About

Support the TIP anticreationism project at www.GoFundMe.com/dseego make every voice for science count!

Become a sustaining patron for the #TIP project at: https://www.patreon.com/DownardTIP

Suggest topics for RJ’s video chats in any of the #TIP comments tabs, including for the weekly “Evolution Hour”

The first full court press coverage of the amazing Reptile-Mammal Transition evidence, totally up-to-date, addressing every single antievolutionist who has ever dared stumble across the RMT, up to and including Michael Denton’s latest 2016 antievolution book.  This is applied #TIP methodology.

Amazon Print Edition:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/1540736296/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1481509663&sr=8-2&keywords=Evolution+slam+dunk
Amazon Kindle ebook edition:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N6FV206/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1481509719&sr=8-1&keywords=Evolution+slam+dunk
Barnes&Noble Nook ebook edition:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/evolution-slam-dunk-james-downard/1125299919?ean=9781365572807
Lulu general ebook edition:
http://www.lulu.com/shop/james-downard/evolution-slam-dunk-why-the-reptile-mammal-transition-proves-macroevolution-and-how-antievolutionists-ignore-it/ebook/product-22972004.html
And for those who would like some entertaining science fiction along with their science fact, Follow the Fogg and escape to 1872 …

Nick Matzke interview at “Pandas Thumb” with James Downard on the new TIP project, on its importance and the need to support it.

Jeff Lowder (at The Secular Outpost at Patheos.com) on #TIP

View Jim Downard’s appearance on #29 REASON podcast

Angel Rios “The Mortal Angel” podcast #5


Welcome to TIP, a new open access resource for defenders of sound science who get really unsettled by the claims of antievolutionists (be they Young Earth Creationists or the newer brand of Intelligent Design) but may not have all the best science information ready to drop on their claims.

The TIP files (all in pdf format) cover all aspects of antievolutionism (from paleontology and biology to the social and political ramifications of antievolutionism as they play out in schoolrooms and school boards or in state legislatures, Congress, or even candidates for President.

The Old TIP files form the base of the project, drawing on over 5500 sources, and step by step I am updating that material with a much larger set of newer data (over 36,000 sources and counting, including over 14,000 technical science sources aimed at claims popping up in over 6000 antievolutionist works) to keep TIP constantly current.  The new modules also have an index to help locating all specific topics and people covered.

There are more pdfs & offsite web links in Other Stuff, including the 3ME illustrated guide to the  Cambrian Explosion, and the origin of birds and mammals, the perfect heavy brick to lob at antievolutionists who make the mistake of claiming “there’s no evidence for macroevolution.”  3ME not only shows how wrong that is, it also pulls back the curtain to see just how antievolutionists manage to evade all that evidence (not a pretty picture, but has to be done).

Check out all the material here on TIP, all open access to download and share freely with anyone you think needs evens stronger evidence to counter the claims of antievolutionists.

189 thoughts on “About

  1. An amazing resource. Thank you very much. Since the long stasis of Talk.Origins, people who treasure science have needed another online resource with answers to the current crop of pseudoscience, apologetics and IDiotic ideas. This is it. Again, thank you very much!

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  2. I just found this from pandas Thumb I am a YEC creationist Canadian .
    This might have interesting stuff for me to read, study, contend upon.
    It does make the point that its needed these days.
    It is because creationism is successfully overtaking the landscape on origin issues.
    I hope you don’t mind a creationist paying attention.
    I don’t believe there is any biological scientific evidence for the great or near great claims of evolution.
    I could be wrong. Someone is.

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    • I have been waiting for the I.D./Creationists to start acting like the Evolutionists do. Write their own material based upon sound science and don’t ever mention Evolution to hang on and worry Evolutionists tend to not mention Creationism at all in their scientific papers. I’d like them to explain how all the ecosystems of the past could have existed at once. They claim there has been only one flood at one time globally. Doesn’t help that there are so many layers and no matter where you go the ecology of those layers remain the same. Like the Ordovician. You never find shrews or theropods in them do you? A big question I await their sententious answers. They need to stand on their own two feet on this. Most of what they do is attack Evolution along with chemistry, paleontology, also astronomy and physics do they question. Why can’t they just write as if all those things didn’t exist? And I see they spend at least 50% of their time filling their books, not papers, to finding so called “errors” instead of proving their case 100% on their own their own way.

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  3. I have no problem with anyone commenting, and have spotted your YEC stuff at Panda’s Thumb (where you do tend to operate at way below the technical level of regular scientists (as recently on evolutionary medicine. I have your piece on post-Flood marsupial migrations in my #TIP references, and thus your own work will be a part of planned sections on antievolutionist evasions on biogeography.

    As for creationism “successfully overtaking the landscape on origin issues,” that is a hilarious fantasy on your part, as creationists do virtually no active work in that field, and certainly play no meaningful role in relevant fields such as current paleontology. It is indeed true that either creationists or evolutionists are barking up the wrong factual trees, and since it is not the evolutionists who are ignoring 90% of the data and mangling what little they do mention (the topic, after all, of the #TIP content all may investigate at their convenience), that seems a rather lopsided tussle.

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    • Thank you for publishing my marsupial thing. I am confident I’m right and biogeography is a interest and a gain for creationism I think. I evade nothing but directly assault the reasoning and facts behind conclusions on things never observed. I do think marsupials are only a special case in a spectrum of same shaped creatures being the same with minor, relatively, anatomical differences due to location. Classifying them by the minor stuff has been a error in classification systems of critters. It also explains things from a biblical plan better.
      I will read through your material over time. A confident thinking creationist welcomes full disvlose to facts and evidence as it will help and never hurt.
      It seems too me the other side seeks censorship or intellectual self censorship be saying only their experts can weigh these matters.
      I do think the error of evolution is ending now because more are applying their mind to these subjects .
      If evolution was wrong it would unravel in the way it is today. That is small circles giving serious attention to details.

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      • The monotremes, then marsupials and finally placentals with the placentals dominating in most places with only remnants of marsupials with the only two surviving monotremes living in the one ecosystem dominated by marsupials on an isolated continent aka Australia. One wonders how that got the way it is. Of course with the knowledge of continental drift as part of the analysis should explain its positioning.

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  4. If Byers can rationalize away the reptile-mammal transition data recounting in 3ME (or justify the plain incompetence of the antievolutionists seen to be evading it in that story) then it may be only a matter of finesse as to how all the remaining data gets swept aside in a creationist framework. The biogeography issue arises in “Dinomania” regarding Duane Gish and Flood Geology’s evasions on biogeography, so that would be a spot to look on that.

    The failure of creationism (and its sidecar Intelligent Design) certainly involves the regular science work their advocates so routinely mangle or ignore, but turns as well on their own “experts” making their case openly & forthrightly & taking the consequences. So I not only know that the late Duane Gish was wrong on the data, but wrong also in that it is patently the case that he did not even think through his own position thoroughly, failing that “openly & forthrightly” thing big time. The archetype of apologetic deck-stacking Duane Gish indulged in during his career is mirrored by legions out in the anti8evolutionary hinterlands. It is a bad method at its foundation, so no suprise that the edifice they seek to erect atop it is so rickety & unproductive.

    The vast array of science work I track for #TIP (upwards of 20,000 sources currently) indicates that Byers’ notion that “the error of evolution is ending now” is a perception from the creationist tunnel, still relying on data sets cribbed from sources increasingly so far behind the curve that they have no clue there is a curve they are behind.

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    • There is no evidence there are mammals and reptiles as divisions in biology. Thats old school classification concepts. In fact this yEC welcomes the merging lines of looks in what you call the mam/rep transition.
      It is a clue that these anatomical details don’t tell the real story of divisions in creatures.
      All they did was group traits together and then the error compounded to a illusion of morphing divisions into each other.

      i do insist the curve on origin issues makes it unlikely evolutionism will remain as it is.
      ID/YEC and others and others all smell something is wrong with old school evolutionism.
      A paradigm shift is expected/predicted and iD thinkers, for the educated class, are the agents of change.
      very unlikely at this point for ID thinkers to think they are wrong and so educated scientists fighting the old school are most likely to be in the right.
      There is a curve here. The correction of error curve.

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      • Gene typing is an excellent way of finding things not found in fossils. Like the reptilian traits still active in the two surviving monotremes.

        The ID/C types have not found a friend in new devices like DNA genomes found and read. Why do I get the impression that the ID/C wishes some sciences didn’t exist now? The 19th century was where they did best. Not in the 21st.

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  5. Byers: On the matter of “correction of error curve” and expected paradigm shifts: Mammals and reptiles not existing as divisions in biology? Oh really? Now it is true that “reptiles” don’t comprise a monophyletic clade, but then neither do “fish,” though a lot of them do seem to be swimming around, and biologists have vented a staggering amount of ink on the various pieces of evidence on mammal and reptile evolution, a lot of which I marshal for #TIP. The point of my 3ME post in particular concerns the persistent evasions among all antievolutionists on the reptile-mammal transition. The features needed to change a reptile to a mammal are very exact, and those that can be traced in fossils have indeed been detected. If Robert would care to explain what an evolutionary transition could possibly look like without hitting exactly the marks we actually can see in the fossil record, and why therefore those fossils are not proper smoking guns for that very transition? He would be the first to do so, which is one of the points I make in all the #TIP work: that antievolutionists never lay out criteria for what evidence they would accept (they cannot even conceptualize the problem, it would appear), they only have tactical dodges for rejecting whatever it is (and however much it is) that they don’t want to be true. That’s an error correction curve antievolutionists have yet to master.

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  6. There are no transitions but merely data points called fossils. Then connections are made between based on traits.
    For a YEC person there is no reason to see the divisions men have created called retiles and mammals etc.
    God made kinds. Not divisions. Its simply people grouping traits and presuming a common descent.
    In fact this YEC would predict traits crossing these artificial boundaries people created.
    These creatures with your traits of your two types are simply creatures with both traits. No different then the platypus of today. Just more common back then.
    The fossil record does not show biological trails. This because its based on geological paradigms.
    Without the geology assumptions you have NO biology conclusions. Therefore you have no biology evidence.
    Just connecting data points after a geology assumption.
    Your trying to say you are making a biology prediction by finding your transition but its unrelated to biology evidence.
    THEN its simple to see these creatures as independent ones withy traits as needed. It suggests itself the reptile mammal dinosaur divisions are myths of folks to quick to group things.

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    • The one thing that the ID/C have not proven that all the species we see are independent of each other. Instead they have so many things in common the idea of “Special Creation” is thrown out as faulty and without facts. A zombie idea dead that still persists regardless of the facts that killed it.

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  7. Robert’s studious vagueness is of a piece with all antievoluionary non-systematics (not just his YEC brand, as I go into in the 3ME & other postings Byers remains equally studiously distant from). To say that the transitions observed are “unrelated to biology evidence” is flapdoodle, though if you read 3ME you’ll understand how Byers can make the claim: NO antievolutionist has ever discussed the biological evidence relating to the case, and so if Byers ‘idea of research is only reading in-house creationist apologetics, he can have no clue on the topic, not because the biology evidence isn’t there, but because his side never thinks about it (specifically, the developmental biology data from living mammals, known since the 1830s, relating to the formation of the mammal jaw). It is precisely because mammals start out their developmental sequence in the reptile lay out and only end up as mammal configuration showing exactly the same process that we can see mirrored in the fossils (complete to those probainognathids whose exact layout Robert Broom laid out predictively 20 years in advance of their finding by paleontologists) that the smoking gun character of those fossil therapsids is so evident to anyone who looks (and so easily dismissed by antievolutionists who so studiously avoid looking), animals which objectively possess exactly the features positively required for just that evolutionary transition. That Byers in turn tries to play another pseudoscience card (YEC geological cavils,representing logical & evidential problems of their own, which I in turn explore extensively in the “Dinomania” chapter on this website) to further distance himself from the data he does not notice, is further illustration of why antievolutionists play no substantive role in the current science work relating to thinking about life and its extraordinary past.

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    • We not only platy a role we are famous and the reason for your webpage here. Our criticisms matter as they are persuasive to enough people already. More to come.

      I made good points.
      I strive to show fossils are only data points. Your connecting them is not based on biological evidence . its only based on looks and a geological paradigm.
      Ask yourself if your biological conclusions of the rep/mam transition would be evidenced in these fossils IF the timeframe was wrong! if these fossils had been deposited within days or years of each other YOU would have to admit they didn’t evolve from each other.
      Therefore without the geology deposition paradigm your biology would be wrong BUT i say further there would be NO biology evidence.
      Its just a hunch these types of critters evolve from each other based on traits.
      YET no bio sci evidence.
      Then a YEC can speculate that there is no re/mam divisions but only kinds and they have traits as needed.
      These fossil creatures were not reptiles etc but simply had like traits for like needs.
      the platypus being a modern example.

      In short I question the methodology here and basic presumptions.
      No documentation in the fossil record for the rep/mam transition. They are just creatures caught up in the great flood year.

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    • The basics of mammals go back as far as the Permian. Some of the latest ones before extinction caught them were certainly the Gorgonopsids. The first saber toothed predators to exist, the next ones wouldn’t appear till after the Dinosaurs were wiped out. Some of them were so close to mammalian like the Diicodons, they aren’t sure what they fully looked like. They might have even had some kind of furry covering and possibly other proper mammalian morphology. They just don’t know. If it weren’t for the rising heat and desertification our evolution would have been very different. But the Great Dying was just that most life forms plant and animal were gone. We may in fact be moving to something very similar with our own ham-fisted damage to our own planet. And much sooner than when it took millions of years naturally humans can cause it in hundreds of year unnaturally.

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  8. Robert: ah, but the timeframe isn’t wrong, it’s your YEC notions about it that are so in error. Think of an historical example, one I mentioned on p. 215 of Dinomania on this site: “It was like a deranged historical novelist resolving to compress all that took place at Fifth Avenue and 34th Street into one very hectic New York City afternoon. So the B-25 bomber slamming into the Empire State Building in 1945 terrifies ‘The 400’ hobnobbing a thousand feet below in Caroline Astor’s 1880s mansion, while thirty years’ worth of hotel guests ring the bell, trying to simultaneously register at the original Waldorf-Astoria that existed in between.” Of course, if all that did happen at once, it would be a very different story than the one we actually know, where 1850s mansion was replaced by 1890s hotel to be replaced by 1920s skyscraper. YEC Flood Geology is wrong, flat out, no ifs ands or buts about it, so my refusal to play in Robert’s ludicrous compact funhouse is one of my pesky insisistance on paying attention to all the data.

    Which Robert has consistently not, instead repeating the mantra that the reptile mammal data is somehow disconnected from biology. This is simply false. It was because biologists knew about the way the mammal jaw developed (starting out exactly as amphibians & fish do) that the discovery of fossils with intermediate features put neon lights around the synapsids as the ancestor group of mammals. Robert Broom took this up a notch by working out in advance the only possible way the reptile-to-mammal jaw switch over could have occurred. Was God a dunce in designing exactly the right critters to match Broom’s prediction? Or does the Almighty have a soft spot for evolutionary paleontologists, and so went out of his way to put critters in place to match Darwinist expectations? And while we’re about it, where are all those synapsids today? If their fossils only date to 2500 years ago (oddly contemporaneous with Egyptians building pyramids), and the express purpose of the Ark was to preserve their kind (that ever vague telescope/accordion that baraminologists have yet to play a pretty tune on), then where are they? Hobnobbing perhaps in the mythic jungles of cryptozoology lore where brontosaurs still cavort just outside of camera range? It would be better for your case, Robert, if you actually had a detailed model to offer, something more substantive than the blithering vagueness of “creatures caught up in the great flood year.”

    You needn’t feel you are alone, though, your Intelligent Design companions in evasion share your inability to think through what you think happened, as the “Taking Teaching the Controversy Seriously” pdf at this site explores regarding the ID gang’s avoidance of the data in their attempted replacements for “Of Pandas and People”. There are plenty of technical sources out there on the biology of mammals that relate specifically to the fossil data, which you have yet to even try to relate to your own model in a substantive way. This continues to attest to why antievolutionists generally (and YECers in particular) have contributed so little to paleontology or biology over the last 100 years. You can’t build a house that stands on foundations that rotted out long ago.

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  9. Its just confirmation bias.
    evolutionists imagined a transition between retiles to mammals etc and then finding in sediment depositions
    creatures with traits from both groups they go AHA.
    Yet its a error of research.
    First it presumes these great divisions in nature. It presumes the traits are exclusive to each division.
    YET there is not evidence for these divisions. The traits prove there are not these divisions. Possibly confirming some YEC prediction from someone.
    Its an option that traits are used as needed. anything can have them. The platypus example.

    Then the error of using fossils for biological evidence for origins.
    They arer just snapshots of moments in biology time.
    Its the geology that is preaching the timelines. Not the biology.
    Its mere biology data points being connected that preaches evolution. NOT any biology evidence from the fossils.
    Thats my two criticisms here. Why am I wrong?

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  10. Robert, you are wrong for the same reasons you have been demonstrating in all your posts here so far: trying to dismiss data you do not discuss with presumptions you do not offer substantive support for. I have repeatedly alluded to the developmental biology and taxonomical details that I cover in 3ME, and which you never even mention (let alone refute). It is not some flighty presumptive guess that mammal jaws develop by specific means from the identical substrate that reptiles use: it is a long standing observation of science, known long before evolutionary theory came along to account for it. (And uniquely so, since neither you nor any other antievolutionist in the entire literature has bothered to even mention it.) Your repeated claim that “there is not evidence for these divisions” of life is false, tendentiously so, and continuing to assert it like a safe mantra, devoid of specific example, proves my point once again.

    Your second claim perfectly illustrates one of the prime defects of antievolutionism: its absence of a working Map of Time (a point I take note of repeatedly in the #TIP resources you continue to show such distance from). Of course these vast amounts of data points seem like unconnected dots on your mental scope: you neither notice their details nor show any ability to connect the dots in your own non-existent Flood Geology framework. Where are therapsids living today, from Dimetrodon to Probainognathous, let alone the pile up of other taxa creationists pay diddly attention to? How many kinds are there, and how are these determined from a Biblical accounting that in fact makes no mention of them? According to the Flood theory whose details you never articulate (but which is plain enough from the myriad of writings at ICR, AiG etc), all the animals on the Ark were brought there to preserve their kind. Apparently, in case after case, this failed, as a monotonous pattern of disappearance sets in, curiously enough exactly matching the great age of the organisms in the standard geological framework whose glib dismissal on your part shows exactly the same failure to notice let alone connect the dots that you exhibit on the narrower issue of reptile-mammal intermediate forms. And while we’re about it, please defend your implicit assumption that any deposits, let alone specifically the ones in which we find the fossils of the reptile-mammal transition (none in the Burgess Shale, I’ll tell you that) were produced in your hypothesized (but ineptly supported) global drippy cataclysm.

    Supposing you are right that the fossil evidence known so far fails to support evolution, then pray tell us what would? What would the fossils need to look like in your estimation to satisfy you? Until & unless you can clarify that, you are operating from a head-in-sand dogmatism: rejecting any and all data on principle, so that no amount of evidence could ever persuade you (helped along by the fact that you don’t even bother to look). That, I contend, is what is actually going on in your head, a Tortucan property that you share with all other antievolutionists (Intelligent Design too, even though they do not share your YEC truncated chronology). You can easily disprove my hypothesis here by explaining what fossils would satisfy you, and on what characteristics or features you have determined that. Unless, of course, evidence can never matter to you.

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  11. No fossils would make a biological scientific case for origins. Thats one of my points.
    Fossils have nothing to do with biological reconstructions save in the hunch of the researcher. Right or wrong.
    Your making a biological conclusion and then saying its scientific investigation on biology by looking at slabs of pictures.
    Anyways.
    The fossils needed is not easy to answer. Evolution never happened. Its a myth. its without evidence.
    Even if true the fossils would have to show the process of change with intermediates and endless wrong turns. The deposition of them would have to be proved.

    any fossil now can be seen as a creature simply with parts as they need them. Not that it shows divisions morphing one into another.
    Yes the insight that reptile/mammal/dino divisions is a false construct of man can be seen in the fossils. A hunch.
    I am very aware of the claims of jaws switching places.
    That they suggested this before Darwin doesn’t help you. It just shows how simple it was in concept.
    There is no evidence jaws changed. Jaws are as needed and likeness is coincidental.

    Why do you think your transition is shown? All that is shown is data points of creatures once alive.
    No proof of morphing by these fossils at all. Just a line of reasoning. Not science.

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  12. You have succinctly proven my point, Robert, that no antievolutionist can even conceptualize what an intermediate would look like, and hence will never be able to recognize the many that are already in existence. I notice you make no attempt to explain what a fossil would look like if it were “morphing.” Your failure to do this is nothing new, you are just the latest in a long line of antievolutionists who literally cannot conceptualize their own position, let alone the one they castigate so relentlessly.

    All fossil evidence can thus be dismissed ex cathedra (and without detailed examination). The data have not gone away, though, and your assertion that “There is no evidence jaws changed” is just plain stupid, an evasion that speaks volumes about the Tortucan ruts you so resolutely defend. The synapsids objectively start out their time being standard reptile layout. Over time (which of course doesn’t exist in your broken Map of Time stopped YEC watch) the jaw structures objectively shift stage by stage to end up objectively in the mammal mode (exactly what we can see happening in the embryology of living mammals). No conjecture or assumption, just observation. Now why is it that this sequence exists? The evolutionary explanation is that we are seeing the rare fossilized examples of lineages that are evolving into the mammals (turns out the genes match up too, which is yet another cherry on top of the already large evolutionary sundae).

    The creationist explanation is … not evolution. No explanation even tendered to say why it was that the hypothetical creator made those (now utterly extinct) forms in the first place, and which just by coincidence fell into exactly what was needed if what was occurring if evolution happened (remember Broom’s predicting probainognathids in advance, second guessing the creator & Flood sequence with a successful proficiency no Flood Geology advocate has yet to match), even more so if they just accidently sorted into such patterns during the also unsupported Flood conjecture. For you it is just another mysterious happenstance, meaning nothing, but only because your dogma cannot ever permit it to mean anything, which attitude is why antievolutionists play so piddling a role in modern biology.

    By their fruits shall ye know them, to borrow a phrase. And if your designer didn’t want people to believe in evolution, he/she/it/they shouldn’t have created such a plethora of intermediate fossils, that was just plain dumb.

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    • I responded to this but something went wrong. Anyways.
      i insist there is no evidence of jaws changing due to evolution or by the fossil record.
      All that is seen is jaws as needed for different creatures. there is limited options if there is a common blueprint for Jaws from God. Yes I think jaws could change quickly as needed by innate biological triggers. yet not by evolving and no evidence of in the fossil record.
      you are seeing a trail in fossils that it is not there.
      it fits a view for you but its still based on geology deposition paradigms. not biology evidence.
      Simple variety in creatures accounts and can be predicted and hinted at in the fossil record.
      These snapshots are not showing a trail even if the deposition claims were true.
      This must be based on scientific methodology.
      A biology conclusion must be based on bio sci evidence.
      fossils are not bio evidence but pictures of bio data in a moment of time. connections must not be mere speculation.
      if your geology was wrong your biology would be wrong. Therefore fossils of the reptile/mammal transition are not shown by bio evidence using fossils.
      you must watch the logic and math here.

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    • The stupid never learn. And to not learn isn’t a good thing. Neanderthals didn’t learn and died out.
      The Norse left Greenland when it got colder and they refused to adopt the means the local Inuit use to survive to this day in the same location.

      Robert here cannot learn because it would mean he was wrong and neither his ego or his view of his religion or accepted occultism would have to change or be totally wrong. He will never learn till he opens up to the idea. Stupid leads to extinction. Adaption is more than morphology, it is flexibility in behavior. Those who do not can’t survive in a normal world.

      Flexibility was the most important trait that Charles Darwin found to have the best chance to survive over any other trait including intelligence.

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  13. We continue to go around this mulberry bush, Robert (which I do post on NCSE’s Facebook page so others can follow the dance). If ever you start displaying “logic and math here” I’ll be pleasantly surprised. A point of order: were you under the impression that in at some point in your exchange here you had presented any math, let alone relevant or conclusively so? (All can see the postings to check for themselves.) You can add then active hallucination to wholesale evasion & obfuscation in your creationist kitbag of “logic and math.”

    Quite independently of the chronology (and you need to defend your imaginary YEC Flood Geology, not just wave it like garlic to deflect vampires) the jaw & embryology details exist, even as you seem incapable of discussing them. Since no fossils can ever matter to you, though (and you are intrinsically incapable of even imagining what fossil transitions would look like, an observed trait for all antievolutionists btw) you have the consistency of all stopped clocks.

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    • The jaw details exist but interpretation of them is from the investigator. The details are primitive .
      any jaw in a fossil is evidence only of that jaw in that fossil of that critter.
      its not evidence or even suggesting it evolved from other jawy fossils.
      In other words they all lived together at the same time and the deposiotion of them was segregated only by place and hours and days.
      you are simply seeing variety and imagining it shows a evolution.
      for example.
      There is in africa a fish in a landlocked lake, cicchlids, that has such glorious variety in one species. Yet if found in segregated deposition events you would insist they all evolved from each other and speculate on who came first.
      Case in point that fossils tell no tale. There is no logical reason to see a sequence over time in a creature using jaw lines.
      Its not biological science.

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  14. Your stopped clock chiming continues, I see. Interpretation of fossils is indeed “from the investigator,” which is a process that is hardly vague or idiosyncratic, but rather grounded on very substantive analysis of all the available details, Robert. Fortunately for your dogma, you (and all extant antievolutionists) steadfastly refrain from climbing up to that investigator category, where evidence matters (or rather, is ever allowed to matter). Fossils certainly “tell no tale” to you, but only because you never listen to them. Your side rips out page after page of the fossil story and redacts out all the details on the pages you do take note of, so that nothing is left but a slim strung-together narrative of watery cataclysm. It’s a process I describe in the #TIP work you show no gumption to actually read as “Zeno Slicing.”

    Bringing up the cichlids (as well-studied a group of fish as ever any evolutionist would like) is a particularly reckless act of bravado on your part, given how many works have come down the line from those investigators pinning down the natural processes generating cichlid diversity, such as Brawand et al. 2014, “The genomic substrate for adaptive radiation in African cichlid fish” (Nature 513: 375-381). The cichlids did evolve “from each other,” and scientists will continue to explore this even as you continue to defend some vague speciation-free creationist view (even as Flood Geology-driven baraminologists have thrown in the towel on that front years ago). And to the best of my ability, #TIP will continue to document just exactly how antievolutionists to tiptoe around the ever-expanding dataset.

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    • the fossils don’t say anything. they are just a data base and interpretations are made about them. They are silent about their own story.
      The living cichlids did not evolve from each other. tHey are living right now in the many named species as we speak.
      My point, a good one, is that if they were all fossilized suddenly today EVOLUTIONISTS would be arranging who came from whom based on details in the fishes fossilized. lets say the fishes were segregated in how they were deposited/fossilized.
      Your crowd would sincerely believe they are so different they couldn’t possibly of lived together as we know we do.
      Your side would be using the fossils and making evolved origins between them.
      Thats my point here. A scenario using a very great variety of a type of creature.
      i’m saying there would be no evidence in the fossils for them evoving from each other. They didn’t. They all were killed together in a great variety of types.
      UYET the fossils would be silent about this. Error would creep in easily.
      Just like in the jaw thing. you are not seeing evolution but a great diversity in creatures killed at once.
      Cichlids are a great example of great diversity.

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      • the fossils don’t say anything. they are just a data base and interpretations are made about them. They are silent about their own story.

        You would make a lousy police detective, ignoring data right in front of you. Ones that over time and analysis by many others and comparison with living forms have proven out. Not some arbitrary designation by only a few people. No wonder you accept such unscientific ideas. You are lost in the forest and ignore the trails well laid out before you. You have your own way out but you can’t really use it. it is too vague to be of any pragmatic use. Lost in the forest for the trees.

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  15. Robert continues repeating the mantra, which is hardly a surprise (creationists have been singing this song for the last 50 years without altering the backbeat or lyrics much). But I note Byers doesn’t dive into any of the details of the cichlids, such as in the Nature paper I noted. Those details exist whether Byers pays attention to them or not, and begs a rather bulky question from his own perspective: are any/most/all cichlids monobaraminic, and on what basis? That is precisely the issue Byers is trying to “slip through customs” on the sly. Baraminology has been unable to find clear cut boundaries between animals (most notably the fossil horse sequence) that creationists at the Byers level keep insisting are unrelated. As far as I am aware, none of the baraminologists have tackled the cichlid topic, though evidently Arthur Jones did a 2002 piece “The Identity and Nature of the Created Kinds – Speciation among Cichlid Fish” but as it is not available online I cannot attest to its content (Jones is not the hottest wire on the creationist block, so I do not hold high hopes for it to climb to the Wise/Wood baraminology level).

    If Byers wants to dive in and do a full baraminology analysis to establish that any/most/all cichlid species are in fact separate baramins, then by all means do so. We would await such a study with great interest and would include it in the planned speciation/baramin module here at #TIP. (I would predict that all cichlids and their evolutionary kin would inevitably emerge as a sprawling monobarmin, soon so unwieldy large that the baraminologist would stop looking for outgroups due to the futility of baraminological boundary finding at the theoretical level.) But until and unless Byers (or anybody) does so, simply harrumping that those cichlids are not related by natural branching speciation (as determined by a host of science work Byers apparently has made no effort to investigate) carries no more weight than attempting to get to the airport on time using his stopped creationist geochronology watch (which Byers likewise refrains from defending, merely repeating).

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    • Thats not my point. of coarse all cichlids are from a original species that got into those waters in a post flood world.
      My point was that they are all living together right now in such diversity of species.
      SO if they were fossilized today I AM ACCUSING evolutionists that when they 500 years from now looked at these fossilized cichlids they would say they evolved from each other. I’m adding that , lets say, their deposition is in some segregated way.
      They would sincerely imagine the cichlid fossils show a progression/evolution over great time and each species a part of that progression.
      YET in fact its just a great diversity fossilized at once.
      In like manner with the jaw creatures seeming progression.
      its an option the fossils are just of a great diversity. not showing a evolution.

      So my point includes that without the truth oif the deposition of the fossils its just guessing.
      therefore fossils never show biological scientific evidence for relationships.
      they are just snapshots of a critter in a moment of time.

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  16. Nice you agree that all cichlids are related, or do you mean only the ones in that one lake? Time to get technical here, what paper(s) are you relying on for your understanding of cichlids, their observed range and speciation (or lack thereof)? So you are ACCUSING evolutionists of a future age of the temerity of concluding that cichlids “that are from a original species” (and hence related by your own admission) have “evolved from each other” (exactly what you are acknowledging that they are capable of as they stemmed from that “original species”)? And what exactly did it look like, Robert, that original species, what features did it have and on what basis did you ascertain this? (We’re back to sources again, and systematics, so do please specify.)

    I contend that if you can ever be brought down to the level of details, the cichlid example of how natural variation can produce extraordinary variety, is not going to be a vexation for the evolutionary position. Nor will it justify your persistent distance from the reptile-mammal jaw details. Continuing to flip aside the evidence as merely “a great diversity. Not showing a evolution” is something that can be said only by NOT paying attention to those details. All known early synapsids have the same jaw layout as their diapsid cousins, which is the standard jaw layout for basal amniotes (and which we retain in our earliest embryonic development). There is no “diversity” of design evident, only the initial inherited condition. As time progresses (and of course your YEC stopped watch never allows sequence to enter into the equation, as you continue not to try and defend that non-chronology with supporting evidence) in the synapsids only is an expanding dentary bone occurring in a skull layout trending ever so gradually toward what will eventually be seen in one of the descendant lineages as full blown mammals.

    I must again note Robert Broom’s example: he laid out the conditions that MUST have happened to make the switch to full mammal jaw layout, the only possible way for it to have occurred from an evolutionary framework.

    Now, by some curious happenstance, your hypothesized designer god, evidently feeling in a puckish mood, decided to create just the animals that matched exactly Broom’s predicted layout, plopped down further in the hypothesized Flood in just the sequence that just by happenstance again exactly matched the temporal frame eeded to match up with the evolutionary necessity. You clearly find such coincidences not jarring in a way only a doctrinal dig-in-the heels pay no attention to the details antievolutionist can muster (Intelligent Design advocates like Steve Meyer or Jonathan Wells manage to ignore the data just as easily as you do, even though they do not calibrate their faulty Map of Time with the stopped YEC clock you rely on, so clearly a recognition of the temporal sequence is not the primary variable in the antievolutionary avoidance response).

    So the fossils are but “snapshots … in a moment of time,” except the issue is whether your Map of Time is fundamentally askew. I would suspect you believe those therapsids (and all other fossils) were popping around as living animals only some 4500 years ago, oddly unnoticed by the Egyptians busily building their pyramids straight through the cataclysm. Ah, more data for you not to pay attention to. But then, that’s what you’re especially good at.

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    • I know the cichlid details but thats not my point.
      You misunderstand my analogy
      I’m using the cichlid diversity LIVING TODAY and saying IF they were tomorrow all fossilized then hundreds of years from now evolutionists .(not likely around anymore) would imagine these diverse fishes all evolved from each other in time. I’m adding a point that they somehow were segregated in deposits and not in one hugh deposit. The minor differences, though enough to change species name, would be wrongly perceived as in a progression. YET we know they all live right now together.
      I say this is what is a option, indeed the truth, for your jaw examples.
      They are not in a progression but merely a diversity living together.
      Thats my point which you don’t answer because i think you miss it.

      Any detail you show me about the transition evidence of jaws I will easily say is just a diversity of creatures all living together. It follows there would be a spectrum of jaw details because its as they need to be specialists. Just like the cichlids.
      Your morphing evidence is not proven to be morphing. Its just existing cousins.
      If other creatures likewise have like variations on jaws it also is cousinbs of another tupe within a type.
      you are just showing snapshots. you are not showing bio sci evidence of your claims of how the snapshops show a progress in a creature over time.
      I know you sincerely think you are but its a wrong analysis. Its not scientific analysis.

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    • For me if every life form on Earth was created especially it would be different from any other life. As in no relationship biologically. And that all ecologies would not change. But That isn’t what is shown. I was hoping they would right an interesting (fictional) version of life on this Earth. But no, since they push it as fact, evidence already here is left out and even then they never have created a solid appearing basis for their alternate version of how life is, or in their case should be. Reality is against them. They don’t know when to quit. At least the 46% in the USA who accept evolution and creationism agree on the age of the Earth. What they believe isn’t science, but they don’t seem interested in interfering with real academics on the subject.

      The seem to be a bevy of Lysenko’s in search of a Stalin to make their point-of-view the only one. I hope they never get one.

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  17. Sorry, Robert, I do not misunderstand your analogy (my brain might feel less assailed if I had), which is less analogy than a contradictory mess. You want to think that somehow evolution is at fault theoretically on the grounds that they might think cichlid fish in the unspecified lake are related, after you’ve already said they are a species and hence most certainly related. Since you still cite no papers on which features somehow rule out the natural relationship of the cichlids as a group (the ones beyond that lake that you need to document actually were deposited there in your hypothesized Flood), this seems to be yet another problem of your own particularly tendentious contrivance.

    And what exactly are “existing cousins” Robert, if not related animals? Are cousins somehow not related in your YEC universe? It is precisely the weight of the evidence that nothing in the reptile-mammal transition sequence exceeds the load limit of the incremental natural variation that can be objectively observed in examples like the cichlids, but it does require actually attending to the details, not trying to jujitsu them aside with “analogy” drum beating such as you have been doing so far. But you (and all other known antievolutionists) fail consistently to attend to the full range of evidential dots, let alone make sense of them within your own framework.

    To be precise: are probainognathids & morganucodontids monobaraminic or not, and on what basis? The taxa existed, and if you bothered to think through what your own position actually is, you would be addressing that question. I as an evolutionist would predict that a strict baraminological analysis would only confirm the monobaraminic status of those two taxa (and, in fact, all the members of the reptile-mammal transition), as they have done so far for other examples in the gene pool that they have tiptoed into. This is because all life is related by natural common descent. Everything is one giant monobaramin.

    It was fascinating to watch Duane Gish deploy the “no cousins” rule to paleontology (as I cover at length in 3ME and other postings here on #TIP). It is quite another for you to “analogy” your way to an even stranger (and still less defendable) dictum: “Cousins aren’t cousins.”

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    • You don’t understand my analogy. i’m saying your transition fossils are just a diversity like with cichlids. .They were not segregated by time/deposition.
      Further i’m saying you offer no bio sci evidence but only a geo paradigm. Without the geo there is no clain of bio relationships. Your jaw transitions are not that IF they all were fossilized together.

      Off topic but yes I say there are other mechanisms in biology to explain diversity. Yes all cichlids are cousins today. They are a example of diversity of type. you didn’t see how they became that way. If all fossilized at once EVOLUTIONISTS would say they evolved from ecah other over time. Yet they livbe together in reality at the same time.

      any creatures you bring with jaw differences are simply diversity within a kind or several kinds with the same need for jaws of different types.
      These classification systems you have are not based on anything but these minor details of anatomy.
      Everyone needs a jaw. There are only so much option in nature for jaw types.
      Itds not evidence of descent to have like jaws or details of jaws alike.
      its just a hunch. A better hunch is the jaws are irrelevant to relationships and identity.

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      • Starfish and spiders do not have jaws in the way you mean.

        Jaw shapes are as much about ecological niches as diversity.

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  18. Robert, I understand your analogy perfectly: you dismiss all the fossil data you do not bother to discuss in detail as merely “diversity” and “not segregated by time,” and steadfastly assert without justification or detailed example that future scientists would somehow misinterpret fossil relationships because you say they would. What you do not do is explain anything about the details of what diversity means within your own framework, namely how many baramins or monobaramins there are or were (and can extinct baramins even be accommodated within YEC dogma where the Ark was supposed to preserve everything successfully?). It matters not whether cichlid or therapsid, no one on the YEC side has (or can) do such a thing (as I am documenting case by case here at #TIP), and you are hardly about to buck that historic trend of evasion based on what limited knowledge you have brought to bear so far.

    Always the data you do not stop to investigate stands there whether you attend to them or not. The numerous examples in the reptile-mammal transition were NOT “fossilized at once,” so another of your bald presumptions cannot stand up to empirical scrutiny. “Everyone needs a jaw,” you say, “There are only so much option in nature for jaw types.” So jaws could not be designed where the bones are arranged sideways, with left & right rather than upper & lower? Where teeth could be deployed in bones other than the dentary? What we see, though, is that all vertebrates use only a dentary bone layout. Why? Because all vertebrates are descended from that early fish lineage that originated that mutational feature (and the genetics & developmental biology of that process has been well-documented by many scientists, even as you and other antievolutionists pay scant attention to them). Design invocations give no insight, they illuminate nothing, and serve only as a mental embalming fluid to cushion the antievolutionist brain from too much detailed thought.

    Am I not to notice the evidence simply because you don’t? There is a very distinctive exception to that monotonous vertebrate jaw layout: the distinctly new form found in mammals, where the dentary bone is the only one in the jaw, and hinged on a completely different bone in the skull than the one used by other vertebrates. How did that come about, Robert? Contrasting the vague “it was designed” non-answer is the detailed explanation by evolution accounting for all the data that antievolutionists do not bother to cover: the dentary bone gradually expanded in the synapsid lineage (and in no other, Robert) over the time that your YEC dogma does not allow to exist, until it comprised the entire jaw. And the remaining vertebrate jaw bones were coopted as inner ear bones, again fully tracked in the parade of fossils you do not examine, let alone relate to the amorphous design mandate.

    But how to effect the shift to the mammal skull hinge? Again we not only have the fossils tracking this quite specific & unique change, we have Robert Broom’s explicit prediction of how it had to have come about if it stuck to evolutionary mechanisms, involving a format unknown in any living mammal but required if the jaw transition was to be effected by natural evolutionary means. And so we must imagine that the hypothesized designer had gone out of his/her/their/its way to explicitly create in just the right time precisely what Broom had specified (and never make use of it in the millions of years since, once that operating mammal format was in play to be inherited in its lineage). Just how big a soft spot did God have for Robert Broom and evolutionists that he should have been so solicitous to make sure Broom got his confirmation in the 1930s?

    I keep calling this matter to your attention, Robert, and you keep not noticing it. Par for the creationist course here. Jaws are “irrelevant to relationships and identity” to you because EVERYTHING is irrelevant to you. The Tortucan antievolutionist mind-shell is simply too thick. Is there any wonder that antievolutionists have contributed nothing to paleontology over the last hundred years?

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    • You have to admit if your geology is wrong your evolution biology claims are wrong or rather they could just be a diversity in some place.
      why not all jaw types come from a common design? why shouldn’t god do a single blueprint including the jaw concept. then later other innate mechanisms can help adaptation.
      However its still about evidence.
      Your transitions are entirely based on fossils which is entirely based on geology claims. otherwise you are connecting snapshots and convincing yourself of a progress. Yet it could be just a diversity with no progress but simple adaptation as needed.
      Thats what it is!
      In don’t know about other creationists and terms. I only see kinds and that is not settled.
      For example i see bears, seals, wolves as of the same kind.

      your thread was about a clear evidence for the reptile/mammal transition by way of jaws.
      Thats all i attacked. on quality of evidence and the exclusion of other options in light of lack of evidence but evidence of data points shown by the fossils.

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  19. What I “have to admit” is that you have yet to offer any evidence to justify that “if your geology is wrong” supposition. The geology isn’t wrong, the YEC Flood Geology that you so breezily advocate (but never get around to defending) is a tendentious fantasy, supported by the same tactics of data suppression & inability to work through details even from their own perspective that plays out regarding the evolution side of things.

    It is indeed “still about evidence,” Robert, which you assiduously avoid addressing. The reptile-mammal transition is not “entirely based on fossils.” I repeatedly call attention to the developmental biology of living mammals (including yourself) and how it bears on this matter, and you fail to even mention it, let alone marshal evidence in support of your ill-defined alternative. No surprise there, this is a 100% failure rate on the part of antievolutionists, as in none ever mentioning it in all the coverage I have examined so far (over 6500 sources there in #TIP), including bigger guns than you like Duane Gish & Phillip Johnson recounted in 3ME, who in principle could have known about the issue because it was explicitly mentioned in sources they had cited themselves.

    You never seem to get to the source-citing stage, though, not even for the cichlid fish you brought up, which only further insulates you from the outside data world reduced to a blur of meaninglessness as your Flood Geology carousel spins so fast that the only thing that seems clear to you are the rumps of the wooden horses bobbing up and down ahead of you. There is more to the world of nature than “bears, seals, wolves,” and there again you are all too typical of grassroots antievolutionists, whose distance from the diversity of living animals (how about those kinorynchs?) is of a piece with the unwillingness to take note of the myriad extraordinary things that lived in the past because we have their fossils to show for it.

    That you “don’t know about other creationists and terms” is something you didn’t need to explicitly affirm (though it’s nice to have that on the record), since it is all too evident from your writings how little you know in this area. But if you aren’t even diligent enough to pay attention to what is trying to pass for serious technical analysis on your side of the fence, why should anyone take you seriously on the far bigger playing field of actual science? Given that context, that you “only see kinds and that is not settled” is a knee-slapping understatement.

    Your appeal to what amounts to designed archetypes for jaws is the sort of vague nothing that short-circuited antievolutionism scientifically back in the days of Richard Owen. I have no doubt that nothing will ever occasion your changing your views (your long track record of dancing without a data partner at Panda’s Thumb bodes ill for you taking up the practice here). But if our conversations spark the curiosity of observers who may be uncertain about whether evolution is true, and they take up the trail by starting to investigate the data on their own to make sense of things as they will, then our back-and-forth-and-back-agains will have some practical utility.

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    • We make progress if you are shying away from your geology paradigm to make a biology conclusion.
      You say it ain’t just fossils. I think its mostly that HOWEVER the other points are just once again data points of living creatures anatomy.
      Any likeness is simply from common design. Everybody has the same eyeballs almost. yet its common design and no need to presume common descent. Its just a line of reasoning you present from data points.

      It just seems possible to you because you desire it. Yet a diversity , that fossilized all at once, would also have the fossil record you guys present.
      I think I have a great point here about quality of evidence. You don’t show me otherwise by argument.
      anyways fossils are not bio sci evidence.

      The reptile /mammal transition is not based on bio sci evidence as I see it.
      It never happened. Its just adaptation within kinds due to other mechaism(s), kust like poeople look different.
      you gave me a good rumble , drifting a wee bit, and most evos can’t do that. I can tell you are knowledgable about these particular subjects.Most evos I meet hace rudimentary info.

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    • Don’t explain anymore. Demand his explanations and any support data he may care to give. That is all he needs to do to be closer to your level. No more.

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  20. I am in no sense “shying away” from the geology paradigm, Robert, for the simple reason that it is a solid one, unlike the repeated mantras you show yourself incapable of moving beyond. “It just seems possible to you because you desire it” sums up your own stance here far more than mine, particularly in your persistent claims regarding Flood Geology. The fossil record is littered with deposits that are physically impossible within a Flood Geology model, from aolian strata to frequent interbedded airborne volcanic ash, so their existence is a flat out refutation of YEC dogma. I call attention to several examples in “Dinomania” (pp. 214-215 and noted sources) noting where authors like Steven Austin tiptoe past the content of even their own sources, let alone the relevant data they seem consistently skillful in not mentioning.

    I have been accumulating quite a pile of further examples of this myopia that I will be incorporating into the relevant chapter updates here at #TIP, including such major YEC authors as Andrew Snelling, Michael Oard & John Woodmorappe. Am I not supposed to notice such blatant and persistent scholarly incompetence? I certainly will not kick such data under the rug simply to massage your ignorance of them.

    But then, your increasingly misspelled ramble at the end suggests your fingers aren’t quite able to keep up with a rant that is unlikely to ever investigate the provenance or reliability of your own sources, let alone show sufficient proficiency to make sense of the mountain of science data you show no inclination ever to explore.

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  21. I feel kinda bad for Mr Byers, he has all of his opinion and nothing to back it up. He’s been thrown a life preserver (scientific knowledge) but he won’t even let his fingers touch it. But that is his choice.

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  22. True, Marty. There is something sad about the Byers of the world, with so much wonderful discoveries out there, literally at the fingertips, and yet not exploring any of it. But that is the impact of the Tortucan mind at work, on a spiral of reinforcement for beliefs that want to be held.

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  23. He ignores the acceptance of evolution from the Roman Catholic Church, Muslims, Buddhists…and yet fantasizes that YEC’s are gaining ground. IMHO, YEC’s are this era’s “Flat Earthers”. He reminds me of family members that were of his mindset. They left school after the 3rd or 6th grade. Their belief systems were still being poured in to their heads, in their parent’s choice of churches, every Saturday or Sunday. Certain aspects of learning simply stopped.

    That’s what makes this site a valuable resource and I do appreciate it. Please give me your definition of “Tortucan”.

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  24. Tortucans are people whose cognitive landscape is dominated by what I dub “Matthew Harrison Brady Syndrome” (MHBS), the ability to not think about things they don’t think about. I explained the idea at more depth in the 2009 Kennewick lecture and did a quickie low-tech video on the idea (lecture text & video link all in Other Stuff tab here at #TIP), and plan to expand greatly on the idea to connect up the (still limited) cognitive literature on the issue. It embraces a lot of notions already knocking around in cognitive lit, including Cognitive Dissonance and Confirmation Bias, and would be generally similar to what Pete Boghossian describes as Doxastic Closure. Tortucans can be ever so bright and well educated and yet ultimately clueless due to the MHBS kicking in to short-circuit curiosity. The behavior shows in their use of source material, which is how it tracks back to #TIP analysis.

    Though many antievolutionists are raised with it, there are many who come at it voluntarily as adults. Typically the ones who abandon creationism were those who were raised in it, and if putatively non-Tortucans, simply discarded the old ideas once they encountered new information. But to become an antievolutionist without that prior indoctrination is a clue that they are likely Tortucans, able to parse information to fit what they desire o be true, regardless of how academically qualified they may be in other disciplines.

    There are no instances I know of where core higher echelon antievolutionists ever change their minds, no matter how much evidence there has been to the contrary available to them. #TIP methods analysis helps explain why this is so and I use the Tortucan term to categorize them.

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  25. Stop feeling bad for me. I thought I won.
    i’m happy to RUMBLE on origin issues on this blog. Just present the issue.
    All this profiling of creationists is a vanity. Its weird and no one would be persuaded by such definitions.
    Yes we are prevailing in these days relative to our previous position.
    Everybody can say the other guy is thickheaded.
    Origin subjects deal with evidence from a high standard of investigation called science.
    So no excuses on anyside for conclusions aside from scientific evidence.
    In this place i showed that fossils were not bio sci evidence and so the main/only “evidence’ for a progression of evolving creatures based on jaws and crossing the ‘mammal/reptile” threshold
    Everybody should beware of if they are ignoring things because its unwelcome.

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    • “Won”? You never got into the ring here. You talk about science then proceed to ignore in big tasty lumps.
      Worse yet you tout you are Science based yet dump it at the first sign it crushes your dream.

      Analysis and evidence where is it that supports you points?

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  26. I imagine you did think you “won,” Robert. How could you not, when you have no standards for ever acknowledging losing, or changing your mind? The “profiling” of creationists at #TIP is “vanity” only in the sense that sound scholarship matters and rigorous reasoning something to be encouraged, not violated. All antievolutionists (just like non-antievolutionists) exhibit by their writings & argument what information they pay attention to, and what they do not. It is hardly off limits to discuss that process, openly and honestly, and examine the numerous instances of antievolutionists fumbling the sound scholarship ball on every play, in a manner singularly unlike that of non-antievolutionists. I shall not stop noticing those things, however much you don’t.

    You have never shown “that fossils were not bio sci evidence,” Robert, you proclaimed (and proclaimed, and proclaimed) that conviction, but not by discussing any of the details that I go into in 3ME that you show no signs of having studied. You leave aside trying to explain how it was that Robert Broom managed to do what no antievolutionist has ever been caught doing: predicting in advance the exact characteristics of a hitherto unknown animal, and having that very animal discovered afterward. The data & historical record matter, and you pay scant attention to either.

    I would heartily concur that “Everybody should beware of if they are ignoring things because its unwelcome.” To recap what you have ignored so far:

    You contend the geological system is flawed, without documentation or defense. You dismiss fossil, biological & genetic data relevant to evolution (macro & micro) without discussing any of them (the cichlid case you brought up & the reptile-mammal case I will continue to remind you of). I have cited sources while you have not (#TIP is awash with them, some 5500 in the old TIP, and around 40,000 being assembled for the new #TIP modules, including over 23,000 science sources). I shall not stop noticing that body of work, however much you don’t

    I do not expect you to ever perceive the mote in your vision even as you insist all others are blind, but external observers can decide for themselves who wins the “ignoring things” sweepstakes. Triple Crown indeed.

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  27. RJ Downard: You have infinite patience. It is quite obvious that Robert Byers has a mind that closed years ago (probably as a child in Sunday School), and it will not be opened by any amount of evidence or logic.

    Logical debate with creationists is an absolute waste of time. They are convinced that they alone know The Truth, and that all evidence contrary to how they interpret the Bible is faulty.

    Perhaps — just perhaps — if they could be taken into the field where they could find and examine the fossils first-hand, examine the cross-cutting geological formations, see for themselves the ancient metamorphic rock formations at the lowest levels in the Grand Canyon, and learn in a lab how radiometric dating works and why it can be trusted — maybe then they might begin to comprehend the grandeur of deep time.

    But I wouldn’t hold my breath. Some people are eager to learn and are curious about everything in the universe. On the other hand, it seems as though others are afraid to question how others have interpreted the scriptures for them

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    • While debate with a creationist like Byers may be a waste of time vis that particular creationist, we should always remember that the real target is the honestly questioning. Having escaped SDA creationism while a student at one of their colleges, (in the pre-internet era) I can attest to the value of writing that tackles creationism head on. I am still, 40 odd years later, amazed at how little it took to make me see the absurdity of the position I had always taken for granted.

      Being exposed to a few late night dormitory arguments, and recognizing myself as the Byers character in the drama, was enough to make me realize the dishonesty and insubstantiality of my claims. Had the internet been around, I suspect I would have come to my senses much earlier. Please do carry on, your site is a priceless resource.

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    • Just use two columns. One for Science, the other for Creationism. One side will be full, the other bereft of such notations. The Creationists should look at that white area and work toward filling it. With real science.

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  28. Robert Byers keeps equating “evolution” with “origins”. The Theory of Evolution says nothing of origin of life; it is “merely” an explanation of how life forms have changed (evolved) since life began.

    Creationists like to say that the Theory of Evolution is faulty because it doesn’t address how life began. The question is not addressed by the ToE because we have no evidence supporting any idea of how life began. There is, however, ample evidence showing that life has indeed changed over time, and the most logical explanation of what drove these changes is natural selection.

    And natural selection is not necessarily “survival of the fittest.” It is, however, survival of the more fit, or better adapted. For instance, it’s not necessary for a zebra to be the fastest runner in the herd to survive, but it sure helps not to be the slowest.

    In a word or three, it is no explanation of how things happened to say “Goddidit”. Science is all about understanding how things happened. Saying “Goddidit” does not lead to understanding.

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  29. RJD: I found your excellent site following a link from a fellow regular commenter on The Sensuous Curmudgeon’s great blog, which I would highly recommend if you haven’t already discovered it. Believe me, you would be most welcome there.

    It seems as though Robert Byers enjoys monopolizing your time. The problem is, thoughtful readers will stop dropping in on your blog if they have to slog through thousands and thousands of words of repetitive, illogical creationist verbiage. It is your blog and you can control who gets to comment.

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  30. I hope retiredsciguy enjoys the site content. I dub the “Origins or Bust” apologetics in TIP 1.7, re Pasteur, and it is a favored dodge of antievolutionists (sparing them the trouble of having to think about the billions of years of life’s evolution since the origin thing). The Tortucan concept (2009 lecture on that in “Other Stuff” tab) will be expanded in future modules, but the upshot is how it explains why antievolutionists don’t progress to the evidence looking stage whereby they might change their minds.

    As for comments, I really do want it to be an everybody welcome venue, bearing in mind that if an antievolutionist wants to weigh in, they do so at the risk that I am going to offer my observations of it. You can see how well that went with Byers in the slog above. The Big Picture of the #TIP method is in the applying of it, and if you look at what I post in reply to Byers is always with that source methods aspect in mind.

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  31. Is it possible to convert the comments to a more forum-like format? That way you could keep long and hilarious creationist-demolishing sessions, but also include sections like “suggestions” or “feedback” or whatever.

    W.R.T. the actual site and the articles, they’re great: my only criticism would be the footnote/reference format (all bunched up at the end): probably works fine if you print it all off and can flip back and forth, but I read this all on a kindle (because I’m a horrible hipster, possibly maybe). I realise the references & footnotes are often as long as the article they pertain to, so putting them at the bottom of individual pages probably doesn’t work….but I thought I’d mention it anyway (see horrible hipster, above).

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  32. RE DDL, #TIP is very much a work in progress. There are comment windows for all the tabs here, which so far not many have noticed and used. I check all daily though and will respond to all, so for the moment will take any in any of those as given.

    As for the text content and structure, I came from a historical writing background, where long digressionary footnotes are part of the canon. Old TIP & the 3ME adaptation of Chapter 2 etc was in that footnote mode because they were planned as old school print books. By the time I picked up on the project again after 2009 I realized that was not so helpful for modern readers (including me), which is why the new modules are organized with internal references, which not only are (I hope) more straightforward to read, but are way easier to update with new information.

    There’s also an index for the modules at least, and that will be expanded as new modules get done (not hyperlinked yet, but I’m a lonely camper so far and am still unsure if I can even keep the work going financially on my less than sustaining social security retirement, unless the gofundme picks up, end of necessary Grumpy Cat moment).

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  33. I’ve been using this site heavily, both reading and as a resource when pointing others to the evidence regarding evolution. I’ll be heading over to the GoFundMe shortly.

    This is an excellent site and an impressive quantity/quality of work. I appreciate it greatly.

    Now if we physicists could get such a resource going with the relevant information for a spherical earth and other obtuse arguments against known physics from these types of “tortucans”.

    Cheers Rulon.

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    • Thank you Nate! I check this site daily and been beginning to think I had become a voice in the wilderness. #TIP can’t make a difference unless its more widely read / used / shared. Spread the word in your network, by all means. I hope too for the “Tortucan” term to catch on, since it describes a very specific mindset by method, not content, and so is applicable to all manner of quirky but persistent belief systems.

      The flat earth issue is methodologically identical to creationism (and demographically a subset of fringe religious apologetics, just as geocentrism is),and will be eventually adding some of that new story to #TIP, as it illustrates the overreliance on secondary sources thing in spades. I loved the recent episode of Hawkings current PBS series, where physical experiments using a boat, a helicopter, a laser and a telescope physically verified the curvature of the earth in a seemingly “flat” lake in the southwest. I Twitter joust with flat earthers fairly often, @RJDownard there, and always ask them about their (non) visits to the edge of the earth, and if they took pictures for us all to see.

      That flat earth has its following today is an inevitable byproduct of the speed of internet, where Tortucans have access to things they want to be true at the click of a mouse, rather than having to bump into the True Believer personally or by pamphlets, the way flat earth was promulgated back in the era of land lines and 3-channel broadcast TV.

      Thanks again for commenting. It’s brightened this often frustrated scholars’ day.

      Btw, I’m nearing completion on a major book writing, “Evolution Slam Dunk: Why the Reptile-Mammal Transition Proves Macroevolution, & How Antievolutionists Ignore It” where I’m updating my reptile-mammal posts to cover all the current evidence along with all the antievolutionists who have mangled it (including Michael Denton’s new 2016 book being touted by IDers). Comprehensive coverage, as I did in TIP 1.3 on Punctuated Equilibrium case.

      May as well call attention too to a novel I’ve written on the side (kept my brain from frying from financial worry this last year), a mystery science fiction steampunk adventure retelling of Jules Verne’s “Around the World in 80 Days,” up now https://www.amazon.com/Paralogs-Phileas-Fogg-Columbiad-Ocean/dp/1533544506/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1465872638&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Paralogs+of+Phileas+Fogg. Its available paperback, and also ebook for all platforms (Kindle, Nook, and lulu.com). Hoping to make a little more side income that way to buttress the Social Security, and maybe some as well when the “Evolution Slam Dunk” book gets out in same manner.

      I’m hangin’ in there.

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    • It’s going to be awhile before I’m going to be able to do fully new posts. My finances are still in crash mode, and I’m diverting a lot of effort on the new reptile-mammal book, which as a stand alone could be a source of independent income. I’m still doing updates to the current modules, of course, and have to send those along (my web host recently got married and I didn’t want to interrupt him too much on that for awhile). There’s a ton of stuff up already, and I want to see more of that content having an impact. It’s been really slow going on that front. But thanks very much for coming in with a thumbs up. I reply to all comments & questions here at #TIP, so all can pick my brain, likewise on Twitter @RJDownard

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  34. I’ve read your comments on pandasthumb.org and bought your book. As a geology professor for many years (now retired) I’ve run into many creationists, some tortucan and others maybe not and I used the old TalkOrigins archive quite a bit when I found it. I’m glad to see you picking up the torch so to speak. I;ll keep checking your site. I still keep a file of creationist nonsense (Robert Byers is prominent in it) and suitable replies. Best wishes.

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    • Thank you for your comments, Robert (and definitely a thank you for buying ESD, I hope you’ll give feedback on it and be sure to rate/review it in due course wherever you bought it). I’ve continued to do spot revisions on the module posts as needed, but had to swing into the book for profit mode with ESD to help ends meet. I check the comments sections at #TIP daily, so any and all comments or questions I will be seeing and will respond to. I hope you spotted how I have tried to apply the #TIP source methods approach to creationist critics like Byers, probing him on his sources and holding him to the fire on the factual content. It’s a main contention of my approach that antievolutionists (and Tortucans generally) just can’t do the source methods game, so the more we use it the worse they do.

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  35. Re R. J. Downard post of 2-28-2017,
    I did notice your source-based replies to Robert Byers and agree with your general outlook. As a graduate student, for a somewhat similar purpose, I wrote a short paper for the then Journal of Geological Education suggesting that, instead of focusing on the definitions and terminology of the rock classes and subclasses as a mere preliminary to later chapters on Earth’s history, there were advantages to using illustrations and descriptions of some actual locations that showed the kinds of on-site observations and related experiments that convinced 18th and 19th century geologists (as we;d now call them) of the origins of metamorphic rocks, intrusive igneous rocks, and plutonic igneous rocks, even though their formation is not directly observable. Recognition of the origins of these rock classes and subclasses led to the understanding of the long periods of time required to unroof them so that they cropped out at Earth’s surface and that, in turn, was an important step towards the recognition of “deep time” by scientists.

    On the related topic of tortucans, I would strongly suggest that anyone wanting or needing to teach classes involving geological time and/or bioevolution could do no better than study the writings of Robert Byers here, at pandasthumb.org, and Larry Moran’s Sandwalk blog to understand and prepare for the wide ranges of denialism that a tortucan mind can conjure up.

    For example, Mr. Byers has denied that mathematics and prediction are of little or no importance in biological science and has asserted that comparative anatomy, genetics and DNA (“atomic and unproven), population biology, and fossils constitute any kind of what he calls “biological evidence.” He also thinks of the different sciences as baraminlike in their complete isolation from one another, so that no concepts or conclusions, right or wrong, from physics, chemistry, geology, or astronomy can play any supporting role in a “biological concept” such as evolution. He rarely provides any facts of even theoretical justification for any of his theories. Apparently basing them purely on intuition. He has never even provided his version of “biological evidence” for his idea that a relatively few pairs of “kinds” fresh from the ark soon varied themselves into the many species we see today. Placental wolves, for example, turned themselves nearly instantaneously into marsupial thylacines when they reached Australia. Mr. Byers is truly an archtortucan. I will also say that he is unfailingly polite — often much more so than his frustrated opponents.

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    • Byers is utterly symptomatic of the Tortucan mind, the surprising thing is that that is just as true of the professional “scholarly” antievolutionist, who dances around sources with just as gymnastic moves as Byers (I hope you’ll be seeing that fully on display in Evolution Slam Dunk)

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  36. Sorry for the couple of glitches in my post above. I believe what I meant is still fairly obvious though. I just cannot proofread on a screen as well as I can on a sheet of paper. I also hate my laptop’s keyboard and believe the feeling is mutual.

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    • Rats! I can’t stand leaving my post uncorrected whether it’s read by many people or not. This is what the first part of the third paragraph should have said:

      “For example, Mr. Byers has denied that mathematics and prediction are of importance in biological science and has asserted that comparative anatomy, genetics and DNA (“atomic and unproven), population biology, and fossils constitute no kind of what he calls “biological evidence.” He also thinks of the different sciences as baraminlike in their complete isolation from one another, so that no concepts or conclusions, right or wrong, from physics, chemistry, geology, or astronomy can play any supporting role in a “biological concept” such as evolution. He rarely provides any facts or even theoretical justification for any of his theories.” …

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    • I am so grateful for your double-whammy help, Robert, getting Slam Dunk & donating to #TIP. My goal with the project is changing our side’s focus away from top down “philosophy/methodological naturalism/science vs pseudoscience demarcation” arguments (valid as they may be in their own way) to a bottom up source methods FIRST approach, to hit the data floor from that level, and only then broadening the scope to deal with those philosophical frames. Nothing will change the mind of Tortucans, but the fence-straddlers may find this approach more persuasive. It’s worth a try at least.

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      • R. J. Downard, 3-3-2017
        As you say, it’s worth a try. And, it is often a good idea to “attack” on multiple fronts. Along with your book, I’ve been heartened, as I think you have been, by the recent publication of “The Grand Canyon: Monument to an Ancient Earth” and God’s Word or Human Reason.” Both of these books for interested people provide up-to-date information that clearly shows up the gaping holes, misconceptions, and attempts to mislead people in the creationist literature and provides up-to-date mainstream science on the same subjects. Perhaps even better, each book was written by multiple authors of varied backgrounds and religious beliefs (or non-beliefs), thus increasing accuracy as well as demonstrating that antievolution is not the litmus test for Christians that it is inaccurately portrayed to be. I’ve tried to keep up-to-date on many of the topics covered in those books, (and yours), but I’ve already learned some new things and haven’t nearly finished reading any of the three yet.

        One thing I’ve noticed, particularly in God’s Word or Human Reason, is that photographs that would be excellent if printed full page are in some cases too reduced in size and in some cases too dark with muddied colors that they don’t show what needs most to be seen. If I were to write such a book, I would have an accompanying on-line or dvd album of the illustrations in high-resolution and the best color, with built-in zoom-in capability (like many illustrations on e-Bay have).

        When I covered the reptile-mammal transition in my Historical Geology classes, I made poster-sized skeletal reconstructions to tape on the whiteboard to show different stages of the transition from pelycosaurs to therapsids to Triassic mammals & typical modern mammals while I commented on it verbally and described some of the main diagnostic anatomical features of each group. I think it made it much more evident how closely later therapsids such as Probelesodon, for example, approached being classifiable as mammals. (I believe the nomenclature for synapsids has now changed from that of some of my sources for illustrations.)

        I urge you to keep posting at intervals on pandasthumb.org (as annoying as their new format is) and on other sites. That’s how I found this site.

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  37. I don’t have rights to post at Pandas (Matzke’s interview with me was on his ticket). I agree completely on pictures, and if I can ever wrangle a regular publisher who can deal with picture rights, I’d definitely like a lot of suitable illustrations. Many of the technical papers (especially Luo) have superb diagrams and fossil info, many of which I’d have liked to have included in ESD but I’m still on a low budget training wheel mode there. I do allude to some of the illustrations in the book, and since the primary sources are available full text online, people can follow up on that I hope.

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    • Re: R. J. Downard, March 4, 2017
      Even an occasional comment on a website can be important. Several times I’ve been led to something interesting that way. That’s how I found out about your ESD book. for example.

      I was reading through my download of “Troubles in Paradise ‘In the Beginning,’ 1.4, The Big Theory: Natural Common Descent and enjoyed your summary of what some of the natural scientists of the late 18th and into the 19th centuries — many of them creationists — thought and did. I’m glad you included that among the resources on this site. Ever since I was a grad. student I’ve thought that the history of science has much to offer modern students. It answers many of the basic questions they have or should have about basic geo and bio concepts such as “How did they figure that out?” and “How do they know that?” which so many modern textbooks, and probably instructors too, skip over lightly in their hurry to get to the more modern stuff that interests them more. Many creationists also seem to have no real idea of how basic geology and biology concepts were worked out — or feign ignorance — and likewise show no awareness that many religious scientists were convinced by the evidence available even back then and were able to accommodate an ancient Earth and the common ancestry of life into their thinking to at least some degree. For many modern creationists, it’s likely at least partly a result of the over-reliance on secondary sources — creationist sources in particular — that you have emphasized.

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      • As history is my big love, I always want to know the background context of what people actually did & thought, to better understand how that ebbed and flowed on the basis of new data. There’s tons of history (often buried in the source notings) in the older TIP work, especially relating to human evolution, and how the Single Species model blinded a lot of paleontologists to the more interesting dynamics of actual hominid evolution. If I’m able to keep at the work long enough, my master plan is to have all the old TIP stuff reformatted into the module mode, indexed, and without the old footnoting method that I frankly grew up with, back in the day (especially in historical work, where long digressionary footnotes were very common).

        I have found that antievolutionists make really sloppy selective historians, which I attribute largely to their applying their Tortucan tunnel vision methods mode to that venue.

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  38. Re R. J. Downard, March 7, 2017
    I had a brush with hominin history. I did my dissertation in clay mineralogy at Case Western Reserve while Donald Johanson was at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. I left the year he found Lucy. Grad. student Tom Gray who was with Dr. Johanson on that expedition had been in my Geology Lab when I was a teaching assistant and I knew James Aronson, a prof. at CWRU who did some of the radiometric dating for Lucy. It was an exciting place to be in the ’60s & ’70s because, among other things, several of the faculty were involved in plate tectonics. At the time I was skeptical; most of the best evidence had come out while I was in the Army and I’d missed it. Fortunately, I caught up after a bit.

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    • Re: R. J. Downard, March 7, 2017: single species comment

      Yes, now I remember the “single species” fixation that held up understanding of hominin history for a while. It ties in with a comment I read somewhere that paleoanthropologists were late in adopting the methods of paleontologists. My hypothesis – probably I’m not original in this, is that paleoanthro. started as a search for “THE “missing link” and comes more from the Indiana Jones-like treasure-hunting tradition with more than a bit of “for the glory of Old England” and “for the glory of me, the discoverer” thrown in than it does from the paleontology tradition. No one becomes a feted celebrity by discovering the ancestor of the final trilobite species.

      BTW, although I never had to use them, I am fond of footnotes. Like parentheses, they often contain very interesting information even if it is not immediately germane to the subject at hand. (Information such as how Isaac Newton, after revolutionizing physics, ferreted out counterfeiters while head of the Royal Mint.)

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  39. Working out a format for presentation has been a work in progress for me, Robert. I’ve never gotten hung up on the formats of others. They can present their information in any way they want, the main thing are the data and whether it supports the case or not. On the plate tectonic matter, that one was an amazing and rather abrupt seismic shift in perception, as seafloor spreading provided a mechanism that put drift on front burner (though a neglected woman geologist had noted the existence of the then discovered Mid-Atlantic ridge as of relevance to this way back in the 1920s!).

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  40. Your comment about a precursor to sea-floor spreading in the 1920s reminded me of another of a number of six degrees (or less) of separation relationships to persons responsible for some major ideas and discoveries in geoscience that I’ve had. I went to grad school briefly in Canada in the mid 1960s and the Geology text used in the intro the Geol course was an encylopedic text by Arthur Holmes who had developed a sea-floor stretching concept in the 1930s that preceded the later sea-floor spreading concept, and earlier had done some of the first radiometric rock dating. It was in the 1930s also that Dutch geoscientists had identified the underthrusting at deep-sea trenches and island arcs. Continental drift was a far from dead idea in Europe & the Southern Hemisphere (neo-Gondwanaland). It happened that Arthur Holmes had been my Indian roommates’ thesis advisor in the U K until his death, thus stranding my roommate, thus leading to his move to Canada. And to add another name to my tale, A. E. M. Nairn, a big man in paleomagentism in the 1950s and ’60s was one of my professors at CWRU. I liked him particularly because he enjoyed my skepticism of plate tectonics rather than discouraging it. He’d introduce me to visiting lecturers as “our resident skeptic.” Quite a different response than you’ve had recently, eh?

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