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Author Topic:   Does Chen's work pose a problem for ToE?
PaulK
Member
Posts: 17838
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 76 of 84 (290533)
02-26-2006 7:25 AM
Reply to: Message 73 by randman
02-25-2006 7:36 PM


Re: a small recap
Again it all comes down to your assumptions on what should be preserved.
The fact is that the discovery of early bilaterians validated the predictions of evolutionary scientists and contradicts your ideas. At present there seems no reason to assume that there is any problem beyond the limits of the fossil record.

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Chiroptera
Inactive Member


Message 77 of 84 (290573)
02-26-2006 10:57 AM
Reply to: Message 72 by randman
02-25-2006 7:33 PM


Re: wrong, soft bodies preserved too
quote:
I showed where soft-bodied creatures are found in abundance in phosphates.
What don't you get about that?
You did? Could you repeat your cite? This process is fairly rare, and only works with very, very small organisms. I doubt that they are found in "abundance".
And even if they are, the discoveries of these fossils do not contradict the theory of evolution and, in fact, lead to new insights concerning the evolution of the major phyla.
What I definitely "get" is that you do not understand any of this, and that you appear to purposely refuse to understand it.

"Intellectually, scientifically, even artistically, fundamentalism -- biblical literalism -- is a road to nowhere, because it insists on fidelity to revealed truths that are not true." -- Katha Pollitt

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Replies to this message:
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NosyNed
Member
Posts: 9006
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003


Message 78 of 84 (290594)
02-26-2006 11:38 AM
Reply to: Message 77 by Chiroptera
02-26-2006 10:57 AM


Abundance
I doubt that they are found in "abundance".
Abundance is a kind of fuzzy term. Remember, Chiroptera, these dozen or so places where remarkable preservation has happened preserve even very, very small (microscopic and near) remains. In a small area there maybe many 1,000s of such creatures. That can be taken as "abundance". Of course, using that in this context isn't meaningful but it is typical.
Stepping back a bit it seems we have about a dozen sites spread over nearly a billion years. It would seem to me that something occuring on 100 million year intervals qualifies as "rare". If these samples (at 100 Myr intervals) capture 100,000 animals ("abundant"?) then we are getting (on average -- meaningless in this case but fun to calculate) about 1 animal per 1,000 years --- "rare" I would say (with how many animals living in the 1,000 years?--- really, really rare).
A silly argument but fun.

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Modulous
Member
Posts: 7801
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 79 of 84 (290835)
02-27-2006 9:45 AM
Reply to: Message 68 by randman
02-25-2006 6:28 PM


incidentally
The article you linked to was once again out of date. It is dated July 24, 2000.
Fred Heeren writes:
But Chen and Li were disappointed not to have found any bilaterians; they hadn’t found a truly viable ancestor for any of the new animals appearing in the Cambrian explosion.
Chen and Li were disappointed, but 4 years later they found them.
Moreover, by finding sponges and their microscopically tiny embryos in the Precambrian, they inadvertently rebutted Westerner wisdom. Charles Darwin himself had said that in order for his theory to work, the ancestors of the Cambrian animals must have been evolving for long ages prior to their Cambrian appearance.
Which is what they found 4 years later...so does this logically unrebut Westerner wisdom?
Western scientists would have none of it. “It doesn’t matter if you find it or not!” declared German biologist Dieter Walossek, rallying his Western colleagues around him. “It’s there! It’s by law! All of the major taxa should have been there in the Precambrian, whether proved or not!”
As arrogant as Walossek comes off in this quote, it turns out he has a point. The bilaterals were there.
Just thought I'd throw that out there in case anybody was taken in by the article. For the lurkers: A better article, a more up to date article, can be found in the article jar referenced.
This message has been edited by Modulous, Mon, 27-February-2006 02:52 PM

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randman 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4980 days)
Posts: 6367
Joined: 05-26-2005


Message 80 of 84 (290859)
02-27-2006 12:09 PM
Reply to: Message 79 by Modulous
02-27-2006 9:45 AM


Re: incidentally
their assessment of western scientists is still very telling when it comes to evolution, imo.....but I am on vacation and will be gone 9 days...will check back then,

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Belfry
Member (Idle past 5167 days)
Posts: 177
From: Ocala, FL
Joined: 11-05-2005


Message 81 of 84 (290877)
02-27-2006 12:49 PM
Reply to: Message 79 by Modulous
02-27-2006 9:45 AM


Re: incidentally
Modulous writes:
quote:
Western scientists would have none of it. “It doesn’t matter if you find it or not!” declared German biologist Dieter Walossek, rallying his Western colleagues around him. “It’s there! It’s by law! All of the major taxa should have been there in the Precambrian, whether proved or not!”
As arrogant as Walossek comes off in this quote, it turns out he has a point. The bilaterals were there.
Just to drive this point home a little further, Chen et al. make direct reference to this in the abstract to their 2004 article I cited earlier, in which they announced the precambrian find:
quote:
These fossils provide the first evidence confirming the phylogenetic inference that Bilateria arose well before the Cambrian.
In other words, these fossils confirm a prediction that was based on evolutionary theory. That Chen himself is/was skeptical of the explanatory power of the modern synthesis should add some extra credibility to his find, for those who believe that there is a self-deluded conspiracy afoot.

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Modulous
Member
Posts: 7801
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 82 of 84 (290884)
02-27-2006 1:11 PM
Reply to: Message 80 by randman
02-27-2006 12:09 PM


of dogmatism and conservatism
their assessment of western scientists is still very telling when it comes to evolution
As PaulK mentioned in Message 9 - science is conservative. I appreciate this can lead to a dogmatic appearance, and it would be nice to see a more liberal approach. However, the liberal approach is known for allowing pseudoscience to creep in, so I'm inclined to stick with the flaws of conservatism rather than the flaws of liberalism in the case of science.
I like the fact that it takes a lot of work to change the minds of scientists, it gives me confidence that the theories they hold to have been rigorously examined and criticised before becoming 'dogma'. Before his 2004 discoveries Chen was proposing that the mechanisms we know of evolution were not enough (he proposed Harmony as another principle, but I never saw any details about what this actually is). He was basing this conclusion on an absense of evidence. Other scientists were rightly skeptical. A few years down the line and Chen's absence of evidence seemed to vanish.
I am also unwilling to make hasty generalizations about 1.3 billion people based on a sample size of less than a dozen hand picked by an intelligent design journalist.
abe: oh! And enjoy your vacation!
This message has been edited by Modulous, Mon, 27-February-2006 06:21 PM

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Chiroptera
Inactive Member


Message 83 of 84 (290905)
02-27-2006 2:28 PM


maybe off-topic
This doesn't have anything to do with the Chen et al. business, but as I was browsing the Palaeos site, I came across an essay on bilateran phylogeny that some may find interesting.

"Intellectually, scientifically, even artistically, fundamentalism -- biblical literalism -- is a road to nowhere, because it insists on fidelity to revealed truths that are not true." -- Katha Pollitt

  
Murphy
Inactive Member


Message 84 of 84 (290910)
02-27-2006 3:38 PM


Questions
I've been skimming several of these evolution discussion sites and a thought struck me. Most people accept that the earth is 10 to 15 billion years old. If an acceptable number is 10 billion it would make easy math.
Several years ago a couple of different groups had some 'super' computers operating for about a year to 'map' the human DNA, at least that's what I understood... if I'm wrong I'll gladly be corrected. Assuming that those computers were only running at 1 gig, if my numbers are correct there would be 31.6 to the 14th power of calculations in a year.
Assuming that a calculation would equal a 'change' in the DNA, probably a big assumption, and the DNA started changing immediately, it appears that there would have had to be a change in the DNA of 1 every 3 years, going from zero to the present.
Does this fit anywhere in the ToE? Seems a lot of rather rapid change to get where we are. I know in nature, many if not all mutants are shunned or killed. Pardon me if this has already been covered somewhere.
This message has been edited by AdminJar, 02-27-2006 02:44 PM

  
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