the many phyla that arose duing that time. All of the supposed links between them are based on pretty much no data whatsoever. Evolution says that diversity should precede disparity, but there is no evidence of that happening in the Cambrian explosion either.

The fact is, though there are many explanations of why there is no evidence of continuity among the phyla emerging in the Cambrian explosion, there still remains the fact that there is no evidence. Therefore, one must ask, why is everyone being asked to believe that all life is related? If (a) there is no data of continuity in the Cambrian explosion, and (b) evolution does not deal with the theory of abiogenesis, then why should one assume, even assuming that all the rest of evolution is true, that Universal Common Ancestry is a sure thing?

Even if you believe in evolution, and even with the fossil record being incomplete, the fact remains that Universal Common Ancestry is a theory that is imposed on the data, not one that arises from it. The overselling of Universal Common Ancestry implies that either (a) abiogenesis is indeed a part of the theory of evolution, but one where the data is so far against it that evolutionists want to separate themselves from that part of the discussion, or (b) it is part of metaphysical assumptions required to get evolution to work. It could be another reason, but I can't think of any others at this time.

Understand evolution.

The theory itself is simple:
Life adapts to it's environment. The process through which this happens is random mutation, selective reproductive pressure, and selective survival pressure.

That's all it proposes.

Everything else you talk about is an extension of evolution, but not evolution. Common descent is assumed to be true, but if it is not we will throw it out; evolution remains unchanged. Abiogenesis is also assumed to be true, but if it is not it will also be thrown out without affecting evolution.

God created animals in their kind says nothing about evolution. If reptiles evolved from reptiles and mammals from mammals, then fine, but the process of evolution itself still holds.

A dog with warmer fur will survive a harsh winter where a dog with less fur will not; that is selective survival pressure for warm fur. That is evolution in action. A fish with a more flexible spine that can swim faster and avoid predators is more likely to survive and pass on that trait than a fish with an inflexible spine. That is selective survival pressure as well.
"Understand evolution."

I do. I've done a lot of research on it.

"The theory itself is simple:
Life adapts to it's environment. The process through which this happens is random mutation, selective reproductive pressure, and selective survival pressure.

That's all it proposes."

Not really. Evolution is highly equivocated. It means what you say when it suits the arguer (i.e. when asked to provide evidence), and it means other things (like universal common ancestry) when it suits the arguer (like when trying to use paltry evidence to prove a big theory). For example, when the AAAS uses the term "evolution" they are actually explicitly referring to the common ancestry concept. When people talk about "creation-vs-evolution" usually what the issues include are (1) common ancestry, and (2) long ages.

"Everything else you talk about is an extension of evolution, but not evolution."

If you look at what the public proponents of evolution are saying (the head of the AAAS, the head of the NCSE, etc.), this is false.

If, by evolution, you mean "change over time", I know of NO CREATIONISTS WHATSOEVER that disagree with such a concept. To frame the argument as being between those who accept change and those who don't is simply creating a straw man.

However, even in your very small definition of evolution, it isn't supported by evidence. The substrate of beneficial organismic change IS NOT random mutation. That is simply absurd from a combinatorial standpoint. This concept was actually established before we even knew what the molecular basis of genes were (i.e. DNA). I've written on this several times, here are a few:
Phillip Johnson did this video a while back, but it is still quite relevant to the subject:
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?