Presuppositions

Discussion in 'Creation vs. Evolution' started by Administrator2, Sep 18, 2002.

  1. Administrator2

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    HELEN

    It was with a combination of amusement and exasperation that I read the following in the Ocober 2002 Discover magazine, on p. 12:

    Richardo Melchor may have just knocked the presumed "first bird" off its perch. Archaeopteryx fossils have made a huge impression and inspired endless artistic renditions since they were first discovered in 1861. Although Melchor, of Argentina's National University at Pampa, has nothing as spectacular as those remarkably intact remains, he has found 100 small, seagull-like fossilized footprints that, at 210 million years old, predate Archaeopteryx by more than 50 million years. "They are startlingly birdlike, but 50 million years is an immense time lapse. Unless other evidence is found, we'll assume they belong to a new theropod dinosaur that gave rise to all bird lineages, including Archaeopteryx," he says.

    But they look like seagull footprints.

    If it looks like a duck, waddles like a duck, quacks like a duck, it's a duck.

    Unless of course, the evolutionists get ahold of it first, in which case it is probably a dinosaur about to become a duck

    or an owl

    or a penguin

    but it can't possibly be a duck.

    Ducks don't fit there.

    It can't possibly be seagull tracks.

    Because evolution is a FACT, and seagulls didn't live then.

    No matter WHAT the evidence or the Bible say!

    Evolution is a FACT! It has been declared that way and that's that!

    Unless maybe those were seagulls.

    Unless maybe the Bible is right.

    Unless maybe the evolution really does deny evolution when it is seen through uncolored spectacles...
     
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    EARL DETRA

    It was with a combination of amusement and exasperation that I read the following in the Ocober 2002 Discover magazine, on p. 12:

    Yes, your frustration is showing. But I am not sure how you come up with this line of reasoning from the article you cited.

    'Richardo Melchor may have just knocked the presumed "first bird" off its perch. Archaeopteryx fossils have made a huge impression and inspired endless artistic renditions since they were first discovered in 1861. Although Melchor, of Argentina's National University at Pampa, has nothing as spectacular as those remarkably intact remains, he has found 100 small, seagull-like fossilized footprints that, at 210 million years old, predate Archaeopteryx by more than 50 million years. "They are startlingly birdlike, but 50 million years is an immense time lapse. Unless other evidence is found, we'll assume they belong to a new theropod dinosaur that gave rise to all bird lineages, including Archaeopteryx," he says. "

    But they look like seagull footprints.


    Well, not actually. It says that they are 'sea-gull like.'

    If it looks like a duck, waddles like a duck, quacks like a duck, it's a duck.

    Now, Helen, this is a bit disingenuous. How do you know it looks like a duck? How do you know that it waddeled? And how do you know that it quacked? Don't I remember you complaining that some evolutionists can model and entire organism from one bone? As far as I can see, you don't even have a bone here. If I had posted what you say here, you'd be howling about assumptions. Assuming that we can deduce seagulls from just some fossil tracks? Preposterous!!

    Unless of course, the evolutionists get ahold of it first, in which case it is probably a dinosaur about to become a duck

    Not at all. The article said that is is probably some ancestor of birds. It said nothing about it being a duck or a bird of any kind.

    or an owl

    or a penguin

    but it can't possibly be a duck.


    Most likely correct. As far as I know there have been no fossil seagulls found in the Triassic.

    Ducks don't fit there.

    Well, if you have some evidence to the contrary, we would be glad to look at it.

    It can't possibly be seagull tracks.

    In the absence of any other data that birds existed at the time, this would be a valid assumption.

    Because evolution is a FACT, and seagulls didn't live then.

    As I said, if you have any evidence to the contrary, this would be a good time to air it.

    No matter WHAT the evidence or the Bible say!

    Like I said, 'what evidence?' Do you have duck fossils in the early Mesozoic?

    Evolution is a FACT! It has been declared that way and that's that!

    Nonsense. Read carefully. The quote says, "Unless other evidence is found, we'll assume they belong to a new theropod dinosaur ..." I see no declarations regarding evolution or the fossil itself. I see only a working hypothesis.

    Unless maybe those were seagulls.

    Unless maybe the Bible is right.


    The bible says there were seagulls in the Triassic?

    Unless maybe the evolution really does deny evolution when it is seen through uncolored spectacles...

    Not sure what you are saying here. It seems to me that the researcher is leaving the door pretty wide open. As with any line of inquiry, it is pretty normal to have an hypothesis that sort of fits with the other data. Are you saying that the tracks should just be put in a drawer someplace and not explained?
     
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    HELEN

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but when one sees sea-gull like prints, one generally says that is what they are because they look like that – seagull prints.

    The use of the expression was not to indicate that that much was known, but that what was known was compatible with seagulls. However, because of the presupposition of evolutionism, this possibility is immediately discarded. That was the point of the whole thing, actually.

    That was my point, Earl :D

    One of the ‘proofs’ that I have heard a number of times from evolutionists that would be accepted as disproving evolution is the finding of something like a rabbit in the Cambrian strata. Since the Cambrian strata is ALL sea animals, that would be an interesting find, indeed! Rabbits don’t live on sea-bottoms. But the indication from the example of a rabbit in the Cambrian is that a wildly out-of-place fossil would be what was needed to disprove evolution.

    So here we have ‘seagull-like’ prints in the Triassic strata. Should be at least a start…

    But of course not, because by definition seagulls cannot be in the Triassic! THEREFORE it MUST be something else, because of the definitions imposed by evolutionist presuppositions.

    The corollary to this would be that if we did, indeed, find some poor rabbit that managed to end up in Cambrian strata, the immediate claim would be that it could not possibly be a rabbit because rabbits are not found in that strata. Instead it would suddenly be some new thing never heard of before that was maybe a ‘precursor’ of rabbits. I think that one is too far fetched even for evolutionists, but I am constantly being surprised by them, so maybe not!





    The ‘working hypothesis’ has discounted completely that these prints are what they look like they might be. That was the point of my post.

    And yes, the Bible does say seagulls were in the Triassic. In fact it says that all sorts of plants and animals were. That’s because everything was created within days of each other during creation week.

    The door is open for anything that fits with evolutionist theory. It is not open as far as seagulls are concerned, even though that is what the tracks seem to indicate! That is really poor science.

    No, I am not saying the tracks should be put in a drawer someplace.

    But maybe evolutionist presuppositions should be.
     
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    EARL DETRA

    Helen: Not to put too fine a point on it, but when one sees sea-gull like prints, one generally says that is what they are because they look like that – seagull prints.

    Yes, they are LIKE seagull footprints. I am not convinced that the next time I see a cobblestone that looks like a dinner roll, I should eat it...

    The use of the expression was not to indicate that that much was known, but that what was known was compatible with seagulls. However, because of the presupposition of evolutionism, this possibility is immediately discarded. That was the point of the whole thing, actually.

    My point was: How can you tell that something quacked, waddled or looked like a duck based on some probably sketchy footprints? Have you seen these prints by the way?

    One of the ‘proofs’ that I have heard a number of times from evolutionists that would be accepted as disproving evolution is the finding of something like a rabbit in the Cambrian strata. Since the Cambrian strata is ALL sea animals, that would be an interesting find, indeed! Rabbits don’t live on sea-bottoms. But the indication from the example of a rabbit in the Cambrian is that a wildly out-of-place fossil would be what was needed to disprove evolution.

    No, not what is needed. Just an example. Okay, why don't we see crabs and modern mussels on the Cambrian sea floor? What about shark's teeth? They litter the modern seafloor. Why don't we see a rabbit next to ceolophysis in the Jurassic? They didn't live on the seafloor either.

    So here we have ‘seagull-like’ prints in the Triassic strata. Should be at least a start…

    Wait a cotton-picking minute! How can it be a start when you cannot show that the prints were made by seagulls? Talk about presuppositions! Right now, this is exactly nothing other than an indication of a creature that is presently unknown.

    But of course not, because by definition seagulls cannot be in the Triassic!

    No. It is because they have not been observed in Triassic strata. Nor has anything else resembling a modern bird ben found in Triassic strata.

    THEREFORE it MUST be something else, because of the definitions imposed by evolutionist presuppositions.

    It is most likely something else. There is no evidence for seagulls in Triassic strata. How would they leave tracks anyway, in the middle of a global flood?

    The corollary to this would be that if we did, indeed, find some poor rabbit that managed to end up in Cambrian strata, the immediate claim would be that it could not possibly be a rabbit because rabbits are not found in that strata.

    Show us the rabbit first. You are going way beyond speculation here.

    Instead it would suddenly be some new thing never heard of before that was maybe a ‘precursor’ of rabbits. I think that one is too far fetched even for evolutionists, but I am constantly being surprised by them, so maybe not!

    You seem a bit sensitive about all this. Why are you creating all these scenarios with rabbits and ducks and such?

    The ‘working hypothesis’ has discounted completely that these prints are what they look like they might be. That was the point of my post.

    Well, then you need to find some evidence for seagulls, or any bird, in fact, in the Triassic.

    The door is open for anything that fits with evolutionist theory. It is not open as far as seagulls are concerned, even though that is what the tracks seem to indicate! That is really poor science.

    The thing is that the door has been closed because of evidence to the contrary. At one time there was nothing preventing us from thinking that birds have always been on earth. Then we discovered evidence that they weren't.

    No, I am not saying the tracks should be put in a drawer someplace.

    But maybe evolutionist presuppositions should be.


    You don't seem to admit to the history of this conflict. At one time, your concept of life was the prevailing one. Unfortunately for you, the idea that every creature was created in the creation week was ruled out by evidence many years ago. Evolution was not a 'presuppositon' back then, but we were forced to create accept it because it more closely adhered to the data. It now forms the premise for present and future work. It was, and is, time to move on from the myths of pre-scientific civilization. The fact that you have chosen not to accept evolution, should not hinder the rest of us from moving ahead with science and accepting ideas that work as premises for our research.
     
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    PAUL OF EUGENE

    What we have here is a prediction. And we also have a prediction by Helen. So we wait and see - which comes first in the fossil digs, a 210 million+ year old sea gull, or a 210 million+ year old bird precourser that had sea-gull like feet?

    Anybody wanna take bets on which one will be found? Bearing in mind that we are never guaranteed there will any particular fossil found, so nobody knows how long we have to wait.

    Here's my assessment of the odds:

    - Eventually a small dinosaur with sea-gull like feet to match the tracks will be found: 85% chance

    - Nothing will ever be found to match the tracks from that era: 15% chance

    - Sea gulls will be found from that era: 0% chance
     
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    HELEN

    Earl, if I see, for instance, horse hoof – like prints in the sand at the beach, I am going to assume a horse made them whether or not I have seen the horse. Seagulls make seagull prints. If an ordinary person who walks the beach sees seagull-like prints, he will assume a seagull made them until shown otherwise. The point of this thread was to show that these seagull-like prints were assumed NOT to be a seagull because of evolutionary presuppositions.

    And yes, there was a very clear picture of the prints in the magazine. I would assume, from walking beaches for years and feeding the critters, that seagulls had made them!

    You asked why some animals were not found with other animals in certain strata. Because they did not live in that particular environment at the time of the burial. Mussels, for instance, do not live everywhere, even in places where we think they should. As an example, I have taken a number of classes to Stinson Beach, north of San Francisco, through the years. Just south of the beach proper is a wonderful jumble of boulders and rocks that get covered at high tide and exposed at low tide. Ten years ago these tidal pools were jammed with life: mussels, sea anemones, starfish, barnacles, and more. Then along came El Nino. Within one year the area was absolutely barren. Not even a mussel or sea anemone in existence anywhere I could find there. Finally, last year, I went back to see if there was anything. At first, nothing. Then, in one tiny little pocket I found some sea anemones – quite small – in the beginnings of a new colony. If, for some reason, a slide or something had buried the area ten years ago, results of exploration in a thousand years would show the area was teeming with life. However if the burial had waited just a few years, explorations in a thousand years would show the area denuded. You and I both know the conclusions that would have been drawn in each case. And yet it was the same area, same ‘era’, same everything. Except the water temperature had changed a little.

    What we have in each strata of burial is what was there at that particular time in that environment. Environments change. You might not read the following, but I would suggest that other readers do:
    http://www.setterfield.org/earlyhist.html

    Paul of Eugene, I was not aware of actually having made a prediction. I was simply trying to point out that the idea that the obvious was discounted because of presuppositions to the contrary. You see, the bigger picture is not about seagulls. It is about the fact that evidence is interpreted in light of a model regardless of whether or not that requires discounting rather obvious possibilities.

    What I saw in Earl’s post and yours is evidence not of a scientific approach, but of an incredible amount of brainwashing. I think that is very sad.
     
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    PAUL OF EUGENE

    From Helen to me:

    Nevertheless, you assumption about reality being different from my assumption about reality implies a different prediction for what the future holds in terms of what will be found.

    Recall that evolutionists predicted intermediate whale fossils would be found with intermediate sized feet on the way towards dissapearing as they have in modern whales and with breathing holes moving upwards on the skulls towards the present whale position. And they were found. Predictions like this are evidence for evolutionary ideas.

    Your world view necessarily implies a prediction that birds from the same era as the tracks mentioned will be found to fit the tracks.

    I suppose you world view would imply a figure something like there being a 40 percent chance a small bird from that era will be found to match the tracks, a 40 percent chance that a small dinosaur from that era will be found to match the tracks, and a 20 percent chance that nothing will ever be found to match the tracks from that era. Feel free to correct my estimate of what your world view would predict! But a scientist, evaluating your world view, must make up predictions like that for you as part of the task of evaluating your views. Unless you wish to say your views have no predictive value.
     
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    HELEN

    Paul, the whole point of this thread is that the conclusions which might seem the most logical and obvious are ignored because of presuppositions. That has nothing to do with predictions, implied or otherwise.

    I am not making any predictions. You may make all you like. The most I am willing to say is that I would not be surprised if birds were found associated with that strata.

    But then I am willing to make this prediction: if such should be found, evolutionists will find away around the obvious, again. They will reclassify the strata, reclassify the bird, claim an intrusion, or some mix of all three.

    I will be surprised by none of it anymore. But, given the rarity of fossils of warm-blooded animals, there is no way I am going to be trapped into making a prediction. All I will say is that nothing much surprises me now.

    But please don’t put words in my mouth or predictions in my posts. Thanks.

    Now, as long as we are here, here is another little surprise which sort of defies the current evolutionary model(s). On page 16 of the July 2002 Discover (yes I’m way behind in my reading!) there is a little blurb entitled “High Jinks at the Hot Springs.” It’s short, so here is the text:

    For 15 years geographer David Zhang has been haunted by a set of 19 human hand- and footprints he found embedded in rock 50 miles from the Tibetan capital of Lhasa. Using a technique called optical dating, Zhang and his colleague Shenghua Li at the University of Hong Kong have now determined that the prints are 20,000 years old, 16 millennia more ancient than the earliest known settlements on the Tibetan plateau. Their age is all the more surprising because scientists had thought the plateau was covered by a half-mile-thick ice sheet a the time. Zhang believes the markings were made by a group of six people, including two children, seeking refuge at a hot spring from the frigid climate of the Tibetan plateau. As to why they pressed their hands and feet into the mud, he can only speculate: “I guess they did it for fun and curiosity.”

    Yes, I know – you don’t have to tell me – science is always ‘self-correcting.’ I know one thing, though. If they started with what God told us as a start, there would be a lot less correcting that needed to be done!
     
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    EARL DETRA

    Earl, if I see, for instance, horse hoof – like prints in the sand at the beach, I am going to assume a horse made them whether or not I have seen the horse.

    Ah, but then of course you might look into the next field and see a horse. Where do you not see a seagull in Triassic strata, not even one feather?

    [/i]Seagulls make seagull prints. If an ordinary person who walks the beach sees seagull-like prints, he will assume a seagull made them until shown otherwise. [/i]

    But these were seagull-like. In other words they were not exactly like a seagull.

    The point of this thread was to show that these seagull-like prints were assumed NOT to be a seagull because of evolutionary presuppositions.

    Well, since evolution has worked in virtually every other case of fossil evidence, that would seem to be a reasonable assumption to me.

    And yes, there was a very clear picture of the prints in the magazine. I would assume, from walking beaches for years and feeding the critters, that seagulls had made them!

    You mean, '...never mind that it was a Triassic sea and I wasn't really there'?

    You asked why some animals were not found with other animals in certain strata. Because they did not live in that particular environment at the time of the burial. ]/i]

    Well then what about other environments that existed at the same time? Why not a single mammal in the Triassic for instance? Surely there were terrestrial and fluviatile environments somewhere in Triassic strata. Why do they not have any birds or whales, or what have you?

    Mussels, for instance, do not live everywhere, even in places where we think they should. As an example, I have taken a number of classes to Stinson Beach, north of San Francisco, through the years. Just south of the beach proper is a wonderful jumble of boulders and rocks that get covered at high tide and exposed at low tide. Ten years ago these tidal pools were jammed with life: mussels, sea anemones, starfish, barnacles, and more. Then along came El Nino.
    Within one year the area was absolutely barren. Not even a mussel or sea anemone in existence anywhere I could find there. Finally, last year, I went back to see if there was anything. At first, nothing. Then, in one tiny little pocket I found some sea anemones – quite small – in the beginnings of a new colony. If, for some reason, a slide or something had buried the area ten years ago, results of exploration in a thousand years would show the area was teeming with life. However if the burial had waited just a few years, explorations in a thousand years would show the area denuded. You and I both know the conclusions that would have been drawn in each case. And yet it was the same area, same ‘era’, same everything. Except the water temperature had changed a little.


    Are you saying that since El Nino, all mussels and anemones have died off? There were none anyhwhere in the world? There was no place in the world that had water temperatures appropriate for anemones and mussels?

    What we have in each strata of burial is what was there at that particular time in that environment. Environments change.

    Of course. And in different environments, different communities are preserved. Why are there no Triassic environments with birds in them?

    What I saw in Earl’s post and yours is evidence not of a scientific approach, but of an incredible amount of brainwashing. I think that is very sad.

    Not at all. If you provide evidence we would be glad to see how seagulls fit into the Triassic record. Until then evolution best explains the absence of such data. It is so robust a theory that it can now be used as a premise. If there were a problem, it would show up immediately in any case. That hasn't happened yet.
     

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