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Author Topic:   Intermediates
AndrewPD
Member (Idle past 104 days)
Posts: 66
From: Bristol
Joined: 07-23-2009


Message 1 of 52 (540738)
12-28-2009 10:20 AM


This is my personal observation that keeps me skeptical of evolution. Why did the creatures created by the stages of evolution between one species and the next die out. Simple and extremely complex organisms coexist to gether. So why couldn't a less developed human survive? It must have survived long enough to evolve into us.

If I evolved the ability to breath under water that would not lead to all other humans dying out.

To me species look complete and not on the verge of any kind of speciation. Plus it must have taken millions of very gradual mutations to create us. So we can't have gone from monkey to human overnight which makes it essential that intermediates hang around for a long time.


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Message 2 of 52 (540798)
12-29-2009 7:23 AM


Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum
Thread copied here from the Intermediates thread in the Proposed New Topics forum.
    
RAZD
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Message 3 of 52 (540800)
12-29-2009 7:58 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by AndrewPD
12-28-2009 10:20 AM


Hi AndrewPD,

This is my personal observation that keeps me skeptical of evolution.

You'll be happy to learn that you do not have any concern with evolution, rather your problem lies with mistaking creolution for the real thing.

Why did the creatures created by the stages of evolution between one species and the next die out.
To me species look complete and not on the verge of any kind of speciation.

They are. Evolution is the change in the frequency of hereditary traits from generation to generation. Each generation is a breeding population of fully formed individuals, individuals that are members of a "complete" species by the fact that species is defined as a breeding population.

If I evolved the ability to breath under water that would not lead to all other humans dying out.

Evolution does not occur IN or TO individuals, it occurs in populations by the process of gradual replacement of hereditary traits over generations, and the selection of traits to best fit the ecology that the breeding population is inhabiting.

Anyone who told you that evolution occurs in individuals either did not understand evolution themselves or they were lying.

Plus it must have taken millions of very gradual mutations to create us. So we can't have gone from monkey to human overnight ...

Exactly, it actually took millions of years to go from ape-like to modern man. Of course apes are still apes ... no matter what they evolve into.

... which makes it essential that intermediates hang around for a long time.

Which they did. As populations of breeding animals, that evolving from ape-like to modern man.

So why couldn't a less developed human survive?

Which they did. As populations of breeding animals evolving from ape-like to modern man.

It must have survived long enough to evolve into us.

Which they did. As populations of breeding animals evolving from ape-like to modern man.

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/hominids.html

(B) is Australopithecus africanus, represented by STS 5, a 2.6 My old fossil. Australopithecus africanus is already bi-pedal and has many features seen in humans, with the basic skeleton only needing some tweaks in relative lengths and overall size, and leaving the skull for the area least derived along the path that human evolution has taken.

(M) is Homo sapiens sapiens, represented by Cro-Magnon I, a 30,000 y old fossil, and we also have skeletons and skulls from 160,000 years ago that are anatomically modern, but which are not quite developed enough to be classified as Homo sapiens sapiens, so they are designated Homo sapiens idaltu:

http://www.berkeley.edu/.../releases/2003/06/11_idaltu.shtml

(N) is a modern Homo sapiens sapiens.

In between you can see the intermediates that existed for many generations at a time in the process of evolution from ape-like to human.

Enjoy.

Edited by RAZD, : clrty


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This message is a reply to:
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AndrewPD
Member (Idle past 104 days)
Posts: 66
From: Bristol
Joined: 07-23-2009


Message 4 of 52 (540802)
12-29-2009 9:25 AM


I don't know how to quote yet so this is a general reply.

I think you've somewhat missed the point. A species has lots of adaptions/features like fingers, toes, liver, kidney, digestive system sexual organs. None of these can be produced in one mutation (over night).

So to get to this stage yould have to be able to survive as a human with half an eye, half a liver, stubby fingers. Yet deformed/ill humans find it hard to survive long enough to procreate)

If a creature with shorter fingers, less conscious awareness and a different digestive system could survive what would lead to its eradication?

An amoeba can survive but not half man half monkey.

On a David Attenborough programme on evolution they managed to give two living examples of the thing you'd expect to see. A bird with claws on it's wings and the Duck billed platypus.

I can't read to much into deformed and reconstructed skulls personally. If a species goes extinct like the dodo it doesn't tend to leave ancestors.

In the example I gave of breathing in water I wasn't talking about individual evolution but pointing out that developing a "beneficial trait" doesn't make previous adaptions less beneficial and so shouldn't lead to the previous traits disappearing.


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caffeine
Member (Idle past 83 days)
Posts: 872
From: Prague, Czech Republic
Joined: 10-22-2008


(1)
Message 5 of 52 (540804)
12-29-2009 9:49 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by AndrewPD
12-28-2009 10:20 AM


Intermediates sticking around
If I evolved the ability to breath under water that would not lead to all other humans dying out.

As RAZD has already said, it's populations that evolve, not individuals. You can't evolve the ability to breathe underwater - a population of which you're a part eventually could, in theory, though you'd be long dead before the feat was accomplished. As you said - it takes a long time to make major changes.

But, to the more general question of why there aren't still populations living in the ancestral ways of modern populations - there are!

Before our ancestors successfully made the transition to the land, they would have been lobe-finned fish, with lungs, that probably lived in shallow, poorly oxygenated water. Some of these fish evolved into the tetrapods that make up all of today's land vertebrates (as well as a bunch of aquatic verebrates). But not all of them. Some of them are still out there today, happily getting along as lobe-finned fish with lungs in shallow waters - often places that dry out often. These are the appropriately-named lungfish. They aren't the same as our fishy ancestors, because they've been evolving over the last 400 million years too, but just as some populations of humans taking to the water wouldn't require the land humans to be wiped out, nor did some lungfish taking to the land require the original lungfisgh to be wiped out.

The natural world's full of this sort of intermediate. Ancestral mammals evolved away from laying eggs to laying live young, but some of those laying eggs didn't - the ancestors of echidnas and platypuses carried on laying eggs and never evolved nipples. Wasps evolved to be social insects, living in vast hives - but not all of them. Plenty of wasps still live the solitary lives of their ancestors.

Of course, we shouldn't expect to find animals living as every animal has ever lived, for the simple fact that most things become extinct. There are colossal global catastrophes like the meteor impact that wiped out the dinosaurs (and pterosaurs, and mosasaurs, and ammonites and all sorts of other animals); or the much more devastating extinction 250 million years ago at the end of the Permian.

And there are smaller, more local reasons for creatures to go extinct. We can see all sorts of species on the verge of extinction today; for varying reasons usually to do with the environment around them changing in some way. All the great apes today are believed to be endangered. If they went extinct within the next 200 years, then the family tree of apes would, in an infinitesimally short period of time on geological scales, go from this:

to this:

It's easy to see why we can't find a living creature representing each intermediate stage in an evoltuionary sequence.


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Catholic Scientist
Member
Posts: 9348
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 6 of 52 (540810)
12-29-2009 10:32 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by AndrewPD
12-29-2009 9:25 AM


I think you've somewhat missed the point. A species has lots of adaptions/features like fingers, toes, liver, kidney, digestive system sexual organs. None of these can be produced in one mutation (over night).

So to get to this stage yould have to be able to survive as a human with half an eye, half a liver, stubby fingers.

You've misunderstood how evolution is proposed to work. Nobody who understands the Theory of Evolution thinks that an individual would have half an organ.

Take a look at australopithecus:

Its one of our ancestors and its fully formed. It doesn't have half of anything.

Although, sometimes we do find things that seem to be half-way done. Like this turtle:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27929375/

But still, it is a fully formed and fully functional individual.


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Nuggin
Member (Idle past 713 days)
Posts: 2962
From: Los Angeles, CA USA
Joined: 08-09-2005


Message 7 of 52 (540812)
12-29-2009 10:40 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by AndrewPD
12-29-2009 9:25 AM


I think you've somewhat missed the point. A species has lots of adaptions/features like fingers, toes, liver, kidney, digestive system sexual organs. None of these can be produced in one mutation (over night).

So to get to this stage yould have to be able to survive as a human with half an eye, half a liver, stubby fingers. Yet deformed/ill humans find it hard to survive long enough to procreate)

This is a common Creationist mistake. So common that it's really frustrating to have to answer it yet again.

There is no such thing as "half an eye".

There is a functional eye. Period. There are ALL SORTS of eyes in the animal kingdom. We don't have the best one, not by a long shot.

There are worms which have "eye spots" which are nothing more than patches of skin which detect "light yes" or "light no". That's a HUGE advantage over worms that didn't have that.

There are worms which have pitted eye spots. That tells them: "Light yes, in this direction". Again, a huge advantage over the ones who can only tell day from night.

There are worms with multiple pitted spots. "Light this side, not that"

There are organisms with membrane covered pitted spots to they don't get silt in them.

There are organisms with deeply pitted spots, giving them a better sense of direction from the light.

There are organisms with more sensitive spots which can distinguish movement of things between them and the light (basic sight).

There are organisms which can see colors from the light.

There are organisms who's membrane is curved, giving them focus.

There are organisms who have a second membrane to control how much light comes in.

At EACH and EVERY stage of development, the organism with that particular eye is FULLY FUNCTIONAL and has a HUGE advantage over other organisms without it.

An amoeba can survive but not half man half monkey.

Well "monkeys" are lower primates. "apes" are higher primates.

So, in a very real way, chimps, gorillas, orangs and bonobos _ARE_ "half man, half monkey".

I think what you mean is, why is it that none of the ancestors of modern man have survived. (the creatures between the us and our common ancestor with the chimp).

The answer is simple: People are mean.

There were times in our history where there were multiple types of pre-human alive at the same time. Neanderthal and Cro-Mag co-existed for 10,000s of thousands of years. Flores was alive even longer than that (though isolated).

The problem is that modern humans don't like to share. We show up, other species go bye-bye - especially other predators.

I can't read to much into deformed and reconstructed skulls personally. If a species goes extinct like the dodo it doesn't tend to leave ancestors.

What about a species like the giant ground sloth? You'll admit that it's extinct, right? You'll also admit that we have multiple species of sloth still alive today.

Given your concept of life, how is that possible?

Ditto for several dozen species of proto-elephant and the alternate branches (mammoth, mastadon, etc)

developing a "beneficial trait" doesn't make previous adaptions less beneficial and so shouldn't lead to the previous traits disappearing.

That depends on what you do with the new trait.

If you develop the ability to breath air in addition to the ability to breath water (many amphibians have both), you can access new areas where you can find food without competition and escape from predators.

If you live in a pond full of predators and competition for food and you manage to get out and explore the forest where you have free reign, why would you ever go back to the pond if you didn't have to?

If you aren't using a trait, it doesn't tend to stick around because it is using up resources which can be used elsewhere.

Surely you are aware of cave fish, newts, crawdads, which have lost their sight because they live in complete darkness.

They found a niche where they could survive. That niche didn't require sight. They evolved to use those resources elsewhere and therefore lost sight.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by AndrewPD, posted 12-29-2009 9:25 AM AndrewPD has responded

Replies to this message:
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Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 12652
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 8 of 52 (540825)
12-29-2009 11:48 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by AndrewPD
12-29-2009 9:25 AM


So to get to this stage yould have to be able to survive as a human with half an eye, half a liver, stubby fingers.

Stubby fingers, perhaps. But your primate ancestors did not have "half a liver" or "half an eye".

Have you really never seen a monkey?

An amoeba can survive but not half man half monkey.

Then all those fossils are what? Chopped liver?

On a David Attenborough programme on evolution they managed to give two living examples of the thing you'd expect to see. A bird with claws on it's wings and the Duck billed platypus.

And everything else that lives or has ever lived, but that's a large subject.

I can't read to much into deformed and reconstructed skulls personally. If a species goes extinct like the dodo it doesn't tend to leave ancestors.

My great-grandparents are all dead, and yet they have left descendants. Me, for example.

If a creature with shorter fingers, less conscious awareness and a different digestive system could survive what would lead to its eradication?

There's this thing called "natural selection", you should really learn about it.

In the example I gave of breathing in water I wasn't talking about individual evolution but pointing out that developing a "beneficial trait" doesn't make previous adaptions less beneficial ...

They are less beneficial by comparison.

You may find a biology textbook useful at this point. We shouldn't have to spoonfeed you the basics.

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.


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Briterican
Member (Idle past 350 days)
Posts: 340
Joined: 05-29-2008


Message 9 of 52 (540845)
12-29-2009 1:44 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by AndrewPD
12-28-2009 10:20 AM


Filthy maggots with eyes
Nuggin writes:

There are worms with multiple pitted spots. "Light this side, not that"

Thanks Nuggin for breaking down so many examples of "half-an-eye" (which as you pointed out, is really just "an eye").

Maggots are photophobic and seek to avoid light. In the presence of a light source they will sway their heads back and forth giving them the ability to compare light on one side to light on the other, in the hope of heading for darker places. This works fantastically for horror movies where a decaying corpse is illuminated and the maggots all burst into action.

In addition to the salient point that individuals do not evolve, populations do, I think it is also important to consider the vast numbers of unique species along the tree of life that have not survived, and of these only a very tiny proportion has left behind any fossil evidence for us to examine.

Before you ask "what good is half an eye" you need to ask yourself how you define "an eye". As other posters have mentioned, there really is no such thing as "half an eye". You either have the ability to detect light, or you don't. The difference between a minor ability (such as that of the maggot's eye) and a dramatic ability (such as that of a human's eye) is represented by a continuum of varying degrees of sophistication in between. For any particular location in that continuum, chances are you will find an extant creature with that sort of eye.

Edited by Briterican, : Typo in topic subtitle - meh.


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Tanypteryx
Member
Posts: 473
From: Oregon, USA
Joined: 08-27-2006
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 10 of 52 (540849)
12-29-2009 1:59 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by AndrewPD
12-29-2009 9:25 AM


AndrewPD writes:

I can't read to much into deformed and reconstructed skulls personally.

If you are looking at a modern Chimp skull and a modern Human skull, which one would you say is deformed?

Have you actually studied any skulls?

What basis do you use to judge whether skulls are normal or deformed or if fragmentary skulls have been incorrectly reconstructed?

AndrewPD writes:

If a species goes extinct like the dodo it doesn't tend to leave ancestors.

Their ancestors lived before they did. An individual organism that reproduces leaves descendants. Your parents are your ancestors, your children are your descendants.

Species all have ancestral species, but they may or may not have descendant species, depending on whether or not a sub-population became reproductively isolated long enough to become a new species.

The TOE is completely compatible with an ancestral species and a descendant species continuing to ext at the same time.


What if Eleanor Roosevelt had wings? -- Monty Python

You can't build a Time Machine without Weird Optics -- S. Valley


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AndrewPD
Member (Idle past 104 days)
Posts: 66
From: Bristol
Joined: 07-23-2009


(1)
Message 11 of 52 (540886)
12-29-2009 9:33 PM


Another general reply.

quote:
My great-grandparents are all dead, and yet they have left ancestors. Me, for example.

Your grand parents skeletons will look like yours.

I don't see why a skeleton on or gene make-up that is simply similar to ours means we are related. As I mentioned with the Dodo. It didn't leave improved ancestors.
Extinct animals fail and hence don't leave ancestors. Such as the soon to be extinct Panda.

quote:
There is no such thing as "half an eye".

The examples of eyes given are Fully functioning eyes suitable for the organism.
But what can you take from the human eye as it is and it still function. There are complex and simpler computers that doesn't that they are related except conceptually.

My point is that humans are created apparently by millions of mutations so at some stage we would have had less functional, knees, backs, language etc. What kind of mutation could lead to our knee with out us being initially crippled.

But I don't want to get into irreducible mechanisms particularly.
But as I mentioned by refering to "complete species", recreations of transitional species like elephants with half a trunk look half formed intuitively. Only something like a Duck billed platypus gives that illusion of transition.

I have absolutely no problem with being related to apes or pigs or an amoeba. But I am not going to form my sense of identity based on who I am allegedly descended from. I don't consider current Germans facist etc.

I have noticed that there's another thread on this so i'll read up on it. But there appears to be no intermediated between humans and mokeys and Goriillas. I don't see why every intermediate stage would fail.


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Coyote
Member
Posts: 4674
Joined: 01-12-2008
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 12 of 52 (540888)
12-29-2009 10:16 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by AndrewPD
12-29-2009 9:33 PM


Confused issues
I don't see why a skeleton on or gene make-up that is simply similar to ours means we are related. As I mentioned with the Dodo. It didn't leave improved ancestors.
Extinct animals fail and hence don't leave ancestors. Such as the soon to be extinct Panda.

The panda will perhaps leave no descendants, but it has ancestors going back millions then billions or years. You seem to be confusing the two terms.

My point is that humans are created apparently by millions of mutations so at some stage we would have had less functional, knees, backs, language etc. What kind of mutation could lead to our knee with out us being initially crippled.

Bad subject: I've been on crutches for two months with a ruined knee.

But lets look at things realistically--at every stage of evolution the populations, and all individuals therein, had functioning knees. Those knees changed over time, but at each species level, and for each individual and each population, the knee was fully functional. It is a common error of creationists to think of organisms being half formed or crippled. They weren't.

But as I mentioned by refering to "complete species", recreations of transitional species like elephants with half a trunk look half formed intuitively. Only something like a Duck billed platypus gives that illusion of transition.

"Intuitively" is not a meaningful term. An elephant with a trunk half as long was fully formed and fully functional. Perhaps a longer trunk was better, but it is a mistake to think of earlier forms as "half formed."

I have absolutely no problem with being related to apes or pigs or an amoeba. But I am not going to form my sense of identity based on who I am allegedly descended from.

Science provides evidence of relationships, but your sense of identity is something only you can develop. But wouldn't it be more sensible to base your sense of identity on reality rather than fiction? Perhaps you should try to reconcile the two.

But there appears to be no intermediated between humans and mokeys and Goriillas. I don't see why every intermediate stage would fail.

There are a lot of intermediates between monkeys, gorillas, and humans.

Many of them are on the direct line between an original ancestor, an early ape/monkey, and modern monkeys, gorillas, and humans. These species did not fail--they evolved into new species and successfully transitioned into modern monkeys, gorillas, and humans.

Another way to phrase this: these populations persisted through millions of years, but they changed as they went. Can you call this a failure for any one of those species? I wouldn't call it that.

Others species split off from those direct lines and did become extinct. They should not be confused with intermediate or transitional species. You could call them failures because they died out, but that has nothing to do with those species whose lines were successful and are still flourishing.


Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.
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AndrewPD
Member (Idle past 104 days)
Posts: 66
From: Bristol
Joined: 07-23-2009


Message 13 of 52 (540890)
12-29-2009 10:30 PM


Thanks for not ranting at me.

Just a brief point before I go to bed. Would you consider a giraffe with a shorter neck, neanderthal man, prehistoric horse etc as aesthetically pleasing as the current variation?

One problem I have with intermediates is that they are rarely/never aesthetically pleasing thats partly what I mean by half formed.


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Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 3 days)
Posts: 2615
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 14 of 52 (540893)
12-29-2009 10:45 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by AndrewPD
12-29-2009 9:33 PM


Let's talk knees.
Hi, AndrewPD.

Welcome to EvC!

AndrewPD writes:

My point is that humans are created apparently by millions of mutations so at some stage we would have had less functional, knees, backs, language etc. What kind of mutation could lead to our knee with out us being initially crippled.

Youíve lost your perspective. Working backwards by removing traits and organs wonít help you find it.

If youíre going to work our evolutionary history backwards, you have to do it from a gestalt point of view: i.e. you have to work the entire body backwards, not just the eye or the knee.

Back when our ancestors didnít have knees, they were fish.
Back when our ancestors didnít have eyes, they were probably worm-like proto-fish.

Letís talk knees. Knees probably evolved alongside the rest of the leg, not as a sudden addition that made the leg work better than before. Back when the knee first emerged, it wasnít a knee, but just one of several pieces of bone in the limb that was used to maneuver a fin. As the knee (along with the other parts of the limb) was altered gradually through various mutations, the utility and function of the limb changed. And, as the function changed, the structures that best matched that function became dominant in the population via natural selection.

Evolution isnít like Legos, where you just insert new blocks to create the next portion of the masterpiece. You have to understand that all the pieces are themselves changing and adapting, not only to optimize their own operations, but also to optimize their ability to function with one another. So, the evolution of the knee is highly interdependent on the evolution of the other leg bones; the evolution of the retina is highly interdependent on the evolution of the lens and iris; and the evolution of the lung is highly dependent on the evolution of the windpipe and bloodstream.

Most successful mutations are modifications of already existing traits, not sudden arrivals of brand new structures. Never in the history of evolution is a kneecap hypothesized to have popped out of nowhere: rather, a blob of modestly-specialized cells was modified into a structural member that gradually developed into a mineralized support structure, and was sculpted over time into a moving part in a fish's fin, and eventually took on the role of supporting the tibia-femur joint.

You cannot get an accurate picture of evolution by simply removing pieces and asking how the rest could have possibly functioned without it, because evolution does not predict that the leg ever did function as a leg without the knee.

Do you understand this?

-----

AndrewPD writes:

So we can't have gone from monkey to human overnight which makes it essential that intermediates hang around for a long time.

Nuggin writes:

So, in a very real way, chimps, gorillas, orangs and bonobos _ARE_ "half man, half monkey".


But there appears to be no intermediated between humans and mokeys and Goriillas.

And hereís how the future of this conversation is going to go:

Evolutionists: Chimpanzees fit between humans and gorillas.

Andrew: There is no intermediate between chimpanzees and humans.

Evolutionists: Bonobos fit between humans and chimpanzees.

Andrew: There is no intermediate between bonobos and humans.

etc.

How small does the gap have to be before you will stop demanding that it be filled by something else?

-----

AndrewPD writes:

I don't see why every intermediate stage would fail.

And yet, the evidence suggests that all the intermediates between bonobos and modern humans did fail.
Do you doubt that Australopithecus and Homo habilis are extinct?
Are you going to reject evolution because Australopithecus and Homo habilis are extinct?
Does that really make sense to you?

Edited by Bluejay, : I must have accidentally deleted "are extinct."


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

Darwin loves you.


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Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 3 days)
Posts: 2615
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 15 of 52 (540894)
12-29-2009 10:48 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by AndrewPD
12-29-2009 10:30 PM


Posting Tips
Hi, Andrew.

Please use the "reply" button at the bottom right corner of the message you're responding to instead of the "gen reply" button at the bottom of the screen: that helps everyone else track the conversation better.

To quote a portion of the message you're responding to, use the following codes:

[ qs = person's name ] copy and paste text here [/ qs ]

Remove the spacing, and it looks like this:

person's name writes:

copy and paste text here

Edited by Bluejay, : No reason given.


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

Darwin loves you.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by AndrewPD, posted 12-29-2009 10:30 PM AndrewPD has not yet responded

  
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