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:
Amazon Kindle ebook edition:
Barnes&Noble Nook ebook edition:
Lulu general ebook edition:
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. Few of the “great revolutions” in science come about POOF out of the middle of nowhere. Plate tectonics and even quantum and relativity theories built on decades or more of ground work that generated pieces of the puzzle, but which got lost in the noise shuffle of the dominant paradigm, until some new striking data comes along to jostle things, and the “paradigm shift” proper lurches onto the scene.

    Old TIP was the seed corn of my project, Robert. If you look at the chapters and their increasing length, you can literally see how I had grown more prone to hunting up the primary source technical data and research at ever greater depth in the course of it. By that time I had a thousand pages of work (if you toss in the bibliography), but that was peanuts compared to where I’ve moved onto since. I had around 5500 sources (with perhaps 2000 technical works) in that Old TIP. Today I have 48,000 sources and over 20,000 technical papers, all catalogued and organized in a way I couldn’t have done initially because I didn’t have access to as many of the primary sources full text that I do now.

    If I can keep at it long enough, the plan is to retool all of that Old TIP into the new module structure, as I’ve done with TIP 1.1 to 1.7 (which relates just to the intro chapter of the new work, which you can compare to the Old TIP Introduction, which is the seed piece I have expanded on). The advantage of the modular layout is that I can (and have already) updated them easily as new data arrives. I haven’t been able to do that for the HTML versions at http://www.tortucan.com though, and have to leave that task to a someday thing when I can get more of an IT grip on that side of things.


  2. A truly amazing body of work. it’s not easy to keep up with a scattered literature such as that of biology, paleontology, and the relevant parts of geology, let alone also keeping pace with creationist “literature.”

    BTW, I just posted a review of ESD on Amazon saying the same thing about it, and, as a retired science teacher, emphasizing in my comments how useful it could be to teachers of biology, paleontology, and historical geology. (My thinking: Sew some seeds and maybe something will grow.)


    • Thank you so much for your review of ESD. I’ve already found that Christine Janis had my book too, and had been following my#TIP work for some time, and was even revising her new mammal evolution book based on information I had gathered in ESD (wow). She had offered my book as a link recently, but once I heard from her on Facebook I’m urging her to put a review in as well. Slow and steady people may be, but getting that word out into the wider world is a drum banging thing I can’t do just on my own. Your putting up a review is MOST appreciated, Robert!

      I am quite capable of keeping up with the incoming data flood for #TIP, scholarly analysis is mother’s milk to me, and I will definitely keep at it as long as I can. I am hampered because my data backlog that needs printing is horrendous (I have to ration my ink usage), but I can least access the data and safe things as pdfs and htmls as stopgap. The goal is to get out AHEAD of antievolutionists, laying in wait to pounce, so to speak, instead of playing catch-up. From my vantage, antievos are a quite slowly moving Tortucan target, and ESD I hope shows how a comprehensive approach can knock the props from under the antievolution case at its very base, way below the “God or Matter” philosophy issue.


      • My reading and commenting here has been rudely (and still) interrupted by a kidney stone but before that I happened I was reading through the bird evolution chapter in “God’s Word or Human Reason” and found some excellent examples new to me of major creationist organizations flip-flopping and contradicting their own points on this topic. These are both amusing in their way and, also, I would imagine, eye-opening for those who haven’t much experience with the expediency-oriented part of the creationist world. That chapter also includes some recent, particular examples of creationists’ whose own work on baraminology (the creationist alternative to biological taxonomy) ends up undermining and falsifying the creationist “party line.”

        I heartily recommend this as a book to anyone interested in bioevolution from either side. You don’t have to be a specialist and are bound to learn something. Of course I also recommend “Evolution Slam Dunk,” not least for its huge reference list where you can make your own discoveries.


      • I have a question about this.

        I have found in my experience, that presenting evidence to the kinds of people you are tackling, to be useless.
        Simply because they are willing to ditch science and even basic logic in order to hold onto their beliefs.
        Like, the obvious fact that the flood never happened, and we can prove it, has no impact on them.

        This is a great project, but who’s it for?


    • Robert, have you used this website? If so how did you find it’s “user-friendlyness”? Was there a specific topic you were interested in and we’re you able to easily find that, or was it just general perusing? How would you like this site to be improved?

      PS, thank you for supporting Jim and his hard work by purchasing “Evolution Slam Dunk”


  3. That looks like a very good book, especially relevant being the editors and contributors are coming from the theistic perspective. Given my finances, I’ll have to put that on a maybe get someday work, but will look through what is available open inspection in the Amazon excerpts.


    • Re: R. J. Downard comment on “God’s Word or Human Reason
      With his permission, the authors edited together Glenn Morton’s existing writings on the Great Flood and this is what makes up Ch. 2 on the Flood & the Fossil Record. The references are about a decade old but, as you know, creationists don’t change their arguments much and keep on reusing even completely discredited arguments because their “public” does not usually check up on them and they are typically tortucans anyway, so evidence and logic usually does not easily penetrate their shells.

      The dino-bird chapter (ch. 4), called “Created Kinds and the Origin of Birds” is by Jonathan Kane, a science writer and former creationist. I learned of the book from ex-creationist David MacMillan’s review on pandasthumb.org a month or so ago. He specifically mentioned with approval the dino-bird chapter and the chapter on hominin history. I have not yet gone through the hominin chapter in detail yet. So far, I’ve not been disappointed in the book and I have not see anything that seemed out of the geological/paleontological mainstream in either chapter that I’ve gone through in some detail so far.

      I was a geologist, not a paleontologist, but through a general interest in bioevolution along with teaching Historical Geology and Stratigraphy for many years, I’ve become passably familiar with some of the relevant paleontology (through abstracts of professional papers and quite a few 2ndary sources, I admit).


  4. I see you’re involved in a free-for-all about the definition of evolution over at Larry Moran’s Sandwalk site. Personally, I favor putting out a simple definition then dealing with the details of mechanisms and outcomes in a subsequent elaboration & discussion section. That’s probably because that’s a typical way for me to teach a topic. I drop by Sandwalk a lot but don’t post because usually it’s often too biochemical or genetic for me to feel I have enough background to add anything to the discussion. Of course there’s a gaggle of creationists including Robert Byers & txpiper who don’t let their ignorance stop them from posting. When i was actively teaching Historical Geology I made notes on some of the things they’d bring up and try to address them in class just in case there were any students wondering about such things but unwilling to ask.

    I tell chemistry teachers that they’re lucky not to have people disputing the existence of atoms or the reality of chemical reactions in their intro classes or putting such things on the internet where they can confuse students.


  5. I have found the back and forths at Sandwalk revealing but not surprising, where the tactical point I was making tended to dissolve into a claim that I was offering THE definition of evolution, even though I reminded everybody of the context. My object in this is to find better ways to blunt antievolution efforts, which I do think requires us all to keep our game up to practical speed.


    • Re Sandwalk,
      Teaching for several decades and reading a lot of science blogs more recently has taught me that no matter how careful one is in framing a definition, someone will find an exception or omission (at least from their point of view). No matter how careful one is in describing a problem or crafting an explanation, someone will misconstrue it. The debate about what to put and not put into the definition of evolution involves both of these, along with the problem of putting too much “how it occurs” into what should be, I think, just a description of “what occurs.”

      Antievolution is at least as much an emotional issue as it is an evidential and logical one, and it also involves a reluctance among many people to work at understanding anything. It is so much easier to turn to “goddiditbymagic” and save all that mental effort. Nevertheless, there are former creationists who, despite the odds, were eventually persuaded to abandon that mindset by the accumulation of evidence over time. The problem is that too many people never have enough evidence directed at them or they duck it by avoiding science in general.

      Your ESD provides a lot of ammunition for teachers and others who would like to stem the tide of antiscience. It deserves to be better known to more of them. The dinosaur-bird relationship also has a lot of potential in that direction. It would help a lot if most of the most active and vocal religious people were not the bible literalists who keep hammering away at “It’s either religion OR evolution, you can’t believe both.”


  6. From my self-interested niche, I must concur with the idea that the info in ESD should be better known, and used by as many as possible. So much of the underlying evidence of the RMT intersects bird-dino origins that it was natural to include that too, plus that it is an area already more generally known in public and so provides an additional hook.


    • Re Birds,
      There are a lot of birdwatchers; more so than mammal watchers I think. I did a couple of presentations for our local bird club on why many bioscientists consider birds to be dinosaurs nowadays. I hadn’t thought much about birds before. Working on those presentations really brought home to me how classification terms can so easily hide transitional forms and even minimize diversity in general. (Of course, creationists are adept at that game, as you know.) I tried to point out to my bird club audience the trap the Linnaean classification scheme can be when used without due awareness of its limitations.

      I also learned something about the great morphological/anatomical diversity of Cretaceous birds compared to our modern birds. Back then there were “opposite birds” and modern-type birds; long bony-tailed birds & short-tailed birds; birds with four wings and others with two; beaked and non-beaked birds, toothed and toothless birds, even some partly beaked and partly toothed. What a treat for an anatomist. Someone like Baron Cuvier could have had a lot of fun with Cretaceous birds. And then in the Cenozoic there were giant, big-headed “terror birds.” Amazing and scary! I wonder if anyone is working on analyzing and perhaps explaining the different morphological/anatomical trajectories of mammals and birds over time.


  7. I agree totally on the amazing new finds of Cretaceous birds, which the antievo lit overall ignores. I’ve been keeping track of the incoming technical literature on the enantiornithurine “opposite” birds” which relates to a shoulder bone that rests with the protrusion part occurring on the other bone than ones in extant birds; the genetics of this haven’t been pinned down yet. The recent taxonomy suggestion putting theropods as a secondary derived group nearer to ornithischians actually clarifies a bit on the role of the genes that led to feathers, since at least one ornithischian has some feather-like tail stuff, while no sauropod appears to have any analog (understandable, if they split off with the herrerasaurs before some of those adaptive pre-switches were thrown). Lots of work to keep my eye on as it slips on the scope.


  8. Yes, I’ve also read something recently on the proposed theropod-ornithischian clade. The original paper is behind a paywall unfortunately. It will be interesting to see if the idea holds up under scrutiny. I imagine that the creationist leaders are trying to figure out whether this is good or bad news for them. Probably they will just point out that once again scientists are changing their minds and therefore put no trust in science.

    The last 50 years or so have been tough on creationists. Within that period, the discoveries of fossils filling in gaps in the lobe-fin fish to tetrapod transition, the land artiodactyl to whale transition, the hominin transitions, and the pre-avian dinosaur to bird transition, their baraminologists have gotten to the point that even using their own software programs they can’t find (and agree on) those unbridgeable gaps between the “kinds” that their faith demands. More and more they are being forced into a Robert Byersian redefine and deny mentality. I’ve watched in amazement over the years as R. B. redefined “biological evidence”* so that it includes nothing but direct observation of experiments and denied the validity/utility to biology of anything at all from other sciences. Recently, on Sandwalk, he has denied that reptiles and mammals are even real categories. (To be fair, though, I think I remember reading that reptiles might be too broad a class and perhaps polyphyletic. Aren’t the earliest known diapsids and synapsids about the same age and possibly of different ancestry within the “amphibia”? It’s been a while since I’ve studied up on the subject.)

    * Of course RB has produced no biological evidence at all for his bizarre idea that thylacines are just wolves who instantaneously developed marsupial reproduction when they arrived in Australia. (As if Australia was all that different from other post-Flood continents. Maybe he confused Australia with Mars.)


  9. I took note of the reptile classification issue in ESD, regarding how modern cladists don’t use “reptile” to describe synapsida, but why I use the term with those caveats in the book. While the facts have been tough on creationism, their social demographic has never been stronger, or have more political clout, as I fear we’ll be seeing through the Trumplandia regnum.


    • Re reptiles,
      I remember that you dealt with that topic in ESD. I agree that the term reptile, like the term fish, still has utility due to its familiarity and the fact that it is based on some easily observable characteristics. There’s good reason for Dimetrodon being so easily confused with a dinosaur by most people.

      From some statistics I’ve seen quoted on pandasthumb.org a while back, I’m not so sure that creationists are gaining ground percentage-wise. Church affiliation is decreasing overall. The political clout is largely because of the religious right’s takeover of the GOP (ironically, despite the lip service to Jesus, that takeover was facilitated by an “unholy” alliance with Big Business/Big Polluters). It remains to be seen if they can hold on to that political power. Denying reality and disrespecting science and scientists are not useful when dealing with the kinds of environmental and other problems governments face and are expected to deal with by an easily irritated public.


  10. I’ll agree that creationists aren’t gaining ground in popularity, at least as a proportion of the population, though they can be growing in numbers as population goes up. But they still have unwarranted political influence from those who believe as they do and have been elected to state legislatures, Congress, or become cabinet secretaries or even Vice President. In that respect they can be very pernicious indeed, and will act as unsettling roadblocks to reason & progress (at least out through the next four years).


    • It’s sad and ironic that a country still living under a radical Constitution framed in an Age of Enlightenment and Reason should turn into a bastion of conservative belief under the rule of what Bobby Jindal called “the stupid party.”


    • Re the ongoing posting on Sandwalk about how to define evolution.

      I can’t quite decide whether Jack Jackson is adopting the “were you there” approach of creationists to avoid confronting data and conclusions they don’t like in his attempt to distinguish history from science. I’m just confused by his example of radiometric dating used to date a past event as not being science but history! Doesn’t the past start an instant later than whatever phenomenon, action, or thought occurs? If so, where then is the line to be drawn between history and science? Is the radiometric dating of trees pushed over by a glacier in MN during the most recent ice age history or science? What about rad. dating of a volcanic eruption also witnessed by ancient Romans? Is the recognition of trilobites, therapsids, and tyrannosaurs as once-living animals part of history or part of science? What about mammoths which are also pictured in cave drawings?

      There may be another useful book in debunking these kinds of creationist claims.

      Jack Jackson seems to be using Robert Byers’ ploy of redefining things to avoid unwelcome conclusions. As you know, Byer’s idea of “biological science” excludes most of biology (and logic) as scientists know it. I’m enjoying your rational comments on Byers’ nonsense even, though, of course he pays no attention to any critiques by anyone and just repeats or amplifies his nonsense to an even higher level. For example, recently he has stated — if I’m paraphrasing accurately — that reptiles and mammals are the same thing, so there can be no transitions between the two! If it were true that reptiles and mammals are the same “kind,” why not include birds, amphibians, and fish too? The span of variation is about the same if you consider fossil forms along with extant organisms.


    • Michel, the information is out there (in fact has been for a long while), the difficulty is pulling it all together so interested people can make the best use of it. There’s nothing magical about the methods approach, and a strength will be for many reading my work to use it as a springboard to embark on their own research, drawing on (but not restricted to) the sources I have gathered together in #TIP. I think I have been most careful in sticking close to the facts and fairly representing them, and am confident that all of my work can be subjected to a rigorous fact-checking source methods probing without fraying.


  11. We still cannot quite assume that I could possibly be one of those studying the important
    points found on your site. My family and I are sincerely thankful for the generosity and for providing me the chance to pursue my chosen profession path.
    Appreciate your sharing the important information I managed to get
    from your web site. https://Www.prostatecancer.vip/


  12. Lots and lots of data and sources. All the references and citations are great appreciated.

    All that considered, where are the parts that relate all this data to living my everyday life better? How can I use this material to help teenagers grow up to be drug-free productive sensible adults, able to become part of a strong marriage that can give natural birth to and raise strong dependable leaders, capable of discovery and innovation like their parents? How can this be used to teach children how to maintain their natural curiosity and objectivity throughout life, avoiding the influence of propaganda and the divisive tactics being used against humanity today? What incentive is there in all this to desire honesty and integrity, and to desire lasting health and well-being for my fellow human beings as well as in my own life.

    How does all this help me to judge others according to the content of their inner character rather than according to their outward physical characteristics?


    • If you are the same Joseph Morrow who I have communicated with on Twitter and YouTube, I will bear that in mind. On your question, the source methods approach wades past propaganda to find out what is actually true, and refuses to pretend that scholarly incompetence is not incompetent. I should think that any dedication to truth, including teaching children on it, would include and be grounded on such scholarly integrity. So rhetorical questions would have this general answer: pay attention to all the data, do not let dogmas command what data must not be allowed to exist. Think through ethics carefully, mindful always of the consequences of those actions (that’s more data again).


  13. Good share, will share on my Pinterest. A bit of a long shot,
    but anyone suffering from diabetic complications here?

    If so, check out this great information I found.


  14. How would the reptile lung (assuming that fish, reptiles and birds are related, but fish, then reptiles came before birds) evolve in the bird lung? Do we have a proper bio-mechanical and physiologically sound model of how this might have been done by systematic changes in architecture over time? I have not seen a example of this.


    • Indeed there is an extensive science literature on the basal tetrapod lung system, its differentiation into the forms seen in dinosaurs and later birds, as well as the work on the synapsid (mammal) side, and even how the basal breathing system evolved into the swim bladder in teleost fish. Very little of that work gets noticed by antievolutionists, btw. Delving into the genetics and developmental biology of the living examples, coupled with the increasingly detailed dataset from fossils, has permitted more and more of the evolutionary trail to be identified. Here’s a sampling of that literature, in chronological order, so you can get a sense also of the trajectory of the research (all are available full text online for follow-up with the primary sources, and not one of them, as far as I have been able to tell so far, among over 8000 antievolution sources surveyed, have been cited in the antievolution literature):

      Liem, Karel F. 1988. “Form and Function of Lungs: The Evolution of Air Breathing Mechanisms.” Integrative and Comparative Biology (AKA American Zoologist) 28 (April): 739-759. Available full text at: https://oup.silverchair-cdn.com/oup/backfile/Content_public/Journal/az/28/2/10.1093/icb/28.2.739/2/28-2-739.pdf?Expires=1504043592&Signature=enBbhWvsISimPm4ZPZmzmj2pte5FgzGEuU3KPWvqAKH5YCVvAdex6z6Uab0kpbAKMGGWq7bFaRL64w-Qb7rXBdItdYn1Geg~E9gwaqOiT~Zu0AlyQZsvkgc9mT-eRopBZOlReduCzK1SdM-~ZA4iBnS1n8zdoRbWuhLA~lG-w6ddOe8f~9udfZehTzc0GoOwzRrQtiZDHFpYj~i~p~IOHV6iFXBUJN-2sQ27o3Bpq4JzGG55e6mu5YjcMs9XLacQvhDtvX7OMHrGsvj8EnHOZ1yRKsef8Oj4yb5pt3E-6Kd9QZardZCudouE-6zSgRsmOg0QZyu0dTx7EnKKXF6Elg__&Key-Pair-Id=APKAIUCZBIA4LVPAVW3Q

      Brainerd, E. L. 1999. “New perspectives on the evolution of lung ventilation mechanisms in vertebrates.” Experimental Biology Online 4 (December No. 2): 11-28. Available online at http://www.brown.edu/Departments/EEB/brainerd_lab/pdf/Brainerd-1999-EBO.pdf

      Daniels, Christopher B., et al. 2004. “The Origin and Evolution of the Surfactant System in Fish: Insights into the Evolution of Lungs and Swim Bladders.” Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 77 (September-October): 732-749. Available online at https://www.researchgate.net/publication/8178960_The_Origin_and_Evolution_of_the_Surfactant_System_in_Fish_Insights_into_the_Evolution_of_Lungs_and_Swim_Bladders

      Perry, Steven F., & Martin Sander. 2004. “Reconstructing the evolution of the respiratory apparatus in tetrapods.” Respiratory Physiology & Neurobiology 144 (15 December): 125-139. Available online at https://www.academia.edu/24239592/Reconstructing_the_evolution_of_the_respiratory_apparatus_in_tetrapods

      Schachner, Emma R., et al. 2009. “Evolution of the Respiratory System in Nonavian Theropods: Evidence from Rib and Vertebral Morphology.” The Anatomical Record: Advances in Integrative Anatomy and Evolutionary Biology 292 (September): 1501-1513. Available online at http://www.mrfdigs.com/publications/200906_schachner-et-al.pdf

      Farmer, C. G., & Kent Sanders. 2010. “Unidirectional Airflow in the Lungs of Alligators.” Science 327 (15 January): 338-340. Available online at https://www.researchgate.net/publication/41028279_Unidirectional_Airflow_in_the_Lungs_of_Alligators

      Clement, Alice M., & John A. Long. 2010. “Air-breathing adaptation in a marine Devonian lungfish.” Royal Society Biology Letters 6 (August): 509-512. Available online at http://rsbl.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/roybiolett/6/4/509.full.pdf

      Zheng, Weiling, et al. 2011. “Comparative Transcriptome Analyses Indicate Molecular Homology of Zebrafish Swimbladder and Mammalian Lung.” PLoS ONE (online @ plosone.org) 6 (August): e24019. Available online at http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0024019

      Butler, Richard J., et al. 2012. “Reassessment of the Evidence for Postcranial Skeletal Pneumaticity in Triassic Archosaurs, and the Early Evolution of the Avian Respiratory System.” PLoS ONE (online @ plosone.org) 7 (March): e34094. Available online at http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0034094

      Cieri, Robert L., et al. 2014. “New insight into the evolution of the vertebrate respiratory system and the discovery of unidirectional airflow in iguana lungs.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 111 (2 December): 17218-17223. Available online at http://www.pnas.org/content/111/48/17218.full.pdf

      Farmer, Colleen G. 2015. “Similarity of Crocodilian and Avian Lungs Indicates Unidirectional Flow Is Ancestral for Archosaurs.” Integrative and Comparative Biology (AKA American Zoologist) 55 (December): 962-971. Available online at https://academic.oup.com/icb/article-lookup/doi/10.1093/icb/icv078

      Clement, A. M., et al. 2016. “The dipnoan buccal pump reconstructed in 3D and implications for air breathing in Devonian lungfishes.” Paleobiology 42 (Spring): 289-304. Available online at https://www.researchgate.net/publication/294042283_The_dipnoan_buccal_pump_reconstructed_in_3D_and_implications_for_air_breathing_in_Devonian_lungfishes

      Tatsumi, Norifumi, et al. 2016. “Molecular developmental mechanism in polypterid fish provides insight into the origin of vertebrate lungs.” Scientific Reports (online @ http://www.nature.com/srep/) 6 (28 July): 30580. Available online at https://www.nature.com/articles/srep30580

      Sagai, Tomoko, et al. 2017. “Evolution of Shh endoderm enhancers during morphological transition from ventral lungs to dorsal gas bladder.” Nature Communications (online @ nature.com) 8 (3 February): 14300. Available online at https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms14300

      Hope this opens up some doors regarding the enormous amount of work that has already been done, as well as suggesting what directions the future science work will go.


      • Ah, James. This is indeed an doorstop sized wad of paper you dredged up: You suggest that there exists an “extensive science literature on the basal tetrapod lung system”. – Yet not one of these papers which you line up as ‘evidence’ can provide actual observation of that “basal tetrapod lung system” and how it “evolved” from a primitive(?) state? Odd, isn’t it, that there has never been detected anything other than a high developed and specialized state of any organ, since science began looking at this problem, and even the evidence in the fossils appears to show nothing simple or primitive about the creatures – EVEN the trilobites’ eyes and their lenses are highly complex, and have precision engineering! Have you looked at at lens from a trilobite? You really should. It was designed to be compliant with the fact that light rays bend when travelling from one medium to the next one. That tiniest of lenses has been DEMONSTRATED to compensate for this fact. THINK of it! Each compound trilobite eye has hundreds of lens, an optimally designed object, created by living cells which somehow shaped it to compensate for distortion of the image due to refraction).
        Yes it is odd that no organs detected (this eye only being one example) show any primitive characteristics –
        Except, that is, by assumption, and deriving from that, PURE conjecture to make a story-time fable.

        This is not science James, but the most unhelpful dreaming to eliminate all theorizing that includes anything but your religion of naturalism.


      • It would be nicer had you tried to discuss specifics, as to which details you object to Seumas, not even which papers were involved (the dangers of jumping from one venue, eg Twitter, to another without specifying the background context). Then you jump to trilobite eyes, which btw I have discussed at this site, in Chapter 2, starting page 99. I am sure you would be as unimpressed with that as anything else, since apparently no amount of evidence can ever be enough for you to accept (as you are a Young Earth Creationist, that degree of unpersuadability pretty much comes with your territory).

        So back to lungs, I’m unclear as to what YOU think would be required to effect that evolution, what YOU think you know about the nature of the problem (gas exchange, formation of lung components etc) and what manner of evidence would persuade you that evolution was going on, and then compare and contrast that specifically with the work(s) you did or did not evaluate closely. The literature keeps accumulating, of course, including recent works like https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5138057/ from 2016, all of which data and observation need to be accounted for in your own creationist scheme (that is, if you ever figure out one).


      • James,

        This was a very odd and rather weak reply from someone professing to have properly documented scientific knowledge of the evidence for evolutionism not being a faith but factual! You are so certain, and yet cannot demonstrate it from the fossil record or by assuming that you can use what you again ASSUME are ‘primitive’ species, and yet, are with us today as complex, specialized creatures. How unwise. I was amazed. And also that you denied me a reply access button. No to worry. Hope this will straighten the thinking a little more for you:

        Take “I’m unclear as to what YOU think would be required to effect that evolution, what YOU think you know about the nature of the problem (gas exchange, formation of lung components etc)”

        -You don’t seem to ‘get’ it James.

        Why would I think that anything is “required to effect evolution”? Nothing ‘effects’ evolution, as you put it, except the surprisingly fantastic faith of its adherents who believe it. Why? Can YOU think of something that you know about today which effects an evolutionary outcome, demonstrably so? And that has to be pretty strong (and bold) faith, since (and here I SPECIFICALLY point out the objection, as previously, which you appear to be unwilling to address):

        I submit to you, again, as last time, clearly and unambiguously that “not one of these papers which you line up as ‘evidence’ can provide actual observation of that “basal tetrapod lung system” and how it “evolved” from a primitive state?”

        IF you believe they do, then it should be possible for you to take the paper, summarize it, and then create an explanation in words of 2 or 3 syllables the development and evolutionary evidence for this structure’s origins, which keeps you and me alive, and between which the most efficient self regulating pump beats.

        Do us a story board, James, using the maxim that a picture paints a thousand words? I am sure it will be a useful exercise and you will be able to use it again, after teaching me.

        The last paper you quoted is so disappointing. It states in the abstract that 1. “Air breathing was critical to the terrestrial radiation and evolution of tetrapods and arose in fish.” – The “FACT” OF THE DEVELOPMENT as a “Must have happened, so it did.” story.

        2. “The vertebrate lung originated from a progenitor structure present in primitive boney fish.” – Another “FACT” OF THE DEVELOPMENT as a “Must have happened, so it did.” story. Yet the “PROGENITOR” structure is not identified, nor evidence presented for its existence but the researcher surmise it. Convenient outcome to an interesting set of experiments that provide, not evidence for evolution of vertebrate lungs, but the workings of the generalized cough reflex of fish.

        Somewhat wide of the mark for DEMONSTRATING evolution? Great science?

        Specifically, if you think you have something useful scientifically to say, then shoot. So far, you have failed. This is not science which is able to test that hypothesis, James, but the most unhelpful dreaming, where those dreams START with the premise that evolution must be factually true and we’re all evolved from a common air-breathing vertebrate ancestor. All we have to do is… well, find some evidence. Funny that’s so illusive. Isn’t it? But JUST BELIEVE. After all, it must be historically true..


        Seumas MacLaren



      • I really think NOTHING can ever persuade you, Seumas. What a surprise. Meanwhile the science will go on, even as you and other creationists dismiss it, scavenging for authority quotes rather than going into the details.


      • Strange how they ignore the manifest track record of science.

        Has any scientific explanation EVER been replaced with a magical or miraculous explanation? No?

        All scientific explanations that failed, were replaced by BETTER scientific explanations?

        So, a 0% success rate for religion, and a 100% success rate for science.
        Not sure i’d be happy backing the ‘religion’ horse in a race.


    • This is far from what you claimed to have done over on Twitter, posting on an unspecified “error” you claimed to have found in “Dinomania,” and is double-down irrelevant as the creationist post makes a false assumption that neither I in TIP nor evolutionists in general make, namely that there is some mandate in evolutionary thinking against organisms persisting without much visible variation. So Bell’s piece is not only not an error in my work, it doesn’t even establish an error in anyone’s work.

      Just to get specific, though, Bell brought up two main examples of this supposedly evolution-breaking “stasis”, both from 2003: Sean Brady on army ants, and David Siveter on a Silurian ostrocod (wee shelled gilled crustaceans). First the ants.

      Brady concluded his analysis noting, “These roving army ant colonies became the premiere collective hunters of the tropics, capturing prey typically unavailable to other insects: social wasps, large arthropods, and even small vertebrates, but at the cost of requiring expansive, contiguous foraging ranges. After these adaptations became fully integrated into the lifestyle of army ants, no extant lineage subsequently lost any of these traits, suggesting that extreme specialization has prevented the evolution of alternative strategies.”

      Diverging around 105 million years ago, the army ants ended up in three lineages formed by the contingencies of biogeography (another subject antievolutionists regular avoid thinking about in their own frameworks, YEC or ID). As Frederick Delsuc noted in his commentary on Brady’s work, “Such a process of diversification is also consistent with the biology of army ants in which dispersal is known to be limited due to the presence of flightless queens. New species are therefore more likely to form by allopatric speciation, in which speciation occurs because of the emergence of geographical barriers within a population, than by nonallopatric speciation. The evolutionary history of army ants in fact possesses relatively ancient roots and appears to have been shaped by biogeographical processes driven by plate tectonics.”

      No evolution breaking here, only exciting work clarifying the natural evolutionary activity of these ants, playing out over continents and millions of years.

      The uselessness of creationism is that Bell didn’t even try to make sense of these ants in the context of the hypothetical Flood Geology that would have all that occurring only 4500 years ago (around the time the Egyptians were quietly building their big pyramids, and somehow not noticing all the cataclysm around them). And while creationists (including Bell) have not pondered much about those army ants since, the actual scientists continued to do what they do, making sense of things through hard work.

      Brady et al. (2014) noted the considerable morphological variety within those supposedly “static” army ants (such as specialized mandible forms), while Kounauer et al. (2007) and Barth et al. (2014) have begun exploring the genetics and adaptive features of their polyandric sex life. Still evolving, those ants, not absolutely static, even if they do look generally antlike to those who only stop long enough for a fast glance, and skip the genuinely interesting details. Certainly they are impossible to cram into a 4500 year old Flood framework, otherwise one of the creationists would have tried to do it.

      Now what about those “static” ostracods? They’re actually a single family, but not one without an evolutionary history.

      Syme & Poore (2006) systematized 219 species in 32 genera, while Maas et al. (2009) related their gill and appendage structures to deep roots within crustacea, and Siveter et al. (2010; 2013) have continued to lay out the variations within their evolutionary lineage as more fossils have turned up. As with the ants, all of that data discussed in those papers would still need to be accounted for by creationists in terms of their observed biogeography and hypothetical baraminology, and yet in the years since nothing has been done. Why? Because when push comes to shove, creationists don’t care all that much about the actual works of their supposed creation. All they have shown interest in is scoring temporary apologetic points, then moving on to the next seeming “gotcha” point, never actually trying to account for what they think happened with all those critters with all those features occuring over all that time.

      On Twitter, your comments were vague and inane. You decreed that I should delete my account here because you had exposed an “error” in my work. You have done no such thing, but now that you have ventured onto my field with a statement, all can compare what you thought relevant to proclaim, and what I consider of importance from my end. The one practical utility to your post was that I discovered so many new works on these issues I hadn’t known of before, not because you had found any of them yourself, but because I am curious, and want to learn all that I can on any subject encountered.

      Barth et al. 2014. “The Evolution of Extreme Polyandry in Social Insights: Insights from Army Ants.” PLoS ONE (online @ plosone.org) 9 (August): e105621.

      Bell, Philip B. 2006. “Evolutionary Stasis.” Answers in Genesis Creation 285 (March): 38-40.

      Brady, Seán G. 2003. “Evolution of the army ant syndrome: The origin and long-term evolutionary stasis of a complex of behavioral and reproductive adaptations.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 100 (27 May): 6575-6579.

      Brady et al. 2014. “The rise of army ants and their relatives: diversification of specialized predatory doryline ants.” BMC Evolutionary Biology (online @ biomedcentral.com) 14 (1 May): 93.

      Delsuc, Frédéric. 2003. “Army Ants Trapped by Their Evolutionary History.” PLoS Biology (online @ plosbiology.org) 1 (November): e37.

      Kronauer et al. 2007. “The Evolution of Multiple Mating in Army Ants.” Evolution 61 (February): 413-422.

      Maas et al. 2009. “Early Crustacean Evolution and the Appearance of Epipodites and Gills.” Arthropod Systematics & Phylogeny 67 (2): 255-273.

      Perrier et al. 2014. “An Early Silurian ‘Herefordshire’ myodocope ostracod from Greenland and its palaeoecological and palaeobiogeographical significance.” Geological Magazine 151 (July): 591-599.

      Siveter et al. 2010. “An exceptionally preserved myodocopid ostracod from the Silurian of Herefordshire, UK.” Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B (Biological Sciences) 277 (22 May): 1539-1544.

      Siveter et al. 2013. “A Silurian myodocope with preserved soft-parts: cautioning the interpretation of the shell-based ostracod record.” Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B (Biological Sciences) 280 (7 February): 20122664.

      Siveter et al. 2003. “An Ostracode Crustacean with Soft Parts from the Lower Silurian.” Science 302 (5 December): 1749-1751.

      Syme & Poore. 2006. “A checklist of species of Cylindroleberididae (Crustacea: Ostracoda).” Museum Victoria Science Reports 9: 1-20.


      • Umm twitter is only 142 charters.. they are designed to be vague. Its ok Jimbo, on this site too you are just that sad old man mumbling to himself looking at a empty bird feeder hoping for the stray bird that never comes. No one of substance agrees with you, enjoy your empty echo chamber, and slow sink into obscurity. Can’t believe you referenced ‘critters’, LOL, that was the best part.


      • In the link that I posted and you now twice have failed to read, you should research this one statement thoroughly and submit a book report.
        (Side point that’s the article you claimed has no data or references, there are 17, reading?)

        “We only introduce arguments and evidence that supports the currently accepted theories and omit or gloss over any evidence to the contrary.”
        Singham, M., Teaching and Propaganda, Physics Today 53:54, June, 2000

        I fully accept evolution and that we really know little about it, I fully understand why it is omitted from religious text and there are 2 simple reasons that might make you understand the logic.

        — The bible specifically is a guidebook about expanding the human experience, not something that fully explains every aspect of the world around us.

        — The bible was written 2000-5000 years ago, everything is on a Bronze Age, 500 word vocabularies and little if any reading level. Things were explained at that level and in a way to entice humans to grow in knowledge and be curious. (I do find it funny that you simply cant accept this, its logical, why is that?)

        We are meant to discover, be in awe of everything, not to use it as a weapon to attack others and not for personal superiority and 2 seconds of mental adrenaline that you seem to lust for.

        You will always just be that mumbling old man unless you go out into the world, its amazing out here, join the human race, don’t waste your time attacking it.


      • I definitely did read the Bell article, but it is you who failed to investigate all of the data in it, as you continue to do. I did not allude to the authority quote from Singham because it was an opinion, not a data point. Clearly you do not know the difference, Zane. But since you insist on belaboring it, let’s examine that too. Singham quite rightly notes that a lot of teaching is that command style. But you of all people have no right to call attention to that, Zane, since all of your presentation is repeating credulously the propaganda of others, not employing the very critical methods that Singham recommended in the very article you cited. By the way, did YOU bother to read the piece, Zane, or (once again) merely authority quote the passage because your favored propaganda mill at AiG filtered it for you?


      • Sweetie, you are blatantly anti trump to the point of posting this on your facebook then taking it down, Probably a good thing that I can’t post the screenshot here. You would go form 10 views to 3. Old man, chair, mumbling at empty bird feeder.


      • And “Sweetie,” you are blatantly pro-Trump, and you shall have to bear that iniquity along with all his supporters. As for my appearance, as you well know I do active YouTubes, I am not afraid of being seen and heard … unlike you, who has no picture, who hides behind screen names like the idiot coward you are. I have never removed any posts from my Facebook page. Not one, and once again you lie about things, possibly because you do that pathologically. All who read the posts here can observe your behavior and mine, and judge for themselves who qualifies as the nutball.


  15. “Merriam-Webster’s first definition of the word “bigot” is a person “who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices.” The only people who need fear open-minded inquiry and robust debate are the actual bigots, including those on campuses or in the broader society who seek to protect the hegemony of their opinions by claiming that to question those opinions is itself bigotry.”

    James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions, “Some Thoughts and Advice for Our Students and All Students”
    August 29, 2017, multiple authors

    A 3 year effort to showcase your bigotry should end Jimbo, think about it.


    • I have never feared open inquiry, Zane … and consider your contempt a high honor. One may be known by just who one pisses off, and I am happy to have earned your ire. Jimbo aka Sweatie aka someone who actually reads and source checks the works others may merely profess to.


  16. Why would I not be pro POTUS? Why would I wish for any president to fail? Both of those things seem extremely insane to me. I actually like the country, do you? For about 250 years the transfer of the presidency has gone smoothly, what changed this time? It’s not my fault the media, the democrats, and hillary all lied to you but you would be better served getting your part time Walmart greeter job back.

    Oh look 4 questions, can Jimbo answer?


    • Just to do the count (which all observers may check by tracking through the comments, all publically viewable of course, with no deletions or editing), your post 1 linked to the Bell article, it had no questions, Zane.

      Your post 2 didn’t ask a question either.

      Your post 3 accused me of not reading the Bell article (even though I had already specifically discussed the science content Bell had brought up (and which you have failed to discuss in turn). There was actually a question there, though, on Biblical language, which I did not then reply to because it was not a claim I had made. As usual for you, Zane, you embed several wrong assumptions, first implicitly that I had claimed the Bible ought to have been written in technical language (I don’t) or that the Bible couldn’t have expressed accurate science in a manner intelligible to people of that time (it could have, especially easily so for a clever god capable presumably of making nebulae and anterior cingulate cortexes).
      Your 4th, 5th & 6th posts consisted of other non-questions, with one link to a source I had not cited nor endorsed as buttress for your giddy notion that my “activism is a lie based on lies told to you by liars.”

      As for answering these latest questions (your 2nd & 3rd ones, as noted per the count above), I am most happy to oblige, Zane.

      First, let me be utterly clear: I am troubled by Donald Trump precisely because I love my country, and am concerned about the freedom and persistence of its institutions and heritage. It is a vile and pernicious falsehood for Trump to speak relentlessly of “fake news” and “lying media” when it is he who has shown himself addicted to internet twaddle and repeating preposterous claims that are themselves full out lies (from Obama’s supposed Kenyan birth to the libelous falsehood of millions of voter fraud in the 2016 election, a pathetic attempt by his snowflake narcissism to erase from history his coming in second in the popular vote). As an historian familiar with the dangers of demagogues and tyranny, I am NOT going to cut Trump slack on a matter where he is so dangerously and viciously wrong.

      Your other question relates to succession of power. I have made no claim (here at #TIP or in any other venue) that Trump’s election was constitutionally invalid. Just as failed presidents Benjamin Harrison (1888) and George Bush (2000), Trump were elected as a “came in second” President fair and square. What I do contend is that Donald Trump is unworthy of being President, which is quite a different matter, and that anyone with a functioning brain stem ought to have been able to scope that out before the election.

      You, as a credulous, annoying, hectoring creationist git, clearly lacked those skills, and given our Twitter exchanges, it did not surprise me in the least that you were supportive of Trump, not just because he is “President” but because you approve of his character and policies as they mesh with your Kulturkampf view of the world. Do correct me if I am in error on that assessment.

      I cannot in good conscience pretend that Donald Trump is anything other than a painfully ignorant, privileged narcissistic bully, whose limited business success (with more bankruptcies than ex-wives), utter inability to deploy his self-proclaimed deal making skills to the replacement of the AHA (a core dogmatic desire of the GOP that controls both houses of Congress), and his evident craven dissembling trying to get the President of Mexico to play along with Trump’s “Mexico will pay for the Wall” ego-preening, suggests anything remotely like a competent administration will leak out of the Trump circle-jerk.

      None of that turns on Hillary Clinton or the Democratic party’s limitations or troubles, it is about TRUMP’s record and nature.

      I have now directly answered your 3 tangential questions, Zane. I duly expect any of your replies to be as snark laden with dogma and ignorance as your previous ones, and to sidle even farther from the science issues you dangled in the Bell piece but have not thought to discuss further. We shall see if my expectations are fulfilled.


      • Jimbo, you really should read, take notes, and understand more. I asked 4 questions in that post, you went back to all the post and did some kind of insane synopsis of them on the ‘way you see it” and fell short, as usual. I’m going to focus on my post with the 4 questions I referenced.

        Why would I not be pro POTUS? Nope, read post twice, you missed that one.

        Why would I wish for any president to fail? Hummm all kinds of BS about your concerns, all basically what you have been fed from the media, none on why would anyone want a president and thus the country to fail. Try again

        I actually like the country, do you? Holy cow, you answered. Followed the “I love the country” with issues that Hillary had, loss of freedom and the name calling of basically 50% of the country. Guess that is acceptable in your small world, try again. Let’s hear some positivity out of that scowling face.

        fourth, go look, if you count there are 4 in that single post. Transfer of the presidency has gone smoothly, what changed this time? Don’t see anything about ‘what changed this time’ other than you don’t like him, grow up if that’s it, I had to suck it up with Obama, you can suck it up with Trump.

        Now that I have pointed out there were 4 in that post, no need to insanely back on other post where you missed questions but you be you. I’m not going to bother to address all the personal attacks, just politely ask you to answer the ones you missed above and the one additional one on your assigned candidate who lost.

        Look forward to making you look silly again soon. Zane.


      • oh and on your second place thing… guess what. If it was the popular vote that won the race, Trump and the GOP would have gone after the popular vote, the electoral college won and that was the focus.

        I think back to a story about a football coach that lost the championship game and when meeting at the center of the field for the handshake. He said, “Well we got more first downs than you.” Winning coach said, “Ok, next time we will play for first downs, but the count that matters is up on the scoreboard.”


      • Right. Sorry, just wondering where i heard this before.

        Oh yeah, when i was six. “Well we didn’t want it anyway. And if we did, we could have it. But we don’t. Nyeh. And it’s stinky, anyway.”

        A: the electoral college system is a failure. It’s there to stop idiots like trump, not get them in.
        B: clearly he wasn’t wanted.
        C: yeah. Hillary sucks. But she’s a corrupt politician. We’ve had those before. Trump is… fuck, we are still working that one out. Failed hitler wannabe? charismatic loser? Voice of the rich and stupid? Who knows.
        D: he’s shit at his job. He’s shit at everything he’s ever done. 6 bankruptcies?

        At this point, the rest of the world is just hoping that he doesn’t bring down the world economy when he destroys yours.

        Or start a nuclear war.


      • Let’s have some fun Jimbo, Its called one for one. How you play is as follows:

        — I will list a positive of Trump and you list a positive of Hillary. Proof of positive is required, cannot be opinion.
        — Neither of us gets to list a negative of either one.
        — First one to run out of positives loses. First one to list a positive twice loses. First one to blatantly lie loses. First one who cannot act like an adult loses.

        I will go first.

        The world is a safer place with a strong leader in the White House, Trump is this strong leader. Reagan was a strong leader and the world became a better place, Carter was a weak leader and the world was worse off for it.


    • Sez you.

      And go back through history, esp the last few elections.
      The economy is always doing good when the gop takes over. the question is, does it stay that way?
      Typically, no.

      In addition, ‘the economy’ is not necessarily a good measure of how well the country is doing. i daresay that the corporations are doing fine.

      What about standards of living?
      What about the general health of the population?
      Take-home pay?
      Education levels.

      That’s the measure of a people.


      • gop didn’t take over, yea you lost. Lets see, im guessing if the numbers come back positive for 2017, you will claim it is all Obama and if they are bad “trump is a nazi”

        remember under Obama: Standard of living declined (2006, median income was $43,318,2014, $44,900, not a healthy gain), Health declined under the ACA, Everyone knows take home pay declined under Obama, and education levels as in college.. no college makes the country dumber as far as after college job skills.

        Guess under your measurement, it was pretty bad under Obama and the dems. I agree

        You are out of your league, go play elsewhere.


      • I didn’t lose squat. Your country lost.
        I only lost by living on the same planet.

        And has the rate of drop increased, or decreased since then?
        And at what point were Obama’s actions and policies affecting the standard of living?

        His first day? First six month? Year? I’d say after a year, it’s likely that his policies are affecting things.
        trump is in power.
        What do the stats say?


  17. nope, country won.

    The data is not even in yet on the categories you are complaining about. That’s how dumb you are. Don’t worry, as soon as the numbers are in, I will be sure to wave them in your face.

    Good evening, take care of your country, ours is fine now.


    • Zane, I know you can’t understand it, but #TIP is a methods analysis, not actually a pro- or anti-Trump affair. I do note Trump’s objective incompetence (I value sound reason and science, which Trump does not exemplify, per even his appointing of Bridenstein,) but that doesn’t change your incompetence. If you insist on dithering on politics here, I will delete future posts. If you want to defend your silly invocation of a creationist article, then fine (you have declined to do so so far). Your posts here so far have born out why you have the reputation you do on Twitter, though, devoid of substance but long on political obsessions.


      • You and Azri brought up politics and continued to insist on staying on that topic, not me ‘sweatie’, Don’t like it, fine, I will take you back to address the last answer I gave you that you so blatantly avoided. Restate facts and see if you dodge them again, Deal?

        I fully accept evolution and that we really know little about it, I fully understand why it is omitted from religious text and there are 2 simple reasons that might make you understand the logic.

        — The bible specifically is a guidebook about expanding the human experience, not something that fully explains every aspect of the world around us.

        — The bible was written 2000-5000 years ago, everything is on a Bronze Age, 500 word vocabularies and little if any reading level. Things were explained at that level and in a way to entice humans to grow in knowledge and be curious. (I do find it funny that you simply cant accept this, its logical, why is that?)

        We are meant to discover, be in awe of everything, not to use it as a weapon to attack others and not for personal superiority and 2 seconds of mental adrenaline that you seem to lust for.

        I have only made this assertion to you 8 times now, yet you are unable to even address it. Why is that? I will refer to this statement you avoided that was right above. It refers to mental deficiencies in humans and I posted it for 2 specific reasons. 1 it defines your mental issues on every topic you take on online, 2 it was reference number 17 in an article you said had no references.

        “We only introduce arguments and evidence that supports the currently accepted theories and omit or gloss over any evidence to the contrary.”
        Singham, M., Teaching and Propaganda, Physics Today 53:54, June, 2000.

        Now you have an assertion that I made pre you bringing up politics, and re a excerpt from a physics article from 2000 as reasoning behind your mental issues/deficiencies. Will you omit and/or gloss over it again?

        Back on track!! You’re welcome ‘sweatie’


      • Zane, you may post repetitious stuff and we shall observe it. My views on the idiocy of Trump are not hidden, and your inability to think much about him is not hidden either. Your views on this have not been even slightly surprising, though, being par for the Kulturkampf course. But you do bump back onto the #TIP main topic turf in your claim that you “fully accept evolution.” So tell us please what you mean by that. Do you accept that all life is related by natural branching common descent? That is what “evolution” means out in the real world. If the evolution you believe in does not allow that, please specify what it does. Specifically, do you accept that extant mammals derive via the therapsids a quarter of a billion years ago?



  18. anddddd you bring up politics again and I think you fell asleep, you started a second paragraph with ‘I’ and went no further. Can’t answer if you forget to type.

    As far as your questions, YEP, have answered these same stupid questions 3 times now. My answer still is “Evolution is cool, love it when God experiments and lets us figure it out.”


    • Before ‘god’ to be an explanation for anything, there’d have to be a ‘god.’

      Feel free to be the first person in history to demonstrate one.


      • The bible is the claim, not the evidence.

        And BBC does not provide evidence for a ‘god.’

        If anything, the reverse.
        Keep trying.

        Maybe look up how evidence works first?


    • This is why Jim calls your lot ‘tortucans’.
      You hunker down, and resist everything.

      The bible proves ‘god,’ in roughly the same way new york proves spider man.
      It is the claim.

      Otherwise, hindus are right, because their holy book ‘proves’ their gods exist.

      And ‘BBC proves god!’ is also just a claim.

      This is the internet. anyone can claim anything.

      evidence is all that matters.

      Scientific, repeatable, demonstrable evidence.

      Still waiting on that.


      • God does not belong to the order of nature and therefore is outside the very limited scope of science. Science deals ONLY with the physical world but not with ALL of it. Nature is often beautiful. Science is mute about this. There is God, outside of all the books you ignorantly question, outside of the ‘science evidence’ you think is all encompassing, making you look willfully ignorant and resort name calling i.e “tortucans.” and “your lot.” Thats should be all the ‘evidence’ you need of god but I feel there is going to be some poor, misinformed attack on centuries old books you don’t understand that are used for instruction, not proof of god to those who have already incorrectly made up their minds. They are all books of parables used for instruction, nothing more. Now what?


      • ‘God’ is with the scope of science IF ‘he’ interacts with the world. If you are a believer in a deistic ‘god,’ well hey, maybe you’re right.
        Mostly irrelevant.

        If you believe in a ‘god’ that interacts, does miracles, then its footprints on the world will be detectable to science.
        So far: they are not. And science’s scope is: understanding all that is real. Demonstrate that there’s anything outside matter and energy, and then we can see about extending it.

        tortucan is Jim’s name. I use ‘your lot’ for the simple reason that i do not know exactly what flavour of religious person you are.

        *”Thats should be all the ‘evidence’ you need of god”* except, that would not be good enough for you, if i were a hindu talking to you about brahma, now would it?

        *”They are all books of parables used for instruction, nothing more. Now what?”* then why did you claim that the books were evidence for god?
        I can accept that they’re parables. some of them are even called that.

        Oh, and drop the argument from authority.
        them being smart or well-spoken doesn’t make them right.
        Evidence is what makes them right.

        If Steven Hawking up and says ‘God exists!’ i’m gonna wanna see his evidence.


      • I’ve watched your exchange with Alex to see how this would work out, and you’ve adequately pinned down the core problem with Zane, figuring out what he thinks, which is likely due to the circumstance that Zane doesn’t know what he thinks. There are not a few Zanes out in the blogosphere, people who are adamant about what they don’t like (evolution, or atheists, or gods, or certain politics, whatever) but display by their actions that they haven’t really worked out what they do believe, at least when it comes to specifics, which is after all what clear hypotheses are supposed to do: explain the data. All of it, not just snippets.

        I’ve identified 4 main areas in which people who believe things that are really not true snag up:

        (1) as a group, they are addicted to secondary sources they do not fact check. In #TIP I’m literally measuring this, source by source (no one else as done that before, so I contend it’s a worthy object of pursuit): out of over 2000 antievolutionists tracked so far (who have generated over 8000 sources), 95% of them do not cite primary source work at all, they simply repeat tropes they have gleaned secondarily, and which they have never even bothered to source fact check for accuracy. Zane’s stray quote dropping (largely unsourced btw, and thus likely obtained via some quote mine) is all too typically symptomatic of that mindset.

        (2) the core fact claimants of the view are few in number and bump into very little of the actual datastream. Again in #TOP I am pinning down the numbers on this. Although there are some 122 antievolutionists who have cited primary source works (ranging from YECers Andrew Snelling and David Coppedge to IDers Michael Denton and Denyse O’Leary), not all of that gang are what may be deemed fact claimants (those making technical claims about the datastream, Thus Coppedge and O’Leary are potshotters, snarking at science work but not actually making solid contentions about it (O’Leary illustrates the point number 1 above by being especially addicted to secondary links to the work, by the way). I’ve identified a much smaller set of fact claimants (48 so far, which includes the likes of Snelling and Denton) who make the primary assertions, that’s not a lot of people. As for the data set they are using, that is also not a lot of sources: altogether I’ve documented the primary source citation of a bit over 3000 science works through decades of antievolution apologetics (that includes material from YEC on cosmology, radiometric and geological processes, along with the life science stuff antievolutionists obsess on). That 3000 may be compared to the 22,000 technical science works and 8000+ general science publications that bear on the points at issue, allowing a rough heuristic to be used: antievolutionists miss roughly 90% of the relevant science data data.

        (3) The object of any rigorous hypothesis is to explain the data, and it is there that the Zanes of the world are tripping up most obviously, especially if they have depended too heavily on others to do their “thinking” for them. What I have been discovering in my #TIP research is that NONE of the antievolution writers (core or not) have ever progressed to explaining in detail what they think happened regarding anything like the full data stream. In the antievolution context I dub that the “Map of Time” problem. That is as true of Young Earth creationists who invoke the Flood without thinking how the rocks in their own neighborhood got to be the way they are, as Intelligent Design groupies who rhapsodize on the “new information” supposedly needed for the phyletic expansion of the Cambrian without ever diving into what “new” was actually needed (homeobox, BMP, shh?). At that level the genetic underpinnings of multicellularity track back well before the proliferation of arthropods that garner the near exclusive attention of secondary source addicted redactors like the Zanes of the world.

        (4) Underlying this Map of Time failure is the deep core Tortucan explanation of how antievolutionists can stay so adamant in their vaguely thought out position: quite literally, they do not conceptualize what information they would accept to change their mind. That’s another thing I am directly measuring in #TIP. It’s a matter of looking at core concepts. For all forms of antievolution, questions like does speciation take place, and what are its limits, and what would transitional forms need to look like. For YECers specifically, biggies concern what could account for the Flood slurry turning into rocks fast enough, or Kinds proliferating into the observed species fast enough, for a Flood that supposedly took place only 4500 years ago. All of these questions can now be assayed from a scholarly methods point of view, objectively ascertaining who does (or does not) address these issues at the substantive source data documentation level. And so far, the answer is a giant NO ONE, goose egg, 100% failure rate.

        Remember I’m not guessing at this number, I am measuring it, source citation by source citation. I am actively seeking out any counter-examples of course, and any scholars who know of antievolutionsists who have tried to think through any of these core issues, by all means call them to my attention so I may incorporate their contentions into my coverage in #TIP. But so far I have found none, and that absence is a measurable observation about why antievolutionists can’t make its case, as well as why they so adamantly think they have made their case. Their advocates literally do not think about it at this “what would change my mind” level.

        Liked by 1 person

      • oh going to head you off, I know where you’re going. I was referring to the distinct similarities of god being there at the beginning and being the casue of the expansion and design of the universe. Plus the following individuals far more intelligent than you or me.

        “The question of whether there exists a Creator and Ruler of the Universe has been answered in the affirmative by some of the highest intellects that have ever existed.”

        –Charles Darwin, the founder of evolutionary biology, as cited in his book Descent of Man.

        “As we conquer peak after peak we see in front of us regions full of interest and beauty, but we do not see our goal, we do not see the horizon; in the distance tower still higher peaks, which will yield to those who ascend them still wider prospects, and deepen the feeling, the truth of which is emphasized by every advance in science, that ‘Great are the Works of the Lord’.”

        —Sir Joseph J. Thomson, Nobel Prize winning physicist, discoverer of the electron. Thomson, who was a devout Christian, is recognized as the founder of atomic physics.

        and lastly one of my favorites.

        “A scientific discovery is also a religious discovery. There is no conflict between science and religion. Our knowledge of God is made larger with every discovery we make about the world.”

        –Joseph H. Taylor, Jr., who received the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery of the first known binary pulsar, and for his work which supported the Big Bang theory of the creation of the universe.


  19. Hawkins is living proof of god, but he is not smart enough to see that he ‘is’ the evidence he is demanding to see.

    NO sorry, science is only involved in nature, and only a small portion of that, and with that there are many things that are admittedly real but science cannot define. For example we can agree that the number 2 is ‘real’. It is in everything we see, you have 2 eyes, two ears, dos arms, two legs. Yet it is not subject to the laws of physics, it is not testable, repeatable, verifiable, subject to the scientific method or law of gravity, motion, etc. But if you ask a 2 year old how old they are they cutely say “two”, hold up 2 or 3 fingers and in their smile, a real thing of beauty, and we see god.

    Oh and you keep bringing up other gods in other religions. I simply counter with two, dos, sanu, wahid, ahat, hai, sa, dy, etc etc… they all still mean two, and all those religions are still about god.


    • “Hawkins is living proof of god,” This is an assertion. Please provide evidence that supports this.

      “NO sorry, science is only involved in nature, and only a small portion of that,” please provide evidence that there is ANYTHING other than nature to investigate. And please provide evidence of the ‘large’ portion that science does not investigate.

      No, ‘two’ is not ‘real’. It is a label we give a mathematical concept.

      “and we see god.” no we see something potentially adorable. YOU claim it’s god.

      “those religions are still about god.” then you have a problem.
      Because the followers of those religions do not agree with you.
      They are following the one true god(s) and you are following a false god.
      Most of them will not thank you for equating their true god(s) with your false one.


      • The way religious (and political) believers can parse terms, sliding & parsing things to create a “reality” congenial with what they want to be true nonnegotiably, is at the core of the Tortucan mind. Posing the right questions, attending to what responses are or are not made, is a reliable way to scope that out, not just regarding creationism, as we’ve seen here.


  20. Mr Tortucan, Did you realize that you have an excellent hydraulic system attached to the area between your legs? Well, I hope it is still functioning!

    Of course, all modern apes have a baculum (a penis bone) to support their male reproductive activities. This rather puts a poor light on the supposed evolutionary origin of man, who, rather uniquely has a marvelously effective hydraulic apparatus. There is no evidence (other than the small one in some apes, but not others), that we ever evolved from a creature with a baculum in males.

    We were clearly created without a baculum for many reasons: Arousal for lengthy periods of time is how we are designed to enjoy the gift of sexual intercourse. Animals do not spend long in the act at all. God of course fully approves of sex, as he created it for our pleasure and for the deeper bonding of a man and woman in the act of marriage. That bond, and its depth, is a picture of the type of bond God wishes to have with His people, says the Bible. There is no requirement for a baculum where the intention of the creator is that it should not be a rapid act, but mutually pleasurable, and a giving, rather than taking, act of union.

    The above of course is opinion, and faith (as well as the truthful experience of most of us who have been happily married), and it also bears out the factual, observed social truth of the requirement and design of human beings for strong and emotionally significant bonding. Quite simply, we were intended for lifelong relationships with our spouse. It can also be seen that, if we had a baculum, with our enormously greater intelligence than the animal kingdom, and a capacity for cruelty and abuse of the other sex, some of us males would abuse women with massive sexual over-activity. We just don’t need or want further engineering to enhance our performance, and it would not generate or provide further strengthening of the emotional bond, which is the most important one.

    If we were genuinely descended from ape-like ancestors, then we should be able to see, somehow, how there were ancestors of ours that had a baculum, but which during our supposed descent we subsequently lost it. The odd thing is, of course, that the loss of a baculum without the ‘evolution’, simultaneously, of the complex, and powerful human hydraulic erectile system, would be distinctly disadvantageous. LIMP, in fact!
    How did the full human design evolve?

    NO-ONE KNOWS. Except evolutionists pretend that they will one day know it. And of course, evolutionists know best. Don’t they?

    Hope you enjoyed this little excursion into the important of emotionally significant, and gentle sex in marriage, and why the absence of a baculum and the design requirements of the animal kingdom demonstrate how far apart human beings are from animals.

    Best wishes


    • As if not having a bone in you penis prevents that.

      James can probably so better with his polished research skills:

      In short: we have different reproductive strategies.

      “We were clearly created without a baculum for many reasons:”* This is an assertion.
      There is no evidence we were created.
      There is no evidence that there is a creator.
      And vast evidence that we evolved.

      And your inability to understand the scientific literature provided, does nothing to refute it.

      A new spin on ‘argumentum ad baculum’
      Still fallacious.


    • We’ll notice that once again it apparently didn’t occur to you to do any science research on this topic before weighing in on this occasional creationist trope. Azirahael managed some basics, what prevented you?


      • Refutation of what I have logically argued was not provided by either of you. And I know why.

        “If we were genuinely descended from ape-like ancestors, then we should be able to see, somehow, how there were ancestors of ours that had a baculum, but which during our supposed descent we subsequently lost it. The odd thing is, of course, that the loss of a baculum without the ‘evolution’, simultaneously, of the complex, and powerful human hydraulic erectile system, would be distinctly disadvantageous. LIMP, in fact!
        How did the full human design evolve? NO-ONE KNOWS.”

        You state:
        “In short: we have different reproductive strategies.” I would have though that was rather obvious! Sadly, it does nothing to explain where the EVOLUTION of, or LOSS of a baculum come in on this? And that is what this is about. The EVIDENCE, which you just DON’T want to get into. You would much rather speak of theory and discard all factual findings. Tortucan pretends, rather foolishly that I did “no research.” In fact I had read quite widely on this issue and it appears that it is rather an interesting one. Since it is clear that evolutionists don’t have answers (and no, there are no definitive facts in those papers you linked that demonstrate HOW this is not present in human beings). What we know is that in these answers, there is lots of guess work). Can you read? Then read it again.

        It would be interesting to discuss in full. Your statement about strategies is a mere distraction from the facts that you cannot explain except by….. You guessed it – FURTHER ASSERTIONS which each of those articles you quote makes (As well as lots of maybes and mights). You have no factual evidence whatsoever lads.

        Re. ” “We were clearly created without a baculum for many reasons:” This is an assertion. ”
        Agreed it is indeed, but it is still as plain as plain could be that if men had a baculum, activity levels in sex would probably be a lot higher, and for no obvious emotional gain (and a lot of pain), which, if you had not noticed, is the FACTUAL primary investment in a satisfying and successful marriage relationship.

        -Refutation please gentlemen, using scientific principles derived from factual evidence. It would be so more interesting than you throwing quotes from Sci-Am at me.


      • “Refutation of what I have logically argued was not provided by either of you. And I know why.” yes, so do i.

        Because you presented nothing more than an assertion.

        We gave you the research. Both academic, and non-academic.

        Your entire argument is the old ‘missing link’ trope, where you find one thin spot in the existing research or data and then claim ‘Ha! Evolution can explain everything we see, but you don’t have concrete data for this obscure point! Therefore all of it is false!’

        No. Even if evolution were thrown out today, the answer still would not be ‘therefore God!’

        “Refutation please gentlemen, using scientific principles derived from factual evidence.”
        First make a case using scientific evidence, then we’ll talk.


      • Hi azirahael, I thought you were of the opinion that the case for baculum loss, and the evolution of the human hydraulic mechanism has been made and passes the tests of science. And yet not one of the papers you suggested demonstrates it. If you think it does, please point out where that is the case? I thought you were stating that the the evolutionary path on this was clear. Or is this more of a hunch that some scientists have, which we would term an hypothesis?


      • “The above of course is opinion, and faith”
        You are making an argument from ignorance.

        ‘Science can’t explain X, therefore god did it!’


        You’ve been handed some of the current research.
        And even if it’s all wrong, that’s still not evidence for either god, or intelligent design.

        And all evolution needs is a plausible incremental process by which natural selection would favour no baculum.

        Absolute proof is not needed.
        All it needs is not to be disproved. Because nothing is ever proven in science, just ‘not yet disproven.’

        All science needs is a possible explanation.
        Which we have.
        And some supporting evidence, evolutionary processes and so forth.
        You not liking it, changes nothing.

        And you are wrong about a hypothesis also.
        “a supposition or proposed explanation made on the basis of limited evidence as a starting point for further investigation.”

        A theory has gone through peer review successfully. And has more substantial evidence. And no contradictions.

        “If we were genuinely descended from ape-like ancestors, then we should be able to see, somehow, how there were ancestors of ours that had a baculum, but which during our supposed descent we subsequently lost it.” you have been handed some research which shows a plausible mechanism. That is all that is needed.


      • Well that’s a vacuous pile of boilerplate, Seumas. Given the technical work that has been tossed at you so far, you are adequately demonstrating the level of your non-engagement. Remember all the comments here are permanent, nothing gets deleted, so all may observe your comments and ours indefinitely, a matter of the scholarly record.


  21. Ah, it’s a triple “mote and beam” ploy:* Point out a mote, I. e., something for which bioscientists do not (yet) have conclusive evidence for any of several hypotheses.** Then illogically conclude (beam 1) that the absence of a firm conclusion (confirmed hypothesis) means that some unspecified deity produced the mote supernaturally. Add (beam 2) an extended set of assertions of what that deity did and why he did it without giving even a shred of evidence of any kind for those assertions.** Then to complete the ply (beam 3), demand that the compelling evidence for that mote be produced in full scientific rigor.

    If real scientists had been swayed by such bogus arguments, they would never have discovered anything of note. Science proceeds from ignorance and uncertainty to knowledge and that knowledge is built up over time by developing, testing, and evaluating hypotheses, it is not an all or nothing operation. Hypotheses which have successfully explained a lot are not immediately trashed if they can’t explain minor features

    * The ploy I mean is pointing out the mote in someone’s eye while ignoring the beam in your own.

    ** One such would involve the unwieldiness and awkwardness of a permanently erect penis to a mostly or fully bipedal primate. We are the only such primate in the modern world but in the fossil record there are now a dozen or so species known..

    *** If you mean the Judeo-Christian god(s), inasmuch as the Bible is the only source of religious knowledge, then you must have appropriate biblical passages for each and every assertion you’ve made about God.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rettke – You seem not to know how scientific knowledge (facts and observations of fact that demonstrate other facts, or the consistency of a theory to explain them) are gathered using the scientific method for construction of theory:
      1. “Hypotheses which have successfully explained a lot ” is non sequitur (actually is a logical fallacy) as a hypothesis does not explain anything. It is a raw idea, based on a hunch, or initial premise. THEORY on other hand is an explanation which uses facts of observation, repeatably, to confirm a hypothesis as being true, as far as can be discerned.
      2. You say “the fossil record there are now a dozen or so species known”. Could you name those (and point to the factual observations of such beings with example(s)) and whether it is possible to be certain that these beings were either ape or human, in which this evidence reveals a particular trend that can be tested (somehow)? I would be truly interested to learn more, if you have that to hand, as I do not see (so far) a consistent set of facts that add up to a theory that early ‘evolved’ ape-men began to lose their baculums.. or should the possibly be ‘baculae’?! Both James and azirahael have failed to present any simple refutation from science, which is of course, for science that they say is valid, somewhat surprising. But let’s take it from there, since they have no intellectually compelling argument they have yet made. – What do you have for me?
      Best wishes, S


      • MacLaren — I have some spare time today so I’ll reply.

        It has been explained to you twice now that you have ignored all the positive evidence regarding bioevolution in general and human evolution in particular. Instead you have seized upon a minor anatomical point about which you have been told that there is as yet no generally accepted scientific conclusion. You have also been informed that there are several hypotheses, none of which have been shown logically or evidentially to be impossible or even improbable. Then, ignoring this, you request exactly what you have already been told is NOT available for that particular minor anatomical feature. It’s as if you were demanding to know the final score in a football game late in the third quarter.

        Your word-gaming aside, of course a hypothesis can explain something. Not all hypotheses do so but some do. The question is: can a hypothetical explanation be confirmed or not by observations related logically to each other and to the explanation? A hypothesis may also predict some future occurrence or trend, or postdict something hitherto unconfirmed or even unsuspected about the history of something — empires, mountains, lifeforms, stars, eclipses, etc.

        As for theories, even some scientists use the term “theory” as a synonym for a hypothesis but usually in science, the term is reserved for a conceptual framework with broader application than is usual for a hypothesis. It was once a hypothesis that a force exists between masses, but the theory of gravity takes the confirmed hypothesis and applies it to phenomena throughout the universe. There is also a theory of plate tectonics, a theory of bioevolution, and a germ theory of disease. All of the theories mentioned involve interacting objects, forces, and phenomena. The theory of plate tectonics, for example, integrates and interrelates data from continental configurations, fossil distributions, paleomagnetism, seismology, convection currents within Earth’s interior, volcanology, mountain-building (movements and deformations of rock masses), and sedimentation patterns. All of the theories mentioned required years of hypothesizing, data collection, testing of many individual hypotheses, predicting, and integrating.

        I’ll make a tentative prediction for what it’s worth. There is a fair chance that when they get around to it, bioscientists will find that the genetic capability of making a penis bone is still present in modern humans but is either genetically blocked or incomplete. The latter has been experimentally shown to be why no modern bird has teeth but they are present in some fossil birds. It is also possible that the bone has been completely lost, similar to the way that many humans no longer have wisdom teeth like their ancestors did or the way horse lost toes that their ancestors had.

        You asked if I could name the “dozen or so species known” in the fossil record that I mentioned in passing. Yes I could and I could also describe the general anatomical characteristics they possess and how they compare with what the general public calls “apes” (not a biological term) and modern humans. Collectively most of these fossil species form a transitional sequence between “apes” and modern humans in both the anatomical sense and in their inferred intellectual behavior and capabilities. Or since I am retired and not paid to teach anyone (and my hypothesis is that you are interested in objecting and denying rather than learning), you could do it yourself if you are really interested. I suggest starting with Australopithecus afarensis, Homo habilis, Homo erectus, and Homo neanderthalensis (aka Neandertals). The rest can come later. Avoid creationist sites until you get the mainstream scientific information straight.

        Note that by definition transitional fossil primates cannot be placed into categories such as “ape” and “human” which were set up specifically to separate those two modern forms EXCEPT by arbitrarily selecting one or more particular characteristics in order to place them in one category while ignoring the characteristics that would put them into the other category. For example, on the basis of cranial shape and size relative to body size, australopithecines would be classifiable with “apes” (again, not a biological term) but on the basis of pelvic and leg anatomy they would be classifiable with modern humans. The combination of apelike and humanlike anatomical features is what makes them transitional. (They are transitional whether or not they are actual human ancestors because they could be evolutionary cousins.)

        Liked by 1 person

      • Certainly we can mostly agree on the hypothetical and the theoretical usages and their meaning. I shall be ‘generous’ and accept that of course hypotheses attempt explanations that subsequently turn out to be backed by facts (that allow the formulation of theories). Sure there are some hypotheses that appear to explain all sorts of things – the question eventually arises on veracity. One of those hypotheses is the theory of evolution.


      • Except you are ignoring the major difference between Hypothesis and theory: Evidence, and peer review.

        All of which the modern theory has survived.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s