Transitional Forms and Probabilities
Updated: Feb 15
Humanists often confuse verifiable observational science with unverifiable historical science. In the Evolution as “Science” Debate, I asked the humanists/evolutionists to provide observable examples of biological evolution in action. None of them could provide adequate examples, and the vast majority of them tried to provide supposed “evidences” that are not testable and repeatable. The debate transcript in my previous blog post provides an example of this. Humanist MR tried to justify biological evolution from supposed fossil record evidences. After I responded to his comment, MR replied with two follow-up comments. His first of the two follow-up comments primarily focused on claimed transitional forms as a supposed evidence for evolution. In Part 7 of the Evolution as “Science” debate, I share MR’s comment regarding transitional forms, along with my rebuttal. I want to note something in MR's defense: his writings contain numerous spelling errors, but that is because English is not his primary language, as he mentioned in his first comment.
Also, before MR commented, a separate humanist, MM, posted an atheist YouTube video about Noah’s Ark. In general, I love talking about the Flood and Noah’s Ark, but this video was way off topic of the thread, so I decided to ignore the red herring.
Note: transcript portions are in topical order for clarity, but the posts are numbered to maintain chronological integrity. By the time I share Part 10 of this blog post series, I will have shared the entire debate transcript. Also, all names are abbreviated for privacy and brevity.
See below for Part 7 of 10 of the debate transcript.
You don’t need to observe the organism riproduce, simply the discovery of ancient beeings that “just happens” to have exactly the characteristics that the predicted Common accestor should have would be extremely improbable if there aren’t common ancestors in first place. And that would be extremely improbable just if there was ONE case of said predicted common ancestor found, but we have found hundreds if not thousands of said common ancestors.
Basically if i have a theory, said theory predict the past existence of an animal that have some specific characteristic and said animal never has been seen or supposed existing before (so there is NO REASON AT ALL to suppose its existence outside my theory), and then i FIND said animal, it doesen’t matter at all if i can verify if i can check that the REASONS Why i predicted its existence are corrected (in the case, because it is an ancestor of some else animal). That because the existence of said animal in first place is a good enought proof as it is: MAYBE that animal is not really an ancestor and my theory is wrong...but that would be an extremely strange and improbable coincidence that an animal wich existence nobody predicted outside me really exists while the reasons i predicted it are completly wrong.
And even if ONE case CAN be (an extremely improbabile) coincidence, hundreds CAN’T (well, technically can, but we would reach levels of improbability so huge that even the hypothesis that every single person in the world is part of a mega-prank aimed to make me think that America exists would be more plausible)
Hi MR, I will respond to your messages in segments for clarity.
“You don’t need to observe the organism riproduce, simply the discovery of ancient beeings…”
If we don’t need to directly observe the organism, then we cannot scientifically prove that it is a transitional form, since it is not directly observable and verifiable. Any conclusions are then based in a form of faith rather than science.
“that “just happens” to have exactly the characteristics that the predicted Common accestor should have”
I generally question this type of claim, because we can dig into the details and find that the claimed transitional form has traits that the evolutionists did not necessarily predict, or still leave major “gaps.” Take Tiktaalik for example. Evolutionary scientist Jennifer Clack confessed, “There remains a large morphological gap between them and digits as seen in, for example, Acanthostega: if the digits evolved from these distal bones, the process must have involved considerable developmental repatterning…Of course, there are still major gaps in the fossil record. In particular we have almost no information about the step between Tiktaalik and the earliest tetrapods, when the anatomy underwent the most drastic changes, or about what happened in the following Early Carboniferous period, after the end of the Devonian, when tetrapods became fully terrestrial.” (https://creation.com/tiktaalik-roseae-a-fishy-missing-link)
“…would be extremely improbable if there aren’t common ancestors in first place. And that would be extremely improbable just if there was ONE case of said predicted common ancestor found, but we have found hundreds if not thousands of said common ancestors.”
This is also very subjective and arbitrary without direct observational science. To conclude that these are truly transitional forms begs the question: one would have to already assume evolution is true in order to “prove” evolution with the supposed transitional forms. Moreover, the claimed transitional forms appear to be fully functioning creatures. When considering Tiktaalik for example, why should a Christian think that God could not have created such a creature? Why would this not be a “prediction” of biblical creation?
[Responding to your second paragraph that begins with “Basically if I have a theory…”]
I mostly addressed this in my previous paragraph, but to reemphasize, I disagree with the presupposition that no other worldview would “predict” the existence of certain creatures. Why would the biblical worldview have “no reason at all” to suppose the existence creatures such as Tiktaalik? And speaking of Tiktaalik, that creature would have to undergo very complex, simultaneous changes to successfully become an amphibian. As geologist Paul Garner writes, “For instance, in fish the head, shoulder girdle, and circulatory systems constitute a single mechanical unit. The shoulder girdle is firmly connected to the vertebral column and is an anchor for the muscles involved in lateral undulation of the body, mouth opening, heart contractions, and timing of the blood circulation through the gills. However, in amphibians the head is not connected to the shoulder girdle, in order to allow effective terrestrial feeding and locomotion. Evolutionists must suppose that the head became incrementally detached from the shoulder girdle, in a step-wise fashion, with functional intermediates at every stage. However, a satisfactory account of how this might have happened has never been given.” (https://creation.com/the-fossil-record-of-early-tetrapods-evidence-of-a-major-evolutionary-transition#f80) Wouldn’t that be “extremely improbable”?
MR’s second of his two follow-up comments (third comment in total) brings up evolutionary arguments concerning radiometric dating and the order of the fossil record. This is one of my favorite portions of the debate, because MR claimed that if a certain type of evidence existed, it would indicate a huge problem for the evolutionary worldview. I responded with links to such evidence that does in fact exist. I will share that portion of the debate (comment numbers 56 and 58 in the transcript) in my next post.
My prayer is that MR and the other humanists begin to realize that only God’s Word truly makes sense of everything we see in the world. May they also come to realize their need for a Savior to be forgiven of their sins.