Creationism and Baraminology Research News

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An ongoing list of creationist research projects. This is not a creationism-verse-evolution site, but a site to publicize the research work done by members of the creationist community and the intelligent design community, or research work by the science community at large constructively relating to creation topics. Evolutionary critiques may be included on occasion but only under special consideration, and especially where the research pertains directly to developing a creationist model.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

BSG Conference: Day 1

We just finished the first day of the BSG conference. I got to meet several people involved in the BSG, and talk a little about what they were working on. We spent the day in Todd Wood's Statistical Baraminology workshop, going over baraminology procedures as well as some software he has written to aid in such studies. We've talked about statistical baraminology before, but this was a good review, and reminded me why I should re-read my college statistics books :)

One of the main things that I really finally understood about baraminology that hadn't quite hit before, is that baraminology classification is not about descent. You could feasibly have two members of the same baramin which never ever shared a common ancestor. For a simple example, just imagine God creating two identical asexual organisms at creation. Their descendents will never share a common ancestor, yet it is obvious that they would be of the same "kind". Thus, baraminology classification is entirely about continuity and discontinuity, and only uses descent in the sense that hybridization is fairly good evidence of continuity.

The historical method of determining baramins by hybridization was shown to have several failing features, including:

  • How do you know when a hybridization is successful? Obviously a reproducing organism is a success, but what about a sterile one? What about one that was conceived and carried but aborted?

  • Hybridization doesn't apply on asexual organisms

  • Hybridization can't be tested on fossils

  • Hybridization test can be hard to justify on rare or endangered species

  • Species that hybridize are members of the same kind, but the converse is not true

  • "After its kind" is not a reproductive command

And thus statistical baraminology is a useful tool for these many cases that cannot be resolved by hybridization tests.

Anyway, I'll ask Todd tonight if I can post the URL and a tutorial to the software.

Your explanation on how baraminology classification is not descent was really helpful.

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