On another blog I commented that Christians seem highly reluctant to correct each other, and was promptly shown the error of my ways :)
The conversation is getting into issues of evolution/creationism, which I'd rather not contaminate another perfectly good blog with, so I'm proposing that such debate be moved over here. This is in response to my comment that believing in special creation of animals was counterfactual.
You might want to study the "Cambrian Explosion" in which all the phylla of large animals appear in a short period of time in the fossil record.
A few major responses here:
1) depending on one's definitions of "phyla" and "Cambrian explosion", only about 1/3 of the metazoan phyla appeared during this period.
2) when we talk about "phyla of large animals" the kind of large animals we're (presumably) talking about are small, jawless, boneless fish. Things like mammals, birds, reptiles etc came far far later. They weren't even like the fish we have today.
3) when we say "short" we mean "over 10 million years".
4) we actually have a few transitional fossils from within the Cambrian, which show (for example) how worms evolved from arthropods via lobopods.
Also, new studies of specific genomes are showing a much greater diversity between humans and other previously assumed "cousins" such as chimpanzees.
You'd have to point me at the studies. My understanding was that all they'd done was pinpointed the most changed and most conserved areas of the genome. The interesting thing about the approaches they're using for this is that they're based on comparing the rate of change in possibly useful areas to the rate of change in "junk" DNA. Thus, this approach would only be expected to produce useful results (which it has) if:
a) a majority of the "junk" DNA was actually pretty much useless
b) said junk DNA was inherited from a common ancestor
With the enormous amount of information found in the human genome, a 6% variation is now much greater than it was thought to be before.
I just finished a maths degree, so I'm legally required to call you on this: how are you defining "information" here? See, information theorists define it as the inverse log of the probability of an event - but, by this definition, randomly-selected events will generally have more information. Computer scientists define information as the compressibility of a string - but that's also greater for random strings. Randomness increases information. (Note: I can explain this in more detail if you wish)
If you have a new, rigorous definition, please share it. Or if you meant some less measurable concept of information, please elaborate. Otherwise, please be aware that the tendency to throw buzzwords like "information" into the conversation without defining them is one of the other things that I consider extremely daft.
There's a lot more to learn than the evolutionists lead on about. Their idea that they have it all figured out [a la Dawkins] reminds me more of the claims of the young earth creationists. One of my favorite Wittgenstein quotes, "what we do not know we must pass over in silence." Good advice for those bloviating about things they cannot verify.
I would note that the word "evolutionists" could be replaced with "quantum theorists" and that sentence would still make exactly the same amount of sense. It's not arrogance if you're right :)
Evolutionary biology is (in some areas at least) a predictive science. That's usually taken as an indicator that a science is at least broadly correct. There is no other predictive model of origins - if creationists were able to create one, they'd have done so by now. If you think evolutionists are so wrong, why not win a Nobel by producing one?
(Note: I haven't started listing predictions and evidences here, because I could... uh... "bloviate" for hours and still not have discussed all of them. If you're interested, ask.)
Disclaimer: I spend way too much time debating this stuff, and hence know most of the arguments inside out. Thus, even if I appear to come out ahead in this discussion, it might just mean that I know the talking points better.
Say my name
7 hours ago