I'm from Missouri

This site is named for the famous statement of US Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver from Missouri : "I`m from Missouri -- you'll have to show me." This site is dedicated to skepticism of official dogma in all subjects. Just-so stories are not accepted here. This is a site where controversial subjects such as evolution theory and the Holocaust may be freely debated.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

My biggest motivation for creating my own blogs was to avoid the arbitrary censorship practiced by other blogs and various other Internet forums. Censorship will be avoided in my blogs -- there will be no deletion of comments, no closing of comment threads, no holding up of comments for moderation, and no commenter registration hassles. Comments containing nothing but insults and/or ad hominem attacks are discouraged. My non-response to a particular comment should not be interpreted as agreement, approval, or inability to answer.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Judge Jones' jawboning about jawbones

Judge Jones ruled in Kitzmiller v. Dover that the evolutionary principle of "exaptation" was "well-recognized" and "well-documented." He stated that the evolution of jawbones into mammalian middle-ear bones was an example of exaptation, but it is now evident that the evidence for this evolution was insufficient.

The Kitzmiller opinion says (pages 74-75),

As expert testimony revealed, the qualification on what is meant by "irreducible complexity" renders it meaningless as a criticism of evolution. (3:40 (Miller)). In fact, the theory of evolution proffers exaptation as a well-recognized, well-documented explanation for how systems with multiple parts could have evolved through natural means. Exaptation means that some precursor of the subject system had a different, selectable function before experiencing the change or addition that resulted in the subject system with its present function (16:146-48 (Padian)). For instance, Dr. Padian identified the evolution of the mammalian middle ear bones from what had been jawbones as an example of this process. (17:6-17 (Padian)). By defining irreducible complexity in the way that he has, Professor Behe attempts to exclude the phenomenon of exaptation by definitional fiat, ignoring as he does so abundant evidence which refutes his argument. (emphasis added)

However, a news article reported that a "missing link" in the evolution of jawbones into middle-ear bones has now been discovered:

WASHINGTON (March 13) - Scientists have unearthed a fossil of a mammal the size of a chipmunk that skittered around with the dinosaurs, with a key feature in the evolution of mammals -- the middle ear bones -- fabulously preserved.

Writing in the journal Nature on Wednesday, the scientists said the unusual critter retrieved from a fossil-rich rock formation in northern China provides rare insight into a crucial element of mammalian evolution: ear structure that enabled highly sensitive hearing. . . .

The mammal, named Yanoconodon for the Yan Mountains in China's Hebei Province, lived 125 million years ago during the Cretaceous period, the third and final act of the Mesozoic era, sometimes called the Age of Dinosaurs. . . .

Luo said Yanoconodon is particularly important because it displays an intermediate stage in the evolution of mammalian ear structure. . . .

Scientists long have searched for clues on the origins of mammalian ear structure. . . .

A sophisticated middle ear of three tiny bones called the hammer (malleus), the anvil (incus) and the stirrup (stapes), plus a bony ring for the eardrum (tympanic membrane), give mammals an acute sense of hearing.

Scientists believe these bones evolved from the bones of the jaw hinge in the reptiles from which mammals are thought to have evolved. Luo said the Yanoconodon provided a definitive piece of evidence of this evolution.

The ear bones in Yanoconodon are fully like that of modern mammals, but remain connected to the lower jaw, which is not the case with modern mammals.

In the Kitzmiller trial, Darwinist expert witness Padian presented this evolution of jawbones into middle-ear bones as an example of "exaptation." This evolution was therefore presumably the best or one of the best examples of exaptation. So this fossil discovery shows that at least one important piece of evidence of this evolution of jawbones into middle-ear bones was missing at the time of the trial, and therefore exaptation was not as "well-recognized" and "well-documented" as Jones seemed to think it was.

The Darwinists are now going to crow that this fossil discovery supports Jones' ruling on exaptation. But this after-the-fact discovery is just serendipitous dumb luck for which Jones does not deserve any credit at all.

There are several reasons why judges should try to avoid ruling on scientific questions.

The whole stupid Kitzmiller opinion should be smote with the jawbone of an ass.

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11 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. You incredible moron. It's like you think this fossil was the first mammal-reptile transitional fossil ever discovered. Do a google search, for goodness sake.

Friday, March 16, 2007 11:24:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Anonymous said...

>>>>> Wow. You incredible moron. It's like you think this fossil was the first mammal-reptile transitional fossil ever discovered. Do a google search, for goodness sake. <<<<<<

You stupid, profoundly retarded nincompoop, why should I do your research for you? The news article I cited just stated that an important link in the jawbones-to-earbones story was missing, and I took that at face value.

Pharyngula also has an article about this fossil.

Saturday, March 17, 2007 2:13:00 AM  
Anonymous voice in the wilderness said...

> You stupid, profoundly retarded nincompoop, why should I do your research for you? <

He has done his research, you pathetic moron. Why should he enlighten you if you are too lazy to do your own work?

> The news article I cited just stated that an important link in the jawbones-to-earbones story was missing, and I took that at face value. <

You take too much bullshit at face value. That is why you remain so ignorant.

They are always kicking your butt. Thats why they like you.

Sunday, March 18, 2007 9:30:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

voice in the wilderness said...

>>>>>>>You stupid, profoundly retarded nincompoop, why should I do your research for you? <

He has done his research, you pathetic moron. Why should he enlighten you if you are too lazy to do your own work? <<<<<<<

Where's the beef? I am really getting fed up with these comments that say that saying nothing is equivalent to presenting a winning argument. That is as stupid as that no-good worthless judge TJ "Mad" Hatter who had the habit of issuing judgments with no opinions (I was not the only one to complain about that).

Over at Uncommon Descent, one of William Dembski's principles about commenting is, "Thou shalt not be boring, and the person you least want to bore is me."

Sunday, March 18, 2007 9:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice in the Wilderness said...

Larry has just proven his censorship. Here we see him replying to missing posts!

I'm always kicking his butt. That's why he doesn't like me.

Monday, March 19, 2007 9:36:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't feel all alone. Larry has been deleting my posts too (when he is not posting as me that is).

Monday, March 19, 2007 9:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

> that no-good worthless judge TJ "Mad" Hatter who had the habit of issuing judgments with no opinions <

It has been long explained why no opinion was necessary. Your pathetic legal efforts were tossed out of court without the need for an opinion.

> (I was not the only one to complain about that). <

No. There was also Jim Sherwood and another Anonymous.

Monday, March 19, 2007 9:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Dave Fafarman said...

So this fossil discovery shows that at least one important piece of evidence of this evolution of jawbones into middle-ear bones was missing at the time of the trial, and therefore exaptation was not as "well-recognized" and "well-documented" as Jones seemed to think it was.

The Darwinists are now going to crow that this fossil discovery supports Jones' ruling on exaptation. But this after-the-fact discovery is just serendipitous dumb luck for which Jones does not deserve any credit at all.


Larry(?), this is a really bizarre argument. You're supposed to conclude from such an occurrence that evolution is good science, with predictive power.

Your claim is analogous to a hypothetical court case over Newton's Law of Gravity, conducted prior to Leverrier's using same to calculate the orbit of Neptune, and saying that the latter shows the incompleteness of Newton's work and thus the vapidity of anyone who had argued in favor of it. It's bizarre.

< Larry has just proven his censorship. Here we see him replying to missing posts! >

ViW, say what? I don't see any such thing. I have noticed that the user interface of the blogger website is a little flaky and some of my comments have needed several tries to "take". Right now, for example, the "word verification" is blank -- I haven't seen that before.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007 2:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice in the Wilderness said...

Real Dave,

> ViW, say what? I don't see any such thing. <

The clown has covered his tracks.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007 5:10:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Fake Dave said,
>>>>>>> The Darwinists are now going to crow that this fossil discovery supports Jones' ruling on exaptation. But this after-the-fact discovery is just serendipitous dumb luck for which Jones does not deserve any credit at all.

Larry(?), this is a really bizarre argument. You're supposed to conclude from such an occurrence that evolution is good science, with predictive power. <<<<<<<

Well, maybe the news article implied that this fossil was a more important missing link than it really was -- the article said,

. . . the unusual critter retrieved from a fossil-rich rock formation in northern China provides rare insight into a crucial element of mammalian evolution . . .

Scientists long have searched for clues on the origins of mammalian ear structure. . . .


I especially noted that this jawbones-to-earbones evolution story is supposed to be one of the best examples of "exaptation," and still there was this significant gap. Anyway, this is at most just a single example of exaptation, and as a math professor of mine once said, nothing can be proved by an example because we cannot run out of examples. However, sometimes there are so many proven examples and no counter-examples -- as with gravity -- that we just accept something and call it a law, but that is not the case with exaptation.

As I said, Judge Jones does not deserve any credit for this fossil find. So far as his Dover opinion is concerned, this fossil find was more serendipity than prediction. Anyway, I mostly saw this fossil find as just another opportunity to dump on Judge Jones. I just love to dump on Judge Jones -- it's sort of a hobby with me.

This jawbones-to-earbones evolution story is also discussed here and here.

<<<<<< Larry has just proven his censorship. Here we see him replying to missing posts!

ViW, say what? I don't see any such thing. <<<<<<

Yes, ViW, where have I replied to missing posts?

>>>>>> I have noticed that the user interface of the blogger website is a little flaky and some of my comments have needed several tries to "take". <<<<<<<

I've had this insignificant problem too. Big deal. In contrast, I've had really huge problems with other commenter interfaces -- for example, WordPress keeps telling me that I have been sent a new password but I never receive one.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007 10:13:00 AM  
Anonymous David Fafarman said...

Anyway, I mostly saw this fossil find as just another opportunity to dump on Judge Jones. I just love to dump on Judge Jones -- it's sort of a hobby with me.

"Sort of"? It is your obsession, in lieu of girls, stamp collecting, bicycling, or any other more wholesome pursuit.

This jawbones-to-earbones evolution story is also discussed here ...

Once again, you appear not to have read your cited article. The above overwhelmingly proves macro-evolution, and more to the point, completely falsifies "intelligent design". The only way ID could be true (as shown by your cited link!) would be if the designer made deception his single most important design criterion, because in that respect it is flawless! This goes way beyond the old creationist claims that the Devil put the fossils in the rocks!

WordPress keeps telling me that I have been sent a new password but I never receive one.

That is most likely getting caught by a spam filter, or perhaps you are having it sent to a different email address.

Thursday, March 22, 2007 9:35:00 AM  

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