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Author Topic:   Does evidence of transitional forms exist ? (Hominid and other)
mark24
Member (Idle past 3358 days)
Posts: 3857
From: UK
Joined: 12-01-2001


Message 61 of 301 (5879)
03-01-2002 7:12 AM
Reply to: Message 56 by redstang281
02-28-2002 1:29 PM


[QUOTE]Originally posted by redstang281:
[b]

“Why not try to explain the vestigial toes in ALL modern horse embryos, & occasionally, modern horses?”

This website can answer your question.
http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs/4117.asp

[/QUOTE]

Can you explain the vestigial, atavistic traits found on some horses that I outline in messages 16 & 20?

I couldn’t find anything that answered my question in AiG, could you elaborate?

quote:
Originally posted by redstang281:

Also here's some more information on horse "evolution."
http://www.bible.ca/tracks/textbook-fraud-dawn-horse-eohippus.htm

"The ancestral family tree of the horse is not what scientists have thought it to be. Prof. T.S. Westoll, Durham University geologist, told the British Association for the Advancement of Science at Edinburgh that the early classical evolutionary tree of the horse, beginning in the small dog-sized Eohippus and tracing directly to our present day Equinus, was all wrong."—Science News Letter, August 25, 1951, p. 118.

"There was a time when the existing fossils of the horses seemed to indicate a straight-lined evolution from small to large, from dog-like to horse-like, from animals with simple grinding teeth to animals with complicated cusps of modern horses . . As more fossils were uncovered, the chain splayed out into the usual phylogenetic net, and it was all too apparent that evolution had not been in a straight line at all. Unfortunately, before the picture was completely clear, an exhibit of horses as an example . . had been set up at the American Museum of Natural History [in New York City], photographed, and much reproduced in elementary textbooks."—Garrett Hardin, Nature and Man’s Fate (1960), pp. 225-226. (Those pictures are still being used in those textbooks.)

[This message has been edited by redstang281, 02-28-2002]


Redstang,

That's pretty much what I said. What your cites don't say is that there still exists a straight lineage from hyracotherium to modern horses. What has been revised, is the thought that ALL "proto" horse fossils" were part of that DIRECT lineage. Picture a tree, pick a twig at the top. Now trace a line from the bottom to the top. That there are branches simply means speciation has occurred, any branch off of your line means that any organism representing that split is no longer in the direct line of ancestors for your twig (modern horse). Really, you would expect this of evolution, no?

All that has been shown is that there is a phylogenetic tree rather than a straight line. Hang on? A biblical reference to phylogenetic tree? This tree is actually being used as a REASON to falsify horse evolution? To accept & use a phylogenetic tree to falsify something requires the acceptance of the said tree (small point, your quote is wrong, a “usual” phylogenetic net isn’t produced, it’s a tree). Do you accept the morphological phylogeny of horses, as your cite described? It seems in falsifying this aspect of evolution, you have accepted it.

Mark

------------------
Occam's razor is not for shaving with.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 56 by redstang281, posted 02-28-2002 1:29 PM redstang281 has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 62 by TrueCreation, posted 03-01-2002 5:31 PM mark24 has responded

  
TrueCreation
Inactive Member


Message 62 of 301 (5920)
03-01-2002 5:31 PM
Reply to: Message 61 by mark24
03-01-2002 7:12 AM


"Can you explain the vestigial, atavistic traits found on some horses that I outline in messages 16 & 20?

I couldn’t find anything that answered my question in AiG, could you elaborate?"
--I didn't find anything in the AiG link either, though I remembered that you posted this vestige before so I searched the forums for it. I got here:

http://www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=page&f=1&t=85&p=2

--I believe this is the reference you are making (16th and 20th post), I thought that I already answered it though I guess I didn't see it. I found the Gould reference helpful:

Fetal Growth of a Horse Foot - http://www.cs.colorado.edu/~lindsay/creation/horse_growth.html

I couldn't find any other references toward this development, such as true pictures or something of the like, let alone another reference. I'll have to trust that these are correct and arent leaving anything out. I find it speculative that the 2 adjacent clips of bone seem as if they are directional bones to keep a porportionate feature from developing as a deformity (or could be an attachment so that the in-set bone won't just float off of the body in embryonic development at a time (shrugs)). Do the two adjacent bones have a name?

------------------

[This message has been edited by TrueCreation, 03-01-2002]


This message is a reply to:
 Message 61 by mark24, posted 03-01-2002 7:12 AM mark24 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 65 by mark24, posted 03-02-2002 4:18 PM TrueCreation has responded

Jet
Inactive Member


Message 63 of 301 (5923)
03-01-2002 6:33 PM
Reply to: Message 53 by Punisher
02-28-2002 12:40 PM


[QUOTE]Originally posted by Punisher:
.......I do have a question. If a fish dwelling creature somehow developed a set of lungs over a long period of time; wouldn't he drown at some stage between a lack of gills and the prescence of lungs? If a rat starting growing wings from his front forelimbs; wouldn't he quickly be eaten or starve because of his inability to move with elongated yet useless front limbs/wings? My examples are simplified, I know. [QUOTE]

Though you give simple examples and easy observations, no one bothered to respond to you query. There are a multiplicity of questions that arise on how particular species survived while they evolved, when their evolutionary traits would have left them very vulnerable to attack or would have resulted in their own destruction due to their not having all the necessary traits appear all at once in a single generation. These types of problems evolutionists prefer not to address. Things that make you go hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

This is similar to the modern pens evolving from quill pens or other such examples to which it must be replied that inanimate objects, things that have no life, cannot evolve. Automobiles do not evolve because they are not alive. Unfortunately for the evolutionists, this presents them with a problem when evolution is traced back to the beginning. This is also why evolutionists must say that the study of evolution does not deal with how life began. If they attempted to deal with the origin of life from non-life, they could never use the "you're an ignorant liar" defense without including themselves in the "ignorant liars" category. This is why they must have their theory begin after life has already been established. To go back to the beginning of life springing forth from non-life with no help from an Intelligent Designer who could set it in motion, brings them headlong into the titanium wall of uncalculable improbability if not complete and total impossibility.
Things that make you go hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 53 by Punisher, posted 02-28-2002 12:40 PM Punisher has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 67 by nator, posted 03-03-2002 11:18 AM Jet has responded

Jeff
Inactive Member


Message 64 of 301 (5924)
03-01-2002 6:43 PM
Reply to: Message 53 by Punisher
02-28-2002 12:40 PM


quote:
Originally posted by Punisher:

If a fish dwelling creature somehow developed a set of lungs over a long period of time; wouldn't he drown at some stage between a lack of gills and the prescence of lungs?

There are current organisms that demonstrate this transition, and it occurs not in the oceans but in fresh water streams where the water is shallow (compared to the ocean) and there are soil banks on either side. The organism locomotes between the two environments – as the lung fish does when its pond evaporates. It has the opportunity to cross land to the nearest water body.
It encounters a lot of risk when doing this, but a steelhead bass would die outright when the first pond dried up.

[b] [QUOTE]
Punisher:
If a rat starting growing wings from his front forelimbs; wouldn't he quickly be eaten or starve because of his inability to move with elongated yet useless front limbs/wings?
My examples are simplified, I know.
[/b][/QUOTE]

Observe the ‘Flying’ squirrel. It doesn’t really fly, it glides from higher branches to lower branches by extending the thin layer of skin between its fore and hind limbs. It could more accurately be called the ‘gliding’ squirrel. This gliding adaptation must have given it more benefit than liability, otherwise it would go extinct and we would rely on fossil evidence to even know that it had existed. It is possible, according to evolutionary theory, for these squirrels to continue to adapt toward flight until they match the bat’s flying prowess. This would take several thousand years and even more generations of squirrel populations for this to occur, but it is possible and it is likely that bats evolved in a similar manner.

Bats are very clumsy on the ground but remember they are now highly specialized for flight. During the transition from terrestrial to aerial locomotion there would be less specialization towards flight & more toward crawling– enough to survive on the ground.

[b] [QUOTE]
Punisher:
Also, changing toes on a horse doesn't appear to imply the horse is transitioning into anything else other than a horse with more or less toes. It is still a horse.[/b][/QUOTE]

Yes, much as humans are apes with an eccentric mode of locomotion.

We’re still apes.

Regards,

jeff

[This message has been edited by Jeff, 03-01-2002]


This message is a reply to:
 Message 53 by Punisher, posted 02-28-2002 12:40 PM Punisher has not yet responded

mark24
Member (Idle past 3358 days)
Posts: 3857
From: UK
Joined: 12-01-2001


Message 65 of 301 (6021)
03-02-2002 4:18 PM
Reply to: Message 62 by TrueCreation
03-01-2002 5:31 PM


TC,

Sorry if I missed your earlier answer, the structures are clearly toes, they even have separate bones. Why would anything need to hold the leg in place? We don't have anything to stop our shins from "drifting off".

Mark

------------------
Occam's razor is not for shaving with.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 62 by TrueCreation, posted 03-01-2002 5:31 PM TrueCreation has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 77 by TrueCreation, posted 03-09-2002 1:26 AM mark24 has responded

  
nator
Member (Idle past 333 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 66 of 301 (6050)
03-03-2002 10:56 AM
Reply to: Message 44 by redstang281
02-28-2002 12:08 PM


quote:
Originally posted by Percipient: I think we're all still wondering why you persist in providing out-of-context quotes of evolutionists expressing beliefs they clearly do not hold. If they really believed what your quotes make them appear to be saying then Creationism must have replaced evolution long ago. But they don't and it hasn't.

I'm not sure how any of those quotes can be explained in any other context other than their obvious meanings.


Come ON, Redstang! Misquoting is a favorite tactic of Creationists to try to make Biologists and others seem as though they are saying one thing when they are actually saying another. Pretending that this doesn't happen, and that you have not perpetuated these misquotes, is kind of like the man who is discovered by his wife when in bed with his mistress who says, "This isn't what it looks like, dear!"

Examples of creationist misquoting in order to decieve:

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/homs/misquotes.html

"Robert Kofahl's Handy Dandy Evolution Refuter and Wallace Johnson's book Evolution? both use the following quote (Johnson only has the
second clause):

"Not many (if any) [fossil hominids] have held the stage for long; by now laymen could be forgiven for regarding each new arrival as no
less ephemeral than the weather forecast." (John Reader, Whatever happened to Zinjanthropus?, New Scientist, March 26 1981, p.805)

It sounds as if Reader is saying that most, if not all, fossil hominids have been discredited. But the previous sentence was:

"Australopithecus afarensis is the latest fossil hominid to be thrust before the public as the oldest evidence of mankind's existence.
Not many (if any) have held the stage for long; ..."

With the full context, it is clear that Reader was not saying that all fossil hominids have been debunked; he is referring only to their claimed status as the oldest evidence of human evolution. In fact, Reader's article explicitly says that H. erectus is still considered to be a human ancestor."

"David Menton, in The Scientific Evidence For the Origin of Man, writes about the fossil WT 15000 (the Turkana Boy) and says:

"He had a low forehead and pronounced brow ridges not unlike some races of modern man. Richard Leaky [sic] said that this boy would go unnoticed in a crowd today."

Don Patton uses a similar quote, saying that according to Richard Leakey:

"....he would probably go unnoticed in a crowd today."

What Leakey really said, in the November 1985 issue of National Geographic, was:

"Suitably clothed and with a cap to obscure his low forehead and beetle brow, he would probably go unnoticed in a crowd today."

Here are more links discussing Creationists' use of quotes and misquoting:

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/quotes/#s2
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/quotes/

Why don't you read these pages and then come back with SPECIFICS to discuss?

quote:
Oh, and the reasons why creationism hasn't replaced evolutionISM could fill a book. I'm certain the largest reason is
because many people don't want there to be a God.

40% of scientists believe in God, which flies in the face of your claim scientists no wanting to believe in God.

You are also stuck in your exeedingly narrow view that one has to believe exactly as you do in order to believe in God. You know, I know it might be shocking and difficult for you to wrap your mind around this, but there are people, lots and lots of them, who believe in God who AREN'T Fundamentalist Christian.

quote:
Evolution provides them with an alternative.

Evolution has nothing to do with belief in God. Evolution has everything to do with explaining the diversity of life on the planet. If your particular narrow view of the Bible and of God can't handle what we find in nature, that is your problem, not science's.

quote:
As for christians who believe in evolution? Those are just people who have been indoctrinated into believe evolution is fact,

OK, how often do you question your beliefs? Rarely to never? Why do you believe what you do? Because you were taught to?

How often to scientists question and test their hypothese and theories? Every day. Why do they come to the conclusions they do? Because the evidence points them in these directions, which may change as new evidence is discovered.

Don't you see a difference here?

quote:
or people who believe God *has* to perform his work in a way that we can understand(evolution.) Neither of which is true.

Why couldn't God have worked through evolution?

Which is more likely; that which we can infer, predict and observe, or that which was written down in a religious book which we have not seen, can't predict or test, and do not infer and observe?

quote:
quote:You also have to answer a larger question. If evolutionists are really perpetuating the theory through a 150 year old conspiracy of lies and distortions, how do they agree on which made-up "story" is the one they'll all support?

They don't agree. Because of the lack of transitional fossils, some evolutionist believe in immediate evolution, ie "the first bird hatched from a reptilian egg."


No, they don't.

quote:
While others believe in slow progressive evolution while maintaining the belief that transitional fossils will be found. The quotes I have given cite examples of evolutionists actually looking
at the big picture.

What would you consider a transitional fossil? A creature with features of two different species, yet not clearly either one?

Please define what you would consier a transitional and then we can determine if they exist. We could use the definition that scientists use if you like.

quote:
quote:

One of the most important requirements in solving a mystery is establishing a motive, and so far you don't have one. No evolutionist thinks that accepting evolution will bring spiritual rewards in the afterlife, so that's not it.

Well if evolution is true it helps people think the bible is wrong, right? So that would mean liberation from biblical rules.


No, it would mean that Biblical claims about the NATURAL WORLD are wrong. The morality and life lessons in the Bible are not be affected by the ToE.

quote:
quote:

The reason there's such unanimity about evolution is because it has a factual foundation. Simply mining Creationist websites for quotes isn't going to change that.

It's ok to have a theory based on observed science. It's not ok to force it upon everyone when it's unsubstantiated.


We have never observed an electron, you know. Nobody, anywhere, has ever directly observed one. We know of them purely by inference. By your reasoning, it is not OK to force the existence of electrons on everyone.

Also, we have never seen gravity. We infer it's existence by observing it's effects. By your reasoning, we should not force the idea of gravity on anyone because we have never directly observed it.

We have never directly observed the core of the Earth, but know through inference what it is made of. Should we not teach people in science class what the core of the Earth is made from because we have never observed it?

------------------
"We will still have perfect freedom to hold contrary views of our own, but to simply
close our minds to the knowledge painstakingly accumulated by hundreds of thousands
of scientists over long centuries is to deliberately decide to be ignorant and narrow-
minded."

-Steve Allen, from "Dumbth"


This message is a reply to:
 Message 44 by redstang281, posted 02-28-2002 12:08 PM redstang281 has not yet responded

  
nator
Member (Idle past 333 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 67 of 301 (6051)
03-03-2002 11:18 AM
Reply to: Message 63 by Jet
03-01-2002 6:33 PM


[QUOTE]Originally posted by Jet:
[b]
quote:
Originally posted by Punisher:
.......I do have a question. If a fish dwelling creature somehow developed a set of lungs over a long period of time; wouldn't he drown at some stage between a lack of gills and the prescence of lungs?

No, because the fish would have both gills and lungs at the same time.
One or the other would be selected for by the environment if the environment dictated that one or the other was a reproductive advantage. If having both is advantageous, and a niche was filled, the pressure of the environment isn't there to "pick" one over the other.

Ever heard of lungfish?

[QUOTE]If a rat starting growing wings from his front forelimbs; wouldn't he quickly be eaten or starve because of his inability to move with elongated yet useless front limbs/wings? My examples are simplified, I know.

quote:

You do not understand that intermediate structures are always functional. Everything is an intermediate structure, really.

For example, flying squirrels have a very basic wing, and are not compomised in their other movements. Bats have extremely specialized wings, yet are also able to climb.

quote:
Though you give simple examples and easy observations, no one bothered to respond to you query.

Sorry, I don't always get to every one.

quote:
There are a multiplicity of questions that arise on how particular species survived while they evolved, when their evolutionary traits would have left them very vulnerable to attack or would have resulted in their own destruction due to their not having all the necessary traits appear all at once in a single generation. These types of problems evolutionists prefer not to address. Things that make you go hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

They are addressed. Just because you don't know about them makes no difference.

quote:
This is similar to the modern pens evolving from quill pens or other such examples to which it must be replied that inanimate objects, things that have no life, cannot evolve. Automobiles do not evolve because they are not alive. Unfortunately for the evolutionists, this presents them with a problem when evolution is traced back to the beginning. This is also why evolutionists must say that the study of evolution does not deal with how life began. If they attempted to deal with the origin of life from non-life, they could never use the "you're an ignorant liar" defense without including themselves in the "ignorant liars" category. This is why they must have their theory begin after life has already been established.

Wow.

So, is the study of aerodynamis similarly bereft of integrity because it does not attempt to explain where wind comes from?

[QUOTE]To go back to the beginning of life springing forth from non-life with no help from an Intelligent Designer who could set it in motion, brings them headlong into the titanium wall of uncalculable improbability if not complete and total impossibility.
Things that make you go hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!
[/b]


I seem to remember Larry asking you to do some statistics back on the Yahoo club. Perhaps you have completed your math and would like to show us all here what you have come up with?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 63 by Jet, posted 03-01-2002 6:33 PM Jet has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 82 by Jet, posted 06-10-2002 8:13 AM nator has responded

  
Brad McFall
Member (Idle past 3196 days)
Posts: 3428
From: Ithaca,NY, USA
Joined: 12-20-2001


Message 68 of 301 (6119)
03-04-2002 11:17 AM
Reply to: Message 53 by Punisher
02-28-2002 12:40 PM


Transmission genetics is not physiological genetics but becasue geneticists themselves are unable to have clear teaching of the relevance of adaptive formations and non-adaptive but not neutral functionings I like not to take any realy "imaginary system" (of Maxwell) that may reside in your question materially naturally to answer it. So I did not, if you got it.

I am trying to figure out how the innear ear can attach first inside to the lung and then outside to the tetrapod limb in this case. Same transformation problem I think. Much of the talk of "transitional forms" would have been obviated if theoretical biology utlilized more Rene Thom's catastrophe theory to set out the forms that could and could not continually go from one (by mutation or not) to another, but this the evolutionists did not follow up on and since they continue to not do so at my prodding I look to baraminologists to incorporated the formalism into the empirical nature being science to be.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 53 by Punisher, posted 02-28-2002 12:40 PM Punisher has not yet responded

  
nator
Member (Idle past 333 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 69 of 301 (6128)
03-04-2002 1:01 PM
Reply to: Message 56 by redstang281
02-28-2002 1:29 PM


[QUOTE]Originally posted by redstang281:
[b][b] This website can answer your question.
http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs/4117.asp[/QUOTE]

This website is useless.

AiG has explicitly stated that any evidence which contradicts their own interpretation of the Bible will be ignored, so there is no reason to think that anything in AiG has any credibility at all, because it will resort to ignoring evidence it doesn't like.

Try again, this time with a secular source, please.

[QUOTE]Also here's some more information on horse "evolution."
http://www.bible.ca/tracks/textbook-fraud-dawn-horse-eohippus.htm

"The ancestral family tree of the horse is not what scientists have thought it to be. Prof. T.S. Westoll, Durham University geologist, told the British Association for the Advancement of Science at Edinburgh that the early classical evolutionary tree of the horse, beginning in the small dog-sized Eohippus and tracing directly to our present day Equinus, was all wrong."—Science News Letter, August 25, 1951, p. 118.

"There was a time when the existing fossils of the horses seemed to indicate a straight-lined evolution from small to large, from dog-like to horse-like, from animals with simple grinding teeth to animals with complicated cusps of modern horses . . As more fossils were uncovered, the chain splayed out into the usual phylogenetic net, and it was all too apparent that evolution had not been in a straight line at all. Unfortunately, before the picture was completely clear, an exhibit of horses as an example . . had been set up at the American Museum of Natural History [in New York City], photographed, and much reproduced in elementary textbooks."—Garrett Hardin, Nature and Man’s Fate (1960), pp. 225-226. (Those pictures are still being used in those textbooks.)

[This message has been edited by redstang281, 02-28-2002][/b][/QUOTE]

Wow, your most recent quote was from forty years ago. Don't you have anything more current?

IN addition, neither quote said that horses didn't evolve. They just said that the ordering was in error.

In fact, another quote from the same site states (emphasis added by me):

"When asked to provide evidence of long-term evolution, most scientists turn to the fossil record. Within this context, fossil horses are among the most frequently cited examples of evolution. The prominent Finnish paleontologist Bjorn Kurten wrote: 'One's mind inevitably turns to that inexhaustible textbook example, the horse sequence. This has been cited -- incorrectly more often than not -- as evidence for practically every evolutionary principle that has ever been coined.' This cautionary note notwithstanding, fossil horses do indeed provide compelling evidence in support of evolutionary theory." (The Fossil Record And Evolution: A Current Perspective, B. J. MacFadden Horses, Evol. Biol. ISBN: 22:131-158, 1988, p. 131)

"Because its complications are usually ignored by biology textbooks, creationists have claimed the horse story is no longer valid. However, the main features of the story have in fact stood the test of time...." (Futuyma, D.J. 1982. Science on Trial: The Case for Evolution, p 85)

"All the morphological changes in the history of the Equidae can be accounted for by the neo-Darwinian theory of microevolution: genetic variation, natural selection, genetic drift, and speciation." (Futuyma, D.J. 1986. Evolutionary Biology, p 409)

"The fossil record [of horses] provides a lucid story of descent with change for nearly 50 million years, and we know much about the ancestors of modern horses."(Phylogeny of the family Equidae, R. L. Evander, 1989, p 125)

What you state isn't a devastating falsification of horse evolution. It is just an adjustment of our understanding of horse evolution in the light of new evidence.

Now, if they continue to put incorrect information in textbooks, then that needs to change.

Scientists used to construct dinosaur fossils like T.-Rex in a very upright posture. Now, because of a lot of research over a long time, we have started to reassemble the skeletons in a more perpendicular way because it makes more sense from a weighbearing and cocomotive sense. We adjusted and refined our understanding when evidence mounted which suggested that we do so. What is the problem?

Why do you require that scientists have perfect knowledge of everything all at once?

[This message has been edited by schrafinator, 03-04-2002]

[This message has been edited by schrafinator, 03-04-2002]


This message is a reply to:
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Quetzal
Member (Idle past 4035 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 70 of 301 (6129)
03-04-2002 4:15 PM
Reply to: Message 69 by nator
03-04-2002 1:01 PM


Hi Schraf: Good response. See my post #60 in this thread where I pointed out once again to Redstang that the quotes he was getting from AiG were erroneous. In this case, the lack of context is the culprit, rather than deliberate misrepresentation. In both instances, the authors were discussing the discredited late-19th Century idea of "orthogenesis". Both were discussing the early history of evolutionary thought - not modern theory. Westoll talks about the "early classical evolutionary tree" and Hardin talks about "there was a time (i.e., in the past) when the existing fossils of the horses seemed to indicate a straight-lined evolution" (IOW orthogenesis). AiG is SOOOOO predictable.
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jhmyself
Inactive Member


Message 71 of 301 (6168)
03-05-2002 11:29 PM
Reply to: Message 70 by Quetzal
03-04-2002 4:15 PM


Hi. I've been reserching evolution recently (because of a school assignment, partialy, but also because I'm curious about the evidence that either side has for or against it). I've been reading a book that had a chapter on the fossil record, and it made a point that I don't believe has been discussed here. Maybe that's because no one's thought about it. Maybe it's because I'm an idiot for believing what some moron wrote in a book. But this is basicaly the argument:

"If evolution realy did occur from small, micro evolutionary changes over millions of years, then we should have at least thousands of fossils showing each and every micro evolutionary step. pointing to a small handfull of "transitional" fossils wouldn't be enough."

I'm curious to know how valid this argument is.


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Quetzal
Member (Idle past 4035 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 72 of 301 (6178)
03-06-2002 8:06 AM
Reply to: Message 71 by jhmyself
03-05-2002 11:29 PM


Hi jhmyself:

Welcome to the forum. You pose an excellent question - "If evolution is true, why don't we see micro-changes in the fossil record?" And you're right, I'm not sure that specific question has been addressed. From what book did you get the quote (just curious – it works out better if you provide citations for your quotes)?

quote:
Originally posted by jhmyself:
Hi. I've been reserching evolution recently (because of a school assignment, partialy, but also because I'm curious about the evidence that either side has for or against it). I've been reading a book that had a chapter on the fossil record, and it made a point that I don't believe has been discussed here. Maybe that's because no one's thought about it. Maybe it's because I'm an idiot for believing what some moron wrote in a book. But this is basicaly the argument:

"If evolution realy did occur from small, micro evolutionary changes over millions of years, then we should have at least thousands of fossils showing each and every micro evolutionary step. pointing to a small handfull of "transitional" fossils wouldn't be enough."

I'm curious to know how valid this argument is.


There are several fundamental problems with what may be the idea behind the quote (that’s why I asked which book it came from). To wit, this would not be what we would expect to find in reality. The statement as written implies a fair amount of anti-evolutionary bias, “argument from incredulity” fallacy, and “false analogy” (“strawman’) argumentation.

One of the key reasons why we wouldn’t expect to see this is the difficulty in anything actually fossilizing in the first place – of all the millions upon millions of organisms that have lived and died on this planet since the first unicellular life arose, only a relatively tiny handful died in conditions where they could be fossilized. And of that handful, many (possibly even the majority) that did fossilize were destroyed by natural processes: everything from erosion (wind, water, glaciers, etc) to volcanism (buried or destroyed) to bioturbation (wrecked by burrowing animals) to plate subduction (melted back into the molten core of the planet) to destruction by geology (ground to powder during an overthrust event or shattered by upthrust). Others, possibly more than have already been recovered, are buried so deep that finding them is impossible. The discovery of a fossil of anything is the exception, rather than the rule. The demand that every single animal be fossilized (which is what the quoted statement is implying) is an impossibility.

Turning it around: if every organism that died was fossilized, and if every fossil was perfectly preserved, and if every perfectly preserved fossil could be found, then my prediction would be we WOULD find microtransitions. However, that’s pure wishful thinking. The fact that the fossil record is as complete as it is (enough to develop good hypotheses), and so many gross morphological transitions ARE documented, is in itself something of a miracle.

Does this answer your question?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 71 by jhmyself, posted 03-05-2002 11:29 PM jhmyself has not yet responded

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 Message 73 by joz, posted 03-06-2002 9:12 AM Quetzal has not yet responded

joz
Inactive Member


Message 73 of 301 (6182)
03-06-2002 9:12 AM
Reply to: Message 72 by Quetzal
03-06-2002 8:06 AM


Also Punctuated equilibrium comes into play, it works basically like this...

A small geographically and genetically isolated population (A)evolves faster than a large population where genes must take longer to reach fixation (B)...

At some point the population (A) overcomes the geographical isolation and being more evolved to suit the environment supplants the population (B)....

What we see in the fossil record unless we get very lucky and dig in the area of geographic confinement is an abrupt transition from the species that comprised population (B) and the initial population of (A) to the species which comprised the population (A) at the time of geographic breakout....

This combined with the rarity of fossilised organisms accounts for the lack of intermediary fossils....


This message is a reply to:
 Message 72 by Quetzal, posted 03-06-2002 8:06 AM Quetzal has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 74 by gene90, posted 03-06-2002 10:49 AM joz has not yet responded

gene90
Member (Idle past 1986 days)
Posts: 1610
Joined: 12-25-2000


Message 74 of 301 (6187)
03-06-2002 10:49 AM
Reply to: Message 73 by joz
03-06-2002 9:12 AM


Then you have the fact that most microevolutionary modifications won't leave an imprint on fossils. How many species of squirrel are there today? Now how many would we recognize if we only knew about squirrels through fossilized bones?
This message is a reply to:
 Message 73 by joz, posted 03-06-2002 9:12 AM joz has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 75 by Quetzal, posted 03-06-2002 4:27 PM gene90 has not yet responded

Quetzal
Member (Idle past 4035 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 75 of 301 (6207)
03-06-2002 4:27 PM
Reply to: Message 74 by gene90
03-06-2002 10:49 AM


Well, after all, I said it was one of the key reasons...
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 Message 74 by gene90, posted 03-06-2002 10:49 AM gene90 has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 76 by jhmyself, posted 03-07-2002 8:14 PM Quetzal has not yet responded

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