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Author Topic:   "If I descended from an ape, how come apes are still here?"
Taq
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Posts: 8519
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Member Rating: 3.1


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Message 7 of 286 (636934)
10-12-2011 11:42 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Tangle
10-12-2011 9:58 AM


I'm trying to pull together a more complete explanation so that someone for whom the idea is both new and difficult can understand. There are plenty of people that are entirely puzzled by it but are prepared to try.

This goes hand in hand with another creationist misconception which I will talk about further at the bottom of the post. It all comes down to not understanding the implications of descent with modification.

It might help to go further down the clade and walk them down the evolutionary timeline along with a link to tolweb.org (which I think is a good resource for these types of debates).

Humans and chimps share a common ancestor that was an ape, and they are both still apes.
http://tolweb.org/Hominidae/16299

Humans and lemurs share a common ancestor that was a primate, and they are both still primates.
http://tolweb.org/Primates/15963

Humans and bears share a common ancestor that was a mammal, and they are both still mammals.
http://tolweb.org/Eutheria/15997

Humans and trout share a common ancestor that was a vertebrate, and they are both still vertebrates.
http://tolweb.org/Gnathostomata/14843

Humans and amoeba share a common ancestor that was a eukaryote, and they are both still eukaryotes.
http://tolweb.org/Eukaryotes/3

You could even slice it up even more, showing the relationships within bilateria, deuterosomes, etc. Each tolweb page has a link for the containing group which is something you can always point to.

The important point is that evolution does not produce something totally different as many creationists think. Too often I have seen creationists asking why we do not observe the evolution of a completely different species. The answer is that this is not how evolution works. You are what your ancestors were, PLUS MODIFICATIONS. Evolution is descent with modification, not evolution of something completely different.


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Taq
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Posts: 8519
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Message 47 of 286 (637253)
10-14-2011 11:57 AM
Reply to: Message 28 by Tangle
10-14-2011 3:08 AM


Re: He's no atheist
I've been an atheist since the age of 14 and am now - well, a lot older. I have a BSC in Zoology which is as lapsed as my Catholicism.

Then your cladistics is probably as rusty as your catechisms. The answer to the question in the opening post lies in cladistics. Relearn how cladistics is done (hint: shared characteristics) and you will have an easy time answering the creationist question.


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Taq
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Posts: 8519
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.1


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Message 48 of 286 (637254)
10-14-2011 12:07 PM
Reply to: Message 45 by PaulK
10-14-2011 7:50 AM


Firstly, we don't have any thing like a complete record of every species that ever lived. A large majority have left no fossils.

I have always felt that this argument is very weak. I suspect that every species has left at least one fossil somwhere. What needs to be stressed is how little of the fossil record we have searched, and how hard it is to find and gain access to the oldest deposits, assuming that these deposits have survived eons of erosion and subduction. Paleontologists are limited to sediments that are accessible, be it on the surface or on an erosional surface. If that fossil is in the middle of a huge mountain formation it will never be found (most likely).

This also explains why new transitional fossil species are being found every year. For example, all of the new feathered dinosaur transitionals that have been found over the last 20 years is the product of finding a new fossil bed in China. We still have not found all of the important fossil beds that are accessible, much less all of the fossils that do exist.


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Taq
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Posts: 8519
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.1


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Message 49 of 286 (637255)
10-14-2011 12:11 PM
Reply to: Message 46 by Tangle
10-14-2011 8:16 AM


So, I'm just looking for some good fossils in the lineage of an iconic species that fits the purpose of my story. It doesn't need to be complete, it just needs to show a logical progression to back up the concept. It's a basic teaching method - illustrate your ideas with examples that support the story in a rational way.

Then why not go with the most iconic species of all: us.

Show them this picture:

Ask the creationists to create a list of criteria. Using those criteria, determine which of the fossils are human and which are ape. I have yet to find a creationist who will do this. It only proves the point that there is not a non-arbitrary border between humans and apes.


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Taq
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Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 51 of 286 (637265)
10-14-2011 1:22 PM
Reply to: Message 50 by Tangle
10-14-2011 1:16 PM


That was/is the plan - we have several good fossil steps down the Homo line towards Pan p. what I'm missing are any equivalent steps on Pan t's line, plus no Pan p fossil.

You don't need them. Just show our line and ask them to draw a line between human and ape, and justify this line with non-arbitrary criteria. Creationists are not arguing that apes should not exist if chimps evolved from apes so why would you need to show that lineage?


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Taq
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Posts: 8519
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 125 of 286 (651577)
02-08-2012 11:38 AM
Reply to: Message 113 by amp1022
02-07-2012 8:30 PM


Really? Wow! I had no idea that creationists had waved the white flag.

Given the complete lack of scientific research coming from creationists it would seem that they have waved the white flag where the science is concerned. They know that they can not win the scientific argument. They lost a long time ago. The only argument they are trying to win now is a political one where they use lies and misrepresentation to try and convince an audience that does not understand the science.

Well thanks for letting me know that THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION (as you put it) is a proven FACT... the theory is a fact.

Evolution is both a theory and a fact. The theory of evolution explains the facts of evolution. Using the examples above, it is a fact that modern wolves, chihuahuas, and great danes all share a common ancestor that most resembled modern wolves. This is a fact of evolution. The theory of evolution explains why all three modern canid groups are different from each other which is through the proposed mechanisms of evolution (i.e. descent with modification through mutation and selection).


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Taq
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Posts: 8519
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Message 169 of 286 (656587)
03-20-2012 10:56 AM
Reply to: Message 166 by Big_Al35
03-20-2012 8:29 AM


Not sure if all these fossils look all that different. On what basis are you determining that these fossils are all different from modern man?

The same way that you determine that dogs are different than modern humans: differences in morphology.

If you took the fossil of a 19 year old man and compared it with the fossil of a 60 year old man what differences would you see?

You would not see drastically reduced cranium size, more pronounced prognathus (jaw jutting forward), larger brow ridges, or the numerous other differences that separate transitional hominids and modern humans.

If you were to extrapolate that difference to people who could potentially live till they were 800 years old what might you see?

You tell us. This is your fantasy, not ours.


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Taq
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Posts: 8519
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Message 174 of 286 (656716)
03-21-2012 11:38 AM


Skin on bones
Perhaps it would help to put something over the bones to help non-experts see the differences. This is a recreation of H. erectus:

The differences are a very large lower jaw, the large gap between the bottom of the nose and the top lip, lack of a protruding chin, very large eyebrow ridges, lack of a forehead, and smaller cranium. This is not an anatomically modern human. Those differences are not related to age.


  
Taq
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Member Rating: 3.1


Message 187 of 286 (656831)
03-22-2012 11:22 AM
Reply to: Message 181 by Big_Al35
03-22-2012 9:58 AM


Re: on shared (synapomorphies) and derived (apomorphies) features
Additional Evidence

There are 100s of links that I could give but hopefully this will be my last.

If we linked to examples of old people not regrowing teeth would you accept it? Yes, there are rare cases where people grow a new set of teeth. Again, this is a VERY rare trait.

On top of that, this doesn't explain the other differences in morphology such as jaw size, cranium size, eyebrow ridges, etc.


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Taq
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Posts: 8519
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.1


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Message 199 of 286 (656939)
03-23-2012 11:45 AM
Reply to: Message 196 by Big_Al35
03-23-2012 8:50 AM


Re: Getting Back On Topic
No, my original point was that the fossil ancestors discovered have dimensions that often fall well within the range of modern humans.

You are definitely going to need evidence to back up this assertion.

My point was that the evidence that RAZD provided was unacceptable.

Then you need to supply something to back up this claim. As far as I can tell, fossils with a mixture of modern human and primitive ape characteristics is exactly the kind of evidence we should see if evolution is true. If you are looking for a different type of evidence then please tell us what it is.


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Taq
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Posts: 8519
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.1


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Message 258 of 286 (658141)
04-02-2012 3:02 PM
Reply to: Message 250 by Big_Al35
03-27-2012 4:13 PM


Re: Let's talk about Al
Issues such as the effects of weathering, diet change, environmental factors, and medicine seem to be completely ignored.

Since when? These factors are not ignored.

I am not even convinced by your dating arguments.

What evidence would convince you? Why don't you find the current evidence convincing?

You will also notice that you completely failed to answer the questions in the post you replied to. Here they are again:

#1) What do you feel is the best explanation for the fossils that exist?
#2) What would you expect/need to see to be convinced that fossils represent changes over time from one set of features to a different set of features?

Why can't you answer these questions? They seem very pertinent to the topic at hand. Instead of us repeating the evidence that convinced us why don't you tell us what type of evidence would convince you? We are trying to be fair by putting the ball in your court. If there is no conceivable evidence that would convince you then now would be the time to fess up.

Edited by Taq, : No reason given.


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Taq
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Posts: 8519
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 264 of 286 (658877)
04-10-2012 3:16 PM
Reply to: Message 263 by Big_Al35
04-10-2012 3:01 PM


Re: Ducking?
I must have missed your ground breaking posts then!

Tu quoque noted. Care to move this discussion along? Answering these questions would really help:

#1) What do you feel is the best explanation for the fossils that exist?
#2) What would you expect/need to see to be convinced that fossils represent changes over time from one set of features to a different set of features?


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