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Author Topic:   Vestigial Organs?
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 74 days)
Posts: 2615
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008

Message 106 of 109 (560317)
05-14-2010 10:51 AM
Reply to: Message 97 by Taq
05-11-2010 10:38 PM

Hi, Taq.

Taq writes:

If I may be so bold, Bluejay is asking why God would change the DNA sequence of genes in different species even though that change in DNA has no effect on the final function of the gene.

Thanks for clarifying for me.

I would also like to clarify that I don't suspect that this is true for all human genes: I'm sure there are some human genes that would have noticeable effects on a mouse's growth and development.

But, the principle is still there.

-Bluejay (a.k.a. Mantis, Thylacosmilus)

Darwin loves you.

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 Message 97 by Taq, posted 05-11-2010 10:38 PM Taq has not yet responded

Posts: 3179
Joined: 08-12-2009
Member Rating: 2.2

Message 107 of 109 (560383)
05-14-2010 7:37 PM
Reply to: Message 98 by Peg
05-13-2010 7:47 PM

not necessarily. Just because we have two arms and two legs does not mean we share a common ancestor

Of course "2 arms and 2 legs" does not denote a common ancestor because we use much more than that to draw comparisons.

Check out this paper:
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v465/n7295/full/nature09014.html#/ (this is the abridged version. if you want the full, you need to be a paid subscriber)

From ScienceDaily:

ScienceDaily writes:

Harnessing powerful computational tools and applying Bayesian statistics, Theobald found that the evidence overwhelmingly supports UCA, regardless of horizontal gene transfer or multiple origins of life. Theobald said UCA is millions of times more probable than any theory of multiple independent ancestries.

ScienceDaily writes:

What Theobald did not assume, however, was how far back these processes go in linking organisms genealogically. It is clear, say, that these processes are able to link the shared proteins found in all humans to each other genetically. But do the processes in these assumptions link humans to other animals? Do these processes link animals to other eukaryotes? Do these processes link eukaryotes to the other domains of life, bacteria and archaea? The answer to each of these questions turns out to be a resounding yes.

"A still more glorious dawn awaits
Not a sunrise, but a galaxy rise
A morning filled with 400 billion suns
The rising of the milky way"
-Carl Sagan

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Junior Member (Idle past 1510 days)
Posts: 19
Joined: 05-19-2010

Message 108 of 109 (562398)
05-28-2010 11:35 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by CosmicAtheist
04-08-2010 2:14 AM

Some vestigial organs still have a purpose but this isn't the one it originally evolved to fill. Flightless birds which evolved from birds that could fly are a prime example of this as they can use them for stability or threat displays but cannot fly. Other vestigial organs serve little or no apparant purpose (As far as we can tell) but still develop. The appendix for example while not used to store cellulose digesting bacteria could act as a haven for our current digestive bacteria. A possible reason for the appendix remaining is that further reduction in its size may result in increased incidents of appencitis which can result from blockages in the appendix which are obviously more likely if it becomes smaller.

Be careful not to confuse vestigial with atavistic features. Atavistic being the reappearance of old features such as tails on humans and hind legs in cetaceans (http://www.talkorigins.org/...omdesc/images/hindflippers.jpg). Even though its quite rare for this to happen the faetus of dolphins still begin developing the hind legs before they are reabsorbed (http://www.talkorigins.org/...desc/images/dolphin_embryo.jpg) so its understandable why an error in embryo development could result in this.

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 Message 109 by Fiver, posted 05-30-2010 4:39 PM Asking has not yet responded

Junior Member (Idle past 1436 days)
Posts: 26
From: Provo, UT
Joined: 04-17-2010

Message 109 of 109 (562561)
05-30-2010 4:39 PM
Reply to: Message 108 by Asking
05-28-2010 11:35 AM

Good word, Asking, you've hit the nail on the head.

In my experience, this issue has centers largely around the Creationist misunderstanding of the term "vestigial". This term does not mean "useless", but rather "previously had a different use".

The most obvious vestigial structures, in my opinion, are the vestigial wings on flightless birds. These wings indisputably still have functions (heating, swimming, running acceleration, mating displays, etc), but they also were quite obviously meant to be used in flight (nearly all vestigial wings still clearly show the airfoil pattern required for flight, and their bone structures and muscles structures still show the same patterns as flying birds.

Thus, a vestigial structure is not a useless one, but rather one that once held a different function.

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