Primitive or Advanced?

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

(Galatians 5:1) KJV

Cladistic phylogenetic analysis works by grouping species based on shared derived characteristics (synapomorphies). All of the members of a homologous group have a common ancestor. In this way it’s possible to develop a phylogenetic tree.

In order to carry our our cladistic phylogenetic analysis and generate a phylogenetic tree that shows the ancestral relationships the physical characteristics of, say fossil human skulls, have to be encoded as a character state matrix. The matrix is binary, so all of the characters have to be encoded as either 0 or 1. 0 is used to code the primitive, or ancestral state. 1 is used to code the advanced, or derived state.

The question is: how do you decide which character state is primitive and which is advanced? This is where we see circular reasoning: Choosing what’s primitive and what’s advanced depends of what you’ve chosen to believe about the origin of humanity.

In the Evolution narrative a Neanderthal has many primitive characteristics compared to H. sapiens, because we decided that the Neanderthal is primitive. That’s how we code our matrix. H neanderthal gets all of its character states coded as 0, H. sapiens gets its character states coded as 1. The computer gives an experimental result that shows that the Neanderthal is primitive, and H. sapiens is advanced. The phylogenetic tree is a restatement of the premise that we used to code the character states. Circular reasoning.

In the creation narrative H. sapiens is the created state. For the purposes of analysis it is primitive, the Neanderthal, and the many other forms of “less-advanced sub-humans” are derived from it by the process of devolution. As a result, our character state matrix it is the exact opposite of the one in the Evolution narrative.

Popular science (SciPop) isn’t proving anything about the origin of humanity, it’s crafting a scientific-looking narrative of godless existence. This should illustrate for you that even the most rigorous “scientific” methodology is completely subject to personal bias. Incidentally, this is what brought my graduate studies to an abrupt end.

Archaeopteris (Dawson): A case study in the applicability of phylogenetic analysis to fossil taxa

Cladistic phylogenetic analysis is circular reasoning based on personal bias.

Evolution – Navigation

1IntroductionRomans 1:22-23
2The Role of Evolution2 Corinthians 6:3
2.1Evolution or Jesus?Genesis 2:15-17
3Evidence for EvolutionActs 2:19
3.1Evolution Needs a New Name: Devolution1 Corinthians 1:9
3.2Creation vs. Evolution?Romans 5:12
3.3Evolution isn’t a Lie2 Thessalonians 2:9-12
3.4I Want to Free Your MindRomans 8:2
4Experimentation and EvolutionDaniel 5:11
4.1Primitive or Advanced?Galatians 5:1
4.2Evidence is Irrelevant2 Thessalonians 1:5
5The Narrative of Evolution1 Timothy 6:20
5.1Peer Review is Beyond IrrelevantRomans 13:11
SalvationRomans 10:9-10
– Navigate your way around Evolution.

July 31st – Evolution

Evolution isn’t the problem that Christian theologians have made it.

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