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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.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Are stasis and evolution compatible?


If humans evolved from monkeys, then why are there still monkeys?

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The question "if humans evolved from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?" is often presented as a sort of parody of Darwin doubters' questioning of evolution theory, but the question is really not as frivolous as it appears at first sight. To create humans while leaving monkeys unchanged for millions of years, genes must possess two mutually contradictory characteristics: the great stability that would result in stasis and the great volatility that would result in evolution. As one blogger said,
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Wonderful thing, evolution -- if you want change, you get change, if you want stasis, you get stasis, and evolution wins every time either way! It’s called unfalsifiability, and it applies to all aspects of evolutionism.

The issue of stasis was emphasized in a speech by chairman Don McLeroy at a meeting of the Texas board of education. He said, "stasis is data."

A group of quotes about stasis includes the following:

[S]tasis, or nonchange, of most fossil species during their lengthy geological lifespans was tacitly acknowledged by all paleontologists, but almost never studied explicitly because prevailing theory treated stasis as uninteresting nonevidence for nonevolution. [T]he overwhelming prevalence of stasis became an embarrassing feature of the fossil record, best left ignored as a manifestation of nothing (that is, nonevolution).

Gould, S.J. (1993)
"Cordelia's Dilemma"
Natural History, February, p. 15

"The gaps in the fossil record are real, however. The absence of a record of any important branching is quite phenomenal. Species are usually static, or nearly so, for long periods; species seldom and genera never show evolution into new species or genera but replacement of one by another, and change is more or less abrupt."

Wesson, R.
Beyond Natural Selection
MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 1991) P.45

Paleontologists just were not seeing the expected changes in their fossils as they pursued them up through the rock record. ... That individual kinds of fossils remain recognizably the same throughout the length of their occurrence in the fossil record had been known to paleontologists long before Darwin published his Origin. Darwin himself, ... prophesied that future generations of paleontologists would fill in these gaps by diligent search ... One hundred and twenty years of paleontological research later, it has become abundantly clear that the fossil record will not confirm this part of Darwin's predictions. Nor is the problem a miserly fossil record. The fossil record simply shows that this prediction is wrong.

Eldredge, N. and Tattersall, I. (1982)
The Myths of Human Evolution
Columbia University Press, p. 45-46

Niles Eldredge and Stephen Jay Gould, who are quoted above, came up with the theory of punctuated equilibrium to try to reconcile evolution with stasis and sudden appearance, but PE seems grossly inadequate as an explanation.
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17 Comments:

Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

Great species stasis is indeed a problem for the Darwinists, as the celebrated zoologist Pierre Grasse pointed out in his book The Evolution of Living Organisms, in 1973 ( Eng. trans. 1977.) Grasse, who believed that there must be some unknown but mechanistic process by means of which species evolved, thought that evolution of species by accidental genetic changes plus natural selection is impossible; posing many other objections to the alleged process. He considered Darwinism to be "daydreaming." A view which has by now been abundantly confirmed.

Monday, April 13, 2009 4:22:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

Grasse pointed to certain fish, the mudskippers, which can live a long time in the air; and which climb out of the water and onto the roots of trees; or even up tree-trunks. He wanted to know why natural selection hasn't provided them with something resembling legs, since they have been up to their tree-climbing tricks, supposedly, for millions of years? Yet their fins are still just fins, and they are still nothing but fish. Apparently old Darwin hath deserted them!

Monday, April 13, 2009 4:58:00 PM  
Blogger Joshua said...

Yes, sometimes species can remain in stasis for long periods of time. And sometimes a species can split and then have one group evolve one way and another evolve another way (note that this is not necessarily the same thing as stasis. The non-human apes today are different than the non-human apes a few million years ago). This doesn't make evolution unfalsifiable. It means that evolution cannot be falsified by looking at speciation rates in the wild with no other data. That's not an issue though because there are plenty of other potential ways to falsify evolution and for all of those so far evolution has survived just fine.

Monday, April 13, 2009 7:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Why are there still monkeys?" is such a stupid question that I am amazed anyone would bring it up. Obviously they fill different ecological niches. If someone had developed a turret lathe, would anyone ask why they still needed a wrench or screwdriver?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009 12:54:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>> "Why are there still monkeys?" is such a stupid question that I am amazed anyone would bring it up. Obviously they fill different ecological niches. <<<<<<

That's true -- monkeys are better suited than humans for the ecological niche of the tops of trees. But the question "Why are there still monkeys?" is a metaphor for the question of stasis v. evolution. Often an ancestral species persists even when the descendant species is better suited for the same ecological niche.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009 7:46:00 AM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

Evolution of the Darwinist variety has been falsified so many times that there are probably few biologists left who sincerely believe in it. Thus Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini pointed out, in his interview with Susan Mazur, that many organisms embody certain optimal physiological processes which natural selection cannot produce. Natural selection is a process of blind stagger-and-blunder that must frequently become irreversibly trapped in a suboptimal path. Massimo is a materialist and atheist biologist who "hates" "the tenants of intelligent design," admits that Darwinism is wrong, but still holds that species must have evolved by some mechanistic process.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009 1:47:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

Fred Hoyle and his co-worker Chandra Wickramasinghe on a case of species stasis:

"Not long ago a colleague who is well versed in the study of bees informed us that the oldest fossils of bees, beautifully preserved in an almost mummified form in tarry deposits, revealed a creature 26 million years old and yet identical in every detail to modern bees. Although a confirmed Darwinist by training and choice, this somewhat bewildered professor admitted that his discovery had considerably shaken his faith. The only explanation he could offer was that the bee was 'perfectly adapted' right from the outset and that the steps leading to this highly adapted form were conveniently lost from the fossil record." (Hoyle and Wickramasinghe, in their book Cosmic-Life Force, 1988, 1990, p.84.)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009 2:19:00 PM  
Blogger b. j. edwards said...

"If humans evolved from monkeys, then why are there still monkeys?"

Even Answers in Genesis is ahead of you on that one, Larry, and advises its Creationist believers to not use that false claim.

Even grade school students know that humans didn't descend from monkeys or apes. Humans and apes descended from a common ancestor and both humans and apes are still around.

Gosh.

Thursday, April 16, 2009 4:07:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>> "If humans evolved from monkeys, then why are there still monkeys?"

Even Answers in Genesis is ahead of you on that one, Larry, and advises its Creationist believers to not use that false claim. <<<<<<

It is obvious that I asked that question at least partly in jest. You have no sense of humor.

>>>>>> Even grade school students know that humans didn't descend from monkeys or apes. Humans and apes descended from a common ancestor and both humans and apes are still around. <<<<<<

Wrong. Darwinists claim that humans did not descend from apes. Darwinists do not claim that humans and apes did not descend from monkeys. What was the common ancestor of humans and apes? Must have been a monkey.

Thursday, April 16, 2009 4:43:00 PM  
Blogger b. j. edwards said...

Larry, desperate, wrote...

"Wrong. Darwinists claim that humans did not descend from apes."

That's what I wrote.

Gosh.

"What was the common ancestor of humans and apes? Must have been a monkey."

And humans, apes, and monkeys are still here.

Gosh.

No wonder I had you cornered on Texas Freedom Network and you had to run away without the ability to make your case on co-evolution.

Friday, April 17, 2009 4:31:00 AM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

Some noted Darwinist evolutionary biologists do in fact declare that humans descended from "apes" (their term, not mine.)

For instance Ernst Mayr, one of the chief founders of modern, conventional "evolutionary biology," in his book What Evolution Is (Basic Books, 2001).

On p.238 Mayr solemnly intones, "One of the tasks of paleontology is to recontruct the sequence of the changes from ape to man."

Friday, April 17, 2009 3:33:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

In his book What Evolution Is (above,) Mayr also wrote about the extinct genus Proconsul:

"Proconsul of Eastern Africa was clearly an ape, ancestral to man..." (p.234)

On p.235 he wrote, "No well-informed person any longer questions the descent of man from primates and nore specifically from apes."

When writing for a popular audience, Darwinist biologists often define an "ape" as a presently living ape. Thus they can tap-dance with definitions and claim that they don't hold that humans descended from apes.

But extinct species which closely resemble living species of apes are classified as "apes" by taxonomists. And according to "the great Mayr," that is correct.

Friday, April 17, 2009 4:35:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

Some "noted" Darwinist biologists not only write that humans descended from "apes" (their term,) but that humans ARE apes.

Thus the famous Darwinist zoologist Desmond Morris wrote a book entitled The Naked Ape, which is readily available. By "the naked ape," he means humankind.

Morris wrote:

"There are one hundred and ninety-three living species of monkeys and apes. One hundred and ninety-two of them are covered with hair. The exception is a naked ape self-named Homo sapiens." (Morris, The Naked Ape, Delta paperback, 1967, p.9)

Friday, April 17, 2009 4:50:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

Speaking of the extinct genus Proconsul, on p.234 of his book What Evolution Is (above,)Mayr wrote: "Proconsul of Africa was clearly an ape, ancestral to man...)

And on p.235: "No well-informed person any longer questions the descent of man from primates and more specifically from apes."

Friday, April 17, 2009 5:09:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Jim Sherwood said,

>>>>> When writing for a popular audience, Darwinist biologists often define an "ape" as a presently living ape. Thus they can tap-dance with definitions and claim that they don't hold that humans descended from apes.

But extinct species which closely resemble living species of apes are classified as "apes" by taxonomists. And according to "the great Mayr," that is correct. <<<<<<

Right, Jim. The Wikipedia article on apes says,

Under the current classification system there are two families of hominoids:

the family Hylobatidae consists of 4 genera and 14 species of gibbon, including the Lar Gibbon and the Siamang, collectively known as the lesser apes.

the family Hominidae consisting of orangutans, gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos and humans, collectively known as the great apes.
So our hominid ancestors must have been apes. Even humans are sometimes considered to be apes -- great apes.

Saturday, April 18, 2009 5:00:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

b.j. Edwards said,
>>>>That's what I wrote. <<<<<

That's not what you wrote, dunghill. And stop cross-posting here and on the Texas Freedom Network blog -- you are only confusing people.

>>>>> No wonder I had you cornered on Texas Freedom Network and you had to run away without the ability to make your case on co-evolution. <<<<<<

So you are really afraid of my coevolution ideas! That's good!

Saturday, April 18, 2009 10:29:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Anonymous, I rejected your recent comment. I have a new comment policy: I will not accept comments that contain nothing but scoffing. I get enough of that crap on other websites. Comments must also address the issues, and scoffing must be related to a comment's arguments. Giving others a platform to scoff at me was not one of my purposes for creating this blog.

Monday, April 20, 2009 10:37:00 AM  

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