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Author Topic:   Vestigial Organs?
CosmicAtheist
Member (Idle past 4129 days)
Posts: 31
From: Washington, USA
Joined: 04-07-2010


Message 31 of 109 (554668)
04-09-2010 1:48 PM


http://www.livescience.com/animals/top10_vestigial_organs.html

I found this a little interesting.

quote:
The Blind Fish Astyanax Mexicanus

In an experiment designed by nature, the species of fish known as Astyanax mexicanus, dwelling in caves deep underground off the coast of Mexico, cannot see. The pale fish has eyes, but as it is developing in the egg, the eyes begin to degenerate, and the fish is born with a collapsed remnant of an eye covered by flap of skin. These vestigial eyes probably formed after hundreds or even thousands of years of living in total darkness. As for the experiment, a control is needed; and luckily for us, fish of the same species live right above, near the surface, where there is plenty of light, and these fish have fully functioning eyes. To test if the eyes of the blind mexicanus could function if given the right environment, scientists removed the lens from the eye of the surface-dwelling fish and implanted it into the eye of the blind fish. It was observed that within eight days an eye started to develop beneath the skin, and after two months the fish had developed a large functioning eye with a pupil, cornea, and iris. The fish were blind, but now they see.


I am still a little confused as to how "within eight days an eye started to develop beneath the skin, and after two months the fish had developed a large functioning eye with a pupil, cornea, and iris." That's rather fast.

Edited by CosmicAtheist, : No reason given.


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Taq
Member
Posts: 8519
Joined: 03-06-2009


Message 32 of 109 (554705)
04-09-2010 3:54 PM
Reply to: Message 31 by CosmicAtheist
04-09-2010 1:48 PM


I am still a little confused as to how "within eight days an eye started to develop beneath the skin, and after two months the fish had developed a large functioning eye with a pupil, cornea, and iris." That's rather fast.

That's how fast it occurs in the embryo, so it isn't without precedent. Just at first glance, this would seem to indicate that the development in the cave fish eye is halted at an early stage and that this process can be restarted by transplanting cells from a species with fully developed eyes.


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dwise1
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Posts: 5073
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 33 of 109 (554718)
04-09-2010 4:31 PM
Reply to: Message 30 by Dr Jack
04-09-2010 1:46 PM


Yes, I realise that, Dwise's definition does not allow for it, however.

I wasn't trying to define "vestigial organ". The point was the typical creationist tactic of imposing an unrealistic definition in order to artificially define inconvenient evidence out of existence.

By defining "vestigial organ" as having to have no function, they then can define it away by showing that it does serve some function, even if that is not the original primary function.

Sorry for having confused you with "new function". Such "new functions" were meant to be formerly secondary functions becoming primary. Eg, the pelvises of snakes and of whales no longer serve as attachments for their hind legs that they no longer have (not counting the occasional whale born with rudimentary leg stubs), however muscles and bone do still attach to them, so that has become their "new" function. Of course, back when their ancestors still had hind legs, their pelvis did also serve to attach to their spine and to provide attachment points for muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

Sorry for having caused any confusion. I had assumed that it should be obvious.


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Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 682 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


Message 34 of 109 (554721)
04-09-2010 5:00 PM
Reply to: Message 33 by dwise1
04-09-2010 4:31 PM


Just for the record, I couldn't care less if a particular example is or is not a vestigial organ, has no function or has some function. I don't have a vested interest one way or the other. My point is that IF it is a vestigial organ or an organ with no function then I wouldn't be trying to find one for it as some creationists apparently do, because it is easily enough explained in terms of the disease and death that the Fall brought into the world. If it has a function, fine, no problem.

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dwise1
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Posts: 5073
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 35 of 109 (554723)
04-09-2010 5:08 PM
Reply to: Message 31 by CosmicAtheist
04-09-2010 1:48 PM


I have seen similar accounts mentioned of hens' teeth. Take gum tissue from a mouse embryo and apply it to the jaw of a chick embryo, and you get hens' teeth -- tooth buds form in the chick jaw.

Admittedly not my area of expertise (which happens to be C and digital electronics), but my understanding of embroyic development (which is what you're talking about) includes tissue activating particular genes based on bio-chemical signals from its neighboring tissue -- eg, all cells in the embryo contain the genes for producing teeth, but only the jaw tissue adjacent to gum tissue will actually express those genes, whereas the tissue about the knee does not (much more salacious alternative sites for teeth could be imagined, depending on the degree of mysogyny one suffers from).

Embryonic development is where the rubber meets the road. Whatever mutations occur, the only ones that are of any possible importance to evolution are the ones happen in the germ cells (AKA sperm and ova). Mutations to body cells are meaningless (albeit potentially extremely meaningful to that individual, particularly if that mutation results in cancer), because they cannot be inherited. Also, mutations caused by adnormal conditions during development are also meaningless -- these are what creationists commonly refer to as "mutations are always deleterious" -- , unless they also cause changes in the DNA of the germ cells, since such mutations (barring any changes to germ cell DNA) only affect that individual and not its offspring. Only changes in the DNA of germ cells can possibly have any evolutionary meaning.

And -- despite how fast-and-loose Star Trek:TNG+ would play with DNA -- , most of those changes in germ-cell DNA should only make themselves apparent during embryonic development. I feel that understanding what goes on during embryonic development is an essential part of understanding how evolution had happened in the past. Comparing the protein sequences of different species is only the beginning.


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bluescat48
Member (Idle past 3427 days)
Posts: 2347
From: United States
Joined: 10-06-2007


Message 36 of 109 (554770)
04-10-2010 1:25 AM
Reply to: Message 34 by Faith
04-09-2010 5:00 PM


siple expanation?¿
because it is easily enough explained in terms of the disease and death that the Fall brought into the world.

Oh! Really, then please explain it.


There is no better love between 2 people than mutual respect for each other WT Young, 2002

Who gave anyone the authority to call me an authority on anything. WT Young, 1969

Since Evolution is only ~90% correct it should be thrown out and replaced by Creation which has even a lower % of correctness. W T Young, 2008


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Kitsune
Member (Idle past 3537 days)
Posts: 788
From: Leicester, UK
Joined: 09-16-2007


Message 37 of 109 (554771)
04-10-2010 2:48 AM
Reply to: Message 36 by bluescat48
04-10-2010 1:25 AM


Creationist misinformation
AIG says something similar:

Creationists understand that there has been degeneration and mutation since the Fall. We also expect that there would be a significant loss of information for many genes. The loss of genes for organs that do not significantly impact survival in a negative way could be quite prevalent. Thus, for the creationist, there should be no problem with an organ or structure in man that has lost some functionality. However, another possibility is that we have just not determined or understood the function properly yet.

Seems odd, doesn't it, that the Fall would cause God's perfect creatures to "degenerate" and mutate. Is everything on a path to oblivion, according to them? There seems to be a (typical) assumption here that all mutations are deleterious. Notice also (as has been observed early in this thread) the belief that vestigial organs must have no useful function.

Another interesting source for similar is Conservapedia. Among its claims:

Even assuming it could be established that the ancestor of snakes today had legs, creationists have no problem in principle with loss of features through natural processes. Development of leglessness is not evidence for molecules-to-man evolution, which requires addition of new genetic information. Loss of legs could be achieved through degeneration of the DNA information sequences that specify leg development

Gosh it's a lucky thing that this "degeneration of DNA information sequences" only happened to snakes -- sounds like it could happen to any poor creature! And boy howdy, leglessness does not prove evolution -- a devastating well-supported factually-based argument.

However, this argument ignores the counter argument of the fall, where it is understood that current conditions are not the way God originally designed, and that vestigial structures are, if anything, evidence for devolution, not evolution

Yet another comment about the magical Fall initiating "degeneration," and curiously again, no evidence for this whatsoever.

Edited by Kitsune, : No reason given.

Edited by Kitsune, : No reason given.


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Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 682 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


(1)
Message 38 of 109 (554773)
04-10-2010 4:28 AM
Reply to: Message 36 by bluescat48
04-10-2010 1:25 AM


Re: siple expanation?¿
I did explain it. The Fall gives an explanation for disease and death so where we see disease and death the Fall is the explanation.

The Creation doesn't explain everything for creationists, is the point. The Creation explains design in nature, but not everything is design; there is also disease and death and deformity.

When the Fall isn't taken into account you get people accusing God of "bad design" and creationists trying to make unfunctioning things have a function. If you take the Fall into account you have an explanation for both design and death.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


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hotjer
Member (Idle past 3782 days)
Posts: 113
From: Denmark
Joined: 04-02-2010


Message 39 of 109 (554774)
04-10-2010 5:08 AM
Reply to: Message 38 by Faith
04-10-2010 4:28 AM


Re: siple expanation?¿
but it is a very poor explanation since you do not have evidence for the fall. And if you say "we got the bible" it does not really give more sense to the explanation for a lot of reasons. But of course, I am just a silly agnostic who tries to lead you to the path of Satan

Anyways, we do not need the hypothesis of God to explain how the world works


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Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 682 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


Message 40 of 109 (554775)
04-10-2010 5:21 AM
Reply to: Message 39 by hotjer
04-10-2010 5:08 AM


Re: siple expanation?¿
Could be all false, but the point is that these two explanations are available to creationists whether you are convinced of them or not.

In most contexts an ancient written document would be taken as excellent evidence. Prejudice against the Bible is the odd thing.


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hotjer
Member (Idle past 3782 days)
Posts: 113
From: Denmark
Joined: 04-02-2010


Message 41 of 109 (554777)
04-10-2010 5:36 AM
Reply to: Message 40 by Faith
04-10-2010 5:21 AM


Re: siple expanation?¿
Of course there are both explanation which they can choose between. Does not make them both equally strong opinions.

I am not prejudice against the Bible. I read the whole thing once, I have seen documentaries and actually, I have books about the Bible (linquistic analysis for example). To sum it up, I think, I have a well informed opinion about the Bible itself.

But I guess I am just a close-minded and ignorant fool


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Taq
Member
Posts: 8519
Joined: 03-06-2009


Message 42 of 109 (554817)
04-10-2010 10:47 AM
Reply to: Message 38 by Faith
04-10-2010 4:28 AM


Re: siple expanation?¿
I did explain it. The Fall gives an explanation for disease and death so where we see disease and death the Fall is the explanation.

This is an explanation in the same way that Thor's Hammer is an explanation for thunder. IOW, it doesn't explain anything. It is a belief that has no connection to reality.

When the Fall isn't taken into account you get people accusing God of "bad design" and creationists trying to make unfunctioning things have a function. If you take the Fall into account you have an explanation for both design and death.

So what did the extensor coccygis muscle do prior the fall? In modern humans it spans a fused joint in the tail bone. In other species with tails this muscle is used to raise the tail. So what did this muscle do in Pre-Fall man?


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Coragyps
Member
Posts: 5553
From: Snyder, Texas, USA
Joined: 11-12-2002


Message 43 of 109 (554818)
04-10-2010 10:49 AM
Reply to: Message 40 by Faith
04-10-2010 5:21 AM


Re: siple expanation?¿
In most contexts an ancient written document would be taken as excellent evidence.

Indeed. That's why belief in Poseidon is so widespread today, Faith: the Iliad is an ancient document, and excellent evidence for his rulership over watery stuff.

How does the Fall explain tooth buds in baleen whale embryos? They resorb the buds before birth. Was the Original Mommy Whale standing close to the Tree whan Eve ate the fruit?


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bluescat48
Member (Idle past 3427 days)
Posts: 2347
From: United States
Joined: 10-06-2007


Message 44 of 109 (554823)
04-10-2010 11:17 AM
Reply to: Message 40 by Faith
04-10-2010 5:21 AM


Re: siple expanation?¿
It isn't prejudice against the Bible, but the fact that there is no evidence to back up the stories. The evidence goes against the stories.
If as you say the Fall was the cause, what did the spirochete that causes syphilis do before thew Fall?

Edited by bluescat48, : sp


There is no better love between 2 people than mutual respect for each other WT Young, 2002

Who gave anyone the authority to call me an authority on anything. WT Young, 1969

Since Evolution is only ~90% correct it should be thrown out and replaced by Creation which has even a lower % of correctness. W T Young, 2008


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 Message 40 by Faith, posted 04-10-2010 5:21 AM Faith has taken no action

  
Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 682 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


Message 45 of 109 (554833)
04-10-2010 12:26 PM
Reply to: Message 43 by Coragyps
04-10-2010 10:49 AM


Re: siple expanation?¿
Isn't it true that even facts in Homer's fiction have been used by archaeologists to find real places?

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