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Author Topic:   Transitional fossils and quote mining
greyseal
Member (Idle past 1941 days)
Posts: 464
Joined: 08-11-2009


Message 46 of 210 (524517)
09-17-2009 9:17 AM
Reply to: Message 44 by NosyNed
09-17-2009 8:57 AM


Re: All dinosaurs
not all the reptiles (at least of the sort that COULD have evolved into Archy) were dinosaurs, way back then when Archy was around?
This message is a reply to:
 Message 44 by NosyNed, posted 09-17-2009 8:57 AM NosyNed has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5622
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006


Message 47 of 210 (524519)
09-17-2009 9:36 AM
Reply to: Message 33 by Arphy
09-16-2009 7:32 AM


Re: Lies, Damn Lies and Creationist Quote Mines
However when that biologists makes up imaginative stories about how this process can over millions of years completly change the descendents of the creature studied into something that no longer even remotely looks like the original creature. Then no there is no need for me to accept his speculations.

While I agree that many evolutionists are quite imaginative and given over to some speculation, there still remains a solid foundation in defense of biological evolution. To think that a Chihuahua is the descendant of a wolf is nothing short of undeniable evidence that just such a transformation can occur.

I'm sure you will go on to explain how that is microevolution, and that it is still a canine, but what I am attempting to illustrate is that superficial appearances may be deceiving.

The terms "micro" or "macroevolution" are meaningless terms to science and is simply an attempt to confuse laymen who don't understand the depth of the evidence stacked against them.


"Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind." -- Bertrand Russell
This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
 Message 48 by New Cat's Eye, posted 09-17-2009 10:24 AM Hyroglyphx has responded

    
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 48 of 210 (524525)
09-17-2009 10:24 AM
Reply to: Message 47 by Hyroglyphx
09-17-2009 9:36 AM


minor quibble
The terms "micro" or "macroevolution" are meaningless terms to science and is simply an attempt to confuse laymen who don't understand the depth of the evidence stacked against them.

When I took this class, oh... back in 2001 or so, the biology book we used did go into micro and macro evolution as legitimate scientific concepts.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 47 by Hyroglyphx, posted 09-17-2009 9:36 AM Hyroglyphx has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 49 by Hyroglyphx, posted 09-17-2009 10:27 AM New Cat's Eye has responded

  
Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5622
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006


Message 49 of 210 (524526)
09-17-2009 10:27 AM
Reply to: Message 48 by New Cat's Eye
09-17-2009 10:24 AM


Re: minor quibble
When I took this class, oh... back in 2001 or so, the biology book we used did go into micro and macro evolution as legitimate scientific concepts.

At any time was it used to deny the whole of evolution?


"Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind." -- Bertrand Russell
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 Message 48 by New Cat's Eye, posted 09-17-2009 10:24 AM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 50 by New Cat's Eye, posted 09-17-2009 10:35 AM Hyroglyphx has responded

    
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 50 of 210 (524528)
09-17-2009 10:35 AM
Reply to: Message 49 by Hyroglyphx
09-17-2009 10:27 AM


Re: minor quibble
When I took this class, oh... back in 2001 or so, the biology book we used did go into micro and macro evolution as legitimate scientific concepts.

At any time was it used to deny the whole of evolution?

No, of course not. But it wasn't meaningless and it wasn't an attempt to confuse laymen.

I just wanted to let you know that you were mistaken with the whole micro and macro thing not being scientific.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 49 by Hyroglyphx, posted 09-17-2009 10:27 AM Hyroglyphx has responded

Replies to this message:
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Coyote
Member (Idle past 185 days)
Posts: 6117
Joined: 01-12-2008


Message 51 of 210 (524529)
09-17-2009 10:36 AM
Reply to: Message 39 by Arphy
09-17-2009 6:11 AM


Re: Lies, Damn Lies and Creationist Quote Mines
My statement clearly implies that i believe in natural selection, it is a VITAL part in creationist thought.

There is no such thing as "creationist thought."

There is only belief.

That is where quote mining comes in; when that belief fails to agree with the natural world (i.e., science), the natural world must be twisted, distorted, misrepresented, ignored--or quote mined--until that disagreement goes away.

"Creationist thought" is truly the antithesis of science.


Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 39 by Arphy, posted 09-17-2009 6:11 AM Arphy has not yet responded

  
Augray
Junior Member (Idle past 3383 days)
Posts: 9
From: Toronto, Canada
Joined: 09-15-2009


Message 52 of 210 (524544)
09-17-2009 12:18 PM
Reply to: Message 33 by Arphy
09-16-2009 7:32 AM


Re: Lies, Damn Lies and Creationist Quote Mines

What you have not demonstrated is that Feduccia believes archaeopteryx to be anything other than an important transitional fossil. His opinions are of no aid to creationist arguments unless taken out of context.

Then why did he say the things he did? He knew that creationists would pounce on them (message 26).

I doubt that he did. The "paleobabble" quote is from 1993, and the one I provided is from 2003.

Actually lets also bring in the quote supplied by Augray from Feduccia (message 26)

Creationists are going to distort whatever arguments come up, and they've put me in company with luminaries like Stephen Jay Gould, so it doesn't bother me a bit. Archaeopteryx is half reptile and half bird any way you cut the deck, and so it is a Rosetta stone for evolution, whether it is related to dinosaurs or not. These creationists are confusing an argument about minor details of evolution with the indisputable fact of evolution: Animals and plants have been changing.
- Alan Feduccia, quoted in Svitil, K. A. 2003. Plucking Apart the Dino-Birds. Discover 24(2):16.

His two quotes just don't make sense when put next to each other.

In fact, they do if you don't assume that he's arguing against evolution, which is what creationist would want you to think.

first he says "Paleontologists have tried to turn Archaeopteryx into an earth-bound, feathered dinosaur. But it's not. It is a bird, a perching bird." and then he says "Archaeopteryx is half reptile and half bird any way you cut the deck". What the...?? Of course he may be of the opinion that birds did not evolve from dinosaurs but some other reptile, which i guess might accomadate the two quotes but that doesn't help you guys because you seem to suggest that you believe that birds did evolve from dinos.

Well, he's wrong about that, and I can go into extreme detail as to why he's wrong.

And you have to keep in mind the context of Feduccia's "paleobabble" comment. It was given in an interview, and was quoted in an article (Morell, V. 1993. Archaeopteryx: Early Bird Catches a Can of Worms. Science 259:764-765) that appeared in the same issue of a journal that contained a new paper by him (Feduccia, A. 1993. Evidence from Claw Geometry Indicating Arboreal Habits of Archaeopteryx. Science 259:790-792). Feduccia (and seemingly everyone else at that time) had the idea that dinosaurs never climbed in trees, and so John Ostrom, the leading proponent of the birds-are-dinosaurs camp, advocated the idea that flight had evolved from the ground up. Feduccia's statement that "Paleontologists have tried to turn Archaeopteryx into an earth-bound, feathered dinosaur. But it's not. It is a bird, a perching bird" is a direct response to that idea, as is the paper he wrote.

To cap it all off, he says "These creationists are confusing an argument about minor details of evolution with the indisputable fact of evolution: Animals and plants have been changing." Great, so evolution from goo-to-you-via-the-zoo is proven because "animals and plants have been changing". This is just a ridiculous defense.

Not really. Feduccia immediately follows that statement with:

The corn in Mexico, originally the size of the head of a wheat plant, has no resemblance to modern-day corn. If that's not evolution in action, I do not know what is.

And then there's all the other evidence for evolution, some of which can be found here.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 33 by Arphy, posted 09-16-2009 7:32 AM Arphy has not yet responded

    
caffeine
Member
Posts: 1601
From: Prague, Czech Republic
Joined: 10-22-2008
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 53 of 210 (524545)
09-17-2009 12:18 PM
Reply to: Message 46 by greyseal
09-17-2009 9:17 AM


Re: All dinosaurs
There were many different reptile groups that coexisted with dinosaurs. There were the ancestors of modern day tortoises and turtles, and all their relatives, as well as the ancestors of lizards and snakes and all their relatives, for example. Feduccia agrees with everyone else that birds are archosaurs (the group of reptiles that includes crocodiles, crurotarsans, pterosaurs, dinosaurs, plesiosaurs (I think) and many more), he just thinks that the ancestors of birds split off from the dinosaurs earlier in archosaur evolution.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 46 by greyseal, posted 09-17-2009 9:17 AM greyseal has not yet responded

  
Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5622
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006


Message 54 of 210 (524553)
09-17-2009 1:03 PM
Reply to: Message 50 by New Cat's Eye
09-17-2009 10:35 AM


Re: minor quibble
No, of course not. But it wasn't meaningless and it wasn't an attempt to confuse laymen.

It is for creationist camps.

I just wanted to let you know that you were mistaken with the whole micro and macro thing not being scientific.

All evolution is on a micro level and never a macro level, is my point. You don't get from an elephant to a manatee over night. It is all through slight gradations over time that lead up to a bigger picture. That would be evident in what they refer to as microevolution. But that's ALL evolution really is.

Where they seem hung up on is that it only goes so far, saying things like "You can never get a cat from a dog!" Well, yeah, no shit, but that's not how it works and there is not a single evolutionary biologist who would insinuate otherwise.


"Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind." -- Bertrand Russell
This message is a reply to:
 Message 50 by New Cat's Eye, posted 09-17-2009 10:35 AM New Cat's Eye has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 55 by NosyNed, posted 09-17-2009 2:44 PM Hyroglyphx has responded

    
NosyNed
Member
Posts: 8838
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003


Message 55 of 210 (524570)
09-17-2009 2:44 PM
Reply to: Message 54 by Hyroglyphx
09-17-2009 1:03 PM


Micro Macro
All evolution is on a micro level and never a macro level, is my point.

I do think the terms have been used in biology. My understanding is that there is a recognition that to cross the species boundary requires something more than just the gradual steps. The micro/macro is not referring to the size of any changes.

It is derived from split that has to happen for speciation (and all higher taxonomic levels) to occur. It was once felt that speciation really required some specific "strong" circumstances like a clear geographical split.

I think it is now recognized that speciation can occur under a lot of different circumstance so maybe the focus on a split between "micro" and "macro" isn't so interesting now but it is still a valid biological term however much creationists misuse and misunderstand it.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 54 by Hyroglyphx, posted 09-17-2009 1:03 PM Hyroglyphx has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 56 by Dr Jack, posted 09-17-2009 2:51 PM NosyNed has not yet responded
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Dr Jack
Member (Idle past 184 days)
Posts: 3507
From: Leicester, England
Joined: 07-14-2003


Message 56 of 210 (524571)
09-17-2009 2:51 PM
Reply to: Message 55 by NosyNed
09-17-2009 2:44 PM


Re: Micro Macro
The micro/macro is not referring to the size of any changes.

Yup.

My understanding is that there is a recognition that to cross the species boundary requires something more than just the gradual steps.

Not really, speciation requires nothing more than gradual steps (although this point was debated quite heavily in the past, the consensus view now is that: no, it doesn't), but macro does cover factors which are not evident or relevant on the micro-scale: e.g. the founder Effect, geographic speciation, niche seperation, etc.

Still, it's pretty much fallen into disuse; we're taught it as a "this was how it used to be divided - it wasn't found to be useful but you may still see it kicking around" kind of thing.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 55 by NosyNed, posted 09-17-2009 2:44 PM NosyNed has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 57 by Lithodid-Man, posted 09-17-2009 3:09 PM Dr Jack has acknowledged this reply

  
Lithodid-Man
Member (Idle past 1010 days)
Posts: 504
From: Juneau, Alaska, USA
Joined: 03-22-2004


Message 57 of 210 (524576)
09-17-2009 3:09 PM
Reply to: Message 56 by Dr Jack
09-17-2009 2:51 PM


Re: Micro Macro
Mr Jack writes:

Still, it's pretty much fallen into disuse; we're taught it as a "this was how it used to be divided - it wasn't found to be useful but you may still see it kicking around" kind of thing.

It is exactly how I see it as well. When I taught "Introduction to Selection Theory" (hint: it is what you call a class on evolution at a Christian college!) we covered the terms in just such a way, older terms that are not really 'meaningless' just not very descriptive with a modern understanding of population genetics and speciation.


Doctor Bashir: "Of all the stories you told me, which were true and which weren't?"
Elim Garak: "My dear Doctor, they're all true"
Doctor Bashir: "Even the lies?"
Elim Garak: "Especially the lies"
This message is a reply to:
 Message 56 by Dr Jack, posted 09-17-2009 2:51 PM Dr Jack has acknowledged this reply

    
Granny Magda
Member
Posts: 2380
From: UK
Joined: 11-12-2007


Message 58 of 210 (524578)
09-17-2009 3:12 PM
Reply to: Message 39 by Arphy
09-17-2009 6:11 AM


Re: Lies, Damn Lies and Creationist Quote Mines
Talk about quote mining! Throughout the replies to my post my words were taken out of context!!!!!

I'm sorry if you think your comments have taken out of context, but I really can't see it. I slightly misunderstood one of your statements, which I'll deal with below. I must insist though, that I did not quote mine. If you think I did, please cite the example.

Because hopefully he has a nice certificate on the wall and I trust that no hospital/medical clinic would just hire someone off the street.

Funnily enough, biologists have nice certificates too and biology departments tend not* to hire off the street.

(*Edited to correct error.)

I trust the doctors expertise because there are many eye-witnesses to his capabilities of healing people using medicine.

Eye witnesses? that's your idea of evidence? Eye witness reports are notoriously unreliable. I can cite any number of eye witnesses to support complete rubbish such as homoeopathy.

These capabilities were learnt by the doctor because there is observable and repeatable evidence that these can help heal people.

Just as there is for evolution. How odd that you should reject one (that disagrees with your religious dogmas) and accept another (which does not, or at least does so less obviously).

What the..??? My statement clearly implies that i believe in natural selection, it is a VITAL part in creationist thought.

Okay, fine, you don't reject NS. I misunderstood your meaning, largely because you wrote "When a biologist tells me that natural selection works... ...I will believe the biologist.", as though this were yet too occur. Too be fair, you had previously mentioned that you accept NS. I would like to remind you though that not all creationists do accept NS.

Of course, since you accept NS, random mutation and (I'm assuming) genetic drift, that leaves me puzzled as to what exactly you disagree with, since you seem to accept pretty much all of evolutionary theory.

Back that {Tiktaalik} up please.

My pleasure. The story can be found here, at the homepage of Neil Shubin, who led the expedition.

One note; I said Greenland. That's wrong. I should have said Ellesmere Island, Canada. Otherwise, you'll find that Tiktaalik was discovered pretty much as I said it was; thanks to the predictive power of the theory of evolution.

To your 3 questions:

You answer;

Do you not think that the wider store of knowledge increases the possibility of an expert being right? Yes.

Do you think that experts have more or less chance of being correct about their own field of study than laymen? More.

Do you think that expertise has absolutely no value in forming conclusions? Yes.

Thanks for answering those. I'm confused though. You say that knowledge increases the likelihood of correctness, but you also say that you think expertise has absolutely no value in forming conclusions. Is that really what you meant?

I'm going to hang fire on addressing this until you provide clarification.

Did you (and Caffeine) even read this:

Yes. I read it. What concerns me though is that Feduccia is being misrepresented in such a way as to make it look like he is suggesting that Archaeopteryx is not a transitional fossil, which is incorrect. His ideas about its specific lineage don't seem relevant to me. Whether Feduccia regards Archaeopteryx as being descended from Reptile A or Reptile B doesn't really matter; he regards Archaeopteryx as being a transitional form between birds and reptiles, not as "just a bird", which is the general impression that creationists are trying to create with their quote mining.

"Plants and animals changing": But in essence this is the cornerstone of evolution, isn't it?

It is what we observe, or rather a small part of it. The phrase is just a sound bite though. You said "evolution from goo-to-you-via-the-zoo is proven because "animals and plants have been changing".", which is a statement that Feduccia did not make, nor would I make any such statement. That's just something you made up. Perhaps it was just a misunderstanding, but whatever the cause, it's not an accurate representation of what Feduccia said.

Granny writes:

What you will not find is a derived bird trait in a platypus.

Arphy writes:

Tell me something new. you won't find a derived trait from reptiles either.

Yes you will. Platypuses lay watertight eggs. this is a derived trait of reptiles, passed on to their monotreme descendants, such as the platypus. These traits were derived in the reptilian ancestor, derived with regards to all amniotes, a category which includes the platypus.

Also yes I did get it from an article at creation.com, thank you. Here is original source "Genome consortium, Genome analysis of the platypus reveals unique signatures of evolution, Nature 453:175-183, 2008."

That is not a link to the original source. This is the original source.

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v45.../nature06936.html

The full text contains comments such as this;

quote:
for the unique 5X chromosomes of platypus we reveal considerable sequence alignment similarity to chicken Z and no orthologous gene alignments to human X, implying that the platypus X chromosome evolved directly from a bird-like ancestral reptilian system

They are saying that the chromosomes are similar. They are not saying that they are the same. Similarity is not a problem for the ToE. These are not avian features, they merely show similarities, just as we would expect in two lineages that both evolved from reptiles, which is exactly what it says in the paper. There is no challenge to the ToE here. Perhaps you would like to explain why you think there is...

some bird-like microRNAs

The miRNA shared between chickens and platypus again presents no problem for the ToE. This is miRNA that would have been present in the most recent common ancestor of monotremes and birds, but has since been lost in placental mammals. I don't see the problem. Again, perhaps you would like to spell it out for me.

Here is another quote from the paper;

quote:
The egg-laying platypus is a remarkable species with many biological features unique among mammals. Our sequencing of the platypus genome now enables us to compare its sequence characteristics and organization with those of birds and therian mammals in order to address the questions of platypus biology and to date the emergence of mammalian traits. We report here that sequence characteristics of the platypus genome show features of reptiles as well as mammals.

If this paper is supposed to deal a death blow to the ToE, it seems to have slipped past its authors. Who do you think is better able to interpret this paper Arphy? Creation.com? Or the scores of professional biologists who actually wrote it?

So you think that any of these quotes:
{many quotes}
from his lecture will say the complete opposite when heard in full context. Good luck with that.

I have no idea do I? The full context isn't available to me. The creationist contingent has not chosen to make the full audio or transcript available (Gee, I wonder why..). I expect that he was addressing the problem of being unable to absolutely define descent from fossils and the associated problems for systematists, just as he says in his letter to Theunissen.

I do know that he agreed with Theunissen's analysis of his comments, namely that "What Patterson was saying to Sunderland was that, of the transitional forms that are known, he could not make a watertight argument for any being directly ancestral to living species groups." which is a perfectly reasonable statement and no challenge to the ToE.

I do know that in his book entitled "Evolution" (bit of an odd title for someone who doesn't believe in evolution isn't it?) Patterson said "[The] "misprints" shared between species ... are (to me) incontrovertible evidence of common descent."

I do know that Patterson said "I think the continuation of the passage shows clearly that your interpretation (at the end of your letter) is correct, and the creationists' is false.".

What part of "the creationists are wrong" are you having trouble understanding?

Mutate and Survive

Edited by Granny Magda, : No reason given.


"A curious aspect of the theory of evolution is that everybody thinks he understands it." - Jacques Monod
This message is a reply to:
 Message 39 by Arphy, posted 09-17-2009 6:11 AM Arphy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 62 by Augray, posted 09-17-2009 6:13 PM Granny Magda has not yet responded
 Message 63 by Arphy, posted 09-18-2009 9:38 PM Granny Magda has responded

    
Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5622
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006


Message 59 of 210 (524580)
09-17-2009 3:23 PM
Reply to: Message 55 by NosyNed
09-17-2009 2:44 PM


Re: Micro Macro
I do think the terms have been used in biology. My understanding is that there is a recognition that to cross the species boundary requires something more than just the gradual steps. The micro/macro is not referring to the size of any changes.

For the most part I agree with you, hence my "You can't get a cat from a dog!" Surely though creationists don't use it that way since there is no argument that different species cannot breed with one another. There is obviously more to it than that.

For microevolution they state that only a canine can produce after its own kind and never will that ever change. Macroevolution is simply microevolution combined with enough preceding gradations that eventually you have a whole new classified specie altogether. One such evidence is that they cannot breed with one another, yet the morphological similarities point to common ancestry.

I think it is now recognized that speciation can occur under a lot of different circumstance so maybe the focus on a split between "micro" and "macro" isn't so interesting now but it is still a valid biological term however much creationists misuse and misunderstand it.

I honestly did not know those were terms common to biology or anthropology. Thanks for the correction.


"Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind." -- Bertrand Russell
This message is a reply to:
 Message 55 by NosyNed, posted 09-17-2009 2:44 PM NosyNed has not yet responded

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Wounded King
Member (Idle past 2174 days)
Posts: 4149
From: Edinburgh, Scotland
Joined: 04-09-2003


Message 60 of 210 (524587)
09-17-2009 4:20 PM
Reply to: Message 59 by Hyroglyphx
09-17-2009 3:23 PM


Re: Micro Macro
The singular of species is species. Specie is a term related to currency.

TTFN,

WK


This message is a reply to:
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