The fossil record fits best with progressive creation

(George Brooks) #363

@Marty, I have to agree. This is not what frequently happens with these Cladograms. But now that you are a more “sophisticated customer” for various exhibits for analyzing phylogenies… if you can come up with a “neutral, but less confusing” replacement for “Transitional Fossil” (or even a replacement for “Intermediate Fossil”, which has already been proposed as the replacement for “Transitional”!) - - I would help popularize your newly coined term! Such a deal, right?!?!? :smiley:

@Marty, could you please explain to me, how we keep ending up on a “bone of contention” for which there should be no bone? Many here at BioLogos (and certainly in line with the mission at PeacefulScience.Org) accept that God engages in either miraculous or non-miraculous assistance in the evolutionary progression of various life forms. It leaves me thinking that this particular research camp is in pursuit of politics rather than any real advances in the sciences.


Let’s keep in mind that the Evolution “science guilds” are trying to consistently replace the term “Transitional” with the term “Intermediate”. This should help reduce the intentional or unintentional abuse of the concepts being handled. But even “Intermediate” has its weaknesses. I would be happy to help popularize whatever replacement term you think would be viable!

(Marty) #364

Wow, what a great way to start! By ridiculing someone you’ve never interacted with before. My first temptation is to respond in kind. I’ll try to avoid that, but there are so many issues in your short post, it’s hard to know where to start.

Here’s the most important thing: in your posts, you assume that if someone looks at the data, they can only come to the same conclusion as you do. Now, honestly, that strikes me as kinda arrogant. Lots of people have looked at the data, some surely more deeply than you have, and don’t agree with you. So please drop the arrogant and sarcastic tone.

What in my post makes you think I ignore it? I specifically mention that M&NS have obviously done some stuff.

Now note, and I’m trying to say this gently, if you can’t even read the few sentences I wrote without misunderstanding, what makes you think you can read the entire fossil record accurately? Apparently when you look at data, you can only see it through pre-existing lenses.

Well, OK. Do you understand why some people disagree with you?

Yes I have looked, thanks.

Now it’s my turn: have you looked at the data? If you have looked at the data you would know why I say this.

Now, it’s up to you: do you want to play this game this way or do you really want to understand any point of view besides your own? One of the reasons I have previously walked away from biologos forums is too many people who have no interest in understanding another point of view, but only in proclaiming their own superior view. I responded here because George dragged me in, and I respect him. I can explain my perspective if you really want to know, and are not going to misread what I post or focus on trying to pick it apart.

(Marty) #365

Hi @Chris_Falter! Thanks for the welcome and glad to engage with you.

I’m a software engineer, and the history of life both in the fossil record and at the genetic level looks strikingly like the history of various large scale programs I have helped develop. When there are human agents involved, you expect “transitional forms” of the program which show features of what came before and what came after. So I don’t understand why progressive creation would not predict exactly the same as Atheist Evolution from that perspective.

Maybe a side note just as feedback on your example, Tiktaalik feels a bit cherry-picked. When there are failed predictions, Atheist Evolutionists cry out, “That’s how science works!” and then when predictions work out they argue it proves Atheist Evolution. Heads I win, tails you lose. Tiktaalik was good fortune (Heads. I win.). But if he had not found it, the argument would have been that it had to have existed anyway and it just didn’t fossilize (Tails. You lose.).

BTW I’m not arguing against common ancestry. I’m just saying evolution needed help. Random mutation would take too long by itself to present enough useful information to natural selection. Some additional programming help was needed, I think, beyond just mutation. It may be impossible to make predictions about where the boundaries lie between microevolution and divine intervention. Behe makes that attempt using numerical analysis in The Edge of Evolution and leaves quite a broad boundary.

Hope that’s helpful! All the best.



Hi Marty, I’m not a moderator but wanted to welcome you back to the forum.


We aren’t limited to just fossils. We have the genomes of living species which do contain the evidence for random mutation and natural selection. I tend to agree with Dr. Francis Collins on this one:

“Arguments against macroevolution, based on so-called gaps in the fossil records, are also profoundly weakened by the much more detailed and digital information revealed from the study of genomes. Outside of a time machine, Darwin could hardly have imagined a more powerful data set than comparative genomics to confirm his theory.”–Dr. Francis Collins, “Faith and the Human Genome”

I have yet to see a scientific reason for disagreeing with the conclusions based on the whole set of data, from fossils to the biodiversity of living species to genetics.

A good first step would be to describe the features a fossil would need to have in order for you to accept it as evidence. For example, what features would a fossil need to have in order for you to accept it as being transitional between humans and a common ancestor shared with other apes? What criteria do you use to determine if a fossil is transitional? How did you determine that as of 2018 we should have found a fossil for every species that has ever existed in the 4.5 billion year history of the Earth?


In what way are genomes like software programs? I deal with DNA a lot, and have done a bit of programming myself. The two couldn’t be more different, at least in my experience. For example, a computer program doesn’t physically loop around on itself and form physical tertiary structures like DNA and RNA do. No computer program is dependent on its physical shape for function. I have never seen a comparison software programs that form a nested hierarchy like DNA does.

If they had not found T. roseae in those deposits the prediction would still stand. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. The theory would still predict a transitional fossil during that time period. What would have falsified the prediction is if they found T. roseae in Cambrian deposits.

Behe was unable to demonstrate that random mutations and selection were incapable of producing a single difference between any two genomes. He made a lot of claims, but when the rubber met the road he was unable to find a single real-life example.

(Haywood Clark) #369

I don’t see any evidence of the arrogant assumption you attribute to me in anything I’ve written, so I’d have to say that you are being silly again.

My point is that if one is going to claim that “the fossil record fits best with progressive creation,” one’s evidence should actually be the fossil record, or one is being misleading in addition to being silly. Also, looking only at fossils while excluding the sequence evidence is silly.

Edgar, despite his claims, is not someone who has looked at the data.

Would you mind pointing me to those you know have looked at the data more deeply than I have and conclude that the data supports progressive creation? I certainly don’t know of any.

Unless you can, I don’t see how you can accuse me of being arrogant.

That’s precisely why I’m pointing out that you are ignoring drift, which is characterized by the absence of NS.

What, precisely, did I misunderstand? You wrote:

In 2018, that statement is silly because it excludes drift! Do you understand the difference between drift and natural selection?

I don’t see how that follows from anything that either of us have written.

I’ve found that without exception, they ignore evidence. Are you the exception?

Yes, indeedy. As I told Edgar, I produce data. Note that in the question to which you were responding, I specified SEQUENCE data.

I would like to know. I don’t think I’ve misread what you wrote–you are excluding drift when you write,

I completely agree that M&NS are not adequate, because drift clearly plays a huge role. That is why stating whether (or not) mechanisms excluding drift are adequate is just silly.

(Haywood Clark) #370

But did Behe do his analysis from the actual data in that book?

What about Behe’s claims about the fossil record of whale evolution in his earlier book?

(Marty) #371

Wow, T. You started well, so I will engage there. But that’s it for me.

OK. But there are scientists who disagree. As you know that’s how science works.

The rest of your posts are the kind of attempt to “pick apart” my post that shows there is no real dialogue available. Why should I waste my time? Your mind is made up.

So I would appreciate it if you would leave the conversation between @Chris_Falter and me to us. Thanks!

(Marty) #372

@Haywood you really have an obsession with the word “silly.” Typically I find that people ridicule because they don’t have much useful to add.

Can you point me to some papers you have co-authored?

Yes. A very thorough analysis of data especially around malaria.

I’m not familiar with Behe’s claims in that regard. But I probably share Behe’s skepticism that a land mammal can turn into a whale by natural processes only in a mere 15 million years.


Friend, I wasn’t going to chime in but I feel so compelled. You started participating in this thread literally several days after T and I’m not sure why you think it’s a conversation between you and one other person. As far as I know, no one is precluded from responding to something you post on these threads. The PM function works just fine if you only wish to chat with one other person.

(Haywood Clark) #374

I stand by my characterization of excluding drift as silly. Do you now realize that “RM&NS” excludes drift?

Note that I called your statement silly and gave my reasons, to which your responses have made no sense. You attacked by falsely attributing a position to me and calling me arrogant based on your false attribution.

I think that silly is nicer than arrogant, and labeling statements is nicer than labeling people. Would you agree?

I don’t think you can claim “very thorough” without looking underneath. Have you? I have. Behe lazily quote mined a review on malaria, presenting it as an analysis of actual data. Just what Edgar did in a less sophisticated way in the OP.

How about this infinity-fold error?
No new gizmos or basic machinery. There have been no reports of new viral protein-protein interactions developing in an infected cell due to mutations in HIV proteins. No gene duplication has occurred leading to a new function. None of the fancy tricks that routinely figure in Darwinian speculations has apparently been of much use to HIV.

That’s because he dropped them. He thought it was a big deal in 1996:
"…if random evolution is true, there must have been a large number of transitional forms between the Mesonychid and the ancient whale. Where are they? It seems like quite a coincidence that of all the intermediate species that must have existed between Mesonychid and whale, only species that are very similar to the end species have been found.

How many transitionals filling that gap have been found since Behe wrote that? How many in the very next year? Surely you have an idea, given your claim of familiarity with the evidence.

I’m very skeptical too, but then I’m fully aware that evolution only happens to populations, not individuals. Are you?

(Matthew Pevarnik) #375

What is ‘atheist evolution?’


I have yet to see a scientist who disagrees put forward a scientific reason for that disagreement.

I can be convinced with a solid scientific argument and evidence.


It’s similar to atheist gravity and atheist thermodynamics.

(Mark D.) #378

Atheistic evolution = change over time by way of random mutation and natural selection, hold the deity.

(Matthew Pevarnik) #379

Atheist general relativity = matter tells spacetime how to bend and spacetime tells matter how to move, hold the deity.

(Phil) #380

atheistic meteorology= the studying, reporting and forecasting the weather, minus the deity. ( Guess that eliminates “Act of God” clauses in insurance claims.)

(Jay Johnson) #381

Fine. Now that you have that off your chest, I’m requesting that you try talking to @Marty rather than lecturing him. He is a brother in Christ, not your enemy.


What about Intelligent Falling?