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Speciation, an artifact of classification...

medic0506
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12/10/2014 9:36:20 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
A lot of evolutionists use speciation as an evidence for evolution, more specifically, for evidence of Universal Common Ancestry (UCA). They seem to believe that if they can show one species turning into another species, then they have shown evidence for organisms changing into other types of organisms. They extrapolate on that minor change as if there is an infinite ability for living organisms to change into a fundamentally different kind of organism, given enough time. But what have they really shown, with speciation??

Leaving classification terminology out of the discussion, all that has really been shown scientifically is a minor adaptive change to the already existing parental organism. That adaptive change combined with dna mutations, over time, lead to minor variation from the original organism that we started with, thus the term Adaptation and Variation. That's all that has ever been shown as testable, repeatable scientific fact. Nothing has been shown empirically, that necessitates the belief, or extrapolation, that the organism is changing into a fundamentally different type of organism.

When you add the classification terminology back in, you can indeed say that one species has changed into another, but you've only accomplished said change via wordplay. You haven't really shown anything useful, in the way of evidence for UCA.

Further, you've shown the uselessness of the term "species", in the discussion, as it is nothing more than an arbitrary term with no meaningful definition. In essence, what you're saying is that a species is a group that is reproductively isolated from other groups, except where it isn't reproductively isolated from a group but we want to label them as different species anyway.

So as Stephen Meyer says, speciation is nothing more than an artifact of classification.
chui
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12/10/2014 10:08:49 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/10/2014 9:36:20 AM, medic0506 wrote:
A lot of evolutionists use speciation as an evidence for evolution, more specifically, for evidence of Universal Common Ancestry (UCA). They seem to believe that if they can show one species turning into another species, then they have shown evidence for organisms changing into other types of organisms. They extrapolate on that minor change as if there is an infinite ability for living organisms to change into a fundamentally different kind of organism, given enough time. But what have they really shown, with speciation??

Leaving classification terminology out of the discussion, all that has really been shown scientifically is a minor adaptive change to the already existing parental organism. That adaptive change combined with dna mutations, over time, lead to minor variation from the original organism that we started with, thus the term Adaptation and Variation. That's all that has ever been shown as testable, repeatable scientific fact. Nothing has been shown empirically, that necessitates the belief, or extrapolation, that the organism is changing into a fundamentally different type of organism.

When you add the classification terminology back in, you can indeed say that one species has changed into another, but you've only accomplished said change via wordplay. You haven't really shown anything useful, in the way of evidence for UCA.

Further, you've shown the uselessness of the term "species", in the discussion, as it is nothing more than an arbitrary term with no meaningful definition. In essence, what you're saying is that a species is a group that is reproductively isolated from other groups, except where it isn't reproductively isolated from a group but we want to label them as different species anyway.

So as Stephen Meyer says, speciation is nothing more than an artifact of classification.

So essentially there is no real boundary between what we call species. One group of organisms cannot be objectively separated from its closest 'relatives'. Its almost as if all life forms are connected some how. What could explain that?
Ramshutu
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12/10/2014 11:16:42 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/10/2014 9:36:20 AM, medic0506 wrote:
A lot of evolutionists use speciation as an evidence for evolution, more specifically, for evidence of Universal Common Ancestry (UCA). They seem to believe that if they can show one species turning into another species, then they have shown evidence for organisms changing into other types of organisms. They extrapolate on that minor change as if there is an infinite ability for living organisms to change into a fundamentally different kind of organism, given enough time. But what have they really shown, with speciation??

Leaving classification terminology out of the discussion, all that has really been shown scientifically is a minor adaptive change to the already existing parental organism. That adaptive change combined with dna mutations, over time, lead to minor variation from the original organism that we started with, thus the term Adaptation and Variation. That's all that has ever been shown as testable, repeatable scientific fact. Nothing has been shown empirically, that necessitates the belief, or extrapolation, that the organism is changing into a fundamentally different type of organism.

When you add the classification terminology back in, you can indeed say that one species has changed into another, but you've only accomplished said change via wordplay. You haven't really shown anything useful, in the way of evidence for UCA.

Further, you've shown the uselessness of the term "species", in the discussion, as it is nothing more than an arbitrary term with no meaningful definition. In essence, what you're saying is that a species is a group that is reproductively isolated from other groups, except where it isn't reproductively isolated from a group but we want to label them as different species anyway.

So as Stephen Meyer says, speciation is nothing more than an artifact of classification.

Speciation, and the arising of a non-reversable genetic barrier between two individual species is the only objective way of telling when two species of animal are definitely seperate.

Asside from this, the only way of seperating two species is making arbitrary decisions based on individual traits, and other arbitrary lines that are most certainly human imposed.

Like it or not, common descent and evolution create a family tree that includes you, me and every single organism on the planet, with every single parent of every single child being the same, just slightly different than the one before, with population mechanics, statistics and, in many cases, simply random mutations, being responsible for introducing genetic barriers that genetically isolate two groups.

Given that, every definition of every species, genara, taxa, phylum, kingdom, etc is simply a convenient, but relatively arbitrary set of definitions used by biologists and taxonomists to define how different two species are; and is most certainly arbitrary and human imposed.

However, for evolution "above the species" level, considering that the only difference between any two species can be defined in terms of how many traits they share, how many traits they don't, and whether they can interbreed, there is NO other definition you can possibly use, no other point which you can describe as objectively significant and thus draw a line where one "species" becomes a different species without being equally arbitrary.

You are forced to reject speciation as the point above which macro-evolution occurs, because if you do so, you are free to move the goalposts as much as you like because you can never be pinned down to defining AND explaining what it is that makes one species from another.

There is no definition other than reproductive isolation that you can use that is not arbitrary; that applies to all species in a way that is consistent with your beliefs without adding all sorts of ad-hoc caveats and arbitrary definitions.
Ramshutu
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12/10/2014 11:30:19 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/10/2014 9:36:20 AM, medic0506 wrote:
a fundamentally different kind of organism, given enough time.

Just to clarify my point.

What is a "fundamentally different kind" of organism.

Are you talking about evolving so the species is no longer a eukaryote? Or verterbrate, or deutorostomia, or a terrestrial jawed verterbrate, or a mammal?

If so, this is like saying that if you have enough generations of descendants there comes a point where a descendant is no longer a descendant.

If that isn't what you're talking about, then how much change is required in order to satisfy your demand of being "fundamental"? ten traits? twenty? thirty?
medic0506
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12/10/2014 4:13:04 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/10/2014 10:08:49 AM, chui wrote:

So essentially there is no real boundary between what we call species.

Of course we need terminology for classification purposes, but you have to understand that the terminology is assigned arbitrarily, does not remain consistent, and is not sufficient as a piece of evidence for UCA. Google "species problem".

One group of organisms cannot be objectively separated from its closest 'relatives'.

Why would we need to separate them if we already know they're related?? We can however, objectively separate a dog from a cat, etc.

Its almost as if all life forms are connected some how. What could explain that?

See how you made the jump from "closest relative" to "all life forms are connected" ?? Had you said that all life forms show some similarities, I would have agreed with you, but similarity =/= relatedness.
Envisage
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12/10/2014 4:22:01 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/10/2014 4:13:04 PM, medic0506 wrote:
At 12/10/2014 10:08:49 AM, chui wrote:

So essentially there is no real boundary between what we call species.

Of course we need terminology for classification purposes, but you have to understand that the terminology is assigned arbitrarily, does not remain consistent, and is not sufficient as a piece of evidence for UCA. Google "species problem".

One group of organisms cannot be objectively separated from its closest 'relatives'.

Why would we need to separate them if we already know they're related?? We can however, objectively separate a dog from a cat, etc.

So your definition of species is 'that which is not related"? Perhaps you should come up with an objective classification system of your own first before complaining about ones other people use. Right now you are only pushing for a prima facie case, which is subjective.

Its almost as if all life forms are connected some how. What could explain that?

See how you made the jump from "closest relative" to "all life forms are connected" ?? Had you said that all life forms show some similarities, I would have agreed with you, but similarity =/= relatedness.

So you argue that what is similar is not related? Great, then demonstrations of speciations that are similar to be relates (via. Speciation events) falsifies this notion.

Again, you lack an objective definition of "similar".

There is nothing inherently wrong with one definition of a species over another, only their utility. A definition doesn't state any new information about reality. Speciation events simply say:

"We have made two types of animals from a patent type. None of these three types of animals are capable of interbreeding any longer."

There is no controversy over this claim, since it's just a statement of what the experiment/observation is in non-classification terms. If words cause problems, then just drop the labels and use the concepts. If a biologist defines speciation as 'sexual incompatibility' then so be it, just make sure you are using the same definition before arguing lest you watch two ships sail past each other.
medic0506
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12/10/2014 10:33:36 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/10/2014 11:16:42 AM, Ramshutu wrote:

Speciation, and the arising of a non-reversable genetic barrier between two individual species is the only objective way of telling when two species of animal are definitely seperate.

Lions and tigers are different species, yet they can interbreed. There is no non-reversible genetic barrier. I agree with you that, for classification purposes, that is probably the best we can do, but it is not sufficient as evidence for UCA. There is no consistency in the use, and it can be used as arbitrarily as scientists want it to be. When organisms can be called different species whether they can or can't interbreed, the term "speciation" becomes a tautology. It means nothing.

Asside from this, the only way of seperating two species is making arbitrary decisions based on individual traits, and other arbitrary lines that are most certainly human imposed.

Like it or not, common descent and evolution create a family tree that includes you, me and every single organism on the planet, with every single parent of every single child being the same, just slightly different than the one before, with population mechanics, statistics and, in many cases, simply random mutations, being responsible for introducing genetic barriers that genetically isolate two groups.

Given that, every definition of every species, genara, taxa, phylum, kingdom, etc is simply a convenient, but relatively arbitrary set of definitions used by biologists and taxonomists to define how different two species are; and is most certainly arbitrary and human imposed.

However, for evolution "above the species" level, considering that the only difference between any two species can be defined in terms of how many traits they share, how many traits they don't, and whether they can interbreed, there is NO other definition you can possibly use, no other point which you can describe as objectively significant and thus draw a line where one "species" becomes a different species without being equally arbitrary.

You are forced to reject speciation as the point above which macro-evolution occurs, because if you do so, you are free to move the goalposts as much as you like because you can never be pinned down to defining AND explaining what it is that makes one species from another.

There is no definition other than reproductive isolation that you can use that is not arbitrary; that applies to all species in a way that is consistent with your beliefs without adding all sorts of ad-hoc caveats and arbitrary definitions.
chui
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12/11/2014 3:55:52 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/10/2014 4:13:04 PM, medic0506 wrote:
At 12/10/2014 10:08:49 AM, chui wrote:

So essentially there is no real boundary between what we call species.

Of course we need terminology for classification purposes, but you have to understand that the terminology is assigned arbitrarily, does not remain consistent, and is not sufficient as a piece of evidence for UCA. Google "species problem".

I am aware of the species problem, thank you.

One group of organisms cannot be objectively separated from its closest 'relatives'.

Why would we need to separate them if we already know they're related??

I don't mean to be rude but you did state that we need terminology for classification purposes. I feel you answer your own question here.

We can however, objectively separate a dog from a cat, etc.

How do you objectively separate using arbitrary terminology? Perhaps you mean consistently separate using arbitrary terms. Dogs and cats are not particularly similar.

Its almost as if all life forms are connected some how. What could explain that?

See how you made the jump from "closest relative" to "all life forms are connected" ?? Had you said that all life forms show some similarities, I would have agreed with you, but similarity =/= relatedness.

We know that relatedness = similarity from direct observation. So similarity is evidence for relatedness. That is how i made the jump. Of course evidence is not necessarily proof.

Why is there a species problem?

I do not see how you make the leap from 'we cannot objectively separate species' to 'there is no evidence for UCA'. Maybe I misunderstand your point? If all life forms did share a UCA we would expect to find it hard to separate species objectively or would that make it easy? If life does not have a UCA would we expect to have a species problem?
medic0506
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12/11/2014 7:38:05 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/10/2014 11:30:19 AM, Ramshutu wrote:

a fundamentally different kind of organism, given enough time.

Just to clarify my point.

What is a "fundamentally different kind" of organism.

Are you talking about evolving so the species is no longer a eukaryote? Or verterbrate, or deutorostomia, or a terrestrial jawed verterbrate, or a mammal?

If so, this is like saying that if you have enough generations of descendants there comes a point where a descendant is no longer a descendant.

If that isn't what you're talking about, then how much change is required in order to satisfy your demand of being "fundamental"? ten traits? twenty? thirty?

I see where you're going here, but you're straining at a gnat while swallowing a camel. In the grand scheme it doesn't matter what my expectations are, what matters is what can be shown empirically. This is a red herring, which sidetracks your focus away from the real issue. It doesn't really matter where I draw the line because all you can show empirically, is adaptation and variation (AV).

No matter how many generations of living organisms we study, no matter what scientists do to them, those organisms show only minor adaptive change, end up deformed or diseased, or die. Bugs stay bugs, dogs stay dogs, etc., and that is the evolutionist's problem...so rather than putting your focus on my, or anyone else's expectation of change, you should realize that it doesn't matter where I draw the line, empirical observational science can only show micro-evolution. That's it.
medic0506
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12/11/2014 8:51:07 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/10/2014 4:22:01 PM, Envisage wrote:

So essentially there is no real boundary between what we call species.

Of course we need terminology for classification purposes, but you have to understand that the terminology is assigned arbitrarily, does not remain consistent, and is not sufficient as a piece of evidence for UCA. Google "species problem".

One group of organisms cannot be objectively separated from its closest 'relatives'.

Why would we need to separate them if we already know they're related?? We can however, objectively separate a dog from a cat, etc.

So your definition of species is 'that which is not related"? Perhaps you should come up with an objective classification system of your own first before complaining about ones other people use. Right now you are only pushing for a prima facie case, which is subjective.

Is there anything that I said that isn't actually true?? I'm ok with the current terminology and definitions, when they are used for their intended purpose. However, when a discussion is misdirected or confused by the terminology, that needs to be pointed out and understood.

It sounds convincing when you tell kids that evolutionary scientists have shown speciation many, many times, but not many people really understand how limited and arbitrary the terminology is. Very little, if any, effort is made to also make students aware of the limitations of our terminology, and that can cause people to be misled.

Its almost as if all life forms are connected some how. What could explain that?

See how you made the jump from "closest relative" to "all life forms are connected" ?? Had you said that all life forms show some similarities, I would have agreed with you, but similarity =/= relatedness.

So you argue that what is similar is not related? Great, then demonstrations of speciations that are similar to be relates (via. Speciation events) falsifies this notion.

That's not what I said, and would be quite a silly argument, given how similar I am to my parents. I said that similarity doesn't necessarily equal relatedness.

Again, you lack an objective definition of "similar".

No, I use the same definition as everyone else.

There is nothing inherently wrong with one definition of a species over another, only their utility. A definition doesn't state any new information about reality. Speciation events simply say:

"We have made two types of animals from a patent type. None of these three types of animals are capable of interbreeding any longer."

There is no controversy over this claim, since it's just a statement of what the experiment/observation is in non-classification terms. If words cause problems, then just drop the labels and use the concepts. If a biologist defines speciation as 'sexual incompatibility' then so be it, just make sure you are using the same definition before arguing lest you watch two ships sail past each other.

The above comments serve to illustrate my point. You're convinced that you've created a new "type" of organism because it displays some arbitrary difference, when compared to the ancestral organism. You feel that you need to classify it in a different category than the original, so you give it a different name. In reality though, terminology aside, it is still the same type of organism. You only make it "a different type" by calling it by a different name.

See my next post to continue on discussion of this point.
medic0506
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12/11/2014 9:06:51 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Let's try this...Let's say that you're working with flies, and you do something that causes some of the new offspring to be born with a white dot on their back. When it's time for them to breed, they seemingly form themselves into groups, those with the dot interbreeding only with other flies that have the dot. Those without a dot, of course, only breed with others who don't have dots. This continues for numerous generations, and the dotted flies multiply in number, showing no detrimental or harmful effects from what you did to them that caused the dot to appear. It's clear that the dotted fly population is going to proliferate and survive long-term. Using this scenario, let's ask some questions about the findings starting with...

Have you created a new species?? Why or why not.
v3nesl
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12/11/2014 9:47:59 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/10/2014 9:36:20 AM, medic0506 wrote:
...

So as Stephen Meyer says, speciation is nothing more than an artifact of classification.

I'd say speciation is an artifact of not being able to demonstrate or observe evolution. It's grasping at straws.

They say evolution took hundreds of millions of years. But there's also an estimated 9 million extant species, and there had to be 10's of thousands of intermediate forms for every extant species. Which means billions of forms had to form in millions of years. Evolution should be readily observable, in other words, if it happened. We should be buying the latest pet jackalope from Amazon for Christmas. But instead we've got colored moths and bacteria that can eat pantyhose.

It doesn't happen. Evolution doesn't happen, it's an [actually rather ridiculous] fantasy.
This space for rent.
Envisage
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12/11/2014 9:52:54 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/11/2014 8:51:07 AM, medic0506 wrote:
At 12/10/2014 4:22:01 PM, Envisage wrote:

So essentially there is no real boundary between what we call species.

Of course we need terminology for classification purposes, but you have to understand that the terminology is assigned arbitrarily, does not remain consistent, and is not sufficient as a piece of evidence for UCA. Google "species problem".

One group of organisms cannot be objectively separated from its closest 'relatives'.

Why would we need to separate them if we already know they're related?? We can however, objectively separate a dog from a cat, etc.

So your definition of species is 'that which is not related"? Perhaps you should come up with an objective classification system of your own first before complaining about ones other people use. Right now you are only pushing for a prima facie case, which is subjective.

Is there anything that I said that isn't actually true?? I'm ok with the current terminology and definitions, when they are used for their intended purpose. However, when a discussion is misdirected or confused by the terminology, that needs to be pointed out and understood.

Sure, understanding what the labels mean is important.

It sounds convincing when you tell kids that evolutionary scientists have shown speciation many, many times, but not many people really understand how limited and arbitrary the terminology is. Very little, if any, effort is made to also make students aware of the limitations of our terminology, and that can cause people to be misled.

People are only misled if equivocations etc are employed. If both parties agree on the concepts that the labs/definitions refer to, then one cannot claim that the labels are misleading.

Its almost as if all life forms are connected some how. What could explain that?

See how you made the jump from "closest relative" to "all life forms are connected" ?? Had you said that all life forms show some similarities, I would have agreed with you, but similarity =/= relatedness.

So you argue that what is similar is not related? Great, then demonstrations of speciations that are similar to be relates (via. Speciation events) falsifies this notion.

That's not what I said, and would be quite a silly argument, given how similar I am to my parents. I said that similarity doesn't necessarily equal relatedness.

Again, you lack an objective definition of "similar".

No, I use the same definition as everyone else.

That's not an objective definition. You are appealing to intuition/subjectivity. *Define* what you explicitly mean by similar, lest you commit exactly the same fallacy that you claim speciation does.

There is nothing inherently wrong with one definition of a species over another, only their utility. A definition doesn't state any new information about reality. Speciation events simply say:

"We have made two types of animals from a patent type. None of these three types of animals are capable of interbreeding any longer."

There is no controversy over this claim, since it's just a statement of what the experiment/observation is in non-classification terms. If words cause problems, then just drop the labels and use the concepts. If a biologist defines speciation as 'sexual incompatibility' then so be it, just make sure you are using the same definition before arguing lest you watch two ships sail past each other.

The above comments serve to illustrate my point. You're convinced that you've created a new "type" of organism because it displays some arbitrary difference, when compared to the ancestral organism.

Define "type" objectively first, then come back to this point.

You feel that you need to classify it in a different category than the original, so you give it a different name.

Yes, having labels for things that are different is useful in practice and principle. That's how we discern things in out lives.

In reality though, terminology aside, it is still the same type of organism. You only make it "a different type" by calling it by a different name.

Again, define "type" then come back to this point.

See my next post to continue on discussion of this point.

You need to take your own criticism before making claims based on the same complains.
Envisage
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12/11/2014 10:01:12 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/11/2014 9:06:51 AM, medic0506 wrote:
Let's try this...Let's say that you're working with flies, and you do something that causes some of the new offspring to be born with a white dot on their back. When it's time for them to breed, they seemingly form themselves into groups, those with the dot interbreeding only with other flies that have the dot. Those without a dot, of course, only breed with others who don't have dots. This continues for numerous generations, and the dotted flies multiply in number, showing no detrimental or harmful effects from what you did to them that caused the dot to appear. It's clear that the dotted fly population is going to proliferate and survive long-term. Using this scenario, let's ask some questions about the findings starting with...

Have you created a new species?? Why or why not.

"Biological Species Concept

The biological species concept defines a species as members of populations that actually or potentially interbreed in nature, not according to similarity of appearance."

[http://evolution.berkeley.edu...]

Thus, according to a biological species concept's definition, each of the flies in your example are individual populations that interbreed with themselves (making them each a species), but not with each other (making them not the same species).

Thus, by that definition, you have 2 species, where before you had 1, so it's pretty trivial it generates a new species.
medic0506
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12/11/2014 10:09:59 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/11/2014 3:55:52 AM, chui wrote:

So essentially there is no real boundary between what we call species.

Of course we need terminology for classification purposes, but you have to understand that the terminology is assigned arbitrarily, does not remain consistent, and is not sufficient as a piece of evidence for UCA. Google "species problem".

I am aware of the species problem, thank you.

Good.

One group of organisms cannot be objectively separated from its closest 'relatives'.

Why would we need to separate them if we already know they're related??

I don't mean to be rude but you did state that we need terminology for classification purposes. I feel you answer your own question here.

I did indeed make that statement, and I agree that we need some point at which we can discriminate between living organisms, but that agreement applies solely to classification of organisms. When you try to present that classification terminology as a piece of evidence in this discussion, is where the problem begins. If you truly understand that any line we draw is going to be arbitrary, that classifying two organisms as different species based on that arbitrary cut-off point means that the appearance of any major evolutionary significant change has only been accomplished via terminology, then you will also realize the lack of relevance that speciation has in any discussion on UCA.

We can however, objectively separate a dog from a cat, etc.

How do you objectively separate using arbitrary terminology? Perhaps you mean consistently separate using arbitrary terms. Dogs and cats are not particularly similar.

They have both similarities and differences, and one group does not produce organisms that exhibit traits that are unique to the other group.

Its almost as if all life forms are connected some how. What could explain that?

See how you made the jump from "closest relative" to "all life forms are connected" ?? Had you said that all life forms show some similarities, I would have agreed with you, but similarity =/= relatedness.

We know that relatedness = similarity from direct observation. So similarity is evidence for relatedness. That is how i made the jump. Of course evidence is not necessarily proof.

Ok, I agree with you here that relatedness equals similarity, but here is the problem. Unless living organisms in the past could do something that modern organisms can't, similarity doesn't "necessarily" equal relatedness. That's a very important distinction to keep in mind.

Why is there a species problem?

I do not see how you make the leap from 'we cannot objectively separate species' to 'there is no evidence for UCA'. Maybe I misunderstand your point? If all life forms did share a UCA we would expect to find it hard to separate species objectively or would that make it easy? If life does not have a UCA would we expect to have a species problem?

It's simple to make that leap because UCA is not the only explanation for the similarity in life forms. If all life forms were unrelated but controlled via DNA, we would still see exactly what we see today. We would see organisms that have the ability to adapt to their environment, while only being able to produce organisms that are almost exact genetic copies of themselves.

If there is an "orchard of life", rather than a tree, then from a scientific perspective I don't think we'd expect to see anything different than what we see today...and I think that what we see today is more consistent with that orchard, than it is with a tree.
chui
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12/11/2014 10:49:25 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/11/2014 10:09:59 AM, medic0506 wrote:
At 12/11/2014 3:55:52 AM, chui wrote:


If there is an "orchard of life", rather than a tree, then from a scientific perspective I don't think we'd expect to see anything different than what we see today...and I think that what we see today is more consistent with that orchard, than it is with a tree.

By 'orchard of life' I assume you mean that life as we see it now was a product of a series of creation 'events'. Each 'tree' in the orchard corresponding to a separate 'kind' perhaps. The species problem is caused in this instance because of the variation of an individual kind to its environment.

OK for the sake of argument I will accept this alternative explanation of the species problem. However it does not rule out the fact that conventional evolutionary theory would also predict a species problem.
medic0506
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12/11/2014 11:03:34 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/11/2014 9:47:59 AM, v3nesl wrote:

So as Stephen Meyer says, speciation is nothing more than an artifact of classification.

I'd say speciation is an artifact of not being able to demonstrate or observe evolution. It's grasping at straws.

They say evolution took hundreds of millions of years. But there's also an estimated 9 million extant species, and there had to be 10's of thousands of intermediate forms for every extant species. Which means billions of forms had to form in millions of years. Evolution should be readily observable, in other words, if it happened. We should be buying the latest pet jackalope from Amazon for Christmas. But instead we've got colored moths and bacteria that can eat pantyhose.

It doesn't happen. Evolution doesn't happen, it's an [actually rather ridiculous] fantasy.

You hit on a very good point here, about the number of transitions that would have to happen. The incorrigible Dr. David Berlinski tried to make a list of all the changes that would have to happen in order to change a land-dwelling creature into a sea-dwelling one (hippo into a whale). He came up with roughly 50,000 necessary changes, so if that is even close to true, then we should expect to find numerous different transitional fossils which exhibit many of those exact changes, on the list. The transitions should outnumber the starting and ending specimen by a vast number.

Here is the video where he discusses this. This whole conversation is a good one, and if you haven't already you should watch the whole interview, but the part that is relevant to this point begins at 2:05.

https://www.youtube.com...

Another question raised by this point is, given the amount of time that it allegedly takes for each of these changes to take hold in a population, would that leave enough time, according to evolutionary time, for this complete change to have taken place??
Ramshutu
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12/11/2014 11:34:22 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/11/2014 7:38:05 AM, medic0506 wrote:
At 12/10/2014 11:30:19 AM, Ramshutu wrote:

a fundamentally different kind of organism, given enough time.

Just to clarify my point.

What is a "fundamentally different kind" of organism.

Are you talking about evolving so the species is no longer a eukaryote? Or verterbrate, or deutorostomia, or a terrestrial jawed verterbrate, or a mammal?

If so, this is like saying that if you have enough generations of descendants there comes a point where a descendant is no longer a descendant.

If that isn't what you're talking about, then how much change is required in order to satisfy your demand of being "fundamental"? ten traits? twenty? thirty?

I see where you're going here, but you're straining at a gnat while swallowing a camel. In the grand scheme it doesn't matter what my expectations are, what matters is what can be shown empirically. This is a red herring, which sidetracks your focus away from the real issue. It doesn't really matter where I draw the line because all you can show empirically, is adaptation and variation (AV).

No matter how many generations of living organisms we study, no matter what scientists do to them, those organisms show only minor adaptive change, end up deformed or diseased, or die. Bugs stay bugs, dogs stay dogs, etc., and that is the evolutionist's problem...so rather than putting your focus on my, or anyone else's expectation of change, you should realize that it doesn't matter where I draw the line, empirical observational science can only show micro-evolution. That's it.

So you cannot say what evolution needs to show, yet evolution is wrong because it cannot show it?

#CreationistLogic.

As I said bugs stay bugs. Flies stay flies because every single creature that has ever lived is still the same "kind" as all its ancestors. You are still the same "kind" as yeast because you and yeast both have nucleaic eukaryote cells. "Kinds" in this tegard are clades. You can create a new subclade with evolution but never stop a descendant being in the same clade as its parent.

Your argument relies on evolution showing something that evolution says can't happen. Using equivocation in your phrasing to imply you mean a significant difference then rejecting all examples because you change your definition to mean some fundamental difference that simply can't occur.
medic0506
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12/11/2014 12:52:03 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/11/2014 9:52:54 AM, Envisage wrote:

Is there anything that I said that isn't actually true?? I'm ok with the current terminology and definitions, when they are used for their intended purpose. However, when a discussion is misdirected or confused by the terminology, that needs to be pointed out and understood.

Sure, understanding what the labels mean is important.

Agreed. So do you think that high school science students are adequately taught the arbitrary nature of this terminology, and made to fully understand the limited relevance of the term "speciation"??

It sounds convincing when you tell kids that evolutionary scientists have shown speciation many, many times, but not many people really understand how limited and arbitrary the terminology is. Very little, if any, effort is made to also make students aware of the limitations of our terminology, and that can cause people to be misled.

People are only misled if equivocations etc are employed. If both parties agree on the concepts that the labs/definitions refer to, then one cannot claim that the labels are misleading.

I only agree when the terminology is applied for classification of organisms. When you begin to employ that misleading terminology as an evidence for a scientific hypothesis, the problem with said terminology comes into play. I'm not talking about scientists comparing notes here. I'm talking about how speciation is portrayed as a significant evolutionary event, to students and the lay public, without an honest admission of how easy it is to attain speciation.

See how you made the jump from "closest relative" to "all life forms are connected" ?? Had you said that all life forms show some similarities, I would have agreed with you, but similarity =/= relatedness.

So you argue that what is similar is not related? Great, then demonstrations of speciations that are similar to be relates (via. Speciation events) falsifies this notion.

That's not what I said, and would be quite a silly argument, given how similar I am to my parents. I said that similarity doesn't necessarily equal relatedness.

Again, you lack an objective definition of "similar".

No, I use the same definition as everyone else.

That's not an objective definition. You are appealing to intuition/subjectivity.

Everyone's definition is going to be, well...similar. Besides, like you said earlier, so long as everyone agrees and uses the same terminology, there will be no misunderstandings, right??

*Define* what you explicitly mean by similar, lest you commit exactly the same fallacy that you claim speciation does.

Doesn't matter. I'm not trying to sell a scientific hypothesis in this thread. I'm simply discussing a problem with evidence presented by proponents of a current one.

There is nothing inherently wrong with one definition of a species over another, only their utility. A definition doesn't state any new information about reality. Speciation events simply say:

"We have made two types of animals from a patent type. None of these three types of animals are capable of interbreeding any longer."

There is no controversy over this claim, since it's just a statement of what the experiment/observation is in non-classification terms. If words cause problems, then just drop the labels and use the concepts. If a biologist defines speciation as 'sexual incompatibility' then so be it, just make sure you are using the same definition before arguing lest you watch two ships sail past each other.

The above comments serve to illustrate my point. You're convinced that you've created a new "type" of organism because it displays some arbitrary difference, when compared to the ancestral organism.

Define "type" objectively first, then come back to this point.

You created the new "type" of organism so why don't you have the pleasure of defining it objectively??

You feel that you need to classify it in a different category than the original, so you give it a different name.

Yes, having labels for things that are different is useful in practice and principle. That's how we discern things in out lives.

So long as we understand that a fly is still a fly, and you don't tell me that this shows that a fish can eventually turn into a human, I have no beef with what you're saying.

In reality though, terminology aside, it is still the same type of organism. You only make it "a different type" by calling it by a different name.

Again, define "type" then come back to this point.

See my next post to continue on discussion of this point.

You need to take your own criticism before making claims based on the same complains.

Again, I'm not the one selling a hypothesis here. I'm simply critiquing an existing one.
medic0506
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12/11/2014 1:25:10 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/11/2014 10:01:12 AM, Envisage wrote:

Let's try this...Let's say that you're working with flies, and you do something that causes some of the new offspring to be born with a white dot on their back. When it's time for them to breed, they seemingly form themselves into groups, those with the dot interbreeding only with other flies that have the dot. Those without a dot, of course, only breed with others who don't have dots. This continues for numerous generations, and the dotted flies multiply in number, showing no detrimental or harmful effects from what you did to them that caused the dot to appear. It's clear that the dotted fly population is going to proliferate and survive long-term. Using this scenario, let's ask some questions about the findings starting with...

Have you created a new species?? Why or why not.

"Biological Species Concept

The biological species concept defines a species as members of populations that actually or potentially interbreed in nature, not according to similarity of appearance."
[http://evolution.berkeley.edu...]

Thus, according to a biological species concept's definition, each of the flies in your example are individual populations that interbreed with themselves (making them each a species), but not with each other (making them not the same species).

Thus, by that definition, you have 2 species, where before you had 1, so it's pretty trivial it generates a new species.

Ok, according to most evolutionists, it would seem that we now have 2 different species...but you should have asked a question before jumping the gun.

Are the flies truly unable to interbreed, or do they choose to only breed within their respective groups??

As it turns out, when placed in a smaller population where breeding partners are limited, we learn that the 2 groups actually CAN interbreed, but in larger populations where mates are plentiful, they choose mates from their respective groups.

Question 2...

Do we still have 2 different species, or just 1?? Why??
v3nesl
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12/11/2014 1:39:45 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/11/2014 11:03:34 AM, medic0506 wrote:
...

Another question raised by this point is, given the amount of time that it allegedly takes for each of these changes to take hold in a population, would that leave enough time, according to evolutionary time, for this complete change to have taken place??

Yeah, you know, when PCs started to get into Giga range - billions of cycles/second, billions of bits of storage, and so on - I realized that "billions of years" really isn't that much. I think the time periods have had a numbing effect, allowing people to embrace the impossible. But magic doesn't happen when you get into the billions range. The same deterministic laws of cause and effect apply to 1 billion years as to 1 billion nano-seconds.

So you have claims of 4 billion years for life to arise on earth, but you also have complexity that goes far beyond billions. Each of our brains has some 100 billion neurons, with each neuron said to be the equivalent of several thousand computer transistors. So when you look at all that is alleged to have happened on this tiny planet in 4 billion years - there really isn't much time after all.
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medic0506
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12/11/2014 2:07:11 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/11/2014 10:49:25 AM, chui wrote:

If there is an "orchard of life", rather than a tree, then from a scientific perspective I don't think we'd expect to see anything different than what we see today...and I think that what we see today is more consistent with that orchard, than it is with a tree.

By 'orchard of life' I assume you mean that life as we see it now was a product of a series of creation 'events'. Each 'tree' in the orchard corresponding to a separate 'kind' perhaps. The species problem is caused in this instance because of the variation of an individual kind to its environment.

Could be. Or if you prefer a more naturalistic explanation for the orchard, perhaps abiogenesis happened thousands of times and through micro-evolutionary processes, we have the extant species and diversity that we see today. The fossils that we find are nothing more than extinct species, rather than our long lost relatives. My point being, there is more than one way to explain current scientific findings without appealing to UCA.

The orchard scenario would be way more palatable than the Darwinian tree, and quite frankly it would be kind of hard to argue against, in my opinion.

OK for the sake of argument I will accept this alternative explanation of the species problem. However it does not rule out the fact that conventional evolutionary theory would also predict a species problem.

Ok, I wouldn't disagree with you there.
medic0506
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12/11/2014 9:33:41 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/11/2014 11:34:22 AM, Ramshutu wrote:
At 12/11/2014 7:38:05 AM, medic0506 wrote:
At 12/10/2014 11:30:19 AM, Ramshutu wrote:

a fundamentally different kind of organism, given enough time.

Just to clarify my point.

What is a "fundamentally different kind" of organism.

Are you talking about evolving so the species is no longer a eukaryote? Or verterbrate, or deutorostomia, or a terrestrial jawed verterbrate, or a mammal?

If so, this is like saying that if you have enough generations of descendants there comes a point where a descendant is no longer a descendant.

If that isn't what you're talking about, then how much change is required in order to satisfy your demand of being "fundamental"? ten traits? twenty? thirty?

I see where you're going here, but you're straining at a gnat while swallowing a camel. In the grand scheme it doesn't matter what my expectations are, what matters is what can be shown empirically. This is a red herring, which sidetracks your focus away from the real issue. It doesn't really matter where I draw the line because all you can show empirically, is adaptation and variation (AV).

No matter how many generations of living organisms we study, no matter what scientists do to them, those organisms show only minor adaptive change, end up deformed or diseased, or die. Bugs stay bugs, dogs stay dogs, etc., and that is the evolutionist's problem...so rather than putting your focus on my, or anyone else's expectation of change, you should realize that it doesn't matter where I draw the line, empirical observational science can only show micro-evolution. That's it.

So you cannot say what evolution needs to show, yet evolution is wrong because it cannot show it?

#CreationistLogic.

As I said bugs stay bugs. Flies stay flies because every single creature that has ever lived is still the same "kind" as all its ancestors. You are still the same "kind" as yeast because you and yeast both have nucleaic eukaryote cells. "Kinds" in this tegard are clades. You can create a new subclade with evolution but never stop a descendant being in the same clade as its parent.

Your argument relies on evolution showing something that evolution says can't happen. Using equivocation in your phrasing to imply you mean a significant difference then rejecting all examples because you change your definition to mean some fundamental difference that simply can't occur.

If evolution can't show anything more than AV, then there is no reason to extrapolate beyond that. UCA is just an outdated idea, and I think scientists are beginning to see that it's not plausible. You can keep harping about my expectations but if you're going to claim that you can go from a fish to a human, given enough time, don't you expect to be able to show some kind of evidence for that??
medic0506
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12/11/2014 9:38:23 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/11/2014 1:39:45 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 12/11/2014 11:03:34 AM, medic0506 wrote:
...

Another question raised by this point is, given the amount of time that it allegedly takes for each of these changes to take hold in a population, would that leave enough time, according to evolutionary time, for this complete change to have taken place??

Yeah, you know, when PCs started to get into Giga range - billions of cycles/second, billions of bits of storage, and so on - I realized that "billions of years" really isn't that much. I think the time periods have had a numbing effect, allowing people to embrace the impossible. But magic doesn't happen when you get into the billions range. The same deterministic laws of cause and effect apply to 1 billion years as to 1 billion nano-seconds.

So you have claims of 4 billion years for life to arise on earth, but you also have complexity that goes far beyond billions. Each of our brains has some 100 billion neurons, with each neuron said to be the equivalent of several thousand computer transistors. So when you look at all that is alleged to have happened on this tiny planet in 4 billion years - there really isn't much time after all.

I guess we're forgetting about punctuated equilibrium. Some evolutionists believe that evolution happens so slow that we can't see it, others think that it happens so fast that we miss it.
v3nesl
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12/12/2014 7:51:45 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/11/2014 9:38:23 PM, medic0506 wrote:
At 12/11/2014 1:39:45 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 12/11/2014 11:03:34 AM, medic0506 wrote:
...

Another question raised by this point is, given the amount of time that it allegedly takes for each of these changes to take hold in a population, would that leave enough time, according to evolutionary time, for this complete change to have taken place??

Yeah, you know, when PCs started to get into Giga range - billions of cycles/second, billions of bits of storage, and so on - I realized that "billions of years" really isn't that much. I think the time periods have had a numbing effect, allowing people to embrace the impossible. But magic doesn't happen when you get into the billions range. The same deterministic laws of cause and effect apply to 1 billion years as to 1 billion nano-seconds.

So you have claims of 4 billion years for life to arise on earth, but you also have complexity that goes far beyond billions. Each of our brains has some 100 billion neurons, with each neuron said to be the equivalent of several thousand computer transistors. So when you look at all that is alleged to have happened on this tiny planet in 4 billion years - there really isn't much time after all.

I guess we're forgetting about punctuated equilibrium. Some evolutionists believe that evolution happens so slow that we can't see it, others think that it happens so fast that we miss it.

Whatever it takes. It's a very plastic hypothesis. But also settled science, of course.
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medic0506
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12/12/2014 7:58:10 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/12/2014 7:51:45 AM, v3nesl wrote:
At 12/11/2014 9:38:23 PM, medic0506 wrote:
At 12/11/2014 1:39:45 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 12/11/2014 11:03:34 AM, medic0506 wrote:
...

Another question raised by this point is, given the amount of time that it allegedly takes for each of these changes to take hold in a population, would that leave enough time, according to evolutionary time, for this complete change to have taken place??

Yeah, you know, when PCs started to get into Giga range - billions of cycles/second, billions of bits of storage, and so on - I realized that "billions of years" really isn't that much. I think the time periods have had a numbing effect, allowing people to embrace the impossible. But magic doesn't happen when you get into the billions range. The same deterministic laws of cause and effect apply to 1 billion years as to 1 billion nano-seconds.

So you have claims of 4 billion years for life to arise on earth, but you also have complexity that goes far beyond billions. Each of our brains has some 100 billion neurons, with each neuron said to be the equivalent of several thousand computer transistors. So when you look at all that is alleged to have happened on this tiny planet in 4 billion years - there really isn't much time after all.

I guess we're forgetting about punctuated equilibrium. Some evolutionists believe that evolution happens so slow that we can't see it, others think that it happens so fast that we miss it.

Whatever it takes. It's a very plastic hypothesis. But also settled science, of course.

Oh of course.
LifeMeansGodIsGood
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12/12/2014 8:19:46 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/10/2014 10:08:49 AM, chui wrote:
At 12/10/2014 9:36:20 AM, medic0506 wrote:
A lot of evolutionists use speciation as an evidence for evolution, more specifically, for evidence of Universal Common Ancestry (UCA). They seem to believe that if they can show one species turning into another species, then they have shown evidence for organisms changing into other types of organisms. They extrapolate on that minor change as if there is an infinite ability for living organisms to change into a fundamentally different kind of organism, given enough time. But what have they really shown, with speciation??

Leaving classification terminology out of the discussion, all that has really been shown scientifically is a minor adaptive change to the already existing parental organism. That adaptive change combined with dna mutations, over time, lead to minor variation from the original organism that we started with, thus the term Adaptation and Variation. That's all that has ever been shown as testable, repeatable scientific fact. Nothing has been shown empirically, that necessitates the belief, or extrapolation, that the organism is changing into a fundamentally different type of organism.

When you add the classification terminology back in, you can indeed say that one species has changed into another, but you've only accomplished said change via wordplay. You haven't really shown anything useful, in the way of evidence for UCA.

Further, you've shown the uselessness of the term "species", in the discussion, as it is nothing more than an arbitrary term with no meaningful definition. In essence, what you're saying is that a species is a group that is reproductively isolated from other groups, except where it isn't reproductively isolated from a group but we want to label them as different species anyway.

So as Stephen Meyer says, speciation is nothing more than an artifact of classification.

So essentially there is no real boundary between what we call species. One group of organisms cannot be objectively separated from its closest 'relatives'. Its almost as if all life forms are connected some how. What could explain that?

irrational jibberish and a lot of believe in hypothetical guesswork which covers supposedly billions of years worth of time in which nothing was observed? Whenever you have trouble explaining things, just take a wild guess, call it factual, believe it, and then claim you have proved your explanation is true. It's a wonderful way of looking at life and death.
Otokage
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12/12/2014 4:50:53 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/10/2014 9:36:20 AM, medic0506 wrote:
A lot of evolutionists use speciation as an evidence for evolution, more specifically, for evidence of Universal Common Ancestry (UCA). They seem to believe that if they can show one species turning into another species, then they have shown evidence for organisms changing into other types of organisms.

That's exactly what happens when a species changes into another species...

They extrapolate on that minor change as if there is an infinite ability for living organisms to change into a fundamentally different kind of organism.

There isn't? Why exactly?

Leaving classification terminology out of the discussion, all that has really been shown scientifically is a minor adaptive change to the already existing parental organism. That adaptive change combined with dna mutations, over time, lead to minor variation from the original organism that we started with, thus the term Adaptation and Variation. That's all that has ever been shown as testable, repeatable scientific fact. Nothing has been shown empirically, that necessitates the belief, or extrapolation, that the organism is changing into a fundamentally different type of organism.

Well, the Sun hasn't been shown empirically to revolved around the galaxy, although we still assert it revolves around the galaxy. Things that take millions of years can't be observable in a lab, and irrepetible things, like UCA, also will never be observable in lab. So? Your empirism argument is worth nothing, as there's countless theories that are not testable in a lab and yet used every day by engeneers and scientists to do things, and these things work because the theories are correct.

When you add the classification terminology back in, you can indeed say that one species has changed into another, but you've only accomplished said change via wordplay. You haven't really shown anything useful, in the way of evidence for UCA.

A look at the fossil record will show you that, the more you go back in time, the less species are. So it is clear that from a little amount of species, lots of species appeared. If life only comes from life, then modern species come from prior species. As I have said to you on another thread, this is the only possible explanation if you are honest enough to accept the origin of life is not a magical process. And for the record, "divine" and "supernatural", are just euphemisms for magical.

Further, you've shown the uselessness of the term "species", in the discussion, as it is nothing more than an arbitrary term with no meaningful definition.

I agree with that. So? I still can say that life is a continous, that there's no "many species" but just one species that have changed through time. This wouldn't affect the theory of evolution, as evolution is precisely the process of change, or more specifically: the process by which life changes in diverse forms, due to genetic variations accumulating through generations. <- As you can see, I don't need the term "species".

In essence, what you're saying is that a species is a group that is reproductively isolated from other groups, except where it isn't reproductively isolated from a group but we want to label them as different species anyway.

Most of the time, and only in animals, that definition is correct. As a general rule, two animal species can not produce fertile offspring. However, this is not the case in any other life form (plants, bacterias, etc). Moreover, there are cases of two animals that can not reproduce (I used the example wolf-yorkshire terrier on the other thread) and still are labeled the same specie for the sake of keeping things ordered and have a relatively stable classification system. Another case is that of the ring-species, ie californian salamander, which is composed of several populations, but some of them have evolved too much from the original population, and thus can not reproduce with it anymore, and yet taxonomers still call both populations the same species, because they still can not figure out a non-chaotic way of adressing the issue.

But my biggest problem with the concept, is this:

Imagine that you have a specie A, specie A+, and specie B, A+ being in between of A and B (in the process of evolving to become B). So think about this: A+ is parly A and partly B, and thus it can reproduce with A and B. But then again, A and B can not reproduce (they are too different), so are them the same species? No? Then which specie is A+? The same as A or the same as B? Or is it a whole new species? And if that's the case, why can it reproduce with two different species?

So yeah, the species concept is really something that doesn't work from an evolutionary perspective, but I supose it still serves as a way of classifying biodiversity.

So as Stephen Meyer says, speciation is nothing more than an artifact of classification.

The problem is not exactly the term "speciation" but "species". Yes speciation ocurs, int the sense that there's a process that can turn A into B. But then again, are A and B different species? According to the traditional definition of species, I could say they are not, in fact, if we take a rigorous evolutionary perspective, there's no such a thing as "species", the very concept doesn't exist in nature.
SamStevens
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12/12/2014 5:08:38 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/10/2014 9:36:20 AM, medic0506 wrote:
A lot of evolutionists use speciation as an evidence for evolution, more specifically, for evidence of Universal Common Ancestry (UCA). They seem to believe that if they can show one species turning into another species, then they have shown evidence for organisms changing into other types of organisms. They extrapolate on that minor change as if there is an infinite ability for living organisms to change into a fundamentally different kind of organism, given enough time. But what have they really shown, with speciation??

Well, here is evidence of change beyond the species level: http://www.talkorigins.org...

Leaving classification terminology out of the discussion, all that has really been shown scientifically is a minor adaptive change to the already existing parental organism. That adaptive change combined with dna mutations, over time, lead to minor variation from the original organism that we started with, thus the term Adaptation and Variation. That's all that has ever been shown as testable, repeatable scientific fact. Nothing has been shown empirically, that necessitates the belief, or extrapolation, that the organism is changing into a fundamentally different type of organism.

When you add the classification terminology back in, you can indeed say that one species has changed into another, but you've only accomplished said change via wordplay. You haven't really shown anything useful, in the way of evidence for UCA.

Further, you've shown the uselessness of the term "species", in the discussion, as it is nothing more than an arbitrary term with no meaningful definition. In essence, what you're saying is that a species is a group that is reproductively isolated from other groups, except where it isn't reproductively isolated from a group but we want to label them as different species anyway.

So as Stephen Meyer says, speciation is nothing more than an artifact of classification.
"This is the true horror of religion. It allows perfectly decent and sane people to believe by the billions, what only lunatics could believe on their own." Sam Harris
Life asked Death "Why do people love me but hate you?"
Death responded: "Because you are a beautiful lie, and I am the painful truth."
medic0506
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12/12/2014 10:49:37 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/12/2014 5:08:38 PM, SamStevens wrote:
At 12/10/2014 9:36:20 AM, medic0506 wrote:
A lot of evolutionists use speciation as an evidence for evolution, more specifically, for evidence of Universal Common Ancestry (UCA). They seem to believe that if they can show one species turning into another species, then they have shown evidence for organisms changing into other types of organisms. They extrapolate on that minor change as if there is an infinite ability for living organisms to change into a fundamentally different kind of organism, given enough time. But what have they really shown, with speciation??

Well, here is evidence of change beyond the species level: http://www.talkorigins.org...

Been there and waded through that site long ago. I ended up having to get new boots because I couldn't get all the crap off afterward.

Leaving classification terminology out of the discussion, all that has really been shown scientifically is a minor adaptive change to the already existing parental organism. That adaptive change combined with dna mutations, over time, lead to minor variation from the original organism that we started with, thus the term Adaptation and Variation. That's all that has ever been shown as testable, repeatable scientific fact. Nothing has been shown empirically, that necessitates the belief, or extrapolation, that the organism is changing into a fundamentally different type of organism.

When you add the classification terminology back in, you can indeed say that one species has changed into another, but you've only accomplished said change via wordplay. You haven't really shown anything useful, in the way of evidence for UCA.

Further, you've shown the uselessness of the term "species", in the discussion, as it is nothing more than an arbitrary term with no meaningful definition. In essence, what you're saying is that a species is a group that is reproductively isolated from other groups, except where it isn't reproductively isolated from a group but we want to label them as different species anyway.

So as Stephen Meyer says, speciation is nothing more than an artifact of classification.