Register | Sign In


Understanding through Discussion


EvC Forum active members: 50 (9179 total)
2 online now:
Newest Member: Jorge Parker
Post Volume: Total: 918,204 Year: 5,461/9,624 Month: 486/323 Week: 126/204 Day: 0/26 Hour: 0/0


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
Author Topic:   Transitional fossils not proof of evolution?
Belfry
Member (Idle past 5198 days)
Posts: 177
From: Ocala, FL
Joined: 11-05-2005


Message 3 of 223 (291569)
03-02-2006 6:25 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Alasdair
03-02-2006 12:55 PM


One thing I would be careful of- in science we prefer to avoid using the words "proven" or "proof." Theories can never be "proven" in science to the point where they are completely beyond being reassessed according to new evidence. They can, however, be supported by the evidence - and that's the case with the hominid transistionals; they are evidence consistent with and supporting evolutionary theory.
This message has been edited by Belfry, 03-02-2006 06:26 PM

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Alasdair, posted 03-02-2006 12:55 PM Alasdair has not replied

  
Belfry
Member (Idle past 5198 days)
Posts: 177
From: Ocala, FL
Joined: 11-05-2005


Message 10 of 223 (315638)
05-27-2006 3:38 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by mr_matrix
05-27-2006 2:41 PM


Re: Speculations
Mr.Matrix writes:
However, the fossil record does not reveal that all species emerged from a single ancestor. IN fact, it shows that the vast majority of organisms phyla (whether in sea, on land or in the air) emerged all of a sudden and fully formed without ancestral species to show a clear gradual evolution.
You cannot draw that conclusion at all. The fossil record is spotty. Fossilization is rare, and some organisms are more easily preserved than others. The Cambrian "explosion" coincides with the appearance of hard body parts (teeth, shells, etc), i.e. structures that are much more amenable to preservation.
However, there are some rare pre-Cambrian fossils (and more being found) that show that many of the basic body plans were evolving well before the so-called "explosion." For some pics of examples and links to more info, see here.
Many of your posts (both here and off-topic elsewhere) seem to be arguing against the assumption of phyletic gradualism, which has been essentially abandoned for quite a while now. Also, the fossil record is only one line of evidence, and perhaps not even the most important one. The important thing to understand is that all of the lines of evidence converge and are consistent both with each other and with evolutionary theory.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by mr_matrix, posted 05-27-2006 2:41 PM mr_matrix has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 12 by mr_matrix, posted 05-27-2006 6:58 PM Belfry has replied

  
Belfry
Member (Idle past 5198 days)
Posts: 177
From: Ocala, FL
Joined: 11-05-2005


Message 15 of 223 (315670)
05-27-2006 8:44 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by CK
05-27-2006 7:10 PM


Re: Speculations
CK writes:
Where is this from? Who is Agar? I find no reference to him anywhere but islam sites. In what context is he making that statement? He's a proponet of PE isn't he?
It's misspelled, I assume this quote is supposed to be from geologist Derek Ager. And yes, from what I can gather he was an early proponent of Punctuated Equilibria, which the quote seems to pertain to. Another case where Mr.Matrix mistakenly thinks PE is a problem for modern evolutionary theory, as opposed to an important part of it. ETA: Ager is the unfortunate victim of a number of other common creationist quotemines, especially on the topic of radiometric dating.
Edited by Belfry, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by CK, posted 05-27-2006 7:10 PM CK has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 30 by mr_matrix, posted 05-28-2006 5:29 PM Belfry has not replied

  
Belfry
Member (Idle past 5198 days)
Posts: 177
From: Ocala, FL
Joined: 11-05-2005


Message 16 of 223 (315679)
05-27-2006 9:26 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by mr_matrix
05-27-2006 6:58 PM


Re: Speculations
Mr.Matrix writes:
So you're saying that the fossil record is not complete and fossils are rare. This is the same old and desperate argument that Darwin used before. Now the fossil record is almost complete and provides a huge wealth of information about living species emerging all of a sudden with no evolutionary past. Many evolutionists admit this fact.
I call BS. Name one and provide a source.
Mr.Matrix writes:
It is not impossible for soft tissues to survive up to today.
It is impossible for soft tissues to survive from the precambrian up to this day. It isn't impossible, though rare, for fossil traces of them to survive, and I gave you examples from before the Cambrian.
Matrix writes:
The Burgess Shale fossil bed in Canada contains thousands of organisms with fossilized soft tissues because they were mostly covered with mud and had no contact with oxygen. Again, this fossil bed shows no evolutionary past.
That last sentence is nonsensical. The Burgess Shale is from the middle Cambrian, how could it show anything from the pre-Cambrian? The Burgess Shale is an unusual formation, and provides an excellent source of study material from that particular period of evolutionary history. Not all periods of earth's history have a Burgess Shale to clue us in to what happened.
Matrix writes:
The Camberian explosion has established more than 60 different phyla. This means tens of thousands of species that exploded into life fully formed. Just finding few fossils that are so-called precamberian does not invalidate the Camberian explosion. We dont know the validity of these fossils or if they realy belong to pre camberian eras.
Once again, you confuse the appearance of the species in the fossil record with "exploding into life fully formed." There is simply no way you can draw that conclusion. The evidence that the pre-Cambrian fossils are valid is every bit as good as for the Cambrian ones - you can't have it both ways!
Matrix writes:
But there are no clear lines in the fossil record because it shows that many phyla emerged suddenly. A famous British paleontologist Derek V. Agar approves this fact: “The point emerges that if we examine the fossil record in detail, whether at the level of orders or of species, we find-over and over again-not gradual evolution, but the sudden explosion of one group at the expense of another”.
"Suddenly" in geological time can mean something very different from time as humans normally conceptualize it. The duration of the relatively rapid diversivication of life during the Cambrian (the so-called "explosion") is estimated to have been anywhere from 5 to 40 million years. Even at minimum, 5 million years is not "sudden" from the creationist viewpoint.
Again, you quote mine out of context. As has already been noted, Ager was talking about Punctuated Equlibria, which is an accepted part of modern mainstream evolutionary biology.
Matrix writes:
AS Darwin said, if his evolution theory is true, there should be numberless transitional forms and that they should still exist today.
Darwin didn't say that. Let's look at what Darwin actually did say, if the forum members will forgive the long quote:
quote:
I have attempted to show that the geological record is extremely imperfect; that only a small portion of the globe has been geologically explored with care; that only certain classes of organic beings have been largely preserved in a fossil state; that the number both of specimens and of species, preserved in our museums, is absolutely as nothing compared with the incalculable number of generations which must have passed away even during a single formation; that, owing to subsidence being necessary for the accumulation of fossiliferous deposits thick enough to resist future degradation, enormous intervals of time have elapsed between the successive formations; that there has probably been more extinction during the periods of subsidence, and more variation during the periods of elevation, and during the latter the record will have been least perfectly kept; that each single formation has not been continuously deposited; that the duration of each formation is, perhaps, short compared with the average duration of specific forms; that migration has played an important part in the first appearance of new forms in any one area and formation; that widely ranging species are those which have varied most, and have oftenest given rise to new species; and that varieties have at first often been local. All these causes taken conjointly, must have tended to make the geological record extremely imperfect, and will to a large extent explain why we do not find interminable varieties, connecting together all the extinct and existing forms of life by the finest graduated steps. (CR Darwin, Origin of Species, 1st ed., pp.340-341)
Matrix writes:
If you say the Camberian explosion is invalid,...
It's not entirely invalid, in that it was a period of rapid diversification. However, the following statement IS invalid (bolds mine):
Matrix writes:
...how can 60 phyla emerge in a very short time period (geologically speaking) and fully formed and independent of each other with no evolutionary ancestral species?
You simply cannot support that bolded statement, and it is refuted by the pre-Cambrian fossils we're starting to find.
Matrix writes:
If there is a gradual evolution, it should take billions of years of evolution to form 60 phyla that include thousands of species.
Again, there's no point in arguing against phyletic gradualism; even Darwin argued against it, and it is not an assumption made by modern evolutionary biologists. PE is an accepted concept, although your posts suggest that you don't have a good understanding of what it really means. In any case, I don't believe you can support the statement that it would take billions of years to form 60 phyla.

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

  
Belfry
Member (Idle past 5198 days)
Posts: 177
From: Ocala, FL
Joined: 11-05-2005


Message 19 of 223 (315730)
05-28-2006 8:05 AM
Reply to: Message 18 by Hyroglyphx
05-27-2006 11:20 PM


Re: Speculations
NJ writes:
Its not so much that it needs fossil evidence as much as it doesn't do it any favors without it. And being that we see all forms appearing abruptly, both in the fossil record and living creatures, 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.
Excuse me, but where do we see forms appearing abruptly in living creatures? Nothing in the fossil record nor in living creatures is evidence against macroevolution - support your assertion with evidence.
NJ writes:
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.
But we do not base common descent on evidence a single genus. Every example, and every line of evidence that we can follow, supports common descent. Molecular evidence lines up nicely with the more scanty fossil evidence and morphological cladistics. It happens so routinely that it is no longer surprising. We don't assume that life must have a common ancestor (and there are alternate theories about what the "root" of the tree may have looked like), but so far that's where the evidence points.
NJ writes:
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.
I will let an actual geneticist like Wounded King answer these points in detail, but I will just comment that our modern understanding of genetics is much more complex than what Mendel was able to determine. Mendel was among the first to study units of inheritance, but his findings are far from the last word on all aspects of inheritence, mutation, etc.
NJ writes:
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.
This is simply not true and demonstrates a gross lack of understanding of Puncuated Equilibria. PE does not conflict with the phylogenetic relatedness of organisms. It has to do with the PACE of evolution, not the mechanisms.
NJ writes:
At this point in time, I just wish that someone would distinguish clearly between firmly established empirical facts concerning evolution and theories about mechanisms. Any theory of the world has at most a provisional, pro tem value. 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.
Ok, what mechanism of evolution do you feel hasn't been demonstrated empirically?
NJ writes:
Homological theory asserts that relationships can be proven by the similarity in the anatomy and physiology of different taxinomical lines. But to me, its just like saying that a Chevy SUV and a Chevy pickup are biologically related because their dashboards are virtually identical. Are they identical because the SUV is the progeny of the pickup or that they had the same manufacturer? I know thats a crude model, but I hope it drives home a point. Afterall, we share 52% biochemical similarity with a banana. Does that mean we evolved from a fruit?
A fruit is not a complete organism, first of all. We do share a distant common heritage with banana trees.
Vehicles do not reproduce, let alone show imperfect inheritance, so your question is silly. However, what is damning to the idea that genetic similarity simply reflects design similarity is that we can see the same phyogenetic patterns in non-coding "junk" DNA.
NJ writes:
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.
No, we can't assume anything of the sort. This is just the same old argument from incredulity.
NJ writes:
Afterall, there are only two options from which to choose from - either life is intentional or its unintentional.
Not at all! It could be both.
NJ writes:
If anyone can reasonably demostrate that it is highly improbable that life should continually arrange itself without any intervention, then we are inescapably driven to a latter conclusion.
Not sure what you mean by "life should continually arrange itself without any intervention." Are you talking about abiogenesis here?
Edited by Belfry, : No reason given.

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 22 by Hyroglyphx, posted 05-28-2006 12:45 PM Belfry has replied

  
Belfry
Member (Idle past 5198 days)
Posts: 177
From: Ocala, FL
Joined: 11-05-2005


Message 24 of 223 (315796)
05-28-2006 2:27 PM
Reply to: Message 22 by Hyroglyphx
05-28-2006 12:45 PM


Re: Speculations
NJ writes:
Um, I can't support evidence of a negative, hence, if something doesn't exist, I can't show you tangible evidence of such, because it doesn't exist. So, you are going to have to supply some evidence of a macroevoultionary process.
Let me remind you of the assertion you made that I'm asking you to support:
quote:
And being that we see all forms appearing abruptly, both in the fossil record and living creatures,
Again, where do you see forms appearing abruptly in living creatures? This is a positive assertion that requires support.
NJ writes:
The plain fact remains that in more conventional depictions of alleged transitional forms, we still find everything fully formed. We find no organisms in any kind of evolutionary limbo.
And this is exactly what evolutionary theory would predict. Only in creationist strawman parodies of the theory do we expect transitionals that aren't "fully formed."
Chiroptera covered the cladistics issue pretty well, so I'll just pick a couple of things here:
NJ writes:
And if you believe in the typical, stepwise fashion of evolution, then where does that place punctuated equilibrium? Doesn't one bring the other into disrepute?
No. Like our friend Mr.Matrix, you don't understand punctuated equilibria. PE also uses stepwise changes - it is NOT calling for huge leaps between single generations, the so-called "hopeful monsters" of saltationism. What PE says (in a simplified nutshell) is that when the environment that a population finds itself in remains relatively constant, that population will tend to find itself at a relative evolutionary equilibrium, with any changes being small and slow. When there is a major change in the environment (changing the factors that are naturally "selecting" in the environment), evolutionary changes are more likely to occur (and so is extinction). Therefore, you have long periods of relatively little change (equilibria), "punctuated" with periods of relatively rapid change, corresponding with a change in environment.
This is in contrast to "phyletic gradualism," which assumed that evolution happened at a constant pace in all populations. This is an assumption that has been discredited and abandoned for decades, and indeed some things that Darwin wrote argued against such an assumption.
NJ writes:
Does cladistic reconstruction tell us anything beyond, "Well, they sure do look alot alike."?
It does when they form nested heirarchies, and the relatedness is supported by other evidence, including chronologically with evidence from the fossil record, and by molecular analysis of extant organisms.
NJ writes:
Uh, I think the title of the original paper says it all- "Punctuated Equilibria: An alternative to Phyletic Gradualism. LOL! How ever did we arrive at such a bizarre conclusion?
Apparently because you don't know what Phyletic Gradualism is. That's what those quotes you supplied argue against, and it is what you mistakenly accuse modern biologists of believing. Phyletic gradualism went out the door ages ago. I gave a presentation to my AP Biology class on Punctuated Equilibria when I was in high school. It is mainstream evolutionary biology.
NJ writes:
Since natural selection plus beneficial mutation hasn't produced new any kind of macroevolutionary process, the theory is left with nothing else. I don't believe any such mechanism exists in a strictly naturalistic sense. Therefore, I cannot present evidence of a negative.
"Macroevolution" is just a semantic way of describing the results of accumulation of "microevolutionary" changes. There is no such thing as a "macroevolutionary process." We do have many examples of observed speciation, which is where the line of "macroevolution" has traditionally been drawn (although it is again an arbitrary, semantic line).
NJ writes:
And does this similarity automatically mean that we are related? That is the question that the creationist posed to the OP in the opening argument. What evidence exists that we are the progeny of the banana tree? To me, its as asinine as saying, because we have molecules and adry cement has molecules, we must be related to a wall. Do you know what I mean? If there is nothing linking the two together, why jump to such a fantastic conclusion?
No evidence exists that we are the progeny of the banana tree, and I said no such thing. How quickly you jump to that classic creationist straw man! I said that we share a "distant common heritage." In other words, a common ancestry waaaay back at the single-cell level, where the plant lineage diverged from the others.
Molecules and dry cement do not reproduce. Comparisons to inanimate objects are nonsensical.
NJ writes:
Of course vehicles don't reproduce, I'm simply using that as a basis for comparing how anyone can jump to a bad conclusion even if they make a good observation. Darwin noticed that Finches seperated from the ancestral population developed new features. Awesome observation. Then he concluded that because there were different types of Finches, that every living creature must be related by a common ancestor. Whoa! Bad conclusion.
He did not conclude that, that was his theory. A theory that has stood up to all the evidence and made valid predictions. A very GOOD theory. Unlike the theory that cars can share biological ancestry, which is easily refuted by the evidence.
NJ writes:
The interesting thing about 'Junk DNA' is that maybe we just don't know how they code. Those Junky genes look like normal genes but do not express any RNA or protein. They apparently include crippled copies of known functional genes, of long and short interspersed repeats. I just that our understanding of what they do might be too tentative currently. Failure to observe junk DNA coding for a product under experimental conditions might not preclude that they never do so inside an organism. We also shouldn't rule out protein expression based solely on sequence information, as DNA messages can be altered by editing RNA, as it skips parts of the sequence. The current inability to code for a protein useful to an organism hardly exhausts other possible functions that this 'junk' may have.
As I said, I'm not a geneticist (I'm a lowly ecologist), so I'm not the best person to address your concerns. I'll see if WK or anyone else wants to pick up your objections before I try to do it via Google searches. Honestly, I normally can't get in a post edgewise because the others jump all over it... apparently I'm one of the few who actually does this when I'm NOT at work .
NJ writes:
I hardly see how. If life isn't unintentional, then its intentional. There shouldn't be any ambiguity in that.
You said, "However, given the enormity of demonstrable balance within nature, we can greatly assume that there is some creative force or cognizance behind the intricacy." In otherwords, "Gee golly, it's all just too AMAZING to have resulted from natural processes!" This is an argument from incredulity.
NJ writes:
Okay, but if its in least bit intentional then a Creator (whatever we shall that cognizance) exists. Atheistic evolution needs no intent to survive.
Evolution (and science in general) makes no presumptions about the existence of a god. Ever heard of "theistic evolution?" How about "deism?" Many evolutionary biologists are religious, and many religious people accept the evolutionary explanation (possibly "most" in both cases).
NJ writes:
No, but abiogenesis is an important piece of the puzzle for evolution. For instance, biological evolution needs cosmological evolution just to get started. And for everything to come from nothing, some type of abiogenesis had to exist at some point. Philosophically, I think we could all agree that something had to be eternal at some point.
Abiogenesis is an important field of study, but it has no bearing on the validity of evolutionary theory. Even if the first life on Earth were directly created by a God, intelligently designed by an alien, or fell from the sky in a meteor, it would not affect the validity of evolutionary theory, which involves what happened AFTER the appearance of the first life.
Edited by Belfry, : typos
Edited by Belfry, : more typos......

This message is a reply to:
 Message 22 by Hyroglyphx, posted 05-28-2006 12:45 PM Hyroglyphx has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 42 by Quetzal, posted 05-29-2006 9:41 AM Belfry has replied

  
Belfry
Member (Idle past 5198 days)
Posts: 177
From: Ocala, FL
Joined: 11-05-2005


Message 27 of 223 (315804)
05-28-2006 4:09 PM
Reply to: Message 25 by Hyroglyphx
05-28-2006 2:51 PM


Re: Speculations
NJ writes:
But again, if you find yourself in agreement with phyletic graduation, then you find yourself in disagreement with punctuated equilibrium, and vice versa.
Ahem, it's "phyletic gradualism."
At this point I'm wondering if we need an admin to step in. I have REPEATEDLY pointed out that no modern evolutionary biologist works from the assumption of phyletic gradualism anymore, and therefore the repeated arguments by NJ and Mr.Matrix against phyletic gradualism are strawmen, and moot. ETA: They might as well be arguing against Lamarckian inheritance.
Edited by Belfry, : marked addition

This message is a reply to:
 Message 25 by Hyroglyphx, posted 05-28-2006 2:51 PM Hyroglyphx has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 29 by Percy, posted 05-28-2006 5:16 PM Belfry has not replied
 Message 47 by Hyroglyphx, posted 05-29-2006 11:18 AM Belfry has replied
 Message 48 by Chiroptera, posted 05-29-2006 11:50 AM Belfry has not replied

  
Belfry
Member (Idle past 5198 days)
Posts: 177
From: Ocala, FL
Joined: 11-05-2005


Message 36 of 223 (315826)
05-28-2006 7:22 PM
Reply to: Message 32 by mr_matrix
05-28-2006 6:22 PM


Re: Fossil Gaps
Mr.Matrix writes:
OK! lets make this clear. The fossil record is full of gaps that invalidate evolution. I am not denying any evidence I see, in fact, evolutionist ignore the gaps and fossil evidence against evolution and make up imaginary theories to cover the embarassing lack of evidence.
Once again, lack of evidence is not evidence of lack. That's a logical fallacy you've got, there.
Mr.Matrix writes:
It is also important to note that phyloginy is not a great supporter of evolution. These phyloginies are based on similarity in appearance. However, even though there are organisms that look alike, there are vast differences between the chemical and the proteins makeup. For example, there are different genetic codes that code for similar structures. If evolutionists were to make a phyloginy based on proteins structures and rRNA in living organisms, the phylogenic tree will collapse and become messed up and confused linking two or more organisms that dont even look alike in shape.
I'm so glad you brought this up, because it is actually one of the most important lines of evidence FOR shared ancestry. It is common practice now for evolutionary biologists to use molecular evidence to examine phylogenetic relatedness, and - lo and behold - it VALIDATES the model of common descent! Molecular evidence is pretty much THE primary way of looking at phylogenetic relationships in living organisms.
Mr.Matrix writes:
Lets look for example to the pentadactyl structure that has appeared in two separate times each independatley of the other (anthracosaurs and amphibians). What is more interesting is that different genetic codes in the two different types of creatures code for the same pentadactyl structure.
This is actually not true. I know it's an AiG claim (see here). I also know that like many such AiG articles, it has been debunked by science. See this talkorigins article for a response, including the following:
quote:
We’ve got a pretty good handle on the outline of limb development in multiple tetrapod lineages now, and they all use the same tools. Contrary to Sarfati’s implication, they all have apical ectodermal ridges (with some rare exceptions in a few highly derived, direct-developing frogs) and zones of polarizing activity, they all use the same set of molecules, including FGF-4 and FGF-8 and the same Hox genes and retinoic acid and BMPs. If there’s one thing we know, it’s that limb development is dazzlingly well conserved.
It is true that frogs have less apoptosis between their digits than we do, but that’s because they have webbed feet. Suppress apoptosis in other vertebrates, and you get the same phenomenon, retention of membranous webs between the digits. There is a simple functional reason why they differ in this regard, and it takes advantage of a common property of limb development in all tetrapods.
Mr.Matrix writes:
If evolutionists are proud of the similarity in living things and consider it evidence for evolution, this similarity collapses when comparing livig things in the chemical makeup, in particular the protein and rRNA makeup.
Again, molecular analysis is one of the strongest lines of evidence FOR shared descent. Since we gained these tools, they have upheld the predictions that evolutionary theory made before we had even identified DNA.
The rest of your post is just more argument from incredulity (with plenty of "abscence of evidence as evidence of absence") as far as I can tell. Logically fallacious.
Edited by Belfry, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 32 by mr_matrix, posted 05-28-2006 6:22 PM mr_matrix has not replied

  
Belfry
Member (Idle past 5198 days)
Posts: 177
From: Ocala, FL
Joined: 11-05-2005


Message 40 of 223 (315881)
05-29-2006 7:14 AM
Reply to: Message 38 by Hyroglyphx
05-29-2006 12:51 AM


Re: Logical fallacies and evidence
NJ writes:
I don't understand how you could interpret this as a logic fallacy. Its almost as if you're acting like a lack of corroborating evidence is some kind of circular reasoning on my part. Let me ask you, what jury would convict anyone without any evidence? What evidence for absence exists? From everyone's logical standpoint, we see a lack of evidence to support an assertion.
You are familiar with what logical fallacies are, right? Circular reasoning is another one, but not the one we're talking about. "Absence of evidence is evidence of absence" is a form of the argument from ignorance, argumentum ad ignorantiam. See this wiki article for more info.
We do not expect the fossil record to be a perfect and complete record of evolutionary history, for the many reasons already enumerated. Therefore we can't say that lack of a fossil form means that an organism DIDN'T exist. Instead, we have to look at the fossils that we DO have, in combination with the large amount of information we have about living creatures, to draw conclusions.
NJ writes:
Evolutionary theory has always predicted that innumerable transitional forms would be found,
No, it hasn't.
NJ writes:
Why, after so many evolutionists have conceded that the fossil record is pathetically incomplete, do so many people in here still insist on telling me that it isn't so?
No one but you and Mr.Matrix has argued that the fossil record is complete. Show us one example in this forum of someone else arguing that it is. We do have some nice transitional fossil sequences - certainly not every single transitional step, but we wouldn't expect to find that. The transitional steps that we DO have (in the whale sequence, for example), support the evolutionary model.
NJ writes:
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.
Let's clear this up. Who among us appears to disagree with punctuated equilibria? Give us quotes and message numbers, please, or retract your assertion and cease remaking it.
ETA: It occurs to me that you might not know what a straw man argument is. It's another logical fallacy, one we see an awful lot from the creationist camp. See the wiki article about it.
Edited by Belfry, : typo
Edited by Belfry, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 38 by Hyroglyphx, posted 05-29-2006 12:51 AM Hyroglyphx has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 64 by Hyroglyphx, posted 05-29-2006 11:56 PM Belfry has replied

  
Belfry
Member (Idle past 5198 days)
Posts: 177
From: Ocala, FL
Joined: 11-05-2005


Message 43 of 223 (315914)
05-29-2006 9:46 AM
Reply to: Message 41 by Percy
05-29-2006 9:23 AM


Re: Logical fallacies and evidence
Thanks Percy. That was what I meant, but much more clearly said .

This message is a reply to:
 Message 41 by Percy, posted 05-29-2006 9:23 AM Percy has not replied

  
Belfry
Member (Idle past 5198 days)
Posts: 177
From: Ocala, FL
Joined: 11-05-2005


Message 44 of 223 (315918)
05-29-2006 9:54 AM
Reply to: Message 42 by Quetzal
05-29-2006 9:41 AM


Quetzal writes:
"Lowly"? We have the best job on the planet. All those molecular biologists, geneticists, physicists, and others of that ilk are simply envious. I mean, what other job can you have where you get to camp and hike, and generally play in the woods and have someone pay you for it?
No argument there! I try to stay humble and not rub it in, though

This message is a reply to:
 Message 42 by Quetzal, posted 05-29-2006 9:41 AM Quetzal has not replied

  
Belfry
Member (Idle past 5198 days)
Posts: 177
From: Ocala, FL
Joined: 11-05-2005


Message 52 of 223 (315986)
05-29-2006 12:37 PM
Reply to: Message 47 by Hyroglyphx
05-29-2006 11:18 AM


Re: Speculations
NJ writes:
Aside from which, I still recieve conflicting views on ToE to this day, where many still believe in gradualism. So, if I'm not talking to you specifically about that, let it roll off your back.
I have a thing about straw man arguments. I hate 'em. They can be due to honest ignorance, and I can understand that. But when the error has been pointed out, and the person continues to make the straw man argument, it is then dishonest.
I have repeatedly asked you to provide quotes which demonstrate that anyone here has argued against PE. You have repeatedly ignored this request {edit: and continued to assert that there are "gradualists" here}. Therefore I suspect that your misrepresentation is intentional.
Edited by Belfry, : marked addition

This message is a reply to:
 Message 47 by Hyroglyphx, posted 05-29-2006 11:18 AM Hyroglyphx has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 53 by Wounded King, posted 05-29-2006 12:54 PM Belfry has replied

  
Belfry
Member (Idle past 5198 days)
Posts: 177
From: Ocala, FL
Joined: 11-05-2005


Message 54 of 223 (316005)
05-29-2006 1:19 PM
Reply to: Message 53 by Wounded King
05-29-2006 12:54 PM


Re: Speculations
WK writes:
It sounds like a clearer emphasis needs to be made of what Percy mentioned above to distinguish a view which incorporates both long periods of morphological stasis and periods of morphological change (continuous or discontinuous) and one of what Dawkin's called 'Constant Speedism'.
There are undoubtedly many who believe that populations undergo gradual changes in both their genetics and morphologies which may lead to speciation amongst other things, it is highly unlikely that there are any 'Constant Speedism' adherents on the board.
Right, that's why I tried to be careful to talk about an "assumption of phyletic gradualism." Certainly evolution can be a gradual process (and PE doesn't argue against that), but we don't assume that it is always a steady rate... "constant speedism," I like that.
Compounding the confusion, NJ seems to mistakenly believe that PE is a fundamentally different phenomenon in evolution, one that bypasses or falsifies the need for stepwise changes (see Message 22):
quote:
And if you believe in the typical, stepwise fashion of evolution, then where does that place punctuated equilibrium? Doesn't one bring the other into disrepute?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 53 by Wounded King, posted 05-29-2006 12:54 PM Wounded King has not replied

  
Belfry
Member (Idle past 5198 days)
Posts: 177
From: Ocala, FL
Joined: 11-05-2005


Message 68 of 223 (316188)
05-30-2006 6:11 AM
Reply to: Message 64 by Hyroglyphx
05-29-2006 11:56 PM


Re: Logical fallacies and evidence
NM writes:
Then evolution falls into that same exact category. Look, ToE barely even has circumstancial evidence at its disposal, let alone a cogent argument in support of itself. If there is no evidence, then no evidence has been proposed. Does that mean that no evidence will ever surface? No, not necessarily. However, if there is so much lacking withing the theory, and yet some of you hold fast to it, then is it unreasonable for me to suppose that it must serve some philosophical facet of your life?
Except that we DO have lots of evidence. Simply saying we don't doesn't make it go away. What sort of evidence would you find convincing?
NJ writes:
Neither can we say that it did by that premise.
Right, and we don't assume that any particular form will exist, rather the theory predicts that transitional forms will be found linking many taxa. Many such forms have indeed been found, and a few have already been discussed. Not every single step along the way, but fortunately you say you don't expect a perfect fossil record, so that should not be surprising to you.
NJ writes:
And that's what we've done, and the conclusion tells me that it supports animals belonging to its own 'kind.'
Perhaps you'd like to join one of the many threads that have been started in which we ask for a working definition of "kinds."
NJ writes:
Uh, Matrix and I couldn't argue against evolution and claim that it IS complete. Our objection is based on the lack of evidence.
I agree it is a baffling claim for a creationist to make, but Mr.Matrix has indeed made it in Message 12: "Now the fossil record is almost complete and provides a huge wealth of information about living species emerging all of a sudden with no evolutionary past." You haven't claimed that it is complete, but you have falsely claimed that some evolutionists believe it is (e.g. Message 38).
NJ writes:
No openly opposes PE in here. What I see is that they conveniently go back and forth between PE and gradualism. I think I've provided more than enough quotes straight from the horses mouth to clear up any misconceptions.
No, you haven't. A person can't "go back and forth" between PE and gradualism, unless your (NJ's) definition of "gradualism" is completely meaningless. PE does not specify that gradual change can never happen, and it certainly does not specify large taxonomic "jumps" with no intermediate steps.
NJ writes:
Of course I know what a strawman is and logical fallacies. The last forum I was on used the terminologies quite frequently. It was irritating, not because any of it was true, but because they used it to detract from the actual argument. In the last forum that was a typical tactic. If they had no argument left, they'd simply claim arguments from incredulity, strawmen, logical fallacies, and of course my favorite, ad hominem. Nothing says you don't have an argument more than reverting back to schoolyard name-calling.
Good, then I trust you will make a greater effort to accurately characterize the arguments of your opponents.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 64 by Hyroglyphx, posted 05-29-2006 11:56 PM Hyroglyphx has not replied

  
Belfry
Member (Idle past 5198 days)
Posts: 177
From: Ocala, FL
Joined: 11-05-2005


Message 76 of 223 (316409)
05-30-2006 9:09 PM
Reply to: Message 71 by mr_matrix
05-30-2006 6:20 PM


Re: Speculations
Mr.Matrix writes:
For example, look at the bat. It is a flying mammal with fur similar to rodents and wings similar to birds.
Actually, bats wings are very dissimilar to those of birds, and their morphology is otherwise not very rodent-like. I can understand how someone with absolutely no biological background would find them superficially similar, but no trained biologist would draw such a conclusion beyond that (like rodents) they are mammals.
Mr.Matrix writes:
If bats go extinct and a bat fossil is found after million years in the future. Evolutionists will say that there was a rodnet (could be rat, squeril, or termite) or any small animal with fur that million years ago (which is our time) has evolved into a flying creature and then evolved into a bird. And this was the origin of birds. Then they would publish it in their books and consider it a logical evidence. .... It might sound logical but it is not necessarily true. This type of speculation is applied on all fossils.
That's a cute story, but it's nothing like the way paleontologists actually work. They look at morphology on a much finer scale than, "This organism has wings. It is therefore the ancestor to this group of organisms, which also has wings." If that were true, we would be saying that birds evolved from pterodactyls, which we do not (birds evolved from a different dinosaur lineage). It's untrue for the same reasons that we don't currently say that bats are closely related to birds or rodents.
In actuality, paleontologists make conclusions about relatedness through morphology in much the ways that anatomists do for modern organisms, except that the newer molecular tools are not applicable. And remember, molecular analyses have generally validated the phylogenies created through that sort of anatomical analysis, even though (as you wisely pointed out in Message 32) there are many ways that genes could theoretically be arranged to create similar-looking structures (if indeed organisms were being created from scratch by a Creator).
By the way, did you seriously just say that termites are rodne-, I mean rodents with fur?
MrMatrix writes:
How can you even make such a claim in the 21st century? Darwin (with his limited knowledge about cells and his lack of knowledge about genetics) assumed that variations have no limit and that variations would eventually lead to evolution. However, Mendel's genetics have showed that variations are limited and cannot lead to the formation of new species.
Mendel had no way of knowing about mutation from his work, which was very limited by modern standards. We know about mutation now. Mutations happen, every single generation. Most are neutral and have no effect. Some are detrimental. More rarely, they can be beneficial.
MrMatrix writes:
These discoveries have conclusively proved that no matter how many generations pass, a horse (for instance) will keep breading horses and you will not find a newborn horse with wings!
A newborn horse with wings would contradict modern evolutionary theory.
We see mutations in every population, including horse populations. Even thoroughbreds.
Mutation Bestows Beauty and Death On Quarter Horses
This is just an article from the popular press that popped up near the top on google. There are lots of examples of mutations in horses, and this is of great interest to modern horse breeders. The observable fact of genetic mutation totally negates your Mendelian genetics argument. Novel traits are observed to occur. Your understanding of genetics is amazingly outdated.
ETA: Oh, but if you want to discuss mutations you'd better start another thread... I just remembered that the topic here is transitional forms. The moderators would not like this side-topic.
Edited by Belfry, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 71 by mr_matrix, posted 05-30-2006 6:20 PM mr_matrix has not replied

  
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2023 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.2
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2024