Does evolutionary theory provide any useful scientific benefit?


#437

It is an interesting question. But nevertheless, people have been convicted and falsely held in prison for years based on different lines of evidence seemingly leading the same conclusion, which was later discovered to be false. The point is that convergent evidence may nevertheless not be proof, or it may be coincidental, or wrongly interpreted. This will not likely convince you.

I do not believe that C14 is spurious, however. There will be a reason why C14 gives the numbers it does, which will be correlated to varying levels of CO2 in the atmosphere over time, and different rates of formation of C14, which has already been proven by the consideration of the radiation caused by nuclear bomb testing in the past. These things can easily, and have already been shown to vary the ratios of C12/C14 in the known past… but we are guessing about ratios earlier than that (earlier than say 4000 years ago).

Its not my job to provide a comprehensive explanation for you, but rather to put into perspective tenuousness of the theory and these dating methods. However, it is very suspicious that these methods agree so perfectly, primarily because it is unreasonable to think that these varves are only annual varves for 50,000 years, just as it is suspicious to think that blood cells of dinosaurs can be non-fossilized and still preserved for 60 million years. Real evidence of varves and blood cells indicates that this is unreasonable.


#438

Take a look at A Holocene Cold Snap. This article uses several different dating methods, which do not use the same assumptions, to date a short climate change. Agreement between two methods might be coincidental, but not when ever method gives the same age.


(Peaceful Science) #439

No DNA has been found in dinosaur fossils. It seems as though some collagen has survived. No DNA.


(Peaceful Science) #440

Ah but that is all we care about as scientists. We need a clear reason why the varve c14 and count data matches so well. If not the general accuracy of radiocarbon dating, then what? Because you can’t explain the data, that we can, your notion is flat out rejected. That is how science works .


(Benjamin Kirk) #441

Yes, it is, as you are claiming to have a comprehensive understanding of the relevant issues.


(Peaceful Science) #442

This is explained in the link. The lake was well selected so that varves correspond with years. Also, even if they didn’t, we would still expect to see a good line, with a slope different than 1.

The blood cells were fossilized. This is why they were preserved. By being encased in stone, they survived longer than we would have otherwise expected. It is false to say that they are non-fossilized. Have you read the original papers? I’ve talked in person with the actual scientist in Dr. Horner’s lab (Mary Schweitzer, an ex-YEC btw) that discovered this finding. She dissolved the fossil to see what would be left behind. When you remove the rock, there is some organic material (no DNA, no complete proteins) that remains.

Also, Mary Schweitzer was raised YEC, in your camp. She is the one who discovered this “evidence” for YEC you keep pointing to. These fossils are exactly the evidence that convinced her that YEC is false! I encourage you to ask her “why” sometime. She is still a Christian, but does not think her YEC upbringing truthfully represented our world.


#443

No DNA has been found in dinosaur fossils. It seems as though some collagen has survived. No DNA.
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I believe you are right about that… nevertheless the blood cells and collagen have. Several times.

When you say the blood cells were fossilized, you seem to be using strange language. Encased in stone? Is not the fossilization process one of replacement? not encasement?

I know that using wikipedia is always doubtful, but here is a quote, nevertheless, on soft tissue:
> Because of their antiquity, an unexpected exception to the alteration of an organism’s tissues by chemical reduction of the complex organic molecules during fossilization has been the discovery of soft tissue in dinosaur fossils, including blood vessels, and the isolation of proteins and evidence for DNA fragments.[10][11][12][13] In 2014, Mary Schweitzer and her colleagues reported the presence of iron particles (goethite-aFeO(OH)) associated with soft tissues recovered from dinosaur fossils. Based on various experiments that studied the interaction of iron in haemoglobin with blood vessel tissue they proposed that solution hypoxia coupled with iron chelation enhances the stability and preservation of soft tissue and provides the basis for an explanation for the unforeseen preservation of fossil soft tissues.[14] However, a slightly older study based on eight taxa ranging in time from the Devonian to the Jurassic found that reasonably well-preserved fibrils that probably represent collagen were preserved in all these fossils, and that the quality of preservation depended mostly on the arrangement of the collagen fibers, with tight packing favoring good preservation.[15] There seemed to be no correlation between geological age and quality of preservation, within that timeframe.

On the other hand, sometimes old bones are also called fossils, merely because they are old, even though they are still in original condition and not truly fossilized. The point remains that it is unreasonable to think that bio-organic material can survive in an identifiable original form for millions of years. Thousands, yes. Millions, no.


(James McKay) #444

Actually, ancient DNA can hang around for a surprisingly long time given the right conditions. From Wikipedia:

Allentoft et al. (2012) tried to calculate this limit by studying the decay of mitochondrial and nuclear DNA in Moa bones. The DNA degrades in an exponential decay process. According to their model, mitochondrial DNA is degraded to an average length of 1 base pair after 6,830,000 years at −5 °C.

Also, be careful what you cite Mary Schweitzer as having discovered. It’s very easy to misunderstand her findings here and report the soft tissue remnants as being in a much better condition than they actually were. “Iron particles associated with soft tissues” are not the same as actual soft tissues.

The fact of the matter is that the age of the fossils has been far, far more rigorously established than the limits on preservation of soft tissue. To quote the Age of Rocks blog:

[T]he age of the dinosaur-bearing rocks is far better established than potential preservation limits for fossilized soft tissue. The geochronology of strata such as the Hell Creek Formation in Montana is rooted in multiple, independently verifiable methods that can be replicated through data collection and corroboratory analyses. On the other hand, we can not establish experimentally how rapidly bone osteocytes would dissolve under every possible burial scenario in Earth history.


(Peaceful Science) #445

Fossilization is a process of replacement, but not completely. What happened here is that the dinosaurs were fossilized in a way that replaced everything but a small fraction of the collagen/elastin “skeleton” of the blood vessels and the blood cells. This rapidly encased the soft tissue “skeleton” in stone, preserving it indefinitely, for millions of years. The ghosts we see in these dissolved fossils are not blood vessels or blood cells, but their collagen skeletons, and some iron deposits too.

This is correct. For example, we have Neaderthal "remains’ that are sometimes erroneously called fossils. However, at this time we have absolutely ZERO non-fossil dinosaur remains. The exciting about Mary’s work is that it turns out that a tiny amount of soft tissue (just the skeleton) is preserved in fossils that everyone (except YEC) agree are millions of years old.

This is false. 100% false. First, it is not in the original form, at all. Second, we do think it can persist in a changed form. This is exactly what we think. The stone encases the soft tissue, preserving it indefinitely. Of course, it only preserves a specific part of the tissue “tightly packed collagen” for example. So all the rest of the material we would expect to see if it was recent (e.g. DNA) is gone.

Our point remains. We have a solid non-miraculous explanation for why we see the collagen in fossils, but not DNA, RNA, etc, etc. etc.

What answers do you have? Why is the DNA gone, when we would expect it to still be there? DNA should last largely intact for 4,000 years. It takes (based on exponential decay) millions of years for it to fully degrade. Why is it gone? Why can we find non-fossilized “remains” of neanderthals, but no unfossilized remains of dinosaurs? You have no answers.

Quoting you, the “point remains that it is unreasonable to think” you can explain this data within your YEC worldview without invoking some more miracles. I’m not impressed.


(Peaceful Science) #446

@johnZ I should concede that it is entirely possible that God just “did it” this way. He can do anything. So sure, that is possible. Science can never rule that out. I’m just take exception to the implication that the evidence is on your side. I’m sorry, but it is not. Maybe God did it different than the evidence shows, but the evidence is clearly against you.


(Jon) #447

This is the point I find that YECs cannot address. They claim the universe is very young, but cannot explain why it doesn’t look very young; it has the appearance of great age. The one explanation offered by some is that God deliberately made it look old even though it’s very young, to test our faith. And that explanation is so desperate that it’s uncommon even among YECs.

In this case you raise a great point; if the fossils in question contain actual blood cells, why don’t they contain any DNA?


(George Brooks) #448

@Jonathan_Burke, I was looking for an answer to you question when I stumbled across this:

In a 2016 interview [29], Schweitzer noted:

“I’ve found DNA in dinosaur bone,” said Mary Schweitzer, a molecular paleontologist at North Carolina State University. “But we did not sequence it — we couldn’t recover it, [and] we couldn’t characterize it. Whoever it belongs to is a mystery.”

It’s no surprise that dinosaur remains contain DNA, she said. Bone is partly made up of a mineral called hydroxyapatite, which has a strong affinity for certain biomolecules, including DNA. In fact, researchers often use hydroxyapatite to purify and concentrate DNA in the lab, Schweitzer said.

“That’s one of the reasons that I don’t work with DNA myself,” Schweitzer told Live Science. “It is too prone to contamination and really difficult to interpret.”

The poor showing for DNA in dinosaur fossils is a strike against young earth creationism: if the dinosaurs were buried in a great flood only 4500 years ago, we should be finding gobs of DNA with nice long sequences in at least some of the dinosaur remains in our possession. It is now common to sequence DNA from certain other fossil finds, but not from dinosaurs."

Footnote [29] Laura Geggel, ” Is It Possible to Clone a Dinosaur?” LiveScience April 28, 2016 http://www.livescience.com/54574-can-we-clone-dinosaurs.html


#449

Really? No qualifiers on that statement?

DNA is biological material and it is unreasonable to attribute an exponential decay rate to it in the same manner that one would attribute an exponential rate to achieving states of chemical equilibrium.


(George Brooks) #450

@johnZ

So you don’t think BIOLOGICAL material is made of chemicals?

Come on man… pull yourself together …


(James McKay) #451

This article on the Natural Historian blog contains the qualifiers you are looking for.

In a nutshell:

  • DNA degrades rapidly under hot, moist conditions. After 4,000 years, it will be badly degraded but still present and sequenceable.
  • It lasts much, much longer under cold, dry conditions. After 4,000 years, it will be more or less intact.

If the earth is only six thousand years old, we would therefore expect the overwhelming majority of dinosaur fossils to contain large quantities of sequenceable DNA, even if some of it was badly degraded. But we don’t.


(George Brooks) #452

@jammycakes

And that’s the Gospel Truth !!!


(Peaceful Science) #453

So here is an example of a paper that I just published that uses evolutionary theory to understand cancer.


#454

Sigh…, sorry, no it cannot be extrapolated. That is just bad science if it’s science at all in this particular case. There are no examples of such supposed micro-evolution leading to major changes in kind/type of organism. Fish remain fish, dogs remain dogs, birds remain birds and bacteria remain bacteria - that is the only documented evidence that we have and hence there is no justification for the sought after extrapolation. Any “documented” extrapolation only exists on cladograms as ghostly evolutionary precursors and descendants.


(Jon) #455


(George Brooks) #456

@Prode

You aren’t the first person to make this erroneous decision.

You really need to learn about Ring Species… where the two extreme ends of an extended group of related gene pools achieve the unheard of: genetic differences due to geographic distance (not due to human breeding practices) become significant enough that the two sub-populations are essentially unable to create fertile offspring.

Once this separation occurs … then a sub-population is (by definition!) no longer restrained from pursuing it’s own evolutionary destiny:

  1. losing legs?
  2. gaining webbing that allows gliding or swimming?
  3. gaining prehensile hands?
  4. developing a taste for a completely different kind of food?

And before you know it … we not only have the technical criteria for ‘speciation’, but we also have the phenotypical basis for a brand new kind of creature (whatever that is supposed to be!).

George