The Ark Encounter’s Hyper-evolutionary Model Underestimates Speciation Rates

How many animals did Noah preserve on the Ark?  I often see critics of young-earth creationists (YECs) challenge Noah’s Ark with the question, how could Noah have fit all two million species on the ark?   When I see this challenge posed on Facebook or Twitter it is invariably coming from an individual that knows very little about creationism and is not familiar with the Bible. Neither the Bible nor the creation science of young-earth advocates make a claim that all created kinds where on the Ark.  YECs feed off of these sorts of naïve responses and hold them up to their devoted followers as proof that the anti-creationist camp doesn’t understand them.

Young-earth creationists (YECs) have every right to be frustrated with the characterization of their understanding of the role of Noah’s Ark.  However, YECs have brought much of this criticism on themselves.  They often send mixed messages about the capacity and nature of the “ark kinds.”  These mixed signals are partly due to their ever-increasing acceptance of massive post-Flood speciation (hyper-speed evolution).

A recent tweet by Answers in Genesis’ theme park, The Ark Encounter, included a photo of a sign at the park.   This information on these signs is presumably meant to provide a clear description of the AiG beliefs about what Noah brought onto the Ark.  It is helpful but contains an interesting omission which could be just a reflection of poor word choice or an intentional attempt to make their post-Flood hyper-evolution hypothesis more palatable to their target audience.

The omission I am referring to involves the title sentence that includes the number 34,000.  You can click on the photo and read about the relationship between this number and the number of “kinds” of animals that Noah brought onto the ark.

A sign at The Ark Encounter posted by the Twitter account of The Ark Encounter. (Click to view larger image)

So what is this omission? It is the absence of the word “extant” or “living” in the main headline. If the creators of the sign had printed “The ark needed to house the ancestors of fewer than 34,000 living land-dependent species” the sign would be more accurate even if it still didn’t tell the whole story. As it is they are not being truthful with the audience because they know the common ancestors on the ark—the “ark kinds”—must have represented the ancestors of far more than 34,000 species.   One has to wonder if the person responsible for the wording on these signs did not understand the young-earth model of origins well enough to make the sign consistent with the YEC literature and if so why isn’t there some sort of vetting of the information presented to at least make the information consistent with their own research.

Where does the number 34,000 come from?  This is explained in the description below the headline.  We are informed that the number 34,000 represents the number of “land-dependent” animal species that are alive today.  “Land-dependent” isn’t defined very well here but in other YEC literature they are explained to be “air-breathing, vertebrate land-dependent animals. This would include amphibians, reptiles, birds, synapsids and mammals.   Let’s assume the 34,000 is a reasonable estimate of the number of species alive today from these groups.  So, yes, given their biblical interpretation of what Noah was commanded to bring on the ark, Noah’s Ark must have contained the common ancestors of all 34,000 living land-dependent vertebrate species today.

Why do I emphasize that the word “living” is an omission and why does it matter?

As it stands, the statement declares that Noah’s Ark would have needed to house the ancestors of fewer than 34,000 land-dependent species.  This is a false statement.  A review of YEC literature makes it clear that most YEC authors believe that the ark housed ancestors of vast numbers of species that have gone extinct since the Flood. For example, there are over 160 identified species of elephants in the fossil record. There are only three alive today—only these three count in their 34,000 number.  Because the fossils of every one of these 160 species of elephants are found in sediments that most YECs, and Dr. Andrew Snelling of AiG in particular, believe were deposited after the Flood these species must have lived and gone extinct after Noah’s Ark.  Therefore the common ancestor of all of these elephant-family extinct species must also have been present on the Ark.  We could go group by group and discover that there are far more extinct species that have lived after the YEC Flood event than there are species of vertebrate land animals alive today.  Let’s put a very conservative number of those extinct species at 100,000 thus raising the number of species for which the ancestors would have had to have been present on the ark.

34,000, 134,000 or >500,000. Does it matter?  I think it does.  The 34,000 number gives the false impression that the ark didn’t have to hold many animals especially if the young-earth view of rapid speciation after the Flood were true.   By using such a small number it makes the amount of post-Flood speciation they must propose sound almost reasonable.

Look again at what the sign says about the definition of kind and then their estimate of number of kinds on the ark.  Yes, they are proposing that there were less than 1400 kinds of animals preserved on the ark.  Think about that for a minute. If there were only 1400 kinds of land-dependent animals preserved on the ark but 34,000 species today then those two animals of each kind on the ark must have undergone rapid evolution into the 34,000 species alive today. This is why YEC have been increasingly been promoting the reality of hyper-evolution via natural evolutionary mechanisms (natural selection, genetic drift and mutations) over the past two decades.

How much speciation since the Flood?  If we just used their signage at the Ark Encounter to estimate speciation rate we could apply a simple calculation:  34,000 (the number of species today) divided by 1400 (the number of kinds on the ark).   This provides us with an estimated 24.2 evolved species per kind.  If the 34,000 is the right number then each pair of animals leaving Noah’s Ark evolved into an average of 24 species in just 4350 years.

A YEC might—and frequently do—say, this is no big deal.  Twenty four species from two individuals on the ark only requires a speciation event to have occurred every 166 years.  That might not sound like much but this rate is still is orders of magnitude more rapid than any known evolutionary mechanism could sustain.  More importantly this sign is very wrong. The actual rate of speciation that the YEC model demands is far greater than even this wildly optimistic rate.

We can see this when we look at another sign at The Ark Encounter lists the 1400 kinds that Noah’ brought onto the ark.   Of those, 54% (see figure below) are extinct today.  Therefore only 633 are responsible for all 34,000 living species today. This doubles the rate of speciation necessary in the YEC evolution model.  This is certainly not the impression one gets from reading the sign about 34,000 species.

I cannot go on without failing to point out the fact that The Ark Encounter is preaching that more than 50% of all kinds of animals that God created in the beginning no longer exist.  Ironically, YECs are preaching massive and ongoing extinction at rates that would stun even the most ardent environmental activist.  See:  Pterosaurs and the Inevitable Road to Extinction:  A YEC extinction crisis

The Ark Encounter conveniently forgets about fossil species

And we—and The Ark Encounter—haven’t even accounted for descendants of ark kinds that are extinct today.   This sign falsely claims that the original ark kinds were responsible for less than 34,000 species of land-dependent animals.  But those original ark kinds must also be responsible for all extinct species that have existed from the time of the Ark until the present.

Once fossil species are accounted for we suddenly discover than hundreds of thousands of species of animals must have evolved from fewer than 1400 (really less than 700 since dinosaur etc. are large numbers of these kinds) original kinds as claimed by The Ark Encounter.   Using the conservative number 134,000 species (34,000 living and 100,000 extinct) we now have an average of 96 species evolving from each of 1400 kinds on the ark.

But we should also consider that we are talking averages but most “kinds” are not average.  Some types of organisms are more diverse (specious) than others. For example, the songbirds (finches and sparrows) are a highly diverse group. Independent researcher Dr. Jean Lightner working with The Ark Encounter believes that all finches and sparrows are the same created kind and thus were represented by only a pair (or seven) of individuals on Noah’s Ark.  This large collection of many bird families under the general finch/sparrow type constitute nearly 1500 living species.  Here is what Dr. Lightner* has written about these specious birds:

However, perhaps the most astounding group identified based on interspecific hybrid data is Passeroidea. Encompassing Old and New World sparrows, various finches and related birds, this represents an amazing amount of variety in the nearly 1500 species. It is clear that this diversity didn’t arise since the Flood by the standard naturalistic explanations of neo-Darwinism, that is, chance mutations and natural selection (Lightner 2013)!

Leaving aside the surprising statement that this diversity did not arise by mutations and natural selection given that she and other YECs do not believe that God intervened miraculously to make these species in such a short time, this is a quite astounding admission of massive hyper-speciation since the Flood.   1500 species have formed in just 4000 years?  Really?  (See: Invoking Super-speed Evolution, the YEC Big Bang of Birds)

Actually, the answer is No.  It’s worse that that.  The 1500 only accounts for the living species of finches not the many lineages of finch species that have gone extinct and not left any descendants for us today. How many extinct species of finch are there?  It is difficult to know how many extinct lineages there are but at least 50 are known despite the rarity of preservation in the fossil record. It would not be unreasonable to believe that there are another 1000 species of songbirds that have come and gone in addition to those we have today. If this is the case the YEC must propose that in excess of 2500 species evolved from a single pair of birds in less than 4500 years.  That would require the origin of a new species of songbird every two years.

Just imagine an American Robin (Turdus migratorius) giving birth to a whole new species every second generation.  There are 86 species of thrush (genus Turdus) which is just one type of songbird and yet there is not evidence to suggest that these species have not existed for thousands of years.  Where is the evidence for constant speciation occurring within these groups?

The bottom line….

Answer in Genesis and The Ark Encounter frequently focus on living species of “kinds” emphasizing that because wolves can be made into many dog breeds over just a few thousand years that dozens of species of each kind could have evolved over just 4000 years. The many problems with this assumption aside, the rate of new species formation necessary in their model is far greater than they generally acknowledge because they don’t include fossils species.


*An Initial Estimate of Avian Ark Kinds by Jean Lightner.  Answers Research Journal 6 (2013): 409-466. www.answersingenesis.org/articles/arj/v6/n1/avian-ark-kinds

Cover image: Photo of an PPT slide from an AiG talk given in Akron OH in 2016. 

Comments

  1. Playing devil’s advocate, AIG could argue that yes, their sign says that the Ark needed to house the ancestors of fewer than 34,000, but does not say it ONLY needed to house that many. In other words, it did need to house that many, plus many more extinct ones. So, they could argue, the sign does not technically exclude the latter. Even if they want to resort to semantic game-playing though, it doesn’t avoid the conclusion at best the sign is very misleading. Of course, that’s nothing new in YEC. Often the problem is as much what they don’t say as what they do say. I agree that it’s not entirely clear whether the sign is due to poor research or incompetence by the designers, or a directive from the top, but I doubt much happens at the Ark Encounter without Ken Ham’s oversight and approval.
    I’ve never been to the museum or Ark despite often driving almost right by it on my way to or from Texas most summers to do more dino track research. I was never sure my stomach could take it, or that I wanted to support them even minimally with my entrance fee. However, my curiosity about their exhibits on hyperspeciation and other subjects has increased my interested in finally visiting, which I’ll probably do this year. I’ll probably also check out ICR’s new “Discovery Center” in Dallas, for which they have been aggressively soliciting donations for years. The construction is behind schedule, but the ribbon cutting is tentatively scheduled for this fall. It will be interesting to see how they will present post-Flood speciation. https://www.icr.org/article/10067/

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    • Yes, I’m sure they could say that. At least they don’t say “The Ark ONLY had to hold….” then it would clearly be a false statement. As it is, it is only deceptive. I do wonder what ICR is going to do. They have some folks there who are clearly not that happy with the way that AiG has gone with the hyper-speciation. The definitely believe that there has been some speciation but they may also disagree about putting the flood/post-flood boundary as low as the K/Pg boundary as Snelling/AiG does. If they put it much higher then they don’t have to have as much post-flood speciation.

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  2. Thank you for this. It’s nice to see some rationality in Christianity.

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  3. Joel, Speaking of hyper inflation, I wonder if I have this right. The first mention of the work “lion” I can find is in Genesis 49:8-10, where Jacob blesses his sons, and compares Judah to a lion. If I have the time line right, Jacob died around 660 years after the flood. That would mean that the cat “kind” actually had to evolve into lions etc in that incredibly short time. Am I getting that right?

    Sy

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    • Yes, I think that is the obvious biblical problem that YECs have. There were many domestic cat varieties by the time of the early Egyptians and the Egyptians also knew of leopards or cheetahs if I remember right. Various canines are also mentioned early in the Bible.

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  4. According to Numbers (the historian, not the Bible book) Henry Morris was aware of the problem of hyper-evolution, which is one of the reasons why he regarded Ussher-type calculations of the age of the Earth as mistaken, and treated the “generations of Noah” as referring to groups rather than individuals. In this last detail, surely, he was right.

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    • Yes, H Morris was less rigid than many modern young earthers on the date of creation and Flood, most of whom now Creation was about 6,000 years ago and the Flood about 4,000 to 4,500 years ago. Morris has a long discussion in the Appendix of The Genesis Flood about all the problems and pitfalls of trying to derive reliable dates from the Usher method, and finally concludes ” ..even the allowance of 5,000 years between the Flood and Abraham stretches Genesis 11 almost to the breaking point.” Of course, that doesn’t say much, since it comes after a long explanation about why likely gaps in genealogies make it hard to know just when Abraham lived. John Morris Henry’s son wrote in his 1994 book The Young Earth, “Even if one inserts every possible time gap in the genealogies …the time of the creation of Adam would be no longer than, say 12,000 years (most likely closer to 6,000 years).” However, in a 2004 web article he seemed to be less generous, and stated that earth was created in 24-hour days just “a few thousand years ago” https://www.icr.org/article/how-young-earth/
      More often ICR authors seem to bend over backwards to avoid giving even approximate dates for the Creation or Flood, other than to state they happened only thousands rather than millions of years ago. In contrast, AIG authors and many other modern YECs often flatly state that creation happened 6,000 years ago (using Usher’s method or slightly modified versions of it). At least one AIG article gives the precise date of the Flood as 2348 BC! https://answersingenesis.org/the-flood/ In fact, they’ve gone so far as to suggest that anyone who doesn’t buy into a 6,000 year Earth is a heretic.
      The bottom line is, ICR seems to allow for an older Creation and Flood than AIG by up to a few thousand years, but that doesn’t still leave much time for hyperspeciation. That’s one reason I’ll be interested to see how ICR’s new “Disovery Center” handles the issue.

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  5. “Noah’s Ark must have contained the common ancestors of all 34,000 living species today.”

    Back in the 18th century Linnaeus wrote that God did not create at the species level, but rather on the family or order level. That is a few thousand kinds. My own research area is generegulation and genomics. My special interest goes to TEs and how they induce variation, adaptation and speciation. I think that no more that one or two thousand kinds were sufficient to bring forth all living species, today, and a few hundred more when we include the fossils. The chromosomes and karyotypes of the extant species still bear the evidence for hyperspeciation events. And the process is non random, but sequence driven. It is all frontloaded in baranomes, i.e. undifferentiated information carriers created to reproduce, vary, adapt and speciate.
    Further, the level of speciation may simply depend on the amount of information frontloaded in the baranomes and on the activity and sort of TEs. The model of hyperspeciation is also present in the secular literature: do a search on “burst of TE activity evolution” on the NCBI homepage. This is the mechanism that brough forth the thousands of novel species after the flood. It was all over in a matter of generation. Therefore, the Bible can speak of Lions very early in the bible. It is hyperspeciation due to burts of TE activity. It is common 21st century science.

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  6. rjdownard says:

    Another post to put into my TIP data field! The problem trying to untangle the Ark kind mess is that the creationists can’t untangle it, either. That Lightner paper, for example, avoids source documentation and leaves out fossils altogether, and just in the finch case (cue Galapagos) Lightner blithely allows 1200 extant species in the broad group to have originated from the alleged kind aboard the Ark

    It’s revealing AiG hasn’t even tried to make available just how they arrived at their list, which blurry picture I’ve seen did allow me to work out that they have only some 1500 kinds aboard, producing around 7000 animals (2 each for the unclean kinds, 7 for the clean ones), and even then a whopping 54% of the kinds end up extinct by their own chart’s admission! As a preserver of life, the Ark project appears to have been wildly unsuccessful.

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    • I can only recommend you to read up in currentdays biology, genomics and gene regulation. You will find out that the hyperspeciation model is in the secular science and it is driven by bursts of TEs (Lines, Sines and ERVs). Previously knows as the Darwinian junk DNA, we now know what is does: it is driving hyperevolutionary processes. We see bursts of activity followed by silence (stasis), than bursts of activities, followed by silence (stasis), etc. It is the junk DNA that is doing the hyperspeciation. Just as I predicted in my book about 10 years ago. So, there is very good hyperspeciation model, which describes, together with Sanfords model, the complete creationists genetics. There is no problem to understand the genomes in a YEC model. It is much harder to make sense of genomes in a millions of years framework. So, please inform yourself. The truth is out there.

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      • What is the title of your book?

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      • rjdownard says:

        I wouldn’t be relying on Sanford, if I were you peer. His Genetic Entropy notions are unsupported misreading of the technical literature, and nothing he or any other creationist has offered justifies the level of hyper-speciation required by their YEC model. btw Sanford is not a paleontologist, and has not addressed such matters notably in his various creationist publications.

        By all means offer some sources for what you think supports your assertion, that we may all observe them and fact check them. I’ll naturally check my own TIP data field to see if I did not already have them in my references.

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        • rj, I agree that Sanford’s “genetic entropy” does not justify YECs claims about hyperspeciation, In fact, it seems to run directly against it. How can genomes be deteriorating, and at the same time thousands of new species be forming–all of which need to adapt to new and changing environments? This gets back to my questions to Peer about what will trigger or direct the dramatic genetic changes he talks about, especially in an adaptive manner. I see YECs increasingly talking about pre-planned adaptations and instantly triggered adaptations, without clear explanations on exactly how these come about, especially in the face of severe genetic bottlenecks and at breakneck speed, but with little or no help from natural selection. AIG seems confused on what they think of natural selection. Jeanson and others seem consider it a positive factor at times, while Ham seems to relegate it to only a conservative role in weeding out “bad mutations.” But they need it (or some other mechanism) to do a lot more than that in order for hyperspeciation to look even remotely possible. They seem to be going farther down the rabbit hole, requiring increasingly rapid and dramatic evolution, at the same time they keep railing against evolution and “evolutionists.” As one observer recently wrote (I forget who), “Please stop this madness!”

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          • It is worth remembering that as Numbers points out, arguments against evolution from the second law of thermodynamics date back to the nineteenth century, and became prominent in RED Clark’s 1948 Darwin, Before and After. Henry Morris picked up on this, and it features prominently in The Genesis Flood. I seem to hear faint echoes of the same kind of thinking in Behe’s latest offering.

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            • Biology isn’t my forte, but I seem to recall a recent that some biologists now think the laws of thermodynamics make the emergence and evolution of life all but inevitable, simply because of how efficient biological systems are at producing entropy. And the universe, in the end, is a great big entropy-producing machine.

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              • Yes, Jeremy England has been working on that entropy angle. https://www.quantamagazine.org/a-new-thermodynamics-theory-of-the-origin-of-life-20140122/

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                • rjdownard says:

                  I’m not familiar yet with any YEC complaints about England’s arguments (if any have come up, let me know if them), but the ID gang was quick to dump on him. Last August, David Klinghoffer waved James Tour (!) at him https://evolutionnews.org/2017/08/with-a-footnote-synthetic-chemist-james-tour-delivers-chastisement-to-mits-jeremy-england/ and Brian Miller was likewise grumpy https://evolutionnews.org/2017/08/hailed-as-the-next-darwin-mits-jeremy-england-sheds-little-light-on-lifes-origins/

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                  • To me, Tour’s criticisms seem a overly harsh as well as misleading. First, he makes it sound like even the formation of basic organic molecules like amino acids requires deliberate design and elaborate lab equipment, whereas many experiments and observations (including evidence of them in space) indicate otherwise. Second, he implies we have good evidence that no other planet besides earth has any life, but we’ve barely begun to examine planets outside our solar system (and only indirectly) and are not even sure microbial life doesn’t exist on other planets or moons in our own solar system. Third, he ridicules J England’s comment about atoms becoming a plant if given plenty of light and plenty of time, as if England was talking about some dirt under a desk lamp, when he obviously didn’t mean that, and that specific and suitable environmental conditions were also needed, Indeed, it seemed misleading for Tour to say, “The experiment has been performed. The outcome is known. Regardless of the wavelength of the light, no plant ever forms” since no one has done “the experiment” for millions of years, which is what England meant by “plenty of time.”

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              • Paul D wrote: “I seem to recall a recent that some biologists now think the laws of thermodynamics make the emergence and evolution of life all but inevitable, simply because of how efficient biological systems are at producing entropy. And the universe, in the end, is a great big entropy-producing machine.”?

                Are you sure you don’t mean “reducing entropy” instead of “producing entropy”? Increasing entropy means increasing disorder. As far as the total entropy of the universe goes, and whether it is a constant or not, even physicists debate this, due to questions about whether the universe is finite or infinite (thus an open or closed system), whether multiverses exist, etc. However, I think most agree that while the universe as a whole has constant or increasing entropy (increasing disorder), some non-closed systems like our Earth which has external energy inputs from the sun (as well as internal ones such as thermal vents) can include entities or subsystems with decreasing entropy (such as living things).

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                • No, I definitely mean producing entropy. The “work” that every biological system does involves increasing entropy — capturing and using up energy in the environment that would remain in a low-entropy state for aeons without the interference of biological organisms.

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                  • Paul, I don’t understand your latest post. I don’t claim to be a physics expert, but as I understand, the essence of the 2nd Law is that without certain inputs, all systems tend toward greater disorder, meaning greater entropy. So If a system overcomes that tendency and becomes more ordered, which living things do, they are reducing their entropy (at least for themselves), not increasing it. No?

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                    • My bad explanation. Far from equilibrium, the system may develop islands of relatively low entropy, which maintain themselves and grow by increasing the rate of entropy flow to their surroundings. Thus all living things consume food of one form or another, and give off heat to their surroundings as they metabolise. This heating of the environment increases its entropy. Only corpses are at room temperature.

                      Thus overall there is an increase in entropy. When I said that the overall effect was to speed up this increase, I was going by memory and I’m not sure that’s always correct. When you burn up food, even as a growing child, you are certainly increasing total entropy (yourself plus surrounds) faster than if the food had just been left around under sterile conditions, degrading enormously slowly, but a tree isn’t really increasing the rate of entropy production when it absorbs sunlight.

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                  • Oops! I seem to have presumptuously answered Glen on your behalf. Fortunately, we are both saying much the same thing.

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              • Joel, thanks for the link. The work of that young MIT physicist (J England) will probably give YECs fits, since he is not only arguing from physical principles and mathematics that entities with decreasing entropy (such as living things) are only possible, but inevitable.

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            • Yes, some YECs are still pushing old arguments about entropy and the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics working against evolution (whether general or genetic). AIG advises fellow YECs that they should not use the argument that the 2nd Law began at the Fall.
              https://creation.com/arguments-we-think-creationists-should-not-use#fall
              However, at the same time they continue to subtly encourage the idea entropy works against evolution. For example, a footnote in the same article by Tommy Mitchell above states:
              “Applying the second law of thermodynamics to various systems to refute evolutionary ideas is appropriate, but it must be done carefully and considering the concept of open and closed systems.”
              Good luck figuring out what he means by that, or in article by A McIntosh which he links to and supposedly it, but actually seems to only muddy the water further and encourage the idea that entropy not only works against evolution, but may prevent it. But as noted before, the giant irony here is that to the extent they actually believe this, it works directly against their hyperspeciation claims. Not only can they not afford to allow a lot of genetic deterioration, they need a mechanism to form for thousands of new species (and countless new, adaptive alleles within them) within a few hundred to few thousand years after the Flood. Making matters worse, Ham and other AIG authors sometimes argue that natural selection has little role in evolution, because it mostly just weeds out bad mutations (even though other AIG authors sometimes cite natural selection as an important factor in hyperspeciation. As usual, they can’t seem to make up their minds, even on core questions.

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              • McIntosh argues that it’s wrong to invoke the far-from-equilibrium nature of the Earth/Sun system to explain biological complexity, because thermal disequilibrium can only produce useful work when acted on by a machine.

                He is of course correct, but only because a machine is anything that produces useful work. One example is the Earth’s climate system, which accomplishes the extremely useful work of converting seawater into rain. This has been pointed out by my friend John Wiltshire to McIntosh, who despite being a professor of field engineering doesn’t seem to have taken the point aboard

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                • I am no physicist either, but it seems to me that one can readily cite examples of things that show increasing entropy, as well as the appearance of design, without any direct designer being involved. Take snowflakes. They start from mere droplets of water around a spec of dust or pollen, which freeze and crystallize into countless intricate and symmetrical forms (with the exact shapes determined by temperature, humidity, and other factors as they form and fall). Likewise, one could cite any number of mineral crystals in this regard, such as perfect cubes of pyrite, or huge networks of hexagonal columns composed of cooled basalt. They give every appearance of design, even though I know of no YEC who claims snowflakes or mineral crystals were directly created or designed (even if the physical laws governing the process were).

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                  • Oops, I slipped and did what I corrected Paul about. When I said that snowflakes and crystals were examples of increasing entropy, when I mean too say decreasing entropy (=increasing order).

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        • Also, I’d ask proponents of “genetic entropy,” if humans and other vertebrates have deteriorating genomes, even though they have relatively few offspring and long generation times, why have so many microbes and invertebrates, which typically have far shorter generation times and many more offspring (sometimes thousands or millions at a time), not had genomes completely fall apart? Instead, they are thriving, and by all evidence have been thriving and evolving for hundreds of millions of years.

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          • rjdownard says:

            Of course the creationists avoid that implication by not studying most of the animals, where there ought to be a universal deterioration in organisms post Ark. What you get in the limited apologetics there are selected blips which, if taken in isolation, might be thought to support their argument. Pull back and look at the whole data field, though, and the 3 Card Monte illusion becomes apparent.

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          • Glen I was thinking the very same thing before I saw your comment. I’m glad you brought that up. I was wondering about viruses as well. With 10 million per drop of sea water and their replicative ability and highest error rate surely they should have decayed to nonfunctionality long long ago.

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      • sallyhawksworth says:

        I was amused by your recommendation that we should read up on current day biology, genomics and gene regulation, Peer. I strongly doubt whether you can find any “secular” experts in those fields (IOW anyone not employed by ICR or AIG) whose research and writings, TAKEN AS A WHOLE rather than cherry picked, would agree with your assertions about hyperspeciation.

        I happened to be reading an article yesterday on the (British) Natural History Museum website – not an academic scholarly article at all, just a short piece for the general public, one of several about interesting new research. This was about some researchers having come to the conclusion that the so called Cambrian explosion had been even faster than previously thought, with most of the new developments coming near the beginning of the period, followed by a period of much less change. Just the sort of thing that you might eagerly seize upon as evidence of hyperspeciation supported by mainstream modern biologists, one might think. But if one looked a little more closely, what was being talked about was the comparatively speedy diversification of previously soft bodied creatures into many different Arthropodal forms, principally different sorts of trilobite, as a result of all sorts of new opportunities opening up once the composition of the sea water changed to include higher levels of calcium and and other minerals, and growing hard shells became easier. And at he end of the article, the writer finally mentioned the time scale for this “explosion” – two MILLION years!! Two million years for some soft bodied marine invertebrates to develop hard shells and diversify into different marine invertebrates with a variety of body plans, before there was, it seems, any multicellular, complex life on land. Long before any insects, evolved, let alone anything vertebrate. And, of course, long after the first life on earth began, billions of years. But this period of two million years is being hailed by the writer and researchers as a period of super fast evolution, compared with other, later periods. It hardly looks to me that they would support your notion that the animal kinds on the Ark could develop into all the species, extinct and extant, that you claim they could, in the space of. – well, how long exactly are you allowing for this process?

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      • christine janis says:

        ‘You will find out that the hyperspeciation model is in the secular science and it is driven by bursts of TEs (Lines, Sines and ERVs).’

        “Secular” science may support rapid bursts of speciation (species within a genus). It does not support the hyperevolution required of the YECs (genera within families), especially as that would mean the appearance of entire families (plus the extinction of most of the contained species in that family) in a period of a few hundred years.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Christine, yes, and to further clarify, what YECs call rapid (typically hundreds to a few thousand years) is a lot different than what geologists and paleontologists consider “rapid” (often hundreds of thousands to a few million years). Indeed, as Sally pointed out, YECs like to claim the “Cambrian Explosion” supports their view, but even it took place over at least a few million years. Moreover, YES often imply there were no possible Precambrian precursors, even though there are some, and that all most phyla appeared at the same time. Of course they usually neglect to mention the important fact that no modern species, genera, or even families and classes, of modern animals and plants occur in Cambrian rocks, even though they were all supposedly thriving before the Flood. Likewise, as Joel pointed out in previous articles, YECs can’t begin to explain why we find no pollen or diatoms in the entire Paleozoic, even though they readily fossilized, would have been ubiquitous in the preFlood ocean, and occur by the trillions in later parts of the fossil record. If any YEC has a plausible explanation for this, I’d love to hear it.

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          • rjdownard says:

            There are a handful of YECers who try to scope out (sort of) what they think happened in that fun house world of the Flood/post Flood. For example, Kurt Wise’s giant floating free-Flood forests being flash-baked into coal seams are offered as cartoonish abstractions, not grounded in the geological details of specific deposits. Ditto for Andrew Snelling’s not really accounting for all the interbedded airborne volcanic ash known even to him in the geological record. YECers have tried coopting aspects of modern plate tectonics, name dropping Rodinia and Pangaea in their arguments, but so far its just been more cartoon frames.

            Like

            • RJ wrote: “Kurt Wise’s giant floating free-Flood forests being flash-baked into coal seams are offered as cartoonish abstractions, not grounded in the geological details of specific deposits.”

              Right, and Wise of all people should know better, since he has a doctorate in paleontology (as far as I know he is only one of two YEC credentialed paleontologists in all of N America). He also ignores the fact that as detailed by Glenn Morton, there could not have been enough biomass in the preFlood world to account for even a fraction of all the coal and other fossil fuels found in the earth’s crust.
              See: https://morton-yec-archive.blogspot.com/2016/10/to-many-fossils-for-global-flood.html

              Morton took down all his web articles several years ago, on the grounds that some atheists were using them to argue things beyond YECism. However, he had already given permission at the top of all his articles for them to be freely distributed as long as they wre not changed. So Ed Babinski reposted them at his website (after another site that did the same went defunct). I really like Glenn, and in some ways can understand his decision, but to me, taking down his great articles for that reason was kinda like a baseball bat manufacturer deciding to shut down the factory because the bats were sometimes misused to beat someone up.

              Like

    • Lightner on Ark Kinds gets 137 mammamlianArk Kinds https://answersingenesis.org/creation-science/baraminology/mammalian-ark-kinds/ and 196 avian Ark Kinds https://answersingenesis.org/creation-science/baraminology/an-initial-estimate-of-avian-ark-kinds/ , all with extant species.
      In her 2011 paper Lightner tells how she got this number of Ark Kinds: https://answersingenesis.org/noahs-ark/determining-the-ark-kinds/ . “Using current taxonomic placement as a guide, pictures and/or personal experience with the animals will be used to find obvious groupings.” In case of the mammals, the ‘current taxonomic placement’ is on basis of DNA. In fact, the families recognized by standard evolutionary biology on the basis of DNA are promoted to Ark Kinds, unless that leads to a very large number of species in an Ark Kind (as with Ruminantia) or are difficult for non-specialists (as with pigs and peccaries). Lightner even accepts the Madagascar Carnivores Eupleridae as an Ark Kind: a family that was only recognized as such recently based on DNA.
      It is extremely amusing to see the wholesale acceptance of science by AiG when it comes to taxonomy.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I agree, it is interesting that the use of DNA sequences for phylogeny reconstruction is fine to find the limits of kinds and yet if the phylogeny connect kinds they use personal experience or gut feeling that some level of DNA difference is too much or that some things with similar DNA look too dissimilar for them to believe they are the same kind. Its a weird mix of criteria.

        Liked by 1 person

      • With one glaring exception

        Like

      • rjdownard says:

        Indeed, Peter, the creationist reliance on regular science is a matter of necessity: they don’t do the work. The baraminologists siphon the cladistic data fields compiled by the working paleontologists; Lightner et al scavenge the work of others (usually older, but occasionally more recent) to tag things to seem sort of manageable. But the detailed rationale for why those placements follow from a rigorous systematic is largely missing (and very little on fossils, though the breeziness in which they acknowledged the toothed fossil platypuses shows how elastic their measure can be for things outside the Homo sapiens baramin). Far more fundamentally, they are facing an intractable dual bottleneck: ALL extant species must have been derived from a much smaller set of created kinds, and those kinds must account for all the fossil examples. I would contend that a YEC paleogenomics where the creationist works out the genomic heterozygosity of the created form will never be viable when the degree and rate of variation post-Eden or (1500 years later in their view) post-Flood (only 4500 years ago) has to be measured and compared to the available data field, fossil and genetic. Too much, too fast–snagging on their own creationist complaints that supposedly evolution asks too much too slowly of natural variation.

        Like

  7. Peer wrote: “My special interest goes to TEs and how they induce variation, adaptation and speciation. I think that no more that one or two thousand kinds were sufficient to bring forth all living species, today, and a few hundred more when we include the fossils.”

    Peer, you keep talking about TEs and all they can do, but never seem to explain how these dramatic genetic changes are triggered by the environment in ways that result in adaptation even though that would be needed for any meaningful speciation. As I said before, I’m willing to read your book, but I think a brief explanation of that would be reasonable to give here, especially if you don’t think natural selection has much of a role. Speaking of your book, a couple months ago you graciously offered to send me an electronic copy if I left my email address. I did that but haven’t seen the book so far. No rush, but is the offer still good? Thanks.

    By the way, in another blog I was surprised to see you denying being a YEC. I also recall asking you here before how old you think the earth is, but don’t think you answered directly. Can you please clear that up? It seems like a fair and relevant question.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Robert Byers says:

    you do have “hyper evolution” its called people. the people groups changed looks quickly after Babel and were done within a century or less.
    anyways.
    The bible only mentions KINDS. its man that tries to figure out what a KIND is.t
    Everybody must be getting it wrong.
    it must of been only a small number. for example i don’t understand why this article said elephants would be three. No just, at most , one. i don’t think there was a elephant looking creature but the elephant is just a diverdsity in a greater kind.
    flightless birds are just birds who have atrophied wings. this would not be another group.
    I see theropod dinos as also flightless birds of coarse.
    They tried to squeeze everything in including fossil creatures.
    The good point by YEC and the author of this article is that its just a smaller number of creatures.
    just squeeze them into smaller kinds.
    Remember AIG would not say marsupials should be put into the kinds they look like but be in a marsupial group with kinds. thats wrong but hopefully will be corrected soon.
    Yup YEC has problems with figuring out what KINDS are and Ark numbers.
    to squeeze everything down like i do would be extremely hard for them before the public.

    Like

    • rjdownard says:

      Robert, your facility for squeezing a data field (fossil and genetic) about which you know virtually nothing will be of interest only to antiquarians of bad creationist methodology (remember people can see your various postings on websites and blogs, including my own TIP project). The reason why AiG or the baraminologists get things mucked up, though, is not for dint of effort. They can’t get it right because their primary assumption (that there were created kinds at all) is wrong to begin with, as wrong as the young earth mythology they also embrace as part of their theological mandate. Marsh couldn’t make baraminology work with the smaller data field available to him in the 1940s, and the vastly larger one known to us in the 21st cen (including the reptile-mammal transition example, which no antievolutionist has been able to wrap their theoretical mitts around) renders the whole pursuit a study in folly and wishful thinking.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Robert Byers says:

        The mammal-reptile transition is a good point about classification errors that lead research astray.
        Everyone has trouble with KINDS because everyone insistys they know how far biology can innately change itself or not at all.
        They don’t.
        Even my YEC don’t know any mechanism to change biology and so are hostile to squeezing more things into a single kind.. They also don’t know how peoples bodyplans changed from the original tribe
        The reptile mammal thing is very welcome. It shows that there are no reptiles or mammals.
        There are just traits within kinds.THE KIND would include a “reptile” or “mamal” etc.
        This equation works everywhere. So there is no theropod becoming a bird but a theropod is a bird. its not a dinosar or a reptile more related to a turtle.
        In fact the fossil record of creatures holding traits of mammals or reptiles would be a prediction of the hypothesis.
        The result I already knew and so no prediction but it could of been.

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        • rjdownard says:

          Robert, don’t try to be too clever by half when you haven’t even managed the half part. You haven’t accounted for the reptile-mammal transition data because none of the creationists you might have copied have done so either (remember I’ve surveyed all of them in “Evolution Slam Dunk”). To turn the tables on you, Robert, all evolution is, is that all life is one gigantic monobaramin. There, evolution and creationism reconciled!

          The devil’s in the details, though, and the fact is that everything on earth is related by natural common descent. And all those therapsids, including the ones explicitly and uniquely predicted on evolutionary grounds (those double-jawed forms like the probainognathids) are ample verification that evolution fits the facts while creationism is a fog bank of evasion.

          Like

    • Robert wrote: “you do have “hyper evolution” its called people. the people groups changed looks quickly after Babel and were done within a century or less.”

      As usual you ignore the fact that all extant humans readily interbreed and leave fertile offspring. So are clearly the same species and thus provide no evidence for hyperspeciation. Ironically, while often claiming there are multiple species of modern humans, you have also often claimed that groups as diverse as “all marsupials” or all horses and rhinos are the same “kind.” You bristled when I speculated if you were a troll, but no serious and sensible person would make such nonsensical and self-contradictory claims.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Robert Byers says:

        There is no contradiction in what i say and think YEC everywhere will say one day.
        I know all humans interbreed successfully. We say we are onr group that only separated at babel about 150 years after the flood.. Your side says all humans were from one tribe once(aside from neaderthal subject etc).
        Yet look at us now! We have different bodyplans on a short list of traits. Colour most obvious.
        I say WHATEVER the mechanism that changed us into these segregated people groups with different bodyplans THAT IS THE MECHANISM.
        In fact your side must say there was evolution at least this far between humans.
        so i then add there has been human speciatio.No different then speciation ,mechanism anywhere in biology.
        THEN you correct me and say UNTIL a reproductive barrier (hybrids aside) has been crossed there has been NO speciation and so no mechanism.
        i protest the mechanism is blind to whether a reprodtucive barrier has been crossed. its only a coincidence if that happened too. YET the mechanism has been going on quite nicely
        I then say there is no evidence that reproductive barriers are recognized by speciation processes.
        SO humans are species as much or not at all like all other biology.
        YET we do say whales and dolphins are different species despite they can breed and so why not with humans.
        Its not contradictory to say humans are divided into species as much as bees are.
        The origin of species is a mechanism and not a human invented boundary.

        i say there are no marsupials. They are not one kind. instead a “marsupial’ wolf is just another dumb wolf. having a pouch is a trivial adaption for local reasons.
        I suspect, not sure, rhinos and horses are varieties of a KIND.
        Its all about lumping and splitting creature types into groups.

        Like

        • rjdownard says:

          Marsupials don’t exist? Robert, you do your God no honor by your foolish ignorance. As I noted in “Evolution Slam Dunk” of someone far higher on the antievolution food chain than you can ever lay claim to (Michael Denton, who tried waving the thylacine matter):

          In his classic criticism of creationism, Science on Trial: The Case for Evolution, Douglas Futuyma (1982, 46, 48) pointed out that the Tasmanian thylacine “wolf” has the marsupial dental layout of 3 premolars and 4 molars, while placental dogs have 4 premolars and only 2 molars in the upper jaw (3 in the lower though). Different number and arrangement. Did Denton’s privileged observation not extend to counting the gross number of teeth? See Maureen O’Leary et al. (2013a, 666-667) for a tidy summary of the evolutionary development of the differing marsupial and placental dental layouts.

          Frank Sonleitner found Denton’s argument especially glib, forwarding to me a contemporaneous publication from Denton’s own Australian backyard, Michael Archer & Georgina Clayton (1984, 588, 643-647), which noted the many diagnostic features unique to marsupials that separated the two taxa. These ran from the specialized tarsal bone in the foot to a host of distinctive features in their skulls. Besides the obvious dental differences, another item was especially apparent even to yours truly (a certified non-zoologist): the telltale holes in the palate found in all the Australian marsupials but in no placental mammal.

          Like

          • All good info rj, but as misguided as some of Philip’s own comments were, but I’ll say again that he;’s probably right about it not being worthwhile to address hyper-loopy claims of people like Robert, especially since he seldom has anything new to say, and usually just rehashes the same baloney. I know I’ve often failed to resist the impulse to respond, but I for one intend to try harder in the future. After all, there’s hardly a point in refuting claims whose problems are so plain that even grade-school children can recognize them, such as his gem today that examples of different “body plans” among human species are “colors” Things like this is why I still have a slight suspicion that his whole schtick might be an anti-YEC parody.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Robert Byers says:

            I don’t know what Denton said about marsupials!
            The tiny details you make mAKE the bigger point. you must refer to TEETH, foot bones, or a few skull things. WHILE not referring the great number, thousands, of traits that turn the bodyplan of the marsupial wolf into a look alike with our wolves. The few details simply ride the change that happened reproductively.
            Upon migration to areas they adapted for good reasons in a few like ways. Even teeth could be affected in like ways. REMEMBER evolutionist must invoke convergent evolution, very unlikely, to explain the almost perfect likeness between the two.. Why not convergent adaption in a few trivial , but important in the day, traits and not the heaps that would be needed for convergent evolution?!
            Teeth numbers is irrelevant in creatures.
            It is about lumping and splitting.
            On a probability curve its very likely adaption can be mutual for cratures in a certain area and unlikely , with area being irrelevant, that creatures become marsupial moles, mice, lions, wolves etc etc.
            What can you say.
            Whether marsupials or mammal/reptile transition ITS still all about grouping traits to make conclusions on biological relationships and heritage.
            We both see the others trait addition as dumb. So both/neither/one of our sides is dumb(er).

            Like

            • rjdownard says:

              Robert, you are nothing if not consistent. In all your postings over the years that I have observed, you have shown yourself to be colossally ignorant and tendentious on all topics you have thought to bring up. This instance is no exception. The “tiny details” you disparage are THE DETAILS, all of them, which the antievolutionists who have brought this subject up (including the Denton you have not read) have flippantly ignored. Marsupials can be distinguished from placental mammals by their complete anatomy and the genetics that underlie them, but waving “bodyplan” around is another sign of your persistent ignorance, since all chordates share the same body plan.

              By all means pen your learned monograph on this (hopefully with spell checker flipped on), and present it for all to read and judge. But if all you have to offer is the fluff you’ve shown so far, don’t be surprised at how your insights are not taken at all seriously by people who have made even a rudimentary study of the subject.

              Like

              • Robert Byers says:

                disagreeing is not ignoring.
                I am not ignoring the details but saying the evolutionists etc are ignoring the GREATER number of details when lumping/splitting .The whole point is that a marsupial wolf, which moving/still pictures can be found of the last one on the internet, has a bodyplan , which means thousands of traits, that is identical to our wolves. thus we should conclude its just another wolf. the few details that unite it to creatures in the area are only due to the areas influence. Like polar creatures are all white, more hair and possibly other details held in common, yet these details nobody would say they unite them. They are just cousins of foxes, hares, bears etc elsewhere.
                The genetics one can see as just going hand in glove with the adaptations gained upon migration. i would say the dna is not the trail but as bodyplans change it could only be dna changed.
                By bodyplans i mean that which is the result of new populations. Not a general chordate group (Which also is a error)
                Actually all I’m doing is in historic attempts of lumping/splitting creatures.
                I wrote a essay that is on the internet called “Post Flood Marsupial Migration Explained” by Robert Byers. Just google. .

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                • rjdownard says:

                  Robert, you keep dithering on this alleged lumper/splitter issue, which would relate to grouping of species that are closely related, NOT taxa as widely separated as marsupials and placentals are (no systematics, even creationist, could make so fundamental an error). Since you cannot even get that basic concept straight, your claiming “thousands of traits” are somehow convergent in the thylacine requires documentation. Please cite for us the technical literature which buttresses that oh so bold claim.

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                  • Robert Byers says:

                    In order to have a bodyplan that is SO identical to another creatures bodyplan requires thousands of anatomical twists and turns UNIQUELY organized to created the identical body WHICH is claimed by evolutionists to be the result of convergent evolution.
                    Convergent evolution MEANS there is a convergence of mutations selection under selective influence THAT led to like results. i should not have to explain this by the way.!

                    therefore its thousands of traits of the anatomy, inside and out, that have been gathered together to make a marsupial wolf and our wolf LOOK ALIKE.
                    I say this is unreasonable and clearly false.
                    Its the other way around. Its the few traits of marsupialism ,due to the influence of that areas they migrated too, that has wrongly been used to classify these creatures. There are no marsupials.
                    There are just wolves, lions, moles, mice etc etc.
                    Classification has once again led evolutionism to make unsupported claims.

                    Like

                • christine janis says:

                  .”The whole point is that a marsupial wolf, which moving/still pictures can be found of the last one on the internet, has a bodyplan , which means thousands of traits, that is identical to our wolves.”

                  The thylacine has a body form (i.e., superficial appearance rather than the anatomical and molecular details that you dismiss) that is really quite unlike a wolf. It’s legs are shorter, it can stand on its hind feet in a plantigrade stance (i.e., heel on the ground, the foot pad goes all the way up to the heel), it’s braincase is smaller, it’s snout is narrower, the tail is quite different (with a thick base), and of course it has stripes, something that you recently called part of the ‘body plan’ of zebras. Early settlers to Australia saw it not as a dog-like animal, but as a peculiar form of opossum.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • rjdownard says:

                    Based on the behavioral traits we’ve observed so far with Robert, we might wonder whether he qualifies as an especially peculiar variety of hominid. But by any systematic, Byers shows a distinct aptitude for not thinking things through clearly.

                    Like

                  • Robert Byers says:

                    Early settlers to Australia are not right about everything!
                    all the tiny traits you mention are trivial. the bodyplan is not superficial. its a detailed anatomical construction. Its antomy of both wolves is so alike that its common parlance that students have to pay close attention to distinguish them. Our wolves have long/short legs according to species.
                    Stripes/ By that standard a tiger wouldn’t be related to a black panther.!
                    yes it could stand better, probably the tail helping, but also could the marsupial lion.
                    Its just a useful adaption of all migrating creatures there.
                    Its trivial. indeed would you be arguing that convergent evolution turned the ORIGINAL marsupial
                    into its wolf/cat varieties but kept the upward stance ability trait? Whats so sticky? there must be a good reason for it. If not then YOUR saying even that was a convergent trait.
                    its all about grouping traits to make relationships and this case is evidence of evolutionist poor investigation.

                    Like

                    • christine janis says:

                      ‘Its antomy of both wolves is so alike that its common parlance that students have to pay close attention to distinguish them.’

                      Which students are these, Robert? A blind friend of mine, with no training in science, was able to tell apart the skulls of Canis lupus and Thylacinus cynocephalus.

                      “Our wolves have long/short legs according to species.”

                      Do they, indeed? Have you measured the legs of all species of wolf and the thylacine? I have.

                      Meanwhile, if marsupials are just Australian varieties of placentals, you continue to fail to inform us what placental the kangaroo (or, rather, the several dozen species of kangaroos) is simply a variety of.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • rjdownard says:

                      Robert’s likely to remain stuck in his mantra repetition mode (he can do no other). He does reflect the method of a lot of antievolutionists, of course, and makes it easy to see why non-evolutionary approaches to nature haven’t contributed diddly in the last hundred years.

                      Like

                    • Robert Byers says:

                      Trying to reac janis last post but there was no reply section.
                      Anyways.
                      Its common claim that wolves/marsupial wolves bodies will fool students who are introduced to studying the skeletons of creatures. i read it all the time.
                      yes you can tell a skull difference however you could tell a difference between a wolk and a fox too. Yet the same kind in a diversity of a spectrum.
                      i remember there are long legged wolves, or foxes, in S america. Yet still long legs/short is a trivial point to assert they are not the same creature. wolf like creatures have gone instinct that would show a diversity in wolf types.
                      What big wallabys cousins would be elsewhere just means look at the fossil record more. Actually I remember a option in S american fossils. its in my notes somewhere.
                      you guys don’t make a good rebuttal to me. this because it is all about lumping/splitting creatures from relationships. It is on traits.
                      So a pouched wolf, who I read howled at night, is to be clearly a wolf and explains the uniqueness of th marsupial exclusivity in Australia without the others. its just the same creatures as elsewhere with minor adaptations.
                      evolutionists must invent they look alike from evolutionary processes in perfect mutational influence that mimics creatres elsewhere. they are impressed by the few differences and not the great number of likenesses. .

                      Like

                    • Robert wrote: “So a pouched wolf, who I read howled at night,”

                      I’m still trying to resist or at least minimize replies to you, Robert, but I must say, this interesting rumor has finally convinced me that your body plan theory is right. Seriously, if there are any howlers here, they are in your ongoing marsupial claims, which you seem to be doubling down. As to wallabies or kangaroos evolving outside Australia, yes, I’m sure you heard or saw something about that –perhaps someone talking about kangaroo rats? Do you think they have the same body plan as kangaroos? Please say yes, ha. Anyway, since you seem allergic to scientific literature, perhaps the following video will help expand your research: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4QfXbJbU1M

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • While we are at it we should be putting the flying fox together with red foxes instead of with bats.

                      Like

                    • Joel wrote: “While we are at it we should be putting the flying fox together with red foxes instead of with bats.”Sure, why not? Wings are as trivial as a pouches, right? I propose including warewolves in the dog kind too, at least in their fanged & furry phase. After all, they howl too (I saw that in a movie). I’m more skeptical of dogfish, mud puppies, and Megan Fox. We have to draw the line somewhere.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • christine janis says:

                      At least Megan Fox is more closely related to wolves than is the thylacine

                      Liked by 3 people

                • What is most sad is that Robert implies he’s speaking for all Christians and creationists, even though his rambling essay is so full of steaming nonsense that it would make even most YECs and intelligent Christians cringe (except whoever runs the obscure little YEC group he found willing to publish it–they don’t say who does). And since Robert ignores corrections from others, there’s no point in explaining the specific problems in his claims again. Perhaps I should not even say this much, since as I mentioned before, he seems to feed off of attention, no matter how negative.

                  Like

                  • Robert Byers says:

                    I don’t speak for TEC creationists. only a few see marsupials as just placentals with pouches.
                    Thanks for your support for YEC abilities to see nonsense but why only here? how does that work?
                    You accuse me of ignoring corrections! Do my opponents accept corrections?
                    if we are contending a point then the right one should not be corrected . so who is right is once again some judge.
                    Anyways ts about lumping/spiltting creatures into groups.
                    it was a error to be too impressed with pouches while not impressed with perfect likeness of bodyplans in australian creatures. if they had seen marsupial lions I think they would of said AHA. These are the same creatures as elsewhere with adaptions. Not define them by the adaptation. Whoops.

                    Like

                    • I’ll make an exception to my resolution to ignore Robert, since he directly challenged some of my recent comments. He states: “I don’t speak for TEC creationists.”

                      I assume you mean YECs. Right, you don’t speak for them. My point was that you unfairly pretended to do so in your article, where you repeatedly say “Creationists can say…” while spouting your vacuous ideas, which even most YECs do not accept.
                      https://nwcreation.net/articles/marsupial_migration.html

                      Robert: “Thanks for your support for YEC abilities to see nonsense but why only here? how does that work?”

                      Ironcially, the nonsense I and others spoke of included your own, and it was not “only here.” YEC pseudoscience is regularly criticized by us and others in many other places, as you well know.

                      Robert: “You accuse me of ignoring corrections! Do my opponents accept corrections?”

                      Yes. Most contributors here, like good scientists in general, gladly receive corrections when they are shown to be mistaken about something. In contrast, I don’t recall you ever doing so, even when repeatedly presented with clear evidence that you are wrong, such as right now.

                      Robert: “if we are contending a point then the right one should not be corrected . so who is right is once again some judge.”

                      Scientific claims are judged by the weight and quality of evidence for something, and evidence is something you are consistently short on.

                      Robert: “it was a error to be too impressed with pouches while not impressed with perfect likeness of bodyplans in australian creatures.”

                      That you reduce the differences between marsupial and placental animals to mere “pouches” underscores how woefully uninformed you are about the differences between these groups. As usual, you show no receptivity to corrections, nor any interest in doing more research to gain a better understanding – a classic case of willful ignorance.

                      Liked by 1 person

                  • Robert Byers says:

                    Duff. Well its on traits. The flying fox can be scored as a bat if the traits add up. not a fox on the ground. Saying a marsupial fox is not a fox because of a few minor details, no more important then any detail separating species, WHILE ignoring the great number of details that FORCE a convergent evolution hypothesis is all about classification.
                    They were simply wrong and careless in scoring it.
                    Indeed common sense should of taught that all creatures had representatives all over the planet. not being excluded from Australia etc. They just adapted a bit different.
                    I always suggest people watch the moving/still pictures of the last marsupial wolf and open thier mind to new/better hypothesis about biological relationships.
                    Then run with this equation to all of biology.

                    Like

                    • Robert wrote: “Well its on traits. The flying fox can be scored as a bat if the traits add up. not a fox on the ground.”
                      You forgot to address my warewolf comments, and besides, your criteria would not apply to vampire bats. Good grief, Robert, are you so clueless of basic biology that you don’t even realize when someone is making a parody of your claims?

                      Like

                    • christine janis says:

                      What’s the placental version of a kangaroo, Robert?

                      Like

                    • christine janis says:

                      Robert: you repeatedly tell us that there are thousands of ways in which a thylacine is identical to a wolf. Why don’t you tell us just 5 ways in which it is more like a wolf than it is like a Tasmanian devil (the largest living marsupial carnivore).

                      Remember: you can’t use details of the skull, the teeth, the length of the legs or any other aspect of the skeleton, or the color of the coat. You’ve dismissed all such features as being irrelevant. So, let’s just have 5 of the many thousand that make the thylacine and the wolf identical, and different to the Tassie devil.

                      Like

                    • I get the sense that traits are just “things that I see and make sense to me.” Does the cover of a book really tell you the whole story? External morphological appearance can be quite deceptive since there can be an abundance of convergent means to achieve similar morphologies. This is why genomics is a powerful tool for interpreting common ancestry.

                      Like

                    • christine janis says:

                      You are far kinder than me, Joel. But I’m actually curious about how Robert can claim ‘thousands’ of those apparent traits that link the thylacine and the wolf. Some of the most obvious, such as stripes, leg length, and foot posture (and, unlike a wolf, the hind-foot pad of the thylacine extends all of the way up to the hock), have already been dismissed. Also, one can clearly see in those film clips the amazingly large gape of the thylacine, quite unlike any placental carnivore.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Christine and Joel, I applaud your patience with Robert, but so far I see no evidence that he has the least interest in becoming better informed about genetics, fossils, reproductive biology, or anything else that would counter his shallow ideas about “kinds” based on superficial appearances alone. As you pointed out, they don’t even hold water on that basis. Unless I missed it, we’re still waiting to hear him explain what the marsupial version of a kangaroo is. I get the feeling he believes that his personal opinions and subjective impressions are all that matter, if that if he repeats the same lame claims often enough, someone might start believing them. If so he’ll be waiting a long time, since that isn’t even working with most YECs, let alone anyone here.
                      But Spring is upon us, and hope springs eternal, so maybe Robert will finally turn over a new leave, start listing to others here, and start doing more reading and research.

                      Liked by 1 person

  9. Ashley Haworth-roberts says:

    I note that by ‘speciation rates’ you mean the claimed YEC speciation rates rather than those suggested by science.

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  10. Philip Williams says:

    Once again atheists willing to swallow a camel and yet strain at a gnat.
    Trying to apply faulty evolutionary thinking to the truth never brings out the truth, but only tries to deceive. I do love the phrase “Hyper-Evolution”, even though it is oxymoronic. Evolutionists just won’t let it go. No credible individual believed the world existed beyond the years the Creator had told of until someone decided to come up with a theory to explain God out if the equation. I have the satisfaction in knowing one day everyone, even atheistic evolutionists, will meet the Creator one day and see God was right all along. I’m afraid it won’t matter for them then.

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    • I love the passive-aggressive “You’ll be sorry one day” threat you finished with. Speaking fondly of that glorious day when your intellectual opponents get tortured in hellfire isn’t exactly a good-faith approach to scientific discussion.

      Liked by 1 person

    • “No credible individual believed the world existed beyond the years the Creator had told of until someone decided to come up with a theory to explain God out if the equation.” I really want to know who told you this. It is completely untrue. Many of the greats of 19th-century geology, who between them established that the age of the Earth must be measured in millions rather than thousands of years, were clergymen or prominent promoters of Christianity. Buckland, Sedgwick, and in Scotland Hugh Miller, none of whom accepted evolution, all accepted and argued for an ancient Earth.

      “atheistic evolutionists, will meet the Creator one day and see God was right all along. I’m afraid it won’t matter for them then” Do I detect a certain rather un-Christian relish at this prospect?

      Liked by 1 person

      • rjdownard says:

        It may be that Philip is getting his “history” of geological work from the young earth creationists, who have been ignoring the facts for him.

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    • Phillip, which “atheists” are you referring to? And as Paul points out your claim about the origins of an old earth are false. Just read the personal letter of John Ray, whom this blog is dedicated to, in the 17th century to see him struggling with this topic and you will be disabused of this idea. Don’t forget that we will all meet our creator someday and your lack of charity and promotion of false information will also be on the list of sins that one hopes that Christ’s blood was shed for.

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    • At risk of seeming to pile on, I have to say, Phillip, that you’re comments suggesting that atheism and evolution were the motivations behind the idea of an old Earth are as unfounded as they are unkind.
      Not only were many early geologists who first developed evidence for deep time devout believers, as Paul pointed out, but so are many today who accept evolution and an old earth. Moreover, much of the early geologic work was done before Darwin even published On the Origin of Species, so how could evolution have been the motivation?
      You bristle at the term hyperevolution, but why is that term, or the similar one “hyperspeciation” not a fair description of what many YECs are proposing: that species evolved in super-rapid and dramatic fashion after the Flood? What do you prefer, “Rapid post flood speciation” or “Rapid post Flood diversification” (terms some YECs have been using). How are those substantially different? As far as your closing remarks go, perhaps you should consider that when YECs meet their maker, instead of patting them on the back for assuming a narrow and hyper-literal view of Genesis, he may ask them why they ignored or dismissed all the evidence he allowed us to discover about the Earth’s long and complex history.

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    • rjdownard says:

      Philip Williams wrote that “No credible individual believed the world existed beyond the years the Creator had told of until someone decided to come up with a theory to explain God out if the equation.” Which suggests Philip has a very insular idea of “credible,” along with a faulty idea of history, given that geologists professing Christian faith over many centuries (Adam Sedgwick for instance, no evolutionist or god-hater he) into our own have endeavored to work out empirically the age of the earth, and they have succeeded, quite apart from what some people insist is the only allowable interpretation of a Bible that in fact didn’t describe this clearly or give explicit dates. Perhaps Philip is under the misapprehension that modern creationism (which is a far more recent invention than dial telephones) has some rigor and standing here. It doesn’t.

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  11. Christy Hemphill says:

    “If this is the case the YEC must propose that in access of 2500 species evolved from a single pair of birds in less than 4500 years.” in excess (Sorry, compulsive proofreader…) Great article. 🙂

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  12. When I said “vampire bats” I should have said, “vampires”, which of course can turn into bats. So presumably they would be members of both the bat and human “kind.” By the same token, we’d have to consider warewolves as members of both the dog and human “kind”, although by Robert’s standards, apparently each would be different human species–just two among many.

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  13. When I said maybe Robert will turn over a “new leave”, I meant “new leaf” of course. I could speculate on what prompted my subconscious to make the typo, but I’ll leave it at that. Ha.

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  14. Robert Byers says:

    I will post here although far from the posts that I’m referring to.
    christine. you wrongly understand what a trait is in a bodyplan. its not stripes and foot pads only. Its a entire morphology. indedd its the heart, liver, tongue you name it. The body is full of thousands of traits that are in sum the result of what we see in a bodyplan.
    If one has a rabbit, rhino, bear before our eyes. They all have thousands of traits that shape their bodies, fill and organize them into very different types of beings with different abilities.
    if one looks at a marsupial wolf one sees thousands of trauts in how the body is put together.
    One trait is how the hesd sits forward of the body. Another trait how the head is connected by this muscle. Another trait how the hesd is connected by another muscle. A couple more traits of muscles connecting the head to the body to give it that swing IDENTICAL to our wolves neck/body swing.
    in fact SO identical they don’t say it evolved in a ordinary way but in a convergent way. THAT MEANS the mutations were influence by the needs of the creature as it went from one bodyplan to another.
    a very big deal in evolutionism. Remmber they must say all marsupials evolved from some original rat like creature INTO identical bodyplans with placental types as wolves, cats, mice, moles etc.
    I shouldn’t have to work so hard to prove biological bodies are a fantastic collection of traits right down to our noses swinging this way or that.!!
    I insist a dod is a dog because its got thousands of anatomical traits that create the doggy look.
    Yes there are a few common traits, very few, that creatures mutually gained upon migration to a new area.. Same with people if one examines them.

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    • rjdownard says:

      If you’d like to cite some technical literature that you think supports your argument, fine and dandy. But all your previous interactions (such as on Panda’s Thumb or my own TIP website) indicates you have never worked that far past your mantras (and definitely not to the point of fielding a clear conception of your own creationist notions as a model, such as when you think any of this creating stuff is taking place). Any of the traits you mention have an evolutionary literature, of course, and we may rightly ask whether you’d bothered to study much of it.

      Be mindful that in this thread you have a body of technically proficient people, including Janis whose field is mammal paleontology and therefore is arguably one of the last areas you should attempt to stonewall on.

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    • christine janis says:

      I would agree that wolves and thylacines share a body plan that includes a heart, a liver, a tongue, a head ‘sitting forwards of the body’, and muscles connecting the head and neck that allow the head to swing. However, that body plan (with the exception of the last item) is held in common by all vertebrates (and with respect to that last item, all tetrapod vertebrates have muscles connecting the head and the body allowing for movement of the head).
      So, these traits do not define a unique body plan shared only by wolf and thylacine, and do not support your contention that the thylacine is nothing but a wolf with a pouch.

      Like

      • Yes, and ironically the reason all these animals share the same general body plan and organ systems is that they all evolved from a common ancestor. As unpleasant as it may be for YECs to face, the combined fossil, genetic, and anatomic evidence strongly indicates that we descended from fish, and more specifically, the Sarcopterygii clade of lobed-fin fish. Technically, we are still members of that clade. So if Robert wants to stick to his very broad and loose “body plan” criteria for what defines “kinds”, he’s shooting himself in the foot. Indeed, he’s essentially advocating (whether he realizes it or not) extents of evolution far beyond anything even AIG entertains, which will risk getting his YEC membership card revoked.

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      • Robert Byers says:

        These are just a few examles of the thousands. They do not representy other creatures. Within these muscles/neck is a issue of measurement and weight and everything to do with anatomy.
        people , yes, have the same thing and rhinos. yet in its construction its uniquely organized. Thats why convergent evolution from envirorment/nicje selection must be invoked to explain the likeness of bodyplan. they look THE SAME because they are made the same. I insist they are the same while evolutionists say they are the same from convergent influences. YET THE SAME.
        Then there are thousands of SAME traits in making the two creatures identical.
        It simply was careless dumb back in the day for them to get excited by a pouch. Too quickly they classified them as in another order of creatures. Also they didn’t know the fossil record in australia had many creatures likewise identical to elsewhere.
        I say its thousands of twists and turns of a anatomical being that unites it to another being with the same thousands of t/t. The old school is just counting 5, or, 6 traits held in common in the area.
        Not imagining a influence can change bodyplans a wee bit but then imagining mutation/selection can change bodies fantastically to a convergent form as elsewhere. Then many of them.
        Somebody is wrong here!

        Like

        • Robert wrote: “Someone is wrong here.” Yeah, guess who? So much for my slight hope of you turning over a new leaf, ha. I should not do your homework for you, but on the outside chance that you’re willing to do even a smidgen of reading, below is an article in layman’s terms explaining the major differences between marsupials and placentals, which are not just “a pouch.” Let me quote one salient paragraph. “The most profound differences between placentals and marsupials lie in their respective reproductive systems and anatomy. While the sex organs and reproductive habits of male marsupials and placentals don’t differ all that much, the same cannot be said of females, who couldn’t be more divergent. Female marsupials have two fully developed sets of reproductive structures, including two vaginae, two cervices, two uteri and two fallopian tubes. With the exception of two fallopian tubes, female placentals only have one of each of these other organs. Marsupials’ vaginae are laterally positioned on either side of the ureter, and either one is capable of being fertilized. When it’s time to give birth, the two vaginae close together and fuse, forming a median vagina, also called a pseudo birth canal. After a marsupial’s first birth, this canal usually will reform until the next birth… ”
          From: https://animals.mom.me/difference-between-marsupials-placentals-10774.html

          We’re also still waiting to hear your answer to what the placental version of a kangaroo is (or wallabys, also members of the Macropodidae family). While you’re at it, what are the placental versions of the Wombat and Koala, or extant monotremes (egg-laying mammals) whose only living members include the platypus (in Australia) and four species of echidnas (in Australia and New Guinea). Which placental animals did they come from or share body plans with? How did they get from the Ark to Australia? Considering their very specialized habitats and diets, they could not have swum across the ocean, hitched rides on floating vegetation mats (as proposed by some YECs), or migrated along a post-Flood “land bridge” to Australia, especially since there is no evidence for such a bridge. I won’t hold my breath waiting for your answers, but unless you can give some sensible ones, it will hardly help to keep repeating your lame refrain about pouches.

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        • rjdownard says:

          Robert, your carping over many years inadvertently highlights what you do not have, and therefore cannot offer: your own creationist model for us to test against the evolutionary one. Were thylacines created kinds or not? On what basis? WHEN were they created, and what was their original DNA. And do the same for the other kinds (got a list?). And where are the therapsids? You’re not claiming they weren’t a kind on the Ark are you? Or do you deny the Ark altogether? If not, then explain how many of the kinds on the Ark presently exist. EXPLAIN something, rather than the dithering that has been all you have been able to muster to date.

          Like

          • That’s true, RJ, Robert has nothing close to a fleshed out model for anyone to test. However, it’s kinda like asking a flat-earther to present a complete model for his position. Neither can do it because mountains of evidence already refute their views. Indeed, when lines of evidence are so plain and powerful that YECs can’t dismiss it with cherry-picked data, oversimplifications, exaggerations, and the like, they just invent ad-hoc miracles (as the RATE project authors did when faced with massive radiometric evidence against their position), which demolishes any pretense of “science” in “scientific creationism.” Ironically, even the RATE authors’ proposal of miraculously produced accelerated nuclear decay did not explain most of the data, and created more problems than it solved.
            So, Robert can always fall back on the idea that maybe God just placed marsupials and monotremes in Australia (which some YECs have already proposed). After all, it’s about as sensible as the simplistic claims he keeps repeating about body plans and pouches. It all amounts to the same thing: a shallow and disingenuous approach that makes a mockery of both science and religion.

            Liked by 1 person

            • rjdownard says:

              Not to mention the mountains themselves (the geological processes of their formation, which not even creationist geologist Andrew Snelling has been able to pull off regarding the available data field) being part of that mountains of evidence. (btw the manipulations of the RATE bunch regarding radiometric dating will get some in-depth coverage in “The Rocks Were There” book I’m coauthoring on the various Answers in Genesis “Answers” books, hope to have that done later this year.) Meanwhile, we await (with breath definitely not held) Robert’s formulation of what he thinks happened: taxa, chronology, evidence for same. He could start with a detailed accounting of what’s under his own feet: what did that spot look like in the pre-Flood world, when was that, what happened to it during the Flood, and what happened after that to arrive at what is now there. Attendant sources on the data used for such an analysis would of course be informative (and necessary, to see whether Robert can ever be seen to actually put up during his long record of not shutting up).

              Like

              • Yeah, we’d likely all pass out holding out breaths waiting for Robert to answer to any of that, considering that he still hasn’t even told us (unless I missed it) what the placental version of a kangaroo is.

                Like

          • None of these points matter as to the conversation here.
            this was about classification. If one changes the classification then the Ark will not have that many kinds. In fact I squeeze more creatures into kinds then YEC thinkers do. Hopefully they will Evolve(pardon the word).
            I made my case and I don’t see a case against here.
            Its all about grouping traits to draw biological relationshipd.
            I groups , in this wolf case, thousands of traits in drawing connections and the opponents group a small number of traits to group things.
            Yes its a big deal to change reproductive mechanisms but its no more then changing anything in biology. everyone agrees biology has mechanisms to change itself.
            the great evidence forces a conclusion a marsupial wolf and our wolves are the same. Then how reproductive changes came is secondary. It did happen.

            Like

            • rjdownard says:

              Doubling down on the error won’t make it correct. Thylacines are not placental wolves. The vagueness of your double down speaks volume on how you could have come to such a weird conclusion.

              Like

            • christine janis says:

              ‘I groups , in this wolf case, thousands of traits in drawing connections and the opponents group a small number of traits to group things.’

              Here’s the thing, Robert. Thylacines and wolves do indeed have many thousands of traits in common.

              A percentage of them are shared with all therian mammals.

              Some more are shared with all mammals

              Some more are shared with all synapsids

              Some more are shared with all amniotes.

              Some more are shared with all tetrapods

              Some more are shared with all sarcopterygians

              Some more are shared with all gnathostomes

              Some more are shared with all vertebrates

              Some more are shared with all chordates

              Some more are shared with all deuterostomes

              Some more are shared with all bilaterians

              Some more are shared with all metazoans

              Some more shared with all eukaryotes

              And, finally, some more are shared with all known life on this planet.

              But: are there any traits uniquely shared between wolf and thylacine that would show that they are more closely related to each other than to any other animal. Aye, there’s the rub. Apart from “look sort of doggy to me”, there are none.

              Liked by 1 person

              • rjdownard says:

                That “look sort of doggy to me” sums up the issue nicely. Literally the “professional” kindologists in creationism (Wood, Cavanaugh, Lightner etc) pay heed to popular sentiment on what is or is not a kind, labeling it the “cognitum” issue, using a sliding standard that lumps lots of animals not currently around into a kind, but splitting close living relations into separate kinds solely due to the popular perception of them as different. This will be a topic in the chapter on this (“Depending on the Strangeness of Kinds”) in the book (“The Rocks Were There”) I’m coauthoring on the Answers in Genesis Answers books. Baraminology is a mess, and for good reason, because there’s too many taxa to account for (fossil and living) and their overarching creationist model is wrong. They’re never going to make all the stuff fit. And certainly no superficial bottom feeders such as we’ve seen comment here are going to achieve what decades of creationist dissembling has failed to do.

                Like

              • Christine, great list, but you probably lost him at “synapsids.” :)

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                • christine janis says:

                  I wasn’t posting for him

                  Like

                  • By “him” I meant Robert of course, and you did address his comments, but I think I know what you mean. In many cases I’m not really either posting for Robert either, even when I address him directly. I have virtually no hope that after all this time he will finally see the light and change his views or his ways. However, for any sincere truth seekers who may lurk or visit here, the responses may help them glean some insights and information on these issues, and help show the difference between the way YECs and nonYEC scientists generally think and operate. I realize that Robert is on the fringe of the fringe even among YECs, but some of the material coming out of the major YEC groups is almost as bad, just wrapped in more pretty and seductive packages. .

                    Like

                    • christine janis says:

                      Robert makes many outrageous claims. We know that they’re absurd, but others reading this blog may not, and may have some sympathy for his views because he comes across as the abused underdog (or underthylacine). So, it’s a matter of setting the record straight in terms of scientific facts, regardless of how Robert feels (which I do have some sympathy for, but not enough to ignore the science).

                      Whether or not evolution or creation is the model for the diversity of life on earth, the idosyncratic notions Robert has to contribute are simply factually wrong in terms of what we know about organismal anatomy and diversity. And we haven’t even touched on the genomic information that quite clearly shows that marsupials and placentals are two separate clades that diverged over 100 million years ago (or are simply separate groups, if you don’t buy the millions of years scenario).

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Christine, yes, I agree with all that, with the only caveat being that there comes a time when each of us has to decide how much time to spend with someone like Robert, and how far to go in addressing things that virtually everyone knows is false (like the idea of marsupial wolves being closely related to wolves), even if we don’t know all the reasons why. But the details about such things can be interesting, and for that and other reasons, I’m not suggesting that you or others stop or even cut back on your posts. I do wish Robert would start to heed them a little more, but even if he doesn’t, as we agree, others may learning from them –hopefully even some followers or reps of major YEC groups. I suspect some do visit here at times; unfortunately, few seem brave enough to participate beyond than leaving an occasional remark or two. In contrast, and for better or worse, one thing I can say for Robert is that he stays with us, and sticks to his silly ditties, no matter how much we flog him for them, ha.

                      Like

                    • On my own blog, I give creationists two comments on a post, three if I think that what they are saying is interesting (this did once happen). There is only so much that can be learnt (or taught, either to the individual concerned or to bystanders) in the face of obstinate and predictable repetition. But all of us have to do what we see as best.

                      Like

                  • Robert Byers says:

                    Well we have been around the block on this. To sum. Its about grouping traits. no saying we have traits in common with all biology is not a good point. this was about two critters who shared thousands of trasits of anatomy as oppose to not sharing a few dozen or so.
                    I see the the grouping of creatures based on a few dozen traits while regarding the rest as the result of wonderful convergent evolution as not intellectually reasonable.
                    Its superficial to look at pouches etc while not noticing a very like creature with other creatures on earth. then looking at others like lions, mice, moles, etc etc.
                    i hope thousands of people read these blogs and think carefully, never mind the putdowns and profilings, and I’m confident that marsupials will be seen as just cousins to all the rest but undrr marginal different influences back in the day of migration.
                    i enjoyed this enough. Its interesting. I’m not bitter or angry. i think i won.
                    I await new threads on this blog. i want this blog to do well because it brings attention to contention on origins.
                    Persuasion is not easy for thoughtful partisans but somebody is doing a better job in figuring these things out. Somebody is wrong eh!

                    Like

                    • christine janis says:

                      Everybody has won, and all must have prizes.

                      The Dodo Bird, Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll (1865)

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Robert, you wrote: “i enjoyed this enough. Its interesting. I’m not bitter or angry. i think i won.” As I suspected, apparently you actually enjoy being panned, ha. As far as winning, goes, remember what Dave Letterman used to say: “This is not a contest, and as usual, no wagering.” On the other hand, I know it’s fashionable these days to give a trophy to all children participating in a sporting event, even if their team comes in last place, so maybe you should expect some kind of award. If nothing else, considering the number of times you’ve repeated your outlandish claims while avoiding sticky questions, you may have broken the record for being the longest broken record. I’ll let you know when the plaque is back from the engravers.

                      Like

                    • rjdownard says:

                      Robert, evolutionary systematics pays attention to all the data, which is why it is the only game in town (for the same reason real geology prevails for oil companies, and not the fiction that is Flood Geology, where companies who depend on facts to make their money prefer models that are actually true and therefore productive). Creationists have no model, only wishful thinking, and what few creationists venture into taxonomy (like Todd Wood among the baraminologists) the best they can do is affirm evolutionary systematics (identifying evolved monobaramin groups like all the horse lineage, or whittling down the data field to dub them baramins). You, by contrast, are far too low on the wheel-spinning grassroots level even to get on the field.

                      By all means pen your monograph, Robert, accounting for how many created kinds there are, and how their genomics can account for the fossil record and living examples. No one in antievolutionism has pulled that trick off so far, and given your track record of vacuity here and elsewhere, we don’t expect more than that failure from you. You have amply demonstrated that even within a narrow issue like whether thylacines are somehow placental wolves, that you are wasting your time and everybody else’s. Literally all you have up your sleeve is what you’ve displayed so far: boilerplate generalities, devoid of documentation or rigor, promising that which you have never delivered.

                      Like

                    • That oil companies hire real geologist and not creationists is a good point. As you may know, Glenn Morton and I both started out trying to make YECism work, but the more we got to look at the actual evidence in the field, the more obvious was that such evidence flew in the fact of YEC claims. Ironically, Glenn went on to work in the oil field, and (when not doing computer related work) worked on the Paluxy tracks sites and other paleo projects, during which we each wrote strong critiques of YEC claims. Let me quote a couple poignant excerpts from his article “Why I left Young Earth Creationism”, which I can relate to:
                      “After six months of looking, I finally found work as a geophysicist working for a seismic company. Within a year, I was processing seismic data for Atlantic Richfield..” “by 1994 I was through with young-earth creationism. Nothing that young-earth creationists had taught me about geology turned out to be true. I took a poll of my ICR graduate friends who have worked in the oil industry. I asked them one question. “From your oil industry experience, did any fact that you were taught at ICR, which challenged current geological thinking, turn out in the long run to be true? ,” … One man, Steve Robertson, who worked for Shell grew real silent on the phone, sighed and softly said ‘No!’ A very close friend that I had hired at Arco, after hearing the question, exclaimed, “Wait a minute. There has to be one!” But he could not name one. I can not name one. No one else could either..”
                      From: http://oldearth.org/whyileft.htm
                      I know others who have had very similar experiences. Of course, some YECs claim that the opposite happened with them, claiming they were once “evolutionists”, then saw the light, but in most cases it appears their supposed epiphany was the result of reading a lot of YEC literature, not from doing extensive and first hand field or lab research. Indeed, if the empirical evidence were as clearly in favor of YECism as it’s advocates claim, it is very curious that among those who see the most evidence on the most frequent basis (geologists, paleontologists, fossil collectors, biologists), the vast majority (probably over 99%) accept evolution and an old earth. In paleontology, the figure is undoubtedly far higher. Of the hundreds of paleontologists in America (perhaps Christine can give a more precise estimate), I only know of 2 who are YECs, and at least one of them (Kurt Wise) acknowledges that he’s is a YEC mostly for theological reasons, not scientific ones.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • rjdownard says:

                      In answer to your question on working paleontologists who are creationists, from my position down in the depths of TIP research, it is a very small field and has to parse what “working” means. Essentially two: Kurt Wise and Marcus Ross have degrees in it, but don’t really do field work. A few circulating out of Loma Linda University do some active digs (Leonard Brand with the Peruvian whales back in 2004, for example), and a few amateurs conduct their own excavations now and then, parking their specimens in one of the mom & pop creationism museums scattered around the country. We should probably add Gunter Bechly over on the Intelligent Design side, though his example only illustrates how adoption of an antievolutionary mindset involves apparent brain atrophy (recapitulating tunicates perhaps), since his Evolution News postings sound just as tendentious and superficial as non-paleontologist Casey Luskin (formerly the Discovery Institute’s verbose point man on paleontology, whose departure from the scene has never been adequately accounted for). Like Luskin, though, Bechly fails always to explain the vague “design” model as to how it is to be applied to whatever example they’re bringing up as a “mustn’t be Darwinism” hobbyhorse.

                      Christine may have a better take on this, but my rough count would suggest at best a literal handful of antievolutionists among professional paleontologists who actually dig up stuff and write papers on it, and none regarded as heavy hitters in the discipline.

                      Like

                    • christine janis says:

                      Spot on James.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Thanks for those details. Not to split hairs, but I believe Brand’s degree is in biology and that he works mainly in that field, although he had done some geology/paleontology related projects. I had some dealings (mostly positive) with him years go (during my Paluxy) research. He was part of the Loma Linda team that did investigate the “man track” claims on site in the early 1970’s, and correctly identified the ones they examined as elongate dinosaur tracks, selectively highlighted erosional markings, and a small number of outright carvings on loose blocks. I give them a lot of credit for this, even though were not able to explain why the elongate tracks (speculating that it might be due to erosion of typical theropod tracks), which I later demonstrated to be due to some dinos making metatarsal (heel-down) tracks, with the digits subdued (but still visible with good cleaning and examination) due to secondary sediment infillings. Naturally, most fellow YECs (including John Morris of ICR) ignored the Loma Linda report, and continued to actively promote the “man track” claims, until detailed articles by me and others in the mid 1980’s laid out the evidence more fully. Even then they only admitted “possible errors,” while suggesting that they were still “mysterious” –even insinuating that “evolutionists” may have altered the tracks to look more dinosaurian, despite admitting on site that the features were entirely natural. I’m relating this to say that it’s another example of what you talked about. Except for Wilbur Fields, none of early “man track” promoters did much if any rigorous work (rigorous measuring, mapping, etc) at the sites. Morris later remarked, “I’m not good with details” (whatever that means), and confessed that he had exaggerated some things due to “pressure from the group.” At any rate, my impression is the same as yours: that only a handful of paleontologists are YECs, none of whom seem to do much field work.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • rjdownard says:

                      Brand reinforces the degree to which some of the paleontology done by creationists are coming from other disciplines; there’s only so far they can go though without bumping into data field they cannot account for. That Morris wasn’t a “details” man does not surprise me in the least.

                      btw here’s the technical publications by Brand that I have in my TIP data field, if there are others I should be made aware of (and relevant criticism of) all may weigh in.

                      Brand, Leonard R. 1979. “Field and laboratory studies on the Coconino Sandstone (Permian) vertebrate footprints and their paleoecological implications.” Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 28: 25-38.
                      ________. 1992. “Reply to Comments on ‘Fossil vertebrate footprints in the Coconino Sandstone (Permian) of northern Arizona: Evidence for underwater origin’.” Geology 20 (July): 668-670.
                      ________. 1996. “Variations in Salamander Trackways Resulting from Substrate Differences.” Journal of Paleontology 70 (June): 1004-1010.

                      Brand, Leonard R., Raúl Esperante, Arthur V. Chadwick, Orlando Poma Porras, & Merling Alomía. 2004. “Fossil whale preservation implies high diatom accumulation rate in the Miocene-Pliocene Pisco Formation of Peru.” Geology 32 (February): 165-168.

                      Brand, Leonard R., & Jon Kramer. 1996. “Underprints of vertebrate and invertebrate trackways in the Permian Coconino Sandstone in Arizona.” Ichnos 4 (3): 225-230.

                      Brand, Leonard R., & Thu Tang. 1991. “Fossil vertebrate footprints in the Coconino Sandstone (Permian) of northern Arizona: Evidence for underwater origin.” Geology 19 (December): 1201-1204.

                      And there’s:
                      Esperante, Raul, Leonard Brand, Arthur Chadwick, & Orlando Poma. 2002. “Taphonomy of fossil whales in the diatomaceous sediments of the Miocene/Pliocene Pisco Formation, Peru,” in Miquel De Renzi, ed. Current Topics on Taphonomy and Fossilization. Valencia, Spain: Ajuntamant de Valencia. (337-343).

                      Liked by 1 person

            • Robert wrote “…thousands of traits… ” yadda yadda yadda … same pablum, different day.

              Robert, if we ever see some real evidence or answers from you, I’ll probably fall over. We’re still waiting to hear what the placental version of a kangaroo is. Common now, hop to it.

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  15. In short, Christine, I wasn’t suggesting you were wasting your time when I said you probably lost Robert at “synapsids”; I was just trying to be funny. That said, even tho I and probably others found your list interesting, I do doubt Robert has any idea what a synapsid is, or any inclination to Google it and find out. Will you surprise me, Robert?

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  16. Gerhold Lloyd Lemke says:

    Hopefully, the discussion above flew so far and wide that I may be forgiven for asking if ICR & AiG geologic “theory” has a set figure for how many cubic miles of material the Flood actually moved to where “Flood strata” sit today. I’ll be 75 next May 5. So how long ago was I told that Flood violence dumped an average mile-pile of sediments across our continents? A very recent Ken Ham blog sent me back to Bodie Hodge, Ch. 13 in the New Answers Book 1, “Why Don’t We Find Human & Dinosaur Fossils Together?” There I saw Woodmorappe’s figure of 168 million cubic miles of Flood sediments, and John Morris quoted at up to 350 million. If today’s continents, including continental shelves, are at about 66 million square miles, Morris is claiming average Flood sediments 5 miles deep, with Woodmorappe at about half that, 2.5 miles. But a quick check with Wikipedia says that sedimentary rock is only about 5% of the top ten miles of Earth’s crust. That’s just half of the average mile-pile that I’ve told people about for half a century. You also want to look up “Caledonian orogeny,” and remember that Snelling does this in Flood time (starting with Rodinia), but that Tim at ICR has struck out on his own with their original continent being Pangea. Why do these people make it so easy for me to explain why “Caveat Emptor” covers all ReCreationist foolishness? GLL

    Liked by 1 person

  17. rjdownard says:

    Excellent question, Gerhold. There is a LOT of real estate to account for, and intractable difficulties when they try to actually account for it, which they don’t often even try to do. In the decade since Hodge’s 2007 channeling of the YEC wish list, things haven’t improved. Their point men (Snelling, Oard, Austin, Wise) try to shuffle around the geology, which only gets more tendentious as so much more of the primary source technical papers are directly available now days, meaning students of their claims can see how dated their content is, and how much of the detailed ongoing geology they overlook. To be blunt, YEC is still in the cartoon stage, offering what they want to be true but failing at the deposit level to make good on their models. Hodge’s chapter will be part of the comprehensive analysis of the AiG Answers books I am presently coauthoring (“The Rocks Were There: Straight Science Answers to some bent Creationist questions”) which hopefully will be completed this year.

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    • James, which ICR “wish list” and Hodge 2007 “channeling” of it are you referring to? Can you give specific references? Thanks.

      BTW, I am aware of L Brand’s articles on the Coconino sandstone and his conclusion that the abundant trackways in it were made under water. However, neither I nor any other mainstream workers I know buy it. He neglects many features of the formation, such as the heavily frosted nature of the sand grains, indicating windblown deposition. He claims the appearance of frosting can result from “chemical weathering in water” but provides no evidence. He also neglects many invertebrate trails (of spider, miriapods, etc) that are hard to explain as aquatic markings. He further suggests that the cross-bedding angles in the fm are consistent with aquaticdeposition when in fact the angles and other features are more typical of terrestrial sand dunes. He also does not explain why Permian mammal-like reptiles made so many tracks (ichnogenera Laoporus or Chelichnus) made so many underwater tracks in the fm, while so many modern vertebrates did not. His experiments with modern salamanders (which are obviously more aquatic animals) are hardly proper analogs, and don’t begin to account for these issues.

      Liked by 1 person

      • rjdownard says:

        I’ll hunt up the sources on that, it was in a paragraph from 2007 chapter, “Why Don’t We Find Human & Dinosaur Fossils Together?” page 182, in Ken Ham’s The New Answers Book 1 (2007 originally, though pieces of it actually were updated as of 2013, they’re not scrupulous about getting their datings clear)

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        • rjdownard says:

          Hodge (page 182) drew on very little for the sediment issue, citing Woodmorappe’s 1999 Studies in Flood Geology book for the 168 million cubic miles of sediment figure, which Woodmorappe drew from a 1978 lecture by Alexander Ronov (published in translation in 1982) https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00206818209451075?journalCode=tigr20. John Morris’s Young Earth book was relied on for a doubled up 350 million cubic mile figure. That was it.
          Hodge didn’t seem to realize he needed to account for how any of that sediment got there, and whether it all could be accounted for by the single big slosh Flood model.

          Woodmorappe’s book isn’t available online, but the issue is skated past in open access works, by Woodmorappe in an extended 1996 piece https://creation.com/images/pdfs/tj/j10_2/j10_2_279-290.pdf (which cited Ronov occasionally, though not on this overall sediment volume issue). Ronov’s lecture got nicked again by Reed & Oard’s 2017 piece https://creation.com/sedimentary-rocks-geologic-time-scale (where the creationists argued observed sediment rates are TOO HIGH, generating too much sediment if the earth were really old, and tiptoing around the matter of erosion removing sediments along the way).

          Liked by 1 person

  18. I forgot to mention, a rebuttal to Brand’s Coconino Sandstone claims was made by OEC Greg Neyman here: http://oldearth.org/coconino.htm

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