Posted: Feb 25, 2014 7:09 pm
by Skate
questioner121 wrote:
Skate wrote:Damn, Calilasseia! Nice post.


Is it correct that your argument sums up to amount to something akin to "you weren't there, so you can't know?" Others have said this, but I'd like to confirm that this is the case.

If so, I'd like to ask you how you think the Hawaiian Islands were formed.

Obviously "you weren't there, so you can't know?" applies. The point I'm trying to get across, with huge difficulties, is that the evidence supporting common ancestry is severely lacking data. The abundance of data that is used to support common ancestry is based off observations from closely related species. This is then being combined with other sets of data with observations from closely related species to "confirm" common ancestry. The missing data is for one species right through to a very different species, such as from primate to human, reptile to bird, etc is simply not there. Citing extinctions and whatever else might have caused the common ancestor to be no longer around or missing chains from ring species is just not relevant. We know species die off and there can be numerous reasons. There needs to be actual evidence of one species going to a completely different one before it can be confirmed. Otherwise inference from the current data is ridiculous to confirm common ancestry beyond reasonable doubt especially given the understanding of nature we have which is hugely complex and in many situations quite unpredictable.

Do you accept that the Hawaiian Islands formed as a result of volcanic activity? If you do, why? Indeed, I don’t think any of us have seen an island as large as Kaua'i emerge from the sea. That would kind of take a long time. Is it because all of the available evidence points to volcanism as an explanation? You know, evidence like lava turns hard and stuff when it cools.

What is the difference between accepting overwhelming evidence that points to volcanic activity forming the Hawaiian Islands and accepting the overwhelming evidence (some of which has been pointed to in this thread) for evolution by natural selection?

I really don’t think that you can reconcile the acceptance of one (if you do, in fact, agree that Hawaii was formed by volcanoes) and not the other. I'm sure you'll disagree; however, the evidence for evolution by natural selection is just as robust as the evidence for volcanism forming islands.