Livebogging the execrable Meyer

Forgot to post this last night.

He’s back to claiming phylogenetics is circular.

Not fair to say that IDers are not there, or that their numbskulls.

He is insisting that he’s not a creationist, and yet:

Q. Do you accept the general principle of common descent that all life is biologically related back to the beginning of life, yes or no?

A. I won’t answer that question as a yes or no. I accept the idea of limited common descent. I am skeptical about universal common descent. I do not take it as a principle; it is a theory. And I think the evidence supporting the theory of universal common descent is weak.

Q. Do you accept that human beings are related by common descent to prehominid ancestors, yes or no?

A. I’m not sure. I’m skeptical of it because I think the evidence for the proposition is weak, but it would not affect my conviction that life is designed if it turns out that there was a genealogical continuity.

Q. Based upon your understanding, do you have an alternative explanation for the human species if not common descent from prehominid ancestors?

A. That is not my area of expertise. I work at the other end of the history of life, namely the origin of the first life in the Cambrian phylum.

Q. Do you have a personal opinion as to the question I have just proposed to you, which is if you do not believe that human beings have a common descent with prehominid ancestors, what is your personal alternative explanation for how human beings came into existence?

A. I am skeptical about the evidence for universal common descent and I’m skeptical about some of the evidence that has been marshaled for the idea that humans and prehominids are connected. But as I said, it wouldn’t bother me (unintelligible) stronger than I presently think.

Q. What is your personal opinion at this time?

A. That I’m skeptical about the Darwinian accounts of such things, but that it wouldn’t bother me if it turned out to be different. I think my– I also would tell you that humans and the rest of the non human living world, that humans have qualitatively different features that I think are very mysterious and hard to explain on any materialistic account of the origin of human life.

Q. You think it’s wise for science without a supernatural model to attempt to answer those questions that we still don’t understand?

A. You know, I don’t really work in that area, so I’m not going to venture any more opinions about the topic.

Steve Steve met various folk. Pix to come.


  1. #1 386sx
    January 22, 2009

    Ah, so then he is an expert in the Cambrian. I knew he was an expert at something. Okey dokey.

  2. #2 llewelly
    January 22, 2009

    I work at the other end of the history of life, namely the origin of the first life in the Cambrian phylum.

    What does he mean by ‘the Cambrian phylum’?

  3. #3 Bob O'H
    January 22, 2009

    Ah, so this is why Prof. Steve wasn’t in North Carolina!

    llewelly – my thought exactly.

  4. #4 DrA
    January 22, 2009

    >>the origin of the first life in the Cambrian phylum.>>

    Except the earliest fossil evidence of life is nearly 3.5 billion years old, about 5 times older than the Cambrian. Fossils of filamentous bacteria are sort of what you would predict for the oldest simplest forms of life. Fossils demonstrate that the diversity observed today in cyanobacteria was present 2.2 billion years ago. So what kind of expert thinks the first life appeared in the Cambrian?

  5. #5 Paper Hand
    January 22, 2009

    So what kind of expert thinks the first life appeared in the Cambrian?

    What kind of expert thinks the Cambrian is a “phylum”, for that matter …

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