I asked this question two days ago, but I wasn’t satisfied with the answers. All of them lacked a basic understanding of biology and insisted atavisms were simply a mutation or a birth defect so let me make this abundantly clear, ATAVISMS AREN’T MUTATIONS. Mutations are the change in allelic frequencies over time in reproductive systems, atavism are reappearing traits from preserved DNA. These aren’t birth defects either, because atavisms are the result of chance recombination. Another claim was that it may be gene expression, but any traits that arise from gene expression due to environmental pressures are inheritable whilst atavisms aren’t, although the preserved DNA is inherited.
Original question details:
“Atavisms are reappearing traits that once belonged to an ancestral population of a genus. Some examples include humans creating fully functional tails under skeletal and muscular control (don’t confuse this for a pseudo-tail), snakes growing hind legs, whales also growing fully functional hind limbs, reemergence of extra toes in horses and dinosaur-like teeth in chickens. Every example of atavism conforms perfectly with our hierarchical pattern of descent, there has never been an atavism that doesn’t follow the phylogenetic tree, these examples could include mammals growing feathers, reptiles with fur etc. This would be another falsifiable point for the theory of evolution but we simply haven’t found any.
So creationists, what’s the answer? I keep hearing from people like Ken Ham and Eric Hovind that we both have the same evidence, you just interpret it differently. How on Earth do you reconcile these facts with creationism? Don’t give the “common design” argument because it completely fails, an all-powerful all-knowing designer wouldn’t make this much of a design flaw, atavisms generally don’t benefit those organisms that exhibit such traits.”
Many people were also asking for pictures to back up my claims, which I should have done, so here they are:
Human with a tail: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/section2.html#atavisms_ex2
A snake with a claw: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/wildlife/6187320/Snake-with-foot-found-in-China.html
A skeleton of a hind limb belonging to a humpback whale, with all recognizable features: http://www.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/images/whale_leg.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/section2.html&usg=__qhADWZEZ1mrg7VSIStU4YO-dmjQ=&h=453&w=300&sz=29&hl=en&start=0&sig2=5WLuI4mDNmhqkvQr812FmQ&tbnid=RMB0VV12lc35LM:&tbnh=136&tbnw=90&ei=wOBOTKqdEYWx4Aag9rXCAw&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dwhale%2Bhind%2Blimb%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN%26biw%3D1440%26bih%3D717%26tbs%3Disch:1&um=1&itbs=1&iact=rc&dur=239&page=1&ndsp=29&ved=1t:429,r:16,s:0
Extra toes in horses: http://www.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://www.stablemade.com/horsecare/images2/atavism.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.stablemade.com/horsecare/horsebreeds/horse_origins.htm&usg=__pGE6maDYjvZjSXcZavTzYvWRLqU=&h=257&w=200&sz=12&hl=en&start=3&sig2=KzxvO2twmNluzW9Wn-VvTw&tbnid=fYLC-ZYH0Sz5UM:&tbnh=112&tbnw=87&ei=H6NQTKqlFcyNONe3xaIH&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dhorse%2Batavism%2Btoes%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN%26biw%3D1440%26bih%3D717%26tbs%3Disch:1&um=1&itbs=1
A model of a chicken with teeth (a chicken with this sort of atavism always dies before its egg hatches): http://www.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://graphics.jsonline.com/graphics/news/img/feb06/teethG022106.gif&imgrefurl=http://www.christianforums.com/t7278539/&usg=__rpiJaT6tinZd4gsCxBXeZLxFXyQ=&h=362&w=600&sz=68&hl=en&start=0&sig2=e7HOEWioKcEJlD9ThfEW8Q&tbnid=E9KQdmUDZQ-CqM:&tbnh=109&tbnw=180&ei=faNQTMqZMsyTOLjKjK8H&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dchicken%2Bteeth%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN%26biw%3D1440%26bih%3D717%26tbs%3Disch:1&um=1&itbs=1&iact=hc&vpx=490&vpy=387&dur=659&hovh=174&hovw=289&tx=126&ty=54&page=1&ndsp=31&ved=1t:429,r:18,s:0
P.S. The answers aren’t on AnswersInGenesis.
*facepalm* None of this was copy and pasted, it was all my own work, except for the links of course.
I’ve got a huge tip for you, make sure you understand something before you copy and paste it, you will only look like a fool when you realize it has nothing to do with my question. By the way, Darwin’s tubercle ISN’T an atavism, it’s an inheritable trait by 10% of the population. It has nothing to do with recombination. This is very much like saying that wisdom teeth are an example of atavism.
“Your question begins with a logical fallacy, begging the question.”
And what question am I begging?
“On the Talk Origins page you cite we see this assertion: “According to the standard phylogenetic tree, whales are known to be the descendants of terrestrial mammals that had hindlimbs.”"
That’s not an assertion, it’s a well known fact. The fact of evolution explains we derived from a single common ancestor, and all testable of observable experiments/observations confirm this.
“Isn’t this the question to be determined? When you assume it to be true without proving it, you commit the fallacy of begging the question.”
Uhh no, because it’s not an assertion to begin with. Do you think we just make the things up? No, we test them on a regular basis, they conform with ALL available evidence.
“This is asserting the consequent. The child examined did not have a tail per se, but an abnormality caused by hypertrophy of the sacrococcygeal vertebrae.”
As I said, DON’T confuse it with a pseudo-tail.
“BTW, I don’t understand why you said this: “All of them lacked a basic understanding of biology and insisted atavisms were simply a mutation or a birth defect so let me make this abundantly clear,”
“On the TO page you cite Dr. Theobald states: “Thus, we expect the possibility that rare mutant whales might occasionally develop atavistic hindlimbs.”"
I should’ve made myself more clear, atavism aren’t mutations per se. There are four types of mutations, frameshift, substitution, duplication & translocation. Atavisms don’t fit the category of any of these mutations, the DNA is already preserved but has been enabled due to recombination.
“The 6 year old with a tail. J. A. BAR-MAOR, K. M. KESNER, J. K. KAFTOR wrote that the so-called tail was “a bony tail caused by hypertrophy of the sacrococcygeal vertebrae”. It wasn’t a tail per se, but enlarged vetebrae.”
For a second time, don’t confuse it with a pseudo-tail.
“The snake with a claw. The assumption seems to be that this is a “throwback” to a lizard. Lizards have four legs.”
According to the Linnean classification, snakes CAN be defined as legless lizards.
“The whale leg claim: Where is the other leg?”
Do you understand how rare that would be?
“Just claiming the fisherman took it as a souvenir is not evidence the whale captured had two legs. This is just hearsay.”
It didn’t have two legs, the atavism caused a recombination to only enable a single limb.
“All of the 29+ Evidences for Macroevolution have been answered at http://www.trueorigin.org/theobald1b.asp”
LOL, it didn’t even address atavisms at all.
“I suggest you learn logic. Better yet, learn to think logically.”
So you refuse to tell me, what a surprise.
“Repetition and gainsaying does not make your claim true.”
Observable and repeatable experimentation does.
“OK, time to bring out the big guns. Stephen J. Gould: “The general preference that so many of us hold for gradualism is a metaphysical stance embedded in the modern history of Western cultures: it is not a high-order empirical observation, induced from the objective study of nature” This famous Harvard paleontologist declares there has been no observation, hence no evidence.”
That’s one huge quote mine there, learn to understand what quotes mean before pasting them to make a point. Stephen Jay Gould accepts the theory of punctuated equilibrium as opposed to a gradual pattern of descent. These theories hardly vary at all, but he’s accurate.
“Popper “I will try to show that the whole apparatus of induction becomes unnecessary once we admit the general fallibility of human knowledge or, as I like to call it, the conjectural character of human knowledge. Let me point this out first for the best kind of human knowledge we have; that is, for scientific knowledge. I assert that scientific knowledge is essentially conjectural or hypothetical.””
“I ASSERT that scientific….” As a philosopher of science, Karl Popper is entitled to his opinion but unfortunately, the scientific consensus disagrees with him.
“Popper It can even be shown that all theories, including the best, have the same probability, namely zero.”
As most philosophers today agree, Popper misrepresents scientific practice. The majority of professional philosophers disagree with him. He is assuming there is a positively justified foundation of belief.
“Evolution is philosophy, not science.”
That’s not what the consensus of philosophers of science pertain to…
“I didn’t. I just cited the doctors’ description. It is not a real tail.
For a second time all I did was to cite the doctors’ description. It is not a real tail.”
Exactly. The example you gave wasn’t a real tail, it’s what’s called a pseudo-tail. These are called “sacrococcygeal teratoma” and they are only the case for around 25% of human tails.
The snake had one claw by your description. Which lizard had one claw by Linnean classification?
Not all atavisms cause every single limb to reappear. Many are the opposite. It seems like you are avoiding the fact that this snake had leg features at all and attacking other parts of the claim without realizing that whether or not this snake had a single or several limbs is completely irrelevant.
“Yes, it did go read the TO narrative.”
Yes, therefore there is no reason for us to believe it had a second limb. Why does it matter if it had one or two? It’s still an example of an atavism regardless.
Again, address the claim rather than avoid it, the fact that this whale had any leg features at all is remarkable, you haven’t addressed it yet but are just dancing round the question looking for a hole in the claim.
I’m guessing you’ve retracted your previous claim about atavisms being explained in the article you provided?
“I already did (“When you assume it to be true without proving it, you commit the fallacy of begging the question.”)
As I said, I suggest you learn logic. Better yet learn to think logically and read more closely.”
Again, assuming and pretending the evidence for evolution doesn’t exist isn’t a logical fallacy on my part. I suggest you start here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed
There are 270,000 peer reviewed confirming and validating the theory of evolution. I would only be begging to question if evolution was an assumption in the first place, but it isn’t. It’s a well established and verified scientific theory.
“Who observed the evolutionary predecessor of whales which had legs, the evolutionary predecessor of humans which had tails, the evolutionary predecessor of snakes with one claw, etc.
Do you understand the objection? No one observed these examples. It is just asserted. That is why the charge of question begging.”
Who said we HAD to observe our ancestors in the process of evolution to validate such theory? Do you have to have seen a hurricane demolish a city before determining what caused its destruction? Of course not, you simply look at the evidence and see where it leads to. The observable evidence for evolution is the observed examples of speciation in nature and in laboratory experiments, comparitive anatomy for different transitional fossils, relating to cladistics in systematics etc.
“Nonsense. You should learn to read. Gould developed PE because gradualism, the basis for evolution, is not scientific. He confessed that gradualism is not scientific, but metaphysical. Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy.”
What Stephen Jay Gould was positing was that most evolution of genus’s mainly occur due to environmental pressures and genetic isolation.
There is no doubt that gradualism can occur too from species to species, all it is, is variation from mutations resulting in the evolution of new species, it’s nothing new. How wasn’t your original quote completely taken out of context? I proposed that there is observational evidence for evolution and you responded with a quote from Stephen Jay Gould saying GRADUALISM has no observable evidence.
“Again, evolution is not science, but is philosophy.”
You’re assuming evolution has to be gradual rather than punctuated, it can be both.
“Let’s hear old Gould pontificate again: “In science, ‘fact’ can only mean ‘confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent.’
Do you see the subjective nature of so-called evolutionary science? In so-called evolutionary science fact is not truth but is a statistical presentation which is “to such a degree.” Note well the vague subjective language used by this heavy weight of so-called evolutionary science.”
All scientists recognize that science isn’t infallible, for both facts and theories there has to be a falsifying point to invalidate such scientific practices. Who are you arguing against with this quote? It’s no secret.
“Nonsense again. If you are going to argue evolution you had better learn the logic of scientific verification and the problems of induction. Popper was the foremost atheist philosopher of science in the 20th century. A heavy weight like Gould. He taught the scientific method at the London School of Economics for 21 years and gave science the logic of falsifiablity. BTW, your assertion of “consensus” is not fact but another two fallacies, appeal to authority and appeal to popularity.”
You’re also appealing to authority by using these quotes, there has to be a general agreement in science otherwise you would never be able to do science if the consensus is split on the definition of scientific terms.
These scientific terms HAVE to be established, you can’t change the definitions at your will.
“Nonsense. You are not the spokesman for most philosophers today. Popper was an atheist. Popper fully aware of scientific practice was just being realistic. The problem of induction affects all scientific claims just as he said. You are just grasping at straws and committing the same two fallacies above.”
I don’t need to be, I’m repeating the claims of the philosophers and authoritative figures themselves.
“Popper’s ideas have failed to convince the majority of professional philosophers” – Rafe Champion
“Of course there is a positively justified foundation of belief. If not, all beliefs are arbitrary. Good comment, Jeff. You just refuted yourself.”
I misquoted Rafe. I was meant to say “he does not even pretend there is a…”
“Sigh. The xray in the TO narrative was the one described by the doctors as “a bony tail caused by hypertrophy of the sacrococcygeal vertebrae.”
It was not a tail per se but the tail bone enlarged. Look at the report yourself.”
Wrong. Read the peer-reviewed article yourself. It shows a picture of three cases of human tails, the third is the one you’re referring to. The doctors comment was for the first picture, not the one you thought it was.
“Sigh. I will just handle this as the logical fallacy of begging the question. You assume the truth of what you must first prove, that is that the theory of atavistic genes is proven.”
Fail. You assume I’m making a logical fallacy because you don’t know the difference between a theory and proof. Theories can NOT be proven, proof comes under mathematics.
“Just go read the TO narrative which says the whale had two legs one of which was taken as a souvenir. OTOH, question begging again.”
The source where I got the information from mentioned it had only a single limb. Why should we believe the founders took the limb as a souvenir and why does it matter?
“I already did. The claim was exposed as a logical fallacy, begging the question. Go back and read it. I mentioned some problems with the TO narrative.”
I’m asking you to address how on Earth it can form any limbs if it wasn’t for atavism? Stop dancing around the question, answer it! You seemed to stop addressing my claims only at THE MOST IMPORTANT PART, explaining the atavism.
“No, I have a life. I do not have time to read all the rebuttal. And BTW, I already answered the atavistic gene claim. It is quite clearly a logical fallacy, begging the question.”
I can’t be bothered with this, you’re just a waste of my time. You’re not answering the question at all. You assume it’s a logical fallacy because you refuse to acknowledge the evidence for evolution. That’s known as personal incredulity. Which you’ve been accusing me of these logical fallacies all this time when as a matter of fact, they are all just an example of your ignorance of the theory of evolution.