Date: 2017-05-08 09:50 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I learned a lot by meeting a creationist's challenge to say "What evidence would convince you that evolution was wrong?" It's actually a very hard question, because I'm an evolutionary biologist, so I'm aware of a *lot* of stuff that evolution explains well. It's hard to think of a finding that would actually cast doubt on all those explanations, rather than generating a one-off explanation such as "everything else evolved, but *that* was designed, perhaps by aliens." I mean, if you showed me an organism whose genome contains a longish stretch of encoded English text, I wouldn't think that evolved, but I wouldn't question that organisms in general evolve--I'd just blame Celera. (Correctly; they are the ones who did that.)

It was easier to think in terms of an alternative hypothesis. The one I came up with was that if there is a hard line between created kinds, such that they are genetically unrelated, I would expect this to be apparent in the DNA. We have a ton of comparative data and love to compare creatures on all levels from within-species to different kingdoms. There should be a line somewhere, and by now we should have bumped up against that line in a myriad different ways. If that had happened, it would cause me to question that different taxa were actually related to each other.

In particular, if I use within-population data to train a mutational model, that model should not *work* on between-kinds data, as the variation between kinds was not produced by the same mechanism (on hypothesis) as the variation within a population.

At this point, alas, the creationist bailed from the conversation; but at least I learned something.
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