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Author Topic:   Transitional fossils not proof of evolution?
RAZD
Member (Idle past 1513 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 14 of 223 (315662)
05-27-2006 8:03 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by mr_matrix
05-27-2006 6:58 PM


Re: Speculations
This is the same old and desperate argument that Darwin used before.
Talk about desperate. Denial is like that.
What part of the theory of evolution depends on the fossil record for validity?
None.
Evolution is the change is species through time. This is an observed fact. Several times over, in all locations on the earth.
Thus the theory of evolution is validated by observation.
Species do change over time. There is no species that does not change over time. There is no species that does not evolve.
The theory of evolution predicted that there would be genetic common ancestors before Mendel was known to Darwin, and well before the genetic basis (of mutation and diversification of genes - alleles - within populations) was discovered.
When genetics was discovered (with DNA) the evidence of common ancestry was found in the genes of siblings, within species, between closely related species, and between more and more distantly relatied groups of organisms, all showing a tree of development based on genetics.
Genetic relationship do not form arbitrary relationships, but very clear ones, due to a number of genetic markers that can only be passed on from a parent species to an offspring species, markers that cannot be transfered horizontally between species. Markers where the exact arrangement and location argues strongly against any other arrangement of the relationship tree.
Genetics did not need to conform to the predictions of evolution, but it did, and the conformity continues to become more complete and more thoroughly documented as time passes.
There is nothing in the genetic tree of relations that contradicts the theory of evolution of species through time. This validates the theory, as it passes a milestone prediction without being contradicted by the new evidence.
The theory of evolution predicts that there would and will continue to be "missing link" fossils of common ancestors.
Whenever "missing link" fossils were and are found, they were and are also found to fit with all the pre-existing information forming a tree of relationships, both in time (sedimentary layers) and in space (geographical locations).
These "missing link" fossils do not need to conform to the predictions of evolution, but they do, complete and more thoroughly documented as time passes.
There is nothing in the fossil tree of relations that contradicts the theory of evolution of species through time. This validates the theory, as it passes a milestone prediction without being contradicted by the new evidence.
There is nothing in either the genetic tree of relations OR the fossil tree of relations that says these two different sources of information need to match, but they do. Consistently, and this match between disparate information sets becomes more complete and more thoroughly documented as time passes.
The problem for you, is not whether either record is complete, but why there are NO contradictions to the predictions of evolution.
The problem for you is why there is NO evidence for any special creation or design.
The problem for you is to look at the real world without denying the evidence around you. Denial does not make it go away, or lose meaning. The only thing it hinders is your understanding of the actual creation - by whatever source.
Do you think the world is a lie?
Enjoy.

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This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by mr_matrix, posted 05-27-2006 6:58 PM mr_matrix has not replied

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 Message 18 by Hyroglyphx, posted 05-27-2006 11:20 PM RAZD has replied

  
RAZD
Member (Idle past 1513 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 21 of 223 (315742)
05-28-2006 9:43 AM
Reply to: Message 18 by Hyroglyphx
05-27-2006 11:20 PM


Logical fallacies and evidence
Its not so much that it needs fossil evidence as much as it doesn't do it any favors without it.
False thinking. This is where the concept of falsification comes in science. Theories can be falsified by contradictory evidence, but in the absence of contradictory evidence the best you can assume is that the theories are not wrong.
You are confusing with absence of evidence with evidence for absence, a logical fallacy.
And being that we see all forms appearing abruptly, both in the fossil record and living creatures,
Contradicted by fact. We see gradual change in all living creatures. We see gradual change in many fossil records. Your premise is false so your conclusions are invalid.
... the odds that so many of them would appear abruptly without any signs of gradation tends to lean in the direction that a macroevolutionary process never took place.
This is false (a) because your premise (above) is false, it is false (b) because probability has no way to restrict a possibility from happening, math is not the reality, a mathematical model does not make hurricanes go away that don't match the model, and it is false (c) because you are reaching a conclusion not based on your premises, containing elements not in your premises and thus not shown to be valid.
This is a gross over-simplification of what the theory actually asserts and a reliance on such brevity will not excuse any gaps in the current, prevailing wisdom.
Sorry to disappoint you, but this is really what the theory is about. Based on that one theory you can make a bunch of predictions, but these are not "assertions" of the theory, just predictions that will be true if the theory is true.
There is a fallacy common to people who are philosophically opposed to evolution to make it into something it is not - this is called a strawman fallacy - and usually this entails turning evolution into some Grand Unified Theory of Everything. It isn't.
You can accuse me of "gross oversimplification" all you want, but your simplifications are contradicted by facts. That shows that you have oversimplified to the point of being false, like "all plants are green" when some use red chlorophyll instead of green.
For example, if a small population of birds migrate to an isolated island, a contingent of inbreeding, mutation, and natural selection may cause these birds to develop distinct features that are not seen in the ancestral population. When viewing the theory in this limited sense, the evolution theory is uncontroversial. Afterall, this is a perfectly good and legitimate observation.
Now when and how does that evolution stop occurring? What prevents the continued evolution of distinct features that are not seen in ancestral populations in later generations of isolated populations?
What stops this occurring when the isolated population now meets and interacts in competition with other isolated populations from the same ancestral population where one or both have evolved distinct features and either (a) they are unable to breed (many closely related insects have incompatible genitalia that prevents breeding between species) or (b) they do not "see" the others as potential mates because of the distinct features (as in the ring species Asian Greenish Warbler where there are 5 variations around the Tibetan Plateau that all interbreed except the final two at the top of the ring, where they intermingle in the forest but do not interbreed)?
What stops this occurring when the populations no longer interbreed even when they intermingle?
What stops "micro" evolution from becoming "macro" evolution, especially when the distinction is one of human imposition?
How we could arrive at the conclusion that because species within a certain genus have changed must somehow mean that every creature must ultimately be related by a common ancestor is so far from empirical, that I have to question what motivation lies beneath the surface. It must betray some philosophical reason in the adherent.
It must, because otherwise it must betray some philosophical reason in the critic that does not accept the facts of the matter, eh?
Do you know of any individual that does not have a common ancestor with their cousins? Do you know of any reason why this cannot be extended to a common ancestor between species, especially when this has been an observed fact? Do you know of any reason why this cannot be extended back to earlier ancestors of species that share a common trait? Do you know of any reason why this cannot be extended back to any earlier ancestors of species that share a common genetic marker?
Provide evidence of something that makes such a common ancestor impossible at some point in the evolution of species over time, or admit that this is just another logical fallacy, the argument from incredulity and ignorance.
If a species finds themselves isolated for a variety of reasons, they may experience a loss of alleles, and so lose certain characterisitcs that are generally seen in the larger, ancestral population.
Or they may experience a gain in new alleles, and so gain certain characteristics that are generally not seen in larger, ancestral populations. Refusing to deal with all the evidence does not make it go away.
But in no way should we jump enormous gaps in the deductive process, concluding that a dog is going to be anything other than a dog, or cat is going to be anything other than a cat.
Logical fallacy, argument from incredulity and ignorance again. Just because {YOU} do not see any way for a dog or a cat or any other species group to evolve into something new does not prevent it from happening. Just because {YOU} do not see anything but enormous gaps does not mean that many small steps have crossed those gaps in the past and will continue to cross those gaps in the future.
Since there is no demonstrable evidence, whatever, of such an occurance either in the fossil record or amongst the thousands upon thousands of extant lifeforms living today, there should be no compulsion to arrive at such a lofty conclusion.
Just what do you think you should see? A half-way this half-way that fossil? You've already admitted that this happens:
... mutation, and natural selection may cause these birds to develop distinct features that are not seen in the ancestral population.
Your birds with the new feature are half-way to something else from the original population.
I find it terribly ironic when I see pro-evolutionist camps using Mendellian genetics when it runs counter to the Darwinian and neo-Darwinian model. Case in point, reproduction allows information to combine in a variety of ways, however, it cannot produce any new information that was not already existing. It just sorts information in a new arrangement.
Typical ignoring of the rest of the equation. The process is mutation and selection. Mendel's genetics only dealt with selection and not newly mutated features. They do show that once newly developed "distinct features" (per your birds) have evolved by the process of mutation that they continue to operate by the rules of Mendel's genetics.
What is "new information" and why can it NOT evolve? What prevents it from happening? What is the process that limits mutation to only be a "loss" of information. What is the genetic distinction between {changed\different} DNA section = loss and {changed\different} DNA section = gain when all you can see is {changed\different} DNA section?
How do you measure "gain" vs "loss" in a manner that does not rely on human interpretation?
... that if you keep breeding mongrel stock after mongrel stock, that one day a large taxonomical jump will occur.
One day? A large taxonomical jump will occur??? ROFLOL. How much change and how fast do you think this takes?
Do you understand that taxons are just human constructs? They are patterns imposed by classification of organisms into different groups for the purpose of comparison of similar and distinct features, and anything and everything above species isolation is just an intellectual human construct.
Genetically there is no difference between the behavior, evolution, etc. of closely related species and distantly related species. In one very real sense we are all bacteria that have evolved a few "distinct features that are not seen in the ancestral population."
This is interesting to me, because I was just arguing the point that most evolutionists use the typical phylogenic tree as a basis for the theory. But to my shock, all the people that ardently supported it now turned away from it because of punctuated equilibrium.
Do you know what PunkEek (punctuated equilibrium) is? How does this cause people to turn away from a "phylogenic" tree, when it in no way contradicts a typically derived tree of species relationships? It looks to me more like you are "shocked" that some strawman (or misunderstanding) of yours doesn't fit the real picture.
It is only valid until it is falsified or a better model is proposed. But when the current favorite theory leaves as much unexplained as this does, it leaves me undesired.
Your relative {desirability\undesirability} to the opposite sex in the matter of sexual selection has nothing to do with the argument. What is left unexplained in such great quantities? Species change over time.
What genetic markers are you referring to? It sounds as if I agree with you on this on, but I'm not entirely sure what you arriving at. Could you elaborate a bit?
Genetic markers are errors in non-coding sections of DNA; they do not affect the growth, survivability or sexual selection of the individual, and so are not subject to natural selection for or against their being in the section. These same patterns are found in the same sections of non-coding genes in other people, in closely related species, and in distantly related species, with the number of such markers varying with the distance from the (respective) common ancestor. We share more {common to all human} genetic markers with chimpanzees than we do with gorillas, and the ones we share with chimps and gorillas are more than the ones we share with monkeys, and the ones we share with chimps and gorillas and monkeys are more than we share with lions, and tigers and bears (oh my).
There are genetic markers that chimps have but we don't and markers that we have and chimps don't, because they have become part of the species {genome} since we diverged from a common ancestor.
For as many homologous sequences exist, there are many more expressions that don't coincide in any discernable or apparently relevant way.
There are no genetic jumps across branches of the genetic tree, genes that evolved in one species that jump to entirely different species, and that is what you need to invalidate the genetic tree. Pointing out numerous differences in the genes of one species from the genes in another species is rather a prediction of change in species (alleles) over time = evolution.
No, punctuated equilibrium makes that claim, presumably to cover up the shocking lack of transitional forms that would very much have to exist for any kind of stepwise model for evolution.
Um, falsified by facts again. You have a misconception of what PunkEek is and isn't. Not every species "occurs" by the mechanism of PunkEek, and there are fossil records of long term gradual change over time in species foraminifers for one, note reference to Gould in the article).
All PunkEek says is that there are mechanism where evolution can occur in small isolated pockets and the resultant species can then sweep into a much larger geographical area due to superior adaption developed in isolation. The fossil record shows the "sudden" sweep, but finding the isolated pockets is not always guaranteed.
Some of these are being found as scientists look specifically for such locations. We saw the recent articles about the fish on legs find where the scientists looked for specific environments where such a transition was predicted to have occurred based on the fossil evidence. And, by gosh, they found one. They found several, in fact.
Furthermore we have evidence here in the USA of just how such a mechanism works. There have been several species "introduced" to North America by people. One such is the starling, a bird that is generally considered a pest on both sides of the Atlantic, but which was imported in a small group so that all the species mentioned in Shakespeare could be found here. From that initial population of some 50 birds, the population spread to cover North America in 50 years. Track that in the fossil record.
See http://http://www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=msg&f=5&t=4... -->EvC Forum: Differential Dispersal Of Introduced Species - An Aspect of Punctuated Equilibrium
For some more information on other species that exhibit population explosions within ecosystems (which is all PunkEek involves).
Disproving macroevolution does not prove, by default, any special creation. However, given the enormity of demonstrable balance within nature, we can greatly assume that there is some creative force or cognizance behind the intricacy.
Another logical fallacy if not a contradiction. Disproving "macro"evolution does not prove by default any special creation, but (by ignoring the evidence for evolution in general) we can assume some creative force or cognizance in spite of the total lack of any evidence for it based on what we DON'T know? LOL.
Agreed. Looking at the evidence and denying what we see does not make it go away.
Do you think the world is a lie?
No, just the evolutionary paradigm.
The evolutionary paradigm is based on observation of the real world and the evidence that surrounds us. It assumes the world is true.
Enjoy.

Join the effort to unravel {AIDSHIV} with Team EvC! (click)

we are limited in our ability to understand
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RebelAAmerican.Zen[Deist
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This message is a reply to:
 Message 18 by Hyroglyphx, posted 05-27-2006 11:20 PM Hyroglyphx has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 38 by Hyroglyphx, posted 05-29-2006 12:51 AM RAZD has replied

  
RAZD
Member (Idle past 1513 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 62 of 223 (316095)
05-29-2006 9:01 PM
Reply to: Message 38 by Hyroglyphx
05-29-2006 12:51 AM


Re: Logical fallacies and evidence
You are confusing with absence of evidence with evidence for absence, a logical fallacy.
I don't understand how you could interpret this as a logic fallacy.
It's real easy how I can interpret it that way -- because it is. It falls in this category of thinking:
all{A} is {B} therefore all{B} is {A}
This is the logic you just dismissed as a logical fallacy.
but all{C} is not {A} and {B} includes {A} and {C}
Thus you have {B} = {A} and {B} cannot = {A} at the same time.
I'll get to the rest of your "arguments" later. I dont' expect much better results however.
Enjoy.

Join the effort to unravel {AIDSHIV} with Team EvC! (click)

we are limited in our ability to understand
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RebelAAmerican.Zen[Deist
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This message is a reply to:
 Message 38 by Hyroglyphx, posted 05-29-2006 12:51 AM Hyroglyphx has not replied

  
RAZD
Member (Idle past 1513 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 93 of 223 (316739)
05-31-2006 9:43 PM
Reply to: Message 38 by Hyroglyphx
05-29-2006 12:51 AM


Re: Logical fallacies and evidence
So much to cover.
I don't understand how you could interpret this as a logic fallacy.
I've dealt with this part already, but if you still don't understand how this is a logical fallacy, then you have a steeper learning curve to climb. Let me give you an example that may help:
Premise 1: absence of evidence is evidence of absence
Premise 2: there is no independently verified evidence of supernatural behavior
Conclusion: No supernatural beings exist:
The absence of evidence for Supernatural Beings therefore is proof that they do not exist -- OR one or both of the premises are false.
If premise #2 is false, then all you need to do is provide the evidence that invalidates it.
If premise #2 cannot be invalidated, then it is true, and then either the conclusion is true or premise #1 is invalid.
There is no direct evidence of God and I don't pretend, unlike my counterparts concerning their theory, that such direct evidence does exist. But perhaps I will provide all the positive evidence of a Creator in one of the ID rooms.
Oops. Looks like it's down to either P1 false or conclusion valid.
From everyone's logical standpoint, ...
No, from the standpoint of logic. Logic does not depend on your viewpoint or my viewpoint or the viewpoint of a small green crab at the edge of the ocean, logic depends on the rational structure of the argument and the validity of previous arguments to build a structure that is self consistent. If the structure is self contradictory then at least one of the premise arguments must be false. In this it is like math, independent of opinions and feelings and the desires of organic organisms.
Do you see gradual change because you want to see a gradual change, or is there actual evidence for said gradations?
I see what the evidence says. The link I gave you for the foraminifers shows gradual change over the last 65 million years. I see the same evidence being shown to Stephen Jay Gould:
... Gould, now among the most famous scientists in the world, directed Arnold's Harvard dissertation. But there's no room for that here, he says. Arnold maintains a warm professional relationship with his former mentor, who paid his lab a visit when FSU's Distinguished Lecture Series brought him to campus last year. Gould concedes that the forams don't fit his model of punctuated equilibrium, Arnold said.
If the leading proponent of PunkEek sees this as an example of gradual change then your wanting anyone else to be influenced by their desired outcome rather than a professional interest in the truth falls rather flat as an argument.
This is also attacking the person and not the argument (by implying motives to what people say rather than address what they say). This is the definition of an
There is evidence, I have provided you with one sample (and all I needed was one to invalidate your claim that there were none eh?). Deal with the evidence.
Evolutionary theory has always predicted that innumerable transitional forms would be found, and yet, all that has been presented is a handful of debatable forms.
Evolutionary theory predicted that there would be transitional forms yes, but not that they would necessarily be found. There have been enough found to satisfy the theory. Do they need to find every single one to validate the theory? Nope. Why? Because it is not necessary once transitionals have been found that clearly demonstrate evolution from one species to another. Once this has been observed, then assuming the same action in other species evolution is not asking for anything new to happen.
For this reason, Gould and Eldridge had to put their thinking caps on and brainstorm. What they came up with, was punctuated equilibrium - an assertion even in their own eyes.
Which several professional evolutionists, like Richard Dawkins, dismiss. They don't see PunkEek as anything new to evolution, or that the time scales involved show any sudden 'rapid' evolution.
Here's my question: Why, after so many evolutionists have conceded that the fossil record is pathetically incomplete, ...
It's not "pathetically" incomplete because gaps are expected due to the nature of fossils, plus the fact that fossil collection is younger than the USof(N)A, and also due to our rudimentary but ever growing understanding and knowledge of life on this planet.
... do so many people in here still insist on telling me that it isn't so?
Because you equivocate from one side of the argument to the other. There are plenty of fossils to show that (a) evolution has occurred on a grand scale on this planet, (b) there are transitions between many forms of species. There are not enough transitions and fossils to satisfy those who always ask for the next gap to be filled, who - whenever shown a transition - ask about the two new gaps each side of it.
... And if it is this incomplete, and parts are missing, then what evidence is there that these creatures are inter-related to begin with, if no immediate evidence is available?
All the evidence that is needed: they show the same traits, developed from the same ancestral population in the same geographical location from the same time period. Do you have evidence of personal ancestors back to 2000 BC? If there are any gaps in that record, then how do you know you are human eh?
Its an assertion.
Sadly, as much as you would like to believe it, there is much more to it than just plain assertion.
And for however much sense it may or may not make sense, theoretically, it is strictly another part of theoretical biology, awaiting the seal of approval.
It makes sense because it is logical and the theory fits the available evidence better than any other theory. The theory makes predictions that can invalidate the theory, and when the theory is not invalidated then it makes more predictions that can invalidate the theory. It's almost like theories seek self distruction. Those that are not invalidated are considered "robust" but that's about as good as it gets. That is why it is more than just assertion: it has been tested.
And that is all that is asked of any science: there is no mystic "seal of approval" -- all there is to science is theory, prediction, testing, and observation. When any theory is invalidated science moves on to the next theory.
Its false because its false?
Quote mining already? The proper quote is
(1) it is false (a) because your premise (above) is false,
(2) it is false (b) because probability has no way to restrict a possibility from happening,
So, because anything could happen, we should just take the theory on the basis of face value without any corroborating evidence?
No, just that in order to claim that something could NOT happen you have to show that it absolutely could NOT happen, not just a probability. What is the probability that an asteroid would wipe out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago and make room for little mammals? You can't calculate it because you don't have enough information. If you don't have enough information to calculate the odds then any claim to know them is an argument from ignorance and incredulity -- another logical fallacy.
Listen, the evidence is overwhelmingly not in favor of macroevolution.
It has happened. What more evidence do I need?
And the evidence of such is within its lack to formulate a cogent argument for itself.
So far, I've recieved nothing but conflicting views from the people on EvC. Some appear to be gradualists and others appear to be in favor of punctuated equilibira. With both parties, I've been expected to take their arguments, however weak and repetitious it might be, on the basis of conjecture. What's worse, they don't even realize that their conclusions differ greatly from their buddies conclusion, yet they claim parity.
Or you don't understand how the arguments can fit together, that both PunkEek and gradual change over time can occur and do occur in current life and in the fossil record. You keep wanting it to be a strawman version of one OR the other, and your version in BOTH cases is wrong.
Evolution is change in species over time -- sometimes faster than other times, sometimes not so fast, but always change in species over time.
What does that mean? I've reached a conclusion not based on my own premises, containing elements not in my premises, and thus shown to be invalid? I'm sorry but could you clarify exactly what that means?
It's the third category of logical fallacy in your argument. To be a valid construction every element in a conclusion must be presented in a premise first. Instead your conclusion was something like:
{premise} The sky is blue
{premise) Blue lightwaves are absorbed by molecules in the air
{conclusion} Therefore we can swim in the ocean.
At what point is the prediction going to materialize???
When life is observed changing over time: that is the most mundane level of prediction of evolution, and it is what our medical profession is based on eh?
... to tweak genes to cause a macroevolutionary process in a pristine lab ...
But "macro" evolution -- as first defined (speciation) -- has been observed in the lab and in nature, and all it is, is just more evolution. What level do you think scientists are expecting to see evolve in their labs? What do you think "macro"evolution is?
Cripes, we've been waiting for for like a 137 years to seal the deal, but the evolutionary model is just as impotent and anemic now as it was 137 years ago.
Only to those who ignore the evidence of the world. The rest of us have moved on to the next step: using the results. Impotent and anemic? I trust you don't take any antibiotics or other preventative medicines or vaccines and don't think fertility medicine works.
Even if you say that evolution takes thousands and millions of years, you would be forgetting that by odds alone, at least 10 species should be experiencing a genuine transition.
ROFLOL!!! This argument is false on two grounds:
(1) to calculate the odds you must know all the variables in the system. Show me the numbers and the actual calculation for those odds, show that you know the system so well that you can calculate those odds (ie - well enough that you don't need to calculate the odds). Note, I've already told you WHY such number arguments are invalid, yet here you are using it again.
(2) the real kicker: ALL species are in transition. Every one all around the world, every variation, every mutation.
"By odds alone" then your argument has been invalidated.
Its no mystery that adherents to evolution predominantely come from atheistic circles. Forgive me for generalizing and making the inferrence that the two are married. Take a concensus and see how many evolutionst are athiests and I'm pretty certain that a very low percentage is theistic in any way.
(1) how does this address the issue of "people who are philosophically opposed to evolution" making it into something it is not eh? Other than turning the argument from evolution into something it is not eh?
(2) are you aware of how many theists have absolutely no problem with evolution? Or even how many christians have no problem with evolution? See the Clergy List ("We've reached our goal of gathering 10,000 clergy signatures. ").
You can be "pretty certain" all you want, it won't help you being dead wrong either. It's just another argument from incredulity.
"Things change, therefore evolution is a fact" is not an argument in support of evolution.
Evolution is change in species over time.
Change in species over time has been observed.
Therefore Evolution has been observed.
Therefore Evolution is a fact.
Your denial notwithstanding the evidence speaks for itself. Eloquently.
You disagree that its a gross over-simplification?
No, it is just what it is: Evolution is change in species over time.
Changes within the genome do happen, and I suspect, will always happen until the end.
You don't need to suspect it, as it has been observed. Change in species over time: evolution.
... But first of all, evolutionary theory tactily asserts that an incline progression exists, ...
Evolution asserts no such thing. Only people who do not understand evolution use this strawman characterization to try to make evolution into something that it is not. Evolution only involves change over time, not directed change, not change with a purpose, not change with an end.
...while I think its the opposite.
Bully for you. Unfortunately that is just an(other) argument from incredulity and ignorance, and it completely ignores what evolution is all about: change in species over time.
In other words, a loss of information ...
What is information? If a feature evolves in a species and then later disappears in a subsequent species which one lost information?
... is far more prevelant the cause of such gradations, ...
So, some are increases and some are decreases eh? Natural selections will differentiate which is better for survival regardless of what value you put on it. Some time {X} is selected and sometimes not{X} is selected. Mutation (or change in "information") is only part of the story.
And when this intermingling occurs, another branch will occur in that particular specie to create yet another subspecie. It happens all the time.
What? Are you even reading what I'm saying: the end varieties of the ring species intermingle - live in the same area - BUT DO NOT BREED! They do not breed because their features are sufficiently different that they are not recognized as being of the same species.
There is a gulf affixed between the classes that are seemingly inpenetrable. ...
Now try answering the question: What stops "micro" evolution from becoming "macro" evolution, especially when the distinction is one of human imposition?
What mechanism stops mutations and where on the DNA strands does this occur?
We have tried very hard to create functional chimeras, by splicing DNA segments together.
This has nothing to do with evolution.
But, we've never witnessed (which is a critical step in assigning something as empirical science) these necessary gradations to lead to a transspecific evolution.
Again, Change in species over time has been observed. And speciation has been observed. Speciation is all that is necessary to explain the diversity of life. What do you consider a "transspecific" event?
Humans are related to humans, chimps are related to chimps, dogs are related to dogs, snails are related to snails. There is zero evidence to support that man an amoeba share a common ancestor.
Keep telling yourself that, over and over. Too bad it is just another argument from incredulity and ignorance. Zero evidence would mean that there is no comparison between the DNA of an amoeba and humans, that they would not have the same genetic structure, the same molecules, and genes in their sequences that could be exchanged to no ill effect of either party.
Yes. Most major organs in the body couldn't possibly have derrived, little by little. In other words, a partial eye serves no function without all of its contrivances in place from the inception.
PRATT. If not a PRABT. Please do a little research before you make such statements. Just consider that I have a friend with partial vision. Do you want to tell him that he would be just as well off with his remaining eye-sight removed? Do you know how many eyes in existing organisms are missing whole elements in "human" eyes? Do you know how many different KINDS of eyes are used by organisms?
All this is amounts to one more argument from incredulity and ignorance. Just because YOU can't figure it out, doesn't mean that others haven't -- or more to the point, that nature hasn't.
Something Archaeopteryx's feathers and wings would have served no concievable relevance to its survival for it to inexplicably create wings.
Because you cannot conceive of a possible survival benefit does not mean that one did not exist. Feathers could have evolved first for thermoregulation or camouflage or to suddenly look BIG to a predator. YOU don't know, so you can't really say one way or the other.
Because it often acts detrimentally.
So? Evolution is change in species over time. When the change allows survival, then more individuals survive. When the change inhibits survival, then more individuals die. When enough individuals die the species becomes extinct: so? When one species dies it will create an ecological void that will provide increased opportunity for other species. This too has been observed.
Evolution does not care one way or the other about species survival.
Here is one example of such.
So? There are many examples. Sickle Cell Anemia is another: one copy, better immunity from malaria, two copies, die.
What is important is survival, not what any specific feature is. If the feature leads to survival of the individual so that it can have better reproductive success then it will be spread in the population, whether you think it is bad or not.
Its not that I can't concieve of it, its that I've never seen it!!!
Or you haven't looked, or you are looking for the wrong thing (ie - you want to see a cat become a dog, and dismiss all other speciation events because they are not cats becoming dogs).
If avian are the progeny of saurian lineage, I expect to see another transition along these lines. I'm not asking for a Hopeful Monster, I'm just asking for an obvious transition that we can clearly identify.
What about from reptile to mammal - where jaw bones become ear bones, and in the middle you have species with two jaw joints, one where the reptile joint was and one where the mammal jaw joint will be?
Therapsids - Mammal Transition Series
I wouldn't call a bird with an orange blaze on its beak, where the ancestral populace has a yellowish beak a revolutionary breakthrough.
SKRRRREEEEEEEEETTTCCCHHHH!!!!
That sound was the sound of moving goalposts. First you wanted something half-way to something else, now you want a revolutionary breakthrough. What's the first sign of a revolution?
There are exceptions to Mendellian law, ...
As in every time there is a mutation or a nutritional deficiency. You need to move forward from the 18th century into modern genetics.
... however, those exceptions are almost always injurious.
Again, this is false thinking, and it has been pointed out before. You keep expecting evolution to be something that it is not, and "almost always injurious" is (a) not a problem for evolution -- at all -- and (b) it is a value that YOU place on the change in species over time, and not one that the organism necessarily suffers.
Let me try another analogy to see if I can expose your misconception: many people buy lottery tickets, in spite of the evidence that you rarely win anything in one. If I compare the "almost always injurious" mutations to "almost always lose" lottery, I don't think you would claim that no-one ever wins the lottery eh? If I compare the random choice of numbers by people who buy lottery tickets to random mutations, I don't think you would argue that any one person needs to win because of their choice.
And there are billions of mutation lotteries going on in every generation of every population. Not one is guaranteed to win, nor even have any great probability of winning, but the population as a whole is very likely going to produce a lottery winner. That is all mutation and natural selection are about: mutations provide the raw change - the ticket holders - and natural selection chooses the winning combinations (from grand prize winners to those who get a free ticket in the next lottery).
Aside from which, natural selection should remove most mutations, simply by the virtue that that so many act adversely.
It does.
As I stated elsewhere, how would Archeaopteryx stave off annhilation?
It didn't.
Last time I checked it was extinct eh? It survived as long as it did because it was better than the competition.
How is it that this creature was able to survive natural selection with stump-like appendages as its ancestors were changing from reptile to bird? Think about it.
(1) How do you know it (or rather its ancestors) had "stump-like appendages" in the first place - do you have fossil evidence of this? Or is this YOUR conjecture on what a "missing link" would look like?
(2) I have thought about it, and I see no problem with the evolution of wings, not just in birds, but in insects (several different varieties) and mammals (several more varieties) and even frogs (see "Wallace's Flying Frog" this frog glides on its webbed feet - Wallace almost beat Darwin to publishing the theory of evolution btw). The problem does not involve useless intermediate steps or a lack of imagination -- nature has obviously solved the problem several different times for several different reasons.
(3) What do you think of the feathers on the rest of a birds body? What benefit do they convey to the organism? What is the difference between a flying bird and a flightless bird? What is the difference between young birds that cannot fly and ones slightly older that can? Do ground dwelling birds, where the young are left unattended for long periods while they cannot fly, get wiped out by 'fat-kid' eating predators?
(4) Feathers likely are modified scales and the first feathers were likely more like the downy features of young birds, the inner feathers of many birds (goose down for instance). Growing from that to more substantial non-flight feathers, such as on all flight-less birds is also not challenging to either ones imagination or to the way nature does things. The feathers on flapping arms can assist an organism to climb a tree or a steep bank (membership required to read the nature article, but you can also read under figure 2 on page 4 here).
Things like this don't happen all at once, no matter how often you think this is the case.
The contrivances of the wing must have been totally useless in the earliest stages of development, which should make us wonder what prompted these supposed changes to occur at all. ... What would prompt it to develop feathers? What prompted it to develop an elongated beak?
It doesn't prompt me to wonder at all, because this is a false conception of evolution. Again you try to make evolution something it isn't.
First off, NOTHING prompts ANY changes in species, so you can lose that false assumption from the start. The fact that your argument relies on this false premise so much just shows that (a) you do not understand evolution and (b) because you do not understand you try to make it into something it is not.
It is you who ASSUME useless intermediate stages when there is NO evidence this was the case (and certainly this does not NEED to be the case), this is a typical creationist strawman argument. Being a false premise, any conclusion based on it is invalid.
Tell me: What advantage did this animal have while it was going through these changes? Answer: It wouldn’t. Natural selection would have gobbled up this critter faster than a fat kid at a buffet. And we could expect the same for all of the rest.
Well I do feel sorry for the fat kid being gobbled up like that, but you miss the critical point: all archy needed to do was outrun the competition -- and in this case "competition" includes other prey that a predator may chose as an easier target (and one with more meat on it). It may also be likely that archy was a predator of smaller dinosaurs, it had teeth after all eh? Perhaps being able to drop from trees on smaller prey was a survival benefit sufficient for the proto-Archeaopteryx to survive and reproduce eh?
I wonder that all the time. I can never get a clear answer. And when they commit to an answer they like, that fits preconcieved notions about the geologic column, they change the empirical dating methods to fit the newer model.
I asked what YOU think - "How much change and how fast do you think this takes" - "this" being "A large taxonomical jump" - not what you think others or evolution thinks it is.
Yes, I realize that it is a human construct, which is why I don't place too much stock in it.
LOL, it is only the major part of your argument about large taxonomical jumps occurring any day now, spontaneously, right in front of your very eyes, eh?
So, how big a change and how fast do YOU think this takes?
I'm just using it as a referrence on how 'looks' don't constitute lineage. For instance, my parents were looking at a magazine when they stumbled on a model for a Guess add. This kid looked exactly like me. It was really freaky. He could've easily passed for my twin. And in jest, I showed a couple and they asked me when I was doing headshots. The point is, he looked like me but was not anywhere in my immmediate lineage. It was purely coincidental. I feel the same about human and simian lineage.
Sorry, I didn't know you were a chimp. No, this is just another (in a long line) of arguments from incredulity and ignorance. If it had been a picture of a baby rhinoceros I might be impressed, but similarity between two HUMAN specimens is exactly what would be expected.
It is more than just similarity at a gross level, it is in the details, and when the details are combined with locality - in time and space - then likelyhood of relatedness increases. It's like motive AND opportunity AND access eh?
There are many instances of similar appearing species in totally different localities and times even today, and they are not considered related for good reasons that have nothing to do with separation.
Compare american deer and african antelope and you will see many similarities, and one unfamiliar with the finer points would be likely to assume that they were similar creatures, even closely related. Look at the finer details and you will find features in one that are not in the other and features in the other that are not in the one.
The people who do this are so familiar with the bones that they can (in many cases) properly identify a species from a single bone. There is a level of detail there that you are ignoring with your "gross oversimplification" of the process.
How many quotes from the inventors of the theory do I need to pull up to obliterate the typical, textbook case of Darwinian gradualism?
There aren't enough. Why?
(1) Because this is the logical fallacy of argument from authority. All that is needed is for the "authority" theory to be false. Reality has a way of doing that to any theory. I've also shown you a specific case where Gould recognized that gradual change had occurred.
(2) Because "textbook ... Darwinian gradualism" never existed in the real world in the first place. Even Darwin had models with differing rates of evolution. Gould and Eldridge don't say what you think they say, they are just tying the change in rates of evolution to fossils and saying that when evolution occurs at a rate faster than average that you are less likely to see transitional fossils (of the faster changes) and when it occurs at a rate slower than average that you are more likely to see transitional fossils (of the slower changes). And of course transitional fossils during periods of slow change in species are not likely to be seen as transitional because they are so similar eh?
Instead of a stepwise evolution, PE teaches us that we should expect long periods of stasis coupled with rapid bursts of change, thus invalidating the need for a step-by-step evolutionary model.
False. PunkEek says that occasionally evolution occurs faster than average, and occasionally evolution occurs slower than average. IN ALL CASES evolution occurs. There is still change in species over time, even during the periods of "stasis" -- your "stop and start" image is a false representation of PunkEek.
Consider the Coelacanth -- a class of organisms that appear to be in a very long state of stasis (along with sharks, alligators, and many other species). But Coelecanths are still evolving, the species alive today are not the species that were alive 65 million years ago.
That's because so much of it has to do with the anatomical similarities. Whenever one organism has a similar structure with another, we should expect to see genetic similarites.
Please.
The genetic markers are NOT where they code for "anatomical similarities" but in areas where there can be (and are) multiple mutations that do not affect the well being of the organisms.
Why should different species have the same mutation in the same place?
Let's pick one that is "injurious" -- the loss of the ability to synthesis vitamin C. This loss in ability could occur in a large number of different ways, so why do chimps and humans have exactly the same gene sequence damaged in exactly the same way?
Why should humans even have a damaged system like this is a valid enough question, but add to it why should chimps, and why should it be exactly the same damaged system?
Allow me to paraphrase through all of the fluff.
And yet you failed to address my point. Evolution still occurs during periods of "stasis" and PunkEek is NOT a stop and go process, no matter how many times you state that it is.
Evolution is change in species through time. There is no rate of change per decade set by some cosmic clock or other. The rate of change is in response to the variations in the environment, because natural selection operates to maintain fitness to the environment.
Are you referring to the Tiktaalik Roseae? I only ask because evolutionists thought the Coelacanth were fish that experimented with walking because its anatomical makeup of its fins. As it turns out, the Coelacanth do nothing remotely akin to any type of 'walking.'
What a typical creationist assertion.
Let's see, the last pre-historic Coelacanth was 65 million years ago, and this species evolved into the first tetrapods ... 350 to 400 million years ago. Cute trick eh?
No, Coelacanths were always described as related to the type of fish that evolved into land walking animals, and the reasons for proposing Coelacanth as related to an ancestor of land animals are still valid, and form the background against which the search for Tiktaalik Roseae was undertaken -- where it was, and in the age sedimentary deposits that it was.
A big difference between science and creationism, is that science updates its notebook based on more recent finds, while creationists still use old ones.
The ancestors of Tiktaalik Roseae are still lobe-finned fish. Note this quote from Dinofish.com: evolutionary puzzle:
The coelacanth appears to be a cousin of Eusthenopteron, the fish once credited with growing legs and coming ashore-360 million years ago- (today scientists prefer to cite the tongue-twisting fossil candidates: icthyostega, panderichthyes, and acanthotega) as the ancestor(s) of all tetrapods (amphibians,reptiles,and mammals)including ourselves.
Then note from Tiktaalik roseae and the Origins of Tetrapods:
The gap was bounded at the top by primitive Devonian tetrapods such as Ichthyostega and Acanthostega from Greenland, and at the bottom by Panderichthys, ...
And below Panderichthys in the graphic of evolution is ... Eusthenopteron.
Gosh -- look at that, not only do we have a lot more of those pesky gaps filled in the last 70 some odd years since the "living fossil" was first found, but the basic trend from Eusthenopteron to tetrapod land walker is STILL there. 'Tik' is just tacked in the middle -- right where it belongs.
I'm not sure what this has to do with evolution. Can you elaborate?
It's an example of what PunkEek would look like at the time. Take some future paleontologists digging up fossils and they are as likely to find the first starling fossil in california as in new york, while the original habitat (europe) has been destroyed by tectonic action.
I considered continuing through other posts of yours but I think you will find this one more than long enough.
Dude, how long is this post?
Do you want your questions answered? Do you want your mistakes corrected? If you concentrated on one issue and resolved that before moving on to the next, there would not be the need to respond to you at length. If you want to, chose ONE thing to talk about and keep your post to one paragraph to state your position.
Now all you need to do is concentrate your argument on one or two issues, in order to deal with the amount of feedback you will get. That is the only real way to get shorter responses, and who knows -- you may learn to avoid the mistakes one would otherwise make when posting assertion after assertion.
Enjoy.

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RAZD
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Message 109 of 223 (316893)
06-01-2006 5:42 PM
Reply to: Message 105 by DBlevins
06-01-2006 2:44 PM


Re: I hate it when I have to do this
It sure is a great example of the power of artificial selection though.
Do they form hybrids? Can the hybrids breed? Some with others but not all?
They could be classed as the same species because that is where they started and nobody checked back from the new breed to the old, just as we always assume dogs will be dogs eh?

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RAZD
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Message 114 of 223 (317116)
06-02-2006 10:49 PM
Reply to: Message 112 by mr_matrix
06-02-2006 9:49 PM


oh come on now.
Did I ever say that they are identical?
Nobody ever said you claimed they were identical. You said they were similar enough that people would mistake one for being related to the other.
However, back to the scenario, evolutionists would hypothesize that such differences ...
And you still make this claim, even after it has been totally refuted.
There are many less significant differences between species with similar features evolved separately in different areas and times that have not caused the kind of confusion you think is inevitable here.
There is even a term for it: Convergent evolution
In your ignorance of evolution you made a statement, and it was shown that you were wrong: you could be big about it and just admit that you were wrong.
Note: dont bother reply because im leaving the thread and wont be available to read replies.
In other words the old "declare victory and retreat" response.
Now the only question is whether you can keep your word and not equivocate ... again, eh?
Enjoy.

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RAZD
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Message 141 of 223 (317572)
06-04-2006 11:33 AM
Reply to: Message 116 by pompuspom
06-03-2006 4:23 PM


homework is an attitude of the mind
Welcome to the fray, Pompuspom. I did a double take on the screen-name (m can look like r n ...)
msg 116 writes:
Can coal be carbon dated? It is carbon isn't it? And how does the carbon date work on carbon that is supposed to be 200 million'ish years old?
This is off-topic here (see Age Correlations and an Old Earth: Part III for a topic to continue any discussion on this) but I would like to point out one thing:
It is very easy to determine the extent of possible dating of objects by carbon 14 from a google on the topic. The limit for accurate dates is 50,000 years. Do a google on "carbon dating limits" and on "carbon dating problems" and see what the scientists in the field have to say (a good source is Dr. Roger Wiens - Radiometric Dating, A Christian Perspective)
The point is that ignorance is easy to overcome with a little study -- if you want to -- but failure to even make the attempt is a different matter. It's the issue of doing your homework before you make a statement based on ignorance.
Enough have answered on the transitional fossils bit for now, so I will wait to see what the response is.
Pompuspom, msg 128 writes:
A bat has wings formed by very long fingers, obviously. Now consider, what advantage is a slight elongation of the fingers in one mutated animal?
I see arachnophilia has already addressed this to some extent, but let me add some details:
You're starting at the wrong end. Look at flying squirrels that glide from tree to tree with a membrane that stretches from the forearm to the hindleg.
Flying Squirrel (Website chosen at random from Google Images)
Compare this to a non-flying squirrel
Jumping Red Squirrel (Website chosen at random from Google Images)
All you need to start with is an aboreal animal jumping from tree to tree, and those that evolve more membrane between arm and body will jump further.
There is a very obvious evolutionary advantage to being able to jump further, whether it is to get food or to evade predators, and the disadvantage of a little extra skin does not hinder the activity of the flying squirrels.
NOW, what we see in a bat wing,
Bat Wing (Website chosen at random from Google Images)
Is the same kind of development of a membrane between the forearm and the hindlegs, carried the next logical step -- filling in between the hindlegs and the tail, and extending out the fingers of the hand, and then filling in between the fingers as the fingers become extended.
As the animal becomes more adapted to flight rather than just gliding, the membrane will increase in size and the bones will elongate to support the membrane better and the muscles will adapt to power the wings -- as they can (there are limits due to mass versus surface area).
There is no wonder in how bat wings could evolve.
But also, your argument from incredulity:
... what advantage is a slight elongation of the fingers in one mutated animal?
Is also contradicted by factual evidence. We also have Wallace's Flying Frog (Website chosen at random from Google images). Here we have an organism with elongated fingers, sufficient webbing only between the fingers and toes to allow the animal to glide for long distances from tree to tree, and it is surviving quite nicely.
Your opinion of what can and cannot survive is wrong. Rather than impose any kind of limit on what can and cannot happen in real life we see that it is your failure {imagination\understanding\homework} that is the problem.
Pompuspom msg 134 writes:
I had a quick peek at one of these links ... There is a lot of text.
That is what doing your homework entails eh? Actually learning what you are about to talk about, actually learning what you want to know instead of making it up as you go along. Remember that you are making comments about a subject that other people have spent their life studying: while they don't expect you to try to become an expert in their field, they do think you need at least learn the rudimentary basics.
... I am absolutly convinced that it is not true. So convinced that I am open to any evidence to challenge my thought.
Contradiction.
Being absolutely convinced that it is not true is NOT being open to evidence that it is true. You are either one or the other.
Hang on a minute, could you please supply me with evidence that this animal evolved into a horse? 'Don't just say it did'.
Again arachnophilia has addressed this, but we also have a thread that discusses some of this (that Christian started): evolutionary chain, with the horses discussion starting at message 143.
I fully expect that we will once again see a lack of doing your homework as the basis for more ill-formed opinion(s). People who want to learn do their homework.
Enjoy.

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RAZD
Member (Idle past 1513 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 143 of 223 (317582)
06-04-2006 12:01 PM
Reply to: Message 142 by pompuspom
06-04-2006 11:57 AM


Re: hush
No, not really annoying, other than that we've seen it before.
Feel free to ask.

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RAZD
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Message 145 of 223 (317686)
06-04-2006 5:47 PM
Reply to: Message 144 by jar
06-04-2006 12:11 PM


Re: Flying Snakes
Cool site, nice pics.
Not something to do on a full stomach however eh?

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RAZD
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Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
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Message 147 of 223 (317708)
06-04-2006 6:51 PM
Reply to: Message 146 by Coragyps
06-04-2006 6:29 PM


Re: Flying Snakes
the snakes had to figure out how to keep up with the frogs ... thas all

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RAZD
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Message 155 of 223 (318451)
06-06-2006 9:49 PM
Reply to: Message 153 by pompuspom
06-06-2006 10:00 AM


Re: homework is an attitude of the mind
I disagree (to a certain extent) being absolutely convinced is due to a conclusion based on aquired exivence. At the moment I am absolutely convinced, but later I might not be, depending on the evidence.
In other words you are not absolutely convinced that you are absolutely convinced .... Sorry, the logic is irrefutable: you cannot be both {A} and NOT{A}. If you even consider later changing your mind then you are NOT "absolutely convinced."
So although I'm a layman, I'm not as ignorant as you lot conclude.
TwoThree points:
(1) Being ignorant is not bad - it just means that you don't know. Remaining ignorant when you have an opportunity to learn -- and choosing not to learn -- is bad. It is being "willfully" ignorant.
(2) The comments made about ignorance were in specific reference to places where you were ignorant. Our "conclusions" have nothing to do with it -- you were the one that displayed a lack of knowledge on the topic, and that is what ignorance is.
(3) Your posts were ignorant of several things. No matter what your opinion is of yourself, your level of education or your IQ, etcetera, the fact remains that your posts were ignorant of several things.
... just because I've visited a creationist website, dosn't mean that I am lacking in education ...
Certainly not. I don't think there is a person posting here who has NOT visited a creationist website. Where education comes in, is in making judgements on the validitiy of the contents of ANY website, and in doing your homework to check it from several sources.
The things I said were designed to be provocative and no doubt sounded ignorant to you.
LOL. Really.
So I'm leaving this forum to try and reach my own conclusions on the matter. And incidently, some of those links that you provided me with were pathetic.
So, because you can't refute or answer the posts you declare victory and beat a hasty retreat ... before reality intrudes too far eh? Yawn.
And your condescending manners suck.
You get the kinds of responses you ask for.
Enjoy.

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RAZD
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Message 164 of 223 (327416)
06-29-2006 7:35 AM
Reply to: Message 163 by pompuspom
06-29-2006 6:12 AM


Re: I've changed my mind
It is still hard for me to accept that Australo's evolved into a further stage of H. habilis, but I am determined to keep an open mind.
That is what learning is about eh?
... but I've been away and done some research, and I've changed my mind.
You may want to talk about this at the {Has EvC changed your beliefs?} thread at
EvC Forum: Has EvC changed your beliefs?
Not that I expect that it was EvC that changed your mind, but the information your pursued as a result of questions raised here.
I'm still interested in the bat transitional issue.
The problem with bat transitionals {could\would} be a special case of punk eek (punctuated equilibrium). Before flight was attained they would only be in one general area, but once flight was attained the whole continent opens up immediately (esp on geoplogical time), plus any other land masses close enough to fly to.
Consider the examples of bird species introduced into the US -- see {Differential Dispersal Of Introduced Species (Re: Aspect of Punctuated Equilibrium)} thread for data (I need to update some picture links I see ...).
EvC Forum: Differential Dispersal Of Introduced Species - An Aspect of Punctuated Equilibrium
The starling was introduced
In the early 1890's, the Acclimation Society of North America released 50 pairs of Starlings into New York's Central Park as part of a project to introduce every bird ever mentioned in a Shakespeare play. Only 50 years later their populations had spread across the continent, competing for nesting sites with our native birds.
And in 50 short years became a national 'pest' species (a blink of time in the fossil record \ geological column -- think how they would appear suddenly is the future fossil record).
Bat dispersal once flight was attained would be no different -- especially when you consider that predators (and prey) in the new areas would not be acclimated to them.
Also see:
(1) Chiroptera: Fossil Record
Fossil Record of the Chiroptera
(2) The Green River Formation
Green River Formation
According to the latter the oldest known bat fossil is:
... Icaronycteris index, a bat found in sediments of the Green River Formation. ... The preservation includes the full skeleton, plus cartilage and wing membranes. The fossil suggests that bats had fully evolved flight by the Eocene.
See picture:
http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/...greenriver/icaronycteris.jpg
Some evidence (teeth) suggest that bats may have evolved first in the area of France, but tracking down a non-flying bat fossil set could be very difficult. Time will tell.
Enjoy. Enjoy learning!
Edited by RAZD, : added comma for readability

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RAZD
Member (Idle past 1513 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 185 of 223 (333544)
07-19-2006 8:57 PM
Reply to: Message 174 by smegma
07-19-2006 8:20 PM


welcome to the fray, btw.
When replying, if you notice the upper left corner of the post you are replying to there are two buttons ...

Normal: (*) Peek Mode: (_)

"Peek Mode" allows you to "peek" at the formating that others used to see how things (like quote boxes) are done.
When it comes to quote boxes ...
type [qs]it's easy[/qs] and it becomes:
it's easy

"All fossils are transitional."
explain.
All organisms are in transition. Evolution is the change in species over time. There is a constant level of change (caused by mutations) balanced by a constant level of selection (survival or mating) that results in gradual change over time no matter how "static" the species appears to be.
Fossils are like snapshots of the past -- not every "picture" was taken, not every "picture" came out with a good exposure (some are too distorted and discolored to see clearly).
But think of life as a movie, with each individual as a "frame" in the movie -- the fossil is one frame in a long line of frames that when viewed one after the other show gradual change from, say a reptile to a mammal, and each one is very similar to the one before and after but less similar to the ones further away.
The span of change as seen in the fossil record can cover millions of years, so it can be very gradual indeed.
But even then there are examples of such transitions.
Asking you to define what you think is a transitional is not because it is an undefined term, but rather because this is a way to understand what you think it means so we can get on the same footing.
Enjoy.
Edited by RAZD, : added color, lines

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RAZD
Member (Idle past 1513 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 187 of 223 (333547)
07-19-2006 9:27 PM
Reply to: Message 186 by smegma
07-19-2006 9:09 PM


coelacanths and transitions
coelacanths are still around and they have not "evolved".
Actually the coelacanths alive today are different species from the ones millions of years ago.
http://www.dinofish.com/
DINOFISH.COM - Weird Bodies Frozen in Time
The living coelacanths, Latimeria chalumnae,and Latimeria menadoensis are possibly the sole remaining representatives of a once widespread family of Sarcopterygian (fleshy-finned) coelacanth fishes (more than 120 species are known from fossils)all but one of which disappeared at the end of the Cretaceous, 65 million years ago.
The coelacanth appears to be a cousin of Eusthenopteron, the fish once credited with growing legs and coming ashore ~360 million years ago. Today, scientists prefer to cite the tongue-twisting fossil candidates: icthyostega, panderichthys, acanthotega, and the newly discovered Tiktaalik roseae (2004), as the ancestor(s) of all tetrapods-amphibians, reptiles, and mammals, including ourselves.
With a couple of exceptions ancient coelacanths were small, seldom exceeding 55 cm. ... Today's coelacanths can reach almost six feet (2 meters) in length and weigh up to 150 or more lbs,(the giant Mozambique female shown on this site was 180 centimeters long and 95kg) but they are usually somewhat smaller, particularly the males, which average under 165cm.
The backbone of this fish is composed of a fluid-filled cartilaginous tube, which provides a firm yet flexible support for muscles. Hollow fin spines, identified in fossils, are what got the fish its name- "coelacanth" which literally means 'hollow spine'from the Greek.
Color used to highlight the some of the noticable change in species over time from the ancient to the modern species.
Interesting reading, yes. But the question is not how slow some transitions are or how fast some others are, but in what constitutes a transition that we can agree on.
Enjoy.

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RAZD
Member (Idle past 1513 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 209 of 223 (341343)
08-19-2006 10:56 AM
Reply to: Message 208 by Dr Adequate
08-19-2006 8:48 AM


bones of contention?
Not to nitpick, but ... (opens small toolkit ...)
By contrast, in the case of humans the origin of grasslands opened up a niche in which adaptation for bipedalism was advantageous ('cos in open country it allows you to see further: it is interesting to note that even monkeys will adopt a bipedal posture when they come down from the trees into open spaces.)
There is evidence that bipedal gait predates the savannah transition -- that hominids were able to take advantage of the niche because they were pre-adapted to standing and walking:
Chimp-sized hominid walked upright on two leg | EurekAlert!
Chimp-sized hominid walked upright on two legs six million years ago
Recent fossil evidence suggests that a hominid, the size of a chimp, walked upright on two legs in Kenya's Tugen Hills, over 6 million years ago --- about 3 million years earlier than "Lucy," the most famous early biped in our lineage.
Eckhardt says, "In present day chimps and gorillas, the thicknesses in the upper and lower parts of that bone are approximately equal. In modern humans, the bone on top is thinner than on the bottom by a ratio of one to four or more. The ratio in this fossil is one to three."
and
http://www.sciencenews.org/pages/sn_arc97/10_18_97/fob1.htm
According to their new fossil analysis, a 9-million- to 7-million-year-old apelike animal also spent much of its time standing upright, methodically shuffling short distances to collect fruit and other edible goodies on what was once a Mediterranean island.
There were quite possibly a number or hominids or pre-hominids that had bipedal gaits for a number of reasons (one being that they could do it and carry things). Also, like your example of monkeys, the Bonobos (pygmy chimp) lives in the forest and often uses a bipedal gait to walk on the ground.
The savannah transition occurred over several million years and was not a constant trendency (there is also an apparent 20,000 year solar cycle of rain intensity). For long periods there were areas of savannah and areas of forest, and it appears that the early hominids took advantage of both:
Whoops! Page Not Found | Discovery
Fossils Show Chimps, Humans Co-Existed
Unearthed in the Rift Valley, East Africa, in a sediment of the Kapthurin Formation, a region by the shores of Kenya's Lake Baringo, the chimp fossils consist of three teeth ” two incisors and a molar ” probably belonging to the same individual, a chimp that lived a half a million years ago.
As well as providing new insight into the evolution of chimps, the landmark discovery shatters the widespread belief that humans and chimps did not coexist since they diverged from a common ancestor five to eight million years ago.
The researchers found startling evidence of the cohabitation as they unearthed fossils attributed to Homo erectus or Homo rhodesiensis in the same geologic layer less than a mile away.
Since modern chimp populations are now confined to wooded west and central Africa, whereas most hominid fossils have been found in the semi-arid East African Rift Valley, it has been long speculated that ancient chimps and humans diverged from their common ancestor when hominids left the jungles and moved east to the less wooded grasslands.
McBrearty and Jablonski also found fossilized remains of fish, hippopotami, crocodiles, turtles, gastropods and other moisture-loving animals.
The remains would suggest that 500,000 years ago that chimps and ancient Homo inhabited a wet, wooded area surrounding a lake.
Thus pre-adapted bipedal hominids could have "home-based" in a forested area and forayed into the savannah for opportunistic finds that would not have been available to thier chimpanzee cousins.
Also see Feeding Ecology andHuman Evolution (click) especially "The place of the Savannah biome in human evolution" (click) and A Changing Climate for Human Evolution (click) for a couple of different perspectives on this old "savannah" concept.
That last paper implies that we became bipedal not to walk on the savannah, but to become more efficient killers of larger animals (using sticks and stones and broken bones).
It wasn't a matter of being "forced" - hominids took advantage of the opportunity because they could, while chimps did not because they couldn't.
(puts away nit-pick kit)
On another note:
As far as various species being "unchanging over time" and linking this to no DNA change, we are seeing the African Elephant being reclassified into two species, one forest and one savannah, due to the genetic and behavior evidence even though they appear the same.
Just a moment...
Once a species diverges into two non-interbreeding groups there is nothing to prevent accumulated mutations from occurring within each group that do not occur (and are not transmited by interbreeding) in the other group.
However, if there is no natural selection pressure for the organism to change, then the statis trendencies will counter the genetic drift trendencies -- if the organism doesn't need to adapt it will stay essentially the same.
Enjoy.

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