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Author Topic:   How creationism explains babies with tails
Aaron
Member (Idle past 1430 days)
Posts: 65
From: Kent, WA
Joined: 12-14-2010


Message 46 of 59 (600541)
01-15-2011 3:29 AM
Reply to: Message 41 by Modulous
01-06-2011 1:38 PM


Re: Common design failure
"So your assertion that there is bound to be similar genetic makeup when creatures 'look similar' is falsified by this evidence."

There's a lot more to DNA than how something looks. Body structure is only a portion of the genetic code.

This is a good point to clarify though - two things can look similar but have very different makeups. Dolphins and sharks "look similar" but their skin and skeletal structure are quite different. I wouldn't argue that their similar appearance necessitates closely related genetics.

Do you know how similar the genetic code is between marsupial and placental moles when it comes to specific items like their similarly structured snout?

My hypothesis would be that similar structures require similar proteins to build them - which requires similar DNA for those parts. Overall genetic differences doesn't negate specific points of genetic similarity. They might be genetically similar when it comes to specific body parts but dissimilar in other areas like metabolism and immune system.

The fact that similar looking but evolutionary distant creatures exist looks to me to be evidence for a designer and against evolution. Evolution predicts that structurally similar creatures share a recent common ancestor.

"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."

You can also create a phylogenetic tree for something like prokaryotes based on one set of genetic properties and then come up with a completely different looking tree using a different set of genetic properties.

Not all genetic markers point in the same direction. (http://pubget.com/search?q=pmid:11798428)

As far as cytochrome c goes, you would expect that bacteria cyt. c would be closer to fish than to horses based on the evolutionary tree - but the opposite is true.

Also, the genetic sequence of hemoglobin in lampreys is more genetically similar to humans than to carp - again, not what ToE would predict.

Edited by Aaron, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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ApostateAbe
Member (Idle past 2098 days)
Posts: 175
From: Klamath Falls, OR
Joined: 02-02-2005


Message 47 of 59 (600566)
01-15-2011 10:24 AM
Reply to: Message 44 by Aaron
01-15-2011 2:26 AM


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

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.

Aaron writes:

As we know, several of the vertebrae fuse together to form the coccyx. The rest are absorbed.
part - why would a body part grow - only to be absorbed? I can't say that I'm a specialist enough to say for sure - but it is not without precedence in embryonic development. In the early stages of brain development, a group of cells help establish boundaries until the proper cells are available - and later the temporary cells disappear. Similarly, the tail end may serve as a place holder until the rest of the body grows around it.

That's my guess at least.


I think that is a thoughtful hypothesis, and it is one I would probably accept if I had no idea about ancestral tails.

Not that there are not problems.

The hypothesis of ancestral tails seems to have more explanatory power, as in: it is narrowly the sort of thing we may expect if our ancestors had tails and lost them. Your hypothesis, a set of cells that are a placeholder, does not require a set of cells that appear as a tail in the embryo.

But, maybe a bigger problem is exactly what happens to the cells of the embryonic tail according to the abstract. They do not merely stay in place to form the coccyx. They are phagocytosed, or eaten, by the cells of the immune system. This would be a problem of plausibility.

There is also a problem of explanatory scope. Such an explanation by itself does not answer the question of why there are a few babies born with vertebral tails. The explanation of ancestral tail does answer such a question.


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Granny Magda
Member
Posts: 2302
From: UK
Joined: 11-12-2007


Message 48 of 59 (600681)
01-16-2011 10:04 AM
Reply to: Message 45 by Aaron
01-15-2011 2:59 AM


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

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

a) Fish? I presume you mean the slimy protein filaments of the hagfish? I do not think this is a fair comparison to true silk. Just try making a carpet out of hagfish slime.

b) The silks employed by different species are different, chemically. If all these species, divided into disparate groups as they are, all had exactly the same silk, it would be impressive. But they don't.

By the way, did you know that spider silks are different from each other? And that they fall into a nested hierarchy? It's an odd design choice to make it look so evolved... but I guess you're used to that by now.

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?

No. This sounds like a really quite impressive example, but it's really not, since the tetradotoxin is not actually produced by those critters at all. It's produced by bacteria, to which the larger creatures play host. They have evolved this feature as a response to exposure to the toxic bacteria in their environment (you''ll note that all of these venomous creatures are aquatic; terrestrial creatures would not be exposed to the bacteria).

So no, sorry, I don't find either of those examples convincing.

I'm sure you could pick out developing and temporary structures that resemble parts of non-related animals.

Well okay. If you're so sure, please show us an example of an embryonic structure that resembles a "non-related" creature as clearly as the human embryonic tail resembles that of tailed primates.

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.

Okay. Firstly, Kornfeld is the author of a large number of papers about evolution, so he is only going to support your ideas so far. I wonder, did you mention creationism in your email to him? Did you specifically mention that your idea was intended as an alternative to atavism in the embryo and to evolution as a whole?

I do disagree with him in this context, I have to say. Mainly because I have heard this particular excuse before;

Evo; "This structure makes no sense from a design point of view."

Creo; "Well it will! It must have a function, as yet undiscovered."

Evo; "What function"

Creo; "I don't know, but it must have one."

Evo; "How do you know it has a function?"

Creo; "Because if it doesn't, my theology is screwed, so... it must!"

And so on... Every time creationists are shown a clear example of bad "design" I get the response that there must be some undiscovered function. This is basically an excuse, a theological IOU. I don't find it convincing, especially as we already have an explanation for these matters, it's just that you find that explanation unpalatable for religious reasons. The only reason you have to suppose a function for the embryonic tail is to get yourself out of a theological hole and that is just not science.

Forgive me, but I intend to stick with the extremely robust explanation provided for us by the ToE, above creationist excuses and empty promises.

Mutate and Survive

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:
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Replies to this message:
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cavediver
Member (Idle past 1114 days)
Posts: 4129
From: UK
Joined: 06-16-2005


Message 49 of 59 (600689)
01-16-2011 2:18 PM
Reply to: Message 46 by Aaron
01-15-2011 3:29 AM


Re: Common design failure
As far as cytochrome c goes, you would expect that bacteria cyt. c would be closer to fish than to horses based on the evolutionary tree - but the opposite is true.

No, you would not expect that - not if you understand evolution. Can you think why, when initial naive thoughts may suggest otherwise?

Also, the genetic sequence of hemoglobin in lampreys is more genetically similar to humans than to carp - again, not what ToE would predict.

Again, wrong - and again, can you think why?

Here's a hint - when are these measurements being made?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 46 by Aaron, posted 01-15-2011 3:29 AM Aaron has responded

Replies to this message:
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Modulous
Member
Posts: 7410
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 50 of 59 (600835)
01-17-2011 12:35 PM
Reply to: Message 46 by Aaron
01-15-2011 3:29 AM


Re: Common design failure
A full discussion on the issues you raise would probably take us way off topic. I'm glad to see you have agreed to concede the assertion 'With creatures that look similar, there's bound to be similar genetic makeup.' is untrue. I presume you are happy to drop the 'the designer could have designed that way' argument as being as empty is as I argued it was.
This message is a reply to:
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Aaron
Member (Idle past 1430 days)
Posts: 65
From: Kent, WA
Joined: 12-14-2010


Message 51 of 59 (601774)
01-24-2011 12:57 AM
Reply to: Message 49 by cavediver
01-16-2011 2:18 PM


Re: Common design failure
"Again, wrong - and again, can you think why?

Here's a hint - when are these measurements being made?"

The measurements are being made nowadays.

Please explain yourself further.


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Taq
Member
Posts: 6799
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 4.0


Message 52 of 59 (601818)
01-24-2011 1:38 PM
Reply to: Message 46 by Aaron
01-15-2011 3:29 AM


Re: Common design failure
Do you know how similar the genetic code is between marsupial and placental moles when it comes to specific items like their similarly structured snout?

The problem here is that there is not a nose gene, an eye gene, a mouth gene, etc. Morphological structures are the result of thousands of genes interacting with each other through space and through time between many cells, some of which are terminally differentiated and some of which are pleuripotent. IOW, it is much more complex than you think.

The closest we could come would be to compare the master genetic switches which are commonly called the homeobox genes, or HOX genes. We could compare the divergence in these genes compared to metabolic enzymes such as the cytochrome genes.

The fact that similar looking but evolutionary distant creatures exist looks to me to be evidence for a designer and against evolution. Evolution predicts that structurally similar creatures share a recent common ancestor.

The devil is in the details. You could argue that both birds and bats have wings, therefore birds and bats should share a more recent common ancestor than bats and dogs. However, this ignores the specifics of how each wing is designed. The two wings, while superficially similar, are actualy quite different in their specific makeup. With the bird wing we see a feather covered airfoil constructed mainly from the humerus, radius, and ulna. In the bat we see a membraneous wing that is stretched between the phalanges and only minimally involves the upper limb. We see two different designs for the same function which indicates convergent evolution in separate lineages.

You can also create a phylogenetic tree for something like prokaryotes based on one set of genetic properties and then come up with a completely different looking tree using a different set of genetic properties.

This is due to horizontal genetic transfer, something that is extremely rare in more complex species such as vertebrates.

As far as cytochrome c goes, you would expect that bacteria cyt. c would be closer to fish than to horses based on the evolutionary tree - but the opposite is true.

That is not true. You would expect that all vertebrates would be equidistant from bacterial cyt c while fish cyt c would be closer to horses than to bacteria.


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Aaron
Member (Idle past 1430 days)
Posts: 65
From: Kent, WA
Joined: 12-14-2010


Message 53 of 59 (601893)
01-24-2011 9:15 PM
Reply to: Message 48 by Granny Magda
01-16-2011 10:04 AM


Re: How Creationism Explains Human Tails (It Doesn't)
Granny M said:

"The silks employed by different species are different, chemically. If all these species, divided into disparate groups as they are, all had exactly the same silk, it would be impressive. But they don't."

The silks are more similar than you indicate. They may not be identical in nature, but there are specific chemical themes they employ.

"By the way, did you know that spider silks are different from each other? And that they fall into a nested hierarchy? It's an odd design choice to make it look so evolved... "

I don't have a problem with that. I won't make the claim that God created each individual spider species we see today in the exact form that they appear. I'm fine with modern spiders having diversified from an initially created group of spiders.

"They have evolved this feature as a response to exposure to the toxic bacteria in their environment (you''ll note that all of these venomous creatures are aquatic; terrestrial creatures would not be exposed to the bacteria)."

I was not aware of the bacterial symbiosis. It still makes it an interesting question to ponder how each organism independently evolved the ability to resist the poison. One article I read mentions that pufferfish needed mutations in 8 different genes in order for it to happen.

"Okay. Firstly, Kornfeld is the author of a large number of papers about evolution, so he is only going to support your ideas so far. I wonder, did you mention creationism in your email to him? Did you specifically mention that your idea was intended as an alternative to atavism in the embryo and to evolution as a whole?"

Evolution and creationism is a huge issue. I was seeking information about one specific topic.

"The only reason you have to suppose a function for the embryonic tail is to get yourself out of a theological hole and that is just not science."

The fact that humans still have this tail-like structure in itself seems like good evidence that it plays a role. That is science. If evolving organisms are so good at shedding unnecessary parts, why is this one still around?

Here's another email snippet from a different scientist I polled:

Professor David Wilson of the University of Southhampton said:

"The conservation between species of "roles" of genes suggests that a human orthologous gene will have a similar role if there are similarities in the organs/tissues between the species. Thus i could believe that an inducer in an amphibian has similar role in mammals. That wouldnt be considered proof though.

If there were inducers in common, then you would predict that the sequence of each ortholog would be similar and have resisted DNA change due to evolutionary pressure.

A problem with your hypothesis, is how would you test it in humans, given that the manipulation of embryos/genes in rodent or amphibians, cannot be performed in human or primates.
Your hypothesis, or model predicts that the genes important in tail development in non-human species, will be conserved in humans, have resisted DNA change and that if DNA change occured (ie mutation) it would cause a phenotype (disease or malformation in humans). Thus examine children who have malformations of ? legs ? pelvis? spine? hips? (those structures "induced" in amphibians) for DNA change in orthologous genes (for instance brachyury if this is a gene you were thinking about)

not sure if this helps?

I think it is important that you havent accepted the "dogma" or text-book explanation and it is always useful to challenge or question. It doesnt mean you are right, but there are numerous examples when accepted dogma has proved not to be true."

He points out similar issues - this isn't something you can easily do experiments with.

I know I'm getting off topic with this, but creationists aren't the only ones who hand out IOUs for their lack of knowledge. Scientists have theories about the origin of the universe and the origin of first life that they can't substantiate through experiments. Even though scientists can't fully explain these two incredible events they know it must have happened by natural means because "here we are."


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Caleb
Junior Member (Idle past 2158 days)
Posts: 11
Joined: 05-11-2011


Message 55 of 59 (615617)
05-14-2011 7:23 PM


Just Some Thoughts
I have only skimmed through the comments posted, but I will add my two cents into this debate. Similiar anatomy among organisms is not proof of evolution as they form differently. An example would be a frogs legs grow outward from buds while a humans digits form as a plate and get "carved" away. They are also determined by unrelated genes.

Aonther thing, somebody mentioned why don't humans have eagle eyes, or chimps have dog noeses (or something along those lines). I would like to point out that the squid has similiar eyes to a humans eyes. A duckbilled platypus has a beak and lays eggs (I am not sure if they are exactly like bird eggs, but the fact that a mammal lays eggs should be impressive to any evolutionist). Algae, worms, insects, and fungi all have some organisms that can glow in the dark or produce light. Some of them do it diffrently than others while others do it the same. It would take many different mutations to allow all species that have light to produce it.

About the tail thing. The tail with actual bones in it would probably not serve any animal. First off I assume that the tail is non-functional. (I am not sure on that). Next thing is the tail is only a few inches or centimeters long. I don't understand how a a 10 cm tail would serve a monekey.

Last thing is the tail in the embryo development. Sometimes it only looks like they have similarities. When human embryos have a "tail" it is really just the coccyx. The coccyx is an important bone structure used to anchor muscle structure.


"Everybody makes mistakes"
Visit my website at www.propagandabypass.org
Replies to this message:
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Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 15946
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 56 of 59 (615625)
05-14-2011 8:45 PM
Reply to: Message 55 by Caleb
05-14-2011 7:23 PM


Re: Just Some Thoughts
* sighs *

How much of this did you actually research? You've got about two things right and you didn't understand them.

Really, what point do you think you're making when you compare a frog's limbs and a human's digits? Yes, they are controlled by different genes. Because they are not homologous parts.

Why not compare a frog's limbs to a human's limbs and a frog's digits to a human's digits? You do know what digits are, don't you?

Human limbs start out as limb buds, like those of frogs. Human digits start out connected by webbing (I presume this is what you're not-really-thinking-of when you talk about a "plate"), like those of frogs ...

... which is lost during the eighth week --- except in some rare cases where a baby is born with webbed hands (syndactyly).

Squid eyes are different from human eyes in a number of important respects which you don't know about, because you never bothered to research the subject. For example, a squid's eyes focus by moving the lens backwards and forwards like a camera, not by stretching it like a human lens. Also, the squid retina is the right way round, which means that squid have no "blind spot".

You have not bothered to make explicit what dumb mistake you're trying to make about the platypus, please try harder. Yes, evolutionists are jolly pleased to have some live monotremes to look at, what's your point?

You are right about different organisms producing light in different ways. This is why they are not claimed to be homologous.

As to your claim that "When human embryos have a "tail" it is really just the coccyx" ... sheesh.

Here is an x-ray of a baby with a tail.

And this is what a coccyx looks like.

Also, a coccyx is interior to the body, unlike a tail, which goes on the outside.

Is there anything else you'd like to be wrong about, while you're here?

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 55 by Caleb, posted 05-14-2011 7:23 PM Caleb has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 57 by Caleb, posted 05-14-2011 10:06 PM Dr Adequate has responded

  
Caleb
Junior Member (Idle past 2158 days)
Posts: 11
Joined: 05-11-2011


Message 57 of 59 (615627)
05-14-2011 10:06 PM
Reply to: Message 56 by Dr Adequate
05-14-2011 8:45 PM


Re: Just Some Thoughts
Sorry if I confused you about limbs and digits. I meant to say digits instead of limbs. So, human digits form from a plate like structure while frog digits grow from their "hand". Both frog and human limbs form from buds. Their digits form differnently. Frogs form from buds while in human hands the fingers seperate from each other. Then they have the webbing left which should disappear before they are born, but like you said sometimes the webs are still their.

For the platypus and the animals that glow in the dark I was trying to make a point to a comment I read earlier about God not using feautures of one organism in another. Therefore, I gave examples that I think show that some organisms have features that you would normally expect to be on a different set of animals. Birds not only have beaks, but a mammal does also. Same with eggs. I was also trying to make a point that evolution has to "create" a lot of the same (or almost the same in most situations) structures multiple times. Hence the glow in the dark animals and the squid eye compared to a human eye. If it will make you happier I will say squid eye compare to vertabrate eye. The squid eye and vertabrate eye are very similiar in structural desing. Notice I said similiar this time and the previous time because I acknowledge that there are some differences in the eye. It is just suprisingly similiar to the vertabrate eye because a squid is an invertabrate.

I don't think you understood me correctly about the human tails. (I should of made it clearer they were seperate subjects).
When I was talking about the tail being the coccyx in embryo development I was refering to a normal human embryo. Where the baby's coccyx is sometimes refered to as a tail. However, what I said about the tail not being very useful to monkeys, humans, or their "common ancestor" still applies.
I know it is confusing, but the paragraph seperation indicated a new subject. That is my fault sorry.

And yes I did my research. Do you think it is correct now or did a mess up again?


"Everybody makes mistakes"
Visit my website at www.propagandabypass.org
This message is a reply to:
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Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 15946
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 58 of 59 (615630)
05-15-2011 2:16 AM
Reply to: Message 57 by Caleb
05-14-2011 10:06 PM


Re: Just Some Thoughts
Sorry if I confused you about limbs and digits. I meant to say digits instead of limbs. So, human digits form from a plate like structure while frog digits grow from their "hand". Both frog and human limbs form from buds. Their digits form differnently. Frogs form from buds while in human hands the fingers seperate from each other. Then they have the webbing left which should disappear before they are born, but like you said sometimes the webs are still their.

You're still wrong. Saying that humans digits develop from digital plates but frog digits develop from buds is like saying that a horse has four legs but a donkey has a tail.

Frogs do develop digital plates, which are mentioned frequently in this paper on the limb development of frogs. And a quick google search reveals that mammals (including humans, mice, opossums, and guinea pigs) develop digital buds.

For the platypus and the animals that glow in the dark I was trying to make a point to a comment I read earlier about God not using feautures of one organism in another. Therefore, I gave examples that I think show that some organisms have features that you would normally expect to be on a different set of animals. Birds not only have beaks, but a mammal does also. Same with eggs.

But the "beak", as you like to call it, of a platypus is only very superficially like the beak of a bird, in that it's flat and sticks out. If you look at the anatomy it's quite different.

The platypus has these prongs of bone over which skin is stretched to form a "bill", quite unlike birds. Which confirms the evolutionists' point rather nicely. Supposedly God wanted to give the platypus a "beak", as you call it --- but he couldn't give it the beak of a bird, he had to give it an superficially beak-like adaptation of mammalian jaw bones. Can creationists explain why? I know why, but then I'm not a creationist.

As to the eggs, for heaven's sake, what do reptiles lay? and what are mammals supposed to be evolved from? Right. So here we have a creature which both lays eggs and gives milk and you somehow think that evolutionists should find this fact disquieting? It's a living relic of an intermediate stage.

(Interestingly, non-monotreme mammals possess non-functioning genes for making egg proteins. Feel free to provide a creationist explanation for this fact.)

I was also trying to make a point that evolution has to "create" a lot of the same (or almost the same in most situations) structures multiple times. Hence the glow in the dark animals and the squid eye compared to a human eye. If it will make you happier I will say squid eye compare to vertabrate eye. The squid eye and vertabrate eye are very similiar in structural desing. Notice I said similiar this time and the previous time because I acknowledge that there are some differences in the eye. It is just suprisingly similiar to the vertabrate eye because a squid is an invertabrate.

It's similar in that it is a lensed eye. It's different in practically every other respect. Which is just what evolutionists expect if the two eyes evolved separately. They are analogous, but they are not homologous. Of course, a creator God could just have made one the copy of the other, just as he could have copied the beaks of birds for the beaks of platypuses, but he didn't --- for reasons which are staggeringly obvious to me.

When I was talking about the tail being the coccyx in embryo development I was refering to a normal human embryo. Where the baby's coccyx is sometimes refered to as a tail.

I've never heard anyone call a coccyx a tail. It's sometimes called the "tailbone", perhaps that's what's confusing you.

However, what I said about the tail not being very useful to monkeys, humans, or their "common ancestor" still applies.

They are not useful to humans, which is why they are lost in normal development. What's your point?

If you think they're not useful to monkeys, then perhaps next time you're praying you could mention to God how you think he screwed up.

And yes I did my research.

Did your research by any chance involve reading creationist websites, or did it involve actual research?

It didn't take me at all long to find that frogs develop digital plates. You, I presume, also know how to use google. Perhaps in future you should ... how shall I put it? ... bypass propaganda and go straight to the people who actually study the embryology of frogs.

---

P.S: I've just been reading your website. Apart from the fact that it is lazy, muddled, and inaccurate, what on earth made you think that the world needs another creationist website --- written by someone with no scientific knowledge and only a shaky grasp on English composition?

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.


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anglagard
Member
Posts: 2158
From: Big Spring, TX, USA
Joined: 03-18-2006


Message 59 of 59 (615631)
05-15-2011 3:41 AM
Reply to: Message 57 by Caleb
05-14-2011 10:06 PM


Re: Just Some Thoughts
Caleb writes:

However, what I said about the tail not being very useful to monkeys, humans, or their "common ancestor" still applies.

Please feel free to look up the term prehensile tail and let me know why the term 'new world monkey' does not apply to the term monkey.

And yes I did my research. Do you think it is correct now or did a mess up again?

To be generous, woefully incomplete.


The idea of the sacred is quite simply one of the most conservative notions in any culture, because it seeks to turn other ideas - uncertainty, progress, change - into crimes.
Salman Rushdie

This rudderless world is not shaped by vague metaphysical forces. It is not God who kills the children. Not fate that butchers them or destiny that feeds them to the dogs. Its us. Only us. - the character Rorschach in Watchmen


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