# Does Common Descent Follow Logically From Darwin's Four Postulates?

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by Eugene Shubert, May 10, 2017.

1. ### Michael 345Next mythical choc bunnies for mystic who diedValued Senior Member

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OK I have done that

Not sure I have the rate of ' speciation taking place at a fantastic rate '

But I'll go with what I have got

Now what?

Got it

Because I am not good at mathmatics I'll pick a low number

931

Now what?

Tricky

I have 931 original species

Who go through

a fantastic rate of speciation

until I have lets say 23,875 species

Even though this is an imaginary world I am going to presume some real world definetions

First my original 931 species cannot interbreed

Second none of the offshoot species can interbreed with other species from a different original species

ie instead of 1 tree of Life as on Earth I have 931 trees

Now comes the hard work

Collect 1 of each of now 23,875 species

Sample DNA or equivalent

Look in the fossils for previous versions of my 23,875 species

Keep going until I arrive at a number that holds steady say 1,092

Retire at the top of my game

Of course I could never know there were 931 original species

And successive generations even if they arrive at 931 will continue to took for links between those species

How did I go?

1,092 is only 161 short but the older the species the fewer the specimens

3. ### Eugene ShubertValued Senior Member

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Suppose that all life on this world is governed by inheritable, magical molecules. Let me define that. An inheritable magical molecule specifies all the molecular information needed for building and maintaining an organism such that virtually every mutation of that magical molecule represents a viable form of life.

Clearly, if magical inheritable molecules were maximally magical, then every life form could evolve into every other life form.

Consequently, we should expect that it would be impossible to measure the initial number of original species in a world where life is governed by maximally magical inheritable molecules. And thus common descent is not a fundamental scientific notion but is indisputably subordinate to the more fundamental postulate of Inheritable, Maximally-Magical Molecules.

Last edited: May 14, 2017

5. ### Michael 345Next mythical choc bunnies for mystic who diedValued Senior Member

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4,064
Not fair

You not only moved the goal post

You changed the size of the ball

Resurfaced the field

Changed the rules

Did away with the umpire

Time for me to spit the dummy and go home

7. ### Eugene ShubertValued Senior Member

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Yes. I did do that. Thanks for noticing.

8. ### Eugene ShubertValued Senior Member

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I agree that it's no fun debating religion when your opponent cites two unassailable proofs that your religion is a shell game.

9. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

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24,641
You need more assumptions.
Was the rate constant? Was the increase monotonic - no setbacks?
Can they interbreed? All of them, equally?
How old is this ancient world, compared with the rate?
Is the present distribution and variety well known, and is that the only information you have?
And so forth.

10. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

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24,641
Done. Next?
We already know that, for the current situation. Common descent has been established, for all the living beings we have investigated so far, not a priori, but by reasoning from evidence. It may yet be found that some living organisms are likely to have descended from completely different ancestors than all the ones we have investigated so far.

By now, with so many millions of beings all possessing the features of common descent, that discovery would be extraordinary. Extraordinary evidence would be required.

Last edited: May 14, 2017
11. ### Eugene ShubertValued Senior Member

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Create as many seemingly plausible models as you like. I'm only asking for one.

12. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

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It's not an interesting problem for me. And it has no consequences for this thread.

13. ### Eugene ShubertValued Senior Member

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Common descent isn't testable because the thesis that all life is governed by inheritable, maximally-magical molecules isn't testable.

14. ### Eugene ShubertValued Senior Member

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I've already agreed with exchemist's post (#2) that common descent doesn't follow logically from Darwin's four postulates.

15. ### Eugene ShubertValued Senior Member

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How does one confirm the common descent of creatures living now and link them to creatures of the past that left no DNA?

16. ### sideshowbobSorry, wrong number.Valued Senior Member

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Inheritability and magic are redundant, which is why science has no such thesis. Biological traits are inheritable but not magic.

17. ### Eugene ShubertValued Senior Member

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Mathematicians discern the conclusions to fundamental presuppositions and have the audacity to create whatever definitions they require so that proofs of useful theorems can be established.

18. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

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24,641
Common descent was tested by discovering and evaluating evidence - lots and lots of evidence, carefully evaluated. It is now established, for all the living beings we have checked.
By research and evaluation of evidence.
We all celebrate the hard work and creativity of mathematicians.

19. ### sideshowbobSorry, wrong number.Valued Senior Member

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3,055
What does that have to do with anything?

20. ### Michael 345Next mythical choc bunnies for mystic who diedValued Senior Member

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4,064
Not testable because maximally-magical molecules don't exist

However DNA does exist and is present in many dead species enough for comparison to current species

If I let you into a secret promise not to tell anyone else?

Scientist don't test non existent things like maximally-magical molecules

To hard to find

To hard to create instruments to detect them

In other words Scientist are a lazy bunch

I don't but that's just me

Maths beyond the 12 times tables is a foreign country I have no real wish to visit but a few postcards would be OK

Last edited: May 14, 2017
21. ### Michael 345Next mythical choc bunnies for mystic who diedValued Senior Member

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Well it was so glaring blatant I could see it even without my glasses

Not a problem

Now I know the rules are

there are no rules

22. ### Eugene ShubertValued Senior Member

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The game of mathematics is to formulate definitions and to specify axioms so that by straightforward arguments, either extremely complex or trivial, one can create a useful theorem. See Sanford's Genomic Degeneration Theorem as an extremely clear example.

23. ### Eugene ShubertValued Senior Member

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How often must I beg for a link to the most compelling argument at the most elementary level?