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Author Topic:   Archaeopteryx and Dino-Bird Evolution
Nuggin
Member (Idle past 827 days)
Posts: 2965
From: Los Angeles, CA USA
Joined: 08-09-2005


Message 1 of 200 (248753)
10-04-2005 12:26 AM


Couldn't help but notice that none of the most active times are about Evolution, so I thought we should start a thread on a hot topic.

Additionally, I ran into this quote on one of the threads:

you evos assert birds descended from dinosaurs. This is counter-intuitive: very large animals (dinosaurs) evolving into predominantly small animals (birds) = nonsense.

So, while this topic has been covered in the past, it clearly needs to be gone over again.

Creationists / IDers frequently ask for "evidence of macro evolution" or "transitional species". For my money, archaeopteryx is hands down the prettiest, most glaringly obvious example of this.

Here is a particularly pretty example - one of several
http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/diapsids/birds/archaeopteryx.html

You'll notice even from a passing glance that this animal had feathers.

Feathers today are a feature completely unique to birds. All birds have feathers, and only birds have feathers.

And, yet, here is a creature which is certainly not a bird. If you couldn't see the feathers, you'ld think this was simply a small dinosaur. It has teeth, a lizards breastbone, a long lizard-like tail, claws on it's wings.

How creationists can look at this and still claim that there are "no transitionals" or that "there is no evidence of macro-evolution" is beyond me.

Perhaps they could explain here. Hopefully, at least, the original poster of the above argument can use this thread to make himself clearer.

{"Archie" changed to "Archaeopteryx" in topic title on 11/6/05) - Adminnemooseus}

This message has been edited by Adminnemooseus, 11-06-2005 03:54 PM


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AdminNosy
Administrator
Posts: 4754
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Joined: 11-11-2003


Message 2 of 200 (248756)
10-04-2005 12:34 AM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.

  
arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 312 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 3 of 200 (248761)
10-04-2005 2:04 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Nuggin
10-04-2005 12:26 AM


i know this has been done before.

the problem (as we ran into with david in the chat the other night) is that creationists do not ALLOW evidence of transition. the first creationist post here will, of course, be to draw an arbitrary line in the sand.

this is a dino, this is a bird. and there's nothing in between. archaeopteryx? that's just a feathered dinosaur. not a transition. or wait, was that a toothed bird? i forget. it's particularly ironic because the creationist community can't agree on what it is, exactly. it can't be a transitional, because they don't exist, so it's gotta be "just" one or the other.

it's sort of circular, really. it amounts to "there aren't any because i've defined the system so they can't exist."

the problem, really, comes with the fact that we actually know a whole heck of a lot about how feathers and flight evolved. we have feathers at all kinds of stages of transition. and we have feathered dinosaurs with all kinds of combinations of theropodal and avian features. archaeopteryx is not a lone example of this.

in fact, we are finding more and more dinosaurs with feathers.

i suspect as this thread progresses a little, i'll make the point by posting a bit about a few of them. but one has to be up on paleontology to really appreciate and understand what's been going on.

just for kicks, here's the wikipedia category on feathered dinosaurs and prehistoric birds. the line's a bit fuzzy, so there's some overlap.

This message has been edited by arachnophilia, 10-04-2005 04:13 AM


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Nuggin
Member (Idle past 827 days)
Posts: 2965
From: Los Angeles, CA USA
Joined: 08-09-2005


Message 4 of 200 (248764)
10-04-2005 3:06 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by arachnophilia
10-04-2005 2:04 AM


Oh, I know
Yeah, I totally agree Arac

On an earlier thread I was talking with a creationist/IDer who shall remain unnamed. I went over all this stuff.

He proposed that Archie was good evidence for ID, since the fully formed feathers appeared suddenly in the fossil record, and that earlier forms wouldn't serve any purpose.

I pointed out that they were predated by more primative feathers (downy feathers for example) which serve uses other than flight. Warmth for example.

His quote after that - "I've never heard of such things, but if they did exist, that would be a good step toward me accepting evolution."

Excellent, I thought. Finally, evidence trumps ignorace.

I posted links to pictures and definitions, explainations, evidence. The whole boat.

The response "Well, those websites say that the fossils show "downy like" feathers, not downy feathers. How do we know they have downy feathers and not just hairs that look-like downy feathers."

Sigh, there is no winning.

But, for the veiwers who come here with an open mind, we can use this thread to once again expose the complete lack of logic utilitized by the YEC.


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arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 312 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 5 of 200 (248771)
10-04-2005 4:18 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Nuggin
10-04-2005 3:06 AM


Re: Oh, I know
He proposed that Archie was good evidence for ID, since the fully formed feathers appeared suddenly in the fossil record, and that earlier forms wouldn't serve any purpose.

which, of course, is not true, as you pointed out:

I pointed out that they were predated by more primative feathers (downy feathers for example) which serve uses other than flight. Warmth for example.

even if they don't supply warmth, they also can serve a DISPLAY function.

His quote after that - "I've never heard of such things, but if they did exist, that would be a good step toward me accepting evolution."

Excellent, I thought. Finally, evidence trumps ignorace.

I posted links to pictures and definitions, explainations, evidence. The whole boat.

The response "Well, those websites say that the fossils show "downy like" feathers, not downy feathers. How do we know they have downy feathers and not just hairs that look-like downy feathers."

that's just silly. they say "downy-like" because it's NOT down, just remarkably like it. down is technically the undercoat of a bird's feathers, attached to larger more developed feathers. the "down" on these dinosaurs is exactly the same as the down a baby bird would grow -- they just never grow the major feathers.

it's sort of like calling an axelotl "salamander-like." technically, the only reason it's not a salamander is because it never goes through the metamorphosis to become one. it stays in the "baby" form its entire life.

it's basically the same thing.


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Thor
Member (Idle past 4245 days)
Posts: 148
From: Sydney, Australia
Joined: 12-20-2004


Message 6 of 200 (248772)
10-04-2005 4:23 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Nuggin
10-04-2005 12:26 AM


Additionally, I ran into this quote on one of the threads:
you evos assert birds descended from dinosaurs. This is counter-intuitive: very large animals (dinosaurs) evolving into predominantly small animals (birds) = nonsense.

and

Perhaps they could explain here. Hopefully, at least, the original poster of the above argument can use this thread to make himself clearer.

Actually, I'd say that particular argument is very clear. That is, clear that the particular poster has a rather poor understanding of evolution.

Trying to get the idea of transitionals accepted by someone who doesn't seem to understand the basic concepts of evolution should be a challenge. The best of luck to you sir!


On the 7th day, God was arrested.

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arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 312 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 7 of 200 (248777)
10-04-2005 4:42 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Thor
10-04-2005 4:23 AM


That is, clear that the particular poster has a rather poor understanding of evolution.

i think that's actually the primary cause of the problem here. people don't understand it, haven't had enough actual exposure to the science, data, and evidence, and just basically aren't familiar with the intricacies of what a skilled person can tell from the evidence.

david, for instance, didn't know how we could tell that some dinosaurs had feathers -- something very obvious if you've ever seen a picture of the archie fossils (see above). but that's the kind of thing the average spectator can tell, so we could tell that david had never seen archaeopteryx (so we showed him). the trained professional can tell much, much more. for instance, how the muscles attached to the bones. how it moved. what the animal ate. and sometimes something about the social structure of the animal, based on the context it's found in.

it's almost like the creationists actually think the scientists look at something in isolation for three seconds, and then make up a fairytale to explain it. the don't seem to realize that people who spend their entire lives studying a field in minute and technical detail probably know a lot more about it than they do.


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Nuggin
Member (Idle past 827 days)
Posts: 2965
From: Los Angeles, CA USA
Joined: 08-09-2005


Message 8 of 200 (248991)
10-04-2005 11:47 PM


Bump! Where are you Creationists?
Herep? Iano? David? Gene?

Where are all you guys? This is a big topic. Disprove Archie and you've won a major battle for YEC!

Here's your big chance!


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Lammy
Member
Posts: 3616
From: Chicago
Joined: 03-29-2004


Message 9 of 200 (248992)
10-04-2005 11:52 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by Nuggin
10-04-2005 11:47 PM


Re: Bump! Where are you Creationists?
Come now, we all know that those imprints are feather-like, not feathers :P

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arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 312 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 10 of 200 (249257)
10-05-2005 8:31 PM


ok, this is annoying me.
if anyone saw this thread with the mp3's of jared hoag and kent hovind on the radio, hovind keeps making this one particular claim, and i'll paraphrase.

evolutionists say that birds evolved from therpods, saurischian (lizard hipped) dinosaurs, not ornithischian (bird hipped) dinosaurs. on the surface, that's a pretty convincing argument. bird ≠ bird? what sense does that make.

pretty good sense, actually, when you realize that names don't mean a whole heck of a lot, especially coming from early paleontologists. why, if we just looked at names, we might conclude that basilosaurus was a reptile -- when in fact it was a mammal.

it turns out that modern birds have -- get this -- lizard hips. they lack the forward-pointing portion of the pubis found on ornithischian dinosaurs. even more interesting is that archaeopteryx, as expected, has a transitional hip structure. the pubis points very slightly backwards, but not at an angle sharp enough to be considered modern. it's literally very slightly past half-way between the two angles. curious, hmm? other theropods, like the dromeosaurids (velociraptors) have pubic bones that point nearly straight down.

i'm gonna look and see if i can find some skeletons of other feathered dinos and prehistoric birds and see if i can put a few more dots on the "connect the dots" argument here. but here's a really good start: http://www.dinosauria.com/jdp/buckna/two.htm

but here's something i didn't know: (from the above source)

quote:
In modern bird embryos the pubis initially points forward as in "lizard-hips," then rotates backwards as the embryo develops.2


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Nuggin
Member (Idle past 827 days)
Posts: 2965
From: Los Angeles, CA USA
Joined: 08-09-2005


Message 11 of 200 (249347)
10-06-2005 1:59 AM


Hello? Creationists?
What's the matter? Scared of Archie?

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Lammy
Member
Posts: 3616
From: Chicago
Joined: 03-29-2004


Message 12 of 200 (249510)
10-06-2005 11:50 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by Nuggin
10-06-2005 1:59 AM


Re: Hello? Creationists?
I just realized something. This thread is in the biological evolution forum, which is part of the science section. The thing is half of our most prominent "technical" creos are banned from the science forums.

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MiguelG
Member (Idle past 311 days)
Posts: 63
From: Australia
Joined: 12-08-2004


Message 13 of 200 (250001)
10-08-2005 8:47 AM


Some references to use in the Dino-Bird Evolution Debate
This happens to be one of my favouriteb topics and I am intensely interested in it.

These are some of the references I would use and direct creationist detractors to:
.
.
BOOKS:
.
.
DINGUS, Lowell and ROWE, Timothy: The Mistaken extinction: Dinosaur evolution and the origin of Birds. NY: W.H. Freeman, 1998.

PAUL, Gregory S.: Dinosaurs of the air: teh evolution and loss of flight in Dinosaurs and Birds. Baltimore: John Hopkins Uni., 2002.

CURRIE, Phillip J. et al. (eds.): Feathered dragons: studies on the transition from Dinosaurs to Birds. Bloomington: Indiana Uni., 2004.
.
.
JOURNAL ARTICLES:
.
.
PRUM, Richard O. and BRUSH, Alan H.: Which came first, the feather or the Bird?. Scientific American, March 2003.

PRUM, Richard O.: Development and evolutionary origin of feathers. Journal of experimental zoology [Molecular and developmental evolution], 285(4), pp.291-306; Dec.15 1999.

BRUSH, Alan H.: Evolving a protofeather and feather diversity . American zoologist, 40(4), pp.631-639; 2000.

HARRIS, Matthew P. et al.: Rapid communication: Shh-Bmp2 signalling module and the evolutionary origin and diversification of feathers. Journal of experimental zoology, 294(2), pp.160-176; Aug.15 2002.

PRUM, Richard O. and BRUSH, Alan H.: The Evolutionary origin and diversification of feathers. Quarterly review of biology, 77(3), pp.261-295; Sept. 2002.


Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.
--Aldous Huxley (1894-1963)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Everyone is entitled to his own opinion but not his own facts.
--Daniel Patrick Moynihan (1927-2003)


  
Springer
Inactive Member


Message 14 of 200 (250571)
10-10-2005 9:01 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Nuggin
10-04-2005 12:26 AM


archaeopteryx is not transitional
In its most important feature, namely flight feathers, archaeopteryx is no less of a bird than modern birds. I agree that it is peculiar and does display features which appear reptilian. But there is no evidence that it wasn't as powerful a flyer as a modern bird. If it were alive today, it would be classified as a bird. By the way, three living birds today have claws on their wings and are still considered true birds. If archaeopteryx is the best evolutionists can come up with for transitional forms, their argument is weak indeed.
The problem with evolutionists is that they minimize the need for transitional species, when the ToE demands literally millions of them in the past.
My suggestion is to stop fixating on one or two questionable examples and look at what the present and the past show... that nature is fundamentally discontinuous. There are enormous differences between birds and reptiles, and it would have required at least tens of thousands of functional transitional forms to bridge the gap. You suppose that they existed but you have no proof and you can't even construct hypothetical intermediate forms. I've noticed a conspicuous lack of illustrations in the literature of transitional species of, for example, between reptiles and birds, land mammals to cetaceans, bat precursors, etc. This is because evolutionists prefer to speak in very vague terms, glossing over critical details. They know perfectly well that any attempt to actually visualize a functional transitional forms that would preferentially survive by natural selection would be so laughable that all credibility in ToE would plummit.

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jar
Member
Posts: 31750
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 15 of 200 (250577)
10-10-2005 9:13 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by Springer
10-10-2005 9:01 PM


Re: archaeopteryx is not transitional
Crap!


Aslan is not a Tame Lion

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