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Author Topic:   Why would an intelligent designer design these?
Electron
Inactive Member


Message 1 of 108 (185126)
02-14-2005 12:42 PM


I've always been fascinated by the strange creatures that left their fossil remains in the Burgess shale - Critters like Wiwaxia, Marrella, Anomalocaris, and my own personal favorite - Hallucigenia:

Now standing aside from any dispute about the actual age of these fossils, is there an agreement that these peculiar critters are representative of some of the earliest of species?

I ask because what is evident in these creatures is a far greater diversity of bodyplan compared to those seen in species today. Indeed just about every living creature alive is topologically equivalent, being a tube with a single mouth-gut-anus arrangement. But these early fossils display significant deviations from this arrangement.

I would note that the situation is strikingly familiar to enthusiasts of vintage man-made artifacts of all types: I am thinking of the first aeroplanes with different numbers of wings and motor cars with seating arrangements no longer seen - not to mention radios, TVs, vacuum cleaners etc!

Our early-days efforts tend to display more design diversity because the most efficient solution to our requirements and indeed the requirements themselves take time to emerge. Our intellectual limitations give rise to a 'trial and error' approach and it is usually not one but many individuals, each with their own imperfect initial ideas, that are involved.

However, given a specific objective in a specific environment (such as vehicle speed, passenger capacity etc.) there is generally an optimum solution waiting to be arrived at. This eventually leads to uniformity - a convergence of style - no jet planes with six wings for example.

Now I am contemplating the same thing amongst the Pre-Cambrian fauna of the Burgess shale. Creatures with multiple mouths, tandem guts and so on. Why would an intelligent designer seem to be following the same path as us?


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AdminNosy
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Message 2 of 108 (185149)
02-14-2005 1:36 PM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.
  
Silent H
Member (Idle past 3377 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 3 of 108 (185158)
02-14-2005 2:15 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Electron
02-14-2005 12:42 PM


Hallucigenia

Just to let you know, I believe they have discovered that Hallucigenia did not walk on the spikes (ie, your image is upside down). Perhaps my memory has everything reversed but I thought they drew it that way at first, then based on a discovery of a similar creature alive now, revised the idea.

Our early-days efforts tend to display more design diversity because the most efficient solution to our requirements and indeed the requirements themselves take time to emerge.

I am not sure if that is always true, but let's assume it is true. Just because a human production process might create a certain series of events (first multivarious, followed by fewer and refined forms), does not mean that no other process will create those same series of events, nor that we can start drawing analogies between an unknown process and the human process beyond stating their is a "similarity" in products.

Patently there is a difference here in that we can be pretty certain that the beings in the shale were reproducing and not all of them are manufactured. Thus there is a huge difference between the Burgess Shale and a junkyard (or the garbage can of an inventor's office).

There is also the difference that none of those species seem to have a purpose beyond themselves. Every invention has an obvious missing component, a being that it is going to provide a service for. Like a car has seats... for what? We don't see evidence of tertiary purpose.

But let's ignore this and assume that analogical products means analogical processes...

Our intellectual limitations give rise to a 'trial and error' approach and it is usually not one but many individuals, each with their own imperfect initial ideas, that are involved.

It just hit me that maybe I mistook the purpose of your post. I was about to point out that someone trying to argue IDand thus "God" using your line of logic, might suddenly have to face some serious music given the above fact.

If we are to continue extending analogies from product to process, then one would have to be arguing (in this instance) for a less than super-intelligent designer, and as you point out perhaps even a team of designers.

It would seem that a God would be capable of skipping the mistakes, or at the very least getting rid of them in a better garbage can so we wouldn't see how sloppy and intellectually limited he was.

If this is what you were driving at, then sorry for butting in with a repeat. If you were trying to suggest ID and God, then I'd like to see some answers to the above problems.


holmes
"...what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away.."(D. Bros)

"...don't believe I'm taken in by stories I have heard, I just read the Daily News and swear by every word.."(Steely Dan)


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jar
Member
Posts: 29440
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 4 of 108 (185159)
02-14-2005 2:17 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Silent H
02-14-2005 2:15 PM


OTJT. ;)


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
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Silent H
Member (Idle past 3377 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 5 of 108 (185161)
02-14-2005 2:19 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by jar
02-14-2005 2:17 PM


Now I'm really feeling unhip. What is OTJT?


holmes
"...what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away.."(D. Bros)

"...don't believe I'm taken in by stories I have heard, I just read the Daily News and swear by every word.."(Steely Dan)


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jar
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Posts: 29440
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 6 of 108 (185162)
02-14-2005 2:20 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Silent H
02-14-2005 2:19 PM


On The Job Training. ;)


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
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Electron
Inactive Member


Message 7 of 108 (185172)
02-14-2005 2:58 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Silent H
02-14-2005 2:15 PM


It just hit me that maybe I mistook the purpose of your post. I was about to point out that someone trying to argue IDand thus "God" using your line of logic, might suddenly have to face some serious music given the above fact.

If we are to continue extending analogies from product to process, then one would have to be arguing (in this instance) for a less than super-intelligent designer, and as you point out perhaps even a team of designers.

Now that's just what I was thinking. It's quite striking to compare the limited range of animal forms found throughout most of the archaeological record with the wider diversity of bodyplan seen at the start of colonisation episodes. Particularly so given that these early epochs bear far less data.

I feel that this uneven distribution requires a good explanation if it not the result of adaptation due to rapidly increasing competition. And if the explanation involves a designer then there is plenty to say about her competence.

This message has been edited by Electron, 14 February 2005 20:11 AM


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Brad McFall
Member (Idle past 2590 days)
Posts: 3428
From: Ithaca,NY, USA
Joined: 12-20-2001


Message 8 of 108 (185209)
02-14-2005 3:53 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Electron
02-14-2005 12:42 PM


Most all of the formations described in Wonderful Life appear to me to forms dependent on Bertrand Russels segment and series definitions in Principles of Mathematics and very much in particular
251Throughout this Part we shall often have occasion for a notion which has hitherto been scarcely mentioned, namely the correlation of a series. In the preceding part we examined the nature of isolated series, but we scarcely considered the relations of different series. These relations however are of importance which philosophers have wholly overlooked and mathematicians have but latterly realized.
This is not a problem of time to emerge but time for biologists to have pure math and applied bioinformatics as elaborated as theoretical and experimental physics. You see as Holmes did A SERIES ABOVE AND BELOW THE FORM, you might say isolated biohistorically by the inversion issue/tissue in verts and inverts.

Gould had this at CHANNELING THE SUBSEQUENT DIRECTIONS OF BILATERIAM HISTROY FROM THE INSIDE

quote:
If the bilaterian ancestor possessed a full complement of Hox genes and if all major variants upon this initial system had already congealed by the end of the Cambrian explosion then subsequent bilaterian evolution must unfold within the secondary strictures of these realized specializations upon an underlying plan already channeled by primary constraints of the common ancestral pattern. But lest we begin to suspect that rigid limitation must represent the major evolutionary implication of such constraint, I must reemphasize the positive aspect of constraint as fruitful channeling along lines of favorable variation that can accelerate or enhance the work of natural selection.p1161The Structure of Evolutionary Theory

You , electron, on second thought had said

quote:
It's quite striking to compare the limited range of animal forms found throughout most of the archaeological record with the wde diversity of bodyplan seen at the start of colonisation episodes.

but I, BSM, didnt find these as different amounts. I suspected instead Russels for any one(morph) diagram/reconstruction Two series s, s are said to be correlated when there is a one-one relation R coupling every term of s with a term of s, and vice versa, and when if x,y be terms of s and x precedes y,then there correlates x, y in s are such that xprececedsy. X and Y could be twists THROUGH said FORMINVERSIONSCEINCE(covered by Gould as well in another chapter).

SO I have WITHIN Goulds inside already hardened for reading the rest of his chapter on this subject but he did not expand this in SETH Term wise except for a pythons mesoderm and that depended on a Goethian view of plants that Croizat did not support, so short Paulks replicators(in another concurrent thread at EVCTIME (which I DONT think exist either) even if we could guess at their terminology)) we retrun to the Boole Russell preported and unless we find the detailed character evolution of the shapes proposed etc. my best guess is that it is not hoxology but cell death that is operative across taxa here.

I get the same morphogenic effect of order if I look at the bony parts processes extending from the spinal column in Permian herps and THERE there are clearer precedents to work out issues of homology. If it is soft parts then one could just as well have snake skin not in abeyance..

Instead I find more instructive to motivate the logic of the categories of form appended below more possible especially if the diversity as puproted by Gould was for the above, The diligent annotator of Aristotles De anima included several branchingvirtually proving the case for strong human inclinations toward sequential dichotomy
(The Hedgehog,the Fox, and the Magisters Pox Mending the Gap Between Science and the Humanitesp126)
Please dont misrepresent me, I know the dichtomy is a crutch (IT IS NOT A DUALISM PLEASE NOTE) but there are just too many mathematical as opposed to purely biological issues that arise in replacing the simple key with a table database. This is the theory vs expt physics for biology that will but is not yet but perhaps but this is not recognized precisely because of creationist criticism of the energy converter of the correlation. That shall always be evos job to supply.

We need to start finding correlations of sequences serially decomposable genetically. If we get this then we can get biogeography worked into the program as well. This would provide what Holmes read as I did from Gould that

quote:
There is also the difference that none of those species seem to have a purpose beyond themselves. Every invention has an obvious missing component, a being that it is going to provide a service for. Like a car has seats... for what? We don't see evidence of tertiary purpose.


I can see it if you use this instead to guide the gestalt of these exploded creatures or as Meyer was want to say for the multiplicity of forms at that horizon.
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Electron
Inactive Member


Message 9 of 108 (185221)
02-14-2005 4:36 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by Brad McFall
02-14-2005 3:53 PM


Hey brad - nice to have you in on this discussion. Which way up do you think the sketch of Hallucigenia ought to be?
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Brad McFall
Member (Idle past 2590 days)
Posts: 3428
From: Ithaca,NY, USA
Joined: 12-20-2001


Message 10 of 108 (185231)
02-14-2005 5:08 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by Electron
02-14-2005 4:36 PM


I dont have an explict opinion on that just as I think that multispecies Desmognathus guilds might be composed of cross species demes wherein females sometimes put the eggs above and sometimes below the rock. One could recognize contemporarily that Kant walked arocss the Prussian Bridges in BOTH ways, so to speak SO...
"But if we go through the whole of nature we find in it, as nature, no being which could make cliam to the eminence of being the final purpose of creation; and we can prove ...We might also, with teh chevalier Linnaeus, go the apparently opposite way and say; The herbivorous animals are there to moderate the luxurious growth of the vegtable kingdom..."METHODOLOGY OF THE TELEOLOGICAL JUDGMENT. Just to be clear, while I doubted the discussion of ANY TERTIARITY to have been raised to Kant's distinction of ultimate and final purposes, not having to decide which way is up, does not preclude finding that Gould overused the notion of constraint. The thing can be a lot cheaper and still have both sides of Kant's "Pair" "The answer is: This pair first constitutes an organizing whole, though not an organized whole in a single body. I have (allso) wondered if the denotion OF Gladyshev's thermostat enables on discussion of this on purpose. Sure creationism and GOD is outside this but so is every change in time.
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LDSdude
Inactive Member


Message 11 of 108 (185354)
02-14-2005 10:20 PM


Why would a designer create such seemingly bizare and different animal designs? I believe that every creature has it's purpose. Marrella, for example is being very much considered as a trilobite species. If you find pictures of it, you can see why. Here's a good source on it: http://nmnhgoph.si.edu/paleo/shale/pmarella.htm
Whether just a food source, or a creature designed to keep other creatures from overpopulating, maybe even a decomposer, sceintists don't seem to know concerning Hallucigenia, but it had to fit into the system in one way or another, hence it wouldn't exist if it didn't. I have read a couple of sources that say that it was originally constructed upside down, and is now being reconsidered as to how it walked. I can't at the moment recall where but I'm sure the search engine could look it up very quickly.
By the way, Electron, welcome to the sight! I look forward to hearing your input!
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Electron
Inactive Member


Message 12 of 108 (185448)
02-15-2005 6:13 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by LDSdude
02-14-2005 10:20 PM


No doubt they were all extremely well suited to occupying their own particular niche - or they wouldn't have made it into the fossil record against such odds. But what I'm drawing attention to is the 'shape' of the distribution - great initial diversity, followed by a convergence to a small number of topologically equivalent bodyplans following the Cambrian radiation. I find the analogy with the progress of 'early days' man-made designs intriguing.

Maybe Hallucigenia looked more like this:


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PaulK
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Posts: 13228
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 13 of 108 (185450)
02-15-2005 6:29 AM
Reply to: Message 12 by Electron
02-15-2005 6:13 AM


Some of the Burgess Shale animals were originally misclassified - and we can't entirely rely upon books like Gould's Wonderful Life that were written before that came to light.

Hallucigenia for instance has now been identified as a member of a phylum that still exists - the "velvet worms" (and yes, the spines are on the back).

http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/onychoph/onychophorafr.html


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Wounded King
Member (Idle past 1652 days)
Posts: 4149
From: Edinburgh, Scotland
Joined: 04-09-2003


Message 14 of 108 (185453)
02-15-2005 7:37 AM
Reply to: Message 12 by Electron
02-15-2005 6:13 AM


The revised Hallucigenia looks pretty much like a spiky version of an Onycophoran or velvet worm. In fact a quick 'google' shows that they are generally believed to be related to the Onycophora.

How different are the Burgess Shale fauna in terms of topology? I can't think off hand of anything really radical in terms of deviating from the tube with a mouth and optional anus.

TTFN,

WK


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Dr Jack
Member
Posts: 3506
From: Leicester, England
Joined: 07-14-2003


Message 15 of 108 (185457)
02-15-2005 8:07 AM
Reply to: Message 13 by PaulK
02-15-2005 6:29 AM


Some of the Burgess Shale animals were originally misclassified - and we can't entirely rely upon books like Gould's Wonderful Life that were written before that came to light.

Er... the whole point of Gould's book is that they were totally misclassified the first time round, or has there been a subsequent reclassification done in recent years?


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