“1) Animals are diverse with over 1.3 million species and the implicit assumption here is that size will have evolved the same way in all 1.3 million species. That is simply wrong when you are talking about such a vast group. “
Strawman. I’m not assuming anything. This is a smoke and mirrors attempt on your part equal to literary dodgeball. I’m not assuming that size has evolved the same way at all, as a matter of fact, I’m saying size didn’t ‘evolve’ at all when it came to small animals into large animals. There’s no evidence it did. YOU are the one assuming that mutations and nat sel will make creatures bigger.
“2) Size is also a complex quantitative trait. Meaning it is regulated by many, sometimes hundreds of genes, along with significant environmental factors. Only with the advent of next generation sequencing and the accompanying statistical techniques in the last 5 years has it even become feasible to really identify the underlying genetic variation. Previously we were really limited to identifying quantitative trait loci that may have multiple genes. You try to make generalizations regarding the effects of the pituitary gland, but how can you make that generalization when we barely understand the genetics?”
Smokescreen. Point one and two are useless. There’s no need to dive into the actual specifics of where the genome is affected. I can see, through empirical testing such as breeding, that large animals get small and stay small once they’re there. I don’t need to know what changed in the genome to see that. This is the beauty of real science. We can actually observe something happening without having to be PhD’s in biology. Why do we not see small animals become really large animals over time such is observed the other way around? Because mutations and nat sel can’t account for small to large in animals.
“3) How do we define "size"? There are multiple factors that fall under such an overly broad category; height, weight, length, width… “
Smokescreen. And it continues…..gee….I don’t know. Should we discuss what ‘nothing’ means as well Krauss? Should we just change definitions to fit our liking? Come on man….you know exactly what I’m talking about here so you’re being incredibly intellectually dishonest by even bringing something like that up. “height, weight, length, width” Turning a cell into a human or an amphibian tetrapod into a dinosaur would include all of those.
“You argue the existence of extreme animal sizes in the fossil record and how small modern species are. But this is reasoning is flawed.”
Strawman I’m not arguing for anything of the sort. There were equally small species in the fossil record with the dinosaurs but that’s never been the point of contention. You’re wasting my time here. If we all ‘evolved’ from a cell then mutations and nat sel have to be able to account for things getting bigger. There’s nothing flawed with that reasoning. You’re dodging.
“1) The fossil record represents ~3 billion years. If we allow the entirety of written human history and observation, that gives us only ~6000 years. From the advent of modern science and in particular the focused study and classification of species, that gives us less than 300 years since Linnaeus started modern taxonomy. Your argument implies an incorrect view of the ancient world, that there was a prehistoric time when life in general was large and now its not in the span of human experience. However, a 39 inch centipede may not have existed at the same time as the largest dinosaurs. Because when looking at the fossil record you are spanning hundreds of millions even billions of years, not a single epoch when everything existed at once. Giants come and go. Small species come and go. “
This shows nothing…
“2) It is directly contradicted by the fact that the largest animal known to ever live is the Blue Whale. The Blue Whale is larger than the largest dinosaur, it is larger than any creature that has ever existed. It is also larger than every single extinct whale species found in the fossil record. The earliest whale fossils are small. The largest extinct whale species is Basilosaurus, measuring ~65ft long. Blue Whales are on average 80ft long. So you and I live in an age where the largest animal ever lives alongside of us. “
I have no clue how this shows empirical evidence for mutations and nat sel accounting for large organisms.
“3) Your argument assumes a simple diffusion mechanism of Insect respiration. However, there is evidence against this. However, studying respiration in living insects has previously been limited by technological barriers. However, more recent work suggests that Insects have respiration mechanisms that allow for active oxygen movement through rapid tracheal compression and expansion. Such an active mechanism would remove the barriers to body size imposed by diffusion mechanisms. “
This simply asserts that “Such an active mechanism would remove the barriers to body size imposed by diffusion mechanisms.” But it still shows nothing.
“You also make an argument regarding how Chihuahuas cannot evolve to great dane size. This too is a wrong line of reasoning. Dogs evolved from wolves when they were domesticated up to 33,000 years ago. Since then there has been evolution for larger size and many dog species are larger than wolves. Mastiffs weigh almost twice as much as a Grey Wolf. This is evidence for the evolution of larger size from a smaller ancestral population.”
Finally! An attempt at actual evidence! Someone already tried this one on me as well. Here was his post.
“The one thing that I want to address is your comment that we only observe the evolution from wolves to small dogs like chiwawas. This is not the case, and it can be shown with breeds like the Newfoundland, etc. These breeds are much bigger then their ancestral population. (wolves)”
Here was my reply
Largest Newfoundland – 180 pounds
Largest wolf – 230 pounds
Even if this happens to be a fake the largest on record is 175 pounds….right in line with the Newfoundland
You mentioned the mastiff. Largest mastiff I could find was Zorba at 37 inches tall
Largest current dog is a great dane at 43 inches tall
Most average mastiffs and great danes fall right in line with gray wolves for size. The next step up on the ancestral chart would probably be the Epicyon haydeni which matches what you’d find with the larger dogs. Regardless, if Zorba and Giant George have puppies they’ll go back to the more average sizes. Few, if any, will get as big as those guys are so you’re right back to square one.
“Mastiffs weigh almost twice as much as a Grey Wolf.”
Weight is important but now it’s time to bring up YOUR way of reasoning. So…..a gray wolf that has to run around the forest everyday to find something to eat or a dog that sits on the couch with all the food he could ever want at his disposal. Of COURSE the mastiffs will be heavier! Interesting that you would question my resonating when anyone with a little bit of common sense would realize why the dog weighs more than the wolf. What we need to look at is height which we’ve already addressed. There’s not a huge diff between them in the height department. Certainly not enough to prove anything within our discussion.
After all of your writing you didn’t prove anything. You can call this a ‘gap’ and dismiss it if you want but there’s a real problem here. We know, we know empirically, after hundreds and hundreds of years of breeding that animals do NOT get larger and stay there. They get smaller and stay there. Period. This is where common sense needs to come into play. Mutations and nat sel cannot account for the size of ANYTHING we see around us. Elephants, mice, whatever. Your only resort is to have ‘faith’ that it all happened via mutations and nat sel but I’ve been told there’s no place for ‘faith’ and ‘science’ in the same arena. Aren’t scientists supposed to follow the truth no matter where it leads? Hmmmm……seems there are exceptions.
Now….if all of the large animals were created large from the very beginning and then became smaller via breeding over time then it fits perfectly with the empirical evidence we’ve collected from the past few hundred years. So go back to the years when you were a Christian. Doesn’t this evidence fit nicely with the Creation model? I’m just sayin’