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Author Topic:   "If I descended from an ape, how come apes are still here?"
Tangle
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Posts: 9538
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 46 of 286 (637231)
10-14-2011 8:16 AM
Reply to: Message 45 by PaulK
10-14-2011 7:50 AM


I'm not looking for a complete record and know that it doesn't and can't exist and I know the reasons why.
We've also tried showing that the question is fundamentally flawed but it still keeps being asked despite that.
So, I'm just looking for some good fossils in the lineage of an iconic species that fits the purpose of my story. It doesn't need to be complete, it just needs to show a logical progression to back up the concept. It's a basic teaching method - illustrate your ideas with examples that support the story in a rational way.
Edited by Tangle, : Grammar....again.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 45 by PaulK, posted 10-14-2011 7:50 AM PaulK has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 49 by Taq, posted 10-14-2011 12:11 PM Tangle has replied
 Message 53 by PaulK, posted 10-14-2011 1:49 PM Tangle has not replied

  
Taq
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Posts: 10195
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.2


(1)
Message 47 of 286 (637253)
10-14-2011 11:57 AM
Reply to: Message 28 by Tangle
10-14-2011 3:08 AM


Re: He's no atheist
I've been an atheist since the age of 14 and am now - well, a lot older. I have a BSC in Zoology which is as lapsed as my Catholicism.
Then your cladistics is probably as rusty as your catechisms. The answer to the question in the opening post lies in cladistics. Relearn how cladistics is done (hint: shared characteristics) and you will have an easy time answering the creationist question.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 28 by Tangle, posted 10-14-2011 3:08 AM Tangle has replied

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Taq
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Posts: 10195
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.2


(1)
Message 48 of 286 (637254)
10-14-2011 12:07 PM
Reply to: Message 45 by PaulK
10-14-2011 7:50 AM


Firstly, we don't have any thing like a complete record of every species that ever lived. A large majority have left no fossils.
I have always felt that this argument is very weak. I suspect that every species has left at least one fossil somwhere. What needs to be stressed is how little of the fossil record we have searched, and how hard it is to find and gain access to the oldest deposits, assuming that these deposits have survived eons of erosion and subduction. Paleontologists are limited to sediments that are accessible, be it on the surface or on an erosional surface. If that fossil is in the middle of a huge mountain formation it will never be found (most likely).
This also explains why new transitional fossil species are being found every year. For example, all of the new feathered dinosaur transitionals that have been found over the last 20 years is the product of finding a new fossil bed in China. We still have not found all of the important fossil beds that are accessible, much less all of the fossils that do exist.

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 Message 45 by PaulK, posted 10-14-2011 7:50 AM PaulK has replied

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Taq
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Posts: 10195
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.2


(1)
Message 49 of 286 (637255)
10-14-2011 12:11 PM
Reply to: Message 46 by Tangle
10-14-2011 8:16 AM


So, I'm just looking for some good fossils in the lineage of an iconic species that fits the purpose of my story. It doesn't need to be complete, it just needs to show a logical progression to back up the concept. It's a basic teaching method - illustrate your ideas with examples that support the story in a rational way.
Then why not go with the most iconic species of all: us.
Show them this picture:
Ask the creationists to create a list of criteria. Using those criteria, determine which of the fossils are human and which are ape. I have yet to find a creationist who will do this. It only proves the point that there is not a non-arbitrary border between humans and apes.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 46 by Tangle, posted 10-14-2011 8:16 AM Tangle has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 50 by Tangle, posted 10-14-2011 1:16 PM Taq has replied

  
Tangle
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Posts: 9538
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 50 of 286 (637263)
10-14-2011 1:16 PM
Reply to: Message 49 by Taq
10-14-2011 12:11 PM


Then why not go with the most iconic species of all: us.
That was/is the plan - we have several good fossil steps down the Homo line towards Pan p. what I'm missing are any equivalent steps on Pan t's line, plus no Pan p fossil.
I am hoping to do better with a horse and rhino - or some such.
But it occurred to me that we have an extant example of how two species can evolve from a common source yet both be still around today - ring species.
Here in the UK the herring gull and the lesser black-backed gull are distinct and non-inerbreeding species. But if you follow the herring gull west towards Siberia and North America it gradually blurs into something more like a lesser bb gull. When you finally return to Europe there are two distinct species.
It's not a great example as the creationist wants the bird to change into a bat or a cactus, not another similar seabird; but it does change and they can see it for themselves.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 49 by Taq, posted 10-14-2011 12:11 PM Taq has replied

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 Message 51 by Taq, posted 10-14-2011 1:22 PM Tangle has not replied

  
Taq
Member
Posts: 10195
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 51 of 286 (637265)
10-14-2011 1:22 PM
Reply to: Message 50 by Tangle
10-14-2011 1:16 PM


That was/is the plan - we have several good fossil steps down the Homo line towards Pan p. what I'm missing are any equivalent steps on Pan t's line, plus no Pan p fossil.
You don't need them. Just show our line and ask them to draw a line between human and ape, and justify this line with non-arbitrary criteria. Creationists are not arguing that apes should not exist if chimps evolved from apes so why would you need to show that lineage?

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 Message 50 by Tangle, posted 10-14-2011 1:16 PM Tangle has not replied

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 9538
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 52 of 286 (637268)
10-14-2011 1:27 PM
Reply to: Message 47 by Taq
10-14-2011 11:57 AM


Re: He's no atheist
Then your cladistics is probably as rusty as your catechisms.
I can confirm that the brothers of the Order of Saint John Baptist de la Salle were far better mechanics at getting the catechism into my head than my professor was at implanting taxonomy.
I have only a hazy memory of some Coleoptera but I have a near perfect recall of
Q. "who made me?"
A. "god made me"
Q "why did god make you?"
A "god made me to know him, love him and serve him"
etc
Edited by Tangle, : struggling with this board's quoting system...got it now. Possibly
Edited by Tangle, : No reason given.

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PaulK
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Posts: 17853
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 53 of 286 (637275)
10-14-2011 1:49 PM
Reply to: Message 46 by Tangle
10-14-2011 8:16 AM


There will always be more ignorant people. No answer will stop that.
And you need TWO branches, at least for your story to work. I think that that;s going to be tough, specially when you're dealing with people primed to reject the existence of transitional fossils, who will be looking hard for gaps.

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PaulK
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Posts: 17853
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 54 of 286 (637277)
10-14-2011 1:53 PM
Reply to: Message 48 by Taq
10-14-2011 12:07 PM


Even if we find twice as many species as we currently know, we'll still be missing a good many. Don't forget that not only is fossilisation rare (very rare indeed in some environments, which is why we probably won't ever find much of chimpanzee ancestry), erosion may well have already destroyed the only remains of some species, especially the more ancient ones.

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Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 397 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 55 of 286 (637351)
10-15-2011 2:26 AM
Reply to: Message 44 by Tangle
10-14-2011 7:06 AM


"if horses descended from Xs, why are Xs are still here?"
Applications for best X, please.
Perissodactyls. (Of course, horses are perissodactyls, but then humans are apes.)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 44 by Tangle, posted 10-14-2011 7:06 AM Tangle has not replied

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 9538
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 56 of 286 (637359)
10-15-2011 4:27 AM


Actually, cats and dogs look like good candidates - Carnivoramorpha with what looks like good fossil record for both lines. Even a creationist knows what a cat and a dog is and that they're different 'kinds'.

Replies to this message:
 Message 57 by NoNukes, posted 10-15-2011 2:25 PM Tangle has replied

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 57 of 286 (637428)
10-15-2011 2:25 PM
Reply to: Message 56 by Tangle
10-15-2011 4:27 AM


Dogs and Cats
So what would be the "how come apes are still here" question that could be answered using cat and dog evolution?
It seems to me that you are moving from providing an answer to the original incredibly stupid problem, to a more general problem of demonstrating that evolution is possible. Who do you see as the audience for this effort?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 56 by Tangle, posted 10-15-2011 4:27 AM Tangle has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 58 by Tangle, posted 10-16-2011 3:33 AM NoNukes has replied

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 9538
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 58 of 286 (637486)
10-16-2011 3:33 AM
Reply to: Message 57 by NoNukes
10-15-2011 2:25 PM


Re: Dogs and Cats
I came to the same conclusion yesterday, the analogy doesn't work - to be at all useful I would have to put it as "if cats descended from dogs, how come there are still dogs" - which is wrong on many levels.
No, I'll have to go back to trying to explain that we and apes are both modern and do the cousins thing again. Frustrating.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 57 by NoNukes, posted 10-15-2011 2:25 PM NoNukes has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 59 by Coragyps, posted 10-16-2011 8:15 AM Tangle has not replied
 Message 62 by NoNukes, posted 10-16-2011 12:50 PM Tangle has replied

  
Coragyps
Member (Idle past 847 days)
Posts: 5553
From: Snyder, Texas, USA
Joined: 11-12-2002


Message 59 of 286 (637507)
10-16-2011 8:15 AM
Reply to: Message 58 by Tangle
10-16-2011 3:33 AM


Re: Dogs and Cats
You might get a little traction with "If dogs and coyotes descended from wolves......" It's still not what you really would like, though.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 58 by Tangle, posted 10-16-2011 3:33 AM Tangle has not replied

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 9538
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 60 of 286 (637513)
10-16-2011 9:05 AM


Found this rather nice diagram, whilst pootling around. The numbers show the number of individuals as fossils that we've found.
(Dawkins is saying that chimps descended from Australopithecus africanus btw)
http://www.handprint.com/LS/ANC/evol.html

  
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