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Author Topic:   How creationism explains babies with tails
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 31 of 59 (597481)
12-21-2010 8:04 PM
Reply to: Message 28 by Aaron
12-21-2010 1:55 AM


Re: We're back to considerations of human tails
Anyhow, Haeckle's theory of the Biogenetic Law is largely debunked.

Well, yes and no. While it's true that species don't recapitulate their entire evolution fetally - an idea stemming from the flawed notion that evolution was a straight-line process from simple organisms to more complex ones - it is now known that Haeckel was looking in the right place, at least. It's known now that the process of evolution of morphology happens primarily in the form of changes to the genetic program of a species' fetal development.

I mean, obviously - making changes to the blueprint of a building before the building is built results in changes to the building. But after the fact, drawing in an extra wall or bathroom onto the blueprint of a building long since finished produces nothing at all.

That said there are many cases where developing embryos do seem to recapitulate aspects of their phylogeny. Whale embryos, for instance, develop and then lose hair and legs. It's not clear why this should be the case unless whales inherit, evolutionarily, the bulk of the fetal development program shared by other mammals.

Edited by crashfrog, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 28 by Aaron, posted 12-21-2010 1:55 AM Aaron has not yet responded

  
Aaron
Member (Idle past 1367 days)
Posts: 65
From: Kent, WA
Joined: 12-14-2010


Message 32 of 59 (598295)
12-30-2010 2:59 AM
Reply to: Message 29 by Granny Magda
12-21-2010 8:06 AM


Re: How Creationism Explains Human Tails (It Doesn't)
"Why do you think a designer would put a mammalian protein in an insect?

Well apart from anything else, it would stop us from looking quite so evolved. It seems perverse that God should create life, only to go to an effort to make it look as though it evolved and that he was never involved. That seems dishonest.

There would be those who would find patterns to support their position no matter what this world looked like. I'm sure you've heard it a million times already, but the evidence for common ancestry could logically be used as evidence for common design.

Do you think there are many proteins that can be swapped back and forth between various creatures without causing harm?

This is God we're talking about isn't it? Why do you suddenly seek to place arbitrary limits upon his capabilities?"

What you are suggesting about God's capabilities is not in line with the historic Christian position of God. God has limits. He can't operate in logically contradictory means. He can't make you exist and not-exist at the same time in the same place in the same way. He can't make a square circle. These limits certainly aren't arbitrary.

If God has decided that protein A B and C will lead to the formation of a backbone - He can't put those same proteins in the same way in an insect and have them lead to the formation of an eye.

The puzzle pieces form the puzzle.

You seem to expect that God should be able to put the same exact pieces in a different puzzle yet have the puzzle look completely different. This isn't a logical possibility.

"So the 30% figure is misleading when mentioned alone, as it fails to note that the average human/chimp protein comparison differs by only two amino acids."

What is amazing is that with so few average differences between homologs, there aren't more identical protein products - what with the redundancy of the base pair code.

This study notes 80% difference between human and chimp proteins. (http://homes.bio.psu.edu/...lty/nei/lab/2005-glazko-etal.pdf)

"What purpose does the tail serve in the embryo's development?

None."

I'd be interested to hear what grounds you have to make such an authoritative statement. I found it difficult to find much research on it whatsoever. Perhaps we don't know the role yet.

"Let's be clear here; you have no real explanation for the embryonic tail. The creationist position cannot explain this feature."

I'll let you know when I'm making a statement for the whole of creationism... Until then - I reserve the right to speculate and make mistakes.

"There is no equivalent for the embryonic tail. It is simply reabsorbed. Nothing grows in its place. This is highly implausible."

There are a number of temporary structures in fetal development that aren't replaced with an identical structure, such as the pronephric kidney and pharyngeal arches. Both serve temporary functions and both are later dissolved.

I read someone suggest that the embryonic tail helps ensure there is adequate blood supply to the developing leg buds.

The tail may also serve as a cell inducer which provides signals to spurn the development of other tissues and structures. This is known to be the case in other organisms such as chickens and frogs whose tail portion helps induce the growth of some of the hind portions. Perhaps the human tail does the same thing and retracts slightly when its job is finished.

The death of the final few vertebrae in the embryonic tail may just be part of the process of forming the coccyx. Similarly, there are interdigital cells that must die during development for our toes and fingers to form correctly. The cells aren't replaced - they are temporary structures.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 29 by Granny Magda, posted 12-21-2010 8:06 AM Granny Magda has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 33 by Granny Magda, posted 12-30-2010 8:30 AM Aaron has responded
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Granny Magda
Member
Posts: 2301
From: UK
Joined: 11-12-2007


Message 33 of 59 (598304)
12-30-2010 8:30 AM
Reply to: Message 32 by Aaron
12-30-2010 2:59 AM


Re: How Creationism Explains Human Tails (It Doesn't)
Hi Aaron,

There would be those who would find patterns to support their position no matter what this world looked like.

And we call these people "creationists".

I'm sure you've heard it a million times already, but the evidence for common ancestry could logically be used as evidence for common design.

But they don't resemble design. They don't do the thigns that a designer can do. Keeping evolutionary changes strictly limited to those taxa in which they originated cannot be used as evidence for anything other than evolution. This is simply a typical example of creationist denial of reality.

What you are suggesting about God's capabilities is not in line with the historic Christian position of God. God has limits. He can't operate in logically contradictory means. He can't make you exist and not-exist at the same time in the same place in the same way. He can't make a square circle. These limits certainly aren't arbitrary.

Agreed, but we're not talking about pure logic. We're talking about physical stuff, about the brass tacks of biology. There is no reason why God, if he can create complex biology, can't produce it however he likes. Certainly he could have created in such a way that did not so perfectly replicate evolution. Face it Aaron, your only option here is to believe in a liar god.

If God has decided that protein A B and C will lead to the formation of a backbone - He can't put those same proteins in the same way in an insect and have them lead to the formation of an eye.

Again, this is not a logical impossibility and the close homologies between mammalian and insect signalling molecules gives the lie to this.

This study notes 80% difference between human and chimp proteins.

And your point is? Because this appears irrelevant.

I'll let you know when I'm making a statement for the whole of creationism... Until then - I reserve the right to speculate and make mistakes.

Sure. However, this board remains open to all and there has, so far, been no robust response from the creationist contingent.

Creationism cannot explain the human embryonic tail.

There are a number of temporary structures in fetal development that aren't replaced with an identical structure, such as the pronephric kidney and pharyngeal arches. Both serve temporary functions and both are later dissolved.

But the tail isn't replaced with anything at all! It just dwindles away, leaving the coccyx. You are clearly desperate and grasping at straws.

I read someone suggest that the embryonic tail helps ensure there is adequate blood supply to the developing leg buds.

Great. Bring that evidence then. Unless of course, they were just grasping at straws as well.

The tail may also serve as a cell inducer which provides signals to spurn the development of other tissues and structures. This is known to be the case in other organisms such as chickens and frogs whose tail portion helps induce the growth of some of the hind portions. Perhaps the human tail does the same thing and retracts slightly when its job is finished.

Great. Bring that evidence. Bring it without the word "perhaps" in it so prominently. You can wonder "what if?" all day, but in the absence of any evidence for these claims, you are whistling in the dark.

The death of the final few vertebrae in the embryonic tail may just be part of the process of forming the coccyx.

This completely misses the point. The tail becomes the coccyx yes, but why a tail in the first place? Why does your all-knowing god not simply design a tail? Why does he seek to deceive us by achieving his design through what looks so clearly like an evolutionary atavism?

Similarly, there are interdigital cells that must die during development for our toes and fingers to form correctly.

Oh look! Another evolutionary atavism! I guess that must prove creationism true... ... ... wait...

You have given it a good go, but the truth is that you have no explanation for the human embryonic tail. No creationist does. Evolution on the other hand, explains it easily; it is simply part of the basic tetrapod body plan, developed millions of years ago in our fishy ancestors.

Mutate and Survive


On two occasions I have been asked, "Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?" ... I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question. - Charles Babbage
This message is a reply to:
 Message 32 by Aaron, posted 12-30-2010 2:59 AM Aaron has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 37 by Aaron, posted 01-06-2011 2:53 AM Granny Magda has responded

    
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 34 of 59 (598636)
01-01-2011 3:18 PM
Reply to: Message 32 by Aaron
12-30-2010 2:59 AM


Re: How Creationism Explains Human Tails (It Doesn't)
I'm sure you've heard it a million times already, but the evidence for common ancestry could logically be used as evidence for common design.

No, it can't. Common design could explain why both land mammals and cetaceans nurse their young from teats and are warm-blooded. But common design can't explain why fetal cetaceans grow the same pelvis and hair land mammals do. (Later in development the fetus loses the hair but keeps the pelvis.)

Dean Kamen is the designer both of the Segway scooter and the kidney dialysis machine, but the Segway doesn't have any parts from dialysis machines. Common design explains the commonality of useful adaptations in multiple applications, but it doesn't explain why you find commonalities even where they're totally useless, like the whale's pelvis. Common ancestry, on the other hand, explains both.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 32 by Aaron, posted 12-30-2010 2:59 AM Aaron has not yet responded

  
ApostateAbe
Member (Idle past 2035 days)
Posts: 175
From: Klamath Falls, OR
Joined: 02-02-2005


Message 35 of 59 (598919)
01-03-2011 6:50 PM


I am happy that this topic has been kept alive for so long. It is an especially interesting and compelling argument, at least in my opinion.

In the original post, I should have cited evidence for my claim that "Our tails were removed in later development by the immune system." The point that our embryonic tail cells die most of the time is essential to the claims that the tails really are evolutionary leftovers, they are the same tails that a few rare babies are born with, and the embryonic tail is not just the beginning of the coccyx.

The evidence for this point is in the study by Fallon JF and Simandl BK. It is titled, "Evidence of a role for cell death in the disappearance of the embryonic human tail," published in the American Journal of Anatomy of May 1978. The abstract is found online at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/677043. The abstract contains sufficient information.

Here is a copy of the abstract:

The development and disappearance of the human tail between stages 14 and 22 were studied using scanning and transmission electron microscopy, supravital staining and light microscopy. The tail is a prominent feature of the human embryo during stage 14 and is composed of paired somites, mesenchyme and extensions of the neural tube, notochord and gut. The tail grows with the embryo through early stage 17 when it extends more than a millimeter from the trunk. Overgrowth by the trunk at the base of the tail may account for the loss of part of its length during late stage 17 and stage 18. However, during stage 17 cells begin to die in all structures throughout the tail. Cell death continues in the succeeding stages reaching massive numbers by stages 18 and 19, and the tail becomes less and less prominent with developmental time. Most of the dead cells are phagocytosed. The debris-laden macrophages appear to migrate from the tail to the body. By late stage 21 or early stage 22 there is no free tail. We conclude that cell death has a major role in the destruction of tail structures and the concurrent loss of the human tail.

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Coragyps
Member
Posts: 5268
From: Snyder, Texas, USA
Joined: 11-12-2002


Message 36 of 59 (598930)
01-03-2011 9:31 PM
Reply to: Message 35 by ApostateAbe
01-03-2011 6:50 PM


That really is pretty interesting, Abe. I'm not a biologist, but I have read Nature pretty faithfully for a long time now, and "programmed cell death" has only really been a Big Deal for maybe a decade. But these guys were describing it in '78.

Now of course, the fundy reply to your post is, "See! Death entered the world at the Fall!"

Though I'm not sure that fundies want Adam, Eve, or God to have tails.....


This message is a reply to:
 Message 35 by ApostateAbe, posted 01-03-2011 6:50 PM ApostateAbe has not yet responded

    
Aaron
Member (Idle past 1367 days)
Posts: 65
From: Kent, WA
Joined: 12-14-2010


Message 37 of 59 (599253)
01-06-2011 2:53 AM
Reply to: Message 33 by Granny Magda
12-30-2010 8:30 AM


Re: How Creationism Explains Human Tails (It Doesn't)
"And we call these people "creationists".

Zing!

"Keeping evolutionary changes strictly limited to those taxa in which they originated cannot be used as evidence for anything other than evolution."

I'm not tracking with your thought here - please give an example.

"There is no reason why God, if he can create complex biology, can't produce it however he likes. Certainly he could have created in such a way that did not so perfectly replicate evolution. Face it Aaron, your only option here is to believe in a liar god."

Can't produce it however he likes??? The last time I checked there was more biodiversity on this planet than any person could study in a lifetime - and then some that we don't even know about. With so much variety, there is bound to be creatures that look similar. With creatures that look similar, there's bound to be similar genetic makeup.

A designer could have done it this way.

I'm still not sure what you think the kingdoms of life should look like in order for it to look designed.

"Again, this is not a logical impossibility and the close homologies between mammalian and insect signalling molecules gives the lie to this."

You really are giving me the run-around. First you wondered why mammals and insects don't have genetic cross-over "the way a designer would do it."

"Why not a human with insect signalling proteins? Why not mix and match, across the board?" you said.

I responded by saying that some signalling genes were common across the board.

I'm no master of biology, but I'm wondering about the depths of your understanding. Have you heard of molecular specificity? Proteins perform specific roles and can only interact with other specific proteins. God can't break those rules and use a sequence of proteins to perform one function in a mammal and another function in an insect. The closer the biology of two organisms, the closer their genetic makeup will be - by necessity. That doesn't mean that insects and mammals won't share certain proteins - because they do.

"Creationism cannot explain the human embryonic tail."

You are already settled on your answer - yet how many creationists have you polled? I'm not dismayed if I can't answer you satisfactorily - because I'm not a biologist. Find a creationist biologist and maybe he/she can give you the answer you are looking for.

"This completely misses the point. The tail becomes the coccyx yes, but why a tail in the first place? Why does your all-knowing god not simply design a tail? Why does he seek to deceive us by achieving his design through what looks so clearly like an evolutionary atavism?"

Are you asking why we have a coccyx? I don't quite grasp the point you are trying to make here.

"Great. Bring that evidence. Bring it without the word "perhaps" in it so prominently. You can wonder "what if?" all day, but in the absence of any evidence for these claims, you are whistling in the dark."

I'm trying to do my due diligence. I emailed some developmental biologists. I'll give you a quote from one of the responders:

"Humans are not a tractable system for doing experimental work in developmental biology, so a good experimental test of the role of the structure is unlikely to have been performed. Thus, I would think that this question is in the range of speculation. It is easy to speculate that something has no function, this takes little imagination, but as you point out the existence on any part of a biological system is a reason from presuming function. I personally favor assuming it has a function until proven otherwise. Your speculation that it serves a transient role, as a signaling center for example, seems like a reasonable hypothesis."

So, there's a reason why I'm not finding much info on it. People don't do experiments with developing fetuses. All your speculation that the embryonic tail serves no function is only that - speculation rooted in an evolutionary framework. Furthermore, as long as the tail is viewed as a mere evolutionary remnant - why would anyone bother testing to see what it does ? Their paradigm has already made the decision for them.

"Similarly, there are interdigital cells that must die during development for our toes and fingers to form correctly.

Oh look! Another evolutionary atavism! I guess that must prove creationism true... ... ... wait..."


And that atavism would be the shadow of our 18 fingered ancestor?? The point is that programmed cell death plays a major part in fetal development. Not every structure that dies off is replaced with something else in its place.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 33 by Granny Magda, posted 12-30-2010 8:30 AM Granny Magda has responded

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 Message 40 by Granny Magda, posted 01-06-2011 11:58 AM Aaron has responded
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Coragyps
Member
Posts: 5268
From: Snyder, Texas, USA
Joined: 11-12-2002


Message 38 of 59 (599265)
01-06-2011 7:21 AM
Reply to: Message 37 by Aaron
01-06-2011 2:53 AM


Re: How Creationism Explains Human Tails (It Doesn't)
Find a creationist biologist....

Ah, Aaron, I think you have identified the problem! That subspecies of biologist seems particularly rare. And there is a reason for that rarity: it has to do with belief in myth colliding with reality.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 37 by Aaron, posted 01-06-2011 2:53 AM Aaron has not yet responded

    
ApostateAbe
Member (Idle past 2035 days)
Posts: 175
From: Klamath Falls, OR
Joined: 02-02-2005


Message 39 of 59 (599270)
01-06-2011 8:50 AM
Reply to: Message 37 by Aaron
01-06-2011 2:53 AM


Re: How Creationism Explains Human Tails (It Doesn't)
Aaron, in my last post, I provided an abstract of a study that I think would narrow down the "purpose" of an embryonic tail. I think that a study that shows that an embryonic tail is typically phagocytosed (eaten) is evidence enough that the embryonic tail does not have a designed purpose apart from an ancestral vestige.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 37 by Aaron, posted 01-06-2011 2:53 AM Aaron has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 44 by Aaron, posted 01-15-2011 2:26 AM ApostateAbe has responded

  
Granny Magda
Member
Posts: 2301
From: UK
Joined: 11-12-2007


Message 40 of 59 (599292)
01-06-2011 11:58 AM
Reply to: Message 37 by Aaron
01-06-2011 2:53 AM


Re: How Creationism Explains Human Tails (It Doesn't)
Hi again Aaron,

Granny writes:

Keeping evolutionary changes strictly limited to those taxa in which they originated cannot be used as evidence for anything other than evolution.

Aaron writes:

I'm not tracking with your thought here - please give an example.

Why don't we see eagle-like eyes in humans? Or a dog-like sense of smell? These are both good designs, so why are they kept strictly to separate lineages? Why do only birds of prey have those eyes? Why no other species? Why not give chimps the same smell capabilities as dogs? They sure could use it. But no, once again, these features are exclusive to the group in which they emerge.

This is exactly what we would expect from evolution, where reproductive isolation between species prevents these traits from being shared amongst a wider gene pool. It is not what we would expect from a designer, who could swap traits around, mixing and matching, just as modern engineers do. We never see this in biology. In cases where the same traits appear in different taxa, they are always traceable to a common ancestor. They show divergence, just as in the case of human and insect sonic hedgehog molecules.

If you could show me an example of a trait from one species that also appeared, unaltered, in another, unrelated species, without resorting to known mechanisms such as hybridisation and HGT, I would have to hail it as strong evidence for design in biology. No such example has been found, not is it likely to be found.

With creatures that look similar, there's bound to be similar genetic makeup.

No. Under a design paradigm, this is false. There is no reason why a designer, especially a divine one, could not make similar looking creatures genetically diverse. He is the designer. He is in at the drawing board. He sets the rules. There are no limits upon what he can and cannot design.

Even in an evolutionary model, convergent evolution can and does produce very similar looking structures in different lineages, so your position here cannot be correct.

I'm still not sure what you think the kingdoms of life should look like in order for it to look designed.

I would expect to see good ideas - like the human brain or the dog's sense of smell - reused in other ancestral lineages, without signs of evolutionary common ancestry. We do not see this.

Alternatively, we might see one system being used for development in mammals, with a completely separate system in place in insects. If they are independently designed then the two systems need not resemble each other at all. Why would an honest god feel the need to make them look so alike in the first place?

God can't break those rules and use a sequence of proteins to perform one function in a mammal and another function in an insect.

Yes he can. He wrote the rules according to your model. There is no reason why he could not have designed life in a more modular fashion, the way an intelligent designer would have done. Instead he chose not to do this and to create every living thing just as if it had been evolved.

You keep saying that God can't break the rules; he wrote the rules. He can do whatever he likes.

You are already settled on your answer - yet how many creationists have you polled?

Please Aaron, this is a debate site. I am taking a debate position. My contention is that creationism cannot explain the embryonic tail. It is up to any creationist respondent to this thread to prove me wrong. That's not indicative of a closed mind on my part, it's just how a debate works. I have to take a position.

Find a creationist biologist and maybe he/she can give you the answer you are looking for.

If any want to respond to this thread, they are welcome to do so. But, as Coragyps notes above, the phrase "creationist biologist" is close to being an oxymoron. Knowledge of biology tends to act as a solvent against creationist dogma.

Are you asking why we have a coccyx? I don't quite grasp the point you are trying to make here.

No. I'm simply asking why a tail or tail-like structure at all? You claim the embryonic tail has a function (but you don't know what it is). What I want to know is why any sane deity would answer that functional need with a tail. Why a tail? Of all things! It might do whatever developmental job needs to be done, but it sure looks suspicious. It looks evolved. It is almost unmistakably evolved. Why create such a dead-ringer for an evolutionary atavism? Why make us look evolved when we are not? And how could a benevolent god have done something so dishonest?

I emailed some developmental biologists. I'll give you a quote from one of the responders:

I appreciate the effort you've gone to Aaron, but without some kind of attribution, that quote is worthless. Was this from a creationist source? Or... y'know.. an actual biologist?

I beg to differ from your quoted source. A structure that springs up, does nothing apparent and then dies is entirely compatible with lack of function. If anyone wants to claim a function for it, they need to demonstrate it.

All your speculation that the embryonic tail serves no function is only that - speculation rooted in an evolutionary framework.

One could say the same of your claim that it must serve a function, save that evolution is one of the best evidenced theories in existence. The "evolutionary framework" you so dislike is grounded in a wealth of evidence. What support can creationism claim? A dusty old set of myths, that's all.

Furthermore, as long as the tail is viewed as a mere evolutionary remnant - why would anyone bother testing to see what it does ?

Well that's an interesting question; why don't these creationist biologists do the research? It might be difficult, but finding a non-evolutionary explanation would be a big boost to creationist arguments. So why don't they do it? It seems to me that creationists are not keen to do their own research, preferring instead to merely complain about other peoples work.

And that atavism would be the shadow of our 18 fingered ancestor?

No, that would be our lobe-finned fish ancestor. Tetrapod limbs started out as fins. They appear to recapitulate that in the womb. This is another odd design choice for an honest god. Makes sense for a liar god though. Or a total lack of gods.

Mutate and Survive

Edited by Granny Magda, : No reason given.

Edited by Granny Magda, : No reason given.


On two occasions I have been asked, "Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?" ... I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question. - Charles Babbage
This message is a reply to:
 Message 37 by Aaron, posted 01-06-2011 2:53 AM Aaron has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 45 by Aaron, posted 01-15-2011 2:59 AM Granny Magda has responded

    
Modulous
Member
Posts: 7407
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005
Member Rating: 3.7


Message 41 of 59 (599310)
01-06-2011 1:38 PM
Reply to: Message 37 by Aaron
01-06-2011 2:53 AM


Common design failure
With creatures that look similar, there's bound to be similar genetic makeup.

There are marsupial mice and moles etc. They look like their placental namesakes. A marsupial mole is genetically closer to a kangaroo than it is to its placental version. A placental mouse is genetically closer to an elephant than it is to it's marsupial counterpart.

So your assertion that there is bound to be similar genetic makeup when creatures 'look similar' is falsified by this evidence.

Further - we can test genes that have no effect on the way an organism looks such as cytochrome c and the pattern holds as if they were evolved.

A designer could have done it this way.

Yes, the designer could have done it ANY WAY. Evolution can only have done it in conformity with one pattern. Remember that wise man that once said:

quote:
There would be those who would find patterns to support their position no matter what this world looked like.

That's design for you: if it looks evolved it could have been designed that way. If it doesn't look evolved: it was designed that way. Whatever we find, whatever we could find, all supports design equally and therefore whatever we find doesn't actually increase our confidence in design.

I responded by saying that some signalling genes were common across the board.

I'm no master of biology, but I'm wondering about the depths of your understanding. Have you heard of molecular specificity? Proteins perform specific roles and can only interact with other specific proteins. God can't break those rules and use a sequence of proteins to perform one function in a mammal and another function in an insect.

You can take genes from one species and plonk them into a completely different species to create interesting new designs. Often called genetic modification, this is evidence of intervening design and it is exactly the thing we don't see unless a human has been involved. God can do that if humans can, but God (or whatever designer) didn't. Again - it could have looked designed with GM going on here and there - but it didn't.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 37 by Aaron, posted 01-06-2011 2:53 AM Aaron has responded

Replies to this message:
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Taq
Member
Posts: 6409
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 4.4


Message 42 of 59 (599341)
01-06-2011 3:54 PM
Reply to: Message 37 by Aaron
01-06-2011 2:53 AM


Re: How Creationism Explains Human Tails (It Doesn't)
The last time I checked there was more biodiversity on this planet than any person could study in a lifetime - and then some that we don't even know about. With so much variety, there is bound to be creatures that look similar. With creatures that look similar, there's bound to be similar genetic makeup.

None of this explains why we see a nested hierarchy, and why the developmental vestiges like the human embryonic also fall into the nested hierarchy. We don't see human embryos start to grow a beak and then reabsorb it. We don't see fish embryos grow fur and then reabsorb the fur prior to developing into an adult. What we do see is the emergence of ancestral features that fall into evolutionary lineages.

As to similarity, this couldn't be further from the truth. A supernatural deity could have made two species that are almost identical but use completely different codons. Two species could differ genetically by more than any two species observed right now and still be almost identical.

So, there's a reason why I'm not finding much info on it. People don't do experiments with developing fetuses. All your speculation that the embryonic tail serves no function is only that - speculation rooted in an evolutionary framework.

The human embryonic tail does not go on to develop into a tail in the adult like it does in other species. Therefore, it is vestigial by definition. We know what it DOES NOT DO which is more than enough to determine it's vestigial nature.

As an example, you might see a TV with bullet holes riddled through it and consider the TV to be without function. If I tied a rope to the TV and use it as a boat anchor would that refute your argument? No. The TV has an obvious function that is defined by it's features. If it does not serve that function then it is not functioning. The human embryonic tail does not develop into a tail, therefore it is not functioning. It is vestigial.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Coragyps
Member
Posts: 5268
From: Snyder, Texas, USA
Joined: 11-12-2002


Message 43 of 59 (599343)
01-06-2011 4:02 PM
Reply to: Message 42 by Taq
01-06-2011 3:54 PM


Re: How Creationism Explains Human Tails (It Doesn't)
We don't see human embryos start to grow a beak and then reabsorb it. We don't see fish embryos grow fur and then reabsorb the fur prior to developing into an adult. What we do see is the emergence of ancestral features that fall into evolutionary lineages.

Like baleen whale embryos growing tooth buds, and then resorbing them and growing baleen instead.

Like human, gorilla, and chimp embryos growing accessory olfactory bulbs in their brains, and vomeronasal organs in their palates, and then resorbing the first and discarding all function of the second. Unlike monkeys.....


This message is a reply to:
 Message 42 by Taq, posted 01-06-2011 3:54 PM Taq has not yet responded

    
Aaron
Member (Idle past 1367 days)
Posts: 65
From: Kent, WA
Joined: 12-14-2010


Message 44 of 59 (600535)
01-15-2011 2:26 AM
Reply to: Message 39 by ApostateAbe
01-06-2011 8:50 AM


Re: How Creationism Explains Human Tails (It Doesn't)
I read the abstract - I'm unable to read the whole paper.

The paper talks about the nuts and bolts of WHAT happens. It doesn't seem to get into WHY it happens.

You hypothesize that because it disappears it never has a purpose in the developing embryo.

That doesn't have to be the case. It may serve a temporary purpose - something I offered a few proposals about.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 39 by ApostateAbe, posted 01-06-2011 8:50 AM ApostateAbe has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 47 by ApostateAbe, posted 01-15-2011 10:24 AM Aaron has not yet responded

    
Aaron
Member (Idle past 1367 days)
Posts: 65
From: Kent, WA
Joined: 12-14-2010


Message 45 of 59 (600537)
01-15-2011 2:59 AM
Reply to: Message 40 by Granny Magda
01-06-2011 11:58 AM


Re: How Creationism Explains Human Tails (It Doesn't)
"Why don't we see eagle-like eyes in humans?"

I have a few thoughts about this - some that came while reading a book about evolution. I think I'll start a new thread about it.

Here it is: http://www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?control=msg&m=600542

"If you could show me an example of a trait from one species that also appeared, unaltered, in another, unrelated species, without resorting to known mechanisms such as hybridisation and HGT, I would have to hail it as strong evidence for design in biology."

You yourself mentioned convergent evolution (as have others) - aren't cases of convergent evolution the examples you are looking for?

Silk producing abilities have evolved convergently in spiders, worms, mollusks, and some fish. Did they all get if from the common ancestor?

The presence of the poison tetrodotoxin was evolved convergently in pufferfish, the blue-ringed octopus, and the California newt. Is that the kind of example you're looking for?

"Why a tail? Of all things! It might do whatever developmental job needs to be done, but it sure looks suspicious."

Have you ever examined an early human embryo to see if there are any other early structures that resemble something from some other species? Human embryos go through stages that don't look at all like the finished product. I'm sure you could pick out developing and temporary structures that resemble parts of non-related animals.

"I appreciate the effort you've gone to Aaron, but without some kind of attribution, that quote is worthless.

The quote was from Kerry Kornfeld, Professor of Developmental Biology,Co-Director, Program in Developmental Biology Washington University School of Medicine - if that makes a difference. Feel free to disagree with him. I don't know who the guy is, I just picked him at random.

There's lots of info from others to ponder - but I don't have time now to respond to it all.

Edited by Aaron, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 40 by Granny Magda, posted 01-06-2011 11:58 AM Granny Magda has responded

Replies to this message:
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