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Author Topic:   Does Chen's work pose a problem for ToE?
Chiroptera
Inactive Member


Message 31 of 84 (290186)
02-24-2006 5:55 PM
Reply to: Message 29 by randman
02-24-2006 5:50 PM


What are YOU saying?
quote:
You not only had many extinct dinosaurs, but even semi-aquatic mammals.
This is false. The semi-aquatic mammal to which I think you are referring lived during the Jurassic. The first dinosaurs didn't appear until the Triassic (or maybe the Permian -- I forget, but definitely well after the Cambrian).

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

This message is a reply to:
 Message 29 by randman, posted 02-24-2006 5:50 PM randman has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 35 by randman, posted 02-24-2006 6:03 PM Chiroptera has replied

  
Asgara
Member (Idle past 2384 days)
Posts: 1783
From: Wisconsin, USA
Joined: 05-10-2003


Message 32 of 84 (290187)
02-24-2006 5:56 PM
Reply to: Message 29 by randman
02-24-2006 5:50 PM


Re: what are you saying?
Rand, what do dinosaurs and semi-aquatic mammals have to do with the Cambrian?

This message is a reply to:
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Modulous
Member
Posts: 7801
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 33 of 84 (290189)
02-24-2006 6:00 PM
Reply to: Message 30 by randman
02-24-2006 5:53 PM


Re: random mutation and natural selection
But you suspect microevolution based on natural selection of mutations and variation cannot explain all the data, right?
I don't think those mechanisms explain all of evolutionary change, no.
It cannot explain the macroevolution of the Cambrian explosion, right?
I haven't a clue to be honest. However, see answer above.
Basicaly, if ToE cannot explain the Cambrian explosion, it is useless. Clearly, there is something else involved creating such an explosion of life.
If ToE cannot explain the Cambrian explosion it is far from useless. That's like saying Newton laws of motion cannot explain near light speed physics so its useless, despite it getting us to the moon and back.
I suspect you are under the impression that the ToE is only RM/NS. May I assure you that epigenetics, horizontal transfer etc are all part of it. I do suspect that there are more evolutionary mechanisms awaiting discovery and/or refinement, as do evolutionary biologists conducting research.

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crashfrog
Member (Idle past 1548 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 34 of 84 (290190)
02-24-2006 6:02 PM
Reply to: Message 25 by randman
02-24-2006 5:42 PM


Re: it's not clear crash
Crash, all major life forms and more creatures than exist today appeared in the Cambrian explosion.
Well, that's false. There are no mammals or reptiles in Cambrian fossils. There are no insects or flowering plants. I hardly think that these organisms would not be labeled "major life forms."
There are representative fossils of all the major phyla, but if you were to compare these different organisms, you would not find them very different. It is only much later that the true diversity of life on Earth develops; the fossil record is one of increasing diversity over time, not vast diversity during the Cambrian era that has declined ever since.

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


Message 35 of 84 (290191)
02-24-2006 6:03 PM
Reply to: Message 31 by Chiroptera
02-24-2006 5:55 PM


Re: What are YOU saying?
My mistake...you are correct...but regardless, we really see the sudden emergence of all major phyla.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 31 by Chiroptera, posted 02-24-2006 5:55 PM Chiroptera has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 40 by Chiroptera, posted 02-24-2006 6:42 PM randman has replied

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


Message 36 of 84 (290192)
02-24-2006 6:06 PM
Reply to: Message 34 by crashfrog
02-24-2006 6:02 PM


Re: it's not clear crash
You are correct. I spoke to hastily concerning the Cambrian era, but you make a comment below that I am not sure is correct.
the fossil record is one of increasing diversity over time
Can you substantiate that? For example, the quote I linked to says there has not been any major phyla in over 500 million years.

This message is a reply to:
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 Message 38 by crashfrog, posted 02-24-2006 6:10 PM randman has not replied

  
crashfrog
Member (Idle past 1548 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 37 of 84 (290193)
02-24-2006 6:06 PM
Reply to: Message 29 by randman
02-24-2006 5:50 PM


Re: what are you saying?
You not only had many extinct dinosaurs
Dinosaurs do not appear until the Triassic period, so you're quite wrong.
None of the life-forms that you would probably recognize as "major" are present in Cambrian fossils. No reptiles, no mammals, no insects, no flowering plants, just basically worms of various body plans, and trilobites. And a few things that we're not even sure are organisms.

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crashfrog
Member (Idle past 1548 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 38 of 84 (290194)
02-24-2006 6:10 PM
Reply to: Message 36 by randman
02-24-2006 6:06 PM


Re: it's not clear crash
Can you substantiate that? For example, the quote I linked to says there has not been any major phyla in over 500 million years.
Diversity is a measure of the number of different species, not of phyla. For instance, in the Burgess Shale, one of the best records of soft-bodied organisms from the Cambrian, only 120 species are observed. The number of species currently described on Earth at this time is 1.75 million or so.
We would not expect new phyla to develop regardless of how diversity has increased.

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


Message 39 of 84 (290195)
02-24-2006 6:11 PM
Reply to: Message 37 by crashfrog
02-24-2006 6:06 PM


Re: what are you saying?
None of the life-forms that you would probably recognize as "major" are present in Cambrian fossils.
Rand was talking about phyla. Here is a list of the major phyla
abe: I see rand previously said 'major life forms'. My mistake...and rand's.
This message has been edited by Modulous, Fri, 24-February-2006 11:13 PM

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Chiroptera
Inactive Member


Message 40 of 84 (290199)
02-24-2006 6:42 PM
Reply to: Message 35 by randman
02-24-2006 6:03 PM


quote:
My mistake...you are correct...but regardless, we really see the sudden emergence of all major phyla.
This is false. What we really see is the first fossil evidence of some of the major phyla.
There is fossil evidence of precursors of some phyla among the Ediacaran fauna.
At any rate, the Cambrian "explosion" may not have been all that "sudden", and only marks the appearance of hard body parts that fossilize (more) easily compared to the soft-bodied precursors.

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

This message is a reply to:
 Message 35 by randman, posted 02-24-2006 6:03 PM randman has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 60 by randman, posted 02-25-2006 2:27 PM Chiroptera has replied

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


Message 41 of 84 (290201)
02-24-2006 6:50 PM


can we get back on-topic?
I already admitted to being incorrect to use life forms, dinosaurs and such....been a long day working while posting too.
The issue, as laid out in the OP, is that the Asians feel that there finds indicate that the Cambrian explosion occurred in a 2-3 million year period, and that random mutation and natural selection just cannot account for the data. They say this is being ignored basically because western evos don't want to cede any ground to creationists and IDers. They also believe that soft bodies are well fossilized contrary to what evos claimed before.
Can current evolutionary mechanisms explain the Cambrian explosion as a geologically rapid process, 2-3 million years, or not, as the Asian scientists quoted are saying.
This message has been edited by randman, 02-24-2006 06:52 PM

Replies to this message:
 Message 43 by jar, posted 02-24-2006 7:16 PM randman has replied

  
Adminnemooseus
Administrator
Posts: 3977
Joined: 09-26-2002


Message 42 of 84 (290203)
02-24-2006 6:59 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by crashfrog
02-24-2006 2:11 PM


Alert to Crashfrog
In message 2, AdminNWR said:
...the discussion here is to be restricted to Chen's work, and the problems it might pose for ToE.
In other words, let's discuss biology, and how Chen's discoveries fit or don't fit into the general theory of biological evolution.
Now, right off in message 3, you post:
Is this validation of longstanding Creationist/ID criticism in this arena
Well, no, it's not. The criticism of ID is that it never happens; this research seems to indicate one instance where it didn't happen.
I don't see how the second validates the first. Maybe you can explain it to me?
Now this may indeed be in response to something Randman posted, but (IMO) it is off the intended central theme of this topic, as outlined by AdminNWR. I haven't studied much of the remainder of the topic yet, but from what I've so far, my impression is you are looking to be the "problem child" of this topic.
Talk biology and let's keep it friendly.
If you feel you must, please take any feedback to this message to the "General..." topic, link below, and please there link back to this message.
Adminnemooseus

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This message is a reply to:
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jar
Member
Posts: 34054
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 5.1


Message 43 of 84 (290205)
02-24-2006 7:16 PM
Reply to: Message 41 by randman
02-24-2006 6:50 PM


Absolutely no big deal.
No problem of trying to compress things into 2-3 Million years and several of the points raised in the article were already falsified, and falsified by Chen himself. In fact, just two years after the interview in the OP Chen himself discovered examples of bilateral life forms which shoved the complexity appearance back about 50 Million yeaars earlier than anyone expected. That's why the other links have been included.
The information in the OP is interesting but certainly no threat to the TOE, and also Old News.
Hopefully, there will be many more such findings, but there is nothing in anything presented so far to imply ID or to challenge the TOE.

Aslan is not a Tame Lion

This message is a reply to:
 Message 41 by randman, posted 02-24-2006 6:50 PM randman has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 44 by NosyNed, posted 02-24-2006 7:25 PM jar has replied
 Message 45 by randman, posted 02-24-2006 7:31 PM jar has replied

  
NosyNed
Member
Posts: 9006
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003


Message 44 of 84 (290207)
02-24-2006 7:25 PM
Reply to: Message 43 by jar
02-24-2006 7:16 PM


Worms and bugs
Something, Jar, that seems to get forgotten is, other than a couple of creatures, what Cambrian life would look like, to the untrained eye, is a bunch of very small "worms" and "bugs"
There is a big deal made of the fact that all the phyla were already represented. All that is needed for this is enough time for life to have diverged just enough to have the very basic characteristics that we use to classify phyla today. If one worm has a stiffen of cartilege like material down it's length and another does not they are, by today's definitions different phyla.
This is, to me, no "big deal" indeed given a very few million years to diverge. Of course, it appears we still have some 10's of Myrs to diverge. Perhaps the mystery is, like the preceding 3 Gyrs with mostly unicellular life, NOT how rapidly life "exploded" but rather why it took many 10's of millions of year too do so.
Pick a period of similar duration at a later date (and with lots of open niches to expand into) and you get the proliferation of mammals after the KT extinction as an example. I'd say that the later example looks more like an "explosion" and the pre-Cambrian example more like a slow smoulder.

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 Message 43 by jar, posted 02-24-2006 7:16 PM jar has replied

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


Message 45 of 84 (290212)
02-24-2006 7:31 PM
Reply to: Message 43 by jar
02-24-2006 7:16 PM


Re: Absolutely no big deal.
Then, why did they insist otherwise jar?
Today, paleontologists still lack viable ancestors for the Cambrian's 40 or more animal phyla. Most researchers explain this by assuming that Precambrian animals were simply too small or too soft to leave a fossil record, or that conditions were unfavorable to fossilization.
But, for the last three years, Chen's discoveries at Precambrian fossil sites with Taiwanese biologist Chia-Wei Li have magnified this mystery. While sifting through the debris of a phosphate mining site, Chen and Li eventually discovered the earliest clear fossils of multicellular animals. They found sponges and tiny sponge embryos by the thousands - but nothing resembling the fish-like Haikouella or forerunners of other Cambrian creatures, such as trilobites.
When word of the discovery got out, Chen and Li suddenly found themselves in the international spotlight. But when the hoopla was over and their discovery established, they wondered what evolutionary problems they had actually solved.
In fact, the pair had failed to find any recognizable body plans showing steps along the way toward the complex Cambrian animals, with their legs, antennae, eyes and other features.
What they had actually proved was that phosphate is fully capable of preserving whatever animals may have lived there in Precambrian times. Because they found sponges and sponge embryos in abundance, researchers are no longer so confident that Precambrian animals were too soft or too small to be preserved.
"I think this is a major mystery in paleontogy," Chen said. "Before the Cambrian, we should see a number of steps - differentiation of cells, differentiation of tissue, of dorsal and ventral, right and left. But we don't have strong evidence for any of these."
Taiwanese biologist Li was also direct: "No evolution theory can explain these kinds of phenomena."
Basically, they say the typical evo response of a poor fossil record is false, and that "no evolutionary theor can explain the data".
Looks fairly simple to me. Evos say the phyla evolved via random mutation and natural selection primarily and so we should see the process well-preserved, but we do not. So evos say that the creatures didn't fossilize because they were soft body creatures. These 2 Asian scientists find thousands of Precambrian soft body creatures, and thus falsify the evo claim of a poor fossil record. Their conclusion is that no evolutionary theory can thus explain the data.
Makes sense. It's logical. What do you have to say against it?

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 Message 43 by jar, posted 02-24-2006 7:16 PM jar has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 47 by jar, posted 02-24-2006 7:42 PM randman has replied

  
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