This Science Daily article is discussing the paper by Martone et al. Discovery of Lignin in Seaweed Reveals Convergent Evolution of Cell-Wall Architecture. Current Biology, 2009; 19 (2): 169.
The gist of the paper is that:
All land plants evolved from aquatic green algae Because red and green algae likely diverged more than a billion years ago, the discovery of lignin in red algae suggests that the basic machinery for producing lignin may have existed long before algae moved to land. Alternatively, algae and land plants may have evolved the identical compound independently, after they diverged.
I wonder if this can count as "wooden" stalks existing when algae "stems" were clinging to rocks?
Can the birds on day 5 (before mammals on day 6) realistically be interpreted as actually existing before reptiles?
Look at this complicated issue.
The genetic information comes first.
BEFORE THE ACTUAL ANIMAL.
NPR Science Friday August 2, 2013 Amy Balanoff American Museum of Natural History ........ Balanoff we looked at animals that were very closely related to Archaeopteryx and Archaeopteryx is this fossil that’s always been historicallyheld up asthe transitional species between dinosaurs and the living bird but what we found is that when we looked at Archaeopteryx and we looked at dinosaurs that were very closely related to archaeopteryx that they had brains that were at least as large as the Archaeopteryx brains and in some cases even larger so Archaeopteryx certainly had the capacity to fly at some level and so if Archaeopteryx could fly then by inference these other things had the neurological capacity to fly-not necessarily that they were also taking to the skies but that brain was already there.
Plato So instead of a chicken and egg, you have a brain or a bird?
Balanoff Yea, exactly.
Plato First, right. It knew it could fly but it didn’t have the wings or the feathers yet or the knowledge? It knew [or] it had the wiring, are you saying?
Balanoff Those dinosaurs that were walking or running on the ground, they had that capacity, that neurological capacity to fly.
Plato That even makes it, you know, closer, the idea that birds and dinosaurs were the same.
Balanoff that’s born out by other studies, you know, that people looking at the evolutionary history of dinosaurs. There are so many characters that they share that birds and the non-avian dinosaurs share in common that it’s not really hotly debated anymore. . Plato So where would you go with your research now? What do you not know or how would you move forward on this? . Balanoff There are a few things. What we were looking at specifically was the volume of the brain. The volume of the brain compared to the body size of the animal. But what we’d like to do next is now to look at the shape of the brain to see how the morphology of these different regions are changing along the evolutionary history of birds. . Plato Can you use then this brain size and the ability perhaps to fly as a guidepost to the evolution of dinosaurs and evolving from birds [from/with] dinosaurs? Is it helpful at all?
Balanoff It is helpful but what I think is really interesting about this is that so many of these characters that we thought made up a bird just keep falling down the evolutionary tree of dinosaurs so , you know, we always thought birds were these things that flew, that had big brains, they had a wishbone, they had feathers and all of these things you find so much earlier in the history of the non-avian dinosaur lineage that it’s becoming harder and harder to say what exactly a bird is.
Plato Yea, because if you go back and you look at the brain casts of other dinosaurs and you see they had it also. . So the birds that could actually fly or had wings and feathers might be a minority of the birds?
Balanoff birds are so diverse that it’s hard to say they’re a minority but yea they’re not as unique as we thought they once were. . Balanoff There is always something new. Another thing that we want to do is add more species too. We’re still not done with-there is a big space between archaeopteryx and living birds and that needs to be filled in and that’s one of our future areas of research.
Then an issue of mutations and genetic information coming before the actual creature.
Popular Science March 2013 Q: Which came first: the chicken or the egg? . Chickens, as a species, became chickens through a long, slow process of evolution. At some point, a chicken-like bird produced an offspring that, due to some mutation in its DNA, crossed the threshold from mere chicken likeness into chicken actuality That is to say, a proto-chicken gave birth to a real-life official chicken. And since that real-life official chicken came out of its own egg, we can say that the egg came first. Another way to look at the question would be to ask which came first in evolutionary history. One again, the egg takes precedence. Many characteristics of the modern avian egg-namely an oblong, asymmetrical shape and a hardened shell-were in place before birds diverged from dinosaurs about 150 million years ago. A lot of the traits that we see in bird eggs evolved prior to birds in theropod dinosaurs, says Darla Zelenitsky, of the University of Calgary. Another key moment in the history of avian eggs occurred at least 150 million years before that, when a subset of four-limbed vertebrates evolved to produce amniotic eggs. The embryos within the eggs were surrounded by three fluid-filled membranes that provide nourishment, protection, and a way to breathe. The earliest amniotic eggs contained large amounts of yoke, says James R Stewart, a reproductive physiologist at East Tennessee State University. You still see that in birds, crocodilians, and snakes, he explains. Like other placental mammals, we humans lost our yoke somewhere along the line, but our eggs still come with a vestigial yolk sac.
Listen to Carl Sagan attempt to give a summary of evolutionary chronology.
He narrowed the Universe's history into 365 days.
The Cosmic Year.
(brackets are my words)
Cosmos EPISODE 2
By December 1st, green plants had released copious amounts of oxygen and nitrogen into the atmosphere. The sky is made by life. .
[Cambrian Explosion was December 15th.]
[Trilobites and squid like creatures were prominent December 18th. ]
[First fish and first vertabrits on December 19th.]
[Then plants on land December 20th.]
[First winged insects December 22.]
[First amphibians December 22. ]
[First trees and reptiles December 23]
.[dinosaurs Christmas eve]
The first mammals emerged on December 26th. The first birds on the following day. But the dinosaurs still dominated the planet [160 million years after they began to exist]
Perhaps birds were a little earlier than mammals?
I can find a scientist saying (in a Smithsonian article from 7 years ago I have) that birds probably first existed around 250 million years ago, and the article had a feathered dinosaur fossil that dated 190 mya. I will try to find it.
I wonder if there are some possible translations that can have certain parts of scripture be more in line with history (especially with more recent discoveries)?
Deciphering how feathers morphed over the ages from spindly fibers to delicate instruments of flight would shed light on the transition of dinosaurs to birds, and how natural selection forged this complex trait. Few scientists know ancient feathers more intimately than IVPP’s Xu Xing. He has discovered 40 dinosaur speciesmore than any other living scientistfrom all over China. His office at IVPP, across the street from the Beijing Zoo, is cluttered with fossils and casts.
Xu envisions feather evolution as an incremental process. Feathers in their most primitive form were single filaments, resembling quills, that jutted from reptilian skin. These simple structures go way back; even pterodactyls had filaments of sorts. Xu suggests that feather evolution may have gotten started in a common ancestor of pterodactyls and dinosaursnearly 240 million years ago, or some 95 million years before Archaeopteryx.
So perhaps 240-250 mya there were birdish creatures.
Combine this issue with flying insects (which existed earlier), and then consider that most reptiles were sort of waterish creatures around the start of the 200 million century (that is to say just after 300 mya)
The earliest known proto-reptiles originated around 312 million years ago during the Carboniferous period, having evolved from advanced reptiliomorph tetrapods that became increasingly adapted to life on dry land. Some early examples include the lizard-like Hylonomus and Casineria
Hylonomus was a reptile, but obviously most "reptiles" 300 million years ago were watery creatures.
Hylonomus (/haɪˈlɒnəməs/; hylo- "forest" + nomos "dweller") is an extinct genus of reptile that lived 312 million years ago during the Late Carboniferous period. It is the earliest unquestionable reptile (Westlothiana is older, but in fact it may have been an amphibian, and Casineria is rather fragmentary). The only species is the type species Hylonomous lyelli.
Birds might not be so much later than the transition period from water creatures to land creatures.
I wonder if birds before land creatures is so much of an absurd anachronism now?
Creationism (especially young earth creationism) is dead as a doornail, when the evidence is taken to account, as a reasonable way of looking at the earth's history.
Evolution is backed up rather strongly (and even the fossil record is pretty good at showing intermediates - especially when it comes to birds and reptiles and humans and transitional ancestors all the way back to chimp like ancestors)
But, is a day age theory type of interpretation of Genesis 1 really so bad?
Sagan did say "green plants" came before even the atmosphere (though there are other theories for the atmosphere like a "big belch" from rocks and BEFORE algae), so he called algae "green plants".
I wonder if it is a good idea to trash Genesis 1 just because Genesis 2 might contradict it and just because YECs want to talk about Evolution and the Big Bang being "Satanic" while vocally and aggressively making very strong accusations against scientists (then there are the science classroom issues).
Stephen Jay Gould said that Genesis 1 got the rough order of life correct.