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Common ancestry of apes

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Common ancestry of apes
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AronRaContributorUser avatarPosts: 532Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 1:47 pm

Post Common ancestry of apes

There is a video where a pastor is defending Roy Moore. So I commented, "A pastor saying "You can't say it like it's fact". How ironic. All religion does is assert empty unsupported speculation as if it were fact." My comment got the attention of a creationist commenter.

Owens wrote:AronRa, anyone who is honest and has heard you talk about your belief system. knows you do the exact same thing.
Aron Ra wrote:No, the things I say are verifiably accurate.
As I recall, you believe in a mythological common ancestor of man and chimp.
Creationists often use the logical fallacy of false equivalence, asserting that faith is based on evidence just like science is and science relies on faith just like religion does. So "you're just as bad as me and I'm just as good as you." Owen's version of this is to assert that my science is merely mythology just like his religion is. This is also the tu quoquee fallacy, because he asserts that science is a belief-system. Believers must know how dishonest their position is because they keep trying to project their faults onto those who will not share them.

Just for clarification, a belief-system has required beliefs and prohibited beliefs, but free thought is exactly opposite of that. It doesn't matter what you believe, all that matters is why you believe it.

So the very first thing Owens said was false. His second sentence was false too.

my·thol·o·gy
/məˈTHäləjē/
noun
1. a collection of myths, especially one belonging to a particular religious or cultural tradition.
"Ganesa was the god of wisdom and success in Hindu mythology"
synonyms: myth(s), legend(s), folklore, folk tales, folk stories, lore, tradition
"no ancient culture is without its mythology"
2. the study of myths.

myth
/miTH/
noun
1. a traditional story, especially one concerning the early history of a people or explaining some natural or social phenomenon, and typically involving supernatural beings or events.
synonyms: folk tale, folk story, legend, tale, story, fable, saga, mythos, lore, folklore, mythology
"ancient Greek myths"
2. a widely held but false belief or idea.
"he wants to dispel the myth that sea kayaking is too risky or too strenuous"


Science is neither a tradition nor a story. It's an investigation, which means it changes according to indications of evidence, where his mythology can't. Science doesn't involve the supernatural either because it has to be testable and potentially falsifiable. As I told this guy before, whatever I say has to be verifiably accurate or it's wrong, but whatever believers say is at best unsupported assertions. So they're accidentally false when they're not deliberately false. What my critic has done is put himself on equal standing with me. If I have to produce scientific evidence of my position, then he has to do the same for his own.

Creationists also commonly argue that "we both have the same evidence", which of course isn't true either. Evidence is a body of objectively verifiable facts which are positively indicative of, or exclusively concordant with one available conclusion over any other. If the same fact is still true in either scenario then it isn't evidence. It doesn't become evidence until it aligns with only one of the options over the others. I will show Owens the evidence of my position and he will not be able to contest any of it, nor will he be able to produce any evidence in favor of his own position.

So we don't have the same evidence, but we do have the same observation to explain. In this case, that observation is biodiversity. Why is the tree of life structured as it is? Why do we have all these different breeds of dogs and pigeons, cats and cattle and so on? Why are there taxonomic hierarchies beyond that between different parent groupings of lizards, as there are for birds and everything else? If Owens were sincere in his position, he would take the Phylogeny Challenge. But as he is a creationist, he will not take that challenge because he is not sincere. He only wants to make-believe.

So I'll have to explain to Owens how evolution offers the only explanation for all these and many other things, while he will be unable to show how his mythology can explain any of it.

You have no scientific name for this mythological creature.
He is not talking about the morphological "missing link" that was predicted by Darwin and discovered in 1974 (and many more times since then). He's talking about the common ancestor of that and of chimpanzees. He's talking about Dryopithecus fontana.

You cannot even give a scientific description of this mythological creature.
Owens actually provided a scientific description for me with his immediate citation of an article in Scientific American, "Fossil Reveals What Last Common Ancestor of Humans and Apes Looked Liked". It was so nice of him to provide the evidence proving that I'm right and he's wrong before we even begin.

How is that not unsupported speculation?
Because all the evidence, including the bit you just cited supports it. That article confessed that they didn't have enough of the skull to build a facial restoration. So we can't yet say what it looked like, (other than it looked vaguely like a gibbon) but that doesn't mean it didn't exist, or that the fragments of it don't match subsequent Hominids.

what is your evidence that Dryopithecus fontana is the common ancetor of both humans and apes?
So once we had the evidence confirming that we are evolved apes, we then needed evidence of intermediate connections between us and them. We now have a couple dozen species representing different stages of that transition, and none of them would exist under the creationist model.

Then once we knew our origin among the apes, we needed evidence of the origin of the other modern apes too. Once we established the Dryopithecines are basal to both modern apes and humans, the problem was that they're European. So we needed evidence of Dryopithecines in east Africa, and now we have it. Dryopithecus fontana.

What more evidence could we possibly need that we don't already have?
We don't have evidence confirming that we are evolved apes.
Don't we? We know that evolution happens, that significant beneficial mutations do occur and are inherited by descendant groups, and that multiple independent sets of biological markers exist to trace these lineages backward over many generations. We know that the collective genome of all animals has been traced to its most basal form, and that those forms are also indicated by comparative morphology, physiology, and embryological development. Consequently we know that everything on earth has definite relatives either living nearby or evident in the fossil record, and we know that the fossil record holds hundreds of transitional species even according to its strictest definition. We also know that both microevolution and macroevolution have been directly observed, and that evolutionary variation is pervasive and ubiquitous throughout the biology. That's why evolution is the basis of modern biology.

We also know that humans are a subset of apes, primates, eutherian mammals, and vertebrate deuterostome animals.This fact was observed by many naturalists and philosophers long before Darwin, but most notably by Carolus Linneaus who devised taxonomy, the systematic classification of life.

"Why I demand of you, and of the whole world, that you show me a generic character -one that is according to the generally accepted principles of classification- by which to distinguish between Man and Ape. I myself most assuredly know of none. I wish somebody would indicate one to me. But, if I had called man an ape, or vice versa, I would have fallen under the ban of all ecclesiastics. It may be that as a naturalist, I ought to have done so."

282 years later and still no one can answer that question, because in fact humans ARE apes: meaning that we are part of the superfamily, Hominoidea.

Nor do we have evidence of intermediate connections. What we do have are either extinct apes or extinct humans based on a few questionable bone fragments. There is no consensus on any of the so-called intermediate stages.
Wrong. Here is a really old list that needs updating.

Ardipithecus ramidus kadabba (5.8-5.2 mya) (5 sites, 5 individuals, 0 crania)
Ardipithecus ramidus ramidus (4.4 mya) (2 sites, >50 individuals, 0 crania)
Australopithecus afarensis (4.2-2.96 mya) (11 sites, ~120 individuals,>8 crania)
Australopithecus africanus (2.9-2.4 mya) (7 sites, ~130 individuals, 25 crania)
Australopithecus anamensis (4.17-3.9 mya) (2 sites, 10 individuals, 0 crania)
Australopithecus bahrelghazali (3.5-3.0 mya) (1 site, 1 individual, 0 crania)
Australopithecus garhi (2.5 mya, 3 sites, 4 individuals, 1 cranium)
Homo antecessor (800 kya, 1 site, >5 individuals, 0? crania)
Homo erectus/ergaster (1.9-0.4 mya, >34 sites, >210 individuals, >62 crania)
Homo habilis (2.3-1.6 mya, 7 sites, 25 individuals, 11 crania)
Homo heidelbergensis (700-100 kya, 26 sites, 60 individuals, 20 crania)
Homo sapiens neanderthalensis (250-25 kya, >31 sites, >77 individuals,>27 crania
Homo sapiens sapiens, >10 kya only (130 kya to recent, >75 sites, >154 individuals, numerous crania)
Homo rudolfensis (1.9 mya, 2 sites, 5 individuals, 3 crania)
Kenyanthropus platyops (3.3 mya, 1 site, 3 individuals, 1 crania)
Orrorin tugenensis (6.3-5.6 mya) (4 sites, 5 individuals, 0 crania)
Paranthropus aethiopicus (2.7-1.9 mya, 2 sites, 8 individuals, 2 crania)
Paranthropus boisei (2.5-1.4 mya, 9 sites, 43 individuals, 13 crania)
Paranthropus robustus (2.0-1.5 mya, 3 sites, 28 individuals, 20 crania)
Sahelanthropus tchadensis (7.0-6.0 mya) (1 site, 6 individuals, 1 cranium)

based on this limited data, we have nearly 1,000 individuals, with nearly 200 crania. I expect the final number to be over 3,000 given the estimate of the Catalogue ofFossilHominid published by the British Natural History Museum (almost 4000 as of 1976). It is unclear if this refers to NISP or MNI.


The consensus is that all of these are both extinct apes and extinct hominines. Most of these were predicted by evolutionary theory and should ONLY exist if evolution is true. None of these would exist if creationism were true. How would you--as a creationist--explain extinct humans?

No evidence exists for the evolution of modern apes.
You know, when you haven't studied a particular subject any at all and consequently have absolutely no idea what you're talking about, you probably shouldn't pretend that you know more than all the world's best educated expert specialists in that field. Because we have extensive evidence for the evolution of apes with way more of those species represented in the fossil record than still exist today.

Anyone can line up fossils fragments, and make the specious claim that one evolved into the other. Pure science fiction.
You misspelled--and misrepresented--scientific fact. Science is entirely different than a belief system or mythology in that it is an attempt to improve understanding. The only way to do that is to seek out the flaws in your current perspective and correct them. Science does this with predictive hypotheses. If our current understanding of evolution is true then we should find fossils older than modern humans with traits intermediate between us and other apes. That hypothesis was vindicated again and again and again with the above list of dozens of fossil species.

Of course creationists predicted that none of these things would be discovered. Then when they were, creationists had to start lying, saying that Lucy was "just a chimpanzee" or that Neanderthal man was "just an old modern man with rickets". It doesn't matter that every paleoanthropologist knows that Australopithecines were not chimpanzees, nor that we've found hundreds of individual neanderthals including women and children too. When you have a belief system, you have to deny the facts to keep convincing yourself of what you already know can't really be true. That's what religion does, and that's why science is the very opposite.

Evolutionists do this all the time. They claim something evolved into something else and then get busted when it turns out that one of their so-called intermediates is still alive and well !
Do you have an example of that? I bet not because that's never happened, but there's no requirement that when a new species evolves that every member of the parent species had to have died out.

We have not established that Dryopithecines are basal to booth moderan apes and humans.
The article you cited explains otherwise. How could you have quoted one paragraph ouf of that without reading the rest of it?

Dryopithecus is a very broad genus including at least forty species as diverse as gibbon-sized to gorilla-sized, but not actually gibbons or gorillas. Dryopithecines are hominids [family Hominidae] that came before Homininae. The oldest fossils are in Eurasia, and the genus, Pongo [orangutans et al] is Asian, indicating that although Dryopithecus fontana was found in eastern Africa, where the genus Homininae evidently evolved, their ancestors and the crown of Hominidae actually came from Asia through Eurasia.

You have ZERO evidence to support that claim.
Taxonomy was replaced with cladistic phylogenetics. It's a twin-nested hierarchy where the trees constructed on morphology can be confirmed genetically. It's rather like taking a paternity test to confirm who your daddy is. Same principle.

This image is taken from the Public Library of Science article, A Molecular Phylogeny of Living Primates.

Image

"Here we provide new genomic sequence (∼8 Mb) from 186 primates representing 61 (∼90%) of the described genera, and we include outgroup species from Dermoptera, Scandentia, and Lagomorpha. The resultant phylogeny is exceptionally robust and illuminates events in primate evolution from ancient to recent, clarifying numerous taxonomic controversies and providing new data on human evolution. Ongoing speciation, reticulate evolution, ancient relic lineages, unequal rates of evolution, and disparate distributions of insertions/deletions among the reconstructed primate lineages are uncovered. Our resolution of the primate phylogeny provides an essential evolutionary framework with far-reaching applications including: human selection and adaptation, global emergence of zoonotic diseases, mammalian comparative genomics, primate taxonomy, and conservation of endangered species."

Scientific evidence can't really get any more conclusive than that. So much for your "ZERO evidence" accusation.

You understand that this is a fact, (or a rather a series of them) that was predicted by evolutionary theory because it only aligns with evolution and clearly contradicts creationism, right? Because creationists predicted this would not turn out to be the case. They were wrong again as always. Every prediction falsified.

If evolution is true, what observation, discovery, or experiment could reveal that?
If evolution is not true, then what observation, discovery, or experiment do you predict would reveal that?
If creationism is not true, what observation, discovery, or experiment do you predict could show that?
If creationism is true, what observation, discovery, or experiment could reveal that?

That's your belief. But until you provide evidence, it's just an empty assertion.
So here we are. You were wrong on every assumption/assertion/allegation. Every single sentence you said was wrong on every point therein. Yet you think you once refuted me and that you can do it again? You obviously didn't disprove me then just like you can't now either.
"Faith means not wanting to know what is true." - Friedrich Nietzsche.
"Faith is believing what you know ain't so." - Mark Twain
Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:19 pm
SparhafocPosts: 1650Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Common ancestry of apes

The problem is, as is typical, the Creationist wants desperately to appeal to the legitimacy of science while simultaneously exhibiting a profound incomprehension about the nature of science and how it works.

When a religionist stakes their claim that god made the world or whatever, but bases that solely on faith - I think it's silly, but it's still ultimately their opinion; their mental real-estate, and as such, it's their business what they believe. But when a religionist needs to revise history, lie about science, and pervert truth and honesty then it becomes a different game altogether as they are contributing to the ever-swelling ignorance of our species at a time when our species has never been so dependent on reason, knowledge, and technology. In the Information Age, disinformation is criminal.


You cannot even give a scientific description of this mythological creature.


Whereas in reality, evolutionary theory allows us to make very detailed predictions about the description of hypothetical organisms which would represent an intermediary between two points of the historical gradient of evolutionary change of any given taxon.

Predictions, of course, being absolutely essential to either the value or validity of a hypotheses.


We don't have evidence confirming that we are evolved apes.


Aside from all the evidence 'confirming' it, the chap doesn't understand that science doesn't make absolute declarations, rather, it attempts to falsify positions which otherwise seem justified by observation and cautious hypothesis formation.

As such, the fact that there is no evidence falsifying the hypothesis is far more relevant in terms of our confidence in this notion. Regardless of how much evidence there is (and there's a lot) corroborating the idea that humans are apes and that all present day apes evolved from a common ancestor, if we found just one piece of evidence contradicting this then the idea would be wrong, or at least our naive capitulation of the idea. This is the entire point of the competitive element in science.



Nor do we have evidence of intermediate connections. What we do have are either extinct apes or extinct humans based on a few questionable bone fragments. There is no consensus on any of the so-called intermediate stages.


We don't have evidence.... aside from all the fossils and bone fragments I will now attempt to discredit.

Such sentences as the above smack more of mendacity than ignorance, but regardless, it is still indicative of scientific illiteracy.

Science is consensus. That doesn't mean it happens in some naive scientifically illiterate way, rather utility is the currency of scientific consensus. Consensus doesn't operate by getting all the relevant scientists in a discipline to a sit-down discussion where they have at it, instead, scientists all over the world publish their findings and ideas in journals. Other scientists read those journals and may thereby discover the solution to a problem that long blocked their own research, or they might dispute a publicized idea and seek to test it and falsify it, or they might see the proposed ideas as being either useful or without utility in their field.... any which way, the original paper gets cited, gets explored, gets critiqued, gets tested... and if it continuously survives falsification, and if it continually provides utility to other scientists in the field, then it becomes a consensus.

While from a philosophical point of view, the plurality of inter-subjective actors are essential to any potentially valid theory of truth, there's an even more prosaic explanation for a consensus, and that is that in many contentions exploring and explaining the outside world, there is only one actual answer; either X is, or X isn't. As such, a scientific consensus is both a blessing and a curse because a consensus is what would be expected if we were right about a particular contention as we all alight on the one that obviously works, but it's also the way we humans are most likely to fool ourselves; problems of induction and group-think combining in powerful repression. We could, of course, all be wrong - there may be some compelling piece of evidence no one has yet seen that totally changes the entire vista of our biological history... but there might also not be any such revolutionary evidence to be found, and what we've got now is, for all intents and purposes, right. We can't figure in evidence that we don't even know exists, we can only work with the evidence we do have now, and that evidence wholly attracts to the evolution of human primates back through geological history.


No evidence exists for the evolution of modern apes.


Aside from all the numerous lines of typical evidence he's either unaware of or in denial of, the assertion here is typical of those who emote at the world and have no comprehension of their own thought processes dictating poor comprehension.

The very existence of 'modern apes' presents a problem that needs to be solved. They are there, where did they come from?

To answer that question from an empirical perspective, we'd look back through history, see the physical, empirical evidence of the past, and hope thereby to trace the ancestors of our ancestors.

Luckily, the nature of the world means that a historical book of empirical evidence is preserved through geological stratigraphy. The law (a logical law, at that) of superposition requires that the oldest strata of an undeformed stratigraphic sequence must be deeper than the younger ones. Strata are very easy to detect for numerous reasons, from the pollen content (down to a seasonal level), to the soil's chemical composition, to radiometric dating - there are dozens of independent lines of evidence to show the age both comparative and absolute of a given strata.

So when we look back past the Bronze Age and late Palaeolithic to an Earth populated more by hunter-gatherers, we find the tools they carried, the items they made, the carcasses of animals they ate and butchered, and their skeletal remains... all of which is actually part of an epoch and location rich in other evidence which can further contextualize the stone-age human's world. Aside from their material culture, we can also see the slight differences in their skeletal anatomy. These differences are, of course, about aggregates and norms, not about individuals - like all living organisms, human's traits fall into normative distributions. On the whole, those stone-age human beings looked very much like us, with some quite telling differences.

When we look back past the flourishing of Homo sapiens, we see a very different picture all together. Now there are many human groups distributed around the world, and we can no longer ignore them just because we know which branch turned out to be us. Each group possessed a suite of differences, from minor things like the thickness of the enamel on a tooth, to the cubic centimetres of the brain case. Again, for all these groups we find evidence showing their material culture, their social groupings, their consumption and production patterns, and of course their skeletal anatomy.

If we keep going back, we find those groups of pre-humans slowly becoming more and more alike, their differences ironed out as they return back to a common ancestor which still shares many behavioral and biological characteristics even with us today - shares far more than is different. The skeletal anatomy is basal and its form is shared by all the descendants, through all the different forms, up until and including us modern humans.

As such, not only is there evidence, but there is an incredible weight of evidence for the evolution of humans, with several dozen identified species in our immediate family group, and of course, no evidence contradicting the notion, no experiments falsifying it - just people who reject it on wholly religious grounds.



Anyone can line up fossils fragments, and make the specious claim that one evolved into the other. Pure science fiction.


The only science fiction therein ironically is the notion that anyone can line up fossil fragments.

It's actually bloody hard, and if done wrong very easy for a fellow expert to debunk.

In recent years, there has been a huge technological advance made in areas that help closely inspect, map, model, and assess fossils and the strata they come from. This has provided such an enormous expansion of our vista and understanding it's beyond recognition comparative to 30 years ago. Whenever such dramatically improved techniques come along, it always presents a big opportunity for falsification, for testing again old ideas that were tenuously held. As is historically the case with evolution every time a giant advance has come along, it has weathered the scrutiny of falsification. Far from falsifying evolution, the view provided by the new equipment corroborates and adds vast detail to our evolutionary history.

Evolution has been shown beyond credible doubt even for those of us who are specialists in relevant fields, so certainly beyond so for those whose biological education ceased in high-school, and yet more so for someone who shows such utter ignorance about science and how science works. People who don't know their arses from their elbows don't have a seat at a serious table.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:21 am
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 2959Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: Common ancestry of apes

Greetings,

Fossils like this one

Kindest regards,

James
Image
"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
The Age Of Reason
Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:28 pm
AronRaContributorUser avatarPosts: 532Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 1:47 pm

Post Re: Common ancestry of apes

This is what he said after reading this thread.
Owens wrote:You were misleading.
1. You gave the impression that you knew that I followed a religion
2. You conflated creationists rejection of the bogus theory of evolution with a rejection of all scientific fields. This you do all the time.Evolution is not a synonym for science
3. You try to get your viewers to believe that only creationists disagree with what you are saying and no evolutionists do. That is hugely misleading

And that's just your first paragraph. That's what I meant about how time-consuming it would be to wade
through your swamp of propaganda before even getting to the more sustative topics
I told him there is no scientific opposition to evolution, only a religious one: and that if he's not a creationist, why does he feature an intelligent video on his YouTube channel? He says that doesn't mean anything because only one of his five featured videos promotes creationism. The rest are about random whatever and are irrelevant.

If he ever shows up here, I'll explain to him how all branches of creationism admit that they're opposed to evolution specifically, but that they're really against methodological naturalism. If the opposition to evolution is also in oppostion to scientific methodology itself, then acceptance of science means acceptance of evolution.
"Faith means not wanting to know what is true." - Friedrich Nietzsche.
"Faith is believing what you know ain't so." - Mark Twain
Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:51 pm
SparhafocPosts: 1650Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Common ancestry of apes

Owens wrote:You were misleading.
1. You gave the impression that you knew that I followed a religion
2. You conflated creationists rejection of the bogus theory of evolution with a rejection of all scientific fields. This you do all the time.Evolution is not a synonym for science
3. You try to get your viewers to believe that only creationists disagree with what you are saying and no evolutionists do. That is hugely misleading

And that's just your first paragraph. That's what I meant about how time-consuming it would be to wade
through your swamp of propaganda before even getting to the more sustative topics



1) The only platform for the denial of biological evolution is religious belief.

2) Creationists rejection of biological science is a rejection of all science. Of course, they don't understand this thinking they get to pick and choose the findings of science which don't contradict their religious narrative, but all science is predicated on the same methodology. In reality, the evolutionary synthesis is the foundational theory of all modern Biology and is one of the best studied and evidenced scientific theories in the entire scientfic endeavour.

3) That's just bullshit. Only religious people dispute the fact of evolution.

The final paragraph suggests you think you've worked hard here whereas all you've done is write some assertions of blanket denial. Everyone here knows the depth, specifically lack thereof, which Creationists can achieve on topics like biological evolution, so please don't fool yourself into thinking that your audience here is sufficiently credulous to buy into this empty posturing.

Instead, do feel free to come and post directly into the thread where we will happily provide you the education you are so clearly lacking.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Fri Dec 08, 2017 5:35 am
AronRaContributorUser avatarPosts: 532Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 1:47 pm

Post Re: Common ancestry of apes

Owens says he can't participate in this thread because he never got a confirmation email. Who can re-send that?
"Faith means not wanting to know what is true." - Friedrich Nietzsche.
"Faith is believing what you know ain't so." - Mark Twain
Mon Dec 11, 2017 12:38 am
hackenslashLime TordUser avatarPosts: 2393Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:43 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: Common ancestry of apes

It's sent automatically. Probably in his spam folder.

If not, if he tries to log in, he should get a message saying that his account hasn't been activated and give him the option to resend the confirmation, IIRC. It's a while since I did anything phpbb related.
Mon Dec 11, 2017 5:51 am
VisakiUser avatarPosts: 777Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:26 pmLocation: Helsinki, Finland Gender: Male

Post Re: Common ancestry of apes

hackenslash wrote:It's sent automatically. Probably in his spam folder.

If not, if he tries to log in, he should get a message saying that his account hasn't been activated and give him the option to resend the confirmation, IIRC. It's a while since I did anything phpbb related.

Also, if the old rules apply, his first message has to be approved by a mod. This is just an anti bot measure, and they usually do it pretty quickly.
Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:09 am
CollecemallPosts: 353Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:53 am

Post Re: Common ancestry of apes

I made a new account out of curiosity. Apparently an admin has to approve new accounts. Not automated. It says the admin will get an email. So he is likely waiting on a mod to approve his account. As someone mentioned there might also be a wait for his first post as well. Not sure who handles either of those duties though.
"Every man is a creature of the age in which he lives, and few are able to raise themselves above the ideas of their time."
“Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” ~~Voltaire
Tue Dec 12, 2017 3:27 am
RumraketUser avatarPosts: 1179Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2010 7:49 am Gender: Male

Post Re: Common ancestry of apes

In the mean time I'm interested to see his response to the phylogeny challenge.

In particular, I'm interested in hearing how he intends to account for the fact that phylogenetic trees constructed from independent data sets (be they unliked genetic loci, or morphology), are highly congruent.

In other words, why is it that we can build highly convergent trees (meaning the trees have highly similar branching orders) using a phylogenetic algorithm which does not group taxa together by mere similarity, using two or more genes with independent nucleotide sequences, from all of the primates?

The picture of the primate molecular phylogeny shown in AronRa's post is nothing short of incredible. Notice what it says in the figure legend:
"Here we provide new genomic sequence (∼8 Mb) from 186 primates representing 61 (∼90%) of the described genera, and we include outgroup species from Dermoptera, Scandentia, and Lagomorpha."

8 mega bases of DNA sequences (corresponding to ~43000 DNA bases, from each of those 186 primate species). I cannot even begin to tell you how unfathomable the level of statistical support for the common ancestry of primates that data set potentially provides. They used 54 independent nuclear genes, constructed phylogenetic trees from each of those 54 genes (sequenced from each of those 186 primates), and then compared the trees to each other. All 54 trees were overwhelmingly similar, with only minor numbers of incongruent branches.

If you read the original paper, you will see that there are a number of trees derived from the 54 independent data sets, with some incongruent branches. Even so, the extend to which these trees nevertheless support and corroborate each other is astonishing.

In Douglas Theobald's 29+ Evidences for Macroevolution - The Scientific Case for Common Descent there is a section devoted to the convergence of independent phylogenies, and the associated statistics of phylogenetic trees.

According to the phylogenetic trees-calculator on that page, we can see that there are 8.3803*10394 possible phylogenetic trees for a rooted phylogeny containing 186 taxa. Eight times ten to the three hundred and ninety fourth power. This number is incomprehensible.

In other words, there are 8.3803*10394 ways to arrange the branches in the tree figure AronRa provided.

That means two independent genetic loci has 8.3803x10394 ways to fail to corroborate each other for a tree constructed using those 186 taxa. So when we find that they nevertheless DO corroborate each other, that is a result that cries out for an explanation. And every one of those 54 gene-trees significantly corroborate each other. How significantly?

Even if those trees were to have 90 incongruent branches (they don't, they actually have less than 20 incongruent branches), it would still yield a result with a significance of P ≤ 3.14423*10-318.

What dear Mr. Owens needs to account for, is why there is such a level of convergence of independent phylogeneties, if there was no actual common descent of primates. This convergence is a prediction of the theory of common descent.

Let's try to put this into other words so it becomes more clear what I'm saying here.

To those of you who like watching youtube videos, you will no doubt have come across Lawrence Krauss giving one of his public lectures on theoretical physics and cosmology. In one of these lectures, you will hear Lawrence Krauss say something along the lines of "In quantum-electrodynamics you will find the greatest agreement between theory and observation in all of science, in that the fine structure constant has been observationally verified to an accuracy of fifteen decimal places."

What does that actually mean? Well it means that there is a theory (quantum electrodynamics), and this theory predicts a certain value that we should be able to measure in an experiment.
In particular, it predicts a certain value in the strength of the electromagnetic field that surrounds an charged elementary particle. Experimental physicists have measured this value, and found that it agrees with the value predicted by theory, to the 15th decimal place.

This is the 15th decimal place: 0.000000000000000
The measured value is actually: 0.0072973525664(17).

That is the accuracy with wich the theory that predicts the value of the fine structure constant, has been observationally verified. Physicists are rightly very proud of this prediction and the observational corroboration. Recall that every additional decimal place you can verify your theoretical prediction, corresponds to a reduction in the amount of uncertainty by a factor of ten. So going from 0.01 to 0.001 means you are ten times less uncertain about the real value.

But Lawrence Krauss is wrong. The greatest agreement between theory and observation in all of science, is the agreement between the theory of common descent, and the statistical significance of the convergence of independent phylogenetic trees. As we have just seen above, the phylogenetic tree of primates have been observationally verified to an accuracy of OVER THREE HUNDRED DECIMAL PLACES.
"Nullius in verba" - Take nobody's word for it. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nullius_in_verba
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:18 am
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